Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Fun with Nine Patch

I am in love with this Hushabye collection. So is my daughter, Sarah, so keeping these blocks in the house is becoming a problem!

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I made up six blocks based on Rachel's Christmas Table Topper.

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Cut the nine patch in half, vertically and horizontally.

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Rotated two of the blocks.

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Doesn't look all that appealing, does it? I love the blocks but when I looked at it laid out on the floor it wasn't doing a thing for me.

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But once I arranged them on the off white (Snow) fabric I bought for the sashing it looked so much better.

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Sewn together and ready for quilting. Piper Eileen was born six weeks ago so I better get going! This is going to help.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Disappearing Nine Block

The warp is just sitting there waiting for me but I'm having fun playing with this quilt block. After dipping my toes back into the quilting world I found I've collected a nice little collection of charm squares. Searching through the quilting blogs I found this tutorial. I'm using two Moda charm packs Tranquility and Laurel.

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I didn't have too much time. Workout or piece? I combined them by laying out the blocks on the living room floor and taking them downstairs, one block at a time, to sew.

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Nothing little a little aerobic sewing, huh?

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After I cut them apart ...

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I repeated the process, taking one column downstairs at a time.

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Just think, if I clean up the basement studio so that I can have my worktable back I would miss out on all that calorie burning!

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The blue will be a narrow border and the binding. The orange will be used for the outer, wider border and the backing. I'm going to be machine quilting it after some small practice pieces this week. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Up Next

I've always wanted to try overshot but it was one of those things that was pushed to the back burner. Not anymore!

The original idea was sparked by a runner at the Funny Farm. It was the Colonial Rose Runner from Handwoven's Design Collection 11. Looking up the pattern I saw that it was based on a Davison draft, Ancient Rose Design.

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Checking out my tattered copy of A Handweaver's Pattern Book I found, right above the original draft, A Kutztown Design No. 3. Considering I went to Kutztown University, then known as Kutztown State College, I thought this was appropriate.

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Playing around with Fiberworks I was able to add the border from Colonial Rose. It took a little tweaking to get a nice transition from the pattern to the border. It took a lot more tweaking to correct all of my errors. I recommend exporting the screen to a jpg. Just like a photo will point out design problems when you're laying out a quilt or pick up an error in your lace knitting, seeing the image helped me to pick out several errors!

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20/2 perle cotton, Safari, from The Mannings for the warp and tabby. 5/2 in Forest for the pattern.

Half-day today and then I'm finished my adjunct work for the summer. Back to school on the 26th. So many projects.......

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Knitting in Hugs and Kisses

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If you know any preschoolers you know the wig and glasses are from Yo Gabba Gabba. They were actually a present to my son from his MIL but what two-year-old doesn't think all presents, especially on his birthday, belong to him!

I knit Claudia's Wee Bigger Aran a long time ago (i.e., 2002, before I was a grandmother). Now that I'm knitting for Jackson the idea of knitting all of those Xs and Os take on a different meaning - hugs and kisses surrounding him.

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Both sleeves done.

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Body done, just waiting until he comes over tomorrow to the check length of both sleeves and body before joining

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Close up of those cute Xs and Os.

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I'm a winner! Yes, the important thing is that Claudia raised a whopping $31,070.73 with her Knitters Against MS Ride. Now that the niceties are over, I WON!! Donna donated several skeins of yarn and I won three of them. I've already cast on with the cool denim.

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Just in case you needed another picture of Jackson celebrating his 2nd birthday.
Large toys are courtesy of the doting aunts and uncles.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Weaving Along

I thought I'd lash on the cloth beam because my chains were a little uneven and I thought I could save some warp. I've tried it a few times and was not a fan, but, hey!, it's summer, I have a little time, right?

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That would be wrong! I can't seem to get even tension even when using a very slippery nylon cord. It looks so easy when Tom Knisley does it :-)

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So back to the tried and true!

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Plain weave and one color weft. What a joy! I'm listening to books on my ipod and just throwing the shuttle. How relaxing can you get?

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Warping Front to Back

So I had these beautiful warps dyed up but I wasn't sure how I was going to warp since the bright fuschia and red/orange needed to be spread out over the width of the warp.

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So I thought I go back to front to back warping, something I haven't done much of lately. So long ago, actually, that I had to go back to my own tutorial (c. 2002).

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Sleying the reed.

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This technique allows me to design in the reed although I actually had it all planned out. It works well if you have a bunch of warp chains and want a random placement.

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I used my trapeze but I think the next time I'll just keep tugging on the chains. Since the border stripes were stretching across the width of the warp it was putting a bit of tension on some of the threads.

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Reading to go!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Towels

Every summer four of us (high school teachers) get together to sit by the pool, talk, eat, drink, and try to figure out how summer can stretch out just a few more weeks!

And every summer as I pack up my contribution and get ready to walk out the door I think - "I should have made something special to commemorate our get togethers" but, of course, I don't have anything and it escapes my mind until the following summer. That is, until this spring when I began plotting. I wound the warp right before school got out and (after suffering through my obligatory end of school/start of vacation migraine) I spent a leisurely Friday dyeing the warp.

I started with one of my favorite flowers, Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia), as inspiration.

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Using the Golden Mean I wound a center stripe of 144 ends and two adjoining stripes of 90 ends. Here's the two side stripes.

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And the center

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Fuschia stripes (13 ends) bordered by an end of red orange will separate the stripes and serve as a border.

More photos are here.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ready to Move On

Not such a great photo but it's always fun to stretch out your latest weaving and admire!



Here's the finished products. Since this warp took forever to weave off I'll refresh your memory! WEBS Eight-two, one of my favorites, it's a warp spun cotton that's great for towels and baby blankets. The warp is a creamy off-white (Alabaster) and dark green (Evergreen).



(above) The weft in the top towel is the same as the warp, the lower towel is Dark Teal and Terra Cotta.



(above) The top towel is using Silver Gray and Ink Blue, the bottom towel uses Silver Gray and Gray Blue.

I got six towels out of the warp and with what the leftover warp left I wove a placemat. Think it's time?



I'm not sure that the Eight-Two will be heavy enough for placemats but who knows? I've also had my eye on Janet Dawson's Anything but Plain, article in the Nov/Dec 2007 Handwoven. I love the idea of a somewhat regular random!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Log Cabin: One Color at a Time



Spring Break started with a gorgeous double rainbow! (The second is to the right, it's not showing up very well in the compressed image) I didn't overplan this break, but I knew I wanted to weave a couple of the log cabin towels using two colors of weft that were different from the warp. I first started thinking about adding more colors to the basic log cabin when I was planning some baby blankets a few years ago.

I'm working on the same warp that I wound two months ago. Since WEBS had their Eight-Two on sale it seemed like a good time to try some new colors.



Rather than wrap yarns around a card I like to twist them together. I think it gives a much better representation.



I like this combo. Uh oh! Since the loom is already warped with Evergreen and Alabaster picking 4 yarns that don't include those two doesn't exactly work :-)



So I tried lots of different combinations, changing out two weft threads each time, and came up with two that appealed to me.



The two weft colors are a dark turquoise and terra cotta.



Although the dark turquoise is almost indistinguishable from the evergreen it makes a subtle and very pleasing combination.



These two wefts are silver gray and gray blue. I wanted to keep away from anything that was as dark as the evergreen. I liked this enough to make two







I should have enough warp to try out at least two more combinations.

There was some quilting progress and work on Twist is coming along nicely, but most of my free time was spent with this guy!



A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of Family Circle in the mail. I never subscribed to it but Jackson saw the cupcakes on the cover and kept asking for them. What's a grandma to do? I made them the night before Easter and Jackson was quite impressed.

(That's Laura's hand reaching towards Jackson. Her friend was married the day before Easter in a traditional Hindu wedding. On Friday they had the mehendi ritual. Jackson was very impressed with the fact that Aunt Laura had peacocks all over the palm of her hand.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Refined and Not-So-Refined

These finished sweater pics are a little on the yellow side but you can still see the results of the Refined Aran Jacket.



I used a rolled hem for the sleeves, bottom, and pocket edges. I also grafted the ribbed collar instead of using a three-needle bind off. It's noticeable but not as noticeable as the bind off was.



The little cables and the saddles give a nice zing to this understated pattern.



I'm not sure if I was trying to hold in my stomach or not, but if I wasn't I should be after baking this weekend!



First off was a delicious Irish Soda Bread. A little late for St. Patrick's Day but there wasn't anyone around to eat it then.



This was the killer - Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies. I actually made them twice. The first batch was for a friend at work and they turned out so good that I made them for the weekend when the whole family came to see my BIL, who was in PA for a wedding. Can't you just taste the peanutty goodness!



Finally, I'm finished the back and up to the armholes on the first side of Twist.