Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Reticella Pincushion

 My new little pincushion was born out of a major piece. It began a a sample to see what the reticella motif would look like at the bottom of the major piece. Once done, I felt it was too heavy and opted for something else. 

The sample then sat there for quite some time before turning it into this pincushion. 

Will I use it? At the moment it is sitting decorating my china cupboard.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

A Little Needlcase

I had some fabric scraps left over from a major project I had  done and decided to make a little needle case with some of them. Good even weave linen is way too expensive to toss away, even the tiniest pieces. I also had plenty of left over threads from another project so decided to use those as well

I had no idea what I was going to do, so just did an outline in button hole stitch. I then added a row of eyelets and a row of satin stitch. It was looking dull so I worked a row of back stitch in pink to give it some life.

I had done another little needle case before with horizontal rows of stitching, so I had a brain wave that I could do diagonal rows in this one. Mmmm.......... I just started stitching Kloster blocks, then another row so that I could cut a little hole and put in a filling stitch.

Then came the half eyelets and a row of reverse faggoting in pink.

OK, it had some life, so I just kept repeating, and behold, before I knew it I had the outer layer of my needle case.

I added some navy lining, and some Dr's flannel from my stash. Mm.......... my sewing skills have fallen and the lining could have been straighter, so I added some button hole stitch to try and hide it.

Anyway, it is done, fabric scrap used, and it will be given away to a new little sewer in the making.


Thursday, August 06, 2020

A Scrap Blanket

During COVID, I have been cleaning out. I had some left over yarn from my crocheted blanket so decided to add to some knitted squares that I had started some years ago. My delema was to see how big it would get. I just kept knitting until I had had enough, then put a border around it. 

It is big enough for a knee rug, and has now been claimed by a member of the family.

It has been made with scraps. Some is 8ply 100% wool, most is acrylic, and there is one textured yarn in there that has thrown everything out. 

Another UFO done and dusted, and all my left over yarn is now bagged for charity.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Pulled Work Needle Case

This little needle case was born out of a creative  exercise with my Stitcher's Plus group. Robyn taught us how to do a pulled back stitch eyelet filler. That was way back in February.

I had some fun using different threads on a scrap of fabric, then used a fine variegated thread to fill in the spaces between. It needed something else so I worked some fine Casalguidi type stitching over the top. The hem is a common one found in pulled work.

So another UFO bights the dust. There are still more where that one came from.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A New Blanket

Mmmmm.... its been a while. What more can I say.

This blanket got started some seven or eight years ago, then put away when I was going away, and promptly forgotten about. Well....... other things took over.

At the time when I started it, I had no idea what it would be or how far I would go, I just started making Granny Squares. Along the way I made a decision to make some big squares, and some little squares, and to alternate them. I tried to crochet them together, but thought that gave to hard a ridge, and it was at this stage it got put away.

When I pulled it out recently, I pulled what squares I had joined together undone, and then sewed them together instead. This is what I ended up with.

The blanket grew from there, I just kept adding to it. I did a border, and it was fine. It was a good size as a throw rug for the lounge, and I still had yarn left. I had enough to repeat another border, and thought I had enough to do another row  of small squares in between. I worked it out I would need 60 of them, so just stared making squares again. If I could get 60, good stuff. If not, I would join what I could get into something else.

Well, I got my sixty squares, added them to my blanket, then did the second border. It is way plenty big enough for two people to snuggle under, or as a spare blanket for on top of a bed. It's also another UFO done and dusted.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

My New Winter Craft Bag

Behold my new winter craft bag!

Started in 2017, it was born out of a ball of Norro yarn. I only had one ball, so decided to do some flowers in the variegated Norro, and turn them into squares that could be sewn together. I had some navy yarn, and purchased some mustard yarn to give it some life.

I made the squares, joined them together, purchased the lining fabric, and there they sat until last week.

I blocked the squares, then used them to make a pattern for the lining. Last Friday I made the lining up and hand stitched it in place. On the weekend I made some handles. I tried crocheting a tube to place over some plastic tubing, but the plastic tubing was too rigid and didn't quite work. so I pulled them undone and tried again after talking to my friend R----. These handles contain black cording to stop them from stretching.

After stitching the handles on, I felt it needed some decoration. My first thought was some crocheted flowers, but there were already flowers in the bag itself so I opted for tassels. There are three tassels in all, one navy, one orange, and one mixed.

So I now have another bag to add to my collection, and another UFO is off the list.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

An Insertion Stitch Pouch

Well, I have finished off a UFO!

It's been going a few years, not sure how many, as I forgot to take note when I started it. It could be about six or seven years ago now.

The piece was inspired by the work of Effie Mitrofanis, one of the tutors at The Embroiderer's Guild NSW. One of the girls in my creative stitching group Stitcher's Plus, had done a workshop with Effie and her finished piece was wonderful, so bright and colourful.

So when I went home, I pulled out some scrap dress linen I had, cut some strips , and hemmed them. This part of the project took forever, I hemmed the strips in amongst doing other things.

Once I had a few strips done I started looking at insertion stitches. I found some in books, and some on-line. I had some calico based needle lace graph strips already made and covered in contact. I used these to make sure my strips of linen were even widths apart, and started on the insertion stitches. Another part of the project that took me forever because I was doing other things.

When I had the strips all joined together, the piece looked plain, so I decided to add some decorative stitching to the strips. Some have drawn thread channels with needle-weaving, some have some black-work type designs. It gave some more dimension to the piece.

Last Thursday I was feeling down, and looked at my UFO pile and decided I needed to finish some. I pulled out these strips, and one other project that needed finishing. Both projects  required  things doing that needed ironing, and I had packed the ironing board away for another reason, and wanted it left that way for another day. Oh well, tomorrow was another day.I did manage to find some lining fabric ready and a zipper from my stash. So Friday afternoon I pulled out my strips, added some lining and a zipper, and now I have a new little work pouch.

Watch this space for another one to be finished soon.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Hardanger Snowflake

For the last few years, I have made a new little Christmas decoration to hang on our tree. I usually make around twelve of them to give to family and special friends. This year I made some Hardanger snowflakes.

I found the pattern fee on the internet, and worked it on some Belfast linen that I had in my stash. The trickiest part was cutting around all those tricky little corners. Then I just cut a square of red felt and sewed them on, with some added red ribbon as a hanger. This is the fourth one i have worked in the series.

As the snowflakes were worked on the bias, and I had cut a strip of the linen to work them, I had little spaces un-stitched. They were just big enough to make some tiny little decorations. I Played with different fillings on them all. even weave linen is too expensive to waste

All of the snowflakes are with their new owners, and some of the little ones have new homes too. I wonder what decoration will happen for next Christmas?

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Knitted Lace Baby Shawl

Well, once again it has been a while. I do create every day, just some things come under the 'slow' heading.

This baby shawl is one of them. Started back in May, it has been finished for a while. I just couldn't show it until now. I has been made for my new great nephew who has only just arrived. 

The pattern is 'Hush little Baby Please Don't Cry', a free on-line one, but with mistakes in the pattern. I  overcome the pattern mistakes, and also made it larger.

The central pattern was easy enough, it was the edge that was new to me. I have done baby shawls before where edges are worked separately, then sewn onto the central panel. This one was worked out sideways from the central panel, and bound off at the same time it was attached.

I was also introduced to 'lifelines' in this project. I have been knitting for over 50 years and only learnt about them with this shawl. A very handy slice of knowledge for lace knitting that is well worth knowing.

The blocking was also new to me. I have only ever steamed blocked before. This one was wet blocked, rolled in a towel, then pinned out onto a blocking board. So glad I did! The lace center all opened up, and the edge got it's points!

Look at how it came off the needles! Wet blocking and pinning out made a huge difference!

The shawl has been worked in Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 3 ply 100% wool, and is now finally with it's new owner.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Bedfordshire Book Mark

Over the last ten years I have been working on and off through one of my Bedfordshire lace making books. This is design number 6B in the book, a little book mark featuring  flowers made of six tallies, and six pair crossings.

Note that this is design 6B. Two years ago I finished this handkerchief which was design 5 in the book. Personally I think these two designs should have been swapped. The book mark should have been Design 5, and the handkerchief edge should have been design 6. Surely it would be better to practice those flowers in something small like a book mark before tackling an edge. Just my opinion.

Anyway, my little book mark is finally finished. I have practiced those little flowers again, and I still need more practice! This time though I played with some different thread. The cloth stitch border is a King Tut variegated quilting thread, while the flowers are a combination of the king Tut thread and a Mettler Silk finish 100% cotton No 50. I thought the two together may have been too thick, and it is a bit, but its a book mark, so its OK. It was an experiment, so now I know what will happen when I go to do something like this again. It will be a useful tip to know to bring in some creativity into my lace.

Now onto design number seven, a little simpler I think, but time will tell. Watch this space!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

A Green Scarf

This scarf was started back in November last year. I was going away and needed something small to do to take with me. I was planning on some knitting, but ended up with this crocheted motif.

The motif pattern is from my Mum's collection, cut from an Australian Home Journal, dated January 1947. It was meant to be done in No 40 Crochet cotton to form a tray cloth, but I worked it in 4 ply cotton.

I had no idea what I was going to do with the motifs. My original idea was a scarf, then I thought I may not have enough yarn. I also thought of making them into a bag of sorts. In the end I just kept making motifs and put them into a scarf.

Finished now, I'll have to find something to wear it with.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Navy Cardigan

Behold, my new cardigan. 

Started back in March, this cardigan was supposed to be for me to wear though Autumn. Well, Autumn  is just about over, and winter is just about to hit, with snow forecast for the mountains this week. My cardigan is made using cotton yarn so it will now have to wait until spring for me to wear it.

The pattern is one of my own, using a basic cardigan pattern from  the Paton's 'Classic Knits for Women - Book 1245', and a lace pattern from  my 'The Harmony Guide To knitting Stitches' book , I  have created a border pattern to decorate my new cardigan. It is has been  worked in 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills . 

Now it's time to finish another UFO or two.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Doily Bag

Over fifteen years ago I  was given a pile of un-worked stamped doilies by one of my students. Would I ever work them? Certainly not all of them. So I went through them all, kept the ones that I liked, and gave the others away.

At the time I needed a holiday project, so I picked one, chose some colours that I liked and started embroidering. I finished the stitching, then the piece sat there for many years, hidden in my UFO cupboard until I found it in a clean up at the beginning of this year. All it needed was a crochet edge to be finished!

I have lots of crochet thread in my stash, so I picked out a colour, and finished it off in a few days. Now what to do with it? Did I need another doily? Certainly not! Then I had this brilliant idea to decorate the side of a bag. So I rummaged through my fabric stash, found some scraps in similar colours, cut strips, joined them together, appliqued the doily to it, quilted it, them turned it into a bag.

It's a little smaller than I would have liked, but it will come in handy for my knitting, or taking books to and from the library. Wherever I use it, it will show off my creativity and some of my skills, embroidery, lace making, and sewing.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Drawn Thread Needle Case - UFO Number 5

Another UFO finished! Actually, this one has been finished since February.

This little needle case started life way back in 2007 as a resist dye sample for my 'Summer Santuary' piece. Some drawn thread stitching and a hem of buttonhole stitch had been worked onto the sample, then it waited over 10 years before I found it again, stuffed in a cupboard, in a clean-up. 

 All that was required to finish it was some lining, some Dr's flannel, and a closure. 

So UFO number five is done and dusted. I wonder what's next?