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.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WIP Wednesday

Happy New Year!  I hope a lovely time was had by all.  Since making Christmas cards there's been very little in the way of crafty activities going on around here.  I have made a little progress on my projects though.

RWB Blanket


I've attached more white-edged squares to the blanket. There are only 2 squares left to attach and then all the holes will need filling in with blue yarn: 15 whole squares, 12 half square triangles and 3 quarter square triangles.

Advent Calendar


The Advent Calendar is no longer a WIP, but I'm ashamed to admit that it didn't get finished until very recently! *looks sheepish* Maybe I'll write a separate post about it. 


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WIP Wednesday

I've made some progress on the RWB crochet blanket.  Not much, but it's progress! Four blocks have been edged in white, and two of those have been joined to the main blanket.  Apologies for the train track in the photo. I was under strict instructions not to dismantle it!


I feel like I also need to mention this Advent calendar. I started it during Advent last year (that's so me) and am in danger of not finishing it in time for this year. It looks a bit odd because it's pinned in a funny way.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

WIP Wednesday

Every Tuesday I remind myself to put up a WIP post on Wednesday, and then every Thursday I slap my forehead in frustration because I forgot.  But not this week! I have waaaaaay too many projects on the go that have been lingering for far too long. I'm hoping that by making WIP Wednesday a regular feature on the blog that I'll actually make some progress.

My first WIP is my red, white and blue crochet blanket.  I started this in 2012 amid the patriotic fervour of the royal wedding, the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics in London, hence the colour choice.  More than two years later it's still in progress.  It spent most of that time at the bottom of a big bag of other half finished projects.  But I would love to have this done before winter is out to put on my eldest's bed.  I need to put a white border around the remaining squares and join them to the main blanket.  Then fill in the holes with blue.



I think I'll leave it there for now. Blogger's playing up, I can't find the photos I'm looking for and it's time to get the kids!  To see what other WIPs are out there head over to Pin Tangle for a nose.

Friday, 10 October 2014

TAST 4 - Cretan Stitch

I've used the Cretan stitch to make a festive wreath.  I went around the circle three or four times in different shades of green, and once in brown to give the effect of twigs. To prevent too much uniformity in the greenery I slanted the arms of an open Cretan stitch and inadvertently discovered the similarities between Cretan and Feather stitch.  I've since discovered that Cretan stitch is also known as Long-armed Feather Stitch, so it wasn't exactly a breakthrough discovery!  It's a nice stitch to stitch, if you know what I mean, having a nice rhythm once you get going.
For more about TAST, to join in or to see what everyone else has been stitching, head over to Pin Tangle.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

TAST 1 & 2 - Fly and Buttonhole Stitches

I joined TAST at stitch 36 with every intention of keeping up with the weekly 'challenge'. But alas, life and other crafty interests got in the way and it fell by the wayside.  Thankfully, Sharon at Pin Tangle has made it easy to stitch along regardless of where you are in the list of stitches.  I really do want to improve my embroidery repertoire and it's nice to have a visual record, so I've gone back to the beginning and will work my way through the list. Eventually!

The first two stitches are Fly stitch and Buttonhole stitch.  My Buttonhole offering was inspired by Wallachian embroidery which resembles satin stitch, but is worked purely in Buttonhole stitch. Mine has quite a few gaps and is a bit uneven.  I just didn't have the patience to do the technique justice!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Fabric Shopping... African Style

I'm currently visiting family in Lagos.  If I'm perfectly honest it's not a place I feel completely comfortable in, never having lived here and with visits lately happening only every few years.  I always seem to get the blues a little when I'm here - maybe it's not having any friends here (besides family), or the heat, or a side-effect of the anti-malarials, or all of the above.  So this week I was glad that I made it to the market to do some fabric shopping.  I mean, what could be better than shopping for fabric to chase the blues away?  Especially when it's bright and colourful.

Bright Ankara fabric on display
My first stop was Balogun Market on Lagos Island.  It's a huge market selling practically everything, with a good portion of it given over to fabric - a few stalls selling general fabric, with the majority selling Ankara (the brightly coloured, wax-resist printed cotton that is associated with Africa), brocade and lace.  I was interested in the Ankara.  It is usually sold in 6 yard bundles but occasionally you might find someone selling offcuts or willing to cut into a bundle for you.

Prices are usually in the range of about N250 ([Nigerian currency is the Naira] which is just under £1) a yard to N500, but you could pay more depending on where you shop, particularly if shopping outside of the market.  With prices like that it would be easy to lose your head, but I exercised a bit of restraint.  Having said that, now that I'm sitting here writing this I'm starting to wonder if I should have bought more!

...and more fabric!
My second stop was Oshodi market.  A smaller and less salubrious market perhaps, but still with bags of choice and much better prices.

My fabric haul
As you can see I've definitely got a preferred colour palette - turquoise (my new favourite colour), pinks, lilacs and the occasional green.  I tried very hard to go for some different hues, but I kept coming back to those colours.  At this point I've got 25 yards of fabric, all for the princely sum of about £25!  I've told myself that this is enough, as I don't actually have any projects in mind for all this fabric.  In fact it's been an age since I did any proper sewing, but it's all so delicious and takes up so little space!  I'm not sure I'll be able to resist buying more if the opportunity arises, but then who knows when I'll get another chance...  Right?