Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tour de Fleece - viva la fleece!

So it is summer in the city. I am currently spinning my BFL /silk roving from West Coast Fibres that I bought when I was in Olds last month. This is part of my efforts for Ravelry Tour de Fleece 2014  - in which Teams from all over the world with wild and wooley team names like "I Got Ewe Babe" "Russian Underpants" "Into the Whirled" and "Team Tardis" all happily spin and co-mingle.


We share our glories (spun 3 1/2 inches of cobweb singles today!) our challenges (rider down! broken drive band! cracked a bobbin on the final stretch!) and our distractions (rats! family in from other side of the planet just arrived - glad to see them but didn't they know I'm spinning for the yellow jersey this year?)

We've had a few smokin' hot days along the way - and I admit I've taken a few "unauthorised" rest days. But I've always climbed back in the saddle. My goal it to get all my 200+ gms spun, plied, skeined, washed and set by next week Sunday. 

 Wish me luck - and happy spinning!







Thursday, May 22, 2014

Four days on the Island...

A few months back when we were in the frigid depths of dark bleak frozen hopelessness (aka winter on the prairies) I decided to book a quick trip to "The Island" ... Vancouver Island. I don't think I've ever been there before, but a friend had moved a few years back, so it was determined that a visit was in order.
I knew that I was going to be in need of a "little project". Something to work on during those little breaks of time between coming from somewhere, going somewhere and being somewhere. Those long stretches of chatting at our leisure. At the kitchen table, in the sun room. In the garden.
I pulled out my patterns and fabrics looking that perfect little something and found just what I was looking for. Portable, hand stitched (low tech) and possible to work in little space (non intrusive). And a wonderful stashbuster ...

A perfect time to start my Green Tea and String Beans quilt ...
Linked to WIP Wednesday on the Needle & Thread Network.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gypsy Wife continues

I have to say I continue to enjoy "the making" of this quilt - immensely. I am using up all sorts of bits and finding lots of opportunities to fussy cut.

Having said that - I am also overwhelmed at times by too many choices. When there seems to be no constraints to the endless colour combo possibilties I am overwhelmed. The "Indian Hatchet" block (below) is 8 fabrics. I had to do it twice to get it "balanced".

Other blocks have successfully "materialized" by virtue of sitting next to each other in the fabric heap on the cutting table. "From The Heart" block (below).

Every so often I need to fold the fabrics up - put them back in the box (in colour order of course) - and take a break.

Which brings me to the next two days of piecing.

The story: I was going to make a T-shirt Quilt for my son who is graduating in a mere six weeks. I was under the impression that making a T-shirt Quilt is what all proud mom's do when marking a special event. The boy had given me a number of T shirts a few years back (which I saved of course). I was in the process of preparing to launder them when I realised I was a few short. That is when ALL was revealed. The only reason he had given me the shirts was because those were the ones "he hated!" By that time I had 2 yards of "Baltimore Ravens" backing fabric coming via post plus a bunch more fabric I had impulsively threw in my "cart" (for good measure).

What was a mother to do? Now at this point the Old Guy (aka husband) had mumbled that no "20-something year old boy wants a lap quilt from his mother". Youngman 2 (aka my son - younger sibling of Youngman 1) hadn't really seemed too enthusiastic about this project from day one. But I carry on (fulling expecting excepting that this project may spend more time on a bedroom floor with a dog laying on top of it.)
Enter Pinterest. Yes I do go there. Yes I post, and pic and love Pinterest. And this is why. Need a quilt idea for a guy? Put "man quilt" in the search engine and voila! The Bleacher Quilt.

Link to WIP on the Needle & Thread Network.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

So here we are - Sunday morning. The Old Guy is sick in bed - Youndman 2 is still in bed - and me? Well I've been up for hours.

I'm really hoping that spring is f i n a l l y really here. The birds seem to think it is. They are chirping galore and the squirrels are chasing each other up and down the fence posts. So what colour is spring? In Calgary right now the predominant colour (I think) is brown. UGH!

My bike has had it's tuneup and I'm ready to resume riding to work this week. The roads have a lot of post winter debris on them so I'll stick to my mountain bike for awhile I think.

City Council is getting ready to vote on a separated Cycle Track Network for commuters in the downtown core. The reason I'm using the generic term "commuters" is because I think it's a win-win for everyone. It gets cyclists off the sidewalks (which pedestrains don't like) and also out of the ditch. No one likes riding in the ditch. It's not safe. Cyclists have to maneuver around pot holes and parked cars - and vehicle drivers need to watch out for cyclists. I am a commuter. I walk, cycle and drive depending on the situation. I think separate permanent cycle tracks make good sense. Good for our health, good for our environment, and good for business (apparently people on bikes spend more money while commuting then their vehicle counterparts - who knew?)

Well enough of that. Yesterday was spent shopping for groceries. I've made my first attempt at Tiramisu. My recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style is loaded with coffee and rum and mascarpone cheese. It looks good - I'll let you know how it tastes later today!



Monday, March 17, 2014

Gypsy Wife Quilt Along

I am a self confessed Quilt Store "fabric remnant bin" addict. Since most bins come with a 10 - 20 % off sticker price and are great for scrappy quilts - they seem like little rolls of bliss. Needless to say I pick them up on a regular basis. I also have quite a few fat quarters and fat eights. I recently decided something "must be done" with this mish mash stash I have accumulated.

And as luck would have it - the Gypsy Wife Quilt by Jen Kingwell fell out of the sky and into my lap. The added bonus? My local quilt store is doing it as a QAL - and - Flickr has an online QAL going simultaneously. How lucky is that?

Having perused the pattern I am thinking it looks quite doable - and since many of the blocks have borders - I can fudge the sizes a wee bit if I come up short (which I've done twice already).

I attended my first class late last month and read there was an errata on the first block. I noted this and continued making the block. I checked everything carefully and laid out the block before stitching and - voila! I screwed up my block (Colour Wheel block). Ironically as I was in the process of making this error, my mind was entertaining itself about being a bit more "Dr Suess - like" in my approach to quilting. You know -instead of becoming paralyzed due the fear of imperfection just asking myself "What would Dr Suess do?"

Well after stitching and pressing, I prepared to take my first pic of my Gypsy Wife and oh! to my horror! this is what peered back at me...

I'm certain even Dr Suess would have used his seam ripper on occasionHmmmm. So my first challenge - what would Dr Suess do?

(Let's face it - even Dr Suess had his limits...)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quick pic and a post...

Here are my Sochi - Peace gloves. I've made them tipless so that I can use them for things requiring a bit more dexterity than I have with the tips on (using my mobile etc). They were a fun knit and I'm glad I made them as colourful as I did. I have to say this bout of knitting has renewed my love and fascination about what 2 little sticks and string can do.

Linked to WIP Wednesday on the Needle & Thread Network.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

To Russia with Love!

So for all you Sochi Fans this is a quick post for a few of my current "in process" projects. I belong to Team Canada - a knitting group on the Ravelry site which is competing in the once upon a time Ravelympics group (now called the Ravellenics after receiving a cease and desist order from the IOC - strange but true).

I am a big fan of the Winter Olympics. So much so, that I take a winter vacation during the Olympics, and immerse myself in all things related to the big event. This year to accommodate the time change I am PVR'ing events all night long and watching them all day long (no spoiler alerts!).

This is a picture of my Sochi interpretation of Peace Gloves by Nanette Blanchard for the nordic colourwork combined / mitten moguls event. At this point I am well into the gusset of the left thumb...

Sochi Peace Glove - front and back
I've also hauled out my sewing machine into the living room during the day so I can quilt and watch on the big screen. I had some matryoshka doll fabric in my stash - so I'm also working on a Lemoyne Star Sochi Scrappy Stars quilt...

Granted - I'm pretty sure I won't get the quilt done anytime soon - but I'm loving the fabrics and the process.

Get quilty and knit on!

- stitchcat -

Linked to WIP Wednesday on the Needle and Thread Network

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