Wednesday, March 31, 2021



It could be Janemacsews for a while. I've just finished sewing 15 masks. I had fun trying out the different machine embroidery patterns, learning which ones show up better than others. Now I'm starting on an order for ten men's shirts, in five different sizes. The idea of bespoke shirts is catching on! I'm a bit daunted by the thought of altering Jack's pattern to fit different measurements, so wish me luck. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Round 10


I love the little picoty flowers on this round. I saw someone else's round 10 on Facebook and noticed that their alternating chains were different from each other. Oh gosh, had I misread the pattern? I checked, and no, the stitch count for all the chains is the same. I think they must've blocked it like that. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Round 9 And A Cover Up


After round 9 the doily measures 25 cm, 10 inches across. I'm working in size 40 thread.  I haven't blocked this round, I think it makes more sense to join it to the next round before blocking. 

A friend asked me to convert two beach wraps/sarongs into more wearable cover ups. She gave me a sample to copy. It's a simple shape, so it was easy enough to trace round it onto the fabric. Then I used this tutorial to remind myself how to make bias binding to neaten round the tops and form the straps. This is the second one. I did the other one last week and gave it to Phyl without taking a photo. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Lemon Marmalade


I've just finished making lemon marmalade, using this recipe. It's still hot; I'll wait until it cools before labeling the jars. I was given a big packet of lemons and thought lemon marmalade would be a good way to use them up. It's not really, because one batch only uses four lemons. But I've given some lemons to my neighbours and I could always make another batch of marmalade. The lemons are fairly green, so they should last for a while while I think up ways to use them! 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Working on Round 9

 Well, I sold a couple of items at the market on Saturday, enough to cover costs, if not make my fortune. I think that once again there were more sellers than buyers, a sign of the times, but the venue was pretty, the weather pleasant and I enjoyed the day. 

I'm now working on round 9 of the Spring doily. 

This is a 'suspended' round, clearly waiting to be joined to the next one.

 At 12-12 the rings are too big for me to use my usual method of avoiding enlarging the ring by removing fingers! Instead I'm working half the ring in that way, then letting the shuttle dangle and increasing the thread around the hand before doing the second half. That way I only have to pull thread once.

 I had some thread left on the shuttle from round 8. Rather than unwind it, I used the 'false CTM' method - I tied the shuttle to the ball and then wound some more thread onto the shuttle so that the knot would be further along and I wouldn't have 4 threads at the beginning/end of the round. 

I promise to measure the doily when this round is complete. Picotsnkeys asked me how big it was after round 8, but I didn't answer her. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Eye Catching?

 Our lockdown has been eased and things are beginning to normalise. I'm going to a market on Saturday.  At the last market, it was a little disconcerting to see people walk past my stall without even seeing it! Clearly I need something to catch their attention. I got inspiration here and there, experimented some, chucked out this idea and that idea... Eventually I've come up with this:

  I also covered a couple of boxes of different sizes in grey fabric to put bracelets on:

Good thing Jack's shirts were in a colour that lends itself to the job so I could use the scraps.  Anyway, I hope this market is more successful than the last one I did, even if only in terms of holding interesting conversations!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Felted Soap


A friend of mine makes soap, so when I saw this tutorial for making felted soap, I asked Sarah if she had any 'ugly' soaps that would benefit from being covered in felt. She gave me two for me and seven to give back to her.

 I started with the jade one in the bottom photo.  I thought I'd dye it after I'd felted it. That worked ok, but I'm a bit worried that the dye might not be fast enough - Sarah said we could call it a Smurf soap! The felting is not as smooth as it might be, but that'll need practice. For the second one, I added a bit of tatting, instead of using dyed wool. I covered the tatting with a thin layer of wool, but that obscures the motif and I decided it probably wasn't necessary. 

Yesterday I dyed small amounts of blue and yellow wool before felting.  I'm pretty sure the dye is properly fixed.  I did the oblong ones with different colours of wool and added tatting to the round ones without covering them. It worked pretty well, I think, though it would take some practice to get them looking really good. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Round 8


Round 8 is a relaxing round, with all the elements having the same stitch count. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Thank You Note


This is a thank you note from the little fellow I gave the beaded bag to. It was written unprompted and unaided, so I was very touched. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Working On Masks Again


You'd think everyone would have a mask by now. But people leave their masks at home and then have to buy another one! So I am working on masks again. I have four with tatting added so am making another six to make up to ten. I'm running out of tatting bits of the right size, so I thought I'd decorated them with machine embroidery instead. Same colour, different patterns. Patterns are chosen with a press of a button, but changing the colour means rethreading the machine, a bit more tedious. I'm using scraps of fabric left over from making shirts and shorts. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Round 7


 I've been working on round 7 this morning to get it finished before the next round is published.  One of the things I like about doing a tat along is that it gives me a reason to choose tatting from the list of things I could be or should be doing! 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Trial And Error

There are still mistakes in here, but I learnt enough in the process to be able to draw the pattern correctly. 

This little bag is to be a birthday present for a small boy who has been coveting my trinket bags. He has treasures to store. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021



I unraveled the four rows of the second flower shown in the previous post, altered the pattern to shift everything by one bead and then redid the four rows. I think it looks better, the second row of flowers better centred between the flowers of the first row. So I shall continue with the flower as set. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Not Quite


After yesterday's post, I redrew the pattern, shifting the second row of motifs by three beads. I think that, in my usual fashion, I've gone too far. It should have been two beads.  Back to the drawing board.  I have a long list of things to do today so it might not get back to it yet. But you can see where I'm going with this. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Bag of Gold


This is the second little trinket bag for an order.

There were interesting comments on my post about the time it takes to make one of these bags. I wasn't lamenting the time taken, of course, merely tallying it. None of the crafts I do produce results in a hurry! 

I'm going to make another bag in this pattern and try to position the flowers more as I originally envisioned. It might require trial and error because the bias effect and the discrepancy between graphed pattern and reality boggle my mind. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Round 6


I've completed round 6 of the Spring doily. I did block it after this round. I covered it with a damp cloth and ironed it. Just to make it ship shape before I continue.