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!