Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posting early, since I'll be at friends' house later.  Yeah, I could schedule it to post at 7, but this way I can put out the links I usually put out:

Time for my weekly "keep me honest" report. More plugging away, so here's this week's status of projects in progress and "on deck"

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • Project X for C&L -- the "Convent Stitch" piece.  Threads have been determined and purchased and I'm down to two possibilities for the ground fabric.  Need to do a few test stitches to decide.   
  • Couched cord piece for C&L -- research has been started.  New deadline on the research and design phase is this coming Saturday.  That *may* wind up being extended yet again.  Good thing I "padded" my time line.
  • Applique piece for C&L -- research has been started (actually early for the timeline, but as long as it doesn't take away from other projects, I won't begrudge anything an early start).
  • Shirt for my husband:  Not only needed, but will also confirm my pattern for him *before* I cut into the black silk.  I have only the last seams and hem to do.  Goal is for this to be completed this weekend.
  • Class for March.  I've just been asked to do a class at an embroidery event in March which will be a "more in-depth" than the usual SCA class.  Topic will be German Brick Stitch. Deadline is early January to have concept piece done and photos and write up to the coordinator.  My plan is to write most of the class while I make the concept piece so I can do my usual photos in progress method (without having to do the piece twice!).  Designs have been chosen and materials purchased.  This was the topic of Monday's "Process Post."  Stitch testing is next and then it will be framed up and worked. 
  • Motifs for coronation cloaks (different coronation) -- The embroidery on the two remaining tygers is on hold pending decisions by other people..
  • Marshall Hanging -- the very large Bayeux inspired piece that I've been working on (on and  off) for just about forever.  Deadline, June some time summer 2016.  
  • Hem stitched square -- Now 3 sides are done and the fourth one started.  I think this one has officially gone to "in stasis." 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... I have this lovely black silk for a tunic for my husband -- one which will have plenty of stitching on it.  Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts. Hope to have something ready for us both for an event in December. 

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Proceeding well.  This is excellent travel work -- it fits nicely in a project bag and is easy to pull out during lunch.  The first ball of yarn just keeps going, but I think it will soon actually be finished. I'm pretty sure a second ball will be all this one needs -- meaning lots of the yarn left for something(s) else.  One hank of yarn is done and is definitely 1/2 of the scarf.  This was part of Tuesday's post.  
  • Gift knitting.  I don't take on a lot of knitting for gifts, especially with my usual policy of only having one knitting project in progress at a time, but I found some lovely yarn at Rhinebeck for a scarf for a friend for an EOYHOYC* gift so that will enter rotation.  This is on the needles (also part of Tuesday's post), and is moving quickly.  I'm pretty happy with it so far.
  • Annual cross stitch.  A few years ago I started a project for the adopted daughter of friends -- I bought a lovely cross stitch chart that is made up of a number of motifs (similar to Quaker samplers).  There are just enough motifs for me to do a different one for an ornament each year for her until she reaches 21.  I even know where the chart and materials are, so that needs to get started soon. 
  • Skirts for work.  One skirt that had been languishing in my studio has had some work done, and now just needs a hem (that's the one I pinned up). This hem is on my list for this weekend.  I also have some lovely blue and white fabric waiting to be the next skirt. Yes, you're right, no change here. (Really, what is so hard about getting around to sewing up the hem, which is the *last thing* on the black and white one). 
  • Studio project. Yes, the studio is in good shape, but I do still have that wall of desk and closets to finish organizing.  I did get the desk cleaned up and the new computer set up. The WiFi booster has also been set up, so I'm ready to work in there.  I've had a couple good sessions, and I expect more going forward.  Every time I do go in, I try to organize one more thing. 
Blog notes:
  • Still working on a three day a week pattern -- Monday for SCA/Medieval/Renaissance related; Tuesday for post 1600 to modern related and Thursdays for status updates.
  • I've begun building the "DONE" pages, and moved links around a bit.  The "main categories" are to the right now -- that's the main labels.  Click on one and see all the posts with that label.  Down below are *all* the labels I've used.  
  • I'm also considering a couple other pages -- one for links to museums and other excellent web resources, and one for a bibliography (with appropriate links).  
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Breaking a rule....

I’ve broken one of my rules, but it’s all in the name of the holidays.

My yellow Bay of Fundy scarf is about half done.  How do I know?  I’ve just about finished one hank of the yarn and it is about 33 inches long.  I have three more hanks, but I don't think it will take more than one more.  Here’s an in progress shot.  Can’t wait to see what it looks like all done and blocked.  I’m considering blocking this half a) to see how it looks and b) to make the final blocking a little easier.  Thoughts?

 That's the whole thing (so far) to the left, pinned to the box for a Billy bookcase.  Love the cable pattern.  That little ball is all that is left of the first hank - just a few more rows, I'm sure.

However, the End of Year Holidays are approaching.  Whatever you call it, December is a time of celebration, family, friends and gifting. Well, ok, for us the gifting usually goes well into January … and sometimes beyond, but late November and December is the season of considering gifts, and making them.  So, here’s the rule breaking – my usual rule is “one knitting project at a time.”  Considering the number of other projects I have going at any given time, *some* area of my crafty world needs to be reigned in.  However, I really want to do a knitted gift for my new boss, so that has gone on the needles.  It will be fast, and I’ll move back to the yellow scarf/wrap soon.

Not only that, but I’m learning something while I do it.  The project I’m doing is all about short rows.  Why was I afraid of them?  Apparently I have come far in my knitting since I did socks.  When I did the short row heels on the socks, I slavishly followed the directions, but didn’t really “get” what I was doing, I just followed the pattern.  This time, however, as I do segment after segment on this lovely ruffle scarf, I’m “getting” it.  I see where they’re going and what they’re doing. 

I call that worth a small rule break, how about you?

Sorry, no value added photos until after the gift has been given…. Not sure if she reads this blog, but I like surprises to be surprises.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Process Post...

At one point I asked for ideas of posts, and one of the requests was for one (or maybe a series) on "process."

So, here's a process post.  I was recently asked to teach a class in March with the proviso that I need to have write up *and sample photos* ready by the beginning of January. Since I'll be needing to take photos at each step for illustration of the hand out, I thought it would be a good topic for a series of process posts.  I will probably time some of them to be after the info is sent to the coordinator, but here's the beginning.

The class will be on German Brick Stitch.  There is, of course the materials webbed by Master Richard Wymarc ( (Timothy J. Mitchell), originally an issue of The Compleat Anachronist in July 1996.

Stage 1: Design selection  I started from Master Wymarc's website, being an excellent source of designs and information regarding existing pieces.  I decided that I want to offer a small pouch for the project, and that it should have both an easy-to-execute design and one with slightly more complex counting.  For the simpler design, I decided on elements from the piece "Part of a Stole or Maniple."  This one qualifies as a simpler design because the stitches are all the same length, and are fairly repetative (and if I use only the flowers, they will be completely repetative).  For something with a bit more counting involved I chose one of the patterns titled "An Embroidered Bag." Ultimately, I will prepare a design based on these two charts which will use one on one side and the other for the other side of the final bag.

Stage 2: Color and Material selection.  Having decided on the inspiration designs, I proceeded to color choice.  First, I determined in what ways I'll change the colors.  I want the two sides of the bag to coordinate, and I want to keep the number of colors down as much as possible. I decided that the final color set will be blue, red, yellow, "old gold" and white.  I will use red where the simpler design calls for red and the more complex calls for purple.  The old gold will replace the green.  Blue, yellow and white will remain the same (although I may swap yellow and white on the simpler design to avoid too much yellow on gold... or not, that will be determined in the testing phase).  A trip to the needlework store was next in order.  I pulled one each of the blue, red, gold and yellow DMC referenced by Master Wymarc as reference colors, then looked at the threads available.  From prior projects, I knew I want to use silk approximately the size of Perle 5.  I looked at both Grandeur by Rainbow Threads and Trebizond.  I finally chose the Trebizond - look at that sheen!  I will admit that I played a little with the colors to achieve a palate that I found pleasing. I was luck y enough to find a piece of Congress Cloth (my preferred ground for Brick Stitch) in eggshell in the remainders bin that should be *just about* the right size (class pieces will be cut with more precision).  Finally, a set of stretcher bars (a pair of 6" and a pair of 11" and a box of tack were added to my purchase.

Next up will be finalizing the specific pattern and testing the colors together.