June 11, 2007 at 2:43 pm (How To, Knitting, Yarns)
I knit all year long and like to carry my projects with me for appointments, when I travel , etc. I’ve tried several methods of keeping my yarns neat, tidy, and convenient all at the same time and found that an empty 5 quart plastic ice cream container works best.
I usually work with more than one yarn at a time, so the ice cream container supplies plenty of room for my multiple balls or skeins. Using a regular hole punch, I created three holes at the outer edges of the top, separating them equally. The yarns flow freely from each hole and never tangle. The container already has a carrying handle, so I’m good to go at all times.
Of course, I had to embellish the container, so I pasted a pretty floral picture over the “Vanilla” imprint.
N. Rene West
February 27, 2007 at 10:48 am (Babylock Embellisher, Embellishing, Felting, Fiber Art, Fiber Folio, Fibers, Knitting, Quilting, Roving, Techniques, Yarns)
Taking another stencil, I repeated the previous process, only this time I turned the stencil diagonally to add a little visual interest to this simple design.
I wanted a different look for this piece, so I used the braiding technique that I posted in an earlier tutorial. Using two skeins of Neon Felt It, I tacked down the beginning edges of the yarn and then crossed the yarns every three stitches.
The colorful variegations combined with the curves of the design resulted in a piece that needed no added embellishment. That being said, I do think a little stippling or meandering inside the curves with a specialty thread might also be nice. If it were the surface of a quilt, I might add a different fabric inside each space delineated by the curves (and I would use a different fiber for the braiding, possibly silk).
With yarn to spare, I moved on to a completely different project. I had some needle felted flowers that I had made previously using the technique from Natural Blooms.
I set up the Babylock Embellisher with three needles. Next, starting in the center of the flower, I tacked down the edge of the yarn. Then I slowly moved in a spiral pattern, lightly felting the yarn to the flower.
For the petals, I simply looped the yarn and continued felting. When the flower was complete, I tucked the tail of the yarn under some previous felting and did a quick tack down.
Don’t these look like decorated sugar cookies? In the second flower, I skipped the spiral center, felted the petals, and then tacked down cut pieces of yarn. A little fluffing and my flower was finished.
This yarn was just too pretty to put away, so out came the needles and you know the rest of the story.
N. Rene West
Time Treasured Read the rest of this entry »
February 26, 2007 at 2:25 pm (Babylock Embellisher, Beads, Bernina Aurora 440 QE, Embellishing, Felting, Fiber Art, Fiber Folio, Fibers, Knitting, Quilting, Roving, Techniques, Yarns)
I found these skeins of spun wool roving at the store last week. With a name like “Felt It,” I knew I had to take them home with me. I immediately saw their potential as detail yarns in needle felting projects, but I knew they would surprise me with many other talents as well.
Recently, I had been looking at all those old quilt stencils hanging on the back of the studio door. If you’ve been quilting for any amount of time, you probably have a collection of them yourself. So I took a few off the rack and decided to put them to work.
First, I cut two pieces of 100% wool fabric that had already been through the fulling process in my washing machine. Taking the first stencil and a #2 pencil, I lightly outlined the design onto the wool.
Next, I took the “Wildflowers” yarn and needle felted it along the outline with the Babylock Embellisher.
The felted design looked rather nice just as it was, but I wanted to play with it a little more. I chose a decorative stitch (#113 on the Bernina Aurora 440 QE) and stitched around the felted outline, using a royal blue 40 wt. matte embroidery thread. What a dramatic difference that made! Not quite ready to call it a day, I then took some Czech glass beads and attach them to the outline by machine.
Attaching beads by machine can be a little tricky at first. For this project, I set my machine on a blanket stitch (the stitch often used around appliques) and counted four left swings of the needle, setting my bead inside the presser foot (a Babylock braiding foot) at the beginning of the fifth swing. Using my right hand to turn the wheel, I carefully guided the needle into the hole of the bead and back to the right again and continued this way until I had completed the full design. I could have chosen to attach the beads by hand, but I thought the blanket stitch might work well with this particular design.
I was pleased that I had found a secondary use for the quilting stencils. Although I worked on wool yardage, the process would be the same on the surface of a quilt. Such wonderful textures can be created playing around with this technique.
With quite a bit of the skein left, this yarn still had work to do. I paired it up with a furry little novelty yarn that matched perfectly and began knitting a scarf. It was pure pleasure.
(to be continued)
N. Rene West
February 6, 2007 at 11:40 am (Knitting, Yarns)
My quilting group went on a field trip to Black Mountain last year. The destination was a local quilt shop, but we noticed a yarn store around the corner. If you’re a knitter, you know the feeling of walking into a new world of wonderful yarns and fibers that all require close examination and the touch test. Of course, this can take hours and hours. This particular store and numerous isles as well as walls full of their precious product.
Well, when my group had completed their tour, I had only reached isle two! All this to say, I love yarns and fibers and the synergy they produce when combined. Maybe it’s the surprise effect that unfolds as I knit those first few rows.
Over the weekend, I combined a thick blue chenille with a variegated eyelash. The eyelash contained three colors: red, blue, and golden yellow. When I measured the length of the individual colors, I was surprised to find that they were approximately 160 inches long. That accounts for the nice wide bands of color in this scarf. I may knit another scarf using red chenille with the same eyelash and see what happens.
N. Rene West