small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A few Projects

As you can see some of us are still getting alot of rest!! Next time I need surgery I want to convalesce for 6 weeks. Ken did see the doctor last week and everything is fine but he still didn't completely remove his lifting restrictions. He can lift anything under 10 lbs and apparently even his fingers are over 10lbs. Get it? He isn't lifting a finger around the house??? Actually that is not completely true but what good is a husband if a wife can't poke fun at him once in awhile.
This of course is the reason why I have not blogged much lately. Once this sign is in your yard you are obligated to keep the entire house clean enough to eat off every surface. And most of you know from your own experience of being a crafter that we are not very tidy people and usually don't give a flip what you think of our housekeeping skills. We would much rather you drool over our sweaters, socks and quilts then to admire how shiny our tile is, or how clean the rugs are today. But in order to sell a house that has a lot of built in downfalls such as paneling and ugly kitchen cabinets, you just have to keep it looking "first date" quality. So now every weekend we pick a big project and put our all into it. This last weekend Ken stripped the wall paper off the dining room walls and texturized and painted. I chose to spend my weekend in the kitchen with our horrible cabinets. I washed them, oh heck, I scrubbed them with wood cleaner, then used scratch cover on the entire surface of each one. I then went back and used a wood refurbisher to bring back some of the lost luster. That meant going up and down a ladder about 20 times an hour. By Sunday my legs and back were aching and would barely hold me up. So I finally had to say "Good Enough" and let it go. And I want to go on record as saying-If the guys who built are cabinets call themselves carpenters than may GOD strike them down!!!!

I have made just a little time for the fiber in my life. That just has to happen or I lose all sense of reality. No really..I start to hallucinate and babble in tongues if I am away from yarn for too long. But I pick and choose my projects carefully in these lean times to get the most out of the time I have. So this week I decided I needed to finish up the socks I am knitting for a friend. These are my very first toe up socks so I am doubly proud of the finished project. I struggled a bit with the new techniques on my first sock and if you look close there are a few very tiny differences on the 2nd where I tried something a bit different. But now I need to make a new pair right away to reinforce the new skills I have picked up. But these will go out in the mail shortly to their new feet and I am sure she will love them and never notice my flaws. The pattern is Firestarters from Yarnissima made in Plymouth "Happy Feet". I am not so in love with the yarn and won't buy again. The red bled like crazy in the blocking wash and I can only hope they are done bleeding now or my friend will have some crazy red feet. But it is soft and lofty yarn so it knits up quickly when you are in a hurry.

Now usually if I have not blogged in 3 weeks I would have another 100 squares of Audry to show you. But this time I have only gotten about 2/3 of that amount. I have just had to slow down a bit to do other things. I am so close to being done that I would love to just push thru and be finished but it will happen and hopefully soon. Just not at this time. But I have gotten some yarn dyeing in. Just bits here and there but what I have done has been exciting and ground breaking for me. Because you ask?? Cause I did the dyeing with natural dyes right out of my own backyard. I kept reading on Ravelry about others who did their dyeing with the natural materials and I thought what the heck. 2 of the most mentioned dyes came from marigolds and Hollyhocks both of which were blooming nicely in my garden. And black hollyhocks seemed to be a favorite of many a dyer which I just happen to have. So I read up a bit, went and picked my materials and got started. My first attempt ended up being the marigolds. I ended up using a "sun tea" kind of method where I stuffed a quart canning jar with the marigolds, poured boiling water over and put it in the back window of my car for a few days. Several sources said I should need about 1/4 lb of flowers to dye the amount of wool I had and I was a bit short of that. So finally out of impatience I went ahead and strained the liquour off and set out to dye the wool I had. I had to pre-mordant the fiber with Alum & Cream of Tartar which took about an hour. Then I let the fiber cool just a little and threw it in to the pot of warming dye liquid. It immediately turned a brilliant yellow!! It seems I had way more than enough dye to do the job. So I grabbed another 100g of mordanted fiber and threw it in. It came out just a tad bit less yellow but even more gorgeous. I actually still had some dye in the pot but chose to throw it out since there was no more fiber ready to dye!! After washing, rinsing and drying it is just beautiful. All 150g of sock weight of it!! Next was the black hollyhock. I put it through the same process but only dyed about 25g. With a premordant of Alum/Cream of Tartar and a post wash with ammonia it came out a gorgeous sagey green. I am going to try the black hollyhock again in the next day or so with a premordant of only the alum to see the difference. Black HH is supposed to be one that has many varieties of dye depending on the mordant and post wash process. I have had some failures tho. I read that dandelion roots gave a great magenta-well not mine!! There was no color at all. Maybe cause I stole the dandelions from the neighbors yard? Or I have cursed them so much over the years that the dandelion fairies wou;dn't smile on me? I don't know but I have moved on. Petunias were funny things. When I first put them into the boiling water I got the most lovely teal-from pink petunias!! But later the liquour was pink and when dyed it was just a pale yellow. Such much work and I could have gotten that from the leftover marigold dye!! Tomato leaves were supposed to do blue according to one website-not.. But oh well-my tomatoes do need their leaves afterall!! And if it really had done a blue I probably would have had naked tomato plants!! I am not sure what I will do with what I have dyed but the 100g of marigold will be going to a good friend of mine to whom I am paying a visit next week in OKC-so you know who you are!!

In just a little over a week I will be in North Carolina and hugging some beautiful granddaughters to peices. So I am sure my next post will be from there as long as the internet access thing works out to my advantage. There will be lots of knitting time, long walks on the beach and after school time with the girls. Over the weekend we will be going to the Outer Banks area, exact spot to be determined once I am there. And I am sure to get in some good shopping. There are 2 good quilt stores in the town they live in and at least one yarn store about 60 miles away. So everyone take care until I see you again and go get some knitting done-ya hear!!

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