Sprinkle-dyed Sock Yarn

As I wind down from dyeing for LYSs, I’ve dyed some yarn from my sadly-neglected etsy shop.  I’ve especially enjoyed sprinkle-dyeing, perhaps because the results are always a bit different.  It’s impossible to control exactly where the specks of dye will land, and impossible to know which of the specks of moss green will release a little orange, and which specks of lavender will release a little fuchsia.

In some of the skeins, I immersion-dye the yarn first.  In one colorway, “Glacier Cruise,” I’ve sprinkled the dye onto a white skein.  In my shop, I’ve described the process a bit more in each listing.

The first shot includes Fireweed and Dog Sled Team yarns, hand-painted in the traditional way–well, traditional for me, which involves using a medicine dropper.

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I guess “hand-squirted” doesn’t convey the same feeling as “hand-painted,” although no one actually uses a paintbrush.

The final photo shows all the yarn currently available in my shop–the bottom row consisting of self-striping sock yarn.

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Jelly Roll Race Baby Quilt

DSCN1295I needed two baby quilts in a hurry and was thrilled to find the Jelly Roll Race pattern online. The instructions are excellent, so I will not add additional ones here.

Before I found the pattern, I bought two jelly rolls at Seams Like Home, which has a big selection for Anchorage but small for anywhere else. Naturally, there were no “baby” rolls, but I prefer brights anyway.  The rolls were “Grunge” from Moda Fabrics (the solids) and Rowan’s Kaffe Fassett Spots.

I used 17 strips.  I cut each strip in half, making each strip 21″ long instead of 42″, so that the colors would change more often:  After all, the baby quilt is significantly smaller than the one shown.  Then I sewed them end-to-end, as instructed.  I used the recommended chain-piecing technique, which was fast and fun.DSCN1287

After sewing all of them, I had something that looked to me like prayer flags.  I just snipped the threads between each one and–voila–had one super-long strip.DSCN1291

Before beginning to sew the sides together, instead of cutting off 18″ (for the large quilt), I cut off 9″.DSCN1292

I don’t know if it was necessary to change the measurement, but I do know that a cut is necessary:  Otherwise, the strips will all start and end in the same place instead of looking random.

This is only the third baby quilt I’ve made–and I’ve never made a larger quilt.  A personal lesson I learned is to stitch 3/8″ seams instead of 1/4″.  This is because, despite using a 1/4″ presser foot, my seam allowances are not perfect.  The following showed up after I washed and dried the quilt.DSCN1293

In fact, after mending this I found a second, similar spot.  Aargh!  Hopefully a 3/8″ seam allowance in the future will prevent this.

I did use a 3/8″ seam allowance on the binding, where something similar occurred on my previous quilt.  I had no problem (such as the above) AND the binding looks better with the extra 1/4″ inside it. I used a shot cotton for the binding and back; its softness made it nice for hand-stitching but it was somewhat challenging to make lie flat on the back.

I hand-embroidered the name before machine-quilting.

The Jelly Roll Race quilt was fun and easy to make; I highly recommend it!

Quilting in the year 1350

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Perhaps it is more accurately called “trapunto;” nevertheless, it is fascinating to view ancient textiles and see how similar they are to today’s:  This quilt is telling a story, just like many quilts that we make.

It is also interesting to see what is DIFFERENT:  Check out these socks!IMG_1487

In Iceland, travelers are forced to walk through the duty-free gift shop if they are changing planes.  I thought, “If they are making me walk through their store, I am allowed to take a few photos,” and I did.IMG_1644IMG_1645

A jacket I’ve seen before at the Desigual store (in Stockholm this time) caught my eye again, because I really want to make one like it.

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I could remove sleeves from a thrift-store jean jacket, add sleeves from a thrift-store sweater, add some applique/embroidery–what do you think?  I hope to post my own jacket here later this summer.

Of course I did some knitting–free ravelry pattern “Genmaicha” from Kate Gagnon Osborn.  I used my own 50-g. ball of gradient yarn, colorway Blueberry; more is available in my shop. The little skein is what was leftover.  Naturally if you started with the blue (instead of the pale green as I did), you would have more blue in the hat.

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The hat is knit top-down.  You need dpns and a circular of one size (to achieve 7 stitches per inch) and also a circular two sizes smaller for the ribbing.  The author gives instructions for making the hat out of different colors of yarn; I just continued on with the same yarn.  She also advises binding off with “Jeny’s Surprisingly-Stretchy Bind-Off,” which I did.  I found these instructions for making a pom-pom; I made the 4.5 cm. size. I inflated a balloon to a circumference of 20 inches and blocked the hat over it.

My Most Important Craft Work To Date

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A dear family friend, pictured above, died three years ago.  His daughter is, at age 46, unexpectedly (and happily) pregnant for the first time.  She emailed me her favorite photo of Dad and I found the music online for a song he liked to play. Mom gave me one of his shirts, of which I used one sleeve and one strip from the front, saving the rest for future projects; it is the dark gray with blue and purple stripes at the bottom of the first photo, and you’ll see multiple squares of it in the photo below.

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The staff at The Quilted Raven helped me select fabrics to add to those I already had.  (They have a HUGE selection of Alaskan fabrics, FYI.)  To transfer photos to fabric, I used Lesley Riley’s Transfer Artist Paper, which I ordered online from JoAnn’s.  It transferred the images beautifully to fabric, but the fabric does feel a bit stiff, so I may try something else next time.  (Do you see the photos I used of the Northern Lights, the Alaska flag and the words to the Alaska Flag Song?)  A Quilted Raven staff member suggested denim for the edging, and I found a beautifully dark and soft denim fabric at JoAnn’s.

Experienced quilters will find plenty to criticize in this quilt, but no one else offered to make a quilt like this for these beloved family friends.  This is our best shot at having Grandpa hold that new baby girl in his arms.

Teddy Bear Quilts

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The Anchorage Log Cabin Quilting Guild had its Teddy Bear Tea last month, in which members brought in the miniature quilts they had made to accompany stuffed animals/beanie babies.  These are given to charities and service organizations that deal with children; representatives from a few of those were present and spoke of how they used the donations.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera to the meeting, so the only photo I have is of my own donations before I took them.

I had bought several men’s shirts for $1 each at a thrift store and incorporated them into the quilts shown in the foreground.  I enjoy that very much–using perfectly good fabric that would otherwise be thrown into a landfill.

Making mini quilts is such a good way to practice skills and gives a reason for doing so.  At the meeting I showed my corners, which are not perfectly square, to an experienced quilter.  “Allow more fabric when turning the corner on the binding” was her advice. Fortunately I don’t have to discard or rip out my imperfect attempts:  The children are not going to care about slightly-curved corners.

The beanie babies are the generous gift of a yarn customer; you can see that I still have plenty to use in the future.