Monday, November 18, 2019

Monday musings and media

in which our plucky heroine feels somewhat refreshed...

though somehow it never seems like enough actually gets done over the weekend as one would hope, there was both some progress made, and some time taken for the kind of rejuvenation that can only happen when surrounded by trees and water. The autumnal scent of leaf mould and the sight of fallen maple leaves spinning down the stream, and fluttering at the bottom of the water. "the wheel is turning and you can't slow down.."


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a surprise and a treat... the neighbor's poppies apparently like it here well enough to spread into one of the front garden beds. Next year there will be silky golden california poppies to keep company with my baby pine nut tree, and if any of the marigolds that Thora planted this year either survive or send out seedlings, it will be a very orange corner indeed!
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finished up the long sleeve knit top over the weekend... six different leftover pieces of knit fabric, stripey and floral and marled and solid, combined with a bit of embroidery and reverse applique. I added one more line of couched narrow strip between the neckline binding and the cloud collar, to ease the transition where it shows in the photo as a black line under the edge binding... more photos later...

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...as it gets colder, I decided on log cabin mitts for Tullia, and am also working on a pair for Drusa, with half fingers. Using up some of my yarn stash, but I am now tempted to get another skein from Knit Picks in a rainbowy merino and make some more, for Barb, and another pair for Tullia. I already have four pairs of my own, all different. Log Cabin Mitts are fun and fast to knit!
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On Saturday, a lovely excursion to the Japanese Garden with my friend Ursel, to enjoy a comparatively mild and thankfully dry afternoon:

Always impressive, the immense dry-stone castle wall outside the garden entrance, built from native Oregon stone by a 15th generation Japanese stonemason...

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Two different sorts of bridges; the hillside garden is full of flowing water. I was particularly intrigued by the bridge apparently made from some kind of concrete paving set over an arched form of small logs, and edges with what appeared to be vine withies tied with wire...

outside the second floor of the new main building, there is a patio. On the edge of the patio this fountain, which makes good use of regional basalt columns...

some of the garden koi are larger than my forearm... what fascinated me here was the mirrored reflection of the stream bank above, which proved to be frustratingly difficult to photograph...
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegsyard waste bin
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 scrappy collage knit top
patched overall pinafore -
5 xTullia mitts -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - the 50 years of thoughtful effort that have made the Portland Japanese Garden a thing of great beauty and peaceful pleasure. And that it is possible to get there from Acorn Cottage entirely on public transit. And that they participate in Arts for All, which means I can afford to visit the garden now and again...

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

starting on the cloud collar

in which our plucky heroine immediately starts a new project...

The new knit top is going to get a cloud collar neckline; process photos first, then a bit of explanation afterwards:

It took a bit of time cogitating on the best way to end up with an easy to see stitchable motif from the scrap of black interlock... I finally realised that a sort of "reverse stencil" that reserved the black lines, but painted the background would work. Freezer paper stenciling gives a very crisp result, and by folding the freezer paper in half before cutting out the design, a perfectly symmetrical stencil is created.
The cut freezer paper is ironed to the fabric, and the background is painted with some pewter fabric paint, (which will mostly all be cut away in the end, though perhaps just a bit of the sparkle will show along the cut edges)

The painted interlock is basted to a scrap of the lighter black/cream marled hemp knit fabric, and then lots of overcast stitching along the motif lines is the next step. This phase took about five hours of spare time on transit and waiting for appointments. In the photo, the right half shows the painted layer cut away where the stitching is completed, and the left side is still to be completed.
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After finishing the scrappy collage cardigan, I wanted to start on a long sleeve knit top to coordinate with it, to form a kind of art-teacher twinset. Not quite as elaborate, as there was less in the way of grey knit fabric pieces to draw from. Also, I wanted to be able to both enter in November's "Combining Prints/Patterns Contest" over at The Sewing Place, and possibly include said knit top in my 2020 SWAP. My cardigan was started too early for the former, and is not quite versatile enough for me to include it in SWAP as one of my two "previously sewn" items, but a scrappy/collage grey knit top will work with both of the intended (grey linen and black corduroy) pinafores.

I decided to cut up a grey floral cotton knit cardigan to use for the front and back panels; said cardigan was a not entirely successful experiment, but the fabric still had some life left in it, and the flowery print vaguely refers to the song lyrics. The sleeves were cut from the remainder of the hemp knit I used for the scrappy collage cardigan sleeves, and some additional scraps of other projects turned into the reverse applique cloud collar neckline (which I am still working on all the handstitched detailing, which is slow but what I do for relaxing).

Once the basic form is stitched and basted together, it could be tried on, and my decision to add another inch to each of the seams where the armscye and side/underarm seams come together was just the right move - now the sleeve has just a bit of looseness around the bicep unlike the previous top where the no-lycra knit fabric was more bodycon that I prefer.
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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 x
patched overall pinafore -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - my legs... despite the last howevermany four years that my legs have been problematic, with joint and ligament challenges... currently they are working fairly well, and I am able to walk for several miles each day, as well as ride my bicycle to do local errands, which I did today. The weather is brisk, as the northern hemisphere turns towards the shortest day, and the hours of darkness increase, but today it was merely damp, and I rode to the grocery store and the library over sidewalks and streets patterned in a tapestry of autumnal leaves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

my art teacher style scrappy collage cardigan

in which our plucky heroine finished a fun project...

Finally manged to get some initial photos of my scrappy collage cardigan: It is very comfy to wear, being like a double layer knit fabric top, with snaps down the front. It was fun to make, combining various leftover pieces from former garments, and tying the whole thing together using stenciled motifs. The shaping is minimal, and the loose fit will allow it to be easily worn over multiple layers in the wintertime, and the layered construction of the cardigan itself means that it is warmer than the light weight would imply. I call this a win.
The new thing for me in this project is piecing various fabrics together to form a harmonious whole. I used eight different scrap fabrics, and five different stencils. While I often use fabric other than the main body of a garment as trim, I have never done this sort of artsy patchwork, which I so admire in the Tilton sisters, the Ericsons, and Koos Van Den Akker... The other new thing I did with this garment is that it is primarily stitched with the zig zag stitch with raw edges overlapped, sometimes using multiple rows to hold the pieces and seam allowances in place. Sort of a funky edge finish technique inspired by Pearl Red Moon Art's Zambeesi Jacket.

the cardigan as worn

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November SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 three sketches necklace pegs-
2 2 more sketchescardigan sleeves-
3 scrappy collage cardiganharvest 15# persimmons -
4 x
patched overall pinafore -
5 xx -
6 x x
-
7 x x
-
8 x x x
9 x
x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

today's gratitude - space to work on projects... as small as Acorn Cottage is, there are a number of possible places to work on projects... No longer (like most of my life) must creative impulses be stifled until the dining table can be freed! Huzzah for worktables!