Monday, November 26, 2018

Needlepoint Slump - 11/26/18

November 26, 2018--I hit a needlepoint slump over the last few months.  Just couldn't seem to get into anything I have to stitch--wasn't even interested in starting new projects.  What's a person to do?

Well, Gary Parr and Christine Williams of the podcast Fiber Talk suggested doing something totally different to get re-invigorated, so to speak.  So I chose to learn Portuguese Knitting and made a few small wearables using this new technique.  I found a number of YouTube videos on the subject, but the best so far is by Andrea Wong.  Her videos, however, are only available on Blueprint (a spin off of Craftsy), but so worth the subscription fee (note--you may find some on YouTube).  I have learned so many techniques to enhance Portuguese Knitting and still refer to her instructions every now and then.  As part of my Blueprint subscription, I received yarn, needles and instructions to knit the three items, pictured below, at no cost:  a cowl, hat with pom pom and fingerless gloves.   Knitting these items has served the purpose--I'm now needlepointing on an old class project and starting an older Janet Zickler Casey santa.  The break was good.

Cowl, Hat, Fingerless Gloves
BTW, I love to do Portuguese Knitting while traveling in the car.  The thing I most appreciate is how the yarn is held in the right hand for tension.   My hands have a bit of arthritis and I wasn't able to maintain good tension using the Continental style of knitting.  One thing I do differently is how I manage the thread from the front.  Instead of using a pin attached to the front left of clothing (which can put a hole in your blouse, etc.) or wrapping the yarn around my neck (which I find irritating), I use a small metal binder clip.  The silver prongs can be removed from the gray metal clip so that yarn can run through it (see photo below).

Using Binder Clip to Control Tension while Portuguese Knitting
My community has a knitting club which meets on Friday mornings and they are working on so many beautiful things.  Now I'm getting excited about knitting shawls, ponchos, baby blankets, etc.  A nice change from dish or wash cloths.  Again--I knit in the car only--don't have to worry about dropping threaders, needles, thread, etc.

Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Candy Swirl Santa by Janet Zickler Casey - Updated 11/12/18

November 12, 2018--The swirled candy hat turned out to be a PITA (pain in the @ss).  I first tried to couch down a cord, but what I had was too large and impossible to "tuck under".  When I tried to work the satin stitch around the cord, I couldn't get the red thread to lay properly against the ends.   So I decided the hat didn't need that much padding--that a 3 layer padding of DMC Perle 3 would work fine, and it did.  Below are photos of what the padding looked like before it was covered with the red ribbon thread.  I am very pleased with the results and will use this method when other Janet Zickler Casey's santas require some serious padding.

Candy Swirl Santa Completed

Candy Swirl Santa Padding Layer

Candy Swirl Santa Padding Layer Side View

Candy Swirl Santa Completed Padding Side View

September 30, 2018--I just picked up this project again after two and a half years and did a bit more stitching on it--the eyebrows, mouth, moustache, beard and hat brim.  The rest of the hat--the candy swirl part--is going to require some serious work.  Thinking of asking for help from someone who has already stitched this santa.

Candy Swirl Santa Stitched to Date

January 14, 2016--Finally began working on this cute santa ornament and have completed stitching the face.  This is one of three santas that I'm working on at the same time.  The hat looks like it'll be a lot of fun to work on.

Candy Swirl Santa Face Stitched
March 20, 2014--I have just acquired my third Janet Zickler Casey santa called Candy Swirl Santa. It was recently offered as a Buy-It-Now item on eBay and I was able to snatch it up.   It came with the drawn image on canvas and the full stitch guide.  I now need to visit a needlepoint shop and purchase threads, but first I'll go looking at my Thread Inventory--may have most of what's needed.  Will probably change the eye shape a little so he looks like he's smiling rather than angry, or am I the only one who sees that?