Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mendocino Blues and Greens

I'm still chipping away at my split nine patch blocks. I created a layout in EQ, so I now know I need 256 blocks for a queen-size. Eek! I decided to call it Mendocino Blues and Greens. Some times I struggle to name a quilt, other times it just comes.

November 2016
 Sometimes I like a project better when I'm just tinkering at it, rather than making blocks toward a total. At this point I have close to a hundred and seventy five. I keep 45+ on the design wall at a time so I can balance the colors and fabric placement. Some days it feels a little tedious. What to do? Start another project to mix it up a little! Wait a minute, didn't I start this one to break up the tedium of the Fruit Salad quilt?? The thing I've discovered about blogging, I start to notice my own habits.

I needed a new leader and ender project anyway so I decided to make four patches from my over-flowing 2" cut square box.

I don't have any ideas for them yet, but they're so satisfying, it helps me feel like I'm making headway on the BIG project.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

More Wool Dyeing

After the relative success of dyeing the cardigan, I was given three hanks of natural bulky wool. I decided to try dyeing them too.

The color came out a little uneven on them as well, but in yarn, that's okay because it looks hand painted and will knit up nicely.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Zippered Cardigan for My Hub

I've been knitting seriously for maybe seven years. I've offered to knit my husband scarves and house slippers, but he's always said, "Thanks but that's okay." So I was completely elated when he agreed to my making him a sweater. Wow! Really?

I got a couple of skeins of wool that I thought he'd like out of my collection, lamb's wool and a merino; and asked him to 'wear' them against his wrist for awhile to see how they felt. Even the lamb's wool was too itchy, so merino it is.

It's called Atwood from Knitpicks. I'm going to install a zipper so it'll be more like his favorite polar fleece jacket than a cardigan. Here's my progress on the back.

The pattern stitch is called rick-rack. It's a 2 x 2 pattern that's soft and stretch, as is the merino. But it requires working the second stitch first and the first stitch second and a lot of digging to get the stitch on the needle as a result. I just keep at it. The goal is worth the effort.

ETA: I was making good progress until I developed repetitive motion pain in my index finger from this project. I'm taking a long break and doing physical therapy daily for my finger. What's done for fun in life shouldn't be painful.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Scrappy Bargello

It's been a long, wet winter and I've been suffering from cabin fever. The fact that we had four days of clear, warm weather in February didn't help. It was like a spring teaser. I wanted something to brighten my mood. So I started another quilt.

Many of these prints are from the Four Patch and Friends quilt I tried to make some time ago. I still love the rose and green combination, so I pulled more fabrics for the bargello. With this method you make strip sets.

Then you bring the last strip around to the first and sew it into a tube. After you've cut it into strips, you pick out one seam from each, off setting the color so after it's pieced, the color moves diagonally. See Bonnie Hunter's site for a better description.

Two panels.

Three panels.

Four panels.

Bordered and layered for quilting.

It was quick and fun. I'm usually pretty 'matchy-matchy', so letting the colors of the bargello be random was both a challenge and a lark.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Another Hand towel Finished

I enjoyed learning Portuguese knitting while finishing this towel. I kept putting it down while I charged into other projects, so the fun of learning a new skill breathed life back into it. Anything to get it done!

I made it longer than the first one and like it better as a result. But this one is ramie/cotton, instead of linen/cotton. Maybe that's why it stretches sooo much when hanging on the towel bar. But it's soft and absorbent and nice to use, so I don't mind its wonky-ness.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Home Fiber Dyeing

I often find quality wool sweaters at thrift stores for reclaiming. Some of them are my size and work well as they are. This one by Eddie Bauer is soft and squishy lamb's wool but the color is too blah.

I've heard you can garment-dye wool, so I decided to give it a try. I went into it as an experiment, if it didn't turn out, it wouldn't be a great loss. I researched dye removers and learned which one worked best on wool. I had bought a bottle of Rit dye, but then found out from fiber friends that it washes out over time. So I got acid dye instead.

I used my enamel canning kettle and cooked it on the stove. There were a lot of warnings about fumes and the need to wear a mask, but I didn't find the smell to be that strong.

The forest green came out lovely, a little uneven, but it gives it a funky look that I like.

It must be sewn together with nylon thread, because the buttonholes and the seams didn't take the dye. I colored those with a green sharpie. I also changed the buttons to match the new color. I love it! I wear it all the time.