Sunday, January 03, 2010

Experimenting with New Ideas


Hand dyed and commercial cottons, 3-D, fused, hand and machine embroidered and quilted.

8x10x1" $200 Sold

Inspired to the max with Lucy at Attic 24, I just had to try out making a bird from a folded over circle. She used a crocheted circle, which is not my strength, I'll leave that to my sister Brooke. The birdy is batting-stuffed and has a folded and fused beak and tail. I also had this idea to make a small work that would be wrapped around a canvas stretcher, fusing it into place. It WORKED!!

Here it is propped on my Christmas easel.

Lots of stitching and buttons made this lighthearted piece a joy to create.

I may have put away all my yarn but had one more set of things I needed to try before I truly finish with knitting for a time. I still wanted to try toe up socks with

1. no wrapping of stitches

2. afterthought heels

3. picot hem at the cuff.

I found what I wanted on Ravelry, which led me to and this helpful tutorial by Wendy Johnson.

I used the Easy Toe (scroll down on the Knitty site) and it WORKED!!
The thing about toe up socks is of course that one can try them on for size. To do an Afterthought heel, I had read with incredulity that it is made just like a toe. Huh? Examine your heel and your toe and try to imagine them as anything like each other...Wha?
What one must do is knit to the length of your foot where the heel usually starts. Put half the sock the stitches on waste yarn (that will be the under part of the sock) and using a crochet chain, pick up an equal number of stitches and continue to knit the cuff leaving the heel area open.

On the right is the waste yarn holding foot stitches and on the left is the crochet chain which starts the cuff. To do the Afterthought Heel one puts the held stitches and the crochet-holding-stitches on four needles and decreases at the nexus of the sides, as shown.

The cuff is currently on a circular needle, since I couldn't wait to tell you about this. I'll be getting right back to it. The thing that is great about the Afterthought heel is that if it wears out, it can be replaced easily by raveling the heel and reknitting it. I may do that today, with thicker yarn.
The last thing to try out is the picot edge hem at the top. It is a simple idea. Knitting plain stockinette, then doing an openwork section of K2tog, yo, repeat for one round. Then more plain stockinette to equal the first batch. Then fold over the openwork and attach the stockinette to the inside of the sock. It looks like a sawtooth edge, sorta. I'll show you when I've done it.
I am happy to be back into fabric by the way. And I like this framed foundation. I think non-quilting people will 'get' the idea of hanging it on the wall better with this presentation.


  1. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

  2. Cute Empanada-type birdie!! Good idea about the wrap around the canvas finish!

  3. Love the new ideas! Would really be great as a children's series with other critters...

  4. Your colour sense absolutely and always makes my heart sing. Tra la la la la!

  5. Fist a birdie that looks right of out Attic 24 and then those socks. I must learn how to knit. I got the yarn dyeing part down, but not the knitting..... Wonderful

  6. Anonymous1:10 PM

    Aaaahh Melody, tell me what you DO NOT DO in other areas of your life? Maybe I could find the time to do these things too. I am not retired, not yet but I was you SLEEP?

  7. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Oh God! You took all my favorite things:
    wrapping around stretcher bars
    And put them together FABULOUSLY! LOVE it! Love it! Love it! FUSED to stretcher bars, or is this an already put together canvas over bars?

    please share more info!

    I MUST STOP SLEEPING!!!!! SO much to MAKE!!!!! You've got my juices going! (good, art making juices that is!)

  8. Those who know me know I am a morning person, which is about 5am. I fall asleep very early, like 9ish. There is always the possibility of a nap, but it usually occurs during my favorite shows at night. Drat.
    But as I have said before, having a place to do this stuff and leave it out to return to the next day really helps. And having lots of scraps...fused scraps.

  9. I love the little-birdie-wall-hanging. It's adorable. Just more Melody-creativity. Just amazing to watch the constant metamorphosis. :-) Thanks for sharing.

  10. I had given some consideration to quilts on stretcher bars, I've seen it done a time or two in person. Never as cool as what you've done and I adore your lil birdy! I may have to try this myself! You are such an inspiration! =)

  11. I can hear the sweet little "melody" the birdie sings! I love all the hand stitching and attention to detail....
    What next? Fish? Sun? Chicken?

  12. Is it just me or are your pictures clear as HD TV!! Love the Blueboy piece!

  13. Liz in IN7:25 AM

    Gorgeous, as always. I confess, I made a wool felt version of Lucy's birdy, embellished with beads and hand-embroidery. :) So much fun!

    I have an alternate afterthought heel method.

    I come to the heel place, and knit across half the stitches with waste yarn. Then I go back to the working yarn, knit across the waste yarn, and complete the tube sock.

    To make the heel, I pick up stitches all around the waste yarn, pick the waste yarn out and knit the 'toe' heel. :) Presto! Replaceable heels!

    Looking forward to another year of colour and inspiration, Melody. Thanks for all you share with us!

  14. I love the quilt with the birdie! Now I want to know how you fused it around the stretcher bars! Do you actually use an iron and wonder under? Tell all!
    As for the sox, I'm light-years away from doing anything that complicated, but I'm plugging along with scarves... my new fave thing to do in front of the telly!

  15. I LOVE Attic 24! Thanks for pointing me at her blog.

    Your bluebird quilt is adorable. You and Melissa at Fabric Dyeing 101 ( are inspiring me to start dyeing some fabric. I've done lots of yarn, but no fabric yet.

    You've also got me going on my sock kntting again! I pulled out one last night that I've been working on for my hubby. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Liz in IN
    Please email me so I can have you address.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your waste yarn idea. Fantastic. I am definitely going to try that method. Wondeful.

  17. Hi Melody,

    Don't know if you heard back from the gal in Indiana, but here is a link for socks with the afterthought heel. I've done it several times, and it's very easy. I don't like how they knit the heel, though. You decrease every 7 stitches, like knitting a hat. My hubby thinks it's uncomfortable. I'm going to try your "toe" heel on the pair I'm knitting for him now.

    When you click on "download" they want you to sign up for their newsletter, but you can get the pattern without doing that if you don't want it.

  18. Your Blueboy is delightful!

  19. thanks you
    You will have to crawl very nice,owe you gratitude..


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