New Yarns!

April 4, 2011

A few weeks ago, my mom and I decided to have a girls’ day out (in honor of both our husbands being out of town).  So we decided to check out a new-to-us local yarn store, Knit On! in Newport, Kentucky.  (I beg of you, forgive their site design.  It has the important information – that is, the correct hours of operation, and good directions to the store.)

The store itself is wonderful.  Not large, but full of character (it used to be a bank, and they use the old vault as a store room) with wonderful natural light.  And even fuller of wonderful, wonderful yarns.  I’ve been trying to be good, and go through my stash before buying new yarns.  Oh, how I failed!

First purchase, for me.  A 100% merino wool fingering yarn, by Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. (Warning! Site still uses frames!)  I bought it in a lovely light blue-green colorway called Frog Kisses (which I can’t find on their site, but it’s lovely, I promise).  I only bought 1 skein, so it will become a scarf.  I have a pattern intended to show off a knitted ripple by taking advantage of a self-striping sock yarn.  Once I get through some other projects, I’ll start on this.

Second purchase, to make a gift for my grandmother.  Bonnie’s Bamboo, a 100% bamboo yarn from Farmhouse Yarns.  This is in a lovely pinkish-peach kettle-dyed colorway called Desert Bloom.  It’s a very smooth yarn, with a nice tight twist.  I was worried it might split, since the yarn is so soft.  But I’m working it up into a lace scarf, and it hasn’t even considered splitting.  It has a lovely drape, too.

One negative about this shopping experience.  Both yarns were sold by the hank, rather than the ball.  In other yarn shops, the clerk has always offered to wind my yarns for me.  This time, no such offer.  I don’t know if they didn’t have an automatic yarn winder (I didn’t see one, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one out of sight), or if it wasn’t set up, or if the clerk just forgot.  So, I couldn’t really do anything until I had wound my hanks into more practical balls.

I’ve been wanting to learn to wind a center pull ball of yarn for a while, so this seemed as good a time as any.  There are some great tutorials available on YouTube.  The linked one shows how to wind your yarn on your thumb (there are two sequels to this video – you definitely want to watch them all).  I used an empty toilet paper tube instead of my thumb, but the concept is the same.  And in the future, I’m going to ask the clerk to wind my yarn for me.

New Year, New Posts

January 4, 2011

Alas, no new pics.  Still in school.  Still stitching.  Updated the UFO list.  Two projects now marked as finished (one knitting, one crochet).  Two products added that I began work on when I finished the last two (more or less – there’s a pair of socks that were started and finished without ever making it onto the list).  Progress on two more projects was updated.

I got an idea for a project: a database that will let me compare my current stash to the yarn required for a project.  Maybe I can do this for my database class this quarter, because otherwise I won’t have time any time soon.  A pretty front end will have to wait, though.  The tricky part will be identifying what weight a yarn is on a scale of 1 = lace weight to 6 = super bulky, when the manufacturer only gives the weight and length of yarn.  But that’s just details.

Yes, this is this sort of thing I think is fun.

Updatery…

October 12, 2010

I haven’t been posting much lately.  The reason for this is fairly simple – I’m going to school part time to finish a BS in Information Technology.  From the lack of updates to my list of UFOs, you might think I haven’t been doing much needlework. Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of needlework, to relax from the combination of work and school.  It just hasn’t been needlework on the UFO list.

You see, I’ve finally learned to knit.

I’ve known how to crochet since I was in high school.  I’ve known how to sew and embroider for longer than that.  I taught myself tatting and crazy quilting.  But for many years, knitting just didn’t stick.  No more.

I started with little things: hats, scarves, mittens.  I quickly discovered that sewing seams both bored and annoyed me, so I learned to knit in the round.  Many baby hats followed, with adult size hats not far behind.  I wanted to try larger patterns, so I started knitting baby blankets and shawls.  Most of the projects got donated to charity when they were complete.

So instead of finishing projects on my UFO list, I’ve been starting and finishing knitting projects.  I feel very productive, but the UFO list hasn’t been getting any shorter.  As I find the time (translation: if I find the time) I’ll get some pictures of my knitting uploaded to provide fresh eye candy.  Watch this space!

The Mock Crazy Quilt

September 9, 2010

The final quilt of my Labor Day weekend not-quilting spree was this mock crazy quilt.

This quilt top was already fully assembled when I found it in my craft room, and just needed to be basted. It’s a small quilt, only 19″ x 26″, and it won’t have a border. If you look closely, there are only two different block layouts. Both of them are mock crazy quilt blocks, and I wanted to see if it would work with some scrap fabrics before I tried it out with better fabric.

The Hand-Dyed Quilt

September 8, 2010

The second quilt I worked on over Labor Day weekend was this art quilt.  If it looks like there was no pattern, you’re right.


Whle I was gathering supplies to work on the first quilt top of the weekend, I found this quilt top. It is made from various fabrics that I hand dyed as part of an art class. This was going to be the final product for the class, but I didn’t get it finished on time. I expected this to happen, so I audited the class.

It was mostly finished, but needed a border. I had the fabric for the border, but it was in a lot of little strips. I needed to take my stack of 2″ wide purple strips, and assemble them into one very long strip. Fortunately, I had enough to make the complete border. Eventually, I’ll put together enough purple to make the binding as well. This one is now fully assembled, and pin basted onto a plain black backing.

The Kitty-Cat Quilt

September 7, 2010

My Labor Day not-quilting spree started from a desire to finish this quilt top.  Originally, I had hoped to finish the piecing and baste it together with the backing and batting, but it was not to be.

The quilt top that started this all was the kitty cat quilt. It started with 72 squares of 36 fabrics, either with a cat pattern, or something related (like mice, or fishbones). The squares were assembled into a 6 by 12 rectangle, then cut into one large and two smaller triangles, and rearranged into a square set on the bias.

At the start of this weekend, I had my 6 by 12 rectangle. By Sunday, I had rearranged it into the square you see above, and added the border. This quilt top has not been pin basted yet, because I don’t have a big enough piece of batting. Since this quilt top is about 49″ square, I’m going to either have to cut down a much larger piece of batting, or piece together a few smaller pieces.

I’m not a quilter. Really…

September 6, 2010

I’m not a quilter.  My mom is a quilter.  My mother-in-law is a quilter.  When they get together to quilt, I iron things.  And sometimes I do some rotary cutting.  And I rearrange blocks until the colors look right.  (It’s a knack. It’s easier at a distance and with my glasses off, but I can’t really explain how I know what colors go where.)

So how did I spend my Labor Day weekend?  Well, with that introductory paragraph, most of you are probably guessing I was quilting.  Not exactly.  But I did finish piecing two quilt tops, and pin basted two so they’re ready to be quilted.  Three quilt tops, total.  One was pieced but not basted, one was pieced and basted, and one just needed to be basted.

I’ve written up descriptions, but this blog needs some more content.  So I’ve got them saved, and they writeups will post automatically over the next few days.

UFOs: Good news and bad news

September 25, 2008

Time to update the UFO list. One project finished, and two more to add.

The good news is I finished my new purse last night! It was mostly complete (as I described in my last post), but I couldn’t find the shoulder strap I set aside for it. So, last night I made a thorough search of my sewing room, and found the strap. It’s now been added to the purse, and the purse is complete!

And the bad news? While I was looking for the purse strap, I found two vest fronts I was crazy quilting but haven’t finished. I know why they’re unfinished. I lost the pattern to make the back and lining with. If I can find that, the first one should be a quick finish. The second one needs a bit more embellishment before it’s done. The real question is what happened to the third vest that I started at the same time as the second vest….

After the storm…

September 17, 2008

Around here (for definitions of “here” that include Ohio), storms involve water. Usually rain and thunder. This time of year, a side of tornado is common, and in the spring we’ll often get a side of flooding. In the winter, snow and/or ice may replace the rain and thunder, or we may get rain by itself. Occasionally, there will be hail. There will always be water, and most people have learned to deal with that.

Hurricane Ike decided not to pay attention to any of that. We got wind, with a side of wind and gusts of more wind, but almost no rain. This was good and bad. Good, because most people’s sump pumps weren’t working. Bad, because the reason the sump pumps weren’t working was because much of the city was without power.

We lost power sometime around 2:30 or so on Sunday afternoon. It came back about 1:30 Monday afternoon. We were some of the lucky ones – there’s a sewage pump at the bottom of our street, so we were high priority despite being a residential cul-de-sac. My parents didn’t get power back until Tuesday evening, and my co-worker doesn’t expect power back until Saturday morning at the earliest.

Lack of electricity has quite hindered my stitching time, even though most of my projects are handwork. You see, it’s football season, and during football season, I’ll put the game on in the background for three or six hours of serious stitching time. No electricity means no football games to ignore.

Now that power is back, I have to catch up on laundry and other housework that usually gets done on Sunday afternoons. We still have close to a cord of long, skinny branches to cut into short skinny branches for burning. This is after cutting the larger branches into logs, and cutting at least a quarter of the small branches down to a size that will fit into our burn barrel. And the leaves need to be raked, and the grass needs to be mowed, and the steps and the deck need to be swept, leaving little time and less energy for stitching.

My denim purse is close enough to completion that I have been using it occassionally. I decided to put it on the September list back on August 29. At that time, the bag was still in two parts – the denim outer and the cotton lining. It had no handles, and no shoulder strap. It had a place to attach a shoulder strap, but I wasn’t sure if it would get handles at all. By the end of the day on August 30, handles had been made and attached, the lining and bag had been stitched together, and the hole I left to turn the bag right side out had been stitched closed. On the 31st, I finished the topstitching around the top edge.

I still need to attach the shoulder strap, but I seem to have mislaid it in my latest sewing room reorganization. I’ve considered adding some trim over the topstitching, but I rather like the way it currently looks. I should have no problems getting this one finished by the end of the month.

UFOs and Flickr Blogging

September 7, 2008


MonarchGarden

Originally uploaded by Singing Wren

Eye candy has arrived! And I have more pictures in my Flickr account, so I’ll be able to post more soon.

I’m not quite sure how this entry will look when I post it, since I’m doing it through Flickr instead of WordPress. But since the picture is already posted on Flickr, I figured I’d test out their blog feature and see how it works.

This is my Monarch Garden pillow top. I will probably not actually finish this into a pillow. Most likely it will either become a wall hanging or part of a quilt. My main goal with this kit is to practice some of my surface embroidery techniques.

For the current UFO challenge on stitchin fingers, the goal is to finish all the leaves in the center section. I’ve got a good bit to go. The leaves in the borders are not part of the goal, since I plan to finish the center before I do any work on the borders.


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