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Posts Tagged ‘fiber arts’

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Just thought I would share my latest project.  I received a many a smile and compliment on this hat when I wore it out for it’s maiden debut the other day.  It is amazing what something this simple can do.

No matter how jaded our culture becomes, there are always those who still respond to something pretty.

I really like the idea of the crocheted tape lace crown bands combined with some of my crocheted flowers.  I am able to mix and match them to coordinate with whatever outfit I am wearing.  It’s great fun.

KT

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bead evening bag flap 2Since my recently knitted purse expanded my knowledge of knitting with beads, I thought I would try and take it one step further-paint with them.  The above photo is of an evening bag flap that will cover the hex frame and lay smoothly to about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom edge of the purse.  The design features the letter”T” in the middle, with various swirls etc to complete the shape.  In order to accomplish this I had to come up with a method that did not interfere with the gauge, and yet allow me to insert beads every stitch if need be.  Hummmm……..?????????????????????

Let see–,using the slip stitch method on YOUTUBE requirew first  pre-stringing your beads onto the yarn; then work to where you want your bead, bring your yarn forward, slip the stitch purlwise, lay the bead at the base of the slipped stitch, then bring the yarn around the back to knit the next stitch.

So what’s the problem with that??  Well, the problem is that you can’t line up your beads together, you can only put them in every other stitch.

The next method uses a crochet hook to go through the bead, and bring the newly knitted stitch through the bead hole before replacing it on the right knitting needle.  This method does not require you to pre-string the beads, however, you can’t stack them or place them every stitch without greatly changing the gauge of your knitting.

Well, that won’t work!  So what to do?????

I want the beads to set on top of the knitted surface, so they will not affect the gauge.

I want to be able to chart my design.

I don’t want to have to count stitches and rows in order to put them in, if I wanted to do that I would do counted cross stitch.

I want to be able to tweek them a bit if needed to make the design.

After playing around a bit, beginning with the idea I shared with you in the lace curtain design, I came up with this.  You can call it whatever you want.  The nice thing is it works, as you can see in the photo above.

Here it is for you to play with- Painting with Beads

I have added some illustrations to make this process more clear.

 

I know you will come up with your own great ideas.

Go for it!

 

Happy knitting!  KT

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I recently finish a lace curtain set I made for my bathroom.  I used Curio from Knitpicks for my yarn.  It is truly a luxury crochet weight (lace)with a softness and sheen that is very lovely.  Below is a picture of the finished project.

lace curtain finished

When I had finished the main panel, I decide to get”cute” and trim the bottom edge  with rose colored beads to add a little contrast.

lace curtain bottom edge of center panel

When it came to the valance, I decided to try replacing the Nubbs/Bobbles with the rose colored beads.

lace curtain, beads for nubbs 3

*I know that there are some who will want to quibble over the terms bobbles and Nubbs, but for me, any time a pattern calls for me  to knit up more than 3sts in one knit, and gather it together in the purl row, I think of it as a bobble.  Maybe that is because I think of a bobble as something that “hangs,” and a nubb, as something that just makes a bump.  Anyway, it is the end results that counts.

It has been fun working with this great yarn, and adding the beads was just an extra bonus.

I have charted this pattern for you, along with instructions on how to replace the Nubbs/Bobbles with beads.  I am sure you will come up with more ideas once you get started.

Please take time to practice and swatch each section.  The cast on will be determined by your window.  I advise adding at least 4 inches in width for ease.

Lace Curtain Pattern

The lace curtain pattern includes instructions and charts for lower panel and valance.

* Note- you do not have to print off the last page of the pdf pattern.  As you will note, it has cross stitch info that is not for knitting-it’s just part of my charting program.

By the way, my window opening was 24 by 36, which is the area I wanted to cover.

 

Happy knitting- KT

PS – If you are a Ravelry member, you can get the free pattern there.  Just type in “Lace Curtain Set” by Judith Helms

 

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As most of you know, I love knitting something challenging.  That is why I am “into” knitting relief sculptures.  To that end, I thought I might share my thought process in planning for this type of knitting.

sparky pillow finished

 

The above pillow design (Sparky) has become the number one attraction in my home.  Everyone who comes has to pet the “dog.”  I can see that I will be sending this one to the groomer quite often.

As a result of the reaction to the realism of this design, I took on the project of creating another”doggie” pillow for one of my singing companions.

This is Angus!

angus chart plan

This time I will not only raise the dog, but I want realistic folds in his favorite blanket.

relief sculpture fans

So-besides adding an extra ply of yarn to the areas of the dog that I want to raise, I will create increases on one side of the ridges (solid black lines) which will allow me to create life like folds in the blanket surrounding the subject. Fans A,B, and C will be folded under, and the ridge will be on top. Fan “D” is just the opposite. The additional stitches forming the out side edge of the fan ( dotted line) will fold up to resemble the natural fold of the mounded fabric. The areas immediately adjacent to the fans will be filled to soften the incline to the folds.

* To see how I fill these areas, go to my post,”One Doggie Pillow, Done!”

OK! Now how will I mark the chart? Humm????

I will designate the ridge stitches with a solid circle.   I will place a marker on the each side of the ridge stitch.  As I add stitches I will move the fan side marker. to indicate the added stitch.  This way, I won’t have to mess with the chart, as these stitches will not be counted, I will simply knit the next stitch in the color indicated on the chart.   All the additional stitches will be added in the color of the ridge stitches.   I plan on keeping my fan width at no more than one inch, or 9 stitches at its widest part.  I will post the results of my experiment when finished.

Another possibility is to pick up stitch along the side of the head and knit the ear separately.  Hummmmmm…???????

I have ordered a  “fudge” colored kid mohair to be worked in with the varied colors on the dogs coat, and will use white mohair to add his graying hair on the face.  This should be a fun project.  I can’t wait to get started.

 

Just sharing-  KT

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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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As I was contemplating the possibility of beginning on one of my latest pillow designs, I thought it might be fun for me to share my thought process with you.

Below is a clip of the condensed chart, which gives me a view of “what you see is what you get,” with a 33 % view.

The design is from a simulated stain glass window that I created for my home in the mountains of Idaho.  I painted the original on plexiglass then mounted it on the window of my kitchen door.  The knitted design incorporates the frame, but I have added a South American butterfly to my Dogwood flowers, instead of the original Hummingbird.

stain glass window designYou will notice that there are 2 separate rings of colors surrounding the center motif.  The first, or outside ring, shapes the pillow.  The black edges will be knitted as part of the design.  The technique I use for this is called Armenian knitting.  I will be using 2 colors in each section and will be weaving the unused color in every other stitch.  This will give me a bit of a textured look, simulating old rough glass.  Any additional colors I might desire will be added using a single ply of the selected yarn, and applied as a duplicate stitch.

The second ring will also be knitted using the same technique, but this time the lines you see with be inserted after the work is finished.  This will give me the option of using an embroidery stitch or crocheted chain to add this detail.

The center motif will be created using the Intarsia knitting technique described in my e-book.

To begin, I roll all my colors into small balls.  Next,  crochet thread, and crochet hook, I make a chain long enough to support the number of stitches on the bottom edge of row#1 on the chart, plus 10.  Breaking the yarn, I leave a 6 inch tail, pull the yarn through and tied a loop in it.  This chain provides me a base for my provisional cast on.

Turning this chain over to the back side, I count in 5 loops from the end before I start picking up the stitches of the first row, inserting the tip of my knitting needle in to the single back loop of each chain stitch.  When all the necessary stitches have been placed on my knitting needle, row one of the chart has been completed.

The next row(purl) begins by adding a stitch.  You can do this anyway you like.  I will be using the following method: knit in front and back of same stitch at beginning and end of row for right side rows, then purl in back and front of stitches at beginning and end of purl rows.  This gives me a more compact addition.

I can’t wait to see the results of my labor.  Once I get started with one of these patterns, it is hard for me to put it down.  I love seeing the picture develop, one row at a time.

I am going to drop this pillow top chart into my Designer Pillow page.  You can also upload this 18 by 18 pillow top chart here.

stain glass pillow design chart

All the yarns are Palette by Knitpicks.  The gauge is 9/12  using a #1 needle

One skein of each color is sufficient.  You can also use fingering yarns from your stash. I have chosen to used  “heathers” for the darkened areas, in the outside ring.    I work with long strands of each color and spit splice yarn additions as needed.

I have not decided what kind of back I will create for this design, but there is plenty of time for that later.  This is definitely not an overnight knitting project.

Below is a photo of what I see on my computer screen using my Pattern Maker Pro.

pm screen view 1If you have this program, then I can send you the actual file to work with.

The second photo is a shot that shows how I number the larger areas of stitches, which helps me to read the chart.

pm screen view 2

It may be a bit hard to see, but I have inserted the stitch count of the main color.

 

Happy knitting – KT

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In the middle of trying to purchase and move into a new home, I have been working on a  pillow design for my “horse loving ” grand-daughter’s birthday.  I just finished the top last night, and finally have it blocked on my zero circle needles.  Here is a peek.

equine sunset - s

The back will be a solid black, with her initials in the Chickory blue of the sunset.  I will be finishing it off with 1 1/2 to  2 inch black fringe.

By the way, the designed sunset was taken from a photo.  The colors and contrasts were stunning.  Believe it or not, there are those who don’t believe that this is from a photo, but then maybe they haven’t observed the beautiful tapestry of colors that God created in our universe.

As always, I will add this to the charted designs on the “pillow” page as soon as I have time.  It may be a while, as I need to settle in my new home first.

Just sharing- KT

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