Sunday, April 26, 2009

Stamps etc.

In the last couple of weeks I have really been wanting to make a stamp. It was almost an urge that wouldn't leave me alone - odd eh? So today I went to the local craft store and foraged for materials. After coming across a 4-stamp cube made of a thin foam sheet, I decided to give the materials a try.

One of the shapes in the one I bought was this cute little bird:

I wanted to make a flower, so I drew one on the foam sheet and cut it up with an x-acto knife. The foam sheet is soft and very easy to cut, but I still managed the edges to look kind of angly, rather than round. Somehow, though, it looks fine when it's on the fabric.

I glued the cut shape onto a piece of deli container lid, and attached a bottle cork at the back, as a handle. The idea didn't work so well, as there is uneven pressure at different parts of the shape, and I have to press the rest with my fingers. You can see the 'stamp' in blue at the right, next to the 3 printed flowers.

I applied the color using a foam brush, using some cheap fabric paints I found at the craft store. I wasn't sure I wanted to invest in high quality paints in case I wasn't impressed with the process. I have discovered I really like it, though, so I think it will be worth looking for some different colors than the 3 basic ones.

I printed a few testing shapes on a piece of scrap fabric, which may be cut and attached to other works. First, though, I need to test the fastness of the color, during the next laundry day.

In other crafty news, I was out of town last weekend, with flights that involved long layovers. During the trip I managed to whip up a quick cowl, made with a little under 1 skein of Knitpicks black Suri Dream Alpaca. Just in time for the weather to turn really, really warm. The cowl is very warm and soft and pleasant to wear, so I am (almost) looking forward to using it in the next winter (but not really).

Last but not least, here is some crazy kitty artwork I spotted in a store at the airport. Their expressions are priceless!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

'Home' is where the kitties are.

The prospect of moving from the apartment in which I have spend more years than in any of my other residences since I went to college has made me prematurely nostalgic of what may soon not be.

This apartment has lots of 'issues', mainly its irritating layout. But (as long as you block out the mess), I believe we 've done the best we can with it on a budget tighter than today's jeans.

As always, the kitties jumped at the opportunity to pose for me. After all, home is where the kitties are, and you can't have pictures of home without them.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Crafty update

My heavily modified version of the Lettuce coat (ravelry link), from this book. It is done!

Knitting time was around 2 months, with an hour here and there after dinner. All in all, a fast project. I changed a lot in it. After following the pattern to make the shoulders and sleeves, I skipped the Brioche rib entirely. Instead, I did a simple 2x2 ribbing, which did not start at waist level, as the pattern suggests. I added several rows of ribbing on the colar. Finally, I added a 15-row buttonhole band on each side, as the cardigan seemed to me somewhat small without it. It would have been okay without it if I wanted a tight-fitting piece like in the pattern, but I decided I wanted this one to be a bit more roomy.

I am very pleased with the result, the yarn, Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted in kettle-dyed Forest is very soft and pleasant to work with, although it quickly made a soft halo on the surface, that may possibly turn into pilling. It is very warm, feels wonderful on the skin, and has the tendency to stretch a bit, so it doesn't matter if the knitted piece seemed somewhat tight at first.

Buttonholes were made with 3 stitches bound off on one row, and cast on on the next row. I think it would have worked with 2 stithces also, as they already begin to stretch too much, and I may need to reinforce them so as to keep their shape. Not sure how to do this yet.

I also made a few quick gifts for friends whose birthday is around this time:

coasters for very hot summers

coasters for a New York apartment

draw-string bag to keep your knitting in

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