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I like embroidering small projects, I’ve decided. It’s interesting to see how one stitch behaves as a feature. Below are some small pendant/brooches that I’ve finished. Their size is somewhere between a 20cent and 50 cent coin – perhaps a 40cent coin? I’ve called them time suckers because they take quite a bit of time to complete, considering their size. But I’m trying to back them nicely, cover the seams with a decorative stitch and not use any glue. Just the self imposed limitations that seem entertaining to me.
I’ve finished bag no. 2 of the ecobags for Vivian of Ecoyarns. I’m pleased with the way it turned out, though I have to say that I hadn’t realized it would take quite so long to complete. Rather than timing every session I worked out roughly how many lazy daisies I could complete in 15 mins. Turns out I can stitch about 5 daisies in that time – if I’m having an energetic embroidery session. So I counted all the flowers and did an estimate from there.
On the pink side there are just over 300 flowers. That’s about 15 hours of work stitching Lazy daisies!
On the yellow side there are around 160 flowers. That’s about 8 hours work stitching lazy daisies.
I’ve also been doing a bit more drawing and painting. I drew/painted (drumroll, please! This is all very exciting), some leaves!
I used Inktense pencils and derwent watercolour pencils. I was a little inventive with the colours.
Well, I thought the green bag was finished but then I visited The Crewel Goblein and they had some gorgeous sequins. Not the normal type you find in craft stores, but ones made by colourstreams. They are shaped like little pinwheels and flowers. I couldn’t resist dotting a few on the green bag. It makes it look a bit more delicate, I think. Which is what I was after in the first place. I’ve secured each sequin with a small translucent bead.
I’ve begun work on the Blue Bag. I found a photo of a rabbit, sketched it and created a transfer from it using baking paper and a transfer pen.
I put in a 3 hour embroidery session a week ago so I could finish the green bag and start moving on to the next one.
Here it is…but hang on just a minute…what’s that in the corner?
A half buttonhole wheel! I had initially decided to divide the repeat of the pattern down the centre at each end of the panel…but then changed my mind after I’d completed it and realised that a more complete repeat would look better. But this little buttonhole wheel got left out. Luckily I caught it as I photographed it. It felt like a spelling mistake – one of the ones that you miss because you’ve read over the page you’ve written so many times that your brain just fills in the blank.
So the final total of hours spent on the bag? 9 and 1/2 hours.
I’ve also completed a Koolhaas hat by Jared Flood. I really liked the pattern but had trouble reading the instructions when it came to the decreases at the crown. Errata is available at Interweave, but I discoverd that after I worked on it. Instead I let the knitting tell me what to do and I think it ended up ok – though I may have made some adjustments unawares.
It’s knitted from one of my first spindle spun yarns, which is why it’s a bit uneven. I didn’t quite make it in regard to yarn meterage either.
Which is why it has a complementary coloured top.
I’ve also been doing some spinning. I have a huge bag of merino/silk roving to get through. It’s beautiful.
I’m spinning it fine and when I’m finished I’ll ply up some mini skeins to knit. I’ll try a navajo ply, a 2 ply and a 3 ply from 3 diffent bobbins, to see which one looks the best. It will be interesting to see how each knits up.
I’ve also been knitting a top down cabled raglan by Stefanie Japel. It’s my commuter knitting. I’m on to the body now which is going pretty quickly. This is my first top down jumper and I’m enjoying it immensely.
I had to get any Christmas knitting or crafting for my family done early this year. We had our “Family Christmas” last saturday as DH and I are heading for the country to stay with his family for Christmas this year. We swap families year about.
At the begining of last week I had nothing made. I had not anticipated making anything for anyone as I thought that my darling Sister, the usual recipient of my handmade works of genius, might deserve a break this year. But the fun started when I brought home a present for my one year old niece, only to realise that it was actually aimed at those who are 2+. I could have taken it back but I just couldn’t face the toy store again, so I did what any rational crafter would do. I decided to make her something age appropriate as well.
I decided to make the Celestine Star. It looked like an easy and fun knit, and one which could be adapted to any size needle or yarn – as long as you don’t care what size it turns out. As this was going to be a child’s toy, not a tree topper, I didn’t care one bit. I chose the yarn I had hand-dyed in a lovely varigated lavendar-purple, and needles one size smaller than I would normally choose for the yarn (so that the stuffing didn’t peek through), and I began to knit. I knit with my old metal needles that I found in a St Vinnie’s store. I love the look of those needles, but they really do hurt my hands. I’d forgotten that, had I not found bamboo and wooden needles as quickly as I did, my knitting hobby may have been over after it’s first scarf. But I didn’t have any double points in the right size. So I continued knitting through the agravation of my carpal tunnel.
All was going well as I knit and watched the ball of yarn diminish, silently praying that it wouldn’t finish before I did.
I was lucky…
Almost! I’m calling it a design feature.
On a roll now, I also decided to make my Mum, SIL and Sister a little tree decoration that I could use as a “bow” on their pressies.
My SIL decided she would use hers as a hair decoration and my Mum inadvertently threw hers away with the wrapping paper. (Though she did go through the bin the next day to rescue it)
They were made using the flower shaped clover yo yo maker. For each one I sewed two “flowers” together with what is meant to be their “right” side facing. Then I sewed a pearl button in the centre of each side and went back and forth from one button, through the middle of the flower, to the other button and pulled tight. In this way the decorations puffed out a bit from the middle. Then I sewed on lengths of beads up underneath the petals. All in all, quite easy.
My final project I started and finished on our “Christmas Eve”; a coffee cosy for my brother in some early handspun yarn, knit double thickness so I had some chance of actually getting it finished.
Since I knit it up by feel, not a pattern or even measurements of the coffee pot in sight, I was pretty pleased that the thing actually fit!
So that’s it…no last minute knitted gifts for my husband’s family….unless….
Ever heard that saying? Well, this is my first quilt block and I am giving it to charity….despite the fact that I’m still learning to sew a straight line. I figured that this project, the 65 roses quilt, would make a good beginer project and I could also share around some of the good luck I’ve recieved in winning the Oz material girls competition.
It’s a simple project and you get to choose what rose you put in the blank square. I sewed it up at Salihan’s place and must thank her for her tips on cutting, seaming and sewing. You can see Salihan’s block here – she’s added a crochet rose.
If I can do it, anyone can! It’s a square, really, it is!
I taught for a while. In writing reports we always tried to adhere to the sandwich method. i.e start and end with a good comment and sandwich the “needs to improve” comment inbetween them.
I think I’ll use that method today.
First. I am very happy with how my little embroidered Christmas tree turned out. I stayed with the beads for this one as they were already on there, (votes were split evenly between beads or no beads), made another one just like it and sewed it together to make a stuffed Christmas tree decoration. I edged it with Palestrina stitch. I’m a big fan of palestrina stitch for edgings.
Second. Dyeing? Much room for improvement. I did try my hardest. Iwas even consious of using blue and yellow to make green so that I wouldn’t be putting colours next to eachother that would bleed into one another to create a brown.
So…maybe it doesn’t look that bad in the skein.
Well..it’s functional and it might be to somebody’s taste. My DH said it was “unusual”. I will admit that the cream background does nothing to highlight the colours.
Last. Thank goodness for lovely spinning. Here’s the red/plumish sari silk and merino that I’ve finished plying up. I really like this.
I received an early Christmas present. I entered the drawing at Craft Blog to win a fabric pack from The Oz Material girls and I won! I feel very fortunate and will try to find just the right project to make the best use of these beautiful fabrics using my novice sewing skills. I’d like to try a simple patchwork project – I’ve never done that before. I am so pleased with the fabric and they are all my favourite colours too.
I’ve been working on the chicken scratch stitch again and am relatively happy with this little Christmas tree.
I’m not sure if the beads add or detract from it.
But I think it could make a nice Christmas tree ornament.
So…I entered a very cool giveaway at Salihan Crafts for two skeins of Malabrigo. Imagine that my tongue is firmly placed in my cheek as I say….I really would rather not advertise this giveaway as I hunger after some malabrigo for myself! Of course I could just buy some, but giveaways are fun, right – and of course Salihan is a friend…so drop by and enter.
Embroidery bits and bobs are less space hungry than yarn, at least in my household. The finished or “nearly there badges/brooches have ended up sitting in a ceramic bowl. I’m still experimenting with finishing – I think I’ve almost got it right. Until then they sit patiently waiting and ocassionally accepting comments (both complimentary and bemused) from visitors to our house. Anyone else have a pile of bits and bobs? I can imagine that doll makers might have body parts littered around.
I think this is the image I have of my teenage self. My nose is smaller – but it’s really hard to get a fine nose over the fold in a journal. My lips are thinner too…but it’s really hard to work fine lips with thick pastels. Ahh…excuses, excuses. I’m really enjoying playing with my pastels. Gorgeous colours. Of course I don’t look anything like this now! (or do I?)
Please note that I do not have a big dark moley thing on my nose in real life – it’s just the hole where the book is bound. Neither do I have flowers sprouting from my head. But I used to wear them in my hair. I also have teeth and a tongue in my mouth – not just a gaping black hole – though I do think my mouth opened in suprise at the world around me.
I’ve also been doing some work on my fairy images. I like these designs better than the first. The square one is done in linen thread so it’s a little bit knobbly. I think I prefer the straight cotton for line drawings in embroidery, at least when the drawings are small. They are about the size of a 50 cent piece.
I like their golden wings. I also like that they’re talking to the flowers. My Mum always believed that plants grew better if you talked to them.