My irises are growing
I love irises and I plant bulbs every year – I never dig the old ones up so some of them come up again – this year they have been spectacular. A reward for how wet and cold it has been.
I have done a small amount of work on my Blackwork triangles – mostly just at my class. I feel re-invigorated on this project and now just want to get it finished.
It is Miss A’s turn to have something knitted and she picked Meow Mitts
Meow Mitts (image from Ravelry – tinyowlknits)
She has picked her own colours – our base is going to be blue and the bow red.
Here is the swatch
Meow Mitts Swatch
This will be my second attempt at colour work so we will see how it goes.
I have done a bit more work – a tiny bit – on my blackwork sampler.
The new stitch is waffle (that’s what Becky Hogg calls it). I am struggling a bit with this stitch – working out what to do at the edges and just how to follow the pattern properly. Class starts again tomorrow though so I need to get going. I thought my eyes were part of the problem, but my optometrist says not yet – she suggested better lighting.
New Blackwork Project
I have started a new project – not sure where this is going, but so far I like it.
I am using two strands DMC embroidery floss on Congress cloth. The stitch is from the RSN Blackwork book – small diamonds.
I plan to use different stitches and have a zig-zag pattern behind the triangles.
Front of Piece
Back of Piece
I finished my Blackwork practice piece – the back is not as good as it should be, but having said that it could have been worse.
I do like doing this – thinking about the stitching path, but it does require a bit of concentration and so, therefore, no good when I want something easy and relaxing to do while watching television.
My current plan is that my next piece will be in blackwork. I just need to come up with a design. I ordered Becky Hogg’s blackwork book, but it has gone astray in the post (another one is being sent). I do have a few books I could look at …
Little Houses Progress
I went to the Perth Writers Festival on the weekend and one thing really stuck with me – it is OK to get started on something and then decided it is not really working and to start something else.
I was at a session called New York Dames and Natasha Lester (author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald) said she was 85 000 words into her third novel and decided to write a different novel.
I have this thing about finishing what I started, but what really happens is that I finish nothing – I procrastinate on the thing I should be finishing and won’t start anything new.
However, Natasha has inspired me to pack in the Little House (for now at least) and to work on blackwork.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of blackwork – particularly the more pictorial versions …
Dodo is from the Royal School of Needlework and Fish from needlenthread.com
but even the samplers appeal to me…
I have done a bit with my machine…
But never anything by hand. So when it was suggested at my embroidery class I was eager to give it a go.
The tricky bit for me is thinking about the path the stitches should follow before starting (I believe the aim is to have the back similar to the front because you don’t want shadows appearing on the front).
Little Houses from Family Circle magazine 2016
I looked at these little houses and thought they would make a great school holiday project. I would whip one up as an example and then set the girls to it – you can see how much of my example I finished (school starts again tomorrow!).
I’m using a plastic canvas I found at Spotlight. There was no count on it, but I am using 6 strands of DMC embroidery floss. I strip the floss and then put it back together – Mary Corbet writes about it here.
Little Houses Progress
I anchor my thread with a waste knot (more Mary Corbet) and secure the thread with my first few stitches. Once I have been going a while I just use the existing stitches to anchor my new thread.
This is counted cross stitch, so requires a bit of concentration at first, but once you get going you can use your existing stitches as reference points. When I get to that point I listen to pod casts – BBC World Book Club. Dan Snow’s History Hit are two of my current favourites.
If you want to make your own Little Houses you can download the pattern here – you will have to provide an email address, but you can always unsubscribe later.
Little Houses, Favourite Scarf and Nowhere Cowl
I finished my favourite scarf – it is currently blocking on my outdoor table. I am not too happy with the kitchener join – I think I should have had the pieces abutting each other rather than wrong sides together when I did it.
On the left of the image is the start of one of my Little Houses – I have to say working on the plastic canvas is surprisingly fun.
On the right of the image is my Nowhere Cowl – I don’t know if you can read it in the image, but there is quite a nice message about how the chart seems daunting, but is really quite easy. So far that does seem to be the case – it is quite easy to remember each row as I am doing it.
Craftsy – In the Hoop Gifts
I have also been watching my In the Hoop Gifts craftsy class – just the lesson on making zipper pouches. I do like the instructor – Sue O’Very -I am going to have to go and buy labels! I like how she has constructed her zipper bag and there a lots of little hints and tips I can use for other projects. Now to just get onto making one.
I know another new project – does anything ever get finished around here?
I found this project in the Christmas edition of the Family Circle magazine. I thought it might be something that the girls would like to do. You can find the project sheet here.
I have purchased supplies (I have no idea if my plastic canvas is the right size, but it was all I could find), wound the DMC thread onto the cards and now I am ready to go.
Resting Birds are blocking
The embroidery is finished! By the end it was terribly out of alignment – more a rhombus than a square. I have blocked it, but I suspect I will have to block twice.
I have been terribly grumpy all day today – for no real reason, but I feel angry. Two hard games of netball didn’t help although often a good run around can lift my spirits.
Anyway, to feel less wild, I decided to ignore my to do list and knit …
This is the second half and I don’t think I have too much more to do, which is great because I have subscribed to the Inspired by Islay club that Kate Davies is running. I always love her patterns (even if I don’t knit them) and her essays are fabulous.