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  • knitting1105 11:26 pm on January 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Vortex Crafting 


    -21F air temperature and -50 wind chill.  School was cancelled for the past couple of days, and I chose to hunker down in the house and cook, clean, sort and most importantly craft.

    I am trying to dedicate myself this year to finishing as many long ignored projects as possible.  One at a time.  If I no longer like them, or think that they will not fit, I am prepared to frog them, no matter how far along.  Last year I did fairly well at starting to attack some of these projects, and I must admit that it felt really good.  Not only does it clean up my crafting space, but clears up unwanted craft baggage.

    First I decided that I needed to finish this shawl.

    I started it in the late summer of 2015, and was moving along nicely.  That is until I ran out of the handspun yarn.  Being a gradient, I needed to order an additional 2 braids to finish it.  While waiting, I lost focus, and had little time for spinning up the yarn needed.

    Here is where it has sat for over 4 years, I am ashamed to admit.  The color is Thistle, a gradient by my favorite dyer, Fiber Optic.


    So, while it took a bit of re-education, I finally spun the additional 2 braids over the past couple of weeks, making great progress while housebound.


    Plying will happen tomorrow, I tried it tonight, but without adequate light and patience, I gave up.  I will have to learn to finesse my Jensen spinning wheel again.  Then, I had to find the pattern, as it was separated from the project (what a mistake, I always think that I will just be picking it up again in a day or so), luckily I had blogged about it here so know that it was the Pulelehua shawl.  Butterfly in Hawaiian.  Surprisingly I had purchased this pattern, which is unusual for me to not just knit something from a book that I own.  I am now anxious to ply the yarn and get this finished.  The pattern is gorgeous, which I am sure is why I chose it.


    My other project the past couple of days, has been to finish this picnic blanket and napkins.  This was left when a friend of a friend passed away; all it really needed was the binding sewn on.  Of course I had to relearn how to do the mitered corner, as it has been years since I have sewn on a quilt binding.

    And here is always a helper at hand, wanted or not.


    I have a couple of more free days before work and reality set back in.  This has been a nice respite, and I am happy that I am focusing on being productive with the time.

    And staying toasty warm inside.  Hope everyone is safe in this cold weather.

    • Diane Hamilton 12:18 am on February 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m proud of you to continue working through your projects. The shawl will be beautiful when you are done and everytime you wear you will think of Marilyn, Anita, and Mom. Glad you took advantage of your extra days. Hope it gets warmer soon.


  • knitting1105 7:22 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Quilting   

    Layout Decisions 


    I laid out all of the blocks for my new Moda quilt.  First as was suggested…


    Then, rotating every other block so that the large blocks are not always in the same position.  Can you see the difference, I think that I like this one better.  The colors are really off, as it was late in the afternoon, and my photography was not the best, but I think you can see the difference.


    I had better get busy knitting socks, this new yarn from the CookieA sock club came today.  I have knit with other yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery and love it, so will be anxious to see what the patterns are like.  Must finish up the other languishing socks….


    • Mimi 2:58 pm on October 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I like your block layout better. Also: did I tell you that I resisted the urge to go to Green Mountain Spinnery while I was in VT this summer? I knew that it would be the beginning of the end if I did…


      • knitting1105 8:35 pm on October 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the feedback, I think that my layout is more interesting. I am very confused though on how you could pass up a trip to the Green Mountain Spinnery?!!!


  • knitting1105 5:29 pm on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Take 5 


    The Pattern name is Take 5, and the front says:

    • Take 5 minutes
    • Choose 5 fabrics
    • And in 5 hours you’ve made this fantastic quilt!

    Well, when I first carried around the large flower print for 30 minutes, then had to keep adding colors (this is prior to picking the pattern), I should have known it would be a bit longer.  I invited my knitting buddy Mimi over yesterday to spend the day quilting.  I knew that having someone here would motivate me to keep at the project for a longer period of time (it also motivated me to pull out an almost-finished, languishing quilt project after I am done with this).

    The cutting took me about 2 hours, I did not cut through all 5 layers at once as suggested, my mat was not large enough, and neither my confidence in my rotary cutting abilities.  Mimi went with me to the craft store to get a new rotary cutter.  I needed a new blade anyways, and decided that a larger diameter would be better.

    After cutting, the instructions had you put the fabrics into piles according to size and fabric number.  It took more time than one would have thought, but made the piecing part so much quicker.

    Sewing was about 3 hours to complete 2 sections yesterday, and about 2 hours for the remaining 3 today.  Not bad so far, 7 hours.  Now I need to place them, sew the blocks together, and add the 2 border sections.

    This is the best color rendition of any of the photos:


    • Diane 11:30 pm on October 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am so proud of you on starting this and it seems to go together quickly–can’t wait to see the finished project. I still need to open my big box of material to find something that works with this quilt. Most likely I will have to buy some new material!


    • Mimi 11:39 am on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      *shakes fist* I’ll get you for this, FF 😉


      • knitting1105 8:36 pm on October 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        The advantage of the quiet iPad camera… You are too cute to shy away. Thanks for joining me in a quilting day.


  • knitting1105 10:59 am on September 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , sew   

    Color Attraction 


    As if I needed another project!  I was in Northern Michigan with my sister a week ago, and she wanted me to go with her to the quilt store to pick out fabric for a headboard.  I was not on the lookout for a new project at all, but fell in love with these colors, it all started with the large flower print.  Having seen Moda fabrics in other people’s quilts for quite some time, I was drawn to their bright colors and grouping of patterns under a color banner.


    Finding a pattern was the next step, the owner of the store suggested the pattern Take Five, which incorporates 5 patterned fabrics cut together in different square and rectangle sizes.  It is a very simple pattern (says 5 hours to complete), not what I would normally choose, but I am interested in the play of colors more than any intricacies in the pattern block.  I think that I will tackle this in a couple of weeks when I have time alone on the weekend.

    Of course, to make the pattern easy, I needed another tool.  An 8 1/2″ wide ruler to quickly cut the squares.


    • Diane 8:19 pm on September 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Let me know if it really only take 5 hours. I decided to make this quilt too to go with the headboard. Have to go through my stash to see if I can find something that will work. Most likely nothing will work and I will have to go to the quilt store to find some material! It was great seeing you and Dan!


  • knitting1105 2:49 pm on December 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Christmas 2010 

    Wow, a week since I posted last.  The week prior to Christmas is a self-imposed baking frenzy.  I grew up baking and decorating cookies with my family, so I naturally continued that tradition with my own children.  Slowly, we added one or two cookie types to the mix, and of course cashew brittle and fudge.  Then I started giving boxes of it away as gifts, first for one good friend, then added people.  Mostly my friends the Bermans, and I always gave a plate to whomever had their kitchen ripped up at Christmas as a result of our designs.  The past couple of years have not had any clients with demolished kitchens at Christmas, but have had people needing cookies for difficult times in their lives.  So this year we baked up a storm.  Sofia came home early to help, and we made lots:

    Included are:

    • Cashew brittle
    • Plain Fudge
    • Fudge with macadamia nuts
    • Decorated butter cookies
    • Ginger molasses cookies
    • Lemon meltaways
    • Banana nut cream sandwich cookies
    • Fruit filled thumbprint cookies
    • Chocolate covered peanut butter rolls
    • Double mint Chocolate cookies

    And, as Sofia always likes adding a tradition, we started last year with 2 trees.  One went up on the front porch at Thanksgiving, and the other in the living room for Christmas.  The lights go on early, and the tree waits until both kids are home to decorate.  College has meant only 3-4 days before Christmas lately.

    It would not be Christmas without stockings stuffed to the gill at our house, this is my kids favorite part.  My sister Diane shares the same affliction.  I think that it is growing up in a house with 10 kids, and my mother overwhelmed just to make sure that all the presents for everyone were fair, that stockings were a gold coin and a couple of pieces of candy at the toe.  To give her credit, she always made sure that we all had the same number of gifts, and that the same $ were spent on everyone (I saw one of her checklists one year to attest to this).

    And what is Christmas without a few handknit items?   For my husband, a looped scarf from wool that Jill and I got at a sheep farm in California that we visited, dyed with walnuts lining the proprietress’ driveway.  He is always complaining of a cold neck when he is working on the computer.  I had thought of some type of man-shawl, but did not think that he would really wear it.  This is a continuous loop, knit in garter stitch, about 7′ around.  I started with a provisional cast-on, and then wove the beginning and end together with Kirchner stitch to make a large loop, knit with size 6 needles.  It is very warm.

    And for my daughter, a second sock monkey (more photos of this finished and in progress tomorrow):

    Sofia also got this quilt that I had pieced when she was a baby, and it sat unfinished here for years.  I finally had it quilted this year, and I just finished sewing on the binding in time for Christmas:

    Poor Ethan got no hand-made items this year.  He is preparing to go to Japan for 6 months to work.  I hear it is actually cold there, and you have to take your shoes off at every entrance.  I think that I will make him a fine pair of knitted socks to take along.

    • Rae 7:49 pm on December 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I am glad you & your family had a wonderful Christmas.


    • Alyssa 10:44 pm on December 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Those cookies look delicious! This is the first year I’ve ever been without Christmas cookies, so I’m jealous 🙂


    • barbaramary 11:48 am on December 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love the cookies – it’s a great idea to make lots for Christmas presents. I have been making biscuits on a small scale, but it would be good to extend it. I like the idea that you can chose your own traditions and extend them year by year – yes, why not? I’ll make a tradition of biscuit making.


  • knitting1105 10:34 am on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    New life for Old quilts? 

    I am on a mission to clear out unwanted items from my house, bring order to the attic, and give away anything that I cannot see me using soon from clothes to yarn to items in the house.  The exception is my books, that I actually want to be surrounded with, and the toys and books from the kids childhood that I really want to save.

    When we first moved into this house, the huge attic was empty save for a treadle sewing machine that had apparently been with the house for years, and 2 old quilts that I discovered.  I was so excited to find these, and thought perhaps I could fix them or repurpose them.  Unfortunately, the previous owners had used them as drop cloths at some point, and the pink one in particular has white paint spatters all over it.  The fabrics are beautiful vintage prints, the pink quilt being a Double Wedding Ring (a pattern that I have always wanted to make myself).  The other quilt is a 9-Patch made with men’s shirting materials.  I wonder about the woman who made these, and how they ended up so unloved.  Were they made by the woman who raised her 2 girls here as a widow and lived here for 40+ years?  Are they older than that, were they given as a gift to someone who lived here.  Or, did they come from the people we bought the house from who had them as family items and decided to use them for drop cloths when they were a bit torn and worn.  The pink one is hand pieced, and edges sewn on with a sewing machine.  The 9-patch is all machine pieced.  Were they made with the treadle sewing machine?

    Quilts seems to have a longer life and purpose than knitting, so I know many of my hand knit gifts will not last.  I realized that I will never find a use for these, I had washed them a couple of years ago hoping that they would clean up a bit.  So, I posted them on a Ravelry forum and received a few offers to take them.  I will pack them up and mail them off to hopefully a rebirth of sorts.  Maybe they will become pillows, or worked into toys. I hope that the new owner finds them as beautiful in their rough state as I do.

    The treadle sewing machine is staying with me though!

    • rosewillow 11:45 am on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The quilts are so beautiful. I can never understand how people can use these treasures like rags. Whatever can they be thinking?! The sewing machine looks nice, too. What model is it? Do you sew on it? Take care. 🙂


      • knitting1105 12:50 pm on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I haven’t used the sewing machine, although I purchased the belts for it a few years back. It is in my sewing area as a side table.


    • MrsPEte 8:56 pm on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I’m always sad to find hand knit sweaters at our resale store. I always buy them, they are like puppies to me. I got jim one gorgeous fine gauge alpaca sweater there. I hope whoever made it knows it is worn, and loved, nearly everyday in winter.

      The mom of my friend in high school knit him a orange aran sweater which he wore to work and got concrete spattered all over. He thought it would be easier to tell his mom that he lost it, and he gave it to me. My sister and I wore that sweater inside out for years, trading it back and forth during college breaks. I will never throw it out, although I am sure I will never wear it either.


  • knitting1105 11:30 am on May 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Look what just arrived! 

    This quilt just returned from the quilters minutes ago.  I have hand quilt a couple of quilts, and decided that wasn’t worth my time, so I have been sending some old ones off to be finished.  I started making this when my daughter was a baby, finished it in short order, and it sat for over 20 years.  After completing it I  wasn’t really happy with the result.  But I like it now!

    If you look closely, you will see that the center square is the pattern of the entire quilt.  I have a very light green dot fabric that did not come off well, but it does look good put together.  The entire quilt is a square, because the quilt itself is a larger version of the center square.

    I think that this was the second quilt that I made.  There haven’t been too many.   I just have to sew down the blue binding.

    I have another beautiful one that is close to completion sitting in the basement.  Must work on that.

    • klccreations 9:25 am on May 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice! I love quilts. I like to make to tops, but hate putting them together. Good idea to send it off.


  • knitting1105 11:34 am on January 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Quilting too 

    I gave this quilt to my son for Christmas.   I had finished the piecing at least 10 years ago.  It is a bow-tie quilt, made with scrap fabric, and then has a large cat in the center.  My son was obsessed with stuffed cats as a little boy, and had quite a large collection.  In fact, when we were rearranging his room just before Christmas, we found a box with all of his cats inside.  It was too cute.  I pieced this quilt by hand.  I tend to be a perfectionist, and like the exactitude that I can get by hand piecing.  I had hand quilted 2 other quilts, and it is just not as strong.  So, I had this packed away.  Last summer when I was visiting my mother, she took me to the woman who does her quilting, and I dropped this and another quilt top off.  While it is now too small for Ethan’s bed, it will be a good throw, or extra cover.

    I love using scrap fabrics, as many of the pieces remind me of old projects or other quilts.  The back was pieced with a large bow tie, I like how it turned out:

    While I was at it, I photographed a quilt that my mother made for me a few years ago.  She found a fabric inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, and used that as the starting point.    I love the primary colors, and the log cabin is an appropriate pattern for me.  Did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright’s son invented Lincoln Logs?

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