25 November 2012

Sign Me Up!

I’m having an inspiration problem.  In the last month I’ve taken classes in spindle spinning and hand appliqué. I’ve bought almost-embarrassing amounts of fabric and yarn. I’ve been hankering to make little embroidered things. Then there’s reading and cooking and other DIY stuff. There’s just too much I want to do and not enough time or energy!

(By the way, have you noticed the “30 Days of Pinsperation” at Pinterest? Every time I see it my mind reads it as Perspiration.)

I try to remind myself to be happy that there is just so much greatness to choose from, but truthfully I feel a wee bit stressed that I’ll never finish anything, so this weekend I decided to just do one small thing from start to finish. I ended up with these embroidered trees in 3” hoops. Cute, huh?!

19 November 2012

Metro Bag

I got this pattern forever ago from Grand Revival Design. It's the Metro Bag, and she's got a nifty thing going where you can get the pattern for free if you share her book on Facebook or Twitter. I made two (so far).

The first one (below) was my "test" version where I just wanted to see if I could follow a pattern. I used fabric from Cosmo Cricket's line Salt Air. My second one (above) was made with Jay McCarroll's Center City fabric. I added a snap and fun button to the bag (detailed photo at the end of the post), and it is just perfect! This is a great size bag and easy pattern to follow and quick to make.

29 October 2012

SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair)

Here are some of my favorite photos from my recent weekend getaway to SAFF just outside of Asheville, NC. Sorry if the photo-heavy post takes a moment to load. I promise the animal pictures at the end are worth it!

Beautiful sunrise to start the day!

Indeed, this is NOT the tractor show!

This is what the main arena of vendors looks like. There is a level above (where I am standing when I took the picture) of vendors. Pure heaven for anyone who likes yarn or fiber!

There is a second "outdoor" sales area too!

This is the official SAFF fleece sale. It's divided up by animal fleece, and each fleece has been judged and has notes on it about what is good/not so good about it. After I learn to spin better this will be my first stop!

I loved this fleece!

And I loved this apricot colored alpaca fleece. So soft!

These are the top fleeces!

There are also lots of animals at SAFF. 

This guy was in Time Out!!

Here was our first day's haul. I think I'll have to elaborate in another post!

02 September 2012

Blooming Air Plant!

A couple of weeks ago I happened across a nursery in Tamarac, FL called Tropic Plants. I LOVE this place! I bought this air plant (a type of bromeliad, but I'm not exactly sure what kind). It was so unusual (to me!) and it had the added bonus that I thought it would be hard for me to kill it. Fast forward to today and we've got a beautiful blooming air plant. I want to give one to all my friends!

01 September 2012

Modern Simple Christmas Quilt

I love my new Christmas quilt! It's bright and cheery and I'm pleased as punch to not only have it completed, but completed in time to enjoy it this holiday season!

I used a charm square pack from Kate Spain's Flurry line (bought in 2011) and added a couple of yards from the same line for the backing and binding. The finished size is 56 inches square.

19 August 2012

Bon Festival 2012

Oh boy, it's been too long since I posted! I don't have anything planned to update at the moment...but here are a few pictures of the floating lanterns from the Bon Festival at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens last night. What a beautiful tradition!

10 July 2012

Baa to Blanket, Part 3

Finished - a Hemlock Ring!

What a fantastic pattern! You can find it here. Once you get going, it doesn't require too much attention so it's a great project to bring to your knit group or work on while watching TV or listening to podcasts (or whatever else you can do while you knit!).

I did a total of 16 repeats of the feather and fan portion of the blanket. The pattern calls for 11 repeats for a standard size throw and 3 more repeats for a larger throw. I had lots of yarn to work with so I went an additional 2 repeats beyond the larger size of the pattern.

The knitted bind off has you turning the blanket back and forth every 4 stitches or so, which is fine except my blanket was really big at that point and I don't necessarily like working on those types of edgings! I was also ending up with a large hole in between each loop that I didn't like too much. So I searched on Ravelry for different bind offs that folks have used, and ended up knitting the bind off over 3 rows. (I have a link to the person's bind off I followed on my Ravelry project page but I didn't want to re-print it here in case it looked like I was stealing it or something!) It basically gives the same finished edge but is worked differently.

The Hemlock Ring is another fantastic example of the power of blocking! Below are some photos of it pre-blocked and during blocking. I blocked this rather aggressively (it is 68+" across in the photo) and then left it pinned for several days, and to be honest, after I unpinned it I was feeling like I blocked it too hard. I actually rolled it up in a ball and put it out of sight for a week or so while I debated re-blocking it, but when I picked it up again it had relaxed a bit and the blocking wasn't so severe...and I think it's perfect now! (It shrunk back to about 64 inches.)

You can check out the progress of my blanket here and here.