FOFriday 1-12-18

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The work on the proggy piece is done and I wanted to get photos of it before I try to trim it , just in case I mess it up. I had EK get a pic of the back as well to help show how it was worked.

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The alpaca cuffs are finished. There wasn't enough yarn to make even  "hobo" gloves, but these wrist warmers are super soft and toasty.

WIPWednesday 1-10-18

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I have reached the point to do the bottom band, which will be a repeat of the sides. After measuring it looks like I will be about an inch too short to simply continue past the bottom band to the other side panel. If that is the case, I think there is enough room on this canvas that I can make the side panel as an independent off-set and then seam it to the other piece.

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This is an experiment using short rows in ribbing.

WIPWednesday 1-3-18

I hope everyone had a good New Year and will have many blessings in the coming months. 

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Moving along on this. Have now reached the outer edge with the star so once I repeat that on the other side I can start on the bottom band and the star for the far side.

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"Jury duty" hand warmers. I was working on these while waiting to see if I was selected for a trial yesterday. EK and I have both been selected for jury pools in the last month.

The yarn is a handspun Suri alpaca. Suri is different from the standard Huacaya variety in that it grows in ringlets and is silky in texture instead of fluffy and wool-like.

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Using donated coffee sacking and donated t shirt material in a new-to-me rug making technique called "proggy" or "proddy" because it is worked from the back by prodding the ends of small strips into separate holes in the canvas. I learned about this style on YouTube and there are a couple different channels that explain the process. This coaster isn't completely filled yet, but the heart is and there are about 60 strips in that shape alone. The instructors say that the pattern shows up much better if the piece is trimmed afterwards, but I'm a little nervous about cutting too low.

FOFriday 12-29-17

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Now that Christmas is past I can show these since they were presents for family. The opposite corner of each towel has the colors reversed. There were also embroidered furoshiki, so that EK could take these on her flight, but they didn't end up getting photographed. Honestly, hemming the furoshiki was the most difficult part of the entire present because the fabric was some sort of artificial fiber that kept slipping out of its folds while being sewn.

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Textured bias-knit scarf from handspun silk/merino blend. The color is beautiful and the yarn was very pleasant to work with.

WIPWednesday 12-20-17

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The beginnings of a needlepoint bag. The goal is to make it all in one piece with minimal seaming so the right side is one of the sides while the star is the front. The bag will be lined with a navy t shirt.

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Remember the bag start with the handspun? Yeah, that got changed. Pinterest reminded me that I wanted to try huck (Swedish) weaving again so this is the band for the sides and bottom of a bag with burgundy lining. Other than the very textured middle white thread this pattern is very fast to work and I think I like how it is going.

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Hope to have this silk/wool blend bias-knit scarf done by the end of the week. It's about time to get it actually finifshed.

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Getting a brick and mortar site is temporarily on hold while we work out some kinks caused by the uncommon nature of Knit'n Kitten, and some bad early advice unfortunately. This means finding a home for the inventory I had started building up right before the hurricane when we had expected to sign a lease directly after that. These tubs and vacuum bags are our current solution.

Thai berry pickers in Finland

Unbound linked an article from an English-language Finnish newspaper about a recent trafficking trial in Finland. The trial is expected to set a precedent as the behavior complained of, the taking of passports and accommodations not as promised as well as accusations of debt bondage that the defendant categorically denies, is less severe that that in previous labor trafficking cases. In response to the case the Thai government has issued an advisory that workers avoid Finland where there is no question that Asian foreign workers who pick berries in forests are payed significantly less than European foreign workers who generally work on contracts for field work. A headline after the article suggests that the warning is having effect while the Finnish government debates changes in the two-tier system of berry picking.

FOFriday 12-15-17

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In unintended symmetry I sewed three scraps of linen (the main piece was used to line a purse about a year ago) from an damaged blouse and used three "bunches" (folded sheets of paper sewn together) to make this notebook with replaceable paper pad. The skewer goes through a jump-ring on each side of the cover so that a finished notepad can be removed and a fresh one inserted so as to not waste the work of the cover.

This is the first time I've sewn the paper bunches in this way and I was surprised at how fast it went once I had the rhythm. 

WIPWednesday 12-13-17

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Almost finished with the stitching. For some reason the hand-stitched piece is slightly smaller than the machine stitched that was cut to the same size.

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Continuing on EK's jeans. The left is partially sashikoed (totally a word now) while the patch is tacked around both the tear and the edge of the patch. The patches are so large because the goal is to reach an area of strong fabric so that the finished repair will be stable.

FOFriday 12-8-17

In a week of (relative) excitement, it has snowed here in the Houston area. There was a tiny dusting the year we moved here, but this was enough that in some areas people could build at least mini-snowmen and have snowball fights so people are making the most of it while they can.

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This was my first attempt at machine sewing and is finished in that the stitching is indeed completed. Victoria doesn't like the much flatter nature of this compared to the kantha pieces, but it is going to be a notebook cover instead of a wall hanging so extra dimensionality isn't desirable.

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The finished knot bag. I'm glad I was able to preserve the visibility of the cute patch  so I consider this portion of the prototype trial to be a success. Next step is testing its durability and usability.

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Errand bag made using the Freedom Yarn that supports women in India coming out of the sex trade as well as helping to ensure that the next generation never has to experience the horrors their mothers faced. The ribbon works up well on a large hook and I specifically sized the bag to work with one 75 yd skein.

WIPWednesday 12-6-17

Merry St. Nicholas Day! My dad was stationed in Germany when my sister and I were born so my mom used the tradition of shoes on St. Nicholas Day as a way to give us useful and less fun presents, like socks, so the Christmas presents could be things we wanted more. We also celebrate and every couple years I will give the kids either handmade or purchased slippers.

As to the long silence, EK was visiting family in November so I didn't have photos for the posts and these Wednesday/Friday posts just aren't the same without photos.

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This looks like a lines shirt for a reason. It's a nearly finished (just needs top stitching along edges) bag based on the Japanese knot-bag style and is formed from a t shirt donated by the lady on Tumblr and then lined with one of the white t shirts from the local shop that I seamed to the shell and then cut so it matched the curves.

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Most of the coffee sacking is made of jute, but a few are also made with artificial fiber and those are truly even-weave. This makes them perfect for needlepoint so I'm using this piece as the sides and bottom of a purse that will be lined with the body of a t shirt. The shirt is burgundy so I thought handspun yarns that were brownish or autumn inspired would go best.

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Another kantha-inspired reuse piece. The back of this one is a red linen fabric from a dress that wore out and the filling is mostly t shirt scraps from cutting the rug making material.It is difficult to tell but the stitching is green handspun wool from a skein moths got too, so once again the entire piece is made of what would be considered waste.

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This piece has the same fabric but the filling is more diverse and includes the snipped tags from all the t shirts that are being turned into rug material. This piece is machine sewn and is only unfinished because I started having terrible tension problems. I saw a YouTube video yesterday where people were making notebook covers using this method and I definitely want to look into that, although I may need to change the size I cut the fabric then. This one iwas a foot square before sewing and probably wouldn't fit standard paper well.

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The knees in EK's favorite jeans are completely destroyed so I'm attempting to mend them using the Japanese method called boro. The patches are made from other old jeans so they shouldn't destroy the existing fabric like new cloth might. They are then layered with the main patch under all the holes and then a smaller patch over a small lower hole that I didn't feel I had left enough working edge for. This means that at some points I will be working sashiko through three layers of denim which should be interesting.

FOFriday 10-27-17

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Finished with the embroidery, now I will need to iron the piece, make a frame (I'm thinking of using some crepe myrtle we recently removed from the landscaping) and attach the frame. From a distance it looks like a wash of colors because of the sari scraps and fell threads sandwiched between the fabrics, at medium distance the floral and paisley motifs become visible and close-up the foundation threads and the color changes in the embroidery thread are clear.

FOFriday 10-20-17

The embroidery is finished and I used several stitches that were new to me thanks to the Mary Corbet playlist on YouTube. 

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Cat toy prototypes using all recycled/scrap material. They make a crinkly noise because of being stuffed with stiff plastic soda wrappers and the like. I think having three new toys appear in one day confused the cats as even the two with catnip haven't gotten much play time after their being very interested to begin with.

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Kool-aid dyed plant fiber items (except top left middle which is silk). I've known for a long time that drink mixes could be used to color animal/protein fibers but just saw the claim this week on Tumblr that it could be used on *all* natural fibers. We have a *lot* of jute because of unseaming the coffee sacking so I decided to give it a try.  It appears to work quite well as I tried it on the cording, printed cotton fabric (not pictured), thin cotton fabric used for shipping from India, and cotton crochet thread. The plant fibers have a more salmon tone than the rose colored silk, but that isn't unusual  when using plant dyes either. The next question will be how color-fast the dye is and only time will tell that.

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I hope it *is* colorfast though because I am currently ridiculously pleased with this shibori furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth for bundles or gifts). This is the printed cotton fabric mentioned above that I over-dyed after making my first attempt at sewn resist shibori. I love the soft salmon color and the way the corner stitching worked out.

WIPWednesday 10-18-17

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The donated t shirts have now been dismembered. The next step is to decide what will be bag lining and what will be yarn.

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Finished the original basting stitches and have moved onto the designing. The floral motifs are made using a handspun silk/cashmere/merino yarn and the leaves are a handspun blend that I'm not sure of the fiber content.

WIPWednesday 10-11-17

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First time spinning after a long time away. The truth is that we have *plenty* of handspun yarn, but this is mainly for mental health. EK gave me the fiber which she thinks is Superwash merino and is called Coral Reef from the Etsy shop SMAKSuperFibers.

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I've never been a real fan of samplers because I prefer usable items, but a paisley motif seemed like a good way to practice a lot of stitches quickly. So far there is chain stitch on the outline, tulip stitch on the spine, Mountmellick stitch on the inside curve and wine stitch for the flower. I think the handspun yarn is from a milk fiber sample that came with an order a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I don't remember who did the dyeing but I really like the opal tone it has.

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"New" cloth made by quilting some of the drip-colored silk chiffon over leftover pink broadcloth with sari silk shreds (and the thread from removing falls from the saris) in the center. Right now I'm simply spiraling inward with stitching using a pastel multi-color sewing thread, but I'm thinking of either using sari warp silk or a heavier handspun to do more intricate embroidery once the piece is held together.

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