Monday, September 21, 2009

Coming to Water - Julie H. Levy Square and a Valisette

Almost there!!!! Almost. I can smell the end!!!! If it wasn't that I suffer from a sudden aversion against aida I would be even I HATE working on that stiff fabric. Didn't mind it all the other pages, but recently stitching on this fabric puts me off quite a bit. Why? Not the slightest clue.
To make sure that "Coming to Water" won't end as an UFO, I promised to not stitch on anything else until I finished it. Hence my sudden interest in all sort of other handy work....LOL. Although I have to admit I enjoy these other things as well and consider them now keepers too.
Coming to Water is a gift for Michael, and I want to have it over and done with. When finished I probably can forget that fabric and simply enjoy looking at it again. may gladly say: another frigging page done. "Only" one more to go.

I also finished another square of the Great American Aran Afghan - Julie H Levy.  Happy with that too:
Julie H Levy

And....I made a bag!!!! My first bag ever - I loved every bit of it - and best thing of all is, it only took couple of hours. If you consider that in these couple of hours also is quite some time involved to find out how my new machine works and HOW to install a walking foot for example, it's not bad at all.  Which means I got a very nice bag in no time - thanks to "Un Petit Bout de Fils" who has a tutorial for it on her website. It's on French...which I can read a bit but not speak (don't's very good explained with pictures and so it was very easy to follow the tutorial. The name of the bag is Valisette, which means translated to English suitcase if I'm not mistaken. The name is a bit over the top size  I made the biggest size out of 3 possible sizes and it's really not that big. Just the right size for me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Grand Marquoir part 5 - and a Needle Book

Having here a major happy dance after finishing part 5 of the "Grand Marquoir" Now it's waiting for the last part which will be released end of October. The picture doesn't do it justice. Somehow I really like these days stitching over one.

Grand Marquoir

Nancy K sent me a note that the needle book I made for her has arrived. :)
She is a fan of Quaker motifs, which we do have in common. The design is taken from a chart by "With my Needle" and is called "Of female arts". I changed it a bit to suit it to over one which I got slightly "Of female Arts" is part of the "Little Sampling Etui" and I stitched it on a 28ct Cashel solo from Silweaver using Gentle Art threads.

Female Arts of Usefulness

The Great American Aran Afghan (Belanger - Selesnick and Burns)

Yessss.....3 squares done. I'm planning to knit all 24 squares and to deeply enjoy it while I'm at it. Totally forgot that I love cable knitting. It's so long ago. And these squares are ideal for a cable lover. Instead repeating the same all over as you do for a pullover or cardigan, everything changes per 12x12 square. And I LOVE that.

Three squares together

Each of the squares is from a different designer which is just perfect for me. Different designers...different techniques....different looks. Did I mention that I love changes? No? Remind me in that case to tell you next time. Never mind...I probably will do anyway.

First square is from Ginette Belanger. An easy knit. Turned out just lovely and exactly what one needs to get back into knitting after a long long years break. Not too difficult, yet a bit challenging to find your way back into it. And loving every knit

The second square is from Barbara Selesnick. It turned out much smaller then the first square so that I was considering to add some more rows to make a 4th heart. In the end I gave it a try as it is, and blocked the square which fixed it pretty much. It’s still a bit smaller, but that won’t be visible once the afghan is assembled.
I think if I wouldn’t use wool and couldn’t block the way wool does, I would have added that 4th heart.



And lastly: Hanna Burns
Beautiful square. Although one thing I didn’t like. The 3 ridges at begin and end are knitted with the same amount of stitches as the cable pattern. Which makes the edge quite wobbly. That’s why I changed it for the upper end. When I came to the 3 ridges I decreased evenly to 54 stitches and that worked better.
The edge got fixed by blocking, but if I would have to do it over, I would start with 54 stitches (or something like that) and increase in the last row to 62.



Did you read I fixed 2 squares with blocking and saw the pics about it??? I freely admit: I was living under a rock ...for YEARS. Totally comfy there. I NEVER grasped the concept of blocking a finished knitted piece completely. And boy does that make a difference. Two of the 3 squares seemed to have a problem. One seemed to be way too short - the other has a fault in charting in the outer ridges. Blocking fixed it. And it's easy as easy can be...once you leave the warm place under the rock that is.
I read blocking only works with natural fibers. But going on the "feel" of the wet wool I assume it will work also on blends with wool be it probably a bit less dramatic. Who not me...yet

Friday, September 4, 2009

Look what I got!!!

Ohhhh....I'm in love. My needles have a new home!!!
Marie P stitched for me this gorgeous needle book for an exchange from "Friends through Threads". The subject of this exchange was "For the Love of Needlework" and it had to be finished as a needle book.

Marie did a fantastic job. She stitched over one (!) a Little House Needlework Design called "My Needles Work" using Cresent Colors. It's so fine and beautiful. So are the little gifts Marie sent with the book.

The inside looks great as well. I moved my needles immediately to their new home.

Knitting wise...the wool arrived. I chose 10 ply pure wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mills called Luxury and I'm very happy that choice. This wool is really soft. Most wool is a tiny bit scratchy, but this one isn't. It's just super soft. The gauge knits up exactly the same as one used in the book. Only thing is, that I need a bit more of it, because pure wool is heavier then wool/acryl. It comes in huge 200g balls.
For my first square I thought I'll try an easy one after not having knitted for long years, and boy, am I glad I did Meanwhile I'm getting back the hang of it - and LOVE it.

Part 5 of the Grand Marquoir got released. Didn't do much there yet. But anyhow....

Then there is a give away. I'm giving you a link here, and adding one to the side, because Deb is having a GREAT give away. I'm drooling over that scissor frog. It's a beauty.

And lastly...after the last post I'm trying to take a picture from her cuddly majesty, Princess Ashley. But, hmmm...something speedy always jumps in front of her snoryness soon as the camera appears. Ashley learned to ignore this little rodent in moments like this - it's like rain: it's annoying but it does happen no matter what. Thank god the girls love each other (mostly...but you know how sisters are)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another new toy

Sadly enough my sewing machine broke down after more then 20 years of service. And believe it or was reason for a happy dance. I'm dreaming of a new machine since ages, but told myself every time that it wasn't worth to spend the money because my machine was still good. That thing is 35 years old and virtually unbreakable. sorta broke down. My mother of course suggested I got it fixed. But that could have to do with the fact that she was the one who gave the old machine to me because she hates sewing machines, and I switched subject immediately. Fixing it....*shiver* knew of course precisely what machine I wanted. Until I went to the shop and tried out. That changed my mind. In the end I fell in love with a Brother and went with the Brother Innovis NV-400 and LOVE it. Still can't sew a streight line...but who cares about those minor details. I have now lots of feet to play around with. No foot control, can set the speed and lots of playful details. Which keeps me nicely off the street.

Bother Innovis NV 400

Ohhh....wat concerns the old Singer...I found something stuffed in the spool department. That could have been the problem. And didn't try out. Shhhhhhhh.

There is also an update on "Coming to Water". I'm trying to get the hang of it back, but still have problems with concentrating. And that makes it a rather slow process.

Coming to Water

Nothing new on the knitting front - I'm still in the process of deciding which yarn to use.

Ohhh.....and here is a picture of Mike and Lucy sleeping together in front of Mike's pc. Is that cute or what? This is the dog we took more then a year "temporary" in to train her so that she could go to a good home. A dog that didn't turn out to be the toy it was supposed to be - a story about how horrible wrong it can go. A disturbed biting little girl that panicked for everything and anything. We all got bitten in the process of rehabilitating. In the end we have one happy little girl, who learned to trust(mostly)...and to listen. Not in that order btw....LOL. That temporary is estimated these days for another 10+ years.
Which brings the zoo to a grand total of 3 cats and 2 dogs. :)

Mike and Lucy