Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Woven Tea Towels

I finished weaving some tea towels.

About 4 yards of fabric off the loom.
Fresh off the loom
After washing

The pattern made four tea towels. The pattern is 'Don't Get Bored Towels' from Handwoven magazine, issue Sept/Oct 2014. My first attempt at weaving with commercial yarn and a pattern.

Three of the towels were woven in plain 2/2 twill,

and one was woven in pattern #3 (a zig zag 2/2 twill).

I read an article that the most absorbent towels were woven in 2/2 twill, with 20 ends per inch, using 8/2 Cottolin - that is what I tried (these were all given as gifts, so I will weave some more for myself to see how they work).

Storm clouds on Saturday.
High winds and rain.
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

More Spinning and New Weaving

This week I finished spinning some more lace weight yarn.

It is silk and merino, 47g/1.6oz, 425m/465 yards.

I dyed the fibre a while ago, as part of a group of four (I still have one left to spin - the purple).

This yarn seems to be taking so long to spin, that I decided to have a break from such fine yarn.

the fibre after soaking
I dyed up some leftover merino wool and polwarth wool for other projects.

the dyed bundles ready for steaming
the dyed fibre

Since I was making a 3 ply yarn I divided the bundles into three different groups (I wanted each ply to be slightly different).

I used a blending board to mix the colours (I wanted yarn that was less stripy, more subtle variations). I also added some gold angelina for sparkle.

the blended rolags ready for spinning
the three bobbins ready for plying

The finished yarn is about DK weight (about 14 wraps per inch), 100g/3.5oz, 151m/166yards. I used long draw for spinning - I am always amazed how fast it is to spin this way.

I started a new weaving project this week too - dish towels, woven with cottolin (60% organic cotton and 40% linen, from Quebec). This is the first time that I have woven with commercial yarn, and following a pattern. It is interesting, and a good learning experience.

the first towel is almost finished, the warp will make 4 towels

I am so pleased to see the garden growing-

There was a little visitor this week - I think she was telling me to wash my windows! Yikes!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ode to Meandering

I finished the Court House Steps quilt.
It is 54"x81" - a long lap quilt (it did shrink about an inch and a half each way after machine washing and drying - gentle cycles). I used Hobbs Tuscany silk batting, and Bottom Line 60Wt thread for the free motion machine quilting (top and bobbin), with just a regular Organ #80 needle. The blocks are 9", I used the Judy Martin method of cutting and piecing the blocks (fabulous way to make log cabin blocks!!).

I quilted an all over meander on the quilt. I have mentioned it before, but here I go again - Meandering seems to have gotten a bad name recently, and I can't understand why.
I love stitching meandering - it is one of the easiest/relaxing designs to quilt on a domestic sewing machine. It gives the quilt a beautiful 'antique', crinkly look instantly. It also gives the quilt a wonderful 'drape-ability', especially with wool or silk batting - the quilt just fits around your body easily (I believe because the quilt is stitched in every direction).
I find that a simple quilting design is all I need when the quilt top has beautiful fabric and blocks.
I recently read on the Martingale Blog the Top 10 Trends from this years Quilt Market, and I was so pleased to have read that Machine Quilting - learning to finish your own quilts, was #8! When I teach machine quilting I tell my students that if all they learn is meandering (and its variations) they will be able to finish a lot of their quilts.

I used 'Minky' on the back of the quilt. It is the first time I have tried this. The quilt is so soft, but it was a bit harder to quilt - because of the nap, it was easier to move in certain directions. I did have to spray baste the layers (apparently that is the thing with knit backings). The other polyester knit backing I have used didn't have a nap, and was easier to quilt.

These next two projects are what are on my needles -

a reversible scarf using hand spun yarn,

and the cabled socks are still on the go.
You can tell that the mosquitoes are so bad now, that it is keeping me inside!

A lost looking baby Robin.
A Mourning Dove, and another bird, at the bird bath.

 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

P.S. Thanks so much to those who leave comments! If you have a question and are a 'No-Reply Blogger', please leave a way for me to email you back - sorry to those who might be waiting for a reply.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Some Finishes

I finished machine quilting this large lap quilt. The pattern is Emma by Bella Moon. The quilt is 60"x84", the fabric is French General fat quarters. I used silk batting (Hobbs Tuscany), and flannel backing. It is free motion quilted on my domestic sewing machine using Bottom Line thread (top and bobbin), with loops and leaves.

I also (finally) finished quilting this little practice piece. I wanted to try Cathedral Windows on 60º angle, and a leaf type feather. I used 3 different colours of Invisafil thread (100wt) for the free motion quilting. The fabric is from an old silk blouse. It is 10"x12".

I also finished planting the garden this week.

Ice on the birdbath
 Last Saturday was the last frost (hopefully!), so it was time to start planting.

the front flower bed
tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers on the side
I extended this flower bed this year
vegetable garden in the back

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Little Knits

I recently bought this book, '50 yards of Fun' by Rebecca Danger (from the Book Depository). I have so many little bits of hand spun yarn, and I thought this would be a nice way to use them up. The book has lots of cute patterns, but with the basic concepts it is very easy to mix, match or modify to make your own creations.

This is my first 'little monster' - using the 'Basic Peanut Body' pattern and some hand spun leftover from a hat I made last year.

For this rabbit I used the 'Basic Bowling Pin Body' pattern with some modifications to the 'Bantam Bunny' pattern for the ears, arms and legs. The grey is a blend of merino and alpaca and has a nice fuzzy look.

They are both only a couple of inches, and were quick and fun to make. All knit in the round using the Magic Loop Method, with picked up stitches for arms etc, so no attaching pieces later.

I finished spinning the second skein of merino and silk lace weight yarn last week.
The singles-

and plied together -

400m, 52grams of lace weight yarn.

The two skeins so far (2 more to spin).

The cable socks are coming along nicely too.

My husband has been doing some welding for me. We created some 'found object sculptures' -

A duck made from a shovel and rake, with a "Bobcat" tooth for a beak, and some nuts for eyes.

A bird bath stand from old motorcycle gears, and a wrench I found last week on a walk. The bird bath is a piece of pottery I made almost 20 years ago!

The Goldfinches are back.
Coming back from hunting for rabbits!
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!♥