Thursday, April 2, 2020

Onward to another project......

I had plans of putting another towel warp on the loom but that cone of 8/2 black cotton had other plans. I spent hours figuring out the color order for a draft, then started winding the warp making constant color changes. I got around 5" wound before I cried uncle.  The black, of which there were quite a few stripes, kept breaking - it would break if I looked at it wrong.  Sam found me sitting on the floor trying to repair a break at the bottom peg only to find it breaking over and over again as I tied a knot, I was ready to cry but just got myself up and walked away.  An hour later I went back, pulled everything off the warping board and sacrificed it to the weaving goddess, aka trash can.  At that point I decided I needed to do something different...….

…..and here it is - a quilt wallhanging kit I bought months ago. It has 12 different barn blocks which will be separated by sashing and star cornerstones. I'm loving the look of the blocks I've sewn so far up on my design wall.  And yes, I made the design wall too.  It's a big piece of felt that I hung using command hooks and office binder clips - it's in front of the sliding closet doors in my sewing room. Easy to move out of the way or remove and so much better to see the quilt in progress.  I can't wait to get to the sewing machine today to work on block #6. I'm getting better at matching my points, still not perfect but I'm learning, matching points and working with bias pieces is new to me. Although not perfect I'm happy with my blocks.

I'm still working on my shawl a bit in the evenings. it's slow but coming along. This is my handspun, merino and merino/tussah blends that I blended together on the blending board - a total of 8 different colorways.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hemming towels.....

I'm hemming the towels that came off the loom yesterday and were washed & dried.  I love using these clips rather than pins - they're sold with quilting sewing supplies. And I discovered just this last year after owning my Bernina for 13 years that I get a beautiful hem by using the walking foot on my machine - duh - only took me 13 years to figure that one out after using that foot while sewing a binding on a quilt.

I'd love to get the photography work done on these but the sun has disappeared so I'll wait for another day.  Three are for a gift so those will be set aside but the rest will go in my etsy shop after I do the much dreaded photography work.

I may put one more towel warp on the loom before moving on to a sewing/quilting project.

Everyone stay safe out there, if you must go out.......






Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Twill and basketweave.....

I got another towel warp on the loom. This one is cotlin.  It's a twill and basketweave draft.  Not sure but there may be one more towel warp in me before I move on to doing some sewing. I've got a quilt wallhanging kit to piece and also a twin (or maybe it's a full) quilt (block) kit of the month project to start - not to mention many other projects. The kit of the month quilt was from 2 years ago - I signed up for it right before we started house hunting so it got put on hold, all I did was pick up my kit each month and store it away.

This whole virus pandemic is horrendous but I sure am liking this sheltering in place, I wonder if I can keep it up after life gets back to normal...….it used to be my old normal but then life changed and there were too many commitments to deal with.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

New towels.....

 Newly woven towels are now in my etsy shop ready to find new homes.  

I love these bumbaret towels, so colorful. They are a pain to warp though with a warp color change every three ends..….but worth it, I'll weave these again in the near future, maybe more tropical bright colors next time.



Thursday, March 19, 2020

Just another day.....

..... in paradise.  Yes, for me sheltering at home is paradise. I can weave, sew, spin, knit, quilt, do whatever my creative heart wants without interference from the outside world.  I am happy here at home, I have plenty to keep me busy.  But my heart goes out to all those who will not be getting paychecks because businesses and restaurants have closed their doors until things get better, to those who may have contracted this virus, to those worried about loved ones far away.  It's tough out there at the moment.  But for me, yes I'll be sheltering in place playing with fiber - we're good until the toilet paper runs out which won't be for a while since I bought some right before the big run on it, which still baffles me, I mean why not just buy as one usually would.

So, back to the towel warp - 4 towels woven using a blue weft.....

....and 4 towels woven using a green weft.  

I'll be cutting these all off the loom shortly, will stitch the ends quickly and throw them in the washer and dryer, then hemming.  I'll be putting aside some for a gift and listing the rest for sale in my etsy shop. I will have to figure out a place to takes photos of them once finished as the dining room is a mess. We are taking out the two archways - arches now gone, a bit of a header needs to be built, then drywall, texture and paint. The house is a disaster once again.  Once that is cleaned up we'll move on to the kitchen backsplash.



Monday, March 16, 2020

Seeing red......

Seeing red..……..on the loom, that is.  The first 4 towels will be red but not the red that's in the warp, I'm going with a deep burgundy. I like it.  The next 4 towels with be green, the final 4 will be navy.  I ended up going with darker wefts but next time I weave bumbaret I'm going with bright tropical colors.

I had to run to the store today - it was crazy. The lines were all the way to the back of the store.  When I look in people's carts filled with crazy large amounts of certain foods I wonder if they normally eat those foods and what will happen to their huge stockpile in the pantry when life gets back to normal.  Maybe the food banks will benefit.  All I was concerned about was would my ice cream melt before I got to the checkout. And while at the checkout there was a box of Reese's eggs sitting there so I told the cashier I really needed one for my mental health so to ring it up and I'd eat it right then......it tasted great, my favorite.

.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Auditioning wefts

I finished warping the loom with this super colorful warp for bumbaret towels. I've woven around 12" in samples to audition wefts. I'm still not sure which color of wefts I'll choose for the 12 towels. I'd like to choose 4 and have them coordinate with each other.  So now the question is will I go with brights or more subdued darker colors. Will think on it and revisit this tomorrow morning.

I wish everyone the best during these crazy times. I hope you have lots of cheese, chocolate and wine stockpiled to hold you over during the worst of this pandemic. If we run out of those it will really be bedlam. I've got plenty of yarn, roving and fabric to tide me over for the rest of my life so I'm good.


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Bumbaret............

 Here's the start of the warp for some bumbaret towels. I changed my mind numerous times on the 9 colors of cotton I wanted to use.  At the last minute I pulled out the black and navy and put in the red and purple..…...hope that wasn't a mistake......

…….whatever, I guess they will turn out colorful and fun.  It's a 12 yard warp which is killing my back so I only wound 3 of the 6 bouts it will take for this warp......will get back to it hopefully, Friday.

I am still not liking my new camera, just a newer version of my old one but not one photo so far has been color correct. I work on the color in photo editing software but still can't get it true.  My gripe for the day.......




Friday, March 6, 2020

Weaving and a little pooch pic

Afghan woven out of handspun is finished. It's much prettier in person, I just couldn't get the color right in this pic, probably taken too early in the day with artificial light. It feels wonderfully soft.

As I was trying to get that picture Misty kept walking in front of the phone so I finally told her I'd get her picture.…...she's a ham and wanted to be on the blog.  She's learning more and more each day but somehow we can't get her to be somewhat calm when seeing other people, she never calms down, even after hours of someone being in our house. Hoping she eventually acts like the two goldens we've had in the past where she'll be excited to see people but then calm down after 10 minutes or so.....right now it's seeming like she'll never improve but we're hoping.  She's doing great in obedience class - she loves going and excels, probably because she's a show off........she does seem to be the most social in each class.






Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Handspun projects....

 I cut the shawl woven from my handspun off the loom today, twisted the fringe and washed it, it's now hanging to dry. I didn't agitate it but did think it might full a bit more than it did. I'll check it after it's dry and see if I need/want to full it a bit.

Yesterday at my spinning group I started another shawl.  It's the Pretty Basic shawl pattern I've knit in the past. I wanted to link to this shawl pattern on Ravelry but it's now discontinued and no longer available......glad I got it when I did...….



Monday, March 2, 2020

This and that.......

I have gotten a little bit of fiber time. I'm nowhere near where I need to be to keep my sanity but I'm trying to work toward getting back to what my normal had been for 2+ decades. How did life change? I need for it to change back, at least partially back to what it used to be or 'funny farm' here I come.

I put some handspun on the loom recently for a double weave/width afghan. Color is not quite right but it's close, and that was after working on it. Newer version of my old camera takes terrible pictures colorwise, just don't get it. Anyhow, that skein on the top is the weft.

Here it is in progress. The join is on the left hand side. When this comes off the loom it will unfold to be twice it's width, which is around 42" before washing.  I'd like to think I would get it off the loom today and be able to start twisting the fringe but I've also got 3 fruit trees to prune and I need to help Sam get the bird netting over the garden structure.

I finally finished a pair of superwash merino/bamboo/nylon socks that have been on the needles for probably a year. A project that I'd just pick up here and there when I needed to grab a quick project to work on while on the go. They feel super soft, with our weather these may not end up on my feet until next winter. Time to get another pair of socks on the needles for my on the go, no thinking necessary, project.

At the sewing guild meeting last week we learned about Swedish weaving, which is not really weaving (as we weavers know) but embroidery on huck fabric - the embroidery sits on the top of one side of the fabric. This is my sample in progress. I think I may be pulling my thread to tight - looks fine but once washed it may pull.....I need to consult my fellow guild member to find out. This is very fun and very addictive......the last thing I need is something else fun to do as I don't have the hours to do what I want but that's ok, I'll fit it in somewhere, sometime.  I'm thinking I need to make myself a couple of towels, maybe even make a few gifts for later in the year.

Busy week ahead.  I'm hoping to find time to start winding a warp for bumbaret towels although I'm learning life gets in the way all too often. All those colors of 8/2 cotton are calling to me to make super colorful towels.





Monday, February 24, 2020

Another shopping tote

I made another shopping tote, not meant for groceries/food shopping tote, but one for other fun shopping like yarn, fabric, clothes, etc.  It's really not this skinny, just happened to fold in when hung.  I always remember to bring totes to the grocery store but it's not ingrained in me yet to take them everywhere else - maybe having some fun totes stashed in the cars will remind me.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

MIA

Been MIA from the blog lately - just haven't had anything to say and nothing to show.....such is life sometimes. I keep hoping that I'll get back to what was my normal for a couple decades - weaving almost every day, doing other fiber stuff, and enjoying hibernating at home. I seem to need that for my mental sanity and it's just not happening.  I told my husband yesterday that now I understand why some people turn to drinking to escape life.....not that I will but I can how it could happen. What would work for me is to delve into a big pile of fiber and stay there for a while!

This morning I finished up a crudely quilted huge tote bag.  I always bring totes to the grocery store but never think about them when shopping for other treasures, especially where I'd need bigger totes than grocery store size.  I found this fabric in my stash when I recently reorganized the fabric cupboard. It's a panel from the Sisters Quilt Show from 2008. I'm not sure what my original plan was for it and I had totally forgotten I had it. I didn't put it back in the cupboard - I left it on the desk to think about what it could become and a huge tote was the answer.

Here's the backside of it.  I'll keep this in one of the vehicles. I'm going to make another huge tote in a sealife print to keep in the other vehicle.  After finishing this up I went out and pruned the grapevines and one plum tree, I did all the roses a couple weeks ago.  I still have another plum and 2 apple trees to do sometime soon. I also cut back to the ground a bush near the grapevines with huge stickers on it - my husband will pull out the remaining bush soon.  We've got 3 more of those horrible bushes to pull out as they'll be in the way of the deck once we enlarge it...…...yet another project. My husband was working on the garden area making it more permanent with fencing and a structure for the netting to go over top to keep the birds out - last year we did it quickly just to protect the plants.

Last week we were on the coast - it was beautiful. Misty loved looking down on the ocean from the bluff. It's weird but she's more excited about walking the streets and going to the dog park than she is about frolicking on the beach - so unlike our last 2 goldens.


Monday, February 3, 2020

Finished quilted throws

 I had dropped off my quilted throw tops to Jordan Quilts for long arm quilting just a couple weeks ago. I knew it would be 7 weeks before they'd be ready but last Thursday they called and had them done. So, during the Superbowl and today I got the bindings on them. I love the way they turned out. I haven't been getting good color with this new camera - haven't figured out why as it's just a newer version of the old camera. The throw above has a pale blue background and navy accents.

This second throw really isn't pink looking - the background is a light lavender with plum accents.

I really like this pattern - it's called Fast Lane and I bought it at Jordan Quilts along with the Kaffe Fawcett 10" layer cake bundle of prints and the solid background and accents.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

More charity sewing......

I finished up my charity sewing with my quote for 13 tote bags...…… only 12 seen here because I neglected to pick up the other one sitting on the ironing board. They're all ready for later this fall when we fill over 100 of them with goodies for Head Start kids for Christmas.

Now to sit and handstitch the back of the binding of my two afghan quilts while watching the Superbowl.…..



Friday, January 31, 2020

Community Sew

At our local American Sewing Guild meeting on Tuesday I picked up fabrics for our community sew projects.  In an effort to not clutter up my sewing room I'm working on those now in-between other things on the calendar.

I've made 17 polar fleece caps for Head Start - these will go in the tote bags we fill for the kids next November. Nice to get more than my quota done so early in the year.

And yet, another sideways picture from my camera - don't get it, doesn't matter which way I take the photo sometimes they turn out sideways, even when showing up correctly on my desktop - I've given up. I should always use the camera but sometimes it's easier to grab my phone that's sitting right there on the table.  Anyhow, here are 10 pillowcases sewn for a care facility here in our town. There is no deadline on these but I will get them turned in this next month.  I'll probably end up sewing more of these throughout the year.

Next up are 13 tote bags (my quota) for the Head Start kids. Hoping to knock those out in this next week so I'll be done with them for the year. We get a small grant each year to fill them with coloring books, crayons, pencils, sharpener, toothpaste & toothbrushes, Kleenex and treats......and the polar fleece caps.

Another project waiting in the wings is putting the binding on the two afghan quilts.  I took them to Jordan Quilts to be long arm quilted, lead time was seven weeks, they were ready in two, picked them up yesterday. Would like to get the bindings sewn on tomorrow so then I can work on handstitching it to the back during the Superbowl on Sunday.

If you've never checked out Jordan Quilts online and you're a quilter you should go check it out.  They have lots of free patterns and great video tutorials......not to mention a huge selection of fabric. If you sign up for the newsletter you'll get a mailing almost every day.  I am so lucky to have this shop just five minutes from my house.

I had planned on getting a warp on the loom this week but got sidetracked with these projects. There's always next week............


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Birthday girl

 Today is Misty's 1st birthday.  We had a serious talk about the fact that she's now one and needs to stop acting like a 6 month old......

…...she didn't listen...…in one ear, out the other...….


Saturday, January 25, 2020

New towels......

There are finally new towels in my etsy shop.  I've had the pile of them sitting for a few weeks hoping for enough sun to have nice natural light coming in the window for photographs.  Well, that didn't happen so I took the photos anyhow.  It's already one of my dreaded jobs, no sun makes it even harder.  But here are the towels - there are two of each embroidered towel design in my shop.  There are two each of the handwoven towels.  I'm loving a few of the new embroidery designs - the lucky shamrock speaks to me as do the flowerpots and lavender wreath.....oh and that chicken on the yellow window pane towel.....I'm almost hoping it never sells o it ends up in my kitchen......

My shop is woefully low on handwoven towels. There eventually will be some more as I need some for gifts in the next couple of months and I always put on a long warp so there will be extras to sell. I am slowing down on selling.  There are so many arts/crafts on my very long to-do list and only so much time in one's life. So, I'll keep selling but it will be on my terms, most often when there are extras that come off a warp. So many projects, so little time...…….now it's time to start getting to them...…


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Askew........

Yes, here I am again using my phone camera and pictures coming out askew and no matter how I fix them on the computer when I upload them here they're wrong.  Oh well...…

I've made accessories to match The Sampler Cowl knit earlier.  This upsidedown hat is called Sisters Hat  by JanKnit Designs - a free download on Ravelry. It's named after the Three Sisters mountains in central Oregon around 4-5 hours from here.  I started knitting it using one strand of my handspun but it looked too flimsy so I doubled my handspun and it turned out perfect on size 7 needles.

And I made the Welted Fingerless Gloves to go with the set. This pattern is by Kit Hutchins/Churchmouse Yarns.  I used size 6 needles and a single strand of my handspun, which is around a DK weight yarn. This pattern was a little confusing but I went with what I thought it meant and did just fine. I did 2 purl rows before binding off which wasn't in the pattern.

So, this set is destined to be in my spinning group's display at the county fair this coming summer. I came up with a theme for our display of drawing inspiration from flower seed packets. My seed packet was Penstemon. Hoping it turns out to be a fun display with seed packets hung with items they inspired.  I may do another project since I got this one done early - that one in purples & blues.






Friday, January 17, 2020

Outlander........

I decided to revive making inklings just for this last holiday season. These are numbers 25 and 26 in the series. For Outlander fans you may have figured out it's Jamie and Claire.  Is anyone else excited that next month the new season is out on Starz?  I'm ahead by 2 books than where the season is so I'll have to watch a few of last season's episodes to remember where the tv series is. 

I also made a few of these recently - covers for 5x7 notepads.  This was another case of taking the photo with my phone and it turning.  I have it saved correctly on my computer but when loaded to the blog it turns and I can't correct that. No one seems to know why this happens. I've decided I'm just going to have to use the camera rather than the phone for anything I want to post to the blog. I'm going to offer to teach my local American sewing guild how to make these sometime this year.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Quilting......

 In bits of time here and there I'm starting to work on an afghan quilt (a gift) using Kaffe Fawcett fabrics. I bought a 10" package so I could get many prints without buying too much.  As it turns out I may have enough of the 10" squares to either back the quilt or better yet make another. Will be giving this thought as I work on it. Tomorrow jury duty starts so I have no clue if I'll have much time this week or not. One nice thing is I only live a few minutes from the courthouse.

A few days ago I decided to switch my fabric cabinet with the belongings of this one. The other cabinet is in the corner with less than 2 feet between it and my work table, really tough to search for fabrics. What was in this cabinet were things rarely used so I switched them. Marie Kondo would be impressed with how I folded all the fabric the exact same size to stack in the cubbies - I cut a piece of cardboard to aid in that chore. The top big shelf has fabric for clothing, the rest are quilting cottons.  The bottom two right cubbies hold ziplocs with bits and pieces for scrappy quilting......at some point. There is another cabinet cubbie in the entertainment stand in this room that has all beachy fabrics and sheers for clothing. It took forever to fold and organize but I have a feeling of accomplishment for doing so...….my memory is now refreshed with what I have and other than if I need something for a specific project I better not be doing any fabric shopping.  I found some really cute sheep fabrics in my stash, lots of them, which may end up becoming baby quilts to donate locally.


Friday, January 10, 2020

Disposable.........

Trying to fit in some fun stuff these days in-between the crap...….that word sounds funny because it's a not a part of my vocabulary but I guess it fits with my life these days.  So, a few days over the last week or so I worked on embroidering towels for my etsy shop.  They aren't listed yet as I need a day with good sunlight to get decent pictures, not sure when that will happen but I'll be ready to go with the new camera. I posted last year about a spot showing up in my photos - a speck of dust got on the inside of the lens of the old camera, it's just a point and shoot but I loved it. It would cost more to repair it than to buy new so I bought new with birthday money from late last year. I do still have the old camera and will carry it while hiking or walking on the beach, I can take photos if it's moved to the side so I can crop out the spot.

Speaking of things not being worth repairing - my printer (all in one machine) died two days ago. A problem with the print head and a new print head costs more than what the printer originally cost or what a new printer would cost.  So, we got a new printer yesterday. At least Staples gives a $30 recycling credit for the old printer...….when I say old printer, it's barely over 4 years old but that seems very old in printer land these days. I sure wish it was worth repairing appliances/electronics these days but they're made to be short lived and disposable, not cost effective to repair them.  Yes, I could have saved that old printer and replaced the printhead but I also have to look at dollars and cents I'm spending so buying new was best.

Here is one of the towels I embroidered, the photo was taken on a cloudy day and at the machine so color is off - the stripes on the towel are a light aqua - the design has poppies, trees and mountains. I love the way these turned out.

I recently bought this chicken pattern. It's stitched on a light yellow with white windowpane checked towel.  There are many others geared toward upcoming holidays, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter/Spring. They will be in the shop as soon as photography work is done.

I'm almost ready to start on a quilting project but trying to decide if I should weave something first.  So while I decide today may be spent re-organizing in the sewing room.  I need to switch 'stuff' in two different cabinets which entails re-folding and re-organizing all the fabric.




Monday, January 6, 2020

This and that......

I hope all had a safe and happy holiday.  Life has been challenging these days but I'll muddle through it, hopefully without totally losing my mind.

Once again photos taken using my phone have a mind of their own. I took the first picture with the phone held vertically but it turned anyhow, and even though I saved it on the computer and turned it the correct way and it shows that way on my computer screen once I uploaded it to blogger it turned again.  The second picture the phone was held horizontally. The two pictures below the phone held vertically, they turned out perfect when uploaded to blogger.  I don't understand it. I guess I'm going to just make sure I use the camera which I know will turn out correctly every time, before and after editing. Does anyone know why this happens with photos taken with a phone???

So, sorry that you have to turn your head to see this. Right before Christmas after I had finished all gifts I knit this cowl - it's called The Sampler Cowl and is by Heather Lynch. This was knit from my handspun which was spun from merino/tussah silk roving I had hand-dyed. I have enough yarn left for a pair of fingerless mitts which are on the needles and either a hat or headband.  This cowl pattern is free on Ravelry.

I saw this adorable fabric at Jordan's Quilts and had to buy it - this incredible fabric shop is just 5 minutes from the house!  I thought when I bought the fat quarter pack that I was only getting the prints but there was the big panels folded up along with them.  So I put the panel in the center, pieced the light colored prints for the first border and darker colored prints for the wider outer border.....and then piece 3 solids for the binding. This quilt is for Misty.  Sometimes I like to lay on the floor with her and she loves being under an afghan with me - so that's what this afghan quilt is for. It was quickly machine quilted, good thing you can't see it the details!

Here is a before picture of our gas fireplace at this house which we bought 1 1/2 years ago. We're slowly updating it room by room. Not only was this ugly with it's drywall mantel but it also put out zero heat.  And it was very scary to light the fireplace.

Here is our new and improved gas fireplace. Not only does it put out tons of heat but it will put out heat without the fan running, total radiant heat which is great if there's a power outage. It couldn't be easier to light with a little battery operated remote. After the new fireplace was installed we closed the wall back up with cement board and tiled it. Big black tiles on the hearth and small black tiles with white running through them on the wall which complements the kitchen granite. Then we hired the kitchen cabinet maker to make our mantel. That took a while as there were several measuring mistakes made but eventually it was installed (last week) and we love it.

The carpet is just cut in front of the hearth as it will all be coming out soon. We're still trying to decide what kind of flooring - laminate, real hardwood, whatever. Our past two houses had real hardwood floors that stood up to running dogs and one dog who drank water so it ended up all over the floor. So, we definitely need a floor here that will stand up to a crazy dog. While we research flooring we'll move on to the painting project - white ceilings, light gray walls and white trim and doors. It's an overwhelming job with the high ceilings what we may or may not do ourselves.

In-between house projects I hope to get more time to spend in the studio this year although the January calendar is already looking stinky.