Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fabric Fire!

Melissa, Brenda and I all got together again this summer at Brenda's "Lakefront Property" for our annual summer craft retreat.  Once again we were allowed to take over the air conditioned Craft Coop with our fabric and sewing machines.  Brenda worked on pillow cases while Melissa and I made a campfire!  I'd been dying to make this forever using this tutorial.  It was a lot fussier than I thought it would be but of course I always think everything will just take 10 minutes.  We even added a little carved heart and initials detail to one of our logs.  I am all about imaginative play and this will go into my toy and kid stash.  Later we all made fabric garbage bags for our cars and fooled around with another Modern Textiles pattern for lined zippered pouches.  More on those later.  We had a great time together, celebrated our Christmas in July as well as Melissa's daughter's birthday and Brenda fed us very well.  Every year we girls try to have a summer get together at Brenda's and a winter get together here at our house.  As usual we had way more ideas than we had time for so we'll be busy at the next reunion.  I am so lucky to call these women my friends!

2017 Contender

I finished a new bead knitted purse this weekend and I'm hoping to try once again for a rosette ribbon at the State Fair.  Last year I missed it by a gnat's wing.  I'll enter this first at the Washington County Fair this coming week where I'll compete for a yarn gift certificate.  Fingers Crossed! 

This motif was totally stolen from an antique crocheted reticule purse I saw at Glensheen Mansion this winter up in Duluth.  I took a picture of it and graphed out the design.  Instead of a tubular bag, I knit it as a flat panel and seamed the sides.  I used size 5 perle cotton, 000 needles and size 10 rocaille beads.

Just In Time For the Fair!

I finished up a few things I had sitting around on needles in time to enter them in the Ramsey County Fair.  This was the first year I didn't win a Grand Champion so my streak is over, but generally I was pleased with how I fared at the fair.
This little sweater is a free Drops design and was so much fun to knit!  It uses short row shaping and is knit from side to side.  I finished it with some pewter-looking metal buttons.  The Crazy Zauberball yarn was perfect for this project due to the slow color changes.  It was the first time I'd ever knit with it and it had a defined twist like Koigu but was tighter and more durable while still being soft.  I'll be buying more of this brand the next time I see it.  I also have the matching hat still on needles but I entered this by itself in the infant sweater lot where it won the blue ribbon.
This bib was knit with a mercerized cotton worsted--was it a Reynold's brand?  In my excitement and haste to start a new project I discarded the label as quickly as it was wound.  The free pattern uses slipped stitches for texture and dimension.  I was afraid the multi-colored busy flecks of color would hide the pattern but the slipped stitches managed to hold up to the yarn.  Ramsey County has a bib lot in their fair handbook and this little project earned me a blue ribbon and the accompanying $4.
I try to enter a baby 3 piece set every year and this year I made a baby vest instead of a full sweater.  This free pattern and the matching booties and star cap used up the remainder of the spendy wool/silk/cashmere Zen Yarn Garden I got on clearance.  The lion's share of the yarn went into the lace lotus blanket last year or the year before.  It is such soft yarn which is entirely appropriate for this next to the skin item.  This entry took the blue ribbon in it's lot.
I made another Zick Zack scarf from some Louisa Harding Amitola I bought on our trip to El Paso.  This scarf had a much cooler look to it than the red version I knit a few years ago.  My scarf won the red ribbon.
Continuing with the travel theme, I whipped up some Las Vegas themed embroidered dish towels and scored the blue ribbon.  

All these will go on to the Washington County Fair this coming week as well as the other items I entered in this last fair.  Everything else I've posted pictures of along the way this year as I completed them.  The Ramsey County Fair pays very well and I earned $69 in premiums.  IF I win a blue in every lot, I'll win $49.50 at the Washington County Fair.  However, Washington County awards gift certificates to local yarn shops to the champions and that is what I try to win every year.  I need more yarn like I need a hole in the head!