Inspired by Winter

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
                                                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm pleased to tell you that I have recently completed a new embroidery inspired by winter, the spiral form I used in the Rumi Wisdom embroidery and the quote above from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It seems to me that winter is all about patience - the patience to sit by our fires and create slowly, to let a stew simmer for hours and hours developing amazing flavors and finally, the patience to wait for the snow to melt and the earth to wake up and grace us with greenery. 

Now that the embroidery is complete and my notes are in mostly good order I've started working on the pattern. I'm hoping to have it in my etsy shop in time for some long winter stitching.



How Its Made Needles and Pins

I'm gearing up for my next class on stumpwork embroidery focusing on using wire. I've not taught this before so there is a lot of prep to do and it engages me fully! If you are in the area you might be interested in taking it.  Here's the link for more information and sign up!

In the meantime have you ever wondered how needles and pins are made? I came upon this great video on the How It's Made Channel on YouTube. I use needles and pins pretty much daily so it was fun to see what goes into their production.


New Embroidery Pattern!

Rumi Wisdom
Sometimes I get sidetracked with blogging. I get stuck for ideas or I have a big project to complete. I get out of the habit and much too much time goes by. Well, here I am again with lots of things to write about.

While I've been away I've been doing many, many things with needles, thread, yarn and a few adventures. Teaching classes at The Textile Center of Minnesota, a wonderful place has taken up some of my time. I've met some people with interesting things going on which I'll share with you in a later post. 

My newest creation is an embroidery that features a Rumi quote spiraling under a cheery landscape with trees, flowers, sheep and some tiny houses. The best part is you can make your own! I've put the pattern, called Rumi Wisdom, in my etsy shop and you can find it here. It is designed for a beginning embroiderer because it uses just a few basic stitches. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned stitcher I think you will enjoy making this.

I like this spiraling format so much I'm thinking of doing a series of these, perhaps one for each season.
Sheep detail of Rumi Wisdom embroidery


Tiny Knitting and a Makeover

Welcome to 2016! This year feels like fresh new start and fresh starts is what this blog post is about!

When I was about ten I visited my grandparents in Minneapolis. My grandma took me to a toy store where we found a beautiful doll. She was the only one of her kind, wearing a hot pink dress with small white buttons and a white collar. Plus that hair! She was mine!!!

This fall I helped my dad with a yard sale and in the bottom of a box of toys I found her, minus her pink dress and a lot of messy hair. She was on the table for sale, but alas nobody wanted her. She was looking a little sad wearing an over sized pinafore, and a layer of dirt on her face and clothes. Instead of sending her off to Goodwill I decided to keep her and give her a makeover. Such good memories that she surely was deserving of a new look.

She's had a bath, her hair was dunked in fabric softener to tame it (although I think it needs to be rinsed out a bit more) and that sad pinafore is now clean. Next up some new clothes that fit!

While rooting through the library at the Textile Center I came upon some vintage knitting patterns for dolls and decided a sweater was just the thing to begin the new look. After reading through the patterns none of them were quite the right size or style. Elizabeth Zimmerman's bottom up sweater design (for more info go here) seemed like the right way to go. I knit a swatch, took her measurements and kind of make up some of it as I went. It looks pretty good, although for a human it might be a little tight under the arms. This dolly won't complain because it's way better than that silly smock. Next pants, skirt, dress? I'm not quite sure. Actually maybe some undies!

If you are interested in dolls, she has some markings on the back of her neck and I looked them up. She was made in Italy in 1967 by Italocremona a company no longer in business.