Friday, December 21, 2012

Off the Shuttle: Tatted Edging

I got some new Lizbeth threads recently. This tatted pillowcase edging was done in one of the new colors, Scottish Thistle. It's a pattern I've used several times. I like it because it's not very frilly. Most of the picots are just for joining, rather than decorative. The pattern is "Handkerchief Edging or Pillow Edging No. 11" on pgs. 33-34, in The Craft of Tatting by Bessie M. Attenborough (Bell & Hyman Ltd., 1972).

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I attended the 2012 Heritage Day Quilt Auction sponsored by the Capital Quilters Guild at Historic Oak View Park in Raleigh, NC, and for the first time I participated as a bidder. This year the proceeds benefited both the Guild and North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scout Council (where my daughter works). Unbelievably, I won 3 of the 5 quilts I bid on! Here are photos of the quilts. My photos do not do them justice...they are so beautiful.

This one is "Color Karma" a 34" by 34" wall hanging in the Amish quilt style:

This one is "Hollyhocks" a 51" by 60" quilt that I also plan to hang. This is the front view:

This is what the backing fabric looks like:

This one is called "Lotsa Dots" and is 62" by 82". It's hard to tell by the photo, but every piece of fabric has a pattern of dots.

More dots are on the reversible back of the quilt. I plan to use the quilt on my bed. The colors will really brighten up the room.

Off the Needles: Amy's Shawlette

Here's what I made for my daughter out the the yarn she brought back from her trip to Alaska last year. The pattern is adapted from a pattern I found on Ravelry. The original pattern was in garter stitch and required some frogging to finish it. I changed to stockinette and made some other changes because I really can't see the point of knitting something and then unknitting a substantial portion...that's just crazy. The edging is about all it has in common with the original pattern. The yarn is wool and, although bought in Alaska, was made in Chile.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Off the Needles: KAL Mystery Shawl #3

Here's the 3rd and final shawl I made using the KAL mystery shawl pattern and the Stonehedge "Crazy" yarn. Still have this and another of the shawls to block. I think I'm tapped out on both the pattern and the yarn for now and am ready to move on to something else. The designer promises a new mystery KAL pattern in October, but if I do that one, I think I'll use some other yarn. I'm not as crazy for "Crazy" as I was when I started this knit along.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Off the Needles: Mystery Shawl #1

Just finished the first shawl I started after frogging the mistakes and redoing. Haven't blocked it yet. The yarn is the first Stonehedge "Crazy" skeins that I bought. Later skeins have not been such wild colors. I have one more that I'm working on and then that will be it for the pattern for now. It's been fun seeing how the color changes stack up against each other.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Off the Needles: KAL Mystery Shawlette #2

 This is the 2nd Knit Along Mystery Shawlette I knitted. I ran into some problems with the 1st one that will require some frogging. So I put aside that one and finished the second one which is now being blocked. I have yarn for a 3rd shawl as well.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Off the shuttle: Tatted embellishments on christening outfit

Years ago, my mother's hobby was doll making and sewing outfits for the dolls. She used some of my early tatted edging as an embellishment. Now that I'm so much better at tatting, I decided to make new edgings. The light blue edgings are DMC size 20 and size 30. The darker blue on the bonnet is a vintage thread in size 70.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On the Needles: Knit Along Shawl

I bought this yarn from Warm 'n Fuzzy, the new yarn shop in Cary. It's "Crazy" from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. It's basically mill ends that are spun together in random order so no two skeins are alike. The pattern is a knit-along shawlette with directions given out from early August till Labor Day. So far, I've knitted all the clues and am waiting for the final set of directions. More about this project at

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Off the Needles: Linen Market Bag

Here's another project that I got to the almost-finished stage and then put aside for a few years. The only things left to do were to sew up the sides and add the strap. Since the body of the bag had a tendency to skew, I blocked it before doing up the sides. The yarn is 100% linen in magenta (2 strands used throughout), and it blocked very nicely (despite the uneven appearance in the photo). The pattern is from Folk Bags: 20 Knitting Patterns and Tales from around the World by Vicki Square.

The body is mostly knitted mesh stitch and the top edge is a basketweave stitch. In the pattern the strap was yet another pattern, but I found it a bit too fiddly for my patience and did the strap in the basketweave stitch as well. A nice thing about the basketweave stitch is that it doesn't stretch much on the vertical so the strap won't have a tendency to "grow" and lengthen.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Off the Needles: Summer Cardigan

I started this sweater earlier this year and just finished sewing it together this weekend. The pattern is Jill Vosburg's  "Drifting Dreams Jacket" from Just One More Row. The yarn from my really old stash. It's Bucilla Caprice, a 100% pima cotton that I bought years ago at the Belk in downtown Raleigh. It's probably over 20 years since there was a Belk there that sold yarn. The original price for a 50 gram ball was $3, but I bought it at the markdown price of $0.50/ this sweater cost me less than $3 in materials. And I got the two shell buttons I used on sale for $0.25. Truly an almost free project!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Off the Hook: Crocheted Bowl

I crocheted this bowl for my Recycled Fibers Projects demonstration at the 2012 Carolina Fiber Fest. I made it out of one of my daughter's t-shirts.

2 Days of displaying/demonstrating recycled fiber projects at the Carolina Fiber Fest

Photos from day 2 of Recycled Fiber Projects demo at the 2012 Carolina Fiber Fest. Exciting to meet lots of amazed and inspired fiber crafters who "get" the whole idea of repurposing materials. And got rid of 2 bags of pantyhose to a fellow crocheter and to a rug hooker.

Pantyhose rugs:

T-shirt yarn crocheted bowl, videotape clutch purse, and recycled sari silk bag:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Skill: Hair Pin Lace

I attended the NC Regional Lacers Spring Lace Day in Chapel Hill on Saturday and took a class on hair pin lace. Above is the bookmark that I made in the class. After I got home, I made another using Cascade Yarn's "Copa" -- a 100% viscose yarn. This is a very slippery yarn, so although I used the same pattern for both bookmarks, this one came out looking a bit different.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Off the Needles: Felted Mittens

Too late to wear these this time of year, but they are finished. I wanted something warmer than the acrylic yarn mittens that I've had for years so I knitted these out of heavy wool. I can't recall the yarn I used...might be Cascade 220 wool.

I'd completed all but the felting while it was still cool enough to wear them, but then realized that one was a bit longer than the other, always a possibility when making 2 items separately. (That's why I always knit both sleeves at the same time when making a sweater.) I couldn't decide which one to fix: shorten the longer one or add a couple of rows to the shorter one. So I set the mittens aside. Later it occurred to me that perhaps the felting process could be the solution. I felted the longer one a bit more than its mate. Since I made them to wear when walking in the woods in winter, I decided that this time practicality would win out over perfectionism.

Recyling Project: Videotape Clutch Purse

I'll be demonstrating "green" fiber craft project at this year's Carolina Fiber Fest. I knitted this clutch purse out of polyester silver yarn and black videotape.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My work is on the Handy Hands website!

My beaded crochet bag was picked for the Handy Hands gallery website to showcase items made with Lizbeth threads:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Off the hook: Striped Afghan

This is a project I started a while back and hit a snag and put aside. The pattern is Lion Brand Yarn's "Wind Chime Afghan" in Vanna's Choice yarn. You crochet the strips and then connect them together with a chain of stitches. My first two strips went together find, but the next joining ended up with one strip longer than the other. At that point I put the project aside. Last week I took it up again and decided to bail on the connecting chains and just crochet the strips directly to each other. This meant unraveling strips I'd already finished and buying more yarn to make up for the reduced width caused when omitting the chains. But I probably didn't spend much more time on this than I would have if I'd battled with the pattern as written. And, most important, the project got finished and out of my UFO collection. I really like the way it turned out.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Won!

I entered Piney Woods Tatter' Valentine giveaway and won 3 balls of Valdani perle cotton, size 8, in 3 different shades of red, plus beads and buttons. Rachel, the Piney Woods Tatter, makes beautiful tatted brooches with button centers. Now to decide what to make out of her generous gift!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another ancient project finished: tatted pillowcase edging

Finally finished this tatted edging and finally sewed it onto a pillowcase. I guess I started this project 3-4 years ago and never got around to completing it until recently. The pattern is "Leaf Braid" from Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns, which she described as the "easiest pattern in the book." I doubled the pattern on itself so that two rings of the braid connect into a wider braid. The thread is size 20 hand-dyed thread in a colorway called "Candy Corn." It's been so long since I bought the thread on eBay that I have no record or recollection of who I bought it from.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sweater Models

Here are my friend Megan's daughters wearing two of the sweaters I made and gave to them. It's great to see how they look on real kids for a change.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Off the needles: Bandana Cowl

Here is my beautiful daughter modeling the alpaca cowl I knitted. The pattern is Bandana Cowl, a free pattern from The Purl Bee. The pattern gave me quite a lot of practice doing short rows; I think there were over 30 rows of short rows to create the bandana point. The yarn is a tweedy alpaca that I bought at last year's Carolina Fiber Fest. It is sooo soft. I have a good amount left so need to decide how to use it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Off the hook: Sweater #12

Another sweater using a pattern that was originally published by Doreen Knitting Books, Volume 100, in 1950. The main yarn is Bernat's Waverly in "Fresh Flower" color trimmed with lavender Lion Brand Baby Soft yarn.

Off the needles: Baby Sweater #11

This is another sweater using the Maddy Kids pattern called Girl's Smart Topper. It's knitted in an aqua acrylic.

The Roasted Chicken Hat

A few months ago, my sister sent me a photo of a hat that looked like a roasted chicken or turkey and said she wanted me to make her one. She runs marathons and a lot of runners wear funny outfits and accessories to stand out in the crowd. All I had to go on was the photo -- no pattern. I found some yarn that looked like the color of a roasted chicken (Lion Brand Yarn's Vanna's Choice) and I bought some turkey legs to get an idea of the proportions of the leg. The hat base was easy, just a simple stockinette toboggan with a ribbed border. The legs were trickier. First, I tried knitting the leg on double-pointed needles, but I quickly saw that the results probably wouldn't hold the shape well. So I turned to crochet, working from the small end to the large end. The results were not realistic. Finally, I tried crocheting from the large end to the small which did the trick. The legs are spirals of single crochet stitches that gradually increase and then taper off. The frills were made by a couple of rounds of single crochet and then a round of chains attached with slip stitches.

Here's a photo of my sister wearing her new chicken hat:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Off the hook: Baby Sweater #10

I crocheted this sweater out of Loops & Threads Snuggly Wuggly Baby Sport yarn. It's an acrylic distributed by Michaels Stores, and the pattern is from the yarn wrapper. My model is Sasha, a Bye-lo Baby-style doll that my late mother made many years ago. Since the doll is pretty close to human infant size, I've decided to use Sasha as my model so I can see how the sweaters will fit on real babies instead of photographing them flat. The sleeves are a little long, but maybe that's just because Sasha has short arms?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Off the needles: Baby Sweater #9

This sweater was knitted out of a really frustrating yarn -- pretty with lots of interesting texture, but all the loops and thick spots made it hard to pull stitches. The pattern is something I adapted from another more complicated pattern since the yarn is busy enough in stockinette stitch.

Off the hook: Baby Sweater #8

The yarn is Plymouth Encore, an acrylic/wool blend. The pattern is by Beth Koskie and is available on the Web at

Off the needles: Baby Sweater #7

The pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. It's knitted up in one piece that then folds into a sweater that only needs sewing up at the top of the sleeves. The pattern requires a lot of keeping track of stitch increases so I probably won't use the pattern again. Also I had a bit of trouble with the neckline and had to do some fiddling to get the opening big enough. The yarn is worsted weight yarn left over from other projects.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Off the needles: Baby Sweater #6

The pattern is a free Lion Brand Yarn pattern, Rectangle Garter Baby Cardigan. The off-white yarn is from my stash, a chenille-type of unknown brand and fiber, probably an acrylic. I added the turquoise trim to add a little color; the yarn is left over from sweater #5.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Off the needles: Baby Sweater #5

I have 2 more baby sweaters that are close to finishing so yesterday, instead of finishing them, I started and finished this sweater. Same leaf pattern that I've already done in lavender.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Off the needles: Baby Sweater #4

This is another sweater from the Leisure Arts leaflet titled "Knit Lace & Leaves for Baby" by Jeannine LaRoche. I knitted it a while back and finally sewed up the seams and added buttons today. The nice thing about the 2 sweater patterns in this leaflet is that you only have to sew up the underarms.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Felted Pencil Case

A couple of months ago I knitted and felted this pencil case out of Lite Lopi for a friend's son in his favorite colors. The pattern is adapted from a free one from Lion Brand Yarn. I finally got around to finishing it up today.

The case seemed too bulky to roll up as shown on the pattern web page. So I decided to use a flap closure with a Velcro strip.

I needle-felted the boy's name on the outside of the case:

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Projects Revisited

Here's a collage of most of the projects that I finished in 2011. Doesn't include the scarves I donated to Knit Night or a few items that I didn't take photos of. I'm surprised and pleased at how much I accomplished in 2011. I'll soon post photos of my first finished project of 2012--a hat for my sister that I made this weekend.