Snow Crystals Progress

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt WIP

This week I’m working on adding borders to my Snow Crystals mini-quilt – I tested out those zig-zags in all different layouts and they worked best as a simple stripe around the block. Paper piecing those long strips and getting the stripes straight is a pain in my ass, I’m glad there’s only four of them to make!

Snow Crystals Mini-Quilt WIP

And a wee square of polka dots in the corners, eep!

Vintage Sunday: 1950s Sewing Box

I’ve been thinking for a while that if I want my blog to represent me (rather than just some projects), I need to include some of the other things I love. One of my major loves is vintage, in nearly any form, which is something I really only touch on from time to time. So I hereby introduce Vintage Sundays, where I’ll share some part of my vintage love: a project, some awesome thrifted find, a recipe – who knows?! It could get crazy up in here, 1950s-style! My love of anything from the 1930s all the way to the 1970s is widespread, so I don’t want a limit on what might appear here, just trust that it will be of the past.

My new 1950s sewing box!

Good timing for this new post too, because I went out with my pals to the local Vintage & Handmade Market yesterday and was (easily) convinced to take this beautiful sewing box home with me. I’ve been thinking for a while now it’d be nice to have one on legs (these are detachable, which is very handy feature), to be level with me and easy to reach while I work, especially since I do more hand-sewing now than I used to. It’s a little bit of a fixer-upper: it’s got a few dings and scratches and the hinges are a little rusty. But who loves a project more than me?!

My new 1950s sewing box!

I think I’ll give her a coat of paint and maybe replace the hinges – weather permitting, I’ll tackle this project at the end of the week / next weekend. Right now I’m thinking white on the outside, with a light aqua / robin’s egg blue on the inside for a nice 1950s look, but I’ll think on it and do a little research before I decide for sure. I hope I can share a revamp with you for Vintage Sunday next week!

Day Five: A Letter From My UFOs

Dear Julie,

We were thinking of you, and decided to send you a little note to say hey. You know, just in case you forgot to stop by and knit with us. I mean, we know you’d never do that, you’d never, ever leave us here unfinished to knit with something else … right? No, of course not! But just in case, we thought we’d send a little hello, catch up, remind you about what we’ve been up to – see if maybe you wanted to come pick us back up?

Umaro UFO

Umaro here is positive you didn’t forget her – she knows she is your very favorite knit-in-progress. In fact, she’s a little hurt by being called a UFO – she knows she’s just a WIP. If only you could set aside a little time for you to be together, that’d be great. She’d love to become a real lap blanket one day and curl up with you while you watch weird old TV shows from the 90s. Yeah, she loves them, too – Northern Exposure’s her favorite, but she can get down with some Twin Peaks if you want. If you promise to be there when it gets weird.

Ranger Cardigan UFO

Ranger is also pretty sure he’s a WIP, but it’s been quite a while, and it’s getting a little iffy. Plus, he’s totally offended that you resent his repetitive stitch pattern and the thought that it will take a lot of it to make a man-sized cardigan for your brother. It’s not like it’s his fault. Geez. Just remember that his sleeve increases are unnaturally clever and the yarn is a bouncy joy, he knows you’ll come back to him eventually.

Slant Sock, UFO

Slant is another story though, because he totally knows that you’re just a big baby about knitting into the back loop on every stitch. So what if he’s got about a millionty thousand back loops to knit into? What, you think you’re too good for knitting into the back loop?!?

Noro Sekku UFO

Speaking of being a big fat baby, we know you didn’t even try to stick with the Noro Sekku One Skein Stole – putting it aside for the winter because it’s cotton yarn and clearly a summer knit was just an excuse and we know it.

Cardigan Swatch, abandoned
Cardigan Swatch, set aside

And these swatches are never actually going to grow up to become cardigans unless you, you know, do something with them. Getting smooshed at the bottom of the work basket doesn’t count.

Sock Darning Pile

Don’t even get us started on the darning pile. How would you feel to be set aside for socks without holes? As if they’re better than us somehow. Snort.

High Seas UFO

But this pretty lady, High Seas, she’s all ready to forgive you – any time you’re ready. She knows she can be a little high-maintenance. She’s sorry, but she’s totally worth it, she promises. Just come back and you’ll see.

We still love you, really, we just miss you is all.

Your UFOs

WIP: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Yoshimi WIP

The new pattern samples are finished and photographed! Woohoo! That was a *a lot* of stitchin’. But more on those on Monday, when I release the new patterns and close the giveaway. (Have you entered? Go for and maybe you’ll get to pick a free pattern from our shop!)

Yoshimi WIP

Until then, I want to show you this WIP – though it’s really barely started – that I can’t wait to get a little stitchy free time to play with. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a real music dork and I love finding ways to combine my crafty geekery with my music geekery. I have a handful of ideas for songs that would be fun to illustrate in stitches, but not so much time to get into them. This one was a little different; I had the idea when I heard the song ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. I’ (by The Flaming Lips) on the radio a few months ago. I’ve always loved that song for being both totally silly and oh-so-charming. And it’s so oddly descriptive, I could just picture all the detail while it played, but I knew it wouldn’t have to be a massive embroidery that would weigh me down as a WIP.

This seemed like an obvious project for the Little Dorrit & Co partnership (aka me and Mommy) and Chris (aka Mommy) did do the design at my request, but I’ll stitch it on my own as a little project just for funsies. As I mentioned, I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I can already tell it will be a lot of fun to just be playful on this one. I love my Sajou sampler WIP very much, but it is kind of a high-maintanence project. I’m keeping the stitching very formal and precise on that one. Yoshimi can be a little more experimental and fun, and just talking about it like this is making me itchy to get on with it!

Big Week Off: Stitching

It’s been a while since I showed off any progress on my Sajou sampler – mostly because I got so stuck on that G! After the last photo I shared, I decided to continue on that path and see how it went, but I guess my heart wasn’t quite in it. All those little angled stitches were so slow to get just right, I couldn’t quite bring myself to put in all the time and then have to rip it out again. But I really, really wanted to move on to the H and beyond, so I just dug in my heels and got on with it … (click away for bigger versions on Flickr)

Sajou Sampler  - WIP

… and it worked out pretty well in the end, don’tcha think?! Even after I’d done all those little stitches, I still wasn’t totally convinced — until I started the split stitch outline. That made all the difference. Now, after all that fussing and avoiding, I’m in love with it.

Sajou Sampler  - WIP

Because that one was, let’s just be honest, a big pain in the ass, I went with something a little more straightforward for H. I first saw thick, dimensional couching like this on a William Morris piece (at the William Morris house) and loved how it made instant texture. I’m a big fan of texture-y stitches. I don’t have a photo, unfortunately, but the pattern for this H was done as a double outline. Thick couching seemed the obvious way to go.

Sajou Sampler  - WIP

This is two full lengths of floss – 12 strands total – with two strands holding it in place. Couching is so fun!

Oh, and before I forget, I never did show you D, done entirely in back stitch, except for tiny bits of satin stitch and two dainty french knots. Starting this one was kind of pesty, I had to keep starting over and over to get the back stitch just right for this letter. Back stitch is so beautiful, so perfect in its charming simplicity, but it is absolutely dependent on finding the exact stitch length that is just right for your project, and then consistency in stitch length throughout. It took, literally, about seven tries to get it right.

Sajou Sampler  - WIP

I really wish I could wash out the blue on this one, it’s too close to the floss color to get a really clear look. Because we’ve started using those iron-out Frixion pens, I think I will go over the grid (which is fading anyway – I don’t understand how but I find it very annoying) and then give it a goodly spray to get remove the blue for good. In the meantime, I have a few other projects that need my attention for a few days, and I’ll have to have a think on how to stitch the I.

Sajou Sampler  - WIP

The flower just has to be a big lazy daisy stitch / french knot combo, I think, but I’d like the letter itself to be filled somehow. If you have an awesome idea, shout it out!

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