Thursday, April 20, 2017

Round Mat Finished

It fits nearly perfectly.


Now to pile a bunch of stuff on top of it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mat Coffee Dyed


I looked up coffee dyeing on the internet but in the end, I just used a big pot of water and put in some instant coffee, maybe a little over 1/4 cup.  The solution was heated to the simmer point. The mat was soaking in a bowl of water to make it evenly wet so the dye job would not be spotty, and then, after squeezing out most of the water it went into the pot.  Wish I could tell you how long I soaked it, but truth is I got busy and forgot it, so maybe an hour went by.  After rinsing the mat well in a bowl in the sink with many water changes, it went into the washer to spin.  Now it is on a drying rack and after it is dry it will get a nice pressing to flatten it out.

Before:


After:

I like it, the green is more acidy and less apple, and it matches the background on the cushions better.  Before I dyed it it fit on the table top perfectly, so here's hoping it didn't shrink much.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Close Finish

The plan for today was to go down to the JoAnns and buy some more purple thread because there was clearly not enough left. I thought I may as well finish the yarn I had and lo, there was enough, just barely.  There are only about 4 yards left, but a close finish is still a finish.  Now the mat just has to be tea dyed, or maybe coffee dyed, and dried, and it will be ready to put on the side table.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cold Spring Needlework

Last year we needed a side table for the living room so got an inexpensive round-top one from IKEA.  It needed a mat on the top so I started crocheting one.  It seemed like a good idea to practice tapestry crochet but it was hard to find the right colors to match the cushions on the couch.  The couch is an interesting green color, a much more acid green than shows in the photo. 

 The cushion languished in its bag by the couch for months before I finally picked it up again, but now it only needs about two more rows and an edging row.  The white and the colors are a lot more bright than the cushions, so when it is done I'm going to try tea dyeing it a bit.  That should be fun and should work fine since the threads are cotton.

When this is done I'll be able to take the shaggy placemats off the table and things will look neater.  After all that work, not much of the mat will show anyway since my husband keeps a rather large coffee table book up there.  But at least I will have finished something.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Knitting Again Finally

Just didn't have the urge to knit for a long while since I was busy pattern drafting and sewing, sewing, sewing.  Finally I picked up a pair of socks I was knitting for A and before I knew it, they were done:


These were knit on Size 1 needles using Trekking (XXL) color 100 from the deep, deep stash. For the first time, I made no attempt to match the uneven stripes which seemed to be pretty random.  It felt so good to finish a knitting project that I immediately started another sock.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Knitting for Fall

Now that the construction work is done and the garden is in, the hot weather season will soon be here.  In spite of this, the knitting mojo has come back unexpectedly.  We have been traveling to a wedding and for business, but once we got home again to stay put, I started knitting the ribbings by hand for future sweaters:
 I don't like ribbings knitted on the machine much so I do them by hand and then seal them up in a quart-sized zip lock bag until I get around to hanging them on the machine and knitting the rest of the sweater.  The ribbings in the picture will all become cardigans.

Then I remembered that I meant to make some more pullovers.  I have sewn together the pink pullover, and the black and the aqua, but the purple pieces are still waiting.  In the meantime, I started a sage green pullover with a patterned front panel.  After the front ribbing is knit, I pick up the middle section, add seam stitches to the sides (and seam stitches will be added to the center edge of the machine-knit side portions), and then I knit the patterned panel by hand.  This is fun to do, and I get to try out some of the stitch designs in my Japanese pattern books.  Here's another sweater that also had the center panel done the same way:

The original pattern had lots of twisted stitches, but since I don't like knitting those, I just used regular stitches.  I also added a small cable to the sides, and it is turning out very well.

We have been having one of those peculiar cold (but unfortunately not wet) California springs, but most people are really glad.  News reports say that El Nino is coming back to the coast, so the chances of good rainfall next fall and winter are good.  I hope they are right.

Update:  Finished up the purple V-neck pullover! Also cleared off the table in the sewing room and set up the LK150 that has been boxed up since the construction.  Ready to knit.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Still Here

It has been about a year since I wrote anything here, but I have been making things here and there.  We have been doing some upkeep and construction on the house, and we also took a big trip last fall, so I found my opportunities for knitting were put on the back burner.  I have been sewing together some sweaters lately, and finished up a pair of socks:


I have a yellow cardigan that just needs the buttons to be sewn on, and I still have to set up the knitting machine again after it was boxed up during the construction.  In the meantime, I have been getting the garden in and sewing a lot.