Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

We celebrated Christmas Eve by eating traditional tourtière , with baked potatoes and salad

playing games,

This game is Blokus, a fun strategy game.

Sitting by the fire -

this is on the TV - some people don't have this TV channel that shows a fireplace and plays Christmas songs!
We also watched Trailer Park Boys Christmas Special (lots of Canadian traditions this evening!).

I am off to play more games - ping-pong and Rock Band. We are planning a relaxing, family Christmas.

I just wanted to show a few things that I did this week -

This is an entrelac neck warmer that I knit.

Entrelac knitting is made of little boxes. It is much easier than it looks.

I made it from this merino wool that I dyed and spun. More details on Ravelry.

I also spun my first skein of singles yarn this week.

It was made from a bunch of little bundles of different fibres that I hand carded into rolags.

This is a little wall hanging that I am machine quilting for those who think I have given up quilting (it is just really cold in my basement where my sewing room is - we have been having -30C temperatures recently). This is made with fabric I dyed last winter. I just have the background left to quilt.

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013

A New Hat

I knitted a new hat for my husband. I noticed that the last one I had made him left marks on his head (he shaves his head, and although the hat wasn't tight, the ribbing left imprints), so I wanted a hat that was smooth on the inside. I also wanted to use some of my hand spun yarn for him. I dyed the green to match his eyes and I was surprised when it did! My dyeing is pretty haphazard.

I added this as a free pattern on Ravelry too. If you are not a member of Ravelry you can download the PDF here.

When I was writing the pattern my nephew came over and I explained to him that I had dyed the wool fibre-

Spun the yarn-

Designed a pattern-

And knit the hat-

 He looked at me, showed me his orange acrylic hat and told me that I could just buy a hat for $4!

This is wool that I dyed this week - the above photo of the dye pot is this fibre steaming.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Year of Small Quilts of the Month

I finished my year long project of a small art quilt a month - 

Each little quilt (6"x8") represents something that happened that month.

This is the November one -

It is a piece of my hand dyed fabric with snowflakes that are peyote stitched beads, plus a small hammered wire swirl. I made a lot of jewelry in November.

For the December one I tried a new-to-me technique from a Craftsy class (Playing with Curves with Ann Petersen). I took a couple of Craftsy classes this month, and learned some wonderful new things.

Now I have to decide what I want to make with these quilts.

I originally thought I would join them into a book,

but I also like the idea of joining them together into a wallhanging. I might just leave them as a pile on the shelf, at least for now.

I tried another new-to-me technique this week, double knitting -

You knit/purl the front and back stitches in pairs, and reverse the colours to create the two sided, reversible pattern.

The finished piece is supposed to be a head band, but when I washed it, to block it, it grew so wide! I have had this problem with Paton Classic Wool before - it tends to get short and wide, I should have known. I am going to try to felt it a bit in a regular load of laundry, maybe it will become something useable.
The pattern was lovely to knit and I am going to try it again later with some hand spun wool.
The pattern is the Duvino head band, from the Craftsy Class Adventures in Double-Knitting with Alasdair Post-Quinn. 

There was a fabulous Craftsy sale for Thanksgiving and I bought a few classes that I had been interested in for a while, just waiting for a good sale. I am trying to ration them out over the next little while. The Playing with Curves and Adventures in Double Knitting were wonderful!

I am adding this picture to show what -30C (-40C windchill) temperatures can do - a water main break, causing havoc with traffic.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ostrich BOM

Here are my latest Ostrich block - 

four Churn Dash blocks (6" blocks).

There are a few more blocks to go (I think the BOM finishes in March), but I have decided I want to make a small 'random sampler' quilt (I am sure this style of quilt has an official name).

I used a quilt that was about the same size as the one I want to make to lay out the blocks on, to get an idea of how the blocks will go together. I am supposed to have an appliqué block, but I am waiting until the end to make one as a 'filler' block.
A few of us started making this BOM, but I think I might be the only one making it now, so thank-you Myra for still organizing this BOM!
It is fun because we are just given a block name or a shape, and we get to interpret it any way we want.

This is my latest home spun wool -

190 grams of worsted weight (about 14WPI) wool that I dyed earlier in the fall.

Here are the fibre, single ply bobbin and first skein all together. I tried Navajo (chain) plying for the first time to keep the colours clearer.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Finished Sweater

I finished knitting a sweater this week -

It is another Craftsy class - Celtic Cables with Carol Feller. I picked up so many tips about knitting cables and basic knitting, the class was wonderful (Carol's lovely Irish accent was a joy to listen to as well).

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in garnet heather. It is the first time I have tried this wool and it is very soft, and nice to work with (I even ordered more in Knit Picks big sale last week).

I have been spinning wool for my next knitting project - a hat for my husband.
I dyed the Polwarth wool fibre (the green is to match his eyes)-

and now it is all spun -

I am planning on doing some colour work knitting.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Art Quilt

I am pleased to say that I finally finished this art quilt -

I had lots of fun making it, and trying new techniques.

I painted a piece of wet fabric (with regular fabric paint) and then sprinkled salt on it.

This was how it looked when it was dry (the salt pulls the paint around into interesting patterns).

I quilted leaves and swirls in the painted area, and a 1/2" grid on the border.

I filled in the grid with different fillers. I also added beads, and a quilted leaf attached to a piece of heavy copper wire, that I hammered for texture. This piece is about 13" x 17".

This past week I dyed some wool fibre. I recently discovered a new blog - Pat's Knitting and Quilting, Pat makes the most incredible things!  I was so inspired, and I have a few ideas I want to try. I just need to finish a sweater before I get started spinning (then knitting).

I am working on the neck band, and then just the button bands left to go.

It looks like winter is here to stay!
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Some Firsts!

I finished my first pair of socks that I made with my hand dyed, hand spun wool! When I first got my spinning wheel in March this was my dream (it's a simple life!).

These are toe-up socks, knit two at a time using the magic loop technique.
The wool started out as slightly felted merino/silk fibre that I had dyed. It was too hard to spin as is, so I carded it with some leftover bits of wool fibre and some nylon fibre, for added strength for socks.

These are the three bobbins before plying -

and the finished yarn -

For the heel I tried the "Toe-Up Gusseted Heel" from Maia Spins.

It worked really well. I also 'Knit 1, Slip 1' across the back of the heel, just because I like a tight heel on socks.

I have also been making jewelry, here are a few of the bracelets I have made recently -

These are wire work ones, I made the links and clasps.

The metal is coloured copper wire that I hammered - so fun!

This one is "Shaped Peyote" (from Craftsy Bead Stitching). I love beads and always wanted to try this technique. The class is wonderful, so well explained and easy to follow.

The beads are 11/0 and 15/0, round and cylinder.

a garden visitor
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!♥︎
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