Last weekend we ventured into Newtown and found a lovely new coffee shop at 413 King Street, called A Coffee & A Yarn. Great coffee, friendly service and some lovely knitting yarns. I especially liked the mulberry silk. And if you haven’t brought your own knitting and you’re just itching to knit a row or two then needles and yarn are provided on every table.
I’ll have to take my own knitting next time. I’ve undone two attempts at a designing a multicoloured Noro Kureyon jumper and now I’m sticking to a tried and true Kaffe Fasset Tunic pattern. I’ll try to take a photo soon to show you.
A Field Guide to Fabric Design by Kimberly Kight
Kimberly Kight, author of the popular blog True up, has written a really wonderful introduction to fabric design. If you’ve ever visited Spoonflower or Karma Kraft and thought you’d like to design your own fabric then this book teaches you everything you need to know.
Kimberly shows you how to design by hand and how to handle those pesky “repeats” as well as how to do it all in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. If, like me, you can’t afford such expensive software then she also shows you where to find free software that will do much the same thing.
Every so often throughout the book Kimberly has what she calls a “round table” where a host of famous fabric designers, including Amy Butler, Denise Schmidt, Jessica Moore and Tula Pink, answer how they face particular design challenges such as inspiration overload or designer’s block and more.
This book takes you from the very beginning with baby steps and lots of hand-holding as you learn about fabric types and their suitability for printing, design aspects, colour choices and printing options, right through to how to design using software, how to register your copyright, how to market your designs and more.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I’m keen to give it a go myself. If you’re thinking of designing your own fabric this book is full of know-how as well as comprehensive lists of the resources you need to help you.
I got this book for review as an eBook and I have to say it displays very nicely on my iPad and that means it’s searchable too.
It’s published by C&T Publishing and is widely available online.
As I mentioned a couple of posts ago I have quite a bit to share. I think I told you that some my 2011 fabric orders had arrived. Want to see? The first pics are of my Shabby Fabrics order. The top fabric is a lovely lemon on white print (camera doesn’t do it justice) and the others are these gorgeous solids.
I’m really happy with the service from Shabby fabrics as I told you in an earlier post and as a copywriter and marketing consultant in my day job, I appreciate their marketing abililty. Their business card has all the regular quilt sizes with fabric quantities for the quilt and the binding on the back. What a great way to get you to keep their business card!. Well done ladies. Pity I’m on a fabric fast for 2012 I won’t be able to shop there for another 12 months.
I also got part of my order from Hancock’s recently too. All these lovely striped fabrics and a Sewline glue stick.
Once I had put the Press ‘n’ Seal onto the top fabric I chose my other fabrics.
The grey underneath will be the top fabric and the others will be the ones that peep through.
My next step was to place it on top of my light box and slide the fabric I planned to use for the centre underneath it.
Then I pinned, using my small appliqué pins, around the central design and through all three layers.
Then I flipped it over and clipped the fabric around the pinned area. After that I used some YLI Basting Thread (thanks Sylvia) and sewed small running stitches along the red lines.
Can I ask a favour?
I have entered my Andalusian Tile Quilt in the Aurifil FaceBook competition. Can I ask you to pleas go and have a look and if you like it, to please vote for it? Thanks so much. The link is here.
I’ve so many different things to post about and I can’t decide where to start. There’s the fabric orders that arrived from Hancock’s and Shabby Fabrics; the new knitting I’ve started, the gorgeous new fine yarn I bought and the lacy shawl patterns I’m agonising over; then there’s my latest applique project and the new way I’ve tried for transferring the pattern and… Well you get the picture.
A new appliqué project
Using tracing paper like I usually do would be difficult even if I stuck it down because of the slippery rounded metal edges.
It is wonderful! I used three strips of it to cover the tray and it stuck beautifully.
I used a red Sharpie pen and drew the design onto the Press ‘n’ Seal and, as you can see, that also worked well.
Once I had transferred the design, I taped the three strips of Press ‘n’ Seal together so i could remove it in one go. I brought my light box next to the tray so I could quickly transfer it to a flat surface. I removed it carefully from the tray doing my best not to stretch it. Once on the light box my plan was to put the fabric I had chosen for the background (a grey Kona solid) over the lightbox and trace the design onto it in pencil.
I tried this but the fabric moved too much. This isn’t much of a problem with leaves and flowers but with straight lines and geometric patterns it is.
Then I had a vague memory from an online appliqué class about being able to stick the Press ‘n’ Seal directly onto the fabric so that’s what I did. I laid my fabric flat and very carefully pressed the Press ‘n’ Seal onto it and it stuck really, really well.
I’ll show you more of the process of attaching the other fabrics and basting them into position in my next post, so stay tuned.
Well I finished my scarf and because of the way I did my lace pattern it snaked across the surface culminating in two angled ends instead of two straight ends. It furls really nicely. You can see in this photo here. (Ignore the wool hanging off the ends I hadn’t sewn them in at this stage.)
The above fact makes it easy to make a moebius (a twisted circle – for more info check here) as when the scarf is twisted then the two ends meet pefectly. The moebius is lovely becasue you can wear it in different ways. See below.
All in all a very versatile garment and so soft in this lovely hand-dyed 4ply fine Australian Merino wool.
By the way don’t ask me what the tension for my pattern is because I don’t know. I didn’t measure it and I’m not planning on blocking this scarf so I can.
The Free Pattern
100g (380m – 415yds) of 4 ply sock wool
1 pair of 4mm needles (I used bamboo needles and when I measured them they were actually somewhere between 3.75mm and 4mm but it’s not that critical).
Loosely cast on 66 stitches knitwise.
Row 1: Knit to the end of the row
Row 2: Knit to the end of the row
Row 3: Knit one *K2tog, yarn over* repeat from* to * until one stitch left and then knit.
Row 4: Knit one, purl until one stitch left then knit.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until the scarf is the desired length or you have only enough yarn left for three more rows. Then knit two rows and loosely cast off purlwise.
N.B. This pattern is given as is – all care taken and no responsibility accepted. If you don’t agree to this then please don’t use it.
I have decided that unless I really, really need some fabric to finish something that I am going to attempt not to buy any more fabric for the whole of 2102. Before the end of 2011 I did order some fabrics to fill some glaring stash gaps and some of these arrived the other day. Here they are. Some yellow solids and some lovely Kaffe shot cottons.
So what has this got to do with my weekend? I was planning an appliqué quilt and I was looking longingly at Sue Garman’s Friends of Baltimore and Kim McLean’s Roseville Album (or maybe the Flower Garden or then again perhaps the Flower Pots….) when I realised that these quilts need 9.5 yards of background! Hoist on my own petard already. I don’t have 9.5 yards of anything suitable for background. And I can’t really claim I need it to finish a quilt because the quilt isn’t started so they will have to wait for 2013, God Willing. So then I decided I’d try to finish my knitting and it was so nice outside that I took the camping chair and sat out the front and knitted in peace. It was lovely. A cup of coffee, a glass of water, my knitting and the phone.
I got the knitting bug over the break and I really wanted to knit a fine yarn lacy shawl. I’m a reasonably accomplished knitter but I have to say I had problems with the patterns I found. Some of them had instructions which were incorrect but which I didn’t find out until several hours into the shawl! I tried four different patterns and ended up undoing them all. One was my fault, somehow or other I kept making a mistake and having to undo it. What to do? Make my own pattern!
I decided to make a lacy scarf first and so I made up my pattern and got stuck in. Here is my progress so far. What do you think?
The yarn is a fine Merino sock yarn (4 ply) hand-dyed here in Sydney. It feels lovely but isn’t very well plied and starts to unwind and split. I’d still like to knit a lacy shawl so if you know a good pattern please let me know.