Wednesday, 8 July 2020

A Birthday Box


Now and again I find an absolute gem in a charity shop.  A few years ago I found this marquetry panel, thinking my husband could make something with it.  At that stage he must have had his head full of other projects, so it has just been lying about the house waiting for its day to come.


Whether the original maker made it as a practice piece, or the beginning of something that was never finished, we shall never know, but at least we know his initials, which are etched in the centre.  Are they EK or KE?


It is a shame I can't ask EK or KE why he put the prettier of the two roses upside down at the bottom, and I would dearly love to rearrange some of the pieces for better contrast.  Perhaps that goes to show that it was indeed a practice piece.

Now all EK's hard work has been put to good use as a box lid.  My husband has made a box for my threads, and had it finished in time for my birthday last Sunday.


I had a happy afternoon sorting out my threads, and here they are, all neatly arranged.  The top two layers are in made to measure removeable trays.  Blues and greens are in the first tray...


... reds, yellows and browns in the second tray...


... and everything else just squeezed into the bottom layer.

Apart from a few large reels which are too big for the trays, and some synthetic threads that I only use for tacking, I managed to fit almost all the threads I have into the new box.

Truly one of my best presents ever!  My husband is a star.  And a special vote of thanks to EK or KE, wherever he may be.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 287 - Still Knitting




One of my current projects nearing completion is this little round necked cardigan for a baby boy.  The scrappy bit from the toe of an old stocking is saving a stitch, a little trick which should be item 47 for a book I have always been tempted to write,101 Uses of Old Tights.

At the moment the cardigan is in a state of animated suspension, because ideally I would like to make a shopping trip to buy buttons, but with the present regime of only four persons in the shop at once and compulsory masks, I would rather wait until things return to normal.



This is the first time I have used grey on an item for a baby.  It tones in well because there is an occasional streak of bluish grey in the random blue yarn.  My husband was especially taken with these colours, but I have made it clear to him that I shall not be knitting one in his size.







Here goes for Week 287:-

This week's featured project is Vasudha's Centred Quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.


If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

A Picture for Sunday - Three Birds


This is a sight I love to see, just three birds in the sky, and which I have used as a personal trademark in two freemotion landscapes, one of a field of rapeseed, and the other of a lane in May.  Today I was really pleased that I managed to photograph three pigeons in flight against a blue sky.  The hillside in the distance is the same one seen in the stitched landscape of the lane.  With the beautiful sky, fast moving clouds, and a brisk breeze blowing waves in the long grass, it was truly enchanting.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Decreasing for Raglan Shaping in Fisherman's Rib


Sounds tricky, but believe me it isn't.  I am hoping that showing a cardigan worked in stripes doesn't make it look harder than it is, either.

The shaping is worked over five stitches and on every right side row, that is, with the front side of the work facing you.  The method for knitting right side rows in fisherman's rib is shown on the last three photos here.

The central stitch of the five is worked as a purl on the right side and knit on the wrong side.  If it is slipped and the yarn passed over the needle, then the decreasing stitches end up too loose and messy.

The central stitch marks the underarm, the point where the pieces are joined onto a circular needle, as can be seen here.

One every right side row, the five stitches are worked as follows: knit 2 together, purl 1, slip 1 stitch knitwise, knit 1, pass slipped stich over.

After the first row of decreasing you have two knit stiches on either side of the central stitch.  On the next wrong side row the five stitches are worked as purl 2, knit 1, purl 2. 


On the second and every alternate right side row a slipped purl stitch comes immediately before and after the 5 stitch sequence.  On the right hand needle in this photo you can see that the yarn has been passed over the needle over the slipped stitch, and 2 stitches have been knitted together.


Next, the central stitch is purled.


The next stitch is slipped knitwise.


The next stitch is knitted and the slipped stitch is passed over it (exactly the same as when casting off stitches).

The rest of the row is worked according to the method for fisherman's rib, so the yarn is brought forward and the next stitch slipped purlwise.

The next wrong side row will have no interruption to the knit 1, purl 1 sequence when you reach the five stitch sequence.

I have experimented with different methods of decreasing for fisherman's rib, and this is the way that was easiest to work and gave the neatest finish.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 285 - New Tricks



Looks like I've cracked it!  

This is the view down between three needles inside a little sample sleeve.  After watching a few YouTube videos and two very messy false starts, I have found a way to do circular knitting on double pointed needles.  Many avid knitters love knitting socks, and with all the interesting yarns available, end up knitting enough pairs for an entire street.  I can understand the fascination with making endless variations on a theme, but socks hold no great attraction for me, so I have never bothered learning to knit in the round.

This week I took the plunge.  The aim is to make a child's cardigan entirely without seams.  Making the back and fronts all one piece is easy, so this gets rid of the side seams.  Knitting all pieces together for the raglan shaping means no shoulder seams.  You end up with one flat piece to sew down the sides and sleeves.  The big challenge was getting rid of the sleeve seams by knitting a little tube.



So here it is.  I have knitted just enough to make sure I could do it.  Knitting on a tiny scale in a fancy rib, with two colours, and increasing for the beginning of the shaping was all a bit of a tussle, but I did it!

The real fun will come when I am making a real cardigan and I am sorting out the big join-up of the sleeves with the main piece, but I think I have thought it out.  The only way to find out is to actually make it.

Meanwhile on the home front, following on from Richard the plasterer (milk and no sugar), Gary the decorator (milk and two sugars) was with us last week and has done a grand job in the dining room.  Reorganising is still going to take a while.  My husband is taking the opportunity to do some long overdue repair and restoration to a cabinet and sideboard, and the sewing corner is still stacked up with stuff.  So no real sewing in sight for a while, but I'm loving the knitting.  I hope all you non-knitters aren't getting too bored.

Finally, are other people having problems with Blogger at the moment?  This post has taken me about five times the length of time it should have done.  It keeps jumping back from arial to default font, the size of the font changes of its own accord, and it was impossible to change the size of a picture.  I hope it is just teething problems with the introduction of the new format.  Why did they have to change it?  I say that about everything.  And our internet keeps dipping.



                                                        

Here goes for Week 285:-

This week's featured project is Vasudha's Hands to Help quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.




If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

A Picture for Sunday - Threatening Clouds


It's one of my favourite walks, and I love to look back at photos taken from the same spot at different times.  This was two days ago, and I have clear memories of this equally beautiful sky, which was at the same time of year, and also the ground was as dry as it is now.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 283 - The Blanket is Growing



How it's grown!  It looks less like waves now that I have put in the random red yarn.  It was essential to relieve the monotony.  Much as I love knitting, I could do with a bit of sewing, but I shall have to wait a bit longer.  The decorator is coming next week, so after the entertaining ceiling collapse a few weeks ago we can now look forward to a smart new dining room.  As for wool, my local shop takes orders by email and will deliver, so I am expecting a knock at the door today.  At least I know I shall have enough to finish this blanket.







Here goes for Week 283:-

This week's featured project is Gail's Big Brother quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.



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If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.



If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

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