Saturday, July 31, 2010

I bet that they still close their eyes and I bet they sing along

unmatched buttons
I recently finished Tora FrØseth's Sweetheart. I surprised myself a bit by liking this pattern: I wouldn't usually go for something so obviously cute with all the little hearts. But it is a really clever pattern with the hearts containing the increases for the yoke shaping, and I think the green colour tones down the saccharine factor to just the right amount of sweetness for my sweet little niece.
The buttons are three mismatched ones courtesy of mum's button collection (mine is just a fledging collection compared to the the motherlode).
back yoke
I only made one tiny modification, adding a single heart on the hem. Unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to do it in the round so I knit the hem back and forth and that means there is a seam which is not really invisible. No, it's not in this photo. Oh well. I think it was worth it.
heart hem
My sister popped it on to Miss B as soon as I gave it to her. It fits nicely even over her hip spica cast - but that comes off in less than a week anyway.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

paper truth in strings, hearts and broken things

I am happy tonight because I managed to affix stalks to all my pears. Sometimes it's the little things. Ha! By the way that is my mobile phone in the background of that photo, just for an idea of scale. The pears are around 9-10mm high.

The method I was using for the stalks was such a nuisance - felting a strand of brown wool for the stalks, cutting a small piece once it was dry, and trying a combination of sewing and needlefelting (which I am seriously not good at - I may need to do a course) to stuff it into place at the top of the pear and make it stay there. And then sometimes the stalk itself would fall apart - I think because they are really too small to for the fibres to hold together.
I had already found that I could stabilise the little stalks with watered-down glue. Tonight, I realised that there was little point felting the stalk first, and I might as well apply it to the pear as unfelted wool, and then felt/glue it to a proper level of stiffness. This meant I could thread the wool right though the pear and sew it in securely much more easily. And I finished in one session what I thought would take much longer. And with less swearing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

we all keep telling him how handsome he is

but he'd not going to be dissuaded from his firm clothing preferences.

He does wear it though, and here is the modelled shot to prove it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A pouch for everything and everything in its pouch.

;felt sleeve open
Wonky hand-made charm strikes again. Who needs neat neoprene? Things that need protective cases get felt pouches around here: camera, big ipod (currently not functional but I live in hope), nano, and now the laptop is ready for its ski trip.
felt sleeve buttoned

Update: Alwen's comment reminded me of something I meant to mention here. I think, in my several years of felting, this was the first project I have swatched/made a tension square for, and as a result, the sleeve felted to the perfect size (except for the flap, which I would prefer to shape a little differently, but that's not to do with the swatching). Sometimes it pays to be sensible.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reputation's changeable, situation's tolerable

Okay, it wasn't so bad. Most of the mini pods that hadn't felted too well just needed a little more coaxing. I'll need to have another go at blocking them though - at this size they need careful coaxing to sit on a flat bottom and look balanced, not wonky. A little bit of hand-made charm at the usual size can translate to something pretty shoddy at miniature size.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mama Leone left a note on the door

mini pods
As well as the pears, I'm hoping to have some mini pods/bowls/vessels for the Call of the Small exhibition. Since this photo was taken (on Wednesday), I've discovered that some of the fine wools I was using did not felt very well. No matter, I went stash diving and found some old handpainted laceweight from the Knittery that does work. I always like a bit of variegated colour for felting. And I'm using such small quantities that I should still be able to use that skein for something lacy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Here's one I prepared earlier

The Shopping Sherpa is curating a miniatures exhibition at Craft ACT next month. For quite a few of the participants - including me - working in 1/12 scale is a new experience. It's been quite a challenge but I have enjoyed getting my head around it. Not just technically how to go small enough, but also the logistics of handling and and storing tiny, light, 9mm high pears. (I handed one to my sister the other day and it bounced away to the floor - luckily we found it easily).

TSS came over this morning for a 'studio visit' and took photos of the process of making these little pears. They are not knitted, but wet-felted like this one.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Antipodean Aunty didn't want it?

pixie st peters
I rescued this delightful brand-new tea towel from my local op shop the other day.
pinkie detail
I wasn't sure if it was a real fundraiser tea towel from a real school, or some sort of pop-culture tie-in I didn't know about. One of the lesser-known wizard schools? I guess that would more likely be Pixie St Peters.
pixie detail 2
Turns out there really is a Pinkie St Peter's school (it's in Musselburgh, Scotland, and named after the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547) it seems that these charming self-portraits are by real kids. I love it and will use it to dry my dishes.

Monday, July 05, 2010

on visions and envisioning

“it matched my initial vision pretty well"

"it popped into my head fully-formed" (except that one turned out to be a lie, I realised it was inspired by another piece)

These phrases, or similar ones, sometimes come out when I talk about things I’ve made. And then I always do a little double-take when I re-read.

I am pleased when these things work out. But I don't think I'm especially good at turning my 'visions' into reality. The house is littered with things that didn’t turn out quite as envisioned. Some are abandoned at an early stage. Others have gotten closer to making it, but just need a bit more thinking or tinkering. Sometimes by the time I try again I can think of a better approach or even have new skills (or have seen something helpful online). Thought it's just as likely by the time I try again I will have forgotten what I was trying to do.... or don't really feel the love anymore.

The other reason I’m surprised at myself using these words is that I think of myself as someone who CAN’T visualise things in much detail. I visualise in impressions and flashes. I've never been able to drawn well (though I know to some extent this is a skill you can work on). A long time ago I described my envisioning skills before as kind of fuzzy
wacky ring stand
Here's something kind of fuzzy. Ever since I bought this ceramic ring stand at a market, I've wanted another one like it. (too many rings, pretty funny for someone who had 'claustrophic fingers' only a few years ago.) For some reason I "envisioned" a felt version.

Yes, ok, I do have a tendency to envision felt versions of things.

In the 'vision', the wire frame was going to be totally covered in felt. But when I tried that, it became too wobbly. Maybe I needed to try it with thinner felt that could be stretched tightly. I really think this is one ugly ring stand (though more-or-less functional - just not as stable or elegant as the ceramic one). And I've even positioned it to hide the ugliest part of the wire for the photo.