Sunday, 20 May 2012

Wool And Felt And Avoca


I came across some wonderful things from this company some time ago. They make the most amazing goods from wool. Their woven throws and blankets are stunning and their hand knits are imaginative and very trendy.  I particularly like their scarves and gloves and recently bought myself one of their capes. The company is based in Avoca Village,  County Wicklow in Ireland and they have a great website - see it   here ...  The company started in 1723 as a co-operative when local farmers got together to weave and spin their wool and remains today in the same mill premises with an ethos relatively unchanged. I love their stuff - do take a look.

My lovely cape

A Lovely Seed Stitch Cardigan

I have really become fascinated by knitted things and have been trying a little seed stitch (moss stitch to some) and found it quite difficult as you really need to concentrate on each and every stitch. I recently made a mistake, which I did not notice for six rows and then had to unpick and rework it until it was corrected. It was difficult to pick up the stitches the right way round and so I have decided that no more seed stitch for me ... although this does look wonderful.

A Little Time Waster

I love felt - why have I not used it more? I sometimes make tiny things but realize it is so much more versatile and it is possible to turn out reasonable items in an hour or two. I have been under the weather recently and so it is nice to be able to relax with just a few items and craft. Today I thought I might try a simple pincushion.

I cut a few shapes

Did a bit of simple decoration

And a bit more decoration

Sewed the top and the sides with blanket stitch

Attached the bottom in the same way (leaving a small gap to stuff it)

Popped the stuffing in

Now to sew up the gap

Close up

Another close up

Now for a bit of decoration ...

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Cross Stitch Keepsakes

Simple Cross Stitch

I was given this lovely book called 'Cross Stitch Keepsakes' by Helen Phillips, which has over two hundred small designs "to celebrate the big occasions in life".  It is full of lovely ideas for making gifts relevant to all occasions. It came with some graph paper to make my own designs, some embroidery wools and some canvases.

Cross Stitch Keepsakes by Helen Phillips

The book is full of colourful ideas and beautiful designs and with a full explanation of how to make the items, which colours to use, and even how to mount the finished articles.

I loved this little sampler for a friend

These would look good on a wedding card

This would be a great moving  present

Isn't this cute?

A lovely house warming gift

I think I shall have such fun with this gift. Thank you G. xx     I think I may start with something small - maybe a pin-cushion? I have never done any cross stitching for years so do not want to be too adventurous.

"Quick to Stitch Cross Stitch Keepsakes" by Helen Phillipps is available through  Amazon.

More Blocks and Granny Squares

I am still working hard at my Amy Butler blocks and today managed quite a few more. I particularly like these colourways - pink and lime green always does it for me. (I am still stuck at home with the builders).

And this is my next knitted granny square. I just love the texture of this wool and the colour is really amazing. It is called Rowan SMC Select Rosas 1701 and costs £5.95 for 50 gram.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

May I introduce you to Pochahontas?


Pretty hat and dress

I even knit her a shawl

Back view of shawl


My first attempt at a felt doll, which stands around fourteen inches high. I have realized that felt does not make for a good hairstyle so will try another with wool and other improvements. I think I may now give her some beads in the hair and some sparkle.

Pocahontas. By Charles Staal, engraved by B. Eyles. From Mary
                                Cowden Clarke, 
                                    World-Noted Women.
Pochahontas by Charles Staal
Engraved by B. Eyles
Via World Noted Women

1596   Born - daughter of Cheif Powhatatan

1608   Ordeal - saved John Smith from execution

1613   Religion - converted to Christianity

1616   Ordeal - first journey to England

1617   Death - in Gravesend, England

There is a memorial statue to her at St Georges Church, Gravesend, England.

Felt Doll

A Little Fiddling With Felt

Today I was forced to stay in (wretched builders demolishing a wall) and so thought I would do something extremely lazy while lolling on the bed watching mind-numbing TV (honestly have you seen the people on Jeremy Kyle?) I was feeling a little poorly and this seemed like a nice way to spend a few hours.

I have lots of felt, plenty of threads and a lovely big eyed needle ... and this is the beginning of my efforts (work in progress). This is the very first time that I have attempted to make a doll ... so no rude comments please!

I cut some shapes, blanket stitched them together and stuffed the doll with a light stuffing. Now to embroider the face, pin the 'hair' in place (maybe a hat?) and make some clothes and shoes. And then the 'naming' bit (I always like this part of any toy).

I gave her some earrings

I gave her some eyes and a mouth

I gave her a pretty hat

And some cool shoes

The beginnings of a skirt

The start of a tunic

I shall update you with the finished doll tomorrow after she is dressed. I may even knit her a shawl and, especially for  Tina , will adorn her with some beads and sparkle.  What fun can be had with felt!

This Martha Stewart doll tutorial gave me the inspiration.