Tag: tutorials

stitch lexicon round 15

lexicon of embroidery stitches

This weekend, the lexicon comes even closer to 150 stitch tutorials. What a number! Around this time last year the idea formed to document all embroidery stitches.

How it all began

When I look back, I wonder how I could even think of this crazy idea to document all embroidery stitches. But to be honest with you, I didn’t think that much about it then. There was this desire to absorb new stuff like a sponge and dive deep into something.

Back then I made a list to get an overview of all embroidery stitches I could find – and found out quickly that this would be interesting.

The following conversation with my partner during the list making process says it all:

Darling, I think this project I’m planning is going to take a while.” “What, why?” ” Well, I have already found over 100 stitches.” “Oh, ok, then you have something to do, right?”

A little bit later: “Daaaaarling? Did I reeeeaaaally say I wanted to learn them all?” “Yes you did.” “Do I have to?” “Leave me out of this. YOU wanted to do it!”

A little bit later: “Two-hundred-and-two” “What? “I think I want to cry, there are over 200 stitches.” He just grins way too broad.

Monster projects and how to tame them

You see, sometimes things take an unexpected turn and a small project turns from a nice little occupation to a massive beast to tame. It’s for you to decide if you are crazy enough to tame it anyways or leave it be! Many monster projects do have the potential to eat you whole and spit you out again – that’s why we avoid tackling them most of the time. The thought to fail is what makes it so daring and it can either encourage or discourage you to pursue it.

We don’t need a monster project on our back all the time but from time to time it brings a fresh breeze into our lives. For today it’s enough to just try out the new embroidery stitches.

Pick up a piece of fabric, needle and thread and stitch!

Do you have a monster project you are tackling right now or consider doing? Or what monster craft project did you manage to finish off that you are very proud of?
Write a comment below and tell! I would love to hear your experiences. What were the struggles you had or are having with your personal monster project?

The new stitches

lexicon of embroidery stitches

Stitch lexicon round 14

The next round of embroidery stitch tutorials is out in the stitch lexicon. This time it’s the following embroidery stitches:

embroidery stitch lexicon round 14: bokhara couching - seed stitch - whipped running stitch - palestrina knot - fern stitch

Running stitch is the most basic stitch around the embroidery stitches. It may have the reputation to being dull and flat, but have a look at this: It’s amazing how the texture changes if you whip the running stitch. The flat one is seed stitch, the raised one is whipped running stitch. I think this picture reflects very well how small alterations of a stitch can change the whole thing.

I used this same effect in my geometric animals series, which is made entirely of running and whipped running stitch. You can check them out here.

whipped running stitch

And here is what the 3 triangles for round 14 look like! If you would like to practice these stitches, too, come participate in the triangle sampler project over at Patreon! Every other week there is a new set of 3 triangles which we stitch together and share.

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Stitch lexicon round 13

The next round of embroidery stitch tutorials is out in the stitch lexicon. This time it’s the following embroidery stitches:

 

stitch lexicon round 13

And here is what the 3 triangles for round 13 look like! If you would like to practice these stitches, too, come participate in the triangle sampler project over at Patreon! Every other week there is a new set of 3 triangles which we stitch together and share.

triangle sampler round 13

 

Stitch lexicon round 6

The next round of embroidery stitch tutorials is out in the stitch lexicon. This time it’s the following embroidery stitches:

stitch lexicon round 6

And here is what the 3 triangles for round 6 look like! If you would like to practice these stitches, too, come participate in the triangle sampler project over at Patreon! Every other week there is a new set of 3 triangles which we stitch together and share.

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Become a Patron for the embroidery stitch lexicon

Today I have something very special talk about. During the last months my focus changed from designing patterns to making more embroidery tutorials. I believe in the power of knowledge being accessible for everyone. However, I, too have to pay bills and making free tutorials sadly is not going to do that. The working hours I have are reserved for making new designs and organzing my pattern business. I would love to dedicate much more time to the teaching aspect of embroidery, but this is only possible if I get payed for my tutorials. There is the cat biting it’s tail. On one side I want free access for all of you but then I would have to limit the access by placing a price tag on it.

Luckily there is a simple solution for this: Patreon.

Patreon is a platform similiar to Kickstarter where you can support your artist of choice so he or she will be able to grow their business or simply do what they are best in. Maybe you have heard of it when Knitty, the biggest online knitting magazine, startet a Patreon campaign to be able to continue?

The difference to kickstarter is that it works more like a subscription. Patreon offers to subscribe for a monthly or per thing system – I will go for a monthly subscription. Every Patron gets to see a special Feed where I post behind the scenes stuff, all tutorials and videos, polls for future tutorials and an occasional free pattern.

Of course every tutorial, article and video will be published here, too, for everybody to use and see without paying anything. So why should you even consider paying for something that’s available for free anyways?

  1. There will be some behind the scenes stuff, that will not be available elsewhere.
  2. Through the polls and the community section of Patreon you have the chance to interact with me and fellow embroidery enthusiasts and influence which embroidery tutorials I might do next.
  3. Making a monthly income from my tutorials enables me to switch my focus from design work to teach work.
  4. There are some milestones at which I would be able to hire other professionals to help me make my tutorials even better and push them to the next level. I’m thinking about an Illustrator to make a graphic for every stitch and a webdesigner who makes the stitch lexicon more interactive and easy to use.
  5. One of the Patreon rewards include a monthly pattern that you can download for free during that month!
  6. You support an artist who wants to share her knowledge with the world 🙂

Speaking of rewards! The Pumora Patreon Feed will include all the boni described above. You’ll get access to it all no matter if you choose to go with 1$, 3$, 5§ or 10$ per month. I really don’t want to exclude anybody. However, if you decide to contribute 10$+, you will be able to download one of my patterns each month for free.

Thank you for reading this far. Your support in any way means the world for me and makes a huge difference in my life.

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Introduction: bobbles, nupps and wrapped stitches

Texture in knitting is a wonderful thing. You don’t have to be a genius to create texture and there are A LOT of possibilities in knitting to achieve it. One of the most outstanding textural elements are bobbles. For a long time bobbles where regarded as old fashioned – at least here in Germany- but with a wave of textural excitement and experimental spirit the bobbles came back.

For the next days I want to show you how to make bobbles and other texture stitches similiar to the bobble and how versatile these stitches are in knitting.

Here are the links to the tutorials in this series

1. Introduction

2. Bobbles

3. Wrapped stitches

4. Nupps

 knit-bobbleseries

noppenserie

 

tutorial: Herringbone stitch variation 5

Variation 5

This variation is actually a combination of 2 Herringbone stitch rows. The smaller stitch is stitched in a contrast color and half the thickness of the bigger row. You can use the same thickness of thread for both rows, though.

herringbone stitch variation 5

The smaller row of herringbone stitches lays in line with the crosses of the previous row.

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Click here for the other herringbone stitch tutorials.

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The Hoop Talk – How to find the perfect embroidery hoop

perfect-hoop
Embroidery hoops in any form recently are THE tool for everything according to my Pinterest feed and many websites I frequently visit. Usage covers framing, towel holders, bag closures and whatnot. It’s great to see this versatile thing which impersonated the oldfashioned housewife somehow for a long while receiving modern attention. There are some examples below in this post!

All the embroidery hoops I have are either vintage GDR hoops or those I bought at a local store. All of these hoops are of very good quality and mostly manufactured in Germany. When sadly my local store shut down last month I was looking for a new source and looked over at ebay. I never would have thought that there would be THIS badly made embroidery hoops out there, because I never saw some in my life. Now I did.

I bought a bunch of embroidery hoops declared as 2.choice for a steal. I knew if these would turn out not good enough for embroidering the price would not hurt and I would find other ways to use them. These were REALLY bad, but at least I knew this could happen. Then I got another bunch of hoops for double the price – not much better. So I looked to DMC embroidery hoops and it’s really hard to get these over here in Germany (most search results where my own shops). I had 18cm/7inch DMC hoops in my shops until the end of 2013.
So, now you have the advantage to learn out of my failure in buying a proper embroidery hoop and spare you a lot of money! Here are the things you should pay attention to when buying an embroidery hoop whether in person or via pictures (aka catalogues or the internet):

 

1. The closure

You can spot a bad embroidery hoop by the closure quite quickly. A good closure looks sturdy and closes tightly.

Here is a comparison shot between a good (brass) and a bad (silver) embroidery hoop closure. The good one has a sturdy and quite thick metal base with rounded edges. The screw is fixated on the right and pulls the hoop together through the thread in the left part of the base. The silver closure has very thin metal parts which are likely to bend over time and make it impossible to regulate the tension properly then. The part on the left looking like a nut (the metal “nut”) is attached to the base to pull the hoop together. I had one hoop of the same kind where this nut wasn’t attached to the base anymore and therefore it was impossible to tighten the screw. This makes the embroidery hoop completely useless unless you are willing to tighten your hoop with 2 pliers every time.

 

closure

 2. The wood

The material of the embroidery hoop is very important. I found most low quality hoops are made out of bamboo or balsa wood and the good ones out of hardwood (e.g. beechwood). If a company decides to use the more expensive hardwood, it’s more likely they pay attention to the quality of the embroidery hoop overall. It would not make any sense for a manufacturer to buy expensive material for a 1$ product, right? I’m not saying there are no good bamboo or balsa wood hoops out there, I just never saw one. The surface of the hoop should be smoothly polished, no splintering especially not on the inside where both rings meet and where also your precious textiles will be sitting in.

badhoop2

bamboo hoop with a lot of splintering going on

 3. The fit

Below is an example of the extreme – a huge gap between the inner and outer ring. Remember: The hoop is there to hold consistent tension for your fabric. If there is a gap, there is no chance to get the tension right at this spot. The perfect fitting of the outer and inner ring is the most important thing to look for because you can’t fix this afterward.

badhoop1

After these shocking news on bad hoops here is a save spot: Look out for hardwood hoops and take a close look at the closure (these are often shown on product photography, sometimes only small). Beechwood is a little bit reddish in comparison to other hardwoods, bamboo is yellowish and has a distinct grain.

I prefer DMC hoops and Hardwicke Manor Hoops. They have the same closure and finishing, I think they are both the same (but I don’t know for sure!). Both are easily available in the US.

 

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logo of the Hardwicke Manor hoops

So now you probably have some embroidery hoops that are not perfect and don’t know what to do with? Remember the bad hoops are just bad for embroidering itself. Cheap hoops are great to do crafty things with them – I would not use my quality hoops for these! If your hoop is splintering, take out fine sanding paper and rubb these nasty needles off before they get in your fingers. Paint/spray them and use as colorfull hoop frame. There are also people who wrap their hoops in masking tape (this would spare you the sanding of a splintery hoop).

I created a Pinterest board with a lot of hoop craft inspiration. There are some gems in there:

pinhoop

hoopsize

I have written another article about embroidery hoops. Get more information on how to find the perfect size of embroidery hoops for your hands here.

Free Knitting Pattern – Silver Lining

horizont01aIn April I got my hands on some gorgeous thick and thin yarn by Drops. It’s the Drops loves you #3 made of 50% wool 50% alpaca and it’s one of the best yarns I have touched this year. It’s soft and warm and comes in a lovely palette of colors. The thing with thick and thin yarn is it’s not suitable for every pattern. I tried some lace and it looked like crap, I tried some cabling and linenstitch, not the best results either. Then I decided to give the brioche stitch a try. As with linenstitch the  stitches are slipped and blend every row/round into the next or previous row/round. This works great with color transitions, because the borders get blended and don’t create a strict line, but this is also perfect for thick and thin yarns where pooling of the either thick or thin areas is not always wanted.

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I played around with several amounts of stitches to avoid the pooling thing (which results in arrow like thick and thin areas) and finally got an amount of stitches for my gauge to receive a quite homogenous fabric. If you want to make your own brioche stitch cloud take a look at my half brioche stitch tutorial. This method works very good with handspun thick and thin yarn / art yarn, too, and it should look great with colorful yarns (I have not tried yet). If you discover pooling of thick/thin areas, frogg and add or substract 10sts to your overall amount of sts.

Pattern

Silver Lining brioche stitch scarf

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Finished measurements

106cm/41.7inch circumference

23cm/9inch height
Gauge (stockinette): 10cm/4inch = 20sts
Gauge (half brioche stitch): 10x10cm/4x4inch= 15stsx40rows
needle size: 5mm/US8

Material

This pattern works very well with thick-and-thin yarn.
Drops Loves You 3(Garnstudio) 50% alpaca, 50% wool; 150m/164yds per 50g/1.76oz skein
• colors: sky blue (100g/3.6oz), off-white (10g/0.35oz), beige (50g/1.76oz)
• circular knitting needles size 5mm US8

Abbreviations

CO cast on
** repeat instructions following the asterisks as directed
st(s) stitch(es)
k1 knit one stitch
p1 purl one stitch
rnd(s) round(s)

Instructions

You don’t know how to do the half brioche stitch? No problem! Take a look at my half brioche stitch tutorial.

1. With sky blue CO 160sts loosely and join in the round.
2. Purl one round.
3. Half brioche stitch pattern round: *knit 1st in the row below, p1* repeat to the end of the round
4. Purl every other round.
5. Repeat 3-4.
6. After 60 rounds, change to off-white. Work 4 rounds in pattern. Change to beige, work 26

rounds in pattern.
7. Bind off very loosely.

The pattern is available in english and german as PDF at youtube ravelry and craftsy craftsy for free. You can buy the finished scarfs at my etsy Etsy shop, too.

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