Sunday, March 30, 2008

March Take it Further Challenge

This month the Take it Further Design Challenge theme was about details. I cut my left thumb at the beginning of the month in the kitchen. Since I am left handed, holding a needle was out for most of the month. So I started thinking about machine patchwork. I have also been thinking about small pieces this month, particularly inchies. Since a 1 inch square has to be about details, I made a series of inchies using fabrics that match the month's color scheme. When I was done, I decided that a bookmark would be more useful than a pile of 1 inch patchwork squares. The end result is shown at right. I am also including some close up pictures of the inchies -- blogger would not cooperate with positioning all 5 so if you want to see them all, you need to take a look at the Flickr group for the Take it Further Challenge.

I mentioned in my last post that I have been listening to podcasts. One of my favorites right now is The Classic Tales podcast. B.J. Harrison reads classic stories and short works in this podcast. Right now he is reading Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness in installments. I have been sampling different knitting podcasts that I find on iTunes as well. Cast-on by Brenda Dayne is one of my favorites. Another is Faery Knitting by Spinning Erin. Please share your favorite podcasts with me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

March Take it Further Challenge and Spring Snows . . .

It is almost April and Spring has officially started but someone forgot to tell the weather. Last Friday, we got 9 inches of very fluffy, wet snow. That melted and then more fell last night. This picture is of my front flower bed this morning. Normally this time of year, you would see green here but not this year. I am ready for spring but the dogs are loving it. They should have been sled dogs but since they are not, they go out and eat snow, throw it at each other and wrestle in it. Then they come in and track water all over my house.

I am procrastinating working on my Take it Further Design Challenge piece until the end of the month. This has not been intentional but it is how it has worked out. The theme is details and I decided that I would try making some inchies using fabric colors from the color scheme. The fabrics I pulled last night are in the picture. In real life, they match the color scheme pretty well. Sometime this weekend, I am going to work on my inchies and if all goes according to plan, there might be some samples before April starts.


I did finish some knitting -- I made two clutches using the Webs Skein of the Month. This is the smaller one. It is the perfect size to hold my IPod and headphones. I have been listening to podcasts for the past two weeks and have been trying to decide which are my favorites. The larger one needs to be blocked before I finish it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My pictures on the web

I had an interesting experience yesterday while checking out the referrers that had led people to my blog. I found a photograph of an original piece of free embroidery by me, on another web site. You can see it here by the Free Embroidery Workshop. It is flattering to know that someone thinks highly enough of my work to steal an image of it for their own use, but it is also a bit disturbing that someone would do this. It surprised me because they obviously know where it came from but did not contact me to ask if they could use it.

My March TIF piece may be delayed a bit as I may not be able to stitch for a while. I cut my left thumb while chopping spinach in the kitchen yesterday. Cooking with sharp utensils and open flames is not always a good idea in a small kitchen with two large dogs and a 15 year old who wants your attention. Since I stitch left handed, you may continue to see knitting for a while unless I get creative with my sewing machine.

I did have a beautiful idea to go along with the March theme of details -- I was going to make a series of beaded borders into a sampler. However, I think I am going to have to think about something that requires less hand work and use of my thumb -- maybe this is the time to try to make some inchies. Just based on their size they would be details. . .

Monday, March 10, 2008

February TIF finished

Here is my finished February TIF piece. I finally decided to leave the agricultural areas plain and unembroidered and to embroider the other areas to show the development of the urban areas and their movement into the agricultural areas. The detail does not show up well in the photo, I will have to play with it some more in photoshop and see what happens.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

February TIF and more knitting

I know that it is March, but I am posting another progress picture for my February TIF. I printed the image on fabric using a computer ink jet printer. I layered the fabric with a purple hand dyed cotton and am embellishing it with surface embroidery using over dyed cottons from Gentle Art. My original concept was to embroider the agricultural areas but upon further thought, I decided to embroider the urban and recreational areas instead. The embroidery shows growth and movement since the urban areas continue to overtake the agricultural ones.

I have also been knitting and finished my Elfin Hat in time for the temperature here to rise to 50 degrees. The hand spun yarn really looks excellent in the hat. I am working on a boucle scarf to match. I added several other projects to my project notebook in Ravelry, I will show off pictures when they are completed.