Sunday, December 31, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7 plus other tidbits.....

 Here is Day 7 of the 12 days spin-a-long. Only 5 more days until I see all the packet colorways and then decide just how I want to spin it all. As I follow those spinning the packets daily (on Ravelry) I get antsy wanting to be spinning each day too but I've gotten this far in waiting I can wait a bit longer. I really want to plan out how I spin it this year, hence waiting to start spinning.


 I learned how to make these desk organizers at my local ASG (American Sewing Guild) meeting and ended up making a few as gifts for family and friends. They're addictive, very fun to make and fill with scissors, ruler, pens, pencils and a pocket on the back for a notepad. They could also be used next to the sewing machine with sewing tools, or next to the loom.


And I made a few of these folios for gifts (and for me). They're plenty big for holding a big writing pad, holding knitting patterns, handouts for seminars/workshops, whatever. I want to make myself a few more.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 6

Here is Day 6 of the 12 Days - I'm loving these colors



Friday, December 29, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

Oooh, I wonder what direction these colors will go......can't wait to spin it


Thursday, December 28, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4

 Here is Day 4 of the 12 Days spin-a-long. I love how each days colors are a progression in color from the day before.

The second sock of Sam's Christmas sox is finally finished. It's harder to find time to knit on them without him seeing since he's semi-retired and works from home much of the time. So, the one finished sock was in his Christmas stocking - second one still on the needles until yesterday evening. Next up on the needles is a new knit cap for him as I noticed recently he needed another for beach walks.......but I'm not behind on this knitting, it wasn't to be a gift, recently saw the need. 



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 3

Here's day 3 of the 12 Days spin-a-long - I'm not sure my plan of waiting to start spinning after I see all 12 packets is going to work - this is killing me.......

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

Here is day 2 of the 12 Days spin-a-long. It's already killing me to not spin yesterday and today's packets of fibery goodness.........but I'm going to be strong and wait until all 12 days are unveiled to decide how I'm going to spin it.

Monday, December 25, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

Today is day 1 of the Inglenook 12 Days of Christmas spin-a-long. Here's what came out of the package. I think this year I'm going to be strong and wait to start spinning after all 12 packets are open in case I want to rearrange colors or do something totally different with the way I spin and ply. It's going to be tough but it's something fun to look forward to.  You can see my earlier post about this spin-along here.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


A bit of fun......

Yesterday I spent much of the day at the embroidery machine. All holiday preparations were done except for cooking the Feast of the 7 Fishes for tonight's family meal.......so, I decided to play and get ahead of future holidays a bit.

First I finished up the cross stitch bookmark I had been working on in the evenings - a friend gifted me with the kit. It was supposed to have a tassel on the bottom but I opted not to add it - I like it just he way it is.

I sell a lot of chicken towels, a lot of them - I never realized chickens were so popular until I embroidered the first ones a few years back.  Yes, I know this isn't a chicken, it's a rooster. After stitching more of the 4 chicken designs for my etsy shop I decided they needed a couple roosters so I found a pattern for two of them. They will all be in my etsy shop once photos are edited.


And yes, I'm thinking ahead to Valentine's Day - several different embroidered towels with hearts will be showing up in the shop soon - once again, photo editing needs to be done. This design has a cute vine frame around the heart. There are a couple other Valentine towels that will be showing up soon in the shop along with these.


And not too far off will be St. Patrick's Day - this Celtic trinity heart works for both Valentine's and St Paddy's Day. Editing awaits these pics too, then they'll show up in the shop.  I've got several other Celtic/Shamrock designs awaiting stitching - hopefully will get to those in a week or so......then Easter/Spring will be waiting in the wings for stitching. I'm going to try very hard to be ahead of the game this next year......at least that's the goal at the moment..........

 

Friday, December 22, 2017

A bit from santa's workshop......

 Remember back on Nov 15th I had a bunch of a little felted squares to make into a secret something - well, here those simple somethings are - little wreaths. I felted a super scratchy Woolrich sweater that I wore only once in the past 10 years - cut it up into 1" squares and ran some buttonhole thread through them to make little wreaths. I've already got an idea for another felted ornament along these lines..........need to find another scratchy sweater to sacrifice...........


I sewed up some pattern weights for a dear friend in fabric I knew she'd love. These are basically yo-yo's with batting and 2 heavy washers inside, topped with fun buttons from my button stash. In the near future I'll be making myself a set of these..........which I guess means I should get to doing some sewing so I have a use for them..........

I sewed this tote for a friend - what a challenge. Both the outside fabric and the lining fabric have a 1/4" foam interfacing quilted to them, plus the lining fabric also has a heavy duty interfacing. The real challenge was working at the machine with all the bulk that didn't want to fold down out of the way. But I did it and I love the tote so much I've got all the supplies sitting in a pile in the sewing room to make myself one.........with sheep on it..........of course........

I have a few other things that have come out of Santa's workshop this year but they haven't been opened by the recipients yet so I can't post about them until after the holiday.

This was not a holiday gift but it recently came out of the pile of UFO's I'm working on - cross-stitched sunny sheep made into a cute little quilted wallhanging. This will be a future gift........unless I decide I can't give it up.

I'm still working on Sam's socks that go in his Christmas stocking this year - they won't be finished - he's around too much for me to get much knitting time on them. So, one goes in the stocking, the other stays on the needles until Christmas Day when I can finish it up out in the open.

A shawlette/scarf came off the needles this week but needs blocking so a photo will come after I get around to that. I love it.

Another small cross-stitch project is in the works - it was a gift, a kit for a bookmark - will share after it's done.

I've pulled out all my samples and references on boundweave as I've got to present a program on it to two different guilds, the first in March, second in April. I need to make a few more samples and hopefully there will be time for two new projects floating around in my little pea brain. My handout from the program I gave on boundweave in 1999 needs updating.....actually it needs to be totally re-done because somehow the file never made it from computer to computer (many computers) over the years.



Monday, December 18, 2017

Right down to the wire...........

Sheesh - where does the time go??? I was right down to the wire on getting out all our holiday cards - finally today the last of them went in the mail - hopefully they'll arrive on the east coast by Christmas........if not they can be called a New Year's card. Anyhow, they aren't really cards at all this year - they're fabric ornaments that have a little tag hanging on them with a sentiment on it....sorry, didn't take a photo with the tag on them.


Friday, December 15, 2017

The I don't want to count it inventory sale.....

Click HERE to get to my roving/fiber etsy shop. Do you need roving to spin? felt? whatever? Then this is a good time to shop.  It's only my shop with roving/fibers/stash yarns that has everything on sale. My other etsy shop with my handmade/handwoven items does not currently have anything on sale but if you'd like to check it out you can do that HERE.



It's that time of year again.......

Such joy arrived in the mail a week ago - Inglenook Fibers 12 Days of Christmas fiber. This is a limited edition and you have to be quick in the Inglenook group on Ravelry to get in on it. But if you missed out this year there is an etsy shop with lots of other fun fibery blends.

Starting Christmas Day I will spin one packet of fiber based on the Santa's Village graphic. I can't wait to see what each packet will bring........and I will not peek ahead. I will try to post them here as they're spun.

So, the big decision between now and the 25th is how do I spin these. Last year I spun them very thin and then plied with a rayon thread.......but then found that my resulting lace weight yarn was too thin for anything I wanted to knit so I then Navajo plied it. The resulting shawl turned out lovely but this year I need to think it out a bit more before starting. A few options are to spin it all on one bobbin and then ply with something else; split each packet into 2 and spin on 2 bobbins and then ply them together in the end; spin and ply each packet on it's own creating mini-skeins. If I keep spinning all on one bobbin or two bobbins as in the first two options then I end up with one skein going from color to color starting with packet 1 to packet 12. But if I spin mini-skeins when I get to a project I can mix up the color order.

And then there's the decision about which wheel? Majacraft or Hansen e-spinner........or I could go the spindle route although I'm sure to fall behind if I do that.  

Decisions, decisions........



Monday, December 11, 2017

MIA

Yes, I've been missing in action - well, maybe not so much action, just trying to tread water and in all honesty I had nothing to share, not much creative going on here. I'm almost ready for the holidays and will be so happy when they are over - yep, that's how I feel this year and I won't apologize for it.

The brochure for the WeGO traveling exhibit is done, I received it via email the other day. This is the front and back of it, the inside has a list of all exhibitors names and awards. Three of us in my local weaving guild entered items for judging and all three of us had our items accepted - kudos to my fellow guild members Lucy & Kathy. That's one of my scarves on the front cover although not the one that won the Complex Weaver's award. On the back cover is a close up pic of the fabric in Lucy's vest. The closest the exhibit will be to us is in May/June around an hour north. I can't wait to see the  exhibit - I think there are something like 66 pieces.

Today I was embroidering some long sleeve t's for a gift and decided to embroider myself one - I love this lotus and am happy I had time to do this today, I've had it sitting aside to do for myself for a while.

In case anyone is interested there is curling Olympic trials on tv on the Olympic channel which on Dish is channel 389. I put it on while embroidering thinking I could listen to it but it bugged the heck out of me just hearing them yell - have figured out it's one of those things I have to actually watch......hope I can steal a little time this week to watch an hour or two although it's looking doubtful. Yes, I am a curling fan........



Monday, November 27, 2017

Making gift bags.........

 Today was pull out holiday gifts, at least those finished or bought, and start sewing gift bags to put them in. I usually bring my own reusable shopping bags to the store but when I forget I don't worry about it because I'll make gift bags out of the store bags that have handles on them.  I cut them into two pieces, turn them inside out and sew away. I do cut with a rotary cutter but I don't worry about being exact in any of the sewing.


Here are just a few of the many bags I made this afternoon, most from Trader Joe's bags. Of course right after I cleaned up I found another bag so I'll sew that one up another day. I can make a variety of sizes but they can only be so big so there are some gifts I'll have to figure out another way to wrap them. I'll make some cute hangtags for these. If I were really energetic I'd stencil something on the front of them but I'm running on empty these days so that won't happen.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

A bit of inkle weaving in the works for ornaments.

Nice news for me last weekend. I entered 3 scarves in the WeGO 2018 Traveling Exhibit and all 3 were accepted and 1 of them won the Complex Weavers Award. WeGO stands for Weaving Guilds of Oregon. This exhibit will travel the state next year, in the past we've had it in our area but the closest it will be to us this time is the Arts Center in Roseburg - not too bad, a bit over an hour north of us so I'll get to see the exhibit in April/May. It was a real bright spot for me last weekend to get the email about the exhibit as we were running back and forth to the hospital an hour away due to a critically ill relative.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving which suited us just fine and no Black Friday shopping for us, we didn't leave the property. Now it's panic time thinking about getting holiday gifts finished up, some need to be mailed. I can't wait until the holidays are over this year - I need some time to nest/hibernate in my studio. Life has been overwhelming this past year and I see no let up in the near future......more studio time, when I can grab it, will be good for my mental health.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why did I procrastinate for so long?

Ok, so today I used the walking foot on my sewing machine for the very first time...........and this machine is almost 11 years old. Was it the unknown? Was it not having the time to figure it out? Was it because it's so much easier to leave the machine the way it is rather than pulling out the book and reading directions? Probably a combination of all three. Yes, very silly and kind of lazy.

I pulled out the manual and walking foot because I'm working on a project that uses not only a heavy interfacing on the backside of the fabric but also a product called soft & stable which is a 1/4" foam covered by tricot on each side. I didn't want to mess up trying to quilt all of it so I pulled out the manual and the walking foot. Why did I wait so long??? I love this foot. I can seeing using it all the time for quilting projects. I used to have such problems with the top fabric feeding at a different rate than the batting and backing fabric - but no more.

And sorry, this is another one of those projects in Santa's workshop so I can't show it right now. I do have supplies at the ready to make myself one too but not sure if that will happen before the holidays or after them.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Felted.........

I felted a wool sweater, on purpose, a couple years ago for an ornament project but I never got around to making them. So I took it with me over to the coast and cut all the little squares. I thought I'd get 3 ornaments out of this sweater that shrunk down to 10 year old size but I got 10!!!  Sorry, no posting of the finished ornaments until after they're gifted. Hmm, I wonder if anyone can figure out what they are...........

Sunday, November 12, 2017

There must be mice around here...........

There must be mice around here because the owls are showing up again........this time in browns and rusts. Someone saw the other owl towels and wanted some in browns/rusts - I hope she likes them because they're stinkin' cute.



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hoot - Hoot

 A friend requested a couple towels with blues and ended up picking this cute owl embroidery pattern. The borders on the towel look black in the photo but they're not - they're blue. My cell phone can sometimes be challenging color wise and I was too lazy to run up the stairs to get the camera.
Here's a close up of the owl - it is so danged cute. I may eventually stitch some of these for my etsy shop but right now I don't have time.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Instead of doing what I should be doing............

Instead of doing what I should have been doing today I decided to cut out fabric circles for my next pancake quilt. I have a couple other sewing projects that are gifts but they are ones that I really have to read instructions and pay attention.....cutting out circles this afternoon took no brain cells. This quilt will be an afghan size just perfect for me to cuddle up under on cold winter evenings. You can see a finished pancake quilt I did earlier this year HERE.

I've been collecting gingko fabrics for a number of years now so I went through my stash. It must have taken me 2 hours to decide which fabrics - some were definite no's, blues, pinks, etc. I'm still not sure how these will look in the finished quilt but this is what I'm going with.......they are all colors that will go in our living room. These are 9" circles I cut using a rotary cutter on a spinning cutting mat, I could cut 4 thicknesses at a time -  in all 77 light circles, 77 dark circles. Next up is to cut 77 pieces of lightweight batting..........then I set it all aside and get back to holiday gifts but it's exciting to know it will be waiting for me to start sewing on whenever I'm in the mood.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Stitchin' away........

I was stitching away on some secret projects today. Very fun but they require some brain cells which I seem to not have many of today after over a week of little sleep.........only one seam had to be ripped out and re-sewn. I had a feeling I was sewing it wrong but went ahead with it anyhow........yep, lack of functioning brain cells. Finished projects will show up on the blog later in the year.

I'm finding I need to stay out of fabric shops, there are so many incredible patterns that I just can't seem to resist and my stash is out-growing storage space. Recently I was at the local Bernina shop for needles and was, luckily for my wallet, running late for a weaving guild meeting so I was saved from getting sucked in to buying any fabric - phew. And they had some great new lines in the shop.........that I may have trouble resisting next time in the shop........


Towels back in stock.........

Yesterday was spent at the embroidery machine stitching up some towels I had sold out of and stitching up a new design, the autumn wreath. These are all for sale in my etsy shop along with many other holiday and everyday towels. I just love the designs available from Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.


I made this fun holiday star at the American Sewing Guild meeting earlier this week. It's fabric, 2 different fabrics bonded to each other. I was using stash from my cupboard, I love the black fabric with colorful snowflakes on it. I think this will look fun hanging in our octagon window in the stairwell.  I can picture these in different sizes in red, white & blue fabrics, hanging on the front porch railing for July 4th. They would do just fine outside since we get no rain in the summer.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Yes, been missing in action again - just not doing anything much and don't feel like writing a thing. It's ok - just trying to go with the ebbs & flows of life as smoothly as possible.


Here is the finished Bella Shawl (by Annie Lee-Baker) - I finally got it blocked early last week. I used Berroco Boboli Lace Yarn. Colors are not as vibrant in the photo - very foggy out this morning so this is the best I could do. I love the way it turned out - not sure if it's me though, will try it on with a black outfit and then decide.....but it was great fun to knit.

I just started on a new shawlette/scarf using Huckleberry Knits gradient yarn - it goes from green to blues to purple. This is a no thinking shawl which suits me just fine for tv watching.


We get no real fall color here in SW Oregon - too many evergreens, temperatures not right. We have numerous oaks on our property but they always turn an ugly yellow brown and then fall off but this year one tree is a lovely orange. This pic was taken yesterday when it was sunny out, today we're socked in with fog.........at least at our house, sunny in other areas.

Oh, and as of last Friday fire season was officially over - whoo hoo!!




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This and that.......

Still not accomplishing much but that's ok - it's my life, I can do what I want..........most of the time.  Friday morning I drove 5 miles up the road to the Hugo Ladies Quilt Show - always a fun event with quilts on display inside the historic one room schoolhouse, lunch including home made pie for sale, vendors and music outside.  It was too hard to get photos of many quilts this year so I only took a few pix.


I love this quilt pattern and the colors. I'm impressed with the curves and points in it - construction was incredible.


This was one of the quilts by the featured quilter - she had many quilts I loved but this old fashion one with the applique really struck me.


And although not my favorite colors put together I always love a good hexie quilt.


After some time in the morning at the quilt show we took off for the coast for 4 days - the weather was glorious. These are raccoon prints on the beach - wondering if they're just out enjoying the surf & sand or maybe eating some of those crabs washed ashore.

Yesterday I did finish knitting the shawl I recently started on - if I'm feeling up to dealing with it today I'll get it blocked. Maybe I'll get some sewing in today. Pix to come when it's camera ready. Tempting to start another shawl or play on the blending board but first need to work on some gifts.

Once again more tragedy in the news - the devastating fires in California - my heart goes out to all affected and I'm sending positive thoughts that the firefighters get them under control soon.





Monday, October 2, 2017

Yet another sad and stressful day......

It seems like it's never ending - always something tragic or unbelievable or depressing on the news anymore which is why I've cut back watching once again. I couldn't believe my ears as I sat down to the computer this morning and put on GMA. I eventually had to turn it off as my stomach was turning, my chest tightening. My heart goes out to all those affected by the carnage in Las Vegas.


Last week I finally got to the bead shop. This afternoon I worked on beading a scarf. Above I used long pins to audition the beads on. It would be much easier if I had pins with no big heads on them but I don't seem to have any 'standard/old fashioned' straight pins any longer.


Here I've got the one end of the scarf beaded, working on the second end. It's probably hard to see in the pix but the beads also change color across the width of the scarf just like the warp does. I wish I could capture the iridescence of this scarf........actually I may have been able to if I had better lighting and background but this was just a quick shot in the middle of beading.


Last week I made a walker bag for a family member back east who is using a walker while recovering from surgery. These fabrics were from my stash, button from my vintage button jar. I think it's really fun and cheery - just what she needs on her walker. I've done some other sewing in the last week but it's all for holiday gift giving so I can't show it here.


And to end on a light note rather than how I started out - tiny little kittens!  We were on the coast this past weekend and the kittens across the street are growing up. Neighbor J had a feral cat, one of the many in the neighborhood, give birth in her bushes. J has contacted a rescue place that will come and get the kittens in a week and find them good homes. J has done a great job of socializing them so they'll be very adoptable. They will all be fixed before going to new homes. Since Momma wouldn't be very adoptable being somewhat wild J has offered to keep feeding and watching over her - they will come get her for spaying so there won't be a repeat litter..........at least not from her. Sure wish we both weren't allergic to cats because I'd love to bring one of the little gray ones home. I did snuggle one of these but then quickly went and washed my hands before touching my face or I would have been a mess for a couple days.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

This and that.........

I haven't written all week because I just don't have anything to say or share.........in one of those moods where I wonder if I'll keep with my blog or not, but no decisions need to be made one way or the other, I'll just post when/if I feel like it.

A few nights ago I started knitting the Bella Shawl by Annie Lee-Baker. I was using one of those hand-dyed knit blocks with a color gradation. I love the colors but did not like the way the knitting was looking. The knit block is unraveled to knit it into a new project, well it leaves crinkles in the yarn, which in turn makes for messy looking knitting.  I pulled it out yesterday evening and wound it all into a skein, it's been washed and is now out on the blocker drying. In the meantime I still wanted to knit one of these shawls - it's a fun to knit pattern. So in my stash I found some Berroco Boboli Lace and started knitting last night and since I have 2 balls of it I may make the shawl a bit bigger.......I actually call patterns like this shawlettes since they're not full blown shawls. It's hard to tell in this photo but the colors are incredible and will look striking when worn over black. After I finish knitting this one I'll start on the one using the knit block color gradation yarn.

I started working on our holiday cards - they are not woven this year, instead they are fabric and based on quilting - no pix until after the holidays. I've worked on some small gifts, have some more to get to but am not inspired at the moment.....the story of my life right now, no inspiration or motivation - I think summer got to me this year.

On the fire front - since a bit of rain over a week ago and cooler temps the growth of numerous fires has slowed. They are still fighting them and we still have smoke but we've had some relief. Rain is moving in this week which should help even more with the fire fight. It's been a heck of a summer - more than the usual fires, lots of smoke, and so much heat most of the summer that I never got outside to do any dyeing.......maybe it will happen before winter hits, maybe not............I won't fret over it..........

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Salmon Celebration

First off - an apology that these pix are sideways. I took them with my phone - they were correct when downloaded to the computer. I then saved them again as new pix and they were fine, but I uploaded them to my blog and they're turned. This only happens with pix taken on my phone. Does anyone know how to remedy this issue? It's beyond me, I can't figure it out.
Anyhow, on the coast this past weekend we attended the Salmon Festival put on by the local Indian tribe. The salmon was baked indirectly on wooden sticks beside a wood fire. It was incredible tasting. It was basted with a huckleberry jam - oh my gosh - to die for.

Here is the menu for the meal although I noticed it did not mention the basting with huckleberry jam or that they served another little container of huckleberry jam with it. We are definitely going the next time they hold this event.  I took no other pix but there was story telling, historical talks, prayers by a wise elder and dancing. There were dug out canoe races although they weren't going on while we were there. Many booths showing flint making, canoe making, etc. Then booths where one could try their hand at traditional Indian crafts. We didn't stick around for the release of the salmon to the river - I'm assuming they are the farmed salmon from the hatchery.

Nothing much creative happening here - just not inspired these days about anything much. In spite of lightning that came with thunderstorms the second half of last week starting new small fires the weather was an immense help to the fire fighting efforts. Fire growth slowed giving fire fighters more time to access and build more containment lines. It also gave some temporary relief from the smoke. Unfortunately temperatures have gone up again and fires are more active. I'm just hoping the region can hold on, without too much more fire damage, until the fall/winter rains come. There are numerous fires in our region but the closest one to us is the Chetco Bar Fire which is now up to 184,292 acres with an 8% containment perimeter line - it started on July 12th.

Does anyone else watch Outlander? I've got the first new episode of this season dvr'd and will watch it later today or tomorrow. Although I've already read the book that this season is based on I don't want any spoilers of what happens in the first episode.