Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Napkin Rings Again

I know I said I would not make such big rings anytime soon in my last post however, here I am, a proud owner of five finished napkin rings. I am making a set of six and do you have any suggestion what colour the last one should be? From left to right, they are blue, orange, green, charcoal, and burgundy. Maybe red ?

Saturday, 18 April 2009

New Items - Napkin Rings

Behold! I have just finished the last of four napkin rings. They are the biggest rings I have ever made. It took me more than seven hours to finish one. Although they are all beautiful (if I may say so myself), I don't think I am going to make such a big item any time soon.

These napkin rings are prototypes as you see here they are all different in design because I experimented on. However, since I used the same colours they are all quite in tune. I would have made another two rings in different design but in the same colours however, the threads I used are no longer available.
I post these rings on Etsy as a set of four, please visit my shop and have a closer look. I still have a problem with Blogger when uploading pictures while Etsy is rather kind to me and I could upload bigger pixels there.

World of Pink

There are still five buds to go. I will update with them next weekend. Thank you.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Stitches - this is how I do -

I am sorry it took me so long but as promised, here is another "how I do". Today we are going to focus on the stitches. There is only one stitch to learn so when you master it, you can make any design with it. I move to right side making stitches as shown below and my stitches are accumulated on the right side from the starting point. I call these stitches forward stitches. If there is froward, there should be backward you might think and yes, there is a backward stitch. The stitching is the same but backward stitches accumulated on the opposite direction as I go, hence backward. Today I show you how to make forward stitches. Here we go:

The base I use this time has 8 segments. Actually I need 16 segments but I do not want to make a new marking paper so I have decided that 8 would do fine as long as I could make stitches where even numbered markings should have be if it were 16 segments markings. Don't be mad if this does not make sense to you, we are focusing on the stitches today and I say 8 will do and take my word for it. Just in case, I would like to remind that you can see how I make my thimble bases here.

To start the thread, I do not make any knot or small stitches to anchor the thread. Just go where you want to start your first stitch i.e. precisely where your marking says it should be. Pull the needle through and leave about 1cm of the tail of the thread dangling from the body. Afterwards I will trim it so just leave it there. When exactly afterwards? I will tell you later.

It's kind of a button hole stitch. Pick the tiny bit of the edge of the base (the lining only, make sure your needle does not goes through the core) and wrap the needle with the thread as I do in the above picture.

Pull the needle through and now you have your first stitch of the first row of the first colour. If your stitch is not neat enough, pull the tail of the thread and it helps to tighten the "knot" of the stitch.

Now make the second stitch on the bottom side. Pick the edge on the marking and make a stitch in the same way as you just did for the first stitch.

Here is a very important tip: When you pull the thread to tighten the stitch, firstly pull it in the direction where it comes from as above picture.

Then turn the thread in the opposite direction, but this time DO NOT PULL, just ease the thread to the opposite direction, gently. This way you can "tell" the thread which way to go next. I forgot to take a picture after this process of what the stitch and thread looked like, but it really "knew" which way to go. Try it and you will see it for yourself.

After manipulate the thread in this way, it becomes rather easy to proceed to the next stitches.

When making a stitch on the bottom side, pull the the thread to where it came like this,

and turn it to the opposite direction. I believe I do not need to tell you NOT TO PULL, but just in case.

Here we have a very neat stitch.

Now we made a whole stitches on the first row and came back to where we started. There is already the first stitch there and if I made another stitch right next to the first one, it would be the first stitch of the second row, not the last of the first row. Make sense to you? This is important that you understand this. The starting stitch is the first stitch of the first row. Therefore if the design requires an only one row in this particular colour, you have to finish the thread without making the stitch. However, this this design allows you to continue to use the same colour for the second row, I will explain how to finish the thread later.

Make a first stitch of the second row in the same way you make any other stitches.

Here, you see, because I "told" the thread where to go next, the thread is already turned to that direction with a neat tight stitch at the edge of the base.

I made the second stitch of the second row to show you how they look like, but before I started the second row, I should have finished other two colours firstly.

So I undid the second stitch and finished the first row of the second colour (taupe) with the first stitch of the second row and now just made the first stitch of the third colour (light blue). Please note that the tails of the three threads are still there.

This design, which I haven't show you what it would look like yet, requires three starting points and here I finished the respective second rows with the first stitches of the third rows. Now is the time to trim the tails.

You can see three tails here,

and just nip them off. You can nip the tail off each time you made the second row or as I do, chop them off all at once. Either way, no difference.

The design I chose today is a modified scales design. Remember? Scales are collective triangles. This design requires 16 segments i.e. 4 sets of 4 segments, and the third and fourth segments of the set is unified as one and two rows count as one. This is why there is a gap between the third colour (light blue) and the first colour (blue). I should have chosen the simple scales instead. Don't worry, I will cover the segments next "how I do" post.

I am running out the thread so I have to finish this one here and start a new one.

Place the point of the needle where it should be when you make the next stitch and instead, go downward and pull the needle through the wadding of the body.

This way the number of the stitches and threads covering the body matches.

Make a tiny stitch or two on the wadding to anchor the thread and chop it off.

Then start a new thread with the new stitch.

As before, here is a tail of the new thread. You can trim it after two rows.

Here I need to change the colour. I finish the thread in the same way I did as above,

but I need it later, so I just make a tiny stitch on the wadding and leave it there dangling from the body.

I am supposed to start a new thread as I explained to you so far and I would have if it were more than one row required. As the design needs only one row in ivory I am going to do it in the different way. Make a stitch or two on the wadding to anchor the thread to the body and point your needle toward where it should be as the way you start a new thread, the only difference is the tail is anchored instead of loosely dangling.

Pull the needle through and go directly to the next stitch at the bottom edge without making the first stitch of the row.

Now I did the row all around and come back to the starting point which lacks the first stitch,

then make a stitch. Neatly forming an initial stitch is difficult and this way the bumpy knot of the stitch won't show. If there are more than one row to stitch, the second row's stitch somehow cover the knot and you won't need to worry about it much.

Finish the thread by making a stitch or two on the wadding and leave the thread there dangling because I will need it again later.

Here I started the light blue thread to continue the design.

Now almost finished. This is the last row of the blue thread and I need to finish off the thread.

Although I told you before to make stitches on the wadding to finish, there is no wadding for you to work with now. So, I go for the crossing point of the design.

Try to gently east the thread to make a tiny room to make a tiny stitch and go for next crossing point.

Nip off the thread and it securely finished.

Here we have a modified scales design.

Up close and personal, can you see what I talked about third and fourth segments of the set were unified as one and counted two rows as one?

It is important to perform the "telling the thread the direction" maneuver. It sounds silly but it makes the difference. In this way you can regulate the size of the stitches and make the angles of the thread much sharper.

My next "how I do" will be about segments so that you could make your own thimble by yourself, and then we will talk about the backward stitches and weaving maneuver.

If any question, please let me know and I will try my best to answer it.