New school of Knitting

If you’re like me, you love that Knitting, or at least knit wear, is back in trend with a vengeance. I mean is it ever. No trendy young girl is without some cabled infinity scarf, no stylish gent without a fair isle or fisher-mans sweater. Its paradise. With sites like Ravelry.com boasting almost any pattern imaginable, there really is no end to the clothes you can make for yourself if you know how to twist the ole’ needles.

Right now I’m working on two fair isle scarfs, one using blue and white in traditional Nordic motifs, the other green and cream in a floral motif of my own design and a traditional motif.
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Once done with the scarfs I’ve already decided what I want to do next… I just have to find it haha

After watching “if I stay” in the movie theatre this past weekend I was overcome with envy over the lead character’s main sweater. It was a baby pink tie back cardigan “cosette”, by Knitted and Knotted, sold by Anthropologie — now out of stock of course.

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Now I get to search Ravelry.com till I find a similar pattern. Wish me luck!

Needle and Thread

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I’ve been ironing, quilting, and sewing little embroidery patches all day and working on this poem off and on. not quite pinpointed a title yet…

Someone once told me that poetry is the editing of a story or an idea down to the bare essentials. I think my love of living small and handmade stems from this love of poetry and the idea of editing down to what is perfect and strong. I think I’m going to try and write a long post about that but until then here is the condensed version of my thoughts on the subject.

I wanted to write about how I have this sense that sewing connects me through ages and ages of women in this odd way that few other tasks can do. Sewing to me has always meant love, wether it manifests itself in the mending a favorite sweater or sewing a quilt to keep a child warm. Because of that connection Ive always been someone who cherished what has been handmade over what has been mechanically created. Im so glad I live in the modern cultured era that I do, because the internet and sites such as Pinterest etc, keeps these arts alive. No one taught me to quilt, I was a bad hand at a needle till high school, I couldn’t knit anything more complex than a simple scarf for the longest time, and I still have problems with sewing machines. but I do it out of love and I learn it out of love. I hope these things are never lost.

The snip of scissors,
The slow, sibilant slide of silver needles. Weaving – sweet stitches,
Arranged in proven patterns of devotion.

Soft yarn,
Knit and spun like cunning spider webs;
To caress like sly serpents across slim shoulders.
A woman’s gift.

Maid, lover, mother, or crone,
Each using laborious tasks to prove affections.
Machines, like thieves, born to steal our gifts – mimic our stitches
Yet they cannot

Imbue the cloth with our magic –
Little woven prayers and spells of protection.
They try to compete – with their mechanical speed,
Their violent, hungry computers angrily stabbing

Tender fabric with swift, cold, digital, needle-tipped fingers.
Heartless, greedy metal brains, laying down thread in mathematical equations –
Organized, like armies –
Of unprepared footsoldiers, of fragile fibers never blessed by human fingers,
Of programmed textiles ordered to war and do battle with maternally taught techniques.

War dies with few sounds:

The slice of razors,
The swift, screaming slide of loom and shuttles. Weaving – strict stitches,
Arranged in proven patterns of profit.

Gone to market

When I was in art school I always loved the assignments that forced us to hunt for solutions. Whenever I feel like Im starting to slack when it comes to my work I try to recreate that type of hunt.

My assignment for myself today was to focus, to find “the small beauties”.
I took my usual tools; sketchbook, watercolor box, pens, and as a back up – my camera.

I needed to run some errands before hunting for the small beauties. I’d planned to go to the park but had to go to the local growers stall and flea market to pick up some groceries. I think its a really important learning lesson for me… I found the small beauties when I wasn’t exactly looking for them. thats why its always important to be prepared 🙂

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A DIY Wedding. pt 1 Wedding Favours

I always love when “handmade” doesn’t mean “cheesy” or ” poorly made”
and thats what I always intended for our handmade wedding.

I’m pretty adamant about not wanting a themed wedding, but if one had to be named, “over the moon” would probably be most fitting.

We’ve made plans to build a paper moon instead of a photo booth, we’ve begun a hoard of christmas lights to hang in the trees of our ceremony site to add to the light of the stars, and I also had an idea to incorporate the stars into our wedding favours as well!

So for starters… I think favours are dumb. they always get left behind unless you spend a fortune on getting things people would actually care to have.
But now that the trend has turned towards food favours I’m all on board.

Our wedding is October 2nd of next year so I really wanted some food that would either be traditional like chocolate or M n M’s, or fit with the theme of fall like raisins, golden raisins, or nuts

but how would I make that pretty?
Pretty easily actually haha
I started out with the idea of a star shaped pouch and just went from there. I made a fat star template (thin and straight stars would make a pouch too small to small to hold anything) and then I thought a pretty brown Kraft paper would look very chic as the material.

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But that would be soooo expensive so what to do….?

I put the idea to the side for a few weeks and forgot about it.

We went grocery shopping, and I’d forgotten our reusable shopping bags so I asked for paper not plastic (Paper can compost and degrade faster than plastic can, and a tree can grow with less energy than it takes to create the plastic in the first place.)

When our Publix bagger started bagging our groceries up I was overjoyed!
Rather than compost our paper bags I would REUSE them.
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Once cut and turned inside out they make the perfect chic Kraft colored paper pouches I had envisioned.

You fold a large sheet of the paper bag in half, then trace the template as many times as possible. Then you cut out the stars carefully. The fold makes it so that you end up cutting two stars out at the same time.

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Once a decent number of stars were cut, we went and picked out embroidery floss in our fall wedding colors and I used a running stitch to go all the way down the border of the star and back again, leaving open one edge so that we can write a big calligraphic “Thank You” in white ink and add the treats a few days before the wedding and sew them up fresh.

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I see people tearing into the sweet pouches like the rustic christmas popcorn pouches I was inspired by.

A handmade wedding does not mean a hodgemodge of various children’s crafts. Instead it should mean a beautiful, personal touch wherever you look.

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Illustrations

I fell in love with an old Russian folktale quite a few years ago. it was just a fragment really, an idea of an old tale, but I loved it just the same.

” a witch casts a spell to hide a kingdom forever in a dark forrest, she curses the people so they turn into animals during the day, including the seven princesses of the kingdom. they live forgotten in the forrest for a hundred years un-aging. a lonely prince from a neighboring kingdom hears of the curse and goes off into the forrest in search of a wife and to kill the wicked witch.

I ended up fleshing out the fairytale and giving it a revamping. in many ways its a Russian retelling of sleeping beauty, but rather than these princesses being passive and having everything acted upon them, these girls are characters with their own agency and purpose.

Once finished then came time to draw what I’d imagined

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I work with primsmacolor ink pens and colored pencils.
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I try and get my colors to mimic the rich tones of oil paints
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I wanted to create a fairytale that didn’t shy away from the dark or the mature. I think children’s stories try to hide the scary things too much, you can still add a villain without traumatizing a child.
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I still obviously have so much work to do, but I’m going to try and post a new drawing from this fairytale every month or so…. That’s the goal at least

 

 

Creative Embroidery

The great thing about a needle and thread, and fiber arts/crafts in general is the versatility. I always love picking up a scrap of fabric and having no idea what I’m about to make, and just letting it come naturally.

eventually the goal is to put together a patchwork baby quilt with the embroidery pieces and a king size quilt made of the tiny cathedral windows.

This pattern has gotten some rust damage 😦 sad face. but it was meant to be a full column of the Korean kayong pattern, also known as “wedding ring”
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This little square will be the centerpiece of the baby quilt. any one want to guess what girl’s name we have picked out???
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This one uses the Algerian eye stitch on repeat.
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I like keeping everything tucked away in this old film reel box. It makes such a perfect travel box so I can work on the go. I tend to treat it like security blanket haha — always with me!
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it takes a while but I love quiet work.