Sunday, 19 October 2014

The cutest little Cotswold cottage scissor keeper

Yet again another purchase from the knitting and stitching show. I was admiring the lovely handy work of Sue Hawkins. She is a talented needlework designer. A Cotswold cottage scissor keeper kit caught my eye. I had to buy it and attempt to replicate this gorgeous design. It took me about 5 days to finish completing a few hours each evening. I really enjoyed sewing it and I am very pleased with the finished piece. Not as neat as Sue's but not bad for a novice. It has made me want to design some of my own 3D stitch early. Here it is...

I could not believe how many different designs Sue had made. If you want to find out more see Sue's website

Soldering irons and organza are the future!

Last weekend at the knitting and stitching show (Ally Pally) I bought a snowflake kit and a soldering iron from Kathlene Laurel Sage. Kathlenes display was so inspiring with a miriad of organza goodness. She uses a soldering iron to cut and seal the organza to make flowers etc. Kathleen was very helpful, she gave me a quick rundown of how to use the soldering iron. I was so excited to have a go, but did not get chance until this weekend. The instructions were really easy to understand, it took me about 6 hours to complete as I was faffing about a bit. Here is my finished snowflake decoration.....

I am definitely hooked to this technique. I have a hole host of ideas to make things using this technique. If you are interested is ordering your own kit see Kathleen's website... Kathlene has kits you can order online and you can see lots of lovely things she has made.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Thread painting and reverse appliqué

Thread painting
A couple of weeks ago I went to a brilliant class on thread painting lead by Linda Turner. The class was so inspiring. Linda is such a good teacher! This is what I started in the class, following a pattern designed by Linda. I used waxed crayons to shade the sky and added a few migrating birds in the background.

I bound it like a regular quilt and added triangles of fabric on the back so I could tuck some doweling underneath to hang up. The back....

Reverse Appliqué 
I was inspired by a friend of mine, Lyndsey, to sew some reverse appliqué. Lynsey had done some lovely Halloween inspired place mats usin this method. I layered 8 fabrics, sewed a design through all the layers and cut away some of the fabric to show the layers beneath. I used machine thread painting to decorate the butterfly and dragonfly (I am addicted after Linda's class!) and finished off the flowers with hand sewn French knots.

 I completed the back with the same method described above. The back...

I really enjoyed making these pieces. Now I am working on a boutis / traptuno pin cushion amoung other things. I am also waiting for a couple of hand knitted hats (from hans spun yarn) to dry, they may be my next post. 

Ta ta for now.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Handwoven log cabin scarf

I have been working on this for a while and finally got around to finishing a couple of weeks ago. This scarf was made on a four shaft weaving loom using 4-ply aqua blue, grey and white yarn (from texereyarns). Jenny from Worstead weavers, spinners and dyers introduced me to the pattern, it is called log cabin. I really enjoyed weaving it. Although if I had a proper craft room it would have been so much easier to leave the loom set up. I am now planning what to weave on it next. Although, I also fancy doing some bobbin lace.

This is the scarf on the loom....

Finally finished....

Close up of the twisted tassels, all done by hand.....

A close up of the weave.....

Yesterday, I went on a course lead by Linda Turner called "painting with threads", it was absolutely amazing! I am now working on a painted thread wall hanging. It's not finished yet, but I will post the result when I have finished. Linda is so artistic and produces the most fantastic work. I strive to produce something like the quality of one of her more simpler pieces of work perhaps one day. I live in hope! Click here to check out some of Linda's fabulous work.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Neapolitan Toes

I am a great fan of knitting socks and when I saw this gorgeous self striping yarn from the sirdar heart and sole collection I could not resist making another pair! The colour way I chose was hello cheeky, with a gorgeous mix of yellow, pink, blue and purple (it reminds my of Neapolitan ice cream). It is a blend of 75% wool and 25% nylon. I used a combination of my standard sock knitting pattern and the pattern on the wool band, however I did modify the pattern to allow for a larger circumference around the ankle, reducing 3 stitches per row every 5 rows down the leg to shape for the ankle. The finished socks are great! I think I will keep them for myself this time. They will be nice and snugly in the winter months.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Bits and bobs

I have been busy finishing lots of little projects lately. Here are some of the finished items...

Silver kumihimo necklace made with silver galvanised beads. 
Made as a gift for my mums friend Alison

Cute little knickers made with heart lace and striped jersey fabric.
Made as a gift for a close friend, don't worry I won't name names!!

Love the bow!

Hand knitted cowl made from handspun Shetland fleece, I even processed the fleece from scratch too.
This one was made for my dad to keep him warm in the winter months. 

I am finishing off some hand knitted socks, handwoven scarves and working on some reverse appliqué at the moment so watch this space! 

Also I will be at the Aylsham show on this bank holiday Monday demonstrating beaded kumihimo with the Worstead Guild of weavers, spinners and dyers if anyone wants to visit us.

Fantastic natural dyeing course by Ros Wilson

Last weekend I went on a natural dyeing course lead by Ros Wilson, it was very inspiring and made the prospect of the whole dyeing process a lot less bewildering. She showed us how different mordants effect the final colour and I was very surprised about how vivid the colours I could achive!

Here are the colours we achieved with 3 different mordants and 4 different natural dyes. We used onion skins, weld, cochineal and logwood, can you guess which ones are which?

Ros has a wonderful garden and workshop, here are our skeins drying in the sunshine.

If anyone is interested in any of the courses Ros teaches you can find out more at her website:

She is a great teacher. She also does talks on how to design your own knitting patterns which I hope to attend.