Adventures in Crafting

Yesterday I went over and watched football with Stitch Bitch. She’s in the process of moving cross-country and so I went to look at some issues of an Australian magazine that she wants to destash: Embroidery and Cross-Stitch (more on that later). I also added about 25 rows to Zig Zag. Here it is now, about 9 inches long:

And I got to the point where I started thinking about the next step in the process. Remember how I said I needed to do some more math to know how many more rows of the body I need to knit before dividing for armholes? Well, I did the math and got somewhat confused. Ironic, because after football, SB and I watched “Numb3rs”, a new TV show where some Caltech math whiz solves crimes and says things like “Numbers solve everything”.

Now, I’m a scientist and a fan of numbers, so why am I having a problem with Zig Zag?

Well, the pattern lists two gauges — before and after blocking. And even though I used a different yarn, my gauges match up. I think that the elements of lace in the pattern helps explain the growth.

But I digress. There are two gauges. The introductory text clearly states that the pattern gives measurements for the pre-blocking gauge and that the schematic has the final measurements. All well and good until I double-check and it turns out that the pattern and the schematics give the same numbers! Doing a little more math on the suggested sizes, I figured out that these numbers are for the post-blocking gauge. That’s fine, I’ll use a different formula to calculate how many rows I need to do. I’m just really glad I caught it now, before starting sleeves that would have been an inch and a half too long!

About those magazines:
I’m an intermediate cross-stitcher but I don’t do any embroidery. I thought I’d take a look to see if there was anything that caught my fancy in the magazines. Well, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about decorative stitching!

The magazines are really stellar quality, much better than any knitting magazines I’ve seen. They have thick, glossy paper and contain well-written articles about a wide variety of techniques that go far beyond beginner. There were many projects that involved embroidered smocking or 3-D embroidery. And a lot of embroidery on wool fleece. Stitch Bitch has about two dozen issues of this magazine from 1998-2000 if you’re interested. These are far too good to let go to the yard sale.

A few issues featured the next craft I will try: Temari. Temari is a form of Japanese spherical embroidery. I was immediately entraced by the balls with brightly colored shapes on them. I think it looks like Origami with thread. SB thinks I will be good at it, “It’s very geometric and you understand all that”. As luck would have it, she also had 2 books on it in her Yard Sale Closet. Those books and the magazine issues came home with me. I think some form of Temari will be this year’s holiday ornament.

I was very good and didn’t stop at any stores that sell the necessary supplies, so I can’t show you any of my own work yet. But here are a couple links to sites with lots of Temari to give you a taste:

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