Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Hope this holiday season finds you with friends, warmth, and cheer!

See you in January!  Deborah

Monday, December 22, 2014

Take A Break With Mandalas

I don't know about all of your, but I'm about spent at this point before Christmas!  Everything's knitted, sewn, embroidered, and appliqued and there are actually two whole days left before the big day - this is a minor miracle in my world.  So now it's time to recharge!  I've found looking at mandalas to be soothing and restful - here are several from fiber artists.

This quilted mandala was created by Grace Errea.  See her website for more info and beautiful quilts.

Making a crocheted mandala has been on my list for quite some time, but somehow I've never gotten around to it!  This may be the pattern that gets me going.  It's provided free on the website of South African artist Zelna Olivier here.

This gorgeous tie-dye mandala comes from

I used to do quite a bit of beading and this beaded mandala could get me interested in that again!  It can be found in the Etsy shop of Ecuadorian artist Catalina Lasso here.

And finally, there's this beautiful silk and felt piece, Five Elements Mandala by Evita Schvallbe.  Be sure to take a while to browse through her website - very inspiring!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rudolph Applique

One sweater down and one to go!  This is Henry's sweater that I wrote about here.  I wanted to knit Christmas sweaters for Charlie and Henry, but that's a lot of work for a couple weeks of wear!  So I decided to knit sweaters and sew on an applique that can be removed when Christmas is over.  You don't have to knit a sweater for this applique - any bought one will do!  

*felted wool flannel - one plain tan, one patterned tan, one patterned red, and black
*size 5 perle cotton - tan, red, and black
*pattern found here

Cut one face from the solid tan, one muzzle from patterned tan, one nose from patterned red, two eyes from black, and two antlers from patterned tan.

Pin the eyes and muzzle to the face and the nose to the muzzle.

Using a blanket stitch, sew around the nose and eyes and sew the muzzle as shown.  Using an outline stitch, sew a mouth.  

Pin the face to the sweater front and pin the antlers under the face.

Using a blanket stitch, sew around the face and around each antler.  If you'll be removing the applique, sew very loosely and don't pull the threads so tight that they stretch the sweater.

For those wondering, the yarn is Knitpicks City Tweed DK in Basil.  Charlie's colorway is Rhubarb.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Inspiration - Kate Davies' New Book

I generally dislike making New Year's resolutions!  I feel like I'll either get to everything I'm planning to do/change in the new year or I won't - and it just makes me feel bad if I've made it a resolution and it doesn't happen.  However ..... I've been wanting to learn colorway/Fair Isle knitting. I covet all the gorgeous designs I see and can just picture myself cozying up on the couch in the evening and having a Fair Isle sweater on my needles.  Then I came across Kate Davies' new yoked sweater designs in her new book Yokes - wow!  I won't say it's my resolution for this coming year to learn enough so I can knit one of these, but maybe within the next two years?

So I ordered her book and it arrived this week.  And I discovered that it's not just an amazing book of patterns, but also has chapters on the origin of yokes and on interviews with designers.  Very interesting and enjoyable!

The book is available by order from Kate's website here - and she also has a post on each of the designs, complete with beautiful photos.  I can't wait to get started!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

How I Learned to Knit Sweaters

After a couple of years of knitting wash cloths, scarves, and other flat things, I finally got the courage up to try a sweater!  Following the advice of several sage knitters I know, I began with a baby sweater.  This turned out to be a very good idea - when something didn't go right, I didn't feel bad about taking it out since the sweater was so small.

For my first pattern, I chose one from an excellent book I came across, Knitting for the Absolute Beginner by Alison Dupernex.  The pattern was written in easy to understand terms and included a large number of photo tutorials.  There were a couple of places I got a little unsure, but a quick Google search of the term or technique got me back on track.

As you probably noticed, this sweater is not sewn together yet!  I knit this for Henry before he was born and he's turning out to be a pretty big boy.  The sleeves just don't look long enough to me, so I'm waiting to see him again and do some measuring - I'll probably be re-knitting them to be longer, but they go quickly so that's okay!

Now I'm busy with Christmas sweaters for Henry and Charlie!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014 Christmas Ornaments Part 2

In keeping with the bird theme for this year's ornaments, here are three owls ready to nest in a Christmas tree! 

* felt - heathered tan, heathered gray, tan, white, black, textured brown, textured black, yellow, red, green, gray
*embroidery floss
*1/8 inch ribbon
*three larger red beads and one large star sequin
*felt glue
*patterns here

Holly Owl

Cut two outline pieces from heathered tan and one body piece from textured brown.

Using three strands of embroidery floss and a blanket stitch, sew the body piece to one of the outline pieces between the markings - from the top of the wings to the bottom.

Cut two holly leaves from green felt and attach to front of the body piece using a running stitch down the middle of each.  Sew on three larger red beads for holly berries.

Cut a beak from tan felt and attach with a blanket stitch - sew only below the lines.  Cut two eyes from white and attach with a running stitch around the outside.

Cut two eye pupils from black and attach with a dot of felt glue. Cut two eyelids from heathered tan felt.  Attach with running stitches around the edges.

Sew the piece you've been working on to the remaining outline piece - using a blanket stitch, sew from the top of one ear around one wing and the bottom, up around the other wing to the top of the other ear.

Cut a hat from red.  Sew on with a blanket stitch (go through all layers of felt) only along the two sides.

Cut one hat pompom and one hat trim from white.  Sew on with a blanket stitch - catch in a looped piece of ribbon on the top of the pompom.

Star Owl

Same directions as the Holly Owl, except instead of the holly leaves cut a star from yellow and attach with a running stitch around the outside.  Sew on a large sequin star - I used a small yellow bead to hold it on.

Candy Cane Owl

Same directions as the Holly Owl except cut a candy cane from white felt and attach to the front with a running stitch using red floss.

Happy Creating!  Deborah