Friday, December 10, 2010

Free Pattern Friday - Felted Bell Cloche

This is a first attempt to write up a knitting pattern.

200 yards worsted weight feltable wool
this hat is done in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
size 8 16 in circular needle and a longer one for magic loop or a set of DPNs.
ribbon of coordinating color
optional st markers.  I use them a lot cause it is easier than making a mistake and having to rip back and redo part of it 

CO 160 stitches
join and work in the round.  place marker at join
round 1 k entire round
round 2 p entire round
round 3 k entire round place stitch marker every 16 st
round 4 *k2tog k14*repeat rest of round
round 5-7 k entire round
round 8 *k7 k2tog k6* repeat rest of round
round 9-11 k entire round
round 12 *k2tog k12* repeat rest of round
round 13-15 k entire round
round 16 *k6 k2tog k5* repeat rest of round (120 st)
round 17 k entire round remove st markers
round 18 k entire round
round 19 k entire round  place markers every 20 st
round 20 *k2tog, double yarn over, ssk, k2tog double yarn over ssk k12 * repeat from beginning
round 21 *k2 p1 k3 p1 k13* repeat rest of round
round 22-47 k entire round, round 22 drop st markers,
round 48 k entire round, place st marker every 15 st.  alternate red and blue markers (or what ever color you have)
round 49 (red round decrease one after each red marker) *k15 k2tog k13* repeat rest of round
round 50 (blue round decrease one after each blue marker) *k2tog k13 k14* repeat rest of round
round 51 k entire round
repeat rounds 49-51 until there are 11 st between st markers.
repeat rounds 49 and 50 until there are 7 st between st markers
next round *k2tog k5 * repeat rest of round
continue to decrease until 8 st remain.  break yarn and bind of.

The hat will look funky but after felting it will be awesome.

I machine felted mine in the wash machine.  I felted it for a full cycle to get a nicely dense felt.  check it every 5 minutes during the cycle to see if it fits and if it is felted to your desire.  mine came out of the wash machine pretty much shaped exactly as I wanted it too.  I blocked it by wearing it for the day.  The hat felt dry at that point and was shaped to my head.  The holes knit in, in round 20 will mostly disappear but you can still feel them.  and then you can run a pencil through them to open them up to run the ribbon through.  If you don't wish to add a ribbon the replace rows 20 and 21 k entire round.

I have gotten so many complements on this hat.  It came out fantastic.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Top done

Well sorta done.  I am done piecing the large fish quilt.  I need to do the sashing and the border still but wanted to make sure the top was going to come out the same size that I calculated before I cut it out.  sorry about the poor quality of the pictures the top is large enough that the flash in my camera won't cover the entire top.  those of you who actually get real winter weather would laugh but it is was 37 outside and dark out side so I didn't brave it to take the quilt top out to the grass to photograph.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All the Pretty Colors

Before we get to the good stuff, here are some lovely pictures of my daughter in the dress I knit for her.

She learned very early to look away or close your eyes when some one points a camera at her.  But look at that smile

I love going to the quilt shop and the yarn shop for all the pretty colors and all of the pretty textures. I have mentioned in the past that I like to play with dyeing fabric.  I have been playing with dyeing yarn over the past couple weeks.  I have been playing with a couple techniques.  I have been using Jacquard Acid dyes on the wool.  I have been doing immersion dyeing and hand painting.

Immersion Dyeing 
Dye Bath: 
1tps dye powder per 100g fiber
3Tbs white vinegar per 100g fiber
enough water for the yarn to move freely
I cook it on the stove for 30 minutes or until the solution is clear. the dyes I use are really nice cause they exhaust and you know when it is done cause the dye bath turns clear.  This works well for how whole skeins and when you only want to dye half of the skein.  you just have to support the part you don't want dyed out of the water

These skeins were dyed using  a full immersion on the red and then a half immersion on the black

These skeins were dyed in a green dye bath that was made of 3/4 yellow dye and 1/4 blue dye.  they took of the die differently through out the skein due to differences in the the wool.  some of it wanted to take more of the blue dye others took more of the yellow.  Mixing colors of dye gives a more variegation color than if I had used a true green dye.

The red black yarn all balled up an ready to knit

Hand Painting Technique 1:
Dye solution in an 8oz condiment bottle
1/4-1tsp dye powder
1/2-3tbs white vinegar
topped off with water.
I take a garbage bag lay my item on it paint my colors on it, well more like squeeze my colors and work the colors in with my fingers. Then I use the garbage bag to wrap the item up in. wrap that in saran wrap. I have a 16 quart stock pot that has a pasta strainer thingy that litfs out. I put water in the pot up to to the bottom of the strainer and put my pieces in the strainer, put the lid on and steam it for a while. it usually takes about 30 minutes at temperature for the dyes to set. I usually let them steam for about 45 minutes which gives about 15 minutes at the beginning to let every thing come to temperature.  The amount of dye in the bottle will change the intensity of the color you get on the yarn.  The amount of vinegar will change how the color runs.  if you want the color to run and mix and play, then only a tiny amount of vinegar is need.  if you want the color to stay in one place and not move then you want more of vinegar

Hand Painting Technique 2:
8 oz squeeze bottle filled with 3tbs vinegar and 8oz water.
dye powder
so you have the item to be dyed laying on the garbage bag as before.  with a plastic knife you sprinkle  tiny amounts of dye over the wet yarn.  when you are done  sprinkling the colors. you squeeze the water on the yarn and work the dye in with your fingers.  can give stunning results and gets a highly variegated yarn.  when you are done with that you wrap it up and steam it like before.

These are some examples of the hand painted yarns


and some times they come out looking hideous so that is when an over dye is nice

 and then it looks like this.  Much better.  alot of the color play in the yarn didn't come out on the camera

Indigo My friend, My foe, the Bane of my existence. 
Indigo is a is a fickle friend.  I have tried it in the past and never got it to work right.  I tried it the old fashioned way of trying to ferment a vat of indigo and could never get it to ferment correctly.  Could be I was trying to do it in the middle of winter and even with it in the work shop at my moms it just wasn't warm enough for the yeasts to ferment. 

this time I went with the pre-reduced indigo and the reducing solution and got my indigo to reduce and turn its yellow green that is supposed to.  and I get these:

The ball is a wool yarn and the very tangled skein is a cotton modal fiber blend.

this lovely pale deminy color is on a cotton/acrylic blend.  so part of the paleness is the acrylic not taking the dye and partly cause it was the last yarn to go in the dye bath and I had used up a lot of the indigo on the previous couple skeins and the 5 yards of silk I threw in there.  I left the silk all crinkled up and it has the most amazing crinkly white and blue texture to it. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stuff and Stuff

I havn't blogged in a while and lots of stuff has happened.

two weeks ago was the Northern New Mexico Quilt show.  I saw the machine of my dreams the Horizon 7700.  now need to come up with the money to acquire it.  it is a very lovely machine.  The quilt show would have been better if my daughter was in a better mood for the show.  we got there right as she wanted to eat and then nap so there was lots of screaming and the dramatic throwing her self on the floor, and the trying to touch the quilts with her ever sticky fingers and having to play with everything in the vendor booths.  yeah.  I wish I could have had more time to look at the quilts.  I did find two that were good inspiration.  though I think I only got a picture of one.   the baby was being a pain so I kinda threw the camera at my mom and said photograph that please.  so I am not even sure I got a good picture of it.

we left the quilt show and fed the baby.  she promptly fell asleep in the car.  and slept the 2 hours more we were in the car as we drove to taos.  it was a lovely lovely day in northern new mexico.  the trees were starting to turn up in the mountains so there was valleys of red and gold streaking the mountains we drove past.  The leaves hadn't turned near where we were.  Bebekins woke up as we got into Taos.  the lovely gps took us the stupid baby route to get to the wool festival but we made it there in the end.  

The first thing we looked at when we go to the festival was the animals.  the baby enjoyed being able to pet all of the animals.  they didn't have any of the rabbits in the animal area.  They were all at vendors booths for sale, so we found those later.  So much yarn so many pretty colors.  and some of it came home with me. bebekins was totally fascinated by watching people spin yarn.  Just totally fascinated.  we might have a spinner in her.   we found a booth that had angora bunnies and the baby fell in love with them.  just totally in love.  we let her pet them for 10 minutes or so.  and we tried to move on.  we get a couple booths further down and she slips our grasp and makes a break for it back to the bunnies.  she ran right past the bunnies and keeps running through the festival groups yelling bunny bunny bunny.  so we go back to the bunnies and while she is there petting the bunnies I ended up giving in and purchasing a skein of 100% cashmere lace yarn.  it is all green and gold and brown and soft and luminescent.    I think I am going to knit either the frozen leaves shawl or the brandywine shawl with it off of ravelry.  I only got one skein of it cause it was pricey but between the colors and the softness it came home with me.  I think the bebe would have rather me bring home one of the bunnies.  The other big purchase we made was of a skein of wool silk blend to jumper dress for the bebe.  it is a lovely blue purple green variegated yarn by Brooks Farm Yarn.  It is knitting up beautifully.  I am using the Swinging Summer Shell by the Knitting Fairy.  I decided to knit it in the round and also modify the pattern to make it jumper dress length for the baby.  The baby got a hold of the skein and shook it enough to totally tangle it.  it took me 2 days to untangle the 400 yards.   I cast it on last Friday and am out 10 inches into the sweater.  this yarn knits up beautifully.  it has lovely drape and is all shiny.

The Same weekend I started out cutting out the large fish quilt.  it takes soooooooooooooooooooo long to cut out that much fabric even when you are using fairly large pieces.  it took three solid evenings of cutting to cut the main body of the quilt out.  I haven't even touched cutting out the the borders yet.  I took a slight hiatus from that to make a new purse.  found a pattern I liked had the fabric.  followed the instructions and it called for lining all of the outside panels with peltex.  finished the purse and and totally totally hate it.  I mean totally hate it.  don't get me wrong the purse is super cute but so insanely stiff that I don't like it.  so I started it again and instead of using peltex used a really drapey batting and free motion quilted the outer panels so it will have the same weight as using the peltex but not the stiffness.  I am much happier with the results but haven't finished the purse yet. 

In midst of making the purse I had to go get more green top-stitching thread.  and when I was at the store I found the remaining bold of the fish fabric in black that I thought they were out of a couple weeks ago.  I bought the rest of the bolt.  It was a happy day.    happy happy day.  I think I now have enough of the black to do both fish quilt borders.  and that is what I needed to get me to work on the large fish quilt.  I started sewing last night and I broke the quilt into 16 sections.  I started sewing the first round of seams and only got through 10 of 16 sections.  still have to press all of those seams.  going to take forever...  and I have to take another hiatus from the fish quilt as I need to make my husband a ninja costume for a costume contest he wants to be in.  and I have till oh about next wednesday to finish it.  tonight we are going shopping for the fabric we need.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

borders, borders and more borders

 I decided to make both versions of the fish quilt. I love the fabric that much.  I started the small version first.  I finished peicing it this morning.   sorry about the lens flare on the first picture too windy in the sun less so in the shade. but you can see the bright sun over the edge of the wall.

Right before the wind ripped it off the wall.  after the third time it happened I gave up and moved to the grass.

So here is where I am at now.   the pattern directions call for a 6 in border around the quilt.  I have made this pattern twice before and the border is nice but kinda plain and kinda over powering.  I am going to use the trout on a black fabric for the border.  but then I was thinking I could do a 2in inner border of the blue waves. and either 4in  or 6 in outer border in the black trout.   

Again it was windy so my quilt was having a hard time staying in one place.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

In a couple posts ago I mentioned the double up of green fish fabric and no red/orange fish fabric.  I set time aside to go to Santa Fe to get some of the orange/red fabric.  I knew they had gotten a new bolt of it and the green in.  It wasn't hard to talk my mom in to going to Santa Fe as well.  She does fused glass art among other things.  In Santa Fe they have a Bulleye glass resource center, and they were having a big sale over the weekend.  

Bebekins does really well in the car and travels remarkably well for some one who is 2.  Sunday was not one of those days.  After an hour in the car she was done.  We first stop at Santa Fe Quilting, and she just wants to run and not be cooped up.  She wasn't too badly behaved, till we went back to the car.  She didn't want to be put back in her car seat.  I ended up taking her to the park and sent grandma over to the glass store.   They just finished redoing the area around the train station in Santa Fe and put in this incredible park next to it.  The park has a water play area, a fantastic slide and rock climbing area and a rope jungle gym.  All of which had to be explored by bebekins.  Being a little baby dousing rod, we first went to the water play area.  It was a beautiful early fall day in northern New Mexico.  Still too hot for comfort (about 95), but a nice breeze and intensely clear blue skies.  The perfect day to play in the water.

Big Version or Small version

I love the perfect 10 pattern by swirly girls design.  it is a fantastic pattern for large print fabrics.  but the problem with it is that it is a throw size, a very large throw size.  so when it came to making the fishy quilt I have in mind I pulled the pattern out and began to draft up my quilt.  so here is the throw size with the fabric laid out sans the borders.  finished it will finish out about 60x72 inches, and I was pretty close on the pattern the past two times I used it.

Here it is in a more useable size.  I doubled the pattern width wise and added a fourth row of elements to the bottom.  It should finish in the range of 92x112 to 100x120 depending on how I do the borders.  smaller if I do a single border and larger if I do a double border.  either way big enough to fit my king size bed.

So which size should I make and would my husband totally revolt to sleeping under a giant fishy blanket.  or do I say yes and make both and have a matching throw to match out bed blanket?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quilty Inspiration

Two posts in two days.  the world might end or something.  but I found this and just had to share

I ran across this blog today BibliOdyssey. I think it is my new favorite blog,  Sorry Dr. Isis of On becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess.  BibliOdyssey has so many great scans of old books.  I am looking through them and think of that would make an awesome quilt ooh that would make a great freemotion filler design,  OOo shiny.  I could look at these pictures all day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

bad weekend for crafty goodness.

So the last post had pictures of the lovely trout fabric I absolutely love.  I have been looking at different patterns and planning on a quilt to use the fish.  I went back to an old favorite in terms of patterns and am going to use perfect ten by swirly girl designs.  so I went about getting the rest of the fabric I need.

Disaster 1)  I order some of the green fish and the red fish on line.  and cause I ordered them from two different places and through not paying attention I ended up ordering 5 yards of green  not 2.5 yards of green and 2.5 red.

Disaster 2)  I went to the store in town that had the fish in black cause I wanted extra to fussy cut the border.  they have sold out of the black.  evidently it is a very popular fabric cause when I go back to get more from local stores they have sold out.  this isn't the first time with this fabric that this has happened.

Disaster 3)  so I am making a striped cardigan for the bebekins.  I am reading the pattern it says at 6 inches divide the stitches to make the front and back.  I though that is awfully short  but ok.  I went ahead and made it 7.5 inches. and then I keep knitting I knit the first panel of the front and I hold it up to my daughter.  the cardigan is plenty big enough to go around her   but it is just way way to short.  my daughter is 2 years 4 months and verging on giant.   so I am trying to figure out in what world this length of this cardigan is 4t. I ended up ripping out what I did down to the arm holes and adding another color repeat and then going to reshape the arm holes.  this will make the arm holes 10 inches from the bottom.   seriously if I am going to make something for the bebekins I want it to fit her for more than 5 minutes.  she does have two younger cousins that it can be passed down to but still  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pretty Pictures of Finished Projects Part 2

So yesterday I lied when I said I would finish the post. I got back from lunch and the internets be done broke as our isp told us. they were having problems with thier server and it affected our ability to maintain a connection, for oh more than 30 seconds.

This Story begins on a day in April one I blogged about already. The day we took a couple quilts to the long arm quilter in Santa Fe. After we dropped off the quilts we went to the quilt store up in santa fe. While we were there the bebekins picked out this fish fabric. Feeling like I should spend alot of money and not being totally inlove with the fabric at the time I bought a fat quarter of the orange and the green color way. About a month later I get the tools to learn to crochet. and I decided rather than buying a case to hold my hooks and stuff i can make one just as easily and out of fabric I like. I decided I also need a small tote bag to carry projects in. So I pull the lovely fabric out of the stash and make a 12 inch tote bag and a crochet clutch using this pattern . To make this all fit out of two fat quarters I narrowed the width on the crochet clutch and used pretty much every last scrap of fabric I had to make the pair. the tote bag is lined with white cotton quilting fabric and includes a 7 inch pocket. Everything needs pockets.

So I carried the clutch and the tote bag around for a while and the more I carried it the more I fell inlove with the fabric. in July my aunt and uncle came out for a visit and as part of that we went up to Santa Fe. As part of the trip to santa fe I ask if we can stop at the quilting store. I ask for more of the orange and green fabric. It flew off the shelf and they were sold out. The clerk offers me some in a white background. I kick my self for not getting more of the green and orange originally. I hand it too him and ask for a yard and as he is measuring it out I change it to a yard and a half, no wait two, no wait two and a half yards. I decided it was a fabric I really couldn't live with out. I rpobally would have bought more if there wasn't another lady in the store wanting as much of it as I did.

I found some of it in Mahognay background when I was re-ordering the fabric for the bebekins pre-school project. I had been wanting to make some more project bags and a larger tote to hold my knitting and crochet projects in. but the White and Mahongany color combination wasn't motivating me to get it done.
A week and a half ago was the shop hop of the local quilty stores. Grandma, Bebekins and I went to all of the stores. At the last store . I had determined that I wasn't going to spend more money, cause I had already blown the budge I had set for the day. Damn it, we found the fishies in a black. Two and a half yards came home with me. It is so lovley.

So last week I came across this bag kit at Knitpicks. I though about the kit, thinking it would be what I was looking for for small project bags, but I don't like the fabric. Then I thought about getting it for the patterns and then realized I could from the pictures pretty much design my own bags and in fabric I really like. so I did.
I took half a yard of the white, half a yard of the black fish, white quilting fabric, and about a mile of interfacing and made the follwoign bags. First is a Fat Quarter Tote. Each side is a fat quarter. It is a very large tote. It is spacious and room to carry a large quilty project like putting binding on a quilt or several smaller projects. There are pockets on the inside a 6in pocket and a 8in pocket. I almost made a zippered pocket as well but I didn't have and regular zippers all I have are purse zippers. and I also discovered when I was assembeling this bag that I only had a yard of feather weight fusible inter facing. where did it all go. I bought 15 yards of it. did I really use it. I think I have really gone through 15 yards of feather weight fusible interfacing. I ended up using craft fuse on both the outside and the lining on this bag and while a bit stiff the double layer of heavy interfacing gives this bag a good shape. and stiffness for a bag of its size.

From the remainder of the fabric I made these three lovely bags. They are white on one side black on the other just like the totes. all three are lined with white fabric. and each has a 6inch pocket on the inside. the smaller bags are 9x12 with a 1.25 inch milk carton fold on the bottom. They are the perfect size for a skein of yarn and a small project like a pair of socks.

The larger bag is 9x18 inches and can be worn as a back pack or over. it also has a white lining and pockets.  Can you Tell I like pockets. I can't tell you how annoying it is to have a pair of pants that don't have pockets.

The larger bag is 9x18 inches and can be worn as a back pack or over. it also has a white lining and pockets.  Can you Tell I like pockets. I can't tell you how annoying it is to have a pair of pants that don't have pockets

Last but not least is done but not done. the first sock is done but the second sock is not. The second sock is on stripe 8 of 11 before I turn the heal. These socs are done toe up and just plain stockenette cause the stripes are too much for a pattern. I did 1x1 ribbing for the cuff. The bind off on the first sock is terrible. I did it once and then had to rip it out cause it was too tight for my fat ankles. so i did a sewn bind off that works moderatly well.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pretty Pictures of Finished Projects

So here is attempt #2 at writing this post I wrote a really nice post and accidentally deleted it and the auto save feature saved the deleted version before I could undelete. 

So back in July remember how I mentioned my purse was stolen and I was going to make a new one.  I surfed around the web and looked at patterns, thought about stuff in my stash I would use to make it.  Then I came across a podcast on felting knitted items.  so I got some wool and decided I needed to try felting.  I took to it with great gusto and knit up version 1.0 of  my new purse.  at the time I thought it would be the one.  well I got it felted and I wasn't exactly happy with the construction..

Version 1.0 I like the bag but decided I could always make a 2.0 version of the bag.  

This is a small clutch that I did between the two bags to test some different construction techniques before I started version 2.1  

I finished knitting version 2.1 and was much with it than with version 1.0. so here it is
Version 2.1

complete with a zippered pocket

and a regular pocket, cause you can never have too many pockets

my wallet was in my purse when it was stolen so that was something else I needed to make.  I searched around and for a pattern for a 27 pocket wallet.  I went through my stash and found some fat quarters I liked.  I made the center card holder and decided I didn't like the colors.  so I remade that part.  I got to the point where I didn't like the stability of the outside piece the way it was described in the pattern, it was supper floppy.  so I ended up replacing the two layers of canvas with 4 layers of craft fuse and a layer of canvas and it is much stiffer and I am much happier with it.  I ended up going back and redoing parts of this project.  I wanted it perfect and while there might be a few things here and there I would change, I like it enough that I am not going to go back and fix it.

I love this salmon batik

So many card slots

and more card slots

The more you install zippers the easier they get to do and the better the results.

I am going to stop here so I don't totally destroy this post again.  I will Start Part 2 after Lunch.  more pretty pictures to come.