Sunday, 10 June 2018

Rose, Cordial, Edging

Very unoriginal is my blogpost title!  Back from my travels, the garden is now in full swing.  I hear it's a particularly good year for roses.  This wild one in our garden is really showing off with it's vivid shade of pink!



This time of year is also wonderful for...
making elderflower cordial!

This concoction will steep for 24 hours and I will bottle it tomorrow.
The elderflower is so fragrant!



And lastly, I decided to give this edging a try because I found it looked unusual.  It's from my Tatting from Burda book - the same one where the large butterfly doily is to be found.  It just caught my eye.  It's not easy to tat though and the explanations on the pattern are not very good.  There is some tension and I wonder whether I tat more tightly than the person who designed it because I feel I could benefit from an extra stitch here and there but I'm keeping to the pattern and see if it turns out good in the end.  There will be two more rounds.



I hope everyone is well and happy and enjoying nice sunshiny weather!  :-)

Best wishes,
Frivole

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Little Crochet Bag - Take Two

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement on my last blogpost.  I have now finished the second bag I was making for a friend.  She likes that sort of khaki green.

I took notes while crocheting it but I will need a couple more samples at least to make sure all the stitches are correct and I describe how to make all the different parts really well.  When you're working for yourself, it's easy to just wing it and improvise to make it fit (especially with crochet I find) but when writing a pattern you have to make sure everything is clear to someone else!

I'm pleased with the sliders for the adjustable straps, they work really well.  I like to be able to wear my bags on the shoulder but also sometimes "en bandoulière" as we say in French for which I don't know the expression in English!  You know, when your strap is on the opposite shoulder to where your bag is and the strap goes across your chest.  I just asked my son and he didn't know how to say it in English either!  Anyway that's why I find an adjustable strap really handy.




Here's the slider for the adjustable strap.
I also made the strap narrower this time which is much better.
For mine I had bought 1½" fittings and slider but this time it's one inch.

I like the way the zipper piece fits in and the shape it gives to the bag top.


Feet again because they're kinda cute!


Because the strap is narrower this time, I couldn't do the crab stitch edging I'd made on mine.
Instead I did a top crochet stitch (like doing chain stitch in embroidery) on two rows
and left the middle row without which gives it an interesting look and also
has the benefit of making the strap more sturdy and less stretchy.


And finally, it's fun to look for the right lining and these bright flowers
on a dark background with just the right shade of green leaves was perfect.


The little bobble on the zipper pull is so useful in practice.
I'm using my own bag now and it's so much easier to open and close the bag with it.
Much quicker to find the right end too!

On my old bag I was always looking for where the end of the zip was.

With all that, not much progress has been made on my small doily but I'll return to it very soon.

Best wishes,
Frivole

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Little Green Bag

I finished my bag last night.  Well, it's not completely finished as I am waiting for a slider for my adjustable strap to arrive in the post.  At the moment, there is a button to hold the strap (which I've just realised you actually can't see on the photos) but I decided I didn't like it and that it would put too much strain on a small part of the strap whereas a proper slider will spread the tension over the whole width of the strap.



I used the star stitch again but this time I didn't do the row of single crochets between the rows of starts and I like it this way for a change.  It's a nice texture and makes for a thick fabric.






I like to insert a bottom in my crochet bags so the bag keeps its shape and this time I went fancy and even added feet!






Here is the zip from the top.  I made a separate rectangular piece so that I could easily machine-sew my zip into it and then crocheted that piece onto the rest of the bag.  I also added a bobble to the zip pull which makes it easier to quickly find it when you want to open your bag as the zip pull is quite small otherwise.

I finished the edge around the zip and the edge the strap with a "crab stitch" (or reverse single crochet).






And finally I lined my bag with some recycled cotton from a bag of old clothes that was due to be taken to the charity shop!







I'm thinking I should write the pattern for this one.  I always improvise every time I make a new bag but I think it would be nice to have an actual pattern I could refer to when I want to make the next one!


Best wishes,
Frivole

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Bag, Socks, Doily

What a beautiful sunshiny day it is today!  I hope it is where you are too.  With the nice weather, I thought it was time I made myself a new summer handbag.  I like these crochet bags and have made several over the years.  I'm getting near the top now and thinking how I will insert the zip and make the adjustable strap.  I tie a knot in the strap of my other bag when I want it shorter which is not very stylish so I thought this time I would make a proper adjustable strap.  I will also line it to give it more body.



I'm still enjoying knitting socks and have another pair on the go.  Just a plain knit self-striping design this time.  But do you like my stitch marker?  I tested a little "ice-drop" type of tatting design for a friend and I thought it would make a nice stitch marker.



And lastly, I've only managed three of the repeats on the last round of my doily so far.  I really like the shape of the points on this little doily.



Best wishes,
Frivole

Friday, 4 May 2018

Third Round Completed

I just finished the third round tonight.  I had to cut a part of it towards the end as I'd not noticed I had made one of the chains wrong.  I was on the last repeat when I noticed something wasn't quite right.  Anyway, it got sorted.  Just one more round to complete this little doily.



And I did make the Catherine Wheel Join video I mentioned in my previous post.  I found it was not easy to make it look clear what I was doing whilst filming this one but I hope it might still be helpful to some of you.  Let me know how I can improve!

Catherine Wheel Join Video

Best wishes,
Frivole

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Light Bulb Moment, Lock Joins, and Catherine Wheel Joins

A lady recently asked me a question on one of my YouTube videos.  It's the one that shows how to make a blipless join when working with two colours.  She wanted to know how to avoid a colour blip when making a lock join instead of a regular join.

Of course as only one shuttle is used for the lock join, you cannot use the other shuttle/colour to hide the colour blip as I do in my blipless join.  This needed to be explored... but the solution was simple in the end:  using a Catherine Wheel Join solves the problem.  If you look at the photo below, you can see that the CWJ is much neater looking as well as keeping the chain colour continuous.

One thing to take into consideration however is that the CWJ adds a stitch, whereas a lock join does not.

The problem with a CWJ though is that it doesn't "dip down" on the join like a lock join does.  You can see in the photo above how much sharper the angle is on the lock join than it is on the CWJ.  I found a solution:  I make the last half stitch before the CWJ and the first half stitch after it with a double wrap which makes the base of the stitch larger and thereby giving a better shape to the join area.




But that wasn't even the light-bulb moment yet!  I don't know about you but I was finding CWJs not that easy to do.  I often use to mess them up and had to take them apart and start again.  It may just be me, please let me know if you find them easy.  Anyway, whilst working these CWJs this morning, I just realised they are just the same as the stitches in a video I made recently on split chains.  That was the light-bulb moment!

I really like this way of making split chains which was shown to me by Marie Smith (see video).  Before learning that method, I disliked tatting split chains and tended to avoid them even though, like split rings, they can be so useful when designing patterns and wanting to move from one round to the next without cutting and tying.

What I realised is that it's exactly the same movements to make a CWJ, as long as you make sure the other shuttle thread is in the right place.  I will be making a new video showing this very soon.  Hopefully others who may be struggling with the CWJ will find it useful too.

Best wishes,
Frivole

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Small Doily - 3rd Round

I'm working on the third round and I thought it looked pretty as I tatted last night, like a giant flower on my knee...

Again I'm enjoying tatting rings with flipped stitches and chains with unflipped for this round.  It really saves a lot of time and fiddling with not having to turn your work over, or rewind your shuttles.


I like how this third round adds a lot to the size of the doily in one go.

Best wishes,
Frivole