Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thin Mint and Orange Crush

I've been trying out different shawl shapes in an effort to find my favorite. I'm also trying to solidify my own pattern design idea. This is a boomerang shape before blocking. This was the first yarn I dyed using food coloring. It was more a test of my process than anything else. Only 150 grams of fingering.
The pattern is Lina by Annett Cordes, available on Ravelry. I really like this shape and I can see how it lends itself to lace stitches and edge patterns. I found the 1884 Knitted Lace Sample Book blog and am so glad I did. Great knitted edging. I will have to design a shawl that uses some of the great edging. I'm calling this one Thin Mint because the black is more of a dark chocolate.
Then, I went back to the Dotted Rays by Stephen West. Partly because I love this pattern, partly because I have pretty much memorized it (it isn't hard to memorize), and because this hand dyed yarn needed to be a Dotted Rays shawl. Those stripes needed to be this shawl.
This is the yarn I dyed because I was no longer in love with the color.  After dyeing I love this yarn. So bright and vibrant! This was the first Dotted Rays that I blocked without points along the outer edge. I haven't decided if I like this as much as the points, but I had to try it at least once. A friend of mine said it looks like the rings of Saturn.
I really like how this design blocks differently based on the yarn This one seems much deeper at the bottom of the arc than the others I've made.

I'm calling this one Orange Crush because I do sort of have a crush on it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Experimenting with Color

After my last experiment with dyeing yarn, I decided it was time to get to work and see what colors I could come up with. I started by creating 20 tiny hanks of yarn.
Each of these is 10 grams of yarn. Yes, I weighed every single one.
Then I dyed each of them in a different color.
The second lot I dyed I played a little bit with mixing.
Here is my rainbow. From the undyed at the top to the violet at the bottom.
I labeled each with the yarn information, the date they were dyed and the color used to get that result. My method is something I'm still figuring out, so some of these may not be consistent from batch to batch. I don't think that would be a terrible thing, by any means. I like options! I'm excited to use these as a tool to dye some yarn and see how it knits up.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Poolside Tote Swap

Now that the swap is over, I can share the bag I made and the bag I received for the Poolside Tote Swap.
I will admit that I had so much trouble picking out a pattern and fabric for this project. Ultimately I designed a bag I wanted to make. I did find some inspiration with this fun line of fabrics.
Each piece of the panel was quilted separately in a motif that compliments the fabric. I shared the quilting of each piece in a previous blog post.
The bag has a row of pockets on the inside.
Perfect for holding your cell phone or other small things.
I love these long zips on the top of a tote bag. I'm a accidental bag tipper so this has saved me and my stuff more than once.
There is also a big zippered pocket on the outside for those things you need to be able to grab in a hurry.
Even with the creative block, I think this was a great project. I'm also super happy that my partner loves the bag. This was a great swap!
What did I get in the swap? I'm so glad you asked! I received this super, awesome, amazing bag with a paper-pieced masterpiece on the front. That's right. My very own message in a bottle.
That striped binding is just so awesome, too! This was a great swap and I'm so glad I joined in. What will the next one be?

Have you had any fun swaps? I'd love to hear about them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Charity Quilting Update

Before we went on our camping trip a friend dropped off three quilts for Annapolis Quilts for Kids.
I found some time to get the quilted up.
This one is super-snuggly flannel!
Each of these quilt tops was made by other members of Annapolis Quilts for Kids. They were handed over to another member for binding.

2016 Charity Quilt Count: 21

Monday, June 20, 2016

Shopping in Fibre Space

Sometimes I just need a little retail therapy.
This time I found it at Fibre Space. I so love shopping there. They have so many things that I want. So many great colors, and yarns, and needles, and markers, and bags, and projects, and... well, you get the idea.
I think I overfilled my reusable tote. Not that it matters. I even managed to score this super-fun tote bag.
I picked up more notions. I can always use another needle gauge. I picked up another size 4 circular. This is my favorite needle for knitting shawls. I may need to knit more than one shawl at a time, so I need another needle. I may need another bag, too.
And yarn. This is Yummy 2-ply fingering from Miss Babs. I so love this yarn for shawls. These colors look overly dark in this photo. They really are rather striking in person. These are my selections for a Color Affection shawl. I've been thinking about knitting one up since Sheep & Wool last year. It's time to stop thinking and cast on.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Love is the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild

I'm not going to talk about the tragedy that struck Orlando over the last week. It is all just too painful. What I am going to talk about are the amazing members of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.
Photo by Orlando MQG
When the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for heart blocks in a rainbow of colors I couldn't resist. I started to coordinate as many quilters as I could to get stitching. I sent a message to the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild asking them to join me in making blocks for a quilt to send to Orlando. And wow, did they respond!
I sent the request on June 14th. By the evening of June 15th I had enough promised blocks to make an entire quilt. By the evening of June 16th I had enough promised blocks to make a second quilt. I've left the spreadsheet open for those so inspired and there is plenty of time to make a third, or fourth, before the deadline. I can't wait to see all blocks!

What block am I asking them to make? The 10" heart block by Cluck Cluck Sew. You can find a free tutorial for the block in a multitude of sizes at Cluck Cluck Sew.

Don't Call Me Betsy also has offered up a foundation in three sizes if paper piecing is more your speed.

Want to read more about the project? Check out the Orlando MQG's blog post.

Want to sign up or sign up for you guild or just to send in a few blocks? Check out the information the Modern Quilt Guild's blog.

Lastly, you should totally check out the Baltimore MQG's blog. They are wonderful people and do wonderful things. They are just amazing!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dyeing Again

Have you ever bought yarn. Then found it had languished in your stash for years?
That's what happened with this soft, fingering-weight yarn, that I bought many years ago. I had almost decided to just get rid of it. Instead, I decided to try to make it into something I wanted to work with. I used my Addi knitting machine and knit it into two, 100 gram tubes.
Then I used food coloring to create a collection of different colors by over-dyeing. I applied black, pink, purple, copper, and red to the yarn. Since I had two tubes I dyed them the same, or as similarly as is possible with a hand-dyed technique.
After steaming, washing and drying the tubes, I unraved them onto my niddy noddy.
Another bath to work out the kinks and I had to lovely hanks of yarn.
I wanted to work from the black to the black so I wound one with the black in the center and the other with the red in the center and the black on the outside.
This way, when I join the two balls together there shouldn't be a color change.

I am happy to say that I no longer want to give this yarn away. I'm really looking forward to knitting with this. I love experiments!

Monday, June 13, 2016

In the Mail Monday: Thread, thread, thread!

Because... well. Thread.
This time I decided I needed to try out the new serger thread from Superior Threads. This is the Try Me Special of Sergin' General, their new serger thread. Poly-wrapped, poly thread that is low lint.  I have yet to find a thread from them I don't like.
My thread club order came, too. More colors of my favorite long-arm quilting thread So Fine! #50. Another cone of Omni, another great all-around thread.
Another new thread from Superior is Sew Complete. An everyday sewing thread.

A sewer can never have too much thread. Right?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Knitting Update: More Shawls

This was supposed to be ready to post on Friday. I'm so behind with the blog posting. At least that's how it feels.
Last week we went camping. We traveled through several states and spent time in some of them. We had good food with great people. I also had plenty of time for knitting.
The first to be finished was this fun Dotted Rays made up with Noro Sock.
Then I jumped on to this wonderful Myndie by Ambah O'Brien.
Next was the Spin Drift Shawl by Curious Handmade.

I love knitting shawls because they give me wonderful things to wear and provide a great sense of accomplishment.

I signed up for Fibre Share for the first time. I'm really looking forward to putting together a fun package for my partner to share the fiber love. Excuse me, I need to go shopping.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eat Toast: Charming!

During the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival I did some shopping. I'm going to highlight each of the vendors in a post. Check out these small business people and their wonderful wares.
Have you heard of Eat Toast? Well, you need to get out more.
Kelsey Wailes makes these amazing little charms. She makes other things, too, these are just my favorite. I picked up three little guys to add to my collection of charms. These little guys are about 1" long and absolutely amazing.

Check out Eat Toast on Etsy and Eat Toast on Instagram.

Support local artists!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dancing Leaf Farm: Sock Hop

During the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival I did some shopping. I'm going to highlight each of the vendors in a post. Check out these small business people and their wonderful wares.
This was another colorway chosen specifically for the name on the band. This is Severus Snape from Dancing Leaf Farms. Sock Hop should make up into another yummy shawl. You should totally go check out the amazing colors that Dancing Leaf makes up. Great stuff. I've bought from them three years in a row now and I have never been disappointed with their yarns.

I love fun colorways.

Both of these hanks are the same colorway, they just have different intensities and I selected them because of this.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Cosmic Tempting Ewe

During the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival I did some shopping. I'm going to highlight each of the vendors in a post. Check out these small business people and their wonderful wares.
After my most wonderful Dotted Rays Shawl made with two skeins of Tempting Ewe I had to have more. I stopped by Cloverhill Yarn to buy some more of their beautifully dyed yarns.
This time my decision was almost made for me. Look at the colorway name. How could I leave that behind! That's right, a cosmic colorway named after my very own personal astrophysicist. How awesome is that?

I'm still trying to decide on a shawl pattern for this yarn, too. So much yarn, so little time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fiber Optic Yarns

During the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival I did some shopping. I'm going to highlight each of the vendors in a post. Check out these small business people and their wonderful wares.
First up is Fiber Optic Yarns by Kimber Baldwin Designs. I could not resist a Paintbox Gradient in Foot Notes Yarn. I love gradients, ombres and long-stripe yarns. I just can't get enough. This is one of the reasons I will be trying to dye some of my own.
I also picked up a coordinating skein of Foot Notes. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this. I think I see a shawl in this box. I just need to find the right pattern that will let the yarn shine.

Do you have a favorite small business? More importantly, do you have a favorite shawl pattern I should check out for this yarn?