Tatting, embroidery, colourwork and a swatch

urchins

Hello! Just a quick and varied update… I actually made this a while ago, but haven’t had a chance to post it here. It’s a lavender bag — of course — made with the little tatted ‘urchins’ and some simple embroidery. I often think this kind of fabric is too open, but it’s perfect for a lavender bag as it keeps the lavender in and lets the scent out.

lavender

Here’s a rather terrible picture of the whole thing. I used a linen strip at one end, and it’s also backed with linen. I quite like the more geometric nature of this, and when you see it in real life, it’s quite delicate. I was thinking of the running stitches of shashiko when I made it, which is yet another thing I quite fancy trying but haven’t had any time for…

beads

This was a quick experiment from this morning. The stitch count needs adjusting but it seems to work. Basically I’d not tatted around a central bead before so I wanted to try that. I think it’s ok on this thread (still the thread from Katy!) but anything thinner will probably be too much- it ends up disappearing inside the bead. These yellow beads I bought on a whim. They’re ridiculously bright, but they feel really ‘springy’ –  we’ve had daffodils and primroses recently, and there’s currently bright yellow dandelions everywhere. There’s also loads of bluebells in the woods, which are a complete delight:

bluebells

I’m using the bluebells as a bribe to get myself running regularly. It’s so lovely to run in the woods — we’ve had a little spell of sunny weather in the UK and the light through the trees, the bright blue flowers, and the smell of spring has been fantastic.

colourwork

That aside, I’m also doing a little knitting experiment. I thought I would try colourwork in the round as I need another case for a phone. I have an iPhone already and the new job insists I also have a Blackberry. It’s all very formal on occasion, and I kind of like to amuse myself with slightly terrible bits of hand knitting in my bag. I’m making this up as I go, both the structure and the pattern. Already I’m worried that the pattern is far too big for the size of pouch I need, so I’ll probably have to adapt it. I’m also worried  that the final thing will be too tight—but not *that* worried to be honest—if it doesn’t work I’ll use something else. The job itself is stressful enough with out worrying about hobbies aswell!

swatch

There’s also this, which I’m pretty sure is one of the loveliest things you’ve seen all day, right? I actually took this last week, its a swatch gauge for what *will* become my first knitted garment. I don’t know why but starting it seems terrifying and so I keep putting it off. It’s this Boardwalk pattern from Brooklyn Tweed. Everyone (on Ravelry) seems to find it really easy but… I’m just being an idiot. I just need to get on with it.

So there we have it. There is a bit more which I’ve not had time to write about, but nothing that can’t wait. Hope you’ve all had good weekends (long weekends here in the UK) and that whatever you’re doing is fun, tricky enough to be interesting but not tricky enough to make you worry about it 🙂

See you soon.

 

Stress bunnies

tiny

You know when you have a lot on your mind and you can’t sit idle but you can’t concentrate on anything either? That’s when simple patterns really come in to their own. Just basic counting, with the odd ‘knit 2 together’ or something every now and again. I made one of these last weekend for a gift, another because I wanted to check the previous one wasn’t a fluke and another three to keep me busy in-between dealing with work-related phonecalls and emails.

I wont go in to the gory details but I am about to start a new contract… for a variety of reasons its been delayed several times, and thus I’m not working, but I’m not on holiday either. I need to be available to answer calls and emails, and perhaps have meetings, and so I can neither relax, nor work (nor make any money!). Its been a bit of a frustrating time. Last week was particularly frustrating and so while I couldn’t do nothing I couldn’t quite face starting something new either.

bunnies

I found some odds and ends of wool that needed using up. I have to say that it’s a lot easier making these in soft wool than it is in cotton. It’s also a lot easier to stitch them together. Making so many arms and legs also gave me a chance to improve my i-cord knitting too.

back

I knitted them all flat and mattress-stitched them together, except for the one above. I knitted her in the round on DPNs. Can’t decide it it was better or worse really… Much more fiddly, but perhaps a neater finish? Its also a little harder to sew the face as you’re stitching into a tube. I think I’d say it depends on your attitude to DPNs – if you hate them its definitely not worth it!

dress
I do love making the dresses though. They’re so simple but so detailed – the arm holes, the tiny button/loop and any kind of decoration you fancy.

The blue bunnies are made in the weirdest colour wool. I think on a good day you’d call it ‘duck egg’. On a bad day you’d call it ‘grubby’. If it’s next to something *really* white then you can see that it’s quite a nice pale blue. If its next to any other colour at all, it just looks like it was probably a nice colour once, but it’s got really dirty since. I’m not sure why I bought it – must’ve been one of the rare times when it really did look duck egg.

phone_1

As promised, this is the finished iphone case – I said I’d blog it good or bad. In the end it’s turned out somewhere in the middle. Its not great looking, but its not awful either. It is exactly the right size though (luck, not design), and it’s quite dense fabric so works quite well. Its a basic Rowan 4 ply on 2.75 needles, so it’s quite thick. I finished it off with Kitchener Stitch – not particularly well, but that’s partly because I kept confusing myself. I think this video tutorial is really good – despite my general cackhandedness. Another plus – I’ve used up even more of the weird colour wool.

Again, if you want to make bunnies of your own, this is the pattern.

Hope you’ve all had great weekends. See you soon!

PS: Do any of you have any patterns you go to over n’ over? I tatt Mary Konior’s posy pattern on repeat quite a lot, and of course crochet the monkeys – but they’re just good gifts, rather then stress-busters…