Sunday, September 14, 2014

The importance of dyelots

My mother-in-law asked me to make her a cardigan. After some searching she settled on the Ecuador Design by Joji Locatelli. It was in part the design that won her over, but also the colour of the yarn that was used in that design. That yarn is Malabrigo sock yarn in colourway Indecieta.

In a not-so-smart moment, I decided to source said yarn from Ravelry destashes - 1 skein here, 1 skein there... you get the picture. Here's the result :)

Ecuador - Indecieta

In fairness I knew exactly what I was purchasing. It just struck me as fascinating that one colourway could have radically different skeins. There will be some serious alternating of skeins, to get something that looks similar to the original design :)))

Have you experienced anything similar with your knits?

Anyhoo, I started the back panel with the skein that was a closest match to the picture on the pattern. It turned out really nice. Next up, I'll be knitting around, while juggling my Indecieta family of skeins :)


Ecuador - Back

This first step was the perfect knit in what has been an exhausting week at work. Stocking stitch... can't beat it for some winding down and relaxation at the end of a day. The other project that has been keeping me entertained this week is the Christmas stocking that I mentioned in my last post. The colours in this are glorious.


Shepherd's Bush Stocking

Hope you are have had a lovely (and restful) weekend.
Sam x

Saturday, September 06, 2014

It is feeling like fall

Is it feeling like summer is over in your neck of the woods?  It was certainly chillier in Colorado this morning than it has been for some time.  Autumn is my favourite season:  it is so pretty, and the temps have cooled down just a touch so that you can get out and enjoy it.  I think subconsciously I've been thinking about this season for a few weeks now, as it seems to influence the colours I've been drawn to.  I finished the Tiger Feet socks, for example.  Joe is a happy cookie and Naomi has proclaimed that she needs a pair.  These were knit using some Opal sock yarn, using my standard plain vanilla sock recipe.

Tiger feet

With a pair finished it was time to cast on for a new pair.  I haven't fallen in love with these yet... but it is early days, so I'll do some more knitting before I determine whether to rip back or not.  I love the colours in the yarn... they feel like Halloween.  I'm just not sure about my pattern selection.

close up

Speaking of Halloween, I've been thinking about what to do with the Frankenstein cross stitch.  Maybe a little pin cushion/ornament with this purple shot cotton for the backing.

Frankenstein bride
And finally, I started a Christmas stocking for Naomi.  Such pretty colours in this one.

Christmas stocking
Hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Love,
Sam x

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer hols

We just returned from our summer hols - visiting family and friends back in the UK.  It was so good to be back.  And Naomi, well, she had the best time ever:  "I love England, Mama".

My family live in a coastal town in the north of England, not too far from the Lake district.  It was nice to be back by the sea, and also spend time in the beautiful countryside.  The highlight of this trip was a hike to where my Dad's ashes were scattered.  My Mum, sister and I all took the walk up there.  It was beautiful, with a funny story thrown in - my mum had lent me some hiking shoes that she'd had stored in her closet.  We'd barely started the hike when both soles fell off the walking boots!  :))  Well, did we laugh!  Thankfully my sister had a spare pair of sneakers with her, otherwise I would have been making the hike in my ballet flats!  I know Dad would have rolled his eyes and had a good laugh at that one.  

Nicky Nook

Sheep at Nicky Nook

Blackpool Prom - wet start

Victorian merry go round

We also took a trip down to London to visit friends there.  My little trooper did amazingly well walking her little feet off, and navigating the underground with me.  We got to visit some of the major sites including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster... before spending a fun afternoon in St James park with friends.

Westminster

Big Ben

Buckingham Palace

I also visited Liberty London. Oh my!  I could have spent the entire day here.  Naomi of course had other ideas.  But the store is oh so lovely and well worth the visit.   (I made it up to Naomi with a trip to Hamleys which was just down the street - so we both got to visit magical stores filled to the brim with things we love :)

Liberty London

Liberty London

No trip is complete without some crafting.  On this trip I was working on some 'tiger feet' socks, and a Halloween cross stitch from the gals at the frosted pumpkin.

Tiger Feet

Halloween

I hope you have had the chance to do something fun this summer, and spend time with loved ones.
Sam x

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quilt Retreat

I recently attended a quilt retreat with the lovely ladies from the Denver Modern Quilt Guild.  It was a fabulous weekend that gave me the opportunity to work on the Stained quilt.

My station
This quilt started as a quilt swap with the ladies from the quilt guild. We used the Stained quilt as the inspiration for the blocks, and the fabric I provided came from the Sarah Jane at Play range. I've since added fabrics from the same designer's Wee Wander line.
Layout

In progress
I'd received a good number of squares from the swap but still needed a good bunch more to make it large enough for Naomi's new big girl bed. Over the retreat I was able to remedy that and the quilt top is almost complete now... just needs a border to bring it to the desired size.
I am really excited to have this one near completion and looking forward to sharing a finished project soon.

Stained glass quilt top
I hope you have had a lovely weekend,
Sam x

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stitchy stuff

The other weekend I had the good fortune to spend time up in the mountains with some knitty friends.  It's an annual get together and always a lot of fun.  I feel thoroughly spoiled by the end of the weekend - time with good friends, picturesque surroundings, fabulous food, and dedicated craft time.

This year I worked on a pair of felted slippers and my Once Upon a Time cross stitch.

OUAT: 3 little pigs
Isn't this pattern just darling! I wish there were more hours in a day to work on it. I think its going to be beautiful when complete (and a nice addition to Naomi's room).
Speaking of cross stitch, I'm also making slow-but-steady progress on the frosty forest pattern, with the snowman recently completed:

Frosty forest snowman
The felted slippers I worked on over the knitty weekend were for Joe.  His current pair are worn out - big old holes in the bottom of them as a result of much love and wear.  I found some camo yarn in my stash which I thought would be perfect.  Turns out it was anything but... after putting the completed slippers through the wash a few times, the darn things wouldn't felt down to the right size.  It was only at that point that I checked the yarn label to find out that it was not 100% wool.  Doh!  (It wouldn't be so bad, except this is the 2nd time I have done this, this year!  shaking my head... I should know better)  So I went back to the old faithful Brown Sheep lambswool (this is by far my favourite yarn for the felted slippers) and whipped up a second, feltable pair, out of leftovers.  The end results are a little goofy looking, but Joe is pleased with them.  Job done!

Scrappy slippers

These slippers will never win any beauty contests.  But I tell you this... once you've tried a pair there's no turning back.  And be careful who you gift them to - they'll be return customers for life :)))

Speaking of which, my brother had requested a pair with the cross of Saint George (erm, yes, maybe the oddest looking cross of Saint George you've ever seen... but 10 out of 10 for effort though, right?).  And my Sis has requested a pair for her fella.  Finishing those up now.

St George slippers
Ok, back to the weekend at hand.
Have a good one, Sam x

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Quilty gifts

One of the really cool birthday gifts that I received this year was a mini quilt from Terrie:

S for Sam - fabby gift from Terrie

Isn't it pretty! This is going to take pride of place in my craft room.

I was really touched that Terrie had made this for me.  Her work is impeccable and fabric selection couldn't be more perfect. I am one very lucky girl.

Terrie shared this with me at last month's quilt guild meeting and there was much oohing and aahing from the quilt guild members, and the decision was made that we should have a swap of similar mini quilts using the initial of the first name of our swap partner. My swap partner is Wendy, and she shared that her favourite colour is green.  Here is W for Wendy. Front:

W for Wendy

Back (being smoothed out by my helper):

Helper smoothing out the back of the W

My little helper also likes to take some of her own pictures:

Mummy's lil helper

Photographer in the making

My lil helper

The W fabric is from a line called sewing box, of which I had a layer cake. The design on this one is tape measures. I quilted along the tape measure lines to give them a little definition. The W template is from a Moda blog hop, called Spell it with Fabric, where each blogger is assigned a letter of the alphabet. The end result is pretty cool, and the templates are available for download in pdf format. Imagine the possibilities with this one - a child's name on a quilt, or a fun crafty statement on a mini quilt... Since I already have my initial letter, my swap partner will be making a letter for Naomi. I think Naomi is going to be so happy to have one of her very own as she is big into letters right now, especially those letters that form her name. I'll post a piccy next month, after the swap.

Since I'm rambling about quilty gifts, here's one that I made for another friend's birthday.  A reversible fabric bucket:

Reversible storage basket

Storage basket

Reversible storage basket

Isn't that cat fabric adorable!  It is catnap from Lizzie House.  The pattern is on the Birch Fabrics site: fabric buckets.  I made the large size, with a couple of modifications: instead of interfacing I used batting, and I added a pocket for storage of nik naks - scissors, dpns, you name it...

I need to make some of these for myself - so cute and extremely handy. I know that someone's toy cupboard might also benefit from better organization too :)

Hope you are having a lovely weekend,
Sam xxx

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Zauberball Man Socks

Between road trips and work trips I've been able to whip out another pair of socks. This time for Joe (although the pic below is modeled on my feet):
Man socks
Quite the dazzlers aren't they :)))
The yarn is Zauberball and is dyed to gradually progress through the colours.
Zauberball
While this is a really nice effect, I thought I'd make them stripey by knitting one row from one end of the skein and the following row from the other end of the skein. Typically I make my stripes thicker. But this has a fun effect with the single rows of each colour. For the cuff, heels and toes, I stick with working from one end of the skein so that they appear as a solid(ish) colour, instead of continuing the stripes.
Man sock

I like that the socks don't match exactly... but clearly belong together.
Another pair to tuck away in the Winter Woollies box.

Oh yes, I didn't follow a published pattern for these. Just winging it using my basic sock approach and a size 2 needle. I like the simplicity of the basic sock for travel projects - my hands can stay busy, while I can zone out and relax.

Have you been taking any fun trips?
What are your projects of choice when you are travelling?

Wishing you a lovely summer,
Sam x