Working hard but nothing to Show: Stitch Experiments

For all of my hard work this month I don’t have much for completed projects. My disappointment with my art book ideas has led to a lot of experimenting. Mostly fails, but lots of playing with lots of different mediums.

A friend introduced me to Liquitex Gel Mediums as a better alternative to Mod Podge and I’ve really liked the results much better. Super quick drying and non-sticky. Plus, I had a 30% off coupon from Yuzawaya.

IMG_0248_2My machine needle easily goes right through and hand stitching is also possible. Markers, too!

Finding the balance between the super, awesome time-&-money is no object ideas and the reality of deadlines has left me plowing through my entire studio for any materials not nailed down to be the next great idea.

IMG_0247_2My 14 yo simple Singer Sewing Machine has now learned how to use several new stitches at several new widths and stitch lengths.

IMG_0249_2Leaning back on my hand stitching roots I chose to present my charted crochet edging pattern in embroidery. I really like to look and hope it is understandable to other crocheters.

How do I create a fabric book without all the work of stitching each and every single page and then binding it all together? And what size will be the most economical yet will allow for an eye-catching presentation of my content?  I have an idea that may work….but I suspect more experimenting is in my future. Wish me Luck!

Stitch in Public Kit

Quite often I find myself meeting other crafty stitch friends around Tokyo. I load up my zip bags with what I need to move forward on the project that day and jump on the train. So ultimately my most needed items bounce from zip bag to zip bag. I finally created a perfect Stitch-in-Public stitch kit, just for me! 27cm (10.5″) of linen with pleated pockets, hot pink felt and adorable little Japanese U-shaped scissors called, nigiribasami 握りばさみ。IMG_0215 4 separate pockets, 3 of them pleated to hold more and a felt needle book.

IMG_0217The pleated pocket at the bottom is large enough for crochet hooks, embroidery threads and small spools of thread. Two little sew-in snap buttons will help keep the contents in place.

IMG_0218My lovely friend, Lobin, gave me these squee little nigiribasami, u-shaped scissors that are the perfect size for travel. They have found a lovely home in the leather thimble (Thank You Lori) I am using for bookbinding work. A length of bright coordinating ribbon leash sewn into the pocket edge will help me keep from losing them.

IMG_0219Seriously. Hot pink felt really was the only color felt I had in the house. How could I ever have a bad day stitching with a bright hot pink felt.

IMG_0220Hidden behind the pleated scissors pocket and the felt needle holder is a slim pocket large enough for interchangeable knitting cables or a page, quarter folded, of a printed pattern. The last linen pleated pocket holds more needles, crochet hooks, threads or little zip bags of buttons or other notions.

IMG_0212The Stitch-in-Public kit rolls up and is fashioned shut using fun Italian made lace yarn that fits over coordinating buttons at whatever width necessary depending upon how much stitching I hope to accomplish that day.

IMG_0211It’s so pretty that after it’s loaded for a busy day of stitching, I’ll probably still throw it into a zip bag to keep it clean and dry :)

Octopus Expression

This adorable Octopus was designed by me last fall but I just couldn’t decide which expression she wanted to wear.  Yesterday I finally embroidered her face and hope she likes it. IMG_0193She will be available as a pattern this summer along with several other Octopus-themed stitch designs.

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Blinged my Verdure Scarf

Using glass beads I purchased from La Droguerie yarn and bead shop in Shibuya my lovely hand crocheted Verdure Scarf now has added sparkles:

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Verdure leaf-patterned scarf = DONE!

FINALLY!! I have a completed project that looks great too! After so many failed projects and good ideas that really turned out not to be good ideas, this feels nice. The failures left me a little hesitant to start any new projects, worried about yet another fail and a lot of lost time.

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Using Solar Flair Fibre‘s, Where the Rainforest Meets the Reef Yarn Club‘s, Winter Rainforest colorway in the Zorya base, I crocheted 90cm (~36″) of a beautiful leaf pattern. The Verdure Pattern by Josephine Woo is available at www.littleprojectscrafts.com

The pattern is both written and charted, easy to follow. Made 2 changes to the pattern to accommodate my personal taste:

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1) Pattern Modification:
At the beginning of each row, the pattern calls for “ch 3″. Instead I chose to do the (CSDC) Chainless Starting Double Crochet found on Moogly’s Blog, for a much nicer edge.
Free Video Tutorial for CSDC:
http://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/

2) Pattern Modification:
I didn’t like how the very tip of the end leaves finished off so I changed it to have a sturdier, more pointed finish.

After this success I am ready to jump into my next project! Wish me Luck!