Monday, February 25, 2013

My Temporary Light Box.

I have been obsessed with a new embroidery project. 

I have found another way to combine my two favorite things. Embroidery and photography. (My first combo is here.) I am turning some of my images into what I think of as "thread sketches".  Just as my simple drawings have translated well into thread, so will many of my photos. Mostly, the many (many) that aren't technically good in composition, or light, or whatever, but still have a certain feeling or tell a story that means something for me.

The process has several steps. 

1. Trace/sketch basic outline of photo subject onto tracing paper for proportion.
2. Sketch in detail and smooth it out to final piece.
3. Darken line with thick pencil or black pen.
4. Trace final drawing onto fabric.
5. Stitch it up.

Most steps, especially step #4, require a light box. I don't have a light box. Yet. 

I do have a dinning room with lots of windows. Five of the thirteen windows in our whole two story house actually. So even on normal, grayish, darkish winter Kodiak days, it's bright enough to serve very well as a light box.

I can tape the paper and fabric up and go stir the soup or make a coffee. 

Minna can cut and glue and I can work in the sun from our giant light box when it is shining.

 I usually have a sketch going, something taped up to be traced and a drawing in the hoop.

I splurged on a little kitchen for downstairs too. It was time to rethink Minna's room and her old play kitchen situation. Lots of happy cooking going on while I embroider down here. Lots more room and organization going on up in the girl's room.  Been really nice.

I have finished four so far. I love "sketching" with floss. It feels very free and I use only back and split stitch. I am also manipulating the thread and breaking rules by doing a lot of reverse split stitch. It really looks like sketching to me. I like it. 

Many more pieces in the works. It may be the only kind of embroidery I ever do again. I like it that much.

 And just because they lend themselves to the light-bright theme today,

our pretty eggs.

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

this moment.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heart Day.

I guess the week before Valentine's Day isn't much different out here from any other week. 

Except for the hearts all over. So many hearts.

Lots of handmade love for friends and classmates.

Lots of love for the zoo we have out here too.

Love for each other. Of course. (I have had the same hunky valentine for 15 years straight!)

This year, we made some new love! A handmade dolly

Minna has a solid dolly naming process- incorporate the nearest holiday.

Joining "Elisabeth Christmas"... this is "Girl Valentine".

Happy Valentine's to you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


This week is all about hearts out here.

More to come, I assure you.

What heart-y things have you been up to?

Friday, February 8, 2013

this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

-Amanda Soule (SouleMama)

Happy Weekend!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Is It Sweater Time?

Oh yes. I do believe it is.

It's time to talk about, The Sweater.

I started my very first knit garment last August when a friend asked if I wanted to knit one along with her. It was ambitious for me because I had only knitted scarves and crochet was really my thing.

(I carried my sweater in that bag for 5 months. 
I must have made 80 bazillion tick marks.)

I am so glad I said yes. I can now knit in the round. I taught myself how to do short rows and the Kitchener stitch. Not easy, but I feel like I can call myself a knitter now!

The sweater was a tiny shrug/vest for a while. I needed help with the sleeves.

It laid around so we could all admire it.

I modeled my vest. So soft and comfy. But very short and wavy. Not to worry. After sleeves it will be blocked and smoothed out.

It had part of a sleeve.

Then it didn't. Then it did.

Then it didn't again. And then it had almost two full sleeves and I ran out of yarn. A discontinued yarn.
But a very near match was found.

And finally it had two full sleeves. With cuffs that had a tucked stitch. (Learned that too.)

Then came blocking, which smoothed and stretched things out nicely. Then I realized that my arms aren't 37 inches long.

So I scrunched it up again and let it dry at a normal sleeve length. Yarn is kind of amazing and I am still amazed that I knit that many stitches. That many rows.

That's a lot of rows.

And here it is! Just the front view because I haven't hired Jeff to do a photo shoot yet. Plus, I think I have to block the back again because it is still a little wavy. Maybe a careful steam with the iron will do?

It is soft. It is cozy. It fits! I think it was a successful knit! 

I am not sure I will do another adult garment though. Not sure why... I really did enjoy the process and I am proud of the result.  Maybe because I am not sure I will wear it a whole lot. I don't know.

I do know that I will definitely knit a kid sweater or a baby vest for sure. Probably soon. I am cranking out knit hats all over the place too.

I also know, that knitting is just so perfect for February (Welcome February!).

Have a good night!