Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Handkerchief Edging

I finally finished the green one-shuttle edging I had started a good while ago.  You can find the pattern under the pattern tab above.  I took the opportunity to make a video showing how I sew the edging onto the hanky (a question I had received a few times on my YouTube channel).  

Shade of green keeps changing depending on light and setting...
(the first photo is probably the most accurate)

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

More Baskets

Following on from the previous post, I realised I'd not shown other baskets I made earlier in the summer.  First of all one of my daughters and her boyfriend had collected dogwood some months ago which they dried completely before soaking it in a river for several days before it was ready to weave.  It was a first experience of weaving baskets for all of us and we were all pleased to end up with functional baskets.  The dogwood was not the easiest and bendiest to work with.

Here are a few progress photos...

After completing this first basket, I was keen to make another but we had no more wood.  That's when I discovered you could make baskets with rolled up newspaper!  What a discovery.  I've already made three of those and here is the second one I made.  I tried painting the others but was not happy with the result and in the end, my favourite was this one, left showing the newspaper.  I varnished it and have been using it to do my shopping.  It's surprisingly sturdy to say it's only made of newspaper!

I like baskets a lot... I like using them and I like making them!  

Have any of you had a go at basket weaving?

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Holiday Pursuits

We were lucky to be able to get away for a holiday in spite of the current circumstances.  There are some majestic pine trees around where we are so I was inspired to use the needles for basket making.  I had done a similar type of basket with dried grass a few summers ago (Grass Baskets) but it was my first time trying with pine needles.

Starting to curve up the sides...

Wondering whether to stop here or not...

Making a basket  with pine needles is quite slow work.  You have to constantly feed new needles into your gauge and the stitch I am using requires several steps per stitch so it's growing slowly.  But I do like the look of the stitch very much.  I might try a different one for a final border but I'm still undecided.

Also, after my initial trials with dogwood and newspaper rolls for making baskets (I've just realised I've not shown these on here - I'll have to make another post), I finally took the plunge and purchased some willow.  So I gave that a try too.

It's not that easy to keep a really consistent and even shape as you go up the sides with weaving.  I'm a beginner and have lots to learn!  Still, I managed to produce some functional baskets.

Base of basket before adding the uppers.

I can't believe it's September already.  I hope you were able to enjoy a nice summer wherever you are.  The weather is set to be beautiful again this week so I'll soak up as many rays as we come to the end of our holiday.

Best wishes to you all,


Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Lost Earring

This is one of my daughter's favourite pair of earrings.  I had made them for her in "Leaf Green" a few years ago but she lost one.  Unfortunately, I'm out of Leaf Green at the moment so I re-made her a new pair in "Fern Green Med" (Lizbeth).

I really like this pattern.  The layered construction gives body to the earrings and they keep their shape nicely.  I sometimes add a large pearl in the centre but this is how my daughter had her original pair so I remade the same.

Do you have a favourite earring design that you keep coming back to?  I'd love to hear what it is!

Best wishes,

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Vintage Tatting

I was recently contacted by a young woman who had inherited a vintage piece of tatting made by her great-great-grandmother (isn't that exciting?).  She was after some advice on how to reproduce it.  It was a pleasure to be able to help her out.

This is one of the images she sent me.  

Luckily it is not a very complex design so it was definitely achievable to make this again.  They are one shuttle medallions with bare threads joined together.

These were my first samples.
I could see the number of stitches for the rings
but it was getting the right length for the picots and bare threads which was a little trickier
so that the medallions lay flat nicely.

If you were wanting to tat these medallions, they start with a centre ring of 12 stitches separated by a picot (or rather 11 picots and the last one is a mock picot to climb to the second round without cutting and tying) and the second round is small rings of 3+3, bare thread approx ¼in long and a larger ring of 5-5-5-5.

I was keen to find a way to tat the whole thing without cutting and tying and hiding threads ends along the way too!  I was excited to find a new way to hide one end in the second half of the small ring... but then realised I needed that bit of thread to join back to the last large ring at the end.  So for now, it's still best to hide both ends in the last ring.

Here are four of them joined together.
On the original sample, more decorative picots are added to
the medallions that have free edges (the ones that are not joined on all sides).

Apparently the original piece dates back to the 1800s!
I think that's pretty neat.

I hope the person can now enjoy making a new piece to match her great-great-grandmother's.

Best wishes,

Monday, 29 June 2020

Carnations & Wild Cherries

Hello everyone!  Two months have already passed since my last post... where does the time go?  I hope you are all keeping well.

I'm still working on the edging from the previous post but yesterday I saw Marilee's new carnation pattern so I decided to give it a try.  This was good exercise as I must admit I'd not made folded rings before or used a third shuttle to make petals as in this pattern (great idea!).  Thanks Marilee for a lovely pattern!

I made some mistakes in the first one (top left) so I made it a second time in different colours.  A very pretty flower that's quick to make to decorate a card for example.  You could also hang them from ear wires for a nice pair of earrings.

This weekend I also discovered something I didn't know:  wild cherries are edible!  Seems silly but although I've walked passed wild cherry trees on my walks in the local fields for many years, I always assumed (I don't know why?!) that they were inedible.  Armed with that new knowledge, I hurried over to the fields to collect some - I love gifts of nature like that.

It didn't take me long to fill my container.

What took much longer though... was stoning them!
The cherries are small so it's a bit of a fiddly job,
and there were so many!!

But it was well worth it
as I now have several pots of wild cherry jam.

Best wishes,

Monday, 27 April 2020

A Bit of Tatting

While sorting some things out, I found this edging I'd started a while ago.  It's the one shuttle edging which I've used once before for a hanky I gave away as a gift.  I now have another (similar) hanky and thought I'd try to tat a bit more of it.  The last time was a more bluey-green and this time is a more zingy green!

I'll try to be reasonable and only do a little bit at a time... to try not to irritate my silly elbow again!!  I do like a one-shuttle edging, very relaxing to work.  And I designed a corner for this one too so if you want a simple edging for a project, maybe you'll fancy trying it.  I even have a video on YouTube that demonstrates how to make it.

This nice green reminds me of all the fresh shoots and new leaves growing all around at the moment. It's a lovely time of year, nature-wise.

Best wishes,