The Life and Projects of An Avid Hobbyist

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Red and Yellow and Pink and Green...

I am not sure exactly when I became a bona fide adult...or more importantly, when I started to have friends with middle-school aged any event, when I wasn't looking it happened. Life would have it that I am blogging remotely from Columbus, OH where one of my dearest college girlfriends in expecting her fist child.

Here is a picture of us together a few years ago at another girlfriend's bridal shower...
Blogger BabyS...he is not due until the middle of August, but technology allows us to see him today...AMAZING!

For this beautiful baby I made my third quilt of the season. I try to make gifts personal and on this quilt I was stumped. What pattern to use? What colors? The nursery has not been set-up yet so all I had to go on was my relationship with Tiffany.

When we were in college, Tiff used to sing songs in the most annoying of voices. Often in a pitch not usually achieved by humans. One of her standards was "The Rainbow Song". The lyrics are "red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too."

I saw the whirlygiggles quilt on the Sew Mama Sew blog. I sized-up the pattern taking inspiration for colors from song. Lastly, I quilted the names of each color into each square in English, Spanish, French and Kiswahili.

She loved it! Here she is last night with her god-daughter Little T. covered in babyS's quilt!

A good trip!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Love Trash

And now Oscar and I have more in common than you would have thought. I too love trash (of the food variety). I must say that I have become most obsessed with my compost heap. I first thought of composting when Jessica included information about the vermicompost that lives in her basement. Since that sparkle, I have become quite intrigued. I collect neighbors lawn clippings and brown leaves. I get excited when it's time to clean out the "past-its-prime" veggies from the fridge. I get sawdust from the neighborhood lumber yard and manure from the horse stables.

I have enlisted the help of my trusted mentee, Damien, and together we check temperature and moisture content, examine the species of bugs, and quantity of worms. We mix and water and mix some more. The temperature has yet to break 95 degrees and I am finding that frustrating. Not that I have a problem with the worms doing most of the work, I am just trying to attract beloved micro-organism which exponentially speed up the process.

This was the pile this weekend with fresh grass clippings on top. Browns and water will be added to it later today and it will be turned...hopefully we can get above 100 degrees...oy! the pressure...

Damien won't admit it publicly, but I think he likes composting. He calls me regularly to inquire as to the current temperature and to see what items my father has added to the post (he thinks my dad tinkers with it when no one is looking)...a little paranoid he is...

Any other composters out there with pointers?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Season of Firsts

I am known for being a bit of a retro woman...I grow vegetables in a very small plot of land, sew clothing and can fruits and vegetables seasonally. This trend also means I prefer, whenever possible, to give handmade gifts. I am almost always planning a project for someone's wedding, new baby, new home, etc.

This spring, I was invited to four baby showers (actually only three as one invitation got "lost in the mail"). In the last few years, I have given hand knit baby shower gifts, but alas, I do not knit that quickly. I decided instead to make baby bigger than 60'x 48'. I thought, "surely I can sew more quickly than I could knit."

Never to wince at a challenge, my first quilt of the season was also my first quilt EVER. I have been sewing since my tweens so the idea of a 1/4" instead of a 5/8" seam seemed simple enough. For my first project, I grabbed Moda Jelly Roll Zaza and began cutting the jewel-toned strips into 2.5" squares.

After what seemed like weeks of machine piecing, I had 4x4 multi-colored squares. I attached cream-colored sashing and a mitered border...voila...

I then went to my LQS and (using a long arm machine) stipple stitched words into each square including the baby's name. It was a cool project. The squares got a little wonky in spots but I think that adds to the charm. It's a good thing it was a good experience because I needed three more before the end on June.

The best part was the picture of babyZ wrapped up for a nap.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Pop My Blog Cherry!

This post is a "soft-debut" of my blog. I am going to use the next couple of weeks to work out the kinks and get my "blogging legs" up under me...

I joined the Summer Knit-Along "Summer of Socks" (Ravelry link) which begins at 12:01 Saturday morning. As I am currently unemployed and living off of savings, I will be knitting from my rather extensive (for a new knitter) sock stash. For this knit-along I am also trying on the idea of a theme. So, I will be attempting to knit Cookie A. patterns semi-exclusively (leaving myself room to change-up if the mood hits...and the mood always hits).

Up first, I will cast on Cookie A.'s Pomatomus socks in this glorious ShibuiKnits I bought at Webs earlier this month.


Since I am always one to start multiple projects, and I've already given myself permission to stray from my theme, I will also cast on this Shelridge Farms (SU0208-017) yarn I snagged at the 2008 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. This will become the official SOS'08 sock designed by WendyKnits. I have no experience knitting a toe up sock so, I will convert the pattern top-down with a traditional heel flap (hate short rows...really the feeling is mutual).

I like the colorway because it reminds me of tropical birds...this is ironic only because I am not fond of birds really..except for chicken...but I digress...this will become my official SOS'08 Socks.

Wish me well. ~ksp


This is a test of the not-so emergency blogging system. This is only a test. ~ksp