Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Playing With Hexagons

I've been spending more time up in the craft room with my sewing machine. I bought this package of fabric hexagons on clearance at Jo-Ann's once and I've hoarded them in my scrap fabric bins for... years? That's a little ridiculous, right? I mean, I don't even know what I bought these hexagons for. But I know I have this problem of buying things and then not using them because I need the perfect project. Which is a pattern I need to get out of. So I figured, use 'em or lose 'em.

Hexagons WIP

I didn't like how the white-ish and grey-ish hexagons looked with the other colors, so I decided to just sew them together. I started sewing this flat with the machine and man, those corners are tricky. Some of them turned out great and some of them are terrible.

I've actually finished a beanbag thing with these, but I haven't managed a good photo of it. The light in that room is pretty bad after about 11:00 in the morning and I'm all over the place right now.

Playing with hexagons and practicing corners. Hexagons before ironing.

Hexagons after ironing. Starting the morning off with hexagons, tea, and Twin Peaks.

I've started hand stitching these together and I'm struggling with that because a) my damn right elbow really hates movement these days and I can only really go through the hand stitching movement for one episode of Twin Peaks at a time before it starts to hurt and b) I sewed these together really unevenly, so it's hard to get the corners and sides lined up correctly. It's definitely... interesting.

I'm thinking I'll probably end up using these as little tablecloth type things. There's a nightstand and a small shelf in the craft room that could use some sprucing up.

By the way, I try to keep my Instagram updated with stuff I'm working on, so if you're interested in seeing progress shots in (almost) real-ish time, feel free to follow. My username is (gasp!) "freakishlemon" and you can follow at

Also, I think I'm going to change up my blogging style again. I know I just started doing these list things, but I'm starting to get intimidated by the amount of stuff I'm trying to blog about all at once. The list posts helped me to get the things I was blogging about in order, but I'm having a hard time starting posts because of how much stuff I'm sifting through. I think I'll stick to one thing per post for a while and see how easily that works for me.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Shop Update, Behind the Scenes, Purl Ridge Cowl, and WIP

1. Shop Update!

If you missed my post yesterday, there is a shop update over at my Etsy shop at 7 pm EST! The moleskines and stitch markers will be restocked and new handspun will be listed! Check it out!

2. Behind the Scenes: Product Photos

It seems like every crafter I know has different ways of setting up their space for blog photos and product photos. My normal blog photos are pretty casual. I try to worry about lighting, which will be much easier in the coming months as spring sets in, but I generally don't fuss over the work in progress photos. I'm sure you've noticed that they're usually taken on tables or on the rainbow blanket at the foot of my bed.

But product photos and photos of finished objects tend to be more of a production. I'm not a professional by any means. I've picked up a few things from The Gabbers, who went to school for photography, and from other bloggers, but my stuff has mostly been trial and error. Since I broke out the set up yesterday for the handspun photos from yesterday's blog spot, I thought I'd share my set up.

Behind the Scenes: Product Photos

First, I set up my staging area: a folding tray table and a W.B. Mason's paper box. The box itself is covered with some white fabric I picked up a Jo-Ann's on clearance because the yellow of the box tends to shine through the other stuff. I don't have it pictured here, but there was also a flattened box from Amazon on top of that tray table to widen out the service, since the tray table is narrower than the W.B. Mason's box.

Behind the Scenes: Product Photos

Then I drape the whole thing in a white sheet that I picked up from a thrift shop. You can see that's it's a wrinkly old thing. Washing it has never helped with the wrinkling and ironing has proved to be futile. It's pretty terrible.

Behind the Scenes: Product Photos

So then I cover that whole thing with this double seed stitch blanket that I made a while back. It provides a nice, clean background with enough (intentional) texture to keep the photo interesting.

I like product photos with a plain, flat white background, but I've very rarely managed it. I've used paper, fabric, one of those light box things, natural light, spotlights, lamps... I can't consistently get that pure white background and keep the colors of the object I'm photographing. I knit a "swatch" about the size of a place-mat in the double seed stitch and tested photographing items on that in natural light and I was able to get much more consistently good photos. I think my camera likes the shadows in the knitting to balance out all the white, so it's not distorting the color nearly as much.

Speaking of...


This is my camera. I bought it back in college when I was still doing YouTube videos with frequency. It's served me well enough. With my iPod and phone working well as "on-the-go" cameras, this one generally just stays home and takes photos of yarn and animals that wander into the yard.

3. Purl Ridge Cowl

Pattern: Purl Ridge Scarf
Needles: US 7 - 4.5 mm
Yarn: Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Collection - Wild Meadow

Purl Ridge Cowl

I finished this almost two months ago. I figured I'd better post it. XD

4. WIP

Graham Hat WIP

I cast this onto the needles Saturday night after finishing a project that lagged on forever. This will be a hat. I'm using the pattern Graham by Jennifer Adams.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shop Update Tomorrow!

Hey all!

I mentioned this past week that I was aiming for a shop update? It's going to be TOMORROW. Everything new should be up by 7 pm EST. The shop will be restocked with all the stitch markers and embroidered moleskines that have been sold out and the new Star Trek TOS stitch markers will be up for the first time!

There will also be some brand new items up in the shop, including the following:

1. 21 ft. Doctor Who Scarf

21 ft Doctor Who Scarf 21 ft Doctor Who Scarf

2. Mahna-Mahna Handspun

Mahna-Mahna Handspun

Mahna-Mahna Handspun

3. Sir Didymus Handspun

Sir Didymus Handspun

Sir Didymus Handspun

And I ended up with some extra from the Sir Didymus handspun, so I Navajo plied it for myself. It really fluffed up when I washed it. This one's not for sale, but I thought I'd show it off with its sibling.

Didymus Leftover

So, yes. There will be new things up in the shop and that's exciting. I think I'm going to try to keep updating the shop at the end of each month, so stay tuned for that. And remember to check the shop for what will be up there tomorrow at 7 pm EST!