Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Naughty Tales!

As we were taking down and packing up the exhibits from the "Fibre Flair" display at the Art Room there was a last minute sale. This lovely young lady was helping with the dismantling of the show and she tried on my "Naughty Tales!" waterfall vest.

It looked fabulous on her and ended up being the item she chose as a birthday gift from her grandmother, who is a member of our guild and one of the members of the art show committee. 

This had been a last minute finish for me, only completed the night before the deadline for jurying of the submitted items. 

I only remembered as it was about to go out the door today that I had never taken the time to photograph it. I like to keep a photographic record of all things I make so I was very happy that she agreed to model it for me.

This is an all cotton vest with travelling inlay and clasped weft patterning. It is sewn in the waterfall style with a hi/lo hemline and the added interest of knotted tails, hence the name, "Naughty Tales".

Monday, October 16, 2017

For Your Safety!

Part of my clutter clearing in my crafting spaces has been picking up projects that have been on hold for some time and working on them. I figure the very act of making some progress on them should clear some of the stuck energy.

In the last few days I've added a couple of textile hobby related quotes to my crafting apron, which is a l-o-n-g term project. I still need ideas for getting knitting, crocheting, and spinning represented.

I work on my cross-stitch picture for about an hour every morning while I have my coffee. It's a large picture with lots of colour changes and it's done on 28 count linen. Progress is very, very slow.

October 16, 2017

I've added to my Sashiko/Boro vest.


The back is sort of finished for now. I say "sort of" because the intent is for this to be a perpetual project. I'll be adding patches and further embellishment in the Boro style, over the years, as the garment wears and needs further patching.

I've now moved on to the front where I've added a few patches (legitimate ones, over holes and very worn sections of the original shirt),

A little progress on the front.

and a whole lot of stitching.

Sashiko. Komezashi (rice stitch)

The vest is so comfy that between each addition I try to keep it wearable as is.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Year to Clear

Last week, I stumbled across a clutter clearing course called "A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back". It wasn't expensive so, on a whim, and following my intuition, I signed up. Rather than tackling your clutter in an intense and all consuming way and risking burn out and rebound issues it focuses on the "slow drip" method. The idea is to clear a little bit each day forming a habit, while spending time uncovering any deep rooted and personal reasons for clutter, both inside and out, emotional as well as environmental clutter.

Tidying up the sewing room one baby step at a time.

It's amazing how the commitment to clearing just one item, or for just a minute or two each day gains momentum all on its own and without any forcing of it. In only one week I can see improvement, but more importantly I feel it. The energy in the home improves when you take steps towards getting rid of unneeded items and taking care of the items worthy of saving.

Yesterday I started tidying up the sewing room one baby step at a time. I gave the room a high priority since the mess and cramped quarters robs me of the joy I normally find in being creative. First to get under control was a mess of lace and trims saved for crazy quilting. I consider these to be "keepers" but the loose jumble had taken over a small shelf and the mess was an eyesore, a source of aggravation, and not easy or pleasant to use.

This looks and feels so much better! The pretty little basket was one I had on hand but I'll have to replace it with something a bit larger. I know that through my lack of organization in there, and my multiple hobbies, I have more than one "stash pile" of lace, ribbons, and trims and I'd like to combine them all in an organized, compact, and more user friendly way. The 2" x 3" cards (cut from greeting cards) works well but I'll need a bigger container.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Contemporary Cables

One of the benefits of having a long standing blog is that occasionally I am offered books to review. Other than receiving the book for free in return for my honest, unbiased opinion I receive no further compensation. Any links provided here are soley for your convenience.  

Today's review is of "Contemporary Cables" by Jody Long, a soft cover pattern book published by Dover Publications, Inc.  I quite like this one!

This 128 page pattern book is laid out beautifully with large, clear photos that show the details of the 21 knitted articles very well. There are patterns for 9 pullovers, 4 cardigans, a vest, a large wrap, (I'd call that one a lap robe or afghan myself), 2 shrugs, a hat, a scarf, and mittens. They are all nice cabled designs that I'd be happy to knit. The one I'm most likely to knit for myself is the "Grandfather Cardigan". It looks like just the kind of comfy, over-sized sweater I like to wear when I'm feeling chilled.

All of the sweater patterns come in a good range of sizes typically fitting a chest size from 32 to 46" (81.5 - 117cm) with some going as large as to fit a 54" bust. 

Having just received the book I haven't yet knitted any of the patterns, but the format looks good with large, easy to read charts, written instructions, and schematics included.

If I wasn't overwhelmed with the number of fibre arts projects I already have on the go I'd start in on knitting that "Grandfather Cardigan" right now! This is one book that I'll be hanging on to!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Quietly Busy

I haven't written a lot lately, a blogger's version of writer's block I guess, since I have been plenty busy crafting!

1st place, WIP (unfinished item with essay on excuses for it being incomplete). View the photo full size and you can read the essay.

I've been spending a good chunk of my available crafting time working on a cross-stitch, pictured above, that I entered in the "WIP with essay" category of the fall exhibition. I started it 23 years ago! If you want to read the essay about why it was abandoned click on the picture and it should take you through to Flickr where it can be viewed larger.

I got a blue ribbon for the project at that unfinished stage. Lets see how I do next year with it finished!

I work on this project for about an hour each morning while I have my coffee. It's slow going but very gradually all those mornings are adding up.

The rumpled view above is how far I had come by September 13th. Since then I "climbed" that tree on the left all the way to the top of the pattern and I'm now filling in the back stitches that will bring detail to the cluster of trees before moving on. 

October 1, 2017

I use an adjustable music stand and a magnetic knitting chart holder to keep my chart right next to my chair where I can see it and cross off the stitches I have done.

My system for organizing cross-stitch threads.

The stand has a ledge that is just deep enough to hold my embroidery scissors, a pencil, and a magnetic "needle nanny".

Needle Nanny

All my threads for the project are sorted in numerical order and held on a large binder ring which is hung on the side of the stand. It's a homemade thread wrangling system I came up with decades ago. I think it makes way more sense, and is easier to use, than the "bobbins" I've seen available commercially. Fortunately I taught the system to my mother as well. She loved it and used it for years. When I inherited her thread collection it was already presorted using this method. When I see her hand writing on the cards it gives me a nostalgic feeling just like her handwriting on old recipe cards does.

Here's a little video clip with an explanation of how easily the system works. No need to unwrap the threads or anything and you can pull out one single ply at a time without tangles!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Misty Morning

Living here in paradise, if we're up before dawn

and out on Cultus Lake by 8 AM, 

we are able to enjoy a quiet hour or so on the lake

before those with noisy power boats and jet skis disturb the peace.

A beautiful way to start the day!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dappled Eclipse Shadows

During the eclipse this morning I was going about business as usual, which means taking my son's dog Kona for a long walk.

Eclipse Shadows

I didn't expect to see much of a change in the light. It seemed logical to me that sunlight would spill out all around the moon and still illuminate the atmosphere much like when a cloud passes in front of the sun. I was right. The slight decrease in the brightness of the day wasn't all that impressive.

I DID however notice that the shadows under all the trees looked really weird. All the light shinning through the trees made crescent shaped dappling during the height of the eclipse. I guess it worked much like a home made pin hole camera as suggested by NASA.

More eclipse shadows.