Saturday, June 30, 2007

Needlepunch Embroidery needles

Ok, keep in mind that the following are just my opinions on different punch needles. I'm in no way an expert on needle punch embroidery.

The first needle is the inexpensive needle from Dimensions at Michaels. I purchased the kit & needle separately but I just found out recently that Costco has a kit containing 3 patterns, floss, & needle for half the price I paid for just the kit. The needle was comfortable to use - it has a rubber grip - but the needle had a small burr on the tip. I sanded that off with fine sandpaper and it worked better but still catches slightly. I like the clear body of the needle so you can see how much floss you have left. The down side is you can't change the needle and it only comes in one size - 3 strand. You can't change the length of the loops as well.

The second needles are the Igolochkoy needles. The needles are smooth and goes into different fabrics nicely. Easy to make small even stitches and loops. Definitely a quality needle. The needles can be replaced easily if needed. It comes in 1-, 3-, & 6-strand needles. The loops can be adjusted but you have to cut the plastic sleeve to adjust the lengths. Not hard to do but finicky as you have to measure and cut the sleeves. Another thing is that if the sleeves didn't fit snug, it slides down as you're punching and that will change the lengths of your loops. The needles are small and were good for precise details but not comfortable to use for filling in large areas. It was hurting my hand after a while.

The third needle is the Cameo needle. The point is nice and sharp. The needles can be replaced and you can get different size needles like the Igolochkoy needles. The body of the holder is pen shaped, like the Dimension needle. Unlike the Dimension and the Igolochkoy needle, you can adjust the length of the loops easily with a slight twist. No little sleeves to cut and adjust. I can use this needle as long as I want without my wrist hurting. The downside is that you can't see inside so it's hard to tell how much floss you have left.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Oh Phooey!

I was not one of the fortunate few that got into the Maiwa workshop of her choice today. Not even second choice. Barely made it to the wait list. Bah! I was all set with my usual routine but at 9:55, I was called away from my desk and did not get back until almost 10:30. By then, it was too late. The phone lines were jammed for hours and I didn't get through until close to 2pm. Way too late. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someone will pull out.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Knitters are wonderful people!

There are so many wonderful knitters out there. I'm not just talking about knitter who knit beautifully but knitters who are caring and kind.

Check out the Rebuilding Greensburg project!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Fuzzy goodness

It's Saturday and I had to go into work today. There was an orientation for the new staff...all 125 of them. My bit only takes 20 minutes but I dreaded it since I hate speaking in front of a large crowd. To make myself feel better, I stopped off at Shan's Needleworks in New Westminster on the way home. I think this store is fast becoming my favourite LYS. That's really saying a lot considering there are a number of good LYS nearby.

A month ago, I picked up some Merino/Alpaca from Shan's and it was so wonderful to work with! The label just say Merino/Alpaca Super Soft Yarn. They're based in Ontario. Anyway, the yarn knited up really nicely. I made a little teddy bear for a friend's baby shower. It was really hard to give that away. Sorry, no pics...didn't have time. It was one of those times when you procrastinated and had to knit like crazy all night long to finish it for the next day. I seem to do my best work that way.

Since then, I've been thinking how wonderful this yarn would be as a cardigan. The most the store had was 10 balls of any dye lot. Deep down I knew it wasn't enough for a sweater but I managed to convinced myself otherwise. I'm good at that. I bought all 10 balls of the very soft blue/grey merino/alpaca. I got home and my brain cleared. The total yardage is 1100. It's not even close...not for a cable sweater. I think this might become a snuggly shawl or something like the EZ Rib Warmers.

Merino & Alpaca in all its fuzzy goodness.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

7 Random facts about me...

1. I remembered watching Kennedy's funeral on TV when I was two years old. We were still living in Hong Kong at that time. I remembered my parents waking me up in the middle of the night to go to my grandparent's house.

2. Caffine doesn't seem to affect me. I can have a cup of coffee right before going to bed and will sleep soundly.

3. I don't like price labels on my can goods. I peel them off before putting the groceries away.

4. I always wash new clothes before wearing.

5. I'm right-handed but play a lot of sports left-handed, thanks to my brother.

6. I love to read. When I was 8, I decided to read every single book in the school library. Fortunately, it was a small school library. I started at one end of the room and went through the shelves systematically. I probably missed a few books here & there but for the most part, I did read everything I could...including encylopedias.

7. I've never watched a football game. This fact is amazing considering that I work for a major football arena. The most I've seen is the last 5 minutes of a Grey Cup game.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Recycled bag

Look what you can do with 12" of leftover pant legs! The material was cut off from the pants I hemmed up last week. Ok...I "hemmed" them up to capri length so there was a LOT of material removed. Enough to make a bag to show off my needlepunch sheep. Even the strap is recycled. It's the drawstring from the waist band. There's still a bit of material left that I was thinking of making a little change purse.

It would have been such a waste not to use the leftover material.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunny Sunday

Everything is growing and loving this early summer heat. According to the Weather Net site, the hottest it got today around here was 26 deg C but the "feels like" temp was 32. Too hot for this time of the year. I'm actually looking forward to a bit of rain this coming week. The garden will be happy.

Things are growing well, with the exception of the tomato plants. Not sure what happened this year. The plants are a little on the small side but we transplanted them anyway. We still have 6 left - 3 hanging cherry tomatoes and 3 zebra tomatoes - that need a good home.

St. Johnswort is one of my favourite herbal plant. To others, it's an invasive weed that causes more harm than good. The little black spots are not bugs but pores filled with oil. Thus the name, Hypericum Perforatum. This particular strain is grown for its high yeild in this oil.

When it starts to flower, I'll harvest the flowers and leaves for the oil. It will be used for skin ointments for bruises & scratches. The oil itself is wonderful for any skin irritations. I've heard that it's a good dye plant as well but I've never dyed with this.

Not much knitting and spinning was accomplished this weekend. Everything stuck to my sweaty hands. This morning we stopped by the local Farmer's market for fresh veggies. There was someone selling homespun yarn. Not bad stuff. She's mostly self-taught from the internet. She was interested in the local spinning community so I told her all about the classes at Place des Art and the Coquitlam Weavers & Spinners guild. Heh!