Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've been busy. I finished up the embroidery on the fairy.
I'm not very good with facial features and hands, it seems. I realized after the first attempt that a single strand of floss woud be enough for the face. I did do the eyeballs and lips in a single strand. The fingers were not outlined as well as they should have been to start with. Even so, this was a lot of embroidery for me. I used a silver thread with the wand and then gold with the star and wings. Sometimes I used size 40 tatting thread and other times I used embroidery floss, 2 strands. It's all ready to sew into a pillowslip now. My biggest stretch was doing the hair in French knots. I stitched the outline but wasn't happy with that so I started with the knots and loved the curly look so I continued.

I sketched the bell pattern shape after seeing one online that I liked. I must have been feeling ambitious since I made 5 of them on this strip! When I turn it upside down, it makes a great flower pot but I'd have to draw the flowers in it too, to use it.

I pricked the guideholes and then couched one bell down. It only takes 8-9 inches of cord!

The filling stitches are done in size 40 DMC cordonnet. I had to change the top part. It's been a long time since I've done an arch and I was pleased to have the strands evenly divided on each side....only to forget that I needed to count the center too. I should have started the strands on each side of the center and not made the center a strand too. I needed an even number for the design I had in mind so I had to improvise and come up with something else.

I'm going to leave this on the pattern until I get the other 4 done. That way I can make sure they are all different at a glance. I always love taking them off the pattern. They look 100% better. Kind of like framing a painting once you're done. It just sets it off. I saw another bell pattern in one of my books and may try that too.

I worked on some other projects but am not far enough along to bother showing yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm not sure how I missed it but 3 Stitch Files later, I discover that Sharon Boggon of Pin Tangle has started a free stitch files series. I like the way the pages are set up. There is also a group, though I probably won't join that. I'm far too busy in too many things right now. The first nine are free and after that, there will be a charge. Those will be the more advanced ones.

Also, here's a CQ Wiki with free stitch guides. I've got them printed out but not cut or the holes punched. I have no idea exactly how they work but I'll find out!

I found this free crochet heart pattern online and have been wanting to try it for a long time. Last night I crocheted it in Lizbeth size 20 Mountain Breeze. I'd link the pattern here but there were numerous mistakes so I need to contact the designer first and point them out for correction. I'm a long-time crocheter and kept thinking the first round had way too many stitches! Fortunately, the photo was clear enough for me to figure it out. It's a lovely pattern though.

Once I downloaded it here, I realized you had no idea what the scale was so I scanned it again with a large paperclip. The heart is only about 1 1/2 inches in either direction. Crocheting is so much faster than any other needleart I've done. I love the look of knitted lace in yarn much more than crocheted lace in yarn, but it's so slow! I was thinking this morning of knitting a lacy smock top for my new granddaughter....if I can find the pattern. I made one for my niece years ago and someone else. They are so sweet and delicate looking but very time-consuming when knitted.

I've been crocheting cord for some Romanian Point Lace projects. This is another crochet project that goes fast. You can easily crochet yards in an evening once you figure those first few stitches out. There are some excellent videos online now. Wish they'd been around when I was trying to figure it out! It was so frustrating because I've crocheted in thread for 30+ years but I couldn't get this simple cord started! It helps to actually see it in action. Slow motion action.

Same cord but I've wound it on a floss holder to keep it neat. I've been working on it during my lunch hours and for a few minutes in the evening.

Why oh why does Christmas seem like weeks and weeks away and then suddenly - it's only a few weeks? Thanksgiving is late this year so the time gap between that and Christmas is a bit shorter. No matter how I plan, it takes me by surprise. But I have several days off coming up and I plan to make PROGRESS!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I wanted to show you this website with beautiful Romanian Point Lace! I was looking for inspiration for a simple Christmas design and found this site. With some exploration, I found the original pattern for some of the designs.

RPL is not hard to design. You simply outline your shape with the macrame crochet cord couched down and then, THEN, comes the hard part: sewing the filling stitches in a pleasing manner. What kind of stitch, how much negative space do you leave, etc?

The cord is typically crocheted in size 10 or 20 thread and then you use smaller threads for the filling stitches. I wanted to try something even smaller, making the cord in size 30 or 40 and then the filling in 60 or 70. I think the thread I'm using now is size 30 but the label is gone and it was some I started a long time ago so I don't remember, but it looks smaller than other cords I've made. I found a bell and a sort of oval ornament shape that I might try for little Christmas gifts.

I didn't feel all that good last night. A headache had been trying to push through all day and my eyes hurt and I was a little congested and my hips grated upon arising. I finally gave in and took an allergy pill and some tylenol. My headache disappeared quickly and I was ready to kick myself for not doing it earlier! I'd been trying to tat off some shuttle endings and just couldn't get into it. Oh, did I forget to mention my fingertips are cracking already? So early in the season too - guess I better get some more humidity in the air.

Once the headache subsided, I was ready to DO something but it was getting late in the evening. For a few nights I have really wanted to embroider. I managed to get something transfered to fabric that will be a gift - better not say anymore as I'm not sure who might read it. I'm not certain how I will pursue that one yet so I decided I needed something small and simple to work on in the meantime. So I went to the computer and found a fairy graphic I had saved and printed it out. Then I transfered it to some fabric. Twice. The first time was with the blue tranfer pencil which for some reason bled out on the fabric, marring my lines. So I did it again in another spot with pencil. The blue should wash out but there is enough fabric that it will be okay if it doesn't. I posted on my other blog about gifting opportunities and one of the items was pillowcases for homeless shelters or the women's shelter. I'm thinking this will make a pretty pillowcase for some little girl.

So then I had to find a hoop big enough. I had a small one but I don't like to have only part of the design showing and part in the area outside of the hoop so I had to dig a little but I find the perfect size, AND two bags and a box of embroidery thread. This will probably embarrass me like my shuttle-finding did. I have a container with drawers for my floss. I always thought the majority of my floss was there. Wrong! When I was sorting through some boxes in the living room at the weekend, I found a whole slew of all kinds of threads, including embroidery thread. I sorted all that out on Sunday night. I really did not expect to find two large bags and a box of even more thread in a different location. Now I have so very many choices. What color, how many strands, what kind of stitch? I decided to do the body in black outline stitch. LOL! I know that isn't a big stretch but I debated on a flesh tone and decided against it. This is very simple embroidery. I'm not going to overanalyze it! I only got the two legs done before it was bedtime. I want to add some sparkly blending filament to the thread for the wand star and the sparklies in her dress. If it weren't a pillowslip, I'd put beads on there too.

I worked more on it this evening. My fingers are sore now. I had trouble with the embroidered fingers too. I used 2 strands of floss for the body and the sparkle flowers on the skirt. The skirt and the wand are some tatting thread I'm pulling off of the shuttle to empty the shuttles. I'll do more sparkly with the wings. It's been so long since I've embroidered that I'm reluctant to branch out on this with anything beyond regular thread. I'll have to do that on something else!

I haven't done the eyeballs or the mouth. I'm wondering if it will look tacky if I do or unfinished if I don't. I'm so wanting to add other embellishments. I thought of tatted rings for the skirt sparklies but as I said before, loose and hard stuff probably isn't a good idea for a child's pillowslip.

Well, hopefully an early night tonight!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I found this vintage girl's pattern at a flea market type of place for only a quarter. Not a single little girl in my life who is that size but I'm dying to make it!
I'll probably save it for next Spring though.

At the same place and in the same booth, I found these embroidery booklets. That's one thing I never bought when I was young. I also got some transfers but I'm not sure I'll keep them. Mostly not my style but I hated the idea of them sitting there and possibly being thrown away.

I had a dye play day last Saturday and submerged this initial block. There were two of them, both "B" which happens to be the first letter of my last name. They were in a bag of old lace that I bought somewhere long ago. I plan to redo my bedroom next Spring too, in white with touches of yellow. I thought I could put these on white pillows and do some embroidery around them. I always have great "ideas" but following through can be a challenge.

Here's another vintage piece I dyed. The crochet is in great shape but the center was stained. The dye didn't take all that well - probably because it is black so I may overdye the center to match the outside. It looked fabulous wet!

This is my first early night home in what seems like ages. I was looking through magazines last night for projects, both for Christmas and some other events. Found all kinds of stitchery to do! Then today I was surfing some blogs and found lots of cool my fingers are itching to hold a needle but I have a few other projects in the works to take care of first. I need to find my sampler too....not sure where it's at but I do know the general area.