Tangled 2.0

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What’s an artist with too much time on their hands to do once an obsession begins with a new medium?

Take it to the next level.

So, I as I was fighting against the alarm clock yesterday morning, it hit me: the next level of Zentangles. Zentangles are traditionally 3.5″ square tiles of abstract art goodness. Some artists design many of them for collages. Some artists, like myself, possess a love of all colors and a sewing machine…

Do you see where I’m going with this? 🙂

Zentangles. Tiles. Squares. Colors…. Fabrics. Fabric markers… QUILTS.

Yes. Within the last 36 hours, I have built the foundation for my zentangle quilt. After finishing the rest of the design work, I’ll actually set to quilting inside the Zentangle lines to bind the quilt layers together.

I love when projects come together this quickly. I love feeling that “divine spark” for lack of a better term, when the artistic muse blesses your hands, and time flies away, and all you are left with is creation and creating and art and design. Sigh. Bliss!!

Here’s the first photo gallery of the work in progress:

Assembling the supplies — all procured for under $20. And notice the world’s cutest tiny iron, to ensure I actually press my sewn seams after attaching the squares together, just like Grandma taught me. 🙂

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Can’t deny we’re family. We share the same cheekbones! 🙂

Next, cutting out 4″ fabric squares from 1/3 yard cuts of 45″ wide 100% cotton solids in rainbow hues. Did I have to get a 4″ clear plastic official “quilting” ruler? Nosiree, Bob. I found a 4″ cardboard jewelry box for $1 at the craft store. Ka-ching! Art on a budget.

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Fast forward 45 minutes…

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Next came some math for pattern design once I knew how many squares I had. I’ll spare you the convoluted way I came up with all this. Just suffice it to say that it was easily my least favorite part of this project. (My name may be McMath, but the entire disciple hates me.)

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And now… We sew! Chain-stitching pieces together using my brand new heavy-duty Singer sewing machine. Pure bliss!

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And fast forward some more… After all the piecing is done. I realized halfway through that I put a strip into the quilt with the pattern headed the wrong direction. No worries. Just changed the pattern. That’s just how I roll here in my art land 😉

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I hope you enjoyed the photos, and stay tuned! I may have this project wrapped up within the next few days, and I can’t wait to share how it turns out!

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Weekend Project: Knit Lace Mesh Bag

We continue the saga of Candice learning to knit with the introduction of… Double pointed needles (dpn).

I’ve spent the last two days working on a knit lace mesh reusable shopping tote. I found the pattern on Ravelry: The Grrlfriend Market bag by Laura Spradlin. It is a quick knit and great for beginners, because it uses mostly simple stitches including knit, purl, k2tog, yarn over, and cast off purl wise. That’s it!

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The dpn’s come into play because this bag is worked from the bottom up, in the round. Laura’s instructions are easy to follow and I loved the story of how she came up with the pattern.

For my bag, I used size 6 dpn’s, size 7 – 16″ circular needles, and size 10 – 16″circular needles. I used about 100 grams of Lily’s Sugar and Cream cotton yarn, worsted weight. I also had scissors and a yarn needle on hand for finishing.

I loved this project and look forward to making another! The bag stretches a LOT due to the lace pattern, and as this was my first time doing such a thing, when I remake the bag I’ll know better how to adjust for the stretch. Personally, I will make the strap shorter because it stretches out as you load the bag, and I also think I will make the base a big larger before starting the net, and also make the bag taller in the net before I start the top color band. But overall I’m very pleased with how this turned out. I can see using this little bag for quick trips to the farmers market in the summer. 🙂

Enjoy the photos of this fun project!

Here we go… Starting out with the dpn’s. eek!

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Well, so far so good…

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Fast forward about four hours… (I don’t know if this should really take 4 hours. Remember, I’m just learning!) This is the point where you switch from dpn’s to circular needles to start the mesh.

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And fast forward again to the next day, working on the bag and checking for stretch…

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Here’s a look at the inside of the bag, holding it up to the light so you can see the pattern…

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And the finished product, loaded with yarn for the next project!

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Quick Project: One Hour Knit Dishcloth

My knitting prowess has been growing these past few weeks! Today I would like to share a fun online resource and a great idea for a quick project.

The resource? Ravelry.com: a free online community for knitters and crocheters that has zillions of patterns (free and those you can purchase) as well as tutorials and blogs. I have just begun to explore Ravelry, so I’ll post more as I learn more. In the meantime, check it out!

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Now, onto the project! The One Hour Knit Dishcloth

I got this idea originally from my favorite redhead, Julie, who has her own fabulous blog, Outtakes on the Outskirts. (I know Julie in real life as well – we went to college together and are sisters in Sigma Alpha Iota, but I digress.). Anyhow, she posted a great mini blog series recently about doing Christmas on the cheap, and mentioned homemade gifts that were quick, easy, and inexpensive. One of those ideas were knit dishcloths.

The idea was so simple I literally smacked my forehead when I read that, thinking, “WHY didn’t I think of this earlier?!” Having conquered the hats and scarves I had attempted, I quickly set to searching Ravelry for free knit dishcloth patterns.

The amount of free patterns Is overwhelming, and I’ve made a few different kinds so far.

This is the first one I attempted: a basketweave.

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Here is another that is called “Grandma’s favorite dishcloth,” which is so true, as my grandmother really did have these kind of dishcloths!

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However, these each took me about 2.5 hours to complete. I don’t know about you, but I’m impatient. I wanted to find a pattern I could make in an hour or less.

This waffle patterned dishcloth by Love2Knit (who I found on Ravelry) worked up in just a tad over an hour this morning. I did one that followed the pattern exactly (yellow) but then did another where I added a garter stitch border (red) which I like better.

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For these dishcloths, I used a US size 6 knitting needles and Lily’s sugar and cream cotton yarn.

I’m working on writing up how I added the border, because I messed it up originally. (What can I say? I’m new at this!) I will post the pattern separately.

But in the meantime, what are you waiting for? Hop online, find a project, and start knitting! 🙂