Category Archives: design

Spring has Sprung

“Once I was a sentimental thing, threw my heart away each spring.  Now a spring romance hasn’t got a chance.  Promised my first dance to winter.  All I’ve got to show’s a splinter for my little fling. Spring this year has got me feeling ….”
Here’s the Ella version.  But what I know best is Bette’s version.

It’s such a sad song.  But I always think of it when I think of spring.  Maybe because I actually give my heart away to spring and am grateful that I can come out of my winter hibernation.  I really feel myself wake up as the days get lighter.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore evenings spent tucked in creating (spinnning, knitting, sewing, drawing…).  But those goofy shows like, Sound of Music, with Maria twirling atop the hills singing to the world… yeah, that’s me in spring.  Except you’ll often find me in my garden or capturing the joyful blossoms of spring with my camera.

In fact, that’s what I’d like to share with you.  I’ve been on some amazing journeys down photo lane.  How am I so lucky that I am finally able to capture the essence of a moment with my camera?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under creativity, design, Flower, garden, Inspiration, knitting

Mermaid Part Deux

Today I finished plying up the 2nd bump of Becoming Art Mermaid merino fiber.  With the second bump, I split it in half lengthwise rather than matching ends and splitting entirely in half.  I like that the lengthwise split (this is along the whole length of the fiber so that you have 2 very long pieces with similar color repeats) because it offered me longer color repeats.  Plus, when I plied it, the colors were more likely to match: greens to greens, browns to browns, purples to purples and so on.

I like plied handspun, but when the mashup of colors is too contrasty, it makes my head spin (think Chester Cheetah style).  I usually buy the hand dyed fibers because I like the brilliance of colors.  Sometimes, I’m disappointed by how much blending or muddling happens in the spinning process, especially when plying.  So, it was really fun to experiment.  And delightfully, they don’t look terribly different.

I’m thinking about making a hat or some fingerless gloves where the handspun is the design detail color and using a solid against it.  More to come… 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under design, knit, Spin

Pucker and Stripe

This is a scarf that I designed about a year ago with a purchase from Madrona.  I spun the fiber on a drop spindle.

Fiber

I designed this pattern to accommodate 2.5 oz of Dicentra’s brilliantly dyed Silk Merino fiber. I picked up her fiber at Madrona and couldn’t stop playing with it.

I spent quite a bit of time learning about drafting with this yarn. Made lots of mistakes: tried to draft without spreading out the fiber which resulted in what I call “fire cracker” breaks… “pull, pull, pull, dammit……. POP! The result – wonky and thrilling thick and thin spun yarn. LOVE it.

The Pattern
So, the idea behind the pattern is a scarf that is versatile (i.e. has a few ways to be worn). I based the design off a silk scarf (fabric, not knit) I bought at Target a few years back. I adored the way it had curved edges and could be tied into a bow at the back of my neck. It’s quite the “Victorian” look if I do say so myself!

So, drop one end through the hole for “a long tail” look (thank you Chris Anderson). Or, better yet, make a bow and look the essence of chic.

Leave a comment

Filed under design, fashion, knit, Spin

Handspun Art

Thanks to the chilly and, well, yes thanks too to the rather stressful days, I’ve taken to spinning yarn more.  It really is such a great stress reliever.  Plus, I find great joy in watching the color transitions and seeing how the fiber turns into a yarn, be it single or plied.  I’ve learned how to spin using the Long Draw method via a Ravelry Post with this video embedded:

As a result, my first skein of merino where I attempted Long Draw.
It’s really fun. Plus, any fiber from Becoming Art is worth trying. Lisa has such a fun color sense.

This makes me think of Ballykissangel, Ireland, Pubs, Foxes, and St Paddy’s day.  It’s actually called Mermaid. I really think it’s interesting, though a bit more wild & green than I expected.  What shall I make of it?  The yarn hasn’t spoken to me yet, so you have an opportunity to comment and add your 2¢!

I bet if you drank enough beer in a BallyK pub a wee mermaid would perch on the rim of your glass and tell you a wee tale!

Leave a comment

Filed under design, fashion, knit, Spin

Seymore Crow

2009-10-20 knit, sew, craft

Seymore’s cute, isn’t he?

I’m entering a pumpkin decorating / carving contest in the office. I found this squash at the grocery store – just your average butternut, but the neck was so long it reminded me of a bird. So, I grabbed some Martha glitter, pipe cleaners, construction paper, black feathers and glue and off I went.

2 hours later… Seymore was born.  He still needs a gummy worm or two fallin out his mouth.  I wanted to give the impression that he’s harumph’d down in a pout waiting for momma to feed him… wings flappin and all.

What do you think? Like ‘im or lump ‘im?

…I thought he was fun to make. 😉

10/21 update: Seymore Crow won 3rd place!

Hooray for the lil’ cutie even if he is a lil’ pouty.

Leave a comment

Filed under Craft, design

Autumn Outerwear

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….. Ouch!

What the…?! Aww, how cute.

That my friends was the creative bug biting me in the bum!

I’m inspired now to knit the Leaf Beret, Green Thumb Fingerless Gloves, and the Indygo Junction Trench Topper (view 1).  The knit objects will be made of a lovely Silk Merino by Yarns Northwest in a Sky Blue.

As a result of finding the right yarn for the hat & gloves, I’ve discovered an interest in making my olive velveteen coat again.  I’ve had this fabric for 5 years now.  I bought it at Haberman’s in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit, on a business trip.  It’s so soft I find myself petting it as I walk by. Hmm… just like in the store.

Well, I’ve been spinning and knitting like crazy with little patience to sit and sew.  Odd, huh? You’d think knitting/spinning would require more patience than sewing.  But, I go through phases.  Sometimes it’s knitting/fibers and nothing else.  Other times, nothing but sewing will do.  And still others, it’s back to the drawing board.

But right now, it’s all about finishing projects.  I find I’m especially inspired to finish a project I bought the yarn specifically for.  So, rather than buying yarn, then finding a pattern, blah blah… you totally know what I’m talking about don’t you my knitting nuts?  Such a challenge when you buy the yarn first!  Well, now that I have yarn to go with the projects, it’ super easy to kick off and push to complete.  There are no mental “loose ends” of, “If I don’t have enough…” or “Is gauge ok…” or “Will it look good in this yarn…”  I’m already 35% done with the hat and I just started a few days ago.  I’d say that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

One other thing I’d like to mention is that I don’t know if I’d have felt mentally ready to accept new garments into my closet if I hadn’t already gone through my 5S-ing. While I haven’t posted results (2 car loads full of stuff to GW & VV), my mind & closet are open to new possibilities rather than stuck in old fashion or ways of dressing.  It’s quite a lovely feeling to know that cleaning & eliminating helps kick off the creative process or rather urges the creative bug to bite! 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under design, Draw, fashion

It’s a Good Day to Dye

Mom and I decided to spend a day dying banners and veils we bought from Dharma Trading.  She bought Jacquard acid dyes because our fabric was silk/nylon.

One thing I learned from my last dying adventure, don’t place any expectations on your results.  While we did pick certain colors and hoped they’d be brilliant, dying is an art.  There is a science to creating the color, matching the appropriate dying technique, color type, or method to the raw material (fabric, yarn, etc.), it is rarely predictable.  So, don’t go in thinking, “I’m gonna dye this [insert object] to match [insert project] using this awesome aqua dye.  It’s gonna look just like the picture!”  NOT!

The best way to approach dying is with an open mind.  Think of yourself as an explorer, say Lewis & Clark or Thomas Edison.  Go in with a plan, but expect the unexpected and delight in what ever you discover.

A plan could include:

  • What tools will you use?
  • What technique?
  • What color is your base product
  • What color can you anticipate will result from dying over the top of your base color?
  • What are you  using the finished product for?
  • Do you need to dye raw material, then sew/knit a project?

Now, go forth and dye my fine feathered friends!  And send me links to your results.  I love to see how other people create different products from the same tools.

Leave a comment

Filed under design, fashion, Inspiration