November 30, 2015

Green Lake

 The real winter hasn't even started yet and I'm already looking forward to warmer weather.

November 27, 2015

A Variety of Shops

 One of the neatest things about China is the large number of specialty shops. This is a Chinese medicine shop.
 All the jars of various remedies are fascinating.
 Here is a tea shop.
 No, it's not a flower shop. It would probably be better translated "Flower Fragrance" because they sell pastries made with flowers. The rose cakes are wonderful.
 Need a construction sign. There's a shop for that.
 What kind of vinegar are you in the mood for today? Bring your own bottle or you can carry it home in a baggie.
This is a sock shop. Cracks me up every time I see it. But, I guess the socks aren't smelly until after they're sold.

November 25, 2015

Hexagon Baskets

A Spoonful of Sugar had a pattern for these cute little hexagon baskets. I reduced the size to make the smaller one.  These work up really quickly and are great for someone learning to sew, too. Check out the pattern.

November 24, 2015

Flying Tigers

 Before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entry of America into World War II, a group of American fighter pilots trained in Burma to help defend the Chinese from the Japanese. Claire Lee Chennault was their commander. The planes of the Flying Tigers had shark mouths painted on their noses. One of their bases was in Kunming and there is a special exhibit at the Kunming museum in their honor.
 This piece of cloth was called a "blood chit." If a fighter pilot was shot down, it identified him as an American and had a mini introduction as well as asking for help in getting to a friendly area in 17 languages.
 This insignia looked like it might have been hand embroidered. It is a tiger in a plane.
 These 2 insignia also appear to be hand done.
 This one seems to use a bullion stitch of some kind.
And finally, a commemorative plate with the Flying Tigers in the background. If you haven't heard of the Flying Tigers before, you should research them a little bit. It's quite an interesting history.

November 23, 2015

Bird Map

I used a map of Dali as the background for this canvas and added a bird stencil and some of my wire flowers.

November 20, 2015

Colorwork Hat
 A friend from Peace Fleece Ravelry Group shared a pattern she had written for a colorwork hat called Heartfelt. Maureen O'Doogan is an amazing designer and has a great eye for putting colors together.

I made a few changes to her orginal design and this was my first colorwork knitting. I managed to mess up the colorwork part a bit, but I think I figured out what I did wrong. I also learned that I need to knit colorwork very loosely. I'm a tight knitter to begin with and this hat turned out child-size because I held the strands too tightly. But, it is just so cute.

The yo-yos are from a wool skirt I found at a thrift store and felted. I used size 3 perle cotton for the embroidery and added a few large beads and a huge pompom at the top. I also topped the hat off with I-cord which is my favorite way to both begin and end hats as I find it a bit neater. I knotted the I-cord twice before adding the beads and pompoms. I really like the ruffled bottom.

Check my Ravelry page here for more information.

November 19, 2015

Redwork Towel

This red cotton thread is rather thick. I bought it here in China and wanted to try it out. So, I did some redwork on a brand new flat diaper. It turned out very well. The diaper is a birds' eye weave and did not really take the iron-on pattern well. So, I used a fabric pencil to draw out the design in places.

I've only used stranded floss for redwork in the past. This thread is similar to perle cotton since it is only one strand, but this was course. However, I think using perle cotton for redwork might be superior to stranded floss.

November 18, 2015

Yunnan Needlework Magazine

 Since I have an interest in all things needlework, I couldn't pass up this magazine.
 With the exception of a few titles it is all in Chinese. My ability to read in Chinese is far, far below my speaking abilities.
 But, by sketching each character one at a time into Pleco (my Chinese language app for translation), I've been piecing the articles together.
I'm quite happy just absorbing the pictures, too. The vibrant pinks are used to resemble the gorgeous pink camellia blossoms the area is famous for.

November 17, 2015

Book Review: Stitchopedia
 I borrowed this book from a friend. It is now firmly on my wish list. It is a gorgeous book and would be a great beginner reference book for a new embroiderer. However, there is also a lot that it has to offer for the serious embroiderer as well.
 The section on all the different stitches covered is pretty comprehensive and covers a wide range of different kinds of embroidery. If you have any interest in blackwork, check this book out.
 There was also a good section on stumpwork that would be perfect for anyone wanting to try it out.
And, believe it or not, it had a section on crewel work, too, including several lovely patterns. This book would be great for someone who wanted to experiment with a variety of embroidery styles or for someone who wanted a crash course in embroidery.

November 16, 2015

Cat Pictures!

 Couldn't resist sharing a couple of cute cat pictures. Mochi is helping with the exams in the first one and with my sock knitting in the second.

November 12, 2015

Yangshuo Old Town
 The old town is nestled right up to the mountains.
 And next to the lovely Li River.
 There were stairs and a platform so you could go down to the river and dip your feet in. It was supposed to be good luck. The weather was quite hot so it was also nice and cool.
 We managed to get a away from the crowds and found a bit of peaceful scenery.

November 11, 2015

 The peacock exhibit at the Kunming Zoo is my very favorite.

November 10, 2015