Gifts for Bébé

Well, this is quite late. But, better late than never. I have had a busy but wonderful couple of weeks, which included an amazing trip with my family to Arizona, Utah, and Nevada AND such a cheerful reunion with some of my favorite people! So, I have a little catching up to do. For now, here are some of the items that I had made for the previously mentioned baby shower!

A matching bonnet loosely based off of the Wiksten lamb hat (Instagram KAL), again, in Chickadee in Carrie's Yellow.

Beau the Bunny from Little Woolens made with yarn from my stash (with a matching bowtie!).

And Finally, my first complete quilt! Which was based on the Purl Bee Windowpane Wholecloth Quilt tutorial. I used Nani Iro 'Shine Many Ways' in Sorongo Rainbow for the front, a pink Kobayashi double gauze for the binding, and a champagne colored Kobayashi double gauze for the back all purchased at Nido. I really enjoyed the hand quilting, it felt really meditative and I like the way that the stitches look. I think I will have to do some more hand quilting, perhaps with smaller thread ( I did just order some Sashiko thread). I used Pearl Cotton thread for this project.

Up next, I am hoping to do a Me Made May summary and a recap of my trip ( I have too many photos not to share!).

Visit to Green Mountain Spinnery

This past weekend I took a day trip down to southern Vermont for a baby shower, I took a little detour on the way and visited Green Mountain Spinnery. The mill and yarn shop is located in Putney, VT and uses antique machinery in each step of their spinning process. There is a lovely sheep-y smell when you walk in the door accompanied by the sight of brightly colored skeins lining the walls of the yarn shop. Once in the mill little tufts of wool float around the floor as you move through the space and much of the machinery is lightly coated with wool fuzz. On this particular day it was a purple/pink fuzz that looked very much like cotton candy (the pictures don't quite do it justice). The spinnery was not operating when I was there (it was a Saturday) so I was able to look closely at the machinery and spend some time taking pictures. Here are a few:

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And of course I had to pick up a few souvenirs. I bought some of their Maine Organic yarn and quite a few skeins of their "odd yarns" to do some dye practice this summer. I made one other stop for some baskets. All my treasures are pictured below.

All in all, it was quite a nice day filled with so many things I love: A spring drive through the green mountains (catching up on Woolful episodes), Green Mountain Spinnery yarns, woven baskets, and a baby shower for a  lovely lady!

Me Made May 2015

Happy May 1st! And Happy Me Made May! If you have not heard of Me Made May before, it is a challenge to wear garments that you have made throughout the month of May. The best part of Me Made May is that you set the rules for the challenge for yourself. So, if you are like me and don't have a super extensive handmade wardrobe, you don't have to pledge to wear something handmade everyday. This is my first time participating in Me Made May, so here goes...

I, Megan, sign up to participate in Me Made May 2015. I pledge to wear at least one me-made item at least 3 days a week. 

Like I said, my me-made wardrobe is rather small at the moment. And doing 3 days a week is more than I am currently wearing my handmade items, so it will still be a good challenge for me. Next year I hope to increase my participation and to have grown my handmade wardrobe!

Blocking & Finishing

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Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Blocking and finishing are probably my least favorite parts of knitting. Blocking isn't so bad especially if you make it a little more enjoyable by using some nice smelling stuff to soak it with (Soak Wash citrus scent Yuzu is my favorite!). But finishing on the other hand is just not fun. It is of course, very important because it is the final step in completing your knitted item. It can even be what holds the item together as with many sweater patterns. And thus I am attempting to be a little more patient and careful with my finishing.

In doing so I decided to save up a whole bunch of projects to block and finish at the same time. So that I could really focus on these aspects. Some of the items only required a few ends to be woven in but others required seaming and even adding buttons!

First I blocked all of my items. It took basically all of Saturday for them to dry.

Next I looked up a few tutorials for finishing techniques. The Purl Bee had some great tutorials, these are the ones I used:

Weaving in Your Ends 

Mattress Stitch

Sewing on a Button

I mostly used the vertical and horizontal methods for weaving in my ends. I do wish that I had remembered to start my new skein at the end of a row particularly with the linen yarn because it really shows any imperfections that there might be.

The buttons were easy to add, you sew them on like you would any other button.  Plus, I recently read this post on the Fringe Association blog. So I off-centered my buttons!

The mattress stitch was surprisingly not the most complicated technique. In fact, finishing the neck and arm holes of my Quince & Co. Forsythia Tank turned out to be most tricky. Several times I ended up with armholes that were too tight or a neck that looked like it had been gathered because I had either not picked up enough stitches or I had done the binding off too tightly. But in the end all of the finishing was completed and I learned a few new techniques. Expect some photos of the finished garments in the next week or so. Until then here is a peek at my Forsythia, Sans Kerchief, Nordic Wind Shawl (inspired by Marlee Grace's version from Have Company, and Cradle Cardigan .

Also I added my Bloglovin button so please feel free to follow me here on wordpress or follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Willard Beret & Mitts

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Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

After seeing the Knitbot Yoked Trunk Show from Quince & Co. at Nido, I fell in love with the Willard Beret & Mitts. They are knit in Quince & Co.'s Owl yarn, with is a Wool/Alpaca blend. Owl is really a very nice yarn to work with, all of Quince & Co.'s yarn is! I especially love that Quince & Co. sources and spins as much of their yarn as possible within the United States. They are based in Maine, which as some of you reading this may know, is a dear, dear place to me. In fact, they are part of a rebirth of the textile industry in Maine. If you are interested in learning more about Quince & Co. read their about page here or this great article from the Portland Press Herald about the textile industry in Maine here.

Back to the Willard Beret & Mitts. My pieces came out a bit larger than I had anticipated, so I actually ended up throwing them in with the wash and letting them felt. Being that they were made in a Wool/Alpaca blend they didn't shrink too much. They now fit perfectly and have a nice felted look that I think suits the color work nicely. Here are a few photos I took on this snowy day.

 Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

 Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

 Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

 Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

 Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

 Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

Copyright © SALT AIR Art & Textiles

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