Saturday, January 16, 2010

Itchy fingers

Revisiting my bits and pieces to transfer them to the new Smockery TASTy Bits blog got my fingers itching. I dug around for some left overs and sat quietly in the corner, looking at the snow outside, and did these:

(click on photo for bigger image)

Raised chain stitch in varying thicknesses of thread. I especially like the line second on the right - I did three rows of chain stitch on one set of foundation stitches - I think I will try this some time instead of raised stem stitch in casal guidi type work. I also like the thick mauve row. I worked that in cotton knitting yarn.

(click on photo for bigger image)

This is interlaced chain band - a bit of a favourite but quite fiddly. Again I used varying thicknesses of thread. On two examples I also threaded the chain and in one I added french knots to each chain stitch.

Making a book

I realised, when I was transferring some of my posts to the new blog, just how much I would miss it if it all suddenly disappeared into the ether so I've been busy making myself a sort of 'souvenir' book from favourite bits of my blog. It started off just being the TASTy bits, but I've an idea it might get a bit bigger before I've finished it! I'm doing it with Blurb. You download the free software and you can add your own text and photographs, you can even download your blog into a book! There are templates to make it easy, or you can design your own page layouts. There are standard charges based on the size and type of book and the number of pages. You can order as many copies of your book as you like, just one for yourself or a stock to sell. You can also put your book on the Blurb bookshop, you decide on the markup you want and you receive that amount each time a book is sold. Blurb keeps the standard charge for the book. A feature of the Blurb bookshop is that you can review a book before you order it, usually the front and back cover and up to 15 pages. On the downside, if you don't know the title or the author, you have to look through the categories, as you do in Etsy or EBay, and textile/embroidery books are in Art, Portfolio or Hobbies and Crafts - so it can take a bit of time to find what you want. It seems quite good, but the proof will be in the pudding.

I know I can save my blog to disc or to a stick, but sometimes it's just so much nicer to sit in your favourite chair with your feet up and a cup of coffee, or even a glass of wine, and look through a book!

Friday, January 08, 2010

New home for the TASTy bits

Do you remember the TAST challenge back in 2007? Well, SharonB is going to run another, starting in March this year. It's one challenge I can't resist. I really enjoyed the 'old' TAST. Although I didn't complete every single stitch it kept my hand in, regardless of whatever else I was concentrating on. I've decided to keep the two challenges together on one blog here, for easy reference, so I've moved my previous 'TAST' posts across.

What is TAST? Take a Stitch Tuesday, see here for the flickr group:

and here for the list of stitches from the 2007 challenge.

The 2007 TAST challenge lives on............people have picked it up and are continuing to post photos to the flickr group, so if you haven't been there for a while, take a look!