Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DMC Light Effects

Look what my dad brought me from his business trip to Italy! It's DMC!

I feel like I'm eight years old again – you know, when your parents go on a trip, and you expect them to bring you something. 17 years ago it was mostly all about toys from Germany and foreign candy you couldn't get here. But this, this is even better than Milka chocolate... OK, I might be getting ahead of myself here. Chocolate is chocolate. But super quality embroidery thread is probably the next best thing. Or the third, after yarn. Damn, now I seem ungrateful ;-)

Anyway, I got three kits of DMC floss, in three different color schemes, each with five different cross stitch patterns and an extra pattern book. The only problem is that I don't do cross stitch. Well, no time like the present to start, right?

I already went and bought a whole meter of the white fabric with little square weave, the name of which I don't know. I think the lady at the store called it Panama?

So, this is how I start a new hobby. My seventh. Or is it eight?

As for the DMC floss, this particular version is called Light Effects. A sparkly metallic thread. I tried it on some embroidery and I regret to inform you that working with it sucks!

It's splits easily, which is great when you need to separate the threads, not so great when the thread gets separated on your embroidery piece. The texture of the thread is rough and coarse, and it's hard to pull trough the fabric. And it puckers. I tend to pull my stitches very tightly, which usually goes fine with normal cotton thread. But not with this one.

I don't know, I'll try again on a sturdier cloth. Or maybe this DMC was just meant for cross stitch?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Etsy fabrics

Online shopping is a wonderful thing. How else would I get my hands on nice German yarn and knitting tools? My latest discovery is a wonderful place called Etsy, where crafters from all over the world sell handmade stuff. And supplies. Emphasis on supplies.

A while ago I bought two fat quarters from a wonderful seller in Taiwan, theheydayshop. It took them 18 days to arrive to Croatia (I know this because I crossed off each day on my calendar) and the wait was worth it. The cutest fabric ever!

I immediately pulled out my sewing machine and started making stuff. Zippered pouches (hey, you haven't seen those on this blog for a while ;-) for my friends from the adorable mushroom printed cotton.

And a bag for me from the tree print on linen.
The orange stuff is also linen, from a local shop in my town. I added interfacing to make it stiffer and it got all wrinkly when I turned the bag. I hate ironing linen, no matter how long or hard I press, the wrinkles stay put. Perhaps I should iron it while it's still completely wet.

I already see myself buying more stuff on etsy. I think I'll go bankrupt with all my crafty purchases. And I'm supposed to be saving my money. There is an economic crisis after all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Elephant and crayons

So September has a free pattern of this adorably cute elephant toy. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to embroider it.

Laser print out, couple of thread colors and a few hours later I had this. Sorry about the not so sharp picture, I took it at night, and we've already established that my camera is crap.
It looks cute, right?

Of course,the devil wouldn't let me be, so I RUINED IT with crayons. Just look at the wheels! And the gray color just makes it look dirty. What was I thinking?!

There is a reason they tell you to color your embroidery BEFORE you embroider - my thread on this one is full of crayon gunk. It seems I don't know how to color inside the lines. But it's hard to be precise with crayons.

I think I'll try this one again, without the color. Elegance of blank space and all that.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Grandmother's favorite

While I wait for new yarn for my cardigan, I'm killing time with quick projects. Dishcloths are perfect for this - they use little yarn and knit up quickly. Or super quickly in this case. The pattern is Grandmother's Favorite, the yarn is Record 210 by Schoeller+Stahl, very colorful and soft cotton.

I used 4 mm needles and was done in about three hours. Instant gratification, yay!
Of course, now that I made it, that's it. I just sort of stare at the bright colors and don't really think about using it on dishes. It'll get ruined!
Perhaps I should dare and just go for it. When it gets stretched beyond belief, and turns pale and smelly, I'll just knit another one.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Got this far...

My fear of running out of yarn has come true. With only about 15 more centimeters to go. I've used up 7 skeins of yarn, which is 1125 meters. What is wrong with me? Just how tight do I knit? Honestly, this sweater is starting to annoy me. I've been at it for a month and a half. And now I have to order more yarn and wait for it to arrive. It'll never be finished.

I also messed up the lace pattern, after ripping it twice. Aaargh! I'm ordering new yarn tomorrow and putting this aside for at least two weeks while it arrives. By the time I finish this cardigan, it will be summer.

Sorry about the lousy picture, it was dark when I took it and flash combined with knitting never looks good.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

One lovely blog

I got an award! My very first blog award! Thank you misha!

I'd forward this one to zMaja, bensedin art and drenka, but they've already been tagged ;-)

Again with the zippers

OK, I'm starting to bore even myself with all the zippered pouches. But that's as far as my inspiration goes when it comes to using my embroidery in an actual project. So prepare yourself for a picture loaded post of two versions of the basically same thing - my good friend, the zippered pouch. This little car was my very first embroidery project. I've looked everywhere with some cute fabric to pair it with, but couldn't find anything. Eventually I settled for this striped purple (or is it maroon?). It matches the color of the embroidery perfectly.

I lined it with more stripes, these ones from my father's old shirt. Men's shirts are a great source for stripes and checkered patterns.

This one pictured below is for a friend. I followed the fabulous tutorial by
queenofdiy on Craftster in the making of this. Mine isn't exactly triangular, because I have issues with cutting and sewing straight lines, but I still love the way it turned out. Almost as much as I love this flowery fabric.

The little Kanzashi flower gave me hell. It took me almost two hours for that little bugger and it's still not as perfect as I'd like it to be.

The Kanzashi flower is a pin and can be removed and placed anywhere on the pouch. It actually looks a lot better if it's put a little above the stripe of the flowers fabric, so that the lower half of the stripe is showing. I don't have a picture of that, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
The side view, showing the not so triangular triangle.