Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shaving Day
As promised I am doing a follow up to show you the before and after picture of Frick and Frack. Like both males and females, a good shave always improves the way they look. Felted objects are not exception to the rule.

Here is Frick's before shot. Frick is a very hairy bowl!
...and now the newly shaved Frick. Check out how much hair came off of Frick

Here is Frack before. Not quite as hair as Frick.

Now a newly shaved Frack. Much better!

I am by no means a felting expert but I feel like I am getting better at understanding what I like in my felted projects. I think when the yarn diet is over later this year, I will buy some more colorful yarn and felt with brighter colors and invest in a book that talks about techniques that I might be missing. Felting is scary the first time but after you've done 5 or 6 projects, you get more confident in what the expected results might be. So, that's Frick and Frack at their best! So try some felting today. You will totally be delighted with yourself.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Frick and Frack
I got an idea the other day and since I am still on the stash down diet, I went right to the stash. This time I went to a drawer in my collection that I don't usually take things out of. It's my hand spun drawer. I am really good at putting finished skeins in there but not knitting anything with them. I know whatever I knit with my hand spun wool, can't be washed in the washing machine or dried in the dryer, so I never use it because most people don't want to hand wash anything these days. I did make one scarf and I made this last fall. Since that went so well I decided I needed to try it again. So I did...

I used the Felted Bowls pattern from One Skein by Leigh Redford. Her bowls that were featured in the book look WAY smaller than mine but yarn and needle size have a way of doing that. I used two strands of both colors to give the bowl a more bulky thickness. I wanted the bowl to be more sturdy. Size 15 Addi Turbos and US15 dpns were the needles that I used in both projects.

After I finished the first bowl I decided to try a different look and ended up with two completely different looks. Just for grins and giggles I tried them on and they make great saggy hats. I might have to try this again and actually make a hat next time I get a whim. So there are two knitted potential bowls. Don't they look like hats??

This bowl was supposed to be a stripped look. I didn't read the directions for the decrease rows and ended up not making a bowl exactly. At first I tried to use the back of a bowl but the bottom was too narrow. So I noticed the jar we store the dog treats in and tried to stretch it over that. Perfect! The top white band seemed a bit wishy washy so I solved that by folding it over on itself. As soon as booth projects are done I will cut any loose ends that didn't felt and give them nice close shave to make the look less fuzzy.

The second bowl, actually turned out looking a lot like the first bowl that I made back in the fall of last year for a swap. I used the same yarn as the first one and the same sized needles but this time I changed up how I used the yarn. I blended the two colors together for a major portion of the bowl. I tried to do two color knitting around the band of white and that didn't go as well as I had hoped. So I will keep trying until I get the results I want. Anyway it was fun and I used some yardage of my own stuff. I am hoping to do other things with my homespun so that I can make room for more spinning that needs to be done. I might do more spinning in the summer months than in the winter this year.

Here are Frick and Frack together being molded. In a few days I will take them off and then let the insides dry and see how they hold up.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Warm Noggins

Warm Noggins
I have no idea how all of this started but I have been knitting preemie caps ever since the Olympics. I know it's a combination of needing a quick knitting "fix" and wanting to burn some yardage in my stash. Now I have passed the point of no return. I have been looking at some many preemie hats on Ravelry, that I feel like I am adding fuel to the fire.

I started with about six or eight patterns that have been perfectly fine for the last few years I have been knitting them. Now all of a sudden I have realized that knitting the preemie hats is my opportunity to learn new skills and hone the old ones. What could be a more perfect way to achieve so many things at once?? Let's run down the list.

1. I get quick satisfaction
2. I am using up yarn that has been sitting in my stash for over three years
3. I am helping a charity which helps the more defenseless of us all; babies
4. I have been dabbling in two color knitting for the first time since I failed to learn in a class almost a year ago.
5. I have found some cable patterns to practice my cables with.
6. I am learning the technique for a "joggless" stripe.

Not so bad, eh? So here are what I have made. I am still going away at it because I think I have about 10 more skeins that need to be knit up. I am not sure I will knit up all the skeins of baby yarn or not but I sure will put a dent into them. I will do my best to list the needles, yarn and patterns. There are just so many, so if I miss something just let me know and I will edit my post to correct my oversight.

One of the simplest pattern came from the Preemie Project site itself. It's called Rolled Brim Hat. It's super easy and makes a really cute hat. I did modify the top a wee bit. When you link to the pattern you can see that the top of the hat can have a "top knot" but I did a pom-pom instead on a few of them. Instead of knitting the last six rounds to form the stem for the top knot, I just took a Chubi needle and put them on a 4 inch tale and pulled them tight to close the top hole.

The next pattern is one I got from here. I am just crazy about this pattern. It is so simple and has allowed me to play around with two color knitting and now with the "joggless" stripe. I am still perfecting those two techniques so I think I am going to have to knit more of these! The possibilities are limitless! Boy have a I had a ball with these little beauties! This pattern is very easy too and it makes a cute more textured hat. I think it's more feminine that masculine but it still looked good in blue. Lastly I made one of these because I thought it was too large for a preemie. I will include it in my box to the Preemie Project and tell them to use where needed but I think it's too large to use for a 1-3 pound baby. I haven't been around a baby in so long I am not sure how large their little heads are. The yarns I have used are Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby D.K. and Sirdar Snuggly Fair Isle D.K. I have other baby yarns but haven't knit anything with them yet. I am planning to but want to knit up this other two brands first before starting something else. My needle sizes range from US3-US7.

I am still knitting on the hats and will post more as soon as I have more new patterns printed off and in place. I am still excited about doing these!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

So what I don't sew...

I can still admire a great event that has come to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. I have never gone before so thought since it was here in our area, a 20 minute drive would be well worth it. I was a bit put off by the $14 door fee, but after going I can it was well worth it. I dragged DH with me and he was as impressed as I was. Here is where we
went. I actually remembered to bring my camera because I knew there were going to be lots of Kodak moments (does anyone remember that old slogan besides me?).

Here is what I saw first. How could I not take this picture. After all, I am a spinner and it's like a moth to the flame...
I just couldn't help myself. It sure is a beauty!

I didn't get the name of the booth but I think it was a weaver's guild somewhere around here in the Hampton Roads area. Either way, it was more than picture worthy. Don't you think??

I took 32 pictures. Half of them are quilts and the other half is the maker's name and the name of the quilt. I think of these quilts as pieces of art and not just something you lay over a bed. They are to be hung and admired by as many eyes as possible; even by a non-sewer like myself. So feast your eyes on what I saw. They are so wonderful and I think the door fee was well worth it. There were rows and rows of beautiful things both large and small but the camera only could take so many pictures!
This got it's picture taken because I was attracted to the silk worm cocoons. I have some but have never done anything with them. Never thought about using them like this. Very creative. Here is the sheet that was next to the piece.
Picture #2 I liked this one because we see a lot of these birds in the waters in and around Hampton Roads. They are such graceful birds and very regal looking. Please take a closer look at all the pictures so you can really see the craftsmanship.

Picture #3

I especially love this for two reasons. I saw the picture first. I do love fall leaf pictures. My downstairs bathroom is covered in framed pictures of them. The second reason I loved this is because when I went to read about it I saw the maker was from Texas. I might live there but my Texas pride is always with me! I would love to have this quilt hanging in my house. It would be such an honor!
Picture #4

This one was so strange that I had to include it. It was so different and had such a cool factor it was a must.

Picture #5 I like this one for purely selfish reasons. I loved the curly hair. I had curly hair like that once when someone rolled my hair on perm rollers. When my mother saw me, I thought she was going to have a stroke. The next day our school pictures were taken and I still love that silly grin on my face with all those billions of curls.

Picture #6

This is looks so tedious to me that I can appreciate how much time this must have taken. It's all in beads. This was on a Beading Guild's table. I did not get the name of the artist. It was just so wonderful how delicate she looks even in beads. Picture #7 Sometimes I think I am like a rat or a ferret. I am totally attracted to shiny things. Quilter's Fancy provided me with a ferret moment. No, I did not buy anything. It was so tempting though.

Picture #8 This has to be the most stylish rat I have ever seen!

Picture #9

I think this quilt is one of my favorites. I love the difference between the two faces. It's just so reflective of youth vs. aging. Every wrinkle tells a story of some adventure, of some pain and some joy.

Picture #10 Again, I see these birds in our area and just love how odd they look. The fact they can fly with that huge beak fascinates me. They are odd looking and graceful at the same time.

Picture #11How can you not love this $1 bill? It's fabulous.

Picture #12 This is my husband's favorite of all the quilts we looked at. He said when we retire and build our log cabin we should build it where these are planted. I agree!

Picture #13 This one made me think of Alice in Wonderland. Could this have been what she saw when she looked up? Pretty impressive I think.

Picture#14 This one is my favorite. I have had cats for the last 30 years I have been married. This reminds me of the soulful look that so many our beloved cats have had. I have one 16 yr. cat and she is blind and deaf. This reminds me of her as a youthful kitty.

Is that a fierce and determined face or what?

I don't sew and I certainly don't quilt but I can sure admire someone else's talent. I hope you enjoyed looking at some of the quilts I found fascinating at the quilt show. I just might have to learn how to thread a needle...nah.