Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Quite Contrary wrap

I'm tentatively starting this post as I have been 'experiencing technical difficulties' of late and I'm wondering how far I will get with this...
But hello anyway, I do hope you are all well and enjoying yourself in your own chosen method of funness (sounds rude and not meant to but if you are having rude fun, well good for you!)

I enjoyed a very pleasant morning this Sunday just gone at Fibre East, a most amazing yarn fair that, to be quite honest blew me away as I really wasn't expecting it to be such a huge event. Thus being the case and the fact that I'm so not organised and so unprepared and so not a very good blogger at all I didn't take a camera and so am unable to show you the absolute delights of basket upon little cubby-hole type shelving things full of gorgeous yarns, of all colours and fibres, mostly natural and all amazing quality. As well as that there were some beautiful hand-made buttons that I wished I had bought and lots of vintage sewing and crochet things located near the entrance that I regret not going back to. Lovely Sharron has posted her photos here if you'd like to see

But what made the experience even more delightful was that I met up with Sandra from Cherry Heart blog. She really is a very lovely, sweet person and I was able to take advantage of her extensive yarn knowledge while making my purchases and came away with amongst other things some lace weight yarn to crochet a shawl. I have never worked with anything so light before so I will let you know how I get on with that.
And spending time with the super-talented lady reminded me that I have yet to post about my Quite Contrary Wrap that I made mostly while away on holiday - which is Sandra's pattern that you are able to buy from her blog here.

So as I said I took this away with me as my holiday project and it really does remind me of our trip to Menorca back in June that I enjoyed so, so much. ( Although I did finish it off at home while watching Spring Watch and the edging reminds me of Chris Packham talking of birds feeding their young in the nest which makes me think of me back and forth to Tescos bringing food home to my bunch of gannets)
I digress...

Crocheting outside in the sunshine, by the pool, on the beach, in the little garden near our appartment was so relaxing and enjoyable.

I did run out of yarn and had to order some more. This was totally my fault as I didn't check my tension and although the size it finished up wasn't crucial the tension checking thing is very useful to make sure you do have enough yarn to complete the project!!! Lesson learnt. The people at Art of Yarn were very helpful and I was able to get another 50g of the same dye lot. I used Jenny Watson pure merino DK in denim.

It did take a while to get round to blocking this as I was a bit scared I would ruin it. But after a dunk in some softly warm water I lay it out on the floor and loved the way the pattern came out and showed the pretty maids all in a row!!

and the edging, oh the edging! I love it so much, it really is very pretty.

I loved making this shawl, the pattern is well written and easy to follow and I'm very happy with the finished article :-)

'till next time....


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Crochet Summer Bag

May I take 5 minutes away from my (crazily hectic) real life and nip into blogland to say hello and how are you?
Even though my time at the home computer these days is limited I still make sure I pick up my hook or needle everyday - even for a few stitches - for my soul's sake.

Here's a bag I made recently. Just an idea I had while looking over my daughters shoulder as she flicked through a fashion magazine while waiting to see the orthodontist. It was an image of a shift dress that caught my eye, the stripes of the fabric were the lime, navy and white I've used here and I've tried, to the best of my memory to copy the proportion and formation of the stripes. (it does strike me as strange that I have space in my head to remember patterns on fabric and colours and types of yarn but forget to go to my son's meeting at his new school. oh dear and yes I have given myself a VERY hard time about that one :-(

The image of the dress stayed with me and with the Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK yarn (fabulous yarn, great value, naff name) in white, soft lime and nocturne I made the pattern up as I went along and, wonders of wonders, it turned out exactly how I imagined!!

The lining is some cotton fabric I spied at my local sewing store, which I knew would look fab inside but for a bit of body and shape I did use some woven fusible canvas purchased from U-Handbag.

and I had to make 2 pockets for the inside. One for phone and other for keys. Sunglasses can hook on the outside of the little gathered pouch pockets if they want, but most of the time they are on my head.

and of course a crochet flower detail to pretty it up a bit :-)

I haven't got round to using it yet but with the sun shining so bright I think it's a perfect summer accessory :-)

take care, all you lovelies

'till next time....


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Patchwork Cross-Stitch Rose Design Quilt

I can be accused of dragging my feet with this, it's taken me sooooo long to finish. I can't remember when I started but Instagram says I posted the first photo 21 weeks ago, that's November last year time...

It all started when I bought a cross-stitch chart from the Making Spot so I could paint a design on my wall. This worked really well although I can never, ever get a good photo of it.

I then made what the pattern was designed for - a tea-cup pincushion.

But my creative mind was beavering away and presented me with an idea. How about using the design for a patchwork quilt, a patch of fabric for every cross stitch?

I really wasn't sure if the idea would work, but I raided my stash anyway and found the colours that I thought would work and set about cutting tiny 5cm squares. I broke the chart down into 16 blocks, all with 100 squares each.

and I sewed and pressed and arranged the squares 'till all the 16 blocks were done.

I had to have the chart at hand to make sure I followed the pattern correctly. On their own each block pattern didn't make much sense, it's only when they are altogether, and you see the finished quilt that the picture is revealed!

I mused over how to quilt for a while, finally deciding on hand-quilting with embroidery thread around the shapes and colours. I used a hoop at first but found it a bit awkward so went without it.

I dotted some lazy-daisies around, I loved doing these.

The quilting part was where I stumbled, which is ALWAYS the case with me. For some reason it's the bit I least enjoy so am more likely to be distracted. I'd tidied it away at one point and it was all a bit 'out of sight, out of mind'. My quilting hasn't been executed as well as I would've liked, certainly it could be smoother and my stitching could be more even, however it doesn't bother me too much - I guess I'm not that much of a perfectionist after all. I will give myself 10 out of 10 for my piecing though - I'm chuffed that pretty much all of the (many) seams match!

And then the other day I suddenly was 'feeling the vibe' again (as my husband would say) and picked it up to continue the quilting - and I just flew with it, finishing last night after tea at the Toby carvery.

Here is the finished article draped over our garden bench, but you can't really see the pattern that well, can you?

There you go.... in all it's glory!! 

I took the photos in the garden in the attempt to get the best light.

I am tickled pink my idea worked. I really, really love it sooo much and am quite proud I've designed and made it. Is that ok to say?
It has no where to live right now, if my craft area had a big enough wall I would hang it on display there, but alas there isn't the space.

So it will be folded away for now, but I will have a think about where it's going to take residence.

'till next time....