Tuesday, September 29, 2009

woven rainbows

woven rainbows, originally uploaded by westcoastcreative.

i mentioned last week about some secret birthday crafting, so wanted to share it with you today. my mother, crafty teacher of me, and source of inspiration for many things, turned 60 this past sunday, a milestone for anyone and of special note because this year she is officially twice my age. so i wanted to make her something special.

we have both gushed over the lovely kauni rainbows, and my mom loves her bright colours, but i wanted to do something a bit different than my first instinct, which was to knit with it. she, in fact, as a skein of this herself, and is working on knitting something, so i didn't want to compete with anything she would make for herself. i've been playing with the loom a lot as well, rediscovering the simple act, and enjoying how variegated yarns like this transform slowly through colours, and interplay as they are woven together. so this is what i made.

scarf? table runner? possibly either, the options are open. it is a bit stiff for a scarf maybe, although i think a soak would soften up the wool at bit. i really like the way the rainbow travels both from side to side as well as down the length of the runner, so you get to see the different colours interact. i'm already plotting what next i can play with on my little loom. it's so interesting to see how different colours as well as textures weave together.

for more images, please see here

Monday, September 21, 2009

experimenting with string theory

a quick post, i'm feeling low on words. i have been playing around with string quilting. i wanted to make some cushions for our dining chairs, so i started making some squares. it is actually quite addictive, and i have made three now. but i think i'm going to keep them all in the red/orange/yellow colour scheme, and the blue square will probably end up as a couch cushion. i can see why string quilting seems to be all over flickr these days. i like incorporating all the little scraps i have that won't amount to much otherwise.

what else did i do yesterday, you ask? (well, hopefully you ask, if you are reading, dear reader). i made kagels! it makes me giggle each time i say they, particularly exemplified by my coworker today, asking "aren't those those exercises you do...?" yeah, exactly. but what i mean in this case, is kale bagels. the recipe is from have cake, will travel and i have to claim them as a complete success, although no one has yet tried them other than me. the whole thing was not nearly as labour-intensive as i feared, although i find the different steps of bread making to be a nice meditative process that i can do in between other tasks on a sunday afternoon. and the results were great, flavourful, and nice and chewy just like a bagel should be.

the sun was shining bright yesterday, a perfect crisp fall day of which it looks like there might be many this week. well fall is relative, i always find it hard to dress when it is 7 degrees C in the morning and 25 in the afternoon. good thing i consider myself a master of layers. so i did spend a bit of time on the lawn yesterday, but no pics of my project to share as it was super secret birthday crafting. but the above pic might give you a little clue, as these ladies and i definitely had a similar sensibility in mind. they are so very busy outside our door these days. there are three spiders in this photo, two more webs quite nearby, and two more spiders spinning busily outside our bedroom window, which is not far to the right of this pic. i enjoy checking out their work, even if i do occasionally walk into them while absorbed in garden tasks, and then frantically swipe at myself if fear of a spider settling in to my hair.

the quilt is finished, by the way. i stayed up late the night before A came home, the first time i have painstakingly handstitched a binding. heather bailey offers an excellent tutorial on the whole thing. please check out my flickr to see pics, although i hope to put together a post soon. thanks for the kind words.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

how was your sunday?

sundays are often a contemplative day for me, a day to wake late and approach the day with both an eye to get things done and one to rest up before the week ahead. a. quite often works weekends, where i always have them off, so it's a regular thing for me to have time to myself on this day. in this case he is away until wednesday, so most of my day was spent sewing madly, in an attempt to finish our new queen-sized quilt for the bed before he comes home. hmmm, it's still undecided if that will actually happen.

but to avoid going completely cross-eyed, i took a little walk by the river, just up the road. fall is definitely in the air, my favourite time of year. i love when the sun is shining but the air has a new crispness, a sniff of frosty days to come. colours seem richer without the heat haze, and while we don't get the hues of eastern autumns, there are still reds and oranges and yellows to be found, mixed in with the steady green of the evergreens.

as to many people, this always feels like the real start of the year to me, back to school still ingrained in my mind so that i always feel the excitement for new clothes at this time, a new notebook and pens to write in. but now i also feel the "nesting" pull (well okay i almost always feel the need to nest), and there are many projects on the go besides the quilt: knitted, sewn, woven. with both my parents having birthdays coming up, presents are being made for each. a cowl for myself in a perfect autumnal yellow, and so many in my mind - and my ravelry queue - that i have to force myself to focus and just finish what is in the works first. it's hard though, when days feel fleeting, and evening sets in sooner than expected.

the rest of this month and all of october are shaping up to be busy months, with some vacation travelling and guests visiting to fill in the gaps between work and craft. but i hope to get back to a bit of regular blogging, and hope to encourage a bit more dialogue here, and share a bit more of all the things that keep me busy, not just posting FOs with a blurb of text. i've been updating my flickr a bit more too, so feel free to stop over there and see more images than are posted here.

so, what did you do with your sunday? i'd love to hear all about it.