Friday, January 25, 2013

Knitting with Fabric or Why did I think this was a good idea?

Knitted Trivet

I'm always up for a challenge.  One of the things I like about the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG) is that we do various challenges.  They're not all quilting challenges, thankfully, or I'd never get them all done.  The last one was simple :: to use up your oldest fabric!  Great!  My oldest fabric happened to be this really dark floral print.  I picked it out when I must have been about ten years old.  I wanted to make a quilt with it.  Of course I didn't listen to my mother who said "It's really dark, are you sure?".  The quilt was never made.  So years later I still have yards of it.

I originally wanted to bleach the fabric to lighten it.  If I could get rid of some of the dark color I could use it up a lot easier.  I did some reading on that and went to work.  A couple hours later and almost a half gallon of bleach later -- no change.  Yup.  It's colorfast.

Knitted Trivet 2

So with a suggestion from a friend I set out to make the fabric into yarn and make a rug.  To make the fabric into yarn, I first trimmed the seam allowances off (since they were bright white compared to the dark color and I thought it might look odd).  Then I cut the fabric into a continuous 1.5" wide strip and rolled that up into a ball.

Fabric Yarn

Well I'm not great at crocheting (in fact it's really not my favorite thing to do).  I tried and then undid it.  I thought, why can't I just knit it instead.

Well, let me tell you.  If you've never knit with fabric, it's really, really difficult.  There is very little stretch to the cotton fabric (as compared with yarn).  It might have been much easier if I used a jersey knit to make the yarn, but the challenge was to use your oldest fabric and this was it. 

Knitted Fabric, close-up

I used size 15 needles (nice and big).  I had to fold the fabric yarn in half while knitting to make the wrong side not show as much.  The knitting was very heavy and because of the lack of stretch, I had to constantly move stitches over on the needles.  It was cumbersome and my hands would get very tired -- it as quite a workout for my fingers.

Knitting with Fabric

In the end I used 4 full yards of yardage (44" wide) to knit this small (14" x 20.5") -- little rug which has now become a trivet.  It will actually be nice to put hot casseroles (or hot dishes - if you're from MN) right on the table.  The trivet is 1/2" thick so it will protect the table from the heat nicely. 

Knitted Trivet, side

I still have 2.5 more yards of this old fabric.  I'm determined to use it up. . . . . . somehow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Simply Color. Simple Pillow.

 Simply Color Pillow, front

When I got my hands on a mini-charm pack of Simply Color, I was really excited.  I really like the fabric line and I've never used a mini-charm pack before.  They are so cute and little!

I had no grand designs for this little fabric pack.  Something simple.  Just a 6 X 7 grid of 2.5" squares (finished size is 2" square).  I added a border of white Kona and then another of one of the Simply Color Fabrics. 

Simply Color

The back has more simply color.  So nice.  The finished pillow is 20" square and has an invisible zipper. 

Simply Color pillow, back

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ombre Shirt

 Ombre 1

Dyed a little shirt for my kiddo.

Ombre 2

To make this shirt I used Tulip One Step Tie Dye (in a bottle) in Red.  You just add water and shake it up and your dye is ready.  For the ombre look I layed the t-shirt out flat on a large plastic bag -- then I squirted the top section with the dye.  Stopped, added more water to the dye, shook it up and continued saturating the shirt.  Then added more water and so on. . . I think I added water about 4 times.

After washing the red became pink.  But no matter -- pink is her favorite color.

Ombre 3

Friday, January 11, 2013

A little knitting

Men's scarf

I've been going through my stash of yarn -- yes, I have a stash of yarn too.  It's no where near as big as my fabric stash, but I've been trying to use it all up.  I found some lovely dark blue merino wool (which I'm sure was meant for some other project) -- but instead I decided to make a simple scarf for my husband. 

The pattern I followed (roughly) was the Men's Cashmere Scarf from the book Last-Minute Kitted Gifts.  I used a smaller gauge yarn than what was in the pattern so I had to do a little manipulating of the gauge to get it close to the original.  It turned out a little bit wider than the one in the book, but still very nice.

Men's scarf

The pattern used made the wrong side (or back) nubby and beautiful in it's own way.  I almost like the back (shown above on the right) better than the top.  . . . . Well, almost.

Are you knitting along with Shannon over at LuvInTheMommyhood for the Downton Abbey Knit Along?  I am.  LOVE THAT SHOW.  Are you watching too??

Off to work on my next knitting project.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Simple Doll Bed and Bedding

One of my goddaughters just turned four!  Having a birthday so close to Christmas is a challenge for me.  I always want to make her something, but I'm usually so worn out from frantic last-minute Christmas sewing that I don't make her anything.  This year most Christmas presents were store-bought.  No one was disappointed they didn't get hand made items and I got to have a lovely Christmas and actually bake  (too many) cookies with my kiddos.

Doll bed

So, for her birthday, I picked up a simple doll bed at Ikea.  It came with a mattress, blanket and pillow, but I couldn't in good conscience give them too her.  They were not very attractive and poorly sewn.  I dove into my bin of fleece and flannel and made this bedding.  I used the original bedding as a rough guide for the sizing.  The mattress is yellow fleece and the blanket and pillow are made from a lovely flannel.  The resulting doll bedding is much more feminine and soft -- sure to make any little girl and her doll happy. 

Doll bed 2

Happy birthday Katherine!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Spiffy Christmas Pants

Spiffy pants

I don't know why I don't make more pants for Connor.  They are super simple and he always loves them -- and I can use spiffy plaid fabric like this!  These pants had a simple elastic waist and were actually made of plaid shirting -- a sewing no, no, I know and they won't last long at all (but truth be told, none of his pants ever do.  He's very rough on them, well at least at the knees.  It's like he must walk around on his knees whenever I'm not looking.)

I had trouble getting more than one good picture of him in the pants.  He was really in a silly mood -- so we just went with it!

Being silly

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My New Toy

I've been totally having fun playing with my new camera (Canon Rebel EOS T3i) that I got for Christmas.  The kids have enjoyed it too because I've taken them to the MN Zoo, Science Museum and MIA (art museum).

Here's a few of my practice shots -- keep in mind I'm still learning the camera!   Enjoy!!

Sun Ball


Stealing a Kiss


Veiled Face

Miniature African Crocodile



Playing with light and prisms



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