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Preview: Stitchy


a blog mostly about making things

Updated: 2018-03-05T23:06:25.743-08:00


3D Jesus


 I'm back! Can you believe it? There are so many bloggers I admire, that post so frequently and so consistently. I'm not one of them, but I'm not going to be a quitter either! I'm going to have a go at it again, even if it's mostly for myself, to have a place to document the things that catch my eye. Unusual things, colourful things, or things that I make. and it's fun to share...                   I'm starting to use my phone camera. All these pics are from it.I was glad the bus stopped here so I could get this house and fence. So happy. I picture their curtains with big psychedelic flowers on them. I see so many things that catch my eye in the course of the day. The ceiling on the above porch was a great turquoise. Porch ceilings probably have a special name, right? You can't really see it, but it was beautiful with that green, trust me. You've got to be bold to paint your trim like this. I congratulate them.Something new.  I've decided I'll add a new category... Things I Didn't Buy. I'm going to have so many more pretty pictures... and I'm going to save a crap load of money! Seriously though, there are so many weird things out there and the thought that they were in peoples homes, not as kitsch or irreverent or tongue in cheek, is humorous to me. The couch, it's not weird. I love the shape, the colours, everything! I don't remember why I didn't take it. I think I was in a bad mood, or I wasn't sure I wanted to live with the pattern at length. I kind of love it though. Let's just say it smelled musty, then I won't have such regrets.                                              Something I did not buy... 3D Jesus. Cool.                                           I didn't buy this either. He's praying that his Mom doesn't put 3D Jesus in his room.OK, this I loved. No, not enough to buy him. I know owls are all the rage now and I appreciate the hand made and all those coats of varnish. He really is intense looking though, isn't he? The more I look at him, the more I like him.Wow, look at all the money I saved!Till next time. Take care, have fun.[...]

Who Crocheted This?


Who ever did, I thank you!This blanket popped up and said hi, while I was on the hunt one day. I loved it right away, no hemming or hawing.  "You, little sweetheart, are coming home with me!" Sometimes I talk to things.I would never have thought of using these colours and that's one of the things I like about it.I was even happier that it was a great price, less than a special, fancy coffee (which I never, ever buy). If I ever tire of my thrifty finds, they may end up at a summer yard sale.No money lost, for so much pleasure!Don't you just love finding these unique, one of a kind treasures?[...]

My Summer Flies


                                   Some inspiration. Thank you Mother Nature.                                           My hand spun, hand dyed.The wool was over processed before I even spun it. I dyed the hell out of it, partially felting it in the process. I had to pull the strands apart, combing them with my fingers. It was another learning curve.You can see in the above photo, how fuzzy it looks. Luckily it knit up alright. I think it's a worsted weight. I'll do some measuring and post all the specs on Ravelry at some point.                                                                                                         Ta Da! The hand knit, being blocked into submission. The pattern is Summer Flies, easily found on Ravelry. Wonderful pattern, easy beginner lace, kept my interest and it was fast!                                                                                                         I like these ones. This colour seems pretty close.               The finished shawl didn't really grab me in it's crinkled state, off the needles and so it sat around for almost one week.  If you've never blocked lace before, trust me, it does wonders. Thank goodness I had a good stash of push pins and they went into my deck easily. Please don't rain! I will post more pics in it's dry state. We'll see how it drapes then.Thank you so much for visiting![...]

Mother of Batman!


I'm continuing to do straight samples and simple mixes of the dyes I have. Holy Mother of Batman, are they intense! I figure I can comb some white into them, or even add it at the wheel. Good thing neon is back in fashion. I'm using roving I got a while back, from a sweater factory that went out of business. It's decent, but seems very processed. I'm not complaining, it was cheap and I have a humongous bag! By the time I get through it, I may get some some sophisticated colour going on.              Look, I'm being so organized and putting little samples into a binder.I think these were my last batch. Yellow, black, turquoise/navy mix and navy. (Ciba dyes) Then I got all fancy and did fushia with one part black, two parts black, three parts, four. I have a great book, that I think might help. It's for printing and gives percentages of mixes, all with cyan, magenta, yellow and black. (as apposed to red, yellow and blue) To do the samples I'm putting a chunk of roving into a cup with the dye stocks, then transferring them into baggies and then using a vegetable steamer. They're coming out uneven, just the way I hoped. More interesting for spinning with the variation I think. These greens and blues were the very first attempts. I didn't steam these, just a post on the stove. (immersion) When I saw the colour, that's when I decided to do smaller samples! Ha. At least I was smart enough to use the bad roving I bought, back when I didn't know what good roving looked like. I figured if I screwed it up too badly I wouldn't be as upset. Of course I felted it, cause I let the pot boil!To save it, I've been combing little bits here and there, creating some new shades by mixing them on the hackle and combing them out. I've been stashing them in my plate rack and I'm loving the burst of colour there. I can't wait to spin some of this up.Thanks for visiting. If you have any questions, I'm more than happy to share.Happy spinning![...]

Colour Love


This is what I've been playing with lately, Ciba acid wash dyes. I had been planning on getting around to this for years. How time flies! So, my first samples were shockingly bright,

   one of them being this painful international orange. (actually gold yellow)

            After I spun it up, I over-dyed it with fuchsia and a little black. I had to spin it up first, 
so I  wouldn't felt it beyond repair. There, that toned it down alright. 

I also tried some little sample over dyes with turquoise and cobalt I think, and got these results.

In the end the orange won out. Now I just have see what yardage and wraps / inch I have and knit something up! What a fun trip, to go from white fluff to this!

Thanks for visiting! and Happy spinning!

Nothing Really Mattress


I was going through old folders and wondering why on earth, did I have a photo of a dirty old mattress. I turned out it was a picture I took through the window of this little house! It didn't turn out in the shot, but if memory serves, there were even miniature booze bottles, spray painted graffiti, and yes, a dirty old mattress. Oh, that reminds me of some graffiti I saw the other day. There was an old mattress out in some one's alley and spray painted on it was, "Nothing really mattress".These are Susies Reading Mitts. I made a plain, cream pair as well, that I prefer to these. They were great to knit and will definitely be more of these in the future. Oh, I just remembered, I did some in Malabrigo as well. Yum. Sorry, I can't seem to get the links to work.When out and about with friends one day, running into these guys was a wonderful accident. They were so sweet and curious.[...]

Trolls to the Carder


It seems like it's been rain, rain, rainy everyday. The water droplets on my Solomon's Seal looked like ice crystals. I love that name, Solomon's Seal. 
I've been inside playing with my alpaca. 

 I teased out the alpaca, sometimes using my combs, before loading the carder. It worked like a dream, once I got into the rhythm. Doesn't it look like a little gang of troll dolls? When my daughter was little, her dolls all had very tidy hair. You see, I've found my calling, combing out tangles!
The day I got into it, Turner Classics happened to be have a Western theme going on, which was very fitting. Pioneers and wagon trains. If someone were smart they would make Westerns from a women's point of view. Forget about the shootouts. We would see loads of carding and spinning and quilting bee's. Wouldn't that be fabulous? 

Look, there's the drum carder I rented from Baaad Anna's, my LYS. Very reasonable rates and very friendly staff. It was my first experience using a drum carder. I discovered that carding does not remove nearly as much debris as combing does, so if I want to be a perfectionist about the finished product, I may comb it as well. I have Forsyth combs and they are beautiful! More on them at a later date. I had to fit my wheel in the picture of course. It's a folding Lendrum.
Thanks so much for visiting!

Thank You Charlie


What are the neighbors thinking, when they walk by my yard I wonder? "Sheesh, she should brush her cat more often!" Actually it's fleece from an Alpaca named Charlie. Some friends were kind enough to give me this gift. This about one third of the whole batch, and here it is, finishing drying after it's bath. (above)Above there, is the last third, in it's unwashed state.Here it is some having a good soak. After a little experimenting, I got the hang of swishing it a little, to release the dirt, with out doing any felting. You should have seen the state of the tub, even after the second rinse. It looked like I'd washed about ten really dirty kids, all at once. I soaked quite a few towel and let it dry over night on the kitchen table. Of course the picture doesn't do it justice, but the way the light was shining down on it made it look so angelic. Like a table full of feathers. Every time I passed by I had to play with and admire it. The before and after above is not the same handful, but it gives you an idea. So fascinating, so see the variation of fibre though out the fleece, especially the staple length. I'm a total beginner and just learning about fleeces. I'm so hooked! I just found out that my LYS (Baad Anna's for you Vancouverites) is now renting out equipment for processing. I'm going to drum card this! Yippy! One day I will do a post on the differences between combing and carding.  I hope you enjoyed this!Thank you Charlie![...]

Back At It


 Wow, I hadn't been to my blog for almost a year!
 I didn't even say good bye. I'm a procrastinator of the highest order, huh?
 My apologies.

I tend to drop things, leave them, pick them up later. 
Round and round it goes... which is OK, because it all seems to come together at some point, like a
  jigsaw puzzle. I was given a little nudge to get back into spinning. I'm glad for that. (thus the idea to record my creations on my blog once again)
It never ceases to amaze me, this act of creating something. 

I'm still truly a beginner spinner. Jeepers, it looked so fine and even on the spindles, and now I see the enormous variation. Not that I mind at all. I'm super happy and it will become something lovely. I would eventually like to create very uniform skeins and from there, I'll break the rules. My Mom used to say, "You have to make the cake before you can ice it."

This is hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester Roving I bought at Knotty By Nature in Victoria BC



Greetings friends! Just popping in to say hello.


I've been sitting on my couch here, collecting pictures on Pinterest. I know everyone's probably been on for ages, but it's new to me. It's a little bit addictive. OK, a lot addictive. Are you on?

September Sunshine


Greetings!I went out for a quick bike ride to try to find something I passed by the other day. It was some sort of book sharing / drop off box, nailed to a post in one of the alleys around here. I couldn't find it though. On my way out, I saw these sunflowers ablaze in the early evening sun. I must pass by everyday, but not really notice them. Maybe it was because I had my camera, that I was paying more attention. As you can see, I live in a neighborhood full of character. It's not all roses... or sunflowers but it's my home and I love it the same. Sometimes it just takes a little editing while looking about.I thought I would also show you this wall that I pass by all the time and do notice. I love finding the quirky and unusual.They have quite a substantial container garden just beyond. Cheers everyone. I hope you're enjoying the tail end of summer as much as I am.[...]

Bad Blogger!


 I've been away for over a year! I'm not a good blogger. I stopped for a week or two, then procrastinated. I didn't even make a post saying I was on a break for goodness sake! I'll give it another go though and try my best. I'm hoping to get re-connected and make new connections. I'm hoping that re-starting this blog will spur my creative juices as well.
It's always nice to have feedback.
Hope you're doing fine and dandy!

I will really try and learn new ways to use my camera. These colours look a little washed out. Speaking of which, I bought the bed spread on the bottom, which said dry clean only. It looked brand, spanking new, but there was no way I was going to follow those laundry instructions! It looked perfectly fine when it came out of the washer, but when I got it out of the dryer, the colours where all washed up, you could say, very faded. It's super synthetic. I'm wanting to turn it into a big laundry hamper-bag and maybe a laptop bag? What do you think?

Thrifty Luck


So many thrifty finds this week. Curtains, dotty vase, a paint by number, a bit of crochet and a pup... whew! I love the curtains, and they are in mint condition. Well, OK, they have a bit of old house smell, even though they've been washed and hung outside. I think it has to do with the rubbery backing. Any pointers? I don't want to wash them too much because of the backing.Today I bought myself a lilly, but needed a container,so off to the op shop and I found a sweet, faux wicker basket. I'm not sure what's made me happiest though, it might be this poodle. I love him, and I want to draw him.Oh, this crochet baby blanket too! I think it's about the right size to turn into a big cushion cover. I seem to be attracted to garish colours lately. Yikes. Another a view of my little pup? Well, sure! The thrifting luck has been pretty good this week.I hope yours has been the same.Happy Spring everyone.Thanks for popping by!  [...]

Marguerite the Marionette


I rediscovered a box with my (daughters) doll house furniture, and pulled out a few items. I've already painted this furniture since taking the photo. I'm so noncommittal about picking colours for my real furniture, I thought I could practice on this instead. 
Can you see the mattress I made, propped up there? 
More about the dollhouse another day.

 I wanted you to see the wire basket I painted, then realized I should tell you about Marguerite the marionette. Half the fun I have in my workroom, is organizing my stuff, pulling out things I haven't seen in eons. One of the things I came across was Marguerite, with her poor tangled, decayed strings.  I played with her on occasion, when my children were small. Then, she really and truly came to life! She walked across the carpet, shook hands, had conversations and did little dances. My children spoke directly to her and no longer paid attention to the mother pulling the strings on the other end. 

Not long ago I listened to an interview with a fiction writer, who spoke about the deep power of imagination. She jokingly said she wondered about her sanity at times because some of the characters that revealed themselves to her where so alien, so foreign to what she was. Being a writer, she was obviously much more eloquent, but you get the idea. That reminds me of some of the  dreams I've had, one in particular about looking at these amazing paintings. When I woke up, I realized that I indeed was the creator of the paintings. Somewhere, they came from my imagination.  It also reminds me of what it was like to be a child and be lost in the act of pretending. 

I will re-string you Marguerite, and maybe add a little embroidery to your neckerchief. 
I would like to see you dance again, with those clip clop-pity, green shoes.   

Home Made Photo Light Box... What a Pro!


A few days ago I happened upon a homemade light box tutorial, which also happened to be a good thing, since the skies were grey and drippy. I don't have the links, but there were all sorts of easy to find tutorials. Some used cardboard boxes (with sides cut out), others used PVC pipe cages. The easiest, and the one I used, was a clear plastic bin, which is what you see below. In all cases you need to diffuse the light with tissue paper or a white sheet, covering your structure. I definitely needed more/better lights, (shining in the top) and I think a deeper box would have helped.  I put the lights pretty close to the fabric. Don't start a fire doing that! Oh, I also like the trick of using a piece of paper taped up behind your subject, to give that seamless background.Here's a little fawn I found at Sally Anne a few days ago. In the light box.......... and on my desk, in front of natural daylight.(which I almost like better)Kissing Salt and Pepper in the box............ and on my little shelf where they've been living lately.I tried also tried them with some great sparkly fabric, though the colour isn't right.To hold the fabric up I used  one of those flexible cutting mats, and just taped the lower edge onto the floor of the plastic box, then draped the fabric over it. All of these photos were taken using the automatic setting....... because I'm nincompoop and haven't read my manual yet! Ha-ha! The whole thing was easy and pretty fun.If you're a photography newbie like me and give this a try, let me me know how it goes ![...]

A Ripple is Born!


Hmm, looks like I have a few umbilical cords to weave in....Please meet the new bundle of joy!     All stretched out, and ready to get cuddly with friends... I used colours that were available to me at shops in town, and that was limited. My fantasy is that of being able to walk into the magical yarn store that has thousands of colours at my fingertips!  Oh, I guess that would be called shopping on line!  I think most of this is wool, some from my stash and lots from a crazy sale at a discount fabric store. $2 per ball for wool! I think they bought the stock from a company that went under. Well, I looked up what people had to say about the brand on Ravelry, and a few said it grows quiet a bit and pills. So no, I won't be using it for a sweater. For you Vancouverites, the store is Dressew and they have cotton too!These guys are just propped on top of pillow forms, the fabric too. Hmm, I do love the combination of this last one though, now that I'm looking at it in a photo.Please let me know what you think! I've been lonely with no comments![...]

Pussman and Co.... Sweet Bears!



Pretty sweet huh? No, I'm not having a giveaway, but Pussman and Co is! 
So head over and check out her blog!

I Have the Blues in a Good Way


Blue PeriodI've been on this blue kick lately. This blue. I bought this gigantic strip of fabric at my thrift store a few weeks ago. I only bought it for the colour and almost hesitated because it's pretty cheesy looking, polyester, nylon type fabric. If you can call it fabric. Trust me, it's weird, buying something like this after years of training myself to spot beautiful natural fibres.  Anyway, I made some curtains for my craft room, and boy they looked good. Of course, being on this blue kick, I started to carry a swatch around with me. I just ran out of yarn the same colour yarn recently and really, really wanted more of that too! So having the swatch should help with that I hope. I'm hoping it will work like a divining rod. Oh, I should say I'm over my yarn snobbery as well. So much for pure wool, when I'm strictly hunting for colour. Acrylic will do just fine for kitsch crochet. So, while I was hunting around I thought I would add orange to the mix and found this pillow! Of course once I got home I had to pull anything orange from my stash. The fabric on the lamp shade was pinned on in a temporary manner, just to see if it could work.I'm reminded I have a quilt to finish. (on the bottom of the stack there)If you want to see this quilt, it's here.Then of course I started painting things, like this picture frame. Hmm, need a picture there!Speaking of kitsch... I only have those kissing salt and pepper shakers, because they were in a bag with another pair, the ones I really wanted. They're growing on me though, because of the colour! I have to say, I've recently become heavily influenced by the colour combinations over at the amazing Dottie Angel. She has, to me a very sophisticated colour sense, using unique combinations of vintage inspired turquoise blue, olive green, pink and gold. If you like colour and vintage, she's a must!  If you're a colour fanatic, or know of those with blogs you could suggest, please introduce yourself and/or share the link!Oh, I have to add that the curtains didn't work. I couldn't figure out why at first, but then I realized that it gave the room a cold feel. I think they will become curtains for the closet instead or possibly I will save them for the next summer heat wave.Thanks for visiting![...]

Vintage Aprons


I tried out the extra large picture option on blogger. The image was enlarged, but not all of it fit in, so was cut in half and the actual picture was the same size. Did that make sense?  I think I have to go to the help page.... Anyway, here are a few of my aprons. I don't have that many and I actually use them on occasion. It's so nice knowing you can wipe your hands right on your clothes when you're working. I believe this one is supposed to be embroidered.I love aprons with pockets.This last one is one of my favorites. Shoosh, if I found a big piece of this fabric![...]

My First Ripple


(image) I've finally stuck with a Ripple afghan, after many false starts. To top that off, I've posted a picture of myself. Wow! I have to admit I took a zillion photos, trying to get something that felt authentically me. I can't tell you what I went through today, let's just say it was a learning experience.
 Anyway... the afghan is hung over a door and that's about it's width at this point. The colours are a little brighter than in this shot, but we'll leave it at that.
I'm refusing to rip out any more, unless it's a row or two. After all, the idea of the Ripple is supposed to be happenstance isn't it?

 Someone was laughing the other day, about the fact that I buy yarn,  just for the colour and with no idea in mind about what I'll use it for.  Don't you wish you had every colour of the rainbow to play with?

About my necklace. It's an old typewriter key that says shift. That's my motto for 2010, shift perspective, shift gears, mix it up and be brave.

Celebrating a Chickadee


I hope everyone had  wonderful holiday celebrations. 

I have to show you my best, fun present. My daughter gave me a needle felting kit! I think she read my mind. Anyway, I had to get started on it right away, of course. I've never done it before, and the directions in the kit were a little vague, (not that it's complicated) so I took a trip over to Youtube, which was very helpful, as everyone knows.  I also looked at a few photos online, because I wouldn't have known a chickadee if it came and landed on the edge of my coffee cup.

(image) It's a very interesting craft and you can get a fair amount of detail with shaping and shading.  The photos here make my bird look rough and fuzzier than it is in person. 

(image) I have lots of fibre left for additional projects, besides that, I can always dive into my spinning fibre. Now I just need a new idea for the next project!



I'd like to share my two most cherished Christmas ornaments with you...

this little snowman, found at a thrift store years and years ago. 

         and this little fawn. 

I should correct myself. The ornaments I truly cherish are the ones my children have made over the years. You know the ones... made out of pipe cleaners, clothes pegs, construction paper and popsicle sticks. 

If your children are grown, and you want to remember those days, visit Lucy at Attic 24 and check out her post of Dec 14th. Precious. 

Now I see she's posted again,  something really amazing! I'm going back to look!  Bye

Baubles and Beads


So who says you're not supposed to wear a toque with a party dress? With fancy beads no less! I'm afraid the monkeys have minds of their own. 
I suppose that's why I like them... human rules don't apply!

 I've been bead shopping for the monkeys.

Ooh, look I'm getting Christmassy too. Run little gingerbread man!

What I wanted to show you was my growing bauble collection. Since I've been putting beads on the monkeys, I've been keeping my eyes out, while being thrifty.  See, being a thrift shopper from waaaay back, I find it hard now-a-days finding treasures the way I used to. But! It seems I've been overlooking old bead necklaces. So anyway, I've been getting some cheap thrills the last few weeks whenever I find a nice weighty, string of old, vintage beads.

See what I mean about following human rules? 
What monkey has to keep her legs together while wearing a dress!

Oh, by the way I've bought the only Christmas decorations that I'm going to this year. 
Up there in the header. I really had to have those! 

Monkey Business


I've been up to some serious monkey business and having a lot of fun! I'm still not sure why I've been so enchanted with making them. I did want a real monkey when I was little and I loved Curious George. Anyway, here's one of the girls in all her naked glory. I think it's time for a dress, don't you?( I was inspired by her Elizabeth Taylor eyes.)A little turquoise mohair and some beads to spruce it up...OK, now everyone gets their portrait in the rocking chair. This gal is into pillow case dresses and rhinestone brooches.She's not fond of a lot of makeup.Back to you, violet eyes.I don't think a toque goes with that dress. Silly monkey!Last but not least. This lady is sporting a cotton shift with silver thread and a colourful shawl and wooly cap. Love those eyes!And here are the girls together. They have a fourth sister, but she has one arm and no ears at this point. You can understand her hesitation at not wanting to be in any photos at this point.So you can see I've been up to very important work lately!Please let me know what you think!  Cheers and Happy December! [...]

White and Fluffy


I thought it's about time I  pop in to let people know I'm still around. 

I've been doing a fair bit of knitting lately, in fact just about whenever I have free time. I'm stocking up for the you-know-what-big-holiday coming up. When my kids were small I had a rule that they weren't aloud to talk about what they wanted until December 1st.

(image) These fingerless mitts turned out just the way I hoped. If you're a knitter and you want the pattern and the specs, or to see some of my other work, I'm here on Ravelry.

And now, to keep with the fluffy, white theme...

(image) That's just wrong somehow.

Food for thought
When you purchase groceries at Safeway and the teller asks if you would like help to your vehicle, would they carry the bags to the bus stop?