Monthly Archives: May 2014

Wool Flowers

Happy Weekend!

Well the exhibition at College started last night and I must say I’m exhausted. Maybe it’s just the stress of the last few weeks finally coming out, plus getting ready to move in two weeks (Wales here we come!), but man I need some sleep! Like a good full night of deep sleep!

So I was a lucky duck and the eBay fairy delivered my Poniy H.A flower looms the other day. I have goggled this name and didn’t really find anything, but they seem to be just like the Hana-Ami flower looms. They come with a variety of shapes and sizes (all quite small) for making flowers or really whatever you desire

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There was also a plastic tapestry needle included.

The instructions that came with mine were quite difficult to follow (big time translation problem with terrible photos) so I turned to handy dandy YouTube for some assistance. I used this video by dianagreengirl for the basics.

I decided to make two basic flowers. One was a double petal and the other was just basic. I took photos of everything I did, but I think the easiest way for you to see what was done is to check out the video. Her tutorial was quite helpful.

One thing I must say is that it’s really important to come through the same hole again and again while doing the centre.

I did one flower using the tapestry needle provided and the other with a metal needle. I found the metal needle much easier to use.

This one was the double petal, where I went around each peg twice. I used the hexagon shape here.
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This was single petal, and well lookee there! I forgot to trim some craziness off and honestly don’t feel like going back downstairs to take a new photo. Honesty is the best policy 🙂 I used the large circle here.
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I have a strong feeling I’m going to find this quite addictive. Especially when I get the hang of things other than flowers. It was quick easy and effective. Other than the craziness hanging off the pink one they are quite cute. I have ordered some larger round looms as well. Should be great fun trying them!

First Weaving Project Complete – Yay!

wool

For what feels like years, but really wasn’t very long, I’ve been working on a weaving project for college. It was my first time doing weaving on a larger scale (I’d made bracelets and things) and thought it was really cool!
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I did some samples using different techniques/patterns and wool first, then decided on a final design.

Before any of that we had to choose a work of art that we liked (this bit was ages ago!) and base our colours and balance of colours around it. I chose a piece by Matisse.

After doing the samples I decided I wanted to make a cushion using the 2/2 twill and soumak techniques. I chose white as the main colour, along with a  few colours that were similar to those in the work of art. I then got to it!

on loom

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I wound up with this…

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and I turned it into this…

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sofa

Ok sewing this thing was a major pain and I plan I redoing it at some point to tidy it up, and I really wish I’d added pink to the colour mix because it looks very much like an HBC product.

Alright, I loved weaving. I would do it again and again and again. I need to add loom to the list of things I really really want (along with a knitting machine!). There seem to be so many possibilities of things you can make and do. It was cool. I found it strangely relaxing as well. If you get the chance give it a go!

Another Prototype – Same Sweater – Mittens

So I had the arms left over from the sweater I felted the other day and decided to try some fingerless mittens with a thumb hole.
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I figured out where I wanted my thumb to come through and picked the stitches in the seam so it could pop out. I also straightened out the ends.
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The arms were a bit too wide so I turned them inside out sewed a straight line down from the seam and cut off the excess.
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Again, because I’m really trying to get my stitching skills up there, I used blanket stitch around the thumb hole and the bottom of the mitts.
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I like these because you can change the length of the mitten.

Overall I think these are super cute. I need to tweak the design a bit and continue to work on my hand stitching, but I like them. They would come in handy in so many situations.

Prototype – Totebag From Felted Sweater

So the other day my friend’s mom kindly gave me a couple of 100% wool sweaters (Thank you Mrs Ray!). I had a cool idea for one but wasn’t sure if I could make it work.

First things first. I felted the sweater (washed it at 40 degrees on a regular cycle). If you want to try this 100% wool is the easiest way to go, something that can’t be machine washed may work.
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I decided I was going to make a bag. I wanted to keep the sweater in one piece as much as I could. I cut the arms off, cutting just next the seam. I then cut the neck out. Now this is where I made a mistake, but I’ll get to that later.
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I flipped the sweater around so the handles (and seams) were together.

I decided I wanted a square(ish) bottom so I kind of folded/tucked the ends in on themselves hoping that would work. I then pinned the bottom and sewed straight across the bottom of the sweater. The square corners basically worked so I am pretty happy with that.
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I turned the sweater out so I could have a look at it and didn’t like the seams down the front and back of the bag so I decided to attach some pockets. One on the back and a little double pocket on the front. I’m still practicing my hand sewing, so blanket stitch all around!
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pockets

As a prototype I’m pretty happy with this. I can see where I need to make changes. I cut too much out around the neck and arms, and need to do something with the straps so the aren’t as bulky. I will definitely be working on this and trying more in the future. I’d like to line them as well. Most importantly it was fun 🙂

Winding down by wrapping cords

Gah. I’ve had a long day and can’t seem to wind down at all and really should be in bed. I spent the evening trying to turn my brain off, but felt like I needed something to do.

I’ve been having problems with some of my USB cables and chargers. They seem like they need a bit of protection. A while back I had some great headphones with woven cords and figured I could try this on a couple of cables.

All I used was embroidery thread.
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For the first one I just tied both threads at the top of the cable leaving a bit of a tail.
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I then wrapped the threads tightly around the cable covering the tail.
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I continued like this all the way down the cord making sure not to overlap or leave any gaps and held it tightly in place.
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When I got to the end I tied a couple of tight and discrete knots. I may add some glue. I wound up with this…
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I then tried a different design…ok this took a long time. I tied several threads around the cable (together). I then chose one and wrapped it around the cable and the other threads. When I wanted to change colours I just switched threads. When I got to the end I tied a couple of knots.

Sooty was really into this but wasn’t the best helper. She was more into tangling than wrapping.
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Second one turned out like this.
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Personally I really like the purple one. It was quick, cute and effective. The other design took a lot of time and I would need some more practice/patience (no cat around)/a little more awake to do it well. My threads kept splitting too which was a little annoying.

Ok! I’m off to bed!

A bunch of bracelets

This afternoon I made some bracelets that I hadn’t made in a few years. I have a bunch of birthdays coming up and it might also be handy to have some presents to bring with me when I go to Canada. Plus I’ll use almost any excuse to make something.
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They are super easy to make and if you haven’t made them before I’ll let you know how.

You will need:
-variety of beads
-round nose pliers
-memory or coil wire (I use about 6cm diameter)
-you may also want flat nose pliers, but they aren’t vital
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First things first is to cut the length of the bracelet, at least 2 full times around the wrist is good. More is great, but it’s up to you! Next you want to take your round nose pliers and create a little loop in one end of the wire. As small as you can get it and if you need to squish it a little with your flat pliers to make sure your loop won’t catch on anything.
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Next place your beads on the wire however you want.
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I try not to have two of the same bead next to one another, or too close to each other for that matter, but again it’s up to you.
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Once you have filled the wire up with beads put a loop in the end of the wire to close it off. See, super easy!
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I need to have a go at some different bracelets later in the week, so I’ll share those too.

 

Mittens!….oh meh.

So…I normally always make a (measured) pattern, but I got a little gung-ho today. “The rest of my felted wool will make rockin’ mittens!” I thought to myself and drew up a quick mitten shape around my hand on tracing paper. Well the mitten I drew was a cartoon mitt, not a functional in real life mitt.
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Still this didn’t stop me! I was excited, I was going to make pretty mittens! I was oh so close…

So I cut out my pieces, sewed them up…then noticed they looked a little funny…then tried them on. Oh dear. There was way too much fabric between my thumb and the rest of my hand. It was like a tiny little cartoon thumb, not a human opposable thumb.

I picked the stitches out and tried to save them. I basically did. They fit which is great, I just didn’t give myself enough of a seam allowance so I don’t think they would last long if I wore them through the winter. I plan on either attempting to fix them again, or making kids mittens out of them.
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Too bad, but I did it to myself! You live, you learn. Probably didn’t help that I was being watched by 15-20 cows the whole time. The brown one in this photo was staring at me for ages. Ya, it’s their fault, they threw me off 😉
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