Thursday, November 26
It's that time of the year again! Sale on all of my items (including hand embroidered pieces!), starting today and ending Monday at midnight. Be sure to use code CYBERBUNNY15 at checkout to claim a 25% discount. A perfect occasion to buy your self (or someone else) a pattern or two (three, four) or an original handmade piece. You can visit my own Follow the White Bunny store or my Etsy shop. Your support is much appreciated! :)
Tuesday, November 17
I always intended to add more stitching to the dress in a slightly folkloristic style but couldn't make up my mind about a design. So now I just add things and hope for the best! I'm keeping the palette limited to green, white and red (perhaps pink too?). First I added a few green leaves and yesterday I embroidered the rabbit-hole and the beginning of a flower.
The fabric is a soft, fine corduroy and the wales (the vertical lines/ridges in the corduroy) make it quite challenging to stitch on. I always have to place my stitches on an angle to the vertical ridges when I do satin-like stitches, to avoid gaps. And very delicate stitching wouldn't work either on this fabric. I'm definitely going to add more embroidery to this dress, along the border and possibly some near the neckline as well. And until then I'll just keep on wearing it. :)
Tuesday, November 3
A little while ago I ordered some linen thread. I hadn't tried it before and didn't know quite what to expect. Apparently it's used for various types of embroidery such as Hardanger, pulled thread, cross stitch and even lacemaking. I wasn't planning on doing any of those techniques though, just my regular free hand embroidery stitching.
The label on my thread read '3 ply natural flax wet spun'. I haven't really looked into linen thread-terminology yet but I do know that there are different 'weights' of thread. As I understand it, from this site, the higher the number (50/3, 30/3, 18/3) the finer the thread. My thread didn't have an extra number but I'm pretty sure it qualifies as a sturdier variety. I also learned that the strands aren't meant to be separated and 'wet spun' makes the thread less 'hairy' (according to Nordic Needle, they sell lots of linen threads).
For my first project (which is part of a new online class I'm writing) I picked dark linen fabric and a needle that was quite sharp but with an eye big enough to take the 3 ply thread. To be honest, at first it felt like I was stitching with string. For someone who likes to fiddle with single strands of regular embroidery floss or even soft silk threads on tiny designs, stitching with linen thread was somewhat outside my comfort zone. At the same time it felt quite liberating to make bold stitches and work on a larger design!
As you can tell from the photo, the thickness of the thread varies. So much so, that in the mini sampler I did on the purple fabric (or I guess it's called 'merlot' or 'plum' something) the middle sheaf stitch, came out really bulky compared to it's neigbours. The thread also tends to come apart a little, so separate strands are visible in some of the stitches. Part of the rustic charm, right? :)
Straight stitches work well with this thread and I was even able to make some French knots. I'm not rushing out to buy lots of linen threads now, but it was an interesting exploration and it definitely adds to the rustic feel of a project!
Sunday, October 25
Have you heard of Inktober? It's basically a 31 day challenge for artists to improve their skills and get into the habit of drawing regularly. I only found out about it last week so I'm a bit late to the party. I also feel it's not just something for artists (a label I don't feel too comfortable with anyway) but for anyone who enjoys to create something with ink and paper.
I started with the colourful Pigeon, followed by the disco dancing Polar Bear. Yesterday I made a Hare in the clouds (lots of tiny dots!) and today I drew a sinister Squirrel with his Feather Collection. Every day I post a new drawing on Instagram (@followbunny).
You could use proper ink and a pen nib, but I use fine liners (as do most people I suspect). I even made a quick trip to the store yesterday for some new ones, a nice set of Staedtler Fineliners in different sizes. It has line widths ranging from 0.05 mm to 0.8 mm. I'm also quite fond of my Rotring Tikky Graphic pen (size 0.1 mm). These pens are around 2-3$ each so you don't have to make a huge investment to start drawing. Just make sure you get pens with a width that is best for your drawing style. I generally draw small and detailed so I use really fine pens.
Monday, October 19
Hooray! I found my Tiny Bear Embroidery (while I was looking for something else). As you may remember I'm embroidering this Tiny Bear with sewing thread. A slow process and I really could do with more shades than I'm currently using. Anyway, I thought it would be a nice idea to give Tiny Bear 'real' knitting needles and add a real knitting project too. My regular knitting needles were all too big so I decided to try and knit with some satay skewers (we regularly eat Indonesian food so we always have these hiding in the kitchen somewhere). It wasn't easy but I did manage to do a reasonably tidy stockinette stitch with them. Not sure if pink is the right colour though but I do love tiny-ness of it all. :)
Friday, October 16
I've been pretty busy designing, stitching a writing this new pattern. It's called 'Fowl Talk' and it's inspired by Shakespearean insults and grumpy birds. It combines a few of my favourite things: owls, flowers, quotes and literature. With a bit of 16th century swearing thrown in for good measure. "I'll tickle your catastrophe' sounds so much better than 'I'll kick your posterior", doesn't it? And the addition of flowers make it almost a friendly message as well! A great gift for unsuspecting family members or colleagues. :D
Included in the pattern is a stitch and colour key. The stitches used are pretty basic so it isn't a complicated or slow pattern to make. The Fowl Talk pattern is only available as PDF in my Etsy store for now. You may remember that I stopped selling PDF's since the beginning of this year. This was partly due to complications with new European VAT legislation and I also wanted to do more with my embroidery than 'just' making patterns. A lot of my time in the first half of 2015 went into getting some of my patterns printed (a lengthy process) and writing the Simply Shading workshop (of which I'm very proud). And I was, and am still exploring new paths with my embroidery. But I do miss releasing a pattern every now and then and regularly I get requests for PDF versions of my other patterns, so I though I'd give the PDF a whirl again. See how it goes.
And if snarky owls aren't your thing, please remember there is free shipping in October on all iron-on patterns in both my Follow the White Bunny shop and my Etsy store if you use code SHIPSHIP at the checkout!
Monday, October 5
A little while ago I decided to try my hand at knitting again. I saw a Cowl pattern in Knitting Smitten that I really liked but first I needed to learn how to do a Moss Stitch. I watched a few Youtube videos until I found one that 'clicked', one that made total sense to me. Anyway, after a few failed attempts, I got the hang of it! It's really not that hard to master and it gives a lovely textured effect. I only need to make a note after each row to make sure I continue with the right stitch. :)
In the book circular needles are used, but even though I did buy them I ended up using regular needles. This meant that after I had finished I had to sew the ends together, which went ok but I can imagine a seamless cowl is nicer. I used wooden needles, size 9mm and just knitted until I was happy with the fit around my neck. The yarn, Katia Inca in a green/blue colourway, was lovely to work with. The colours remind me of peacock feathers, and the variegated effect is delightfully random :) The next project is to knit a scarf for my husband with a ribbed effect. After that I'd love to move away from the cowls and scarfs and try something a little more challenging. I was thinking maybe a very simple cardigan? Suggestions are welcome!
More knitting news. Only a few days ago I found out about a great Kickstarter project from Leah Coccari-Swift and Teresa Gregorio called the Great Northern: Knitting Patterns inspired by Twin Peaks. If you like Twin Peaks, knitting or both then why not support these creative ladies and their fabulous project!