Friday, July 29, 2016

Never Enough Shawls

A little update on some of my knitting projects. As I've said before, I like to keep the number of active projects to three. I've had some luck sticking to that so I'm going to keep it going.
I started the Rigoles design a little while ago. I really like the progress I've made so far. I'm a super fan of short rows and this pattern is perfect. The yarn is worsted so this will be a substantial shawl when it is finished.
I've also been making good progress on a Bosc Pear made with Knit Picks.
I like the lace sections of this shawl and I know it will block wonderfully.
Lastly is Color Affection. I am a sucker for garter stitch cushiness and this shawl is perfect for that. The yarn is Miss Babs and I love how soft it is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Charity Quilting: Quilts for Kids

Just a quick update on charity quilting for Quilts for Kids. When I dropped off quilts at the last meeting of Annapolis Quilts for Kids I picked up a couple more quilts.
These little quilts are quick to load and quilt. About an hour from start to finish.
A meander to finish this one.
I decided the next one needed some flowers. I love how the petals fill up the space. I've bundled them up and handed them over to one of the other members of Annapolis Quilts for Kids.

2016 Charity Quilt Count: 26

Monday, July 25, 2016

In the Mail Monday: ZipIt!

I love bag projects with zippers. So much that when I buy zippers it seems I'm buying them by the pound.
Sadly, you can't actually buy them by the pound, but you can buy them by the dozen. Or the 25 pack, or the 50 pack, or even the 100 pack. A for an exceedingly reasonable price, too. I buy my zippers from Zipit Zipper Supply. Great prices and excellent service.
I quickly sorted these into the appropriate bags. I sort by size instead of color. I always know what size zipper I want. I like to be able to easily audition several colors when selecting a zipper.

What do I plan on making with some of these zippers? I am working on the goodies for my swap partner in the "all that and a bag of handmade" swap hosted by The Nosy Pepper and Sey Donna Made. They host some of the best swaps on Instagram. You should totally check them out. I'm going to be deciding which of several zippered projects to make. On my short list: Open Wide Pouch by Noodle-head, the Dumpling Pouch from Michelle's Patterns, and a zippered coin purse, or eyeglasses case like this one from Craftsy. So many great projects out there and only so much time. Now that I have all these zippers I can focus on the projects.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Another Love Is Update

It took me all week to go from this...
to this. Finding the time to get these bigger projects done has become such a challenge since changing to this new job. I'm glad I do find the time to work on these meaningful projects and do things that I need to do to stay sane and productive. And do the laundry, and pay the bills, and love my family. And all the other things an adult should do.
Parting shot: Some deer that I happened across during my afternoon walk a couple weeks ago. Because getting up and moving is just as important as being creative.

I will pass the quilted and trimmed quilt to another member of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild to attach the binding. Then they just need labels and they will be ready to go off to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild

I've run out of interesting things to share for the week. See you on Monday when maybe I'll share something fun, or colorful, or exciting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Nametag Swap and Fabric Challenge

At the last meeting of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild I participated in a wonderful name tag swap. The first design I made was an embroidered cat based on an image from her website.
Then, I worried that it wasn't quilty enough so I quilted one. My free motion isn't perfect, but I'm really pleased with the outcome of this name tag.
I also received a fun name tag in exchange from yet another maker. I love it when a swap goes well.
There was also a fabric challenge as part of our quilt making for charity. The challenge works like this: bring 1 yard of fabric and your scissors. Snip you fabric and rip it into two pieces. Drop one piece at your feet. Pass the other piece to your right and take the fabric from the person on your left. Repeat until you have seven pieces. This is my stack of fabric, in descending sizes. The smallest piece is big enough to cut one 4" square.
I was really digging my color choices until that little snippet of lavender sneaked in at the end. I'm going to use it, though.
I've pulled some other solids from my stash and I think this will be a fun one. This is my final pull of fabrics. I've been merrily cutting the fabrics down into 4" squares to make into an equally tall stack of 3.5" half-square triangle blocks. This will likely lead to the whole project spending too much time on my design wall, but I don't mind.

Have you joined in a fabric or color challenge recently? This one sounded great and I'm glad I joined in.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fibre Share Swap

When I joined the Fibre Share swap I knew I wanted to make things for my partner. It's what I do. It's who I am. A maker. I dyed some amazingly soft superwash fingering from Knit Picks in colors that my partner liked.
I made a knitting project bag using Noodle-head's free tutorial. The embroidery on the front is from Urban Threads. The zippers are from the always amazing ZipIt Zipper Supply. I quilted the outer bag panels on the long arm before assembling the bag. This bag is perfect for a project that uses 200 grams or less of yarn. You can fit the yarn and your project inside and the wrist strap helps you keep the bag with you when you are out and about. (I'll be writing a more detailed post about the bags and how I loaded them onto the long arm for qulting.) Use those few minutes waiting for appointments to stitch. Don't let idle time be wasted time.
I made two bags for my swap partner. I had picked up some fun knit-themed fabric at a quilt show and this was the perfect project.
When I put it all together the package looked like this. Yarn I dyed, some purple from the Knitting Boutique, two project bags and some other little goodies. It was also the perfect way for me to pass along my favorite shawl knitting needle. It seems I bought two the same size.
But what did you get? Well, let me tell you! I got my own stack of awesome. This is the bag of yummy yarns and goodies I received from my partner.
I love everything about this package. They yarn is amazing! so soft and beautiful. The yarn at the top is La Bien Aimee and I love the colors. The wonderful speckled yarn is from Julie Asselin. I see another warm and luscious shawl in my future. The magazine is almost too pretty to be a magazine. The stitch markers are my new favorite. I've already put them to use on a new shawl project.

Have you joined any fun swaps recently? Have you found a fun, new yarn that you are just in love with?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cakes of Yarn and Dotted Rays Progress

Remember when I told you about dyeing my own ombre yarn? I caked it up and it is just as awesome this way as it was in a skein. I haven't decided on a pattern, yet, but it's ready when I find the perfect pattern.
I continue to make progress on my sixth Dotted Rays shawl. This pattern is just so easy to pick up and work on whenever I have a few minutes. The yarn is Hawthorne from Knit Picks.
Here is a photo of me knitting in the car (I'm not the driver). You really can knit anywhere. Don't let those moments when you're riding in a car, on a plane, on the train, waiting for an appointment, or waiting for dinner to come to the table be wasted moments. You could use them to make something wonderful with your hands!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tool Tip: Non-stick Foot

I decided it was time to make myself a new everyday bag. the one I made a few years ago is more than a little ratty. I designed this bag so it would have all the things I like in a bag. A zippered pocket to hold my wallet so I don't have dig around for it and I know it is secure. Large inside for all the things I carry, like a cloth tote bag to avoid adding more plastic bags to the waste stream. And three inside pockets for the things I know I would lose, like my cell phone, my keys, my coffee cozy, and my Sharpies.
Then I discovered how ill-prepared I was to sew with vinyl. I did a little research and found that I needed either a roller foot or a non-stick foot for my machine. I called up the closest Pfaff dealer to see if they had any in stock. Thankfully, Capital Vacuum and Sewing in Annapolis had one of the non-stick feet. After a Saturday lunch with Darling Husband, I ripped out the bad stitching that I had tried on the vinyl and tried it out. Stitched like a champ!
Here is the bag in the state I left it when I decided I needed the right tool for the job. The thing that may not be obvious is that I needed to do some ripping at that point. Making a bag for the first time in a long time always comes with some challenges. Like getting the strap in the right seam before stitching it up.
I managed to finish the bag and I'm so glad I've added a new technique and a new tool to my collection.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Love Is Update

Happiness is a new roll of batting. At least I think so.
The second Quilt for Pulse quilt was loaded up and quilted.
These quilts are so colorful! I love putting together a collection of blocks pieced by so many different people.

I've passed a quilted and trimmed quilt to another member of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild to attach the binding. This one is ready to go to someone else for binding. Then they just need labels and they will be ready to go off to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.

I'm expecting more blocks to be stitched into more tops over the next couple weeks.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Retail Therapy Yarn

I signed up for Fibre Share a while back. As the shipping deadline approaches I begin to wonder if I have enough to fill a package. I know I do, but I was worried. I decided I needed to go to Fibre Space to make sure I had everything I needed.
I knew I was close when I came across this lamp post dressed in wonderful knit. Everyone at Fibre Space is so warm and thrilled about knitting and yarn and notions.
I ended up buying way more yarn than I needed and most of it was for me. On the list of things for me was some absolutely amazing self-striping sock yarn from Knitterly Things. I cannot tell you how much I wanted every single colorway of this yarn. It's called Vesper Sock and I absolutely love it. I'm not kidding when I say that I wanted every colorway. With names like Electric Revolution and Kiss Me Deadly I how could I refuse? this is my first attempt to make the stripes do what I want in a shawl. Don't worry, this was ripped and I think I have a plan. If this ever works out as a pattern I'll let you know.
Sadly, I didn't take very many photos of my mad loot. I don't know what I was thinking. Mostly that I wanted to knit with that sock yarn right now. I also bought some wonderful fingering from Jill Draper Makes Stuff. So many fun color choices and the yarn is made in the U.S. from sheep to yarn shop. That's pretty awesome! That is the green/gray/yellow in the lower right-hand corner of this photo. All but the skein at the top are recently caked Hawthorne from Knit Picks. That hiding blue/purple/green at the top of the image is another skein of Vesper Sock.
Right now I'm working on knitting this Dotted Rays with two colorways of Hawthorne from Knit Picks. There is a Dotted Rays Knit Along, you should check it out.
I started a Bosc Pear with some more Hawthorne from Knit Picks. Here is the beginning of the first lace section. I am really liking this one even if it does take a little more concentration than other knitting.

So much yarn and so little time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Charity Quilting Update

Yes, I am an update person. Even if you didn't know what I was doing I'm going to give you an update.
More quilts for Annapolis Quilts for Kids.  I love to see the quilts put together by new quilters. They have such enthusiasm and put together quilts that want to be loved and used.
These two were fun little quilts with a bit of whimsy.
One of my favorite quilting motifs, the flower. This one is so quick and fun. I've passed these over to another member of the team to have the binding added. You can join in the quilting and giving by joining Annapolis Quilts for Kids on July 16th to stitch up some quilts. Come for an hour or just stop by and say hi to pick up a quilt kit to finish on your own.

2016 Charity Quilt Count: 24

Monday, July 4, 2016

Love Is Update

Remember my first call for heart blocks?
Here is an update on the progress I've made on the Quilts for Pulse project I'm leading in support of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild. I received enough blocks to put together the first quilt top.
I added a narrow (2.5") border to add a little stability to the top for quilting. I loaded up and got quilting.
I didn't do any fancy quilting on this one. I want it to wash up snugly and this seemed the best choice. I may do a different all-over design on another one. Or I may just meander my way through every one of them.
I picked up several more blocks at the sew-in at Bear's Paw Fabrics. Thank you to everyone that brought or mailed blocks.
Enough blocks to get the second top put together. I'm trying to catch up so when I get the rest of the blocks at the next guild meeting I'll be ready to sew up the last two tops.

This is such a great project and I'm so pleased to work together with so many amazing people to make these quilts.

Keep an eye on the Baltimore MQG's blog for updates and more photos. They are wonderful people and do wonderful things. They are just amazing!

Friday, July 1, 2016

More Yarn-Dyeing Fun

Remember those tiny skeins of yarn I dyed? I decided it was time to put all those tiny skeins of yarn to use and plan out some colors and dye some more yarn. I pulled these colors and started playing with my dye.
I dyed two skeins of yarn with the same color repeat. I think I'm going to call this one Hard Candy. I love how the colors go from bright pink to blue and then fade into lavender and purple. Such a fun long color-change.
Aren't these skeins just so yummy?
I couldn't stop at that. I had to grab the green and purple and see where that would take me. This isn't really a purple, more of a purple-blue color.
The way the color wicks up the yarn is interesting and a bit of a gamble. I like it, though. Those stripes are going to be awesome!
I'm looking forward to working with this yarn. It is so nice and soft after washing. I'm calling this one Joker.

Yarn: Bare Stroll Fingering Sock Yarn by Knit Picks
Hand dyed by me with food-safe dyes.