Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Late winter, Part 2. Sewing group project: Tibetan prayer flag.

Kathy is my closest friend in sewing group.  We met when her middle daughter and my oldest son were in Kindergarten together.  We also sang together in the Community Chorus in our town.  I've known her about 15 years.  At one point we had a business together called "Sacks & the City."  Kathy made fabric bags and I made felted wool bags.  We both tired of that and stopped selling together.  And, we're still friends.

Kathy's oldest daughter graduates college this spring.  So, she presented an idea to the sewing group for each person to make a modified Tibetan prayer flag for Annie.  She plans to put them together in a garland for her graduation.  Annie is a fantastic girl.  A true leader for good.  Always rises to the top of any situation.  I wanted something to represent her strength.  So, I started a Pinterest board with ideas from the Internet and there was one flag titled "Luminous" and was a beautiful embroidered piece with a moon and layers of fabric.   Gorgeous.  I would link to it here but I can't seem to find the exact picture.  Apologies.
 Anyway, taking "luminous" as a starting point, I tried to find a shorter word because I'm not so hot at embroidery and especially weak at precise things like words.  That's when I landed on "glow" and decided that "You Glow, Girl" would be both tongue-in-cheek and appropriate.

The piece is knit, naturally.  1 strand of thin Merino wool in ivory run together with 1 thread of metallic silver and 1 thread of matte silver.  Size 4 needles.  The pattern is just simple lace faggoting -- Row 1:  K2tog, YO, repeat.  Row 2 and 4: Purl.  Row 3:  YO, K2tog, repeat.  Edge stitches are consistent K and P.  You're actually seeing the knitting at a 90 degree angle to the direction it was knit.  At the end, I dropped the first 8-10 stitches and then bound off the rest.  Unraveling the dropped stitches creates the hanging looped fringe.  I also strung a crystal bead at the start of every right side row so each loop of fringe has a small bead on it.  Hard to see unless you look closely.
The disks were a pain.  I found the blanks on Etsy and bought 20, needing only 11 but figuring I'd make some mistakes.  Boy, did I ever!  I had a stamp set from an old Cub Scout project.  Lots of trial and error.  I took the best of each letter and just hoped they wouldn't look too messy.  I filled in each letter with black Sharpie and wiped away the excess to help define the impression.

The whole piece is mounted on some interfaced silk that Kathy provided to help define the color scheme.  I chose a neutral green, of course.

All in all, I'm happy with the result.  I told Kathy to feel free to trim the fringe or remove the "you" and "girl" to just have the single word "Glow" on the piece.  Whatever she wants.  Annie definitely glows.  I'm excited to see what happens in the next chapter of her life.


  1. I love the stair riser project! So creative & cute! I'm interested in how the wool is attached to the stairs? Thank you.

  2. Thanks for your comment. Attaching the stair risers has proven very frustrating. Some of them are kind of heavy because of the technique used. I've tried velcro and even tacked some of them. If I ever remove them, I will have to re-paint the stairs for sure. I would recommend sewn velcro (wider is better) on the back of the piece itself and then glued or stapled velcro onto the wood. Narrow velcro hasn't been as successful on the heavier pieces (hooked rug, proddy, etc). Hope this helps!