Thursday, July 14, 2016

Why, hello Thursday

As I mentioned, for a little while anyway I'm dropping this blog to "when I have something to say" -- but I'm still going to bore you with my Thursday honesty:

I'm going to need more of these.... 
Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • C&L expert panel piece; Couched cord. Um, DONE.  Blogged on Monday
  • C&L expert panel piece; Couching around applique.  Plan is in hand.  In fact, I expect to go to my studio this evening to gather the materials. 
  • C&L expert panel piece; Underside couching.  Another small piece is planned for this.  I can't say much, because it is going to be a gift.  I'll keep careful notes and do a nice long process blog when it's been given. 
  • C&L expert panel piece;  Marshall Hanging.  Going away this weekend and this is going with me.  Possibly there will be a "here's the status" post next week.... maybe.
  • C&L expert panel piece; Icelandic altar frontal based piece.  Well, it has a name :)
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now. The embroidery of the sample is done just have to do the making up. 
Sleeping projects (SCA/Historic): Being honest, I don't expect much to be done with these until after September, though maybe the event cushions will get pushed out.
  • Hem stitched square -- This has kind of gone into hibernation in my event basket, to come out when I have just that couple of minutes to do something.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."
  • Event cushions.  Got that lovely red fabric, just need to make the cushions.  There's enough to make "quick" envelope style cushions AND have enough for better box cushions down  the road.... maybe. 

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted.  Why, yes, it still needs to be blocked.  
  • Northern Lights Cowl --  I've been enjoying this one, though in the interest of getting some embroidery done it may need to be relegated to "pick it up occasionally, but only as a reward for getting some other stuff done."  Also, waiting rooms and such. Closing in on the end.  
  • Clothing for work.  Can we just take it as read that I need to do this and don't know when it's going to happen?  On the other hand, I did manage to knock out three skirts -- two of which can also be sun dresses -- thanks to JoAnn's cool "Style in an Instant" fabric (on deep sale).  
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This has not been happening and it really shows in many ways.I did pick up the parts to work on changing up the one closet.  
Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for, not to mention a stash that does not fit in the cedar chest which is supposed to be the limiting factor on yarns... 
Blog notes:
  • There will be the Thursday status updates, and otherwise some occasional posts updating progress. 
  • I have started my resources page (so far it has ONE thing on it).  I do have plans to add to it  A Bibliography page will have to wait until after September I think, it will be a massive undertaking. 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Couching & Laid Work - Couched Cord

For my Couching & Laid Work back up pieces, I needed one showing simple couched cord as a decoration.  I decided to make a cover for my Kindle Paperwhite for less obtrusive use at events.

First, I obtained a cover to fit my Paperwhite, with space for the cover to be folded over.


I chose a design from La fleur de la science de pour traiture et patrons de broderie façons aralïque et ytalique par Fr. Pelegrin, de Florence, which can be found here. Published in 1530. I chose the "bones" of the design found at 22r. Four of the motifs fit the middle of my cover well.

Next up to was to obtain materials.  I found a lovely piece of brown linen, then a trip to my local needlework store yielded tapestry weight wool for the cord and silk for couching down. I selected "my colors" of blue and gold.

Construction started with cutting a piece of the linen larger than the open cover.   I hemmed the piece of linen and assembled folded in for the book cover.  I did this to ensure that the embroidery will be  centered properly on the cover.

Here the Kindle is in the cover.  I would have preferred a larger turn over, but the way the Kindle fits in the cover precluded that.  Once the cover is done I will lace it in place to keep it better anchored.





Next, I pinned the design, which I had traced, onto the cover.


Unfortunately, the brown  linen is too opaque to use the light box.  Therefore, I had to choose another transfer method.  Since I have no "pounce" on hand, I chose the stitching method.  I carefully stitched through the paper, following the lines of the design, using a simple back stitch.  I used yellow for the places I intended to couch down yellow wool, and blue for the blue -- figuring that in this way I would limit the amount of the stitched guide lines that would need to be removed later.  Then, I carefully tore away the paper.  A thinner tracing paper would have made this easier, but with careful, steady work, it all came off without distorting the stitching. 
There we are, all outlined and ready to go.  Kind of pretty that way, too, really like this design.  Yes, those are my glasses.  I often do fine work without my glasses on -- my nearsightedness means that very close work is easy for me without correction. 

Next, it was time to start laying cord.  I started with the larger section of the blue.  For that section only I pinned the "cord" in place (though as I worked I adjusted the laid cord to more carefully follow the guide lines. 

First round down.  Since the subsequent cords would need to be "woven" through for the over/under, I carefully couched on either side of the guide lines.  Now, I was sure I had taken pictures of the next phase, but apparently I did not.  I took a large tapestry needle and loosely wove the inner blue cord, then couched it down.  Next I did each of the yellow ones. 

Blue done, starting on yellow.

All done the basic couching
Having finished the basic couching, I removed the guide lines that were showing, to have a cleaner look.  At this point, the only couching is to anchor the loops and one either side of each cross. After removing the guide lines, I went through and placed additional couching. 

And, there it is, all done -- on the cover.  My plan is now to do an applique on the back -- with couched cord around the edges. Once the linen cover is done and laced into place, I may couch cord around all the edges, but that will be addressed once the back is done. 

Close up of one quadrant











Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday, yes, I'm still being honest

As I mentioned, for a little while anyway I'm dropping this blog to "when I have something to say" -- but I'm still going to bore you with my Thursday honesty:

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • C&L expert panel piece; Couched cord. Design and project have been determined.  I expect to get the design transferred to fabric, possibly as soon as this weekend.  This will be a fairly small piece, making it good for a travel piece.
  • C&L expert panel piece; Underside couching.  Another small piece is planned for this.  I can't say much, because it is going to be a gift.  I'll keep careful notes and do a nice long process blog when it's been given. 
  • C&L expert panel piece;  Marshall Hanging.  I got to work on this over the weekend at an event.  I expect it to have a dedicated work space by the end of this weekend. 
  • C&L expert panel piece; Icelandic altar frontal based piece.  Well, it has a name :)
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now. The embroidery of the sample is done just have to do the making up. 
Sleeping projects (SCA/Historic): Being honest, I don't expect much to be done with these until after September, though maybe the event cushions will get pushed out.
  • Hem stitched square -- This has kind of gone into hibernation in my event basket, to come out when I have just that couple of minutes to do something.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."
  • Event cushions.  Got that lovely red fabric, just need to make the cushions.  There's enough to make "quick" envelope style cushions AND have enough for better box cushions down  the road.... maybe. 

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted.  Why, yes, it still needs to be blocked.  Maybe this upcoming long weekend. 
  • Northern Lights Cowl --  I've been enjoying this one, though in the interest of getting some embroidery done it may need to be relegated to "pick it up occasionally, but only as a reward for getting some other stuff done."  Also, waiting rooms and such.
  • Clothing for work.  Can we just take it as read that I need to do this and don't know when it's going to happen?
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This has not been happening and it really shows in many ways.
  • Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for, not to mention a stash that does not fit in the cedar chest which is supposed to be the limiting factor on yarns... 
Blog notes:
  • There will be the Thursday status updates, and otherwise some occasional posts updating progress. 
  • I have started my resources page (so far it has ONE thing on it).  I hope to add one or two things a week. That page will be web resources.  A Bibliography page will have to wait until after September I think, it will be a massive undertaking. 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Semi-Hiatus.

I have come to the conclusion that I need to pull back a little on this blog.  I will continue to blog, but it will be more on a "when I have something to say" basis.  I will post on Facebook and Google+ as public posts when there is a new entry -- or you can "subscribe" by email to the right there.  I will continue my weekly Thursday "keep Kandy honest" posts.

This may result in more posts, it may result in less, my hope is that it will result in meatier posts, not so many "oh, here's a cool thing, I'll say more later" posts.

I'll also be working on updating the DONE pages and the Resources pages.

This will also mean more embroidery time.

And, who knows, maybe I'll be back to a regular schedule after September.

Meanwhile, here's what I was doing this weekend:



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Another Thursday, not much different

I promised I would try to be honest and post each Thursday even when there is nothing much to say, so yes, this is pretty much a cut and paste from last week.  

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • C&L expert panel pieces -- I'm working on finalizing my list and the designs for the individual pieces.  Once determined, each will have an entry here. I now know why I haven't settled on the couching around applique piece -- I was waiting for an exciting thing to show up.  Also, I think I've nailed down the design for the couched cord piece.  
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now. The embroidery of the sample is done just have to do the making up. 
  • Marshall Hanging -- Progress!  I got some work on this.  Soon it will have its own work space in my house for much more work.
  • Hem stitched square -- This has kind of gone into hibernation in my event basket, to come out when I have just that couple of minutes to do something.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."
  • Event cushions.  Got that lovely red fabric, just need to make the cushions.  There's enough to make "quick" envelope style cushions AND have enough for better box cushions down  the road.... maybe. 

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted.  Why, yes, it still needs to be blocked.  Maybe this upcoming long weekend. 
  • Northern Lights Cowl --  I've been enjoying this one, though in the interest of getting some embroidery done it may need to be relegated to "pick it up occasionally, but only as a reward for getting some other stuff done."  Also, waiting rooms and such.
  • Clothing for work.  Can we just take it as read that I need to do this and don't know when it's going to happen?
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This has not been happening and it really shows in many ways.
  • Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for, not to mention a stash that does not fit in the cedar chest which is supposed to be the limiting factor on yarns... 
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 have started my resources page (so far it has ONE thing on it).  I hope to add one or two things a week. That page will be web resources.  A Bibliography page will have to wait until after September I think, it will be a massive undertaking. 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A quick project

This past Saturday a friend was elevated to the Order of the Laurel (for those not in the SCA, this is our highest award for Arts & Sciences -- a very big deal).  Many people pulled together to prepare clothing, food for those visiting her prior to the ceremony, and regalia.  Clothing was also prepared for her husband to wear for this fancy event.  Mid week a call went out seeking "points" for his clothing.

Points are cords or ties used to hold clothing together. A gentleman's hose or pants are held to his doublet with points, for instance.  Sleeves may be tied onto gowns with points.  The ends are finished with aglets.  Those of you who love words may recognize this as the word for the metal or plastic tube tightly fixed around each end of a shoelace.

And that's basically what points are -- laces, in fact, in some listings they are referred to as laces. 

I knew I had a little time available and stepped up to make three long black points.  These are made with Splendor silk and silver color aglets:

I used pattern 4 "This Flat String" from The Compleat Anachronist #108 (also available on line at Fingerloop.org).  It makes a lovely braid that bears a very strong resemblance to modern flat shoelaces. 

Here, all three braids that I made are shown, one coiled around.  Including the aglets, they were 18-20 inches long.  Each was made with five loops (or "bowes") of 4 strands each.  This made it easy to prepare the thread as Splendor is in a divisible thread of 12 strands, made up of three groups of 4 strands each.  After cutting to length, it was easy to separate out to the number of lengths needed.




 A nice flat braid.
 Thin when looked at from the side.
Comparison of flat and on its side.  

I enjoyed the quick project of making these points, and I think our kitten enjoyed it a lot as well. 

I have a "future project" in mind to make more fingerloop braids, following the patterns listed in this booklet and in another book "Tak V Bowes."  Though there are a number of patterns, some of them are differentiated only by the way the colors are set up, the "formula" is the same.  I want to explore the differences that are made by changing the colors (they don't have to be all one color) -- using multiple colors, and changing which fingers the colors start on. 

And now, back to Couching and Laid work embroidery and research!




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday -- that means it's almost the weekend.

Time for honesty...

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • C&L expert panel pieces -- I'm working on finalizing my list and the designs for the individual pieces.  Once determined, each will have an entry here. I now know why I haven't settled on the couching around applique piece -- I was waiting for an exciting thing to show up.  More later.  
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now. The embroidery of the sample is done just have to do the making up. 
  • Marshall Hanging -- Progress!  I got some work on this.  Soon it will have its own work space in my house for much more work.
  • Hem stitched square -- This has kind of gone into hibernation in my event basket, to come out when I have just that couple of minutes to do something.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."
  • Event cushions.  Got that lovely red fabric, just need to make the cushions.  There's enough to make "quick" envelope style cushions AND have enough for better box cushions down  the road.... maybe. 

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted.  Why, yes, it still needs to be blocked.  Maybe this upcoming long weekend. 
  • Northern Lights Cowl --  I've been enjoying this one, though in the interest of getting some embroidery done it may need to be relegated to "pick it up occasionally, but only as a reward for getting some other stuff done."  Also, waiting rooms and such.
  • Clothing for work.  Can we just take it as read that I need to do this and don't know when it's going to happen?
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This did not happen in January, or February, or March... Help me April, you're my only hope!
Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for, not to mention a stash that does not fit in the cedar chest which is supposed to be the limiting factor on yarns... 
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 have started my resources page (so far it has ONE thing on it).  I hope to add one or two things a week. That page will be web resources.  A Bibliography page will have to wait until after September I think, it will be a massive undertaking. 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tool talk -- light pad.

There are many ways to transfer an embroidery pattern to the ground fabric (when that is being done, as opposed to following a chart).  Not one way works for all patterns and fabrics, but one of my favorites is the use of a light box.  I've had a large one that I haul around for some time.  It's big and clumsy, but gets the job done. 

But, with the advent of LED lights, came the light pad.  I found one on Amazon for less than $50, and hemmed and hawed about buying it (after all, I had a perfectly usable light box).  My husband gave it to me for Christmas.  It is this one .  It is so delightfully light weight, and the diffused light is just perfect for transferring designs.  

The pad comes with a lovely carry tote, which is roomy enough to include a roll of painter's tape (less chance of residue on the surface), paper and a few supplies.  It comes with a few sheets of a parchment-like tracing paper.  I haven't used that yet, but I look forward to playing with it. 



Inside the carry tote, I keep my pad in the foam bag that it came with and keep the foam corner protectors on it... just for a little added security. This is so much easier to take with me when going to an arts day, or off to teach someone. 




The light pad has a lovely clear surface, and even a grid on two sides.  In this shot, you can see reflection of my hands holding the phone/camera and a painting on the wall behind me. 

The power button also adjusts the brightness.  My old one has a rocker switch which is, in some ways, more convenient, but there is no delay when turning this one on, so the difference is negligible. More expensive pads might have a separate switch for selecting brightness.

It's very very slim -- barely thicker than the slot for the power cord.  It runs on USB. There was not an adapter, but those are easy enough to get just about anywhere.  It does not have a battery (it can't be "charged up") -- again, look to the more expensive models for that. The cord is flat, and quite long.

I'll be sure to take some "process" shots using this light pad to show it in use. 

My old light box has a larger working surface, and will not be discarded, but it will be kept tucked away in the closet in my studio -- it will be good to have two for classes and A&S gatherings -- but it will be my lovely light weight light pad that will be pulled out most of the times that it is time to do design transfer. 

Oh, and yes, it's a very modern process -- but it is also an echo of an old one.  There are wood cuts showing design transfer being done at a window, and even over a light candle.  This modern marvel is much safer than the candle, and an easier angle than the window.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Stay tuned

No Tuesday night post this week, for a number of factors.... mostly having to do with everyone in two office complexes apparently leaving *at the same time* -- then a snafu at my CSA pick up,  Oh, right, and my lack of having gotten ahead like I've been meaning to :)


Monday, June 6, 2016

Marshall Hanging Update

Saturday I was at an event and took my Bayeux Tapestry inspired piece -- the one I call the "Marshall Hanging"

I got some more done on the figure representing my husband.  That figure, especially the top of it, is proving to be the hardest to do.  Not for any problem with the design, but for the location. It is *just* in the middle of the frame -- and *just* far enough from all edges to make it difficult to reach. I can work on only a little of it at a time.
Photo by Lissa Underhill
Having done a little of that work, I moved to the second cat figure.  Since I am often asked, I tracked the time it took to do the outline.  This outline took one hour and twenty seven minutes.  Now, I was chatting often while working on it, working at home with less distractions will go faster.

I very much enjoyed the day, sharing my work, learning about that of others, and spending time in the "modern middle ages."  Now it is time to get my planned downstairs work space set up so I can really motor through the rest of this piece.


This week I'll be working on embroidery, working on research, and preparing materials for teaching embroidery at a demo this coming Sunday.  On to 'all the thread, all the time.'



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Oh, wait... Thursday.

Silly holidays -- I've been off calendar all week.  Of course, that doesn't explain why most of today I had to keep reminding myself it isn't Friday...

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • C&L expert panel pieces -- I'm working on finalizing my list and the designs for the individual pieces.  Once determined, each will have an entry here. 
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now. The embroidery of the sample is done (as reported on Monday), just have to do the making up. 
  • Marshall Hanging -- This is going with me for Saturday's event, and I'm hoping to have enough done to do a post.
  • Hem stitched square -- This has kind of gone into hibernation in my event basket, to come out when I have just that couple of minutes to do something.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."
  • Event cushions.  Got that lovely red fabric, just need to make the cushions.  There's enough to make "quick" envelope style cushions AND have enough for better box cushions down  the road.... maybe. 

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted.  Why, yes, it still needs to be blocked.  Maybe this upcoming long weekend. 
  • Northern Lights Cowl --  I've been enjoying this one, though in the interest of getting some embroidery done it may need to be relegated to "pick it up occasionally, but only as a reward for getting some other stuff done."  Also, waiting rooms and such.
  • Clothing for work.  This may have to be moved up a bit, as one of my favorite skirts just gave its last.  Now I really need to find pink fabric I like because I cannot imagine not having something in that dark rich pink in my wardrobe.  Of course, I *could* get around to doing the hem on the black and white, that would help.  Update -- got that pink fabric.... now to make it up. 
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This did not happen in January, or February, or March... Help me April, you're my only hope!
Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for, not to mention a stash that does not fit in the cedar chest which is supposed to be the limiting factor on yarns... 
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 have started my resources page (so far it has ONE thing on it).  I hope to add one or two things a week. That page will be web resources.  A Bibliography page will have to wait until after September I think, it will be a massive undertaking. 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Always look....

This post kind of relates to my post in January about cross-shopping -- it's about keeping your eyes open when shopping.

Sunday I went to JoAnn's.  I had their Memorial Day weekend coupon (20% off entire purchase, including sale items).  I specifically went to buy fabric for a new pink skirt, my favorite having given up (quite dramatically -- fortunately while taking it off for the night).  Now, I could have gone in, found the pink fabric, and left.  But I never go to JoAnn's without looking at the sales -- and especially at the "red dot" fabrics.

Most of the time it's junk -- or at least fabrics not even remotely calculated to be useful to me.  This trip, however, this lovely red fabric stood out.  It's a nice heavy cotton canvas with a yellow chain stitched design.  I love how the design echoes architectural design elements that stretch back as far as the 12th Century.  So often when you *can* find "medieval-oid" designs in the home decorating department they read more like 14th to 16th centuries.  The two yards I bought will provide a number of cushions for taking to events -- and probably some other "cover the modern" uses as well.

Now, normally, I would have passed this fabric by -- or just admired it and put it down after seeing the over $50 a yard price tag. But it was on the clearance rack at $21 - AND all the clearance was an additional 50% off -- AND don't forget that coupon.

So, 2 yards for $16.80 that would originally have been over $100.  Not bad -- and just for keeping my eyes open.  The cushions will not, unfortunately, make their way to the studio table and "done" pages for this weekend upcoming, but soon.  Maybe.

Oh, and I *did* get my pink fabric, too.  So there will be a pink skirt back in my wardrobe ... at some point.

That "eyes open" shopping has gotten me a lot of useful things at excellent prices. I've found dishes, decorating items, clothing, tools and many other items just by being open to noticing things.

It also works well for "end of year holiday of your choice" gifts -- I think the first thing I bought this year was in January.  Of course the biggest issue with those is remembering where the items are by "end of the year."

Monday, May 30, 2016

Progress!

While I'm working on my designs and schedule for the projects for my expert panel in September, I returned to a project that I really wanted to complete well before this -- and certainly before the "all couching all the time"  -- the sample for my German Brick Stitch class.

Here is a picture of the completed embroidery.

Because I made the mistake of working it all the way to the frame, the edges aren't quite neat enough, but I'll fix that once it's off the frame and I can get at the holes.  Then I'll trim the edges and do a lining.  The line where the design changes will be the bottom, and the top and bottom will be the opening at the top of the bag.  I'll attach lining pieces to the two ends then sew the lining seams (side and bottom).  The bag I'll fold wrong sides facing and fold in the side seams and over stitch - first with some linen, and then with one of the silks for a decorative edge.  That will prevent the need to turn it after stitching which can put extra stress on those seams.  The lining bag will tuck in, and then a drawstring will go in at the top.  Photos of the finishing will be a future blog.

Overall I'm happy with the piece as a teaching piece.  I would normally do all one design, but I wanted the teaching piece to have an easier and a more difficult counting design offered.

Now, on to preparing for next weekend's event, where I will be working on the Marshall hanging and enjoying time with other fiber arts folks.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Return of the Thursday update

Not a lot of progress to report, but I have to keep honest...

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • C&L expert panel pieces -- I'm working on finalizing my list and the designs for the individual pieces.  Once determined, each will have an entry here. 
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now. Some work done on the teaching/sample project, because I feel I have to get this off my plate. 
  • Marshall Hanging -- No, nothing new.    
  • Hem stitched square -- This has kind of gone into hibernation in my event basket, to come out when I have just that couple of minutes to do something.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted.  Why, yes, it still needs to be blocked.  Maybe this upcoming long weekend. 
  • Northern Lights Cowl --  I've been enjoying this one, though in the interest of getting some embroidery done it may need to be relegated to "pick it up occasionally, but only as a reward for getting some other stuff done."  Also, waiting rooms and such.
  • Clothing for work.  This may have to be moved up a bit, as one of my favorite skirts just gave its last.  Now I really need to find pink fabric I like because I cannot imagine not having something in that dark rich pink in my wardrobe.  Of course, I *could* get around to doing the hem on the black and white, that would help.  
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This did not happen in January, or February, or March... Help me April, you're my only hope!
Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for.  Also, attending Maryland Sheep & Wool this weekend will undoubtedly produce *something* new for the queue.... 
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 have started my resources page (so far it has ONE thing on it).  I hope to add one or two things a week. That page will be web resources.  A Bibliography page will have to wait until after September I think, it will be a massive undertaking. 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Art Books

Not all inspiration for textile arts comes from existing textiles.  Art books can be a great source.  Not only for the representations of textiles in art, but also for themes and motifs.

One of the most common, the acanthus leaf vine, for instance, can be found in paintings, illuminations, stone work, metal work, and on and on.

We don't all have huge local libraries with shelves and shelves of art books.  Interlibrary loan is great, but so are some of the on line resources.  One of these that I have used as recently as this week is the vast catalog of Met Museum publications available on line, here -- many have free download of the PDF and full text on line.  Often even if full text is not on line, there is a "preview" option -- so you can get an idea of whether the book might be useful to pursue further.

Yes, for many things I like old fashioned "dead tree" books, but there is one advantage the PDFs have -- photos can be made bigger.  They do lose some some clarity, but it's a great help -- even if just to gather information to decide if you want to research a given item more deeply.

This leads up to the opening of a new page on this blog -- resources. Over the next weeks I will populate the page with resources such as on line books, museum collection search pages and even some of my favorite on line purchasing sites.  Watch for the new page to open soon.

Now, off to more fiber work!




Monday, May 23, 2016

Expert Panel announcment

It is official.  I will be making my Expert panel in Couching and Laid work presentation to Athena's Thimble (SCA East Kingdom embroidery guild) on September 24, 2016.  From now until then, all embroidery will be focused on that project.

The planned items will be:

  • A Simple couched cord design
  • A banner with cord couched around the applique.
  • A piece based on the Italian pieces I talked about here.
  • The Pelican medallions I did for a friends cloak, discussed here.
  • A piece based on an Icelandic altar frontal (not yet blogged)
  • A piece of underside couching.
  • And, for the "master work" the Marshall hanging, based on the Bayeux tapestry, which has been discussed on several posts.

There are a couple of other items I'm considering as small example pieces -- samplers and "learning example" items.  There will also be a presentation of information on existing pieces used as the inspirations and the form in general.  

So, it's just about exactly 4 months.  There will be plenty of progress posts during that time!

To close, I'll leave you with a shot of one of the animals from the Marshall.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Thursday on Friday

Did you notice that I didn't update status yesterday?  Or last week?  Mainly it's because there hasn't been much change, other than a little bit of knitting and a lot of thinking.

Oh, and the scheduling of my expert panel for September 24 at the SCA Event River War.

This means, of course, that there will start to be lots of embroidery progress.

So, no actual run down this week, just take it as read that it's the same as the last time I posted, other than that the cowl is further along.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Despite a full historic schedule....

Yesterday I posted about having a very full SCA schedule for June... and that the summer will be very full of work on a project for September... however, I am also currently working on a post 1600 item.

My current travel piece is this little bit of knitting:



It's KnitPicks' pattern Northern Lights cowl, though I've adjusted the stitch count to make tracking the rounds a little less important -- by using one stitch less it's a simple pattern of five knit, one perl.  The yarn is their Chroma in the color "Carnival."  It fills my heart with glee to see all the lovely jewel tones, and it has plenty of the "color that makes me smile."  The yellow and green stripes are wider because it is a mirror repeat.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together.

My yellow alpaca wrap is waiting for the work table in my studio to be clear so it can be blocked.

Once the cowl is done I'll be casting on some fingerless mitts in the same yellow alpaca -- though I need to choose a pattern first.

I like knitting -- especially these smaller type of projects -- for my travel projects because they easily fit in my purse and can come out and a bit done any down time.

Enjoy the rest of the week folks!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday - SCA scheduling post

As most readers know, it is the Society for Creative Anachronism which took my early love of embroidery, sewing and "all things fiber" to the study of historic "things fiber."  Here are a number of events at which I will be playing with fibery goodness.  For those not in the SCA, we love newcomers.  If you've never been to an SCA event and would like to come to one of these (or another one), contact me ahead and we'll make sure you know what to expect....

June will be busy for me.  The first weekend will be attendance at an event called "Artisans' Village"  This is an all arts event with a number of areas devoted to different arts that people work on.  I'm coordinating the fiber "village" (and if you're attending and would like to help out with that, let me know).  I plan to have my big Bayeux Tapestry inspired piece to work on, plus some teaching materials for impromptu stitch teaching.

The next weekend is a big Kingdom-wide event.  (Kingdoms are our larger regions, we are in the Kingdom of the East.)  Southern Region War Camp features just about everything people in the SCA do -- fighting, archery, thrown weapons, and arts displays.  My husband is slated to help with the lunch board, and I will probably be wandering around with friends watching activities, shopping (did I mention shopping?), and probably settling down somewhere for some companionable stitching.  I'll have along a smaller project for that event.   I will be attending only Saturday for this event. because the next day I will be teaching embroidery at a demo. 
 
Then, the following weekend I'll be at another smaller, focused event, A Day in the Solar.   This event will be focused on helping people get ready for the very very big 2 week long event, Pennsic.  I will once again have my large piece with me, and I will also have the German Brick Stitch teaching box. 

After that I get a bit of a break.  I don't actually attend Pennsic, and there is not much else on my calendar for the summer other than stitching every chance I get. Come September I'll be back in the event cycle again, with two in September. "Watch this space" for an official announcement about one of those.

So, now back to some stitching, and some research.  Hope I get to see you at one or more of these events, and you can count on "event reports" afterwards. 

Meanwhile, here is a gratuitous photo of our new kitten... Doing all this fiber craft will be great fun with him around, I'm sure :) 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tuesday on Wednesday

Tuesday is the day for post 1600 through modern stuff -- so what better day to gloat report about the goodies I got at Maryland Sheep & Wool.

First, to brag on my husband, who took second place in the grand lamb cookoff with his home made lambwich -- using his own sauce. Second place for the second year in a row.  This year with 95 (of 100) points.  He is, of course, already planning next year's entry. I will be subjected to the testing.  "Darn.







Now, on to the loot.  There it all is (except for items purchased for gifts, because this is a spoiler free zone).

Let's see, silk threads, scissors, a posy pin and a tote.  Nope, no yarn.  Oh, I saw lots of yarn that I could have bought, but every time I started to look at some, I remembered that my cedar chest (repository of my stash) is full -- and that I have yarn that doesn't fit.

The base there is a tote bag with a prior year's design.  It's a great middle size, and recycled materials.  I was using the backpack style bag I got at NY S&W, so didn't really need a new tote bag, but it really just kind of called out.  Now I have a tote from every S&W I've been to.

Those scissors are really unique. The handle rises from the pivot point at an almost 90 degree angle, then the finger rings bend off again.  This allows for trimming of embroidery thread ends right next to the ground fabric, without distorting the ground fabric.  I'm looking forward to using these to make nice close trims of my ends on embroidery.

 Two of the vendors were familiar to me from New York S&W.

 The Wool Room has a supply of Japanese filament silk. The lovely lady went to her car and got the tote out for me, and my friend and I had a grand time rooting through.  I was able to add black and this lovely burgundy to my collection of this super, super fine silk thread. That is one strand of the burgundy sitting on that dime. You can tell by looking at the hanks that it is really as fine as hair.  It's fussy to work with, but makes a lovely couching thread.


 The other vendor is Serendipity Farm & Studio.  Like The Wool Room, they primarily carry weaving supplies.  They do have one rack of these spools of silk thread.  I'm pretty sure I have both this gold and this green, and there's lots on there, but I also could not resist picking up another spool.  I have their white and a lighter gold and a greenish gold.  This is a fairly tightly twisted thread, and I have found it to be very useful for sewing.

You can see from the single thread sitting on a dime that this is a good sewing size. It will also be a good thread for couching larger cords. 


A not so-fiber-related item that I bought was this posy pin.  I've been watching Poirot on Netflicks, and love the pin he wears that holds a flower.  So, when at one stall I found these posy pins made from old hollow handled table knives, I had to get one.  Here it is with a bit of my (not yet open) lilac in it. I was even able to choose one from a flatware design similar to some of the silverware I grew up with.

The last goodie was food.  One of the highlights of NY S&W is the fried artichoke hearts -- Artichoke French.  Well, he was at Maryland S&W.  By the time we went the line wasn't *too* bad -- I think we only waited about 20 minutes to get to the front, but so worth it.

All told, it was a lovely day.  Even the weather decided to behave after a while (and my shoes brushed up just fine).  The real treasures of the day were getting to enjoy it with friends and loved ones -- and to soak up all the creative energy that flows and ebbs around such an event. (I'll admit the numerous compliments on the shawl I was wearing were nice to receive).

Now, time to buckle down and get some embroidery going.  













Monday, May 9, 2016

Project page updated

Things in my life are actually getting a bit more even keel and there *will* be more embroidery to report on soon.  In the meantime, I spent some time adding some of my older projects to the "DONE - Historic and SCA" page.

I still have a number of projects for which I still need to dig out the photos.  There are some that have not been blogged or webbed at all, and some that I have just quick notations of on the old "Elizabet Embroidery" page (link to the right under "Other Things to See") which has not been updated in way too long....

Added to the "Done" page are links for a couple Brick Stitch projects, a book, and this little guy, one of my first SCA projects:


Now to go do some thready things -- and enjoy this return to spring. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday update

I did get some knitting done in the last week, but not a whole lot else.  

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • Applique piece for C&L -- I may have fallen down the research rabbit hole and really need to settle on something.
  • Couched cord piece for C&L -- I have looked at a few design inspiration ideas for something to do on my husband's tunic for this element.
  • Class this is (mostly) done, for now.  I do have some more work to do on the sample and the re-write on the handout.  
  • Marshall Hanging -- No, nothing new.    
  • Hem stitched square -- This is officially my current "work on at events" project.  At the same event last weekend I learned some more open work, and am now deciding whether to make this square an overall open work piece or do that on something different. I learned some pulled (diverted thread) work at the Embroidery Schola in February, and this piece has a nice big central area just asking for some decoration.
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  
  • Research.  I've started trolling for inspirational ideas.  My Pinterest boards are overflowing with "oh, that looks cool...."

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  Done -- Just have to block it and then photos will be posted
  • Hat for my husband.  Done.  Photos will be up soon.
  • Northern Lights Cowl -- This one is being done with a beautiful color changing yarn and is a nice simple pattern.  I did make one small change to make the counting a lot easier, and I don't know that I'll use this yarn again, but it's pleasing me, and going nice and fast. 
  • Clothing for work.  This may have to be moved up a bit, as one of my favorite skirts just gave its last.  Now I really need to find pink fabric I like because I cannot imagine not having something in that dark rich pink in my wardrobe.  Of course, I *could* get around to doing the hem on the black and white, that would help.  
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This did not happen in January, or February, or March... Help me April, you're my only hope!
Future project plans: (look, a new section) AKA "In the queue"
  • Additional C&L work to do includes an underside couched piece (having been reminded of a thing I knew of one that is not metal thread).
  • Knitting plans include  fingerless gloves with more of the alpaca that I'm using on the Bay of Fundy scarf.  I also got some lovely blue silk/wool blend that I'll need to find "just the right pattern" for.  Also, attending Maryland Sheep & Wool this weekend will undoubtedly produce *something* new for the queue.... 
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'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).  Any requests? 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.