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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Re: Ungrateful Gift Recipient on: January 17, 2019 08:39:40 AM
It's rude to ask a maker to make you something just because you think it's cool, and I feel it is doubly rude to expect a maker who celebrates Christmas to make ANYthing in the month of December. Or even November. October too. Just... If you want something hand-made, especially for nothing, or for very little, stick to Jan-June. A last minute scarf at Christmastime? Ain't no one got time for that nonsense. For some reason, there are people out there who just automatically feel entitled to the skills of those around them. Those people can suck it. Cheesy
2  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Re: Rigid Heddle Infinity Scarf on: January 17, 2019 08:31:17 AM
Thanks everyone!
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: Shearling Cushions on: December 31, 2018 08:03:51 AM
Cheesy Thank you! My sister liked that they were accidentally shaped like clouds. The wool is DEEP, so they are very squishy.
4  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Re: Rigid Heddle Infinity Scarf on: December 31, 2018 07:54:13 AM
Thank you, everyone! I really love the process of weaving, and have been considering investing in a good basic rigid heddle loom but haven't pulled the trigger yet. I definitely do not have room for a floor loom, and ideally, any loom I got would be something that I could put away with ease. We'll see.
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Shearling Cushions on: December 27, 2018 09:47:15 AM
It was hand-made-using-stash Christmas this year for me. Fortunately for my family, I'm not bad at what I do, and my basement holds many wonders. Although, in the case of these cushions, it was my mother's basement that held most of the ingredients. And I did have to buy the stuffing.

My mom had a couple of tops of really thick, dense shearling sheepkins and a vintage Faribo blanket my dad had accidentally washed. So I combined that with some leather from an old coat, some interfacing, and a LOT of hand-stitching, to make a pair of cushions for the big wooden chairs in my sister's new house.

The coat leather was thin garment-weight leather, so I cut it into strips, sewed the ends together, punched it and ironed on some heavy interfacing, then also punched the shearling and sewed them together using waxed cord and a simple back stitch. The strips were cut extra long and then I just sewed until I'd put a stitch in every hole around the hide, and then cut off the excess from the strip and sewed them together. The back was then sewn on, leaving the flat bottom part open for stuffing. The strips are 1 1/4" wide, so I used 1" foam, plus thick cushion-cover batting, and with the very squishy, dense shearling, it makes a really cozy cushion, even though it's fairly thin.

And since everyone that has seen them has asked, they are not shaped like clouds. That's just the natural shape of the tops of the hides, trimmed down somewhat.
6  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Rigid Heddle Infinity Scarf on: December 27, 2018 09:31:18 AM
So, I made my mother this scarf for Christmas:

It is my second weaving on a rigid heddle loom. The loom is an Erica 25" craft loom from the 70s. It is NOT the most basic loom I've ever seen, but it's pretty basic for a rigid heddle loom. Before, I'd used another craft loom from the 70s that basically amounted to four bars and a heddle, and the weaving was really unpleasant, but I finished a scarf and liked it enough to want to make something else for my mother. Then it broke while I was warping it, so I borrowed the Erica from a friend who has never used it. It was MUCH easier to use.

I know the scarf is VERY inexpertly woven. I don't have a good way of warping the loom (like a place to clamp the loom or a warp peg that doesn't move.... so yeah...) and of course my edges are ugly, because that's what happens with new weavers, or so I'm told. But I deliberately used rustic silk yarns because it makes it luxurious while also helping to mask or at least incorporate somewhat the problems in the weaving itself. Both yarns are knitting yarns. The warp is Shire Silk and the weft is a silk/wool blend from Noro. I warped all the yarn I had, and could have made something longer if it weren't as wide, but I think the proportions are OK.
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Quilt Block Pattern Recommendations on: July 22, 2018 09:49:12 AM
Hi everyone! So, I'm very much not new to sewing, and I'm confident that my skills will translate, and I've done some basic quilt-like things, like pinwheel potholders and such, but I've really never made a quilt. To be honest, I'm not sure I will be able to make the WHOLE quilt. But I bought some fabric yesterday, and well, I need block recommendations for a new quilter.

See, periodically I take advantage of good sales at Fabric Mart, and a while back they had precut "kits" that came with fabric and a pattern. This one is 1 3/4yd of the dark batik and 5/8yd of the lighter one, plus the pattern, for $3.

The pattern itself is quite interesting, and retailed for $19, but I like it in the drapey linen much better than the more structured batik. But the batik was beautiful colors, and all in all, it seemed like a no-brainer. Then I watched a bunch of videos featuring Edyta Sitar... Dangerous! So, I went to the fabric store yesterday with a 30% off total purchase of Keepsake Calicos fabrics (reg and sale priced) and the two batiks, and this happened:

Actually, all of them are Keepsake Calicos, the Keepsake Calicos were also on sale 40% off, AND the yellow tonal is the only one I got off the non-clearance rack. Everything else came from the dotted clearance rack at Joanns and were 50% off. As a result of how I bargain shop, I know these are somewhat disparate patterns. And I know that there isn't a really balanced mix of dark/light or large/small... I probably need to pick a solid or solid-like background fabric. The gray-background floral might be a binding or backing fabric... I bought the most of it. Plus, although the overall pattern on that one is fairly large-scale, used in small pieces for a quilt, it would work as a medium-sized print. But the thing is, I really just thought they all looked beautiful together somehow, even though they were all so all over the place as far as print-theme and etc. I know there are formulas out there for how to balance types and colors of print, and I'm dead sure I broke all the rules, but it's just pretty, is all. (Plus, I then stopped at the Goodwill before heading home, and found a new-in-package cotton blend full-sized quilt batting for $4. So I took that as a sign.)

So, really, I am just wondering if there are certain block patterns that would lend themselves better to me being careless with my pattern mixing. And possibly advice on maybe a final fabric or two to add in to balance it out?
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Just Another Star Wars Scarf on: July 17, 2018 08:44:47 AM
So, my sister married a man with half-grown twin sons. For their first Christmas with us, I wanted to give them something hand-made, but the wedding was in September, and I barely had time to make ANY hand-made gifts that year, going straight from wedding crafting to frantic Christmas crafting. But I DO have one of the Innovations knock-off circular knitting machines, which make super cozy scarves. The boys share everything, but aren't big fans of matching stuff, AND they are nerdbabies after my own heart, so I decided to make them a pair of Star Wars scarves, one Alliance and one Imperial, and they switch around as the mood strikes them.

Each scarf is just a little shorter than the boys are tall, so they should be wearable for many years. For the length and fringe they use about 1 1/3 skeins of (I THINK?) Vanna's Choice, just because it was on sale when I needed it, and then scraps of the contrast color, which was done in duplicate stitch after the main body was knitted. The Innovations machine isn't awesome (but I did get it NIB for $10 at a thrift store, so it works exactly as well as I paid for), and I don't have a great setup to be able to properly weight the knitting, but as long as one is careful, and maybe slower but steady, it's pretty easy to grab mistakes as they happen, and knitting a 5ft long scarf takes very little time.

I made up the charts for the symbols based on the gauge I got, which is a different aspect ratio than most handknitting, and with a couple of exceptions I think they turned out great. I don't really like white duplicate stitch on black; it just doesn't look as well as a dark on light. And I would adjust a stitch or two on the Alliance symbol; the outside curve just where the arms start is a little wonky.

15823079_10154968795602164_4365307807818707418_n by Melissa Rotert, on Flickr
15823646_10154973273217164_9060075620887514462_n by Melissa Rotert, on Flickr

9  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Re: Descent into madness: Small Mice on: July 05, 2018 09:25:26 AM

I have to admit, although I should be ashamed to do so, that every time I say "thormouse", I imagine myself making the Pun Husky face. I have considered making him a Mjolnir about the same size he is. I figure that if the Thormouse is worthy of wielding Mjolnir, it wouldn't matter what size it was, Thormouse would still be able to lift it, so why not make it just comically huge.
10  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Descent into madness: Small Mice on: July 05, 2018 07:50:18 AM
A couple of years ago I helped a LYS owner to get ride of some old stock of knitting machines and coned yarn, and consequently I have quite a few cones of basically baby/sport weight yarn. I got bored and was playing with some of it, and found this little pattern:


And then this happened:

I gave him to my kid, who named him Squabbles and pinned him to the shoulder of her brownie sprite costume for Ren Faire. (She has since been promoted to a full fairy, and Squabbles has retired to her fairy house.)

But that all got me thinking, and then this happened:

And then, this:

At which point, I was honestly starting to wonder how my life had taken this turn and where I would wind up.

And then I learned.

It is a thormouse.

The fairy mice are all made with base colors from the knitting machine yarn, and wee wings and skirts from scraps and bits of leftover sock and baby yarns. Thormouse is made from a collection of KnitPicks Palette I bought a while back in a grab bag at Goodwill, that sort of obviously was leftovers from someone else making a plushie of some kind. Except the silver bits that hold on his cape, which are just some random metallic crochet thread of which I also had scraps.
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