So, I have decided that I will make a holiday sweater, EVEN IF it will definitely not be done by Christmas. I have decided to make a sweater about the Gavle goat, specifically commemorating the picturesque burning of the goat in 2005 by Santa and a gingerbread man with flaming crossbows. BECAUSE HOW CAN I RESIST?
Just to keep track of the things I want to do on this sweater, I'm going to make a checklist.
My thinking on this is that it will be some kind of basic sweater pattern--either crocheted or knitted. Crocheting would be faster and would provide more holes in the sweater for design purposes, and I did dig up a couple of crochet patterns...but I'm not sure if they'll be TOO holey. So we'll see. Because I am not super good at fair isle stuff, I think I will make designs that will be sewn onto the sweater later.
On the back of the sweater....well, I think this is gonna need an explanation. So I have written up an explanation of the goat, complete with "before and after" pics. I have some of that paper where you can print it out and then iron it onto fabric around still (left over from this project), and then I think I will iron it onto some fabric and then hand or machine sew the fabric onto the back of the sweater.
On the front of the sweater...I'm debating knitting/crocheting a Santa and gingerbread man, or possibly felting them because I know someone who is making felted ornament-type things this year and they looked adorable. She said she was using cookie cutters and having a hard time finding tiny ones, and then I proceeded to find some tiny ones, so...that's an option. I also found some pasable flat knitted patterns that might work too? It may depend on the sizing of how these things come out, as the cookie cutters are about maybe 1.5 inches high or so. The goat needs to be pretty big by comparison.
I can't find much in the way of goats that are online...I found one stuffed goat pattern but it doesn't look quite right...I think I may have to just make up my own, somehow. I've decided to make one as a present/ornament thing for the friend that I was going on to this project about in great detail--as well as her Swedish-speaking mom-- and she was all, "Don't use straw, that'll be too messy." True, though I wish I could just get one of the little goats from IKEA and attach it on. I can't find any I can get ahold of IRL, though.
The fire will be felted on. I think I will need to knit a feltable backdrop for the piece and then sew on or felt the decorations to it, since I could not find enough feltable yarn in a holiday color at ye olde Joann's at the time of shopping.
Oh, and I've got a tiny 20-light set of LED lights I can sew in, with a battery pack! That is very exciting, as well as quietly obnoxious and not nearly as sheddy as sewing on bells that make everyone want to stab you, or sequins, the bane of fabric everywhere.
I went to a workshop in natural dyes today. We dyed stuff--in my case, 3 skeins of yarn, 1 batch of roving, and cut up samples of cotton leaf fabric--in brazilwood (light red), pokeberry (dark red), pomegranate skins (oddly enough, yellow) and black walnuts (brown).
We also did some ah, impromptu sorta-dyeing by plucking roses, spraying a T-shirt with soda ash or water, then sandwiching some petals in between the fabric and...well, hitting them with a hammer. It came out with odd results.
Yeah, I don't get why red roses + water = red and hot pink, pale pink/orange + soda ash= light green grass color, red roses + soda ash = dark green/blue....Very strange. I felt sorry for everyone on the first floor having to hear us hammering.
Here's how the yarn came out.
Yeah, some of that came out paler than I'd like. We're going to do more techniques and creative stuff involving different sorts and levels of dyeing next week, so I may redo them.
But as for the leaf fabric...wow, check how those went.
So I wanted to design the new Best Costume trophy at work, because I wanted to keep my own that I won last year.
Here it is!
I bought a foam donut and a foam block from the dollar store, needlefelted the white and cobwebs onto them, and glued the structure to a foam gravestone (also from the dollar store), with trophy on top and stickers from the dollar store again. Then I crocheted the pumpkin, which comes with a hole in it for holding something, and needlefelted 3 faces onto it for "costume.", and made a doll from the Knitted Icons book, knitting the pants, T-shirt, and sweater that have patterns in there. I altered the neckline a bit to make it look blazer-y, and made up a red cape. I needlefelted his face on.
So, I haven't updated this blog in awhile.
Truth is, I haven't done that much crafting lately. I had my apartment flooded (for the second time, mind you) in January and between being utterly distracted by that, and then spending the next month cleaning the place after I got to move back into it, I really haven't crafted much. I do, however, now have a very nicely organized craft room, and donated a lot of craft stuff I wasn't using to my volunteer job. So there's that.
While cleaning, I discovered that I have an entire LARGE BOX of T-shirts that I acquired for cutting-up purposes. About three quarters of them are only good for the logo (or at least the rest of the shirt is white, or small, or large, or not interesting enough to make into an outfit). Looking at the GIANT BOX OF SHIRTS, I thought, "Geez, I haven't done ANY T-shirt stuff in awhile, I need to clean this box out and get some stuff made." This naturally leads to the thought of making a T-shirt quilt, which is the largest thing I could make to use them up. Except for where I uh, kind of hate quilting. I'm not overly fond of making things that are larger than I am, I hate having to use interfacing, and all the interfacing and batting and extra fabric for backing the thing would get rather expensive for my usually really cheap T-shirt hobby. Then it occurred to me that my first T-shirt book has instructions as to how to make a blanket... and that might be easier, since all that requires is sewing the shirts onto some bedsheet or fleece or something. That's a possibility. I'll have to ponder this one when I have a free weekend to go into the CC and figure this shit out.
On the yarn front, I did finally finish the Trout River sweater/vest combo, but I sure as hell took a long-ass time doing it. I also kept redoing the sleeves over and over, which is even more fun when you have to use double-pointed needles. Which are not my favorite thing in life. It did come out very nicely (once I just upped the sleeve size because I hate skintight sleeves), and I got to wear it once before it warmed up again. I have taken pictures, but as usual I haven't gotten around to Photoshopping the darned things yet.
My current project, also involving DPN's, alas, is making a combination fingerless gloves with mitten flap set. This isn't too hard, and yet somehow I keep having to redo the flaps OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN for some reason. Definitely done after the weather gets good, but oh well.
I'm not sure what I'm going to work on next, yarnwise. I am pondering making the Dutch Treat skirt from the latest Stitch N' Bitch book, but throwing in random yarns to make different stripes or something like that. Not sure if that will work out, but I might give it a shot. I also am vaguely pondering making a freeform garment, though part of me is all, "dear god, I don't know what I'm doing on that" and I don't have that much will to start it. I am kind of at a loss yarnwise. Mostly I'm looking for a use for my handspuns... and I need to go make more handspun because I stocked up for the rest of the year over the winter on roving.
I took a felting class in winter quarter, which alternated between making needlefelted items and wetfelted. I did another scarf and a pillow. Wet felting isn't my favorite thing ever, but the instructor made it pretty easy, and you weren't sitting in wet for hours to do it. So that's not bad.
This quarter I am going to take mosaic glass fusing. I figure it'll be interesting information that might relate to me teaching non-fused mosaic...which I may do this summer if anyone signs up for it. Nobody did in the winter so I don't hold out much hope for it (I didn't even bother to do a lesson plan for it!), but whatever. What can you do.
I swear, I've been Photoshopping this ALL WEEK.
And here you go. It's just like walking through the thing in person!
And after this point I was just too tired to think about what I was doing and just started twisting and squirting at random.
It's probably been 3-4 years since I last tie-dyed...gee, can you tell?
So while on vacation, I went around picking up various samples of roving (plus actual ounces of roving) to put into some kind of needlefelted wall hanging. I want to attempt to make my own version of tarot cards (well, someday...), without drawing, so I decided to try felting.
I don't have it photographed as yet (not done yet, plus it is taking me umpteen years to wade through my Photoshop pile), but I decided to do an alternate version of The Lovers card, with swans and a Eden-esque tree behind it and a snake. The felting of this went pretty well, and now I am trying to knit a backdrop for the whole thing to attach the items to.
This has been something I've been wanting to attempt to work on for quite awhile. (Yeah, still obsessed with the same image.) I wanted this to be the back wall centerpiece for my upcoming show. I was originally going to try fabric collage a la enchantedworld.com, but ran into some trouble when I couldn't really find any fabric in JoAnn's that was particularly collage-y other than the flames..
I thought it was coming out too flat and quilt-ish, so was trying to think of a way to liven it up. I did a 3-D stuffed tower, and painted gold lightning,
But what else?
Then I thought of trying some felting. So I did more of a full needlefelt on the mirror (that came out great on the color) and the chaos butterflies and the tower decor, and did lighter felting jobs swirling the colors around on the big cloud.
So I added more swirls of felt to the bottom layer.