Monday, June 24, 2013

Finishing, Fulling and Phones.

My favorite project for this past week is still my woven bag, now with lining and in use as my handbag:
There’s even room for a small knitting project and my iPad, but the bag itself isn’t heavy. The handles came from Joann’s. The homespun lining came from my fabric stash.
Common Threads met at Julie’s this week. Julie showed us her woven placemats:
Here’s the yarn she used (and the same thing in white):
Lynda’s baby sweater is coming along. This is the back. The back and fronts are worked all in one piece:
She used the white fleece from her angora bunny “Chablis” for the sheep.
“I couldn’t just leave it there....” That was Julie’s justification for buying all this $3/skein silk yarn on sale at a yarn store:
Now that she’s a weaver, she goes through yarn a lot faster.
Karan made this coaster set:
Here are some of the individual coasters:
She uses a “stack-and-whack” technique, so all the coasters are different.
I finished the knitting on the top to Daphne’s Bunny Suit:
I still have to sew the underarm seams, darn in the ends and sew on the buttons. Then off to the pants to the suit.
The big family event for this week (maybe for this month) is the expected arrival of my new iPhone (4S 16G). Of course any expected arrival requires a knitting project. I made this cozy on Friday out of some wool worsted from my stash, to felt/full and let dry in time for the iPhone’s arrival later today. It also works for my ancient iPod:
The yarn is Wool of the Andes Worsted in Coal from my stash. I have been wanting an iPhone for some time, partly because our land line has become a playground for solicitors, some of whom are ignoring the "Do Not Call" list. If I lie down (with the pups on top of me) I can count on the phone ringing just as I'm dozing off. Or I'm sitting, listening to a nice audiobook with a dog in my lap, or counting sts, or at my sewing machine a room away from the nearest phone. Or we sit down to dinner and the phone rings. I told DH I'm just not answering it anymore. The kids and my close friends know to call my cell phone. That means I'm going through more minutes on my Tracfone, which is loaded with minutes up front. I also want to be able to use the phone to navigate around town when I have to find a place I didn't know I needed to find before leaving home, or to take photos and send them directly to my various social media without having to wait for Internet, then load them onto my iPad and send from there. The phone had to be ordered, but it has made it as far as Salt Lake City and is due to be delivered today. Yaaay!
My Craftsy class project is coming along. Here’s a look at my class project:
This is the first of three pillows, all from one warp. Lower right of the photo shows where I learned to add new yarn. I’m waiting to see what the teacher is going to have us do with the tails. Upper right is adding-machine tape that helps me keep track of how far to weave the various patterns. I’ve been having trouble keeping the twill even, but I'm sure it will improve with practice. Because it goes over three and under one it doesn’t take as much beating as the plain weave, and certainly nothing like the weft-faced rugs I’ve been weaving, because they require extra beating. The cloth will be fulled when finished, so the loose places should close up a bit. The yarn is Wool of the Andes Worsted in HyacinthCamel HeatherCurrant and Bare.
In quilting news, here’s my progress on the Delectable Pathways second appliqué panel.
You can see, I have to sew the stems down first, and in the right order (stems that are covered by other stems go first), before I can sew down the leaves and other images that go on top. I like to start at one end of the applique and finish everything in that section before moving on, but you could just as easily sew down all the stems first, then all the leaves of the same color (saving time threading needles). I prefer to work from one end to the other, just as I prefer to knit one sock at a time, rather than two at once. I find watching the progress more enjoyable that way. I'm also enjoying sitting out on the deck, now that it's sometimes warm enough. A good place to knit, sew or spin.
I’ve started watching Mary Sorensen’s “Learn to Love Needleturn” DVD and enjoying it. A good reminder of what I learned several years ago in her class at the Quilt Fest, although I have no doubt I'll learn a few new things, perhaps the tips from her advanced class, which I was unable to get into.
Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday. I’ve signed up for Team Knit Picks Lovers 2013 and Team Kromski 2013. My plan (in case you’ve missed earlier blogs) is to spin up all my Full Circle Roving in all the available colors to weave a blanket.
I should have a report and a photo or two next week.
What's on my needles: Daphne’s Bunny Suit.
What's on my loom: Class project for Craftsy class “Floor Loom Weaving.”
What's on my Featherweight: More pillows for my deck furniture.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving, “Espresso.” Gearing up for TdF.
What's on my iPad: Just finished The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey from Audible. Sort of Beauty and the Beast meets Jane Eyre. Also various podcasts. I’m looking forward to reading more of Lackey’s novels. Now I’ve started Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire from the library. I enjoyed the first of the trilogy and the two films made from it, so I’m looking forward to this novel, and it's interesting so far. Also various podcasts, including the Knit Picks Podcast and the Fiber Hooligan Podcast.
What's my app of the week: With a new iPhone, I may be adding some new apps. Watch this space.
What's in my wine glass: Lindeman’s Shiraz-Cabernet 2012. The big bottle. Very nice.

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A-bobbin, A-weavin', A-spinnin' and A-quiltin'!

What a week! Julie brought this quilt of Barbara's to Vintage Stitchers on Thursday:
She had finished the quilting. Barbara inherited it from a friend who passed away.
Barbara also showed us this lovely confection she had just finished piecing/appliquéing.
Then she asked our advice about borders for this Log Cabin quilt. Our group suggested one of the light fabrics for a border, with or without a dark skinny inner border. What do you think?
Diane has been busy, too. This is her completed "Hop to It!" quilt, from the book of the same name by Edyta Sitar. You may recognize the bunny block, which I used in Daphne's baby quilt.
Diane decided against the pieced sashing. She thought it was "too busy." That's part of the creative process, I think. Then she showed us this completed quilt. I told Diane I could use this for my my front deck. (See my June 3rd blog post for my deck furniture, same color scheme.)
I may have to duplicate it!
I've continued to work on my "Delectable Pathways" appliqué. I have a little bit done on the second panel. I'll try to have something to show next week.
Of course, I've been playing with my "new" loom. After finishing the second rug, I had some warp left on the loom and some scraps of the weft yarn left, too, so I kept weaving. Before I ran out of warp, I had enough for this tote bag:

I found handles for it at Joann's. I'm trying to decide whether I need to line it and use it for a purse or leave it as-is and use it for a knitting bag. Hmmmm....
Now that the rug (and the tote bag) are done, I've been able to dress the loom for the class project for the Craftsy class I'm taking, Janet Dawson's "Floor Loom Weaving." So far, I've always warped the loom from the front, but for the class, we're warping from the back, as you can see from this photo. One great trick the teacher suggested was propping the jacks up so the shafts were all higher, so you don't have to lean over so much to thread the heddles. She used a shuttle, but I used rolled-up newspaper.
Here's my finished warp, WotA Worsted in Hyacynth, Camel Heather, Currant and Bare.
I like this method of warping the loom.
Adding to the weaving fun for the week, Saturday was the weavers' guild (Mary Meigs Atwater Weavers Guild) meeting. Karan and I went together. We talked about quilting almost all the way to the hosting guild member's home. Here Karan is checking out the books available in a sale I can only characterize as "destash."

My mission was to find an electric bobbin winder. Success! I found this Schacht Double End Electric Bobbin Winder in the box behind the lady in the pink jacket in the above photo:
It was half the price of a new one from Schacht. I think it's also the same bobbin winder Janet Dawson demonstrates bobbin winding on in the Craftsy class!
Before the meeting some of the guild members met for a workshop in Shibori dyeing techniques using silk scarves. Here's a look at their scarves drying in the sun. To paraphrase the Klingon battle cry, "Today (Saturday, actually) is a good day to dye!"

Everyone who participated in the dyeing workshop showed off their scarves and talked about how they tied up their scarves for dyeing, as part of the usual show-and-tell. We had some great weaving projects, too.
I showed off my second bathroom rug and my tote bag. The weavers were very encouraging and complimentary. One of the weavers asked me how I got the weft so snug, and I explained that I had read that it was good (when making a weft-faced rug) to beat once with the shed still open, once with it closed, and then again with the next shed open. (Weavers will understand this, but non-weavers only need to know that I was able to talk about my technique for getting the weft yarn tight, so the warp didn't show.)
One of the highlights of the guild meeting was getting to see the host's fiber studio. this is just one corner of it:
She also had various other areas devoted to the fiber arts, including quilting. She had a gorgeous view out every window of her studio. (Pardon my drool!)
This past week has been "Knit in Public" week. I worked on the top to Daphne's Bunny Suit at the guild meeting, as well as other places in public during the course of the week. I'm on the second sleeve, and picked up the buttons for the openings at the shoulders while I was at Joanne's.

For cuteness, I have to report on my trip to Camp Hobé with Sunny. We rode up to the camp (in the mountains above Toelle, UT) with another Therapy Animals of Utah team. Sunny rode in the back with Captain Cowpants. New BFFs!

We had a good time with the kids, as always. In case you haven't clicked on the link, this summer camp is for kids impacted in some way by cancer, either by having it themselves or having a family member who has or had the disease. We had a nice assortment of teams this year, including Captain Cowpants and two other "pitties."
What's on my needles: Daphne's Bunny Suit, second sleeve in progress.
What's on my loom: Craftsy class project.
What's on my Featherweight: Strips of pieced blocks for "Delectable Pathways" quilt.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving, Espresso, second bobbin nearing completion.
What's on my iPad: Mercedes Lackey's The Fire Rose from Audible. Also various podcasts, including Fiber Hooligan.
What's my app of the week: Puffin. It allows me to post on KP and CT communities as if I were using my laptop.
What's in my wine glass: Concannon Glen Ellen Reserve 2011 Merlot. Big bottle for a big week. Nice! (I have a good wine steward!)

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fun Finishes

My friends and I have been finishing things this past week. Here's Janet's latest quilt top:
She brought it to Common Threads for show-and-tell. The pattern is "Bars of Gold" from Pam and Nicky Lintott's Jelly Roll Quilts. She says she's going to make every quilt in the book. She has already done several, as have I. I'm not sure I'd want to make every one, but there are several I would like to make, especially "Starlight Express" and "Both Sides of the Pond."

Joanie finished her poncho. I had blocked it for her and picked up the sts around the neck after she sewed the shoulder seam. The color is pretty dark, and even though I'm younger than she is, it was even hard for me to see the sts. I had to sit in the window to do it. It looks great, though!

The pattern is this one from Rowan, and the yarn is Rowan's Felted Tweed DK. Several people in the group want to make it or something similar. I suggested City Tweed as a good alternative, if you can't get the yarn it called for. Lynda agreed. She made a lovely sweater from City Tweed a year or so ago. This is a very simple pattern, but versatile and effective. It's basically a rectangle, the shoulder seam sewn and then the cowl sts picked up. Nice!

Joanie also brought what is probably her last weaving project ever (because her loom now belongs to me):

You may have seen this blanket before, but now she has blocked it. Margareth helped her finish it and get it off the loom, because Joanie has trouble with her shoulders, which is why she was willing to part with her loom. She's happy she can still knit without pain.

This was the warp that was left on the loom when I received it, and I practiced on it with the same weft before starting the afghan that was my first weaving project. Now that I've seen Joanie's project blocked, I may have to finish the edges of the piece I made with the same weft and block it.

Speaking of Margareth, here's Karan admiring Margareth's latest FO, a tapestry sheep:

I'm lucky to have access to Margareth, Joanie and Karan for weaving tips and help! Margareth and I are going to take a rug class with Jason Collingwood in November. In the meantime, though, I'm having a go on my own, with the help of the books that came with my loom. I just finished Bathroom Rug #2:

I think it has a Southwestern feel. This one is for the master bath. Here it is on the bathroom floor:

The yarn is mostly Wool of the Andes Bulky, although I used some Wool of the Andes Worsted held double when I ran out of a color and there's some Ella Rae Worsted in there, too. I haven't wet-finished it yet. I had to see it on the floor! There was still some warp left on the loom, so I'm continuing to weave with my leftovers from this project. I might get a big enough piece out of it to make a bag, but we'll see.

The rug wasn't the only item I finished this week. I wore my finished Fiji Socks to Common Threads:

The yarn is Stroll Glimmer in "Fiji," but the sparkles hardly show up. The pattern is "Scrolls" from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. You may remember that I started these socks back in April of 2012, when we were awaiting Zachary's arrival. They got shoved aside to make time to knit baby things, but now they're finished and in use.

AND...I finished the first appliqué panel for my Delectable Pathways quilt, including the embroidery. Some of the embroidered stems just sort of stop, but that's because leaves that will cross a seam will go there.

Hiking season has begun. Sunny and Rocky really enjoy getting out in the sunshine. Here's Sunny on a recent hike:

The wildflowers are going crazy, like these Forget-me-nots. It's unusual to have so many of this flower here. They're really prolific this year for some reason.

Even the lowly dandelion is beautiful if you look closely:

I wonder if you can spin this stuff?

For those of you seeking some baby cuteness, here's Soren:

Daddy is reading to him. This evening ritual started long before Soren was born.

Well, I still have lots of UFOs and WIPs to finish up, and I'm ready to start the project for my Craftsy Floor Loom Weaving class, so check back with me next week. This has been a week of finishing things. Next week will probably see at least one new beginning.

What's on my needles: Bunny Suit and Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan.
What's on my loom: The rest of the warp with more weft-faced weaving for a bag or ?
What's on my Featherweight: Delectable Pathways, piecing the Delectable Mountain blocks with the setting triangles.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving, Espresso, second bobbin almost finished.
What's on my iPad: Marie Bostwick's A Thread of Truth, from Audible, various podcasts.
What's my app of the week: Gaugefy Free. Because you know you should always knit a gauge swatch!
What's in my wine glass: Alice White Shiraz 2011, from Australia. Just a hint of gum tree! Nice!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, June 3, 2013

High Fiber—Summer Here at Last!

Wow! What a week! Monday we shopped the Memorial Day sale at Hancock Fabrics and got the fabric to recover the seat cushions and pillows for our porch furniture:
The fabric on the seat cushions and two of the pillows is UV outdoor fabric, so we can leave them out. The plain brown is not designed for outdoors, but I can take the pillows in at night. I should have taken a before photo of the old cushions, but I guess I was anxious to get the sewing done. Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to the sewing, including hand sewing the pillows closed on one end.

It went fast, because Dean Koontz's Deeply Odd came out on Tuesday. I had preordered it from Audible. All the time I was sewing, I was either laughing out loud or had the hair standing up on the back of my neck. One of his best!

Wednesday I started my "Absorba the Petite, Bath Mat" and finished it Thursday after our special Common Threads meeting to welcome Kay back from her cruise. (We had a fifth Thursday in May.) The bath mat is a small version of Mason-Dixon Knitting's Absorba the Great, Bath Mat.

I have some Dishie in Linen ordered to make this project, but it's back ordered until August, so I picked up some Sugar 'n Creme in a dark brown to make this while waiting. I don't think I picked up the stitches exactly right, because it looks as if the middle is twisting counter-clockwise. It will do for now, though, and was quick to make, being...well...petite.

Everyone at Common Threads was just starting a new project, but Barbara brought a pair of finished socks for show-and-tell:

My Fiji socks are coming along. I'm to the heel flap on the second sock:

The pattern is Scrolls from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. The yarn is Stroll Glimmer in Fiji.

I need to decide what I'm going to knit for World Wide Knit in Public (WW KIP) Week. I may be finished with the socks by then. Maybe back to the bunny suit?

I've been making progress on my appliqué. I'll try to post a photo next week, but the first panel (of three) of Delectable Pathways is done except for the embroidering of the smaller stems.

I've been making some progress with my current spinning project. I hope to finish it during the Tour de Fleece, which starts June 29th. I'll be "competing" On Team Knit Picks Lovers and Team Kromski.

The fiber is Full Circle Roving in Espresso. I'm well into the second bobbin.

The rug for the master bath has been consuming my attention. I'm at the half-way point now, but I discovered I needed more yarn to finish it, so I ordered Wool of the Andes in Porcini, Masala and Bare. I think I have about enough of the other colors.

I also signed up for the floor loom weaving class from Craftsy, thanks to a half-price sale, so I had to order the yarn to make the three pillows that are the class project.

Saturday was cool, but sunny, so we took the pups for a hike. The wildflowers are really gearing up now.

Here's DH and the pups, enjoying the trails above our house.

Sunday our church participated in the Gay Pride Parade, along with some other Episcopal churches and our bishop. The LDS contingent was much bigger, but they way outnumber Episcopalians in Utah. It was good to see such a great turnout from both groups. The Episcopalians had a church service in the courtyard of the SLC Public Library beforehand. The pups got to participate in the parade, too.

Daphne, Zachary and their family have been visiting their other grandparents in Texas. They had a rather hair-raising trip back home to Wisconsin on Friday, passing through the heart of Oklahoma just a few hours before more tornadoes hit. We were very grateful when they called Friday night from their motel to tell us they were north of Kansas City. The call Saturday evening that they were home was likewise welcome. The kids had a great time visiting Texas. Here's a cute photo of Zachary:

He doesn't look like a baby anymore! His other grandfather calls him "Sir Grabs-a-lot!"

What's on my needles: Fiji Socks, Bunny Suit and Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan.
What's on my loom: Bathroom Rug #2, more than halfway to the 60" approximate length of the finished project.
What's on my Featherweight: Delectable Pathways, first panel of applique finished except for embroidered stems.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving "Espresso," bobbin #2.
What's on my iPad: Just finished Dean Koontz's Deeply Odd, and now into Alexander McCall Smith's The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, from the library, as well as various podcasts.
What's my app of the week: the Knitter's Handbook, like having a knitting resource book with you on your iPad all the time.
What's in my wine glass: Foxhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. The big bottle, after a big week!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.