Happy, sugary holidays!

23 Dec

christmas candy

From left to right: cashew nut brittle, rum marshmallows, chocolate-covered fudge, christmas crack, peppermint marshmallows, and maple-cinnamon nuts.

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Paint chip galore

21 Dec

I moved out of the city in the summer and got an extra room: a glazed balcony almost the size of my bedroom. I wanted to have a low table to hold flower pots, slushy drinks, books, and the occasional dinner plate. I had a coffee table from Ikea that I’d since replaced but held onto, and I figured it might do the job.

But the table was white, and bruised, and in desperate need of color. Which color? I couldn’t decide, so…I stole almost all the paint sample chips at the local hardware store and went to town, inspired by some awesome creations.

midtable

A few layers of mod podge later I had this to show for my hacking:

balcony table and bench

The color range the chips came from features a descriptive name for each shade, written on top of the chip. My table includes, among others: cupcakes, llamas and sunrises. It has held up nicely, and the balcony was my favorite place during the hot summer, and still is – amidst all the snow – as an occasional hangout after the sauna. Just long enough for me to sit down on the bench and lay my apres sauna drink on the table!

The nephew, he has a name

14 Mar

Yesterday we celebrated the christening of my nephew. I’d started his present back in September which turned out to be a wise move. I set to quilt animal outlines, picking the critters at random. But my fingers and hand quilting do not seem to mix: I managed to do about 2-4 shapes at a time before my skin broke.

zoodetail

In the end I’ve got calluses to show for a 41×41 inch square quilt! It’s exactly one width of the fabric, no piecing work involved here. I did not count the shapes quilted, they must be in triple digits though.

zoofront

I really like how the animal outlines look on the Miller Ta Dot backing print. The binding is a 3/4 inch wide Perla cotton. I was with my foxy friend at the local fabric store, cursing myself for forgetting to bring a sample of the front print when she happily announced that this solid teal would match. Of course she knew, having used the same fabric for a baby quilt. Isn’t it great to hang out with people who can instantly match any fabric it seems?

backbinding

I’m glad I did this by hand but it might be a one-time thing, just as his special day. I might use hand quilting as a feature in a mostly machine quilted piece though. Much appreciation for those who do quilting by hand!

Oh, and the name? Suits him. :)

Welcome home, babies!

24 Jan

Happy year 2010! I’m glad to announce the arrival of my nephew. In addition to a grateful  and excited family, he was greeted with the following:

Quilt made from my treasured fabrics of the Aviary line of Joel Dewberry. I’m still holding onto a full quilt’s worth of the pink/green colorway.  The pattern used on this tiny quilt is Nest by Tula Pink (for her Nest line). I modified the original block size down to 11.5 inches. The binding is My folklore by Lecien.

joel dewberry aviary quilt

Here’s the back of the quilt, together with Wave blanket from Loop, knit with three colors of fingering weight merino, two strands held together.

joel dewberry aviary back and knitted blanket

Now, I wanted the baby boy to have some toys for comfort and play to come. First I made the Scotty dog from a mix pack of Anna Maria Horner scraps in home dec weight. While it looked delightful it seemed a bit large for a newborn’s cot. So I made its companion bunny.

scotty the dog and bunny friend

I hope the wee one and his family enjoys these humble offerings. For future notice,  all may be machine washed at 40 degrees.

On the homefront, I upgraded my sewing machine. While my partner hoped I’d choose one “with a bigger tv” (an embroidery machine with large screen) I got a Quilt Expression 4.0. In the plans: stippling and larger quilts. As soon as I learn how to maneuver it! See below for practice runs: appliques for t-shirts for the bigger kiddos in my life.

mothership

dax

matryoshka

Holiday tree

18 Dec

Woven Noro scarves up an apple tree

Two of these ornaments are flying with me across the Atlantic in 10 hours. Some gift delivery has been outsourced, too. Happy holidays! P.S. Look at that apple up there!

In the dark

27 Nov

I haven’t knitted in ages. These socks were finished sometime this fall. The yarn is The Unique Sheep’s  Tinsel Toes in the colorway Spiced Apple. Very fitting for this time of the year, no?

The pattern came from a blog but I’ve misplaced my printed pattern, can’t seem to locate the pdf and my googlefu is failing me miserably. I’d like to give credit where it’s due so help me out. What pattern is this? It’s a cleancut two by two zig zag rib and I think the eye of partridge heel was my addition. Maybe it’ll come to me…

mystery socks

Here are some of my souvenirs from Vancouver. Fleece Artist Nova socks and Hand Maiden Casbah (colorway Hemlock). Not even intended for knitting yet, just admiring. I think all pretty yarns should be put on layaway for a while so you can decide on a pattern and cause worthy of it.

Nova Scotia goodness

Not a lot of light around. I can feel the hibernation mode coming on. I’m ready to be snowed in!

snowed in

Woof

24 Nov

I wanted to learn a new skill this year. Now, I’m not entirely sure I could claim that I know how to weave so I’ll let you decide. I bought this baby from Fibrecrafts and my friend of the amazing biceps hauled it to Finland. No, it didn’t fit into my suitcase. Yes, I thanked her. No, I didn’t thank her enough. Thank you!

Flip loom

She’s a 15 inch Schacht Flip folding rigid heddle loom and I am in love. The first few weeks I just started at the parts from the couch. Sizing them up, getting ready for the battle. One glorious Sunday I put her together and placed her on my coffee table. A perfect match. Some petting of the ever so smooth maple wood finish ensued. It took me another week to even think about warping. It was rather straight forward, as I followed the (you guessed it) direct warping method. A few adjustments to tension and I was off. This is the second thing to come off my loom. The first was deemed a sight not suitable for children.

Noro scarf open

Facts: The warp is undyed fingering-weight Knitpicks Gloss and the weft is Noro Silk Garden Lite in colorway 37. I used 150 g of both yarns for a scarf that’s 72 inches long and 13 inches wide. The finishing is an improvised hemstitch done in both directions for symmetry.

Noro scarf detail

More facts: I love it some much I never want to wear other scarves. Plus it got me more attention in Vancouver than I could have dreamt of. Thank you random bus driver on Kingsway! Oh, and “woof”? An old term for weft. I just thought it funny. :)

Noro scarf