Friday, August 26, 2016

Foreign Friday

Mount Unzen Park
April 1980
In the spring of 1980 a group of Dept of Defense teachers toured Southern Japan. One of our stops was Mount Unzen, an active volcanic area. According to Wikipedia, Mount Unzen erupted from 1990 - 1995.

Nancy Stearns & Judy Loxtercamp
Mount Unzen Park
April 1980
This photo from an earlier post was also taken at the Mount Unzen Park, just up the hill from the tram station.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oh Look, Yarn

I've been working hard all year to Slash the Stash (yarn and fabric), and I was somewhat successful; that is, until Marilyn's neighbor stopped by with some gorgeous shawls she'd knit and an invitation to go to a yarn shop.

We went to Colorful Yarns, and the second I walked in the door, I was just like Dory.

If you look at the photos of the shop under their website's "Gallery" tab, you might understand why I fell off the no-buy wagon.

Dianne showed me the kits for the shawls she'd knit and the store samples of other shawls. Oh my, I was in real trouble but loving every minute of it.

The nearest "local" yarn shop is 120 miles from my house; thus, my purchases are usually limited to online shopping. It was heavenly to see, squish, and pet the yarn in the shop. To justify my selections, I kept telling myself I had premium money from my Fair ribbons, which covered 75% of my stash enhancement spree.

Here's what I purchased at Colorful Yarns

stash enhancement
August 2016
From the top - Top hank is actually two skeins of yarn and beads (a kit to make Sweet Little Nothing by Susan DeBettignies) 460 yards/4 oz. of 100% superwash wool The picot edge and beads really dress up this shawl. I purchased the black/gray/cream kit since I frequently wear those colors.

Second skein - an Indie sock yarn (Becoming Art) - color way December; 460 yards/4 oz. of 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon

Third skein - The Natural Dye Studio "Angel 4ply sock yarn" - color way Heather; 390 yards/100 grams of 70% Baby Alpaca, 10% cashmere, 20% silk - from the Clearance Room - this will probably become a scarf

Fourth skein - Schoppel Crazy Zauberball - colorway Domino #2100; 420 meters/100 grams of 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon

Did I stop there? Of course not!

The Picot Dot Wrap by Sheryl Zuccaro was another shawl that Dianne had knit, and I loved it. The shop had several kits - many in bright colors, but I purchased the more "subdued" colors.

kit to make Picot Dot Wrap
As is somewhat evident in the photo below, the yarn has color changes and gradients. I think it will be fun to see exactly what colors are inside these skeins; perhaps, it is not as subdued as I first thought.

both skeins are in gradients

Two skeins of Kauni
       color way EC  (black/gray) - 400 meters/140 grams 100% wool
       color way EQ  (rainbow?) - 400 meters/160 grams 100% wool

Actually, my trip to the yarn shop with Dianne was not the first stash enhancement I made while in Denver. I found some Sugar and Cream cotton on sale ($1.25 a ball) at Michael's. Locally, it can cost up to $3 or $4 a ball.
twelve balls of Sugar and Cream and
two skeins of I Love This Cotton" on clearance at  Hobby Lobby

Soo, my Slash the Stash efforts must begin again. Obviously, when I fall off the no-buy wagon, I go face first and smiling all the way down!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Spotted at the Fair

crocheted Christening Gown and Bonnet
August 2016
A gorgeous Christening gown and bonnet: I hope this will become a treasured heirloom for the crafter's family. I was thrilled to see it won a blue ribbon and a Champion ribbon for its Division.

a quilt with "heart"
August 2016
A quilt with "Heart" in the 4-H building: the heart made the simple design even more powerful. I hope to copy the idea for a Quilt of Valor.

a fun array of pincushions
August 2016
A variety of pincushions: a hat, doughnuts, chickens, a sewing machine, a slice of cake, and an owl with scissors for spectacles. They were cute and just plain fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dishcloth Swap

dishcloths and scrubby made for the swap
August 2016
In early August, Kathyb organized a dishcloth swap, and fourteen people joined in the fun. The swap guidelines required each person to make and send two dishcloths. One or two small trinkets could also be included in the package.

I sent two cloths, a tulle scrubby, and some knitting notions to my swap partner - Betsy (The Simple Life of a Queen).

Thanks, Kathyb for the fun and easy swap.

The pattern I used is no longer available online, but it uses the Double Woven Stitch - YouTube has a tutorial for completing the stitch here.

Double Woven Dishcloth 
made with US size 7 or 8 needles
one ball of cotton dishcloth yarn

Cast on 38 stitches or any multiple of four

Rows 1-4:   Knit across

Row 5:  K3, P32, K3

Row 6:  K6, *sl 2 wyif, move yarn to back, K2; repeat from * to last
              4 stitches; K4

Row 7:  K3, P32, K3

Row 8:  K4, *sl 2 wyif, move yarn to back, K2; repeat from * to last
              6 stitches; sl 2 wyif, move yarn to back, K4

Row 9:  K3, P32, K3

Rows 10 - 57:  repeat rows 6 - 9 twelve (12) more times

Rows 58 - 60:  Knit across

Bind off

I followed the pattern and had 0.9 oz remaining from the
         2 oz ball of Sugar and Cream
Hopefully, the scraps will make a smaller cloth, possibly with 32 stitches
WYIF = with yarn in front - the YouTube video shows this technique

Scrubby pattern can be found in an earlier post.

The package from my Dishcloth Swap partner arrived yesterday. Look at the wonderful things she sent. Five, yes count them-five, dishcloths, a skein of cotton crochet thread that is perfect for reinforcing sock heels and toes, a DPN case (Betsy made it), and some yummy tea. Thank you, Betsy for being my partner in the swap.

the treasure trove of goodies from my swap partner
August 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Board Coverup

new fabric for pressing board
The large pressing board in my sewing room has needed a new cover for quite some time, and those available online that would fit the 24 x 60 inch board are only white/cream and covered with a gird. I wanted color and something that would not show scorch marks too much. The large-print 60 inch wide fabric (100% cotton) was found at Walmart for $3.00 a yard. It's a home decorator fabric (heavier weight), so its perfect a board coverup. The design makes me smile: it reminds me of the illustrations in Dr. Seuss books.
ironing station with a new cover
The new board cover was completed at Marilyn's house a couple of weeks ago and put it on the pressing board as soon as I got home. The original cover had string in the channel around the edge, but for this cover, I used a flat, nylon rope and a spring fastener from an old sweatshirt hood string to keep the rope taut.

I purchased a black, white, and grey print for Marilyn's board, which is not as wide as my board, so some adjustments were made in the "pattern."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes
Quilt of Valor
57 x 69
Last week, Marilyn and I had another Sisters' Sewing Retreat. I prepped the fabric for this top and another one before traveling to Denver.

The flags in Stars and Stripes and the large panel used to make Allegiance were purchased at a Kansas quilt shop last summer. I haven't seen the panels in any other fabric shop, before or since last summer's trip.

The flags were fussy-cut from the panel and then framed, the star within a star blocks were made with stash fabric, and the piano key border was made with Mary's donated fabric.

Pattern:  American Dreams (Pieced A) - free online pattern

Stars and Stripes is Quilt of Valor #98

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