2.18.2018

Nearly there

As luck would have it, I have enough navy bias binding from the last tumbler quilt to bind the whole Red Tumbler. 


Occasionally there is an upside to being a pack rat playing a long game.  

Luck would also have it that on the day of the deadline, I have three hours unscheduled this week due to alternating-week stuff getting messed up.  Worst case scenario, I spend those hours finishing up the hand sewing of the binding.  

As for tonight, I hope to finish the quilting - one more horizontal seam to do (5 rows of quilting) and then along all four edges, two lines each.  I may get it done before bed, I may not.  

Happy crafting!

2.11.2018

Better late than later

I finished a scarf!

Before blocking:


I was smart, over four years ago, to knit the second end first and then set it aside for grafting - no worrying about guessing how much yarn I'd need, and when I felt done I was actually close to being done. 

Blocking worked wonders and it's plenty long enough now.  
 

The pattern is Kernel, from Knitty.  


Yarn is Malabrigo sock in Solis, purchased way back in 2009.  I originally started it before my second child was born in 2014, hoping to get it done before she was born.  Then I didn't, and I'd pick it up here and there on long car rides, which had become much fewer and further between.  And then a few weeks ago, I decided to get it done and zoomed through the last couple of repeats. 

Quilting/art quilting mojo has pretty much returned - I started a thing:  


The working title is "hand-dyed with circles."  I may come up with something better.  


Right now I'm making a bunch of circles in various ways.  Thread, beads, applique.  The big circle, visible in the top picture, is from a quilting hoop.  I kind of like it, and may quilt along it, but it does change the whole look of things.  Generally I've been adding one thing per day - a set of stitches or beads - and I'll keep trying to do that until it feels done.  I'm also thinking about finishing techniques for the edges.  Will probably not do a traditional binding, but I'm not sure what I'll do instead.  

The big push right now, though, is to get this twin-sized quilt finished asap.  I set it aside with the top rows finished but not sewn to each other and the backing still in many pieces.  Now it's basted and there are some quilting lines finished.  This is the same pattern (plan, there's no real pattern) as the orange twin tumbler I made several years ago, which calls for five lines of quilting at each seam. 


Six down, a bazillion to go.  Urgh, I just did the math and I'm going to have to seriously up my average if I want the quilting done by the middle of next week.  And then there's the binding...  

Happy crafting!

1.21.2018

Oh hi

My rabid and dedicated fan base has pointed out to me that I haven't posted here in a good long time, so here I am!

I have made socks:

Stockinette!

Pair #100!
Child size!
Leftovers!

I have made yarn:


First Navajo-plied, about worsted weight


BFL/Shetland

Superwash merino/Nylon

I love my wheel precisely as much as I thought I would.  I love spinning and I love handspun.  Details for most of these are on Ravelry.  The last blue one will be a 2-ply, and I just finished this recently, so it will sit for a bit before I ply it. 


I made a quilt:

This was pure expedience - the entryway of my office building is dreary and drab, so this is just something to look at.  My quilting mojo is nowhere to be found, so I did an image search, came up with something that looked doable, and did it.  Whiz-bang. 

I tried out a new finish on the binding - it's a machine finish, with a fancy stitch.  I used white thread on the white parts of the blocks and a teal thread on the colorful parts, including to finish the binding. 


I'm also in the process of making a baby quilt, for a baby who was born, um, about two weeks ago.  After dragging my feet on the design for ages, I scrapped the whole plan and went with a simple warm/orangey palette plan and the top is done and I have batting that fits and the only possible backing is blue.  Which isn't ugly or horrifying, it just doesn't fit the whole feel of the quilt at all, and I'm trying to decide if I care.  As I wait to come to this decision, away I spin on the next thing.  

Happy crafting!

8.13.2017

FO: Adventure Baby quilt

Just by the deadline (hop on a plane tomorrow), we have a finished baby quilt:


Navy and neutrals was the requested palette, and the nursery will have an adventure theme.  The best adventure map fabric I could find was this one, which rather unfortunately is quilting-themed.  It's a quilt, so that's kind of okay, but it's a lot about making quilts (pins, thimbles, sewing machines, etc) but there are also boats and compasses and old-fashioned-y map stuff, so I went with it.  Kid won't be able to read it for a while.  


For this quilt, I went with a dark inner border and a lighter outer border.  Can't explain that design decision in words, it was just a feeling that I had. 


Connecting Threads had a neutral line that I bought a single charm pack of, and now I'm really wishing I'd gotten more.  There is more to see close-up.  I had to dig deep to get a range of fabrics, and bumped the maximum number of duplicate patches up to three, rather than the normal two.  A birthday gift certificate helped with the border fabrics and some of the patches. 



And, finally, the boyish-est bunny in the bunny stable (warren?)  


In other news, my birthday was incredibly fiber-packed, which is very exciting.  



Can't wait to get back to my wheel some.  There are two more baby blankets on the list, and I don't know yet if they will be for boys or girls.  I've got a stack of girl fabrics to work on, and one of the incoming babies has a sister who never got a quilt the first time around, so I'll probably work on that one next.  

Happy crafting!

7.16.2017

Baby Quilt Bonanza

Seems that a couple of the quilting blogs I follow regularly-ish have fallen off.  I suppose it would seem that mine has, too.  For right now, that's because quilting has fallen off.  Not by my choice, and once the new shape of everything is solidified, it will probably pick back up.  We are shifting big pieces of things around (jobs, school, schedules, everything) and right now the only thing I have energy for during quilting/spinning time has been listening to music and running up my losing streak record at Free Cell.  (Nineteen.  Nineteen.) 

BUT.  I've finished a skein of yarn and two baby quilts, and I managed to take pictures of them before they were given.  The next quilting deadline is in about a month, and I don't really have the fabric I need, and I really don't have the money to get the fabric (see above re: massive shifting), so fingers crossed that all will fall into place soon.  I've sewn bindings on planes, but never with kids along, so hope to avoid that.  

Baby Quilt #1 (actually #3):

Mostly Connecting Threads Squirrel Park charms, Squirrel Park border, Connecting Threads yardage for backing.  


The back, with its little vintage bunny:


I don't feel like fighting with Blogger about where my pictures go, so here is the finished yarn I was talking about:


Polwarth fiber, dyed in True Blood Red from BMFA from a while ago.  There are associated numbers (ounces, yards, whatnot) but if I try to find them right now I'm sure I'll wander off and not come back to the blog for a month.  I had been planning on posting this for sale on Etsy, but then Etsy demanded my bank account information, and I'm not sure that Etsy and I are far along enough in our relationship for that sort of sharing.  Anyway, this is laceweight, over 600 yards if I remember correctly.  I will probably take the plunge with Etsy at some point, and if you're dying to give me money in order to get this yarn, let me know and I'll scootch that item up my to-do list. 


Baby Quilt #2 (actually #2):


This quilt is for a little baby boy.  I've knit baby boy blankets before but have never made a baby boy quilt before.  Blankets strike me as so much easier than baby boy quilts.  So many more decisions have to be made for a quilt.  No, let me rephrase that: the same decision has to be made eleventy-seventy times, namely: is this boyish enough?  Is this boyish enough?  Is this boyish enough?  


If you do not think this is boyish enough, please do not tell me that.  This is a mix of fabrics, some grays from a FQ set from some designer or another, I think it was Moda (I know, I know, stop with so many helpful and specific details, orooni) that I used for the Block O-hio quilt, plus lots of Connecting Threads.  Plus random-birds.  Plus old Hawthorne Threads stuff.  Boyish stuff.  Yeah. 

The boy quilt, reclining casually

 And finally, vintage munching bunny:

Is that bunny boyish enough? 
I'm just going to keep going, because it seems dangerous to stop at this point.  

Oh shit, is this really ugly? 

This work in progress is way more impressive than the next baby quilt (another boy one, with 11 of 42 squares up on the wall) so far, so here are the 59 squares I have for the Must Applique Now Quilt.  How many do I need?  Dunno.  More.  Am repeating background fabrics, not focus fabrics, so far.  

Hlkjasfdklj.  I hope your summer has been more productive than mine.  

Happy crafting! 

5.19.2017

FO: Boundless

After long waits to order border fabric, then find binding fabric, and to applique a bunch of squares on other squares for a non-baby quilt, Baby Quilt #1 is done:

This from a Boundless in Bloom set of charms (bought off of Craftsy), plus later some yardage from the same line.  Standard pattern, a 6x7 charm grid, 1.75" white border, 3.75" coordinating border. 


The backing is quilting cotton from JoAnn's bought with a 50% off coupon.  


The label is vintage bunny:  


The baby is due in June, and as of this afternoon has not made any moves toward arriving early.  


Also done is my very first yarn - not the first I plied, but the third or so one, and I'm going to keep it rather than use it.  

 
Linking up with Finish it Up Friday.  Happy Crafting!

5.02.2017

Purple Handspun

I've finished my third skein of 2-ply!  

Before washing:


After:


 With a quarter:

I wound it off the bobbin onto an acrylic quilting ruler again and came up with an estimate of 876 yards.  

It's listed in my Etsy shop (here!) and I listed it as over 850 yards because despite counting the number of wraps twice, I dread the possibility that someone buys it and then runs out because I didn't calculate it right.  Because there is no more where this came from.  

Again, despite being a 2-ply, this is a laceweight yarn (4.2 oz, 850-ish yards).  I really need to figure out how to spin thicker. 

This time I plied the singles immediately after finishing the second bobbin, and they were definitely energized and it was definitely harder to ply.  In the future I'll try to let them rest for at least several days.  

If it sells, I'll get some more fiber and start in on the next project.  BUT, the baby quilt list just keeps growing (5 and counting) and I do not have a big (or even small) pile of baby quilts yet, so it would probably be better to tear myself away from the wheel for a bit.  The first blanket is due in June, which is not too far off.  

Happy crafting! 

4.16.2017

A little bit louder, a little bit worse

Today I blocked the shawl I've been working on pretty monogamously since I finished the yarn (sagano shawl, rav link):


 Here's what it looked like before blocking, when I was wondering if I could actually make the top edge straight.  That teeny little ball near the center is what yarn I had left, but I foolishly wasn't worried about running out. 


 My 5-year-old remarked, "Mama, it looks like spiders."  Sigh.  Yes it does.  Where was the kid when I was picking out a pattern?  

An army of spiders

 I may not let the fact that it's made out of spiders and it's finally in the 70s stop me from wearing this at work this week. 


Here's where the project started:


I was not expecting stripes or gradient-ness - have a lot to learn about what to expect from fiber through the spinning process.  I've read lots of stuff that says that beginners might expect their first singles to be laceweight but are surprised at how much it plumps up, but my two-ply was definitely a laceweight, coming in at 650 yards over 4 oz.  I regularly hear about how small my handwriting is - maybe these facts are related.  For my next spinning project, I'm going to try to spin a thicker single so that I can make yarn for those worthy knitters in my life who aren't super into laceweight without having to spin 10 singles. 

I am finding myself tired, as I sometimes get, and a bit fallow, as my to-do list explodes.  Right before I started knitting the shawl that ate a month, I started an applique quilt knocked off from Crazy Mom Quilts:

Please ignore the purple/green blocks and orange circle, those are separate projects.

It went about like: I need a new quilt to make, something applique... yes, right there, that will do.  Monkey see, monkey applique.  This one will be for me, which is unfortunate because there is a long list of people I'd love to give a quilt to, and who deserve a quilt, and who I should be quilting for.  

::yawn::

Happy crafting!

3.18.2017

FO: Plinko Patchwork and yarn

Usually when I apologize for low-light pictures, it's because I've finished something well after the sun has gone down.  This, however, is the rising sun.  Through trees, to be fair, but yeah.  March in the cold northeast. 



Plinko patchwork is finished!  It was planned to finish at 60"x72" - after a wash it will probably be a bit smaller.  

I was stumped for a long time about how to quilt it, and I put this quilt down when the spinning wheel quilt came together.  Putting quilts aside before they're done is rare for me, but I safety pin basted this one and then set it aside.  As I worked on other stuff, I kicked around lots of options, then sat down and decided out of nowhere to quilt Hostess cupcake loops over the seams.  Then, because it seemed like it needed a bit more and I couldn't remember which batting I'd used and therefore how much space I could leave between quilting lines, I did diagonals across the whole quilt. 



 My loops are, let's say, really really organic.  I hated them while I was quilting, but now that it's done, I really like the effect and will probably use this again. 


The very top of the back is more of the banner fabric, the middle is spooky trees, and the bottom is "Blast Off," a nice neutral geometic-y Connecting Threads clearance score.  The banners were a Hawthorne Threads clearance score.  Then my husband liked it so much that I scored more to make this quilt.  

And, with great fanfare and a very tired leg, I present my first handspun:



Six ounces of a black/white wool/alpaca 2-ply.  I can see how my spinning improved over the course of the two singles - there is a substantial amount of single left on the second bobbin I did, mostly because I didn't have huge slubs that could probably have produced a yard or two of single.  I'm going to figure out how long it needs to rest and then wash it.  Then I'm going to shellac it and put it on the wall.  Maybe.  

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday.  Happy crafting!