Draw Your Own Fabric

Drawing on Fabric Tutorial

I came upon a happy crafting accident recently with my new set of Derwent Inktense pencils. I bought them to sketch with, but learned that they work quite well on fabric! They dissolve with liquid, like watercolor pencils, but these become permanent once they've been wetted. The colors are intense and vibrant and they mix and blend well, so they make beautiful drawings. When it comes to fabric, they need to be treated just a bit differently though. Using water will cause the color to bleed. I heard that wetting the pencil pigments with pure aloe vera gel, (not lotion), solves that problem so I experimented with it on my own hand drawn fabric and was impressed with the results. For my … [Read more...]

A Zig Zag Scrappy Scarf

knittingabbreviations

In my estimation, the best scrappy type knitting patterns are easy to remember. I love to have them "on the go" for a long time. A project that sits by my favorite chair that I can pick up at any time without having to pull out a pattern and find my place. The Zickzack Scarf, a free zig zag scarf pattern by Christie Kamm has fit my requirements to a T! The popular chevron pattern looks so cute worked up in my leftover sock yarn bits. I made mine just a bit narrower than the pattern. Since it's a multiple of 12, you can decide on your own width. I cast on 74 stitches for 6 repeats, along with 2 extra stitches for a neat selvedge. To create the selvedge, you just slip the first stitch … [Read more...]

Doodle Art – Daily!

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Although I love to draw and create - I often find myself being tight and restrictive, unable to loosen up. Not conducive to creating! I've found that warming up with doodling helps me to relax and often surprises me with new ideas. I've recently learned about the Index a Day Challenge on the Daisy Yellow Blog, in which you create a little piece of art each day on an index card! Index cards are so inexpensive and plentiful that there's less pressure to create a wonderful result - the process of creating becomes the focus.  This is a great summer art challenge for the children in your life also! Information about the kids challenge can be found here. This 61 day challenge … [Read more...]

The Almost Lost Washcloth goes Crochet!

Almost Lost Washcloth Crochet Pattern

We've had so many requests for a pattern that replicates our popular knitted Almost Lost Washcloth in crochet, that I was thrilled when Ann of the Glamour4You blog contacted me and asked if such a pattern existed. When I shared that many of our readers had requested a crochet version, she stepped up to the task and created the Circle Point Washcloth - a free pattern! I love this pattern! The construction is simple, clever and works up quickly. Although the pattern calls for a total of 8 points, I was happier with my cloths when I made 9 points total, then blocked them lightly by dampening them and pinning them out to dry. The extra point and the blocking increased the … [Read more...]

Increase, Decrease

increase,decrease

I just received a review copy of Increase, Decrease - 99 Step by Step Methods by Judith Durant from Storey Publishing and I am absolutely floored! I answer multiple questions each and every week from readers struggling with knitting patterns and the vast majority of them are having difficulty understanding or performing the increases or decreases called for in the pattern. Even when a new knitter goes out there with their needles blazing, determined to learn the language of knitting - there's just so many possibilities for shaping a knitted item that there's often something unfamiliar in every new pattern encounter!  As a relatively new knitting pattern designer, I'm often … [Read more...]

Handmade Postcards

white pen postcards

Quality mail, you know, something besides bills,  makes me extraordinarily happy, so I've decided to start sending, (and hopefully receiving), handmade postcards. Postcards are inexpensive to send and quick to write too. Seems like a double win to me! I've learned from having pen pals when I was young, that in order to receive nice mail, you have to first be willing to send it, so I have some ideas to get started with and plenty of potential victims in my address book.  If you don't have anyone you can count on to write, there's always Postcrossing, a site where you can send, (and in turn, receive), postcards internationally. Once you set up your account, you generate a postcard … [Read more...]

Polka Dot Your Knitting!

Simple Tutorial to add polka dots to your knitting! |SimplyNotable.com

What could possibly be more fun than polka dots? Needle felting is an easy way to add a touch of dottiness to your knitting. I added polka dots to my popular Tea Toters pattern, but you can do it on virtually anything. Smallish polka dots like these won't interefere with the stretchiness and add a whole bunch of fun to coffee cozies, mitts, and other smallish projects. Adding needle felted embellishments to your knitting is easy once you know the tricks. First, you must use non-superwash wool yarn to knit the item to be embellished, (like Paton's Classic Wool). Second, you'll need wool roving in your desired colors. Third, two basic felting supplies: a felting needle to felt with and … [Read more...]

Journal Like an Artist

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When I talk about keeping a sketchbook, I often get the response, "No - I can't draw!" But keeping a sketchbook isn't only about drawing skills, (which incidentally are known to improve the more you do it.), it's a way to be mindful of the minutiae of your daily life.  I consider my sketchbook an illustrated journal, because it doesn't only hold my drawings, it also has pasted in ticket stubs, take out menus, magazine clippings, recipes, great things my Grandkids said and memories of all kinds. If you start an illustrated journal now, as the years go by, your art talent will grow, but your oldest pages will be all the more precious because of the memories they hold. What seems … [Read more...]

Knitting Abbreviations

knittingabbreviations

Based on the questions I've been getting, it seems there's loads of new knitters out there, puzzling through the learning process of pattern reading. I can so relate to the frustration a new knitter faces, because although I'd learned the basics from my Grandmother, I taught myself all the advanced techniques from internet resources and books. I was determined to learn to knit many of the wonderful patterns I found on Ravelry. In case you haven't found it yet, Ravelry is a wonderful social media site just for knitters, crocheters and other fiber artists. Do join! We welcome you and hope this post of knitting abbreviations, with explanations and links to video resources that we often use … [Read more...]

Three ways to learn to weave

Learning to Weave | SimplyNotable.com

Just in case I don't quite have enough hobbies yet, I've begun to learn to weave on a rigid heddle loom. That's the thing about the fiber arts - there's so many interesting directions to go in that it's difficult to settle on one and make it stick. So weaving is my most recent challenge. I fit it in between knitting, spinning, crocheting, embroidery, sewing and pattern design.  For learning purposes, I've been using worsted weight cotton from Peaches & Creme and Sugar 'n Cream to put together some dishcloths. Easy - and instructive. I'm absolutely loving the results I get by mixing compatible colorways on the loom! This first photo shows the Mod Ombre and Poppy … [Read more...]