Sunday, 6 July 2014

A shrug and a shawl

I have been a little bit knit crazy! Firstly, I made a shawl from Boo knits pattern called Dare to Dream on Ravelry. I used a lace weight yarn made of silk and camel from Lichtfaden which was a dream to knit!! So soft and smooth! The pattern was very easy to follow and I added an extra pattern repeat. I used beads from crystal and ice in Cardiff. I was very pleased with the finished shawl. I managed to finish it with just one skein as well so there was none left over to add to the stash.

Secondly, I made a shrug from a pattern called Genevieve from collinette yarns. The pattern is one size and it turned out quite big. Silly me did not do a test swatch, but luckily I am not skinny so it fits me well! I used the yarn called for on the pattern, Parisienne, colour way Marble. Very soft and lovely yarn. Beads were also from crystals and ice. I added them as I went along rather than threading them all onto the yarn as the pattern stated! I have not got a picture with me wearing it but here are some pictures of it laying on my conservatory floor....

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Open studios - Worstead Guild of weavers, spinners and dyers

Artists and crafters around norfolk and norwich are exhibiting their work. I am a member of Worstead spinners, weavers and dyers, yesterday was the start of our open studios. We showed a large range of crafts including spinning, dying, felting, knitting, weaving (rigid heddle, table loom, inkle loom, finger sticks and peg loom), kumihimo braiding and bobbin lace. All pieces have to be hand dyed spun or woven. Here are some pictures of some of the things we had for sale.

Visit us at Dilham village hall, we will be open 26th and 31st of May as well as the 1st, 7th and 8th of June, 11am until 5pm. For more information about our open days and other open studios see the Open studios website.

Lovely fibres and yarn...

Woven and knitted items...


Gorgeous bobbin Lace by Sandra and kumihimo braiding by Tim...

Knitted items from hand spun yarn...

And finally Jenny demonstrating on the loom...

Monday, 19 May 2014

Kumihimo Crazy!!

Kumihimo is fantastic! Tim from Worstead weavers spinners and dyers introduced me to it. It is an ancient Japanese technique of braiding. I have used it here to make lots of bracelets, but you could also use it to make corded handles for bags or even key rings. Many people use rat tail or waxed cotton to make the basic ones, I also really loved the beaded ones. Beads direct have published some good instruction videos on you tube if you want to have a go. You basically glue the braids into the end caps on the clasps, easy. You can get different clasps like the magnetic or lobster ones. A great idea for a little gift!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Drafting knickers pattern from an old pair

I had a couple of pairs of really comfy knickers and wanted to try and replicate these. I traced around the knickers.

Pair number 1 was from sainsburys, made from two back and two front panels and an inner gusset panel. I added seam allowance to sides and gusset but not to the other edges as I was adding lace. To construct I sewed the two front panels together, then sewed the two back panels together. I then joined the front and the back and used zigzag stitch to join the gusset inside (sewing down two sides of the gusset only). I sewed lace to both leg holes, joined one side seam, added lace to the waist and finally joined the second side seam.

Pair number 2 was a pair of low rise shorts from M&S, made from one back, one front and two gusset panels. Again, I traced the pieces, added seam allowance on the edges where the lace would not be attached. To construct, I layered the inside gusset (right side up), front panel (right side down) and outside gusset (right side down), sewed all three together using the overlocker. I placed the outside gusset right sides together with the back panel and carefully placed the inside gusset to the other side of the panel (right side of inside gusset against back panel. These three layers were sewn together, then turned right side out). Lace was added to both leg holes. One side seam was joined, lace added to the top edge and the other side se am joined. I liked the gusset for this pair best as it looked neater as it is enclosed.

Here are a few I made from these patterns. The bottom pair in the first image was made from pattern number 1. The others were made from pattern number 2. One thing I learnt was that what seems like small differences in stretch of the material can make a real difference in the fit. Try and pick similar fabric to the ones you made the pattern from. I trimmed the fabric back to nearly the stitch line where I attached lace to neaten the edges. Also I made sure the gusset was made from a cotton based fabric.

The top pair in the image below is made from pattern number 2 and I used fold over elastic for the top edge.

These are my favourite (below) they are so comfy as they are made with super stretchy fabric and luxurious lace!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Charcoal Coco!

Tilly from last years sewing bee has designed a fabulous top-dress pattern called the Coco. See her website called Tilly and the buttons, it has some great sewing patterns and her blog is always interesting. I made a bust adjustment, added a few darts and buttons around the neck (plus some buttons on the cuffs). I used a medium weight stretch fabric, the fabric is very soft, I got it from one of the fabric shops in Holt, Norfolk. I am very pleased with the fit, although I made quite a few changes to the original pattern, including reducing the width of the shoulders. I just love all the buttons!!!! I might try the dress version of the Coco next!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Country cottage crochet needle case

I made this s a gift for a friend who likes to crochet. I was inspired by a pattern in Stitch at home. I modified a pattern for a needle / sewing case into a crochet hook carry case. The original pattern used felt but I changed the construction so that I could make it from cotton fabric. Very pleased with the result. Just hope my friend likes it!

Here is what it looks like on the inside. 
The floral fabric forms a flap over the crochet hooks to keep them in place

The back of the cottage

Sunday, 6 April 2014

More Quilts for project Linus..... Trying out different free motion patterns

I had taken some blocks home from Drayton patchwork and quilters group to make into a quilt for the Linus charity. These had been made by one of the ladies who had passed away and left her fabric stash to our quilt group. It was nice to think I was finishing the project she had started. I made two quilts. Both were made from log cabin blocks. The first of which is very cheerful and reminds me of spring with all the yellow and gorgeous blue. I free motioned a kind of flower/butterfly pattern.

The pink floral fabric in the corners shows up more like brown in the photo. 

Here is what the back looks like....

The second of these is very floral. I would not have chosen these colours myself but I enjoyed trying out leaf free motion.

Here is a close up of the leaf free motion, which shows up best on the red background

I used green fabric for the backing. You can really see the leaf shapes on the back...

Phew.. That was a lot of free motion. I certainly understand that you need breaks and it hurts your back and shoulders. It is so much more difficult to free motion on a large quilt than a small sample. I still enjoyed it though :)