Friday, August 10, 2012

Cast on stitch

Knitting is not my forte but I can cast on OK. So this is  basically  like casting on with a  sewing needle instead of a knitting needle.  However like knitting, tension is the key and that is where I come undone. Sometimes it was too tight, sometimes it was too loose and a lot of times, there were knots. However I persevere and came out with a semi decent flower shape. 
The orange small floret was my first try and then I went BIG  with french knots in the middle to create a big Sunflower.

After that I decided I would try it as an individual stitch but I could never get the neat curve shape, Sharon had on her blog.  With the individual stitch I decided to play with the length and number of cast on stitches.  I think if I had used a thicker thread I could have got a nice spiral shape as  I could vaguely see it in some of the samples I created where I increased the stitches to a maximum.- up to 14 for one.   I enclosed the first few with a detached chain stitch and liked it so much I continued with as I went along.  All in all, I think if I worked with this stitch, I could get some interesting effects from it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Up and Down buttonhole, Basque, Oyster and Algerian Eye Stitch

Hadn't realise it was 3 weeks since I last posted, so much has been going on in other parts of my life, so painting and stitching have both taken a bit of a back seat as a consequence.

So I am now back on Panel 1 although, the up/down buttonhole should have been on panel 2.  As you might remember I wasn't too happy with this panel as I thought I had messed up with the number of colours I used. Now I just think its the material I used as the pattern and colours are so strong. So the aim is reduce the blue and the pattern with a steady progression of stitches.

First up is a sample of the up/down button hole and Basque stitch.  I have already said I like the updown stitch a lot  and I liked the Basque stitch equally as well. Its a very decorative stitch and the colours I chose reflect the way I have see  it being used before, in the hippy clothes of the early 70's, very mellow and laid back. 

Up next the Oyster stitch. So all the brown curves in the pattern are used up so now to tackle the overwhelming blue of the material I chose.  I honestly thought it would work well but didn't really think about the domination of the blue, (this particular blue which seems very cold and dark, despite being a mid blue).  As I worked with the oyster stitch I saw a bough of autumn leaves appearing and I just went with it.  

 Finally, the Algerian eye stitch, this was a perfect stitch to break up the blue and I could have quite happily of covered the whole piece with them.  I used a blue and cream cotton for the first patch and then blue on blue with the second section.  .
It was interesting seeing the effect of white on blue, blue on white, mid blue on dark blue and finally dark blue on mid blue. You would think it wouldn't make much difference but it does completely change the stitch.  I chose to do them as completely random individual stitches, varying the shape and size as I went along

So there are now 17 stitches on this panel and finally I am beginning to like it as it begins to coalesce.  Fingers crossed there are more individual stitches to come.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Important information on copyright

Have just gone through my blog removing a variety of images that I have used for my work in light of this blogger's post on Copyright.  Really didn't know that even if you attribute the work you are still liable to be sued.  From now on any images I use will be my own only.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

up and down buttonhole stitch

Stitching has not been uttermost in my mind recently as my Eldest daughter had her first baby last week.  The baby is lovely but unfortunately Mum is not doing so well. Living over 200 miles away, it been frustrating having to wait on the sidelines.  However, I have managed keep up to date with the stitches so here goes .

As I said the last time I wrote I am currently reviving a project I started 2 yrs ago when I was trying  to lose weight. Ironically until I started reworking these pages I was actually losing weight but in the past 2 wks I have actually managed to go up a couple of lbs, no doubt due to stress!  So the piece below is edge with up and down buttonhole stitch.  This stitch came at just the right time as I started with normal buttonhole stitch and was about to pull it out. So that is what I did and it was perfect as the finishing aspect of this page.

I haven't done this week's stitch on my 2 main panels yet but did complete the first 13 stitches on the last panel - bonnet stitch and Palestrina stitch. Both were complete in a very simple fashion  and I was more than happy with that design.  With the Palestrina stitch I realised when Sharon did the update blog and looking back at the construction of the stitch I had done it slightly wrong , so I had to unpick it. However, because of that it actually turned out better.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reviving an old project

I am caught up with the TAST project and I am painting during the days when I am not working ( see my painting blog), so with the dismal TV selection, its time to work on something else in the evenings.  I have a number of projects I have nagging away in the background.  2 of the them are related to the Bead Journal project which I participated in 2007, 2008 and 2010.  The first one I managed to complete but in 2008 I definitely bit off more than I could chew.  I still have 2 months of 2010 to complete but I have decided to continue with the journal I started in 2008.

The above image might give you a clue to the theme and its one I have been tackling since I was 11 when school doctor told my Mum I was too fat.   Its an ongoing struggle and in 2008 I was attending WW.  In the meetings I would take notes and doodle.  I decided I would bead each week's notes.  So I was planning 52 pages.  I think I managed 8!  The additional idea behind the beaded pages was making them into a sort prayer flag based on the Buddhist tradition in Nepal.

Anyway  after 14 months and only achieving about 8 plus 2 starts, I put away all the little sketch books, the printed motifs ( from the sketchbooks) and cut out flags in a box, until now.

The issue with the project first time around was basically it not suitable for a completely beaded project, I had to use embroidery as part of the process.  Some pages had no bead elements I could use at all.  Finally, the major reason I gave up was because it was closely linked to losing weight. By the end of my time at WW I had lost 27lbs and then gain that back plus more due a change in my thyroid medication. Doing the pages just made me depressed thinking all the time of the uphill struggle I have with the problem.

Now I am in a better place.  I still have the weight issue and the thyroid problem. My medication has changed and some of the weight has come off. I have accepted I will never be thin, slim or young again. I have other medical issues which have turned up, one linked my weight but the other not. Both need me to change my attitude towards food.  My aim now is just to be as fit as I can be with  a change in my diet without feeling deprived and exercise.

Now I look  at the pages and just see an art project, not a personal goal.  So I will dedicate the rest of the year's evenings to getting further along with this project.  First decision, embroidery will be the main way of working these up. It fits in nicely with the TAST project. There will be some beading. There will be no deadline. Once I am happy with how much I have done, it will be finished. There might be 52 pages but more likely somewhat less than that.  I need to work out how to sew better flags! I am not seamstress than might be the biggest challenge :)

back on my Bike!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cable chain stitch

This week I kept it simple.  Once I got the hang of this stitch - left over, under right for the knot, I found this stitch very easy and actually much nicer than I thought.  With my first example I spiralled the stitch and added French knots in the centre of the chain.  It was surprising effective.
For my second sample I kept it simple and direct

I think this is stitch 11 on this panel as there have at least 2 breaks. Week 25 on Pintangle blog  13 on first panel, 11 on this panel and 2 breaks, so 2 more on this panel and back to the first panel as I have decided to keep to 2 panels.  With this one, apart from the border which I am still not keen on, I am quite happy with the progress I have made.  The first panel I will have to work out some issues with it, ie the colour balance.  It will all work out in the end, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Buttonhole wheel

Well, I got a flying start to this week's stitch and by Thursday had thought I would be easily be finished by this time, Sunday night but then our stove decided to die on us. Thought I would managed some more today with the delivery of replacement, only for the replacement to have a fault so another trip to the store.

So this is not finished by near enough.  Getting neat circle is just impossible for me but I did enjoy experimenting with this stitch.  I managed to incorporate  Bullion and French knots.  I like the effect to overlapping the wheels as it looked very lacy.

Almost half way though this project and the more I go along, the more I find I am relaxing as I sew.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eight stitches

So this week, it was a catch up week for TAST and the challenge was to use up to 8 stitches in one piece.  As I was caught up I decided to do the challenge.

I decided from the outset that I was going to be restricted by the size of my frame so a 8" circle and that I wouldn't have a design.  Basically I doodled with stitches.  I ended up doing fly, running, stem, chain butterfly, couching, french knot, bullion and detached chain.

Must admit I enjoyed this challenge but like all doodles its hard to say, stop!  That is  why this is posted on Tuesday rather than Sunday like I planned.  Even as I stopped I was thinking, I could do even more.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

catch up stitches

Well, I am managing to stay on track with the stitches but not with this blog, so time to up date.

first stitch - Bullion   I found this stitch very hard at first and had to try several different types of needle but in the end I found the most unlikely of needles worked the best.  A soft sculpture doll needle.  Once I started using this I could vary the number of twists included and still have the control needed to keep the stitch flat once the thread went through the middle. 

Next stitch up - Buttonfly chain.  This was a very easy stitch but I am sad to say I really didn't explore it that much. 

Lastly the knotted Cretan stitch which in the book I have is also called knotted insertion.  Once I got the hang of the stitch I found it quite easy to do but I did have to watch my tension on the last part of the stitch, sometimes it was too loose.

So far I much happier with this piece as I have restricted the colours although I still don't like the border. Not sure if it is the combination of colours  or the stitch its self which I found to be untidy (my stitching) and not attractive.  Another decision I have made as I am not sure I like the blue of the material, is to continue adding stitches to both pieces- total of 52 stitches- 26 for each panel, rather than the original 13 stitches to each piece which would have created 4 separate panel.  So I will have to explore the spaces between the spirals, I think it will work much better that way.  Eventually I will find a way to stretch it like a canvas and then add a mount before framing them both.

So this week I was kind of disappointed that we are having a week's rest as that means we will be continuing this project to the end of Jan 2013 or even later if we miss additional weeks. No really a bit deal but I  am going to put all the beads and embroidery aside for a while once I finish this project to concentrate on my painting.  In the end I hope to incorporate all three into my work as I really don't see this is a craft but part and parcel of my art work.  

Anyway, I have decided to take part in the small additional challenge of using up to 8 stitches on one single piece to be completed in a week.  I will write about this in my next post. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crossed buttonhole and half chevron

So I am keeping up with TAST and this week was half Chevron and last week was crossed buttonhole stitch.

 I did the border of the piece with variations of crossed buttonhole which took me a while to figure out.

 Even then I was not happy with it as it became very uneven and to be honest a bit ugly, especially with the close up photos

 I will live with it but I think its a stitch I will avoid in the future 

I will be adding French knots to all 4 borders

This is what it looks like with all 4 borders.        

This week's stitch was half chevron stitch.  Again I had difficulty to visualising this stitch but the outcome I was really happy with.   I think I will explore this a bit more before the next stitch

Sunday, April 29, 2012

French Knots, Stem stitch and Wheatear

Just a short post to show my progress with TAST. I used dislike French knots but now I could go on doing them all day. Once I relaxed and didn't put the pressure on myself to make them perfect every time, they seem to actually get better.  I think this piece will have French Knots all over it. I like the colour combination for this panel as well.  Haven't quite finished with the Wheatear stitch but thought I would post on time for a change.  First time I have actually been ahead of the curve for this challenge. Hope I can keep it up 

French Knots

stem stitch

Wheatear and French knots

French Knot, stem stitch and Wheatear

continuing panel 1

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wow its been a long time since I have posted, so I should update.  To be honest really haven't been that busy as the creative bug has been very reluctant to show its head recently. I know you should just go to the studio and work through it but actually getting there is the difficult part.

Anyway, I have been plodding along with Take a stitch Tuesday (TAST), its not my most inspired work :(   I started off with 14 count aida which I transferred a pattern to. However, I soon came to the conclusion that wasn't going to work.  So I went through my stash of material scraps and picked a tied dyed fabric which is blue and brown.  My plan was and still is to do 13 samples stitches on each piece of material which I will then mount on a piece of canvas and stretch like a canvas. The one thing I will change with #2, is to restrict the colours I use as I realised that I wasn't liking the colour I used in the first piece.  Anyway below are pictures of #1. It is still incomplete but if I waited until it was complete I might never post it which isn't really what the challenge is about.  I have not varied the thread, using my stash of pearl cotton and it is purely stitching, no embellishments, no beads! 

I will admit the fabric is not my favourite but I really wanted to explore the more abstract side of stitching.  I will be more diligent with my posting in the coming weeks as I have reorganised my work space and hopefully that will be make it more inviting to work in.