Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers, Coasters, & Monk's Cloth

I finished basting the monk's cloth over the holiday weekend.

I did the scraps too.

Now I have to wash it. I'll put it in the machine in a mesh bag with cold water on delicate cycle. After that, I can finally measure it and determine how much yarn I'll need. Before I can start stitching, however, I'll have to remove the basting along the long edges and press and hem them permanently.

I'm never buying monk's cloth again.  There's entirely too much preparation, and the stuff doesn't look very durable. My next big Swedish weaving project will be done on an afghan-sized piece of aida.

I did a bit on Bright Feathers.

I finished the George and Ringo coasters.

I got the top and bottom binding strips done on Paul.

And I basted John together and started the quilting.

Also, thanks to an article in the Jan./Feb. 2012 issue of Just CrossStitch about Lynda Keske of Keslyn's I now have a name for the type of needlework in my Web design. It seems that I've reinvented symmography, a.k.a string art, except that I'm stitching it on evenweave rather than wrapping thread around nails. Lynda Keske stitches her designs on fabric too, and she calls her technique sym-stitching. I think I'll just call mine symmography so as not to co-opt her term.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers & Coasters

I made some progress on Bright Feathers.

There were some days when I didn't feel like getting the iron out, so I worked on the coasters a bit out of order.

Ringo's almost done. I just need to finish that last binding strip.

I got the last 2 binding strips for George cut out and pressed, but I still need to attach them.

I basted Paul together and started the quilting.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Weekly Update - Cell Phone Cozy, Bright Feathers, & Coasters

I got a cell phone this past week, so naturally I had to crochet a cozy for it. It took me about an hour.

I made a little progress on Bright Feathers.

I finished the Glove coaster.

I got the quilting done on the Ringo coaster.

And I basted the George coaster together.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Design - Web

Web - computer simulation

I'm not sure what type of embroidery to call this. I've looked everywhere and can't find anything that looks like it. It's counted, so it's not crewelwork. It's too complex to be blackwork. It's too open to be needlepoint, plus I plan to stitch it on evenweave fabric, not canvas. If anyone's seen anything that resembles this, please let me know.

All the stitches are straight stitches. Any curves you think you may see are an optical illusion. It looks like it will be interesting to stitch.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Weekly Update, Finished Stitching - Tech Support, & New Project - Coasters

I'm really behind this week. I finished one project on Thursday and started another on Friday, but then came down with a nasty cold and didn't feel like doing much of anything. I got absolutely nothing done on Bright Feathers.

So, here's what I did get done.

On Thursday, 12-1-11, I finished stitching Tech Support, a design by Linda Connors of Calico Crossroads®, adapted from the artwork of Kathleen Kelly of Kats by Kelly™.

Then on Friday, 12-2-11, I started making some quilted coasters from this really cool fabric based on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine movie.

Here's what I had finished on Friday:

This first coaster features the Glove. I got the quilting done.


I also cut out and pressed strips for the top & bottom binding.

Today I had finished the top & bottom binding and started to attach one of the side binding strips.

I also cut out the tops, backing, and batting for the remaining coasters: one for each of the Fab Four.

I'm using the same backing and binding for all of the coasters.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers & Tech Support

I got some more done on Bright Feathers:

I'm almost done with Tech Support, a design by Linda Connors of Calico Crossroads®, adapted from the artwork of Kathleen Kelly of Kats by Kelly™. I just have a little bit of backstitching, a few straight stitches, and 12 french knots (ugh) left.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Finished - Dishcloths & UFO - Tech Support

I finished 2 dishcloths. That’s all I’m going to do for now.

I wanted another small, simple project to work on along with Bright Feathers (note to self: never design such a big, boring-to-stitch pattern again), so I picked up yet another UFO: Tech Support, a design by Linda Connors of Calico Crossroads®, adapted from the artwork of Kathleen Kelly of Kats by Kelly™.

Here’s what I had already done on it:

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Project & Free Pattern - Dishcloth

I need some dishcloths, so I started knitting some. They’re as simple as it gets – just a garter stitch square knitted on the bias.

This is one of those ubiquitous patterns that get handed down through the generations, but in case you haven’t run across it yet, here it is:

With worsted weight cotton yarn and whatever size needles feel right to you* cast on 3 stitches.

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Inc by knitting into the front & back of the 1st stitch, knit across to last stitch, inc by knitting into the front & back of the last stitch.

Repeat rows 1 & 2 until the dishcloth is the size you want, ending on row 2.

Row 3: Knit.

Row 4: Ssk, knit across to last stitch, k2tog.

Repeat rows 3 & 4 until you have 3 stitches left, then bind off and weave in the ends.

I like to mark which side I do the increases and decreases on so that I don’t have to count rows.

*Gauge isn’t important on this project, so it doesn’t matter much what size needles you use. I used a size 10, but I knit loosely. You might want to try a size 11 or 12.

New Design - Tessellation

Yes, I do like bright colors and geometric designs.

Tessellation - computer simulation

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers & Purple Passage

Here’s my progress on Bright Feathers:

I’ve finished stitching Purple Passage from Learn to Make Monk’s Cloth Afghans by Marilyn T. Magly. It only took me two weeks to stitch a 15”x18” piece of 14-ct. aida.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Design - Crosses

Here’s a blackwork design that I did back in April. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to post it.

Crosses - Computer Simulation

You should be able to see squares and diagonal lines between the crosses. This can also be viewed like a stereogram: cross or unfocus your eyes slightly until you see a 3D effect.  It might help to open the image in a new tab or window.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Monk's cloth

I decided to start preparing the monk’s cloth I bought to make a Swedish weaving afghan. This is going to take me a while since I do all my sewing by hand (I just don’t get along with sewing machines), and I don’t plan to work on it constantly.

The first thing the instructions in Marilyn T. Magly’s books say to do is square off the ends of your fabric by pulling out threads until you get to one that goes all the way across. I started to do that, but soon realized that not only would it take forever, but that I would end up wasting a huge amount of fabric.

So, I found the first thread that went all the way across the fabric, cut along the line of holes one thread closer to the edge in case my scissors slipped, and then pulled the thread.

This piece of fabric was incredibly crooked. I don’t think the manufacturer even tried to cut it reasonably straight. I was left with two good-sized scraps of fabric. To give you some sense of size, the larger piece is 5 ¼” at the widest point, not including the shredded bit.

The next step is to either machine stitch around the edges or to hand baste a hem in order to prevent the fabric from raveling when you wash it (prewashing is necessary because the fabric shrinks). Starting with the narrow cut ends of the fabric (there are selvedges on both lengthwise edges), I folded the edge of the fabric up and temporarily pinned it in place. Since these are strictly temporary hems which will be ripped out later, I made no attempt to make them even and I didn’t press them.

Then, I folded the edges again so that the raw edges were hidden inside the hem, repositioning the pins as I went. 

The next step will be to hand baste those hems in place. I plan to hem the selvedges as well, since I’ve heard that – unlike those on most fabrics – the selvedges on monk’s cloth will fray. Looking at them, I don’t find that hard to believe.

The next step after that will be to machine wash and dry the fabric. I also plan to hem the scraps and wash them at the same time since they’re large enough to be useful. At the very least, I could cross stitch a few bookmarks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers & Purple Passage

Okay, it looks like my weekly updates are going to be Wednesday or Thursday.

Here’s my progress on Bright Feathers:

I’m halfway done with Purple Passage from Learn to Make Monk’s Cloth Afghans by Marilyn T. Magly.

The only thing that I don’t like about Swedish weaving is that it’s too darned fast. I’m seriously wondering if I’m going to be able to keep enough materials on hand to keep me busy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekly Update - Bright Feathers & Purple Passage

Here’s my progress so far on Bright Feathers:

And on Purple Passage from Learn to Make Monk’s Cloth Afghans by Marilyn T. Magly:

Finished - Feathers To and Fro Towel, New Project - Purple Passage

On Monday I finished the towel using part of the Feathers To and Fro pattern from Learn to Make Monk’s Cloth Afghans by Marilyn T. Magly.


I’ve revised my opinion of the Charles Craft towel a bit upwards: after washing, the appearance improved greatly and you can’t even see the snags from the packaging anymore. However, the towel is too small and thin to be anything but decorative. If I want more practical towels I’ll have to buy some huck fabric and make my own.

My next Swedish weaving project is Purple Passage from Learn to Make Monk’s Cloth Afghans by Marilyn T. Magly. I’m stitching it on a 15”x18” piece of 14-ct. turquoise aida using purple shades of #5 perle cotton. (Note: My camera refused to photograph these colors correctly, so I’ve had to adjust them manually. So, if you notice any discrepancies in color amongst these pictures, that’s why.)

Here’s what I had done as of Monday:

I still plan to post a weekly update later today.