Archive for July, 2008

blue and green squares

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

The progress of embroidering

I have a new hobby, I think I can say that after spending the entire day on embroidering the tiniest little shitty bit on a chair yesterday. If it wasn’t supposed to be my new hobby I would’ve quit after half an hour probably.

floss on chair

It turns out that embroidering is cool, omnipotent and infinitely expandable. The downside is it’s habit to eat more time than you’re willing to feed it. Because it seems like you can get results very fast you don’t want to quit when no result has been achieved yet, and results actually take a LOT of time. Not as much as with knitting but at least with knitting you’re prepared for it. I made this design on a chair with a great tweedy texture that screamed for decoration, even though the chair was very pretty in it’s own right. This is the chair.

chair being embellished

Hmm, I didn’t notice the yellow stain near the head area yet, the ultra flash on my camera must have detected them. Well, it’s a second hand chair, and sometimes they come with stains that you see when you take a picture of them with flash, so be it.

Making pretty stitch markers quickly

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Stitch markers are little rings you put over your knitting needle in between stitches to form a reference point, for instance halfway through the total amount of stitches you have on your needles. This helps in remembering where you have to do special moves like yarnovers, decreases and the like.

I never used stitch markers in my knitting, I just counted, lost count, cursed, started counting again. And then I ran in to stitch markers, dull little plastic rings that had the personality of a… well of a piece of plactic. I grabbed some pieces of yarn from a previous project, started twisting them some, and ended up with actually a very useful and also potentially decorative thingy. It only takes a minute to make and has lots of possibilities. If you don’t feel like buying heavy beaded metal wires (fancy stitch markers) to hang on your needles and losing them, then maybe you will like this too. If you loose these you whip up twenty more in the blink of an eye.

1. Get any piece of scrap yarn, or a couple that go together well, that is at least a couple of centimeters long. Also get a knitting needle.

scrap yarn and a needle

2. Pull the strings tight together and start twisting the endings in opposite directions. Keep twisting until it’s a tight unified string with a diagonal pattern.

twist to stringstring with stripes

3. Place one finger somewhere in the midpoint of the striped string and take both the endings in you hand, tighten. I did it with one hand, you can use two if there’s no need to take pictures of what you’re doing.

tighten in the middle

4. Release the finger holding the middle of the string, hold on to the endings and watch the magic happen! The string spirals up on itself with the middle that you kept with one finger as the top loop. This loop will go over you needle when the stitch marker is finished.

let go

5. Make a something of a knot at the bottom where the loose ends are so that the spiraling strings don’t twist back and tug a little at your result so that the twists are nice and even. If you’re using all wool scraps (not superwash) you can also felt the bottom together, I guess. Get your needle and put it through the top loop of the marker and there you have it: a decorative, quick, lightweight, easy and versatile stitch marker!

on the needlelarge one

As you can see this one is fairly large and not very practical, but this made the pictures clearer. You can make them as big or small as you want. Here’s a smaller one.

smaller one

The nice thing, in my opinion, about this stitch marker, is that it is flexible and fits over any size needle. The spiraling makes the top loop want to close up, but you can open it as far as the twisted string go down by untwisting them. This way the marker will cling on to your needle and won’t slip off. Once you remove the needle it will just twist back up. I illustrated this with my pinky playing the part of a 10mm needle, because currently my chunky needles are elsewhere.

around the pinky

You can also make really fat ones by using a lot of strands, preferably in lots of colours of course, make ’em pretty while your at it.

Hope this will be of use to someone!