Sunday, March 1, 2015

Yarn Bowls

 
Yarn Bowl #1 (front view)
 
I made a yarn bowl at a local ceramics shop last year.  The place is called Hobby Hut Ceramics.  My friend, Mrs. W, paints ceramics there a lot and I have been gifted many great things she's made for me at Hobby Hut.  A few other knitter friends got wind of yarn bowls being available at Hobby Hut and were interested, so Mrs. W helped coordinate a Yarn Bowl Day at the ceramics shop.  It was held yesterday.  Turned out a lot of the folks who painted yarn bowls yesterday are folks I also know from my local yarn shop. It was fun to see them and work on a different craft as we chatted away.
 
 
Yarn Bowl #1 (inside view)
 
I ended up painting two yarn bowls. I learned that there is some lag time between layers of glaze when I painted my first yarn bowl a number of months ago, so it was nice to have two projects to work on yesterday.  From the photos above, you cannot tell what the colors will be and I'll keep that a surprise.  When you pick out the finishes or glazes, you get to see what the glaze should look like, but you are only looking a 1" x 1" tile square. It's like looking at paint samples on cardboard strips at your local hardware store.  You just don't know what it's going to look like until you see it on a larger scale.  So I have an idea what I THINK my bowls will look like, but it will be exciting to go pick up the yarn bowls at the shop after they've been fired.  It must be really fun for the shop's owner, Teri, every time she opens up the kiln after a firing.
 
 
Yarn Bowl #2 (front view)
 
For now, I won't give out any clues as to how I think the bowls will look.  It will be really fun in a week or so, after I pick up the bowls, to show side by side BEFORE and AFTER photos.  For now the bowls have to completely dry before they can be fired.






I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Traffic Island Socks


Traffic Island Socks




Things are zigging and zagging at my house. I love this pattern. The pattern designer says she called the design Traffic Island because the design reminded her of playing the video game "Frogger" where the player helps the frog safely cross two sets of highways and two sets of waterways, using the traffic islands in between as breathing places, safe from cars, trucks, snakes, alligators, and submerging turtles. 

I used to play Frogger many moons ago and I don't really see it, but the colors in the yarn I am using kind of remind me of frogs a bit. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in the Acquarium colorway. This is the perfect pattern for self-striping yarn and it's a super fun knit!  You'll have the pattern row memorized in a jiffy if you give this pattern a try. 

I am knitting these socks two at a time in two sets of dpns (2.25 mm). This pattern would be a great Magic Loop pattern, a technique I recently learned (but am far from mastering). 

Happy Knitting!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Colorado Weather


February 20, 2015

I took this photo a week ago on Friday. We had taken the dogs for a walk and then put them in the backyard to play since it was so nice out. I ran to the store for groceries and got fried chicken and fresh bagels in the deli section for our lunch.  This has become a nearly weekly ritual with the dogs; some weeks we eat outside under the pergola and then we hurry indoors as its too cold to linger. But last week, we enjoyed staying outside for a bit. It was so nice out. In the photo above, I am reclined in the chair and Brutus is lying on my lap. Sweet boy. 

Then it started snowing on Saturday and it's been very snowy ever since. We did get a break from additional snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it's been snowing on and off since Thursday. 



February 27, 2015

No picnic under the pergola today. 



The big, overgrown evergreen in the front of the house is rather droopy. 




I love the brilliant blue sky peeking through the pergola. 



And even more, I like the shadows the snow covered pergola makes. 

In Colorado, there is a saying about the weather:  "If you don't like the weather,,, just wait 15 minutes. It will change!"

Top This! Hat Knitting Kit





Check out those cute hats!
 
This is a fun novelty yarn called "Top This" by the company called DMC.  My local yarn shop just had one version in the shop so I bought one "kit".  The kit is a single ball of yarn and a hat topper.  The ball of yarn is wound continuously but the yarn changes from one type of yarn to the next with no knots or breaks in yarn.  You just cast on and knit.  The pattern on the label calls for US Size 9 circular needles (16 inch) and you can make a child size or an adult small size.  For the larger size, you just cast on more stitches and knit more rounds. 



Pretty cute, right?  I made the adult small. It knit up very quickly on US Size 9 needles. The yellow yarn feels like chenille. 
 

I love the topper. It can be easily removed for laundering. 



I took all these photos at the knit shop this past Saturday. Marilyn tried it on and we thought it matched her beautiful shawl quite nicely!
 
The one problem I had with this project was my fear I would run out of yarn knitting the larger size.  When I got to the point in the pattern where I began the decreases for the top portion of the hat, I noticed the pattern said to complete decreases EVERY row.  In most hat patterns I've knit, you complete decreases on one round and then you just knit the next round with no decreases. This results in the hat being a bit longer and the hat tapering in at the top a bit more gently.  As I was knitting,I kept looking at my remaining yarn, concerned I would run out. I did knit a few rounds in the decrease portion with no decreases. Turns out I had PLENTY of yarn left over.  If I were to knit a hat with one of these kids in the future. I would definitely knit one round with no decreases after EACH round WITH decreases for a hat which would be a tad longer.

I found a few more versions on the Internet.  I love the giraffe and the unicorn a lot, but I really want a puppy hat for me!
 



 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Odd Socks


Turns out these oddly colored socks have really grown on me. I love how they turned out!


I finished them up yesterday afternoon. I knew I was coming down with the same cold my son had last week. As soon as the toes were grafted shut, I pulled these buggers on and they kept me toasty warm all light long. 

These are not the greatest photos. Maybe I'll take some better photos another day when I don't have the sniffles. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Strangest color way... EVER!


Plymouth Yarn Company, Inc. Diversity Sock Yarn in the Oasis color way .

Plymouth Yarn Company, Inc. makes a great sock yarn called Diversity. I have made a few pairs already and I just love this yarn.

This color way is called Pizazz. 


I call them my Patriot socks. I am sure you can imagine why.


I also think U.S. Postal Workers should wear these socks. 


Am I right?

Then there is the color way called Palm Pink. 


I was surprised the stripes were not as defined in this color way. I expected them to stripe just like the red, white, and blue/grey colorway, but the stripes were more irregular.  I called these socks my Neopolitan Ice Cream Socks. 


Don't you see it, too?!  Ice cream. 

So now here is the Oasis colorway. 


I see watermelon colors but the black is an unexpected surprise. You will not believe how bizarre this looks knit up!


I am calling these my Ugly Socks? My Really Odd Socks?  I just don't know what to make of this odd colorway.  I never imagined the yarn would stripe this way. I am making the socks two at a time on two sets of double pointed needles to make them matchy-matchy. 

Tell me. If you worked for a yarn company and it was your job to name yarn based upon color and appearance, what name would you put on this yarn's label?  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sewing Class: Foundation Paper Piecing



First Stitches Quilt Shop and Sewing Store
Canon City, Colorado
www.firststitches.com

I am so lucky to have a great quilt shop in town!  I snapped the photo above last summer. The quilt shop is in the cutest little old brick house and is filled to the brim with fabric, notions, sewing machines, and assorted sewing paraphernalia.  I've been eyeing the classes offered at the shop and I signed up for a Paper Piecing class a number of weeks ago. The class was cancelled due to a big snow storm a few weeks back. The class was postponed until today... Valentines Day.


The technique is called Foundation Paper Piecing and the instructor, Faith Wellman, provided the center pieces with words, which were printed on special fabric using an ink jet printer. We had lots of phrases from which to chose.  Everyone in the class (there were five students) picked their own phrase and everyone had a very different color schemes in the fabrics they brought.  I liked every one's finished product better than mine.  There is really an art to selecting fabrics in quilts and projects like this.  I have a lot to learn when it comes to fabric choices.
 
 
This is the backside.

 
A little close up view.  I stitched in the ditch to quilt the object a bit.  I used my new sewing machine for this project. I struggled a bit with my new machine but am still pretty happy with my final product.

 
Oh, I forgot to tell you what this is... it's a Mug Rug!  Cool, right?
 
We all posed for a photo at the end of class.  The building behind us is a called "The Dollhouse".  It's a nice little building behind the quilt shop where classes are held.  It's a great little space.
 
Our instructor, Faith, is both an instructor and designer.  She sells patterns on Craftsy and you can see more of her designs by clicking HERE.