Bag it and Tag it

It sounds like a CSI tv show but this is the Project Yarnway  challenge for April. Make a bag for a client, so we also need to create a story.

I finally decided that my client was a traveler who likes to pack lightly and therefore things must be multipurpose.   I have also been fascinated by the lantern purse in a sewing magazine from a few months ago.It was in the winter 2009, edition of Sew Stylish and was made by Judith Neukam.

I figured out the hexagon shape and the accordian  nature of the bag and started to knit. So far it looks interesting and strange to me.  I am struggling a bit with the closure but am going to the icord, drawn through the holes.  It is going to be felted by hand and not the machine so that I can control the size I hope.  How will it be multi-purpose?  You just dump out the contents and turn it upside down as a hat.

It started out OK.

The bottom of the bag, the second picture show the side details,  it was very hard to get the right colour, even with photoshop it is still wrong.  It is a dark mustard colour.

Alas, the  felting did not work as I had hoped. Neither by hand or machine. It went through 2 machine washes and one drying on high.  Big weird and totally unusable. I could cut it up and use it as the base of a fabric postcard or atc. It could be a hot pad for the table. I could needle felt into it  and create something.  Let’s just say I am not totally surprised. I didn’t  make a swatch and felt it first. I guess a designer should know her materials and how it will or will not react.  I wasn’t sure if the flange area would work, if the purled and stockinette would look very different.  It is rather a matted blob, maybe my needle size was wrong. I am not sorry that I worked on this design challenge, I did learn a few things.

As Heidi, would say on Project Runway, “sometimes your in and sometimes your out.” Not a winner with this one.

Latest socks

I have made a new pair of socks, with a great name of Serenity, colour Thyme by Deborah Norville.  It was reasonably priced at JoAnn”s down in the US. It is a mixture of wool 50%, bamboo 25%  and nylon25%.  Just a plain basic pattern really with a garter short row heel and a little added pattern in the green band. Lovely to wear. Just a row of purl stitches with a little diamond were added.

Playtime: Pulling Prints

I am off on another crusade with Michelle Ward,  it is number 39, this time pulling prints. Mono prints and masks or stencils. Not my favorite especially on fabric and that is mostly what I have done for other classes. This time it was on index cards. I came across a stack while resorting the stash and I recently had bought a die cut bird. Next step was to find the glass to print on and I took apart a picture frame which was badly in need of replacing. She suggested making a mask from tyvek, but I forgot that part.

I started with red and ochre acrylic paint and kept adding colours from there. I didn’t clean up until I was finished and I kept adding drops of water as well to keep the paint moving and printable. I like the ones with the boldest colour, and some I am not fond of at all, but I did like working with the die cut bird and now that it has been through a rainbow.

Now, I wonder what to do next, there is some wonderful texture in some of them. I can see matting some of the images and using them in cards.  Maybe adding them to a journal page or in a collage.

At any rate, I am glad that Michele puts out these crusades once a month. They at least get me moving to try something. I have so many supplies in my stash, it is good to get them out and play.

Home from vgfa retreat

A week without cooking was a treat for me and it was great to spend so much time on one project. The doll isn’t finished yet, I might still do another set of hands, making her satin shoes with leather soles is killing my finger tips, it does help when I put on my thimble.  I glued them on the other night, not happy, I ripped them off. Now I am having a rethink, I want to put sequins on her shoes. Her cloak is still being sewn, I have overlaid organza over a striped satin fabric and am now adding extra rows of machine stitching on top of the organza. I am not sure about the inside of the fabric, it will show and I am thinking I need a lining, so it won’t match the sleeves.

Akira Blount’s class was wonderful, I hadn’t sculpted a head out of knit fabric before, it then had to be stiffened and a gauze applied over the top, the same with the hands.  We made our own patterns, so we ended up with a size that we liked to work on.   No stress, and I think a few more days of work are needed yet.

Her name is Constance Louisa after my grandma’s. She is Edwardian, a dear old soul, who thinks she is the guardian of the flowers and likes to wander in the garden at all times of the day or night.  She has a serene look and thinks the flowers have had a good year and is sad to see that they are fading.  She is fading herself but that doesn’t bother her as much.

She is not ready for her photo shoot yet but here are a few details.

Doll Retreat

Starting Easter Sunday, I will be at a Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts retreat. The retreat is north of Maple Ridge in the valley and is at the Loon lake ubc  research site. I am taking a doll making course with Akria Blount,she does some lovely work, I have seen her dvd and I am quite excited to attend. Seven members of our doll group are attending the five day course.  The 40th  anniversary dinner of the guild is on Saturday night.

After finding the metal flower shapes, I finally had my inspiration.  I am thinking an older woman, a faded beauty, the keeper of the flowers. I had a couple of other pieces of metal found objects and I’ll take them along as well. Now I am gathering the rest of the materials. I have tea dyed my fabrics and I think I’ll take some silk as well as the recommended cottons. Just need to locate the fibres for her hair. (She’ll be a faded red head)

I am nearly ready to go, 2 sewing machines, a pile of bedding, one bag of snacks, one huge rubbermaid container of doll stuff,  and a large suitcase of clothes and necessities.

Knitted Projects.

I made some booties, I usually do sweaters or hats for newborns. This time, twins and a singleton were born within days of each other. The twins, a boy and a girl get the first two pairs. I used 2 free patterns on Ravelry. You have to be a member to access these.

Saartje’s bootees are the pink and brown, colours are fairy and coco.

Baby Slippers knitting pattern are the cloud and coco pair.

I used Rowan 4 ply soft.

The  other little girl is getting baby slippers in fairy and leafy. I put little bows on hers.

Squirrels and Magnolias

Rowanberry studio had this post the other week and I thought that I’d share my experience.

The magnolia had been early to start blooming this year because of the mild weather.  I noticed some flower blooms on top of the fence.

I didn’t know what had caused this to happen.

That was when we discovered the squirrel.

The most succulent bits appear to be seeds in the base of the flower, the petals are all that is left behind. It took an acrobatic squirrel to be able to balance on the thin branches. It looked like the best ones were just out of reach.