Wednesday, 29 May 2013

From K - Get Together

I started 2013 with a lot of motivation to finish up some quilt WiPs, and also intended to start quite a few new ones. What I didn't anticipate at that time though was how real life would throw me a loop. It's been a tough couple of months but I'm really starting to get back on track, and I hope that means I'll be able to start sharing more quality time with my Janome.

Last week my hubs helped me out by throwing me in head first, and picked out a selection of prints from Get Together by David Walker, with a request for a camping quilt. Large, cozy, and care free is the plan. A quilt for us, a quilt made for a utilitarian purpose, and one we can love without hesitation of getting it caught in a rainstorm, danced on at festivals, or the fear of spills during picnics.

Since the critters are what my husband and I love, I want to keep it classic and simple. I'm planning a double-sided quilt so it doesn't feel like there's a top or a backing. So far I have two columns sewn, and two more to go.

This is the perfect project to get me back at it. Of all the quilts I've made, not one has lived under our roof, and I'm so thrilled with the prospect of having a huge comfy quilt of our own.

Monday, 27 May 2013

From A - Back to Business

These last few weeks have been brutal. Between trying to sell our home and working 70 hours per week, my sewing machine and I have spent hardly any quality time together.

Determined to change things, I sat down and pulled together a small baby gift for a friend: a nursing cover using Simplicity 2165 as a pattern.

Nursing Cover

The fact that it was basically a large square of fabric with hems made it quick and totally painless to pull together.

I even managed to talk my husband into modelling the finished product for you all (which explains the awkward pose).

Nursing Cover Fabric

I feel so good about finally getting this finished and already have supplies to make another at some point for another friend's baby-to-be. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

From K - Bears and Knitted Firsts

The hubs and I spent this past May long weekend out at our family cabin, and while we were there I had a couple of knitted firsts. Upon finishing up another pair of socks (post to follow), I decided it was about time that I learned how to ball my own yarn.

I followed an excellent YouTube tutorial (found here) on how to use a piece of a paper towel roll to create a center pull ball of yarn.

The first roll turned out fantastic and I was really happy with how quick it was for me to to roll up myself. The second skein I tried wasn't quite as glamorous though, and ended up in 17 balls!

On our drive out to the cabin we drove past a grizzly bear, a black bear, 2 elk and two separate herds of big horn sheep (27 in total!). One of the herds that we passed actually stopped traffic on the highway and the sheep wove in and out of the stopped cars. It was a truly incredible drive through the Rockies and I'm not sure if we could ever top it again, but I know we won't forget it anytime soon.

On our drive home we spotted a brown phased black bear cub scavenging for some supper just off the road. I couldn't believe how close this bear got to our car, this photo was taken only a few yards away (from the passenger side of our car with a cracked window of course!). Spring has officially sprung if the bears are out of their dens!


Thursday, 16 May 2013

From K - Moroccan Tea and Knitting

This past week I spent 100% of my downtime laid out with a spring cold. In my world, this typically equates to spending far too much time browsing Ravelry, shopping for wool online and a whole lot of tea drinking!

Since visiting Morocco last fall, I prefer my mint tea extra sweet. Wonderful, delicious, Moroccan tea *sigh (here's a shot I took last September while bartering over some treasures in the medina).

When I was able to pull myself away from Ravelry, I made some progress on a pair of socks that I intend to gift soon. One sock down, one more to go!

Since I can't seem to shake Ravelry from my mind, and because I'm always interested, what have you been adding to your project list lately? I'm thinking it might be time for me to venture beyond the world of socks; maybe a scarf, shawl or cowl - your suggestions are welcome! If you feel so enclined, feel free to check out what Amanda and I have been drooling over on our accounts here and here.

I'm off to sip more tea, browse more patterns, and finish that second sock. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

From A - Little Pieces Everywhere

I've been taking a hand piecing class on Saturday mornings for the last few weeks. We're making a small throw sized star sampler quilt. A photo of the projected finished product is here.

Lovely, don't you think? I decided to use a palette of aqua, yellow, cream, and navy. A bit of a departure for me but I was trying to push outside of my comfort zone a bit.

Every week, I go to class, cut out and mark the pieces for each block and work on sewing a few together. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to work on it between classes. While heading into week 7 of the class, I've only finished the first (and simplest block): the Lemoyne Star.

Finished Lemoyne Star

This has created a veritable confetti of tiny, (mostly) bias cut pieces. These are the pieces for only three of the six blocks.

Pieces, Pieces, Everywhere!

Aside from  my endless paranoia that I'll loose a piece or stretch a bias edge beyond recognition, I'm really enjoying slowly piecing all those little bits together to make something beautiful.

Friday, 10 May 2013

From A - Decisions, Decisions

I've been slowly working away on my Lone Star Quilt behind the scenes. I've managed to finish making all eight of the star blades. Now comes the part where I need to decide on a layout (excuse the moving blanket and general chaos in these photos. We've been painting, packing and cleaning for the last three weeks, trying to get our condo ready to list).

Up first we have the dark center layout

Lone Star Layout 1

Up next is the alternating layout

Lone Star Layout 2 

Lastly, is the light center layout.

Lone Star Layout 3

I'm really amazed at how much the relationship between the fabric changes as I play with these layout options. I've been mostly partial to the second and third options but I need to decide if I'm ever going to make any progress with this one.


Monday, 6 May 2013

From K - Trip Socks

As you may have noticed I've been on the road a lot in 2013 with multiple work trips, and a few vacations for good measure. Since learning to knit back in February, knitting socks is quickly becoming my favorite portable project. Here are a few pictures of my second ever pair of socks (yah I'm just a tad proud of these).

On my last trip to Toronto I picked up a skein of Serenity 20 in moon purple by Zen Yard Garden from Lettuce Knit. This blend of 70% superwash merino, 20% cahmere, and 10% nylon has me hooked. It's so soft and silky to knit with, and of course to wear - I need to buy more ASAP!

I followed a free pattern that I found on Ravelry called Medallion Lace Socks, posted by Andrea Fox. Her instructions were excellent and I especially liked her heel and toe detailing. Such small elements can really make or break a project like this. I'll definitely be knitting this one up again in the future.

Is it just me or are socks really awkward to photograph? I'll leave you with a true-to-colour photo so you can drool over its prettiness the way I do. This colour is called moon purple and I would buy it in bulk if I could.

After this pair of socks, I'm definitely a sucker for a good semi-solid yarn now!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

From A & K - NYC Crafting Haul

No trip would be complete without a bit of craft tourism. Although we only had 5 short days in the Big Apple, we managed to hit up two craft legends in a big way.

First up was Purl Soho. Amanda went for the Liberty and Kelsey went for, well, everything.

Although it might look like it in this picture, Purl Soho is not for giants and Amanda is not what you would typically call vertically challenged. We made it to Purl about a hour before closing time and it took us until closing time to decide what lovely things would be following us home.

Kelsey bought fabric to make a new bag and her very first Liberty Tawna Lawn!!

Amanda walked out with 4 yards of a gorgeous Liberty print that she's had her eye on for months now.

Purl Soho Haul

Later in our trip we made the trek to Brooklyn on the subway and found a beautifully serene community. We were greeted by an idyllic shower of flower petals and streets full of beautiful flowering trees at every turn. The gorgeous scenery followed us all the way to the Brooklyn General Store.

Amanda was so excited to start sifting through the lovely things at Brooklyn General that she couldn't even wait until Kelsey was smiling to take this photo! Meh, close enough!

This place was WELL worth the trip. Look at these shelves! As a visitor it would be easy to lose an entire day there - this photos is just the yarn selection. There's still plenty of fabrics, notions and patterns to sift through.

Kelsey picked up some voile and shot cotton for a pair of PJ pants, some knitting needles, AND

a healthy stack of delicious yarn.

Amanda found some more Liberty (she might have a problem), a woven cotton, and a bit of gorgeous hand-dyed yarn.

Brooklyn General Haul

We couldn't leave the city without each picking up a pair of Liberty flats to round out our haul (told you, Amanda has a problem).

LIberty Shoes!!

All in all, a healthy haul!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

From A & K - NYC Adventure

You may have noticed over the past week that it's been a little quiet around here at Everyday Fray. While we apologize for the lack of content, we swear we have a great explanation for our disappearance... we went to New York City!!! Back in the fall, Amanda had a brilliant suggestion to hit up the Big Apple for a girls trip - the three lady cousins and our mamas. Last weekend we took that trip, and gosh did we ever have a wonderful time! We'll be back soon with our regular quilty/crafting updates shortly, but in the meantime here are a few of our favourite shots from the trip. 

We've travelled to a lot of big cities but this one really takes a hold of you. Manhattan is a stunner, and Brooklyn is definitely a hidden gem that I wish we had time to explore more. 

Amanda suggested spring in New York because of her past trips here and it's easy to see why.  There is nothing quite like leaving winter in Canada and landing in a city totally in bloom. Cherry blossoms and magnolias abound, it's hard to imagine visiting this city at any other time. 


Three cousins jumping on the Brooklyn Bridge - was there ever any other shot to take here?


On the way to a Boardway show in Times Square, Amanda found an NYPD horse and went to say hello.

Time square at dusk.

Kelsey sitting on the John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

Evening view of the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center observation desk).

It was so nice to spend a great weekend in a great city with some of our favourite people. A trip to be remembered for sure. That said, we're already dreaming up our next adventure!