Pre-MASW update

I’m going to the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool festival this weekend and decided to turn it into a long weekend out of town visiting friends.

And what do you do when you visit friends who knit? You bring them yarn they commissioned. (I sometimes spin for friends if they buy the fiber.)

First some Gotland handspun for a sweater:

Then some Abstract Fibers Targhee in the colorway Bandon. My cat had claimed it, but fortunately the friend to whom it is going also has cats.

I also brought them houseguest presents, as one does.

An Avengers knitting bag with a yellow lining for Iron Man:

Ladybird stitch markers:


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Spinning up a storm

I’ve been doing a lot of spinning recently.  I’ve joined the Spin City sheep to shawl team, and I’ve been spinning a lot of Romney for warp for them:

I’ve also been spinning Gotland fiber for a friend’s sweater: 

And I’ve spun up two skeins of Polwarth 3-ply yarn from Spunky Eclectic hand-dyed top: 



I’ve also just opened an Etsy shop where I’m selling stitch markers, project bags, and handspun yarn, at KnitSpinQuilt.  Readers get 10% off with the code “KnitSpinQuiltReader”   

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Resurfacing with an announcement: KnitSpinQuilt on Etsy!

I’ve opened an Etsy store to try to sell little sewn bags, stitch markers, and occasionally handspun yarn. Readers get 10% off with the code “KnitSpinQuiltReader”.

To start things off, I’m having a SALE on handspun yarn: all handspun yarns listed in my shop right now are listed at prices that will cover the hand-dyed top, with minimal (if any!) markup for my time. I’ve moved to a small apartment and space is at a premium.

Watch this space for more spinning content and a little bit more sewing and quilting as well. This summer I’m not teaching, so I’ll have more time to update the blog.

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Botanics Disappearing Nine-Patch Pillow

I moved to upper Manhattan (north of 200th street!) earlier this year to be closer to campus, and haven’t had much time for sewing since then — in part because I’ve been teaching two classes this fall and reading for my comprehensive (qualifying) exams, and in part because my sewing machine doesn’t fit in my new apartment.

I know.  I don’t have space for my sewing machine!  Welcome to living in Manhattan.  At least it’s still with my parents, in Brooklyn, and I can visit them (and it) from time to time.

And that’s exactly what I did this past weekend!  I had a sewing vacation for a day and a half, and now I have something to post about.

Pillow in chair2

This is a pillow made from a patchwork square I made a few months ago.  Its origin was a charm pack of Botanics fabric, which I sewed together using a modified disappearing nine-patch pattern.  I love this fabric line, and I have a half-yard bundle of it, which I am seriously contemplating making into a quilt along these same lines, because this pillow just makes me happy.

The quilting is broadly-spaced diagonal lines through the centers of the squares:

Quilting detail

The back is a simple envelope closure, and I used a black cross-hatch from the Botanics line to finish it, because I had the fabric, and I’m trying hard to *use* my fabric, rather than worry about whether this is the “right” project for it — if it will make me happy, and make the project better, I’ll use it.  Maybe there’s a hypothetical project out there somewhere in the future for which it would be “better” — but there will be more fabric in the future, and if I never use it, it will only sit around gathering dust.

Pillow back

I was surprised by how much I have missed sewing: I’ve been doing a lot of spinning and knitting, but this was soothing in a different way.  While I was at home, I also took part of a penny patch quilt I’d been working on and repurposed part of the quilt top into a baby quilt, which I’ll post about as soon as I’m done binding it.

For now, I’ll close with another picture of this pillow:

Pillow in chair1

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Spinning more, quilting less.

Most of what I’ve been working on recently has been spinning, or English Paper Piecing or knitting. I blame the fact that my sewing table is COVERED IN STUFF.

In any case, here are the two projects that I’ve been working on recently of which I have pictures. First is my cat supervising my spinning during the Ravellenic Games:

Next is some singles I’ll chain-ply into a 3-ply yarn for a sweater:
I just moved up to a sublet in Inwood (upper, upper, upper Manhattan) for the remainder of the semester, because the hour and a half commute was getting to me. So now I’ve been drop-spindling a lot, too, because those take up less space than a wheel. (That said, my travel wheel — the little one in the previous picture — is here with me.)

This is a Blue Faced Leicester/Silk blend, dyed by Spunky Eclectic.
photo (1) photo

Apologies for picture quality: I forgot to pack my camera, so these are all from my iPod, whose camera is indifferent at best.

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Housebound? Handspinning time.

This has been the weather recently:
Snow 02:13:2014

For the Ravellenic Games (the “knit something challenging during the Olympics” challenge) I decided to do a spinning project and a knitting project. I haven’t finished the mittens yet — not even the first one — but I did finish the yarn.

This is a 3-ply, chain-plied (chained with itself, also called Navajo plying) yarn that comes in at 19 wraps per inch — that means it’s a light fingering weight yarn, a little thinner than a very thin sock yarn, a little thicker than lace.



And when I finished that, the spinning bug hadn’t let go yet, so I made this from pin-drafted roving. It’s the first time I’ve ever spun bulky yarn, or plied it with thread, and I’m really not sure how I feel about it. I tend not to like bulky yarn to begin with.

I’m planning on putting several of the things I make during the Ravellenic Games up for a charity raffle after the end of the Olympics. I might throw in a pattern or two and a couple of sewn things as well.

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Two-Finish Friday

These are both gift quilts: one for a friend and her husband and one for a new baby. Here they are all folded up, about to be packed and mailed:


The first quilt I finished was made up of hourglass blocks. I pieced them all over the summer on my Singer 66, and then they sat, and sat, and sat over the fall, because I didn’t have time to finish it until the semester was over. But now it’s done!


The backing is a boat print, because the mother and the grandparents all sail. You can see in this picture that I quilted a simple diagonal grid 1/4″ on each side of the hourglass blocks.


I used a black pezzy print for the binding because I didn’t want to emphasize any particular color from the front. I think it works! I wish I had more of this fabric in stash to do the same in the future — I’ll just have to keep an eye out for similarly useful prints. I attached the binding by stitching it down twice. On the back you see two lines of stitching:

On the front, you only see one, because the other is hidden at the intersection of the binding and the quilt:

The other quilt is for friends of mine, because they live in northern England and it gets coooooold! For this one I used a pattern by Elizabeth Hartmann: her New Wave Quilt.


I cut my fat quarters very, very carefully, and had enough extra pieces to showcase the wave pattern on the back of the quilt as well:

This one I quilted by stitching in the ditch along the edges of the white sashing. I stitched smaller diamonds within the “waves” as well. Then I did some free-motion quilting in the sashing, which I’m really quite proud of.


I did the same kind of binding on this quilt, and also bound it in a pezzy print, though this one was navy, to complement the blues of the quilt.


Not bad for a break that only started on December 23rd!


Linking up to TGIFF!

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