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Posts Tagged ‘needlepoint knitting’

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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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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This project has been a delight to work on.  It not only is colorful but has given me the opportunity to use various yarns and weights in the same project.  My Red Hat Silkie pillow is also another of my knitted sculpture designs.  Below is a photo of the top blocked on the needles, awaiting the back portion to be finished.

ms red hat silkie pillow top

This project incorporates, lace weight floating chains over a fingering yarn base, lace weight mohair in different strand counts to create raised areas in the design for the sculptured relief, a lace weight crocheted ruffle on the parasol, and crocheted chain detail on feet, hat and swirls.

Below is a photo of the sculptured relief areas.

silkie relief portions

As you can see I concentrated mainly on the chest and tail area.  I was able to accomplish this by just adding an extra strand of the lace weight mohair when knitting in these spots.  I used 3 strands for the flat, and 4 strands for the raised.  It worked great!   As in all my sculpted designs, it is secured on the back with a 3 step process.

1)  encircling the area with a yarn strand, or strands, then pulling in the area to return to the original gauge

2) filling the area with yarn or fiber fill

3) over laying the area with netting or Tule, then stitching it down with a single ply of the appropriate yarn color. this insures that it will hold it’s shape, even when it is washed.

I can’t wait to get the back done.  The design for the back uses the same floating chain design as I used for the front.

I will update the photo of the finished produce soon, as Ms Silkie is scheduled to make her debut at a Red Hat gathering in southern Idaho in May.

Just thought I would share-

KT

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I just had to share my latest pillow top with you.  Although it is still a work in progress, I have taken my “Intarsiamania” to a new level and have used it to create a relief sculptured design.    The pattern below consists of 3 levels; the base knit of daisies and background; the butterfly, then finally the spiderweb.

hexagon pillow -butterfly and daisies

I chose to knit up the butterfly wings at mid point in the design, so that I would not have the bulk of the entire pillow top to deal with.   Below is a close up of the completed butterfly.  All I have to add is the antenae.

Completed Butterfly

I have also rounded the main body out and stuffed it with yarn strands before closing the back.

It has become a very enjoyable knitting project.  The daisies also have raised centers, which I accomplished with the two tone Pine Cone stitch I developed while designing my, “The Quail in the Snow” motif.

I have charted the butterfly and will upload as soon as possible so that you might be able to use it for a project of your own.

In the meantime, I have been able to finish the second book on Intarsia and invite you to peruse its pages at your leisure.   This second book is focused on planning the project, marking up the chart, and choosing the best method of color knitting for the design.  Check it out.  A peek is just a click away!  Who knows, it might spark your adventure into color knitting.

Intarsiamania Book II

That’s it for now!!

Happy Knitting -KT

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This project has been particularly interesting, as I not only had fun knitting Intarsia , Armenian knitting and Fair Isle, but I also was able to combine three different types of yarns in this design.  The border was done in fingering yarn with lace weight wool and silk strands of  free floating chains riding over the top.

The chicks were especially fun to do with a combination of Aloft mohair, added to a ply of fingering yarn.  Their  3D look was accomplished by adding an additional  two strands of the black mohair to the belly and wing area.  Adding these extra strands automatically increased the gauge without changing the stitch count.  I was able to restore the  gauge around the area by filling the void with poly fill stuffing, then running a few strands of lace weight across the back, side to side, and top to bottom.   Taking up the slack with these strands, allowed me to contract the surrounding stitches back to their proper gauge.  The next move after blocking the top was covering the back with nylon net, (great stuff, by the way) and stitching around the expanded portion of the chicks,so that it would remain securely in place.

The  combination of the Mohair and the 3 D affect  made my chicks look like the little “fuzz balls” they really are.     They are the first thing people touch when they pick up the pillow and comment, ” Oh my gosh!  They look so real!”  And so they do.

The details on the legs, feet, and beak were done with duplicate stitches and crocheted chains of one and two plies of the various yarns.   The various shades on the hen are yarns that have been blended, using  of one ply of each color that have been hand spun back together.   Check out my post on blending yarns if you are interested .

So….the most clarifying  statement I can make about this pillow is that I was never bored knitting it.  It definitely was a challenge to my adventurous knitting spirit.

I also loved working with the free floating chains on the frame of the picture.  Of course as I looked at it more closely I realized this free floating chain pattern would look great on the bottom of a tunic, or the cuff area of a sleeve, or……..  Hummm????  Maybe?   …….

I have included a  tutorial describing the entire process with this  pattern.  I even included charts for practicing the process.  This tutorial is also on my “Fun Stuff”page.  It includes a sample swatch chart of the border for you to practice with.  Enjoy!

At present the pattern is available  in my Ravelry  and Etsy stores.

Again, it was an extremely fun knit.

Happy Knitting

KT

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I have a friend who is wild, and I mean “wild” about her chickens.  Having decided some time ago to design her a special pillow, I finally came to the conclusion that only a “chicken” would do.  Now, she isn’t into the average chickens, she prefers the exotic, and unusual, so enter the Golden Sebright Hen and Chicks.

This new design not only gives me a chance to do the many techniques of color knitting, but also gives me an opportunity to use various kinds of yarns for special affects.  The chicks are really little fuzz balls, so Mohair will give them a more realistic look.  The spotted area you see in the design is actually going to be a blend of black Mohair and one ply of beige grey fingering yarn.  I will also be using White Mohair on the chests.

The border was another matter altogether.  I wanted a lacy grid in the design you see, but cabling the black fingering yarn over the bronze, was much to bulky looking.  What to do?  I began to think “lace.”    I pulled out my lace silk and wool cone, and went to work, using white in the background, I worked “floating” chain loops between the stitches to form the design I drew on the pattern.  Here is the result.

This gave me the affect I wanted.  So I am now waiting for the Black lace yarn to be delivered, so I can get started.  Meanwhile, I will be knitting up swatches of the various shades and combination shades that I will be using in the main design, and recording them in my color chart for later use.

If you might be interested in learning how to knit these free floating chains, take a look at the “Wandering Chains” tutorial on my “Fun Stuff” page, or you can use this Floating chains tutorial.  I will be add to the info as I work on this project and develop the pattern for sale.

Just thought I would share –

Knit-tweaker

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I was so glad to get this one done so I could send it to my grandson.  He has been checking on it’s progress the last few months, so now he won’t have to wait anymore.

I had great fun knitting this one.  I even knitted some extra leaves, which I placed in the front of the duck, stuffing them a bit to give it a 3 dimensional look.

One other thing I did differently from the last pillow was to make my own pillow form.  I discovered that most of the forms  (no matter what you pay for them) are made with clumps of fiber fill, often leaving a lumpy surface.  Of course, that is unacceptable when you have spent many hours working on one of these pillow tops.  The only solution-make it yourself.

I began the process with a sheet of Poly-fill quilt batting.   I cut two 17 inch squares, then machine sewed them together on three sides, using a long stitch.   I stuffed the middle with tiny pieces of fill, poked them in place with a #1 DPN, then whipped the open edge shut.  You could even use two thickness (sheets) for each side to unsure an even smoother surface.   Anyway, it  worked great.  It will also dry much faster as there is no cloth on the inside.

I will be making all my pillow forms from now on.

Now it’s time to box it up and head to the UPS store.  My grandson will be a happy camper!

I hope to have this pillow pattern available soon.  I will be starting my J’s Designer Pillow page soon.

KT

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