Friday, September 30, 2016

Edging 88

I think this edging could be worked directly onto fabric instead of onto a crocheted 'header'. It's important to adjust the tension of the outer row in each section before making a lock join at the 'node', something I have neglected to do in two of these repeats.

Our electricity was off yesterday from before 9 am to after 10 pm. No blogging for me, nor much else!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I think I had beginner's luck with this pattern, Flowers by SnowMirna, because the next few I tried were just horrible. At this stage of learning, I gain as much from failure as success (or so I tell myself anyway!)  I now have a pattern that is working, so I will stick with it:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beaded Crochet Rope

I know, I know, I don't need another craft in my life. But I've been wanting to try beaded crochet ropes for some time. At the weekend, I found a tutorial and gave it a go.
First I strung a small amount of beads onto Cebelia size 10 thread and began. Aha, I can do this. So I loaded more beads for another go. I did alright until I had to stop and put it down. When I came back to it, I'd lost my rhythm and I think I missed a stitch. So I thought a simple colour pattern might be easier to keep track of. The beads are strung onto the thread in reverse order:
Then you just crochet round and round, adding a bead to each stitch. I worked a short length, then found another tutorial for joining in a thread and carried on until I ran out of white beads. I added a press stud to each end, an idea I saw somewhere on Pinterest, and voila, I have a beaded choker.

I have an idea I could combine this technique with beaded tatted pendants perhaps. I think I'd have to work with smaller beads though and for that I need more practice.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Progressing Slowly

I'm sticking to my resolution to work on more than one project at a time. As I haven't been knitting day and night, progress on the pullover front is not stellar, but I'm happy with it.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

My Mistake

Eventually I worked out why my patchwork pieces didn't fit. The problem was not in my cutting but in my sewing. I used the 2 mm mark on my sewing machine foot as a guide to the width of the seams, whereas I should've used the 5 mm mark!

So every square and rectangle is 6 mm wider than it should be. Is there an emoticon for 'I am an idiot'?

Salvage job required. I removed the outer row that I had cut to new measurements because it made the piece too big for a tray cloth and didn't look right. Then I added a backing and did the binding as per the original instructions:
The purpose of this exercise was to learn, and learn I did. I also have an every day, 'don't worry if you spill tea on it' tray cloth in my kitchen.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Edging 87

I quite like the little triangular part, but overall I think this is rather too floppy.  I can't see how it would work as an edging unless you cut the fabric to match it, with indentations where the triangles would fit. Or am I missing something?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mmm, No

After all that careful measuring, the edge panels don't fit. I'm pretty sure I followed directions, so the mistake is in the pattern. The mistake in the placement of the leaf squares is mine though. I carefully made sure all the leaves in the last row were facing in the same direction, I just didn't realise it was the wrong direction! Humph, I think I'll go back to tatting or knitting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


At the end of last month's craft group meeting, we were given a list of fabric pieces to cut out, ranging from six squares 4 cm by 4 cm to two rectangles 38 cm by 4 cm. Of course it's been on the bottom of my to-do list ever since. Of course it took much longer to achieve than I bargained for. But I did manage to get it all done before yesterday's meeting, including stitching applique leaves to 12 of the squares. We were given a heart pattern, but that wasn't obligatory, so I used a leaf shape instead.

The fabric pieces need to be put together in a precise order, which is what we learnt at the meeting. We took along our sewing machines and chatted as we sewed:

Though in this picture we all seem to be concentrating rather than chatting! There wasn't time to join all those bits, but I have the instructions to finish at home. This is my progress so far:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016


The stitch counts vary, but edgings 84 to 86 are basically classic ring and chain designs that are pretty straight forward.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Knitting in Strange Places

On Tuesday we drove three hours west of here to the Witsand Kalahari Nature Reserve. It's an interesting place, with big dunes of fine white sand, hundreds of miles from the sea. I left my tatting at home, but took my knitting along. Some of our activities were not compatible with knitting, like climbing dunes:

Or going for veld walks, where we saw these 'condominium' nests of the Communal Weaver:
But on Wednesday afternoon I took my knitting along when we spent a couple of hours in a hide, a long room built below groundlevel so that you look out at the level of a waterhole. Here's the view I could see through the 'window':
When we arrived, there was a scrub hare at the waterhole. Can you see him?
Later, some springbok came down to drink:
There were quite a few  birds, including a Namaqua Sand Grouse. He looked so nervous that I didn't dare put down my knitting to pick up my phone camera, for fear of scaring him away. In any case, he was even more camouflaged than the scrub hare, so I probably wouldn't have captured him very successfully.

I'm nearly ready to start the raglan decreases on the pullover, so I'm happy with my progress:

Monday, September 12, 2016


83 would make a pretty insertion. It's simple, but a good exercise in keeping picots and bare thread length consistent.

We're going away for a few days, I'll write again on Friday.

Pearl Tatting

"Under, over; over, under", there was a lot of muttering as I tatted 81 and 82. It was worth keeping my wits about me though, I like the results.

The knitting requires some concentration too.

Most of the segments are pretty easy to memorise, but I wrote out the pattern for the middle section so that I don't have to keep peering at the pattern and finding my place (a tip my mother-in-law gave me many years ago):

Saturday, September 10, 2016


I like 79 and 80 a lot more than 78. Simple, but effective.

I've finished spinning wool, washed it and rolled it into balls, so I'm ready to knit.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Section Six

The next section of the Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito is Edgings. This is the first of them, number 78. It's not terribly interesting, though I guess it could work to decorate the scalloped edge of a tablecloth or skirt.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Two Thirds and a Thread Catcher

I've finished spinning another batch of wool, so I have two-thirds of what I need for Jack's pullover.

I was given this little orange bag as a gift last year and to  be honest I had no idea what it was. Just recently I've seen mention of thread catchers on line, for instance in this post of Diane's. I realised it's just what I need so that I don't have bits of thread all over the room. The little oblong at the top is filled with sand or something like that and holds it onto a table or, in this case, the edge of a sofa. It also has some sort of cord at the top that holds it open, ready to receive all those scraps. Neat.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Flowers and Butterflies

These are the last of the motifs inspired by nature, 71 to 77. They'd be useful for decorating cards or food covers or something.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

One Third

I've spun about a third of the yarn I'll need for Jack's pullover. This is seven skeins and I'll need about 20. How do I know? Experience. But it's important to have consistent skeins. I almost always make my skeins 50 times round the niddy noddy, whatever the thickness of the yarn. That enables me to compare skeins with each other and to estimate how much I'll need for a project.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Last Of The Leaves

These are motifs 68 to 70. Leaf 69, in the middle, is quite tricky. This is my second attempt and still not right. I looked at the diagram initially and changed the direction of the outside chains at either end. That didn't look right, so I peered carefully at the photo in the book and realised that it depends for its effect on changing the tension of the chain in different areas, not the direction. In my first attempt I also made the picots in the centre too small. Here's a photo of my initial version:
I think that centre structure has potential, even though I didn't get it right. Here are all the 'leaves' together:

Friday, September 2, 2016

A New Project

Now that I've finished my cushion, I need another project to do alongside my exploration of Teiko Fujito. I'm going to knit my husband a pullover for his birthday in November. I'll have to rattle along to spin the wool as well as knit it, but two and a half months should be long enough. The first step was to choose a pattern that Jack approves of - I don't want to spend months on a garment that he's not going to wear! I have the nod for this pattern, which, funnily enough, is in the same magazine as my cardigan pattern, Knit-today, April 2012. I used wool from my stash to knit some swatches to give me an idea of how thick to spin the wool. I did contemplate spinning a yarn with three plies, but really, for such a big project I think it makes more sense to spin two slightly thicker plies. I've filled one bobbin, so that's a start.  I know I run the risk of having wool fibres caught inbetween my double stitches, but I'll do my best to keep the two project separate!