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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Glob the biscuit loving octopus on: July 20, 2010 02:53:20 AM
This little guy is a character out of a book called The Whispering Sand, the first book a friend of mine has had published (this embroidery will no doubt find its way to him when I frame it). Glob is a talking octopus and friend to an old man who must save a dying stretch of coastline. Glob tends to be a bit grumpy but can be persuaded to do almost anything with a promise of biscuits or blancmange. Blancmange is a pudding a bit like jelly but made with milk/cream, fairly disgusting I seem to recall.

I'm struggling to stop my camera whiteing out the stitches, difficult with the black background, but the main body of the octupus is green-tinged beige and a darker khaki, with green detail on the tentacles.

I don't want to overload the post with pictures, especially as you can see most of the detail in the one above, but there are some work in progress shots over at:

2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / All the birds are in their nests / And I must seek for mine... on: May 27, 2010 05:47:27 AM
The title is a line from Blake which was stuck in my head whilst stitching this. When I've hand stitched pieces in the past I've stuck to cross stitich so this was a bit new to me, had fun fiddling about with french knots. Taught myself a bunch of other stitches too but mainly ignored them and just did whatever I fancied.

there are some close-ups and in progress shots at my blog: http://thebluepixieknits.blogspot.com/2010/05/progress-finished.html  I'll try to upload them here at some point too but its taking an age to upload atm.
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects / Party Fatigue (machine embroidery) on: February 13, 2010 10:14:02 AM

This was a gift I made for a friends 21st but also a present to myself because it was the first block of time I'd got to spend on my new sewing machine. I'd gone from an old elna with 4 stitches all mechanical to one of these swanky new things with digital displays and a million different ways to sew a hem... I'm talking in the past tense because this is all over a year ago. I must also apologise for the poor photo, my camera was dying. In fact I think after this was taken it turned itself off...permanently. The face of the girl looks nowhere near that wonky after I ironed/frame/etc the piece but this is the only shot I have.

I started with the idea of doing something fashion-based. Disclaimer: this is much more my friend's area of interest: I don't read fashion magazines/venture into the high street often. but I do have a whole heap of vintage and modern dress-making patterns so I was looking at those more than street or cat-walk fashion. I didn't want a passive stance that was just about being a hanger for a dress though (nothing wrong with this per se especially to show what a pattern makes) so it kind of morphed into being a depiction of the end of a party or big event, that mixture of pleasure of a good night, sadness at its passing and sheer exhaustion. In my mind the woman is watching the last of the action, the last few people on the dancefloor. There is  an image that really inspried this and I should credit but it's so long (and a dead hardrive) ago that I can't find it.

I mocked up what I wanted using GIMP imaging software but I hate drawing onto fabric so roughly transfered the very basic shapes to some cotton then filled in the detail. Its stitched on a machine, if I'm doing it by hand I'm more partial to X-stitch and the yellow is dyed using a paste I made from turmeric. For historical record I would like to state how important it is to do this FIRST. I only decided to add the colour after stitching the whole thing and it was a huge nightmare but I'm glad I did, I like the yellow dress it brings back the sense of the clothes being central that was in the pictures on the front of the patterns I looked at but without - I hope - eclipsing the woman or her story (whatever that is for people).

4  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Spring flower collection on: February 13, 2010 09:45:24 AM
After a week spent freezing my ass off a)walking across Manchester and b)in the seemingly unheated rooms at the uni, I thought I'd create some spring cheer and use up some scraps of yarn in the process. Also the perfect way to avoid writing my research proposal because I'm in denial about it needing to exist at the moment!

Not sure what I'm going to do with any of these; the middle one might make a half-decent brooch because the yarn holds its shape but I'm still waiting on a load of pins I ordered a while back *grumble*. They better arrive before the table sale in April or I will be annoyed. Half tempted to make like a million of the first one and have a daisy-chain type scarf or shawl, it would be a good excercise in hiding the lose strands at the back. Normally I'm super lazy and just leave them hanging. As for the last one, I'm not sure. I don't like that sappy light blue colour much; either that has to go or it has to find a home that isn't mine...

Not the carrier-bag crochet I promised but hey, not done the finshing on that yet. It involves some very tedious hand-sewing that I will only do when there is something worth watching on TV....so you'll see it when they re-commission Firefly then!

This is cross posted from my blog:

5  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / stitch help please! on: February 04, 2010 08:39:22 AM
Hi, I was wondering if anyone can help me figureout this stitc h. It's from a cardigan (that I didn't make) which is slowly unravelling and I want to fix it but I'm a knitter really and pretty new to crochet: I can't get it to look quite right. Would really appreciate any advice you could give!

6  CROCHET / Projects from The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller / Spring In Winter hat/scarf on: February 04, 2010 07:47:04 AM
I've recently been teaching myself to crochet using the stitch 'n' bitch crochet book ("Happy Hooker" Stoller, D). Used up a couple of balls of really cheap acrylic practicing the various stitches/techniques and I've really come to love it, even though as a knitter it feels all wrong to be dropping stitches all over the place! The huge advantage of crochet is that I can do it on the train without poking the person next to me with knitting needles. the book is really excellent, I picked up the basic idea immediately and there is a nice balance in the book between suggested projects and information/stitch patterns - the history of crochet at the start is a nice touch. Unlike when I learnt to knit the instructions in the book are really clear AND well illustrated, with knitting I couldn't even work out how to cast on from a book.

 I decided to try one of the projects in Stoller's book and thought it would be a good opportunity to use up some stashed yarn. I chose in the end a lovely open-grid hat (in pic) and scarf. The pattern is called Spring in Winter and had contrasting trims on both hat and scarf with the scarf being inverse colours to the hat but I decided on a plainer version. There were instructions for a crochet flower to pin or stitch on which I left out.  I also made the scarf wider and longer than the pattern suggested; skinny scarfs are not my dish.

The hat in particular is great because the openness means your head doesn't get too hot when walking about. On the other hand the book suggests wearing them in spring yet it kept me perfectly warm in sub-zero Febuary. Guess it wouldn't be so good if you were standing around though. All turned out good for a first project Wink

Super cosy and super long: it finished up at 2 metres 30. (soo much longer than I am tall!)


I've definately got the crochet bug now and I should be putting up more projects on here/on my blog. I'm plotting a crocheted toad stool as we speak...

7  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / super sparkly shoes on: January 05, 2010 02:12:22 PM
I made these to wear to christmas parties, I got snowed in so it didn't really happen (the shoes not the parties, big boots were the order of the day!). Stones are acryllic stick on gems, used a mixture of a hot glue gun and UHU to get them on. For the record UHU works so much better.

What I started with: (boring shoes I bought to wear to work but never do)

Part way through, the ruby is from a pair of broken earring studs.

glue+patience =

I've finally had a chance to wear them outside the house, danced all night and not even a single gem came off. Seeing these pics though I ought to polish those scuffs off the toes!

Thanks for looking and happy shoe-making to you all.
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Stormy seas? fabric, bead, embrodiered silver water-themed clock! on: August 26, 2008 02:36:35 PM
Long title sorry but hard to explain. I was sat on a ferry just staring at the sea when I realised I had to make this. Its supposed to look like the ocean/weather maps. The fabric was white, I dyed it very pale blue sort of tye-dye but hated it so painted over it with a mixture of oil, acyrillic and liquid silver leaf. I added wave detail with hot glue, then stitched it, then sewed on beads then silver leafed bits again. Its backed and then mounted onto a clock mechanism. Its small (25cm) because I only had a small gap it had to fit into on my wall!

9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Red, glass wire and necklace fun on: August 10, 2008 04:48:35 PM

3 strands of various shades of red glass beads, plus red spherical beads and a wire coil pendant at the centre of the longest strand. I've been using up some beads to make various things, I think this one is made from 6 or 7 different types of red bead. Quite like how it turned out. I have a few of these multi-strand necklaces and i tend to find the really irritating all the strands end up on top of each over at you neck so I attached the strands to a spacer bar either side of the clasp which has cut down on bunching!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Geekery. WoW Undead Mage/ ring wraith T-shirt on: August 10, 2008 11:23:41 AM

In my defence its my brother who plays World of Warcraft, not me. That said, I made this for his birthday, originally I was going to sketch + watercolour his exact character all the right armour etc but I couldn't get a picture to work off of so that was out. I've been trying to get my head around GIMP lately (photoshop style image software) so decided to go digital and to get round the armour problem by going abstract as well. I think its end up looking more like a ring wraith coming through the fire but what the hell I likes it. The XW in the background is his clan/guild/whatever the hell they're called on WoW. Transfered it onto a fairly cheap(but fairly traded cotton) T-shirt using inkjet transfer paper thats specially for going onto dark teeshirts but it still lost some its vibrancy/fine detail Sad
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