Posted in knitting

My Favorite Thing I’ve Made

Yesterday, fellow blogger Karen of Nothing But Knit, put out a challenge. “Write a post about the favorite thing you have made. “

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/32787/posts/2676816067

This post is my response.

Tailored Sweater

Those of you who follow me may be a bit surprised at my choice. It looks nothing like the color-filled fiber objects I usually post on my site. This color is a subdued neutral and the style rather conservative. What makes me happy about this sweater is that I chose every aspect of the design. I worked out the pattern details on graph paper and knitted it up.

It turned out exactly as I imagined and fits like a glove.

Schematic and specifications of my design

I can’t say enough about the quality of the Patons DK Superwash yarn. It is soft, but not a merino. Therefore the sweater has not pilled. The yarn has a heathery tone and a beautiful hand when knit. I used a twisted stockinette for the main body which makes a tighter fabric and plays up the variations in tone.

Back view showing pleat and waist shaping

The hem, cuffs and collar feature a cable-style stitch called Repeated Circles from 750 Knitting Stitches – The Ultimate Knit Stitch Bible. The vintage buttons, which I found on Etsy, mirror the oval centers of the cable. Love it!

Another detail that worked out well is the skinny cable at the shoulder edges. The few stitches worked on the outside edge of the cable made a perfect road map for setting in the sleeves.

Well, that’s about all I have to say about this project. Every time I see it in my closet I long for cooler weather, so that I can wear it again.

Posted in weaving

Weaving Workshop: Lesson 3

DESIGN AND WEAVE A TAPESTRY

LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Students will learn the basic process for designing and making a woven fiber object. Students will practice transferring their designs to scrim, tying knots, and using a tapestry needle to weave various patterns.

VOCABULARY: Tapestry, scrim, cross stitch, subject, background, transfer

MATERIALS AND TOOLS: Paper, pencil, crayons, markers, scissors, yarn, tapestry needle, rug canvas, masking tape. Optional: String-like objects such as ribbon, cord and fleece.

Step One: The design phase. Students will choose two yarns in favorite colors from the yarn bowl. Using a pencil and paper, they will draw a picture of an object or thing that has these colors in it. Place the scrim on top of the drawing to check that the subject of the drawing is within the margins of the scrim. Once students are comfortable with their drawings, they can color the subject using crayons.

Step Two: Transfer the design. Students will lay the scrim over the drawing, centering the design’s main subject. Masking tape can be used to keep the paper and scrim from sliding around. Using matching crayons or markers, students trace the outlines of the subjects’ shapes onto the scrim. Transfer each part of the shape. (see example)

Step Three: Weave the design. First, students will choose any additional yarn colors that will be needed to complete their designs. Starting with the center of the subject area, they will use yarn threaded onto a big-eyed tapestry needle to weave over each area. Students can weave in any direction that works for them – vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or a combination of all. The objective is to cover the entire surface. This example shows diagonal weaving in the black area and a wrapping technique with the blue yarn.

When the subject area is completely woven, the background can be covered in a contrasting color yarn. Alternatively, the background scrim can be left plain or colored using crayon or marker.

In Lesson 4 the class will finish weaving, add additional materials to complete image details and frame the completed weaving.

Posted in knitting

Finally using the Black Yarn

A few months ago, I blogged about working with black yarn. https://dailyfiberfun.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/black-yarn/

After months of fiddling around with the luxury blend, coal colored yarn my daughter gave me, I finally settled into a shawl design. Fellow blogger Deb Gemmell has unvented an improvement to the basic triangle shawl which she calls Wedges Shawl. Her goal is to increase the length of the shawl ends without making the body section excessively long. You can read about it on her blog: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/135503248/posts/1913

I thought I would give this concept a try. I started out normally, with a garter tab cast on. After increasing four stitches every other row for awhile, I began to insert wedge-shaped sections. These are created with short rows. To make a nice contrast with the black yarn, I chose a beige singles yarn and used the classic eyelet pattern of k2tog, yo. I also tossed in a couple sections of garter lace pattern with the black yarn.

After I worked up about 290 stitches, I switched back to the black yarn for one more eyelet row and bound off. Here is a blocked shawl.

I couldn’t quite fit the whole shawl into one photograph.
So I folded it up and took another picture.

It came out rather well. With such neutral colors, it should be a versatile addition to my winter wardrobe. Thank you, Deb, for your improvement!

Her patterns can be found on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wedges-shawl

Posted in embellishing

Fun with Embellishments

This school year I will again be teaching fiber arts to students age seven and up. I’ve organized the sessions into 4-week workshops. One workshop will explore techniques to use in embellishing clothing and other fiber objects. Today I am learning to make pom-poms using these:

It seems like an easy, anyone-can-do-it craft to use up extra yarn, so I’m all for it.

What I learned in my first attempt is that the instructions included with the tool were incomplete. I got lots of bits of yarn falling out of the plastic holder.

After a quick trip to U-Tube – source of every craft technique in the world – I discovered that the yarn needs to be wound until the holder’s center is filled completely. Then, when the holder is closed and the yarn cut, compression keeps the cut bits together long enough until they can be tied up with a piece of yarn.

I made one medium and three small. Here they are decorating a cross body bag.

I’m confident all the students will have a great time making pom-poms. I can’t wait to see how they use them to jazz up their clothes One final note: Don’t lose these little pieces, or your pom-pom makers will be useless.

Posted in crochet, knitting

Playing with Dolls: The Purple Yogi

Like many women in my demographic, I get my exercise by practicing yoga. I don’t remember when I got the idea to make a purple yogi, but I know where. It was during a yoga session. While searching for a drishti (otherwise know as a focal point) in the middle of forming tree pose, my eyes glanced at a ceramic yogi in seated position. Breaking my concentration, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to make a posable figure from yarn and wire?”

Thus was conceived the Purple Yogi. He is constructed of yarn, florist’s wire, a little fiber fill and some white glue. The gestation period was about three months, and the birth itself took two half days of work. I started with a sketch, and proceeded in single crochet to make his torso and head.

Next I crocheted down from the waist to make a pair of manly hips. The arms were knit in I-cord. One wire was inserted through the body at shoulder height and slipped inside both the arms.

The legs came next. I inserted a wire through the hips, with loops where the ball sockets would be. A wire was inserted into each loops and stretched down for the legs. The I-cord legs had two increase rows, to make them a more tapered shape. Then the knitted legs were slipped over the wires, sewn to the body, and a little glue added to shape his feet. Here is the completed doll.

Yogi is sitting still while his gluey feet dry.
Here he is in seated pose, ready to start his first yoga session.

I discovered very quickly that he could not sustain a pose without a sticky mat. I cut one out of a rug grip pad. Okay, Yogi, let’s strike a pose or two!

FORWARD FOLD
PLANK
COBRA
DOWN DOG

This project really made me smile. It’s good to play, even if one is a bit old for dolls.

Posted in Uncategorized

Easy Peasy Tassel Necklace

I’m back to the Daily Fiber blog, after a pretty long vacation trip. The fatigue of the trip has sapped my creative energy. So I thought it would be best to make an easy fiber object on my first day back.

This little necklace showed up in a women’s clothing catalog I paged through recently. It’s very fetching, but to me, not a good value at $70.00. I’d like to try my hand at my own version.

To make the tassels, you will need one skein of embroidery floss for each tassel, some jewelry jump rings, a few beads, lobster claw fasteners, thread cutters, tapestry needle, and glue.

Here are the first six tassels completed.
  1. With the paper sleeves still on the floss skein, slip a jump ring to the skein’s center, or tie the skein tightly in the middle with a piece of floss. Slip off the paper sleeves.
  2. Fold the skein in half, holding the ring or floss tie at the top. With another piece of floss about 12 inches long (matching or contrasting,) make wraps around the top of the tassel, working down the tassel about an inch or as desired. Tie the two ends together with double overhand knot.
  3. You can hide the knot by threading the ends on a tapestry needle, then push the needle up through the wraps coming out of the top of the tassel. Do this one end at a time.

At this point, you can finish off the tassel by attaching a lobster claw clasp to the ring, or if you used a floss tie instead tie the ends to the clasp. A drop of glue on the knot will keep it from coming loose. Cut the excess thread away. If you want to add beads, they can be threaded on the ties before you attach the clasp.

Trim tassel ends to length desired and you’re done! Here is my finished necklace. I spent less than $10, including the chain.

For this necklace, I made an additional couple of tassels out of yarn.

What a coincidence! This necklace goes very well with my new shirt!

Posted in weaving

Button Loom Weaving: Finished Object

I finished up the weaving on the button loom yesterday. Today I spent a fair amount of time making a backdrop for the weaving. I used silk triangles.

After sewing together enough triangles to cover the frame backing, I attached the silk to the backing with spray adhesive. In retrospect, I should have used non-woven interfacing behind the silk before attaching it. Wrinkling was a problem.

And here is the finished object. I call it Escape from the Tower. In case you are wondering about the story behind the title, rest assured that everyone was able to get out. It’s fortunate that the artist thought to attach a coppery rope to the tower. Those on the top floors used it to get to safety by rappelling down the wall.

ESCAPE FROM THE TOWER

Here is a closer view of the top section.

Posted in recycling, weaving

Button Loom

When thinking about all things fiber, I occasionally ponder the role of objects associated with fiber. Buttons come to mind very quickly. Who doesn’t have a handful (or jarful) of these tiny essentials? While they are often mundane adjuncts to your cardigans, coats and jeans, is it possible for buttons to step out of the ordinary? Let’s make something that gives them a stellar role. I am designing and building a button loom. This loom won’t handle the work of any serious weaver. But it can hold the warp threads for a modest tapestry. If positioned artistically, the buttons can become a key design element of the finished object.

Among my collection, I have two dozen metal shank buttons that were saved from various worn-out blazers and jackets.

The pretty silver ones came from my mom’s stash of vintage buttons.

If I sew them very close together on sturdy upholstery fabric, and then wrap the fabric around a wooden frame, it could start to become a loom.

The button-covered fabric rectangles were wrapped around the short sides of the black frame and stapled in place. I used the glue to prevent fraying.

Here is my finished frame with warp threads in place. I have used cotton and acrylic yarns for the warp, pulling and tying them together at the lower edge of frame.

Next time I will weave the tapestry.