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I was playing around with a scheduling app a few days ago, inspired by a weeklong spring clean by Makelight. I’m sorry to report I didn’t finish following up on that but maybe at some point I will.

Those of you who read my blog by visiting it might notice a strangeness. I tried to redo the theme and in the process I lost some settings 😟

Then there was the experiment to set up a payment mode for my products, right here rather than on any e-retail platforms. I added a PayPal button to the green scarf I wove a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if it’s working though.

So why have my experiments flopped?

1. Scheduling flopped because I didn’t build up enough content for scheduling to make sense. I’m finding it difficult to write a couple of blog posts a week and only manage to post Instagram pics because they don’t require much content.

2. Changing themes wasn’t a success because I know just enough WordPress to deconstruct and not enough to build (a little knowledge. And so on).

3. Payment may have sunk because a. I didn’t actually publicise it besides asking one friend to check it out and/or b. I’m not sure I did it correctly.

So now what’s next for this lab of mine?

  • Should I admit defeat and give up this online selling attempt and stick to word of mouth?
  • Should I give in and hire an expert (the consequent question would be, is the expense justified at this stage of my craft business or will it ever be?)
  • Just keep on keeping on and hope somehow I manage to whip myself and my online presence into shape with no outside help?

One thing that I do seem to be able to do is make stuff.

Now to find a way to keep these things moving on so I can make some more.

Well not really, because my hands are on my phone. But yes. I don’t have my loom with me while waiting at a class. So I thought I’d blog instead.

What, another stall setup? You’ll ask. Not exactly. It was an audition for an upcoming event. This would be the biggest bestest event ever if it happened and I’d be having about 3″ of space for my stuff. But I’m not a hundred per cent sure yet, so watch this space.

However! That yellow thing you see is my last but one scarf. Woven on my Ashford Knitters Loom, with some loopy boucle yarn.

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A customer wanted a textured stole like the one below but in a brighter colour. So I ordered this in three colours.

I had to think a little to work with the loopy yarn. Finally I had it. Having only a 7.5 dpi heddle and a 10 dpi, I used the loopy warp in every other slot of the 7.5, and the coordinating thin polyester thread alternating. When it came to threading the heddle, I used the thread in the heddle holes and the loopy yarn in the slots.

This resulted in an interesting texture, with much of the loopiness confined to the top surface and the thread on the bottom. Like so.

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To the left is one side (top as I wove) and to the other is the bottom.

As you can see, the fringe is a bit of a challenge, both because of the two different warp textures, as well as because the loopy part of the boucle is not very stably attached to the core yarn, so it unravels and becomes unloopy. I finally just knotted the strands together in groups.

I’m happy to report that a friend bought this one almost as soon as it was off the loom.

The other miraculous part of this story is that I have the exact shades of the sewing thread to match the three colours of the boucle. This also happened with the actual shawl I wove for the person I bought the boucle for originally.

In a long chain of events, she saw the substitute yarn I bought for another order and asked me to use that instead, so I went ahead and ordered it, but underestimated how much I would need. And only discovered it when I began to warp with it.

Scrambling for ideas, I ended up using my scraps of a different yarn and came up with this.

You can see where I changed yarns, from Nako Artist (the substitute) to Nako Vals (which was out of stock at the store but I had remnants from previous projects). The weft is black sewing thread.

This gave me a very rustic, thick yet loosely woven shawl and it thrills me no end that my customer (a different one!) loved it! Weaving was a challenge since the warp was a little dense and the unplied, singles nature of the Vals and the general fuzziness of the Artist (a wool blend) made making a clean shed difficult.

Sometimes serendipity is wonderful.

Coming back to the friend who I’d bought the Artist for, I discovered that Ganga Hobby India Multicolour had a shade (?) that coordinated perfectly.

So again, this worked out well. Another rustic stole with interesting texture. I followed the same basic technique with the warp, using the wool blend in the slots, since I found it tends to stick together and resist separating to make a shed, and the smooth and thinner yarn in the holes. This one ended up more grid-like, and the wool bloomed to fill in spaces.

So there you have it. If you are still reading and didn’t throw up your hands at the confusion of it all, thank you for your persistence!

And yes, I’m finishing this blog post many hours later, since I wasn’t able to get it done before the class ended.

I’m easily bored and need to be entertained, like a child. New techniques, therefore, draw me in like moths to a flame.

The most recent one I learnt is this one, for making chenille fabric. I had seen this earlier as well, but Debbie Shore released a video a few weeks ago that brought it back to my notice.

You choose several layers of fabric, sew them together at close intervals, and then snip through all but the bottom layer, between the lines of sewing.

Chenille fabric

With the natural tendency of the fabric to fray, this is how the final piece of fabric looks.

Cut chenille fabric

Then this goes into the wash to help in further deconstruction.

And there you have it! “Chenille” fabric.

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Luckily for me, Debbie had a project to go with the technique, so I didn’t just produce a museum piece (which I have been known to do; these are termed “WIPs” or “UFOs”).

It took me a while, but I sewed this up into a proper pouch.

With a lining and all, too.

Tips for effectively sewing interesting chenille fabric:

  • Choose fabrics that have enough contrast so that the layers that peek through are distinct from each other. Of course, you might choose the same colours if you’re looking for that low volume effect.
  • This is a great way to use up scraps of fabric that you don’t like the print or colours of, because only a hint of those things is finally visible
  • No need for further batting; there is enough bulk in the final chenille fabric to give you padding. This makes it an interesting technique to make baby quilts with. Then you’d only have to bind the edges.
  • If you can get long narrow bladed scissors to snip through the layers, it reduces the tedium, although there is also a special tool available (Clover calls it the Slash Cutter and Olfa has one too).
  • Patience. You need patience to sew the lines and patience to cut between them carefully. It can be tiring for your wrists and hands. I’m sure the tools I mentioned above will help with that.

So that’s a new sewing technique under my belt, thanks to Debbie Shore’s YouTube videos.

Do let me know if you also try out sewing your own chenille fabric.

It promised to be fine. Then it rained.

Then they predicted a deluge and so far… Not a drop.

The result of the first was that the craft fair I’d signed up for got cancelled. The result of the second? Nothing so far. It’s not a disaster if there isn’t a deluge, right?

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What happened is that I got a late, last-minute bug on and made some ‘stocking stuffers’ (for want of a better term. Bulk? Roughage? Space occupiers?). Including these super simple bookmarks (listed in my gallery, if you want some), and also, these.

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A set of six

These are the Slimline Wallets (pattern by Carla Peicheff of Half Dozen Daily, the pattern itself can be found on Craftsy).

It was my first time sewing with cork. Not a problem at all, although actually the cork only came into play for the last bit.

Oh, and that logo on the wooden tag up there? It was designed for me by Neha at The Ugly Duckling. Isn’t it beautiful?

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Cards, coins and currency notes

 

I decided to see if having an app would make me blog better.

In the past year or more I’ve become obsessed with weaving, helped along by some ennui in knitting and crochet, plus an odd sort of pain in my left forefinger, the one that tensions the yarn when I crochet. Which served as an excuse to do more weaving.

I now have three looms, and have been waffling about getting a fourth.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, admire these.

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Regular readers might remember the shawl-turned-tablecloth-turned-parasol I wrote about a few years ago. I’ve gone and done it again, but much smaller this time. Read the rest of this entry »

In my last post but one I was talking about slippery slopes, wasn’t I? And left you without explaining what I meant.

I was referring to this stole I made. I had some balls of rayon that Jaishree gifted me, which were sources of amazement to me primarily because of the fact that they stayed rolled. I find the yarn so slippery I cannot manage to roll it from a hank, yet she actually Read the rest of this entry »

On Ravelry there is a group which began in 2010 for people wanting to make 10 shawls in 2010. I’ve bee a member since then, but never have managed to make 10 in ’10, 11 in ’11 and so on. I did have a narrow miss last year, when I achieved 11 in ’12. That was disappointing. The rules are strict, you can’t pass off a scarf no matter how complicated or yarn-consuming as a shawl or stole.

Read the rest of this entry »

The whole of last year went by with only one real post. I’m thinking perhaps I should try and do better this year?

So here are my two last projects from 2012. Both are for a friend who is currently at MIT and so will find use for woollen stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, I know. I last posted here on the last day of the last year. And to be perfectly frank, I was considering whether to mark this blog as dead. I have too little to say which I haven’t already said on Ravelry.

However, this is by way of being a test post. A friend was asking why her blog posts aren’t showing up on the South Asian Crafters group page on Ravelry and I had to confess I hadn’t blogged this year at all. As moderator of said group, I thought I would post here and see if my post shows up.

One of the small projects I finished this year was a set for a friend with a new baby. I tested the frock pattern for the designer and then made the booties to match. Wool sock yarn, since the things were for a London baby. And the yarn (squooshy!) was from a sock yarn club I (bought? took? participated in?) as one of those “Try everything once” things.

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The dress happened to be the 300th project I’ve entered into Ravelry. The designer has cute girls of her own, so I get to try out lots of girly stuff when testing for her. They’re usually quick projects, plus she lets me use whatever yarn I have on hand.

The booties were in my queue for a long time. I’m always attracted to things with brioche stitch in them. I entirely forgot to send the leftover yarn to my friend, though. I’m told the baby liked them.

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