May 2010 Archives

Blooming 9 Patch Quilted

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Well, if my neighbors were harboring any small hope that the lady next door might be normal, those hopes were sorely dashed as I searched for ways to take picture of my finished Blooming 9 Patch.  Do you know how hard it is to find a place to photograph a queen-sized  (almost king sized) quilt in good light when you don't have a wide house or a big back yard?

20100502_Blooming9Back.jpgFirst, the easy photo.  I chose a dark blue batik (it looks a little "overexposed" in this picture) for the back and a modern geometric design for the quilting pattern.  The quilting was done with a red thread, and it looks pretty sharp.  The binding was a colorful batik print that picked up colors in both the backing and the dark border prints.  Instead of a standard cotton batting, I opted for a superwash wool batting, since the destination room for this quilt can get a little chilly. 

20100502_Blooming9KingBed.jpgHere is my first attempt at a picture -- on my own bed.  I made this quilt with the queen-sized bed in my guest bedroom in mind, but it almost covers my king-sized bed (it need about 6" on either edge t make it workable).  I was hoping to be able to get a good picture to give some scale, but I just couldn't get far enough away.  

20100502_Blooming9FrontYard.jpgThe next photo attempt was in my front yard.  I think I was actually standing on top of a wall to take this photo (doing the sort of thing that I would tell my kid she couldn't do).  The overcast day made it a good day for taking pictures to help show what the colors look like in natural light.  But I still wasn't able to get a good top down perspective.  Made me think I needed to have a picnic -- on the most over the top picnic blanket I could ever imagine.

20100502_Blooming9Deck.jpgThis final photo was taken from the balcony above my deck, standing on a chair so I could get just enough height to get (almost) the whole quilt in frame (the bottom horizontal edge is a bit clipped).   Unfortunately, I didn't include anything that would help create a sense of scale, but at least the color flow is clear.  I'm rather pleased with the color flow, though I do wish I'd gotten a bit more of that dark batik on the edge and had a more solid dark border to finish it off.   

I'm going to call this one a happy success.  I think it will be a great addition to my guest room -- if I let it live down there.  Part of me wants to find a way to have it in a place where it would be more prominently displayed. 

After the kiddo saw the pictures, she asked me if she could sleep with it.  So I guess that means I better get a move on and get some more effort in on the twin-sized quilt I have planned for her for when she graduates to a "big girl" bed.


A Trip Back in Time

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Hey, look at me!  A second post in the same week.  Amazing, eh? 

First off, thank you to everyone for your kind comments on my Blooming 9 Patch -- it's one of those projects that looks complicated, but is actually pretty easy and mostly involves strip piecing. It's also easy to size for all different sizes, so it's a great project for a color study.  The book that I used for it is called "Tradition with a Twist" -- it has a large collection of great strip piecing projects and the instructions are clear and easy to understand.  So for anyone who wants to try on their own, I say go for it!    Those of you who thought I was fast on this made me smile -- I made a baby in less time than this quilt.  It started right before Ms. Z was born -- and she's almost three now.  And I just made the top!   The enthusiastic reception has made me reconsider where it might "hang out" for a while.  It may go live in my room for a while after all!

I was cruising through my blog reads and came across this on Wendy's Blog:

Back in the olden days, way before Ravelry, there was an Audrey knit-along in the knitblog world. It seems that there must have been an online group associated with it as well -- wait -- I think there was a special blog, just for Audrey-knitters. Anyone else remember that?

Do I remember that?  Indeed I do.  The Audrey-a-Long was the brainchild of myself, Becky, Elisabeth and Morgan.  Becky did most of the blog styling (creating an incredible Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's theme!), I did the hosting and administration and we all contributed to the writing, knitting, cheering and good vibes.  What made this blog really special, was that it was one of the first knit-a-longs where the participants were invited to post for themselves. The beginning of an era!  The project started on April 1, 2004 and I retired the blog on October 15, 2005.  All Audrey finishers received special sweater labels that we had printed up... I think I mailed out over 50 of them.  Such a fun ride for me. 

When I upgraded to MT4, I didn't migrate the blog and archives, but you can still take a peek if you want to check in on the blast from the past -- there are many interesting comments about Calmer (we certainly, as a group, put that yarn through its paces), familiar faces and tips and tricks about shaping.  The ever fabulous Bonne Marie Burns wrote a number of special features (as Tiffany, no less!) on knitting technique.  All in all, probably one of my favorite personal "bloggy" projects. 

Color Gamp Blanket Makes a Friend

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20100510_ColorGamp.jpgProof of weaving!  This blanket is roughly 3' wide by 3.5' long.  The warp and weft are 3/2 perle cotton and the warp sett was 14 end per inch (epi).  The pattern is a huck lace pattern that came directly from the pattern suggestions that were sent along with the gamp kit.  I find it fascinating how color works in different media.  This blanket is meant to demonstrate color blending across a rainbow of colors.  Each color was used once in the warp and once in the weft.

20100510_ColorGampLaceBlock.jpg Not my favorite color combinations (I guess I'm outing myself as not being either a fan of the Green Bay Packers or John Deere Tractor), but the weave definition is clear.  Each lace block was separated by a nice region of solid plain weave. 

But the best part of this blanket was giving it to it's recipient.

20100510_ColorGampLaceZ1.jpgShe is now old enough to both appreciate a special blanket made for her (my second ny ny*, momma!) and to want to take pictures with it. 

20100510_ColorGampLaceZ2.jpgRight now it's pretty much perfect snuggle size for a not-quite-3 year old girl -- and it was a required bed fellow tonight (along with about 400 other things that absolutely positively must be in her crib for her to consider sleeping).

This project was so simple it pretty much makes me want to warp up that loom again and make bigger (longer) versions for some special adults I know -- but most likely I will select one warp and one weft color just to make my life easier.  Now, if only I could figure out which colors I really like together!

* ny ny is Polish for "blankie"


Unfinished Quilting

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So I've been feeling like my crafting mojo is ramping back up. Funny how an enthusiastic 2 year old can make you want to do things for and with them.  I'm supposed to be working on a project for a twin-sized quilt for same 2 year old, but as I was sitting down to do that, I found the pieces for a paper piecing purple/yellow color study that I started in early 2008 as part of a class on paper piecing (so compared with my Blooming 9 Patch, this project has only been in progress for 2 years.

20100516_PPColorStudy.jpgOn Saturday I finally got my act together and sewed the darn things together.  I'm not going to label this as one of my most amazing sewing efforts, but, really, the project was meant to let me play with paper piecing and do the color study more than it was meant to show off my machine skills.  It's not very large -- maybe 2' x 2' and is composed of only 5 fat quarters.   When I had finished sewing it and removing the paper backing, Ms. Z got her hands on it.

That's very nice, Mama!  Can I have it?  I want to go ninach* with it.

Then she grabbed and ran off to stuff it in her crib with all her other treasures (I swear, she's got hoarding skills like a dragon).  After I convinced her to give it back, I told her it wasn't quite finished yet.  I'm actually hoping to machine quilt this piece myself using what Carolyn taught me before Z was born and the walking foot for my sewing machine, and then get a refresher course on binding the edges.  The quilting will probably be simple, perhaps just long diagonals -- but for me, even something simple would be an accomplishment! 
* "ninach" (which I suspect is spelled more like nynacz... but I've typed it out phonetically) is roughly "to bed".

Fiber Optic Photo Essay, Day 1

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20100523_FiberOpticHR1Bobbi.jpg
First spinning of the spring.  My wheel is now feeling useful again.

Fiber Optic Yarns, Foot Notes Unspun Pencil Roving
80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
Colorway: Honeysuckle Rose


Amount spun: 2 of 4 ounces
Goal: 2 Ply Fingering Weight

Fiber Optic Photo Essay, Day 2

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20100523_FiberOpticHR2Bobbi.jpg
And then there were two.  Plies, that is. Is there anything better than spinning in the sunshine with a soft breeze?

Fiber Optic Yarns, Foot Notes Unspun Pencil Roving
80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
Colorway: Honeysuckle Rose


Amount spun: 4 of 4 ounces
Goal: 2 Ply Fingering Weight

Fiber Optic Photo Essay, Day 3

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20100523_FiberOpticHRPliedB.jpg
Saturday afternoon productivity.

Fiber Optic Yarns, Foot Notes Unspun Pencil Roving
80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
Colorway: Honeysuckle Rose


Amount spun: 4 of 4 ounces
Amount plied: 4 of 4 ounces
Goal: 2 Ply Fingering Weight

Fiber Optic Photo Essay, Day 4

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20100523_FiberOpticHRPliedN.jpg
20100523_FiberOpticHRPliedC.jpg
2 ply yarn on a 4 ft niddy noddy.  What do fuchsia and gold make? 

Yarn under stress. 

Must be time for a warm bath.

Fiber Optic Yarns, Foot Notes Unspun Pencil Roving
80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
Colorway: Honeysuckle Rose


Amount spun: 4 of 4 ounces
Amount plied: 4 of 4 ounces
Total Yards: 420
Goal: 2 Ply Fingering Weight

Fiber Optic Photo Essay, Day 5

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20100523_FiberOpticHRClose.jpg
20100523_FiberOpticHRFinish.jpg
Happy squooshy relaxed yarn.  Clearly I'm being drawn to particular color themes lately.

Fiber Optic Yarns, Foot Notes Unspun Pencil Roving
80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon
Colorway: Honeysuckle Rose


Amount spun: 4 of 4 ounces
Amount plied: 4 of 4 ounces
Total Yards: 420
2 Ply Fingering Weight
Yarn Still Seeking Destiny

A brief review: this pencil roving was great to spin.  Easy on my hands and almost no nepps or anything else that slowed me down. I couldn't really tell that the nylon was there  This roving was unique in that the pencil roving was already split in 2 lengthwise, making it very easy to separate, though, clearly, I did not spin evenly enough to get exact matching and discrete color regions. 

The colorway, spun up, makes me think of faded deep pink roses, the end of life browning seeping through the petals.  Very vintage-y.  Very warm. 

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