Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Stitchery and a Red Hat

Seems like everything old is new again. I've seen so many people doing what they call 'stitchery' lately. It's what I used to just call embroidery. I learned to do it in the third grade when my teacher, the marvelous Mrs. M., gave a tea towel to each student with a stamped design of fruit or flowers. Each one was different. She taught us all to embroider the design, and I don't ever remember a word that would imply this was only an activity for girls. In fact the best work was done by some of the boys in the class. My towel was stamped with cherries. This turned out to be one of the more difficult ones because the round cherries required very tiny stitches, and I never really understood that at the time. So my work was not all that great, but my Mom used that dish towel for years until it was too worn to be of any further use.

Today I see many cute whimsical designs that are just so appealing, often incorporated in patchwork quilts. In anticipation of trying this again, I bought a piece of muslin and a washable transfer embroidery pen. I was kind of nervous about my ability to transfer a design properly, but it worked out great. The muslin is almost see-through in the right light so tracing is pretty easy. And the pen markings come out easily with water if there are any mistakes. I found this snowman design here on Elin's blog. It's the perfect size for a trial and great for Valentine's Day or even the December holidays. I chose to use a stem stitch over the outline stitch or back stitch, but I'm not really sure why. The results aren't perfect (just like the tea towel!), but I think this little door hanger is pretty cute. I sent it to a stitcher who I think is in need of a bit of cheering up.




The last time I was at the craft store I saw this really pretty-colored yarn that reminded me of DMC 115, the old variegated red. It was Caron's Simply Soft Paints yarn, and I bought a skein to see how I would like knitting with acrylic these days since I hadn't done that for a long time. I made this hat after seeing it done in such pretty yarn on Karen's blog. It's the free pattern on Ravelry called "Magenta Cabled Hat". I had never knitted a hat in the round, but with my new found ability to use DPNS, I thought I'd give it a try. I changed the teeny 2 stitch cable to a mock cable (knit the second stitch and leave on the needle, knit the first and drop both stitches). And I added the extra knit rows that Karen did as well. I'm actually quite happy with the result. Don't know how it will hold up over time, but it feels soft and warm when I wear it. The first photo is not great, but does show the color well. Its in darker reds, not like the subsequent pictures.



27 comments:

Miss 376 said...

It's turned out really well, love the shaping detail on the top.
Your hanger is gorgeous, I am sure the recipient will love it. It brought a smile to my face

nima said...

lovely stitcher and beautiful finishing. I love the hat too...

Jackie said...

I love the shaping on the top of the hat too. And the color! I've never done a mock cable like that but I'll have to try it on a simple pair of socks. It would make a nice detail.

I haven't done any embroidery in years! It seems to be really hot now to have stitched patches in quilts. I like your snowman and I'd have no idea that you hadn't done any in years either!

Blu said...

Awesome hat! The colour is gorgeous and the stitches look very pretty.

Cute snowman!

KarenV said...

Love your hat Annie, great colour! Your snowman stitchery is really cute too, nice work.

Annette said...

hihi cute snowmen!!great job on it.
Your hat looks so great, I love the color

Melanie said...

Love the snowman! He came out great. :) I started my 'craftiness' when I was kid when my mother taught me how to embroider handkerchiefs. Can't say I've done it since then though. It does seem to be a bit of a dying art at them moment but everything comes and goes in waves, so maybe it will be back. (Knitting sure got a lot more 'cooler' this last decade, right?)

The hat is just darling. Love it too! :)

Mylene said...

Oh the hat looks great and such lovely. A very very cute snowman too.

mainely stitching said...

What a fabulous hat! Arden's blog-reading with me and saw it and is sitting her saying, "I want a pretty hat, too!" :D

Your stitchery is adorable!

Margaret said...

Both the stitchery and the hat are really nice! I love the colors in both. And the way the hat is shaped is really cool!

Deb said...

I like your stitchery and hat a lot! Pretty colors in both of them. The shape of the hat is really different, but it looks like it fits very well.

Silverlotus said...

The hat is lovely. And there really are a lot of very nice acrylics out there now.

I love your little snowman. I haven't any embroidery in years, because I think I'm not very good at it. Maybe I should try again, though, since it is making a bit of a comeback.

Ranae said...

Love the snowman finish, it turned out perfect. I just hope this doesn't mean it will snow on Valentines day, lol
Love the color of the hat and the design

Karen said...

I'm glad to see your stitchery, it looks great! Isn't it a fun change of pace? I like the knitted hat, too, it turned out very nicely.

Gina E. said...

Your EMBROIDERED snowman is charming, and beautiful worked. It is funny you should mention the terminology change from embroidery to stitchery. I've also wondered where that started, and I suspect someone who was too lazy to spell or pronounce the word 'embroidery' properly, came up with the word 'stitchery'. Bit like the people who use abbreviations when sending text messages - anything to make life easier!

Carol said...

Your embroidered snowman with his valentine garland sure is cute, Annie. I'll bet he will certainly cheer up your friend!

Embroidery was how I first got involved in needlework, too. My sister had a Holly Hobby (remember her?) themed room and I embroidered a nice picture of Holly for her room. My mom still has it on the wall in her old bedroom--I should take a photo the next time I'm home.

Your hat looks great, too! I'm always in awe of knitting--how long does something like this take?

Nancy said...

The snowman is so cute and cheerful with his string of hearts! I have also been wondering why embroidery is now called stitchery. I taught myself to embroider when I was 9 and have been doing needlework ever since. I have a few vintage pieces to embroider, and I can't wait!

I love your hat Annie! You're right it looks just like DMC 115! Looks so warm and snuggly.

Robin said...

The little snowman door hanger is so cute and the buttons are a perfect accent! I'm sure your friend will love it!

Love the color of the hat! Looks warm and cozy!

Pumpkin said...

'I' think he's perfect!!!! He looks so cozy and warm in his scarf :o)

Lovely job on the hat as well!

Lois said...

Your hat turned out so well! Love the snowman. He is so cute!

Dani - tkdchick said...

That snowman is durned cute!

Elaine said...

Your Snowman is fab Annie, he;s so cute!
Great hat too.

Siobhan said...

Wonderful finishes, Annie! I would love to try my hand at 'stitchery', too. I remember doing it years ago with my grandmother but am always drawn away to stitch little Xs on samplers, instead.

Love the hat!

Farm Girl said...

Lovely finishes Annie - perhaps the next project will be a 'stitchery' quilt! Everything old is new again for sure! That's a great hat - love the colour variation in the yarn.

♥ Nia said...

I love your snowman! Looks so pretty :) and, let me say, perfectly done!!
Great work with your crochet hat! :D
Hugs&Smiles

Brigitte said...

He's a funny little guy. Very cute.

Sandra said...

Lovely snowman!

The hat is wonderful Annie! I'm on hats season now, but don't seem to get the gauge right, they turn out too big or too small from what I originally intended, so often go to a different recipient than the one I originally planned lol