Sunday, September 2, 2018

Quilting At Last

The back story... or How years pass!

Once, a long, long time ago, someone got up out of bed in the morning, and said, "My, what a huge waste of fabric I have, in plastic bins, tucked away in a closet."  Yes, many of us have said this, and at least I'm proud to say mine is ALL in ONE closet.  Or, should I say that years ago my sauna became a closet?  Shame on me...

And, yes, that someone was me.  And I decided I could whip up a quilt top without shopping and OH! How rewarding that would be to diminish my fabric stash.  Do NOT be fooled, my foolish fabric friends... Today (August 25, 2018) I see NO difference in my stash.  

EIGHT years ago I pulled fabric out, intending to make quick work of it.  Here are the stories that lead up to today:

Then FOUR years later:

Then Another Two years pass:

I'm appalled that the bias binding has been hanging out for another 2 years...  and that had nothing to do with finishing at this date.  I was totally unaware of the timeline when I sat at the sewing machine yesterday and thought, I should really do something with that bias binding.

In the end, at some point, I took the whole thing with a backing, to my local fabric store and put real money with it so they would quilt it to make a coverlet.  And so I was pleased to see it when I pulled it out again.  Not so pleased when I realized that the brown bias binding that looked so promising reached exactly half way around it...  BUT, I soldiered on!  I found a section of a sheet (which I say proves I'm a hoarder) and I ripped, cut and sewed and cut more bias binding.  I intended to continue my "scrap" theme by piecing it together with the brown binding, but discovered that my new binding would be enough!  
It's a CRAZY quilt.  I started out symmetrical in the center, but lost my way and finished each side differently.   And my well-meaning idea to make it a duvet cover?  A year or so ago, I made a plain cover, so no need.  That would be just SILLY!

Interesting difference in colors, inside/outside.  Not bad for 8 years of work!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Prize winning

A Knit Nite Sensation!  Look at this amazing, lovely, delicate, Victorian lace shawl!  Great job, Jenny!
And we ALL encouraged you to take it to the fair...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

It’s that time again.

Two days have gone by, I finished another project, and now it's time to take a deep breath, and cut the steeks.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Broken Needles

My broken heart! My stitches cast interrupted...

Size isn't everything!  I LOVE this needle... The funky color, the flex,... It delights me to find a project to use this, and then, BOOM, it broke.  Inconvenient at the time, but mostly I feel I have to discard an old friend.

Knitter's Pride Marblz Fixed Circular.  Yes, most places will replace broken needles.  But I won't bother unless I think of it when I'm in Rochester again.  Hello, Village Yarn & Fiber Shop.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Some Things I Do ...

I wanted to say I have an alter-ego, which can be sinister, but really it means I live two lives.
I have a home, a great man, and activities which can be defined as hobbies and work.  Then I have this other life which happens 4,000 miles away from home, where I am a live-in grandma, cook and errand runner.  My hobbies follow me to my second life, and I feel loved in both lives. 
Rather than driving everywhere, I use public transportation.

Rather than having meals discussed and prepared for me, I fill the refrigerator with my desires for my family.  This is how the refrigerator looks when I arrive... I fill it.

Rather than sitting in my backyard, I get invited to picnics in the park and discover geocaches on my own.

Rather than listening to the occasional dog barking, and the sound of hammering on the roof of a new house, I listen to children playing, and music blaring from next door.

I get to celebrate with a nation of people who are strictly traditional, wear red, white and blue, and hope it never ends!

Rather than depend on sunshine and hanging clothes out to dry, I cross my fingers and hope that I'll be able to go outside without rain gear and boots.

Rather than fretting about my monstrous stash of yarn, I get to reward myself with new yarn and ideas.

Which can get a little out of hand...  Here's the makings of 3 pairs of socks and a sweater.  What you don't see is the yarn for another 2 sweaters, one which quickly was started and finished so I didn't have to embarrass myself (my own guilty conscience) when packing for home.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Rauma 2

I thought I was back at WEBS!  The warehouse was daunting, and of course, it's off limits to the public. (Did anyone notice I found the apostrophe key?  It says "greater than/less than" and I hit it my mistake!)

The view from their new office windows.

Japanese knitting machines that can produce complete products.

Mr. "Rauma", inherited from his grandfather, showing a Marius sweater.

A little later, getting the feel...starting our felted bag project.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rauma, where it happens!

I lived in Norway 40 years ago, and quickly understood that the place for knitting satisfaction was a place called Husfliden.  It means Home Crafts, and was pretty much the only place for high quality wool which became beautiful home decorative and wearable articles.
Today, there are still these shops in the major cities, joined with dozens of other shops.  However, Rauma wool is the first and longest producing wool yarn mill in Norway.  (With a little luck, you can click on the link (Rauma wool) and see the whole fascinating process with scenery!)
I didn't know much about it until I took this tour, and now I know they demand respect for their traditions and their innovations.  
I don't know how they will fare in the future given that sheep farmers get so little for their fleeces, and Rauma has overhead costs (i.e. labor) that are crazy.  The best of luck to all of them!
Fleece bails, arrived cleaned
The special fleeces
Spun into thread
Through lots of machines, for plying

Ready for dyeing


As in most of the manufacturing, their marketed sweaters and blankets are machine knitted and woven.  To be continued.

A Note:  I wanted to include a link to Husfliden, but their website is as unfriendly as the experience you will receive if you set foot in the shop (in Bergen).  I have wandered in every few years, the window displays are very inviting, however, if you don't have know exactly what you want, AND especially if they don't have it, you will be dismissed like an ignorant child.  I confirmed this by reading comments on their facebook page.  Comments were mostly very negative regarding their service.


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