Blackwork Sampler

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

but even the samplers appeal to me…

I have done a bit with my machine

Finished Sampler

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).

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Another Hat

Another Hat

I have started work on another hat – this will be my fourth.

School is back and it is taking me a while to settle into the new routine. I have finished a sleeve – but interrupt that to work on more pussyhats …

At the end of Friday’s embroidery class I unpicked almost all of the day’s progress… I think things are going to be like that for the next few weeks – not getting much done and then when I do I stuff it up.

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A sleeve

First Sleeve – Blank Canvas

In my Blank Canvas I am up to knitting the sleeves. I have learnt new stitches – increases – RLI and LLI – very cool.

I’m using the plastic bag – like a yarn bowl – these yarn balls just collapse into a tangled mess, but the bag seems to be holding everything together.

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Little Houses – 3D Cross Stitch

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.

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Blank Canvas and Pride and Prejudice

Blank Canvas Progress

I have been away on holiday – to Rottnest and the best thing about Rottnest is that there is not much to do, so you have time! I finished another pussyhat and as you can see above worked on my Blank Canvas. I have made it to the point where I start increasing (after all the waist decreasing).

While knitting I have been watching Pride and Prejudice this version

Pride and Prejudice 1995

I do like this version who can forget such memorable moments as Mr Darcy in the bath, Lydia running into Mr Collins while scampering about in her undies, Mr Darcy’s wet shirt? And the costumes – I do love beautiful period costumes. I have the book The Making of Pride and Prejudice, which is full of fabulous information about the production and has a chapter on costume, hair and make-up.

Mood Board for Mr Darcy and a design for Caroline Bingley

There is also a Making of Pride and Prejudice documentary you can watch – it is on the DVD and Bluray.

I am amazed and intrigued by how these productions come together.

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A Hat (for the pussyhat project)

I made a hat! For the pussyhatproject – I used this pattern because I wanted to be able to knit in the round. The yarn is Cleckheaton Country Aran 10ply  in Colour 4016 (magenta).

Now I just have to make another one, and another one because I am confounded and distressed about what the election in the US and Brexit means for the rest of the world (and what it says about people in general).

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A finished Object – Nowhere Cowl

Finished Nowhere Cowl

I finished my Nowhere Cowl. This was a great pattern  – easy, but interesting. In the end I did seven repeats of the pattern.

It is a fabulous squishy soft yarn – Misti Alpaca Tonis Carnival (colour is symphony blue) – perfect for a cowl.


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Blank Canvas

Swatch for my Blank Canvas

I have lost track of the number of times I have started to knit this yarn! It is Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Dk in Tease. My latest effort is here – I just seem to lose concentration and it all goes pear-shaped.

I decided to knit something without a pattern/texture/stitch design to see if I could get the basic jumper shaping thing sorted.

I did what I am calling a cheat’s swatch in the round (instructions were here) – I managed to get gauge (both stitch and number of rounds – miraculous! I am sure my swatch is lying to me) with the second set of needles I tried, so now I just need to get on with it.

One further concern is the volume of yarn required – I stashed 1394m and the pattern tells me I need 870m, but I have lost a bit of yarn in all of my previous attempts.

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Finished objects from 2016

First, happy new year to everyone!

So 2017? For me this is the year to be more thoughtful, to take on fewer projects, but to spend more time on each one – thinking about the process and the product. I aim to spend more time doing the things I love.

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How great are the days between Christmas and New Year?

Knitting, wine and reading (Jane Austen: The Secret Radical)

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