week 283

Some time over the last week, I was going through my fabric stash and reminded myself about the dress that was in the planning stages some time ago. It’s time to focus on that.

Before that, I did the second panel of the cardigan.

progress on cardigan, both side panels are done. now onto the fronts

I spent a whole day trying to figure out the fronts because I kept casting on bits that were too huge to fit, and finally decided it will be, as follows: RS K8, P8, K8. WS P24. repeat for fourteen inches/thirty-six cm. Then, depending on which side it’s on, bind off one stitch on the same side until it’s at one.

I’ve been putting off the dress for the longest time, because my indecisiveness got the better of me, but was making sketches the other day for a top, then heaps looking up how to create collar patterns on YouTube.

The lace was going to be part of it but decided it will be its own layer.

None of it is sewn up yet.

main body pieces

I originally used a store-bought pattern to get a basic idea of what to do, got frustrated so did one based on my measurements and cut the pieces generously. Was going to put extended cap sleeves but decided a wee bit longer and hence the slight kimono sleeves.

Part of me wants to crop it to right above my waist but anything above my belly button annoys me. (Measured from my shoulder to my waist and it’s seventeen inches/43cm, but to my belly button is 20″/51cm so there is also that bit.) The plan is to make the top as basic as possible, then put darts at the bottom.

collar pieces, pinned together

The collar pieces were a pain in the ass, because I kept measuring the neckline wrong. Not sure what I’m doing with the two strips but will probably end up as decoration. (Also, need to get some interfacing because can’t seem to find any in my stash.)

For the dress itself, not pictured. Have only cut enough for the skirt, but the plan is to have a front buttoned dress with an elastic waist on the skirt. And, yes, pockets.

Here’s a reminder of what fabrics I’m using for the dress.

yellow velvet, cloud fabric and gold lace

week 282

For some reason I forgot about this last week. I made a collar to put on something, which isn’t anything planned at the moment.

Folded up, it looks like a flower, because of the way it’s made.

pink collar, rolled

Unfolded, it’s easier to see that it’s a collar. I used two of the leftover yarns from the striped pullover. Unfortunately, at this time, there’s nothing to attach it to.

pink collar, unrolled

An update on the cardigan. Nearing the middle of the second panel of the cardigan, before the front parts then the button plackets.

progress on cardigan using Deborah Norville yarn

I’ve been quite lazy attaching the frame together, because there is no cross brace to put in the middle, but they’re mostly together and just need a little mallet action to even them out.

But, still. I bought what will be put as the first few layers. After putting two layers of acrylic gesso, putting down thin layers of heavily thinned out red and blue. Then, layering oil paint over the background.

By the way, my first venture into Hobby Lobby. I’m not subtle about the fact I’m extremely liberal, but still wanted to check it out. The owner(s) may not be great, (the whole stealing artifacts that don’t belong to them. By the way, that Cascade yarn you’re using, the owner isn’t subtle about being a Trump supporter, either, and blasts her views on Twitter.) but the people, who work at the specific one I went to, are super nice. I could spend a whole post about my issues with trying to be ethical and using your money as your mouthpiece, but sometimes my cheap ass wins out over ethics, which isn’t something I shouldn’t be admitting to in the public sphere. We’re all navigating our way around and not all our choices would be what we consider perfect. You’ve got to do the stuff you feel cringey about in order to know what’s correct for yourself. I originally went on Friday and bought watercolours but returned and exchanged them this Monday for the acrylics, simply because watercolours will not work on canvas.

containers of gesso, acrylic paints and matte medium

Oh, just some light reading. This book is really informative, albeit a teenager. It should be revised and expanded again.

Revised and Expanded The Painter's Handbook by Mark David Gottsegen

week 281

I’m a day late because of a personal matter taking up a good chunk of the morning into afternoon, then not setting enough time to spend a wee bit of time here afterwards.

The hearts I made last week were gladly received by the adults, who had them all pinned to their tops when I picked up Munchkin, and two of the kids thanked me. The leftover yarn will be turned into more hearts. I have the one I gave to Dylan. Not exactly sure what to do with all of them once the yarns used up.

hearts in process

Have three hearts done, including his. The directions came off another website but the second row, I gave up and winged it. Also, it makes it way quicker with a K/6.5mm sized hooks with chunky yarn. I’m moving up a hook size so probably will have less than ten hearts. Each bit of yarn made two full sized hearts plus a smaller one with the K hook.

The cardigan I’m knitting is in progress.

progress of one of the front panels

I haven’t gotten as far as expected and thought it would be level with the bottom of the armhole bind off, but not there yet. Also switched over to straights because the circular needles kept curling and it was driving me nuts. Especially since casting on twenty stitches. Purposely made the armholes in the back wide, so they can be narrow on the front. Only plan to bind off with ten stitches to the shoulders, and it will lose a few from both the front and back.

There will be blue buttons on the finished item but haven’t compared the ones bought yesterday to the yarn.

I’m about to attach the stretcher bars but didn’t fully attach them. Yesterday, went to Joanns to buy Dritz staples and it must have been a while, because tried to replace the empty staple gun in the wrong order. Together they don’t fit, which after two minutes was confusing me, so looked it up how to put them in and they fit. Take out the one thing, put in staples then replace the bit you take out. Also, I called a local art store and they only sold extremely large or in the 20s” range for cross braces, and the girl on the phone suggested I get wood at home depot, which I’m about to do. Should have just built the frame from scratch which will be what I do from now on, if I want to do larger than I normally do scale. I’m also looking into getting a few shades of dry pigments and make my own oil paint. Can you make paint by melting down oil pastels and mixing in linseed oil?

week 280

I’m currently crocheting hearts for the kids in my son’s class, for tomorrow, with chunky yarn and a K/8.50mm sized hook, which makes it easy and quick. (Especially when you’re a horrible procrastinator.)

Haven’t really done much but picked up where I left off on one of the knitting projects in my closet. One was completely frogged, and the other is turning into a cardigan. It was going to be a pullover but want to use up buttons from my stash.

reached around thirteen inches on the back of knitting a cardigan

Have been spending a few hours at a time knitting. Unsure what buttons will go with this but it’s going to look nice when it’s done.

I want to build a mini shadowbox and am toying around with posterboard.

askew paper box with separations

Even with the edges, it isn’t straight and was more of a diamond, which isn’t bad. I didn’t make the edges deep enough to slot everything and the measurements are so off. I tried to glue the edges down and it slightly straightened it out but the edges aren’t smooth so the glue didn’t fully take.

week 279

Didn’t accomplish much this past week, but this is a couple clues to what is in the planning stages.

stretcher bars, folded canvas and a peacock feather laying on my bed

I made use of the Michaels’ gift-card that one of my sister-in-laws bought me for Christmas. Bought a couple pairs of 48″/122cm stretcher bars and a bit of canvas. The feather isn’t part of it but will be part of a future project.

Everything arrived yesterday, where one pair of bars arrived then five hours later, the rest arrived. The second box of stretchers was taller than me, and before I disassembled the box and put it in the recycling bin, I was taking selfies with the empty box.

I know I need to put on a cross brace, because of the size of the bars, and am probably going to have to build one.

prelim drawing

I finally put the two studies in a frame (used a cheap 20×28, so the white space all around is obvious and I can focus on them) and currently examining how to mesh them together. This was the first drawing I made and it’s a total mess and will probably either become more complicated or much more simplier. The cool colours will be shades of orange and/or red and the warms are blue and/or greens, and will soften into each other.

week 278

The two studies are finished.

cool and warm studies, greens and blues on the cool side and orange red and yellow on the warm side

The original intention was what can I make with three materials. I ended up using five. Both are first layered with Crayola watercolours. On the left was just one colour, which was a bluish-green and the left was two mixed together. I wasn’t paying attention and the red-orange and orange-red look interchangeable.

After they dried, I taped up the canvas boards in random order and it just turned out the cool side was squares and the warm side was triangular and circles. Some of the circles didn’t stick on and popped off when I was applying the colours with oil pastels. Smoothing them out with my finger didn’t make them completely flat, but neither did applying poppy oil either. They dried for about a week, taking longer because I left the tape on for an extra day, I had let them sit with thumbtacks so I could lean one against the other.

Before poking holes, I sprayed them with fixative spray and let them sit for half an hour. By the way, if you’re indoors, make sure you have the windows fully open and the fan on full blast, I might have gotten a headache for about ten minutes because the smell was gnarly. Left the room after a couple minutes, but that was enough.

Thumbtacks don’t produce big enough holes but luckily, I made use of a bookbinding awl and poked big enough holes to thread an embroidery needle through and attached the embroidery thread through. I like the openness of cool side, and wish I made the warm side more even.

Now I want to analyse both and take elements from both and incorporate them into a larger scale. I finally used the Michaels giftcard and bought a 70″x72″ (178cm by 183cm) canvas fold and a couple sets of 48″ (122cm) stretcher bars. Still need to get the cross brace for the back and some gesso, then go to town on that painting. I’m going to layer a thin wash of acrylic paint, then oil paint, then use laceweight yarn on the canvas. I wonder if I could attach crocheted chains but we’ll see.

Currently looking to frame the studies together but 16’x24″ (41cm by 61cm) frames is an unusual size. Want the middles to touch but not precious about the other sides.

The weaving is finished and it’s uneven on the right side, because when I tied off the ends, I did it a bit tightly.

finished weaving

A couple of the fringe bits are not even and it just needs a trim but it looks like this. This is what the weaving looks like if you keep turning it around but this looks much better than anything else I’ve done.

Most of my time has been spent doing this has been otherwise taken up with this.

wound yarn bits

I don’t remember the blue but the green one is from Knitpicks.

yarn still to untangle

This has been sitting in the closet and am finally sucking it up and unwinding it all. It’s not going to be in one piece, obviously, but it will be usable at some point. Wish I didn’t get it in this condition in the first place but laceweight yarn is such a pain in the arse with a mind of its own.

week 277

Lately, I seem to only focus on two projects per week, or mainly one and another to do while waiting on the other.

Been mainly focused on one project. Have been wanting to see what the end result if I use three specific things, has turned into four. Got two blank canvas board, then covered them in (Crayola) watercolour. Then, after that layer dried, covering them in painter’s tape (made the mistake of using packing tape which I’m not sure why I assumed it wouldn’t ruin the back), then on the exposed areas use oil pastels. Originally was going to just put fixative over it, but my genius brain thought to put linseed oil over it all, in hopes to smooth down the oil pastel as much as possible. Smoothing it out with my fingers still left spots where it wasn’t completely smooth. I didn’t use linseed oil, instead used drying poppy oil. Also, never leave the tape on the panel or such while it’s drying. Still. I have quite a bit of time on my hands while it finally reaches the stage where I can handle it without oil smothering my fingertips.

blue-green squarish and red-orange-yellow circular examples

This is how they look, after the tape has been removed. The tape slightly outlines the pastels on the right, which you can’t tell from this photo. To make the smaller circles, I used those circle label stickers. More than one popped off when I was rubbing the oil pastel over it. For the big one, I taped on one of the ends of the cardboard from a ribbon spool. Using yellow stickers under that colour was mildly comical as I had to remember where they were attached, so they could be removed. It’s also kind of annoying that my intention was that, positioned this way, it would be left leaning, but the size gets more attention than the intensity of colour. The cool colours were supposed to lean right, and the warm colours lean left. The official thing will be changed so it reflects that, and it’s obvious they will soften into each other, and not be hard like these examples. Right now, the materials is more important than anything else.

I’ve stuck thumbtacks in the boards for two reasons. I can safely lean them against each other without their accidentally touching, so they don’t smear onto each other. Also, that’s to give me a rough idea of the path where I’m applying the embroidery thread when it is finally safe to handle.

After everything is finished, I want to do a comparison and take the best elements from both and incorporate them into something more cohesive.

While they’re drying, a bit of playing with yarn.

red weaving

This is an experiment with different textures, as in changing the yarn so it’s crocheted or knit a bit before weaving it in, but staying with monochrome red yarns. It looks nice with the blue peeking out. My problem with weaving, thought, is I never get it tight enough so it doesn’t hang weird. Perhaps because I don’t have that bar underneath it.