Okay this post is sheer motherly indulgence more for myself than for any record to put out there, something to look back at in a few years.
I was cleaning up the kitchen and decided to give my little ceramic dish a good scrub and then the little ceramic cookie a good cleaning as well. These were items that were given to me by my kids more than a few years back. I’m not sure what grade the kids were in when they made the little pottery items but it struck me that after all these years I’m still using the things and they serve their purpose well even if they do look more than a little worse for wear. I still look at them and treasure them and it’s been maybe 20 years? Sentimentality at it’s best I guess. It’s the same reason I don’t throw out those little treasures that still decorate the Christmas tree after all these years and those go back from kindergarten and my oldest is now 35 years old. Mothers, I’m sure we’re the same the world over.
I seem to be in a spinning mood lately and so here is the latest offering. It is another Wellington Fibres Mill’s mystery box. Actually I bought two of these boxes so a total of 500 grams. After running a bit short in the first project I was determined it wasn’t going to happen again but hey who knows as I’m spinning this one thicker so maybe I won’t end up with as much as I want anyhow. I think the idea was to make a sweater but as one of the ladies pointed out in my crafting circle it takes more than 500 grams of bulky yarn to make an adult sweater, doh! This might turn out into a scarf and hat, we’ll see.
This is what the roving looked like before spinning. I think it’d probably look different if the roving was split into colours and then plied but that’s not the way I did it. I just spun from the roving directly.
I’ve taken a break from sewing my quilt and have been having some fun creating hanks of yarn for a hat project. The pattern is Caller Herrin by Kate Davies and is a tam with a seashore/fish scale theme. I’ve always liked the pattern and yarn used for this hat but I’ve never ordered the yarn simply because making the hat would cost me around $80 and I refuse to pay that kind of money for a hat I might only wear occasionally.
I had downloaded some reading material from Interweave press and one of the e-books that I bought was Spinning In Color by Deb Menz. I had a go at creating a skein of yarn following her principles of layering colours in batts and then layering the batts together and then finally z-striping the batts to get the roving.
Somehow looking at this skein of yarn I’d created made me flashback to the Virtual yarns used in knitting Caller Herrin and it suddenly occurred to me to try and create my own colour-ways for the hat trying to mimic the colours in the Virtual Yarns. I knew I wouldn’t match the colours but I thought it’d be fun to try so here are a bunch of pictures of the process. I’ve decided to save the yarn for vacation time in January and truth to tell now that I’ve made the yarn the fun has sort of gone out of the process and I’m in no hurry to knit the tam. It’s usually the way it is for me when it comes to colour experiments, it’s more fun making the materials than using them.
There are more than a few different skeins where I’ve tried for a better match so just a heads up at why I’ve got all these different colours that are similar. The wool fiber that I used was from my Ashford Mill Ends bag (previously blogged) and mostly Corriedale.
This tan roving was another clone but I could tell it wasn’t going to work so I set it aside, this is how it looks spun up.
I have a passion for civil war/reproduction era fabrics so when I see them on sale I tend to look twice and it doesn’t take much for me to buy them. I recently bought a block of the month quilt kit from The Fat Quarter Shop “Mastering Miniatures” put out by Homestead Hearth featuring Judie Rothermel’s Authentic Miniatures 1800’s reproduction fabric.
The original quilt is 70″ x 70″ and I had originally planned to make it that size but since I’ve started the quilt we have purchased a king size bed so obviously I need to make the quilt larger. There are 50 blocks in the quilt that each measure 6″ x 6″ when finished. Each month has five packets each packet making a different block. Although the fabrics in each packet are usually a 10″ square, since the block itself is 6″ square, there is more than enough fabric to make two blocks out of what is given. If I run short of fabric for the second block I can
I can usually steal a bit of fabric from another block. It helps that I also have in my possession 2 grab bag boxes of reproduction prints on hand to fill in any shortfalls and some of those off-cut pieces from the grab bags are the very fabrics used in the quilt. Long story short I figure I need around 110 blocks to make a king quilt. It’s amazing that to add an extra two outer rows I’ll need the same amount of blocks as used in the original quilt.
Anyhow I had a friend request pictures of the process so here I go with posting my progress of making a quilt once again, besides which I find it keeps me on track and honest in the time management. The blocks below have a lot of cutting in them and are fussy but I find I’m loving it. I’m making two of each block and then I guess I’ll have to decide on another ten when I’m done the fifty blocks.
Today saw me finishing up the binding and label on my latest project, a lap quilt made from a moda scrap bag and yardage. I made the quilt as a thank you to a friend who was kind enough to take me out for a couple of driving lessons to brush up on my skills before I had to take my final driving test. Unknowingly I had let my license expire so had to take a re-test, scary stuff as the test is much more extensive now 35 years later.
I didn’t really know what colours to use for the quilt but then thought everyone loves Christmas and so that’s what I settled on using fabric from the “Adoring” line by Sandy Gervais from Moda. I decided the easiest way to use the differing widths from the scrap bag was to make a Chinese Coin quilt and it was just a matter of arranging and sewing the strips together and then cutting the strips into six inch widths, stacking the widths and then sewing them. I then picked out some solid green for the accent and backing and voila all done.
I machine quilted in the ditch around the solid green bars and meander-stitched inside the coin bars. The hardest part of putting this quilt together was choosing what colour would match the coin fabrics. It true the saying that “the quilt makes itself” as I didn’t really want green for the solid but out of all the fabrics in the store that’s what went the best. Glad to have another one finished and hope my friend likes it.
It’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve been working on a wrap/shawl and it feels like it took forever to get it done but finished it is thank goodness.
The pattern is called Print of the Wave and is from the book by Liz Lovick called Centenary Stitches. I’ve used a pattern from this book before to make a Poppy Shawl and I explained about the book in that post.
The yarn is some that I’ve spun and blogged about – Mystery Fibre from Wellington Fibre Mill. The shawl itself isn’t very complicated to do but you do have to keep focused otherwise it’s easy to mess up the pattern repeats. I ripped back countless rows because I’d look up and lose track of what I was doing.
After pinning out the shawl yesterday I decided to try knitting up some pompom yarn I bought from the dollar store. I watched a couple of youtube videos and then cast on 14 stitches and off I went. I finished up the short scarf this afternoon after about 5 hours of knitting. So nice to get instant gratification after spending three months knitting one item.
Fourteen stitches wide on 5 mm needles. Next time I’ll cast on 12 stitches and get a slightly longer scarf although this one is good for under a jacket. It took one ball of yarn – 82 yards, 150 grams.
Ted E. Bear of course standing in as a model for me like he usually does. He likes the scarf because it’s nice and furry although he tells me it can’t compete with his own luxurious fur.
I had a request from my son-in-law for a new tie-dye shirt for my grandson as he’d out-grown his so I dug out the blank shirts and got busy doing some dyeing over the past few days. Really it’s amazing how many white shirts I have squirreled away in the closet. This is the last of the child-sized shirts but I have plenty of adult ones left. So I’m just going to photo bomb the blog and then write down the dyes used to make the shirts.
Group of shots of some of the tie-dyes in bags on the sunny deck and front porch. Even though the day wasn’t that warm the sun did it’s job.
Group shots of tie-dyes on drying rack on the deck.
Lots of fun and colour. The dyes are still working after 8 years so I’m happy with that.
I finally finished the “Out My Window” dinosaur quilt for my grandson’s birthday the end of this month. The fabric is by Northcott and the quilt design is by Karen Schindler Bialik. It seemed to take forever to get the binding sewn down this weekend while we were away at our friend’s cottage. I was going to do a quick meandering stitch over the quilt but in the end couldn’t bring myself to take the easy way out and instead did some quilting in the ditch, meander stitch and outline stitch around each of the dinosaurs. It took a long time but it really helped to make the dinosaurs pop.
Finally finished up the second skein of mystery yarn from Wellington Fibres Mill. This is some sort of mohair/wool combination I think, I’m not sure what the percentage of mohair to wool is. The yarn doesn’t feel as soft as the 50:50 of the last skeins I spun so I’m thinking it’s more wool. Anyhow…
Next up I bought some kid mohair locks from the local yarn shop and thought I’d finally try spinning these guys. I already have some mohair locks but this was on sale for $10 so I thought I’d practice on these before spinning the ones I paid more money for. I’m pleased with the way the yarn turned out. I was going to wrap it with some bronze coloured thread but I thought the thread took away from the look so I just left the yarn as a single ply.
Yarn in skein after being washed and left to dry with a towel in one end to take out the twist. Most of the twist had left after soaking the skein in hot water but I didn’t want it to dry and bounce back so added the towel to put some weight on the one end and keep the yarn straight.
I like the yarn it’s pretty but I haven’t a clue what to make out of it.