Race against the dark

photoshopped photo

It’s almost dark, so I had to race to take these photos – and I must admit, I’m not quite ready! That one above is a massive cheat in Photoshop, but hey, it looks pretty at least! It’s a little piece of test tatting I’ve squeezed in this week on the occasions when I’ve managed to get a seat on the train. Not sure what’s up these days, but seats are becoming a bit less frequent.

super nice

Look at these! A huge treat and such a kind donation from  lovely Katy at Creating Misericordia. They arrived in the post last week, so I got home at the end of a very long day at work to find them waiting for me. Instant smiles! I’m not 100% sure what sizes they translate to, but I’d say perhaps maybe 50? They’re not as thin as 80, but not as thick as 40, so I think something like 50 or 60. Anyway, super nice, and I love the more beige-y colours with the ecru…

realistic

This is a bit more of a realistic shot – I quite like the very subtle mix of the two colours together. This is a doodly pattern, but so enjoyable to do. I’ve started adding picots to every flower petal, which makes it more flexible to make up a pattern as you go along. Without them you get to the point where you quite fancy adding a join but have nothing to join to. As always, I could actually *plan* this, but… where’s the fun in that?! Hmm. I think  I might actually plan the next one… perhaps. Thank you so much Katy, a donation very much appreciated 🙂

autumnAll the hard work on this is done – had it not been about to get dark, there’d be a shot of it finished. I just need to stuff it and sew up the side. It would also benefit from an iron too. For this one, I stitched three sized of the square and then sewed on the tatting. Much better idea on slightly larger pieces as there’s more chance of getting the tatting centred. It’s a bit fiddly stitching the tatting on, but I am pleased with the way this has turned out. I worked really hard to get it looking as neat as possible, and I think it’s paid off. (This is a very close up shot – it wont be this wrinkly by the end! It’s Valdani thread incidentally – slightly smaller than 80 but not as thin as 100. I went off it for a while and have no idea why. I love it on linen.)

wrap

I’m still knitting every chance I get, too. This is the wrap – don’t worry, blocking will fix the edges. I bought some blocking wires in preparation and I’m so desperate to get this finished! It’s been really cold at work, and if nothing else, I just want to wear it. This is a rubbish photo, but it does look nice is real life. A great pattern – and really good for beginners. It looks quite complicated, so you get all the satisfaction of that, but it’s just knitting and purling. I’ve got about 74 rows left… The plus about this is that it’s not too bad as a TV pattern, if you’re careful. (That said, I’ve unpicked a few rows!)

All this aside, other big news is that I changed the blade on my rotary cutter. Have you got a rotary cutter? When did you last change the blade? SERIOUSLY. It’s like the fabric just jumps up and cuts itself. Why did I leave it so long? Two things in life you probably shouldn’t skimp on. A taxi late at night and a new blade on yer knife. (Especially when it’s only £3.00).

Have a good week!

Hey monkey! Show us your sock…

I know you’re supposed to put the most enticing photo at the top of a blog post, but it’s been a long day and this one made me laugh the most. Hello! There’s been a bit of a pause on posts recently as I’ve had no chance to take photos of anything I’ve made. I leave for work in the dark and it’s dark when I get home, and my stroppy camera hates anything but sunshine. I did manage to grab a few snaps this morning though, and so here I am.

I made the monkey up there years ago. It’s the second toy I ever crocheted actually, and sits on my boyfriend’s desk. The sock I made about a week or two ago, and it’s a mini Christmas stocking, from the bottom pattern here. It’s so cute in real life! It’s probably not the best knitting you’ve ever seen in your life, but it’s the first time I’ve used DPNs and I actually managed to make a decent job of mattress stitching it together. If you’re a good knitter, I think you’ve have it done in no time. I know the colours aren’t very xmassy, but it was a test really, to see if I could do it.

I made another version of the pouch of pain. Still not great, but better than it was. Annoyingly this one seems to show up the tightness of the colour changes more than the other one (it’s actually a little better in real life than it looks here.) The pattern suggests that you go up in needle size when you start the leafy design, but I don’t have that many knitting needles yet, so I couldn’t do that. It’s quite a bit smaller than the first one… I was tempted to line it with fabric, but it’s just not that great, so I don’t think I will. Anyway! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Oh – and I did the increases this time, so the base is rounded a bit. Again, looks better in the flesh.

I treated myself to these lovely hand dyed threads from Yarnplayer recently. They’re size 80, and for tatting. I’m really looking forward to using them, although I’m undecided yet as to what I’ll make. You have to be a bit careful with variegated threads – if the pattern is too complicated it can end up looking really confusing. I still think this is one of my favourites. That said, it’s getting to snowflake making time again. Gah! I was going to start early this year.

 

I’ve been making this again on my commute. Almost there, and then the ends to sew in. It’s in the Valdani quilting thread, which I do have a certain affection for. Occasionally I panic as I think it might snap, but that aside, I like the fact it’s ‘dull’ – there’s no sheen to the thread. I made a lavender bag earlier this year with the same pattern, and actually I love it. Something about this colourway on linen works really well.

Aside from all that, I’m still knitting my Guernsey Wrap (you can see the beginning of it here). I’ve become a bit desperate to get it finished now as winter really feels like it’s arrived, and I’d like to wear it! I’m over half way, but I need some dedicated time on it. I was hoping today would be the day, but I got sucked into day-job work instead. Haven’t managed to fit any sewing time in either, but I did buy some beautiful fabric a few weeks ago.

So much to do, and so little time! Better get on with it.