Friday, November 13, 2009

All-over Kousa

I finished this guy last night. It was a stitch-along on one of my temari groups, except most of the people finished in September. I'm a little late. I'm actually pleased that I finished it at all, after the mishaps I had during the stitching. I had picked a pink and two different shades of burgundy, and I had done one needle-full of thread of each color. When I needed another length of pink, I could not find it anywhere! Either the dog (or my chair) ate it, or it fell into the garbage can. (Any of those are possible.) So it sat for a couple of weeks until I got to the store. I had the temari with me, and I thought I matched the color, but when I started to stitch, I had actually matched a darker shade of pink. At this point I decided no one would notice, and I kept on going but after one needle-full of pink (you guessed it!) my replacement pink color disappeared! (Same three possibilities for that disappearance.)

So it sat for a couple more weeks, hoping that one of the pinks would reappear. When that didn't happen, I decided to bite the bullet, take out the old stitching, and start over again with new colors. (I still couldn't give up on the pink.) I had been regretting my choice of colors for a quite a while already, so I wasn't too disappointed about that, but this is about when my stitching blahs hit.

On this pattern, the pattern doesn't start to show up until quite a bit more than half the ball is stitched, and I didn't like how it was looking earlier. I did have pictures of the same pattern in progress and finished, and I could see that I was on track, so I kept going, but it took quite a bit of determination.


This is a c8 division, and the stitching is layered, one row of each color at a time, building up the pattern. The marking is done with a white sewing thread, hardly visible when you are looking for it, and not visible at all when you are not. There are 6 pink squares, 8 green triangles, and 12 yellow diamonds. After working with one row at a time for a while, you can change things up, skipping a shape in one round or doubling up, so the possibilities are endless. Our stitch-along leader calls it a kaleidoscope ball, because it is constantly changing. I left off several of the diamond rows, and ended with three rows of pink.

It is possible to continue stitching until the "channels" get completely filled up too. That makes a much smoother look, and gives a very different character to the ball.

This type of pattern is fascinating, and I'm so glad I stuck it out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A type of embroidery I no longer do

I was cleaning out my closet last week, hoping to reclaim some of the space in there so my sewing room could revert to a bedroom. I found a couple of sweat-shirts and pants with embroidery on them. I no longer wear these. The fabric shrank, there are stains on them, and I don't wear sweats any more (office clothes!).

But of course, I can't throw away embroidery! So they were stuck in the closet for years. I was looking at these taking up valuable space, and I decided to keep the embroidery and throw away the rest. (There's more than this that I still have to harvest.)


I can think of so many ways these might be used! On a tote bag, in a crazy patch, mounted on a button, appliqued on a jacket, etc. etc.

Now to clean out more of the closet! I hope I can come up with more creative solutions.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Star Temari

You may recognize this temari, I have stitched it twice before. This time though, I am going to write up the pattern and share it so people can stitch it themselves, if they want to.

Even though it looks so complex, it is quite easy. Stitch 12 pentagons (at such and such specific spot) and fill in the resulting stars with shiny thread. Got it?

Hmmm, I think I will have to be a little more specific.



We had a lovely Saturday. We got a relaxed start and stopped at Togouri's Emporium in Chicago for temari books. I told DH we won't have to go back, because I have purchased all they carry. There are a couple more that I want that they don't carry, so I guess I will be going to eBay.

After Togouri's we went to visit the store our daughter is working at. It is very nice and she looked lovely and in control, so that was very satisfying. On our way from the parking to the store we obtained a compass that DH has been wanting since our train trip, and we stopped at a book store. We can always spend plenty of time and money at a book store; if our house ever collapses it will be from the weight of all the books.

We didn't pay for parking all day! For Chicago, I think that is a first, and we were quite pleased with ourselves. This was the view from the parking garage:

The weather was beautiful! It was so beautiful we had to call my parents in Arizona and brag just a little bit. They had an 80 degree day, so there was less than 10 degrees difference in the temperature. We finished our outing with a nice dinner out, and then had a relaxing evening at home.