Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally--OFF the Loom!

Yes, finally! After weeks or (dare we count months), ten yard warp has come off the loom. Taking the scissors to that last little bit of warp and snip, snip..............
Pulling out the lengths of woven fabric is a great satisfaction.
These are handspun cotton weft towels--look at the prewashed look now.......indigo dyed cotton
brown cotton & green cotton from own garden, colored cotton from Texas Tech labs....................
Now, give a look after washing--plain or tabby weave--gives a pattern called 'tracking'.....
Now, a nice pile of towels sit ready for gift giving--all hand hemmed, washed and folded.
But, the only problem........................................................the loom is empty again!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just Chillin' with the Spinners!

Sometimes our gatherings do not whirl with wheels or spindles. These are days we just have too much to share so our mouths are busier than our hands and feet. The last spinners meeting was such a time. The spindles lay idle
and wheels sit posed for action so the sharing can commence.
Kate has brought her generous bag that was fulled. It holds fiber goodies galore.
Rosemary brings a sample sheet of natural dyes.
Another sample sheet gives more descriptions to this process. These sheets were made for educational purposes and handed to teachers during the annual livestock and rodeo. Our guild sponsors a booth with spinning and weaving demos, ongoing for three straight weeks--manned by volunteers--more forth coming on that event when it begins March 1.
Penny's basket sports two skeins of designer yarns. Looks that more will be created soon.
Since we are meeting in Antje's abode, we admire all her wonderful felted pieces. This one complements her kitchen.
Her kitted teddy bear is a gift for neighbor's soon to be born baby--very snuggly!
You can't help but admire Antje's handwork as she designs 'as she stitches'. A little here, a little there makes for a lovely shawl. This is made from her silk drapery fabric--truly recycled from a time she lived in Viet Nam. She has taken the fabric to the dyepot--nothing planned, just go with how she feels the day she is dyeing.
Another wonderful wallhanging in her family room catches one eye......
A close-up of felting work and needlework.
Another one of Antje's silk drapery shawls--serendipity!
Her newest bird, unnamed for the present, sits regally watching over our discussion.
Now, for the big moment of the day--carding. Here sits a drum carder. Everyone brought batches of different fibers to add to the batt.
Kate, in her marvelous sense of measuring, has used vegetable dyes she has around the house--blackberries and avocado. The blackberries yield a delightful soft lavender shade to the wool batt while the avocado lent to more of a camel color. Kate is one to measure exact--weight to weight! Kate made these batts before the meeting.
These series of photos come to us from Antje. Loading the drum carder with fiber.
A few turns of the handle and woo! looks what comes off!
Delicious, yummy batts--ready for spinning!
Waiting for the drum roll, please!
Maybe, our next gathering will feature some of these luxury yarns to share. Or maybe, we'll just have another chillin' gathering!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


What in the world does KFN mean? The answer is simple--Knits for Needs! Plain title and easy to remember; it rolls off the tongue. This is a grassroots organization--based in Atlanta and run by Meredith but supported by many. This idea of charity is shared by those who want to give back to the community through their knitted wearables. KFN is working to obtain their 501(c)3 not for profit certificate and to encourage growth in the group, there is an ongoing contest at the present time. You can find KFN on Twitter, Ravelry, Facebook as well as through their website.

"The bigger we are, the more people we can clothe with warm goodies knit/crocheted from the heart, and that it what we are all about here at Knits For Needs." spoken by our faithful leader.

The items that are received are donate to anyone who needs warm stuff anywhere in the United States. And all monies and knitted/crocheted/woven items are 100% donated--that's what is good about this organization. There have been many times that we have shipped boxes to KFN. And a gathering is taking place now for a future shipment.

Scarf from stash yarn--have always wanted to knit this pattern and now that it is accomplished we move onto finishing another scarf in the wings.
How about FLG (fingerless gloves) from a mystery pattern that didn't quite fit these hands--perfect for the KFN box.
And this pattern was just calling to be knitted--Green head is doing her stuff!
And another stash yarn eliminated but going to a worthy cause. The pattern is from Woollywormhead collection--what great patterns to work up! What a thrill to give knitted wear to those in need--thanks to Knits for Needs!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hearts! Hearts! Hearts!

Saint Valentine's Day is special. February 14th is celebrated in many nations and languages. We all love to LOVE! There is just something about seeing those hearts everywhere--candy hearts, flower hearts, magazine covers with hearts, books with hearts, songs about hearts and of course, Love! This special one day of the year is set aside to say "I Love You" to that special someone.
Many moons ago, when there was a group who met each month (quilting bee), it was decided one month to do a heart exchange. So, here is the heart quilt that makes its annual display draped across the balcony--memories of those whose hands fashioned heart blocks make their presence known once again.
This year we found a "Love" panel that called to be made--it will age properly for a few weeks or months before it is accomplished. But, at least, we have the beginnings.
We are gathering reds, pinks, chocolates and various other sundry colors to accompany this panel.
Finally, from 2010, this panel was completed and recently quilted by Sandy W., who
used a panto called 'cherry hearts'--perfect name!
And from our expatchers gathering this past week, we show Karen's finished table center mat--all pretty in pinks and reds.
She hand quilted hearts galore around.
A table runner will adorn her dining room with more hearts! Lovely hearts--big hearts, small hearts!
Perfect for the season of Love!
Wouldn't it be grand to have hearts floating around all year long? Let's make each and every day a valentine's day......................................................and tell that someone special "I Love You"!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day with Expatchers--!!

February gathering is a birthday celebration--our 'food committee' does an outstanding menu! We gather--sharing our concerns, tells of recent travel adventures, giving hugs to those who are in need, but most of all we just enjoy being together. Here Karen shows off her 'blankie' that she made for a dear friend's daughter.
Sandy did the long arm quilting on this slippery satin fabric. She says, "it was like quilting water". Karen tells us how she had a difficult time even cutting a straight edge. The final results are in--and it will be a marvelous gift to a sweet little girl.
Brenda is assisting her granddaughter's scout troop so they can earn their sewing badge. She has a selection of Girl Scout fabrics that they will use in their project.
Brenda selected this pattern from About Crafts for the girls to make. They will learn how to sew on a button and do the whip stitching around the cell phone pouch. Brenda is planning to have the blank fabric squares ready for them. This will be a Mother's Day gift.
Judy was showing what she did with various scraps of flannel--cut them 6" wide, 39" long; sew them together to create an interesting Blinky quilt top.
For handwork, Judy showed us her 20 year long project (5 years already invested)--Grandmother's paper pieced Flower Garden. She is using paper blanks to get the perfect edge on the squares. Here she has her complete center block.
Around the edge, she will add the green spacers that will connect with the next block.
The back of the block looks so fabulous--such neat corners.
Annette shows her 'lost' quilt top that she recently found in her sewing room. She and her hubby worked over her quilt room and she pulled this top out, completed in 2003. We think it has "aged" properly. The top was handed over to Judy to add the finish on her long arm quilting machine.
What great color placement--two blocks made in opposite colors, which gives a different look to the old standard "Churn Dish" block.
We should all find such treasures in our quilt rooms--when and if we ever clean........................