Monday, 15 October 2018

Kool Aid Dyeing

I knit a square or two every night on my sock yarn blanket. It's growing - slowly. It's pictured here sideways.
It's currently 3ft wide and 2ft long. I hope to knit up most of my sock yarn leftovers so it should be quite large when I'm done.

My sock yarn bits aren't very exciting colours for the most part and I was wondering how I could jazz up the squares. Penny Pierce from the wool appliqué workshop yesterday mentioned that she custom dyes a lot of her wool fabrics and I realized i could do the same with bare or light coloured sock yarn.

I have lots of KoolAid packets in my stash that I bought years ago. I could wind off 10 - 15g lengths of sock yarn and KoolAid dye them in my microwave!
That would give me lots of bright colours for the blanket. The customary amount is 1 oz. of fibre per packet of Koolaid but using less yarn should yield me a deeper colour.

I will definitely be doing some experimenting...


Felted Appliqué Needlebook Workshop

Yesterday Diane and I attended a workshop in Bethany conducted by Penny Pierce - a wool appliqué artist who works at From the Heart quilt shop in Bethany ON.

She had little trays with tools for us to use.


What a great idea for lining little trays?

There were also some cute pin cushions with buttons.


Back view.
 Then she showed us several of her other pieces with felt appliqués. Many had been taken from traditional patterns but she preferred brighter, bolder colours.
Her appliqué technique makes the wool puff up a bit without having to stuff the piece. It simply involved angling the needle a bit.
Oh! And we were all given a size 24 Tulip needle - a keeper for sure. Penny also recommended micro serrated scissors if we were going to do more working with wool felt. They grab the wool when cutting so it doesn't slip. They make for really accurate cutting of wool appliqué piece. They come in various sizes and are available online from several vendors.

This quilt had lots of cute elements.

This table mat was a real stunner.
There was so much detail - all so simple to execute.
Climbing roses.
This Christmas table mat was so simple, yet so cute.
All our kits were the same so there was no fighting over different colours. We got a lot done during the workshop and left with all we needed to finish the project and sew the inside to the outside.

When I got home I got the rest of the leaves and the berries done.
Now I need to do the stems and embellishing. I'm also going to use a bead for the bird's eye.

The white guide lines are made with a chalk pen and will rub off when I no longer need them. the outer ones are the guidelines for the buttonhole stitching that will go all the way around.

Penny is a very skilled teacher and fibre artist. I would definitely take another project-based class with her.

An added bonus for Diane and me was the beautiful fall colour tour as we drove through the Kawarthas. We had hoped to visit the quilt shop before returning home but it closes at 3pm on Saturday so it was not open after our workshop. I will be driving this way when I go to the Elim retreat in November so will definitely stop in for a visit.

Katwijer Socks 2.0 Are Finished

On Saturday, in the dar on the way to the Woodstock Fleece Festival (I wasn't driving), I finished the second Katwijker sock. The pattern is free on Ravelry.
I didn't mirror the cables - so they go in the same direction on both socks.
The 4-row pattern is easy - garter stitch columns and 4-row 2x2 cables. The chart in the pattern is a 12-row chart but it's really just 2 repeats of the first 4 rows. The cables are fairly tight, you could loosen them up by only cabling every 6 rounds.
As usual I did an 'eye of partridge' heel. Because I knit an 8" leg and the cables really consume a lot of yarn, I did have to use more than 100g of yarn. Thankfully, I had a third 50g ball of this yarn.

These are done just in time for the cold weather that has followed the record high temperatures from last week.



Friday, 12 October 2018

Turtle Quilt

Yesterday at the CreativFestival (more about that later) I saw a very cute quilt with turtles and sea life in many different batik fabrics. The pattern is Seawell by Laura Heine.

Cottage Treasures from Didsbury Alberta is selling it as a kit for a 58" x 43" quilt.

Of course, I had to have it and bought their last one. Whoopee!
I loved the fabrics in the kit

but also the additional quilt patterns for jellyfish,
seaweed, and bubbles.
The turtle batik fabric is so cute.
The baby turtles are very cute as well.
I didn't really need another project but I know I will enjoy the process of making this quilt. There is also a YouTube video on how this version of the quilt was made.

This was SUCH a hot item at the CreativFestival. I just checked their website and there don't seem to be others of this kit for sale. However, I'm sure if you emailed them, they'd be convinced to make up more kits for shipping out.

I also bought one ball of sock yarn from Mary Maxim.
The yarn is quite thin so there's really good yardage 400m (430 yd) on a 100g ball. I do like a thinner sock yarn as the socks don't stretch my shoes out so much. I look forward to trying this yarn out. $9.99 CAD + tax is a good price for this amount of sock yarn.

This fall's CreativFestival was a real disappointment. There was no advertising. I heard nothing about it on the radio or in the newspaper like I have other years. I didn't get a brochure in the mail as I had other years. Rather, we only got a schedule last week online (we'd been emailing them for it) and didn't get class descriptions until this past weekend. How were people supposed to plan without knowing what was offered. I felt really bad for the vendors, many of whom had gone to great expense and effort to set up booths and demonstrations. In past years, when I've attended, the hall was very busy, regardless of the day I had attended. It was VERY sparsely attended this year. About 1/3 of the hall and demonstrations were scrapbooking and another third, sewing or quilting fabrics and equipment. The rest was a smattering of beading, chainmaille, hand lotions, nail art, etc. I sure hope the vendors didn't have to pay a lot to participate because the administration of the festival really dropped the ball with disseminating information beforehand. And cash only at the door? What's with that?

The fall show also used to be held downtown at the Metro Convention Centre - much easier to reach by public transit than the International Centre out by the airport. It was also the bigger of the two shows held in Toronto (spring and fall). It's almost as if the administration is trying to kill the show and not have to run it in the future. It was very disappointing. AND there weren't any stitchery or hand embroidery booths. What the heck!

I wonder if the other shows are being as shabbily organized...





Hapsburg Lace

Barb and I ordered Hapsburg lace kits from Tanja Berlin.

Last night, I put masking tape on the sides of the fabric and stitched the top and bottom edges to the fabric tape on my scroll frame rods. The 18 count mono canvas shouldn't ever be folded so it's important to keep it flat or rolled.

Tanja's instructions are very easy to follow. I did read them all the way through so I could see how the finishing will ultimately done. I needed to know how and when the taped edges would be trimmed off and how much of the top and bottom will go through the bell pull hardware and how I ultimately will attach the fabric.

She clearly explained where to start the middle of the first snowflake. The masking tape on the left side can be seen.
I like the symmetry of each element. The large holes are made, not from pulling on the fabric as it's very stiff. Rather I am substituting a 2.5mm Knitter's Pride Karbonz knitting needle for the awl called for in the pattern.

I'm being careful not to run the perle cotton behind the canvas so it won't show through. I run the beginning tail underneath the stitching on the back.
A single snowflake could be done and made into a greeting card or tree ornament.

Tomorrow, Jen, Marilyn, and I are attending the Woodstock Fleece Festival - Woolstock. Then we're continuing on to London to check out the new location for Stitch-It Central which recently relocated there from Ingersoll. It will be a long day but should be very fun.

On Sunday afternoon, Diane and I are taking an appliqué felting class in Bethany. It will be fun to catch up with Diane whom I rarely see due to her busy work schedule.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Katwijker Socks 2.0

I haven't done a lot of knitting this year but I did throw a sock project into my luggage when I was packing for our BC holiday. The cuff had been cast on.

Today I finished the first sock.
It's the second time I've knit this pattern as I wore through the soles of the first pair I knit 6 years ago.
I used the 'eye of partridge'* heel (see * below) and decreased to 70 sts on the foot from the heel after a 72 stitch cuff and leg.
Just a caution, this pattern consumes a lot of yarn; in this case 200 yards and 52 grams of Kroy sock yarn on a 2.5mm needle for my size 9 foot. I normally only use less than 40g of sock yarn per sock.
It's really a 4 row pattern - very easy to internalize once it is established. The pattern calls for 72 sts. but you could add an extra stitch in the 'garter stitch' part to make the leg bigger to 78 sts or simply knit the leg on larger needles.

It's a great unisex pattern.

I will cast on the second sock as I have another car trip tomorrow.

* Eye of partridge heel
Row 1: Slip1stitch purlwise, *K1, Sl1 repeat from * to end of the row, turn
Row 2: Sl1, P to end of the row, turn
Row3: Sl2, *K1, Sl1, repeat from * to the end of the row, turn
Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Repeat these 4 rows until you have as many rows as stitches in the heel flap.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

A Trip to Tofino

On Monday, we took a little trip to Tofino with a visit to Ucluelet. Tofino is on the west coast of Vancouver Island about halfway up the coast. It's 318 km but takes over 4 hours as about half of it is on twisty-turny roads through mountains. The scenery is spectacular. We had fabulous, cloud-free, sunny weather.

First we went to Ucluelet to the Wild Pacific Trail.
This lighthouse has been here for over 100 years. The next land in this direction would be Japan.  As a result, tsunami is a very real threat and all over the island we see signs for tsunami evacuation routes and evacuation zones.
That night we stayed at the Tofino Resort and Marina. This was the view of the marina from our building. The room was very clean had nice, comfy bedding and modern decor. The only exciting part was the very steep driveway down to the building from the check in area up by the road. One would not want to be driving a standard transmission vehicle when wanting to get back up to the road.
The next morning we went downtown to walk around a bit.
Then we drove down to Long Beach. We saw a Stellar's Jay in the parking lot.
Long Beach is about 6km long, very wide, and has lots of driftwood/logs on it.
There were people surfing and several families frolicking on the beach.  The beach was pretty clean. There were a few of these 'bullwhip' seaweeds washed up on shore.
I took my usual beach photo.
This panoramic shot gives a really good sense of the vastness of this place.
We then drove to Port Alberni to spend the night. There is construction on a 2km piece of road about 20km outside of Ucluelet where the road is completely closed for a couple of 1 hour stretches during the day and quite a bit of the night. When it is open, only one lane is passable so there are significant lineups as well. We timed our routes through the area well. We had no trouble coming westbound and only had to wait in line for the single lane when we were going eastbound.

I found a place for us to stay on Airbnb. It's an old hotel that has had all the guest rooms recently refurbished. The room looked really cute and had all the amenities. Comfy king bed, fresh linens,
walk in shower,

high toilet and new vanity.

The exterior of the place is very 'vintage' with a couple of bars and restaurants on the main floor. But the room upstairs was very clean and quiet - even though we were on the main drag. Apparently on Friday and Saturday nights there is live music downstairs but we didn't have to deal with that on a Tuesday night. There were even two complementary pairs of earplugs for us if we needed them.

We had dinner at a nearby Greek restaurant, Orestes Greek Kouzina. Skip's roast lamb and my chicken souvlakia were excellent. The baklava I had for dessert was possibly the best I've ever had - clearly it had been freshly made. Because we walked to the restaurant, we even shared a 1/2 litre of really good Greek wine. It was an excellent dining experience in the unlikeliest of places.

We stopped in Duncan on our way back to Victoria yesterday. We went for lunch with Fred's cousin, Doug and his wife Carol, and got caught up on the latest family info.

We didn't do too much today. We went for lunch at a local Japanese restaurant and I watched the drama of the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings. It sure would have been nice if all of this had been dealt with back in July when Dr. Ford first submitted her allegations.  I cannot even imagine what it took for Dr. Ford to appear. And would there have been any appropriate way for Judge Kavanaugh to answer to the allegations?  What a dumpster fire.

Tomorrow we're going back up to Sidney to explore more book stores and have lunch.