Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WINDY Weekend

Check out the result of last weekend's wind-
Just peeled the plastic right off the chicken run, blew over rain barrels - not much water in it, the full ones were fine - tossed all the trash cans! We were lucky and did not loose any major tree limbs, roof bits or electricity!
The next day was lovely! The chickens were very happy to be out and about- here are one of the Bettys and Ethel enjoying the sun-
Say What?

I have added a project to this spring's list, my backyard neighbor has a great bat-house, I'm thinking of adding one to our house

There are the first signs of Spring just beginning- Lilac buds and fig buds

Friday, February 11, 2011

Faux Fair Isle with my Handspun and Napkins!

I finished it and I love it! I am going to work out the "pattern" such as it is and actually measure quantities next time - I have some hand-spun and some bare wool all ready to be dyed up - I did have some help though:

All nice - I like this lower squarish neckline:

In other "backyard" news - I have hoarded collected a bunch of fabric for napkins -

It began with the totally cute "French" chicken fabric though - and I tried mitered corners. There are a lot of really good tutorials for mitered corners - I copied from one of my Martha Stewart books, but next time I'm trying this method from Design Sponge, or this one from The Purl Bee for beautiful hand-sewn napkins. Anyway - here is the Martha-ish way:

Fold your hems over twice and iron the heck out of them (Martha has you measure a 1/2 inch and iron it, then an inch and iron that):

Then you unfold it you will need to see your fold lines since they will be your guide for the next step:

With the right side up, keep the first fold, unfold the second one and fold the corners back so the lines match up and the fold is right at the intersection of the second fold lines - you are making a diagonal across the square made by the ironed folds which will be your sewing line:

Fold the fabric across on the diagonal, and line up the edges:

Sew along the diagonal line, trim and turn inside-out:

Sew nicely around the hem (remember to make the bobbin thread a pretty coordinating color because that will be the top of the napkin)


For the next set I figured, heck, these are just napkins, is there a quick and dirty way to miter the corner? So for the under-patient who can over-look a bit of sloppiness - because it just is not as accurate:

Fold over the edge on all sides about a quarter of an inch:

Fold the napkin along the diagonal and eyeball measure about an inch (for a pretty small hem) along the diagonal from the tip of the folded bits and place a pin:

Sew a seam perpendicular to the folded middle edge of the napkin, starting at the place you marked with the pin - use the sewing machine as a guide because the whole point of doing the corners this way is because you are too impatient to mark anything!:

Clip and fold back right-side-out and fix by pressing the heck out of them!

Sew around the edges and they are done! It is REALLY HARD to get a good miter this way because when you are sewing the corner, you are sewing along the bias of the fabric and it wants to shift around. Sewing that perpendicular is harder than it looks! But hey! They are napkins!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Juicy Rovings and Giveaway Sweater

2/11/11 EDITED TO ADD: It's finished!

First - I finished the body of the sweater I am donating to Juniper Moon Farms massively huge most amazing giveaway ever in support of Pete's Greens:



I am really liking this sweater - basically I used the pattern "Faux Fair Isle Raglans" from Shannon Okey's book Spin to Knit: the Knitter's Guide to Yarn Making, but I added underarm gussets, and I think I added short-rows on the back of the neck so it would not ride up.... I'll have to double-check that bit!

Rovings! Dyed rovings!

Also - I dyed up four 4 oz chunks of roving, again the beautiful Cormo from Juniper Moon Farm- the first brownish grey was sort of a voo-do dyejob. I piled up the soaked fiber and randomly poured mixed red, blue and yellow dyes.

This next I am not so excited about, though the blues are nice, but it may spin up nicely:

This one I love! I painted two of the rovings the same and they are most juicy!