Thursday, August 27, 2015

As the Summer Winds Down ...

As laid back and quiet as the first part of my summer was, the second half has been busy, busy, busy!  Not much time for anything fiber, unless you count taking some yarn and weaving a barrier in the deer fencing that the little darlings were squeezing through so they could eat all our delicious vegetables ... they did an interesting trim job on the beans!

I've been enjoying the zinnias and emerging pumpkins, which apparently deer don't eat.

And beginning to put up the first of the buckets and buckets of apples that are ripening a bit early ... apple pie, apple crumble, fresh apple juice, apple butter, apple sauce!

I'm also accepting that this year I will not be getting an early jump on my Christmas projects - Christmas in July came and went and Christmas in August is going to follow in the same direction.  I'll try to get some Christmas patterns up in September!  It is hard to imagine December with the unusually hot weather we've had this summer in the Northwest.  We're calling them the "cat days" of summer as we seem to have plenty of those and no dogs yet.  For regular readers of this blog, you may recognize Felix (the gray and white one) as one of my Phoenix attic cats (see this post and this one).  He is now an Oregon cat after his brother, Tiger, succumbed to an unusual blood disease that had labs in two states scratching their heads.  Up here he has lots of feline friends and seems very happy.

When I do get a little unplanned time, I've been working on a shawl in a fantastic colorway - Northbound Knitting's Metallurgy.  It looks like spun metal, but is merino and silk and is soooo soft! 

And on a weekend trip to Seattle, I discovered a fantastic little yarn shop about a block away from Pike's Place Market, So Much Yarn on First Avenue.  They have so many yarns I've never seen before, like this heavily textured one from Universal Yarns, Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in the Dragon colorway.  I can't wait to get this on my needles and see how it knits up!  I'll be sure to post photos!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Weaving

I've been daydreaming about the day when I can buy a floor loom ... that day is not too far off!  So to get ready, I've been wandering around sites that offer free patterns and instructions.  If you also have the weaving bug, you'll want to check these out.

Schnact Spindle Company has quite a few patterns on this site that also teach a specific weaving skill.  I think this clutch will be one of my first projects!

Lion Brand offers over 60 free patterns here and many of them are done on simple looms.  These placemats look like a good beginning project!

The Woolery offers several free patterns, including this overview of weaving twills - something that's on the top of my "want to learn" list.  See more here.

On Weavolution's website, you can find some gorgeous pattern pdfs like these gorgeous striped towels.

And if you want to immerse yourself in weaving for the better part of a morning, go to the Wellingtonboot site for weaving tutorials for beginners and kids.  This is an amazing collection of just about any weaving technique you can think of from!  Even a fascinating automatic loom made from Legos that I highly recommend watching the video of!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A New Blanket Edging

A friend's new baby meant time for another crochet edged blanket!  I've had this cute bird fabric in my stash for awhile - if you haven't crocheted an edging right onto flannel, see this past post for pointers.  For this new edging, you'll need size 10 crochet thread and a size 5 steel crochet hook.

Row 1:  Base row of single crochet

Row 2:  Chain 3, skip the next stitch in the row below and single stitch in the following stitch.  Repeat this all the way around the blanket.  Depending on how far apart your base row stitches are, you may need to add extra stitches on the corners.  Do this by chaining 3 and then single stitching in the next stitch in the row below instead of skipping a stitch.  When you get all around the blanket, slip stitch to join the round.

Row 3:  Chain 3, single stitch in the chain 3 space in the row below.  Continue all around the blanket and slip stitch to join the round.

Row 4:  *In the first chain 3 space, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, chain 1, double crochet, half double crochet, and single crochet.  Slip stitch in the next chain 3 space.*  Repeat all around the blanket.  Slip stitch to join the round and fasten thread off.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Branch Weaving

Branch weaving, stick weaving, nature weaving .... different names for the same fascinating art form!  And after looking at all these inspiring pieces, I'm ready to go comb the woods for branches to make some of my own.

Branch Weaving Mediatation, Alessandra Taccia

Earth to Stoneware, Susan Ford Collins

Simply Enchanted Life has a tutorial on how to create this tree branch weaving here.

Ellie of Petalplum created these pieces - I love the shadow play in these photos!  She has a photo tutorial on creating branch art here.

And Natural Suburbia has a photo tutorial on creating colorful pieces here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah