Saturday, 20 February 2016

a little bit of catching up

As we are now well into the new year it is about time for me to write some more about the things I have been doing. In the autumn I visited the ExCel for a craft show. One of the stalls offered the chance to enamel a pendant. I haven't done enameling since I left school in 1970. So it was fun to see if I would get a decent result after all these years. Here is the result, and not bad if I say so myself

Now, what else have I been doing? Trying to use as much stash as possible, I started knitting. Some time ago someone mentioned a 'blankie' or comfort blanket. It didn't mean a thing to me, but when I did a search for it I found a really lovely pattern for a sheep using Aran yarn. So I ended up making 2 which went to a good home immediately. (I always have these good intentions to add something I made to my listings on eBid) Recently I came across this lovely baby yarn in a bright yellow and it just screamed 'duck blankie' at me. So I went about adaping the pattern I had and the lamb became a duck.

Looking at the lamb now, I can see a monkey. Where is that brown chunky wool?

Sunday, 18 October 2015

blood, sweat, but no tears

My latest project, finished yesterday, is this basket. Not much to look at, but here is the history: About 4 years ago I started having vegetables delivered weekly. (most weeks, anyway) They come in a box tied with two pieces of string/ cotton twine. So I started to collect them as 'might come in useful' . As the ball grew, I was thinking what it could be used for. I had a go at knitting and crochet, but found it too tedious as they were comparatively short length. Then I thought Kumihimo and it worked. It was quite easy to join the pieces while working and the cord produced was nice and firm. After 7+ meters I had enough of doing that and finished it off, rolled it up and put it to one side. Well, what to do with it now? At first I thought soles for slippers, then a bag maybe, and then I saw storage baskets somewhere and I decided that is what I will do. I had enough string left for doing the sewing and it took me 3 days and a sore finger and thumb to sew it together. Kumihimo cord is really very dense and it was virtually impossible to push the needle through the cord. It had to go between the layers. A thimble would have been very useful (this is where the blood comes in) but I haven't got one -yet. The finished basket measures 8½ cm Ø at the base and 11 cm Ø at the top. So there you are - a basket made from pieces of string

Sunday, 2 August 2015

My first 'real' quilt

Well, we are now in August and I had a 3 week holiday visiting my family in Germany and also travelling from there through France to Jersey. Although the drive was very hot it was interesting as we took a route on smaller roads avoiding the roads you have to pay for using. Since coming home I have lacked the inclination to make anything until last week I made a patchwork quilt, almost 80 cm square. The first really big item since starting on this road (it really is addictive) The coloured fabric is from a sample book which I had for years and the pieces were never quite big enough. Well, it worked for this and I still have some left. I admit to being scared when it came to putting the layers together and I know this is far from perfect, but the experience was a good one and I am willing to try again. Now I would like some suggestions of what to do with it. It could be used as a pram quilt, but I don't know any pram users. So please post your ideas. I'd be grateful.

Monday, 25 May 2015

makes for YDC 132 May 2015

A little time has passed and I promised I would promote the YDC auctions this time round. And they started yesterday on ,but there is still time to involve yourself by bidding as they will finish on the 28th of the month. It's a special one to the memory of tiskets / Leslie's daughter, who died recently and the nominated charity (that changes every month) is Mary Ann Evans Hospice
Anyway, this month I have listed quite a few of my 'makes' so will share a few. Still on the patchwork there is a book cover. I do like crazy patchwork as you can use all sorts of small bits of fabric

Next there are 2 sets of place mats, both starting as a 9 patch block which is cut and reassembled. Again nice and easy and I think very effective. (note to patchworkers: if I get any terminology wrong, please tell me. I am still a novice)

Next is a mug hug, although not as you know it. It ties around a mug and has a number of pockets to hold pens, scissors, ruler and what else you want handy on your desk. The beauty of this is the mug can have a crack or missing it's handle. I have made several of these, but so far I don't own one myself. But I will....

Now something completely different: book folding. I have seen a few examples of this and found it quite intriguing. I then found a CD with instructions and decided to give it a try. I have done several now and learned that a hard backed book gives better results than paperbacks. Also if it is an old book, the paper can be quite brittle, so care needs to be taken not to tear the pages. Anyway, here is my very first one, also listed in the YDC

That is all for now. Not sure what the next project will be. Maybe I will at long last get back to making bobbin lace. I have a UFO I started about 20 years ago, so I think it's time for me to get back to it

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Once upon a time there was a shirt....

or three to be precise. Cuffs and collars were a little worn, but the rest was still very good. Lovely cotton (and a pain to iron) but the owner had lost too much weight to wear them. I spent some time thinking about various ways to do something with them and one night, just before dropping off to sleep it came to me - cushion covers. Nothing too difficult, so here are the pictures

The very easy one made from squares and turning the stripes

 The back is just a large square cut from the front of the shirt which gives me the perfect closure for the cover

This was a bit more difficult and time consuming, but still fun to make


Again the front of the shirt is the back. This time with a pocket. A place to hide the TV control?

Number three was the one that didn't go quite as planned. I guess I got careless and made a wrong cut. So this has an extra seam that shouldn't be there, but unless you are looking for it or are an experienced patchworker, I don't think it is that obvious. I have used pieces from all three shirts and a few scraps from a dress I have just made

Again a pocket on the back. Hide the chocolate maybe?

There is still most of the front of the shirt left plus bits and pieces from the other two, so maybe in the future there will be cushion number 4

While I have been upcycling, I turned another pair of jeans into a bag. These were rather large (42" wast, I think) so I unpicked the waistband, added pleats to the main part before attaching the shortened band agin and rounded the corners. This is a very large bag and I am still undecided if I am going to sell it on ebid or keep it myself. But do I need another bag? probably not.......

Thursday, 19 March 2015

I am back and a bit quicker than recently. I have now got photos to post of the latest Kumihimo jewellery. (If anyone wants to try , be warned: it is very addictive) The black and the pink one are made from a variety of fancy knitting yarn and the other has seed beads in brown shades added to it. Both the black and the brown will be auctioned off from the 24. March and I have listed the pink one on ebay to see if there is any interest

I won't say any more about my crafty plans, just in case I won't get things done as I plan

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Where has the time gone? It's almost a year since I last wrote. So below are photos of some of my projects. The first 3 are Kumihimo braids: 1) bracelet I made in a workshop 2) a necklace where I used different thickness for cord, and 3) my first attempt at using beads as well. Since then I have have acquired a couple of books which give more variations and I have made a couple  that have not been photographed as yet


 This (below) was yarn from a knitting magazine, but the project didn't appeal to me so made this little purse. The other side has the colours in reverse.

This glass suncatcher is a workshop result. Now I really enjoyed this and had to control myself not to buy the tools and materials. But I really haven't got space for more stuff or the time to use it. If another workshop comes my way I may well do it again. It was fun

Below I have 2 teddies that I knitted. Pierre, the second one, was a cover kit for a knitting magazine and was auctioned on for charity (YDC) and Arthur was a pattern I found in a copy of Woman's Weekly which I found when tidying. Arthur went to Italy and if all has gone to plan he is now in Columbia. What I love about both of these, they can stand alone


Next is a piece of bobbin lace. I made this during my last 2 visits to Germany. The design for this candle holder included a little class dish and a tealight, but I decided to use a fake, battery light. Much safer

My sister has taken up weaving and also offers a course at her local church. During my last visit in January she asked if I wanted to have a go. Well, I did do some weaving while in school (a rather long time ago) and loved it, so I said : Yes please. Below is the result. It took me parts of 3 days and although the thought was to make a scarf, it is now a runner to protect my sideboard

Now to my first proper attempt at patchwork. I did give it away as a present and there are days when I wish I didn't. I used fabric samples from a Sanderson sample book, so the colours / patterns match perfectly. I followed instruction on a DVD (Jenny Rayment's Texture into Sudoku) I loved the 3 D effect even if there was a fair amount of hand sewing

That will do for today. I am currently using some fancy knitting yarn for Kumihimo braid and promise to post when finished. I also have a Macrameé kit with DVD to work with. So watch this space. I will try very hard not to make this just an annual blog