Thursday, June 30, 2005

"Tie One On" entry

This is my June entry for the apron-along. I call it "Rhinestone Cowgirl". I loved this fabric and had my eyes on it when Amy told us the theme. Each cowgirl has her name next to her face with names like "Rosa" and "Jolene" and of course, "Ma". I added "J" pockets with a pleated ruffle for a girly touch and lots of faux rhinestones for "bling". I made the ties long and wide for a big, fat rear bow like the aprons from the fifties and thought of my mother tying big fat bows on our dresses.


Detail of pocket Posted by Hello


Rhinestone Cowgirl Apron Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Plums

This is my 10 year old plum tree in June. Full of really good stuff to eat. This year I was smart and got to them before the birds discovered them and before the earwigs ate the dropped fruit. My whole family goes plum crazy in June. So, it's time to "put up" some of this fruit bonanza. How about this from Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard:

PLUM AMARETTO JAM

3 cups chopped tart red or purple plums (about 8-10 plums)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbls. lemon juice
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur

1. Combine plums, sugar, water and lemon juice in a large, stainless steel or enamel saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil rapidly until mixture will form a jell, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in liqueur.

3. Ladle into sterilized jars and process.

Makes 4 cups

Yum.


Plums  Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

Amy Butler Fabric Knitting Bag

I love Amy Butler fabrics. I was needing a nice bag to hold my somewhat large knitting project that I could put in my backpack and take on the airplane with me. It couldn't be stiff or bulky as I had to fit it in with all my take on stuff that was going in the backpack as well. A local quilting shop just started carrying her fabrics and these two patterns caught my eye. I designed this bag and it worked out so well that I am making more for other knitting projects and yarns that I want to keep clean. I made a simple drawstring that keeps everything from falling out. For traveling these soft bags are perfect to tuck into open knitting bags or used by themselves...and they are washable! They're much prettier than ziploc bags which I have used in the past for smaller projects. I like the ambience of having balls of yarn in a basket near where I knit in the living room...like a good friend always waiting patiently for you. But my house is very dusty and now I put the yarn in this bag, pull the drawstring and the yarn is good to go when I'm ready.


Amy Butler fabric knitting bag Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Making Bags

I've made dozens of bags...purses, backpacks, totes, wallets, you name it. This large tote bag came about when I found some upholstery fabric on sale at a local store. I sort of used a pattern but changed it to my own preferences. With all of my experience, you would think I'd have the whole process down pat. Not. What was I thinking? Heavy upholstery fabric for a large tote? This thing weighs A TON. I lined it, put in lots of pockets, which are WAAAY down at the bottom. I used a piece of PVC board (that we use in the sign shop) to stabilize the bottom and then sewed buttons to protect the fabric. It's been an ORDEAL. I can't sew up the top edge because there are so many thick layers that I can't get a needle through them. Got any suggestions? I'm at a loss as to how to save it from the circular file.


The Carpetbag...waiting for a button Posted by Hello

Felting 102

Here's the finished oven mitt. I love the verigated yarn but it didn't felt as completely or as thick as the lopi yarns I usually use. It also felted a bit smaller than my others. Fortunately, the person it is going to has small hands. But I love the embellishment! I'm going to do more embellishing in the future, for sure.


Felted oven mitt with embellishment Posted by Hello

Friday, June 03, 2005

Trip Time!

I am so excited because I will be seeing my sisters and their families next week and I will be flying in to New Jersey with my brother! The four of us are rarely together so this is a big fat happy meal deal. My niece and my nephew will be graduating from highschool and my brother hasn't seen his grandkids in quite a while so it was time for a visit. I really hate airplanes so I have to really want to go somewhere to get on one. With knitting, these trips are much more bearable. I get cozy in my seat and drag out the needles...it's like meditation for me. This trip I will be taking the multi-colored Manos Stria shawl to work on. I talk about this in a previous post but I love this yarn. I prefer this cotton yarn over the Manos wool which I really don't like.

Even though I was born in Michigan, I consider myself a "Jersey Girl" because I spent so much of my early life there. The beaches are phenomenal, the blueberries are luscious, the tomatoes are the best and the corn is fabulous. It's blueberry season now, so I plan on eating bowlsful. So there may be a blueberry recipe on the horizon. Stay tuned.


The best Sisters, Nieces and Nephews Circa 1990 (Nathaniel wasn't born yet but he is definately included) Posted by Hello

Felting 101

I have always loved to knit but when I discovered felting it opened up vast possibilites. Since I felted my first thrift shop 100% wool skirt and made a rustic Santa Claus outfit from it(for a doll), I knew there would be more felting in my future. Nowadays there are such wonderful books available on felting, I don't need to go through the process here. But I will show you some before and afters as the projects come up. Below is a "Before" shot of an oven mitt I am working on from the book "Felted Knits" by Bev Galeskas. I have made a few of these and they always come out great. This is the first time I will be using Manos wool and I am a bit sceptical. This wool is a thick and thin yarn and doesn't have the uniformity of past wools I have used, so it will be interesting to see what happens. The practicality of a wool oven mitt is that when it is felted it becomes thick and will keep your hand from burning. I hope that this wool, although very pretty, will be thick enough.


Oven Mitt Before Thumb and Felting Posted by Hello