Monday, 31 March 2008

Another scarf but a wonderful 3 in 1 :SHAWL/scarf/SHRUG

Here is my latest scarf which is large enough to also be a shawl or a shrug- the latter because it has buttons down one side of the sleeves and button loops on the other side.....
It's made in 2 yarns both from LANA GROSSA from a lovely yarn shop in Delft, the Netherlands .
One is BINGO PRINT which is a pure merino wool, in a variegated colourway : approx DK (UK)weight- 80m to a 50g ball.
The other is LEGGERO PRINT:
a fabulous chenille yarn in an amazing colourway of 8 or more colours and shades , it's 100% microfibre and 160m to a 50g ball.
The scarf/shawl weighs 240 g and used approx 2 of Leggero and 4 of Bingo.
I used a 5mm hook in a chevron pattern which I will be adding a bit later.
There was quite a saga because halfway through I realised I needed more yarn so I phoned the shop in my pidgin Dutch and tried to explain and have them set some aside, I then had to find a way of paying as I didn't want to risk posting Euros and the shop does not take international credit cards- only Dutch ones- and instead of using PAYPAL as I SHOULD have done, I ended up using an international cheque raised by a bank- OUCH soooo expensive!!!This scarf could be pure cashmere!!!!
Then the bank got the cheque all wrong - twice!!!- first the name of the shop and then the amount and then it took 2 months to clear the bank at the other side- unbelievable the difficulties we had!!!
Eventually the yarn arrived and I could finish what I had started in September!!!!
That will teach me NOT to buy single balls for ''trying out'' next time at that shop but to go for at least 4 to 8 balls of the same...!
Anyway I LOVE the way it has turned out- very subtle colourchanges- and it's heavenly soft and warm too.
It was PURE JOY to work with.
My own little quirky TOUCH was that I changed yarn every 2 rows but I didn't want to sew in any ends so when I had completed row 4 I would drop the working yarn, put my hook around the treble at the edge 2 rows below, pick up the previous yarn and do a chain of 2 , hook round again and another 2-3 chain to reach the level of the row just completed, then I would pull the new yarn through to complete the last treble on that row and chain 3 in the new yarn- dropping the old- to start the next 2 rows.
This counted as the first treble ( the 3 ch) of the next row and in this way I had a set of button loops ready for my shawl to convert into a shrug with sleeves !
I sewed a set of small blue buttons on the opposite side of the scarf/shawl.

Dimensions and stitch pattern details are to follow shortly- in the next few days.


Friday, 21 March 2008

Gallery time: machine embroidery gardens etc

Above is one of my favourites: I've called it Let's linger here.... because that is just what I would like to do!Sit in the sun on the grass or a chair and watch those lovely flowers.
And daydream as to what lies beyond that enticing gate....
Made by myself entirely using free machine embroidery techniques with a play of matt and shiny threads which cannot be seen from a photo.
I made this one after the one below:

Above this writing is a picture of a garden at Water perry gardens which I made a few years ago and which won first prize at a national ''embroider a garden'' competition.....It was made from a photo I had taken myself and then I roughly sketched out the contours on some silk, painted the path and the sky and used free machine embroidery running stitch to embroider the plants and flowers and the trees.

No software was used at all : it's all done as if the thread and needle are a coloured pencil to draw with- entirely by hand ( but using a sewing machine if that makes any sense)

I also really enjoy working a Van Gogh painting in machine embroidery and have done quite a few over the past few years : his use of colour is just so fabulous that one learns an enormous amount from copying and trying to copy make you see, see a bit more, and then look again and see even more different hues and colours juxtaposed in a most inventive and innovative way.

Here are some I made earlier- as Blue Peter would say....

I really adored doing this peach blossom tree : the shadows on the ground were a huge challenge and the fence is literally dozens upon dozens of very different colours!

The Willows were an absolute MUST as when I was still living in Holland I saw these willows along the canals and streams in between the fields every day on the way to school as I cycled past...They have a fantastic sculptural shape when freshly pollarded.

The self portrait was my next HUGE challenge as I had never ever done a face before!

I do think the machine embroidery with the threads and bold stitching emulates the texture of the thick oil paint in the originals so much better than a postcard or print does...

On the right a small picture of a tiger lily , free machine emboidery again this time from a drawing of a bunch of flowers my friend Cha cha brought round for me one day.

It WAS meant to be the first of a trio of pictures BUT I found covering the calico with the dense green stitching for the background SO VERY TEDIOUS even though I did change colours and tones to keep interested- I could NOT face doing another one

let alone two more!


Sunday, 2 March 2008

Here's a baby cardigan that was a dream to make!
The stitch is delightful yet easy to do and it grows really quickly: it took just 80 minutes to complete the back in size 18'' chest.

PATTERN: From KNITTING magazine issue 30 November 2006.
But worry not because I bought it as a back issue in December 2007!

I remembered the baby cardigan and hadn't bought the magazine at the time , because I was on a promise NOT to purchase 2-3 KNITTING magazines every month in the HOPE that they have just ONE crochet pattern in it! ( I don't really knit very much if at all) At £3.99 each it was thought too much of an indulgence...Anyway I digress : I didn't buy it at the time as I knew nobody with babies but recently I have a baby niece and a friend's baby boy to crochet for so I ordered the magazine.

It's called CLOUD NINE and is on page 66 designed for SIRDAR SNUGGLY and in sizes 16/18/20/22 '' chest takes 2-3 balls ( DK 175m per ball of 50 g)
I find chest sizes difficult as the baby is not to hand to measure so I looked up some tables and guessed that the age sizes are: 3 months, 12m, 24m, 2.5 yrs?

YARN USED:I used SIRDAR DENIM TWEED DK in pink mix, 170 m per 50 g ball and 2 balls completely. ( shade 639)
4 mm hook.

Finished cardigan - with buttons- weighs 102 g.

When it was almost complete I found out my niece was growing a lot so I added a bit extra for growth/contingency!
I added 7 rows to the hem, 7 fluted rows to the sleeve hems so it can be worn turned back or down in the new fashion style.
I also added 3 rows in dc to the front button band and 3 rows in pattern to the buttonhole band.
This was because I had an e-mail about the baby and in photos she looked so big that I panicked!
She in India so I won't be able to show you the cardigan on the baby!
She has black hair and huge gorgeous brown eyes so I'm sure this tweedy pink will look utterly adorable.
As long as it fits- fingers crossed!
The fabric is VERY STRETCHY and I found my own adult arm fitted nicely into the sleeve so it shouls also be easy to dress the baby in it.

Here at the right is a detail of the stitch pattern.

Please substitute treble for every dc mentioned.
The pattern is in UK terminology also, but is very simple and only uses trebles ( USA TERM) and chains.
The yarn is Light worsted category : 3 and my choice was 50 % cotton and 50% acrylic , machine washable.

The added rows were worked from the hem downwards for - in my opinion- a pleasing contrast band.
Pictures are clickable.

Back Issues available from : http://www.the/ or

HOPE YOU LIKE IT and comments gratefully received.

Finished sizes were:
BACK WIDTH : 11.5-12''
LENGTH: 9.5''
Sleeve width 6.5 ''
sleeve length : 8'' with flutes turned back,
9.5 '' with flutes extended .