Friday, April 28, 2017

Following and Creating Knitting Charts

Sometime in March of this year, I took an online class through Craftsy, a knitting class using stranded colourwork techniques. The class project was perfect for using some of the yarn I had reclaimed from sweaters.  While I have done colourwork and Fair Isle in the past....I had not taken the time to learn the proper way to do it and my work was never as neat as it should have been.

Once I got used to a different way of holding my yarn, I picked up the technique quickly. This Cowl was the provided pattern from the class (which you can find here

look how neat it is on the inside

of I wanted to see if I could create my own charts. I accomplished this with the help of an app I found, called 8BitPainter (it is meant to be used for drawing simple pixel art) but it works great for creating needle work carts too.  In the photo below, you can see the chart I created with the app on my iPad mini, and the cowl (in progress) I knit following my chart.

Such fun to be able to combine needlework techniques with modern technology.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Nature's Weather Forecasters

I really enjoy being able to simply sit and watch the birds. (and maybe doodle a bit)
One of my favourites are the comical Juncos.  In my area, these little guys show up in the late soon as I see them I know that the cold weather is here to the same way, they forecast the return of warm temperatures by their disappearance......well....they have not packed their bags yet so I guess we are not quite done with cooler temperatures.  Year after year these birds have been pretty reliable weather forecasters

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Bouquet

It seemed to me that the time had come to freshen up my blog banner.....(it had not been changed in quite a long time)
I decided to feature my latest doodle,  Spring Bouquet.
I drew it on my iPad mini...using the Concepts app and my stylus, Pencil by Paper 53

I have to admit that I kinda cheated a  you might wonder.....well....I drew only 1 half of the doodle and using some of the tools within the app, I copied, flipped & fit 2 halves together.
Once I was happy with that part of it, I went on to refine and add more details to it.

It was an interesting exercise....trial and error helps me learn more ways to play with line.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Doodles Transformed

Once again, I am thrilled to show what has become of some of my doodles.

I have posted several times about how honoured and excited I have been each and every time Trish Burr....Embroidery Artist, Teacher & Author has approached me about transforming a design of mine into one of her incredible works of thread art.

Her new book White Work with Colour has been released and I can finally show you the small part I played in its evolution.  First of all, let me tell you that the book is gorgeous and, as with all of Trish Burr's books and patterns, the attention to detail is phenomenal.

pages from White Work with Colour - Trish Burr
This book ( 8.5"x 11" ) is beautifully laid out, with concise, clear, detailed instructions for 17 different projects..... along with everything you will need to know to ensure success.

Some of the time, Trish is drawn to a design I have already shown, and at others, she has a specific idea in mind and gives me the opportunity to draw something just for her.

Pages from White Work with Colour - Trish Burr
 3 of the projects in her book White Work with Colour  (Zen poppy, Doodle bug and French country vase) are based on my doodles .....oh...but wait....... take a look at what she does with them

In the following photos, you can see the original doodle I sent to Trish paired with her amazing transformation of it.

There is yet another of my doodles currently under going the Trish Burr royal treatment...but that will be kept under wraps until a later date.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring inspired doodle

So happy to welcome the arrival of Spring.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spin and Ply

My experimenting with reclaimed yarn continues.  After deconstructing this lambswool sweater, I found that the yarn was extremely fine.

SO.......I decided to create a drop spindle that would allow me to "ply" the yarns together

A few simple bits from the hardware store came together to form a surprisingly effective spindle.

the yarn plied on the spindle is shown on the left and to the right, is a purchased sock yarn, as you can see they look very close to the same weight.  They knit up well together.

below, you can see the single ply as it came off the sweater, along side the yarn that had been plied on the drop spindle in the process of being knit

I also have a some reclaimed silk on the is being spun and dyed and turning out wonderfully

Monday, February 20, 2017

Knitting with reclaimed yarn

Okay, I seem to be stuck in knit mode currently.  I deconstructed another sweater.
This one was labeled 70% Cotton / 30% Lambs wool. 

This is a look at the amount of yarn I managed to salvage, (roughly 340g ) and the start of my very first sock

and here is the completed sock, now to see if I can actually make its twin

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Reclaiming and Repurposing yarn

My last post was about deconstructing a thrift shop find. My first test subject, a 100% cotton sweater. It has provided me with a good amount of yarn to play with as you can see in the photo below.

I dyed some of it a sort of, mottled, dark, Denim-y blue and left the rest that natural cream colour.

It is lovely to work with, soft to the touch with such wonderful drape. 
here is a peek at how it is currently looking on my needles

I am rather surprised at the amount of yarn I managed to reclaim. (what you see in the bin in the top photo along with what I have already knit) appears that I will have enough for a couple of projects

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Deconstruction....reclaiming yarn

Those of you who visit this site know that I like a challenge, that I like to "try" playing with fiber in a variety of ways.  As with most creative types, I have many interests. One of them is knitting and as is true with much of what I like to do, it is more about the process than the finished product.

Not long ago, I happened upon a video featuring a gentleman who deconstructs sweaters to reclaim yarn with which to knit. That caught my interest immediately. If you are a knitter, one who prefers to use quality yarns, you know it can get expensive in a hurry.....but this was less about saving a few bucks and more about experimenting (cause let me tell you...I have discovered it is a time consuming endeavor)

Anyway, at a thrift shop, for a $1.76, I found a large sized, 100% cotton, man's sweater. It was clean with no holes and looked to be a great candidate for disassembling

it did take me a couple of hours to get it apart, it is likely the most important part of the process because if you are not careful and cut into those wont be getting nice long continuous yarn ( to give you an idea.....I am getting anywhere from 100m to 300m of continuous yarn in each ball)

once I had a piece turned into a ball, I put it into skeins it so it could "un-kinked". (see how kinky it was)

after a warm bath it is relaxed

I even tried a couple of dye tests.

it is knitting up wonderfully......the photo below is showing the cream ( which is the reclaimed sweater yarn knit in seed stitch)  draped along with something I had previously knit using a decently priced cotton yarn....I really can't tell the difference in the feel and drape.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Designing for an Embroidery Artist

You may remember that some time ago, I talked about how honoured and excited I was when Trish Burr contacted me with an interest in turning one of my doodles into her unique style of embroidery.
If you are not familiar with Trish's work, I suggest have a look at her web site and Etsy shops, here & here..... she is an extraordinary embroidery artist, teacher, and author.

What I have not told you is that since that first project, I have worked with Trish on both existing and new designs  (some of which I will reserve for a later post)

let me begin by introducing Chloe. 
Chloe will be a sister to an earlier design.

My first feline doodle pictured below, was transformed by Trish into a gorgeous embroidery design she calls Katarina, which is available to purchase as a pattern or as a full kit....Katarina has been extremely popular and now Trish will perform her stitching magic on Chloe.

I should be clear that, Trish "redesigns" my drawings to better relate to needle and thread....and what she does is absolutely remarkable!

Last year Trish also turned my reindeer doodle into the fabulous "Prancer" who was a featured project in Inspirations Magazine issue #88 and apparently has become one of their most popular Christmas themed projects.

as I mentioned, there are a few more that I will talk about in another post, but what I will say is that Trish has a new book coming out soon, and I am completely thrilled that a couple of those new designs are based on doodles I did expressly for her.


Copyright Jill Buckley