We interrupt the silence to bring you a smidgeon of crafting news

Life has gotten a bit crazy lately.  We’ve spent a lot of our non-working/sleeping time house hunting, and now we are in the throes of house buying, with all the paper gathering and emails and phone calls that entails.  In the meantime, the kids still needed to eat and have clean clothes and get to track and Cub scouts and who knows what.  Some balls have been dropped, and getting anything crafty done has been one of those balls.

But I did abandon my responsibilities last weekend for another trip to join my fibery friends.  We rented a place through AirBnB and raced off through the rain storms to catch the ferry to Anderson Island for the weekend.

 

There was a lot of spinning on my part.  I finished the blue two ply yarn in the pic below, and filled another bobbin with the third single I needed to make another yarn.  I also worked on the I-cord edging on my Volt wrap.

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There was also a lot of learning.  Paige taught us all how to do two color brioche knitting, and Leslie 2 was quick enough at it to knit a shoulder wrap/cowl thing.

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We also learned it takes a great deal of junk food (and pineapple cider) to fuel so much creative effort.

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It was hard to leave and go back to the real world.  But we had a satisfying pile of progress to show for it.

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Clue 2 finished

The Surrounded by Scraps mystery quilt-a-long came out yesterday, and today I finished up sewing the rectangular blocks.  A few 1 1/2″ squares sewn to 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles and a colorful pile is ready for clue 3 to come in March.

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Lots of chain piecing, which goes quickly, especially as I just finger pressed until the blocks were done.

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Now they join the 4 and 9 patch blocks and wait in the closet for their next addition.  I’ve a big pile of bigger squares that will be involved somehow.

This is all the sewing that I’ve gotten done since before the weekend, because we’ve been very occupied with this new little addition to the family:

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Meet Theo, our new five month old beagle/dachshund/mystery mix puppy.  Who maybe should have been named Puddles.

My youngest son has been asking for a dog for years, and we decided that he was old enough, and responsible enough.  Now we are all taking turns spending a lot of time outside, usually in the pouring rain, waiting for him to decide to pee.  It takes up a lot of sewing time!

But he’s sort of adorable, so it is hard to mind.  Actually, last night at nearly 10:00 as I stood in the cold, dark, dripping backyard, it wasn’t that hard.  I bought a huge golf umbrella on the way home today.

 

Feeling a little crabby

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I forgot to blog this little creature when I made him last week.  He is now my favorite block for the Oceans quilt!  I love the shadow effect.

This block is not from the Oceans BOM, but it fits the theme perfectly.  I got the pattern from Silver Linings.

I mixed the sand fabrics because I didn’t have quite enough of the polka dots left.  I like the two tone effect better anyway. I had only these scraps left when I was done:

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There were also some extremely tiny paper pieces!  This pattern came without the seam allowances, so some of them were so small it was hard to hold on to them.

As usual, my backs are rather a mess of paper bits and crisscrossing seams.  In the face area there are so many folded layers so close together that it got really thick and stiff.

I love the results, and I would definitely buy another of this designer’s patterns.  In fact there are a couple of fish I have my eye on.

 

Shore bird

Another finished block for the Oceans quilt, this time a little shore bird.  The pattern says plover – I thought it looks like one of the little birds we see in the dune grasses at Ocean Shores.

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I gave it a sandy background since they stick to the beach.

The pattern is a free one on Craftsy.

And now I’m experimenting with how the blocks will be arranged in the quilt.  I need at least two more – my son wants dolphins and a shark.

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We are home for yet another day due to weather – freezing rain this time – so I have time to sort through the fabric for suitable grays for dolphins.  The 10th day of school we’ve missed this year!

A bulky finish

Some spinning to share.

I finished spinning up the light gray merino/alpaca/angora fiber and paired it with a bobbin of brownish gray yak/silk to get a pretty luxurious feeling skein of bulky yarn.  It is really dense, no spring to it at all, and the angora is already developing a halo that will grow as I knit with it.  Super soft too.  I think a chunky cowl will be the best use of it, and there’s nearly 300 yards, so plenty for that.

The colors on the bobbins are more accurate. The pic of the finished skein was taken in artificial light at night.

I also shave spun up two bobbins of BFL that I dyed during my dyeing binge during the snow days.  Love how the colors turned out in the singles!  They are pretty fine, so they are sitting while I’m trying to decide if I want to leave it at 2 ply for a light fingering or add a third bobbin of something for a more substantial weight.

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While that decision is mulled, I’ve started on some turquoise, brown and white polwarth/silk I dyed.

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All this productive spinning means the yarn stash is growing, which means I need to knit more.  The crafting version of a vicious circle, which means I’m happy but the house never gets cleaned. I can live with that trade off.

 

Oceans BOM – an octopus

img_7794Taking advantage of yet another day without school, I finished a paper pieced block for my younger son’s quilt.   There has been quite a lot of nagging about it lately, so I promised him that I would get back to work on it.

This octopus block is from a quilt-a-long that started in 2015, so I have a lot of catching up to do!  This is the sixth block that I’ve completed, so it joins the sea turtle, message in a bottle, manta ray, sea lion pup, and bluefin tuna in the accomplished pile.

While there were still a lot of pieces, this one was simpler than some of the others. Far fewer tiny little bits to sew together.  Still makes a mess though.

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I have a couple more blocks I want to add, although I’m subbing in some creatures from another source, and then I will be able to put the top together. The plan is wide sashing and borders with some sort of sea themed fabric, and to arrange them with the beach creatures at the top  and the deep underwater life at the bottom.

I also think I’m going to try quilting each block individually before sewing them all together so I can get the details right without a lot of wrestling of a bulky quilt sandwich.

 

New mystery quilt started

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Yesterday the first clue in Charlotte Hawkins’ new mystery quilt along was posted, and with the help of yet another snow day, I’ve started right in.

This quilt is called Surrounded By Scraps, and involved cutting a lot of small squares and rectangles that today I started chain piecing into 4 and 9 patches.

It is all about the 1 1/2″ squares for this first clue.

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There is plenty of time to get all of this ironed and finish sewing as the next clue isn’t until February.  When we will probably still be out of of school . . .

These icicles are the only real sign that any melting is occurring.

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