Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yarn Magnets

A few months ago, I saw a blog post on the Yarnista blog. She showed a picture of some great yarn magnets and I decided to try my hand at making them for my swap partner in the Itty Bitty Teddy Bear Picnic Swap.

I thought I would do a demonstration on how I put them together. Warning, this post has a lot of pictures.

  • Scrap Yarn
  • 2 Toothpicks
  • 1" Styrofoam ball
  • 2 seed beads (large enough to fit on the end of the toothpick)
  • Magnet

  • Glue (I used a hot glue gun)
  • Scissors or other cutting implement

The first step is to wrap the Styrofoam ball with yarn. Once you get started, it is just like winding a regular ball of yarn. Continue until the Styrofoam is covered.

It will start out something like this:

And finish something like this:

Put a dab of glue on the back of the magnet and glue it onto the ball of yarn, making sure that you secure the end of the yarn leaving a little tail.

To make the knitting needles, start by trimming the end of the toothpick so that it won't stick out the end of the bead. You don't need to trim off too much.

Dab the trimmed of the toothpick in a bit of glue and stick the bead on the end.

Push the ends of the toothpicks through the yarn ball and snip the ends of the toothpick so they aren't so sharp.

Trim the end of the yarn and hang the magnet on your frig with pride!

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Update

I realized I haven't posted in a while. I thought I would leave a picture post of what I have been up to in the last month.

A Trip to Yosemite

The View from my Campsite while Knitting

A Roar Hat for Adam (plus another for my cousin's son and the start of one for my husband)

A New Hat for Me

A Cowl - I purchased the yarn on the our LYS Tour

A Cedar Leaf Shawlette

A 90th Birthday

A 150th Birthday (Montesano United Methodist Church 1860 - 2010)

( Thanks to my friend Karen for letting me use her picture.)

Teddy Bear Picnic Swap

Today I received my second package for the Teddy Bear Picnic Swap over at the Itty Bitty Knits Group on Ravelry. This month's package included the tea set plus some goodies.

The tea set was the set from the Itty Bitty Nursery Book. I love that my partner used blue yarn so that it was a little more manly for Adam.

The set has such great detail with little sugar cubes, tea bags and spoons made with metallic yarn.

I also got some goodies. I am looking forward to the tea and cocoa on our upcoming camping trip and the cookies and crackers are a great size for on the go.

Here is a picture of the whole package.

Thank you, Dear Swap Partner for the great package.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quilt Camp

The summer after I graduated from high school, my aunt came to visit from California. She brought quilting fabric so that she and my other aunt could make little wall hangings. They had some extra fabric and let me join in. I had sewn a bit before that day but hadn't done anything quite like this. Soon, we were joined by my mom and her friends, each creating their version of the wall hanging. We gathered at my Grandma's house and sewed all day long. Since then, it has been tradition to meet every August and hold quilt camp. We have had people join us from California and Washington and even from Slovakia. It is a great time to get together and sew with friends. Last year, I was on maternity leave and got to spend the whole week.

This year, I was only able to spend Saturday at Quilt Camp. Due to travels and other commitments, it ended up being mostly my aunt and I but we had fun anyway. I was able to machine sew on the binding from my Halloween Quilt. I also added borders on a quilt I started a few years back. I made it using jelly rolls (2 1/2 inch strips) and charm packs (5 inch squares). If you don't know what these are, they are pre-cut fabric collections put out by Moda. I love them because it lets you get all of the fabric in one line without having to shell out so much cash. Many quilt designers are creating patterns using these collections.

The quilt called for an additional border between the peach and blue of random strips but I decided to go without it. The fabric line is Dandelion Girl by Fig Tree Quilts. These aren't my typical colors but the original charm pack was a gift and I fell in love. I am happy with the way it turned out.

I was also able to take pictures of the puppy dog quilt that I finished a few weeks ago. My son has already cuddled up on it.

Finally, I thought I would share a picture of the alpaca we met at the county fair this weekend. He was at the petting zoo and my husband put a quarter in the food dispenser. This alpaca decided he didn't want to wait for my husband to feed him.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Felting Frenzy

This weekend, we made a trip to my parents' house. This meant I had access to the top load washing machine for some felting. I had three projects to felt. Two pairs of French Press Slippers and a tote bag I made during a class at Renaissance Yarns.

The first pair of slippers I made for my mom for her birthday. I gave her the choice of making them herself or me making them for her. Of course, she opted for the latter choice. They were made with some great variegated Cascade 220. I found a couple of buttons at a local quilt store and I really like them because they are sparkly and shiny. The picture doesn't do them justice.

The second pair, I made for myself. The yarn was given to me during the last Itty Bitty Knits Swap on Ravelry. I love the contrast of the red buttons against the blue yarn.

The final item that I felted was a Fair Isle Bag. I took a class at my local yarn store so that I could learn the stranded knitting technique. The beauty of felting my first Fair Isle project was that any mistakes that might have been made faded in the felting. I also didn't need to be too concerned about gauge this time. I am really happy with the way it turned out. I still need to head down to the store to see how they fed the handles through as I couldn't quite figure it out from the directions. This is a free pattern on Ravelry if you are interested.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Days 26 - 30

I was finally able to finish quilting my Halloween quilt. It probably wasn't my best work but I am happy with it. I am hoping to get the binding on before October and will post pictures of it hanging on my wall.

The rest of the days, I worked on my Chexx Mixx quilt. I had pieced the squares into rows alreay and just needed to sew the rows together. A lot of time was spent just pinning the rows so all of the seams lined up. It was slow going but I finished up. Now, I just have to add the borders and sew up the backing and I will be ready to have it quilted. I haven't bought the fabric yet for those pieces but I will probably just buy the same print for everything. I am hoping to find something that encompasses red, blue, yellow and green and I have been looking at some of the 30's reproduction fabric.

I also made a couple of project bags with some leftover fabric that I had. I did a drawstring style and used buttonholes to thread the ribbon through.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Days 23, 24 & 25

I switched up my activities for days 23, 24, and 25. I decided to start some quilting. Day 23 had me pinning the itty bitty swap quilt on my quilting frame. The next day, I started quilting. It went pretty fast. I think I spent more time setting up and taking down than the actual quilting process. I also pinned my Halloween quilt on. Day 25 ended in a bit of disappointment. I started quilting the Halloween quilt but was having problems with the thread wrapping around the thread holder. It ended up breaking a needle. I tweaked the thread position and had nothing but problems. My tension went way off. I tried all of the normal tricks but still had the problem. I decided to walk away for awhile before I got too frustrated.

I either quilt my own quilts on my machine or send them out to another person to machine quilt them for me. I have taken a couple machine quilting classes and tried free-motion quilting where you move the quilt around to get the quilt designs. I decided that I couldn't quite relax enough to get a good product. I found that I got better results steering the machine not the quilt. I found a Grace Frame in a quilting catalog I get and decided to try it out. I love it. I am able to pin the quilts to the frame and start quilting. The only downfall is that since I am using just a regular sewing machine, I don't get much quilting width because the arm isn't very long. I took a couple pictures to get an idea of what it looks like.

Here is a shot of the whole thing. The backing and top get rolled up onto tubes and then you unroll as you quilt. There is also a back tube that you roll up the finished product. This keeps the quilt nice and tight. (Ignore the mess in the background. I am still adjusting to not having a sewing room anymore.)

Here is a close-up view. I use the wood handles to steer the sewing machine. It sits on a series of rollers that helps it move in any direction I want.