Sunday, 29 March 2009

Using up more bits

Been knitting again!
This is the first beret I knitted from bits which I've
been wearing this winter.

This is the blue Colinette yarn (see previous post) made
into a beret. It's nice to knit with. I also made a pair of
fingerless gloves, proper gloves. Though I did have to buy
some more yarn. Luckily I managed to get a hank with the same
lot number from a lovely shop called Tangent Treasures.
Sue, the owner was very helpful and an enthusiatic
knitter and jewellery maker.

I'd got enough of one yarn to make a pair of fingerless
mitts. I saw an idea in a mail order catalogue some time
ago. Basically a straight tube with a slit for your thumb.
Very simple and easy to make and comfortable to wear.
I bought this multi-coloured yarn years ago and made of
gloves which wore out. I had the leftover yarn for ages.
The khaki yarn is by Jonelle (John Lewis), again, I've had
it for ages. The two yarns went together well and became
another beret.
It looks abit wierd from the top side but is okay when
it's on.

Now, this one uses 4 ply but two strands together.
A light khaki yarn runs through almost to the end when it
ran out. The other yarns are bits of a tweedy yarn by Rowan.

All the UFO's and knitting from bits that I'm not using
at the moment. Don't know what I shall so with them all
yet, but it was nice to knit again.
Still got some bits left. I'm going to have to get creative to
use them up. It can get annoying because I end up buying
more yarn to be able to use up bits then I have more bits
Back to knitting!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Spring, lambs, no more knitting UFO's

Spring is here, more sunshine, a bit warmer.
Gorgeous daffodils .............................
The lambing has started at Calke Abbey. This one was
born some time since Monday ....................
So were these ............................
This one was born in the last 24 hours ...........................
And this pair were just born ...........................cute or what!
I had a large Ikea blue bag in a corner in the lounge,
containing a carrier bag full of knitting yarn, some knitting
needles, patterns and other related bits'n'bobs. In amongst
it all were a couple of UFO's.
Firstly, a finished pair of fingerless mittens and an
unfinished beanie hat - it only needed the seam stitching.
Took about 15 minutes to complete!
Don't know what to do with them now.
Secondly, a pair of fingerless mittens. One mitten
complete apart from the stitching up. The second mitten
needed a few rows taking out and the thumb shaping
sorting then just knitting up the fingers. Both then
needed stitching up. Job done.
It feels good to finish things off but there's always something
to replace the finished off things. I found this yarn in the big
blue bag. It's Colinette double knitting. I bought the brown
yarn to make a pair of fingerless mitts to go with a jumper
I knitted years ago in a chunky Colinette yarn.
The blue yarn, I think, was to make a gift of fingerless
mitts. I'll probably still make them.
I'll probably save this next lot of knitting for our holidays.
It's always fun knitting woolly gloves in June! Besides I've got
some other textiles to finish off before I start anything new -
famous last words! Oh and a few bits to so in the garden.
Bye .........................

Saturday, 14 March 2009

'Cheats' quilting

I've been trying to do this as a link and couldn't, had to do it
all again. Hey ho!!
I used this method to make ATC for a swop here. Click on
ATCs in the Online Exhibition, on the right, then scroll down.
Mine is no.159 and I had some lovely comments. I felt like
a cheat when I read a comment asking if I had painted
the fabric. So I decide to come clean!

This is my version of a method I came across in Quilting Arts
magazine some time ago. I use it to make fabric for book
covers, phone and MP3 pouches.

First of all, prepare the fabric flowers. I don't buy expensive
ones, about 35p from Dunelm. Some flowers work better
than others.Take the flower apart and remove all glue and
hard bits from the petals - if you hit these with your machine
needle you run the risk of damaging your machine.

Prepare the wadding - I use felt as there is a chance it might
be seen. Use a colour that works well with your fabric.
I did this fabric for a book cover so I had to piece the felt but it
doesn't matter the pieces aren't an exact match, it will hardly
be seen. I just butt the edges together and zigzag them.

For the fabric I don't choose a big favourite as it will be
partially obscured by fabric and stitching. Lay it over the felt.
There's no need for a backing, as I will line it later when I make
it up.
Place the flowers on the fabric and place a piece of polyester
organza over the top. Audition the organza, take your fabric
and flowers with you when you buy the organza. Some colours
work better than others. Unexpected colours work well. One of
my favourites is a bright pink, another is this khaki green.
Secure the layers with one pin in each flower.
The quilting - begin with the flower centres, stitch them all.
Stitch using a pattern you are comfortable with.
For the stitching choose the colour threads that you think
are appropriate for your piece.
I find I need extra grip on my fingers when maching with
organza. I use quilters gloves or some grippy things on my
finger ends.
Finish your ends in your normal way.
Next, outline the petals. You don't have to be exact and be warned,
the petals will move slightly under the organza.
Lastly, quilt the background with whatever doodle you like.
A close up, you can see the background more clearly.
The back of the quilting
It's now ready for you to use in whatever way you want.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Little Gems

This year at the Festival of Quilts there is to be another tombola
to raise money for the Quilters Guild. Last year it was bags, this
year it's 'Little Gems'. Please use the links to find out more, the
explanations are better than I could do.
This is my contribution:
'Daisy 1'
' Daisy 2'
I would like to think I'll do some more...................Bye!

Spring, Australia, autumn leaves

Spring is definitely in the air.
Walks at Calke - violas, grape hyacinths (I think), snowdrops
that are going over, chestnut trees coming into leaf, fungi and
stags that can hardly hold their heads up with the weight of
their antlers.....................

More goodies for Australia. I read another blog and followed a link
to here. This lady, Jan, has done so much, it spurred me on to do more.
Some months ago I was given a bag of polyester organza bits.
I embellished the bits onto a piece of polyester organza, then
machine embroidered over the surface. I machine embroidered
the leaf shapes using a sticky backed plastic shape to machine
round, then cut them out and machined some fine florists wire
down the centre. The fabric is similar to that of the Autumn Angel.
These leaves were made for a project in the States.


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Catch up!
Walks at Calke, beautiful sunshine, clear blue skies
reflected in the water; stags looking magnificent;

Snowdrops and aconites at Hopton Hall ...................................

The effect of the Australian bushfires really got to me. So it was
good to read this blog and to be able to do something positive.
I made some drawstring bags and made up sewing kits as well
as sorting through my stash for fabrics. Stuff that I 'd bought
suddenly didn't seem as precious any more. Perhaps that's why
I can't help myself buying fat quarters - there was a reason in the end.

See you later ........................