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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.
My brain is soggy from a summer cold so you’ll have to forgive the very uninteresting title for this post. I finished the 3rd bag for Vivian of Ecoyarns and have now posted it to her. Vivian has been very patient with me and understanding about how long embroidery actually takes.
Each side of the bag is different but both are made using a snowflake template for some applique and then embellished with embroidery.
By snowflake template, (for anyone who never had a childhood where they made these in pre-school), I mean that I drew a circle on a piece of paper, cut it out and folded it along the centre to make a semi-circle, then folded it in half again, and again. So that I ended up with a little cone shape. From here you can cut various shapes along the edges, making sure that you leave some connecting folds. Open it up and you will have a pretty snowflake…or a pile of scrappy bits of paper if you’ve cut the connecting folds.
I cut out the material in the same manner, using the paper template folded into its cone shape as a guide for cutting the material. I affixed the material to the bags with some iron-on double sided fuse. Then embroidered around the edges of each snowflake. On the purple snowflake I used buttonhole stitches around the edges and on the red snowflake I couched down some gold thread along the boarders. This didn’t seem quite enough, so I finished them off with some embroidery inside the shapes.
To me, the negative shapes formed by the red snowflake looked like a vase or urn, so I chose to fill them with foliage-like embroidery, using fern stitch.
The purple snowflake was obviously celestial, so I exaggerated the moon shape, and used a spider web star/wheel for the centre.
I wish I had a better camera for photos – still using the one on our video recorder – because they do look better in person. Each appliqued shape is about the size of a dinner plate – because that’s what I drew my circle around! I hope you like them Vivian.
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 have been working on the green embroidered bag for Vivian of Ecoyarns. (Thanks for your patience, Vivian). I am quite pleased with how the design has turned out. There have been some tricky bits though, such as working close to the side seam or bottom of the bag – there’s not much room to manoeuvre there. There have also been a couple of interesting manoeuvres that I’ve completed all by my little self – such as looping the thread around the handle on a return pass. Tricky questions have also arisen as I’ve worked on this repeating design …when to cheat it so that more of the design appears to make the whole “feel” right, and when to stick to the “logical” and correct version of the repeat. I’ve mostly fone with what “feels” right. When I took the photo below I also realised that I’d missed a tricky leaf on one collumn. Nearly done though. There are still some purple markings on it from the transfer pen, and of course it wil look better when washed and blocked out.
I have tried to keep a time record for this. I haven’t been as diligent as I would like. But it’s taken about 6 mins per cirle and about 20 mins per collumn of leaves. So that’s 14 more circles = 84 mins. And 4 collums of leaves = 80mins. So that’s about another 2 hours and 45 mins, roughly.
Subtotal for this project so far: 6 hours and 25 mins.
And now for some tricky knitting…
I’ve been working on the Te Rosada jumper by Pam Allen. I used two different handspun yarns for this.
The red is a merino/sari silk blend and the purple/green/blue one is Kareoke soysilk and merino. I think they worked together really well and the pattern was very forgiving as they are not exactly the same weight yarns – almost but not quite. I worked two row stripes.
It’s a really simple pattern but I did find the measuring as you go quite tricky as the fabric stretches a fair bit. I had to block it into shape quite a bit as you’ll see from the photo below.
Both these arms are the same size! They blocked beautifully – though they were too long for my little arms, even though I’d made them shorter than the pattern called for to compensate. So I had to go back and chop them off, pick up stitches and redo the edging.
My DH, though commenting that the drop shoulders are not the most flattering style on me, still agreed that it’s a nice jumper. It’s really comfortable and light. Good for this unseasonably warm Autumn we are having.
Comments are now closed – thanks to everyone who participated.
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!
A few months ago I did have the thought that I should make some gifts for Christmas. “It would be thrifty and more personal”, I reasoned. How did it happen then, that I have nothing home made to give? It’s really very simple, I got distracted.
Firstly by the Icarus shawl. (Even though it’s just a mini Icarus)
Because it seemed absolutely imperative that I knit myself a shawl for the 40 degree days directly ahead of us. I do really like it though. Initially I thought I would dye the white to match the green, but now I like it as is. I’m not sure if you can see but I knit the last two rows in a similar green so it sort of ties in. The green is my handspun and hand dyed alpaca, courtesy of Tauret.
Then I thought that I absolutely must design an embroidered cuff because I’m trying to figure out the best way to attach findings to embroidery so that it can move beyond brooches. This one uses hooks and eyes – I wonder if somebody makes sterling silver hooks and eyes?
Ever noticed how hard it is to photograph your own hand? Especially when that hand has rather short, stubby fingers and, since you don’t have a digital camera, you are actually using the camera function on the video recorder.
Ahhh…That’s the one! The cuff uses feather stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy stich and palestrina stitch for the side seams. It has little glass beads between each “flower”
The other day I was travelling to Sydney by train and was probably meant to be making some sort of Christmas gift, but I discovered that I had no pockets in which to carry my ipod. Fortunately I had a crochet hook, some cotton and some newly aquired crochet skills thanks to my friend and excellent crochet teacher, Salihan.
So I whipped up an ipod cosy whilst two bemused teenage girls looked on and talked about me while I worked not one foot away from them. It seems that crocheting makes one deaf. Not that they were rude. It was just quite strange to be talked about in the third person by someone sitting directly opposite me.
Thanks for teaching me to crochet Salihan.