Thread Thoughts

The Nut Graf knits, sews and attempts other crafts

Another fiber craft! October 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 12:02 am

It’s weaving, y’all!

Knitter's Loom

Knitter's Loom

This is the 20-inch Ashford Knitter’s Loom meant to make quick projects using knitting yarns. This is actually my 3rd scarf you see warped here. And this is the first scarf (with the baby giving final inspection):
I took a class on this at the Bonita Knit & Sew, which I highly recommend. I found the instructions on warping confusing so it helps to have someone personally show you how to do it. Plus, with the class, you walk out of there after an afternoon with a finished scarf. Now, I hope to use up some stash yarn to make some quick holiday projects. IMG_0403


Sock Summit rocked August 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 8:48 pm

It was a great weekend in Portland. The weather cooled down enough to actually wear socks. I took a class on Durability Issues with Charlene Schurch. Here are the samples she uses in her books.
And here she is with me and Andrew. (He was allowed to sit in on the class. It’s a good thing I know how to breastfeed and knit at the same time)
Then there was the marketplace, full of independent dyers, handspinners, small yarn shops and other crafty goodness. It was great to meet the folks behind my favorite yarns like Three Irish Girls, Madelinetosh, Mama Llama, Sanguine Gryphon, Material Whirled and Unique Sheep. And met some new people too, like Holiday Yarns, Here are some of their cool socks::
Some fun booths. Look at this sign made from pieces of knitting:
The Sock Museum had a display of colorful socks through the ages:
Book signings. Here are Barbara Walker, Anna Zilboorg and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
And the Luminary Panel: Lucy Neatby, Cat Bordhi, Deborah Robson, Anna Zilboorg, Judith MacKenzie-McCuin, (moderators Tina Newton and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in the center), Meg Swansen, Barbara Walker, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Nancy Bush (I was in the back so the photo’s a little blurry)
And the final damage:


My friends are talented July 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 5:06 pm

Just wanted to show off the talents of some of my crafty friends who made some wonderful gifts for baby A. Here is an assortment sewn together by Onebyone. More on the clothes at her blog


And here are a quilt, burp cloths, booties and Owl Vest by Cora (Waterwitch):IMG_0160

Here’s baby A looking dapper in the Owl Vest. (Ravelry link to pattern here)



Baby booties bonanza!

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 7:42 am

What’s a fun, easy and fast knit for a newborn? Baby booties of course. Here’s what I have so far for baby A. Some fit right now and others he will grow into. I love all of them. From bottom left corner going counterclockwise: is Baby Keep Your Socks On, booties from Knit Picks’ Little Bubbles Baby kit, Blue Sky Alpacas Baby Booties, Baby Moc-a-Soc (knit by Cora), Lacy Leaf Booties from Zoe Mellor’s 50 Baby Bootees to Knit, Bully Woolies socks and Magic Slippers in the center.



I’m back! August 15, 2008

Filed under: Knitting,Quilting,Sewing — chengat @ 9:03 pm

I have finally found the time to take photos, upload them and update you on my goings on. Since coming back from Stitches in late February, I had been working nearly full time (8 hrs a day, 4 days a week) at my former job, filling in while they looked for a permanent replacement. Initially it was only going to be 2-3 months, but it ended up lasting through mid-July. Then I got caught up with some summer programs with my son. Anyway, enough of the excuses. Through it all I was still knitting, just not blogging. Check out my Flickr files and Ravelry account (user ID: thenutgraf) to see photos and more details of my knitting/sewing stuff.

The two knitted items I have been happiest with were the Manos Four Seasons blanket bought from a kit from the Yarndogs booth at Stitches and the Glee top. I thought it would take a long time to make the blanket because I have a hard time completing rectangular objects (i.e. stoles, scarves, and other things that require long sections of repetitive knitting). But the switching of the various colors and stitches kept it interesting and I was able to complete it in just a few weeks. Even the seaming wasn’t bad.

Here’s the Glee top using Sheep Shop 3 yarn from my stash. The only changes I made were a little shaping around the waistline and shortening the slit of the neckline (joining the piece to work in the round shortly after the sleeves.)

Recently, though, I have been focusing on sewing. My mom was in a town for a few weeks and I decided to enlist her expert sewing skills to help me complete a few projects. Plus, I had been inspired by all the fabrics and projects I saw at this year’s Southern California Quilter’s Run, which I missed last year because I was moving. Here are some of the small projects, some pillow cases and a table runner:

The table runner was my mom’s selection of fabric and her first attempt at free-motion quilting. Great job I think. It’s nice to grow up with someone with such talent. I have fond memories of helping her with her sewing projects as a child, and now the tables have turned!

And she found this great peacock fabric (made by Hoffman California Fabrics purchased from Cozy Quilt Shop in El Cajon) and we just had to make something from it. So to show off the fabric, we chose a pattern from the book, 9-Patch Pizazz. We were debating over whether to have a teal blue inner border or beige-gold inner border. We decided on one, but I will reveal it later. Here are both versions as seen on my design mat:

I am busy with more sewing, trying to get some of my quilt tops done. Here’s one that’s been lying around for a while, the Aloha Carlsbad quilt:


New classes = new projects = more multitasking! February 21, 2008

Filed under: Knitting,Quilting — chengat @ 8:39 am

I have recently taken some classes to learn some new knitting and sewing skills, which means once again I have added to my ever-growing list of unfinished projects. But what fun projects they are.

I kicked off my new year of knitting with a great sock class given by Cat Bordhi and hosted by Common Threads in Encinitas, CA. Cat recently published a new book on socks called, New Pathways for Sock Knitters (Book One). If you ever have an opportunity to attend a class by Cat, I highly recommend you to jump on it. She’s entertaining and has a great way of explaining knitting techniques using lots of visuals and stories. Here she is demonstrating Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On. Notice all the charts and directions spread out on the floor in front of her:


Cat’s recent book shows new ways of looking at sock architectures, that is, the various parts that form a sock — the cuff, leg, heel, instep and toe. She shows how you can shape the sock by adding increases at the bottom of the foot, the side, or even spread out around the foot. In the book, you learn each new “architecture” by knitting a baby sock. Here are the baby socks I made for the Coriolis pattern (using Dream in Color’s worsted weight yarn in Dusky Aurora). Notice how the increases swirl around the arch of the foot in different directions on each foot:


The baby socks are followed by adult designs and a “master pattern” that you can just plug in your own numbers to knit with any yarn at any gauge for any size foot. That’s probably the hardest part, measuring your feet and gauge to get the right size. Here’s my first sock from her book, the Rushing Rivulet sock (using Claudia’s Handpainted in the Purple Dot colorway). I think I didn’t get an accurate gauge because it seems a bit large in the instep area.


The book’s instructions and illustrations are clear, written for DPNs, 2 circulars or Magic Loop. I especially liked Cat’s technique of right and left increases (La-Link and La-Rink), and she has the clearest and best instructions I’ve seen on how to pick up wrapped stitches when knitting short rows. Cat’s web site links to some You Tube videos showing some of these techniques, including the Magic Cast-On.

My second class this year was a class held at Sowing Sisters in Carlsbad, to make a wall hanging or quilt of batik elephants using the paper piecing method. This technique requires that you sew small pieces of fabric onto the paper pattern. You pin the fabric pieces to the back of the pattern, sew along the lines of the pattern and trim. It’s a great way to sew smaller, more complicated designs. It’s not difficult but does require a bit of concentration because the pieces are so small. These elephants measure about 4 1/2 inches square each. Here are my first three elephants and the batiks I am using:

elephant1.jpg elephant2.jpg

The elephants’ tails will be made of braided embroidery floss. The teacher used seed beads for eyes, but I think I will embroider the eyes instead because I am making a crib-sized quilt and don’t want any choking hazards. Here are some of the supplies I’m using: a cutting mat, a small rotary cutter, a quarter-inch ruler, flat pins and a fabric turner for the ears. To the left is the border fabric in black and the background fabric in cream.


I’m off to Stitches West tomorrow to take some more classes and add to my yarn and project stash. Hope to report on my adventures soon!


Alpacas are funny January 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — chengat @ 6:36 am

Happy (belated) new year. I can still say that while we’re still in January, right?

No blog updates in a month because I have been out of town, then was furiously playing catch-up after I got back home. My DH then went out of town for a week and came back with the flu, which later spread to me and now the little one. So, I will have to update with knitting news at a later date. I plan to talk a little about Cat Bordhi’s new sock book and a great class I took with her earlier this year.

In the meantime, here’s a hilarious knitting-related spoof article courtesy of The Onion. Check out the sweaters in the photo: