Friday, October 10, 2008

Cutes Blog Candy Ever!

Hi Everyone...

Jeanette over at Happy Thoughts and Inkspots is celebrating 10,000 hits on her blog.

To celebrate, she is giving away the cutest blog candy, check it out by clicking the image below.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flirty Ruffles

My husband's best friend is having a baby girl due in November. He asked if I could make a blanket for the baby. He wanted something that had pink and white strips. Oh and even though the baby is not due until November, he wanted it done in two weeks.

Well, here is the final project:

Birthday card for dad

This is a card I made for my dad's birthday.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday musings and a challenge for myself

I sitting here monday night working on a baby blanket for my hubby's best friend. As I am working on this I am thinking about all the other projects I have yet to do or have started but not yet completed. I then start thinking about all kinds of crazy stuff like:
  • How many bills I need to pay
  • How I am going to stretch the paycheck to cover all the bills and living expenses
  • How I need to downsize our living expenses budget
  • and most importantly how many yummy craft stuff I wish I had the money to purchase

I then started thinking that I really do have a lot of "things" now that I haven't even used. Why would I purchase more "stuff" to add to my growing collection. Especially if I don't truly have any space in my budget to purchase it. You know the ol addage "Rob Peter to pay Paul".

So I have decided to challenge myself. My challenge is to complete all my WIPs and any new projects I start, the materials must come from my stash. If I don't have enough "stash" for the project, I need to find a different project to meet the stash I have on hand.

So here goes. This is a list of my WIPs:

  • Danish tie shawl
  • Quilt for daughter's bed
  • Quilt for my bed (I won't ever tell how long ago I started this project"
  • Ocean landscape wall quilt
  • knitted curtains
  • knitted sweater
  • Turtle pillow

If anyone would like to join me in this challenge, please leave a comment and we can work through our stash and WIPs together.

If I get enough interest, we can even start a group in Ravelry. It is always easier with support and friendship.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Warm ribbed hat for my dad

At the Lambtown festival, my dad really wanted some fiber so that a hat could be made for him. He decided not to purchase the fiber. When I got home I was thinking about how much my dad wanted a hat. It just so happens that about a month ago I spun up some yarn in the exact colors that my dad was looking at during the festival. So I did some searching on Ravelry for a hat pattern and found this one. I completed it in about 2 days. I am going to give it to him for his birthday. I can't wait for him to see it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Naturally colored cotton?

This is really neat stuff. This is naturally colored cotton. This color is Palo Verde. I am going to spin this and then ply it with some bamboo and nylon. The colored cotton is part of the Spin Off Fiber school in the Ravelry Spin Off Fun group.

Palo Verde Cotton from New World Textiles

100% handpainted bamboo

Woohoo!!! My Lambtown adventure

This was my first time visiting the Lambtown festival in Dixon since I was a kid. My dad came along with me which made the day even more special. Our first stop was to watch the Sheep Dog Trials. These dogs are amazing. We watched a few trials before the sun got too much for us and we decided to go check out the rest of the event.
Our next stop was to see some of the many vendors. There was such great stuff crafted by many talented people. I was very good and didn't purchase anything. I was hoarding my small stash of money for the fibery goodness we were heading for.
At the fiber building I came unglued. Short circuited is more like it. Some of the fiber was so soft it made my eyes roll to the back of my head. I felt such luxurious stuff as pygora, baby alpaca, mohair, just to name a small few.
My first purchase and main goal was to find some alpaca that matched the alpaca that I already spun for my Danish Shawl. Luck was with me. There were many vendors selling alpaca, but there were only two vendors that had the color alpaca I needed. So I purchased 7.4 ounces of alpaca from A Star Alpacas. I have to give much thanks to Sunburst who is the Alpaca who gave this gorgeous fiber. I have a feeling I will be going to her store very soon.

My next planned purchase was some Romney that I purchased to blend with the alpaca. For the life of me I don't remember the vendor's name that I purchased it from. I sure wish I did because she had some more fiber I wanted to purchase when I can refill my fiber money.
Here I have already started the dying processes. The original color was white.
Now this was an unplanned purchase, but this gorgeous fiber was calling my name. As I walked into the building I the first thing I saw was this amazing silver wool. Don't know what kind of sheep donated it, but the wool won 3rd place at the El Dorado County Fair. After fondling it for several seconds, I moved along to the other vendors in the search for my alpaca. During our second tour of the building after lunch, I once again find myself fondling this amazing wool. Well, it ended up going home with me. I am planning on making a sweater with this.

Now with our shopping all done, our next stop before we head home is to the sheep shearing contest. We had stopped by earlier, but they were only prepping the sheep for the contest. During the prep I pointed out this gorgeous ewe in the mix. It was the only colored sheep in the bunch. Well, during the contest, some of the contestants were ready yet, so to stall for time, they decided to sheer one of the sheep to show the crowd what the contestants will be doing. They happen to choose my favorite colored sheep to demonstrate on. When they were finished sheering her, they threw the fleece off to the side onto the ground. During a quite moment while still waiting for the contestants, I asked the person MCing the contest what was going to be done with the fleece. He stated **GASP** "were going to throw it away". I quickly asked if I could have it and to my surprise, he said yes.

The staple is a bit small, and the fleece is really dirty... but hey it's free. Who can complain. Plus it will be fun to see what will come of the fleece once its cleaned.
Loaded with all our goodies, tired feet and bodies, we head home for some much needed rest.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My latest spinning project

This is the the SeaCell/Merino blend that I purchased from Creatively Dyed Etsy store. I have to say I love love love this fiber. It spins like butter and is as soft. It is absolutely amazing. I highly recommend this stuff.

It is approximately 27 WPI (lace wt). I plan to ply it into a 3 ply sock yarn then knit it up using the Journeyman sock pattern in the current issue of Spin Off.

Look what came today!

I am so excited. This is just absolutely gorgeous. It is 100% bamboo handpainted by Traditions Fiber Arts. Judy is wonderful. She doesn't know it yet but she is my new best friend. If you get a chance, check out her Etsy store. She has lots of yummy fibers.

I am planning on spinning this and then plying it with some cotton that I am going to spin up.

The cotton spinning is part of the Spin Off Fiber School thread on Ravelry. The current article of Spinn Off highlights cotton in it Fiber article. Anyone who wants to participate, can spin some cotton and then share their experience including tips they learned, likes, dislikes, and hopefully lots of pictures.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Finished spinning the Alpaca/Romney fiber

Well I finally finished spinning all that Alpaca/romney fiber that I carded. I got approximately 296 yard of yarn. Unfortunately, the pattern that I want to make calls for 1040 yards. I am not even close. [sniff sniff]

I am going to purchase some more fiber at the Lambtown festival this weekend.

ATC cards made for swap

My mom talked me into joining a swap. My favorite time of year is the fall and halloween. So when my mom called me asking if I would like to join in on these swaps, I couldn't resist.

Here are the two ATC cards that I made.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Finally finished preparing the fiber for my Danish Shawl

I have been working on this fiber for the past couple of weeks. I have taken the Alpaca and the dyed romney and carded them together. I look forward to seeing how it looks when I spin it. I plan on spinning it for the Danish wrap shawl that is in the current issue of Spin Off magazine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dyed NZ Romney

I purchased this raw fleece from Rumplestiltskins. Once I cleaned it all up it showed itself to be a soft gorgeous fiber. I did notice that dyeing the fiber caused the fiber to lose some of its softness. But the fun colors make up for some of the loss of softness. Besides, I am going to blend this with the yummy yummy soft Alpaca.

Here is a picture of the dyed romney. This was my first attempt at dyeing fiber. I did not have a clue as to what I was doing. I used Jacquard acid dye. It looks a bit like Bozo's wig is having a bad day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Practicing my spinning

I am practicing my spinning. I am trying to learn to spin thinner so that I can eventually make a 2-3 ply sock weight yarn. I think I am starting to get the hang of it. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Look what I purchased

I purchased this gorgeous fiber from Creatively Dyed.

It is a Superwash Merino/Sea Cell blend. I have read some wonderful information about the benefits of Sea Cell. I am going to spin this into sock yarn to knit myself some socks. I am hoping that the Sea Cell with work its magic. I have Fibromyalgia (as I may have mentioned before in this blog). It causes terrible problems in MANY different ways. One of those problems is inflammation. The inflammation in my feet has caused Morton's Neuromas in both of my feet. The cortizone shots have not had any effect in reducing the swelling or pain.

Well, according to the research, Sea Cell is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Here is a link to the research information.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Zealand Romney

This weeken I cleaned some New Zealand Romney that I am going to dye and blend with my just recently cleaned Alpaca. My plan is to use the yarn that I make from this blend to knit a Danish shawl.
Here is a Romney before I cleaned it

Here is a picture of my cleaned Romney

Friday, June 20, 2008

My clean Alpaca fleece

Well, it is all done. My fleece is all picked clean and washed.

Here it is

Saturday, June 14, 2008

DIY spinning tools

I decided I needed a few items to make my fiber and spinning preparation easier. But I don't have the funds to pay the higher prices for the items I wanted. So I decided to head to my local hardware store (dad's basement, hehe) and see what I could do about a DIY project.

The first project I made was a Kniddy Knoddy. I purchases 3 pieces of PVC and 2 "t" connectors.
I then cut one of the pieces of PVC to measure 16". I then cut the other PVC into 4 pieces each measuring 6". I sanded the cut ends, placed the "T" connectors on each end, placed a 6" piece in each end of the "T" connectors and there you go. Your own Kniddy Knoddy. And it is water proof.

The other item I made was a screen to hold my wet fiber on for drying. I used some left over window screen and scrap wood. I used some metal braces to hold the corners together and provide some added support. I then stapled the screen to the wood frame. Voila... fiber screen.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What a day!

Good thing I had planned on being home from work today. I had originally planned on taking the day off of work to stay home with my son because the summer daycare program won't start until June 16. Well, as I am writing this, the plummer is working under the house to fix a nasty little leak in our pipes. YIKES!!! There goes all my fiber money. :(

Well, my little guy ended up going to grandma's house for the weekend so I have the whole day to myself (besides the plummer). What do I do... I spend the entire day cleaning my Alpaca fleece.

I spent the whole day cleaning and getting no where. At least that is how is feels. So thanks to many helpful folks on my favorite website, Ravelry, I hopped into the car and drove to the pet store. Pet store you say. Why go there? Well, I found some great dog combs (more like rakes) that I can you like fiber combs. Just a LOT cheaper. I researched on the web and found that a pair of combs for combing fiber cost a minimum of about $90. Well, I purchased my combs for $7 each. Much better.

Here is a picture of my dog combs.

Father's Day cards

As you can see from these two cards I created for my dad and husband, I am yearning for the ocean. I so need a vacation.

Here is the card I made for my dad.

The orignial intent was for this card to look like a Lighthouse engulfed by a misty fog. The finished look didn't quite match the vision in my head. So, I had to take apart the card and relayer the images.

This is the card I made for my husband. I have been wanting to try this technique for a while. I love the look of a bright sunset. The idea was to use a brayer to spread the 3 layers of color. However, my brayer spread absolutely nothing. So I compromised with the ink pad and just turned the ink pad upside down and wiped it around the paper. I then did some touch ups with a sponge.

My first handspun yarn

This is my first handspun yarn created on my Louet spinning wheel.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My plans for this weekend

This weekend I will be spending my entire time cleaning this Alpaca fleece.
Over a year ago, I purchased some raw Alpaca fleece from a farm. Unfortunately, the fleece that arrive at my home did not meet the description in the ad. This fleece had HEAVY VM and dirt. Can we say lesson learned. This was my very first fiber of any kind that I purchased to spin. This before I had actually learned to spin (I was signed up for a class, then the class got cancelled). So chalk it up to being a newbie.

Well here is a picture of the fiber I will be cleaning.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lighthouse Quilted wall hanging

I made this card for my co-worker to congratulate her on becoming a grandma, and a quilted wall hanging for her daughter and the new baby boy. The theme for his nursery is the ocean.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Started my second bobbin of spun yarn

Well, I spent today (or has much of it as I could due to housework) working on my second bobbin of yarn.

I am getting much better. My yarn is much more consistent and it is not breaking very often. This is a huge thing for me. However, it think I may have gone from not enough twist to too much twist. But at least it is not breaking (grin).

I am also trying not to spin as thin as I was. I think that was also contributing to some of my breakage.

Well here it is:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spinning at the County Fair

I went to the county fair with my family and parents today. The fair had the best display of crafts. The fantastic part about it was that there was a Sheep to Shawl competition going on and I had an opportunity to watch the spinners and ask lots of questions. I spent hours just drooling over the delicious yarn they were spinning. Oh if I could only make yarn half as decently as they do.

My son was the total highlight of the day. He decided that he wanted to try and climb the rock wall. He must have tried more than 8 times. He made it to the last 2 rocks before he decided that it was too high up and decended to the bottom only to try again and again. I sure wish I had my camera and especially a camcorder so I could tape this.

Well, when I came home from the fair, I was inspired to sit at my wheel as see if I can put all the information I gained from today to good use.

Here is a picture of my first attempt at spinning. This is a single ply of wool. We are required to bring two full bobbins to our last spinning class so that we can learn to ply.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Birthday cards for my co-workers and sister

Well, with all the excitement of my son's birthday and my spinning classes, I missed my co-workers birthdays. Shame on me. So, I buckled down this weekend and made their birthday cards. It also didn't hurt that it is a three day weekend. More time to play. I believe that the work week should be changed to 4 days on 3 days off. I need more time to play. hehe
Here are the cards that I made them

The inside of this cards states "If I had a dollar for every birthday, I could retire"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Second spinning class

Well our second class was even better than the first class. We brought our spinning wheels to class and leaned how to use them. We then spent the entire class treadling our little happy hearts out. Ok... maybe not so happy. The yarn and I were having a battle of the wills. I kept wanting to twist it and wrap it around the bobbin, it kept wanting to break on me as it was being wrapped. I finally won out by treadling faster and adding more twist. hehe.

Here isa picture of my beautiful spinning wheel. It is a Louet S51.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Son's birthday

Well today is my son's birthday. He wanted an Indiana Jones theme birthday at Chuck E Cheese. He had so much fun. He invited several friends and family. Everyone played lots of games, ate loads of pizza and sugared up with soda and cake.

Here is a picture of the cake I made for him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

First day of spinning class

Well today was my first class in series of 3 classes. We discussed the different types of fiber and fiber preparation. We carded the fiber that we received as part of the class. Even thought he fiber we got was already prepared and ready to spin, it gave us the opportunity to practice using the carders and creating rolags. We then used the rolags to practice our drafting technique on our spindles.

Here is a picture of what I spun on my Spindolyn.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Spindolyn is here!!!!!!!!!! Yipppeeee!!!!!

I received my Spindoly so quickly. I am so excited. I am itching to get my hands on this and start spinning. Unfortunately my son's birthday is this weekend so I am going to have to be patient. Ohhhhh the torture.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mother's Day card for my mom

I made this card tonight for my mom for Mother's Day. She loves her baths. She relaxes in her bathtub for hours. She actully has this exact bathtub and it is purple. When I saw this stamp, I new I had to make a card for my mom.

Acetate card

Close up of the mouse showing the water effect on the bubbles

Inside of the card

I thought an acetate card would be really fun as it would really show off the bubbles. I stamped the bubbles and colored the larger bubbles using silver paintstik.

I colored the mouse and bathtub using colored pencils and gamsol. I added Crystal Effect to the bubbles to give them a nice shiny 3D watery look.

I then added a sheer curtain for a bit of whimsy.

I can't wait to give this to her. She is going to love it. hehe

Party favors for my son's birthday

Today my mom and I got together to make these party favors for my son. We filled these with Indiana Jones M&Ms, rubber worms and snakes, and a dinosaur egg with a dinosaur inside. We used a paper crimper to seal the ends.

My mom initially got the idea and instructions for this project from a LSS at their Saturday Make it, Take it.

We took the concept and created a larger version so that it could accomodate the goodies.

Here are some pictures of the party favors:

My son loved them.

Wait till you see his cake. I will post a picture of it when I finish it.

My new curtains

These are going to be my new curtains for my bathroom. The color is actually Sage green. This yarn is so pretty, it has a hint of sheen to it.

I got the free pattern from Knit Picks. Click here for the free pattern.

I have to say though, I had a rough start of this. I had to tear it out probably 8 times or more. I kept ending up with an extra stitch or two by the 4th row. I received some great advice from a really nice person on the Ravelry forum that gave me some great advice. She suggested that I put stitch marker at the halfway point (stitch 98). This way I could easily find the extra stitch and fix it should I need to. This little trick has helped a bunch. Probably cause it forces me to count my stitches more often than I usually do.

The best part about this, once I got the hang of the pattern, it is actually pretty fun and easy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kokopelli Indian Dancer

I mentioned in my earlier post that I had a lot to tell you all. Three post later and you are all believing me. hehe

Mother's Day is on it's way, so I am hoping to actually get an earlier start than I usually do when it comes to preparing for a holiday that includes gift giving. At the Sewing and Craft Fair that I attended last month, I found this really unique craft that used foam core board to create a picture that looks like it was quilted. One of the displays was of a Kokopelli. My mother-in-law loves Kokopellis. I immediately thought of her when I saw it and decided that it would be a perfect Mother's Day gift. Here the pictures for you to see.

Preparation Stage

Completed picture