archive for December, 2005
now that’s ingenious
think i’m safe here too, this is mum’s present but a) not sure if she visits here and b) she’s finished work and has no internet access at home.
another recycled kimono piece from my omiyage book. this was pretty damn fiddly, as i should have expected from my previous experience. there’s very little sewing involved in this, it’s almost entirely glued. the pieces on the top are lightly padded. the most accessible (reasonably disposable) fibre in my stuffed-full stash box was bamboo. on reflection this wasn’t a great choice – the staple is very long so as soon as one gluey fibre escaped the whole lot wanted to come with it.
i cut all the pieces for the top as directed but they didn’t fit – the lid was too small so i had to abandon one row of pieces. gluing them down was also pretty tricky, luckily there is only one really obvious patch of escaping glue, visible on the outermost of the red fabrics here. finishing the edges neatly was next to impossible too. each piece is folded in half to enclose the stuffing and then glued in place slightly overlapping the previous piece. i ended up turning the edge of the lower layer up and the edge of the upper layer down and gluing inbetween, then nudging the lower layer back so that only the upper layer is visible at the edge. if that makes any sense at all, i can see why she didn’t explain any of this cos it would make the book 3 times as long!
since i hadn’t found her instructions very reliable i went my own way a little when i came to the size of the fabric pieces for covering the base of the box – her sizes really didn’t sound right. there are a couple of places where, with hindsight, it would have been better to make the fabric overlap a particular edge – where that edge was visible in the finished item – rather than finishing at the edge and risking the edges of the fabric and the cardboard showing.
also she assembles the base with the outer layer first, with no reference to making sure than the inner layer, which forms the rim of the box, actually fits inside the lid. my top and bottom aren’t quite as mismatched as the strong lighting in the pictures makes it seem. irl you don’t really notice the difference, although the top is a little too big. all of these problems are niggles that would be easily fixed second time round, and i noticed that there’s a different version of this box in other pictures in the book that’s much wonkier than the one you see on the main project page
overall i’m pretty pleased with it and i think it’s a nice showcase for the main fabrics. both are chirimen crepe silk with bingata designs. bingata is a dyeing method that uses resist paste applied through a stencil. while the colours of the main fabrics don’t match i think they compliment each other. i’m not so sure about the fabrics on the top . the pieces are so small (the box is 6″ diameter) that the designs and character of each fabric are rather lost. also i think it would be better to have more contrast between the colours of the top pieces. i chose fabrics that were well co-ordinated, which would have worked well with a larger expanse of each, but now i think they blend into each other too much.
i think i’m safe enough posting this, as far as i’m aware my dad doesn’t know about this blog. this is his xmas present. it took ages to do and i was pretty sick of it by the time it was finished, although i do think it’s gorgeous, if a little short. no stats.
the yarn is a bfl/tussah silk blend (natural colours) which i spun from the fold, hence the speckly appearance of the silk, as the silk was streaked through the top (lol, i’m sure there’s a technical term for it) so it would appear in clumps during spinning. i found spinning from the fold a complete pita. it seemed to be sooo much slower than my usual semi-worsted spinning from the end of the top. i wanted to try it because the first scarf i made seemed excessively dense. i wanted as much softness as possible, and hoped that using a method that supposedly incorporates more air should be more economical as i only had 200g to work with.
i managed to get into a real mess to start with, absolutely no consistency in the wpi and just not getting it at all. i got some help on spinningfiber, my biggest problem being putting in too much twist for a thick yarn. practise certainly helped, but i can’t say i was particularly enjoying it even at the end. i’d line up a dozen or so staple-length-handfuls which helped keep the momentum going, as joining in every couple of minutes was bugging me, but i never really came to terms with it.
the knitting was very straightforward. just a 2×2 rib. i’m definitely getting faster at combined knitting. i love the way the variation in the weight of the yarn comes out in the knitting, making gentle undulations in the line of the ribbing.
rubbish blurry pix, still waiting on gallery plugin upgrade.
is a glitch in my gallery plugin, apparently fixed in the latest release. as soon as i can get round to installing it all should be peachy again.
in the mean time all my pix are viewable on my flickr stream.
also for my swap partner, my first attempt from the book omiyage by kumiko sudo. well, strictly speaking this is my second attempt as i had to scrap the first one. it was very badly sewn (way too baggy) and the colour choices just didn’t work at all once it was made up.
traditional temari are balls of scrap fabric tightly wrapped with threads forming intricate patterns. they’re traditionally made for children by their mothers and grandmothers (more info).
this fabric interpretation starts with a thread wrapped ball of fabric scraps, i then added a thick layer of lemon verbena from the garden which i dried in the oven. i was sceptical that it would keep it’s scent once dried but it did brilliantly (i have some left, must see if it makes a good tea). then i wrapped layers of wool over the leaves (the author suggests batting but i used the spinning fibre i had to hand). it’s then all hand sewn. the fabrics are a selection of kimono scraps i got a while ago. most are silk but there was the odd synthetic too.
the sewing itself wasn’t overly tricky once i’d realised how tightly you had to tension the pieces around the ball. one edge of each piece is turned over then blindstitched onto the piece underneath, all in situ. the flowers were pretty fiddly (the ball itself is about 4″ across).
i had various crises of faith with this, mostly around colour choice, but now i’ve got a bit of distance i’m pretty pleased with it. i still can’t believe i had the patience to finish it, it’s not my usual forte.
yay! my swap package arrived so i can post this stuff at last. it’s such a long time ago i don’t remember much about this one so i’ll cut and paste my spinningfiber post at the time.
there’s just a little over 200 yds, 5 oz, average 12wpi but there’s a bit of thick/thin variation. it’s 100% merino, so would felt, but it’s fairly tightly spun so shouldn’t pill as soon as you look at it.
this started out as a commercially space-dyed pencil roving. it took a bit of getting used to as i had to spin S and ply Z because it already had a little Z twist to hold it together – and it was educational for me to see how little twist that thick a strand needs. it did feel like totally cheating though – my spinning-teacher-to-be thinks even using commercial top is cheating, so she’d have a fit at this i found myself deliberately putting in thick and thin spots to give it some kind of character.
i also just discovered my spinning super power: guestimating lengths for plying. i spun this in 3 batches on 2 different spindles and over the 200 yds i had 2 yards spare on the last bobbin
feeling smug about my new jeans. haven’t bothered hemming jeans for as long as i can remember, but finally had enough of them all shredding on the pavement at the backs in the first week and tripping myself up on the resulting flappy bits for the rest of their (brief) lifetime. i’m an unreconstructed flares/’dragging jeans’ wearer who refuses to join the 21st century and ever ever wear trousers narrow enough to show my shoes.
but hemmed jeans look so, well, hemmed and there’s the hassle of trying to find a kind of matching topstitching thread if you want to try and make them look less hemmed. but i remembered somewhere in the mists of my memory, undoubtedly from patternreview, about re-using the existing hems, so that’s what i did. i just folded up the spare and hemmed as close as i could easily get to the topstitching line with a zip foot. i could have squeezed closer but i didn’t want to lose the topstitching in the valley of the seam. i was going to run a loose hemstitch around, but just tacking at the side seams is holding it so far. was thinking about trimming the spare and zigzagging but would much rather leave unmolested and have half an hour’s less work to do if i can get away with it.
yay! no worrying about having the right colour thread and after a thorough press you can barely see the join unless you’re within 3 feet and looking for it.
gallery fixed as i tweaked my flickr pro account, yep i got my xmas pressie early and yep i am very easily pleased nowadays
two sides of my personality are in currently conflict and i’m suddenly questioning my commitment to the crafting way. i’m seriously considering spending all the money i’ve saved in my spinning wheel fund (and then some) on a night in a plush hotel and 2 tickets for the strokes. we saw them up in manchester a few years ago and had a f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c time. all depends on the album of course, i’m about 3 songs in on my first listen and it’s sounding good so far.
nah, mr lendrum can sleep sound in his bed, looks like my money’s still heading his way. i’m pretty gutted, i was really up for it being a real return to form but there’s bugger all hooks and shouting don’t equal energy in my book. jc’s starting to sound like shane macgowan in places. tbh it’s got me thinking room on fire wasn’t so bad after all
lately i seem to have been insanely busy whilst getting naff all actually done, quite a trick. things have eased up slightly and i’m rediscovering the fun of vicarious crafting through blogs. a brief glance at craftapalooza tells me i’ll find lots to love there, particularly the kaleidoscope pics that at first glance i took for islamic ceramics or screens. i just noticed she has a cat called spud, so did i when i was a kid, he was born in my bedroom.
also digging strikker, but i’m currently in a swap sulk so her tales of swapping bliss are just making me grumpy
i need a blogs category, don’t i.
i can’t work out whether i’m glad i didn’t win any of the many i’ve been stalking on ebay lately. i thought “well there’s plenty of time to get one at a knock-down price”. but if the supplies are going to be impossible to get hold of (well, more impossible than having to order via someone else on the other side of the planet) then it might end up being too much of a liability.