Friday Round Up and A New Year Revelation

This week hasn’t been too eventful in the crafting arena.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I did finish my first block (of the the Block  of The Month) and today I started Block Two.  

I added the teeny tiny applique for the bee and have started to embroider.  I love what I am making, it’s simple and speaks to my heart.  I have been giving much thought as to what I want to do with my finished blocks.  I can’t decide if I want to make the book or make a small wall quilt (my husband thinks I need to make a quilt).  

This weekend I plan to finish my embroidery vest project, and maybe start my new embroidery project, the Stitcher by LiliPopo.  So many fun projects and just not enough time to work on them all!!!

I have also been working on another pair of ribbed toe-up socks and I’m just about finished with the first sock.  I have decided to change up the back of the leg to include a cable.  I really love how this looks and the Cadet Color of the Patons Kroy is awesome ... my husband even commented he would wear socks in this color of blue!

I haven’t tackled my spinning in so long, well long for me as it’s been a few weeks since I’ve set down at my spinning wheel.  I hope to get back to spinning soon but just needed a bit of a break from it.  I love spinning but sometimes I need to do other things as well and like many of you out there who have many crafting loves, it’s often difficult to juggle them all.  Do you ever find that you have that issue ?

One thing I have started this year is to “allow” myself not to be focused on just one thing.  Before the world of the internet and social media, I never thought about crafting like I do today.  I have been so caught up with knitting and spinning that I gave up pretty much everything else I loved.  Why ?  Because to me the “cool kids” only knitted or spun.  I’m no longer worrying over being one of the “cool kids” and that has given me so much freedom to express myself in so many ways.  I know that may sound really dumb, but that’s really how I’ve been over the last 10 years.  I never have allowed myself to be me.  So this year I decided it was time to just that, be me!  

I think this post by my friend Diane that she shared from “Rantings of a Beautiful Mind” on Facebook sums up exactly how I feel.

Courtesy of Rantings of a Beautiful Mind

For instance....

I am drawing again!  I have truly missed my art and like my spinning, when I’m not consistent and doing this daily, I forget things or I simply loose my touch.  Art is a true love of mine (get it from my Mom) and no matter what I do in my crafting life, art is going to be part of it.

I wish all of you a wonderful and creative weekend, and remember to always enjoy what matters the most to you and not to others.

Until next time, be creative.

Wordless Wednesday: For the Love of My Dog

“Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.” – Jon Katz

Our boy Cody is the best little guy we have every had in our lifetime together and before being together.  He is smart as a whip, clever and so very loving.  I’m not just this because he belongs to us, or so should I say we belong to him, I truly believe this from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you God for bringing this bundle of fur into our lives!

A Finished Square !

“She was passionate about knitting because it allowed her to reach a state of peacefulness, and she loved to embroider because it let her express her creativity. Both activities were liberating. They allowed her to exist outside of time.” 
― Laura Esquivel, Pierced by the Sun

I am truly loving my small little embroidery projects right now and can’t wait to continue my adventure in stitching.  So here’s a recap for my first block for the Block  of The Month - 23rd Psalms from Jenny of Elefantz ....

I have a love hate relationship with transfer designs.  I typically use my light box and my Pentel Frixion pen for transferring but after reading a few posts in one of the embroidery groups I belong to on Facebook, I decided to revisit transfers, as well as embroidery stabilizers.

For this block I used a new to me “vanishing embroidery transfer” sheet by Printworks. I haven’t used iron on transfers in a very long time, so this was something fun to revisit.   So about this product, I have to say I like it.  My first attempt was a failure but it was the user and not the product.  The key though is a very hot iron and a smooth, flat surface.  I used my wool ironing mat for my square and it transferred perfectly.  The backing came off smoothly and left no residue, and the design came it in a very light gray.

From  Amazon:  Use Printworks Vanishing Embroidery Transfer Paper to easily add embroidery, cross-stitch or needlepoint patterns to shirts, tea towels, pillows and pillowcases, tote bags, hats, aprons, home décor, crafts, and so much more. Create more personalized, one-of-a-kind items and gifts! Printworks Vanishing Fabric Transfers save time over hand drawing on the fabrics. Simply design your pattern (black or grey line art works best), print it on a transfer sheet with your inkjet printer, transfer to your fabric with an iron (it takes less than 10 minutes  from start to finish), embellish the design, and then wash away the remaining transfer leaving only your one-of-a-kind work of art.  Vanishing Fabric Transfers is designed for use on White/Light-Colored fabrics: 100% cotton, cotton/poly blend, stretchy fabrics, or light-colored denim fabrics. Detailed and easy-to-follow transferring instructions are included in the package.  (No affiliate links) 

For the little bit of applique for the bird, I used batik scraps.  All thread is DMC, two strands used for the back stitch, blanket stitch and French knot.

I love my first square!

Now I must patiently wait for Jenny to post block 2 for February.  Meantime while I am waiting, I will be finishing up the embroidery on my thrifted  linen vest.  I really don’t have to much more to go and it will be finished.  I am thinking about doing a running stitch in three colors along the edges to give and extra bit of “color” too.

I am also planning to start an adorable embroidery design by LiliPopo called “The Stitcher”.  I used one of the Printworks Vanishing Embroidery Transfer sheets for this project and iron it onto a thrifted linen napkin.  I am trying to decide on my thread colors, and trying to decide if I will be using my Londonderry Linen thread, DMC floss or Valdani Threads.  Decisions, decisions, decisions .....

What are you working on this week ?

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings ... Embroidery Love Continues

Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by.  Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

My love of embroidery is continuing and I am finding it to be a breath of fresh air.  I am still knitting but at the moment I’m finding myself totally enthralled with my new project, as well as a soon to be new project.  

Yesterday I started my vest embroidery project.  Earlier in the week I traces the design with an iron on pencil, which did not iron on too clearly, causing me to go over some areas with a Pilot Frixion pen.  I either didn’t trace the design well enough or the linen fabric was the issue, but in the end the design can be seen well enough to embroider.

I also added a leaf at the bottom to give the design more balance.  As a reminder, this design is from Kelly Fletcher called Buds of May.

I decided to use linen thread and purchased this set of non-waxed Londonderry Linen thread from Crafty Wool Felt on Etsy.  The thread is awesome and so lovely to work with.  I made decent progress yesterday and plan to continue today.

I am also planning to start a lovely block of the month, a  memory book of sorts, themed around Psalm 23.  This wonderful series has been designed and created by Jenny of Elefantz Designs .  I love this theme as it is spiritual and creative!

Photos Courtesy of Elefanz Designs 

I have downloaded block one and will be starting it soon.  I think I have the perfect fabric in the stash for the embroidered pieces, as well as the necessary fabric for the binding, pockets and appliqué. I am so excited about this project and can’t wait to start!

Until next time ... be creative!

A Finished Pair and A New Cast On

I have finished my first pair of socks for the New Year! I started this ribbed toe-up pair New Years Eve using my stash of Patons Kroy in Cascade Colors.  They are not a perfect match, but honestly I don’t mind.

Needle Size:  US 1.50 , two 16” circular needles
Heel:  I used the heel from Socks on a Plane
Leg: 4”
Bind-off:   Double bind-off from a post by Karen Frisa in 2017 for Socktoberfest.

They are a perfect fit!

In my basket is a new cast on using my beautiful stash of Anzula Squishy in the color Dark Matter.  I am making a pair of cuff down socks but due to the colors in the yarn, I may just do plain vanilla or a broken rib pattern.  I also will be casting on another toe up pair using Patons Kroy in Cadet. I have not decided on a pattern yet, but may do another pair of ribbed socks.

What’s off your needles today?

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings ... Embroidery

My life has had many creative ups and downs, but I always seem to go back to the things I love and enjoy the most.  I truly love the fiberarts but at times I miss the needlearts, so today I want to talk about hand embroidery.  

When I was a little girl my Mom thought it was very important for me to learn hand embroidery.  I honestly think it was largely due to the fact she was madly in love with crewel work and wanted to share that love with me.  She purchased small kits by Sunset Stitchery ( very popular in the 70s to mid-80s ) that were easy for me to learn basic embroidery stitches.  

Needless to say I fell in love with embroidery, especially crewelwork, and made many pieces that seem to have disappeared over the years.  For some reason though I completely stopped doing embroidery.  Maybe because it wasn’t the “in thing” to do, maybe it was time to do something new or maybe, like many things, it was just a cycle of hobby life. 

I have gradually started to work a few pieces over the last couple of years.  I am still drawn to Jacobean Crewel and have purchased a vintage Elsa Williams kit that I plan to embroider in floss rather than wool.  I absolutely love this this piece and have wanted it for years and was so lucky to find it on eBay.

JACOBEAN PANEL Crewel Embroidery Kit
Designed by Michael A. LeClair
Kit #00445
Made in USA
Finished Size 10" x 20"
Frame Size 14" x 24"
Kit contains: Design screened on 100% linen fabric, The Color Organizer with presorted Paternayan 100% wool crewel yarn and 100% cotton floss, metallic thread, Needle, Complete Instructions.  Frame and mats not included.

I am also very excited about a thrifted linen vest I picked up for $2.00 that I plan to embroider a beautiful design by KF Needlework Design called Buds of May.  If you love modern embroidery designs, be sure to check out Kelly’s shop.

I have ordered a collection of beautiful linen threads by Londonderry to use for this project and plan to place the embroidery design on the back of the vest. I may also incorporate a bit of the design on the front too!

I suppose I am coming full circle and it’s fun to be reunited with things that once brought me much joy and given me so many cherished memories of time spent with my mom.

Until next time, be creative!

And I’m Off .... Spin-Offs Mitt Along

Who doesn’t need a new pair of gloves or mittens? (I know that I sure do!) Please join us over in the mitt-along thread on Ravelry and tag us on Instagram using the hashtags #spinoffmittalong, #spinoffmagazine, and #longthreadmedia. 
Important dates: January 17, 2020, start spinning! March 20, 2020, show us your finished mitts! - Deborah Held

I wasn’t sure I really wanted to participate in this spin along, but as Debbie put it on her post a few days ago, “who doesn’t need a new pair of gloves or mittens.”   I have searched my fiber stash and have decided that I will spin my lovely Falkland from Three Waters Farms in the color Corduroys With Boots.  This will not only be a fun project, but will help me with my stash down goals for #spin15aday2020stashdown.

Just look at those colors!

I am planning to spin for fingerless mitts and my goal is 150 yards in DK weight.  If I can do this, which I am confident I can, I plan to make Alicia Plummer’s Leydon Mitts.  I’ve had this pattern for a long time and think it’s perfect for handspun! 

Courtesy of Alicia Plum

I will be using my Schacht Matchless for this project and plan to chain ply, so spinning thinner than usual will be key.  Today I am prepping my fiber and this weekend I will start spinning.

Until next time, be creative!

Wordless Wednesday.... Needles

I have a small collection of straight knitting needles that I love to display is vintage crystal vases.  I think they go lovely with my sheep,  and my vintage plate too.  Every time I see this display on my little maple table, I smile.

Do you display your needles and hooks ?

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings .... Spinning and Knitting

I honestly haven’t given much time to my spinning, or knitting, this week as I have had a bad case of tennis elbow.  I get this now and then when I over do knitting, so I tend to turn my attention to other creative lives, such as sewing.

I did spin a little today...

I also worked on the mate to my ribbed sock and made a little more progress.

Friday I started my third Shirt No. 1 and for it all sewn together.  I am now working on the finishing and the neckline.  I have really been enjoying sewing and I am learning so many new things.  I do believe sewing is going to be forever in my life, which I don’t mind one bit.

I also spent the morning cleaning out the rest of the craft books and miscellaneous crafting items that are destined for Goodwill.  I have started making a conscious decision not to buy for the sake of buying.  Before I commit to buying anything new I am asking myself if I “really need it, or just want it”, which is making a huge difference in my spending habits.

I am learning to take one day at a time and to enjoy what I am doing instead of trying to make others happy by posting what I think others want to see.  I love many things and enjoy many different hobbies.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am no longer concentrating on just one thing.  Besides, if I did just concentrate one one thing, how boring would that be !

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf
 “When you seek the presence of your creative Spirit and are filled with passion about virtually everything you undertake, you'll successfully remove the roadblocks from your life and enjoy the active presence of Spirit.” - Wayne Dyer

Until next time, be creative and be true to yourself.

The Sewing Corner...Friday Finishes: New Tops!

I am so excited to start the new year off with two new tops!!    I have completed two Shirt No 1s, pattern by Sonya Philip of  100 Acts of Sewing.  I love this pattern as it is so versatile and so easy to change up.

The first finish was sewn out of a lovely blend of 55% Linen/45% Cotton by Robert Kaufman, the Forage Essex collection designed by Anna Graham called Roam Essex in Charcoal that I purchased from Hawthorne Supply Co.  

I really love how it turned out and the fabric was awesome to sew.  I also purchased a coordinating solid in Essex Yarn Dyed in Charcoal for the sleeves and for making the bias tape for the neckline.

The second Shirt No. 1 finish was sewn in Robert Kaufman Crate Essex in Indigo, another lovely blend of 55% Linen and 45% Cotton.   I used Cotton Linen. Denim in Denim for the neckline.  I love the solid denim so much that I am thinking it would be great for a pair of pants.

I will share that the neckline was created due to a mistake.  The mistake was the fact I sewed the bias tape on the wrong side instead of the right side.  So, I decided to go with it for a more “decorative”  and finished looking neckline.  Who knew a mistake could actually turn out to be a nice neckline feature ! The only other modification I made is split seams for the sides.

For my seam finishing, I did a combination of a mock French Seam and what is called a “clean finish” .  I am finding that finishing is very important when it comes to linen and linen blends.  It truly helps with fraying issues.

I also wanted to share my favorite tools for sewing ...

From left to right:  
My favorite tool is the Dritz curved ruler. It has made a world of difference in cutting my necklines.  

What have you finished this week ?

Until next time, be creative!

Throwback Thursday... Reminiscing

Yarn Forward Magazine No. 32, January 2011

Once upon a time, on the west side of Phoenix, there lived a girl who loved knitting.  She was very passionate about it, so much so that she wanted to learn everything there was about it, including designing.  She learned how to write patterns for her hat, scarf and cowl designs, and even wrote a wrap design that was published in a magazine.

That girl was me, and that was 9 years ago.  Wow, time does fly!!  I am so blessed to have had a design published in a magazine, and while I am still very passionate about knitting, I haven’t designed for the last few years.  Maybe someday I will return to designing, or even re-open my Etsy shop, but for now I will cherish the once in a lifetime moment of being in the Yarn Forward magazine.

I knitted the sample piece in King Cole Merino Blend Aran
The original pieces I designed were knitted in Lionbrand Organic Wool in the color Pecan

“This design was inspired by the many books, movies and music surrounding the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis. The illusion of the cable design is to give the appearance of cables fading in and out, just as dreams often do.”

Until next time, be creative!

Wordless Wednesday: Sock Knitting

Goal #2:  I want to make 12 pairs of socks new year and 
think one pair a month is quite doable.

Part of my 2020 goals is knitting 12 pairs of socks (or more).  I have a small collection of books that holds many beautiful patterns, not to mention e-books and a ton of PDF purchases.  

My goal is to start using what I already have and not to buy more.  This goal includes not only books and patterns, but yarn too.  Like most knitters, this is a hard goal for me but one I truly want to keep as I have way too much stash!

Until next time ~ be creative!

Sock Knitting and a New Podcast

I am working on my toe up ribbed socks using Patons Kroy in Cascade Colors.  I am loving the gradient effects of this yarn and the greens are awesome!  I am seriously thinking about mid-calf length socks, which I have never done before.  Since this photo, I have knitted 3” of the leg and think it would be awesome to have mid-calf socks.  These socks are working up fairly quickly and think my first pair of the year will be finished in no time!

I have a new Podcast to share with you today too, one that is by a very sweet and creative person, Heavenly Bresser.  Heavenly’s podcast, My Handspun Year, is very inspirational and is based on 365 Days of Gratitude shared with spinning and faith.  Please take a listen, it’s a wonderful podcast to start your day off with spinning!

What am I grateful  for today .... my husband, who inspires me every day to be me and to never stop being creative.

Until next time ~ be creative!

Sunday Musings ..... Sewing Endeavors

These days I seem  to have way too many “creative” loves but one I honestly can say that I want to pursue this year is sewing.  When I wrote my 2020 goals, sewing was part of what I wanted to accomplish this year and I am rather excited about the possibilities of what I can make not only for my wardrobe but for my home.

I am starting of the year by making four new Shirt No 1 ‘s, which I cut out  a few months now but seem to have had difficulties in finding the time to get them sewn together.  Like I said, sometimes I have too many creative loves that somehow always get in the way of things I really need to focus on!

I am the Balboa Fabric Line by Erin Dollar and the Forage Essex by Ann Graham , both collections by Robert Kaufman.   I love linen fabric.  It breathes, wears well and seems to become softer as it is washed and worn.

Linen and cotton fabrics are a must for Arizona, or I least I think they are a must and this comes from a girl who loves her wool !
I also have this pattern ⬇️ by Indygo Junction I want to make out of my Debbie Maddy 100% cotton Indigo dyed fabric that was purchased last summer from 35th Sew & Vac, a great local fabric store in Phoenix. I haven’t really found too many fabrics locally as my local fabric stores mainly carry lines for quilting.  So I purchase most of my fabric online from Hawthorne Supply Co.  and plan to venture out and try a few other online sources for fabric too.

Coming in the mail from. Fancy Tiger Crafts are two patterns that I’ve wanted to try for quite a while, the Hinderland Dress by Sew Liberated and Fen Dress and Top by Fancy Tiger

Courtesy of Fancy Tiger

Courtesy of Fancy Tiger
Karen Templer of Fringe Association recently wrote about her Fen, which made me want to make this pattern even more.  I’m excited about learning to sew something new and different, which means I’m branching out from my beloved Shirt No. 1 pattern.

I do plan to use my modern sewing machine for most of my sewing projects, but I am thinking seriously hard about using my vintage Singer 99k for a few of the tops I am making as it is simply straight stitching.  Wouldn’t that be a fun adventure in sewing !

Singer 99k - Manufactured March 13, 1956 (Clydebank, Scotland) 

Until next time, be creative!

Friday Finishes: Handspun Skeins

Fresh of the bobbins and skeined ....  two skeins of handspun, the first for the New Year.  This wasn’t my best spinning but I am pleased with how it turned out and I have enough yardage for mitts, a hat or a cowl.

Yardage:  186 yards

Weight:    DK

Ply:           Two plied using center ball pull

Fiber:        Frabjous Fiber 100% Merino in the color Cactus 

Yardage:  134 yards

Weight:    DK

Ply:           Chain plied (Navajo Plied)

Fiber:        Funky Carolina 100% BFL in the color Egg Hunt 

I am now working on my beautiful fiber from my firiend Sherrill (a.k.a. the1764shepherdess ).  This is a blend of Targhee, Bamboo and Silk.  The colors in this braid reminds me of hot cocoa and chocolate truffles 😃

I decided to spilt this braid down the middle, 3 oz each.  My plan is to spin up two bobbins and either chain ply or two ply.  My hopes is enough yardage for a shaw.

What have you finished?

Until next time, be creative!

Hello January ... Let’s Start The Year Off Great!

I feel every new year should be started off by doing something you absolutely love and for me, it’s spinning.

I was so excited to be able to spend my day at home with my hubby and our doggie Cody.  It was a peaceful day of enjoying movies, good food and doing what we enjoyed.  While hubby read tutorials on a project he is considering, I finished up spinning my Funky Carolina BFL fiber in the color Egg Hunt, and even plied it!

Now I am almost too embarrassed to say this, but I started spinning this fiber back in July of 2019 (shaking my head in disbelief).  I honestly have no words as to why this took me so long to finish, but I am happy it’s done.

Photo from my July post ⬇️

Bobbin shot of finished spinning ⬇️

Bobbin shot of finished plying ⬇️

I chain plied this on my Schacht Ladybug and I love how it turned out.  Now to see how much yardage I achieved .... hoping it’s enough for a least mitts or a hat.  The colors are so lovely and remind me a bit of spring flowers.

As mentioned in an early post, I also finished spinning my scrumptious Frabjous Fiber Merino Wool in the color Cactus too!!  Since I want enough yardage for a shawl, I decided to two ply using the center ball pull method.  I look forward to seeing this knitted up as the colors are very soft and delicate.

Bobbin shot before plying ⬇️

Center Ball Pull Method ⬇️

Bobbin shot after plying ⬇️

I have to say I definitely started off the new year with a bang and I am so pleased that I finished two spinning projects that have been languishing on my wheels for months!!!!  I think my spinning mojo is finally back, which makes me very happy.  The last thing to do is to get them both skeined.

Until next time, be creative!

Happy New Year

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year Everyone!!