Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Badly Needed Update

I just realized it's been over three months since I updated my site. My apologies and I promise, promise promise I'll upload some photos of my work soon. We've been back and forth with hard drives and also it's been a bit nutty with my job and family lately.

In the meantime just a quick update on what I've done when I've had that rare and precious spare time. Mostly I've been learning some new things - punch needle embroidery, cross-stitch, and hairpin lace. I've wanted to learn the latter two for quite some time and now I'm finally doing it! As always they ended up just looking a lot harder to do than they actually were when I sat down and gave it a try.

The end result is that all the ladies in my family (and a couple of the gents, if I have time) will get something handmade for Christmas. My daughter, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and husband's aunt are all getting a punch needle project. I also did a cross-stitch brass bookmark mongrammed with my daughter's name that turned out wonderful, and I did a fun and funky scarf with hairpin lace and bright colored fuzzy yarn that I'll send her in her Christmas care package.

By the way if anyone who wants to try out hairpin lace is having a hard time finding a loom like I did (NONE of the Michaels, JoAnn or Hobby Lobby stores near me carry them in-store, online only), you can DIY your own. The Little Projects blog shows how to make one from wooden skewers and glue sticks, while 10,000 Great Ideas has instructions for doing one from a coat hanger.

I did the coat hanger one and while it works well I still wanted something adjustable. So I went to a Michaels, found myself a pair of plastic knitting needles, two large foam letter I's, and went to work. I poked "starter holes" at 1", 2", 3", and 4" spaces starting from the center out in each of the foam I's. I then pushed the knitting needles all the way through one, then I used the other to cover up the needle points. I find that the foam grips the needles really nicely and doesn't fall off.

I'm still planning to get myself a real hairpin loom come next payday *blush*. But, I sure didn't do too bad with the one I made, and at $4 total for the parts it's a bargain compared to getting something similar online that would have cost twice as much between the actual loom and shipping costs.

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