Monthly Archives: December, 2013

Quilting

DSCN0478BIL’s quilt was well received on Christmas Day. He loved that it’s Charger colors. Boys are strange. Sis loved that it wasn’t covered in Chargers logos 🙂 Now he has his very own Blankie and can quit stealing hers!

DSCN0500The next quilt is well under way. I spent a couple of hours a day in the Studio piecing together the string blocks sewed up years ago. There was a time I was in love with this method and as I worked with these well-aged blocks, some of that love came back. The box of strips has been sorted and all strips ironed in anticipation of starting another round of blocks some time soon. If the old Elna goes back together as planned, it will be left set up for quilting whenever I have a minute in the Studio.

DSCN0501In the interest of Using Everything Up, this quilt has the same backing as BIL’s quilt above. It’s a soft chambray-like cotton with a narrow white stripe that has a lovely hand. What it’s doing in The Stash I have no idea as I don’t generally sew with striped fabric and there must have been 6 yards of it. Some mysteries will never be solved. Two pillowcases were just eked out of the final piece – more about them later – and there’s just enough left over for some project bags.

The “batting” is the remains of a cotton mattress cover from The House of Mom. It must have fit on a twin sized bed and the final quilt size will be perfect for tossing on the back of the couch. The blue border is from another 6+ yard cut of quilt fabric that has mysterious origins. Maybe I just shopped a bunch of online sales? It must have been a bargain since I bought so much. Still a couple of yards left, but it’s made it to the top of the pile and will be short-listed for future projects.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it is having Studio space to work in! I feel so productive when I can walk in, turn on the light, iron and music and get sewing. Or cutting – having a big table dedicated to whatever project for the day is wonderful! The Stash resides in the closet, tools and notions in the main room and everything flows pretty well. I need to get some things hung on the walls, but so far, so good.

(Almost) Still life with cat

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Notice the red spray bottle in the background. It’s filled with vinegar water and by the end of a typical evening the whole place smells like pickles because Revy WILL NOT BE DETERRED from jumping onto the counter and scratching at the screen door.

When my Sis and I were small, Mom covered a couple of small blankets with patchwork and they became our Favorite Blankies* and we have them still. Measuring about three feet on a side, they’re Just Right for a chilly morning on the couch or as a foot warmer at the end of the day.

My BIL has coveted Sis’ blankie since he’s known her, trying to steal it right off her when they cuddle on the couch. A couple of years ago I promised to make him his own blankie but it was an impossible task because the narc** would not let me sew anything for another man, even if he was family, and the project languished in my mental queue, radiating guilty rays every Christmas. Until now.

I asked Sis for some color inspiration and it turns out BIL is a San Diego Chargers fan. My TV doesn’t even get the pointy-ball game – I am clueless about jersey colors, but thought I could make these work. Oh, sure, she gave me some other options, but the quilt shop didn’t offer up any inspirational combos.

This is just a sneak peak on the off chance he stumbles across this blog. More pictures after the Christmas festivities.

* Some day soon I will peel back the layers on my blankie to reveal the original quilt at the bottom before repairing and re-covering it again.

** You might wonder at the occasional reference to the narc (narcissist) and why I include them in what is essentially a fiber arts blog. I do so because abusive men have shaped me into the strong, independent woman I am today and I never want to forget what years of oppression did to my self-esteem and consequently my crafty mojo. I tell my story to educate other women about domestic violence, to give them the hope that there IS a life outside of an abusive relationship, and to let them know that they are not alone. I can always be reached at sofialeo2013@gmail.com or by PM on Facebook – Sofia Leo.

Katniss Finished!

Despite the lateness of this post, Katniss was finished on time and mailed Express* to Wisconsin in the hope that it would arrive in time for Kristen to enjoy it with her family on her Holiday vacation.

Because of one snafu or another, pictures were delayed, so today I treat you to a couple of phone pics of Kristen modeling Katniss:

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The fit is good. The yarn is nice and cushy and I hope it keeps her warm. Next up is a hat to match because there’s more than one skein left over from the cowl. Stay tuned!

* The package did not arrive as promised, so I took advantage of the money back guarantee, much to the irritation of the lady at my local Post Office whose computer had a very hard time coughing up permission to refund my cash.

Katniss Cowl Part Two

Recent weather related issues have kept me from finishing Katniss, but it is moving in the right direction.

The three giant I-cords are complete and sewn together, but the pic is on my phone – I’ll update when I find the data cord…

Note to self: having a cute little bag to store the cords is a great idea, but it only works if you actually put the cords back in the bag after each use. Sigh.

The “yoke” for lack of a better word is complete –

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Please excuse the blur. The color, however, is pretty true on my monitor.

And the drape is 8 rows (or about 6″) complete. Fabric is quickly made, but the large size 35 needles are hard on the hands, arms and shoulders. They’re the hollow plastic kind, but it’s still a bit of a work out just manipulating yarn and needles.

The herringbone fabric is lovely, though, and the yarn is very soft and lofty. I think Kristin will be very happy when it’s all done.

Weather here has been freaking C-O-L-D and the roads are covered with snow and ice. Kristin and I had sorta planned to do a late night parking lot exchange so she could have Katniss before she left on vacation, but I can’t ask her to drive over the Coast Range just to pick up a piece of knitting. I’m hoping she will be happy if I put it in the mail to Wisconsin. That way she’ll be able to enjoy it on her Holiday Vacation without trying to travel in this nasty weather.

The Katniss Cowl

While at the craft fair last weekend, I was talking with Kristen of Black Kat Beading (sadly she has no blog or online shop, but look for some of her work on my website when I get things up and running) and she showed me a picture of what has come to be called the Katniss Cowl:

katniss-catching-fire-2-537x402There are  many versions online, including this free pattern on Ravelry, but the one Kristen chose is the best so far, IMHO, for being close to the movie original but not a slave to design. The original was woven, after all.

Kristen asked if I would be willing to knit her up one, as she doesn’t knit and doesn’t have time right now to learn. I said sure – it was a great excuse to purchase the pattern and make one for myself some time soon 🙂

The Anaid Designs pattern calls for Lion Brand Thick and Quick yarn and once I had agreed to knit it up Kristen ran over to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics to pick up the yarn.

When she got back to the LCCC she mentioned that she’d talked to her Mom on the phone while strolling through Jo-Ann’s and told her about the project. She will be flying back to Wisconsin on the 12th to be home for the Holidays and Mom asked if she would be bringing it back with her. Huh. It is only half a sweater knit with bulky yarn and I’ve been known to knit up a whole sweater in four days with similar yarn…Maybe it was fatigue after a long drive and days of being on my best Public Behavior. I agreed to give it a try. If I manage to pull off this little Holiday Miracle Kristen will be happy indeed!

The pattern starts with three giant i-cords worked with the yarn doubled. The cords are then sewn together and the drape knit in two pieces – this allows for a nice structured look in the end:

katnissfront_mediumThe drape is knit in herringbone stitch on US 35 needles (not a size anyone in this little town stocks) so it will be a learning adventure – using such big needles (or something McGyvered together that Will Do) and learning the herringbone stitch. Whee!

So far I’ve finished the two largest i-cords and am working on the third:

DSCN0434Hopefully the final i-cord will be done tonight and I can get started on the first drape section and sew those pieces together at Knit Night tomorrow.

Seems I should get myself down to the local theater to watch The Hunger Games – Catching Fire just for the knitwear alone! Take a look at this scarf:

katniss-everdeen-captiol-couture-2And I must design a sweater along these lines:

tumblr_mwl1f5R5yf1r9i187o3_500There are probably more pictures online somewhere – leave a link in the comments if you have a source for the knit costumes from either movie…

Craft Fair Aftermath

The craft show is over, the bins packed up until next time and wow am I tired!

Thursday was spent in the Studio (after a promised trip to the dog park where Sabu was run into the ground by two young dogs. Is she finally slowing down at the grand old age of six?) sewing as much as time and energy allowed for the sale. I had this silly notion that we wouldn’t have very much to display and what would happen if we (gasp!) sold out?

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Wool tote bags in Oregon Beaver colors (the Civil War game was played on Friday) beside my knitting patterns

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Wool mice stuffed with fleece and catnip – quite a success!

The car was packed Thursday night and I tried to get some sleep. Excitement and Revy the Wonder Kitty kept me awake and I contemplated leaving earlier than my scheduled departure of 0600, but a last minute snooze made us late instead. Oh, well.

The Fair officially opened at noon, but the website said 1000 so there were plenty of early birds checking out the wares. The atmosphere was festive and I think everyone had a good time. I sold a lot of soap, which was a bit surprising, seeing as how the biggest local soapmakers were there.

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Cute tags, no?

Awana and I invited some friends to have stuff at our tables and the result was a wonderful representation of the Fiber Arts:

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Knitting patterns and lace bookmark kits

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Shetland roving from Goat Knoll Farm in Dallas and beaded stitch markers from Kristin at Black Kat Beading

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Hand dyed Angora bunny fluff!

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Romney fleece for spinning from Culver Family Farm  in Corvallis and Awana’s lovely crocheted pieces – look for patterns from her soon!

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To the left are Elise’s nuno felted hats and Awana’s carded batts for spinning.

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Our tables were located just inside one of the entrances so we got a lot of traffic.

Also on hand (but sadly not pictured) were Beth’s lovely hand knitted hats and scarves. It was a community effort and I think we all did well.

It’s difficult for me to spend two days socializing and selling to the public – I feel like I’m on display and someone is filming me or something, ready to share all of my embarrassing (in my mind at least) moments with the world.

At the end of the day Saturday we packed it all up and loaded the cars down for the return trip. I drove back over the mountains Sunday morning, rain chasing me out of Newport. A few errands and a trip by the Studio to drop off the sale stuff for storage and we arrived home at last.

The weather last night was windy and wild, marked by nearly losing Towanda’s awning and a night full of rockin’ and rollin’ to the sound of rain pounding down on the tin roof. Much colder temps are forecast for tonight and the following week, so I better get to work on some quilts and insulation projects. And do laundry – clean clothes are a Good Thing. Vacuuming is also a Good Thing.

Posting on the Crazy Knitting Project will begin tomorrow. Here’s a teaser:

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Revy in his role as Knitting Inspector. So far he has been pretty respectful of the Knitting. Sorry about your yarn that one time, Awana 😦