Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  The last several weeks have been interesting ones here in our corner of the Pacific Northwest with flooding, gigantic windstorms, unexpected snow, and off and on power outages.  We have been very fortunate to have only had to deal with inconveniences.  I've been diligently working on the Christmas quilt - only the binding to go, but we used it still! No new ornaments this year - I'll come up with some extra special ones for next year!

Here's to hoping all are safe, warm, and happy this holiday season - I'll see you in 2016 with a new shawlette pattern!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 13, 2015

Deep Into Autumn

We're deep into autumn!  The last trees have turned and most of the leaves are already down.  Our days are now rainy and misty - sitting in front of the fire is so enticing.  But it's been a busy autumn without much time for that so far!

Henry moved (with his parents) to Santa Barbara and I spent a week visiting and sight seeing.  The Botanic Gardens are a great place to spend a day and while I was there they had a fibers exhibit - Dormant Dreams, which was designed around the question of what plants in hot climates dream about during their summer dormancy slumbers.  Various artists from a local yarn group participated.

In October, it was also time to work on Charlie's Halloween costume.  She usually picks something that is a bit challenging - this year was no exception!  Here is her majesty Cleopatra in all her glory!  I've been forewarned that next year I will most likely be planning how to create Ashoka Tano for her - from the Star Wars universe for those of you not into that.  Hmmm ....

Things have quieted down now, and I'm spending my days listening to the rain and working on a Christmas quilt.  I'll get back to that fire when I can!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Martina Celerin

If you follow needle felting artists, you're probably used to seeing everything from cute to incredibly lifelike animals.  I recently came across a fiber artist who is inspired by the plant side of nature - and wow, are the results every amazing!  Martina Celerin combines weaving and needle felting into 3D sculptures of food plants that look good enough to eat and flowers that look like you could reach out and pick them.  She wonderfully combines science (she has degrees in plant biology) with art.

Take a look at her other work here - she also has gorgeous landscapes.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Autumn Scarf

In our area, the predominant color in autumn is golden yellow - the red and orange leaves are more of accents.  So when the sun comes out, everything glows!  

Last summer I found a yarn that so reminded me of Northwest autumns that I had to stash some away for a fall project.  If you've never knitted with Pashmina before, it's a wonderfully soft yarn made from merino, silk, and cashmere.  This scarf uses a stitch I found while searching through patterns from the 1950's.  I haven't been able to find a name for it - but it's super easy and makes a good project for those times when you don't want to be paying full attention to your knitting.

*1 skein Madelinetosh Pashmina in Candlewick
*size 5 needles

Cast on 46 stitches.

Row 1:  This is a k1, p1 rib all the way across.  *k1, p1* repeat to end of row.
Row 2:  Repeat row 1
Rows 3 and 4:  Knit to end of the row.

Repeat these four rows until the scarf is the length you want it to be.  End with Row 2 and then bind off.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Jan Friedman

Collage is the first art form I can remember actually noticing and getting excited about.  It was in Mrs. Fiedler's third grade class - there were piles of fabrics, laces, and amazing papers that I'd never seen (or noticed) the likes of before!  I settled on creating a velvet skunk that I believe was walking in the forest, more because I wanted to use that wonderful piece of black velvet than because I was particularly fond of skunks.  I'm still fascinated with collages and tend to be drawn to artists who work with them.

Jan Friedman designs fiber collages from her weavings, surface designed fabrics, and found items from nature in a way that is beautiful and inspiring.  I particularly like the way she plays with shadows and light.

Forest Floor Recalled

Evening Shadows

Shadows IX

Be sure to check out her other work on her website here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Felt Fall Leaf Wreath

It's turning out to be an absolutely beautiful autumn here in the Northwest!  I've been looking for some way to capture the leaves' colors on a wreath and decided to go with felt.

Felt in various autumn leaf colors
Heavy fusible webbing
Hot glue
Grapevine wreath

Use leaves from your yard or neighborhood to make patterns.  Most of our deciduous trees around here are maple and birch, so I used those.

Remove one side of backing from the fusible webbing and press onto the wrong side of the felt.  Pin on pattern and cut out.

On the backing, draw a rough leaf vein design and cut out.  Continue until you have lots of leaves!

Peel off the other backing from a leaf and press onto the right side of a contrasting piece of felt.  Iron to set and cut out, leaving a thin margin.  Continue with all the leaves.

Using hot glue, attach three leaves near the bottom - Moose is being very "helpful," however cat help is not required!  Glue a couple of smaller leaves on top of those leaves.

Glue an arrangement of a few leaves opposite your first bunch (you'll notice in the photo at the top, I decided to add another leaf).  I cut a long bunch of raffia and tied it into a bow, trimmed up the ends, and hot glued it to the first bunch of leaves, but you could also use a fun, autumn themed ribbon.

I got carried away making leaves, so now I have a few to use on another project!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, October 2, 2015

Two Finished Scarves

I've been happily knitting with two fun yarns (both of which I posted about here) that made up into a couple of great scarves!  Actually, one is a shawl pattern, but it turned out so soft and lacy that I'll most likely be using it more like a scarf.

The Bamboo Bloom Handpaint yarn has soooo much fun texture!  I cast on a lengthwise scarf that I knitted in straight garter stitch on size 10 needles.  It was a quick project and made up into a fluffy, warm scarf!  I love the way the yarn varies from lace weight to loosely spun, unplyed sections and the color combinations.

I used Sharyn Anhalt's Turbinado Shawl pattern with Northbound Knit's 50/50 merino/silk DK weight yarn in the Metallurgy colorway for this gorgeous, light as air scarf/shawl.  It looks like spun metal, especially in the sunlight, but is so, so soft!  I added 5 repeats of the eyelet pattern rows, which made it a little longer and wider.  And makes beautifully curly ends!

Now I have several knitting projects to finish up and several patterns and skeins of yarn calling to me!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Inspiration - Happy Autumn!

We're having a beautiful autumn here in the Northwest!  Sunny days that start out crisp, cool nights, and just enough rainy days to keep what's still going in the garden nicely watered.  The trees are gorgeous and the sunflowers are in their glory days.

I think it's the cool nights that get me thinking about yarn work.  I've been looking around and found quite a few fun knitting, crochet, and felting patterns that celebrate autumn - and are free!

Lion Brand has instructions for this felted fall leaf wreath here.

ABC Knitting Patterns offers this free filet crochet shawl pattern that uses Kauni's 8/2 gradient yarn, so there's no switching colors.  The instructions say it's in color EB, but it looks more like EP to me.

These two fall leaf hat patterns from Knitty Magazine look like they'd be fairly quick to knit up - and would also look great in the Kauni gradient yarns.

Kathleen Taylor offers the pattern for these fun fall fingerless gloves here.  Stranded colorwork is still on my list of knitting techniques to learn!

This cute little pumpkin is from The Sitting Tree here.

There are so many gorgeous variegated yarns in fall colors that would be fun to used on this crocheted afghan from Crochet Magazine.

Finally, there's a beautiful fall leaf hat from Universal Yarn Company here, along with several other free fall themed projects.  I'm really going to have to get going on stranded work!  

Happy Creating!  Deborah