Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tres Riches Black Fur Hat Complete

I'm not sure why, but at a certain point I started avoiding getting my Tres Riches hat completed.  It's not at all that it was daunting- I just didn't have the urge to think about it.  I got over that, though, and finished it on Friday!

please excuse how tired I look!
Except for realizing that an over estimation of size was necessary after a few trials, the hat went together rather easily.  It's really just a tube of fur (faux), sewn into a ring.  It's capped in the center with a circle of black wool.  I opted for one of each of a yellow, white and pink plume, since that would probably be the most neutral for my wardrobe.  Wish I could figure out an easy way to make the feathers curl backward, similar to the original.  They might not seem so ridiculous that way.

It's ludicrously over-sized, but I don't think it's that far off from the scale shown in the original image.  And it's not really as though I would wear it for a whole day- it's best reserved for court (especially an outdoor spring court) or to wear upon arrival to an indoor event in the winter.

I don't have a single dress in my collection worthy of this hat right now, but the dress I've chosen to create for my garb quest will be suitable (though still not "right").  For now, it will just have to wait for that perfect debut opportunity.

Once again, I have a detailed page brewing for this to share on my new site, which is taking much longer to assemble than I expected.  But good things come to those who wait, you know.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Looking for that groove again

Life with four children has certainly been exciting thus far...and it's only been 12 days!  While Dearg and I were at the hospital welcoming Archer, Kara decided to start really walking.  We'd seen her first steps the week before, so we thankfully hadn't missed that.  So, one of our twins is now officially a toddler.  Lee's not too far behind- he'll stand up, but hasn't attempted the whole stepping thing yet.  They've both, however, gotten to the "Toddler's Rules of Possession" phase, which makes for a lot of frustrated yelling between them and Owen, who still thinks it's OK to pull toys away from them.  Archer is not at all disturbed by all this, though, and has been very easy on us.  Except for sleep.  His longest sleeping stretch is only 4 hours (not even really enough to qualify as missing a feeding.)  Since I'm nursing, however, this means that I really only get 2 hour periods throughout the day to do what I want to do.  Which is not conducive to getting "extra" projects done.

Right now I'm working on making a few items for Kara for Christmas, and I've started a German brick stitch project for her as well (it will be a small pouch).  I haven't touched my black fur hat in three weeks, and my apron linen has been patiently waiting for something other than a run through the wash to happen to it.  I feel so far behind, yet when I look at what I've accomplished lately, I've done quite a bit.  I'm particularly liking this new-found interest in doing fun easy mundane projects- they give me an opportunity to really focus on craftsmanship in small doses.

Right before going into the hospital, I finished a project I hadn't shared with you yet.  I wanted to keep it secret since it was going to be a gift.  Now that it's with its new owner, I can show you what I've been up to!

It's a veil pin case using a 14th century German cushion brick stitch pattern.  You can see the original here.  I completed the embroidery with pearl cotton, then finished it with linen on the inside.

I also had the opportunity with the case to use a fingerloop-like edge finishing technique.  There are a few places you can find instructions on how to do this, but I used Crafty Agatha's video tutorial.

This wasn't my only attempt at German brick stitch embroidery, but my previous tries at the "satin stitch" variety were not really successful (or I just haven't gotten back around to completing them).  This pattern uses a single stitch length, making it easier to focus on the overall pattern, rather than focusing on the stitch length of the particular stitch I'm in the middle of.
I gifted the completed case to Sarah Jane, author of the Romantic History blog, who I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know through our blogs and Facebook.  It's very nice to have projects come along that you know you'll be giving away, and when the recipient is someone you respect and admire for their own talents, it encourages you to strive that much harder to do the best you can on the item.  I'm jazzed that Sarah will have this veil pin case for many years to come, and maybe we'll get to see it in one of her lovely photos soon!

I've created a more thorough page for this project to be included in my new website.  Which is another thing on my plate that's having a hard time fitting into those 2-hour increments....