feather & lace

A finish and a new start to share with you today!

First . . . a large diamond painting project, begun in April, and finished only the other day.

No idea how many hours I spent on this but it was very enjoyable to do. I now have to decide where I’m going to hang it. It’s quite big: canvas measures 80cm x 30cm with the diamond painted part measuring approx 75cm x 25cm.

That’s the feather, now for the lace . . .

After the success of learning the “lace” stitching in knitting, I rummaged through my yarn stash and went on-line to look for suitable patterns.  I had 10 x 50g balls of Rico Design Fashion Fantasy DK cotton, bought more than 6 years ago, and never used because I always felt my knitting skills weren’t good enough.   Anyway, I shopped online at Wool Warehouse and decided on a Sirdar pattern:  Beachcomber DK # ref 7283 which is for a summer cardie, in cotton.  Options are for short or long sleeves, and sizes from 61/68cm (child) chest through to 112/117cm.

I’m knitting this for myself, so am following the 102/107cm size, which (if my yarn knits up like the Beachcomber) will need 6 of my 50g ballls.  If all goes well, I should have enough left to knit the smallest child version too.  I always begin with a swatch, especially when not using the recommended yarn for a pattern. Rico Designs says to use a 3.5mm needle for 22 x 28 tension, so I cast on 22 and knitted 14 rows on a 3.5mm needle.  That came out spot on, 10cm x 5cm so I didn’t waste any more time before casting on for the real thing.

This is how far I’ve got so far after using the first 50g ball.  I am knitting the back, which has 2 bands of the lace pattern (18 rows repeat).  To make things easier for myself, I’m using 4 stitch markers, one either side of the 13 stitch bands which means I can knit mindlessly until I come to a stitch marker, slow down to follow pattern, then speed up again.

And another to give you a closer look at the band ((which would have looked better if I’d blocked but I’ll worry about that when all parts are knitted).

 

learning lace stitch

Well, I’m feeling rather pleased with myself, I have to say because I recently mastered a new knitting stitch pattern and new horizons open up before me!  The stitch pattern in question is: “lace, or the art of deliberately knitting holes into the pattern lol.

It started, not very long ago when I spotted a lovely dress pattern for 32cm dolls on etsy.  Pattern is by CuklaMania here.

Sadly, I didn’t have any yarn in my stash that would work (so I had to order some in) but in the meantime, I saw no reason why I couldn’t give the pattern a try out on different yarn.  Having quite a collection of dolls in various shapes & sizes, I was confident, a dress knit in a slightly thicker yarn would fit at least one member of my dolly family.  So . . . pattern paid for (thanks to Daddy Viking, because I don’t have a p@yp@l account), downloaded & printed out.  And I set to work with Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” yellow on 3.5mm needles learning how to “yo” and “ssk”.  Much tinking happened along the way but . . .

in no time at all (okay, maybe longer!) I had finished a dress – yay!  A dress that looked exactly like the pattern photo – oh joy!  I then rushed upstairs to try it on a few dolls.  And it is the perfect fit for one in particular (a 40cm doll).  On a roll .  .  .  I then pulled out a ball of light minty green 4-ply and gave the pattern a second try, still on 3.5mm needles.  And then again in Stylecraft Special DK, a sort of raspberry pink, on 3mm needles.

The “exercise” being to see how yarn type or needle size alters the size of the finished dress. And also to give myself more practice with the pattern, which, in turn, gave me plenty of practice in “tinking” every time I forgot to “yo” and didn’t notice until the end of the next row.

This last photo shows the slight difference in size depending on yarn or needles.  Dresses 2 and 3 are good fits on my Disney Animator dolls.  I have yet to knit the pattern in a finer yarn and make it to fit the doll it was intended for in the first place.  But that will happen fairly soon.  In the meantime, now I’ve mastered a new knitting technique, I’ve been browsing patterns, and am feeling very motivated to take on a much larger knitting project in the interests of stash-busting.  The main problem there being, my stash is so big and choice of patterns is so vast . . . I’m dithering about what large project to begin.  Never fear, I will share with you, once I have decided.

SAL “Together we are magic” # 5

Hello folks!  Time to share progress and encouragement with other SAL members on this our 3-weekly posting.  Here’s where I was last time.

And this is what things look like today.

I’ve given up trying to work in 10×10 sections, as that isn’t how I like to work. Instead, I’m just working on page 1 (of 4) of the chart, which means anywhere with a 90 x 110 stitch grid.  This method seems to be working better for me, allowing me to follow symbols around, and occasionally fill in on confetti stitching whenever I have a small length of thread on my needle that needs using up.  That first butterfly, for example, is just missing 3 stitches & backstitch.

Still a long long way to go but I’m enjoying it a lot more.

Here’s a list of fellow SAL members. Everyone is working on different projects, and it’s lovely to see the variety.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMegan,

DeborahReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJLauraCathieLindaHelen

We’ll be back on 15th August.

SAL “Together we are magic” #4

Oh dear!  I’ve really slowed down with cross stitching lately.  So many other crafting projects calling to me, that I can’t get up the motivation in the evening.  Three weeks ago, I’d already begun to fall behind my self-imposed target

and I’ve fallen behind some more.

Oh well, it’s still progress, even if nowhere near as much as I had hoped.  There’s a second butterfly taking shape, but no real hint of a unicorn yet.

and still lots of fabric to cover.

I wonder if other SAL members were more industrious?  Here is the full list of links if you want to hop along and visit.

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMegan,

DeborahReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJLauraCathieLindaHelen

And we’ll be back on 25th July with a fresh update!

zodiac quilt – drum roll

Drums rolling here . . . and lots of photos to share my happy dance with a combi cross stitch/patchwork project.  Begun way back in Sept 2015.  It all started with a cross stitch kit by Vervaco.

This kit came with charts to stitch all twelve zodiac signs, but only enough aida & thread to stitch one.  I knew that when I bought it, and had already planned on swapping the 14 count aida for 20 count aida, choosing my own colours (similar but not exact references) and stitching all 12 designs.

That took me until June 2016.

Then, stitched squares were put in a drawer, with plans of assembling into a patchwork . . . and the years passed.  Until I finally got my act together this year, and made a start . . . and now I have a finish – yay!

Finished quilt measures approx 130cm x 173cm (51″ x 68″) so it’s really only a lap quilt.  I used the QAYG method because quilting is not one of my strengths.  Anyway, enough talk, I’ll leave you with some photos.

And ending with a couple of close ups on cross stitched centres. Had to include one of Gemini (Daddy Viking only just had a birthday!).

 

zodiac QAYG part 1

It’s been too hot here to do much crafting but I have finally started work on finishing my zodiac blocks, in very short sessions.

I did actually get blocks all quilted back in April but then they were left in a pile as I couldn’t decide what fabric to use for my QAYG strips.  After 2 months of walking past the pile of blocks and fabric, I decided I just had to stop second guessing myself, and to get on with it!  I’ve kept things very plain, which is quite unusual for me!  I didn’t want the front to be too busy, because I spent an awful lot of hours cross stitching those zodiac designs, on 20 count aida, so I’d like them to really stand out.

I’ve used a milky chocolate brown on the front . . . it’s what I used for backing fabric, and I’m even using it for my 1″ strips on the back too!

So, when I say plain – it really is going to be plain on the back!  Anyway . . . with 12 blocks to this quilt, I assembled first into pairs.  And then I assembled pairs into panels of 6.

All I need is a couple more sewing sessions to join both panels, and then to add binding.  Stay tuned!

 

ScrapHappy # June

Hello everyone! it’s the monthly link up with

Kate Gun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
KerryClaireJeanJon, HayleyDawn,
Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin,
Vera, NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Noreen,
Bear, Carol, Preeti and Edith

to talk about things scrappy!  I’ve been carrying on assembling 2.5″ squares.  I do love cutting small squares when tidying up my scraps, and at the moment, I’m assembling into placemat tops.  Haven’t used a table cloth in decades, but the husband and I like to have our dinner plates on a mat – it just makes the table look more “set”.

The current series now looks like this.

Six tops, all 9 x 6 squares, which will give a finished size of 18″ x 12″.  Quite a few fabrics make an appearance several times, but no two tops are the same.  They’re all completely random which I think makes for bright & cheerful.  Now to sandwich, quilt & bind!

SAL “together we are magic” #3

Above is the photo I posted 3 weeks ago of my current SAL project:  “Together we are magic”, a Letitstitch kit with artwork by Jody Bergsma).  I had started out hoping to complete segments of 40 x 40 stitches each time, but I’ve already fallen behind.  Gridding does help, but there’s so much thread changing to deal with, and I noticed there’s also some half stitches appearing now, so I need to concentrate.

Anyway, here is progress for this time.

Here is the list of links to other SAL members. I wonder if there have been any happy dances this time?

AvisClaireGunCaroleConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJLauraCathieLindaHelen

And we’ll be back on 4th July!

more sensible sewing

I’ve been busy, cutting, pinning and sewing . . . nothing very exciting, but having a few more sensible sewing sessions.  6 years ago (time flies), when helping with MIL’s house clearance, there were lots of bed sheets, some never used, that I saved and had been storing in a cupboard ever since.  We don’t use sheets & blankets, we prefer quilts and quilt covers . . . but the advantage of bed sheets is, there’s an awful lot of fabric to use up.  MIL wouldn’t have liked for good fabric to go to waste, so I hope she’d approve of what I’ve done!

I pulled out two sheets in “blues” (both brand new), gave them a wash and iron.  And I’ve made a reversible quilt cover.  Added plastic poppers to the bottom of the quilt cover and had enough fabric to make matching pillow cases (2 in each fabric).  Btw:  when I say “pillow case” I use the word meaning “bed linen, so for use on bed pillows.

The hardest part was battling with two whopping great big sheets, and getting them cut square so I could sew and make to fit for a 200cm x 200cm quilt. There were quite a lot of scraps left over . . . the floral might make something pretty for my dolls. Not sure about the other fabric, but it’s going in the scrap box.

Another sheet, in beige, but slightly faded in places, gave enough to make 4 pillow cases (two already in use, so not in photo)  and I also came across a couple of “old” table cloths (mine, from about 30 years ago when we used table cloths).

Table cloths were without stains, but one had obviously been used/washed more often than the other . . . fabric also has a distinctive “kitchen” look to it, but I’ve turned it onto pillow cases regardless.   Before cutting and sewing, I did actually have a proper measure up, and you’ll be seeing more of the green soon because  I cut a couple of rectangles and strips, to finish off some of my scrappy table mats.

I do, of course, have drawers full of fabric I could have used for this sensible sewing, but I liked the idea of using the bedlinen & table cloths to make more bed linen.  Still have a couple of sheets, but I might save them as they’d make good backing fabric for future patchwork quilts.

“Life” a finish off

If you vaguely remember having seen a photo of this once upon a time

that means you’ve been following my blog for quite a number of years.  This is a cross stitch kit I stitched from February – July 2015.

A kit by Design Works”, artwork by Jo Moulton.  Not only did I love the colours but I loved (and still love) the sentiment:  ” Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”.  Anyway, it was very enjoyable to stitch, but like most of my cross stitch projects, once finished, it was folded and put away in “the drawer”.  Where it remained forgotten about for almost 6 years.

However, after my recent bout of sensible sewing, and the making of cushion covers for kitchen chairs using a sage green fabric.

Plus, after the new sofa covers (not been clawed to pieces yet!) . . . I remembered my “Life” design and realised it would look rather nice  on the “new” sofa.  I had plenty of the fraying sage green fabric left so I made another simple back of a cushion (same as above).  Cut a few strips to add borders on the front.  Did some very sparse quilting on the front, just to hold the wadding behind in place, and voilà!

There are still numerous folded cross stitch pieces in the drawer, waiting patiently to be finished off properly, but for now, I’m just very happy to have this one finally on display!