November already?

Again I find myself thinking……where has the time gone?  It seems like you miss a day here or there and the next thing you know it’s months later.  But that’s a good thing in some ways, a sign of a full life possibly?  Okay, that’s what I’m telling myself as I realize how long it’s been since I’ve updated here.

 

So many things have happened since my last post, mostly all good, We finished that bathroom remodel that took forever, and then I started playing catch up, then summer came and I spent as much time as possible in the sunshine.  It’s now fall and after a crazy October, life is settling in.  But instead of trying to catch up on the last several months, I’m just going to forge ahead with what’s going on now.  (You can catch up by following me on Instagram @jwsodypop if you’re curious).

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth between the office, customer quilting, making quilts for the family, and learning to weave.  I say learning to weave because I don’t believe I’ll ever have fully learned everything that can be taught about weaving, it’s a journey, just like quilting.

No pictures to show of customer quilts at this time, I have several in the lineup for overall quilting this month, but do have spaces open for quilts to be done before Christmas if you’re interested.

The weaving I can show, right now I have two projects going.  I’ve got a sampler in progress on the Leclerc Medico, a small 22″ wide 4 shaft table loom.  I’m using a cotton warp and a laceweight Alpaca variegated yarn for the weft.  This is to hang in the weaving room as a reference for what different patterns look like woven and whether or not I need to do a floating selvedge with a particular pattern (some need it, some don’t).

Sampler in cotton and alpaca

 

And I’ve finished some trial kitchen towels using Peaches and Cream as my warp.  It makes a nice soft, fluffy, absorbent towel, but does need care in handling on the loom as it tends to stretch. This is my favorite one now that it’s off the loom.

 

On the Leclerc Artistat floor loom, I’ve started a shawl.  I’m using a silk/merino blend for the warp, with a tencel floating selvedge.  So far I’ve used two different merino yarns in the weft, with a tabby tencel spacer between them.  I know, foreign language to some of  you, but the weavers out there will understand.  I’m working this at 28″ wide for an end width after wet finishing of 25″ (hopefully).

 

In the studio, I’ve been trying to sew, but I have three distractions  now:

Oscar (on the right) and Sasha (on the left) came to live with us and Casey (center) a couple months ago as kittens from the shelter.  You can imagine what type of kitten-proofing needed to be done, and is currently still being upgraded, as these little ones have grown and gained skills!  They keep me laughing and have integrated well into the family.  Last week the final hold-out on getting along, Ciarra and Sasha, came to terms with each other.  We now have a modicum of peace in this house.

And in spite of that, I’m making progress on my daughter’s quilt.  It’s been slow progress on this one, and has stalled progress on the other family quilts, but that’s another story for another day.  Not a bad story, just a challenging one, all my fault!  But finally the rows are going together and I’m back on track (I hope!).

The chickens are once again molting, the angora rabbits are enjoying the cooler temperatures we’ve had lately, and the dogs are settling down as they get older. So that’s an update for the beginning of November and I hope not to wait too long before I have another update to give.  Oh and this long time “right hand thrower” has learned continental knitting….. a game changer for me…… I guess I do have another update for another day!

January 5, 2018

As I sit here having breakfast, I thought I’d share a few projects that I worked on over the holidays and this week.
One of my online groups had a WIP challenge over the holidays.  After two years languishing on the needles, the challenge was the perfect boost to finish them.  The pattern is Louisella by Mary Hough Designs.  Mary is one of my favorite sock designers on Ravelry.  

  

I also worked on a custom quilt for a customer.  I’ll share just a sneak peak.

And a class sample in progress.  More details are on Quilters Loft blog, this is one of the mini lap quilt series.  http://quiltersloftcompany.blogspot.com/ 

And finally, I rejoined WPKnits Stunning Mystery Society 2018 knit a long.      http://wpknits.com/ This year we’re knitting a total of five shawls.  Four are quarterly projects and one is a year long knit.  The quarterly shawls release one clue a week, the year long shawl releases one clue a month.  This is the start of the first quarterly shawl after the opening clue. And yes, it has beads in it!

My toast and fruit are done, so it’s time to take my coffee and head to work. The question is to which job first, the office or the studio?  

Little Things

I have two of a name brand machine, a reliable, well known brand.  And I have two of the same model patchwork foot, one for each machine.  One machine is older, possibly 8-10 years, the other machine is new, just over a year.  One patchwork foot was bought when I purchased the older machine, the other was bought after I purchased the newer machine.

 

I’ve been working on a lot of little blocks lately, and all have been a smidge undersized.  Not enough to be earth shattering, nor to stress about, but still, not quite right.  Today I decided to make the sample block for The Splendid Sampler that starts this weekend.  And it was almost 1/8″ undersized when I was done.  Now that, for me, was unacceptable and no way to start a new quilt.

So Mike and I talked about it as needle setting didn’t adjust the difference.  He suggested I coat the inside of the guide on the foot with either nail polish or something similar to make up the difference required (about 2 threads worth).  Then I remembered I had another one of the same foot with the old machine.

Now I had assumed that I had the old foot with the old machine, and the new foot with the new machine.  But on retrieving the foot with the old machine, I discovered differently.  Looking at the two feet, old to new, you can see a difference in the thickness of the guide on the side of the foot and a slight difference in the size of the foot itself.  Not much, but a difference.  So before I “adjusted” the foot that was on the machine, I switched feet around and re-pieced the block.  I used new fabrics, but all the same stitch length, cutting technique, everything, exactly the same.  And when it was done it was a perfect 6-1/2″ unfinished!!!!!!

 

Sometimes it’s the little things that make me smile!

Pieced with old patchwork foot, 1/8" short of size.
Pieced with old patchwork foot, 1/8″ short of size.

 

And after:

Yellow and white block pieced with old patchwork foot. Blue and pink block pieced with new patchwork foot.
Yellow and white block pieced with old patchwork foot. Blue and pink block pieced with new patchwork foot.