Friday, October 09, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
I took along another project, a lace ring scarf using Schaefer's Andrea in the colorway Elena Piscopia. I had my LYS order the yarn and also the Heartstrings pattern: H45-7041, but I took so long in picking it up, the owner started the Ring of Lace Wrap herself -- in my chosen color!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
What I am taking this year should have been the least of my considerations. It's a sleeveless blazer from Knitter's Magazine that I have been admiring for nigh onto a decade. I've been waiting all this time for "just the right yarn". The design called for a handpaint in a shetland coupled with a baby loop in a deeply contrasting color. I wanted primary colors against navy. I did not want a boucle giving me added bulk. My years long quest had me often contemplating Koigu sock yarns, but I could never make a choice among all the colorways, and besides, it would have made the project a bit pricey, and what would that do to me if I hated it after knitting it up? A recent offering from Elann.com seemed to fit my need, and after consulting with their staff, I ordered it along with a solid blue that would blend. I changed my mind about the navy, and opted for a blending blue, a less stark contrast I hoped would be more subtle, ergo more flattering.
You can see in my swatches my plan didn't quite come together. The blue all but disappeared in the background panes. The multi colors are actually less than my crayon expectations. What appears as bright red here is actually hot pink. The green, though, is indeed the deep olive it looks -- not the bright verdance I'd anticipated. Dwell on the top swatch only long enough to realize I obviously garbled the directions. The stitch pattern (panes of multicolor alternated with those having a cross frame within) of the original design is not there, the color carry-overs on the right side don't belong there, but far worse, the stitch instruction required like 14 rows.
Agggghhhh. Not pretty. Not suitable for travel.
Just curiosity had me make another swatch with a simpler slip stitch. Hmm. Gauges the same.
Certainly looks tidier. Easy peasy knitting...
I already have about six inches done! It's knit in one piece to the armholes. This is a project I can work on and off and not lose my place. BTW, this garment is called a sleeveless blazer because it has a tailored, notched collar. I'm not so sure how I'll like border loops that go completely around. If it looks too fluffy, I'll do a simple crochet picot and/or eliminate some of the frous-frous.
I'll be westbound tomorrow if I can get packed. It's insane, but I want to get one more blog off before I face a computerless summer. If I don't, I'll have plenty to write about when I get back this fall.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I'm not certain, but the fabric may be Dublin. I began the long, meandering line by couching down a cotton yarn. I satin stitched over it with #8 perle, then did the over stitching with Caron Watercolours. Then I made more lines with buttonhole bars and detached buttonhole. I used plain buttonhole to stay stitch consistent and for flat contrast. I worked a few bullion knots because they were mentioned and because they are such fun to do. ;-)
For the pulled stitches I used #12 perle and worked part of the pattern provided in Carol's pulled stitch tutorial. From her whitework lessons I tried, I'm not sure how successfully, to make faggots with a #5 perle. These showed up better than the stitches done with #12. I think #8 or #10 would have been better choices; I didn't have any on hand but a few that would color clash.
You realize the above is just doodling. I'm sure there are many ways to vary these stitches . The whole time I was thinking how I might distort or make the stitches irregular, so I have some ideas I'll save for another playtime session.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
In this class (you can register on their FiberInform website for future offerings) we used a variety of backgrounds suitable for stitching and how to create texture and color with different mediums. I've prepared twenty or more samples up to the color stage. Today I show my first two examples. Here is the before picture which doesn't show very much. It is 140# watercolor paper from a tablen. After priming I used molding gel which I swirled around and imprinted with bubble wrap. I wondered about the gel taking color since it is transparent. But look what happened after I added paints and waxes. I can add surface embroidery or even machine stitch at this point.
Friday, February 27, 2009
A & B are built up too high before decreasing, and the stitching lines aren't flowing. In B in used a chain stitch foundation, an I idea I read about on Elizabeth M's blog Quieter Moments. Elizabeth thoroughly researches stitches and is gracious to share her experiments. Trust me, Elizabeth can find the ultimate innovations possible in a stitch, and not only that, her needlework is supurb. Back to the doodle rag, my use of the chain ( I later learned from Elizabeth she used a reverse chain) was so I could add embellishing stitches to fancy up the dimensional heart. I was thinking of a lacy valentine. I forget what I had in mind adding a second row of backstitching around C. When I remember, I'll get back to it. I did make a heart, but it's sloppy . For D, I switched to a #3 pearl hoping it would help me see the knots and bars better. You can see it didn't work for me. I had a sloppy lacy top (I wasn't going for "lacy"), I lost the heart outline, and I still couldn't wrangle those knots into flowing lines. Didn't get better with E when I returned to #5 pearl.
Here is a continuation of the sampler I began last month. My designs are a little large to cover up the linty cloth underneath. I stitched a number of figures and ripped them all out , even though one of them was quite interesting. I wanted to see if I made an s-line into a snaky shape, could I build it up to create a third dimension. Answer, absolutely! Unfortunately it was weird looking. After building up the sides and finally drawing them together in a single line of knots, I had a leech! I would have saved it as a curiosity on my sampler had I not realized I needled in all the way around instead of needling out.
While the cloth still held together I went where I should have in the first place -- to a circle. I'm glad I went with the overlapping circle design because it gave me the opportunity to try for variation. I began with the navy circle and finally got the lines to spiral nicely. If I'd stuffed it, it would be a dome, but I let mine peak slightly so it actually resembles a Chinese hat. The light blue area is actually a partial circle, but I was still able to achieve the swirl by ending at one side and bringing the thread up again at the beginning. The partially eclipsed circle with the stripes was constructed exactly like the light blue one.
You can see I finally got a heart filled in. I'm not completely happy with the way the swirling knots come together in the center, but it's a start. On the other hand, I am very pleased with my 4-color spiral.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I decided to begin a sampler for the 09 stitch explorations. I've admired Sharon B's rollable sampler and also liked the way she incorporated some current event. I just happened to begin my sampler the day of a presidential inauguration, and I chose patriotic colors to record my stitching. The cloth is a light gray hardanger fabric, and with the exception of the sparkly white, my threads were all basic cotton floss and #5 perles. This sampler is for me as I play and experiment with the stitches, so I don't worry about counting threads and proper centering; I just eyeball it.
What I tried to explore here was using different stitches to accomodate the weaving and also the use of multiple colors. The first solid across block of stitches is a failed experiment. I was going to weave small circles around large cross stitches. When it didn't work out, I added more stitches just to make it decorative. The first two circles in the following row are woven through stacked arrowheads. The next circle I think might be interesting in larger scale. I wanted to see what it would look like if three colors were used to weave concentrically through three straight stitch anchors. I couldn't get it to look right, so I switched to just one color for the weaving. You'll probably have to look at the enlarged picture to see the staggered effect. The fourth circle also utilizes 3 straight stitches in varying lengths as anchors. Fifth circle is another dud. The final segment has circles woven through 3 rows of cross stitch.
The next band is where I went from neat circles through even cretan stitches to freeform cretan stitching. I really love the irregular circles and the odd shapes formed in the negative space. In the final band I began with close set cretan stitches with the second row alternating points. The uneveness caused the top and lower circles to slant, while the center circles stayed normal. I think the effect might be more interesting had I reversed the threads. The rest of the band was more freeform play. It may appear like a couched thread, but what I actually did was scatter arrowhead stitches in varying size and orientation, then wove the thread as randomly as I could through the V's. Thread tension didn't show up when I sketched the idea, so the outcome was not as interesting as I'd hoped. Maybe more v-stitches in a different color and another color for threading. In fact I think I need to do just that to fill in that area and make the January segment look more balanced.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
I had thought I might ease off my creative involvements in 2009, but as usual, enthusiasm got the upper hand, and I find my studio calendar full. Call me weak. I cannot resist the temptation to learn something new even though my pragmatic self knows there will always be similar opportunities.
So far this month I have continued with Chaska Peacock's Creative Spirit Group. Following the angels class, January's lesson in creating a Prosperity Doll which involves wrapping around a wire armature. Mine is ready to dress and embellish, so you will see a picture soon. I also signed on for Lynda Monk and Carol McFee's course at FiberInform on textural surfaces. I have admired their work for so long, and now I have the opportunity to learn how to use the multi media materials to achieve different effects in texture and color.
I can never resist anything offered by Sharon B. I've started a sampler to go along with her
Stitch Explorations 2009, and I'll be sharing my variations of chicken scratch soon. I purchased Maggie Grey's latest book, Textile Translations: Mixed Media ,which comes with online studies and a Yahoo support group. I've deferred these lessons until I complete the FiberInform course even though I understand the Yahoo group will have disbanded by then.
In February I will stay with Chaska to learn how to make a cigar box altar. I will also be participating in a group book study at Goldilocks and Friends . We will be performing the exercises in Susan Stein's Fabric Art Workshop .