Space and New Frontiers

Happy Space Exploration Day! πŸ‘©β€πŸš€πŸ‘¨β€πŸš€πŸš€πŸŒ‘

Okay, it is an unofficial holiday, but it is still fun to acknowledge nonetheless. And why today you may ask? Well, on this day in 1969 Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. That’s a pretty cool thing to celebrate. So, I made a card. πŸ˜‰

Spaceman Birthday Card

How cool is that? I recently bought a Cricut Explore Air 2 (thank you Amazon Prime Day), and I am just loving it. I designed this card using images and fonts available through the Cricut design software, and I am so please! Okay, my gluing and assembly skills need some work, but he is still pretty cool. (If you have a Cricut you can access this project right here.)

Cricut Explore Air 2 in Mint!

I’ve still got so much to learn, but so far I’ve made a couple of cards, decorated my son’s sketch book, got a head start on Halloween decorations, and spent way too much money on supplies for a new craft. lol!

I’ll be sharing Cricut projects, tips, and more in the future. I’ve even been brainstorming ways to use it with needlework. Stay tuned!

Do you have a Cricut or a Silhouette machine? How do you use it? If not, do you have any memories of the moon landing in 1969? I’d love to hear about either or both. Please leave a comment below.

5 Comments | Posted in Crafts, Cricut, Papercrafts | Tagged , ,

WIP Wednesday – Cars and a Mystery

I’m actually on time for a WIP Wednesday post! Don’t worry, it probably won’t happen again any time soon. πŸ˜‰ As I said yesterday, I haven’t been doing much stitching. But, once in a while I do put needle and thread to fabric.

AC Cobra, from Dennis Originals

I’m working on this fabulous red AC Cobra from Dennis Originals for my little guy’s room. Along with Lego and Minecraft, he is totally enamoured with cars. This design is from a really old booklet1 called Transportation Classics 2, which has eight different car designs ranging from a 1931 Mercer all the way up to a Porsche 928 and a classic Camaro. I’m planning on stitching four or five of the designs and framing them in a complementary manner. They will allΒ  be stitched on white evenweave, and I’m using DMC threads.

What is this?

I’m also working (really, really slowly) on my small for this month’s Smalls SAL check-in. As you can see, I have a long way to go. Does anyone want to take a guess as to what it is?

I’ll be back tomorrow with something fun and quite different than my usual. Hope to see you then!

Apparently “really old” is 1989. Where has the time gone?!?

6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged ,

Playing with Yarn

Hello, Stitchy Friends!

Summer vacation is in its second third week already. Amazing how quickly time is flying by. We’ve been busy making bottle rockets, reading great books, and mostly doing just a whole lot of nothing. Sadly, that also means I haven’t been stitching much. My mojo has waned as the heat has grown.

But, even school holidays demand at least a tiny bit of a schedule. So, when the little man is working on some worksheets (gotta prevent the summer knowledge leak!), I settle down with my lovely shawl project.

Edlothia Shawl, designed by Jasmin RΓ€sΓ€nen

I haven’t made much progress since the last time I shared, but it is still moving along. As before, the pattern is Edlothia, designed by Jasmin RΓ€sΓ€nen and available for free on Ravelry.

Meandering Socks, designed by Dana Gervais for Knit Picks

My other little project is Meandering Socks, designed by Dana Gervais for Knit Picks. It is part of their Artful Arches pattern book. Every pattern in the book is designed to look good with hand-painted or stripey yarn. I’m using Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Cotone Print in colourway 4002, which is a beautiful tonal purple. Unfortunately, I’m stuck on the heel of this darn sock. It is a modified Feegle, which I love, but I keep losing count! The heat has melted my brain!

More stitching and other good stuff is coming soon, I promise. Until then, keep cool (or warm).

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4 Comments | Posted in Crochet, Knitting | Tagged , , , ,

Saturday School – Dyeing Yarn

Welcome back to Saturday School!

Today we will be watching another video from Yarnspirations and The Crochet Crowd. This time Mikey is taking us through the process of yarn dyeing. Specifically, he is sharing how cotton yarn is dyed as a solid and as a variegated yarn.

Spinrite makes all sorts of yarns, and different dyeing processes are used depending on the composition of the yarn. Home dyers know that wool yarns need different dyes than cotton yarns due to the way that fibres absorb the dye. If you’ve ever played around with dyeing fabric for needlework and have found that, say, adia takes dye different than linen, it is sort of the same idea.

Dyeing cotton yarns or floss at home isn’t too hard. You can use dyes like Tulip that are meant for fabric dyeing. Fibre reactive dyes are the best choice, but natural dyes (like onion skins) also work really well. Just be sure that you properly set your dyes or you’ll end up with a mess when you wash your project.

Wool yarn and floss is also super easy to dye at home. You can use food dye, KoolAid, Easter egg dye, and more. Acid dyes also work great and can give you some amazing colours.

Acrylic yarn is a whole different ball (ha!) game. Most acrylic yarn is dyed before it is spun into yarn. (Remember the pink fluff at the beginning of last week’s video?) It is possible to dye it afterwards, but the colour tends to stay on the outside of the fibre and isn’t always absorbed evenly. If you want to dye acrylic yarn at home, it is pretty difficult. You can’t use RIT, fibre-reactive dyes, or acid dyes. Most dyes needed to dye acrylic yarns are pretty toxic, although there are a few brands of disperse dye that are safe for home use. Check out this link for some more info.

Dyed mixed-fibre yarn

Dyeing mixed fibres can produce some interesting results. I once dyed a cotton/bamboo/elastic blend. The cotton and bamboo took the dye really nicely, with each fibre coming out a slightly different shade of blue, and the elastic remained white. So, the yarn looked heathered–an unexpected by lovely result.

Have you every dyed fabric, yarn, or floss? How did it turn out? What dyes did you use? Please let us know in a comment below.

1 Comment | Posted in Crochet, Cross Stitch, Knitting, Satuday School | Tagged , ,

Saturday School – How Yarn is Made

Hi, Stitchy Friends!

Today marks the start of a new series here at Stitching Lotus: Saturday School. Every week I’ll be sharing a cool video, article, or picture essay that will teach us all a little bit about needlework, knitting, yarn, or other fibre-y things.

For the inaugural Saturday School I wanted to share a fabulous video put together by Yarnspirations and the Crochet Crowd. It shows how Spinrite, the makers of wonderful yarns like Bernat and Lily, make some of their yarns.

This video shows how a couple of different types of yarns are made and explains a lot of the steps involved. It is facinating to watch the yarn move from raw fibre (it looks like pink cotton candy!) into a finished ball of yarn. Who knows, one of these balls could have ended up in your stash!

Let me know what you think! And please let me know if there are other topics you’d like to learn about.

1 Comment | Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Satuday School | Tagged , , ,

Little Santa Sack

Hi, Stitchy Friends.

Once in a while I manage to overcome my laziness and actually properly finish a project or two. You may remember that my Smalls SAL finish for May was Lizzie*Kate’s Very Merry Santa, and that I hadn’t got around to sewing it into a bag. Well:

Very Merry Santa, designed by Lizzie*Kate

Yay! Here he is all finished up. I used the fabric, ribbon, and buttons included in the kit. The back is the same fabric you see on the top cuff.

Unfortunately, this bag didn’t go together as nicely as the previous ones in the series (Hello Spring for example). The template was too small (I would have had to cut some of my stitching to make it fit), and the included finishing fabric was only very barely just enough. In fact, I had to make the top cuff shorter than called for to make it fit. This is the first time I have run into any issues with a Lizzie*Kate kit like this, and hopefully it will be the last. πŸ˜‰

Santa will be put away until Christmas. But, at least I have all the other designs from this series stitched up and properly finished, so I can display the proper one for each season.

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5 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

Happy 150, Canada!

Today Canada celebrates its 150th birthday.

Like the vast majority of you, I love my country. Yes, we have problems with poverty, racism and immigration, how we treat our Native peoples, and liberals vs. conservatives. We fight about language, with one province regularly threatening to succeed over it. But, overall, it is a really great place to live. Generally speaking we are a tolerant and inclusive bunch, fairly polite, and as proud as possible to be Canadian.

I will admit that I’m not the most patriotic person in the world. But, this year I did plant my front garden with all kinds of red and white flowers, and there are little Canadian flags in all my flower pots. I’ve also stitched a few Canadian-themed designs over the years, and I thought I would share a few of them with you today.

Hearts of Canada: Nova Scotia by Victoria Sampler (stitched 2009)

Reflections of Canada, designed by Ink Circles

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler

I Love Canada, designed by unknown

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Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! And a happy Saturday to everyone else. πŸ˜‰

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7 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, The Outside World | Tagged , , ,