Friday, February 29, 2008

A New Craft Blog is in the Neighborhood

My grrlfriend Elaine, better known as my partner in crime since we are both quite good at enabling each other in our craft endeavors, has started a blog. I know she would love for you to go and take a look, but first, I'd like to show you just a few pictures of things she has made for me over the years. Elaine loves doing many different kinds of crafts - sewing, knitting, beading are just a few - so you will get to see all sorts of fun projects on her blog. Here is a dress she made for my daughter.

Can you see the details of the smocking?

Elaine also made me this beautiful bag out of silk dupioni and it is also smocked at the top. It holds a mess of knitting notions.

She also does awesome bead work - an ankle bracelet on the left and a bracelet on the right.

I wish I could show you better how sparkly the beads are:

One thing you can guarantee about Elaine is that she is very particular about her work - she does a great job on everything and won't give away a handmade gift unless she is absolutely happy with every detail. She is a great inspiration and I know you will enjoy seeing what she has to show you so go over and take a look at Miss L's Craft Room.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

D is for ...

I had planned on taking some pictures for my D post when we were in NJ last week, but unfortunately I couldn't locate the two things I needed to take pictures of and my Dad wasn't sure where they were either. So instead I will have to download a picture from the Internet to share with you.

My D is for the Dala horse.

I was first introduced to these when my family spent a year in Denmark when I was about 5 years old. My father taught college chemistry and took a sabbatical year to teach outside of Copenhagen. I have been very lucky that my parents love to travel and we took some great trips when I was growing up.

I have always loved these horses - the colors are so bright and cheerful. I had cross stitched a Christmas ornament depicting a horse for my parents many years ago, but that was one of the items that we couldn't locate.

The horses do come in other colors, but I think I prefer the orange ones.

I recently found a pair of pajama pants in this print and bought it right away.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WIPs - one day early

OK, so I take the day off because we had scheduled some work on the house and now it seems like the person may not be coming. To say I'm upset is an understatement. Maybe if I share some pictures of my accomplishments of last week, it may relax me a bit.

Loksins finished on the left. And worn yesterday - great socks and great yarn! These are knit from Dream in Color Smooshy in Beach Fog. Monkeys started on the right in Socks that Rock Dragon Dance. I just love this pattern! And the colors are perfect for PSIII.

Now for some spinning:

I finally plied the Strawberry Fields as chained singles trying to somewhat keep the same colors together. I'm pretty pleased with the results - about 315 yards of a 3-ply. I also played around trying to get a heavier weight with some BFL (also from Amy).

And lastly I tried to get some sort of thick and thin bulky. Not quite as successful although it is rather bulky.

Well, I just got a phone call from the chimney guy - he MAY be able to come this afternoon. Which means I have to stay home JUST IN CASE. I think I need to sit and knit or sew - something to make this day productive. Happy crafting!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's on and off of the needles?

The Loksins socks are finally finished. Why do some things stay so long on the needles especially when I love the pattern and the yarn (Dream in Color Smooshy in Beach Fog) and the combination of both together? The socks look awesome and I am very excited to be able to finally wear them. Thank you to Cassie for a beautiful pattern.

Of course I cast on immediately for a new pair in a colorway appropriate for the Project Spectrum Fire theme. Pictures will be coming but I am jumping on the STR Monkey bandwagon complete with a picot edge after seeing Margene's newest pair of socks. I love my one pair of Monkeys and knew I would love making another pair. The picot edge is fun and I am now on the fourth repeat of the lace pattern - for some reason it just goes so quickly.

I also finally sat down in front of my spinning wheel and plied the Strawberry Fields singles that had been sitting on the bobbin since forever. This had been one of Amy's club offerings last summer and I tried to get my singles thin enough so that I could ply chained singles. I had seen this article via Margene's blog and find it very useful since it is not a process I do very often. The finished product is now sitting on my niddy noddy waiting until I get home so I can soak it and set the twist. I haven't figured out how much yardage I ended up with, but I am hoping for enough for some simple stockinette socks.

The next fiber that went on the wheel was also Amy's - some BFL in a blue semisolid. Those 4 ounces went quickly as I tried to spin that a little thicker. It's funny how I spent so much time perfecting my ability to spin a thin single and then find it so difficult to go back and spin something thicker. I'd love to try and spin that thick and thin stuff I spun when I was learning, but I'm not even sure how to begin.

In addition, two baby sweaters are blocked and drying on a rack in my bathtub. They just need the yarn ends woven in and buttons chosen and sewn. I love the Manos sweater now that it had been blocked. The pattern was the Rocketry pattern by Dream in Color, but instead of the Dream in Color yarn, I had three skeins of Manos and used that for a slightly larger striped cardigan.

I have been trying to be really good about shopping from the stash but have been tempted a few times. anne tempts me continuously especially when she teams up her patterns with some awesome looking yarn - just one of many examples here. But I tell myself that I have great yarn in my stash and can even try spinning my own for some of her smaller projects. And then Michelle goes and has a sale and I am tempted once again. I just need to remember all that is in my stash and that I need to be strong.

Happy crafting!

Friday, February 15, 2008

What to do for C

Once again, I thought of several different options for C and finally settled on cards.

I've been making handmade cards for quite a number of years - probably at least the past 12 years or so.

They mostly involve rubber stamping but there are plenty of other elements you can add to your handmade cards - ribbons, paint, tags, leaves, metal buckles.

You can swap cards among friends where each month you make cards for the other people in the group and then you get a card from each of them (although I'm late with making my card this month, right Elaine!!). We even go to conventions where you can see all sorts of creative things.

Hope you enjoy my C post. Now I better get busy and make my cards for my February swap!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Sneak Peek

I've loved the Monkey fabrics ever since I first saw them but I wasn't really doing much sewing so I could not justify the purchase. Well, that has changed and I have pulled out the sewing machine. And, as you can see in the picture, I have bought some of the Monkey fabric. I have enough for two quilt tops and the first one I am working on is from this pattern. Happy crafting!

Friday, February 08, 2008

WIP Wed ... oops ... Friday

It's been one of those weeks that is so busy, I can't even keep the days straight. Thank goodness for day planners so I can see what I have to get done each day. Last weekend was spent doing table sales selling these, then I had to make a king cake for my husband's Mardi Gras party at work. This is the recipe I used and it came out really well. It was my first time making this and it wasn't hard at all.
There has even been some crafting going on. I sent off this baby gift to my daughter's teacher. The bibs I showed last time along with a scalloped baby blanket also from Bend the Rules Sewing.
She ended up having a boy so I will finish up the blue striped sweater I showed in my B post and that will also go off to her. It looks pretty much the same as last time except I am working on the second sleeve.
Other sewing projects have included this bag - it just needs some topstitching to finish it off. The pattern is Amy Butler's Frenchy Bag.

I totally crashed and burned on the spinning goals for January - you can see my poor neglected wheel in the above picture. I know that I need to do better - especially since my stash of fiber is getting larger instead of smaller. I also signed up for the new Project Spectrum - February and March focus on the element of Fire and since I can't bring myself to start a new knitting project right now (too many things on the needles), I pulled out my Wing of the Moth shawl. I love the pattern but I knit so slowly with the Kid Silk Haze. I think it is because I have this fear that if I make a mistake, it will be close to impossible to fix given the nature of this fiber. As I was thinking about this, the answer hit me. I need to put in a life line so that I will have something to fall back to if indeed I do make an unfixable error.

Hope you have a great weekend!