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Monday, August 17, 2009

Bye bye shawl

I first learned to spin on a top whirl drop spindle.  I had this grand idea that I would knit a shawl from yarn spun on my little drop spindle.  And so I began.  I’d spin until my little spindle was full, wind a center pull ball from my spindle, create a 2 ply yarn from the center pull ball on a slightly heavier spindle.  Move the 2 ply to a niddy noddy and finally soak to set the twist.  Once dry, I would knit my paltry bit of yarn into my SLOWLY growing shawl.  What the hell was I thinking!  A few months after I started this project I got a spinning wheel.


Ahhhh.  I lOVE this wheel.  It’s amazing how much faster I can spin yarn.  I told my spinning instructor that I was going to finish the yarn for my shawl on my new wheel.  She advised against it.  She said that the finished yarn would not match.  Did I listen.  Hell no.  I finished spinning the rest of my fiber on the wheel, and after plying, soaking and drying I was ready to finish my shawl.

All done and ready to be plied.

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The second I started knitting I knew I was in trouble.  The yarn created on the spinning wheel was considerable thinner.  The fabric I was creating was totally different.  I pondered over it for a couple of days.  I brought it to work to show my friend Lisa and get her opinion and in the end, I just couldn’t finish it.  I was never going to be happy with it and there are so many more things that I want to make that I decided to cut it loose.  I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here but I’m not sure what it is yet.



Monday, August 10, 2009


I’ve come across quilts and other sewn items with perfect little hexagons sewn together.  I love the look but thought the process too tedious.  I recently came across the cutest little coaster project using hexagons.  The directions suggested trying English paper piecing and sited a source for these.  They come in different sizes and actually, there are all kinds of shapes to be had.  I placed my order.  Here are my little pieces.  They are similar to a light weight cardstock.  You can cut your own but really, I got 125 pieces for $3.50. 


So, I found bits of fabric (great for using those small pieces hanging around), and proceeded to create little hexagons.  The hexagons were then sewn together by hand, the paper removed and then hand appliqued to some background fabric.  Seems like a lot of work for a coaster but I was just playing around and didn’t want to commit to anything big.  It was actually very easy and this English paper piecing technique yields perfect little hexagons.


I’m not sure I’d make a large quilt with these but they could be used in many other ways.  I also like the fact that this makes a great portable sewing project.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Concentration or Memory

Everyone seems to have their own particular name for this game but it all boils down to the same thing…You have several cards, each of which is duplicated.  All cards are placed image side down in a random order.  A person then turns over 2 cards and if the cards match, keep them.  If not, then they get flipped back over.  You must remember the location of as many cards as you can so you can collect the most and win.   Well, my little great nephew will be 3 at the end of the year and this year he is getting his own personalized version of this game.  I saw this done with fabric instead of photos  and another similar version in this book.  Of course it wouldn’t be complete without a little bag to hold the “cards”.  I used some Michael Miller fabric for the bag.




I printed the pictures on fabric printer sheets.  I got mine at Joann’s Fabric store.  I was able to get 2 pictures on one sheet by passing the fabric sheet though again after repositioning it in the printer.  I wanted the little cards to be sturdy so I made a sandwich consisting of craft felt, Timtex, craft felt and then finally the picture.  The Timtex really gave it body.   I hope he likes it!