Friday, 20 November 2015

Finished Friday - Petals to Picot Mandala

Way back in July I posted about starting a mandala to take part in the #MandalasforMarinke project being organised by Kathryn of the blog Crochet Concupiscence.  Well I finished it, and even managed to send it to her before the deadline, but I just realised that I haven't shown the finished piece.  So here it is:

It' so pretty!  I said that I would make another but I haven't gotten around to it.  With Christmas just around the corner though, I'm thinking that it would make a lovely gift.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Christmas Pudding Brooch

Last year my friend asked me to make her a Christmas brooch for an event that she was going to.  I made her a Christmas tree, which was cut from green felt with sequins sewn onto the entire front surface, and was finished off with small gems for baubles and metallic yarn for tinsel.  I did take a photo of it, but my skills were not enough to really capture the brooch and the whole thing looked flat, whereas in reality it was so dynamic with all the reflections from the sequins and gems.  Anyway, I also made a Christmas pudding brooch as a back-up, which photographed a little better.

To make it I cut a two rounds of brown felt about 2.5 inches in diameter, and then I cut a piece of white felt to mimic the frosting and sewed that to one of the brown circles.  Then I sewed the sequins onto the white felt, being sure to cover the whole area.  The sequins I used were very pale purple with what I think is called an Aurora Borealis (AB) finish, which gives a greenish hue to the reflected light and I used invisible thread.  A little bit of wadding was sandwiched between the front and back to give it some body, and the whole lat was simply sewn together with a whip stitch.  Two holly leaves cut from metallic card and flatback rhinestone berries finished the brooch off.

The sewing of the sequins took a while, but it was a labour of love.  If you didn't have the time or inclination then I suppose a clear-drying fabric glue would also work, but I love the meditative quality of hand-sewing.  I will be sporting my pudding brooch this year, and I might even make up a few more to hang around the house.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

WIP Wednesday

It was almost a year ago that I wrote a post for WIP Wednesday where I introduced my long-neglected red, white and blue blanket (RWBB). Well, I fell off that wagon in a pretty big way! But I'm pleased to say I've gotten back on and RWBB is back in progress.  I haven't got a picture, but I've made a bit of progress filling in the gaps.  I'm aiming for one section a day, but then I've said that before...

I've been slowly working on my Christmas crafts.  I found this cross stitch kit that's been buried since 2011 according to the date of the Cross Stitcher magazine!  I always forget just how much time it takes to do even a simple cross stitch motif, but the results are always pleasing.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

It's finished!

Well, first of all hello after an almost 3-month break ��. Many of my recent blog posts seem to start with an observation about how much time has passed since my last post, but it's true! The school holidays were always going to be slow from a crafting perspective - lots of time spent away from home camping, making day trips and visiting family.  It was pretty hectic.  It's been about 5 weeks since the kids started back at school and I'm only just feeling like things are settling down again.

But enough about all that. I have exciting news.  The baby blanket, the one I started back in February, is finished ��! That's right, finished.. done... completed. And even better, I was able to hand it over to the intended recipient on Saturday ��.

I can't tell you how pleased I am to be able to say that.  The whole finishing process seemed painfully slow and soooo boring at times, which is why I went long periods of time when I didn't even want to look at it, but I learned a valuable lesson about crochet blanket-making.  The lazy crafter in me declared that I would NEVER make another blanket with lots of colour changes ever again! But I think that if I had darned in the ends periodically, after every five squares or after every row for example, it would have resulted in a much more pleasurable process.

There's nothing quite like finishing a project is there?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

WIP Wednesday

Wow, it's been 2 months since my last post!  I can't believe it's been so long.  It seems like every time I sat down to write a post it was no longer Wednesday. Because it's been so long I'm a little bit embarrassed about how little progress I've made on the baby blanket (yes, it's still a WIP) but here goes.

I've edged the blanket with a single row of treble crochet in sandstone followed by a single row each of yellow, terracotta and turquoise in double crochet.  I decided to keep it simple.  Then I began the arduous task of weaving in all the ends and that's where the whole thing has come to a halt.  If you look closely at the picture you can see that there are some 'clean' squares but there are still a lot of ends to weave in.  I haven't been giving it much of my attention because I find it so dull, but now that I've outed myself maybe it will give me renewed impetus.

The other thing I've just started is a mandala for the #MandalasforMarinke project.  For those of you who don't know, Marinke, a.k.a. Wink, was a crochet blogger (from A Creative Being) who died at the end of June.  She had been living with depression and sadly took her life. I was really affected the day I heard as were hundreds of others.  Kathryn, of the blog Crochet Concupiscence decided to set up #MandalasForMarinke, where she has invited crocheters across the globe to crochet one of Wink's mandalas (or any item that they like) and send them to her for a collaborative art project, partly as a way to honour Wink's memory and partly to help raise awareness about depression.    I have chosen the mandala from Issue 7 of Simply Crochet Magazine.  If you'd like to know more, please visit her blog.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

WIP Wednesday

Baby Blanket
Well, it looks like a blanket!  All the strips have been crocheted together and I've started putting a border around the edge.

I've gone for a simple treble crochet border.

I'm not quite sure yet whether to do multi-coloured rows (matching the blanket colours) or  to go with a plain border.  As it's a baby blanket I'm leaning towards multi-coloured.  Any thoughts?

I'm dreading weaving in the ends.  There are so many.  Next blanket I make from scratch is going to be monochromatic!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

WIP Wednesday

I'm writing this on a coach home from London. I love being a passenger on long journeys. Lots of time to crochet!

The baby blanket is taking shape. 8 of the 9 strips have been completed. I would have done all 9 but I was missing a couple of squares. Must have miscounted somewhere along the way. Anyway, I've started joining the strips together, but it looks like more yarn will be needed! So much for stash-busting.

No other progress to report, but I quite fancy doing some embroidery. It's been a while.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

WIP Wednesday

Well, I've certainly fallen out of this blogging lark! Once you get out of the habit it's really hard to get back in.  That's not to say I haven't been making anything, but I'm really enjoying cardmaking at the moment, which means only occasional forays into needlework.

Anyway on to the WIPs in question:

Red, white and blue crochet blanket

Very little progress to report here. I've completed all of the white-edged squares and have started filling in the gaps with blue.  Still quite a few to go though.

Progress has been slow for a very good reason...

...I started a new blanket! I know, I know, but this one is special as it's to be a gift for my husband's cousin who just had a baby about a month ago. I've made really good progress considering how long the RWB blanket has been under construction.

The blanket will be a very generous 1 and a bit metres by 90cm, so hopefully baby won't outgrow it too soon. That's 10 x 9 rows of granny squares.  I've crocheted all 90 and am now joining the squares together:

I also found lots of other UFOs, which should give me plenty of fodder for future WIP Wednesday posts!

Friday, 27 February 2015

TAST 6 - Chevron Stitch

My love affair with paisley goes on and so here's another example, this time stiched with Chevron Stitch.  It takes to curves pretty well and has potential as an interesting feature by varying the size of the chevron and the direction of the straight stitches at the v points.

I'm working my way through the full list of TAST stitches on the Pin Tangle blog.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

TAST 5 - Herringbone Stitch

I've been working on this sampler for weeks! Having said that you might be expecting something spectacular, but it's only because of a lack of time and a bit of stitcher's block. I didn't just want to do a line of stitches but I couldn't for the life of me think of any other way to present the stitch.

For the top row I stitched a line of herringbone stitch then turned the work upside down and stitched the other side to give a nice laced effect. 

In the middle I used the stitch to couch down some ribbon.

At the bottom I started with a tall herringbone stitch and stitching over the top, got progressively shorter. Then I filled in the gaps with a couple of rows of herringbone stitch.

For a full list of TAST stitches head over to Pin Tangle.