Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sew Good

On Tuesday morning I made a skirt for my friend. Oh how I loved making it. She is a hair artist and so I principally used fabric that wouldn't let hair adhere to it. I added a tie, some kimono silk and some lovely boon buttons from Waetchters. Long ago when we were fresh out of the wrapping I made her clothes and we were so happy. Now we are delighted to be in this dance again. We both hear the same music.

Flat on the front with plenty of playfulness, layer upon layer but only look that way. Just two skirts differently shaped and flounce added in rolling wave and the red one is just a patched in frill with it's own crinoline.
The whole kit and kaboodle gets thrown into the washer and dryer. Easy.

Here is the side view to show you the fancy spanish lace on the skirt waist, it appear for short distances on the underskirt near the bottom too.

The back gathers so my baby can get some fake back.

I have made dz of articles of clothing lately but shared none of the because of my crappy photos. Too much busyness behind them. I saw what my betters did and did the same. Nothing a little wool quilt batt won't solve.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turn Back Time

About 23 months ago I got a great super duper sewing machine.
I loved it.
I've never had a computerized sewing machine before and didn't know it shouldn't be INSANE.
I liked to think it had a lot of "personality".
It made drumbeats that required a hard shutdown, it wound half bobbins and frequently for a mile of stitches or so would not create even tension with no input or correcting from me would transmute. Just did. Then didn't.

In the nick of time, still under warranty, it really threw a hissy fit and would only loose chain stitch or sew in a lovely fashion but tell me every 4 stitches my thread was broken and shut me down.

Hard to get anything done.

Off we went to the dealer, off it went back to the factory, apparently it is bedevilled with a foul and loathsome mother board.
I may never see it again.

Meanwhile what can I sew with? 
It's cold, my ass cannot be bared to the wind, I need pants and a multitude of other things. I have my young sewists coming and must be prepared.
They had a model at the store that looked wonderfully familiar, yes it was my old friend, my first personal sewing machine, the one Man bought me when I was a young bride 150 years ago.

It came home with me for $85.
Straight stitch, zig zag, has zipper foot.
Sounds like a jet engine.
We are set to roll.

Canadians sometimes need to take desperate measures to keep warm!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Genteel Rug Hooking!

Here at WandaWorks we like to position ourselves just so while hooking!

Knees together, serious as hell, heads down. 
Grand isn't it?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Green Glorious Green

I asked my people and they spoke, please more green formulas!  Here are the results of this week's Dyeing Matters column on The Welcome Mat.  Cushings on the bottom, Pro Chem to the right and Majic Carpet to the left.  Isn't wool grand?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Heartful Handful

I'm so thankful for rest days.
I'm so grateful to know how to crochet properly.
I'm grateful for the way I can imagine how creations will look finished before I start them.

Today I was inspired by this skeletal remain:

And this thought from Roald Dahl

I'm creating a long sweater coat for Aimee using wandered yarn as trim on an down sized upcycled cashmere sweater.

Birdee is helping!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heartful Handful & Hooking

A little lapse in my heartful journey, please excuse me.
I was fixing on this:

Looks pretty quiet on it's linen ground doesn't it?
Gotta flatten the top a bit at the back and give her a longer front on the middle star line.


Am I glad for laughing? You bet! It is such good medicine!
I'm so grateful to Story Corp for their inspiring glimpse into the spirited, authentic lives of others.
I'm saved daily by the beacons of intelligence, laughter and light my podcast subscriptions shine into this grey world that is Ontario in November.

I saw this from here and was heartened I have everything I need to do this:

The antithesis of grey.

I saw this and was impaired by love for awhile.

But I've recovered just now.

Here is what I fashioned: a smattering of dye upon wool in the wandering wanda way.

Triplet Treat.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Video for Dyeing Light Colours and a Lesson for you from The Welcome Mat

Enjoy making a range of wonderfully light colours for your wool.

Every Sunday on The Welcome Mat we have a regular segment called New Skills Monday.This is just one of the amazing things available on the Welcome Mat every week. The latest new skill was this video and accompanying lesson below, we all hope you can use this for your own dyeing work.

Dyeing Snow or Light Colours

This is a terrific way to start to dye. 
If you haven't dyed before this is fast, fun and easy.
If you have dyed before, try making some really fun snow.
If you like this press the like button!
If you have something to add please do so.
If you are happy and you know it clap your hands.

Materials and equipment
1/2 yd or 1/4 yd ( would be done in an 9 x13 " pan) wool
hot water and surfactant like Jet dry or shampoo or synthropol in a sink
1 flat pan as in a roasting pan or buffet pan ( that's what I used)  or for 1/4 yd a cake pan ( 9 x13")
measuring cups
acid as in citric or vinegar ( add vinegar to the dye formulas) 
boiling water
measuring utensils

Possible Dye Colours  to use
I like to either make warm , cool or neutral snow which contain both warm and cool and I believe I never make it the same way with the same colours twice.

Like flesh all colours can go into snow.
You need to consider the snow you will be depicting.
Maple sugar bush snow with some melt and dirt showing, use some browns with the dull grey and violet.
January freeze? Look to use lots of cool colours, like violets, blues and greens.
Is the sun shining on your snow? I say using orange and violet, blue and well just like what we made in this video. It is fun to make really warm snow with caramel and maple sugar and a little golden pear with teal, these are all pro chem colours, they make great old fashioned snow.
This is the time you can use a little red violet in your other colours of snow.

Wet your wool in the hot water and surfactant.
Crinkle your wool wool up into the pan fairly evenly
Sprinkle citric acid over your wool.
Mix up each colour you will use in it's own cup, using 1/4 cup of boiling water and filling it up to one cup with cool water.* 
Pour over each colour in an winding S pattern - just give 'er, he who hesitates is lost!
Don't jostle or start riffling through the mountains and valleys of wool, white spots are good in snow!
Pop it in the oven, cook for 25 minutes at 350˚F
Rinse well, dry as you wish, cut 'er up and get hooking!

* If you are dyeing over 1/4 yd of wool using this much dye might make your snow rather dark for snow.  Try using a 1/4 of a toothpick, dampened in the same manner as the chop stick.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Heartful Handful #13

Today I loved working with my sewist protege Meghan. She is in grade 8. She dreams up her creations and we solve the problems together to get there. Collaboration is enriching.

I love the way a piece of ribbon trim can remake a t shirt. And how it makes a new statement out of something old and cast down.

I'm always glad for interesting problems to solve.
Terry Dorr called me and said they have made a great new wool flannel product with a metallic thread  in it. 
I await it's arrival, meanwhile you can call to get some. There is gold and natural wool and silver in natural wool. I like called it The Lurex.

In my 10 minutes today I worked on this, still some improvements to be mastered, a WIP.
Tomorrow I will get up in the morning and conquer this seed pod.

I was inspired by the colours in this print:

And by this Street Styles of France pin board web site,  also lead to by Marcy Tilton's Newsletter, real people and their outfits! Very Entertaining! Mood Look

 Apparently many people's legs have been replaced by broomsticks. hmmm.

Anything goes if you have attitude!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Heartful Handful # Several

Whew, it is hard to keep on top of things when I'm offline!
I'm glad to be back posting my "fuls"

Today I'm grateful for sunshine, I awoke with tremendous energy. Solar powered.

I was thrilled to see my outdoor menagerie joining me for breakfast.

It is ridiculous to say so but this "found" extra hour, I feel just divine about it, like I've somehow tricked Father Time into giving the treasure to me he spends so rapidly. I'm going to hoard it.

  But with wool of course.

I pretty much want to do this with all my shoes

What I created 

A lovely gathering of grey from formulas for the Welcome Mat and for my $30 Wandering Wool Dye Class 
You can join both if you like - go here

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear Rug Hooker - How to build a useful stash of wool colours

You might wonder where I fell off the edge of the world, where I am in my heartful  handful movement... well I was off line involuntarily and will catch up with you tomorrow on that subject.

Someone asked me awhile ago and then again today on the Welcome Mat, how to build yourself a good stash, I'd thought I'd share my reply with you in case you want to know too.

You can substitute the word buy for dye!!

When we begin to dye we often do direct dyeing, a set of wool for a certain project.
This is good.
I found I couldn’t always anticipate my needs. I thought something might be right but it wasn’t. I tried another approach, the built stash!
 What decisions do we need to consider if we want a delicious toothsome pile of wool with loads of depth and usefulness ?
 It is sort of like buying an outfit, you need to create wardrobe staples that can be used in many ways.
 For the studio I make all colours in the 12 colour wheel, plus browns, plus neutrals.
I make wanderings and spots, and marbleizing, crazy casserole and unusually dyed pieces like shibori or water colour dyeing. I have a wide array of over dyed and as is textures too.
I’m also supplying a selection of people with vastly ranging needs.
I don’t use spot dyes myself anymore, at least not the conventional ones and if I were you, I would take into consideration what types of dyed wool you feel most comfortable using. Those are the types you will make.
If you tend toward duller colours, make more of those. Be careful to always create a range of values. If you need to butt green in a tree next to blue in a sky you will be a sorrowful puppy if those two wools are the same saturation and value, it will turn that section of your rug into a no-see-um!
So here is what I would try to do if I wanted to dye an amazing magical stash.
 Dye all colours from around the colour wheel, have three values of each, have a bright, a very dull and a one at 50% saturation, neither bright nor dull. I would have a very dark one and a very light one. That means you will have about 8 selections from each colour. Probably making a quarter yd
of most of them and a ½ yd of a few will be good. I like to also have one each of something that is turning toward the next colours in the wheel to make a blender colour. If I was making yellow, I would have one slightly warmer , more orange and one slightly cooler, more greenish. If it was blue I'd also add in one that is a little more purple but not blue violet and one that is a little more green but not blue green.
 You must and I repeat must have some of the colours you dislike. Say orange is your least favorite or purple, you need to create some of those even if you don’t want them. If you love the colour blue and it plays a big role in your rug making then nothing will make your blues stand at attention like a
little orange, red brown and rust.
If you can anticipate what you might be making, say a scene of a sheet on the clothesline during a snowstorm… you will need lots of whites. If you followed my advice you will have arrange of very lights to draw on from each colour as well as a range of “blacks”.
If you are depicting water or sky, you will need more blues (always add black to blue for the best knocking back to sane of those bright blue dyes).
I come from the more is more school, I’m not too likely to make a sky say using a yard of the same stuff. I might have 12 related colours I'm mixing and blending to create it. Free yourself to use your wool in this expansive way.
PS One must have the bandaid of colours that goes with most any rug palette - teal, make some of that. A recipe -  3 parts turquoise or blue green to one part black. Let your part ( tsp) measure vary as you need values. Use a 1/28th spoon over a 1/2 yd for a light colour or a teaspoon for a very dark one over 1/2 yd.
I hope this helps.