Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Slippers

 I have been working on felting slippers with Matt-Garn and another wool called "Quebecois" which is a bit lighter. The two pairs shown above are both the same number of stitches, both on size 6mm needles with 2 strands of yarn, but the Matt-Garn ones are definitely larger.  They all still need buttons sewn on to the straps for decoration. 
This is the evolution of a slipper:
1. Knit them big
 2. sew up the ends
 3. tack down the straps
 4. wash with hot water in the machine
5. put on your feet

New Block of the Month

Yes, it is time to think about the new Saturday Surprise Sampler Blocks. 
 These are the two new colorways. 
1. Nancy Halvorson/Art to Heart.  We're starting with a selection from "Garden Song" and "Tried and True".  Hoping that her next collection will blend in with them too.  (Skipping the Christmas line, although we do have it in stock at the shop.)
 2. Autumn Forest Batiks.  They are mostly Hoffman batiks, not from the same line, but with the theme of foresty, autumn-y colors.
 They sort of pick up the colors of my peach on the blue plate... hmm
I just today started working on the first block!!
If you want to participate, just come in to get the first block ($5 plus taxes per block, no sign-up required) on Sept 4th, I believe, or if you are out of town and prefer to do it by mail order ($6.50 plus taxes per block), you can phone us at 306- 933-3072 to sign up.  As always there will be 20 blocks, roughly one coming out every 2nd week- do as many as you like. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


Isn't this a lovely, restful photo? unfortunately it is not in my home, but on a Norwegian blog (by Hanna,) that I sometimes look over to "improve" my Norwegian language skills.  Ha ha. 
Actually, besides loving the pear, and the flowers, it is the wreath on the background wall that caught my eye.  Thinking, "How is that made?...."  I am incorrigible, i know it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Stuff

 You can see I have been busy, right? 
there has been a lot of crocheting going on, and a bit of knitting, and some felting too.  But that pales in comparison with the sorting and winding that has been going on around here.
Tomorrow (Thursday) I am hoping to get the display up at the shop for the "Matt-Garn", a 100% wool that is super durable and suitable for felting.  We'll have it by the skein,(100 grams), by little balls, (25 grams), and by variety bags too!!! And YES, I even have the pattern ready for the throw mat pictured above!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

some cute baby quilts

I noticed this on my mornings wander through the links:
 it is on vanessa christenson's site.  She is a designer.  She also has a nice baby quilt in the moda bake shop, but I seem unable to link up that photo, sorry. it is found here it is called baby life.

 there is another nice baby quilt there too:

and this one, i love!  random-reflections (pattern)

Crazy for Crochet

I did some crochet last night, trying to find out how some wool behaves.  It was fun, and I didn't want to stop!  I ended up working on a couple of projects.  I was using a Swedish yarn called Matt-Garn, which is actually for weaving rugs, although it is good for knitting, although perhaps too rough for garments next to the skin.  I think it would make great felted slippers, which is next on my list to try with it. 
I thought it would be similar to Lopi, so I went on Ravelry to get some ideas of projects, I was thinking about some sort of felted items.
During my survey I noticed a mat that was crocheted with single crochet, and decided to try that.  However, instead of starting a rug 3 feet wide, I decided to do a thinner strip.  Once I started, I just kept going!  I am using 2 strands held together with a size 5-1/2 mm crochet hook.  It is making a quite a dense product, and I have decided not to felt it.  I intend to make 3 strips, about 1 meter long and then whip stitch them together. I might possibly do some sort of edging around the whole thing at that point. 

 Of course, then I was quite excited about how the shading was looking, and thought it would be cool to see it felted.  So I decided to make a felted "bowl".  I had seen photos some place of a container made out of felted wool, although I think it had been knitted.  But I was really liking the shading with crochet, so I decided to continue with that.
Oh, the reason for the was the shading is, is that I am using up all sorts of short ends of threads in all sorts of colors.  Instead of tying a knot each time i add a new thread, I just twist the end together with the end of the previous thread to "splice" it together, and it seems to work beautifully!  I figure the other thread provides stability.
So, I figured out how to knit a flat circular type disc, and then, when it was about 11inches in diameter, I stopped increasing and that started building the sides.  I was again using 2 strands of yarn, but this time I used a larger hook, I think it was a size 6mm. 
I  made it about 9 or 10 inches tall, I forgot to measure.  On the rim, I crocheted through the last row again in order to give it a bit more definition. 
I put it in the washer with a few towels, but not really hot water, to lightly felt it to start with.  If I want it stiffer, I can always throw it in again with hotter water. 
Now, I have it draped over a pan that I use for canning (I have done this in the past!) so that it dries in a nice cylindrical shape with a flat bottom.
This evening I crocheted another! one, but made the sides only about 4 inches tall.  I think I will felt it tomorrow.  I will try to take some photos to show you then!

these are a couple of the beautiful color gradations!  I think they are so pretty!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wool Pincushions

Yes Molly, pincushions are so darned cute.  I seem to have quite a few, but they are useful.  My friend has all her pins organized on different pin-cushions -- yellow topped ones on one, white on another, etc.
I do remember the little emery strawberry, and hope that it is still being made that way.
It would be fun to have a pincushion making day.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Round-up of pincushion tutorials

On Wednesday, I did a little bit of web surfing   some research on felted wool pincushions, and am sharing what I have discovered:  unfortunately I can't seem to post photos from most of these links, I don't know why.
So, I will show you what I came up with in terms of felted wool yarn pincushions, and felted "stones".
The pincushions are my version of the "Ewesful" Pin Cushion, which is described below:

i Ewesful™ Pin Cushion

Ewesful™ Pin Cushion

Product Description

How many times have you searched the house for those elusive straight pins - just when you are ready to start blocking your finished knits, they are nowhere to be found. Well, with the Ewesful™ Pin Cushion, all your problems are solved. These beauties cannot be misplaced! No 2 pincushions are the same. Let us choose for you ...

About the Ewesful™ Pincushion:The original Ewesful™ Pincushion has a soft spot in the center, a swirl of contrasting color that is not fully felted. This soft-spot provides a safe storage place for the blunt-tipped darners used by needlepointers, weavers, and knitters as well as a place to store a sharp implement.

Because there is no filling that can leak out, the Ewesful™ Pincushions can accommodate large and small pins, needles, rippers and darners. The wool stays dry in humid weather, so metal does not rust. In the original Ewesful™ Pincushion, a layer of lanolin-containing wool fleece provides a slight coating to help the pins and needles glide thru the fabric.

Meet the artist: Rikki Barnes Myran spent 10 years as a production weaver, after a decade-long career as an illustrator and graphic artist. During a sabbatical devoted to felting, she developed the Ewesful™ Pincushion, a hand-felted sewing notion made of hand-dyed wool. In 1988, the original Ewesful™ Pincushion was introduced .

The version I made look like geodes, and I like to see the insides.
The outsides are quite pretty too, especially a couple that I had finished with mohair-- the sheen is amazing.

 And these are the stones:  They are just for decorative purposes, but they look nice in a pile.

And so, this is a roundup of tutorials I found on wool pincushions of various kinds:

1.  hat shaped wool pincushions   These were featured in their magazine one time, and are made from felted wool fabric.

2. rolled-wool-pin-cushions-tutorial these use felted wool fabric:  they are made to look like watermelons, tree trunks, etc

3. teacup-pincushions  on martha stewart's site  is a how-to, and it has a 7 minute video as well, by Betz White,  but it uses felted wool sweaters.

4.felt balls and pincushions  These are made from wool roving

5. wool applique pincushion  This uses felted wool fabric, and is a little applique picture that is made like a tiny cushion and stuffed.  It is on a blog called   Knot Garden that looks really interesting, with lots of knitted and crocheted flowers and other projects -- must explore.

6. a tutorial on making pincushions out of fabric strips on the moda bake shop site, here

7. Another from the martha stewart site, how to make strawberry-pincushions

8. A blog with a lot of interesting tutorials is polka dot pineapple, and there is a nice peppermint pincushion there

9. a combination fabric and wool pincushion found on the Purl Bee

10. A make-do-pin-cushion that is attached to the top of a candlestick

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stitching in the Sun

It's been a pretty nice day up here at the lake, nice temperatures and all.  I did a bit of stitching, as you can see.  The cloth is some tea-towel fabric that we had at the shop-- I cut off a long piece to make a table runner, since I already have lots of tea-towels.  It is even-weave and big enough to see, so I got out some of my counted cross stitch patterns.  There is now a bee underneath the H. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Quilts to Put up

 If you've been in the shop this week, you'll have noticed that things have been moved around a lot!  It feels much more spacious now that the back room has been opened up to the main part of the store.  We've also been working on some new samples and patterns.  The quilt above is called "marmalade" and the pattern should be out late next week,
and, I finished quilting on my X and Os quilt that I made with 1800's reproductions and Kansas Troubles, and even finished the pattern!  This was one of the first pattens that I ever made, and the sample was sewn with 1930's reproduction fabrics and white.  I decided to re-write the pattern to update it, and so this is the result. 
We are going up to the lake now for a couple of days, and hope to finish putting the stain on the outside of the cabin, which will be nice, since I think the forecast is for some hot days ahead!   Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chihuly, again,

A while ago, I mentioned Dale Chihuly's glass pieces, and had intended to post the link to this slide show of photos that documents the re-installation of one of his multi-piece glass sculptures.  It is at the Mint Museum in N.C., and it was taken down for cleaning, and then re-assembled.  I like the ideas that they can look different when assembled differently.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


It's now Tuesday evening, and I'm a bit tired out.  We worked all day at putting things in their new places at the store.  I find it quite exciting to have a "new" space to play in.  The classroom area has now been transformed! Well, it is now a part of the rest of the shop, and home of the flannel, batting and another cutting area!  We moved around a bunch of other stuff, like the book area, the sale fabric, the ribbon, and that sort of stuff.  You'll have to come in to see.  I would show you photos, but I forgot my camera on the back seat of the car, along with the plate of chocolate chip cookies that I had intended to take in for snacks--sorry Deb!

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