Fall Yarns and a Fun Tote

Two self-striping sock yarn colorways are now available in my shop:  Fall Colors (with Plum), which is on the left, and Dark Anchorage Autumn on the right.

For eye candy, I included photos of a tote bag I made in July for a fundraiser for the Alaska Sudan Medical Project  The colorful designs were created by printing with food onto white fabric.  It was a lot of fun and a therapeutic activity on a dark winter day.  The wavy red lines at the top of the tote in the last picture were created by edges of (uncooked) lasagne noodles.

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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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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.

Almost December 2015

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I added a new colorway to my shop, Alaskan Rainbow.  Use coupon code Nov2015 now through the end of the month for 10% off all items.

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My son has just opened an etsy shop featuring DIY kits to create wall art such as the item shown above.  He only has a few items in the shop now and will have more in the future.

A podcast you may like is Krista Tippett  On Being. Another is Meighan O’Toole’s; I especially liked this post.

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Weekend!

 

 

Snow on the Mountains

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I’ve been wearing handknit wool socks nearly every day. The photo above shows a swatch of my Russian Rainbow colorway for The Quilted Raven.  For every colorway that I dye for that shop, I knit a little swatch so that the customers can see what the final product will look like.

I have just dyed twelve skeins of Russian Rainbow sock yarn for my etsy shop, that I will reskein and list in the afternoon or evening on Sunday, September 20.  Here they are, cooling on the deck: DSCN0159

I finished a couple of quilting projects.  The first was a guild challenge in the evening group, to make something from someone else’s fat quarter for them.  We put the fat quarters that we brought in into brown bags (with our name in them), and the leader shuffled them around so that we each got someone else’s.  I’ll be gone for the October reveal, so I mailed the book that I covered to the fat quarter owner.  The fat quarter fabric can be seen by itself in the inner facings of the book cover. DSCN0147DSCN0143

This was my first time using the free-motion foot and it was fun.  Of course I could have used the walking foot, but it was broken, which forced me to finally use that free-motion foot!  🙂

I also finished a quilt to accompany a stuffed animal–this soft puppy being one of many given to me by a yarn customer and now friend, Cynthia.  This is for a charity project through the quilting guild, whereby stuffed animals and accompanying quilts are given to social service agencies, to be given to children in need.

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I enjoyed using “minky” fabric for the first time, to make the quilt back as soft as the puppy.  I hand-tied the quilt, so as not to disturb the minky dots.  I sewed the satin binding on with my free-motion foot (because the walking foot was kaputt) and it worked fine!  I then hand-stitched it, which I did NOT like.  That’s the kind of stuff I needed to learn.

While I dyed yarn I listened to numerous episodes of the podcast from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) called Magic Lessons.  (Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear is the title of her new book coming out September 22.)  Some of us have an urge to create that, if denied, is a burden and a depressive force in our lives.  She helps people respond to that creative urge and to do the creative work that they need to do. The latest podcast featured guest Brene Brown, whose work on vulnerability and shame you may know.

I saw an article earlier today that might interest you: “Why Making Art is the new Meditation”

A blog I really enjoy is Spirit Cloth. The Maker, Jude Hill, hand-stitches natural-dyed cloth and does so for herself, not to sell or show in an art gallery.  She has a huge following and posts photos and thoughts daily.

A really good book, free online, Wishcraft, helps you recognize what it is that you really want and how to align what you do every day with that goal so that you achieve it.

I will be in Italy for the first three weeks of October and I do not know if I will blog from there or wait until I return.  My husband is taking a photo course for a week in Venice and then we will visit a couple of other Italian cities. I will definitely take LOTS OF pictures!