monday reading

and the links continue.

this wouldn’t be a craft blog if i didn’t have an entire post dedicated to crafting links, right?

part of rehabbing my elbow has meant taking a break from things that aggravate it. seems logical but is much harder to do in reality. not spending as much time on my phone has been greatly aided by the new screen time feature…i set a limit of 2 hours and for the most part, i abide by my own rules. another part of this has been…no knitting. yes. it is tragic. especially considering that i had cast on a tecumseh sweater. it is stashed away for now, looking pretty in a rope basket. i will come back around to it. this ravelry thread had been immensely helpful as i ran into questions at the beginning of the pattern.

had i done a little more research prior to starting my tecumseh, i would’ve done these german short rows for the shaping.

gorgeous hand-dyed yarns.

knitting. outer space, huge. perfection.

i love the simple lace work of this cowl.

brioche beauty.

karen has been obsessing over this dickey for probably months now. and for very good reason. i now want/need to make one.

and now for some sewing/embroidery links…

i keep seeing some really pretty double hoop embroideries on insta. here’s a tutorial for making one.

i love the ruffles sara added to her hinterland dress.

and unsurprisingly i love the ruffled version of this pattern.

into this.

i have always been interested in doing a hand quilting project but i always wondered about those pesky knots. suzy made an excellent video, showing exactly how to make your quilting neat and knot-free.

and finally, this is your brain on crafting.

until i can craft again, i’ll keep my eyes open for inspiration.

xo

crafty thoughts

I'm (clearly) real bad about posting anything other than my favorite links posts every friday. I'm not even going to apologize. This is my little internet space to do what I want. 

And today I wanna talk about my crafty thoughts. 

There are lots of them in my head. 

Right now I'm on an embroidery thought kick. Just thinking a lot about hand work and needles and thread. But not actually doing any embroidery. Just thinking about it. My phone and watch wallpapers right now are of an embroidered paper and every time I look at the screen it gives me that little urge to make some stitches. I'm thinking a lot about embroidering a chambray shirt. Just filling it up with stitches, without a real design in mind. An ongoing, possibly never ending project. 

One of my friends had a "make and take" birthday party. She bought this Sarah K. Benning embroidery pattern (which I also just recently bought) and she supplied the, well, supplies, and had her gal pals over and they embroidered. Even the non-crafty folks. I'm going to steal this idea for my birthday. FORCE my friends to do what I love. 

I've been thinking about my Sea Captain, who, nearly 2 years after starting, is still not finished. I'm in no rush. He's just chilling in my little hexagon tray, easily accessible to pick up and work on whenever I feel the eventual need to add some stitches. Maybe I'll do that while I watch Big Little Lies. While searching for the link to the Sea Captain, I spotted this pattern and now I'm thinking about that one too. 

Other crafty thoughts. I am still really enamored with the idea of woven bracelets. I borrowed this book from the library this weekend and one of the homes that is featured in it is that of Myriam Balay. I haven't ever heard of her before, but she is doing the exact sort of woven bracelets I want to do. Her shop is gorgeous and very inspiring for me. She weaves on an adorable little rigid heddle but I could definitely use my fave lap loom to get similar results. Here's her instagram account. Her pinterest account is super gorgeous too, i love her aesthetic. 

Hmm other crafty thoughts. Right now I just have a lot of ideas. I'm working slowly but surely on my knitting but not imposing any deadlines. I'm struggling with forearm pain once again (because I just can't lay off of instagram) so that makes long knitting sessions difficult. I really should go to my orthopedist and see what she recommends (probably laying off of instagram. I refuse to delete it. that's just going too far.).

I have a lot of urges to paint these days but haven't acted on them yet. I'm thinking a lot about acrylic paint these days which is new for me. Usually my painting urges are the watercolor variety. I found this artist and her finger painting really calls to me and makes me want to get a little messy. 

I think I'm just in a really tactile phase right now, wanting to really feel my materials and use my fingers as much as possible. I know a lot of non-artists and non-crafters don't get and/or understand that...that NEED to do a certain craft or art form and the need for tactile sensations. I'm not sure how to explain it other than just that...it feels like a need and feels like it will satisfy something in my soul. Even if I'm not actually doing anything but thinking about it, it feels satisfying. I get real antsy if I haven't crafted in a couple of days. 

So, there are some of my thoughts. I will hopefully one day soon post some real posts with photos and everything, but for now, this will do. 

sea captain update

 

Back in November, I shared this Sea Captain embroidery project I was working on. I took a little hiatus on it (probably because of a giant knot...knots make me reassess life) but I'm back at it and I'm having so much fun! 

Part of the reason I took a break was because the intricate detailing of the hat was intimidating me. Once I started working on it, though, I found that it is easy and not intimidating at all. I'm mostly using running stitch or straight stitch, which are pretty much the easiest embroidery stitches out there. 

In weaving, there is a "dark side of the loom" hashtag, that is, the back of the weaving where all the secrets (er, ugly bits) hide. I'm starting a new thing- "dark side of the hoop", the crazy back side of embroidery! Here's my dark side!

#darksideofthehoop. just go with it. 

This dark side actually isn't too dark at all. My first many embroidery projects look AWFUL on the back. I've learned over the years how to not make knots unless I absolutely have to, which leads to a much cleaner looking dark side. 

Hopefully knots and intimidation won't stop me from keeping on with this one. I'm already trying to think of how I want to finish it. At first I was thinking I would stain a hoop and just hang it on the hoop, but now I'm thinking it would be cool to cut it into a square, sew a border, and let the ends fray. Ah, possibilities! 

Embroidery pattern: Sea Captain by Cozy Blue

 

wip: sea captain embroidery

 

I don’t remember the exact details of how it happened, but it happened. Inspiration struck and I had to learn how to embroider. This was my first year of college and before Instagram so I know I didn’t see a captivating image that inspired me. I was reading a few blogs at the time, so perhaps that’s where it came from. All I know is that one day I was not interested in embroidery, but the next day I was. 

I’ve talked before about my inspiration process. Inspiration strikes me pretty hard and heavily. Then there is this immediate need to follow through. That’s how it happened with embroidery. So, I went to Michael’s and bought a pillowcase kit- on each open edge of the pillowcase there was a garden of flowers. There were suggested colors, but I don’t follow rules, so I picked out whatever colors I wanted. I filled up my cart with the pillowcases, many DMC flosses, a thread box, spools to wind the floss onto, embroidery needles, and a hoop. When I got home, I knew exactly how to wind the floss onto the spools, thanks to years of watching my mom wind her spools for cross stitch. I wound them all and color coded them in the box. Though it was about 20 years ago, I still remember getting my mom’s boxes out of her closet and looking at all the colors. She used her thread for cross stitch- my sisters and I used it for friendship bracelets. 

Now I had my very own colorful box. I got to work on my pillowcases. That night, I had a meeting. I wanted to cancel on the meeting so I could work on the embroidery instead (story of my life), but I was responsible and went to the meeting. To this day, I have arrived late at events because I was finishing up a project. Friends, thanks for being understanding of my ridiculous ways. 

I wish I could post a photo of my finished pillowcases, looking cute on my bed, but the reality is this: they are still WIPs. Yep. 7-8 years later, they are unfinished. But they are where I got my start and I haven’t stopped since. 

My current project is both intricate and simple- the pattern itself is quite detailed and almost intimidating, but the actual stitching required is very easy. I am having so much fun with this project. I have used only straight and back stitches so far, but I’ll throw in a few French knots soon. I am using only one strand of floss, which is something I never do, and I’m not using any knots to secure the back of the stitching, something else I never do. The back is by far the neatest I have ever done. 

A neat back!

Something else new in this project is my transfer method. When I found this pattern I fell in love with it, but I couldn’t imagine transferring the image onto the fabric- so many lines! Luckily, the creator of the pattern included a special tip, one I had never heard of: Sticky Fabri-Solvy. This magic stuff can be run through your printer, so all you do is print the pattern onto it, peel off the back, and stick it onto your fabric. You can stitch right through it (though I will say that it can make you needle a little sticky and it’s slightly harder to push the needle through) and when you are done with your project, you just soak it in water and all of the fabri-solvy dissolves right before your eyes. Magic, I tell you. I’m not joking when I say my life has changed. It is that amazing. 

Unlike the flowered pillowcases, this project is destined to become an FO in a timely manner.

 

october wips and fos

 

I'm not one of those crafters that does just one thing at a time. I aspire to that and I am getting close to that, but typically I have a few projects going on at the same time. I try to keep it to a minimum, though, and to have just one project from each genre, if you will, going at the same time. Here are some things I'm working on/recently finished these days:

Calligraphy: just some practicing. 

Drawing and painting- my sketchbook tends to be a conglomeration of all sorts of random stuff- sewing and quilting ideas, calligraphy practice, doodles, tons of flowery paintings, testing out new supplies. It's a fun place to play around and not care how anything turns out. 

some fall doodles in pen

and with some color

Knitting: Seed Stitch Wrap in Worsted Twist from the purl bee. I'm going to dedicate a whole post to this one eventually because it took nearly a year to complete! 

That's what I've got going on these days. I've got a knitting project and hand sewing project in the queue as well that I'm hoping to finish before Christmas, but I know better than to put deadlines on myself.