Thursday, January 16, 2014

Finished Scarf!

I finally finished my first slip-stitch project last night, Red Leaves on Snow.  The pattern is called Morning Dew Scarf.  It did not go perfectly, but the errors are small enough to be acceptable.  One of the big challenges was keeping my stitch tension loose enough, so I didn't end up with a tight little strip.  This is stretchy and squishy.  The other challenge was keeping the leaves aligned across all the rows.  I made a few counting errors and didn't see them until rows later - too far to be able to unravel back.  So I had to keep an eye out when working the red leaves.  I'm really happy with the yarn too.  This is Knit Picks' new one, Andes Del Campo, in dove gray and hot rod red.
You see it here pinned out for blocking.  I'm hoping it will dry by tomorrow and I can wear it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014

Put 2014 in the title just to get used to writing the new date.  Let's hope it's a good year for us all.

I've been surprised lately by how much I'm enjoying making things again.  It feels good to have this much creative urge.  I used to do a lot of sewing and embroidery in my 20's and 30's, then got busy with other things.  In the past three or four months I've become much more interested again, although the crafts have changed somewhat.  Now it's crochet and sewing, with possible expansions into spinning and leather-work.

One of my recent efforts is a small purse.
 I have a store-bought one in a similar shape that's just a bit too small.  This is a better size.  I traced the curve from a wooden violin case my husband has. I've been using it this week and I'm mostly happy with it.  The strap is tough and useful, but I might eventually change it to leather.  This is the third bag I've made with this fabric.  I still have about a yard of the purple, and some small pieces of the light green.

Yesterday I went back to the home fabrics store and found five fabrics that all coordinate, in a different color scheme, plus some linings and a few trims.
  I'll probably end up getting more trims as needed.  There are some cool fringes, tassels, and cords out there, but I think you have to be careful it doesn't look like you stole them from your grandmother's drapes.

I want to make bags with a medieval/fantasy influence to them.  But not over the top, and still useful enough you'd want to use it on an everyday basis.  It's the process of design and making that appeals to me most, but I can't use 20 purses!  So I'm going to dip one toe into selling and see how it goes.  I think I have a ways to go in the quality of the finish, but the only way to improve is to Do It!

Today I looked through some costume books for pictures of purses and bags.  I need to do more research, but it was surprising how few books on historic dress include purses and bags.  So I'll keep looking.  Paintings are a good source.

I  also drew out a few shapes based on medieval decorative motifs, enlarged them and started cutting out on some light fabric, just to see how they make up.  There may be some adjustments, but I'll wait til I've made them up to see how they work.