Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday and Tuesday Stuff

I fully intended to post yesterday, but Blogspot was hiccupping. So today's post is a double whammy. While I wait for my original design fat quarter color-your-own 18" doll outfit (skirt, vest, purse) to arrive from Spoonflower I decided to do a few test runs of the pattern itself. The vest and purse are lined, the skirt has a velcro back closure. I'm happy with how the pieces come together, and how they fit on the doll.

Happy enough to sew 4 of them. I can't wait for the sample to arrive, though I think I'll tweak the coloring design before I order a full yard (I'm learning how to draw in a vector program, and I'm sure that I can come up with better graphics now). The pattern pieces fit perfectly on a fat quarter (with extra fabric needed for vest and purse lining).

In my mission to bust the stash, I cast on, and finished, these easy fingerless mittens, knit from some bulky weight handspun. I made both of them yesterday, which tells you how quickly they went together. I used size 8 needles and only 36 sts. These are going in the Christmas pile, along with a coordinating hat, which is on the needles now. I don't remember where I got this fiber, or what the content is- it's fairly soft, and there are bits of silk and other fibers in it. Also a bit of hay and weeds. I do remember spinning it bulky on purpose (since my default handspun is tight and hard sock weight). I don't remember if the thick-and-thin was on purpose or not, but I'm going to pretend that it was.

And I finished the Creamcicle (new name- perfect, no?) Yarnia sparkle socks. I had thought that the strands in this yarn were wool, but after washing and drying the socks, I'm pretty sure that one of them is cotton. That's fine- they're joining the Christmas stash, slated for someone in a warmer climate, so a bit of cotton is actually A Good Thing.

In the meantime, I've been obsessed with the notion of designing original fabrics through Spoonflower. I spent a lot of time looking through other people's designs posted on the site, and came to the conclusion that though my computer designing skills are farily adequate, my programs of choice (Paint, and an old freebie photo manipulation program called Photo Plus) aren't going to cut it. In order to create clear, sharp, scalable images for fabrics (and lots of other applications), I'm going to have to use a vector program. To that end, I downloaded Inkscape, which I am learning how to navigate. It's a totally new way of thinking for me, and not in the least intuitive, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. The best way I can describe it is that a bitmap program draws lines, and a vector program manipulates lines (it's more complicated than that, but that's still the basic difference).  Over and above the line thing, and the ability to scale images infinitely, the coolest feature is the fact that images can be rotated to any angle without distortion (try shifting an image 15 degrees in a bitmap program, and you'll see what I mean).

I've set myself a sort of deadline- to design an apron pattern (that fits onto a yard of fabric) for Spoonflower's Apron Contest. They hold weekly design contests, and the fabric entries are nothing short of fabulous. I don't expect my entry to be fabulous, in fact, I don't really expect to get it finished to my own satisfaction by next Tuesday (the entry deadline), but I hope to have something vaguely apron-like ready by then (another reason for using a vector program- trying to work in Paint with an image that is 5400 x 6300 pixels is impossible- with Inkscape, I can scale the canvas down and draw the pattern directly on it).

Anyway, wish me luck!


Denise of Ingleside said...

Kathleen, my mom made these mits from her head for me lol... i needed something for my wrist that was sore and she came up with the exact topless mit! so cool :)

Barb said...

in a vector program you have to make a whole shape to fill it with color. If you try to color and a unit is not closed you could get some funny things going on. But I love vector drawing. It is great for designing quilts too. PS Just a little follow up on Idol. I saw Lee and Crystal last week on the Today show, and while Lee's song was "safe" he really did not miss any notes! and I know they can sound bad at outdoor concerts. Crystal was great!
Another PS. I have ordered fabric from spoonflower, it's great!