Monday, February 17, 2014

Inspired By

Gearing up to start my quilt for the Quilt Alliance yearly contest.  This year the theme is Inspired By.  What to join in the fun?  Then check out the quilts over on the Quilt Index and pick one that inspires you, make a quilt and send it in.  For all the nitty gritty details check the Quilt Alliance web page. 

I clicked through thousands of quilt and finally settled on my inspiration (I think).  

This lovely Baltimore Album Quilt dating from 1850 - 1875 isfrom the collection of the University of Michigan. 
The Quilt Index

Monday, January 06, 2014

Handknit Christmas Cards

I nearly forgot to share my handmade/knit Christmas cards I created using the sweaters I knit up from my free pattern.  I knit up little sweaters like crazy,  in just about every color of Knit Pick Palette yarn I had on hand.  


Then I attached to a card with a couple of staples and added a bit of doodles.....


to create the perfect combination of a card and a gift.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Joy of Wine - Merlot Santa

I am addicted to tiny knits.  I found a pattern for Tiny Christmas Mitten on Ravelry and just had to knit them up....

Adorable, aren't they.  So what to do with some tiny mitts,  well dress up a wine bottle.....



First, I had a nice evening polishing off the entire bottle of wine.

What you need...

  • Fingering weight yarn,  I used Knit Picks Palette in Cream and Hollyberry
  • Size 1 (2.25mm) DPN
  • Wire (I used floral stem wire)
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Wine Bottle 
Knit up two mittens using the Tiny Christmas Mitten pattern. 

For the scarf cast on 18 stitches  and knit in the round for 2 inches then decrease by 4 stitches.  Continue knitting in the round for 10 more inches then increase 4 stitches and knit 2 more inches.  About 5 rounds in, I added a row of cream, then again toward the end of the scarf as well.

Once you are finished with the arms, insert the wire in the the scarf tube,  I happened to have some floral stem wire on hand. I used my fingers to create a hook shape on each end (so the pointy end of the wire would not poke through the mittens).
Then I attached the mittens to each end of the scarf using the cast on or off ends.  Any excess ends I just threaded through and stuffed into the mittens and scarf.

For the Hat cast on 40 stitches in a cream color and joined in the round.  Knit a 2x2 rib for 1 1/2 inch then switch to the red yarn and just knit around for approx 1/2 an inch.  To decrease I divided into 5 sections of 8 stitches each.
R1: (Knit 6, K2tog) repeat around (35 sts)
R2 & 3: Knit
R4: (Knit 5, K2tog) repeat around (30 sts)
R5 & 6: Knit
R7: (K4, K2tog) repeat around (25 sts)
R8 & 9: Knit
R10: (K3, K2tog) repeat around (20 sts)
R11 & 12: knit
R13: K2tog around (10 sts)

Cut yarn and use tapestry needle to thread yarn through remaining stitches. 

To finish off the hat, I added a finger pompom.  Just wrap some yarn around two of your fingers about 30 times, remove and tie some yarn around the center.  Then clip all of the loops and fluff up and attach to hat. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Holiday Sweater Ornament


I have been on a mission to find the perfect knit ornament to make for friends and family this year.  What I had in mind was a tiny sweater with a snowflake and the year.  After several hours searching Ravelry and a few false starts I knit up the Tiny Holiday Sweater Ornament a free pattern from Knit Picks.  It is truly a lovely little sweater, but much too time consuming to make in mass quantity.



Not really finding what I wanted on Raverly,  I came up with my own 

Knit Picks Palette in Hollyberry and Cream

Holiday Sweater Ornament

What you will need:

  •  About 30 yards (will more than get the job done) of fingering weight wool and about 3 yards of contrasting color to embroider the snowflake and year.
  • Set of 5 Double Pointed Needles in size 1 (2.25mm)
  • 2 large safety pins or waste yarn
  • Tapestry Needle
Finished measurement:  2 ¾ inches long and 2 inches wide at the body of the sweater

Directions (sweater is knit top down) 

CO 20 sts on 4 DPNs  (placing the stitches as follows:  Needle 1: 6 sts Needle2: 4 sts Needle 3: 6 sts Needle 4: 4sts)

Join and knit a 1x1 rib (K1, P1) for 3 rounds.
Knit one round

Increases

Round 1:  (K1, kfb, knit to next to last stitch on Needle, kfb, k1),  repeat on each Needle.
Rounds 2 & 3: Knit

Repeat the 3 increase rounds three more times. 

Sweater Body
Knit across Needle 1 and cast on 3 stitches, place stitches on Needle 2 on to a safety pin, knit across Needle 3 and cast on 3 sts (you will need to split the stitches on to 2 Needles) , place stitches on Needle 4 on to a safety pin. 

The stitches on the safety pins will be the sleeves and the ones on the needles will make up the body of the sweater. 

Knit in the round for 10 rounds.

Knit 3 rounds of a 1x1 rib and then cast off.  I like to cast off in the stitch pattern meaning, I knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches when casting off.

Sleeves

Put the 12 stitches from the safety pin or waste yarn on to 2 needles.  Pick up 3 stitches in the arm pit area of the sweater and then knit the 12 on the needles.  (15 sts total)

Knit in the round for 5 rounds.

Round 6: K2tog, knit around (14 sts)

Knit 4 more rounds  

For the cuff: Knit 3 rounds of a 1x1 rib and then cast off.  I like to cast off in the stitch pattern meaning, I knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches when casting off.

Use tapestry needle to sew in ends and embroidery the snowflake and year. 

I don’t really weave in the ends,  I just tidy up the exterior of the sweater, then stuff the ends to the inside of the sweater. 

Embroidery

You can make up your own snowflake motif, but here is how I did mine. 

Find what looks like a stitch in the center of the sweater, and toward the top.  The center of my snowflake is 1 inch from the top of the sweater and I stitch the snowflake in the following steps. 


  1.  Stitch 4 dashes 
  2.  Add the point to each dash, bring yarn up on one point,  loop it though the dash and then down at the other point.
  3. Stich an X over the center.
  4. Add small dashes to look like dots.
 

For the numbers, I simplified each number to just straight lines and just went for it,  took me a few tries to get it somewhat even. 




Now to see how many of these babies I can crank out by the holidays!

Happy Knitting.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Off the needles - Argyle Mittens

Finally, finished the set.  The right hand has been done for several months because I made it to test my Argyle Mitten Collection pattern.  I just got around to finishing the left hand.  And I am working out the final touches on a hat pattern to match. 




Knit up in Knit Picks Palette in Shoal and cream. 

Well the knitting is finished,  just need to sew in the ends.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Favorite Place

My life has been punctuated by an occurrence we all know will happen.  As we age, we come to the realization that our parents will pass away before us.  This is the way of the world.  There is no getting around it and  no stopping it from happening, it happens.  When it does it hurts like nothing on this earth, it is a long slow ache that right now I feel may never go away. 
On July 5th, 2013 my dad passed away.  My heart aches to try to put into words how devastated I feel.   He was a wise sweet man that is missed by so many.

After he passed away we found a several poems he had written years ago......



MY FAVORITE PLACE
by William H. Rouleau

South Dakota is my favorite place
Because it allows me the space
To live a life of liberty
And write about all I see

Pierre has no income tax at all (Pierre is pronounced like a boat....)
And the government is mighty small
That means the air is usually free
From the excesses of democracy

Wide open country is the rule
The people are the crowning jewel
When towns are few and contacts sparse
There is no need to protect your arse

You open your heart to one and all
Who happens to pass by and call
There is no need to guard your space
No one wants to steal your place

In big city America you need a reserve
That allows you to preserve
The life and liberty of all of your flock
From the advances of the Glock (Glock is a type of pistol.)

1996

Easter/my birthday weekend 2013
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Quilt Alliance Entry Start to Finish


In 2013 the Quilt Alliance will be celebrate 20 years of documenting, preserving and sharing quilt history.  Twenty was the selected theme for the 2013 competition.  Pondering on the theme lead me to think about what I was doing when I was twenty years old.  I spent the entire fall semester of my junior year in college studying art history in Florence, Italy.    I walked past the Duomo every day.  Most days trying to quickly navigate my way through the squared to get to class on time.  I remember one particular day telling myself to slow down and take it all in and remember the amazing sights I walked past every day. 

I would have liked to use a photo I took but none really would have worked for what I had in mind.  So I found this photo on line taken by a gentleman, Denis Jarvis, and allowed for a very generous use of his photos.  I cropped the photo and had it printed on fabric via Spoonflower.




Next I created a raw edge pieced border that continued the colors and texture from the photo.  I used a variety of fabrics from prints to batiks and tulle.




I used my embellisher machine to punch all of the raw edges down to temporarily hold them to the muslin foundation.   Love how the fabrics are lining up with the photo. 

With the fabrics punched in place I embroidered all of the seams 


In progress shot of the embroidery.  I love the soft edge that the embellisher creates when joining the fabrics.  I just leave most of the wisps and fraying fabric in place under the embroidery to enhance the soft easy color transitions.

With the embroidery complete,  I saw that somethign was needed to break up the sky in the photo.  So I used hand quilting to extend some of the embellishment lines through the background as well as quilting around various elements of the Dome.  I also added some dark stem stitch lines to the photo to sharpen up some of the elements. 

hand quilting in progress



The binding is a dark brown fabric and creates a nice frame for the entire piece.  I absolutely love how this piece turned out,  it brought back fond memories and great enjoyment in doing all of the hand work. 


Just need to add a sleeve and the label and this beauty will be ready to ship off to the Quilt Alliance to be auctioned off this fall. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Our little Abby turned 4 on Sunday.  All gone is the toddler that she was just a few months ago,  it is all big girl now. 





I made her a Lalaloopsy cake





and she loved it....

We played outside in 80 degree weather in the melting snow pile that was still in the back yard....

Abby filling her Mr. Piggy watering can with snow

And snuggled up with our new pup, a 4 year old yorkie named Beau....

Brant and Beau
My sister Sara and Beau
Happy Spring!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quilt Alliance entry update

I finished up the borders on my Quilt Alliance entry and it is now onto pondering over how I want to add some embellishment.



And I had a great little helper


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Quilt Alliance update....

Working on fabric placement for the border.  


I really am enjoying what I have happening.  Can't wait to get to the embellishment and embroidery.