Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lumberjack Attack Quilt

I finished a quilt this week! This marks the third finished quilt for the year, so I guess I'm on a roll! I figure it's best to ride this wave of enthusiasm before it's gone.

Here's my finished quilt top - it measures somewhere in the 65x75-inch range, a perfect size for me to snuggle up on the couch or take it with me on a picnic.


At times like these, it's handy to have a husband who's 6'3", because he can hold up my quilts for me. :)

Anyway, for the quilt I made up my own pattern because I wanted something to highlight the main fabrics - four awesome Lumberjack Attack fat quarters from Joyful Roots (note: my set of FQs was a special introductory bundle, but the set in the link is pretty similar).



I cut each fat quarter into 5-inch squares and then framed them in coordinating semi-solids from JoAnn's. The background is a charcoal grey Kona cotton, and the back is an all-over orange print (with a strip of grey to make it big enough). I hand quilted it using a 10wt hand quilting thread for a simple, bold look.


I bound it in the same orange from the back. It's full of orangey goodness, and I love it!!

Up next ... a triangle quilt for my grandmother's 96th birthday. Stay tuned!


Friday, January 31, 2014

Fiber Friday: Getting Ready for Nerd Wars and Ravellenics!

Hello! I actually have fibery things to share on a Friday - imagine that!

First up, I finished the pair of socks I've been working on since before Christmas (they got pushed aside several times to work on gifts for other people):


The pattern is Fruit Stripe Gum Socks, which is fun and easy to follow (and also free!). You may be able to see, but the pattern calls for making a ribbed ankle portion of the sock to help it fit better, and also a slip stitch section just after the heel on the sole of the foot. I'm interested to see how these make a difference (if any) in the fit of these socks vs. any other pair I've made. I also used the Fish Lips Kiss heel for the first time. I enjoyed knitting it, so we'll see how it wears! The yarn is a custom Christmas colorway I had commissioned from Sunset Stitches - a festive but not too obviously "Christmas" combination of bright red, lime green, turquoise and pink. I love it! And I'm glad it isn't TOO Christmas or else I probably would have waited until next November to finish these socks!

I learned while making these socks, though, that I will NOT be doing top-down socks again for a while. I really just prefer toe-up, and there's not much reason for me to ignore that preference!

In other news, tomorrow is the start of Nerd Wars Tournament 10, and I'm on the High Council of Time Lords for Team TARDIS so I guess I'd better finish some projects, eh? (It sounds much more impressive than it actually is, I just help out here and there with mod duties on the team.)

I've got my yarns all ready to go for February's casting on - some of them will be started as soon as this weekend, for Nerd Wars and general knitted fun, while others will have to wait until next week (ack!) for the start of the 2014 Ravellenic Games. Here's the whole bundle:


From left to right I plan to knit: socks I'll be designing (in my Storied Yarns Sparkle Sock), the Shattered Stars shawl (in my Storied Yarns Superwash Sock), a funky and basic slouch hat (using my handspun) and the Slouchy Shortrow hat (using Bohoknitterchic's Superwash Merino DK in her Ravellenics colorway). The socks and handspun hat will get started this weekend while the others will wait for Opening Ceremonies (I plan to focus on the shawl first and then the hat after that).

What about you - are you preparing for your new projects to go with a new month? What will they be?


Monday, January 27, 2014

Meet my Colorway: Jordan Baker

Hello, friends and fangirls! I've got a new colorway to introduce to you today - Jordan Baker, from my Great Gatsby series!



In the book, we learn that Jordan is a professional golfer; she's a fairly liberated woman, especially compared to the others in the book, and she's got lots of style. Also, an air of mystery; after all, "she had begun dealing in subterfugest when she was very young."



For Jordan's character I wanted something feminine but not girly, bold and attention-getting. I pulled together bright blues and greens and anchored them with deeper tones of violet, teal, and black.

Here's the colorway on my Sparkle Sock base, perfect for a Flapper:


A yarn like this needs a pattern that's worthy of it, right? After all, Jordan Baker is famous and doesn't like to be ignored! Here are a few suggestions for you:

Of course, how could I resist an adorable hat with ruching that's actually called Gatsby's Girl
Image from Kalurah on Ravelry

\And as soon as I saw Glitz at the Ritz on Ravelry I knew it would be perfect for one of my Gatsby colorways. Jordan could ROCK a shawl like this!

Image from Helen Stewart on Ravelry

And of course, what evening ensemble would be complete without an elegant pair of long gloves or mitts? How about Lacy Mitts!

Image from Roko on Ravelry

The Jordan Baker skeins are available in the Storied Yarns Shop right now, along with several others that arrived in my Roaring 20s shop update last week. Remember, now that I'm having monthly themed updates, the colorways I add to the shop won't come back around for quite a long time. So grab 'em while you can!

Happy stitching, flapper-inspired fangirls!







Monday, January 6, 2014

Pardon my Fangirl Moment

If you'll pardon my moment of Fangirl Geek-Out, I've got a bit of a shop update preview for you, kinda. You know what? It's Monday, and my children are off for two more days from school even though they've already been home for two WEEKS, so you know, this is what happens. I hope you enjoy. ;)

Adventures in the Dye Pots: January Edition


So last week, I was dyeing up yarn for my January Storied Yarns update. The theme is "Roaring 20s," which has me all excited. When I finished my dyeing for the day, I started imagining a sort of fanfiction played out in yarn form. Indulge with me, won't you?

Wouldn't it be cool if ... the girls of Downton Abbey made a trip to America, and wound up hooking up hanging out with the boys of Boardwalk Empire?!? Maybe it would go a little something like this:

Mary would probably consider herself way too proper for any of it, so I imagine she'd stay mostly indoors, hanging out with Margaret or something.

"Ho hum, this is dull. It almost makes me miss my kid, that's how bored I am."
"Sigh, I know. I'm so glad I finally got rich enough to have a nanny for mine, but it is pretty boring when you decide you're too good for the gangsters around here."

Then the good stuff happens. Of course, Nucky has to have someone to cheat on his wife with, and who better than Aunt Rosamund? You know she's got a wild child inside her, right? She has to! 

  
                          "I heard you like rich guys."                                                           "You heard right."

And of course Edith, she needs to have a little fun. I'm tired of her always getting shafted. I want her to have a new partner - in life and in crime - and for this little foray into the world of fanfiction I'm resurrecting Jimmy. Right?!? I know. So awesome.

  
                                 "Hmm, this could be fun."                                                     "Eh, she'll do."

And finally, Owen. He's one of my favorites! Since he's not technically a full-on gangster or a leader in the show, let's pair him with one of my favorite Downstairs Downton ladies - Daisy. She's looking for direction in life, and he's got it. Plus, he's hot, and she deserves a hottie.

  
"I totally get that whole repressed-servant-class thing."                           "I'm totally freaked out right now!"

Anyway, thanks for hanging out with me and indulging in my dye pot fantasies! Maybe it's the dye fumes, but these are the things I think about when I'm working. Stay tuned for the January update, coming later this month and featuring several of the characters I've been waxing on about today! 
 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sport Weight Pattern Suggestions

Howdy! Today I'm happy to introduce the newest base to the Storied Yarns lineup: Storied Yarns BFL Sport! It's a 100% Superwash BFL skein and it comes in at 100g and 278 yards for $25.

Here's a picture of this base, all dyed up and ready to ship in the shop, in my "Ron Weasley" colorway:

I've got a few pattern recommendations for this yarn, so sit back and get ready to browse!
First up, socks! Sport weight yarn is slightly thicker than traditional sock yarns, making it great for warm, thicker socks or for gift-sock knitting (because it goes faster, ha!). Here are a few great sock patterns for sport weight yarns:

Boot Socks - Find on Ravelry
Kalajoki - find it on Ravelry

If socks aren't your thing, 'tis the season for hats, to be sure! Here are some adorable hat patterns (I think that first one is especially fitting for the colorway that's in stock right now!):

Hermione Hearts Ron - on Ravelry

Mel Ski's Drizzle - on Ravelry
Simple - but lovely! - on Ravelry

I'm a sucker for fingerless mitts any time of the year, so here are some of my favorite mitt patterns that I think would work out really well in this yarn:

Siren Sleeves - on Ravelry


Fallberry Mitts - free on Ravelry

And last but not least, a few more patterns just for fun:

Elk Tooth Shawl - on Ravelry

Summer Days - on Ravelry


Well, that's it from me! Be sure you check out the shop - I've done the final update of 2013 so there are lovely new skeins in store for you:

Thanks so much for a fabulous year! I'll see you back here soon with previews of the first update of 2014!











Sunday, December 8, 2013

Get Away with Me

Hold onto your hats, I'm actually blogging! I'm sorry I've been away for so long. I've got some exciting new things planned for Storied Yarns in 2014, but before I get to all that I've got an exciting announcement!

I'm having a retreat again this year, yay!!!! This time I've teamed up with two ahh-mazing ladies: Dana & Brittany of the Just One More Row podcast. The three of us are planning and plotting to bring you a retreat that's full of awesome!

A view of the gorgeous Lake Frances
Here are the details:
Where: This year the retreat will be at the gorgeous Lake Frances Retreat Center in Crossville, TN. We'll be staying in awesome cabins so you won't have to share a bathroom with more than 4 people (unless you're part of a large group and you request that arrangement). The retreat center boasts a gorgeous lake, a peaceful setting and so many fun activities! We'll have nightly campfires, beach volleyball, corn hole, nature walks, a ropes course for anyone who's interested, karaoke and - of course - plenty of time for knitting, spinning, chatting and eating! The meals will be fully catered this time and we'll have snacks on hand for in between meals.
When: The retreat will happen May 16-18, 2014.
Cost: The cost is $170 which covers all your food, lodging, activities and goodies for the entire weekend (dinner Friday through breakfast Sunday).

The open-air building where we'll spend our time spinning and knitting!
We're planning to have informal mini-lessons in topics you'll love, so there will be time to learn new things without the pressure and structure of formal classes. We're also going to have a vendor marketplace and we've lined up some FABULOUS vendors for you - you're going to squeee!!! with delight when I'm able to announce them, I promise! We're also working to contract with two massage therapists to give massages by appointment over the weekend. It'll be like going to a spa with yarn!

The path to the cabins

I hope you'll join us for a wonderful weekend of relaxing and fibery fun! Check out our Into the Wool Ravelry group for all the details, including a link to the sign-up form and a list of FAQs.



Friday, November 1, 2013

My Freak Flag

As some of you may know, I've recently started working as a Virtual Assistant to a variety of awesome and talented creative business owners. One of the tasks I'm taking on in this Gal Friday role is to write posts for the blog at Patterned. Every Friday, we're doing something a little different - we're setting aside time to get creative, think about life and business, and step outside the box. We'd love for you to join us!

In this week's #ThinkCreateReflect post, we're making our own Freak Flags!

In case you're not sure, a Freak Flag is basically an outward expression of whatever makes you a unique, wacky, freaky individual.

One day I might make a giant Freak Flag banner for my Ready Room (aka my craft/sewing/home office room), but in the meantime I think this giant crocheted shawl of mine probably counts as a Freak Flag -


It's crocheted out of several different wild and wacky skeins of handspun. Some I spun myself, and others I got from very wonderful friends. I cherish this shawl not only because it keeps me SUPER warm in the cooler months but because it's like a Freak Flag I can wear - it's thick and thin and slightly garish and definitely weird, just like me at times. :)



What's YOUR Freak Flag? Head on over to Patterned and share it with us, or take a picture and tag it #ThinkCreateReflect on Twitter or Instagram!