Sunday, 31 July 2011

For myself.

The reason I wanted to learn this art - those crochet doilies so loved by an almost lost generation.
So feeling confident enough to give it a go I armed myself with  a teensy 1.25mm hook, a ball of barely there cotton thread and a 1977 copy of Stitchcraft magazine.
It started well enough, round and round with basic double crochet stitches and a round of picots:

And then it got to the lacy design, still manageable but needing lot's of quiet and concentration:

And then the lacy pattern got, well, lacier! Twice I pulled back a whole round destroying almost an hour of work each time, but determined to get it just right. And finally, I finished. 

An error still there but hardly noticeable (ok, I know you will spot it)  and overall I am completely enamoured with my first ever handmade lace doily. Maybe a little more blocking is needed as the petals to the left are a little skewhiff, but I just couldn't wait to see it in it's long dreamed of place on the cupboard at the bedside. Ignoring that dearest one held up two at the car boot sale today  for the princely sum of 20p each (not handmade from the quick glance I gave fortunately, imagine having all that time and effort priced at 20 pence!!)  and preparing to start all over again on it's partner for my bedside cupboard.
A wonderfully enjoyable make, despite the many hours (22 rounds and each round from number 10 onwards taking up to an hour), the mistakes and ripping back, the blister on my middle finger, and the poor half knitted socks looking longingly towards me everytime I chose my crochet bag instead. At last, I did it, the one thing I knew crochet held the crown over knitting for - the humble lace doily!
And yes, I know I could have knitted just as pretty of a doily in far less time, I have done in the past. But this was a test of commitment and dreams, and I did it.
Next up - an easy finish. I finally cast on the second sock of this pair.
Now to go see what you've all been up to, and to see if Blogger will let me comment at last!


Monday, 18 July 2011

Ring a rosie.

A change of crafting this weekend. I don't want to get frustrated over the spinning, slow but steady is the key there I think. John spent the whole of Saturday evening, around four hours, dismantling, waxing, and rebuilding my Peggy and it now has it's own little corner in the living room. He also helped me to work out the problem with the Saxony wheel, the flyer and whorl kept locking up. Between us we found that the maidens weren't lined up properly and after a little repair work they now spin independently and it appears to be doing what it should. It still needs a new tension knob but I already have details of someone who can do that for me.
So the crafting? Still with wool but needlefelting this time:

Sorry about the photo quality :( The camera is in limited use right now and the I had to choose between overbright flowers or overdark leaves!

And how about this for a way of using up scraps of fabric? Initially spotted and admired here, and with the addition of a scrap fabric patchwork lavender filled heart, it makes a lovely wall hanging don't you think?

Did you spot the row of crochet flowers just above the wreath? 
I made them a while ago using lot's of scraps of yarn but wasn't sure what to do with them. In the end I glued them all around the edge of the bedroom mirror just to see what it looks like. Not sure I like it and I'll properly take them off again but I like the "idea" so might try again with some different colours. And paint the mirror first!

So that's about it for this post. It's a rainy day here so the children are already getting stir crazy, Owen is telling Cain that they aren't brothers any longer so I think it's time for mama to suggest a few ideas. Hope you're enjoying your day whatever the weather.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

All the gear and no idea!

So I have the wheels,  the fibres, the books.........and I'm rubbish!
My first proper attempt at spinning yarn:

Plying on the wheel is ok but I am struggling with drafting so I thought I would have a go with the drop spindle instead just to get some practise. 

Actually I know what most of the problem is - patience.......or lack of! I start off with all good intentions and then try a little too quickly, get frustrated and then end up with lumps and bumps everywhere. When I force myself to slow down it goes much better, but then I get carried away again.
Oh well, it can definitely only get better!

And at last, a change from the bag posts ;-)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Guess what?

Yes, you guessed - another bag but this time a knitted one:

A dinky one this time, just about big enough for a mobile phone, a coin purse, keys, hankie, the bare essentials. Pretty handy for the car boot sale maybe? Oh dear, I remember when I used to buy bags to match every outfit and for every night out. Now I'm making them to wear to a car boot sale!

The yarn is Paton's Trentino in the Mexico colourway (shade no. 00080). It comes in a 200g weight but this little bag only took 40g in total so lot's left for future projects. The yarn is 90% acrylic/10% wool and is lovely and soft to work with. The tweedy effect is produced by 3 separated threads of variegated yarn being plied together so creating an everchanging colour blend. This makes it very pleasant to work with and to see the colours coming through and it is easy to forgive it being a mainly acrylic yarn. I think I would buy it again although it goes completely against the usual yarn snobbery!
The lining is made from fabric from a ring sling I made a couple of years ago and is one of my favourite fabrics, although I have no idea what else to make with it right now:

The strap is an 8 stitch i-cord which took forever, or so it felt although really the entire bag only took a couple of hours. Yet again Helen and Jen have both asked for it but I might just keep this one for myself and make more for the girls in different colours.
So thank you for visiting again only to find yet another bag. I promise I will find something different to share soon.......


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

And another one!

Yes, I made another bag:

Sewn up from the kit that came free in one of my birthday gifts, this book. Adapted slightly as I added a lining and stitched the straps down rather than fiddling with buttonholes.
Another project to show later as I am just finishing it off and then maybe I will get back to the half done pile!
Thanks for all the lovely comments on the last bag post, although blogger seems to have eaten some of them as I have email notification of them but they aren't appearing here?
I have read them though and am so pleased that you choose to follow and comment.
Thank you.


Monday, 11 July 2011

Prettying for pretty's sake.

I don't know what's happening to me lately? I have always been a straight to the point, functional, no frills person but lately that seems to be changing. Maybe it's the little girl's effect on me. I never imagined I would have  little girl who would wear pink and sparkles and frills, none of my big girls did. But this one loves all things pretty. And now it seems this mama does too. And if proof is needed then here we go.The only thing I picked up at the car boot sale yesterday - 50p for a woven bag which I thought would be ok for storing the latest project in:

But arriving home I realised that my wools would get snagged and so a liner would be needed. And if I was going to line it then why not hide that wording too? And so lot's of hand stitching later and this is what I have:

See, functional before, but now as pretty as pretty can be!

Care to share any prettying up's with me?


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Slowly does it.

At a guess I'm around one sixth of the way through the blanket: 

I think a trip to the LYS is needed as I was clearly way, WAY out on my estimations of how much acrylic DK I had in my stash ;-)
And talking of yarn shops, if you're ever around mid Wales then there's a wonderful little shop in Machynlleth that has such lovely scrummy goodies for the crafty types. I can't remember the name of the shop but it has a lovely selection of Colinette yarns, Brittany needles, peg looms, and felt creations. I could have spent soooo much money in there but I didn't. I have fleece to spin and carders to buy before I can buy anything else remotely yarny. Well apart from the acrylic DK of course!
Off now to see what crafty things you've been up to whilst I've been away.