I just returned from 8 days in Grand Rapids, Michigan for an artist residency at Have Company! Have Company is a lovely shop run by Marlee Grace that carries yarn, apothecary items, handmade ceramics, textiles, art and more! It is in downtown Grand Rapids and has an apartment in the back of the shop where artists and crafters-in-residence live. Fabric designer, Lizzy House, was also there doing a residency while I was there so it was a blissful week of friends and making. Of course, after hanging out and knitting together all week we had to plan a knitalong so we can keep in touch now that I'm back in Colorado–KAL details are at the end of this post.
Marlee has all of her residents teach a workshop so I chose to teach spinning on the drop spindle. I was thrilled that Lizzy took my class and loved meeting some Grand Rapids fiber enthusiasts. I taught my students to spin using four different wools so everyone also learned a lot about the characteristics of different sheep breeds–the best!
My week was filled with sewing time. I often had the space to myself to sew to my heart's content. I took this time to work on some bigger projects–two quilts. The first one is using indigo-inspired fabrics from Alison Glass' Handcrafted Indigos collection and from Cotton + Steel's Bluebird collection. These fabrics go together beautifully.
I made a giant star quilt with these. My plan was to make an 8 pointed star, but I messed up my cutting. I cut my diamonds at 60 degree angles instead of 45 and ended up with a 6 pointed start. Since I was away from Fancy Tiger, there was nothing to do once my fabric was cut, but sew. I put them together and I love the resulting star! I still need to attach a background, but so far, it's looking really great.
I am also hosting a horse quiltalong right now and have been working on my horse quilt. I used the Moda Purebred Kit for the giant paint-by-number styled horse head applique in the kit. I then hand-appliqued that onto a Cotton + Steel basic fabric. During my Have Company time, I made this border using new Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander and Nani Iro. My quilt top is complete and huge!! I'm sending it off this week for quilting. Because I'm not finished, I'm going to extend the deadline for the Horse QAL to the end of February...if you've been thinking of making any horse-inspired quilt, there is still time! Details are here.
While I was in Grand Rapids, I also recorded a podcast with Marlee here. Be sure to listen if you want to hear me talk about my life running Fancy Tiger, crafting and my time at Have Company and with Marlee.
In the mornings, I spent plenty of time exploring the coffee shops of Grand Rapids (Mad Cap, Rowster, and Sparrows were my faves!) Lizzy and Marlee and I would meet and spend tons of time knitting and scheming and dreaming. I was able to complete our current knitalong project of my gansey sweater while I was there! Lizzy had never knit a sweater and Marlee had just completed her first sweater while I was knitting my gansey sweater. This led to a general excitement for sweater knitting and of course, plans for the next knitalong.
Have Fancy House KAL
Lizzy, Marlee, and I will be knitting the Agnes sweater by Melissa LaBarre and we'd love to have you join us! The Agnes sweater is a simple, top-down sweater that will knit up quick in bulky Puffin by Quince and Co. This sweater is great as a first sweater project and also features adorable pockets. Sarah just finished one here if you want to have a look. Lizzy is going to be using Clay, I am going to be knitting in the pale Petal, and Marlee is going to be using grey Iceland. This KAL will run the month of February–here are the deets!
2) February 1st, Cast on!
3) Knit! Tag your sweaters on Instagram using #havefancyhouse so we can all follow along
4) February 29 is our hopeful finish date and we will announce prizes! Lizzy House will be giving away a Soak Bundle for Best In-Progress photos. Fancy Tiger Crafts will be awarding a prize of $25 gift certificate for Best Finished Object photo. Is this your first go at making a sweater? Let us know - Have Company will be awarding a prize of Marlee Sock Kit for the Best Photo of A First Sweater! To win this prize you must also tag #firstsweater so we know it's your first!