Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Reclaimed Yarn

Here is another scarf I made using another sweater. The yarn is a bulky aqua/green/grey acrylic mix which reminds me of the sea. I am really into the reclaimed yarn thing; I can't wait to go to the thrift store and look for some more! I got 5 balls from this last sweater; front, back, 2 arms and a big turtleneck. However, the stitches were pretty loose so there wasn't nearly as much yarn as there was in the pink sweater. I used 3 and 1/2 of the balls; the turtleneck, front, one of the arms and half the other one. The pattern is shells and v-stitch. I also am posting a picture of the cardigan I appliqued and listed in the store.

I took a long sleeve v-neck t-shirt and cut it apart just above the waist, pinned in a 5 inch strip of very dark burgundy stretch velvet and then pinned the bottom of the t-shirt back on. I am going to add a hood made from the stretch velvet, and then sell it as a dress. I might add some trim to the strip in the middle, maybe some black lace or something, and a burgundy flower pin at the v, and maybe a few gold beads to the lace. I have it pinned to Mildred right now while I think about it.

On another front, the economic news is all bad. I read JHK's Clusterfuck Nation almost every week and he's been predicting this for months.

I actually think it's going to get a lot worse, and when Peak Oil is added in there's a good chance that it will never get better. We are on our way down the slippery slope that will increasingly become life with less and less fossil fuels and more and more waste of what we do have left while we continue to pursue a way to keep a lifestyle that is just not sustainable in any form.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Finished Scarf

I finished the scarf the day before yesterday and it really turned out very well. I double crocheted in the back loop on every other row so there is a ridged pattern. If it wasn't pink I'd keep it. The yarn is such a nice blend of cotton and wool. I'm going to list it in my new Etsy store today. I'm going to add a link to the store eventually in the side bar. It's

I also unraveled another sweater Sio had bought and started a shawl. I thought there would be enough yarn, but now it looks like there won't be. I'll probably take it apart and make something else, or if I can find another yarn to add in I'll just take it out partway and then do stripes with the 2 yarns.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Recycled Sweater

My mom is back in the hospital, it turns out she has a lot of ulcers which may have been caused by the stroke and all the aspirin based blood thinners and her high blood pressure medicine. Siobhan drove her to the hospital early Monday morning. I'm not sure when she'll be coming home but we are hoping some time today. I was over there most of Monday and then Sio and I were there yesterday afternoon. I called mom this morning and she isn't sure what is going to happen today. As soon as Sio wakes up today we'll go back to visit for awhile before work if she doesn't come home.

While I was there yesterday I started unravelling a sweater that Sio had bought at the resale shop and then began crocheting a scarf from the yarn. I got the front unraveled, and then this morning I started on the turtleneck. I unravel a section and then crochet for a bit and then unravel a bit more. I figure I'll get a scarf, a hat, and maybe some arm warmers or fingerless gloves. The yarn is pretty and perfect to put on Etsy for Valentines Day.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


It seems like all the bad things come at once; first mom had a stroke and then Chris had to go to the emergency room and was in Intensive Care because he somehow lost 7 pints of blood. They still aren't sure how, he has an ulcer but they said it wasn't very big and didn't seem to be bleeding. They want to give him a colonoscopy, but he said they had to wait til his blood count got back up and stayed up, so that means he will be in the hospital til at least Tuesday. He was not a happy camper when we left the hospital today, but they had moved him out of ICU and he looked a lot better. He was getting his last pint of blood. He had been sick all week, but he thought it was the flu or something, and he never looked to see if he was bleeding. He was at work yesterday and was going to come home again because he felt so bad , but his bosses mom, who used to be a nurse, said he needed to go to the emergency room. Thank God she did because another day and he could have bleed to death. I talked to him 3 times on Thursday, and he has said he was going to go to the dr, but then he said he felt better. Anyway, I know he is feeling better now because he's worried about how much everything is going to cost him (even though he has insurance), he was watching the Green Bay/Seattle game, and he complains constantly about wanting a cheeseburger which he can't have til after the colonoscopy. And he looks good now; last night when we went into the ICU room where he was he was so pale and white. I'm so glad they were there to make sure he went to the hospital. I've never met Sean's mom, but I owe her so much; I don't even want to think of how it might have been if she hadn't been there and he went home instead of the hospital. I'm going to call Safety Lock on Monday morning and tell her thank you for saving my son.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Last Dye Run

I did one more dye run to try and get some more intense colors, and it was really worth my while. I got a fabric which will work perfectly with what I think I want to do. I also got 5 other nice fabrics that I will put aside til later. If I have time I may just be able to do another piece in time for the show, too.

OK, I cut strips with jagged edges and laid them down on the stabilizer vertically, over lapping each other. I have some purple sparkle organza that I am going to cut into swirls and lay on top. I am then going to put a sheer white organza overlay over the top. The piece which I dyed tonight will be cut to come down in curves and jagged lines over the top of the overlay. I will do some kind of silhouette of a landscape, probably mountains or hills on the bottom to overlap the bottom of the overlay. I may build it up using greys and charcoals and even black. Once everything is built up I will layer and quilt it. I think it's going to look really good, although maybe not; it may turn out that the fabrics I dyed are too light for the organza overlay, but if it is I'll try tulle. I'll post pics as I finish each step.

Sample Piece

I finished the sample block from the book, and I think it's OK. The top 2 pics are of it with the pieces pinned in place on the stabilizer. I was lucky to have a scrap of the star batik print left over from a bag I made for Siobhan ages ago, and it looks good with the block as a border. I quilted using Sulky embroidery threads, but I had white thread in the bottom and I should have changed it because it came through onto the top. The quilting is echo quilting, and it worked well. I think I am going to take a day to do a practice piece using free motion and see if I can do it acceptably. If I can I'm going to quilt it myself instead of asking Gloria. One of my big concerns is that I left the stabilizer in place like the book said, but I think it might be better to use a wash out or tear away as far as the actual quilting goes. I think I got some of the wrinkles because of the stabilizer.

The bottom pic is of the dyeing I've done over the last couple of days. I dyed all the fabrics except the bottom left hand piece that looks like stripes. I added half a yard to my model garment stuff because it looks like it was dyed to match the pieces I dyed. I may dye a bit more today, but maybe not. I'm still not sure exactly what I want to do for the actual wall hanging, but I need to figure it out in the next day or two.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Hooray for Dyeing 2

I did another dye run this morning. I was looking for sunset/sunrise colors. I had another fat 1/4 of Kona, a piece of tan Quilters cotton and a white on white print that I dyed. I used yellow, coral pink and sunrise red on the Kona; it's to the left in the pic. I mixed a bit of turqoise with the red to get a purple color which I also used on the Kona, although you can't really tell. I used the coral, red and purple on the tan, which is the piece on the left. The colors came out more subdued, but the turquoise and red started to seperate and there are a few spots where you can see the turquoise. I don't know why it did it on the one fabric and not on the other.

What I really like is the white on white print. Again, I used yellow, sunrise red and coral pink and it looks really nice. I am going to dye some more of this using darker colors. John and I are going to Blicks when he comes home and I am going to buy indigo and purple.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hooray for Dyeing!!!!!

I sat down and really looked at the book Joan gave me for the quilt show, and it could be one of the most remarkable quilt books I have ever had. It's called Quilting by Improvisation and it's by Vikki Pignatelli and the ideas just scream for hand dyed fabrics. I have read it now in a couple of sittings and I think I am going to do two things. She supplies a pattern in the book which she calls "My Star Dances", and I am going to copy that and perhaps add a bit to the outside of the block using different hand dyed and batik fabrics. Then I am going to pull out a bunch of fabrics that I can dye and overdye and see where they take me. I have an idea of what I'd like to do and I may make a rough sketch, but other than that I'm just going to let it go and see what happens. I started dyeing fabrics today, the 3 here are low immersion dyed, however I did do a little smushing and used an eye dropper to get dye inside some of the creases and folds. I really like the effects I got on the pale yellow piece. I used yellow, bubble gum and aquamarine. I used aquamarine, yellow and forest green on the turquoise mottled piece. They were both Kona PFD fabric fat 1/4's I cut. The piece on the bottom was a piece of grey cotton I had. It's thinner than Kona so it's probably some of the quilters cotton we have at work. I used turquoise and then darkened it up with black and poured on a bit more. I may do another batch before I go to bed; I need some dark blues and purples.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fingerless Gloves and Capercaillie

These are the fingerless gloves I made from the sleeves of one of the sweaters I felted. They were super easy to make. I have a bunch of pearl cotton that Holly gave to me; I used it to embroider the flowers and do the blanket stitch on the opening. Siobhan suggested buttons, too, for embellishments, and I might use them on the next pair. I think they turned out very nicely. I really like hand embellishment, and I am glad I never could afford an embroidery machine. Hand embroidery is becoming more and more a lost art, and it really is easy and relaxing and a rather cheap way to make things look nice.
I have been listening to Capercaillie for the last couple of days, and even though they are a Scottish band I can't think of any other band that gives me a feeling of longing for my roots than they do. The feeling of the sea is evoked in a lot of what they have recorded, as well as a strong sense of belonging and even pride in a place. I love Newfoundland music, too, and a lot of Nfld. music does the same thing, but I love Capercaillie, and they do it much more consistently for me. They also inspire me more than other traditional bands do and the music has a direct effect on any projects I might be working on. I have been planning my hand dyed quilted wall hanging in my head and I see lots of sea colors, with maybe a splash of white sea birds appliqued on top, or maybe some sunset colors. I don't know yet, but I think I am going to start the dyeing process after lunch. Since this is going to be a wall hanging I am going to dye a lot of 1/8 yds. I have 2 yards of plain white Kona, and then quite a few lighter colors in my stash I can overdye. I haven't done any dyeing in awhile so I am going to have a lot of fun with these.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Thrift Store Shopping

Over the holidays, while Melissa and Mary were in, we visited the Village Thrift Store several times. I had been meaning to go ever since I realized it was there, which was several months ago, but had just never gotten around to it. As far as things go, it's on a par price wise with Salvation Army, however it doesn't have nearly as much furniture or housewares. It does have tons of clothes though, and it does 1/2 off certain colored tags just like Salvation Army. Melissa was really excited because they are so much cheaper than thrift shops in New York. She got a bunch of nice things for $28. I went with Siobhan, too, and she and I had a lot of fun looking and buying stuff. In 3 trips, and spending about $30, I got 4 sweaters, 3 skirts, 2 t-shirts, a jumper, a vintage early to mid 60's coat and 5 assorted pieces of household linens which I am going to transform into some different things. The jumper I bought for me and it isn't in any of the pics; it's already washed and hung in my closet, it will go very nicely with my boots and cream turtleneck John gave me for Christmas. The coat I got for Carla; it needs new buttons but that shouldn't be a problem. I already felted and took apart 3 of the sweaters, and I am going to make a pair of fingerless gloves out of the sleeves of one of them. I'm going to add a bit of embroidery; I'll post a pic when I'm done.

There is also a picture of the fat quarters Melissa bought me for Christmas. I love getting fabric, especially since I am going to try and limit my purchase of new fabrics, and Melissa got such a nice mix that I can make all kinds of things.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Well I didn't stay up til midnight, I just couldn't do it. I had been taking so much Benadryl while waiting to get my other allergy medicine that I was so tired I was sleeping all the time. I got the other one now, and I feel so much better.

Carla came over yesterday and we took mom back to the dr's; she wasn't sleeping and her stomach was always upset. We all suspected it was her blood thinner that was doing it, so Richard told her not to take it til after we talked to the Dr. He put her on a different one, although she isn't going to take that one either for a couple of days. She seemed to be doing better when Sio and I left yesterday afternoon. She ate a little and seemed to be keeping it down. Rich is going over there later, and I will go later too. John and I are going to Borders later on and I'll have him drop me off there. I have a bunch of stuff to wash anyway; Sio and I went to the thrift store near here and bought some stuff. She is taking apart some sweaters to use for the yarn, and I want to felt a couple of sweaters I bought so I can make them into a bag and maybe one of the fleece lined scarves. When ever I had a few odd moments over the last week I have been beading a piece of corduroy for a bag flap; it's finished in the picture here. I'm going to sew the bag together this morning before anyone wakes up.