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!

Body of Evidence

New body!

…aaaaaaand relax. The little piggy has a brand new body, and I think we can safely say, everyone is much happier. Or at least I am. Thank you for your comments on my last post. You were right. As much as it would’ve been great for everyone to say it was fine, it wasn’t, and I felt his body really didn’t do his head justice. There’s nothing more unsatisfying than a half done pig, is there?

sketch

This was the idea, before I got started. (I sketched it in a meeting. Bad habit.) I think it wasn’t a bad likeness in the end. No belly button of course, but I do like the two wooden buttons, I think they add a bit more interest. I still love this yarn – the Simply Recycled cotton. It’s really soft and the colours are so nice and muted.

side

And here we are from the side…

tail

And here’s the other side, with his tail peeking out. Phew. All done. Believe it or not, as I have more yarn, I’m tempted to make another one.

A mixed bag (may not contain bags)

Image

This little piggy has been a bit frustrating. I’m not sure what to do with him/her, but I think it’s not over yet. This is body number two – I actually finished the whole thing once, lived with it for a week or two and then took it apart. This is the body as written in the pattern, but I think it’s a bit messy. Too many decreases, which just don’t look good. It’s a shame as the head is such a great shape and so nicely written up, but I just think the body doesn’t do it justice. It also doesn’t suit a scarf – or anything else I can think of as yet – to distract you from the not-very nice shape. Will think on. Any suggestions appreciated! Poor little piggy!

Image

I’m a fan of the yarn though – it’s lovely! It’s the Sidar Simply Recycled, and is lovely and soft. The colours are also really nice, quite muted – a bit more natural looking. I’d definitely use it for making toys again. This little chap is much bigger than the last one.

Image

This is an experiment, made the other week. It’s tatted in size 40 thread, and is actually the pattern for a bracelet. The thread is much thicker than I would normally use – but probably a bit more of an appropriate size for jewellery – that said, as a bracelet I think it would drive you nuts! I love the idea of tatted daisy chains, but maybe just not this one. Rather than waste it I made yet another lavender bag. (I think I underfilled it too – after all my months of overfilling I’ve tipped back too far in the other direction!)

Image

But look at this – it’s knitting! A waffle scarf (ravelry link), and it seems to be going ok (she says, touching wood, with crossed fingers). Now I’ve got the hang of it, I’m really enjoying it. It’s a very simple pattern of course, but nice for a beginner, and a great TV project. I’ve already planned my next project – bought the pattern and the yarn, but I’m going to be good and finish this first. Very exciting!

Tatting in two colours

After getting my new thread haul the othe week, I’ve been itching to try tatting in two colours. Nothing dramatic, but I just thought slight tonal variations would be good. The downside of buying online is that you can never be *that* sure of the colours you’re buying, but I think the ones I got are working together ok…Blue and green options

The blues are very close to eachother – but in a nice way actually. When you see them in real life, they’re really delicate. The greens are a bit further apart, but they still seem ok – and as you can see, I’ve had yet *another* go at the Mary Konior pattern. I had a longer uninterrupted train journey this week, so it was a chance to try it out again. I’m back to onion rings again and I think it does look neater.

Onion ring

Also, I think the pic at the top shows the back, rather than the front. As it happens, this was just a test to see how it went, so I didn’t wind on much thread. I’ll start again on a real one soon. I keep thinking the second ring could use a few picots to keep itself in place actually. I’m really tempted to try again and add some in… or is that just getting ridiculous?

In the meantime, I’ve been trying out an afghan pattern. I’ve been looking for one to make for ages, and I must admit, there’s something really lovely about this pattern – or is it the colours? The colours are really lovely.

I tried out one square with colours I had knocking about – you’ll recognise the grey from the elephants, maybe.

Crochet & tatting

It’s so weird to work with such chunky wool after the size 80 thread. But the square is so cute in real life! I should think it makes one hell of a warm blanket – it’s really chunky, but so soft and puffy! It’s like a crochet marshmallow. I have a vague feeling I might be 90 by the time I start and finish it as an afghan, but I am tempted… Time to go yarn shopping? Maybe.

Oh! And talking of elephants, one of them has err… flown the nest (you know how well elephants fly!) and reached her destination…


Happy Elephant

(I mentioned to the recipients mum that I’m on hand for repairs when needed ;o)

Tatting for giants

Just for the hell of it, I thought I’d try tatting with some cotton I originally bought to crochet with. It’s very smooth and looked like it would slide easily enough (something you need for tatting), so seemed worth a little experiment. I’ve always liked the idea of tatting with other threads – in the past I’ve tatted with different types of sock yarn, but the picots can end up looking a bit messy as the strands of thread come apart.

This is 4 ply Rowan cotton, and actually it tats up pretty well. In this photo you can see a full motif in fine Finca thread, which I made some time ago, and half of the same motif in cotton. So far, the half motif has taken up two shuttles, and I stopped as I needed to wind on a third. (For the non-tatters out there, the smaller motif was created with the thread from one shuttle).

It’s a Mary Konior pattern, which I really like, and part of the experiment was to see if it would be suitable to make into a scarf. The answer…? Well, sort of. It’s actually a little big – if you hold it up to your neck, it’ll reach from your collar bone to your chin. It’s a bit too large, really – and is quite thick so I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to wear, it wouldn’t drape that well. More than that though – the THIRD SHUTTLE and it’s only part way through! It’s great practise for joining in new threads, but just as you think you’re getting somewhere, you’ve run out of thread again.

I don’t think I’ll finish it, which I feel a bit bad about, but it’s such nice thread I don’t really want to waste it. It was worth the experiment though. Maybe I’ll look around for a smaller motif…