Friday, April 24, 2009

Spool-knitted, felted crochet hook and weaving needle case

Here are some pictures of the case I made for the crochet hooks and needles I use for weaving. I used some Peruvian yarn I bought at Twist, my mom's favorite yarn shop, when I was in Wichita at Christmas when she took a day off for us to go out shopping and to a couple of museums. The yarn felted nicely. I spool-knitted it on an eight peg spool knitter and used a safety pin to thread a flour sack towel through the center before washing it in the washing machine in a laundry bag in hot water. I can't remember if I dried this one in the machine or not. I stopped drying the stuffed animals, but I think I went ahead and machine dried anything that didn't have limbs. :-)

Below are details of the case. I sewed up one end and then use the tail to embroider a couple of flowers at the bottom. I liked it so much I did one at the top on the opposite side, as well, and then I added a drawstring.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

figuring fabric "count" on weavette fabric

I think maybe nine for the Sugar and Cream on the Weavette (top photo), and six for the Lion Brand wool on the HR Tumbling Block loom.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Woven Brooch

While browsing through blogs tonight, I found this wonderful woven brooch tutorial! I'm going to have to definitely make a couple of these!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New blog

I have started a new blog for the band sampler - it is at Floss, Needle, Muslin.

Tumbling Blocks

Tumbling block unit. The diamonds are from the Tumbling Block loom by Hazel Rose Looms. They are woven from wool - I have four more sets to piece together, then I'll fill in the edges till it's relatively rectangular, and then I'm going to felt it and use it as the binding for a journal.

stuffed bunnies

Three unfinished bunny bodies and one finished bunny.
Actually, the blue and purple one may end up a monkey.

stuffed alligator

I started making rabbits, but this green did not look like it would make a good rabbit. :-) It also looked too long to be a frog, so I turned it into an alligator. No legs yet, but I couched the head and tail on.

More Coffee-dyeing, and band sampler progress

These are the pink fabrics after I left them in the coffee for another hour and a half. They are definitely darker - I like them a lot better now!

In the pictures of the pink fabrics, the coffee dyed fabric is on top, and the original fabric is on the bottom.

Here also are the print fabrics - they were in the coffee the same amount of time as the pinks, a total of two hours.

And, here are pictures of the strips for my band sampler as I had them laid out on the floor, deciding how to sew them together. I decided that I couldn't bring myself to mix the coffee-dyed and non-coffee dyed fabrics, at least not when I had the pinks and prints in there (at some point I will have a section that is all white and off-white) (and coffee-dyed), so I did two different panels, then added some of the blue stuff to the first pink and white panel, then transitioned with plain unbleached muslin... but I haven't decided if I'm going to go ahead and add the second (coffee-dyed) panel on now, or wait and see how long the first one takes me and whether or not I want to add some evenweaves, etc., later on before adding the second one.

After I took these pictures, I decided to go ahead and start piecing them together by hand. I stayed up way too late, since it was about - well, let's just say it was really late when I decided to do that in the first place. By the time I decided to go to bed, I had learned all about ten minute workouts, being mortgage free for life, and making money in the current foreclosure market... BUT, I got all of the pink and white side pieced together, and the first three strips of the coffee-dyed side pieced together, too.

I know some of those pinks look awfully dark for this, and the card print may look crazy, but I like them. I can work around them. Although I suppose I'd better be working ON them. :-)

I need to find another program to use to pubish this blog to Blogger. This one is driving me crazy. I just previewed it and there are huge gaps that aren't really there. Any ideas? I'm supposed to have a program for that with OneNote, but I couldn't get it to connect. Argh.
Ah-ha! I posted it, the huge gaps were there, and then when I edited it they showed up so I could delete them. I still want a bigger window while I'm typing, though.
I may start another blog for the band sampler. Not sure I want to mix weaving and embroidery. :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

More woven-then-felted items

Here are a couple of other things I wove and felted. One is a bag, the other a random rope I was felting because... yeah, I don't really remember why. The rope was done on a spool-knitter. The bag was made using diamonds woven on my Tumbling Blocks loom from Hazel Rose Looms and then embellished with a spool-knitted rope on the front, which is also going to be used as a closure once I get a button sewn on the very bottom.

Stuffed animals

These are pictures of the stuffed animals I spool-knitted and then felted in the washing machine. I used Lion Brand Wool. I don't have any pictures of Annie (the elephant) before I felted her, apparently, but I do of the dog, so you can see the before and after of him.

More Coffee-dyeing

Here are the fabric strips before I dyed any of them, and then as they are wrapped up and ready to be dunked in coffee.

Finished products:
These two pictures show the dyed fabrics with strips of the original fabrics on top of them. You can tell more of a difference in person than in the photographs, but there's still not a lot of difference. They were dyed for half an hour. I finally got irritated and put them back in the coffee (with the print fabrics) for another hour and a half. I'll post those pictures tomorrow - I haven't taken them yet!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Embroidered Band Samplers and Coffee-Dyeing

Inspired by the band samplers I found online yesterday, I decided to cut some strips for my own sampler. I had bought a fat quarter pack of pink fabric back in January in when I was in NH, and also some fabric with music notes and some with playing cards, for a yo-yo quilt project I thought I might someday make (hahaha), and I figured it would be better used for this. I also had bleached and unbleached muslin. I'm not sure what the exact width of my sampler will be, but I cut the strips all to 9" wide, then cut them in varying lengths so I can piece it together as I go, like this one by Sharon B of the blog pintangle.

That link takes you to a series of posts about the sampler, but the whole thing can be seen here.

Hers is 44 feet long! Wouldn't that just be amazing? Like a stitched journal. My paper journals are already feeling unloved thanks to Facebook. :-) I don't have any of the nicer linens made for embroidery right now (well, I do have some blue that I got in Texas a couple of years ago and just haven't used - it's not the right size for this, but I suppose I could piece it...), so the muslin and quilting cotton will do.

I have some embroidery patterns that I bought (and some were free) from Urban Threads back in January that I am going to use on the sampler, as well as using it as a stitch sampler. Right now the free pattern is the gorgeous Green Man, for Earth Day - I can't wait to start working on that! I wish I had all my floss with me. At one point I had "All the Floss" from Victoria Clayton but now she has almost 700 colors, and I think has retired some... she has a monthly floss club, and it would take five years of subscribing to get all the colors now!

I love Urban Threads. They have patterns from the "gorgeous" range to the "cool" to the "kewl" to some that I'm not sure how to categorize. Two that I have are coffee-related (here and here). I'm going to use them in a wall-hanging that I have planned, and also in a set of four coasters, made from this cork-backed coaster tutorial on Urban Threads. Since they are coffee related, I decided to coffee-dye them with the dregs of this morning's coffee pot. Well, since I was dyeing THOSE, I figured I might as well dye some more for my band sampler as well.

These are the undyed squares and rectangles I used. Towards the back are the seven inch and five inch squares for the wallhanging and coasters, in the middle are the white (bleached muslin) pieces for my band sampler, and on top are the strips of unbleached muslin that I used.

Since I wanted a mottled look on the fabric, I scrunched the pieces up and wrapped them with rubber bands before I plopped them into the coffee, which I heated up in a measuring cup first.

I did some playing around with the "auction mode" on my camera - I love it! Here are some shots of the fabric while it is dyeing.

And here (right) are the fabric "balls" after I took them out of the coffee. I put down waxed paper to help with clean-up. :-)

Here (left and below) are the first batch of fabric while it was still wet and laid out to dry. I didn't think I liked it at that point. I'm glad I reserved judgement until I ironed them - with every batch, I felt the same way, so if you coffee or tea dye fabric, don't toss it or redye it until you see it completely dry and ironed! :-) Unfortunately, the pictures don't do any of them justice.

Below is the first batch, ironed. I left them in the coffee for half an hour, and I scrunched them very loosely and did not wrap them rubber bands very tightly.

And here (again, below) is the second batch. I left these in for half an hour again, scrunched much more tightly. I didn't like the effect quite as much, but once they were ironed I was okay with them.

And here is the third batch, ironed. I left them in for an hour, and did not scrunch them as tightly as I did the second batch.

More coffee-dyeing to come... next post, the pink fabrics and the prints. :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Stitches in Time

Confession - I originally started writing this as a message to the owner of an embroidery site, but it managed to turn itself into a blog entry. It's more about embroidery, but it's also about how it's possible to pour yourself so completely into your craft that you really do become a part of it, or at least your memories do.

I've been doing embroidery off and on for about 20 years (mostly off, but it's one craft I do come back to, as opposed to all the ones I've tried and the supplies then just waste away in my craft room) and, as a result of my weaving for the last three years, I've been getting back in to embroidery a bit. I love the embroidery designs on Urban Threads - that has me wanting to embroider things for my nieces and nephews. :-) I was wanting to find different stitches today to use on those patterns, and use a couple of the more complicated ones as samplers, and since my books are all in storage right now I did a google search for them. I found a website with stitch dictionary (WOW) and blog, which led me to another with a wonderful Sampler Game, where you can design your own sampler and print it out! Here are the links:

The last one is the site with the Sampler Game.

When I was designing my own sampler, which I saved as a screen shot so I can maybe work on at some point (I love Microsoft OneNote!), I remembered that about fifteen years ago I was working on a sampler for the house Ian and I had in Florida. I got all of the "hard part" done; the middle with the new stitches I was learning in a flower design, our address, the date we bought the house - the only thing I had left was the alphabet, which I added as an afterthought when it suddenly occured to me that "real" samplers had the alphabet on them. I used a pink silk floss, ran out, and never did finish. Ian, of course, died at 29 in '97, and I left Florida in 2000. I still want to finish the sampler someday (it's in storage) - it deserves to be finished - I'm just not quite sure what to DO with it when I get it done! Frame it? It should be preserved somehow, not just folded up and stuck in a box. I worked hard on that, and it has a LOT of good memories embedded in the stitches.

I don't know how many people are like this - and my memory is getting worse as the years go by - but I used to be able to look at something I had worked on and remember exactly what I was doing the entire time I was working on it. I know, just thinking of that sampler, that there are big chunks I worked on while we were sitting in bed watching Beavis and Butthead, or Aeon Flux, or The Maxx. It doesn't quite work that way when I'm weaving - the pieces I'm doing don't have enough character for that - but I did notice when I was making some stuffed animals from the woven pieces that afterwards I did remember what I had been doing while I was making them. Maybe it's not my memory, but the intricacy of my work that has diminished... So I do want to finish the sampler not only because I put a lot of work into it, but because it very tangibly holds a lot of memories of "normal" times we spent together, times I didn't journal in any other way. The only question, again, is what exactly to do with it afterwards.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fw:2 unfinished bunny bodies and a green log for an undetermined

Fw:2 unfinished bunny bodies and a green log for an undetermined
Originally uploaded by llala412

I thought I was blogging all these from my phone, but apparently that didn't get set up right.

Here is the finished bunny next to two other bunny bodies. One is pink, and the other a kind of odd brown/orange combo. I love the yarn, though - I have some orange yarn that I'm going to use for the limbs and ears. I think I have some solid pink to use for the pink bunny. I used the Sugar and Cream Twist yarn for all three.

I decided the first bunny (Warren) was not pastel enough to give to the girls (plus his face is a little scary to me - I need to use embroidery floss next time), so I made one from a skein that was purple, blue, green, and white. The square from the beginning of the skein came out mostly green and white, with a little blue at the end (the tube in front), so I ended up making it into an alligator. I'm now making another square with blue and purple that will have some green at the end - I think it will make a great bunny. :-)

Woven & spool-knitted bunny in camo colors. Need emb floss for nxt faces

Woven & spool-knitted bunny in camo colors. Need emb floss for nxt faces
Originally uploaded by llala412

I got this pattern (which I then modified a bit - longer arms and ears, different face) from Noreen Crone-Findlay's blog. Here is the link -