Saturday, August 30, 2014

Trying Corina's Tips

The first of Corina's dragonflies that I made was a poor, pathetic creature with mangled wings. So I did two more using double double stitch for the wings. The problem is that it makes the wings rather too substantial for dragonflies. So this morning I tried to follow Corina's tips for tatting large rings with ordinary double stitches. I made a very large loop of thread, winding the excess round my little finger, so that I wouldn't have to enlarge the loop from the shuttle. And I tried earnestly to close the ring moving only the core thread and not the stitches themselves. Hmmm. Better than the first one, but could probably use more practice. Thanks for the help, Corina.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Corina's Dragonfly

I've been meaning for some time to tat Corina's beaded dragonfly. The pattern is on her blog here. My advice would be to practise the techniques involved before starting. I read Corina's instructions for the beaded 'diamond' in the split rings and thought, oh yes. But when I came to actually do them, I wasn't sure how to position the final bead. I had done the 'stacked' beads used for the feelers before, though on a chain rather than a ring. I also had to remind myself of the double double stitch. On my first, no second, attempt, I used ordinary rings for the wings and they are twisted and horrible. Double double stitch works better. On this one, I messed up the final ring and had to cut it off. Few more attempts and I'll get it!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tat Along

I'm very excited that Wendy of Umi and Tsuru blog and Fox of tat-ology are planning to tat my Under an African Sky doily and have issued an invitation to others to tat along with them. The pattern is here or there's a link on the right hand side of this blog.

Helen has completed a third version of the doily:
This is what she said, "Dear Jane, so happy to have finished my third doily. made a lot of changes. i used double strand under my ds for round 4 to avoid the chain curling. for round 7 i use lizbeth size 20 for row 1 and lizbeth size 10 for row 2. this time it is not thta crowded like before. for the animals i used size 20 and for my round 9 i use lizbeth size 10 and intentionally omitted the sr between leg 2 and 3. i also ended my last round in a ring 4-4+2+4." I like the variations in the trees, like the variations in a forest. Well done to Helen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lacy Scarf

I tried several other unsuccessful patterns like this one before deciding to use a pattern I've knitted several times before. It's called Branching Out, designed by Susan Lawrence. It's not a difficult pattern, but I just love the way different methods of decreasing stitches results in leaves and vines that go this way and that.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spring Colours

I've finished spinning the wool I dyed last week. Spring colours. Winter is trying to hang on, we've had frost every morning since Friday. But Spring is creeping up anyway. The nectarine tree is in flower:
And lambs are being born:
Spring wool, ready to be knitted:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Mitts

This pair was a knitted up a bit quicker than the first pair because I used just one yarn for the entrelac, instead of joining in a different colour on each row, and I didn't have to work out the palm pattern again. Done.

Friday, August 22, 2014


'Ride boldly lad and never fear the spills' is a quotation from Banjo Paterson's poem, The Man From Snowy River. My husband looked at me very oddly once when I told him that that's what I say to myself when I'm about to do something I'm not confident about. Like add a cuff to the sleeves of the satin blouse I'm making. I thought that using my favourite blouse pattern for this project was an entirely safe choice. But I hadn't taken into account the weight of the fabric. Because it's quite heavy, the sleeves didn't drape as they usually do, but stuck out wildly. I decided to tame them by gathering them into a cuff. It was a bit nerve wracking because the material frayed when I put a lot of gathers in to fit it to the cuff, but in the end it worked. Phew.