Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Embroidered bookmark

I finished the secret Santa bookmark! This is the second book mark that I've made and it was much easier this go round. The first time i made one i really struggled with holding it while i stitched since i couldn't put it in a hoop. I guess my hands are getting stronger because i didn't get crippling cramps this time from holding it at the awkward angle frequently required.

I used the long-short stitch on the cat's body. It turned out really nice and looks great for the animal fur. I had never used it before though and it was a bit of trial and error. I laid down all the blue of the body and then built the mouth, nose, cheeks, whiskers, and eyes on top. By the time i was getting to the end of that list the layers had gotten sooooooo thick that i couldn't even pull the needle through! I think the old proverb goes 'desperate times call for desperate measures' and that's what i resulted to addressing this issue. I used my teeth several times to pull the needle through, which worked great, but it was only a matter of time until i put an eye out with that method. I tried rubber bands on the needle, which was time consuming and totally pointless. Then finally i got the idea of using my rubber jar opener. Brilliant! It was a perfect gripper and cushioned my finger tips so that i could get the needle through the thick areas. i guess i should give in and invest in a good thimble, but if you're in a pinch give my style a go.

Monday, December 15, 2008

  • I'm currently working on an embroidery that will be a secret Santa gift for my boyfriend's class mate. It's a medium sized book mark with her name and a picture of a cat.

  • I think that the process of how something comes from idea to finished work is just as interesting as the finished product, so I'm sharing some images as i move through the process. I can't draw (really i can't) so Paul (my boyfriend) does my illustrations. He's a talented artist, but for some reason these cats were a struggle. It worked out in the end though so don't judge these ugly kitties too harshly. I'll post the finished piece once i complete it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How it all Started

About a year ago a volunteer came to my work and taught a loom knitting class. I had never even heard of 'loom knitting' prior to this and seeing as i'm totally talentless when it comes to arts and crafts it never seemed of much interest personally. Finally they talked me into attending and I've been totally addicted since. Maybe it was the feeling of the yarn slipping through my fingers or the methodical turning of the loom, but i think it was the deep yet completely relaxing level of concentration that got my hooked instantly. I don't know how i got from loom knitting to embroidery, maybe i wandered down the wrong aisle of the craft store but it's quickly becoming my newest passion. I don't know if it's all the nifty tools you get to use or maybe it's the hypnotising colors and textures that all those skeins have to offer, but there's something about these crafts that simulates a full body mediation.

Other than the few classes i attended, I've learned most of what i know through books, websites, and human error. So i thought maybe i could share what I've learned so far...