Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Beadless Centre Ice Queen

Last weekend I was invited to my very first ever... Tatting Day!   It was wonderful to meet so many tatters and see their beautiful creations.  I even got to meet the famous Jane Eborall (she won't like me calling her that I bet... but she is!) and see her "at work" as she was teaching a techniques workshop.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  My thanks to Linda for organising the day.

I'm afraid I've got no "evidence" (photos) to show for it as I was just too busy looking, tatting and chatting!

I got a basket mould from Linda which I look forward to showing you in another post.  Linda had asked me to bring Ice Queen as she wanted to see it "in the flesh" because she wants to tat it.  I didn't have one ready made (I gave them all away) so I brought my things to make her one during the day - though of course, as it turned out, I didn't spend that much time tatting so wasn't able to complete it.  BUT, when I got there I realised I'd forgotten to bring the beads that I needed for the centre.  Undeterred, I decided to tat Ice Queen without and see how it turned out.  I just finally finished it this morning.  Not bad I think.  The bugle beads are essential to the design but you could definitely do without the centre beads.  And this is what it looks like:

Click here to see Ice Queen with centre beads

It now makes me wonder about reversing the centre shape so that the whole design could be tatted in one pass....  Mmmm.... yes, that would be good.  I do so like "one-pass" designs.  I'll give that some thought.

And a bit more progress on the rectangle doily... just a bit!

Life feels somewhat hectic at the moment.

Best wishes,

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Rectangle, Top, and Something New

More bit of this and bit of that...  I'm flitting like a butterfly at the moment with lots of (too many??) projects on the go!

I rounded the first corner on the Rectangle Doily.  I'm not really happy with my tatting at the moment, it's not very smooth or even.  But I will persevere.  It also really needs pressing a bit but I've not done it yet.  Still, this is a great piece to take around with you as there is no pattern to remember, it's all sequences of 4 stitches.  Really easy.

I finished the crochet top I was making for my daughter (I finished it during the holiday but had not taken photos yet).  All ends darned it and washed now, it's ready to give away.  It's Ada Lacy Shells top by Vicky Chan.

This photo doesn't do it justice.
I think it will look very pretty worn over a camisole.

And another photo to show the pretty pattern:

In fact I liked it so much when I finished it that I decided to make myself one... guess in what colour?

I've been having a bit of fun with my crochet hooks too.
They so much more comfortable to hold with a bit of extra girth.

Playing with polymer clay for my hooks inspired me to try something new:  I decided to have a go at making a clay cane... just for a bit of fun.

I tried a sort of flower.
This is how big it was at the beginning.

And then you "reduce" it, working to thin the cane
hopefully without distorting the pattern too much.

And you keep pressing and rolling....

Until you have a tiny flower
(or as big or small as you wish to make it)
The design runs all the way through
so you can slice your cane and use the slices
to decorate things or to make jewellery.

So that was my fun little experiment for this week.  If I had more time... Some artists make amazing looking canes and millefiori designs.  I find it fascinating.

Best wishes,

Friday, 15 April 2016

A Bit of This A Bit of That...

When Diane first made this rectangle doily, I thought straight away I'd want to make it too!  I believe she is now working on her second one.  I finally made a start.

As you can see there is a little bit of a curve going on there which means there will be some tension when this needs to be straightened when attaching the other side.

Yes, there is a bit of tension but it's not too bad and it will be sorted out with a bit of blocking.  This could be fixed by adding/removing a few stitches here and there but the nice thing about this design is that everything is made with 4s:  the rings are 4-4-4-4 and the chains are 4-4-4... so it would be a shame to mess with that.  It also makes it a really easy pattern to memorise!

The other little thing I was working on is these simple medallions with bare threads.  I do like the delicate look of tatting with bare threads.  I don't know how far I'll get with it but I thought I'd show you what I have so far.

Maybe you can see better on a dark background?

The one on the left is a messed up one which will go in the bin.

And I have a question for you:  would you make a blanket in cotton?  I'm thinking of making a new blanket which is being released as a CAL (Crochet Along) by its designer:  Jane Crowfoot.  The pattern calls for cotton to be used... but I'm not sure I like the idea of a blanket made of cotton yarn.  Do you?  When I think of a blanket, wool seems much more appropriate.

I tried the first motif in both to see how it looked.  The wool is on the left and the cotton on the right.  You can see that the cotton colours are more vivid and the stitches more defined.  The wool is more "fluffy" and although the colours are quite close, they are a bit more muted.

I also enjoy crocheting with wool a lot more than I do with cotton.  So what do you think?  Would you make a blanket out of cotton?  Or would wool be your preference?  I always love to hear what you think!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Holiday Endeavours

In spite of the bad weather (lots of rain!), we had a lovely holiday.  We still like to do lots of active and sporty activities but bad weather does also mean more time inside... and more time inside means more time to make things!

I was busy with my crochet hook this time and also with my wonderful old Singer sewing machine with crank handle.  I made dresses for my daughter and myself and shorts for my son.  I forgot to take a photo of my sewing machine to show you but I just LOVE it!  I find it so relaxing to sew on it and what a fabulous feat of engineering that a 1937 machine still sews so well and smoothly and doesn't require any electricity to keep it going!

No photos of my sewing but here are some of my crochet projects.  I really fancied the look of Jane Crowfoot's Persian Tiles Blanket so I made a sample with the wools I had on hand... not a bad match to the original though my dark blue is more purply than the one Jane used in her design.  I'd definitely consider making the whole blanket.  Each octagon is quite large... about the size of a dinner plate.

I made only a little progress on a blanket I am making for my young son.  This is all his choice. I tried to convince him to go for a theme with the colours but no, he just wanted any and every colour just all mixed in.  He chooses which colour I add next and he also chose the ripple design. 

I spent most time working on a lacy top for my daughter but I haven't got photos of it.  I completed it but I still need to hide ends and wash and block it so I'll show you that in another post.

Lastly I made this little set of coasters for my mother-in-law.  I have some of those in my house, they can be whipped up in no time and I think they look really pretty.  It's a free pattern which can be found in several places on the web and I got mine from here

I had brought shuttles too of course... but I'm sorry to report that on this occasion, they remained idle.   I'm sure it won't be for long though!

Best wishes,

Friday, 25 March 2016

Joyeuses Pâques!

I've found very little time for tatting lately.  And it's Good Friday already!  So what I have for my Easter post is a little basket made with a previously tatted motif.

I think this was from a vintage book....  I can't remember at the moment where it was from but as soon as I do, I will update the post.

It's very easy to transform any circular motif into a little basket by wetting it with diluted PVA glue or  in this case with diluted Fa-brick then draping it onto the bottom of a small container or small bowl (I used a measuring cup) and leaving it to dry and harden.

Happy Easter!

We're off for a little family break... I wish you and your families a lovely one too.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

No Time Crochet Cardigan

After I completed the hanky edging, there was some turquoise wool in my stash that was shouting my name really loudly...

I fancied tackling a crochet garment and I looked around for what I thought would be the right pattern... something a bit lacy but also with a good shape.  I chose this pattern but I only had 9 balls of Red Heart Fina dk in the "Dragonfly" colour way.  Crochet does use up more wool than knitting... and what I thought was the yardage required for the pattern actually turned out to be the weight of the amount of wool required... but by the time I realised my mistake, I was already well advanced in the making of it.  So by all accounts I shouldn't have had nearly enough wool to complete this project but somehow, just somehow, I managed to make it!  I did shorten the length but I like it like that.

The pattern is a free one by Garnstudio
Actually if you're looking for patterns either for crochet or knitting
there is an incredible selection of free patterns offered on this website.

I think once I wash it, the wool will relax and it will lengthen a bit anyway.  I was really having a mad dash with this and filled my evenings with trebles and shells.  It went really quickly.  Just a few days and it was finished.

These are not the right buttons and that's why they're not sewn on but it looked better for the photos.  I need to find smaller ones that will fit between the trebles as there are are no buttonholes as such.

Yes, I enjoyed making this very much.  Happy bunny.  :-)

Best wishes,

Friday, 11 March 2016

"Broomstick Lace" Handkerchief Edging Completed

That's it.  It's done.  It's been an interesting experience and it's given me ideas... which was a good reason for tackling this edging.  It's not "perfect" but I like it.  It's something a bit different.  If I was doing it again, I would probably put a few extra stitches in the second and third rounds to give more space to the loooong picots.  I have also made a video of this last round which I will be uploading very soon.

The corners in particular are a little "tight"
and could definitely benefit from a bit more room.

Definitely a technique I would use again.  I also liked that it was an edging made with chains only which meant needing only one shuttle and also no need to rewind as you work which makes it quicker to tat.

Best wishes,