Sunday, August 17, 2008

Been a busy this week

Yes, to busy to stop and blog or even to take progress pictures but progress has been made on several fronts. You just have take my word for it. Sairy's embroidered bag is coming along very nicely. All the outline stitches are done and now I'm just filling in the two areas that need it. A seemingly endless number of french knots in the ruff around the sheep's face and then the sheep's face will get some thing. I just haven't decided on the stitch yet. I have all but two of the motifs done on my quilting project and then it on to the border. I've done some embroidery that will go as panels onto some box bags but those are for gifts and you won't see them until the recipients have them in hand. More bags and stitch markers went up for sale on my Etsy Shop.
There has also been spinning going on for CMF and more fiber arrived on Friday (or was it Saturday, I forget). I've got some fibet that I want to spin for myself from Fatcatknits and Pigoenroof Studios but they are just going to have to wait for a little while longer while get the CMF fiber done.
I did take a break last night to go to a party at my friends Collin and Diane's home. They have a fire pit in their back yard so when it was dark enough we all gathered around it and talked. I was knitting on a new sock. At one point I dropped a stitch and had to have Collin build the fire up so I'd have enough light to fix it. My friends just laughed, Collin built the fire up, and all is well with my sock.
Larissa pulled a lounger chair over and was dozing near the fire. She looked so cute that I just had to try to take a picture. I blinded everyone with the flash and scared the crap out of Larissa because she thought the fire had somehow collapsed towards her. Sorry guys! But look isn't she cute!
This week I'll be working on a new bag design specifically for drop spindles. More on that as the design comes along.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Todays finished item is brought to you by the letter N and the number 2

This morning I finished #2 in the pair of Nanner! Socks designed by Wendy Johnson of WendyKnits fame. The yarn I used was Millefiori dyed by Pigeonroof Studios. I loved knitting these socks. I think that's why it didn't take me 40 forevers to get them done. But I will say that the combination of the very complex colorway over powers the stitch pattern. This kind of conflict has always been something I've had a problem with.

I really want to knit this sock pattern again. I have some Nanner! yarn from Lime and Violet in Miss Violet's Just Ripe colorway that I could use for another pair of Nanners! I am also thinking the yarn may need to become a pair of Monkey Socks. Ge it, Nanner Yarn, Monkey Socks! O.K. well its funny to me. Another option for another pair of Nanners! is to find some yellow fiber and spin my own sock yarn but I can tell you that just isn't going to happen anytime soon. Business has been picking up for my Etsy shop and I have an other oportunity that has just come up in the last 24 hours that is very exciting. I can't share the details right now except to say that it's fiber related, will keep me very busy and has the potential keep me busy for a very long time. Squeee!!!

Also, on the project front there's a hat that has been partially done that really should get done for a very special person in my life. It has to get done before the weather gets cold since I've been promising it to him for 2 years!!! Not sure why I've been procrastinating on this one but then again I have a sweater for Hubby that been on the needles for much longer than that. Both projects are not all that far from completion. I know this is something about my process that I need to explore further. Why is it that I can make stuff to go to complete strangers with no problem but once I start a project for someone close to me I seem to freeze. Could it have something to do with not wanting to disappoint them? But I'm disappointing them by not finishing their projects. So where does this leave me? Well, first and formost not in a good place I can tell you that much. I will ponder this while I spin the next batch of yarn for Crown Mountain Farms since this kind of thinking is best done with fiber in my hands.

For those of you not on Plurk, why your not I just can't fathom, here is a picture of Dr. Schrodinger that I poster there yesterday and just had to share with the world. My own personal LOL cat!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am over the moon!!

The wonderful folks at the Lime and Violet Empire of Doomy Doom pick an Esty Shop Of The Day. Well today my shop was it!!!! This may not seem like a big deal to anyone but me but I'm over the moon about it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The new work so far

I've been really enjoying doing the embroidery for this bag. As I was going along I realized that I needed a few more colors of floss to make the design around the face of the sheep pop. I brought out all four of my boxes of floss which is pretty much every color DMC makes. Plus I have some metallic threads but I won't be using any on this bag. On some of the bags that I have planned will need a bit of sparkle.

These are the colors I decided to work with keeping. The color scheme needed a little something so I added just a few touches of green.

Here is the picture of the completed line work. Now I need to fill in his face and the ruff around his neck. I'm going to stick with doing french knots in the ruff but I think I'm going to use bullion stitch or some variant of it on the sheep's face to imply the fleece.

As I was going along I realized that I had put the design on the fabric oriented along the wrong axis but have decided to go ahead and finish the it because I had already put to much work into it to just scrap the whole thing and start over. I know I'm going to need a longer zipper to accommodate the new length of the bag. This is what I get for starting something at 1:30am!

And one piece of advice on working with transfer sheets like these.

Not that this is a bad thing, just be aware that the design will rub off. If you think your going to take a long time to complete the work or like me have a tendency to have parts of the work rub up against you then go over the chalk lines with a water soluble pencil. These kind of pencils come in light blue and white. This will make the marks more durable but will come out with a cold water rinse when your embroidery is completed.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Insomnia and embroidery

I just couldn't sleep tonite (it's about quarter past 2 in the am as I'm typing this) so I figured that now was as good a time as any to start a new project.

I found this completely adorable embroidery pattern of sheep thru Craftzine. Carftzine, for those of you living under a rock, is a magazine and a blog that is one of the best resources on the net for all things Indy and crafty. Go and find out for yourself how ubber Craftzine is. Any who, bought the pattern for just $3! and pointed my Plurk friends to where they could get it and mentioned that I wanted to put this on a box bag for myself. FYI, the pattern is protected under Creative Commons , no selling of items using said pattern so you won't find this for sale on my Etsy Store. Sorry folks but you either have to make your own or I really have to like you to make one for you.

My friend Sairy, who I happen to like a lot, is a creative type like myself but isn't into sewing/embroidery. I am going to make a bag for her. To show her and other folks that this isn't hard to do I'm going to document my process for making the bag here. We talked about the color scheme she wanted. Think Neapolitan ice cream and you have the idea.

The box bags I make are long and narrow to accommodate DPN's or a drop spindle. My first step was to sketched out my idea for where I wanted to place the Sheep so that Sairy would have an idea of what the bag was going to look like. I didn't want to get all the way through the stitching and have her say "No, that's not what I had in mind". The embroidery will be mainly on the side opposit from the zipper and wrapping around the sides. It will look so cute hanging from her arm. Since you'll be making this for yourself you can skip this step.

Next I assembled the materials, two fat quarters of fabric, a 9-14" invisable zipper, embroidery floss, transfer paper, and Iron-on tear away stabilizer. You'll also need an embroidery hoop and masking tape (not pictured). I enlarged the embroidery design to the necessary size and cut away the extra paper.

Cut both pieces of fabric to size, for this project 14" x 16". Also cut a piece of stabilizer to the same size. Set aside the scraps left over from both fat quarters, the lining fabric (in this case the patterned fabric) and the zipper as we don't need those until we assemble the bag.

Follow the manufactures directions and iron the stabilizer to the wrong side of your fabric. Turn your fabric right side up. Your going to want to work on hard surface to transfer the design the the fabric. The transfer paper (available in most fabric stores) comes in a package with different colors so the lines will show on any color fabric. We're using a dark brown fabric so I chose white. Place the transfer paper chalky side to the right side of your fabric. Use masking tape to secure the corners of the paper. My design wasn't complicated so I didn't do this step but you should espcially if this is your first time doing this sort of thing.

Place the design right side up on top of the transfer paper and secure it in one or two places with masking tape.

Trace the lines of your design with a pen, press with some presure but not enough to tear the paper. Pick up a corner of the transfer paper, making sure not to let either paper slip, to check that you have all the lines transfered.

Position the embroidery hoop where you want to start stitching. For this design I'm going to use stem stitch and french knots. There are a lot of good resources on the interwebs already that can explain exactly how to do the stitches. Start stitching!

Coming soon on Get A Clew - The Blog: a look at how the embroidery is coming along - Progress update on the quilting - Spinning - Sewing - Knitting - Has the Cheeky Redhead found a job yet? - stay tune for these and other exciting episodes!