Friday, February 24, 2012

Bouree Blue

He's been painting again...

 

I guess he wanted  his head to match his eyes...

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Queen's Hair is Done

And so is the little octopus. In fact, with her hair is flowing so wildly in the water it looks a little like an octopus!



and the little  octopus



And the rest of the day was spent  outlining, quilting rock textures and filling in the water texture.  Tomorrow, more of the same!  So far I've used 1 and1/2 cones of Lava thread in the water...and now I'm out. I ordered more of it over a week ago, and it has been shipped...hopefully it will arrive tomorrow.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Add Beads as you Knit

For all who e-mailed me asking, and you Shirley :), this is the method I use to add beads with a crochet hook while I knit.

Here's the link to the best video I found...it is excellent!

No drop method of adding beads

Enjoy, and give it a try, it's really easy and beads look fabulous in lace knitting!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Adding Beads to my Knitting

It's Sunday, so it's my day off from quilting.  It's a cold day here, perfect for knitting!  I was working away on my shawl in the "Aloft" yarn, when I got an idea!

I really wanted to jazz up a shawl with beads.  The easiest way to do that is to buy yarn that is already beaded from "Artyarns" or "Tilli Thomas" but the downsides are that you can't alter the position of the beads in your knitting, and they are REALLY expensive.

So I decided to look into adding my own beads.  After researching this, I found there are basically three ways: Sew the beads on after you finish knitting; String beads onto your yarn before beginning to knit and slide them into position as you want them;  or place them individually with a crochet hook as you go.

For a lot of reasons, the best option for me seemed to be the third one...place the beads as I go.  So I decided to give it a try.  I modified a simple Feather and Fan pattern to include planned bead placement. Then I gathered the needed supplies.

In this shawl, I am using Knit Picks "Shadow" lace yarn and size 7-24 inch circular needles.

Then I needed a tiny crochet hook to place my beads...this is a # 14 Clover steel hook...it has to be small enough to go through the bead holes



Next are my beads...size 6 seed beads...a nice variety of reds to go with my tone on tone yarn



So I started, it felt a little awkward for the first row, but after that it became easy, and it really doesn't slow my progress down much at all.



And I like the options of placing the beads where I want them



I'm really liking this!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Quilting the Human (or Mermaid) Form

I am pretty comfortable with quilting most anything. And most of the time I'm pretty pleased with my results. But detail quilting of people...or in this case a mermaid, trying to depict the  anatomical contours; highlights and shadows of the skin and bone structure with thread is the part I always struggle with.  I'm never completely happy with the results.

That has been my task today.  I have the base thread work done and even stitched the eyelashes. Now I'm working with a slightly darker thread and trying to contour some areas. A long way still to go.



Skin areas drive me mad!



I'll keep working on it until I think I've done all I can, but I already know this will be the part of the quilt I am least happy with.

 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Knitting Lace

While work on the "Queen" continues on during the day, at night I'm knitting.  Having been on a sock frenzy the last few months, I decided I wanted some shawls.  While the climate here is quite mild in the winter, sometimes,  I could use a light wrap in the evening.  I really don't like the look of triangular shawls, but I do like the rectangular ones.  So I thought I'd try lace knitting.  I bought a feather and fan lace pattern and then ordered yarn.  Having never used lace yarn, I was unsure which to get, so I bought three to try. They are all from Knit Picks and really pretty.

This is "Shadow Tonal"...100% Merino wool. The color is 'Gypsy'



This is "Shimmer"  a baby alpaca/silk blend and it is sooo soft! The color is 'Bayou'



And the last one....I just fell in love with and had to start with it! It's "Aloft"...a mohair/silk blend.  Much finer than the other two, and a little slippery on the needles, but just gorgeous. The color is 'Cranberry'



Of course red is so hard for some reason for the camera to focus on...you can see the 'fans' in the pattern pretty easily, but the feather ridges really don't show up.  But I love it...the pattern and the yarn!

Even when I'm tired at the end of the day after quilting for hours, I still look forward to sitting down to work with this yarn!  And this afternoon with all the thunderstorms around, I can't quilt so I get extra knitting time :)