I did it! I finished the cowl before bedtime (just) the other night, and it’s even pinned out to block now. It’s pretty squishy though, so I expect it’ll take a while to dry. I’ll be sure to show it off when it’s done. Since I finished the cowl, I’ve been knitting on Terra a lot – but even though I’ve almost finished the garter-y body section, it basically looks the same as in the photo I posted last week, only larger. Also, I did frog Umaro and restarted, but haven’t gotten past the moss stitch border yet.
Since my knitting has gotten suddenly unexciting, and since I hope to return to that darn stalled Sajou G tonight, and since we are planning (photo-worthy weather willing) to release our last couple of Little Dorrit & Co. Brothers Grimm embroidery patterns later this week, it seems like a good time to get back to a little stitchy posting.
On one of my recent posts, a commenter (hello blog-less Natasha, if you’re out there!) asked about the fabric we stitch on. Well, it’s a funny story, kind of. For years, neither my mother or I could find a fabric we were happy with for embroidery. They were all too thin and see-through-y and never felt substantial enough. But I do like Ikea’s cheap linen for less delicate projects, it’s got lovely texture and comes in a good range of colors. That and a similar fabric we’d tried from John Lewis made us try Robert Kaufman’s Essex linen – a nearly 50/50 cotton/linen blend. We love it – it’s got the subtle texture of fine linen, but handles more like cotton. It doesn’t crease like crazy, washes nicely – works perfectly. We should probably be buying it by the bolt!
No one asked about this, but while we’re on the subject, we use these Pilot Frixion pens for transferring designs. Guys, have you tried these pens?! We’re new converts – until a few weeks ago, we just used those insanely blue water-erasable markers. But the blue was making it hard to match colors, everything looked clashy against it, and I found recommendations for these Frixion pens on several crafty blogs. SNAP, these pens are awesome! Because they’re just normal pens, they write a lovely thin, crisp line – and in colors that aren’t horribly distracting to your work. But the awesome part is that your marks will disappear with just the tiniest wave of the iron – they’re heat-activated but will wipe clean even on a really low iron setting. This is The Bomb for embroidery, because erasing the pen has so little effect on your work. Really, I’m kind of shocked that Pilot hasn’t caught on yet and re-marketed these as crafty products and started selling them for twice the cost. Not that I’d want to give them any ideas.