Archive for the 'needlework' Category

HONEYCOMB SMOCKING

Honeycomb smocking

I’m learning honeycomb smocking and I’m pretty smitten.

CHEVRON FRIENDSHIP BRACELET

Chevron Friendship Bracelet

Looks like friendship bracelets are making a huge comeback this year. Personally, I’m really excited about it because it’s a sweet little gift that requires very little supplies and really no tools (except for a safety pin and scissors!) Portable, small crafts are also a bonus in the summer when you might want something to do in the car (as a passenger!), sitting in the park or hanging out with pals.

I started this bracelet a couple nights ago while watching tv. I went through my Cosmo floss collection and found that I mostly have pink and grey! I’m trying to do a super wide chevron pattern, using 8 different colours. I’m following the tutorial from Honestly WTF, but there is also a tutorial on Purl and if you’re really serious about it, we have a Japanese book dedicated to Misanga, which is what they call friendship bracelets. I’m working my way up to doing some of the fancy patterns like flowers and hearts!

Have you seen our Cosmo floss palettes? They are kinda perfect for this. We’ve selected some super cute combinations of colours. Just pick one of the sets and you’ll be ready to make a bunch of bracelets. I just created two that I’m totally in love with – City Rain and Lavender Fields. City Rain was inspired by this incredible photo of city lights reflecting off the pavement of a dark rainy night here in Toronto. My next bracelets will be using this palette. I can’t wait.

We’ve been having fun packing up orders from our new online shop and sending them out to new friends in Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Calgary, the US and all over Ontario. We’re learning lots, especially about shipping costs. Canada Post is so tricky. Our original shipping estimates were coming out really high, so we’ve been adjusting them as we figure out this new system. No matter what, we have been refunding everyone with the difference between the actual shipping cost and what they may have over paid. If you tried to buy something, but were worried when you saw the shipping totals, try again. They should be much more realistic now.

Also, I’m thinking that a friendship bracelet party would be a fun thing to do….

Cosmo colours in my bracelet : #475, #2222, #476, #472, #2224, #431, #226, #224

Cosmo Embroidery Floss Palette

Cosmo Embroidery Floss Palette

INTRO TO CROSS STITCH

Karyn's Cross Stitch Sampler

I’ve finally finished and framed my Intro to Cross Stitch sampler! I had finished up the alphabet part of the sampler during the class, but was determined to frame it in a hoop and wanted to do a round border around it. Lucky for me, Johanna accepted my special request and designed this sweet leafy round border.

Since this border is round and the pattern is actually quite random, it took a little bit longer for me to stitch. The rectangular border that Johanna also designed for the class is a much easier border to stitch since it is repetitive. I hardly ever like to take the easy route, especially when it comes to aesthetics. To be honest, I miscounted when I was more than halfway done and had to take out quite a few stitches. The end result is totally worth it. I am so proud of how my sampler turned out. It’s now hanging on the wall at the workroom, so if you’re in the shop you can see it in person.

Cross stitch appears to be a fairly easy form of needle work. The reality is that there are always mistakes to avoid and tricks to learn that make any new craft so much better from the very start. Tricks and tips are Johanna’s specialty! I don’t know how she does it, but man! are we lucky to learn from her. (psst! have you seen her new class?!) What I didn’t realize about cross stitch was that it requires some strategic thinking to keep your work tidy on the back side. I found myself feeling like I was playing a game of Tetris, as I was pre-planning my ‘moves’ (aka stitches) with my needle. I totally enjoyed this aspect of cross stitching.

Also! I really had a chance to get a feel for the new Cosmo embroidery floss we got in. I love it!! Firstly, we have 443 colours, so the possibilities are endless. Secondly, the cotton floss is so silky and totally doesn’t tangle. The other thing I’ve recently started using are needle threaders. They make all the threading in hand quilting and needle work SO much easier. Clover makes a floss embroidery threader and it is now a permanent part of my sewing kit.

I have big cross stitch plans now that I know what I’m doing. I’m envisioning making linen napkins, coin purses and wall hangings with cute cross stitch motifs. Here are a few things on my cross stitch project list:

  • Farm Folk Stitchettes by Wee Wonderfuls
  • Some of the incredible border patterns in the DMC Library Cross Stitch booklets
  • Cute Kiwi from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘s Fruit of the Month Club
  • Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch book by Kazuko Aoki (anything from this book)
  • Master Collection : A-Z Cross Stitch by Kazuko Aoki (anything from this book, too!)
  • Cosmo floss colours used in this project : 226, 225, 2224, 224, 2223, 223, 2222, 436

    Karyn's Cross Stitch Sampler

    Karyn's Cross Stitch Sampler

    Cosmo Floss + Clover Floss Threader

    Karyn's Cross Stitch Sampler

    HOOP TRAVEL BAG

    Hoop Travel Bag

    A couple months ago, I received the best gift from Amanda. A Hoop Travel Bag. With all the different classes (Intro to Cross Stitch, Quilt Sampler 2, Sewn Mittens, etc) that I’ve been taking recently, I’ve been wanting to create a better (cuter!) way to tote around my tools & supplies. Well, this hoop travel bag has become one of my favourite things for my hand work projects.

    Isn’t it super adorable? Take a look at the incredible quilting she did! Including embroidering my name! The hoop bag is just the right size to stash a little project and all my tools. I’m finally sharing this treasure with you because Amanda just published the pattern for this project on The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery! It’s an awesome, quick project that you will love to pieces. (and probably make twenty of)

    Somehow this weekend, I’m going to try to squeeze in making a couple more of these for myself. (in between the Leather Moccasins class and the Love & Rummage Trunk Show)

    Also, you can see my cross stitch sampler progress below. I completed the alphabet and bird a couple weeks ago. I’m now slowly working on stitching a pretty round border that Johanna designed for me. Take a look at how Tanya’s beautiful tonal grey cross stitching turned out. Every single student from our class is completely hooked on cross stitch now. So fun!

    Hoop Travel Bag

    Hoop Travel Bag

    Karyn's Cross Stitch Sampler

    STITCH IDÉES MAGAZINE

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.11

    I’m obsessing over cross stitch and embroidery, so finding a magazine like Stitch Idées only feeds the fire. I found out about this Japanese needlework magazine a little while ago and got a couple copies for the shop to check out. WOW. Every page is more inspiring than the last. I have been going though the issues over and over again taking in the goodness.

    So many awesome ideas – embroidered bunny postage stamps, jam jar labels, coin purses, cute sewing accessories, tote bags and a miniature photo album in a matchbox. (what!)

    My favourite project is a heart friendship sampler. It looks like you get all your friends to cross stitch a heart and their name onto a piece of linen and you have the sweetest wall hanging. I totally want to do this!

    We have issues 9, 10, 11 and 12 of Stitch Idées at the workroom. Also, we received more copies of the beautiful Wild Flower Cross Stitch book. Now, if only those pretty Cosmo embroidery threads would get there!

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.11

    Stitch Idees magazine Vol.11

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.11

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.12

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.9

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.12

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.12

    Stitch Idees magazine vol.10

    WILD FLOWER GARDEN CROSS STITCH

    Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch

    Wild Flower Garden Cross Stitch
    by Kazuko Aoki
    ISBN 9784579109173
    available at the workroom

    I am obsessing over cross stitch right now. It’s something I’ve always been really interested in, but haven’t officially learned. I’m working on changing that! I’ve ordered a line of Japanese embroidery floss called Cosmo (over 400 colours!) for the workroom and once that arrives we’ll be launching an Intro to Cross Stitch class. Yay!!

    In the meantime, I’m doing lots of ‘research’ and pre-planning for future projects. When I came across this book, I ordered it right away for the shop. (and grabbed a copy for myself!) It is filled with page after page of gorgeous cross stitch flower designs and projects. I am imagining cross stitching these happy floral designs during the cold winter and feeling cheered up by creating a stitched garden scene.

    Speaking of cross stitch and general cute-ness… I wanted to let you know about Amanda & Ashleigh’s new shop for cross stitch and quilt-y patterns. The shop is called ‘The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘. The shop just launched and I am really excited to make these patterns. Cross stitched candy corn in halloween costumes?!! TOO cute. Their holiday patterns are coming soon and I can’t wait to see what they are.

    Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch

    Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch

    Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch

    Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch

    Wildflower Garden Cross Stitch