Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Block Party Home Pincushion

I finished the 'Home' pincushion last night.
The light interfacing that I put on the backs of all the pieces really kept them even and firm.

Thanks to the wool appliqué workshop I attended on Sunday I confidently attached the plaid wool square with an evenly-spaced blanket stitch.
There's a different blue house on each side.
I couldn't just leave the bottom blank.

 The red houses are on the corners.

I chose not to invest $25US in the HOME pins. At some point I may make some with FIMO.

One modification I did was to use a thread that matched the fabric for the backstitching and whip stitching joining the pieces. I wanted it to blend in more with the fabric.
I have another chart in this series: the WOOL Block Party pincushion.

I covet a couple of others in this series.  This one:

this one:

and this one:

I really like the colours used in the Hands On Design patterns. Check the list of stockists and see if there's one near you where you can order the patterns. Click on 'State' to order them in alpha order and scroll for your province or state.

My HOME pincushion will definitely be featured at the guild's 'show and share' tonight.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Quick and Easy Dyeing

I wound off 20 hanks of yarn in preparation for the dyeing. I used Kroy Socks 4-ply in the Muslin colourway.

The first batch was Lemonade. I was so excited, I didn't get a shot of it with its packet. I did use 2 packets of KoolAid in hopes it would be a stronger colour. I nuked it for 2 minutes, rested for 2 minutes, and nuked it again for 2 more minutes.
Then I tried orange.
Although the water is milky, all the dye was taken up by the yarn.
The pink yarn is acrylic which I tied onto the hanks to make it easier to pull the yarn out.  The white/light spots are where I had tied the hank with its yarn. It will show when knit but should blend somewhat nicely with the tonal yarn.
This was Ice Blue Raspberry flavour. I only had to nuke it for 2 minutes.
Lemon-Lime. The yarn really turns out the colour on the packet. Everything is food grade so regular kitchen utensils and bowls can be used. Cleanup was really easy.
I dried them overnight and wound them into balls today.
All ready to knit.

This would be a great way to dye yarn for a baby sweater or dyeing wool felt for an applique project. It would be fun to do with your children or grandchildren and then knit them something they want with the yarn. The dye is permanently set with the heat and the citric acid in the KoolAid so no fading over time.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Kool Aid Dyeing Preparation

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...