Friday, September 01, 2023

The Making Goes On

 Ah....September.  That's my deep inhale/exhale of the cooling air that you're "hearing".  While I look forward to spring every year -- especially if the winter has been longer and colder and deeper than ever -- September remains my favourite month (and not just because I was born in it!)

I'm not a hot-weather worshipper; I like to be able to handle gardening and working with textiles of all sorts without fainting from the heat.  I live in a part of the country which -- until recent years -- didn't require owning an air conditioner (I still don't own one, though there's one in my car).  So while in the last two summers I've found myself learning how to mitigate the effects of extreme heat and the smoke from wild fires to the north and west, I confess that I'm thankful that (hopefully) cooler days are ahead.

I've had to adjust my making to the weather even more than usual in the last few years, so I'm glad my work with textiles has so many different ways to do this!

When it rains (or snows), I stay indoors and knit and quilt.  In the last couple of weeks, an occasional day of much-longed-for rain arrived, enabling me to make a bit more progress in the Keep It Out of the Landfill Project (KIOOTLF).  Right now my focus is on hats and mittens that are likely going to be needed by wildfire victims if or when they're able to return home -- particularly to the NWT (NorthWest Territories).  I'm on my fourth wool hat and have begun the decreases at the top:

Pattern: Morning Coffee 
Designer: YaYa Loves to Knit
Yarn: Patons North America Classic Wool Worsted
Colour-way: #308 - Wisteria

In the "knits pour moi" category, I finishe my 'Crayon Box Millie' and am enjoying wearing it in the cooler weather:

Pattern: Millie by Nice and Knit
Yarn: Sirdar Silky Look DK (discontinued)
Colour-way #0974 (Rainbow)

And in preparation for even cooler weather, I'm gradually closing in on a finish for my Sock Knitter's Pullover.  It's made from assorted odd bits of fingering-weight sock yarn, so those sleeves seem to go on forever!

Pattern: Sock Knitter's Pullover
Designer: Merri Fromm

I've also managed a bit of spinning in the early morning sunshine.  In an effort to do more spinning, I've been participating a bit in the "Summer Spin-In" from the Two Ewes -- podcasters who also have a Ravelry group by that name.

Having finished my goal for the "Tour de Fleece" back in July, I began to spin up some wool top given me by a friend.  No idea the breed (not labelled), but it was very colourfully dyed by someone, somewhere along the way.  (I wrote a bit about it back in July.)

So I took some of this:

And spun enough of it to fill a spindle, thus:

This week I've been spinning with some black fibre which was in a bag labelled 'alpaca' -- a lovely thing to spin, and the first time I've done so!  I've got a bobbin that's nearly full, and when finished, will ply it with the multi-coloured singles (above) to make a marl.  I know it's two different animal fibres -- alpaca and sheep -- but that should give me interesting results, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

Now to quilting. This week I (finally!) finished the 80 Butter Churn blocks I needed for a throw-sized quilt top.  I slapped on some plain borders and called the top *done* -- 51 1/2" x 63 1/2" -- but it now needs quilting, of course!

Scrappy Butter Churn throw quilt top
Block pattern from Bonnie Hunter's 
"Addicted to Scraps" column, 
Quiltmaker Magazine, Mar/Apr 2023

As I've been working on this, I've continued to stitch up crumbs and strings.  Yesterday I finished the 60th no-paper, straight strings block in my stack thereof, and decided to turn them into half-square triangles for another throw-sized top:

This meant, of course, that I'd need enough neutral fabric to cut 60 plain blocks.  Hmmm...

I took out a couple of options from my quilting cottons, but neither was a large enough piece to do the job (each block had to be 6 1/2" square).  Then I remembered my daughter's contribution to my "KIOOTLF" Project -- bedsheets!  She decided to replace a set of twin-sized poly-cotton (50-50) plain off-white bedsheets, and gave that old set to me to use as I saw fit.  I dug out the flat top sheet, trimmed off the top double-fold hem, and set to cutting out my neutral squares.  Perfect!

Look at the puddle of fabric on the floor!

Once the HSTs are made, I hope to turn them into large pin-wheel blocks.  Sixty 6 1/2" string blocks plus 60 plain blocks of the same size = 120 HST blocks measuring 60" square, and four of them in a pinwheel = 30 pinwheel blocks measuring 11" square before putting them in the quilt.  They'd finish at 10 1/2" square, so six rows of 5 blocks each should measure 50" x 60" (give or take), before borders.  Ta-da!

In other textile work, I finished hooking my little prairie landscape.  In my last post I talked about needing courage to tackle that stormy sky.  Well, I finally bit the bullet and did it -- and I'm rather pleased with the results!  Here it is, sitting in a wee wooden stand, propped up by a square of mat board:

Something's Brewing! (c) 2023

When I finished this I realized I'd need more blue chunky yarn for skies.  While I was able to dye more golds and browns, I don't have the supplies (yarn or dye) to do blues, so I tracked some down from my friend and former employer, Lori of The Crafty Lady.  They've arrived; now to figure out what I want to do next.  

I'm thinking about a small landscape based on the flowers I've enoyed this summer: all those pretty poppies.  Not a scrap of blue in sight, but one must be prepared! 😉

And on the stitching front, things are moving along as well.  I received my floss order from Embroidery Market Place, and have moved on with "Nevermore" -- a design by Lila's Studio that I'm stitching as a gift for my nephew George and his new bride, Chey.  Lest you think it an odd wedding gift, well...let's just say it suits what I know of their esthetic.  The colours are luscious, and I'm enjoying this stitch immensely!

Progress - Aug. 30, 2023

Motif close-up
Floss: #0980 - "Lagoon" from Gentle Arts

Today, of course, is the start of Sampler September.  In that vein, I'll not be forgetting Keziah Campbell 1796 from Needlemade Designs, the kit for which was given me last year for my Big Birthday, from two friends who knew it was on my Traditional Stitches wish list.  I'm nearing the bottom now, having finished the house:

And while I have another sampler languishing from last year, I also have a new start planned for my birthday:  Memories of the Past from Hands Across the Sea designs.  I'm torn between starting it today or waiting till my birthday date.  I had it on my wish list for some time before I invested in it, and once finished, it will be the largest piece I've stitched to date.  The colours are glorious, and I love the verse and the border.  Stay tuned!

I think that's all the news that's fit to print -- for this post, anyway.  And I have a homily to write for the Morning Prayer service on Sunday (I'm a Lay Minister in my local Anglican parish and take a service once a month, when our priest is off at the other parish he shepherds). away, so I can get my work done and still have lots of stitching time before bed!

As usual, I leave you with a link to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  This week she's "geeking out" about thread -- of the sewing variety.  If thinking about thread -- its composition, its colours, its weight, its role in your sewing and quilting life -- her post's for you!

Here's wishing you all, Gentle Readers, a safe, sunny, super September, wherever life may take you.  For the moment, a bientôt! 


Kate said...

You have had a busy month. You are making good progress on all your projects. I like how you rotate through them.

Gwyned Trefethen said...

Although not born in September (Happy Birthday month, Margaret) it remains my favorite month, too. Love the crisp fall air, change in foliage and the sense of a new year ripe with possibilities. I'm not a fan of the triple H's either. We are doing our best here to keep it out of the landfill, but mostly with passing things on either as gifts or through eBay. I never tire of seeing your numerous projects.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Pretty projects here! I love your scrappy Butter Churn quilt, and the string blocks look great. Cute little hooked prairie landscape!