Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Diamond seed

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Diamond seed

This stitch was a fairly straightforward, easy knit. The first time through I had to make a point of remembering how to repeat the pattern. Very cute.

Once again, that lime green Baby Llama doesn't show up the seed texture as well. Still nice.

Using size 6 needles I cast on -
left: 24 stitches Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama in Lime Juice
right: 16 stitches Wool of the Andes in Thyme

Multiple of 8 stitches.
Row 1: *P1, K7*
Row 2 and 8: *K1, P5, K1, P1*
Row 3 and 7: *K2, P1, K3, P1, K1*
Row 4 and 6: *P2, K1, P1, K1, P3*
Row 5: *K4, P1, K3*

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Stitching Saturday: the Magical Kingdom of Instagram

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So, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and joined Instagram. It was pretty much kicking and screaming, since I'm an awful perfectionist and the idea of my barely-cleaned up cameraphone images floating around in the ether has never appealed to me.

But Feeling Stitchy needed an Instagram account to host our newest blogger, so I sucked it up and created one. :)



And then I discovered the magic of Instagram - it's kind of what Flickr was, or was trying to be, back in the day.

Since it allows photos only from your phone, there's a feeling of immediacy and candidness that isn't always on Flickr. Also, most photos look great when they're small! No need to over-preen for them.

Knowing it's just gonna be square helps if you've got little to no sense of composition, like myself. Just make it fit, and you're done!

It really helped me just get stuff posted - knowing I could snap, make it fit, fix the brightness and click go, helped me post this project that has been sitting around unphotographed for ages, because I'm such a darned perfectionist about the photos:

A photo posted by Feeling Stitchy (@feelingstitchyish) on


I think for now I won't create my own account, but it will be a great quick way to get book and review images posted for Feeling Stitchy.

How many of you are on Instagram? Love it or hate it?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Flashback Friday: Older projects

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Family tree pillow

Sometimes it's such a drag getting my projects photographed and uploaded - I love this family tree pillow, stitched from a lovely pattern by Cozyblue, but it was all I could do to take some pics and upload them. So here it is finally, about 3 months after I finished it.

I snapped the pic above with my cameraphone and applied an Instagram-y filter to it, using the new Flickr app for uploading from phones.

Our house is so dark, and it's rare to get the lighting right. I'm still getting used to my fancy camera, which is great at some things, and harder to get used to for others.

For detailed shots, I still prefer point and shoots and my cameraphone. I've used my cameraphone on all my New Knit Stitch of the Week posts.

Finished 2012 June Stitchalong

Like this June 2012 stitchalong finish - that I snapped a photo of with my cameraphone. The quality is not perfect, but I love the crispness of the detail. I snapped a photo of it already, years ago with my last point-and-shoot, but this pic shows the details a little better.

More about these two pics, tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Oblique Seed stitch

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Oblique Seed stitch

Teaching myself one new knit stitch a week from the Complete Guide to Needlework book, c. 1979.

This stitch was fairly easy to keep track of and execute, and the texture is nice and bobbly. It curled more on the brown wool than on the cotton blend yarn, for whatever reason.

I cast on 20 stitches, using size 6 needles:
left: cotton blend yarn (?) from my stash
right: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Brown Sugar

Row 1: *K4, P1*
Row 2: *P1, K1, P3*
Row 3: *K2, P1, K2*
Row 4: *P3, K1, P1*
Row 5: *P1, K4*
Row 6: *K1, P4*
Row 7: *K3, P1, K1*
Row 8: *P2, K1, P2*
Row 9: *K1, P1, K3*
Row 10: *P4, K1*

Friday, February 20, 2015

Feline Friday: Cats moved to Blogger

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Echo

So, I decided to move my cat pics from Tumblr to Blogger. I'm just not on Tumblr enough to warrant them being there.

And I kept getting alternately amused and weirded out by the sexually explicit screen names of the people who'd follow me. :) Whatevs.

I scooted my favorite cat pics over here: http://catsandphotographs.blogspot.com/.

Happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Vandyke stitch

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Vandyke Stitch

Teaching myself one new knit stitch a week from the Complete Guide to Needlework book, c. 1979, and other sources. This stitch is from the Complete Guide to Needlework.

These are my blocked samples - it was very curly before blocking! It was also tricky as heck to figure out how to yo for the first stitch before a slipped stitch, and a bit less tricky to yo as the last stitch. I just kinda winged it each time, never fully remembering what I'd done, so that part might not be right, but it looks ok to me! :)

It's a pretty, fairly simple pattern that would look nice on a scarf or shawl.

Using size 6 needles, I cast on 20 stitches:
left: Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama in Lime Juice
right: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Oyster Heather


Multiple of 10 stitches.
Row 1: *yo, sl1, K1, psso, K8*
Row 2 and alt rows: purl
Row 3: *K1, yo, sl1, K1, psso, K5, K2 tog, yo*
Row 5: *K2, yo, sl1, K1, psso, K3, K2 tog, yo, K1*
Row 7: *K5, yo, sl1, K1, psso, K3*
Row 9: *K3, k2 tog, yo, K1, yo, sl1, K1, psso, K2*
Row 11: *K2, K2 tog, yo, K3, yo, sl1, K1, psso, K1*

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stitching Saturday: Makin' dolls process

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Felt Wee Folk by Salley MavorThere's a great giveaway on Feeling Stitchy for Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures - and I spent about a month prepping for it! I don't usually spend such a long time making items for a review - in truth, my time is so limited that I can usually only squeeze out 1 project per book.

This book, however, has a very special magic to it - I don't know what to call it but that special something that makes you want to craft and craft. I first learned about Salley Mavor when reviewing her previous book, and she was kind enough to do an interview on her process then.

What fascinated me about Salley's method was the length of time her projects take - literally years to complete! So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at how time-consuming these fabulous little doll projects were... I kept my review for Feeling Stitchy as brief as I could, but here's a little more background on my process.

I started my project by purchasing unfinished wooden beads for the heads, and painting them a nice range of flesh tones. The hardest part of this step for me was brush control - I stink at it. But I actually liked the organic, messy quality of the faces I painted.

I chose the largest wooden beads I could find at the craft store - at 1 in. they were larger than Salley's largest doll heads in the book. Even then, the surface area to paint on was TINY, as you can see from my giganti-hand:

starting out - painting wooden beads in flesh tones painting whites of the eyes
little faces: check! little faces: rosy cheeks and lips

My next step was bending and wrapping the pipe cleaner bodies with embroidery floss - sheesh - this part took forever. Do I have any obsessive floss winders in the house? The ones who wind, unwind, and rewind their floss on the little plastic bobbins until it lies perfectly flat? YOU FEEL MY PAIN. ;)

I had to just let go and accept lumpiness, club-footedness, and general imperfection in my projects:

putting together

Of course I'm not showing you the imperfect ones, just my as-perfect-as-I-could-get-it ones. :)

teeny man with hair and hood completed

Next up was cutting the clothing and embroidering it, which I probably loved most. I did a lot of thread couching, really enjoying the look of crewel wool, metallic flosses, and golden seed beads.

I also have to reiterate that you try to use wool felt - I bought 2 nice wool blend bundles from BenzieDesign - the MmmCrafts Curated stack and a nice Heathered Collection. It made such a huge difference in terms of cutting finely detailed edges - until you've tried it, you'll never understand how different it is from the cheap synthetic felt at the craft store!

So, here's a few of the dolls I made - the Robin Hood girl in green was one of my first. Her clothes were made with acrylic felt, which was just "ok" in terms of quality. I love her hair and hat. The Harvest Woman next to her was also made with acrylic felt - I'm proudest of her curly loopy bangs and double buns.

Robin hood girl harvest woman

Next up is purple Beret girl, with a painted acorn cap. Her top is in acrylic felt and her skirt is made of the wool blend felt. I really love the sassy beret girl in green - her black hair was made from pearl cotton and her green dress from wool blend felt.

beret girl sassy beret girl

But I have to say my personal favorite is this flower fairy girl I made for my niece:

flower girl

At this point I had shifted to using the entire acorn as a head, which explains the slight vertical ridges on her face. But it seems like a nicer, more organic shape than the perfectly rounded wooden beads.

Here's a close-up view of the acorn head:
acorn head fedora man

His outfit was completely unembellished but I loved it just the same - I think it's the wool fedora that makes it. :)

I made a pink-haired flower girl, over on the right, but I'm not a fan of her lumpy arms:
little dolls

I also enjoyed making the simpler projects for kids with my 10 year old niece - they were quick and easy, like this acorn fairy:
little acorn fairy

This was the first iteration of blonde flower girl and fedora guy, as a simple project for kids:
more tiny dolls

SO, I think I have fully summarized what a blast I had making these dolls. Super time-consuming and very detailed work, but strangely addictive and enjoyable fun!

You have until Friday, 5 PM if you'd like to enter the giveaway on Feeling Stitchy - I definitely recommend this magical book!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Fern Stitch

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Fern Stitch

Teaching myself one new knit stitch a week from the Complete Guide to Needlework book, c. 1979, and other sources. This stitch is from the Complete Guide to Needlework.

So far, this is the most complicated knitting pattern I've *successfully* attempted. :) It looks a bit like the Baby Fern, but as you can surmise, it's more than a bit larger.

These are unblocked samples, and a bit curly on the edges -
I'll snap a pic of the blocked versions, and show that off soon.
Blocked samples below - as you can see, it makes quite a difference in terms of size and shape:

Fern stitch, blocked

I used size 6 needles -
green: Louise Harding Grace Silk & Wool, color 26 - 58 stitches
pink: cotton blend (?) yarn from my stash - 29 stitches

Multiple of 29 stitches.
Row 1: *K1, sl1, K2 tog, psso, K9, yo, K1, yo, P2, yo, K1, yo, K9, sl1, K2 tog, psso*
Row 2 and alt rows: *P13, K2, P14*
Row 3: *K1, sl1, K2 tog, psso, K8, (yo, K1) twice, P2, (K1, yo) twice, K8, sl1, K2 tog, psso*
Row 5: *K1, sl1, K2 tog, psso, K7, yo, K1, yo, K2, P2, K2, yo, K1, yo, K7, sl1, K2 tog, psso*
Row 7: *K1, sl1, K2 tog, psso, K6, yo, K1, yo, K3, P2, K3, yo, K1, yo, K6, sl1, K2 tog, psso*
Row 9: *K1, sl1, K2 tog, psso, K5, yo, K1, yo, K4, P2, K4, yo, K1, yo, K5, sl1, K2 tog, psso*

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Stitching Saturday: book review sneak peek

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gathering acorns...
painted acorns
sewing outfits
sewing detail

A little sneak peek at the book review I'll be posting on Feeling Stitchy next week... excited! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New Knit Stitch a Week: Horseshoes

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Horseshoes

Teaching myself one new knit stitch a week, from the Complete Guide to Needlework book, c. 1979, and other sources.

I cast on 21 stitches on size 6 needles:
Left: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Oyster Heather
Right: Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama in Lime Juice

Now that I can follow a pattern without throwing it at the wall, I am really having fun with these knitted swatches. I'm much less afraid of complicated changes, and I'm hoping this improves my knitting repertoire. :)

As much as I love the fluffiness of that Baby Llama yarn, I have to admit a lot of stitch definition is lost in its fluffy shadows. Feels nice, though.

Row 1: K1 *yo, K3, sl1, K2tog, psso, K3, yo, K1*
Row 2 and alt rows: purl
Row 3: K1 *K1, yo, K2, s1, K2 tog, psso, K2, yo, K2*
Row 5: K1 *K2, yo, K1, sl1, K2 tog, psso, K1, yo, K3*
Row 7: K1 *K3, yo, sl1, K2 tog, psso, yo, K4*