Monday, June 11, 2012

Well, I didn't get around to posting that disappointing-progress pic of my little cross-stitch angel, and have cake decorating to write about as well, but today's post is about what I did this past weekend.

I joined the Saturday Crafting Session and Sunday morning's stencilling workshop at Sew It Together's 2012 craftbloggers' get-together in Canberra. I'm so glad I went - it was wonderful to meet so many friendly and interesting women and the many and diverse projects that others were working on at the crafting session. I took along my little cross-stitch (but didn't get it out in the end; too much concentration needed so too likely I'd be doing something wrong constantly on it).

I also took along my bag of knitting UFOs. The main item being a black baby romper I started over 4 years ago and abandoned around 4 years ago. As it turned out, I'd almost completely finished the project, apart from knitting a not-very-fancy edging on to the hand flaps by picking up and knitting from stitches perpendicular to the stitches in the hand flaps themselves; a new-to-me skill made harder by there being 41 rows but the instructions saying to pick up only 33 stitches.

After some agonising, I just did 41 stitches and it seems to be working out fine. I am positive the reason I put the project down so close to the finish line was the worry over that 41>33 issue. So now the hand flaps are finished. Less than 2 hours of knitting was left to do, and that includes re-doing the first hand flap edge after I worked out the tension a bit better on the second one. Sheesh.

Remaining work to complete this project:

A back, 2 fronts, the hood and 2 hand-flaps. Yep, pretty much all of it was already knitted.
1. Duplicate-stitch a smiley jolly roger onto the back of the romper - first I need to re-chart a jolly roger design as I'd created a 20x20 stitch version based on a 50x45 stitch version belonging to another project, but now I've realised out how small 20x20 will actually be, I need something more like a 30x30 for this little back-patch

2. Sew the romper's pieces together (easy peasy!)

3. Add a zipper (my first zipper-into-knitting effort; a bit scary)

There were plenty of other bits of knitting in the UFO bag including several WTF items. One pair of black partially knitted pieces seem to be a false start on the baby romper, done in a different yarn. I don't really remember doing that but the yarn does seem very shreddy so it was probably not enough fun to knit with.

Some of the other pieces are remembered-abandonments of disappointing results, and others are simply impossible to place. Exhuming the UFOs was a productive exercise and I am now keen to finish my romper so Baby2 can wear it when he arrives in September.

What else did I do? Apart from picking up some cool stash at the pop-up market stalls on Saturday, I also enjoyed trying out fabric stencilling at Sheridan's workshop on Sunday morning. Much easier to pick up and do than screen printing, so it's a more realistic craft to experiment with. And it was really fun playing with the paints and seeing the completely different ways others in the class approached their stencilling. I will definitely be doing more of this - my quest for something that yields quick results in crafty play seems to be answered by the lure of fabric paint.
My stencilled bag- happy with the shading technique

The bag I stencilled was a good exercise in how to do shading (and how not to). I am such a slow stencil-cutter that I only completed this bit in the end. I cut another stencil but was not completely happy with my drawing so will probably recut the stencil using somebody else's artwork for my next effort. I know how I want to colour it, and am looking forward to giving it a go.

Many of the other stencillers used the Power of the Stencil and made some great repeat patterns. Others did interesting things using one pattern and paint colour overlaid by another. Many left me in awe of their fast and confident sketching and stencil-cutting abilities!

Earlier in the week I tried my hand at modelling with fondant (cake decorating course #2), but that's a post for another day.