Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quilting Projects

When we went on our mini-trip about a month ago, I saw a little quilt that I loved. I didn't have $54 dollars to spend on a tiny wall hanging ,so I studied it carefully and determined to make one myself. This is my rendition.

I cut out the triangles over a week or so, with scraps from our fabric stash. Yesterday I sat down to sew them up. It only took a few hours to sew, from start to finish.

I'm quilting circles in each of the squares composed of four triangles. In the corners of the quilt I'm probably going to do a feather stitch.

Here is the first quilted circle. I have a thing for quilting circles, I'm not sure why. :) I find them quite appealing. The batik quilt that I made two summers ago is also quilted in circles.

Oh! I don't know if I ever showed you a picture of this quilt! It is my almost-queen-size bed quilt. I sewed it up late summer 2008, but haven't quilted it yet. I was waiting on the batting and then it got put on the back burner as other projects were started. The batting I use is the all natural, cotton batting which tends to be expensive. It was half off at the fabric store a month ago so I finally was able to get my batting. I still have to applique a vine all around border #3. I thought I was supposed to do it after I quilted it, but when I glanced over the intsructions recently I realized I read it wrong and need to do the vine and leaves before I start quilting.

I didn't have any fabric that I liked for the applique so I stopped at my LYS yesterday and picked out a few options. There was a sale going on, which was lovely. I was able to pick up the fabric for my binding as well. Now I have everything I need to complete my quilt! I'm pretty excited about it. I was helping a friend work on her quilt a few weeks ago and it put me in the mood to pull out my quilt and finish it. Now everything is falling into place and, Lord willing, I can soon have it ready to quilt! I am planning on hand quilting it, which will take awhile, but I'm looking forward to it.
Well, I'm off to drink a cup of tea and quilt some more circles.
Have a lovely evening my friends!

Hand Painting Yarn

I hand painted a skein of yarn about 2 weeks ago. This is the bare skein of wool that I purchased with my Knit Picks order. Now I wish I had bought more! It was so much fun to dye this up! I took a few photos to show you the process I follow when dyeing yarn.
First I soak the skein in lukewarm water for a half hour, or until it is thoroughly saturated. Meanwhile I mix up my dye colors. I use the Greener shades Dyes for all my fiber and yarn dyeing. I don't have a scale for measuring the powder out, so I can't reproduce exact colors of something I have dyed in the past right now, although I can come close. Greener Shades has a group on Ravelry that has lots of useful information if you are interested in trying out these dyes. There is also quite a bit of info on their webpage.

I seem to be missing my photo of the dyeing itself, so we'll skip on ahead to the steaming. Once I have hand-painted the yarn, I spray it down with either white vinegar or citric acid. This, along with the steaming, helps to set the color. Then I wrap it up in plastic wrap and pop it in a pot of hot water. I normally steam the yarn for about 8 to 10 minutes.

After taking it out of the pot I lay it on a towel and peel the plastic wrap open so the yarn can cool. Once it is cool to the touch, I rinse it out in lukewarm tap water then put it somewhere to dry.

This yarn turned out beautifully, and looks quite stunning knit up!

It's A Snowy Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Making Valentines

I'm spending the afternoon with Grandma today. She wanted to make up some Valentine's so we pulled out all her card making gear and got to work.

A little bit of ink, a few sheets of paper, 2 colored pencils , some glue....

.....and voila...Valentine Cards!
I still have a few more to make, but that can wait until later this week.
What projects are you working on for Valentine's? Anything knitting or sewing related? Whatever it is, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sadie, In A Thoughtful Mood

I've been meaning to blog about Sadie, my Siberian Forest Cat, more often. But it seems like I am always in a rush. Today I have a little more time on my hands so I thought I'd show you a picture I took of her Thursday.
I am not sure what got into her, all of the sudden she climbed up on to the piano and sat down in the sunshine. She looked quite solemn, and seemed to have a reason for being up there. I normally don't let her on the piano, but I was trying to figure out what she was up to! Maybe getting some vitamin D??

Happy Saturday Everyone!!!

I just though I would pop in with a quick update on my knitting progress in the last week. I did something to my toe last week, fractured or broke it, I'm not sure which. But to be on the safe side and give it a chance to heal I've been trying to keep my foot up as often as possible. I'm not sure how much it's helping, but it sure has been giving me more time to knit!

This is how far I have got in my "Bleeding Hearts Stole" It's about 14 inches or so I believe, and growing slowly.

I try not to check it's length very often, otherwise I feel like I am not getting anywhere!

I am definitely not going to have it done by the time I was hoping too. When I finally came to my senses and realized that, then I slowed down abit. No need to knit myself to exhaustion!

I started a pair of socks this past Friday. They are the "Pavo Slipper Socks" by Chrissy Gardiner, from Interweave Knits: Winter 2010, page 94.

It's a toe-up pattern, which was a first for me. I am not sure how I feel about it yet.... I still need to make the 2nd one. It's not that I DON'T like it, I just don't know if it's something I'd want to do on a regular basis. I don't have any problem with picking up stitches and doing the kitchener stitch on cuff-down socks.
But if you are wanting to try a toe-up sock, this is an easy one to start out with. It is made with worsted weight on US#4 dpn, so it is a thick, cushy sock.
Perfect for our house where the wood floors always seem to be cold. :) I want to make up a lot of handknit socks and slippers for next winter. I'll keep you posted on how that project goes.
I have a few spinning projects in the works but I'm not sure if I have any recent pictures, so we'll save that for next time. :)
Have a lovely week end, my dear friends!