Friday, February 15, 2019

A Doily - UFO Number Three

UFO number three for the year!

This doily was given to me, along with quite a few others, about 12 years ago. All of them were un- worked, and were given to me by a student who had them given to her. At the time I just said thank you, and waited until I got home to have a good look. Mmm......... there were lots of them! Was I ever going to work them? Probably not, but I couldn't part with them. So I went through them, picked out the ones I really liked, and passed the others on.

This one is the first and only one I have worked. I worked it quite some years ago, it was my holiday project for a few years as I remember. According to the directions, it was supposed to be worked in yellows and oranges, but anyone who knows me knows that I like cool colours. So, I changed the colours to what I wanted. I finished the stitching, then promptly put it away to be finished later.

Last week I started to clean out my sewing cupboard. I must admit I didn't get very far, but I did throw some things out, redirected some things in other directions, and found not one, but many UFO's. Four of them managed to stay in daylight, one of which was this doily. All that need doing was to work the edge. So I went through my stash of threads, found two balls of donated 20 crochet cotton still in their plastic covers, cut the excess fabric off, and crocheted the edge according to the pattern.

So, my first doily in nearly fifty years has been finished. It's on beautiful linen, and very usable as it is. I tend not to use doilies very often, so this one is going to get put to another use. So come back soon to see what it turns into.

Friday, February 01, 2019

A New Needle Case

This little needle case started out way back in 2012! It began life as a sample of stitches for another piece I was about to do. It's been packed away since then, and I found it again by accident looking for something else.

It was all packed away with the threads I had been using to work it, and a little note to turn it into a needle case. So that's what I did.

I just had to find some Doctors Flannel, and some fabric to line it, both of which I had. I had an idea to make a twisted cord to add to the edge, but instead worked a back stitch around the edge in one of the colours used in the stitching.

It also needed a closure, so I made a little toggle out of some rolled cotton tape which then got covered in detached buttonhole stitch.

So another UFO is done and dusted. Watch this space to see which one is next.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Little Trinket Pouch

This little pouch started life in my creative stitching group Stitchers Plus. it was supposed to be a fun little fifteen minute design exercise. Well, it was fun, but took way more than fifteen minutes to work.

We just had to bring fabric and threads on the day, then we were all handed two words and two stitches to start us off. I got 'square', 'positive', buttonhole stitch and lazy daisy stitch. I had no idea where to begin so just started stitching.

The little piece got put away until about a week ago. I was meeting two of the girls from this group for lunch and wanted to take some stitching. So I pulled this project out and thought I would deal with what to do with it on the day. I had not touched it in four months.

I added some more stitches, and debated what to turn it into. A needle case crossed my mind, so did an envelope pouch. I wasn't fussed with the design turned the other way for an envelope pouch, and felt it was too big for a needle case, so decided a little drawstring trinket pouch would do.

There was barely enough fabric to turn a hem, let alone make a casing for a drawstring. So I hemmed the piece I had, then joined and hemmed another strip and decided to work a ladder insertion to act as a casing. I wasn't sure if this idea would work, but it did, beautifully.

So another UFO has bitten the dust, and I have a little thread pouch to use instead of a plastic sandwich bag.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Fingerless Gloves

Late last year when I was about to make my possum gloves , I found a pattern for finger-less gloves made in the exact yarn that I had bought. At the time, I wanted full fingered gloves, so made made them two toned to make sure I had enough yarn. I really liked the texture in this pattern, so when I finished my possum gloves, I weighed the yarn I had left of the Payton's 2 ply Embrace, and I had 30gms left. I only needed 25 gms to make the fingerless ones.

So, behold my new finger-less gloves, worked in Payton's 2 ply Embrace that I had in my stash, and using a free pattern form Zealana. They will be ready when winter hits in about five months time.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Crocheted Baby Blanket

Back in August I got word that another little baby was due in the family. I had only just met the mother-to-be, so asked another member of the family about what she would like. I was concerned about making something, only to have it not looked after properly.

I decided on using wool, as I was assured that the new Mum's mother would look after it. The yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Frost in 3 ply.

 I also decided on a pattern, a square that would be easy to take away and work on away from home. Unfortunately, the square proved too difficult at the time, and I decided on the above pattern instead. It was just crocheted squares joined together. How hard could it be? The pattern is from the Shepherd Baby Shawl Collection Book 1, and marked as a 4 sheep rating, the hardest in the book. I repeat, how hard could it be? Mmmmmmm............... the rating is there for a reason!

The pattern told me to make 64 squares, to me that is 8 x 8 . So I made 8 squares, then started to join them together. Mmmmmm...................... they did not sit even. So I un-pulled the joining row, looked at the picture, worked out the maths, and figured I needed 9 squares per row! That meant 81 squares! So I made nine squares, joined them on, worked the in-between mesh, and repeated the process.

I worked this way because I knew I was going away. My plan was I could take squares with me to do and join them together when I came home. As I worked nine squares, I would join them on, this way all would be together and I would know exactly how many squares I could work while I was away. The problem was I had all the squares done and joined together before I went! That meant I had to find something else to take, but that's another story for later.

Anyway, the shawl was finished way before baby came. It has now been wrapped and gifted. Wool is bit hot now for bub to use, but as you can see it is quite large, and will be quite handy when the weather cools down, even for some years to come. I just hope the new Mum likes it. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas - A Hardanger Christmas Stocking

Wishing everyone a very happy and joyous time this Christmas. May your day be filled with fun, laughter, good food and good times.

I try to make a new Christmas Decoration each year. In fact, I make twelve, to give to special family and friends. By now, they will be adorning Christmas trees across the country so I can show them off.

This little stocking is done in Hardanger, with some counted thread work to add some bling. It is a free pattern I found on the internet, one of a whole series, and the third I have done in the series.

So merry Christmas everyone, and may your 2019 be creative and bright.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Possom Gloves

On a recent trip to New Zealand, I noticed lots of things made from possum yarn. Everything from socks, gloves, hats, mittens, scarves etc. I know that possums are a pest in New Zealand, and it is good to know that when they are culled, they are not wasted. After seeing all these products made with possum yarn, I was on the hunt to find some for myself.

I had heard via the grapevine of a yarn shop in Auckland, so when we got there, I was on the hunt. Took a little while but we found the shop, and I was in a candy store! Decisions decisions! Possum yarn is sooooooo expensive!

I ended up with one 25 gm ball of lace weight Zealana Air. 40% brush tail possum down, 40% Cashemere and 20% mulberry silk. I could only afford one ball, so I had to think very carefully about how I was going to use it. My plan was to combine it with something else, and probably make a scarf. I was thinking a feather and fan one with this yummy yarn in between the pattern for just two rows.

When I came home, an acquaintance suggested gloves. What a fabulous idea! I had needles, I had a 2 ply pattern for gloves, I just had to find them. In the meantime I did an internet search, and found a pattern for fingerless gloves put out by Zealana using the exact yarn I bought. Did I want fingerless gloves? No, I wanted full fingered gloves, and I wasn't sure I had enough yarn for full fingers, so I made a decision to make the fingers out of another yarn.

The fingers are worked in Patons Embrace 2 ply, something I had in my stash. It is a 90% merino wool and 10 % silk yarn. I had made other gloves in it before.

So my gloves are finished, I have something made with possum yarn, and they will be waiting to be worn in about six moths time when winter  hits.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Winter Hat

Behold, my new winter hat.  Mmmm..... winter is long past in my part of the world, in fact this week it will be more like summer. But next week, I will be heading for parts that will be a tad colder than home. I have winter hats of course, so why did I do another one?

I had made this blanket, and in the process had to look for some yarn to do a border. I found ten balls of navy acrylic yarn in my stash and used only part of one doing the blanket border. What to do with the rest? I had obviously earmarked it for something, but who know what that was now. So I dug out my double pointed knitting needles and decided to make a new hat to take away. It's only acrylic, so if it gets lost, it's no biggie. I still have my nice woollen ones.

So my hat was born. I started with six stitches on the needle, joined into a round, and just knit, increasing six times on every second row. I continued this way until it was big enough for what I wanted, knitted another two rounds, then decreased until it fit may head. Finally I added a ribbed band. No pattern needed, just winged it.

Its a beret style hat, a bit slouchy which is how I like them. It's navy, my base colour for clothing, and its warm. So it will serve the purpose of what I want.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Double Eyed Spider Book mark No 3

This is my third attempt at this book mark with double eyed spiders. I wanted to do it again to get my notes down pat, and to see if  I could work it again just from my notes. I still had trouble, and my notes are not the best. These double eyed spiders have certainly got the better of me. I usually found that I got interrupted half way through working them, then got lost, so just tried to figure it out following the lines on my pricking.

Anyway, it's finished now, and I am already onto something else. I think I may let these little spiders a rest for a while.

The book mark itself is worked in Guttermann Sulky 30  thread, with a gimp down each side of Guttermann Quilting cotton in a double strand of plain blue. It's difficult to see in this pic, but it's there, and a little thicker and more noticeable than the last attempt. The quilting cotton was a bit tricky to work with, but we got there in the end.

I've been keeping track of the hours it has taken me, and I have worked out this book mark  has a value of $200. No wonder I only give my bobbin lace to people who appreciate it.

A new book mark has already been started, another deign with no spiders, just seven little tally flowers. I've tried these flowers before and they certainly were a challenge. Oh well, practice makes perfect and I am always up for a challenge. Watch this space!

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Crocheted Blanket

Another finish, a crocheted blanket.

This blanket started on an impulse buy. I spotted some yarn cakes at Lincraft and loved the colours. I'd heard so much about yarn cakes, so I bought three of the same colour way on impulse to give them a try.

What to make? How far would my three cakes take me? I had no idea, so I just started crocheting squares. I believe now the cake yarns are supposed to be self striping. Just like me to be different, instead  I got miss matched squares.

I tried pressing the squares to get them to sit better. The smell produced was one that disagreed with me. It was at this stage that I decided to give it away.

I continued to make squares, as many as my cakes would let me. When I had enough for a blanket, I sewed them together. I was hoping I would have enough left to do a border. In case I didn't, I went looking in my stash and found a navy acrylic that I could use at a pinch. The cakes were equal to a 10 ply, while the navy was an 8 ply. Not sure how it was going to work but I would give it a try.

I was also concerned that the navy may have been too dark, so I started with a row of chains and double crochets. My idea was that the chains would be covered in a row of trebles  in the cake yarn on the next row of the border, and so just leave me with little spots of navy. I was hoping that I could get just one colour of the cake yarn to go all the way around the blanket for this part of the border, but no. Continuing in the style of cakes, I have a colour change. Not to worry, I just did another row of navy.

This would be my final row, so I decided to do a row of picots. I felt a shell edge would be too solid, and in the navy would be too much. The picots would add an interesting edge without too much navy.

So the blanket has now been blocked, and looks better, though the smell still disagrees with me. So I have asked a friend of mine who does a lot of work for charity if she would like it. So my little blanket will go to a charity somewhere, hopefully to be loved by someone. I am sure it will. I have had my experience with cake yarn now and I think that will do me, and I can now go back to my beloved Bendigo wool.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Warm Cardigan

My latest finish, a warm winter cardigan for me.It's been made in Bendigo Woollen Mills Savanah 8 ply. which is 70% wool and 30% alpaca.

I made a jumper for a male member of the family back at the beginning of last year, and ran out of yarn to do the neck band, so had to order more. I knew that I would never get the same dyelot, and I only needed one ball, ( the ball size is 200 gms) so thought I would order enough to do something else with.

At the time I had plans to make a blanket, one of those half fabric half crocheted ones, but that went by the wayside  and I decided to make myself a cardigan instead.

The pattern is from my Paytons Classic Cardigan book, and then I just added a pattern up the front from my Knitting Dictionary 900 Stitch Patterns book.

It's warm, it's comfortable, and I had a devil of a time trying to find buttons that would suit.

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Pulled Thread Needlecase

This little needle case was born out of a demonstration.

I was asked to demonstrate at an exhibition of works by Laura Leverton and Christina Barton, held at 76 Queen Street Gallery in Concord West. The exhibition was mostly pulled work, and I was just beginning to experiment with pulled work. What to do?

I looked through my fabrics, and found a scrap of linen that I thought would work. It was only small, so I had to set it in some fabric that would then let me put it in a hoop to work. Now what to stitch?

I had Googled some ideas, and came up with just stitching straight lines of stitching, so off I set. I left enough room for a hem, and started stitching.

There is some satin stitch in there, lots of four sided stitch, and lots of eyelets. My favourite row is one with half eyelets that gives a negative space of a zig zag line. My second favourite is one which combines all three of these stitches, and was inspired by the work that was on the walls.

I hemmed it with a four sided hem, lined it with some cotton fabric, added some Doctors Flannel, a hand made twisted cord, tassel and toggle closure.

Wallah! My new little needle case is now in use.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Little Work Pouch

Way back in 2016 the creative stitching group I belong to ,Stitchers Plus, had a challenge for the year to work 2" squares. My mind went instantly to working tenneriffe lace in a square format, it was something that I had wanted to try for a while.

I played with a few different designs which can be seen here , and settled on one that I liked so decided to make more.

The problem was what to do with them. A friend had suggested that I make a 15 sided biscornu, and I remember thinking 'why not?' So off I set to make 15 of the same designed little squares, just in different colour ways. I think I made ten before I  started to think how I could put this pin cushion together. The squares had been on exhibition, and in that process had been mounted to navy card to keep them flat and show off the colours to best advantage. To make the pincushion, I would have to take them off the card and mount them onto something else. I needed something rigid to help hold the shape, and everything I thought of was not pin friendly, so I needed to think of something else to turn them into.

I thought of one of those  square shaped bags that were traditionally from Central Asia, so bought some navy linen, interfaced it, carefully sewed a square, turned it through and folded it to shape, only to find it didn't sit quite square. Oh well, it would have to do. I found out later that all my friends who have made them have never got them quite square either.

So, the bag made, I then stared to add on my tenneriffe squares for decoration. I had a plan, but the plan didn't quite work, the squares were just too big to do what I wanted. I could only fit four of them on, and then they went on crooked, and the bag still looked incomplete. So then I decided to add some interlaced herringbone. Mmmm... remind me not to do this stitch ever again!I knew the stitch had to be worked carefully, and I'm sure I did it right, but when I came to do the interlacing, some of it worked, some of it didn't. If I don't tell anyone they won't know 😃😃.

The bag talked to me as I worked the interlace herringbone, and I kept adding rows of it. The issue was that where the joins met was not the best. So I decided to cover them up. I vlysafixed two layers of the linen together, cut some small circles and stitched them over the joins using woven wheel. Looks much better.

Then I needed a closure, so I made a covered button using the same linen with another woven wheel for decoration.

It's finished! Yay! My fifth UFO done for the year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Textured White Bookmark

This little book mark was born form spotting a scrap of fabric in a bag on my coffee table. It was left over from making some Christmas decorations, but not big enough to make another one. It was big enough, however, to make a book mark.

What to do? Firstly it needed a buttonhole edge to finish it, and I had a thought I would work a needle lace edge later. I have found over the last few years that I find straight buttonhole stitch edging a little boring. It just needs a little something to add to it.

OK, so the buttonhole stitch was done, now what? I needed some inspiration so looked in a few books to see what inspired. I spotted a lovely edge of two rows of 4 sided stitch with bullions angled in a zig zag worked in between. This would do. I am so used to counting by four, I left only four threads between the two rows of 4 sided stitch. It really needed more, possibly at least six threads to make the bullions stand out, and then it may of been too wide for this little book mark. A lesson learned for next time.

So once this row was done, I was left with a blank space in the center which needed to be filled. Back to my book for some more inspiration. I spotted some bullion flowers that would work nicely, so spaced them out evenly,  then worked a row of satin in between, also decorated with bullions.

The little book mark was cut out, and I decided to only put a small amount of needle lace in the corners, rather than all the way around the edge. Then I made a tassel to finish it off.

I am quite happy with my new little book mark and do intend to use it.