December 27, 2010

Dyed Christmas Gifts

Everyone is starting to expect gifts of dyed shirts with matching bamboo socks all the time. I did it again this Christmas. Last Christmas, besides the shirts and socks, everyone got a tie dyed apron. This year besides the shirts and socks, all the couples got a Bidet! For the Grandsons I dyed shirts, and warm rompers, matching bamboo socks, and then some hats. I was going to dye ties for the guys, as the girls got machine felted polar fleece purses - but I didn't get to them. I'm feeling a little daunted with silk ties, but will do them eventually.

The munchkin hats are adorable!

Hand-dyed had from Dharma Trading Company

December 16, 2010

December Color/Design Challenge

"TEMPERATURE" was the next classes' challenge. Heather Thomas said, "we want to feel either hot or cold when we view your piece!" Visual temperature is controlled by color. The color wheel can be divided in two halves, one warm and one cold. The cold colors tend to recede behind warm colors. Red-violet, red, yellow-green, and green are temperature neutral colors, tending to behave like their neighbors. Adding black to colors warms them. Adding white actually cools colors down. Colors have moods.

I initially printed some of Dawson's photos and photo-image-transferred a white deer with it snowing. I heavily thread painted it and it puckered. My teacher of the class, Heather, said, "when I'm going to stitch the hell out of something, I print two, cut out the heavily stitched image and attach it to the background." I still need to do that and finish it. I want to frame it and give it to Dawson.

What I did was look thru all my stash of material and lots of unfinished stuff. I chose a weaving project I did, feeling it cold. I'd previously knit and felted a black bag I didn't like cuz lint and stuff showed too much. So I attached my woven piece to the purse. I also looked thru my stash of trims and ribbons, hoping for something to embellish the purse. I found some daisy trim that could have come from my Grandmother. Over the years I've collected lots of trims and buttons from yard sales. Sometimes at a second-hand store I'll buy a shirt for it's buttons if they're cool. Then I found some coordinating material for lining and making some buttons. I wanted a brighter lining material as I've found it's hard to find things in a dark bag!

Felted purse with attached hand-weaving, trim, and homemade buttons

December 3, 2010

Knitted Dishcloths

Knit Dishcloth - a pattern from an old-timer's homestead home
In the wool felt over homemade soap bars post, I mentioned I knit round dishcloths, and the need to post a picture. So I took a picture this morning of my current knitting. An artist friend is having an ongoing open house for a week for gift shopping from a variety of artists. I've given her the felted soap bars and dishcloths, felted purses, ornaments, necklace earring sets, and tie-dye shirt sock set (I've posted about all these but the felted necklaces).

I usually use size 10 short wood needles
YEARS ago while visiting Monte's parents in Wisconsin we were in the home of one of their friends. These people, folks, were old-timers living on their homesteaded land, having come from Sweden. Much of Monte's relations still live on their homesteads and we've been handed down some of this land (I don't know if we'd ever live there! ... ). I might have been knitting something  while visiting (I've always got a knitting project along where ever I go, from small to large). Myrtle pulled out an old sheet of yellowed paper with faded scrawled handwriting for the knitted round dishcloths that I've now been knitting all these years and giving away as we visit people, and selling. The pattern is ingrained in my brain (as well as the socks I'm forever knitting).

Laid on napkin so you can see the BO3s and YO pattern
The circle is made up of 7 triangles. Starting with 15 cast-on stitches, and always knitting (no purl). It's always K3, yarn over, for the 'hole' pattern - then knit 11 and back. Once three of these are done you bind off three and begin next third of K3, YO, K8 three times. Bind off three. Last third is K3, YO, K5. Bind off three, K to end and back and start over with next triangle made up of threes from the 11 to 8 to 5. Leave a tail and whip stitch circle closed, closing center circle too.

Cotton is so absorbent and they are my favorite kitchen washcloths. Sometimes I've used the cotton yarn varied colors to dictate cotton thread colors for weaving matching dishtowels. I've got some, in a very absorbent honeycomb pattern on one of my looms now. Should finish them.

Occasionally I stick my wet dishcloths in the microwave - on high for 3 minutes - to disinfect them of any bacteria build-up. But DO regularly change out your washcloths, towels and sponges - like every couple days, depending on your usage.

December 2, 2010

Needle-Felted Christmas Wreath, etc.

WOW!!! I've not posted in a long time. But I've been busy and taken pictures of lots of doings, so I'm going to back-date posts from here for catching up with projects closer to their date. For awhile there was lots of garden/yard clean-up as Fall carried on with a longer growing season before frosting out. And I've now got tomatoes, lettuce varieties, radishes, beets, carrots, green onions, herbs and snow peas growing in the greenhouse that's connected to the house.

We have XM Serious Radio in our house (alone - we don't have Dish or Direct TV - only Satellite radio) and I'm currently listening to Christmas Classics as I'm typing this post on my Macintosh computer, eating a Macintosh apple.

The MOPS group of which I've been a Mentor Mom for ten years had it's Christmas Brunch fundraiser yesterday. I dyed some long-sleeve T-shirts with matching bamboo socks for it. I also made a Needle-felted wreath - all a part of an auction. Now I need to make a felt wreath for ME!

The wreath is about 12" made over a styrofoam wreath form. I've found needle felting over foam does not work on the smooth foam. I learned that last Easter when I did some egg shapes. I made some ornaments I'm back posting about, and going to make more.

At my weaving guild once a year is a large sale and I pick up varieties of wools. What I used for covering the styrofoam was some junky dyed green wool - still with lanolin that's gone sticky and I'm betting dyed with Koolaid - well I'm finally putting it to use. Then I wrapped it with some yarn. I separately needled the leaves and then needled them onto the wreath. I wet felted the berries quickly with bar soap and my hands standing at the sink, squeezed them out in a towel, and almost immediately glue-gunned them onto the wreath, straight pinning thru some. (Running out of time ... last minute stuff.)

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