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21  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Vintage Cowgirl Kitty Tea Towel on: April 09, 2012 11:37:19 AM
I found this vintage pattern in the Hoop Love group on Flickr and couldn't resist stitching it onto a a tea towel.  I gave it to my sister-in-law for her birthday.  It's all done with two strands, and almost exclusively stem stitch.

This pic shows the detail:

And this pic, though not as good, shows a little of the cute stripey edge of the Aunt Martha's towel I used (towel from JoAnn Fabric)
22  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday 30 March 2012 on: March 30, 2012 09:32:35 AM
Hello and Happy Friday!!!

I had fun with my yarn this week.  I've wanted to spin a feathered yarn for ages, but spinning actual feathers just wasn't working well for me and the quills are scratchy.  Then I got an idea -- shredded silk kinda looks like feathers, right?  So I shredded up some silk chiffon scarves I had laying around the house and threaded them onto some green commercial yarn I had left over from a baby gift.  Then I plied it with some white commercial yarn, also left over from a baby gift.  I'm actually really happy with how it turned out.  "The Green Fairy" - 98 yards

23  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday March 23, 2012 on: March 23, 2012 09:38:44 AM
Hello and a happy Friday to you all.

My yarn this week was a first attempt at spinning foreign objects into a yarn.  Each bead and sequin was threaded onto a bit of roving and then spun into the white singles yarn.  I threaded lots of the objects onto purple, pink and turqoise bits of roving to get a little variation, and thought of rainbows and unicorns while I spun.  Then I plied with a fuschia semi-sparkly thrift store yarn of unknown fiber content.  I call it "Sparkle Princess," 150 yards.

24  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday March 16, 2012 on: March 16, 2012 07:40:00 AM
Hello everyone!!

I've been inspired by LaughingLark's recent recycled sweater yarns, so I had to give the technique a try.  I cut an old merino sweater into squares about 3"x3" and unraveled them into individual little yarn squiggles, and then spun the yarn bits like locks.

"Forest Green Shag" is 112 yards of a super bulky shaggy yarn.  It does not photograph well, so I'm kind of sorry mine is the photo starting out Fiber Friday, but in person I really love it!  I plied it with navy blue thread.  Although I love my handpainted rovings, it is nice to have a yarn in one nice, rich color to work with.  I'm imagining a cowl or hat.  Again, wish the photo conveyed the yarn better, because I really like it.

What do you all have this week?
25  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / I found the best way to string beads on roving! Floss threaders!! on: March 10, 2012 12:16:09 PM
I am starting to string beads and sequins on bits of roving in preparation for spinning an embellished yarn.  Jacey Boggs recommends using a sharp darning needle.  I thought, "How am I going to thread the roving into the needle?"  Inspiration struck at the drugstore, and I bought a pack of floss threaders, like you might use to floss your teeth if you have braces.  Works like a charm!!  I don't even bother threading the darning needle, but just use the floss threader to thread the beads and sequins.  The eye of the floss threader is so large I can fit my fingers through, which makes it so easy to get a little tuft of roving ready to go.  And, if I end up wanting to thread a felted bead or something, I can still use the floss threader to thread the darning needle with roving.

Just had to share, b/c I'm so excited it worked!

If you don't know what a floss threader is, here's a link:
26  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday February 3, 2012 on: February 03, 2012 08:11:32 AM
Hello Everybody!  I'll start us off this week.  My yarn is "Dixieland."  73 yards super-bulky corespun from a mixed-fiber batt from Gritty Knits.  It was my first time spinning from a mixed batt and I LOVED it!!!  I will have to occasionally splurge on buying a mixed batt because it was so much fun.  The batt contained Romney, Corriedale, Merino, cultivated silk, firestar, and carder scraps.

27  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday 20 January 2012 on: January 20, 2012 09:22:52 AM
Howdy!  Here are a couple of yarns I spun this week.

The first one is "Saltwater Taffy," a superbulky shetland 2-ply.  I dyed the orange-red with Wilton's and Kool-Aid and left the other ply natural.  It was my first time spinning shetland and it was divine!  So easy to draft.  It's so bulky that my bobbin only held 73 yards, so I have another mini-skein of 35 yards.  I stuck a quarter in there to show how bulky the yarn is.

After plying the "Saltwater Taffy" I had some of the dyed singles left on the bobbin.  Decided to try supercoils for the first time.  So the 2nd yarn is called "Coral Supercoils."  Jacie Boggs jokes on her Sit and Spin DVD that when you're done spinning supercoils you'll have made about 4 yards of really cool yarn.  That's about right -- this skein is only 8.3 yards, but it was a fun experiment to spin it.

A closer view to show the coils better:

28  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Speckled Hen Earflap Hat on: January 09, 2012 09:16:17 AM
Here's an earflap hat I made with my homespun yarn.  I named the yarn "speckled hen."

From my Speckled Hen Yarn:

I had about 10 yards less yarn than the pattern called for, so I had to leave off the single crochet edging the pattern calls for.  I used every last inch of my yarn!  I left the tails of my yarn on the tassles sort of uneven and wild-looking.  I feel like either an elf or Ghenghis Khan when I wear it.  

Here's another less flattering angle that shows the shape a little better:

And this is the pattern I used:
29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Vintage Chickens Napkins on: January 05, 2012 09:21:30 AM
Found these designs in the Hoop Love group on Flickr and couldn't resist stitching them.   There are more, but here are the first two.  They are both done with two strands.  I did the hen in backstitch and the rooster in stem stitch.  I really enjoy doing monochromatic pieces, but playing around with the stitches I use to give some texture to the piece.

This one of them dancing was the first one I stitched.  I am not happy with the rooster's eye or the music notes, but not unhappy enough with them to rip them out and re-do them.  I have decided that from now on I will stitch eyes separately with their own thread, so that if I decide to rip them out it'll be easy to do.  These napkins are just for household use and not a gift, so I decided to live with the imperfections.
30  COOKING / Dessert / Peanuts Gang Springerle Cookies on: December 27, 2011 09:20:01 AM
I had a craving for Springerle cookies this year, after not having them for about 15 years.  Trouble is, I don't have any Springerle molds.  I found some old Peanuts Gang plastic cookie cutters my husband's mom used to use when he was little.  I thought they'd be perfect, since Springerles hold their shape so well, and those kinds of cookie cutters often give disappointing results with sugar cookie dough since the design doesn't stay very well-defined after baking.  I've determined that whoever designed these cookie cutters was a bit of a sadist, because there are so many narrow little bits (like Snoopy's neck) that like to come apart when you're handling the dough.  Don't know if I'll ever want to use them again, but I loved having these cookies this year.

So, here's Snoopy and the gang!

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