Thursday, April 30, 2020


This is Small Floral Cross, designed by Robin Perfetti, from her free patterns page.   I saw it on Sally Kerson's blog and thought it would be a good little tat to do before I go back to embroidery. Just for just. It was. I used the size 20 thread that was already on my shuttles and enjoyed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Bath Mat

 I've finished my bath mat using the Amish rug making technique. It measures 55 cm. 21 inches, across. Not very large, it's a good thing I have small feet! I probably won't be making another any time soon, but I like the bath mat, I'm glad to have learnt the technique and happy to have recycled my dress.

Links to tips about Amish rug making are two posts down.

Monday, April 27, 2020


My bath mat measures 40 cm, almost 16 inches, across. I'm not sure how big a bath mat needs to be, but that's on the skimpy side. I've used the 'easy' fabric from the dress I'm recycling. But I have some rather ugly fabric from someone else's stash that should be fine for continuing. Then I'll see if I can 'harvest' a bit more from the dress for the outer row or rows.

There are links to how to make an Amish rag rug on my previous post.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Going Amish

Last week one of my favourite dress wore out. Hmm. I considered putting a pocket over the worn bit, but, let's face it, worn out is worn out. I can't give it away and I don't want to throw it away. But I could use it to make an Amish rag rug. I've been wanting to make one every since I saw a friend's one a few months ago. My fabric stash is very low because I gave most of it away when I moved house. So now's my chance.

I had to do some research first. I kept coming across Barri-Jayne Makes. Her video is very good, but a bit longwinded. Good for initial research, but not so good when you just want a quick review. For that, this tutorial from Whitehouse Whimsies and Rugs was better. Her article about rugs curling up was also very useful.

Right. To begin. I used the method I used for cutting plarn from a plastic bag to cut the skirt of the dress is one continuous piece. That's not strictly necessary, because it has to be cut into manageable lengths anyway, but makes it easier to handle.

The Amish rag rug is also called a toothbrush rug, because a toothbrush with a hole in the handle can be used to make the tool needed to make the rug. My friend Debbie uses a large paper clip, so I did the same. Very simple, but effective.

I did have a few false starts, but really it's remarkably easy and quick and I'm making good progress:

Friday, April 24, 2020

Two Done

Right, I've finished the second border for a curtain. I have one more to do. But I think I may take a break to try out a completely different idea.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Upside Down

I work the border from the middle to the edge, then turn the work upside down and work in the other direction. Progress is slow at the moment. Yesterday disappeared in washing and ironing and getting the kitchen clean. Ah well, lockdown has been extended and I can't buy fabric for the curtains that this is to go on until after it's over, so there's no urgency.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Real Roses

This magnificent arrangement was delivered to me on Saturday. It has real roses! I've almost finished embroidering my second set of roses, then I can start the border:

Friday, April 17, 2020

One Done

Well, it's not easy to photograph, but one border for a curtain is finished. I need three, so I'm not done yet. I do like the brown lines that define the border. Here's a closer view:

Thursday, April 16, 2020


Whenever I do cross stitch, I think of my Gran. I first did cross stitch under her watchful eye when I was seven years old. I made two mats, one with a dog and a cat on it and the other with a butterfly. She was a prolific knitter and crocheter, as well as doing cross stitch and other embroidery. I still have and use some of her embroidered things, like this tray cloth:

Interestingly, Gran was my father's stepmother, so I can't say I inherited her love of craftwork. But her example and teaching have nevertheless influenced my life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Closer Look

I'm working my cross stitch over three threads of evenweave fabric, using three strands of embroidery cotton. That's bigger and thicker than I've ever worked before, but I need it to be bold enough to show up on curtains. It took a while, but eventually I got my eye in, so that now I notice if I've made a mistake and the stitch looks wrong.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A New Curtain Project

 I was given some evenweave fabric by a friend who is moving house. There were some cross stitch booklets in the parcel too.  Hmm, I thought, a frieze to put on the next set of curtains.
My plans evolved, as my plans are wont to do. To begin with, I visualised following the pattern exactly. I soon discovered that my stash of embroidery thread is nowhere near as large as I imagine. So I decided I'd use different colours for the roses, and different greens for the leaves. That's fine, roses come in a myriad of shades!  There is plenty of the brown thread, so I'll use that throughout for continuity. I cut my fabric, marked the centre in both directions, and began embroidering. I soon realised that I'd have to work an awful lot of roses to cover three curtains! So I'm leaving a space between roses. I could perhaps put a rose bud in the space, but I'll finish the roses first and see how I feel.  The placing of the roses is a bit off on this first one, because of changing my mind, but I can live with that.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Different Style

This one is a departure from my go-to pattern, both in style and in that it's a lariat rather than a necklace fastened with a press stud. I've used this poppy pattern before, as a bracelet. The glass 'leaf' at the end was made by my sister-in-law, Clare Gaylard.   

Thursday, April 9, 2020


I saw this tutorial for a jar opener several weeks ago. I even managed to buy the non-slip cloth in the hardware store! Yesterday I finally got around to making it. It's a quick job. Since then I've seen a version with binding around the edge, which could be neater.

I really like this beach tote . It's made in raffia, which I don't have, but I think cotton yarn could also work. I did a sample.  The pattern is a little confusing in places, but I'm sure I'd get the hang of it if I worked at it. Mmm, not sure. I'll contemplate a little longer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Candy Bracelet

I didn't use a pattern for this one, though it was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest. For my own record, each colour had a threaded length of 23 cm.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

More Muted

Not quite as muted as it appears in the picture, because the lighter blocks are in gold. This one makes me think of a tiger. Tigers don't live in Africa (apart from a few in captivity) so that does nothing for my 'Africa theme'!

Monday, April 6, 2020


In the absence of feedback, I'm making this my go-to pattern. I'll work it in different colours when I don't feel like experimenting or trying out new patterns.

Friday, April 3, 2020


Of the beaded sort. The pattern is by beadpet. It has a long threading chart, so you have to keep your wits about you, but it's straight forward enough.

The patterns I try don't always work for me. I don't like the pattern after all, or I don't like the colours I've chosen or whatever. I work a small sample, usually two repeats, before I decide whether to continue. Usually I unravel the failure, but there are a few samples lurking about:

The black loop isn't a failure, it's to practise making a loop. I will probably use it eventually.  I don't like the colours in the one on the left. My first attempt to crochet with a 12 bead circumference looks dreadful. The second one, far right, looks better, but I decided the effect wasn't worth the effort.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Onward, Onward

I set myself targets to create a stock of beaded crochet bracelets and necklaces for an open air market at the end of March. I'm not sure why I set myself targets, but there you go, works for me. I met those targets. But then the goalposts moved - the market was cancelled, along with any other possibility of selling the stock. Hmm. I took time out to sew curtains and face masks. That done, I contemplated how to continue. I've decided to go on crocheting. Presumably the markets will eventually reopen. I would have liked to have had some feedback, to get a clearer idea of what items and styles are likely to sell. With no feedback, I'll go on trying different patterns and honing my skills.

Here's a bracelet, 6 beads in circumference. I've been wanting to try one of these patterns that is in sections. The pattern repeat is very long, so for a bracelet, some of the sections are worked twice and some only once. The pattern is signed by shemazgut.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Happy Tatting Day

I don't suppose there will be much tatting in public today. Happy tatting anyway. I have sorted out my edging and am making progress now. I don't have any chocolate, but will drink a cup of cocoa later.