Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Monday, May 3, 2021
One of the projects that I keep in my purse to keep my hands busy is knitting my thrums. I've been tying the short pieces of rayon thread together and knitting them into strips for a few years now. I currently, finally, have a definite reason to be knitting them. I get asked all the time "what are you knitting? (or making)" and this one is hard to describe. Fabric. That's the short answer...and this is the long answer:
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
I was talking to my friend Sarah and she mentioned this cute crop top pattern on Ravelry. I looked up My Little Secret Crop by Jessie Maed Designs and loved how versatile the pattern is and how she encourages you to use stash yarn. As much as my initial thought was that I have no business wearing a crop top at my age, I decided to ignore that and try my hand at knitting this top.
I have recently purchased a pair of Levis that are flared "ribcage" jeans which I would just describe as super high-waisted stove-pipes so they allow me to wear a crop top without any unsightly bulges sticking out. I've always loved the vintage 70's look and I think this top, the yarn choices and the pants all make it come together for me.
I was so proud of myself, I sampled ahead of time and ended up using 3 strands of yarn at the same time to get the correct gauge. The rust colored yarn is a bit scratchy so it took me about a month of knitting in the evenings to finish this without rubbing my fingers raw. I haven't done a burn test on this yarn to see what the content is. I was a little worried that it would be too uncomfortable to wear at the end of the day, but as I used to say "fashion over function." After washing it I've found that it is comfortable to wear and I love it!
About this stash yarn. I met Sally through Reach's Not So Silent Night holiday fundraiser a few years back. She has some of my beadwork and I've done some repairs on antique bead pieces for her. She told me she had nice yarn from her mom's estate that she wanted me to have. Last year we finally had a good time to meet when she was in town for me to come pick it up. I'm still sorting through it, much of it is a little thicker than what I use for my regular (double weave) weaving but I use anything and everything when I tapestry weave. When I decided to make this crop top, I found this wonderful rust speckled yarn that may actually be from the 70's to use as the base of this top. It has the turquoise and pinks in it so using them as accent stripes made sense. The images of the various top combinations on Ravelry were inspiring and I definitely liked the striped ones over the tops with just one color.
2020 and 2021 is really the first time in my life I've spent a lot of time knitting other people's patterns. From the beginning of my knitting career in elementary school I always preferred to figure out how to make something on my own. Most things were very blocky because I didn't know how to do much. This past year I have been knitting more of other people's patterns and I'm finding it more relaxing (it's all figured out for me), and I'm learning a lot more. The straps to this top are double knit, which has recently come up as a thing I thought I should learn. It's double knit on a small scale but with the pattern showing me how to do so it was a quicker learning process and now I'm letting it roll around in my head as to how else I could use this (and how can I knit it like I do double weave pick up). I also learned how to do a three needle bind off. Mind. Blown. Which I actually needed to do for my next knitted top's bottom hem. It looks lovely and no stitching anything together afterwards.
I've already worn this top twice and I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be making more of these.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
I've toyed with the idea of making collars for the cats for a while. We have discussed at length how much Clark loves watching Bryan play Mario on the TV and how we should find him a Mario collar. Well, JoAnn's finally had some Mario fabric that we liked and I ordered break-away buckles and D rings for the project off of Amazon.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
I am continuing to attempt to follow the social media trend of posting video. It's much easier these days with the smartphones becoming higher quality and basic editing tools (ok, just cropping for me if I'm editing anything). Most of what I have for video is process work, so above (and on my YouTube Channel) is almost 20 minutes of me getting ready, sewing and cutting handwoven fabric to prepare to make stitched leaves for the second panel on my large version of Leaf Me Alone.
Monday, March 22, 2021
This bangle started out with the idea of checkers (which I'm so excited they are coming back in to fashion)...then different sizes of checkers. A I beaded the design it ended up moving into looking more like a double weave draft and, frankly, I was thinking of it as one would weave a plaid as I stitched and decided on colors.
I'm not surprised that after the very involved Fancy Evil Eye bangle that I made last year that something a little more simple is what came to mind to make next.
Now that spring is here I'm starting to get a little distracted...I plan on finishing our garage roof, planting and cleaning up gardens and continuing to add to the privacy fence of doors. I try to put in some sort of time beading, weaving, sewing every day...some days I'm better at it than others but I am getting much better at understanding that I can only do so much within each 24 hours that I have in a day. I still burn myself out sometimes, but I'm catching it before it happens more often.
Thursday, March 18, 2021
I was skiing last Monday for my last runs this season. I find that one of the most relaxing places to be is on a chairlift alone in the sun when Mt. Holly is just open and barely anyone is around. I was listening to my music and thinking about what work I had finished to enter into the Small Expressions 2021. I didn't enter last year and consequently I missed the deadline by a day so I didn't enter this year either!
Still, this new piece struck me out of nowhere and I just had to make it. I've been working on the Leaf Me Alone series which has begun to have even more meaning through this pandemic. I feel like wearing my masks 40+ hours a week should have a little bit of a "6-feet, back off, leave me alone" resonance. Why...I should make a Leaf Me Alone Mask to go along with the series.
I wanted to use the original draft of the Leaf Me Alone weavings for the interior fabric. I knew exactly where the fabric that I could run through my printer was in my studio but I had never used it before. I created a blue and green version of the pattern in Photoshop. While reading all the directions for the printable fabric in great detail, I printed it out while gritting my teeth and waiting for my printer to jamb up and screw up the fabric. It didn't mess up at all, it printed out great!
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