Wednesday, April 02, 2014

1960's Crochet Doily finished

My craft resolution for this year was to tackle my huge pile of unfinished projects (ufo's). Believe it or not, this doily has been in my pile for way over 40 years (that's telling something about me). I started it as a teenager in the days when we worked on our "glory box". I had lost the pattern, then thought I found a similar one, but it wasn't right. I had to work out the pattern.

My tension must have been super tight, as the recently completed motifs are larger than the old ones, even though I used a 0.6mm crochet hook.

Does anyone else remember working on their "Glory Box". I think some people referred to it as the bottom drawer. We used to buy small items, or complete handwork, and show each other what we had collected. Before I was married, I did complete a cross stitch table cloth, and several stitched doilys with crochet edges. I also completed several small thread  doilys. My ambition was to complete a tablecloth. I got as far as making 4 motifs in white, then decided I didn't like the start and stop, not to mention the weaving in of ends. It was also in very fine thread, with a fine hook. I totally admire anyone who ever completed a tablecloth.

However, I still have several unfinished doilys in my pile. I went to Spotlight to see if I could match the thread of a yellow one I have, but they had nothing like it. I guess after all this time, I will be lucky to match the thread.I'll have to look around the internet, but it will be hard to match with just a picture of the shade. Excuses, excuses.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Why do I knit, crochet, sew, embroider?

Despite all my great resolutions, I haven't posted for over a year. It has been a very eventful time for our family, with many difficult challenges. Although I haven't posted, I have continued with my fiber crafts. I wanted to share some of the reasons I spend my time in these pursuits.

Ribbed Bed Socks
Haruni lace shawl
I tend to give away most of my knitted and crocheted items. When I complete a project, it gives me a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

I hope that the item will be a source of comfort or even joy to the recipient, whether it is a plain pair of ribbed bed socks for my grandson, or a delicate lace shawl for a sister-in-law.

Having several "take along" projects with me
whenever I leave home is essential. (I need more than one in case I run into problems) These are usually fairly simple, even mindless knit or crochet projects. There are so many times and places where my handcraft stops me getting impatient - waiting for appointments, being a passenger in the car, long plane trips.

My "take alongs" are helpful in keeping my mind and hands occupied under stressful conditions. Again, I usually can't cope with anything complex when I am anxious. 
My design knit baby cardi and hat
I enjoy variety in my hand crafts, but the last few years, my sewing is mostly utilitarian. I make curtains, sheets, blankets and flags for the centre - metres and metres of straight sewing. However, it save a lot of money compared with buying ready made. I also mend and alter clothing, which again saves money.

Sue Box machine embroidery baby wrap
My main creative sewing is making machine embroidered baby wraps. I intend to spend more time with my machine this year.

With fiber crafts, there is so much to learn, and so many avenues to explore. I rarely knit, crochet or sew exactly according to the pattern. Sometimes this leads to disaster, but fiber is forgiving, and most projects can be salvaged, after they have spent enough time in the dark cupboard, out of sight.
My design, crochet baby cardi
One day, I mean to write up my original patterns. Meanwhile, I enjoy being creative.
My design, knit baby dress

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Year that Was

Last year seemed to be dominated by baby knitting. Four of the girls from work had babies - two girls and two boys. I really enjoyed knitting this outfit. Intarsia is always  a favourite technique for me. I don't usually like stripes, but this knit went well. I used stash yarn.
I thought the neck was too high, so I lowered it a bit.
I also improvised the hat pattern to make an outfit. 
I liked the blue and navy stripes, so repeated them in the hoodie for boy number two. For the hoodie I chose a cotton blend yarn, as his family now lives at Mt Tom Price, way up in the north west of Australia. It has a fairly hot climate. I improvised the pattern as I couldn't find one which I liked.
The zip was sewn in by machine and went in easily.

This is one of the girl's outfits. It was a Sirdar pattern I bought on 
Patternfish. The hat was a free Spotlight pattern. 


For girl number two I gave this cardi, which was my own
design.I had knitted this previously. I didn't have any of the
 pink yarn left,so I did the matching hat in white and lilac.
I was happy with the way the hat turned out.            

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Finishing Frenzy

I decided to make an effort this year to finish up some of my long term ufo's. It is hard to change from being a Ufo'er extraordinaire, but I did a count and the total was huge. I have just posted some more finished  projects to my Ravelry page, and the finished total so far is 8  knitted projects, and one crocheted edge. The lace rib socks were my only new project.
Although this was a simple pattern, it seemed to take forever to knit, but I did eventually finish them.
The oldest project was the diamond lace baby cardi. I think this started as a trial for a baby shawl, so it has been languishing for maybe seven years. I decided to turn it into a cardi.

Not sure what I will do with it. I know several expectant mums, so I guess it will find a home.
 It has garter stitch borders, which I don't do 
any more as I find they always curl. I now tend
to do seed stitch instead.

This year is busier than ever at work. We have all sorts of regulatory changes, and Quality Accreditation to put into place. We used to have a very difficult quality system before, but they have now changed it all again. In addition, I will be teaching in the kindergarten from next term. I am looking forward to it, but it will be on top of all my other work, so I think most of my knitting will be fairly easy. My main knitting time is in the car to and from work (DH drives)

Many of my other UFO's are quite complicated, and /or I have messed up and need to take time to sort them out. They mostly need concentration, and are not "Take along knits". Oh well, I will try to rescue some of them from the dark cupboard.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Three blue sheep sweaters (and hats)

Last year, I knitted this sweater and hat for my grandson. I bought the book, Bouton D'or Layette and Junior a long time ago. My copy is very dog eared, as I have used it so often, and knitted many of the designs. I nearly didn't buy it, because it was expensive, but I certainly have had my money's worth. The sweater (or jumper as we Aussies call it) was a bit too big, but three year old's grow quickly, and it fits well this year.
This year, I had several babies and toddlers to knit for, so I decided to do a six month, and a two year size. Because it is in 8ply (dk) they knitted up fairly fast. I did twist stitches instead of 3 stitch cables. They are much faster, and look the same. I also like the slip stitch coloured bands - two colours without getting tangled in fair isle.

This is the six month size. I thought that it is a bit more modern than the traditional fine baby knits I usually do.

This is the two year old size, with pom pom hat.

Once I had sewn them up, and put on the buttons, it took me ages to crochet the heads, and attach the legs. I am still not happy with the faces, but after many tries, I just had to finish. The legs are crochet chain. I think the 3d effect does add to the overall effect.
Six silly sheep

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Posting Again

We recently spent two weeks in the South Island of New Zealand, which is amzingly beautiful. We loved the scenery, and every day brought new surprises, and more awesome sights. We started in Christchurch and went across the Alps on the train. Then we did a 10 day bus tour, followed by a train trip to the north to Picton, and hired a car to drive back to Christchurch.
We spent a night on a boat in Milford Sound. When we started it was beautiful weather. It rained all night, and in the morning we had a big storm. The boat rocked and rolled, but it was fun. Everywhere around us were the most amazing water falls.
 I was hoping to buy some wool while there, but didn't get too many opportunities. I bought  5 skeins of varigated baby wool - Touch yarns. I also bought a fine 2ply lace weight yarn, and some varigated aspire (wool and alpaca) which has a felted appearance. Kylie chose the Aspire for a scarf and hat, but as often happens, the yarn doesn't suit the pattern. I knitted on the bus, and I started a scarf in a lace pattern I remembered. Now I have to figure out what to do in the middle. I also started gloves in the lace weight.
I had a lot of trouble because my cataracts are bad, and I am going for operations next week, and then in December. Hopefully I will be able to see the yarn better.
 I have completed quite a few things, which had been languishing in the UFO pile. This is a shawl for my daughter Lisa. It is Touch 2ply, varigated green, blue, 2ply. It was an easy pattern, as I seem to run into trouble with more complicated lace. It ended up 9 feet long, and 2 and a half feet wide (she wanted it long to throw over her shoulder) It is from the Knitted Lace of Estonia book.