Monday, April 12, 2010

branching out

Rock towers and desert in the first morning sun, seen through the screen of our tent. A beautiful scene to wake up to on a Sunday morning ...

As for the crafting, well, I sincerely thought that I'd be finished with the white cardigan by this weekend, but I've gotten all fumbled up trying to modify the sleeve caps. I find it so aggravating that I may very well never finish it.

I sorted through my many unfinished projects to find something more finishable to bring along, and I found this little gem: a Contemplation bag in naturally-dyed wool. It was knitted and embroidered when I was in Taos last fall and has been waiting for a strap ever since.

I half finished knitting the strap in between climbs on Saturday and completely finished it on the drive home. Now it just needs to have the ends sewn in, and I'll give it a proper showing.

While pulling out this project on Friday afternoon, I remembered how much I loved its delicate branch motif. It was inspired by a wind-blown branch in an old Buddhist painting. I wanted to explore other ways of incorporating it into my crafting, so on Friday evening I cut out a stencil of it and painted it onto a few pieces of chocolate-brown cotton jersey.

For my first experience with fabric stenciling, it was surprisingly smooth and satisfying.

My grand plan was to make the "Reverse-Applique Bandana" from the amazing Alabama Stitch Book. It's made out of two layers of cotton jersey. You stencil the top fabric, stitch the two fabrics together around the stenciled shapes, and then careful snip out most of the stenciled fabric. In the finished project, you get glimpses of the bottom fabric, framed by a hint of the paint and hand-stitching.

This part for me did not go as smoothly. Fortunately, I'd also stenciled onto scrap fabric to practice first. Here it is, with my reverse applique experimentation ....

It was rather slow-going and uneven, since I'm a rusty hand-sewer. But the real issue was that the reverse applique was a bit too textured for me, at least in these colors (high contrast) and with this stencil (smaller than with the sample stencil that comes with the book).

I much preferred the simple lines of the printed fabric. So, in the end, that's what I decided to go with. For the rest of the weekend, I simply used the stenciled triangle of fabric as my bandana.

Ha ha, sort of a silly look, I know. But I do wear a bandana a fair bit when we're out camping and climbing (as evidenced here, here, and here) so this will become a staple in my outdoors kit!


Turtle said...

i think all 3 projects came out well! I can't wait for it to warm up just alittle here so we can start backpacking again! Will actually take a bit getting back into shape as hubby underwent knee surgery and i tore ligaments in the ankle.....very out of shape right now! So how well do u like that book? It looks interesting on amazon.

kristen von minden said...

nice bandana!! (word verification: bustomar)