Posts Tagged Stylecraft Special DK

The Eastern Jewels Finish – An End to the Ends

After all the octagons

and all the squares, the large triangles and the small triangles,

and the seemingly endless ends to be sewn in.

After going maverick and doing a slightly different border in different colours,

taking a deep breath, hand washing it and spinning it for a short time tied in a pillow case with a couple of bath sheets to prevent too much agitation, as recommended,

blocking it out to a 45 inch square on several yoga mats

it’s finished!

I started this in late October when I was in the U.K. looking after my Mum with my sisters.

Finished in April just before going back over to the U.K. to see my daughter in her new flat for the first time.

I’ve loved every minute of making this – well, apart from sewing in the ends that is but, if you do them as you go along it’s not so bad.

I would never have put all these colours together myself but it’s been so cleverly worked out that the overall effect is really stunning  and just goes to prove that going outside your comfort colour zone now and then can be a revelation.

So – we put the flags out – or the patchwork flag up – something I’ve been nagging reminding Mr. T. to help me with for some time now and, as you can see, it didn’t end up in the long, empty corridor as discussed in my earlier post but in the lovely old rickety wooden stairway leading up to the top floor.

Now, what’s next?

Actually, I won’t lie, I’ve already ordered another kit – a different one this time and it should be here by the time I get back from my U.K. trip so I’ll show you then but I am definitely going to make this one again in the future.

Well, I’ve got the pattern now, it would be silly not to.

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More P.J.s – The Pears Pair

I showed you the muslin for the Kwik Sew pyjamas I made from the vintage sheet last time, now the real thing is finished.

I used some plain scrap fabric for the collar, cuffs and pocket top and some buttons I’d bought for something else at one time or another now lost in the mists of time and memory.

I bought the Liberty tana lawn on Ebay – 3m for 20 quid which was a bargain – somebody was having a de-stash which I might do one of these days (yeah, right!).  I’ve only used 1.5m for these so I have yet more Liberty tana lawn in my stash now.  I’m sure I’ll find a use for it eventually.  Maybe I could make the long bottoms for when there are visitors.

I’m sure you will be glad that I decided to let one of my old mannequins model them, rather than subject you to another view of my legs (even though it was a blurry photo).  I had to faff about with the shorts because of the pole and they’re still not hanging right but you get the idea.

I suspect flat buttons are the norm for pyjama tops but these go so well with the colours I had to use them even though they might dig in me when I’m asleep.  I don’t sleep on my front so I should be O.K. but, if not, I’ll change them for something more practical.  I don’t know how women  sleep on their fronts – don’t their lady bumps get in the way? It’s not supposed to be good for your back anyway so don’t do it although it is supposed to be good for preventing snoring so I might suggest it to Mr. T. who is a champion snorer and hasn’t got any lady bumps so there’s no excuse.  Anyway, I digress – note the double top stitching.  One line is just down the edge and I did that easily enough on the muslin but I chickened out of doing the second line which follows the line of the facing.  I didn’t want the bobbin thread on top so you sort of have to follow the line of the facing on the inside from the outside, if you know what I mean.  It’s the sort of tricksy finishing touch you do at the end that usually goes wrong for me and then I get upset because everything else went well and then I mess up at the last hurdle.  However – this time it worked.

Even though, in close up, they look like I’ve already slept in them (because I didn’t iron them again before taking the photos) I haven’t so I will report on the comfort factor after several sleeps.

Just to let you know –  my hand seems to have recovered quite nicely from the repetitive strain injury, arthritis, tendonitis or whatever else it was that was causing me pain.  I am still wearing my craft gloves though – when I remember – and have bought some more so that I have one up in my workroom for sewing and one downstairs for when I’m wrestling with wool.

Speaking of which, here’s my progress on the Eastern Jewels blanket.  I’m making the squares and triangles for each row and joining up as I go, as well as weaving in the endless ends, so it won’t be such a shock at the end.

The more I do the less I feel I will want to part with it.

Now I’ve finished the second pair of P.J.s I am tackling a quilting project I started a few years ago which I kept glimpsing, peeking at me accusingly from a corner of my workroom.  I’m not even sure whether I like it any more but the fabric was too expensive to discard so I’ll press on and see what happens.  I want to get quilting projects out of the way in preparation for the next block swap I’m participating in which will probably start in March/April this year.

What are you up to this weekend? Are you starting a new project or continuing with an existing one.  Or are you doing nothing whatsoever to do with crafting?  I’ll still be interested.  Honest!!

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Just a Couple of Little Projects

While my Mum was visiting I abandoned sewing and my workroom for the much more sociable and garden friendly crochet.

I was prepared.  Having made a fairly simple blanket as a beginner project I thought I’d tackle something a little more complicated and was tempted by the Sunshine and Showers blanket by Janie Crow which is running as a CAL (crochet along) on her blog  here.

You make two identical sections per month for twelve months and then join some sections together and you should end up with the above which looks hideously complicated to me.   Look! there are flowers and little hearts and bobbles and things – but I’m hoping to learn as I go along.  There are two versions – one in a merino mix yarn and the one I’m doing which is in Stylecraft Special DK which comes in some splendiferous colours.  I decided to go with the same colours used in the CAL because there will be less room for confusion and I like them anyway.

I have completed one of the sections for the month of May – the wave pattern is intentional and not due to wine consumption –

Now I have to make a second,  identical one and wait for June’s section to be released when, apparently,  I will learn ‘puff’ stitches – I can hardly wait and, although I know that sounds sarcastic, there is a an element of truth in it.  Simple pleasures……..

I had forgotten how much I hate doing long foundation chains  😦

A glutton for punishment, however, and wanting something easier to do in between waiting for the sections to be released, I bought the yarn to make Lucy at Attic 24’s Hydrangea Blanket for which the pattern is on her blog here

At first glance I wondered why these colours were anything to do with hydrangeas but Lucy explains that she watched how the blooms changed colour over time and has some great photos on her blog (one of which below) showing how right she is.

Wool Warehouse stocks the kits for Attic 24 patterns so I went ahead and sent for them here and began the repetitive, yet addictive, stitch which forms a really nice dense texture.

I like to look at the balls of yarn in their basket.  Such a range of colours is hard to resist and, although I avoid 100% acrylic in knitting projects that I am going to wear, in my house a blanket needs to be put in a washing machine.  Also, after struggling with a cotton yarn that splits as soon as you look at it in my fusion quilt (squares of fabric with a crochet border) this is an absolute pleasure to crochet with.  I’m hooked!  Sorry, not sorry.

This is where I am with it so far but progress might slow down a little now Mum has gone back to the U.K. and I am drawn back to the sewing room.

Just in case I wasn’t already knee deep in crochet, I made a hat.  For an egg.  Well, why wouldn’t you?

Actually, it’s not really for an egg, although it could be,  it’s for a bottle.  I can’t remember where I saw it mentioned first but Innocent Drinks are, once again, asking for little knitted (or crochet) hats to put on the top of their smoothie bottles in the supermarket and, for each hat-wearing bottle sold, they donate 25pence to Age UK.  Since 2003 ,  6 million hats have been knitted which has helped raise over £1.9m and increase awareness of the great work done by charities like Age UK.

On a selfish note, it helps me improve my crochet ‘in the round’.

You can read about it here if you fancy putting your needles (or hook) to good use  – the deadline this year is 31st July.

The fabric haul from my Walthamstow Market visit has arrived with Mr. T. from the U.K.  He has got a ‘pulled’ shoulder muscle from the weight.  I blame it on the black flecked jersey on the bottom there which is heavy and there is 3m of it.

I’ve given him some Ibuprofen, treated the affected shoulder with a cursory massage and told him to buy a cabin bag with wheels.

Close ups and potential uses for the precious cargo to follow .

 

 

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