Sunday, February 27, 2011

An afternoon of sewing...

I got the second top/jacket started late yesterday afternoon, got back to it this afternoon and have finished it up. I'm much happier with this one than the ginkgo one, happier in my sewing job that is. I learned alot on the ginkgo jacket, as in many steps that were ignored in the directions. I came up with my own way to handle the front facing and points at the bottom that turned out very professional looking. I put side slits around 6" up the side seams in, took more fiddly time with hemming but worth the end result. I also used two different indigo dyed cotton fabrics, I had these in my stash along with two others I chose not to use - bought them for a different jacket pattern, very happy with them in this one. I'd like to add some cording embellishment with dragonfly charms but that will wait, the dragonfly charms I have in the stash either aren't the right size or color. I have this over a natural/light tan colored t, don't seem to have a long sleeve one, maybe I can still find one in the stores before all the winter clothes disappear. These tops/jackets incorporate two of my favorites - dragonflies and ginkgos.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

What I did today........

So, this is what I did today - I sewed the "Keshy Jacket" pattern. I had this great ginkgo fabric in my stash from who knows where, finally it got used. I love the jacket itself, the fabric and pattern were a challenge. The rayon fabric was very slippery and unraveled easily, although in the end it drapes beautifully. The pattern had 'minimal' instructions. I did fine with these minimal instructions until the last step when I sewed on the front/neck facing - there was no way to finish the point at the bottom of the fronts. The bottom hem was already done.....according to the instructions. I pulled out a similar commercial jacket I have to study the way the points were handled on it, totally different and not doable on this jacket but after much thought I figured out a fix by ripping out part of the hem. Now on the second one I know how I'll handle this last step.....still not sure how the designer handled it because there is no diagram or instruction. So, I'll wear this now with a long sleeve warmer weather I'll wear a tank top under it.  Now back to the studio to cut out fabric for the next one. Next jacket is in two different indigo dyed cotton patterned fabrics, hopefully it will be a much quicker sew since I'm over the learning curve. There is something to be said about commercial patterns with their step by step directions as opposed to independent designers with minimal instruction.....but then some of these independent patterns are just so darn interesting looking.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Still here......

I'm still here.......spent a long weekend on the coast in sunny clear skies while back here in the valley it was chilly and snow showers in the morning. I'm back just in time for a big storm that's supposed to hit us tonight, tomorrow into Friday - big dumping of snow if we believe the weather forecasters. Wind is picking up, a couple snow showers so far........I'm ready to snuggle in for the next few days.
Yesterday afternoon I started a big tote bag, finished it up this afternoon. It's going to be a great bag for conferences to load up with all I need and to put brochures and such in that I pick up at booths. It was a bit hard to work with because I used heavy weight interfacing on both the lining and the outside fabric - I wanted it to be strong - believe me, it is - I can carry bricks in this bag! The inside has a zippered section on one side, two pockets on the other side and then I added a couple clips to hang keys or such on. It took much longer to make this bag than I expected, hopefully the next one will go much faster. And I definitely will be making another one - am thinking I'll raid the boxes of old blue jeans and piece them to make another one. The pattern also includes a smaller version that can be used as a purse, think I'll make one of those at some point too. This would be a great pattern to use handwoven fabric on - I'd probably use it along the top yoke as a decorative accent rather than for the entire bag....great use for leftovers from other projects. Oh, the pattern is called "Mailsack" by Pink Chalk Studio. I bought it at my local Bernina store, Top Stitch.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gingkos, leaves, dragonflies, oh my!

Wednesday I decided to silkscreen discharge paste onto the latest chenille scarves, then yesterday, while snowed in, I hit them with the steam iron to pull the dye out, got them washed and this is what they look like. Unfortunately from this picture you can't get the feel of the rayon chenille, you also can't see the red scarves very well - they are stunning but more subtle, red has been my most popular selling color for this technique with black a close second (the ones on the right aren't black, they're a very dark carbon grey).

The past two days I also weighed, tagged and bagged up at least 40 pounds of Ashland Bay roving for my etsy shop. Kind of a boring job but ok when watching a movie or dvr'd shows. Got a pair of sox finished up and ready to mail to Michigan too.

So, yesterday we had a snowstorm that wasn't forecast - there was a forecast for light snow, nothing much at our elevation but lots in the mountains. Well, we woke up to 6" and ended up with 8" of heavy snow.....power blips all day long, loss of internet for hours and I wasn't going anywhere as I had planned. In town they had a dusting, those of us just a bit west and north  of the city had 6-12". Sam drove up and down the driveway (1/3 mile) in his 4wd truck last night with hopes that I could get out today. Bailey and I walked it this morning and the worst hill and curves are looking pretty icy but I'll give it a try in a couple hours and keep my fingers crossed that I don't slide off down the ravine. I'm not sure but I'm thinking once I hit the road it will be fine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just step away from the needle..........

At our Saturday Weaving Guild meeting two fiber friends of mine presented a program on needlefelting postcards - the theme was to be a fuzzy valentine but I instead chose to bring ocean colors/charms for mine. Remember this is just postcard sized so it's small. We started out with a piece of commercial felt and then needlefelted on top of it. I brought a felted piece of handwoven in greens & purples I had in my stash to use as my background and then needlefelted some other colors on top of it. So, today I did all the embellishing of charms, beads, pearls, embroidery - I spent the better part of the day playing with if I didn't have other things that I should have been doing.......but what the heck, this was fun! Finally I did have to move on to something else, I had to say to myself "just step away from the needle...." I had done enough, it didn't need any more embellishing. Now I need to decide how to display it, it's sitting on a piece of burlap that's auditioning for the role of background. I want to sew it to something, burlap, linen, felt, or something else, then stretch it over foam core and put it in a frame. I wish the seaglass, embroidery, beads and other details showed up better in a photo........

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Friday already???

How did it get to be Friday already?! I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked. On the weaving front I've been weaving solid colored chenille scarves, 3 warps so far, numerous scarves, so they're kind of boring to show on the blog. I'll show them once I get them silkscreened with discharge paste and finished, definitely will be silkscreening ginkgo leaves,  some other kinds of leaves, maybe dragonflies, not sure yet.
I work on knitting socks here and there in the evening or while at meetings, first sock done, second is now started using my friend Margie's blend of merino/angora/nylon from her own german angora bunnies. Margie also dyed this yarn.
A box from Amazon arrived this week, my usual Christmas book shopping for myself only I was late getting to it. I've got another order ready to go as I've seen a few more books I absolutely need. I can't give reviews on all these books because I haven't had the time to open them up. But take a look at what's new out there. I'm not a huge rag rug weaver but occasionally do like to weave a rug so I had to get this new book.
I saw a review on this book and knew I needed to add it to the sewing room since I'm determined to get back to sewing more this year. Theresa got hers before me and says it's definitely a keeper.
I loved the first Knit Kimono book and saw some pix from this one so knew it was something I would use. I have actually looked through Ocean Breezes, my friend Margie (angora friend again) has it, some very fun scarves in it.
Even though I haven't figured out what I'd do with art yarn I think it will be very fun to spin so I'm branching out. It will probably be hard to let go of wanting my handspun yarn to be perfect but it's time to step out of the box and spin something spontaneous and fun.....will figure out what to do with it later!
Love and buy all weaving books so this was a must.
And this is for light reading, very light. I've read all the others in this mystery series set around a gal that owns a needlework shop. Very light, fun camping or beach reading. I also love the tea shop mysteries by Laura Childs, new one coming out soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New etsy shop

My cousin, Claudia, from up near Seattle just opened her etsy shop - I hope everyone that reads my blog takes a minute to check it out. I love her journals and the game tile bracelets are very fun. The shop is called WasNowCreations. This is her quote from the shop announcement: "I look for old castoffs (WAS) and transform them into cool new handmade stuff (NOW): Scrabble tile bracelets, vintage game board books, tuff cuffs, and more."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wensleydale roving on sale

I've just put my hand-dyed wensleydale roving on sale in my etsy shop, it can be found quickly by looking at the sale section of my shop. It's now 25% off. I don't sell as much of it so I'd like to clear it out. Wensleydale is very fun to spin, the sheen is incredible but the downside is that it's not soft next to the skin. I'd use it for outerwear that won't touch the skin (a jacket or vest perhaps), although I've used it in socks and have loved it, it wears like iron, also would use it for household goods such as rugs (very strong) wall hangings, etc.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm in love.....

......yes, I'm in love, it's a spring, flowers blooming kind of love, I'm in love with this fabric! I bought it yesterday at my Bernina store, Top Stitch. I was there for a Bernina Club class but just happened to get there a bit early to buy this fabric that I saw a few weeks ago, but yesterday it was on sale plus my usual 15% off. When I picked these 4 fabrics out I had no idea what I'd use them for but I had to have them. Then, I saw this bag pattern. The example in the store was much nicer looking because a more solid fabric was used for the band and bow - the picture above it all just kind of blends together. So, this is what this fabric will eventually be made in to........with leftover fabric to use for other small projects. Doesn't it look like the perfect summer bag?!  I have too many sewing projects in the wings and no sewing time at the moment plus my machine goes in for it's yearly maintenance in a week so it will be gone for a couple weeks. But this bag will be all sewn up in time for summer. Now I just need to remember to take the sample down at the store and see how long those straps really are, I definitely want shoulder straps.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lazy daze

Do you ever have those days when you just don't want to do what you're supposed to? I usually fight the urge to do close to nothing, if I do give in I beat myself up for it later. Well, one of my goals this year is to give myself a break. So, today was supposed to be a day to wind a chenille warp and weave some scarves that will later have silkscreen discharge designs on them. The other day I had cut off some lengths of different colors of chenille to try out the discharge paste on, you see, each color discharges to a surprise color. Today I did steam iron those lengths to see what colors emerged and decided 4 out of the 6 colors would work nicely for this technique. But that's as far as I got. Instead I did laundry (so did get something done), did some picture taking of scarves for my etsy shop, made a fire, put on the movie Eat, Pray, Love and sat down to knit. What a luxury! I never sit in the living room during the day!
I finished up my beanie hat, fingerless mitts and scarf for winter beach walks - I think my color choice looks like it goes well for walking on the beach.
I got another pair of sox started - these using some merino/angora blend from my friend Margie's german angora bunnies (Raspberry Farm Angoras) - Margie also dyed this yarn. It is sooo soft.

I've got the handwoven table runners sitting by my chair to hand hem this evening. Looking forward to having those done for the exchange so I can move on to other if I don't move on to them anyhow!


Have been enjoying looking at these every morning when Bailey and I go for a walk. It was sunny yesterday afternoon so I decided to go take a picture of them. The colors would make for a beautiful scarf.....will have to think on that one day.