Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dyeing and Punching

Almost every evening the sound of poppity, pop, pop, pop can be heard.....nope it's not popcorn but the punch needle.  Some nights wool finds it's way into a bit of rug hooking but punch needle is such a fast way to make small projects. 
I have a LOT of new pieces that still like the finishing touches and deciding what to make them into.  Pillows, placed on boxes, pinkeeps, little notebooks, little see there is just so many choices.

During the day I also try to find time to wind ball of wool thread.  Coming soon I will be offering a big variety of dyed threads....perfect for punching.

Today I finished up this new what to call it????
Here it is all wound up.  Maybe it would make a nice snowman!
Now to answer a few questions....what do I use to dye my wool threads with?  I have used kool~aid, cushing, and pro~chem.  Lately I have been using pro~chem dyes.  I use a big turkey roaster and just experiment.  One helpful hint is write down what you did because if it turns out that you like it you just may want to duplicate it again!
What kind of yarn and thread do I dye?   I use 4 ply wool yarn for my oxford rug punch and a fine wool thread for needle punch that is just a bit heavier than DMC embroidery floss. 
How do I wind these lil' cakes of yarn?   I have a swift and ball winder and boy does it work like a charm. 
Will I be offering these types of hand~dyed yarns for sale?  YES!  I am working on dyeing, rolling, packaging, and logging it all into a website that I plan to open SOON. 
Well back to the sound of poppity~pop~pop~pop!
Happy Trails....Ginger

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cowboys, Sugar & Spice, and Hand Dyed Punch Needle Thread

As October comes close to being over and the prairie winds continue to blow warm yet with a hint of coolness.....I wanted to try a bit of dyeing for some needle punch projects.

I soaked my wool thread with a bit of suds.

Gathered up my needed supplies and went from off white to a wonderful rich color of walnut browns with a hint of  dark blues, nutmegs, and autumn reds.  Wonder what all kinds of projects will come of this wool thread?

Picked up this lil' cowboy from school today and of course we had to play a little baseball.  I pitch to him and he knocks it over the fence.  I get in a pretty good workout chasing balls.

When I'm not chasing balls I try to keep up with Miss Eva.  She is now 18 months old and loves to be outside.  We are enjoying as much time as we can outside before Autumn is gone and winter arrives!
Happy Trails....Ginger

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunflowers, Cats, Pumpkins

Wow has the weather cooled off here in Oklahoma.  Perfect weather for an evening fire and a little punch needle. 

Sunflowers, cats, and pumpkins are getting done.  Just like some pumpkin stems and background and then a good pressing and deciding what to make them into!
Hope you are enjoying your Autumn days.  If you are in the area we will be meeting on October 26th here at the farm for a day of rug hooking, punch needle and stitching!
Happy Trails....Ginger

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Finishing Your Needle Punch Projects

I know I have a LOT of needle punches to finish but it won't take too long :)
I apologize for the shaky video and not speaking loud enough.

A few little hints on finishing your needle punch pieces.
Steam press them once you are finished punching.  Let dry and then decide what you plan to do with your piece if you haven't already.
If your piece may possibly be used as something that may get washed you will want to cut around the outside loops about 3/4 inch and then baste the weavers cloth  to the back of your work.  Finish by adding wool or fabric to the back and then add some trim around the edge using things such as jute, wool yarn, wool strips, etc.
For things such as pins, magnets and some projects you may want to place on paper mache or wood boxes you can simply brush some glue onto the back of your work let dry and carefully cut around the edge once it is dry being careful not to cut into the punched loops.  Add wool or fabric to the back, finish off the raw edge around your piece with whip stitching over some  yarn, jute, or wool strips placed next  to the edge.  You want to hide that raw edge of weavers cloth.
Just a couple of easy ways to finish up some needle punch projects!
Happy Trails....Ginger

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Free Doodle and Birthday Celebrations!

A free fall doodle just for you!  Wishing each of you a happy Autumn :)

Our lil' grandson Sloan turns 6 today!  Time passes so quickly love my grands :)

 Funny how he is in to ninja turtles I remember well how my kiddos liked them too when they were young.

Our son Dan had a birthday on Monday hard to believe he is now 30!  I did get him and our daughter Jenn to stop long enough for a rare picture.  We have a new lil' grand on the way next April.
Eva Mae will be a big sis and Sloan will have a new cousin to play with.

We had a big moon bounce for the kids to play in and they had lots of fun jumping.

Good exercise for all the kiddos.

Time for some cake and ice cream!
Happy Trails....Ginger

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beginner Needle Punch

While at Silver Dollar City I did a LOT of needle punching.  There are a lot of new needle punchers from the ages of about 5 years old on up that did very well learning how.  Yes 5 years old!  Lots of children stopped by and wanted to try needle punching, rug hooking, and oxford rug punch. 

If you have ever wanted to try needle punch it really is very easy to learn.  Thread your punch needle, grab some weavers cloth and put it in a hoop or on a frame and draw on a pattern and your on your way. 

A few little helpful hints....make sure your thread, floss, or yarn glides smoothly through your punch needle.  Never force it through if it won't go it may have a knot, fuzz inside the needle, or may just be too thick for your punch needle.

Begin by doing small areas that are detailed then fill in around them to hold them in place.  Letters should be drawn on backwards.  I like to take a sharpie and draw them on the right side then turn my weavers cloth over and retrace them on backwards.  That way they get on to the pattern right where I want them and don't struggle trying to draw them backwards.

Leave just a tiny tail of floss out when you begin to punch.  Most of the time I set my ultra punch on the #3 setting unless I wanted to add some dimension such as flowers, sheep, etc.  When you start punching you need to punch your needle all the way down into the fabric and then as you come up with the needle come out of the fabric and barely scratch the surface moving your needle just a fraction and going right back down into the fabric all the way down as far as the needle will go...this makes your loops all the same height on the front side.  Get into the habit of going all the way down each time. You will also want to keep your rows side by side with very little space between.

You want those loops nice and compact on the front side!  When you do little things such as eyes don't worry about that at first they don't look right once you add the background around them they will shape right up.

Needle punch is a fun and easy craft that will have you making lots of fun things in just a few hours. 

Happy Trails....Ginger

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pattern Transfer method for Needle Punch

Are you a beginner at needle punch?  This is a simple easy way to transfer patterns to weavers cloth.  I also included how to hoop up your weavers cloth using a Susan Bates hoop la embroidery hoop and then my favorite a gripper strip frame.  So if your brand new to needle punch let's get started!


Happy Trails....Ginger

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Threading A Needle Punch

While at Silver Dollar City I demonstrated needle punch and for a lot of folks it was brand spanking new!  So I will be adding some simple little videos on needle punch, oxford punch and rug hooking in the next few weeks.

For those new at punch needle I hope this helps :)  Also, if you are wondering about what is on my punch needle I made a little cushion of coflex tape it works great as a pencil type grip for my punch needle!

Happy Trails.....Ginger

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Back from the 1800's!

What a grand time Silver Dollar City was.  Sometimes it is nice to slow down a bit and spend time living a simpler life. 
Frank Smith twirled his rope and included Ann and I in his lasso for the crowd.  He works at Silver Dollar City and cooks pork rinds.  He has been using a lasso since the age of 7.  He was a bronc rider in rodeos and was also a school teacher.  The folks that work at Silver Dollar City enjoy entertaining the crowds and are some of the nicest people you will ever meet!
I've had a chance to get home and unpack  and see the grandkiddo's and boy did this MoMo miss them.  I'm getting back into the swing of things and hope to do a few instructional videos for beginning needle punch and oxford punch to help out some new punchers :) So check back soon!
Thanks to all that stopped by the booth it was a great experience and I plan to go back again next year.
Happy Trails.....Ginger