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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sponge Bar Repair Sponges.

Bar to be strip.
I recently hosted a private one on one workshop in my studio with a newbie knitter student who wanted to learn to make dishcloths for her business...quicker than hand knitting.   First, we started out with an LK150 which I didn't like for the heavy cotton she needed to use so we moved to my Brother 230 which I had set up for knitting some pullovers. 

First, with the 150 we needed to redo the sponge bar...or sponge strip which is in the 150....(see: Sponge Strip or Bar) which we accomplished with materials I have collected for doing the same with my other sponge bars.

Then we moved on to the 230 whose sponge bar needed some oomphing up.... so we temporarily used another (I have several spares ready to go and some needing repairing)....see this Knittsings Blog post.

When I get about half a dozen 'dead' sponge bars I do a repair session using he Knittsings instructions (above) taking a couple of days (Goo Gone working, glue drying and stuff). However, while my student was working away I Googled sponge bars, amongst other things and found this on Ebay ... sponge bar strips. 

I chose the cheapest shipping which said I would get them (from China) January 11th, 2018. No rush, I wouldn't be getting to them for a while....but the arrived last week!
I have written to the seller about what looks like a sticky strip on one side as there wasn't on the ones I bought, but no matter...I'll use Aleene's Original Tacky Glue which I've used for different crafts.

What I like about these strips are that they are pretty much the right length, they are already cut to the right width and there is a strip of ribbon on one side. This'll save me a lot of cutting and extra glueing.

The strips are cheap and I paid $1.37 shipping!!!! And they got here two months early. I'll post again when I actually use them.  Yay!

Monday, October 16, 2017

In a New York 'Mood'.

I may have mentioned this before but I'm a huge fan of the TV program Project Runway. Two weekends ago my sister Judi Goldie and I took a trip to New York (on Amtrak not a Greyhound a la Billy Joel) and as it was her first time in the Big Apple it was 'her' trip with her camera and we went wherever she wanted to go.

I guided and contributed suggestions that I thought she would enjoy photographing and get us as much of Manhattan as we Washington Square Park, and had only two requests of my own. One was the High Line and the other was Mood...where Tim Gunn takes all the designers on Project Runway for their fabrics and findings for their show briefs.    

As you might surmise from this pic...I was really excited to visit...when all you've been able to visit for recently is Fabricland I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Judith took this one of me under a display of ostrich feather boas.
The next three photographs I didn't realize Judith had taken and I think they're fabulous of the bolts of fabric, boxes of buttons and shelves of glittery trims.
Judi Goldie Photography

Judi Goldie Photography

Judi Goldie Photography
There was a lovely young lady who served me who was complaining of sneezing so I told her she should get a Neti pot. Anyone who is in a closed space with all that fabric and - consequently...dust - needs to flush out the nasal passages regularly. She thanked me and proceeded to help me with my purchases. She was a college student.

I decided this was a good place to get some silk for felting...not a bargain (remember I was spending USD's) and the silk was $10 - $14 per yard. (Not even those three extra inches you get in a metre!)

Here is what I had to choose from....I've used some of the black and white patterned in a felted vest already.

By the way...this is only one floor of Mood, they have another floor and further along down on the street is Mood Home with home decor time, eh?

No, I didn't get a Tshirt....I got the book about Project Runway, the first 10 seasons. I did get a tape measure and a giant tote bag as my souvenirs.
Judi Goldie Photography

We ended up taking my packages back to our abode and catching a late diner breakfast at a great place called Scotty's on Lexington at 39th. Thanks Ron for being such a great part of our breakfast, info, quips, remarks about Manhattan and Queens where he said he owned some property...nobody can afford The City....

.....I spent just enough that morning.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Summer's Still Here...

...but I'm in Fall mode.   I can't believe I haven't written anything since April! After my wonderful trip to California we went to St. Martin to our favorite place...for what might be the last time! We've been keeping our eye on the island and hope we can return in a year or so and spend some money to help out. These islands depend on tourists which I'm happy to be.  I keep wearing bits and pieces I picked up there...lime green flip flops, my Sunset CafĂ© ball cap. The store and cafe are gone now.

Meanwhile one of the funnest things I did this Summer wast take a Nuno felting workshop from Eva Camancho Sanchez  where we learned a lot about working silk and wool together in a lovely structural but soft way. Here I am with my green vest.

I didn't think I'd like it and thought I'd just make some buttons and put it into stock....NO! I love it but it took me the whole Summer to get around to making the buttons but I made them yesterday!

It's very drapey in the front as the whole item is a flat vest... no seams or purposeful shaping...just what happened in the cutting, laying out, fulling ad felting.

Because I ended up liking both sides (inside and outside), I had to make buttons that would go through the 6 buttonholes like a large cufflink.

Here it is reversed onto the plainer side. I just need a crisp white shirt and I'm good to go...but I'm not wishing for cooler weather yet!

While I finally had my polymer clay out I got a set of buttons made for a jacket my neighbour had given me for that purpose. She didn't like the buttons it came with and I agreed with her....but it took me a while to decide what to do.

I mixed the colour to tone and go with the material of the little jacket and threw in some sparkle clay too so with the varigation of the clay's there's a bit more added to the look. The plain black plastic buttons just weren't cutting it...these give it a softer but sleeker look.

Well, I'm giving it to her tomorrow so I hope she likes the new buttons as much as I do.

In case there is anyone who wants's to take a class in Polymer Clay and make some of their own buttons I'll be doing a one day workshop at Passionate Artisans our art and hand mades store here in Kingston.

There are a lot of classes going on so I'm jumping on the bandwagon.  Sometime in November. I'll be sending out a Newsletter so go to my website and sign up.

...oh yes, that's what I've been doing since the Spring...four shows in June to Canada Day, then a couple of new web sites as well as getting my own new one up:   Yes, been working on my other small business I've been doing this for ages but only recently in to learn and it's ever changing.

.....ok, now...back to the studio.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Talking of Socks.....

As my recent flight from San Diego to San Francisco was cancelled due to the awful weather I went with my lovely hostess, Nancy, to her group of women as a school who came to class to learn machine knitting. It was a hoot! What a great bunch of ladies...some of whom I had been with over the weekend.

I did some demonstration....buttonholes I think I did...anyway, I came away with a box of See's chocolates and a lovely pair of machine knit socks!
The yarn used in these is Madelinetosh Tosh Sock....or so the label I found inside said. It's 100% Merino so I'll have to wear and wash them carefully.

What a lovely memento.

On New Year's Day we entered the party to which we had been invited and found I and my socks were being talked about. Two friends (we didn't know they were going too) were there wearing their socks...I made Ron's especially as he has big feet!
More socks...are these wonderful or not?! My friend Sonja Fijn has got into knitting socks. She bought a pair of mine to give to her sister but the legs were to narrow for her...and for Sonja. Well! She pulled apart my socks and created another pair...making two pair out of my one.

Her tale is that she knit socks when she was 6 in school back in the Netherlands with nuns in charge. She finished her socks and saw that other girls were knitting cables and lace...well, not to be outdone she picked up stitches and made cables to decorate her socks. When the nun was looking at the socks she held these up and Sonja felt so proud...until the nun asked whose they were, said something awful about the decorations and took a huge pair of scissors and cut them off. Sonja vowed she'd not knit socks ever again and kept her promise...until now!

The ones pictured were knit without a pattern, from the toe up...and making then left and right!!!

Last but my no means least, I found these the other day in my studio....a pair of socks knit by my Mum. They were probably one of the last pair she knit as, ravaged by Alzheimer's, she forgot how to knit.

She used to make socks for me to sell in my booth!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Dyeing Differently - Part 2

My recent trip to San Francisco and stay with Nancy Roberts  netted me a lesson in painting knitted pieces and then two pieces for me to knit up into socks.

I love the idea of knitting up pieces and dyeing as opposed to dyeing skeins...more controlled and creative I think.

Here, Nancy is checking my red/gold piece, the other was lime green/blue.

Here are my two finished swatches drying after the colours are set. I didn't know what I was going to do with them until to integrate the colours. It took a cup of tea and going looking at Nancy's stash of swatches to give me an idea...I thought stripes would be the best way to see the colour changes.

I decided that two row stripes would be the best way to I started at the top of the blanks which were red on one and lime green on the other.

I ended on the ends that were blue and gold.

As I thought I would not have enough to finish the socks so I inserted grey sock yarn for the heels....turns out I did have enough, but I can use some of the left overs in other socks.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Dyeing Differently and Fibre Fun

Nancy Davis & me in San Diego
I recently was invited to travel to California by two wonderful Machine Knitting Guilds (San Diego & San Francisco) and it was Nancy Roberts of the San Francisco guild and of who got this ball rolling. My last port of call was San Francisco and a few days staying with Nancy.

My first port of call was San Diego and a stay with Nancy Davis in her lovely bungalow home. I loved that I could see mountains from every window even though we were in a she drove me up Mount Helix to look at the views!!!!

Nancy picking fresh lemons.

Nancy is 80 and when I mentioned I wanted to do a zip line on my upcoming vacation she said 'Oh, I've done that four times in different places...'! I think one was in Alaska! I was suffering from a rotten cold and Nancy picked a bunch of lemons from her tree and I had lots of hot lemon! The San Diego gang was a great group of women.

Nancy Roberts in something she dyed.

OK now on to Nancy Roberts in San Francisco, she's my new BFF (Best Fibre Friend), especially as we spent an afternoon painting knitting and then pouring over her giant stash of samples and swatches!

Imagine a sunny afternoon after a long walk along the Embarcadero and a ride on a cable car...sitting in Nancy's kitchen over cups of tea and pouring over these amazing machine knit swatches.

Nancy knit two pieces of sock yarn in it's 'natural' state for me to she is pinning it out on a board for me.

This is a selfie of me painting one of the pieces...we spent time looking at colours and I chose four: two for one piece and two for the other and I would go from one end to the other blending from one colour to the other. I think I chose Gold/Blue and Red/Yellow....and that's kinda how they turned out.

I found something black to wear while splashing around with dye and the brush. This tank top went with a pair of shorts...neither were worn as the weather was rain, rain, rain. The four best and sunny days was when I was indoors...but then my last day (this day) was perfect for a long walk and being outdoors.

Here Nancy is checking my two pieces which had been wrapped and put in a steam table pot to set...I'll have to figure out how I'll work that at my kitchen.

I'm working on my pair of post!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Snowy MK Club afternoon.

Well, mild but blustery, I  made it over to Karen’s yesterday and we spent nearly three hours together. We had planned to meet at another member's house out in the country but the snow and wind were so bad no one dared take a car out on that we decided on meeting in town at Karen's house.

When I arrived Karen announced she had problems which needed solving so we got right to it. First a commercial sweater which needed remodelling…we solved that. The question was whether to pull apart the part that needed remodelling (a hood into a collar)....we decided cut and sew was best. Karen will get to that another time.

Then a pocket design. When I dropped in last Karen had sweater borrowed to look at and make a pattern. That afternoon we made a pattern using Garment Designer.  As the jacket had pockets we had to think about how that would work...I left Karen with that problem, so when I got there yesterday she'd worked through but had run into a problem...she had done a right and a left but they didn't look like mirror images of each other.

I didn't take pics of the first effort but I said we needed to sit in front of the machine and 'just do it'. I had in my head how this would work from our conversations over the last two visits...I just needed to execute it.

Here's the back swatches (no we didn't press them) with a pseudo 'pocket' worked into the back of the left one. It was a matter of many stitches away from the side seam, how long the slanted slit need to be to get a hand in and look nice and in proportion. 

Here's the 'right' side with the pocket slit shut (I had to be oh so careful typing that!) so we could see where and how we'd work a band or welt. Karen needs to work a ribbed welt...I might do a band...knowing me...a different colour!

Now I have to work up a hand out for teaching this so it's easily it was easy. The problem was working left and right, Karen's left handed and the left side worked out great...but transposing it to the right side (mirroring) got a bit confusing. I've been working with half patterns for so long I'm pretty good at working with a half pattern and making the 'other' side.

This is what we were going for and I found this at using the Passap...which neither of us use.

Anyway....we'll keep you posted!