Monday, January 19, 2009

It's been a long weekend and i'm feeling relaxed and accomplished! Last week my second semester started and the assignments came pouring in. I've been reading, writing, and taking quizzes all week long. I submitted my last assignment (until i go back to class tomorrow) a few hours ago and have been enjoying a leisurely night of doing next to nothing. ahhhhh sweet relaxation...

I thought I'd take these available moments and post a new project that i finished just before Christmas. It's a tea towel that i keep hanging on my oven. I got the tea towel itself from the D
ollar Tree (god i love that place) and it had a screen print of the chef already on it. I was instantly inspired as soon as i saw it and rushed home to start.

I used a back stitch for most of the outlines and basically just traced the printed design of the chef. I added french knots for buttons and a satin stitch to the carrot. It was really simple and quick. My boyfriend drew the text on either side using a washable fabric marker than i stitched over. I used a satin thread on the words and it really made them pop. Finally i used contrasting red and black (satin) to stitch a border and after hand washing it it was good to go. The whole project cost less than 2 dollars and was finished in less than a day. It was a really fun project that i will definetely try again, when i get another free moment that is...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ribbed Pillow

I got the brilliant idea to make a pillow case on the loom somewhat out of the blue. Although i didn't have a pattern, i did have the idea and some yarn and that seemed sufficient enough. I used the large yellow loom and wrapped most but not all the pegs. I chose the ribbed stitch because it has a nice stretch to it, while also showing the texture of the ribbing. * When using the ribbed stitch it's a good idea to approximately double the pegs you're wrapping against the size you want your finished product to be. As it comes off the loom the ribbing will pull very tight and make it significantly smaller that the wrapped area. This stitch can also get very tight when working so take care with yarn that breaks easily.* The ribbed stitch is super simple and nice because it's reversible. The Right side will be ribbed (obviously) and the wrong side will have a flat solid finish that is very thick.

Here's the ribbed stitch pattern:
Cast on designated number of pegs with e-wrap method (turn at the end).
Wrap each peg twice (there will be three yarn wraps on each peg).
Pick up the back stitch and wrap it over the front two.
Continue until it reaches the designated length.

For some unknown reason, i had gotten it into my head that i needed to make my panel large enough to fold four ways around the pillow. Makes no sense right!? I know! When i had enough (for the previously stated and slightly miscalculated plan) i used the flat bind-off method to take the panel off the loom. Then i took the two sides and pulled them tight around my pillow. I stitched the sides and the bottom closed and it looked great! The ribbing stretched out and showed the beautiful colors and textures, however i had totally miscalculated the size. i now had a perfect pillow with the exception of it's giant loose trunk of hanging and excess material that i had to do something with. I considered tucking the miscalculation inside and sewing it shut, but that was bulky and ugly. I almost resorted to cutting the trunk off but knew all the stitching would come undone. Finally, i was so fed up and ready to quit that i just settled on folding it over and being done with it.

When i did this i noticed that it looked quite nice. The contrasting pattern on the Wrong side really stood out against the ribbing and made for an interesting design. Later on, I bought a decorative button at a craft store that worked nicely to latch each flap down. Now that it's all come together, I have to say I'm quite satisfied with the finished product.

If nothing else I've learned the lesson: measure twice cut once (and you never come up with unique design).