I know it’s been radio silence here on the blog for nearly a year, but I can assure you that it doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting. The time has been full of ups and downs – a new job turning into an old job, new friends turning into old friends – but I’ve still been busy working away at the Helix Nebula cross stitch, knitting various things, and even taking up a new hobby: bouldering.
The great thing about bouldering (at least inside a gym, which is where I do it), is that you don’t need much equipment: just shoes and a bag of chalk to keep your hands dry. For obvious reasons, I don’t much care to make my own shoes, but making a bag to keep chalk in seemed a simple proposition. And I could make it colorful and fun, so it didn’t look like everyone else at the gym’s plain black chalk bags.
I poked around Ravelry and r/knitting for inspiration, but didn’t like how the patterns I was finding required picking up stitches on the cast-on edge to knit the bottom. I was thinking of knitting from the bottom up in one piece, analogous to a toe-up sock, but the math was too confusing to get a nice circular bottom. So I just knit from the top down, creating a channel for the drawstring, too.
For the ombré effect, I loosely followed the chart from this ombre hat pattern by Emily Dormier. The bag lends itself well to all kinds of decorative colorwork or stitch patterns. If I had infinite free time and a need for a lot of little bags, I’d make a rainbow striped bag, or a three-color ombré fade.
Get the free pattern from Ravelry or PDXstitch.net.
If you like the free pattern, show your support at ko-fi. Thanks!
I had to take a break from the giant Helix Nebula to work on something short and sweet. This need perfectly coincided with picking up Portal 2 again, after taking a five year hiatus (I had stopped literally during the final fight, much to the annoyance of my spouse). Well, the good news is that I finished both the game and this three-dimensional cross-stitched companion cube.
The cube is stitched flat with two strands of floss on a scrap of aida (I think 18 count but I’m not sure). After stitching, I cut around the stitched area, folded it into a cube shape, and sewed the edges shut with black thread. It’s stuffed with leftover thread pieces. It’s tiny, about 1.4 inches on each side (3.5 centimeters).
The cube now lives in my cubicle at work, and occasionally gets loaned out to coworkers having a difficult day.
The free pattern is available on pdxstitch.net.
Tax season is upon us, which means that I have been spending more time at my desk and less time at home. I wanted something to brighten up my cubicle and what’s better than an absolutely atrocious pun?
I am glad I went to the extra effort of painting the hoop with two coats of red acrylic paint. It really makes it pop. I think this is my first finish of 2018, too, since I finished the York mittens on New Year’s Eve.
Buy the pattern on Etsy and visit the pattern page on Textillia
Finished the York mittens I posted on Wednesday, just in time for the end of the year. I’m seeing their recipient tomorrow, but I snapped a few photos before I wrap them up to give.
I wanted to get nice pictures since I’m not keeping these. A few quick snaps with my phone was not good enough! So the mittens had a little photoshoot (on the living room floor). I tried to convince my photographer that knitted things look really nice when they’re stacked — I don’t know if I convinced him, but I’m convinced.
These will probably be my last finish of the year, though I am hoping to complete the Colorwash quilt top by the end of the year, which I guess means in the next 24 hours. Anyone else working feverishly on end-of-the-year projects?
Filed under 2017, knitting
When I’m not doing something with needle and thread, my other hobby is creative writing. Like everybody else it seems, I am writing a novel. It’s set in an alternate universe, which meshes very well with my spouse’s hobby of designing flags. He’s been begging me for a while to make the flag of Arcadia, the country where my book is set, and I finally did it!
The flag is 3 feet tall by 5.5 feet wide (about .9 by 1.7 meters) and made entirely of nylon. The stars are appliqued onto the background fabric (a tutorial on that is coming later).
I must say that working with nylon is a pain in the butt. I couldn’t cut a good straight line with a rotary cutter, both because of the size of the pieces and because this fabric frays when you just look at it. I read a lot of different opinions on how to cut synthetic fabrics, and ultimately went with using a soldering iron. It melts through the fabric, so you get a clean, finished edge. You need a heat-proof cutting surface and rulers for this to work. I cut it on a concrete garage floor with a metal yardstick. Ventilation is also extremely important, because it smells as good as you would imagine melting, burning plastic to smell.
The sewing was also a challenge, because the fabric is very slippery and won’t hold a crease. Pinning was right out, so I ended up gluing each seam down with a washable glue stick before sewing (but you have to let it dry, or else explain to the sewing machine repair shop why there are blobs of glue inside your sewing machine).
I didn’t want to spring for a grommet setting device, so right now there isn’t a way to hang it from a flagpole. I just hung it on the wall behind my sewing table with some binder clips.
I put a lot of pins and needles in our couch’s armrest, and it doesn’t seem fair to the poor thing. We do celebrate its birthday, after all, and it is just rude to be poking it all the time. So I made a little pincushion and sewing caddy to keep all my sewing and cross stitching supplies in one place, and out of the cushions.
I roughly followed this tutorial that I found on a blog called During Quiet Time, with some extra inspiration from Poppyprint’s rendition of this armrest pincushion.
The thing I like most about this is the big pocket for holding bags of embroidery floss while I cross stitch. No more will they be strewn all over the table next to the couch!
Pictures of the work in progress, and notes on what I changed from the original tutorial, are under the cut.
Happy Friday everyone, I’m back with another politically-minded embroidery project.
This one is done with three strands of floss in different shades of blue on what I think is cotton (it’s a random fabric from my stash). I intended the concentric circles to represent ripples on the surface of water. I also learned that I can’t freehand draw very even circles.
The finished hoop is available for purchase in my Etsy store. If you like this project, consider donating to Earthworks or Charity:Water, which both work to provide clean and safe drinking water to people throughout the world.
Following up on my No Ban No Wall cross stitch pattern from a while back, I decided to get back into freeform embroidery and make something similar. I stitched this on some loose-woven linen from my fabric stash with cotton embroidery floss.
There’s nothing quite like stabbing something a bunch of times to sublimate rage at the state of the world. I stitched this in late February, mostly while watching old (pre-election) episodes of Last Week Tonight. Who knew I would have nostalgia for the summer of 2016?
This completed hoop is available in my Etsy shop.
I finished another installment in my Kitty Committee series: the orange tabby. I’m not quite as happy with the colors on the orange tabby as I was with the other kitties, but it’s still pretty cute.
This orange kitty is available in my Etsy shop as a completed hoop and as a DIY pattern.
Second finished project of the year! This one has been on my to-do list probably 100 times longer than it actually took to complete it.
It’s Milhouse! I framed him up in a 5 by 9 inch wooden hoop painted gold. The pattern is self-made and available on Craftsy. The finished hoop itself is destined to be a gift.