16 April 2014

A new camera strap

Nikon AN-DC4 Camera Strap 
I was never very fond of the camera strap that came with my DSLR. Black and yellow and so stiff it cut into my neck. It was also a bit short so that the camera landed in an awkward spot.
Last summer at a quilt show there was a vendor selling parts of vintage kimono. I was able to snag a piece that would work for making a new camera strap. I love the colors and the softness of it.

Here's a link to the tutorial I used, minus the lens cap pocket. The hardest part, believe it or not, was finding the right dog collars for cheap $$$. I didn't have any fusible batting so I just used regular batting and I also left out the stiffener; after all, that was one of the reasons I didn't like the old strap. I made the new strap is a bit narrower and when I make a new one (there is leftover fabric) I will make it according to the tutorial.

14 April 2014

Still Nothing on the Wall

You would be wrong if you think that only knitting has been happening. Do you see those numbers? 433 liberated string blocks that measure 4.5 x 10". There are several layouts floating around my brain for these. Do I want to make a coin quilt? Or do I want to sub-cut these further into 60 degree diamonds for stars? These are a nice size for a piano key border or sashing. What to do, what to do. Something will come to mind, I'm sure.

I use these Kabnet Wax sheets. By cutting them approximately in half along the fold of the sheet, sewing string strips to them and then trimming them down to the required size, I end up with lots of these blocks.  In fact, this session resulted in no more strings. What??! You read that correctly: I am currently out of scrappy strings.

But never fear! The basket was restocked with red, white and blue string that need to be sorted and trimmed down. Some are chunks rather than strings. These blocks will be 10x10, using the whole Kabnet Wax sheet.


I love this rice basket as it holds so many strings. It's size is quite deceptive.

And so, that is what is in my design drawer and basket, not the wall.

12 April 2014

Not Friday, Saturday OTN.

Are you ready for a photo heavy post? I have a lot of finishes this week. Do you remember me talking about the Hapi Coat I was knitting? You know, the one that had so much dye on the yarn that it stained the knitting needles AND my hands? I washed the dye off my hands after every knitting session. Well, it is finished! And just in time to wear it for the last storm of the season, hopefully

I tried to mitigate some of the dye crocking. Crocking is the term for the dye rubbing off on, say, the needles or your hands or a white shirt. I soaked it in a soapy water bath for about 20 minutes or so. The yarn needed to absorb that water and plump up.


The funny thing is, that dye didn't really bleed out in the bath water. It did, however, just keep running out in the rinse water. I COULD NOT get that water to run clear. Maybe someday? In the meantime, I will have to wear dark shirts under it.


The perfect spot in my house for blocking knitted items is on the guest bed. It will be undisturbed under the overhead fan.

The short row shawl collar is very cozy around my neck.

The dye pattern on the yarn knitted up into spirals on the sleeves.

The body was knit using a moss stitch: k1p1 for two rows and the p1k1 for two rows. I have 700 yards of this yarn left, should I knit a scarf or shawl? It's a puzzlement.

And there is more! I finally finished the mobile project. I usually carry the sock knitting with me in my bag because it is so very portable. Here is the latest pair and they are for ME! Yes, I finally made a pair of socks for myself. I used Brown Sheep Yarn Wildefoote Luxury Sock yarn and they are soft and warm. Believe me on this, would I lie?

And if you can stand just one more photo, here are two pair of infant socks. Oh the cuteness! It is hard to tell from the photo, but the foot of these socks is only 2" long. I made a short row heel before continuing up the leg. They looked just a bit small to me, but it has been a long time since I have been around an infant. So I took the first sock with me to my local coffee shop because there is always a new mommy or two there. Luck! One came in pushing a stroller with a sweet little 6 week old. I held the sock up and asked here if this would fit an infant. "Let's see!" she said and proceeded to whip the little one's current sock off and put on this one. YES! Score one for Grandma!

Want more knitting? Visit JudyL.

07 April 2014

Two Baby Quilts

I have two completed projects as there is nothing on the design wall today.

Since the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen entered Casa del Quilter there has been a lot of quilting going on; a lot. The simplest form of practice is to take two lengths of fabric and sandwich them together and then quilt. Don't you agree? Here are two examples of just such a practice.

The first baby quilt up is flannel on one side and 100% cotton on the other. Quilted in an all over free motion and Mettler Quilting 40/3 thread. 100% medium loft poly batting.
Baby quilt #1

Back of baby quilt #1

Next up is another baby quilt with flannel on one side and 100% cotton on the other. It, too, is quilted in an all over free motion and Mettler Quilting 40/3 thread. 100% medium loft poly batting.
Baby quilt #2

Back of baby quilt #2

I am not only using up largish hunks of fabric but also chunks of batting, preprinted labels and various spools of thread. The blue fabric I used in my sweatshirt jacket was a perfect match and worked for the binding.

If you want to see more design walls, please visit Judy's blog at Patchwork Times.

04 April 2014

On the needles, April 4, 2014

I don't recall if I ever showed this vest? It is something I finished in January?, I think. The pattern is by Cheryl Oberle and is called Chinese Red Vest. I know, I know. It's not red, but I happened to have enough of this older lovely soft merino wool yarn and so I used it.


The color is truer in the top photo, btw. The closures were purchased on Vogue Knits via amazon. I could only find black ones around here. 

This was a very easy knit even though I had to modify the neckline because I ran out of yarn. Yeppers, there wasn't an inch of yarn left!

And for reals: I just bound off the Hapi Coat but it needs it's own post because I know what is going to happen when I block it and that process will need documenting.

Also for reals: really and truly on the needles is another pair of socks.

I'm linking up to JudyL's OTN Friday today.

24 March 2014

Spring Cleaning

It started innocently enough. I was digging through the vanity cabinet under the bathroom sink for something and the next thing I know there was a pile of expired cosmetics on the vanity. And it didn't stop there.

Here's the back story of the photo.

Back in 2001, I ran out of blades for my Personal Touch razor. I searched and searched and absolutely could not find them locally. Refill packages were ordered online and stashed. Fast forward 13 years. I ran out of blades and was lamenting that a search for a new razor was imminent. One that had the characteristics of the old one: no swivel head, 2-3 blades, an aloe strip, and fits my hand perfectly. I wanted my old Personal Touch... waaaaaa. The old razor has sat on the vanity for several days now while others are being tested. I just could not throw it away!

Now, back to the spring clean out. Guess what I found? Yep! Two packages of refills!! Big sigh of relief here. I now wonder how many packages I bought back in 2001 to still have 2. Now isn't it a good thing I procrastinated on throwing out the old razor handle?

Have you thrown out any old cosmetics lately? My criteria was based on what I wear, or in this case, don't wear. Everything that I don't use or don't like went into the sack. So long and thanks for all the fish.


15 March 2014

The Glass Blower


I am lucky enough to work for a bronze sculptor. This in turn, allows me access to other artists. I know, how fortunate I am!

In October 2013, I visited a glass blower's studio and it was totally fascinating. Isn't it funny how each artistic endeavor has it's own jargon? For instance, I always thought the term 'glory hole' was in reference to gold mining. But it is also the glass blower's term for the furnace.

She blew that bulb shape several times. She would dip it into glass particles, heat it up and then blow. And then repeat the process.




The end product! A beautiful organic star-shaped platter with a lily pattern in the center.