Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shades of Blue

Some knitting for a change.
The patten is called 'Shades of Truth' by Laura Aylor. I used Wollmeise Twin in the colors black, nature, 47Ag, Blaue Tinte and Wolke.

However, when I put the finished shawl into the sink for washing, the dark blue bled onto the white. Still wet, I put it then into the washing machine and used a color catching tissue, in the hope it would get the blue spots out. The blue spots are gone now, but the whole white section in now a pale grey (here in comparison with the original yarn)
 It's not super terrible, but at the moment it does annoy me. I'm thinking about riping, but am not there yet.
Basically, I still like the shawl, but it does does look kinda ... dirty, not clean, at the moment.
Important lesson - pre-wash darker shades of hand dyed yarn before knitting. Repeatedly. Especially when mixing it with white.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Partial Eclipse of the Moon

On Thursday night, we had a very lovely moonrise:

But there was still another show in the starting blocks - a partial eclipse of the moon. I admit, as lunar eclipses go it wasn't super impressive - the moon was only for about 2% of it's surface in the Earth's umbra - but as the weather was so nice, I still took a couple of pictures.
The series below was taken between 21:12 and 22:53, one shot roughly every 10 minutes. I used fixed apperture (5.6) and exposure length (1/800) for all pictures.
I plugged the pictures into Photoshop and enventually managed to create this composite.
You can just about see the umbra scraping along the upper edge of the moon.

By the way, did you know that the fact that the Earth's shadow shows up as a circle on the moon (when you have a bit larger coverage of course), was, among other things they observed, proof already for Plato and Aristoteles that the Earth was a sphere.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Big Reveal

Some time ago I gave you a sneak peek of a quilting project I was working on at that time.
Now that the intentend recipient finally received the finished quilt, I can show you what I was doing. It's a scappy nine-patch / hourglass quilt in blues and aqua. The pattern was in a magazine but I would need to search, which one it actually has been.

I used a charm pack and (mostly) farbic from my stash. For the backside I used a lovely blue fabric with little golden dots all over, which I picked up in the closing sale of the patchwork store I just had discovered barely a month before it closed it's doors forever *darn*
The quilting itself was simple straight lines in the diagonal, so nothing fancy, but the pattern didn't need anything fancy and I'm very happy with the outcome.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Making Stars

When I make the stars for the 'Oh My Stars!' quilt, I usually make them in groups.
One 3 1/4" stripe of the white fabric makes for 8 of the small stars, with a 5 1/4" stripe I'm getting enough for 6 middle sized stars and a 7 1/4" wide stripe is good for at least 3 large stars. So, instead of making one star at the time, I'm making 8, 6 or 3 stars in one go.

This is all the material I need for 8 small stars:
I mark the smaller of the blue fabrics on the back side and pin them to the larger of the white squares.
 After sewing along the marked lines, I cut between the two seams. I now have 16 triangles.
 I iron them open and attach the remaining blue squares.
After sewing those, I cut again between the seems, iron them flat and trim them to the correct size (1 1/2" to 2 1/2" in case of the small stars).
In the end all that remains is to sew on the smaller white squares for the corners and the other pieces to the center part and, voilá, 8 stars are done.
Current status: 50 stars are done (large: 4, middle: 15, small 31). Only 61 more to go ....

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Oh My Stars!

Okay, there's a new quilting / patchwork project in the works. Officially this is a quilt along, but I'm not going to be too obsessed about that. Anyway, it 'started' in November 2011, so I'm probably way out of the time frame given for the quilt along.
I found the project while I was browsing for quilts with star patterns and came across one that simply blew me away. I searched for the pattern and was overjoyed that it's a freebie - who doesn't love a freebie? Now, of course, I can't find the original quilt, but hey, that's life.

Anyway, I've started with the stars. At the moment I'm planing on doing only the simple basic star pattern and so far I like what I got, but I might change my mind sometime in the future.
Of the 111 stars needed for the smaller of the two quilts (which is what I'm aiming for right now) I've got 28 put together (of which 26 just fit on my table). Main color - obviously - is blue, but I'll throw in a couple of yellow/orange stars in to lighten the whole thing up a bit.

I've also made some prgress on the blackwork chess board. 8 fields done, 24 to go: