Thursday, December 12, 2013

I'm Going On An Adventure!

All good stories deserve embellishment.” 

 A couple of months ago I noticed wood construction plans on the laptop, over my husbands shoulder, as I passed through the living room. When asked what he was planning to build, he said a chicken coop. 
He said he wanted to gather eggs in his retirement.

I am terrified of free ranging chickens. 
And those plans better have an egg dispenser, as I will not be sticking my hand under a chicken's butt without a good deal of intervention first.

I did suggest IF he was going to have chickens, I would like sheep. 
I would learn to spin!

And then a blogger with the Portland Press Herald featured my Fox Mittens with their Sunday paper.  Orders for finished fox mittens on the Etsy account Steph set up started coming in.  On Ravelry, people were buying my pattern for $3.
($2.58 to me after PayPal takes a cut.) 

Seriously. THANK YOU!

After a couple hundred dollars built up, I suggested to family members I would like to buy that spinning wheel now. IF we raised enough, it was decided. 

I have goals!

Next up will be learning how to use my new Ladybug by Schacht in Boulder, CO.
I made a LOT of Fox Mittens. Orders are still coming in. 
The actual ladybug pictured above landed on my knitting right about when we had earned enough!
My next goal may be the Woolee WinderAccessories are each sold separately. 
I would love it if the mittens continue to support my new obsession for a while longer!

My Ladybug arrived December 11th at 3:17 in the afternoon. At 5am I started cleaning the house, with the pledge I would keep cleaning until it arrived. The tracking update suggested an "early delivery".  White floor tiles were scrubbed on hands and knees, until we lost power and thus water, for an hour. My floor washing head of steam faded and I moved on to the fridge. It is clean top to bottom/under and behind! Wow. It needed it.

When the big box arrived on the deck I was almost too tired to open it.
Contents needed to be checked and a few last bits needed to be put together.

I hope it continues to whisper when I start adding fiber. For now I need to try and get the wheel to treadle clockwise. Stop and start without going backwards. 
It was described by one video blogger as patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Knitting Holes (on purpose)

Summer of Amazing Lace Revisited

Back in 2006 I joined an internet hoard of knitters working on some sort of lace for the summer. 
The host bloggers of Amazing Lace seem to have vanished all these years later and when I clicked my old blog links a security warning declare the sites are evil? From one of my blog entries (linked above) I described the knit along as follows:
Knitters around the world will get up off their couches and take their knitting out for a little summer adventure. The main requirement seems to be to knitting in public and putting holes in it...on purpose!  It's called Lace when you put the holes in the right place?
As a beginner knitter I never advanced to the lacy shawls many proudly cranked out that summer.  I stuck with lacy cuffed socks.  This summer I'm making a shawl!
I joined a 7 part clue mystery knit-a-long of the Analucia Shawl by Fiddle Knits

The 7th clue was released August 9th. I had been keeping up with all of the weekly clues until the 6th one arrived. I gave myself permission to take a break! There are not many "purl back" rows ...who knew purling a billion stitches would look like a blessing?  I was getting burned out with all the do-overs.  Early into the pattern I researched LIFELINES and found that they are indeed our friend!  Unfortunately, I put the lifelines to use far too many times and was in need of a break.  I was sitting in one place for far too long at a time. My knuckles & back was feeling the effect.

My 1st shawl has been pushed to the back of the side table in a puddle of blue lace.

(blog entry in progress but I think I'll lose the links if I just hit save. Pictures today and update planned)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If you ask nicely...

Your friend's mom might make you Fox Mittens.

So I made Steph a scarf for Christmas and she posted a picture on Facebook of herself wearing it. With the required caption "My mom made it". The only suggested requirement  for acquiring a mom-made item.

Her friend saw it and wondered if fox mittens might be found in the Mama-Made-It box.
I had never tried fox mittens but figured there was sure to be a free pattern kicking about on the internet. Turns out there's not that I could find. So I looked at some mittens & scarves being sold and decided to give it a try.

Not bad!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Stained Glass STACK n' SLASH. Quilt As You Go.

Quilt-Along {if you like!}

(Under construction. Pictures to follow I go. My New Years' Resolve!)

My daughter Sara asked for a quilt-as-you-go lesson while home for Christmas break but it didn't happen. I promised to document my progress on the new Stained Glass Stack n' Slash Quilt I'm about to begin - like the one I did last summer. I'm making this one with smaller squares of fabric - using a 12 ½ inch square ruler to cut each square of fabric. I'm going to use the quilt-as-you-go method, but the steps for making blocks would be the same if sewing a quilt top to be quilted later.

For quilt squares with no 2 colors alike in each block you need 9 different fabrics
For 36 blocks (arranged in rows of 6 x 6) Cut 4 of each color and stack each set of 9 fabrics exactly the same
Each stack gives you 9 finished blocks. Number of blocks per row is up to you! Depending on how many stacks you make, there may be leftovers.

Make note of your 9 fabric squares' order from bottom to top and remember to stack them back in a pile the same way each time you sew the stack. DON'T SHUFFLE THE PIECES MOVED TO THE BOTTOM. LEAVE THEM JUST AS THEY ARE, RIGHT SIDE UP AS THEY WERE STACKED. After they are sewn back together with the stained glass strip, there's a "shuffle the stack" formula that keeps no 2 fabrics alike in each block.
Number of sections "shuffled to the bottom" is different for each step! Fingers crossed I get it right.

Helpful websites I use along the way will be listed here:
Stack n' Slash formula for cutting, re-stacking and slashing again - called Crazy-9 Patch on this blog. Does not include stained glass technique but formula for *slashing/sewing/stacking* (repeat!) should be the same. TESTING. Pretty sure this was the site I went to before when memory failed and 2nd batch of blocks went wrong.

PATTERN: (cutting guide - trial pdf)
Cut 12½ square from a brown paper bag and mark lines as shown. (coming soon!)
More or less. YOUR PATTERN WILL BE UNIQUELY YOURS. Not required to be exact.
Be consistent.

Cut (many!) 1¼ inch strips (width of fabric) for Stained Glass effect.
You'll probably need to straighten the edge of fabric once in a while so the strips don't go wonky on the fold. Width of strips for joining blocks will be wider... we'll deal with those later!

Folding paper pattern along the line you are about to cut and placing on top of the stack helps each cut be more or less the same. DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE PAPER!
It's not necessary for each block to be the same - in fact they will not be. Using the paper guide will show ruler placement to make cuts go faster, making blocks very similar. You can slide the paper away or not but be careful not to cut into it.

You'll be cutting through 9 layers PLUS seam allowances in some instances.  
Use a sharp rotary blade! BE CAREFUL ;)
9 fabrics stacked with cutting guide.

Fold pattern back on line showing where to cut.

Move 1 piece on left from top to bottom.
Sew sections together with strips.
Use guide folded back to cut next slice through all layers.

All 9 layers cut.
Move 2 pieces on right from top to bottom.

Sew sections back together with stained glass strips.

Rotate clockwise one turn.

Place guide as for 1st cut.  3 pieces on left moved from top to bottom. 
Last cut with 6 on right moved to bottom.