Friday, October 30, 2015

Creative Festival 2015 - One Last Thing

This is absolutely the last thing I will be adding to my stash (I hope). I finally received the pattern that I bought from Kathryn Drummond at the Creative Festival.

This is a punto antico piece and has quite a lot of bullions in it. It was so pretty in person, I had to have it. Kathryn had the edges finished so it can be displayed on a table. I really liked the way it looked so I think I will do the same when I eventually stitch it.

If anyone is interested in this pattern it is available on her website here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

WIPocalypse 2015 – October

This month's topic (I'm keeping the original one as I've already answered the one picked for this month): Are there any fibers or materials used in stitching that you’re nervous to try? I dislike rayon threads. I've tried them in Spirit of the Southwest and really hated the slipperiness of them. I could never get them to lay down properly without keeping a strong tension on the thread which in turn made me tense and that's not the point of this hobby. Maybe one day I'll change my mind, but right now I'm staying clear of them.

Still nothing on Bramble and the Rose.

No Update
Ink Circles - The Bramble and the Rose

Tree of Hope is still off the frame.

No Update
Mirabilia - Tree of Hope

I still haven't touched Tracery Dragons.

No Update
Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

No update on Fantasy Lace. I didn't take it with me to the stitching meetings with the Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild.

No Update
Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

18th Century Sampler is still taking up all my time and is progressing really well. If I can get this much done in one month, I can't wait to see what it will look like next WIPocalypse.

SJ Designs - 18th Century Sampler

All in all this is a very dismal WIPocalypse for all my other WIPs, but oh well.

18th Century Sampler - Block #14 & Circular Lace Motifs

Now that I'm back to my regular schedule, I'm able to concentrate on my 18th Century Sampler. Before leaving for Toronto, I was able to finish stitching the last mock lace block. It's pretty cute!

Block #14
Since I really don't enjoy stitching upside down, I figured I'd finish the border of Circular Lace Motifs. No close up picks for this section as I kept forgetting to take pictures as I went.

Days are getting shorter so lighting isn't really great, but here is what the piece looks like now. Next up is the Satin Stitch border which I'm really looking forward to. It's my favorite stitch :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Creative Festival 2015 Stash

What's a trip to the Creative Festival if I didn't bring back something. I will say that there were less booths this year. It seems that some vendors decided to forgo this year because of the festival's location. This year the festival was held in the North building of the Metro Toronto Convention Center and as far as the teachers and students (myself included) were concerned, it was much more convenient. The North building is much closer to the hotels we were staying in and the lighting in the classrooms were much better. I didn't even have to break out my daylight lamp even once. But, it seems that the vendors thought it was very inconvenient (apparently the South building has a loading dock). So next year we go back to a long trek to our classrooms and bad lighting.

My haul this year
Onto the stash, I went back to Wool Gathering for more of the same wool I bought last year. I started the fox I promised my sister and ran out of the orange. I had a slight panic until I contacted Jo-Anne who luckily had some left. I also made sure to get more of the brown for the kangaroo (just in case).

One of the things we were looking for was fur to crochet a collar for my sister's coat. She ended up getting something else to make the collar, but I got something for myself. These are from Paula Lishman and it's dyed beaver fur-yarn. I was a little hesitant to buy it, but I had a talk with the owner who explained their process to me. All their fur come from Canada, is legally trapped and sustainable. You can read more here on their process.

While having dinner with some of the guild ladies, Sue Thomas showed us some of what she bought and I really loved the colors. The kits are by Jamie North of Glitz n' Kitz. I'm not much of a necklace person so I only got Kumihimo bracelets.

In order to make them I needed a Kumihimo disc. Luckily there were several booths carrying them. This kit even comes with some cord for me to practice with. It's not like I needed more things to try, but I couldn't resist.

There was also a booth offering 3D "embroidery" kits. Those of you who follow Heather at the Stitching Lotus probably remember her post on it. I ended up getting two small kits. They weren't very expensive and super cute. My sister sat down to try it out and I had a hard time getting her to get up and leave the booth.

However... like Heather warns in her post there is possible copy right infringement. See those kitties, they're called Choo Choo Cats. It's a very popular brand in South Korea and I did also notice a pattern from SODA stitch.

Onto the more stitchy related stash. I got a few things from the EAC booth where some of our instructors were selling their designs. I got two patterns from Carol Storie of Heartfelt Designs. She has some really cute ornament designs. Her Christmas stockings are adorable, so check out her store on etsy.

I also bought some patterns from Katherine Drummond. Her Undersea Fantasy needle book that you saw here and another pattern that she sold out of and will mail out to me later.

But the pièce de résistance were the punto antico books she was selling at her booth. I spent the bulk of my money at her booth getting them, but they are so worth it. She had a third book but sadly I had to forgo :( Maybe next year if she still has it I will pick it up, but I will have to be satisfied with these.

More books because you can never have enough of these. I think after the EAC booth, Grantham Books is my favorite. I'm always able to buy some books from my wishlist at a cheaper price. This year I was able to snag a copy of Schwalm Embroidery by Christine Bishop and when I went back the second day to make sure I didn't miss anything I found a copy of RSN's Goldwork.

Oh! I almost forgot. This year's gift for Gold pass delegates was from Swarovski again, but it's kind of meh! compared to last years. Not sure what I will do with it.

And that's the end of my posts on Creative Festival 2015. So now while stitching my 18th century sampler, I'll have to make some time to finish some of those class kits. And I can't forget my amigurumi fox. He's so near done, it's a shame to leave him missing parts as he is.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Creative Festival 2015 Day 4

The last day of the Creative Festival was on Saturday this year. It started early in the morning with a class on Needle tatting taught by Kim Beamish. This is the second time I've taken a class with Kim, last year I had taken her Autumn Leaves Needle Roll.

I'll say this, I'm really glad that my first experience with tatting was with Kim. I spoke with a lot of the ladies in the class and most of them have tried multiple times to learn both needle and shuttle tatting. All agreed that this is the first time it actually clicked. You can see my progression in the image below. Towards the end, we were pretty much all starting to stitch the ornament and able to follow the pattern.

In addition to the pattern for the tatted ornament, Kim also compiled a needle tatting booklet full of step by step images for us.

Oh and guess what! I now know how to do a cast on lol. It seems that in needle tatting, the double stitch (DS) is actually a cast on stitch. I'll have to play some more with my knitting to make sure.

After another quick lunch, back to the classroom I went for my very last class. I was looking forward to this class very much. I've been curious about this technique ever since I saw Susan Elliott's post on Playing with Needles. It's called Bead Weaving and was taught by Kelly Garland, but she was also assisted by two other teachers.

I wasn't a fan of the black and silver colors, but what the heck! It's a learning piece. Although I will admit I love the clasp. Unfortunately, that's not the clasp we got in the kit.

The first step was setting up our loom, which was really hard, but once we got started, away we went. There was even a lady who was able to finish hers before the class ended.

The class kit was pretty impressive. We each got our own loom, so I'll be able to try this again in the future. The loom even comes with instructions and pictures on how to set up the loom and start and finish a project. Just need to find a nice pattern and some pretty beads. I'll also need more time :P

When I unpacked everything Sunday morning, the first thing I did was complete my bracelet so that I would be able to put away the loom.

It looks pretty good, but one comment about the beads we were given; they were kind of stingy. We had exactly the amount of beads we needed to finish the piece, but I must have lost one because I wasn't able to add the last row of black beads. So my bracelet is one row short (good thing I have skinny wrists). Now I need to do the boring part: weave in all the threads.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Creative Festival 2015 Day 3

Technically this is day 4 of the Creative Festival, but since I had no classes on Thursday we decided to go shopping.

So on Friday I was back in the Metro Toronto Convention Center bright and early for my first class of the day. This class was an Intro to lace knitting and was taught by Kate Atherley.

We started off with the thicker thread and she had us practice different patterns. Each pattern is designed with little traps. Things that knitters who are not used to counting while doing their knitting would fall into. I must admit that even with my experience in crochet, where repetitive patterns are very predominant, I fell into those same traps. It didn't help that I was too busy trying to remember the different stitches lol

I also had a hard time doing the cast on stitch. I learned how to do the knitted cast on from this video, but Kate was using a different technique which she tried showing me, but I just didn't get it. Anyhow, this class was worth it just for the tips she gave us, like pay attention to the pattern, use lifelines at the beginning of a stitching session and ALWAYS count, count, count.

After a very quick bite, I came back for my second class of the day with Erla Wilson called Heirloom Needlecase.

This class was really rough. The needlecase is adorable, but after several days of embroidery classes and a full day we were all very tired.

The first step was stitching the blanket stitch outline of the heart and that's about all I could take lol. We spent most of the class talking and watching Erla demonstrate the different stitches. Many of us ended up leaving the class early. I really wish we had this class earlier in the week.

For the rest of the day, I spent it doing the rounds at the show. More on that in a later post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Instagram Win: Ernest Wright and Son Limited

Recently I was lucky enough to win a prize on Instagram from Ernest Wright and Son. Those who read Mary Corbett's blog will have seen her review.

I admit I've been curious ever since I saw their video (you can watch it here) and was thinking of getting a pair of their 'Large Bow' embroidery scissors to replace my stork scissors (which I admit I hate). I never imagined I'd get to own an entire set.

Included are:
I've already started using the storks and they're fabulous. You can see them prettily decorated with one of the fobs I bought from South Korea. The tips are nice and narrow and give a satisfying snip when you use them. I won't say anymore than that as Mary Corbett has a much better review on them.

But one thing's for sure I know that 30 years from now, these scissors will still look exactly the same as the day I got them. They're made to last!

One more thing before I forget, guess who got her light back :) It actually came in on the same day as the scissors. So for all those OttLite owners who had issues with their lamps, don't throw them away. Contact OttLite customer service, you might be able to get a replacement if it's still under warranty.

Creative Festival 2015 Day 2

The second day started a little bit later in the day so I got the chance to sleep in. It is Katherine Drummond's (aka Gingerbread Girl Designs) second class. This year I was happy to see she was teaching casalguidi embroidery. I was curious about it from last year when I saw this needle book at her booth, but at the time there was no pattern for it.

So luckily this year, we get the chance to try it with Katherine's delicious cupcakes. As always there are multiple colors offered, but again I went for pink. I just really liked the shades of green with the pink.

First we stitched the outline and then got the chance to embroidery some leaves. The casalguidi style uses a lot of needle weaving and 3-dimensional embroidery.

While working on this piece, I realized my stitching kit is missing some essentials: a ruler and sewing pins.

The technique starts with anchoring a pin some distance away from where you want to have your stitch and the thread is wrapped over it.

Then the thread is woven back and forth over the entire length of the thread.

Once the weaving is completed...

The woven band is wrapped around itself, making sure to anchor it to the fabric at intervals, until a rose bud is formed.

I didn't get passed that as this technique is best done when you have lots of time and quiet. All in all it was quite fun to see how those roses are made.

Last year in the cupcake class, we got the chance to start working on the base of the cupcake. We didn't do that this year as there was more to cover, but while we were stitching Katherine worked on finishing a cupcake and giving us tips.

 She also brought in more of her casalguidi embroidered cupcakes for us to see.