14 Jan

Knit Night

Meta Afghan

Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed. Bed is warm and cozy. Right now I’m enjoying this combination of duvet, store-bought knit blanket, and the colorful afghan I crocheted a few years ago. It is an homage to an afghan my paternal great grandmother made. I had always admired it in my grandparents’ home and then in my dad’s but the last time I saw the afghan it was quickly disintegrating. It’s gone now, so I am pleased to have this version to carry on the tradition. All the yarn details are on my Ravelry page.

20 May

War Sucks…

I finished it (not in time to enter it in Houston as Deborah asked — although, even if I had I don’t think I would have). And although I am very pleased with how it turned out and happy to share it here, I won’t hold anything against anyone who clicks away to another site if it’s not their cup of tea.

I wasn’t completely sure where I was going with this one as I worked on it. I had more of a mood or feeling in mind than any specific pattern or construction method.

As I photographed it, I enjoyed finding interesting compositions with the larger composition.

The fractured aspect of crazy quilting made sense for the background, as did the hint of stitching the seams back together. Pretty silk flower stitches were obviously out, but more utilitarian ones like blanket, cretan, and plain old straight stitches were in.

I allowed for raw edges (war is nothing if not raw) and stitched on jumbles of knotted threads ripped from my fabrics after the wash. The red words are raw edge appliquéd with intentionally messy lines, but without fusible, so that their edges will deteriorate with each wash or handling.

I used stencilled, splattered, scribbled, new commercial, re-purposed, discharged, uniform, and dyed fabrics. I worked the fabrics both before and after piecing them. I experimented with using thickened Procion dyes because I like the hand they leave (or more like don’t leave) on the fabric, but am learning through trial and error that my manner of working lends itself better to paints.

The quilt is backed with an old woolen blend army blanket and I left the edges open and stuffed them with fabrics and yarns that could allude to bandages and guts. The intent is more gruesome than the look, but it works for me. The overall quilting is intersecting straight lines that could be tracer fire or bullet trajectories.

“War Sucks”      83.5″x53″    Kristin La Flamme, 2009

29 Mar

Pattern review and a Query

Thanks for all the Katja blog and Mushroom Quilt love. We appreciate it!

This weekend, I pretty much ignored the kids and just sewed. I made a shirt for my son from some Hawaiian fabric I wasn’t going to use for anything else. It turned out fine, but not worth photographing. The real winner of the weekend was the Daily Spice Apron by Heather Bailey.

I saw this on her blog a million years ago and passed on many an apron pattern while I waited to see if she’d share it (it’s not like I actually USE aprons, I just like the way some look). As soon as the pattern came out, I ordered one, but as it was for me, and not a gift, I chose standard shipping. After waiting weeks and emailing Heather to see what happened, it ends up the pattern (and fabric) I ordered had been returned to sender for an undeliverable address (I must have had help typing from the cat — it happens). Anyway, Heather and crew were very nice and after a couple stumbles, I finally got my pattern and fabric. Luckily, the project was worth the nearly three year wait.

Description:
A retro look halter apron that looks modern rather than costume-y. The pattern is for three sizes, but no style variations. It’s pretty easy to imagine though, that by mixing up the fabrics and/or adding embellishments like applique, embroidery or trim, one could get dozens of different looks.

Instructions:
The apron comes in three sizes. I chose small which fits just as I’d expect it to. The writing is clear without being too wordy. There are plenty of diagrams, and I almost could have made the apron just looking at teh pictures. I say almost because I did trip myself up not reading exactly what lines up with what when sewing the bodice to the waistband. As soon as I read the instructions though, it all worked perfectly.

Degree of Difficulty
I sort of expected this to be fiddly, especially with teh instructions to stay stitch and clip curves before sewing on some pieces, but it all came together very easily. I think that even a beginning sewer could probably make this. certainly someone with a few projects up his or her sleeve would have no problem. I made this easily in one day, including cutting the fabric.

Conclusion
I really like this pattern and would make it again, maybe as gifts for foodie friends. Katja has already put in an order as well. Next time, I’d like to add “stuff” to it just for fun. You might notice that the waist ties are a different fabric. I had originally intended the bodice to be the terra cotta print and the waist and ties to be that different green floral, with the lining being the floral on cream, but when I tried it out, I preferred the bodice and skirt in the same fabric so I just turned the bodice over and sewed it in the other way around. For Katja though, I might try a riot of fabrics. I think for the right person, some Luziapimpinella woven ribbon would look great with ric-rac along the bottom and pockets.

I would recommend this pattern. I give it 12 muffins!

Now for my query. I’ve been feeling the itch to make a ripple afghan. I’ve been resisting for years now, but it is like the Borg. Resistance is futile. I haven’t crocheted in forever, but I’ve looked at some free online patterns and it doesn’t look too hard. I considered knitting it, like the Chevron Scarf, but I really like the look of those fat, flat, soft wave stripes. The problem with generic online patterns like this though, is that there’s not a whole lot of info on yarn. I know people have made the afghan in cotton, but for such a big project, I’m wondering if I might prefer something a little springier. Of course, I live in Hawai’i now, so full-on wool is probably overkill. Maybe I need a cotton/linen blend, or Debbie Bliss Cashmerino? An alpaca blend would be nice, but I’m thinking too expensive. Or do I just submit to the acrylic? And how much? Can I get away with one 50 gram ball of each color as long as I get five or more colors? I’d like to use the beach wedding color palette, so I’d need yarns that have lots of browns and tans and a good orange. Does anyone have any experience with this? Kirsti?