January 2009











My husband has started a blog, The Amateur Silversmith, to chronicle our (well, mostly his) jewelry art.  Check it out to see his creative work.  We like having a hobby we can share, but I have to admit that he is the artistic jeweler.  I mostly just like making jump rings 🙂


I covered the side pieces with lining fabric last night while American Idol was on.  It’s a good show for that–I don’t have to see everything that’s happening onscreen while I’m stitching.  And there are a couple of things I only wish I hadn’t seen.  It was easy to lace the fabric over the pieces of Sintra, not slippery at all.


This morning, I cut a piece for the box bottom and laced fabric over that as well.  I’ve pinned the pieces together so you can see how the inside of the box will look when they’re sewn (tonight’s TV project).  The red blobs you see on the corners are the heads of my pins.


Soon, all that lacing will be covered with the Poppy fabric and the lid preparation will begin.

I have been resisting the urge to make a new fabric box.  I signed up for a quilt block-of-the-month project and a sock “club”, and I didn’t want to create a whole bunch of unfinished things before things started arriving in the mail.  Also, I want to have the Clapotis done before I start knitting more socks.

But the post office is being painfully slow!  So I am going to make a new box.  Besides, I’m going to need a fresh box design for a Secret Sister exchange.  Yeah, that’s it.


The poppy fabric is a Hoffman print, from around 1999.  I’m going to use it for the outside covering.  The lining will be a coordinating fabric with a basketweave design.  The box will have a hinged lid, I think, and a crazy quilt design on top.  As you can see, I pulled out a few threads and beads for inspiration.

Normally, I use illustration board for the box structure.  It’s inexpensive and sturdy, but it also quickly disintegrates when wet.  I thought it would be fun to try a lightweight plastic for better water resistance, so I bought some small pieces of Sintra (an expanded PVC sheet).  It’s only 2mm thick, about the same as the illustration board.  It cuts pretty easily with my rotary cutter, and I can’t wait to lace some fabric over the pieces to see how that goes.

I don’t have much in the way of new knitting to show.  A few weeks ago, I picked up the Clapotis-in-progress, and it has taken over all of my knitting time ever since.  I’m on ball #5 of the Melody “superwash” and will probably use up 6 balls by the time it is done.  The random striping is so much fun to watch!















This photo is a good colour match to real life. 

Once the Clapotis is done, I have a feeling I’ll be casting on a new pair of socks.  I found this at Chapters on the weekend:















If you love knitting socks with yarns like Koigu KPPM, Shibui Sock  and the like, you need this book.  There are even a couple of toe-up patterns in there.  I don’t know how I’m going to decide which to knit first, but I’ll have time to think about it while the Clapotis gets done.













The Alliance for American Quilts has announced a contest that will be of interest to crazy quilt afficionados.  It is refreshing to find a U.S.-based organization that welcomes international participation.  If you’re interested in getting involved with this combination contest and fundraiser, check out the guidelines.

The fundraiser part of this is that the quilt you enter becomes the property of the Alliance, to be auctioned on eBay after the contest ends.  The quilts are only 16 inches square, though, so parting with your creation might not be too difficult (I have a hard time letting my quilts go).  The entry fee is small, payable via Paypal, and the deadline isn’t until June 1st.   Time to pull out the scrap bag, I think.

Another snowfall, and more is forecast for Saturday.  A perfect time to open that little box of Turkish needlelace flowers I bought before the holidays.


Aren’t they sweet?  Oya flowers are a traditional needlecraft of Turkey.  You can read a little of the history of Oya in this article.

My contemporary examples are made from nylon thread.  Clear nylon, almost like fishing line, is threaded through the outer edge of the larger-petalled flowers, making them quite stiff.  I’ve heard that Oya are also made from silk thread, and I hope to someday get my hands on some.  For now, I am very pleased with these, which I purchased here (I also have a small addiction to Japanese craft books).  They will make a lovely embellishment for a crazy quilt block.  Today, they are a much-appreciated dash of colour in a snow-white landscape.

I used to stop by Celt’s Vintage Crochet  every once in awhile to check for updates to this fascinating archive.  Lots of crochet patterns, and some knitting designs, from early 20th century publications.  And you could browse through them and print them out “free, gratis, and for nothing” (apologies to Alice Beer). Sadly, the owner has decided to close the site.  You can read about her reasons here.

This was the site where I found the Hemlock Ring pattern that Jared Flood used as the basis for his gorgeous blanket.

All is not completely lost, though.  The Wayback Machine has archived a December 2007 version of the site here, so you can still see most of what was available there.  Print out your favourites while the opportunity exists.

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