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Archive for January, 2015

sparky pillow finished

Tada!  May I present “Sparky.”

This was absolutely a fun project, and I thought I  would share the finishing process with you.

The various modes of construction consisted of  Intarsia, Armenian knitting  and basic stockinette.  The subject in the design was created to be a relief sculpture.  This was accomplished by using 3 strands of lace weight mohair.  The additional strand enlarged the dog without adding stitches to the chart.  The background was done in Palette fingering weight from Knitpicks..

Once the knitting was complete, I washed and blocked the pillow top.

sparky pillow-blocked

The outside edges were blocked to an 18 inch square.  Next, I pinned out the dog, so that all the knitting lines in the background were straight, leaving all the extra width and length in the dog to puff up.

After the piece had dried, it was ready for me to start filling in the sculpture.

sparky pillow-creating relief - 1

In this case, the first area I filled was the muzzle, as I wanted it to stand out more than the rest of the head.  The next area was the tail, which he loves to swish around.  After putting a bit of fiber fill in these areas, I secured them by putting a piece of netting over the top and stitching it to the knitted surface that outlined the various parts, being careful to just catch a small amount of fiber from the back of the yarns.

sparky pillow-creating relief -  2

The next step was to fill in the head.  I pout more in the center of the head, then tapered the rest out to the edge of the ears.  the hip and legs were next.  How did I know how much to use- I didn’t.  I just turn it over and look.

sparky pillow-creating relief -  3

Once these areas have been filled I placed a piece of netting over the entire dog, and stitched around the edge of the subject to secure the filling.  Next, I turned it to the right side.  Using straight pins, I pinned down the areas I wanted to flatten, or define.  To secure the shape, I stitched it to the netting, from the back, always being careful to not have any threads show on the right side.   The next phase is making the pillow back.

Constructing the Back

For this particular pillow I wanted to make a looped fringe, using most of colors in the pillow top construction.  To do this I loosely knotted the yarns together, placed them in a bag, and hung the bag on the door adjacent to my sewing machine.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -1

With the right side of the back facing me, I placed a piece of tape 1 1/2  inches in from the edge of the fabric.  I set my foot for a 1/2 inch seam.

Using a figure 8 motion, I looped the yarns back and forth, extending the right side loop 1/4 in past the right edge of the fabric ( so I could hang on to it), and extended the left loop to just touch the tape.  I pushed these loops under the foot of my machine ( tight), and using tiny stitches, stitched them to the fabric.  It took a bit of practice, but soon I was moving right along.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -2

Here you can see that I have turned the corner.  I cropped my corners a bit, too.  It worked out well.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -3

About 2 hours later-  I’m just kidding, but it isn’t a quick job.

sparky pillow - making the looped fringe -4

Now I am ready to sew the pillow top to the back- well maybe.

To avoid any chance that the loops should get caught in my sewing I opted to baste them in place, using some old seam binding.  This just took a few minutes, but was well worth it, as I didn’t have to worry where those pesky loops were lying.  I also zigzagged the fringe to the fabric edge, then trim the over hanging loops from the edge, leaving a clean edge to line up my pillow top.  sparky pillow finished - relief demo

Here is a side view of the relief.

Yeah!  Now I have two Sparky’s!

Just sharing- KT

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