26 October 2013

free christmas MISTLETOE pattern

Instructions are given for a full knitted version or alternatively use beads and a ribbon if preferred.
Add a loop and use as a Christmas tree decoration or make a bunch and hang from the ceiling. Alternatively tuck a sprig into the brim of a hat.

st(s): stitch(es)
k: knit
p: purl
kfb: increase (knit into the front and back of same stitch)
sl: slip
psso: pass slip stitch over
tbl: through the back loop
pwt: pull wool through (thread yarn onto needle and then through stitches on needle, pull tight and secure) 

two dpns size 2.75mm  (US 2)
green 4 ply (fingering) yarn
white 4 ply (fingering) yarn or white beads (aprox size 5mm)
red 4 ply (fingering) yarn or a piece of ribbon
darning and tapestry needle

Cast on 3 sts with green yarn.
ROW 1: kfb, kfb, k1tbl (5 sts).
Pull the sl sts tight, especially on the purl rows.
ROW 2: sl1 purlwise, p3, k1tbl.
ROW 3: sl1 purlwise, k3, k1tbl.
Rpt ROWS 2 and 3 until work measures aprox 3.5cms (1½ ins) ending in a mostly purl ROW 2.
NEXT ROW: sl1 purlwise, k1, psso, k2, k1tbl (4 sts).
NEXT ROW: sl1 purlwise, p1, psso, p1, k1tbl (3 sts).
NEXT ROW: sl1 purlwise, k1, psso, k1tbl (2 sts).
Break off yarn and place sts onto a safety pin.
Make another leaf, repeat pattern until 2 sts, but do not break off yarn. 

Return to first leaf and place the 2 sts alongside other 2 sts on needle (4 sts).
Keep the stitches joined to the yarn on the left.
Slide the four stitches to the other end of the needle, pull yarn along the back and continue with i-cord until desired length is reached.
If a hanging loop is required work an extra 8cms (3 ins). Which folds in half and the end sewn in place.
  • Loose end yarns inside stem.
  • Reinforce the part where the two leaves meet with the tail at the end of one of the leaves.
  • Bring the yarn tail at the tip of the leaves up the centre on the reverse (purl) side of the leaf and loose in stem. 
  • Gently press leaves on reverse sides. Use a cool setting and do not put the full weight of the iron on the leaf. 
To form a bunch make one long main stem, sew smaller stems to this one. 
BERRIES (alternatively used white beads)
Cast on 3 sts with white yarn.
ROW 1: kfb, k to last st, kfb (5 sts).
ROW 2: p.
ROW 3: sl1, k1, psso, k1, k2tog (3 sts).
Cast off purlwise.
  • Thread one yarn tail round the edge of half of the berry, with the other yarn, thread round the opposite edge.
  • Pull tight and tie in a knot. Push into spherical shape. 
  • If using beads attach with sewing thread.

KNITTED CORD (alternatively use a piece of ribbon)
Cast on 2 sts with red yarn.
Continue with i-cord until work measures aprox 30cms (12 ins)
Loose yarn tails inside cord.

knitted version

copyright Alison Hogg 2013

20 October 2013

once upon a time

I've been doing a wee bit of sewing lately and trying to brush up on my hand embroidery skills. I have just finished a piece for an exhibition, the title of my work is "Once Upon A Time." Sorry photos aren't great, it was a grey day when they were taken.

The text and image were printed using a paper backed fabric which I inserted into my inkjet printer. The text comes from a fairy tale - "The Princess Who Stood on her Own Two Feet". This story is part of a book "Don't Bet on the Prince" edited by Jack Zipes. The stories differ from traditional fairy tales as they portray female characters in strong leading roles.
The background was machine pieced using a crazy log cabin block. I then tacked a piece of wadding to the back to add stability for the embroidery. I really wanted to practice my hand embroidery and used the seams for lines of different stitches. Here's a few detailed photos of my attempts......

I then added a backing fabric, my hand quilting method, to hold the three layers of the quilt together was quilt in the ditch so the stitches would be unobtrusive.

Definitely more practice is required with the hand stitching, particularly the French Knots which tend to be a rather hit and miss affair!
Bysie Bye, Ali.

15 October 2013

flora fibre and fabric

I spent a very enjoyable morning wandering around the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild's exhibition at the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn. It is the Hands Across the Border joint exhibition with the Irish Patchwork Society and the title is "Flora, Fibre and Fabric."
There were some amazing pieces.
Here's one by Anne James "Cream of the Crop". A beautiful calico quilt with a collection of patchwork flowers. My photo of one of the flowers does not do the quilt justice.


The colours in this "Floral Fantasy" quilt  by Maureen Burns just zinged. This photo of a small part of the quilt shows appliqued violas.

I marvelled at the flickering images in Irene MacWilliam's quilt, entitled "Wonder of Nature." I could not work out how she had come up with the end result.

The exhibition is on until the 19th October so still a few days to go.
Bye for now, Ali.

6 October 2013

all day breakfast

I have just recently finished my latest knitting pattern. It is another knitted food pattern - what else!
Has all the items for a good hearty breakfast and I must confess to feeling very hungry as I was writing it up, despite the fact I haven't eaten a slice of bacon or a sausage for over thirty years now.

As you can see the pattern includes instructions for the fried egg, slices of streaky bacon, pork sausages, mushrooms, baked beans, slice of toast and a dollop of sauce. Here's a few close ups of some of the items

Some of the items are knitted flat with two needles and some are knitted in the round with dpns. The pattern is for sale in my etsy shop and my Ravelry store.
I have ditched the knitting needles for now and have been attempting some hand embroidery , so I'll be on later with photos of my latest project.
Hope you are all enjoying the weekend, Ali.