Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category
December 21, 2016
Knitting Selvage Placemats
There are TWO selvages on any width of fabric.
(Fat quarters have just one.)
One selvage can be colorful with round dots to show the different dyes, cool sayings, the name of the fabric, the name of the designer, and so forth. Indeed, fabric makers are getting quite creative with these selvages now as quilters are making all sorts of products using them, including dramatic and gorgeous quilts.
When I first started quilting over 20 years ago, we were always cautioned NOT to use the selvage as the selvage was “different” than the fabric and would not handle or wash the same way. So, we just threw them away.
The OTHER selvage is often plain, and for years I’ve thought about what might be done with those.
I’ve tried knitting old t-shirt strips. They are ok, but a bit thick. I have a small rug upstairs made from t-shirt strips. It sits under the dog bowls.
BUT, what about these OTHER selvages?
I cleaned some up, which means getting the ripping threads under control, and looped enough together to make a long, continuous strand.
Time has shown that making LOTS of long strands is better than trying to make one large ball. It’s easy enough to attach new ones. I also learned to loop the long strands together and to wrap them into a loose knot so they don’t tangle and retangle with the other long strands in the bottom of my knitting bag.Here is the first placemat, completed this week:
Not bad. I got a big crochet hook and went around the edges with a single stitch just to refine it a big.
This lone one is very cute on my dining room table actually. It needs some bright cloth napkins. Aqua maybe. Or, green. Or red. Whatever.
I could have also bound off the edge and turned the work, picked up stitches from the short side, and knitted there a bit. That would have been the start of a rug I think, where I bound off and turned the work at regular intervals. Finished panels could be joined into a bigger rug. The Mason Dixon knitters already figured that out. (See Kay Gardiner, Ann Shayne, MASON*DIXON KNITTING.) (I’m sure there are earlier blog posts here on this folks. Search on the right sidebar search button.)
But heaven knows I don’t need anymore rag rugs at the moment. You can see earlier posts about all the rag rugs made on a primitive Appalachian hand loom–using old sheets, fabric strips, etc.
There are an astonishing number of selvages in this placemat. I just pin the whole project to the design wall, loop new selvages over one of the knitting needles, and when I get a hunk of them, I clean them up. loop them up, and spend some time knitting them into the work.
Turkey Tracks: April
Carroll Rhodes Risk’s Sweaters
Carroll and I went to high school together back in the dark ages.
We reconnected a few years back online. She loves fiber art as much as I do.
She sent me these pics of two sweaters she made that she especially loved.
Oh my goodness!! They are quite something, aren’t they?
I thought you’d like to see them, so…ENJOY!
Turkey Tracks: March 26, 2016
Giovanna McCarthy’s Knitting
I can knit.
But I have to follow a pattern. I rarely try to “wing it.”
And some patterns make me break out in a cold sweat–mostly because if I make a mistake, I would not know how to fix it from within an intricate pattern. (And I can fix dropped knits and purls, etc.)
But not Giovanna McCarthy. She just gets better and better and takes on more and more intricate patterns.
Such as…this shawl.
And look at his gorgeous shawl pin:
Oh my goodness!! Giovanna’s work just blows me away.
She is an inspiration!
Turkey Tracks: October 22, 2015
Sister Sue Visits and Fingerless Mittens
It’s been busy, busy here.
Sister Susan came for a visit to see the fall leaves and me–the trees are still turning and are very late this year. But many were beautiful while Sue was here.
While Sue was here, the old oven went out (the back door had to be removed and the old oven dismantled in the kitchen), and the new oven went in.
Sue brought good luck: this stove event went flawlessly thanks to carpenter and friend Stephen Pennoyer (who came today to install the new stainless steel backsplash), the installation crew from Kelsey’s Appliance, and Linda McKinny, who cleaned where the old stove had been. The new stove came in with a half-inch leeway!
We walked every day. The girl dogs were in doggie heaven.
There was a cold snap one day, and we bundled up–which meant I could use the hand-knit fingerless mittens Stephen’s mother Mary Sue Bishop made for me. (Mary is one of my oldest friends here in Camden.)
Don’t they go nicely with my new light LLBean coat and the winter hair band Bonnie Sinatro made for me last year.
Mary Sue Bishop takes orders for the gloves and uses all sorts of wonderful yarns. And Bonnie is a fellow Bellevue High School (Offutt AFB) 1963 classmate and terrific email friend.
Here’s Sue at Camden Deli for a cup of coffee after our cold-snap walk:
And here’s our view of the Camden Harbor at dusk. We’re at the point where the river comes under these buildings and spills in to the harbor. The windjammers are getting their plastic winter cocoons these days, and the harbor is slowly emptying out.
Turkey Tracks: January 21, 2015
“Knitting Myself to Peace”
The thing I love best about quilting, knitting, painting, writing, cooking, gardening, cleaning, etc., is using my hands.
But, hand sewing or knitting or feeding fabric through the sewing machine is deeply peaceful and calming to me. I miss sewing so much on the days when I can’t carve out some time for it. I always feel kind of “jangly,” as if, somehow, the sharp edges of the day never got soothed out. Knitting comes a close second.
Friend Barbara Melchiskey sent me this piece by Sarah Smiley. And, of course, I understood it and loved it.
I hope you do too.
And that you have something in your daily life that smooths the sharp edges.
Turkey Tracks: November 17, 2014
Sewing/Knitting Projects Update November 2014
Late October (that strange blizzard) and early November have brought a fair amount of inclement weather. It is snowing off and on today, as a matter of fact.
So, I have been snuggling into a whole array of winter projects.
This big quilt is quilted, and the binding is on. It is just waiting for me to sew down the binding. It’s 97 inches square, so it will take some nights of hand sewing.
BUT, I’ve been finishing knitting a white linen shawl at night. There’s a tale here. I started this shawl on the J&E Riggin in early September. I had it completely finished but did not like the tension, so I took it apart and went down a needle size. I’m much happier with it now, and it’s almost done. Just a few more nights.
After linen is knitted, one thoroughly wets it, dries it, and irons it. In the process, the linen turns soft as butter and very shiny.
Our Coastal Quilters and Georges Valley auction took place last weekend–and look what I bid on and won:
Gail Galloway Nicholson made this quilt, and Joan Herrick quilted it freehand on her long-arm.
Here’s a closeup:
It gives me such pleasure to have the work of friends and family in my home. Everytime I walk past one of these pieces I am reminded of the loved ones involved and of all the wonderful energy that they have put into their work.
You can see that this quilt is so, so happy to live on my coral chair!
I am in the process of making other quilts for this downstairs room. I need quilts that can be loved, used, and washed–in place of the dog-blanket strategies that live in this sitting room/tv room/den space. So, here’s a quilt top I’ve just finished that’s going to go on the back of the couch–where Rey Rey likes to hang out so she can see the back door comings and goings:
Fun, huh? It’s 85 inches square, and I think I’ll just bind it without adding any borders. I’ll quilt it when I return from Charleston December 2nd.
Here’s the backing–which is especially nostalgic as grandson Kelly Enright picked it out with me this summer. He’ll get such a kick out of seeing this quilt with it’s lively backing when he next comes to visit.
This quilt is made with the 2 1/2-inch strips that I cut up from my stash two summers ago. I had a HUGE bin filled to the top. Look now:
OK, I have a few of the darks and mediums out on the cutting board as I’m using them in another quilt top:
It’s Bonnie Hunter’s Scrappy Trip Around the World version, and I’m having so much fun putting together various sets of 6 strips for each block (at 16 inches). Here’s two of the blocks I made yesterday:
I’ve seen so many variants of this quilt now, and I can’t wait to see how mine develops. I’m sure the blocks will get moved over and over again until I’m happy with the results.
My leader/ender project now is a low-contrast quilt made with a focus fabric and 2 1/2-inch light and dark blue blocks. I’m mixing the focus fabric into the four-patch/eight-patch blocks.
Here’s what’s forming on the design wall–in a dark corner of the wall. I’m playing with creating a center of 8 pieced blocks surrounding one of the focus fabric squares. I don’t know how this will work out… I’m just playing. I may play with some single 4-patch blocks surrounded with sashings of the focus fabric as well. Or, use another fabric that co-ordinates. Who knows? That’s what play is all about…
I made a big soup yesterday so was able to quilt until I got hungry. AND, I’ll freeze some of it to have on the night I return. The meat is from the turkey I roasted earlier in the year–a turkey from last Thanksgiving that came from my neighbors: Susan McBride and Chris Richmond of Golden Brook Farm. Sometime last summer I defrosted the turkey, cut it up, and roasted it. I froze one-half of the turkey breast and am just now using it.
I used a chicken bone-broth base (of course), the turkey, and what I had on hand: frozen tomatoes from the summer, onions, carrots, celery, fresh parsley, rutabaga, some brown rice, and the Indian spices (cumin, coriander, a bit of cinnamon, tumeric). It’s super delicious!!
My fabrics for Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt 2014–Grand Illusion–are ironed and ready to go! I’ll get the first clue the day after Thanksgiving, but will not be able to start it until I get home. But, I’m ready!
I leave for Charleston, SC, this Thursday, for the Thanksgiving holidays with my family, and, as always, posting to the blog with the ipad is always chancy–but I’ll take lots of pictures and will post when I get home if all else fails!