25 May 2014

order out of chaos

I'm a great fan of Professor Brian Cox .......well who isn't really! and I watch all his TV programmes. In the Wonders of the Universe, he talks about a phenomenon called entropy, a law of physics that tells us any system tends towards disorder. That's certainly true about my large stash of craft materials. But I have I have disproved this law. Here is my messy tangled collection of embroidery floss in their old biscuit tin........

However I untangled them and wound them onto separate cards......

and put them in their new box, all colour co-ordinated. Just waiting for a new sewing project. Problem is how long will they stay in this orderly neat fashion, as I am such a messy worker.

Till next time, Ali.

18 May 2014

another scarf

Some people love shoes, but I love scarves, whether it be woolly winter ones or cotton/linen summer ones. My latest addition is one I knit up from a pattern by Sharon Squire - Good Neighbour's Scarf, for more details of the pattern click here. I used a beautiful Louisa Harding yarn, Noema.

The pattern required adding beads. My beads had a very tiny hole so I couldn't use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through the bead. Instead, I used a piece of jewellery wire.

First, I folded the wire in half and then slotted the wire through the stitch.
(The stitch in the photo was the last in the row).

I then threaded the two ends of the wire through the hole in the bead.....

and then pushed the bead over the stitch.

After removing the wire, the stitch with the bead attached was returned to the left hand needle ready for knitting......


When I was blocking the scarf, I blocked it in away to add a scalloped edge to one side of the scarf.

 I noticed when I was blocking I had left out a repeat of the pattern, but I suppose that's what makes a project unique and the mistake is only noticeable on close examination....I think I can live with this particular mistake.

And the finished summer scarf is now all already to be worn......

Till next time, Ali.

10 May 2014

finished objects

After the lengthy wingspan project, I needed to do some quick knits. I started with some dish cloths using a diagonal pattern - Grandmothers Favourite by Traditional Design click here. I found some nice coloured (Lion Brand) kitchen cotton, on sale at Deramores. There were fourteen shades to choose from.
I have probably a years supply of dish cloths knitted up now.

A wee while ago I visited the Textile Studio, Ballyhackamore and stocked up with Drops Eskimo, as it was on sale. First off the needles came a pair of felted slippers. The pattern was a Drops pattern, for more details click here.The pattern for the flower I made up as I went along. The yarn felted beautifully.

The next project was a set of nesting bowls and I used Alice Thelma's pattern click here. I didn't make mine as deep as the ones in the pattern. I now have somewhere to keep all my bits and pieces together, for future sewing projects.

All three patterns are free and available online.
At the moment I'm kitting up a summer scarf, but the photos of that will be on a future blog post.
Just one more thing I was lucky enough to win a giveaway. So thanks to Jacqui who writes the blog, Living with Ethel. I won a beautiful needlework book, dating back to the '40s. Also included was embroidery floss and a beautiful card. Thanks again, Jacqui.
Till next time, Ali.

5 May 2014


and finally I have finished my Wingspan project, it took a while but I got there in the end. I used Lousia Harding's Amitola for this project which knit up beautifully. The pattern was "Wingspan" by Maylin Tri'Coterie Designs and for more details click here.

and the reverse view.....
a close up of the brooch, found in a charity shop, holding the scarf closed....

This was a great pattern, simple enough, but not boring to knit up. I always like to learn a new technique with each project and for this project the pattern suggested German short rows. This is a very tight, non holey short row technique. For a tutorial by Mimi Kezer click here.
I also wanted a very loose stretchy cast off and used "Grandmother's favourite bind off."
To do this loose cast off ...

1. p2tog 

2. wrap yarn clockwise around needle (opposite direction to the way purl stitch is normally worked)

3. return stitch which is now on the right hand needle to the left hand needle
and repeat

This is a very simple effective loose cast off. For a video tutorial by Knit Purl Hunter click here
Now I just need to find somewhere to go to wear my new scarf.
Till next time, Ali.

1 May 2014

wedding anniversary

I don't tend to write personal stuff on my blog, but I'm making an exception, as today is my silver wedding anniversary.
As a personal celebration I headed down town to the City Hall for a revisit. Such a grey miserable day......
but inside the dome was as splendid as ever............

here's me looking a bit embarrassed taking a sneaky selfie.....

and the stained class window on the landing half way up the stairs with Belfast coat of arms. I wonder how many brides have stood on these stairs, over the years, posing for the obligatory photo!

Of course I feel I must include a snap of the "happy couple" all those years ago. Who were those two people, barely recognizable now.....

Back on with something crafty soon, Ali.