Friday, December 26, 2014

catching up....

I always take this time of year to catch up....finishing up some projects, starting some that have waited in the wings, new techniques I haven't had a chance to learn and some organizing. This doll pattern was brought to my attention months ago and I've wanted to try it. I'm using the Lion Brand bonbon cotton yarn that I have left over from some other project and I'm making a few changes to the design. The doll is not meant to be stuffed but I'm going to stuff it for a more substantial doll. It's almost finished. Still missing one leg and a little ruffled skirt and the hat. The pattern is on Ravelry.

click on the images...

a doll for a little girl

I talked about Tambour Stitching last time. I have been practicing every day for almost two weeks and I think I've finally mastered the chain stitch. It's the only stitch needed in tambour stitching but not one that's easy to master with the tambour hook.

the chain stitch on netting using the tambour hook

It was a matter of experimenting with different threads, different fabrics, and learning when to release tension on the hook and how to pull it through the fabric. The instructor (online class) says to use organza but i didn't have much luck with the organza.....lots of big holes and constantly snagging the fabric with the edge of the hook. Mary Corbet's video was a tremendous help. You can see it here. I'll go back to the organza once I've had more experience but the netting is actually what I prefer to make some pretty lace. I'm now ready to try the next step which is making the chain stitch while picking up a bead or sequin that will be pre-strung on the thread.

....and yes, I have made some progress on the Downton Abbey coat. The front and back have been blocked. It took a couple of days for the pieces to dry. Still have to block the sleeves and the collar and there is some more knitting to be done to join the shoulders to the back. I have to re-read those instructions.


 If you celebrate the holidays, hope it was fun and festive. The weather has been mild here except for yesterday morning. We went from 27 degrees F in the morning to 65F by afternoon. We are expecting some cold days this weekend, but our winters are very mild here so it probably will not last long. Stay warm and cozy and see you next time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

little things....

I've always loved things in miniature. I played, a bit, with the bow-tie block I showed you last week. It is HERE, if you missed it.....way down at the bottom of that post. I have a small stack of 3" squares so I started playing and the bow-tie block turns out to be 2" square. I love the way it looks and I think it would make a sweet little a new project has been started.

click on the images...

2" bow-tie blocks

Another inspiration when I saw these napkin ring pincushions HERE. She used napkin rings but I used some small wooden rings I had and made them in miniature. I cut circles from some vintage linens. I just noticed that she gives the instructions of how to make them in the comments so if you're inspired to try it, the instructions are easy to follow. Mine turned out 2" in length and they are perfect for working projects on the go.

2" long pin cushion

I added a bell on each one just for fun.

During this slow time of year....for me....when everyone is busy with holiday fixings and classes are canceled until the new year, I try to fit in the things that I've been wanting to do for a while. I signed up for a class, a few months ago, at to learn Tambour Beading. I love the classes where the videos and instructions are available forever so I can do the lessons whenever I have the time. My hoop is set up right in front of my computer and I'm ready to begin. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you some progress next time. Here's a short little video showing what beautiful work can be created with this technique. It is an excerpt from the movie Sequins which, i believe, came out in 2004.

ready to begin learning

The Downton Abbey coat is ready to be blocked and stitched together. The pieces are large so I will have to be blocking them one at a time for lack of space.... it will take a while but the end is near.

The weather has been just a bit wet but mild so not bad at all. Winter hasn't hit us yet. Hope you all enjoy your holiday fixings and gatherings.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

making paper stencils....

I never did finish the scrollwork on that collar for the Downton Abbey coat in one day. It took several. Just printing the pattern and making it into stencils took hours....and then i basted through the stencil onto the knitting. Working on the cuffs this weekend.

click on the images...

paper stencils...don't know if i'll ever use them again but after all that work, i'm not throwing them away.

scrollwork on the collar is completed

basted the design on the cuff....ready for the scrollwork.
The scrollwork is done with a crochet hook and a slip stitch. you pull the yarn up from the backside while doing the slip stitch on the right side so it's a bit tricky.

I decided to make a triangular shawl to match with the leftover yarn. I had ordered one extra skein....just in case something went terribly wrong.

triangular shawl pattern....easy

started the shawl

I found the shawl pattern HERE just in case you are inspired to make one.

....and since this has all been about knitting, I thought I'd share a fun block to make if you are a quilter or a stitcher or just want to try something different..... A quilting friend shared the instructions for making a bow tie block from one piece of fabric just by folding and a bit of stitching. It was fun to do and I found a you-tube video that takes you through it step by step. The video is HERE.

you can do some embroidery or applique in the spaces to accentuate the bow tie if you don't like the solid color. i like the texture it creates.

Have a fun week whatever it is you are doing.

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