Friday, October 28, 2016


I have been knitting a lot lately. This one is a new jumper for me. It's not finished yet, but it is well into the process.

The pattern is one I chose for free with an order of yarn from Bendigo Woolen Mills. It says in the pattern to make the front and back the same. Mmmmm........ if I did that, I would have pattern up the left side of my front, and on the opposite side on the back when it was complete. I chose to play with the stitch numbers and make the patterns sit on opposite sides as it was being knitted, this way the patterns will meet together at the shoulder on the left side when completed.

It is being knitted in crimson "Savannah" yarn, an 8ply 70% wool, 30% alpaca yarn from Bendigo Woolen Mills. The cable is a different one too. I have done cables before, but not quite as interesting as this one.

So far I have completed the back and the front, and two thirds of one sleeve. The sleeve in the pattern in 3/4 length, which to me is useless in an 8ply wool jumper. If I am going to wear wool, I want all of my arms to be warm too. So I played with the pattern numbers again to make the sleeve longer. My first attempt was not successful, it was too tight, so I un-pulled it all (the sleeve) and did it again. My second attempt is much better in fit, and I am nearly finished sleeve number one. Then I just have to make sleeve number two, sew it together, make the neckband and I will be done. A new jumper for me ready for next winter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Art Journal Page 2

My journey into this art journaling world is continuing. Most mornings I am putting aside a minimum of ten minutes, while I savour my first morning cuppa and listen to the news of the day. I find though that the ten minutes goes really fast and  I want to continue, which of course I do. It is easy to get lost in this world for twenty minutes at a time, and like my stitching, it takes me to another place.

I have found once a page is started,  I can usually add something to it. In this case, the journal has been started, so it is easy to make that next page.

I did start this journal with page one, drawing a number one on the page and leaving it blank. At the time I marked a number two on the next page, and that has been my starting point for my second page. For the most part, I have left it blank also, except for one tiny part where I stuffed up. Well, not stuffed up really, I just made a mark where I wasn't planning to. This is where I learned that there are no mistakes, I just had to work around it.

I had divided this page off into sections too, the same as I did for page one. Though this time the sections were more curved, where on page one they were more square.

In some of the reading I have been doing, it says to 'follow your heart', and to a certain extent this is happening. My stitching talks to me and tells me what it needs, and now these pages are doing the same. There are also 'things' that I spot that just call me and ask me to draw them. This is what I am finding really interesting.

On this page the leaves called to me, especially the flat leaf parsley that grows in the garden under the clothes line. It's hard to spot now because the page is so filled in, but it is there. Then came the other leaves, the ivy geranium, the gum, the begonia,and the thistle.

The other thing that calls to me is lace, and wanting to design my own, so there are scalloped edges and curved lines and picot edges in this page as well.

There is also a slight hint of colour. This has actually come from the next page which is painted. The 'paint' has actually seeped through the page, not that I mind of course, it adds to the feel of the page. I have bought a product which I plan to use on all future painted pages, to maybe stop this from happening and maybe help strengthen the pages. But more on that next time.

So far I am enjoying this journey. It is my new journey, and I am learning to follow my heart just like I do with my stitching.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another Baby Shawl

Way back earlier this year I was surprised with a comment that I was going to be Great Auntie again. What great news! I did ask what the Mum-to-be would like for this new baby and was told that everything was needed, everything had been given away.

That was when I decided to make her a baby banklet. So I dug through and found my shawl book. Would I do another circular one? Nah..... I would do something a little easier..... or so I thought.  A square one with a pretty lace edge.

This time I ordered through Bendigo Woollen Mills. Everyone always raved over their yarn, and I was informed it was much cheaper. In the end it was about half the price and only a few days to arrive.

The center of the shawl was an easy pattern, and finished in only a few weeks. It was the lace edge that got me. I very rarely give up on anything, but I gave up on this edge. After unpicking numerous times, and making mistakes in different places each time, I decided I was running out of time and needed to do something else. The hunt for another edge pattern was on.

I hunted both on-line, and in my local library. Surprising enough, the library had nothing, and I ended up using an edge pattern that I found for free on-line that dated back to the 1800's.

This edge pattern was patterned on every row, not just the knit rows like I am used to. The previous lace pattern that I gave up on was also patterned on each row, and I thought this was the reason I kept making mistakes. The second pattern though had a more distinct pattern through it than the first, so this made it easier to do.

Like anything found for free on-line, there is always a problem. The problem with this pattern was there were no corners , so I had to make one up. I would have liked to have continued the pattern, but to do that I would have had to miter it, and this would take some thinking, and time to experiment which I was running out of fast. So I experimented with short rows and keeping the outer edge going. It was simple, but worked.

I loved the final effect, and I believe the new owner does too. It is a one of a kind baby blanket that hopefully will be loved for many years to come.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Art Journal Page One

About a month ago, I was inspired to enter the art journaling world, the beginnings of which can be read here. Since then, I have completed a whole page, a first for me with just my own 'drawings'.

I had read about being intimidated by that first blank page, and that was so true. All the articles I read said to prepare and paint a page. Mmmmmmm............. that would mean getting out paints, brushes, water jars, table protectors etc etc. Did I want to do that? Nah............ So I didn't.

I had also been reading about materials to use, which gave great long lists of things, some of which I had, some of which I didn't. Then I read about the fact that art journaling could be done with just a few simple things such as one piece of paper and a pen. Well, I certainly had that, my little spiral backed sketch book, and a black ball point pen. Yep, that's all I used.

So where did I start? Staring at that very first blank white page sure was intimidating! What to do? So I began thinking about my day and what I had done that I had enjoyed. My phone call to my friend came to mind, which then led me to numbers, after all I needed numbers to call her. So I began at number one, this was after all my first page.

I drew a number one on the page, quite large to hopefully fill the space. What now? I just kept continuing some of the lines from the corners out to the edge of the page, still keeping that number one intact. This then gave me other areas to do things with, some got sectioned off further, some got left as they were. They were little individual spaces that I could fill with what I wanted.

It's taken me over a week to fill this page. Each time I have taken something that has happened in my day and put it into lines to fill a small space. I could be anything from pruning roses, hanging out washing, attending a wedding, or cutting bad spots out of potatoes. Who says our days can't be inspiring?

So I feel the page is now complete, and I have moved onto page two. Would I use this page for anything other than to look at? Absolutely! I have already had view finders out on it and imagined slices cut from it. They would have to be enlarged of course, but they are definitely usable for an original piece of textile creativity. Watch this space!