Posted by: Mare F | September 18, 2018

Doilies

Cotton has always been my first love when crocheting. To be honest, doilies are what led me to learn to crochet. I really liked the look of them, but wasn’t crazy about the slim store-bought options for them. They looked too standard and just didn’t seem to have the elegance that hand-made doilies carry.

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I don’t often do large projects, although I may try to squeeze a couple more in before my eyesight and old bones give up on me, but this one really appealed to me even though through a single mistake early on I ended up changing the last few rows. It’s now an original. 😉

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This one is going to save me on my fair entry this year. I’m not sure what happened to the time (that seems to be common refrain for me,) but I must have my entry form in soon and I don’t have a big selection. Another situation I’m in the process of rectifying. I’ve started another in a lovely multi-yellow/gold color just because I can do!

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So, I hope to have a larger stock to offer for sale as well as adding to my donation and gifting stash. We are rapidly approaching the holiday season and perhaps I should look to holiday doilies as well. Do you decorate for the seasons or just the holidays?

 

Posted by: Mare F | September 13, 2018

Thursday chat

Gloomy, gray weather is overtaking me. We’ve had a long, hot, humid summer with lots of rain over the past few weeks. My yard is a jungle. The gardens are a bumper crop of weeds, and very hearty weeds I might add. So, what do you do when this weather takes over your corner of the world?

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I decided to go back through my pictures and see what I could find that would brighten up my day, and hopefully my outlook. This picture caught my attention quickly. I still have some of the lovely, bright yellow yarn! I’m now off to see if I can find a pattern, and of course the yarn, in the hopes that it will bring some much needed sunshine into my day. So how do you chase away the weather megrims?

Posted by: Mare F | September 6, 2018

Thursday chat

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for Gansey Knitting 101 from Knitting Daily and Interweave. It may just be that spending the past year and a half building up stock while stash busting has colored my thoughts on sweaters or perhaps it’s just the right time for me to try to make myself something of note, but I also purchased Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Rensel.

 

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I thought, at first that it was the fact that this book has a cardigan in it that finally swayed me, because, really, I do not need anymore pattern books, but this one is a delightful how-to on the construction of the sweaters also. And wouldn’t you know, I found at least 3 sweaters that really caught my heart so now comes the fun part of deciding which one to tackle first. There will be more to come on this topic, I’m certain, but for now I’m just happy that a complicated project has inspired me to ramp up my skills….and concentration, concentration is the big issue here.

Posted by: Mare F | September 3, 2018

The day after the fair

Once again I’ve been away far too long. This summer in northwest Connecticut has been brutally hot and humid which has slowed me down considerably. Apparently I’m not going to outgrow my hot weather inactivity. BUT, yesterday was the Colebrook Fair and I think it’s the 5th year that I’ve done it. The weather broke and while we had clouds off and on throughout the day, it was much less humid and the temps were in the low 80s. Perfect fair weather!

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Janine spent the day helping with the setup, breakdown, and all things in between. Wubba made up our threesome (sorry, I didn’t get a good picture of him) and charmed many a person wandering by. Long day of canine loving he had.

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One day I will figure out how to get the tablecloths there in an unwrinkled state, but this was an early picture and I did get it sorted a bit better by the end. This was about the time I realized I’d forgotten all of the pot holders I’d made. A quick text to Doug and he saved the day by running them up in between his errands and two of them sold in short order.

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Now, to venture into the studio, clear up the debris, and unpack the car. I should probably do a bit of tidying first while I have the space.  An after picture to come.

I hope everyone has a lovely week and that you get to do a bit of your own crafting when you choose to do.

 

Posted by: Mare F | May 28, 2018

Towels, so many towels

Life has been hectic, which I should realize by now is the norm, for some reason, and I’ve been steadfastly working to use up my stash. The most recent stock item tackled has been crocheted heavy kitchen towels.

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Most of them are made with Sugar ‘n Cream cotton which is one of my favorite cotton yarns. Very rarely do I run into any issues with this yarn and the color selection is good.

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These towels are wonderful for drying produce. I use them when I hit the farmer’s market or when harvesting my garden. They are very absorbent and, at approximately 12″ x 19″, they are a nice size. Plus they become softer and more absorbent the more you wash and use them.

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My only regret so far is that it took me so long to start making a using them. It’s a soothing project, very simple pattern, and a lovely way to use up a good portion of the cotton that seems to have followed me home. What do you make with cotton yarn?

Posted by: Mare F | January 25, 2018

Discussion Thursday

I recently finished reading Knitting by the Fireside and on the Hillside by Linda G. Fryer.  It is a history of Shetland hand knitting from c1600 to 1950.  There is so much interesting information in this book that I highly recommend it for an entertaining look at an amazing art form.

 

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Posted by: Mare F | January 15, 2018

Recycling for style

A few years ago, during one of my frequent purges which are necessary as I love tag sales and flea markets, I found myself looking at several pickle/relish dishes. At one time I did use them over the holidays for pickles, olives, and the occasion hors d’Ouevre. They were much too pretty to get rid off (a bit of a problem thinking that way during a purge, but….) so I put them off to the side to ponder the situation. IMG_1557

And then it dawned on me. What a perfect way to organize some of my knitting/crocheting accessories. The dishes have small compartments and will sit on the shelf under the coffee table quite nicely.

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So, now that I had a plan for the lovely dishes I began viewing my shopping trips a bit differently. Doesn’t everyone need a stitch holder container and how can you just walk away and leave this lovely little creamer all by its lonesome at a sale?

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Do you have items that you’ve brought to life with a new purpose?

Posted by: Mare F | January 8, 2018

New year, new storage???

In the never-ending attempt to organize my stock so that I can find it, identify it, and utilize it without having to deconstruct my studio I took the advice of a wise friend (thank you, Lindsey) and combined it with my car packing puzzle. I bought 4 qt clear, clip-top totes two of which will fit nicely into a Michael’s bag.

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I also got a roll of dry erase tape so that I can label the totes, but change the contents tag without having to scrap or tear anything off. It works like a white board, I can just erase it and rewrite it. Of course, I still have to put it on the totes.

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I have high hopes for this system. It’s manageable for both storage and travel. It’s easy to see the contents if I’m too lazy to read the label (or it takes too long for me to put the label on) and they fit nicely on the shelves in the studio.

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So, what I guess I’m hoping for is a bit better handle on what I have for the show/fair season when it arrives and less  last-minute fussing before packing. How do you store your craft supplies and projects?

Posted by: Mare F | October 3, 2017

Autumn again…

Another busy summer has passed me by. My hours at work have been increased and there has been a definite reduction in my crafting and deck time. I certainly need to find some balance soon. I’ve also had a couple of fairly big orders so maybe my crafting time hasn’t been as affected as I think it has. Anyway, to get myself back into the crafting mode I signed up for Spinzilla which started yesterday.

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These are the result of Tour de Fleece in July. I didn’t get as much time to spin as I’d hoped, but I did get some done so it’s all good.

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This is what I managed to spin yesterday afternoon when I got home from work. Boy, was I rusty to start!

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This is waiting for me at home and I might just try to move it out to the deck for a while. It’s a lovely day and it’s been too long. Pretty soon I’ll be spinning and weaving on the deck with a coat on. How was your summer?

 

 

Posted by: Mare F | July 10, 2017

Dyeing and carding

A few summers ago I used some “mystery” wool for a solar dyeing experiment and I was quite pleased with the outcome. I had large mason jars, and a few Yankee Candle jars, which I used to dye the wool out on the deck. It did make for a colorful display and I was almost sorry to finish processing it, but it was time.

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This part is slightly embarrassing. This delightful job has been hanging out in a basket upstairs on the shelf under the carding table for 2 years. I discovered it, and many other things fibery, while going on a purging tear. Downstairs it, and the carding table came, to the studio and this past weekend I decided that it was time.

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So, I queued up a string of Charlie Chan movies and settled in to do some serious carding. I have hopes of either wet felting or needle felting this batch up into embellishments for my felted hats and perhaps some felted beads.

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There are a few more batts added to this tote now, but I finished the last of this lot yesterday morning, this time to Miss Fisher Mysteries. I have such a lovely feeling of accomplishment that I have to wonder why I wait so long to do these things. Happily, even though I didn’t get to do any plying this weekend, I still participated in the spirit of the Tour de Fleece by doing all of my carding. Perhaps this afternoon will see some plying….I have 4 out of 5 bobbins full, so it will be plying before anything else. Do you find yourself putting off some chores?

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