Sunday, March 28, 2010

Standard needlecraft

Just in time for spring, I finished a scarf I've been working on since fall. Made with some clearance-priced Soy Wool Stripes yarn and a free pattern off the 'net.

I actually blocked this when I finished it -- I've never done that before. But I didn't want it curling up for the pictures....

It would be neat to try this in a lace-weight yarn, since it's meant to be done that way. I love that Patons stuff though, and couldn't pass it up when I saw it marked down.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Alternative needlecraft

We made a trip to the Barnes & Noble at R.I.T. recently -- wanted to take Claire there since the 2nd floor is the college bookstore and they have amazing art supplies. I wound up buying some bookbinding tools -- needles and waxed linen thread, and an awl. I wanted to try some stuff I'd seen first I had to track it down. A fellow etsian who sells handmade books keeps a blog with tutorials for different projects and links to even more tutorials. I knew I should have bookmarked her website....

After half an hour of searching/checking out etsy shops I found her site. Decided to start by trying a little pamphlet. I had some cool scrapbook papers I wanted to use for covers, and I didn't want to mess with cutting bookboards and such -- just wanted an intro level project. Well intro or no, it still took me about three tries to get a booklet made properly, with the pages centered inside rather than sticking out beyond the pamphlet edge somewhere. Once I had one nicely centered I used it for a template.

The stitching part was fun once I got going, though it's a little tough on the fingers.... Used the trimmings of the scrapbook paper to make some smaller 3-hole pamphlets. I hand-tore sketchbook paper for the pages.

Here's a finished pamphlet with its stitched spine. Maybe I'll get some darker papers so there's a little more contrast to the stitching...

Here's my big mess....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

making stuff

I'm getting kind of discouraged by being the halfhearted curator of a mess of unfinished projects. For the most part I'm a process person rather than a product person, and I get as much satisfaction out of starting something new and learning new techniques as I do from having a finished craft. But lately it's getting ridiculous...

So I've been inspired and motivated by a group of folks that keep the creative juices flowing by finishing a thing a day. The project lasted through the month of February. Even the idea of keeping it up for the shortest month of the year makes me hyperventilate a little, and trying to join them seems to me to be a recipe for failure and self-loathing. But I could certainly step up from where I'm at now -- making a thing a week would be reasonable.

So I've resolved to try to finish one thing a week. That way I can still have unfinished long-term projects lying around, and I can still start new projects, as long as something gets finished every week. This week's project is an apron that I cut out of a vintage tablecloth last summer, and it's been languishing in the top drawer of the dining room buffet ever since. I've been sticking with half-aprons til now, so it was nice to do one with a bodice and pockets. The print seemed to lend itself to the project as well. I like how the neck strap has a button closure, too -- that was a neat little touch.

Here's the proof: