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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Christmas Making Workshop

Hi Everyone
We have a new Making Workshop today. This is the last session before Christmas 2017. We will have lots of chat and there will be Mince Pies. This time we are making beaded Angels, Snowman and more. Our workshops have been focusing on preparations for Christmas for the last few sessions and it’s the 4th in the series. We have made crochet Snowmen gift bags, crochet and felted greetings cards, felted Robins and finally the beaded Christmas charms. The first three sessions are new projects to the Making Programme and have been great. Today’s Christmas charms project  is one from last year. I love making these little charms, so satisfying.

               

Last year, I created a small festive tree developed from a Willow branch and decorated it with lots beaded Angels. This year, I’m resurrecting the Willow tree and will add my new beaded charms from today. Hopefully, I can come up with a Santa and a variety of Snowmen. The charms are very easy to make and allow lots of creativity with simple bead combinations. The charms can turn into a tree charm or a pair of festive earrings. As usual, I will aim to get some photos to share here on the blog.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Prototype Polymer Samples

Hi Everyone
If you are a regular reader, you will know I’m in the middle of a big Job - reorganising my Studio. It’s going rather slowly ! However, I will get there. As I’m sorting each and every item, I’m coming across stuff I’ve either forgotten about or lost. It’s all very interesting (for some of the time). As it’s my Polymer Day today, I thought I would share some prototype jewellery samples made from Polymer Clay. These samples were stored in a box, deep in the Studio and I’d forgotten about them. Some samples can go, they’ve served their purpose but amongst the box, I found some interesting ideas. Some of the samples could be used and reworked into a new piece or used as inspiration for something new. Here is a quick look at a selection which has taken my interest.

                      
Most of the samples are earrings or ear ring components but the Chartreuse coloured rings are very appealing to me. I want to sand them and slightly reshape the rings, possibly adding some Silver. I’ll spend some time working on these four pieces later today. 
Hopefully, I may come across more stuff today. The reorganisation goes on !

Thanks for calling in today.



Friday, 8 December 2017

Fibre Friday - 8/12/17

Hi Everyone
This weeks fibre round up is very much like the last few weeks. I’ve been dividing my fibre time between a few projects. I shared the Toft Advent Project earlier this week (read back Monday for more on this). The Toft project is a mystery crochet, little bits of the final item is made each day with yarn from the windows in the box. It’s very exciting and I look forward to setting aside 15/20mins each day for the task.
I’ve also been continuing with a few ongoing knitting projects. The Garland sweater moves on, very slowly. There are in excess of 300 stitches on the needles and I try and complete 2/3 rows each evening. I’m enjoying the knit, the colours are lovely and the stocking stitch is very simple, great for TV knitting. It’s going to be a few weeks yet !
My next project is a Bousta Beanie. This is the second Bousta which has been waiting patiently in my bag for some time. It’s quite a quick knit so I’m  hopeful I can get is finished this next week. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of the base colour so need to get a new ball today. 
My last knit project is the lovely Christmas socks (I shared these last week). I had actually finished the socks and unbelievably, they are too big for me ! I know what I’ve done, so it’s not a big deal. My husband took the opportunity to suggest he should have them, so that brilliant. I’ll wrap them up for Christmas. The issue came from using the wrong ‘foot shape’ a cardboard template I use for sizing. I simply used the wrong template. I need to add names, clearly. However, no problem, I’ve started another pair for me. This time I’m going for a toe up sock with an Afterthought heel.

                        
                             

That’s about is for fibre stuff. No spinning at all, sadly. However, I’m hopeful next week will include some spinning. I’m planning on spending some more time next week on fibre related stuff, I’ll report as I go.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend, I’ll be back on Monday.
Bye for now.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Silver Day

Hi Everyone 
It’s Silver Day today and I have a new design. My idea is to produce a protype for production so I’m concentrating on efficiency. I want a simple, rounded hook which can be fused to a number of variations of the design. The earring design will be two linked rings. I want to connect the component to the hook by soldering but the rings will simply link before fusing together. The variations will come from using different size and shaped Sterling Silver wire. The wire I’m using today will be 1x1mm, square wire. I’m not sure about the size yet. I think today, I’d like to make 2 of 3 sizes to see which works best.

                   
As usual, my design process involves making a quick sketch from an idea which has been ‘brewing’ in my head for a while. I was inspired by noticing the outline shape of lots of paper clips for this design. I liked the long, thin shape of a standard paper clip, many of which (in my box) had randomly linked together.  I immediately thought of earrings which could allow an element of movement for the component. The wire will begin by being roundish but I do want to mimic the standard paper clip shape for this design. Fingers crossed, I can produce something interesting with my idea.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The BIG Job

Hi Everyone
If you called in last Thursday, you will know I started a reorganisation of my studio. Last week, I gave myself two days to complete the job. What was I thinking ? The job is massive ! I used the initial planned two days well, however, there is so much more to go. At the end of Friday, I had lost the plot and was regretting starting. Over a cup of coffee, I decided to identify a daily objective to continue the reorganisation, which is helping me to get the job done. I don’t have a timescale, it’s one day and one objective at a time. Although, this approach is ‘slow going’, I’m finding, it does help to review as I go. I have, on a couple of occasions, changed my ideas about how to store various items. 

              

Currently, I have lots of crates - filled with ? (who knows, I’ve certainly forgotten). I have thrown lots of rubbish but there is so much to go. I’m trying to be disciplined and each item needs to ‘earn’ their space. 
Today, I’ve got lots of writing to do, Wednesdays are designated for writing. However, I will keep on track with the Big Job. My objective is to bag up lots of paper and old journals as well as organise a shelf for my teaching tools. I have the shelf identified so it should be straightforward. I think, I need some new boxes but at this stage, I’m not sure exactly the size I need. I will wait until I know what I’ve got left before making any purchases. I know the studio will be organised one day soon and it will be amazing.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Advent Project

Hi Everyone
It’s Day 5 of my Advent Project today and I’m still very excited every day about this years Advent ‘thing’. The Advent idea is a crochet project from TOFT, read all about TOFT here. The Advent Project arrived in a beautiful box with lots of little windows and a cute Christmas scene, here’s my box on day 1.

              

Each day, I get to open a little window to reveal a very small skein of yarn, you can see the skein sitting on the box (above). The instructions for the daily crochet task arrives in my email box. I’m not sure what the final character will be ? At the moment, I’ve made a couple of things which look like legs. 
I’m very excited abou this project and am up to date with each task. I choose about a 20 mins slot for the job each day, along with a coffee. It’s very satisfying and I look forward to it - each day.

I’ll share my progress in a few days. Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 4 December 2017

More Robins

Hi Everyone
I’ve another Robin project today. It’s actually one of the projects featured last Tuesday but I’ve not actually put all the bits together yet ! I’m still heavily into reorganising my studio (will take all week) and the Robin project will be a bit of a break later. This felt project is a quick make (in theory). I’ve made a pattern of the Robin shape and have found a couple of feathers. I’ve got brown and red feathers and I’m not sure which to go for yet ? I’ll wait and see what works best, once the Robin has been developed. If these Robins turn out well, I am hopeful at this stage,  I’ll make a few more.

                       

I think, I could also change the size up and down to create quite a good display. The feathers are large, so a I think I can go for something twice the size of my sample template (in photo). This project comes from a Kirstie Allsopp book called ‘Craft’. I’ve had this book for quite a few years and each Christmas I think about making the Robin, this is the year ! I need to find some Brown felt fabric and a little stuffing and I’m ready to go. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share in a few days.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
I’ve not had too much time this week for knitting or spinning, I usually do most of my knitting in the evenings and I’ve had lots of extra projects going on instead. However, I do have some progress to share.

                        

I’ve spent most time, this week, knitting the Christmas socks, they are finished other than sewing in the ends/soaking. I’ve got lots of yarn left and am thinking a pair of gloves would be good ? The sock pattern is my own version of a sock. It started out as an Afterthought Everything Sock, read back last Friday for the idea behind this sock. I didn’t follow the whole idea exactly but mainly it’s faithful to an Afterthought Sock. I developed a tube, added a contrast toe, 2x2 rib cuff and a Wedge heel. It’s a very simple construction which I think suits the yarn well. I love the yarn, the colours are lovely and the pattern is very festive. Generally, I’m pleased with the socks. My usual issue with a tightly knitted bind off on the cuff is there again, it’s a bit disappointing  because I did try a Lace Bind Off technique to try and eliminate a tight band on the cuff. I may try another bind off for a looser fit.

I’m also working away with the Garland Sweater, it’s a big knit ! I’m working on the body at the moment, a simple but very wide stocking stitch section. I’m enjoying this knit, although it does take forever to knit one round ! I tend to knit a couple of rows each evening alongside another project, so progress ‘happens’ on a regular basis. Again, read back last week for more on the Garland Sweater.

My next knit is a second Bousta Beanie. I started this back in September, immediately after finishing my own Beanie. This new hat is for my husband, he has quite a large head so I needed to do something with the size. I’ve simply gone up a needle and all seems well. I’ve not done too much on the Beanie but again, I have a plan for few rounds each evening. The Bousta Beanie is quite a small project so I’m hoping a week or so should have it completed, hopefully for Christmas. 

My last fibre feature is the November Travellers Club (a monthly fibre club) from HilltopCloud . This fibre is 25% Bamboo/75% Merino. It’s a lovely blue/green colour, I love it. I’m not sure what I’m going to make ? I’m thinking a cowl would be nice. The fibres are amazingly soft with wonderful shades of dark blue. I’m looking forward to the spin. I’ll share the yarn when it appears.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Silver Rings

Hi Everyone
It’s a Silver Day today. I have three new rings designs to share. These rings are similar to the last batch but using thicker Silver for the main bands. Hopefully, I can finish off the rings in my work session, it will be a short session today. I have just soldered the bands together, so there’s a filing and polishing job to do.

                      

Alongside my ring session, I’m trying to re organise my studio. This is a big, big job ! However, I’m at the point where I just need to get on with it. I’ve been thinking about new storage and ways of efficiently organising my materials and tools for some time and I think the day has arrived.
When my stuff is well organised, I feel energised in lots of ways - so it’s an important job. I have set aside the majority of two days, by the weekend - I should be there. Wish me luck.

Thnaks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Writing Day

Hi Everyone
In theory, Wednesdays are designated for ‘writing’ and today, I’m wondering what I mean, exactly, when I think ‘writing’ ? Somehow, I think, its time to consider the daily focus of my blog days; not just Wednesdays but all the days. Initially, the daily focus (on the blog) for each day was about making sure I gave some time (each week) to working with different materials and/or techniques. Much of my Making time is mixed media work and I’m regularly working with a variety of materials alongside their traditional crafting skills to develop mixed media projects.

Monday’s deal with Polymer Clay; Tuesdays, Sewing Day; Wednesdays deal with Writing ; Thursdays are Silver Days and Fridays are Fibre. I also work with Paper things (quite a bit) and feel I’m neglecting this material, so I’m thinking about adding Paper to Wednesdays and opening up the writing idea to incorporate painting too. I’d like to keep the central idea of a Writing Day because I do need time to record as well as edit projects within my work and prior to the designated Writing Day, this aspect of work didn’t happen in an organised way. Often, spending time organising and reviewing is a great way of promoting efficiency for me. It’s very easy to get sidetracked when I have lots of projects underway at the same time. So, where does that lead me ? I’m not quite there yet. I think, I need to re think the organisation of my work. 

Generally, I’m working with ‘projects’. I devise projects for a number of reasons - teaching, publishing and learning (for me) seems to sum up the reasons. On the whole, I will devise a project for a particular situation and then adapt for a wider application. Writing up the projects tends to follow a regular  process. I have a Project Journal for recording each project as well as a Blog Journal which uses the information recorded in the Project Journal to plan content on the blog. If I’m writing for publication, that’s means anything that someone else will read, I will directly write up into my iPad. I will use both Journals for reference,these Journals are very important to me.

         

I’m not sure that clears up anything ? I’ve probably ‘muddied the waters’ ! However, I’ve started thinking, and that’s what I need to do. I do tend to get very anxious if I feel disorganised, it’s safe to say - I feel disorganised, so this is a priority. My way forward is to ponder all these thoughts this morning, probably go for a walk later and make decisions. I’ll share the results of my little ‘mind conference’ next time.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Making Robins

Hi Everyone
Making Robins seems to be a bit of a theme for me this year re Christmas preparations. I didn’t particularly set out to choose ‘Robins’ -  it’s just worked out that way. I do keep seeing Robins, everywhere. I developed some appliqué cards (look back a few days ago) with the Robin shape and its definitely a favourite at the moment. I’m now looking for more situations to include Robins in my Christmas theme. That said, having a ‘Christmas theme’ sounds very organised and rather sophisticated. My house will get a Christmas treatment of some kind but I’m not sure it will be organised or sophisticated in any way ! 
We have another Making Workshop (read back here for more about Making Workshops) today and of course, it’s about making Robins. I’m very excited about this one. I’m hoping I can make a few different felted Robins to adorn my Christmas house.

In addition to today’s treat, I have a lovely project, featured in a Kirstie Allsopp book (Craft) featuring a felted Robin. It’s lovely and it’s been waiting for quite a few years to be included in one of our Christmas’s. This is the year I will make it.

                       

I’ll try and get some photos during our workshop today. I always set out to record our Making sessions with some photos and often fail because there is so much going on. I usually remember to take photos as everyone is leaving, having packed away their Makes ! Fingers crossed, I can get my act together today.

Thanks for calling in today.



Monday, 27 November 2017

Christmas Cards etc.

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m spending some time developing Christmas cards and tags. I’ve already started making some samples of these cards but my sewing machine let me down a few weeks ago. It’s all fixed so hopefully today will see a batch of designs coming from my ideas. I’d like to sew a range of simple appliqué shapes onto cards and tags using some hand printed fabric (from last year).
I’m using robins and very simple Christmas trees :

           

I’ve got an initial batch of 20 to produce for today. Hopefully , I can get all that sorted. I’m wary of thinking everything is decided before I begin, I often start with very simple ideas for these kinds of projects and several days later .......  find myself still creating additional elements ! It’s all in the detail.
Wish me luck.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Fibre Friday Update

Hi Everyone
As promised last Friday, I’m giving an update on the Big Sweater project today. This is something which seems to have been going on forever without much progress. Read back here (way back in May) for the first piece I did on the Sweater. I’ve  been working away, very slowly on this project and have about 1/3 of the yarn I need. In summary, I’m spinning a blended (by me) fibre for a sweater. It’s a sweater for my husband, so I’m calling it ‘Big’. It’s not that big but it seems I need quite a bit of yarn, 1250m to be precise. My intention was to try and spin everyday, this doesn’t happen but I do get through a few prepared rolags each week. I tend to prepare a batch of rolags and grab a single rolag when a I have a gap in my day. I’m happy I will get there and it’s a joy to spin, so the project is a happy one.


The eventual sweater will be use a pattern from Rib magazine (No. 2 Navigate) and is called the Cayley Pullover by Irina Anikeeva. It’s described as a casual crew neck. It’s mostly stockinet and has cables across the top. It’s a lovely sweater so I’ve got big hopes for the final item, whenever that is !

My other fibre news today involves the Christmas knit that I talked about last Friday, read back for details. This was going to be a ‘Christmas Eve cast on’, the Afterthought Everything sock. As you can see, I couldn’t manage to wait until Christmas Eve and have knitted the first sock. I’ve yet to put in the heel and will add an Afterthought heel when the other sock is complete. I didn’t keep to the plan of knitting a long tube and then dividing for the two socks, then adding toes and rib. Somehow, it just seemed as if it would create more work - separating the tube. There seems no point ? I’ve decided to follow the same construction for the second sock but next time, I will do a ‘tow up’ construction. Yes, there will be another pair, for Christmas Eve cast on. I like the idea of trying on the sock for fit before adding the heel and I like the option to add the rib or top to get a nice loose cuff. Im not sure, I need a ‘provisional cast on’ ? for the beginning of the leg of the sock (to add an Afterthought Cuff), again more work than necessary. I’m a very tight knitter and my cast on is always a little on the tight side, so I thought I needed to replicate the second sock exactly (I did consider starting with the rib !). I used a lace bind off for the first cuff and it’s just right for me. This issue of which order to add the Afterthought bits has been a useful excercise. My next pair of socks will definitely start at the toe, knit up to the rib, finish with a rib and add an Afterthought heel. I’ve yet to decide on the heel technique ? I’ll let you know next week.
This Afterthought Everything idea sound great but being pragmatic, I’m not into creating work for the sake of it. I’m sure someone must have a good reason for adding Afterthought elements throughout but it’s not for me.
I’ve loved knitting this sock. The yarn is lovely, WYS Holly Berry and I’m using 2.5mm DPNs - my usual way is to use Magic Loop but it’s a nice change and I do like using DPNs.

Thanks for calling in today. Hopefully, I will have my finished socks for next time and the announcement of the official Christmas Eve sock !

Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Silver Day

Hi Everyone
Today is a Silver Day. I’m working away on another Silver ring Collection, this is a regular thing but I’ve introduced a few pairs of earring into the mix. I’ll be adding more smaller ring components to the larger rings and I think there will be earrings hooks for the hoops rather than a regular hoop style (directly through the ear).

                  
I’ve got a couple of ‘Stacking Threes’ as I’m calling them, these are groups of rings in various sizes of ring which group together to be worn as one ring or single, if you prefer. I’ve also got the beginnings of a Spinner ring (third item from the left) and a fine Silver Bead Band. I prepared and soldered the silver a few days ago and shaped the rings yesterday. Today, I will finish the shaping and polish. I will also work on the earring design. This is a new development, so I’m not sure what will happen ? My initial idea is to develop some small silver components to slip onto the larger hoop and add some large hooks. I’ll go with whatever the design suggests. I have two pairs to work with, so two options open to me.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Results

           
Hi Everyone
As promised, I’m sharing the results of the Enamelling experiments from yesterday and last week, check out the story  here and  here. Generally, I had some positive and some negative outcomes from yesterday. The actual enamelling process for my rings worked in theory but the result isn’t quite what I had in mind. I managed to get the navy colour onto the copper rings but it’s uneven and looks a bit grainy. This is almost certainly, my lack of skill/experience, so I’ve not given up, just yet. I have learned lots about the process and understand how to manage the application of the enamelling powder, a little. I used KLYR - Gum solution as an adhesive for the powder and now realise it needs to be dry before firing takes place. I also found very fine layers of powder worked much better. I know, I need to manage the build up of layers better. For my sample, three layers seemed to get a reasonable colour but I still found the finished enamel layer very patchy and unattractive. So, it’s back to more experiments.

 Initially, I didn’t manage the heat well, at the beginning of my session. I used a small hand torch for firing. By the end of the session, I found I could target my heat without damaging the surface. However, there is so much more to learn. I’m not sure what I was thinking ? I should not have started with rings, this must be one of the most difficult items to enamel - a larger, flat disc would have been much better.
I also began my session by making the rings. I thought, I’d prepared the rings but not the case (or I’ve lost them). Making the rings set me back, in terms of time. Once underway, I experienced some issues with the heat, mentioned above, as well as not realising, I needed to allow the KLYR to dry, this would have helped the coverage, I think ? The main issue seems to be getting an even coverage on the very thin, rounded surface. 

                    

In addition to the copper rings, I also enamelled a couple of stainless steel blanks. This technique proved much more straight forward. The photo on the bottom left shows the before and after firing colour. The actual colour is quite a dark blue - perfect. One major thing I’ve learned about enamelling is understanding how to ‘read’ the colour of the enamel, judging what’s going on based on subtle colour changes. My plan for these enamelled pieces is to add some silver components and earring hooks. 

Clearly, I need to experiment more and will tackle the rings again, perhaps in a few days time.

Today, I’m working on La Patisserie- a project started last week. Read about it here. The update on the project is a bit thin. I’ve worked on developing a Pinterest Board with lots of ideas and will produce some samples today based on the inspiration from my Board. Hopefully, all will go well and I will have something to share for next Wednesday.

Thanks for calling in today.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Enamelling Experiments

Hi Everyone
I’m hoping to test out some enamelling ideas today. Enamelling is quite new to me and although I understand the theory, I’ve yet to actually produce side thing worthwhile. I did give it a go last week with some stainless steel blanks, poor results which I prefer to forget. 
The main reason I’d like to get to grips with enamelling is to cover copper rings with various coloured enamels. I like the idea of developing stacking rings in various sizes in different shades of  (initially) blue and green. If my initial experiment is successful, I’ll develop a few more colours and possibly break into a new Collection of jewellery, including earrings, rings and bracelets.
I’m going to develop some copper ring blanks for the experiments and will experiment with the enamelling bit.

                                    

The rings in my photo are similar to the rings ‘to be’. Hopefully, I will have a blue and green enamel coating by the end of the day. I have a few questions (in my head) about how the final surface will look - so wish me luck. In theory, the experiment should take a very short time but I do have a long list of jobs today. I’ll share the results of my experiment tomorrow. Don’t forget to call in and check out the rings.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Knitted Folk

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing a brilliant experience from the weekend today. I had a great time making Knitted Folk in a workshop at my local yarn shop, Fine Fettle Fibres. I’ve been looking forward to this workshop for quite some time and it didn’t disappoint. I loved the whole thing. The workshop was delivered by 
Liz Reed (go and see her site and smile). Liz is a most inspiring teacher and SO empowering regarding the whole creative process. Here’s a quick look at my version of the knitted doll :

                     

I had thought I would like to add some wings to my doll and made some small polymer clay wings for the purpose. I wasn’t sure of my chosen surface pattern/colour choice would fit the doll so I only developed one wing, as a result I need to finish the other. The wings are perfect for the job. I had also thought about creating a crown or some kind of ‘fairy’ style headgear but I love the knitted hat and will leave it as it is. Somehow the hat fits the character. 
I, now, have so many ideas to make some more knit folk of my own. I have another option with a piece of driftwood gifted from Liz (she called it a reject but it looks great to me) and am thinking about a Christmas thing with red and green stripes. I need to think a bit more about this but I’m looking forward to getting it going.

I’ll be back with an update on my progress with this project, over the next few days.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
My round up for this week is pretty much, the same items as last week. However, I’ve finished the red Nuuk (read back for details) other than blocking and sewing in the ends. The Garland sweater has been in and out several times. I had huge issues with joining ‘in the round’ after the initial cast on. For some reason each time, even while being aware and thinking about the job, I made the same mistake, several times. Eventually, I managed to move on and made good progress. So far, I’ve completed the rib (4cms) and the next 14 rows of a lace pattern. I’m now onto plain stocking stitch for some time. I’ll share progress next week. It’s a very enjoyable knit, I was slightly apprehensive about knitting with the mohair yarn but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at how everything is going - after the cast on thing !

Sadly, not much to report about spinning. I’m steadily moving through a few rolags for the Big Sweater. I will do a feature next week on the Big Sweater.

I have been spending time organising and thinking about my Ravelry project page and queue. I’ve managed to sort out my plans for the next few months. I’ve got a few sweaters in there, alongside other projects. I’m planning to share this development next time, so call back next week for more.

My next bit of news is all about my Christmas sock cast on. I was inspired by Danni from the Little Bobbins YouTube channel last year to join in with this idea and it’s now a tradition in my world.

                     

This is last years Christmas yarn design by WYS called Holly Berry. I did think about going for this years version Candy Cane but when a I saw them together, it was no contest. I love both yarn but the colours of Holly Berry speak to me more. I do need some plain for the heels, toes and rib. I’m thinking about dying some of my own yarn and creating some minis for the job. Not sure, if I will go for green or red ? I’m thinking ‘red’at the moment. For the pattern, I saw this great idea for Afterthought Everything socks check it out here. This is not only an Afterthought heel but knitting a sock ‘tube’ which is split with heels, toes and rib added, afterwards. I love this idea and feel quite excited to try it out. I will knit my tube in plain stocking stitch, I want to see the yarn without any texture. I need to choose which heel to go for next ? I’d like to try something new (to me). After that decision, I’m ‘good to go’.

That’s about it for Fibre things this week.

Have a great weekend. Thanks for calling in.



Thursday, 16 November 2017

Enamelling Experiments

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m experimenting with enamelling. I’m completely new to enamelling, so anything could happen. I understand the theory and have a few ideas for some jewellery items using simple, torch enamelling techniques. I have a number of stainless steel blanks and will dabble with my ideas.
Here are the blanks waiting to be decorated :

                          

I’m thinking about simple, abstract ‘marks’ - I’ll see how it goes but I’d like to be in a position to control the colours before deciding on final plans. I have only three colours to work with, deliberately limiting  myself at this stage. The blanks will hopefully turn into necklaces or earrings, they are quite small, so I may also try using a few blanks together. As usual, a I will share my results on the blog, good and/or bad !
Wish me luck.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

La Pâtisserie

Hi Everyone
I’m planning a new project today- I’m calling it ‘La Patisserie’. A pâtisserie (pronounced [pɑtisʁi]) is a type of French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets. My idea, at this point, is to create a fictional shop which links into the world of one of my Art dolls (Miss Mitchell). The shop will be a Patisserie. The point behind La Patisserie is to provide a story around making some pretty little polymer clay cakes and pastries. The cakes and pastries will develop into charms, earrings, stitch markers/progress keepers and key rings and possibly more ?
I’d like to develop a shopfront made from paper with various little bags and other branded items for my shop. Miss Mitchell will ‘front up’ the shop, so lots of opportunities to dress a new Art doll for the job.
My starting point and inspiration is a project from way back, originally developed for a school fundraising activity. Here’s a few images of that inspiration :

                          
                          

I have plans for different types of pastries and cakes and will develop a range of ideas today. I’m hoping to write my little background story of La Patisserie as I develop the ideas for the polymer clay charms. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share for next week. I’m spending a couple of months on this project, so will keep my updates coming in the Wednesday blog spot.

Thanks for calling in today.



Monday, 13 November 2017

Making Workshop Event

Hi Everyone
We have a Making Workshop today. For new readers to the blog, Making Workshops happen every two weeks at our local High School (during term time). These workshops provide an opportunity for local adults to make things. We focus on a particular project for about 1-3 weeks and have a very relaxed but structured approach. Generally, we have a lovely time.This time we are preparing the Christmas Cards I mentioned yesterday. New skills in crochet and felting will feature alongside paper skills. By the end of the afternoon session I’m hoping we will have three cards, envelopes and gift tags per Maker. Here is a quick look at some of the samples :

                         
The little trees are dressed in polymer gems (from yesterday) and the tags has a cute little deleted star, finished with a polymer star. Hopefully, our Makers will come up with some interesting ways of a adding Christmas wishes. One of my samples (right hand sample) is using tape with Merry Christmas woven into the fabric, the other tiny tree card uses a paper ribbon, printed with Merry Christmas. The tag also uses the paper ribbon but this time has individual letters stamped to read out the Merry Christmas sentiment.

I’ll share a few images of the Workshop results over the next few days.

Thanks for calling in today.

Poly Gems

Hi Everyone
Today, I’m focused on making polymer gems for decorating mini Christmas Trees. These gems will be used in our next Making Workshop, on Tuesday. We are crocheting or felting mini trees for Christmas cards and the poly gems will decorate the trees.

                            

I’ve made the gems form tiny push cutter, usually used in cake decorating. The cutters allow a clean and delicate result and are perfect for the job. Some of the ‘gems’ are star shaped, some round or oval. We also have some bows and little square parcels with faux ribbon. Each card will have simple  a Christmas greeting so the little gems will be the star of the show.

The shapes have a tiny hole in the middle for sewing to the fibre trees and I’m going to experiment with contrast colours for the thread.
 I’m looking forward to seeing how our Makers use the poly gems, I’ll share our cards from the workshop, later in the week.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
It’s a bit of a mixed bag this week on the fibre front. I’ve had a couple of mini disasters ! and a little success. 
My Nuuk (read back last week for a look) is almost finished, I need to bind off half of the neckband and that’s it ! I probably need about an arms length of extra yarn and 5 mins knitting. I can’t quite believe it’s so close ! and I need an extra new hank of yarn. That’s the down side.  The positive is that I can knit with the remaining part of the yarn (most of it) on another project and I’ve decided on that next knit. I did think about ripping out the bottom of the Nuuk and loosing a row of the body to complete the neck band but I’m Ok with my decision and this is my next project :

                           

The new project is to be this lovely sweater by Caitlin Hunter. I love all her designs and this has been on my radar for a while. I especially like the swingy poncho style but with arms. Wonderful. I’m hoping I can knit the whole thing in various colours of Dovestone DK. I will use the extra from the Nuuk, as previously mentioned and all the other bits of Dovestone in my stash. The Dovestone in my stash is leftovers from lots of projects and I’m hoping I can find a way to incorporate all the bits, I may need to purchase extra but my starting point will be using up what I’ve got - love this idea.

Other news, I’ve started the Garland sweater, again look back last week for more on this design. I made the basic error of twisting the stitches when ‘joining in the round’ on the bottom rib. I didn’t realise, although I had thought I’d checked several times, until 3.5cms of rib had been completed. The bottom has around 300 stitches, so quite a bit of work ! My image shows the progress before ripping out ! However, I don’t feel so bad because I think, I started knitting the wrong size. The sweater does has huge positive ease but I’ve decided to bring down the size a little. I’m back on track and loving the project so far.

                    

My other news is the mini spin. This will be yarn for adding to a cardigan, eventually. I want to knit a basic cardigan, not sure exactly which pattern to use ? I’m considering adapting a Nuuk, 3/4 sleeves and a steeked front ? - ambitious, I know ! The spin worked well and I’ve got about 10gm so far. This was a test spin so will plan my spinning in 10 gm stages. I find this a doable, session spin. I’m hoping I can prepare the yarn alongside my other projects so I need to be disciplined. The BIG sweater spin (read back over the last few weeks for more) has suffered this week, again I need to be disciplined. I’ll try harder next week !

Also, I didn’t get the Polworth socks on the needles. I’ve been talking about doing this for quite a few weeks. You can see the pattern here. I do like the socks and am simply not organised re my knitting projects. I think, I tend to knit on one chosen project for a whole week and I’d like to spread around my time on different projects so will give some thinking time to this next week. I’ve always had a pair of socks ‘on the go’ but somehow I’ve not organised my time lately.

That’s it for fibre this week. 
Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.
I’ll be back on Monday.


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Christmas Card Sewing

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing an update on the appliqué Christmas sewing project today. My aim is to produce a range of cards for Christmas, using fabric appliqué techniques and free style machine sewing. I should have completed the main part of the project yesterday, however, my sewing machine let me down. I managed to attach the appliqué shapes on four cards and then, after lots of time wasting trying to fix my machine tension, I ran out of time ! It seems the tension unit needs replacing. I did have an idea that this may happen, the tension has been a bit of a problem for some time.
However, I have four cards with my hand printed fabric shapes sewn in place. Next, I need to finish the ends and add various embellishments. I’m not entirely sure how things will develop but I’ll experiment with inks and some kind of bling.

                          

I had planned additional designs using freestyle machine embroidery and started experimenting when the sewing machine tension issues presented themselves. Hopefully, I can get the machine repaired as soon as possible (new tension unit on its way) so I can continue with the freestyle technique. 
The little experiment (bottom left image) was a bit of a disaster ! but I do like the technique effect and would like to experiment more.

Today, I’m concentrating on finding ways of adding words to the cards. I’m thinking about printing, stamping and embossing techniques. Hopefully, I will have my finished sample cards by the end of the day.

Thanks for calling in today.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Christmas Cards - under construction.

Hi Everyone
It’s Day 2 of my Christmas Card 2017 Project. I didn’t get too much done yesterday - other jobs intervened! Go back to yesterday’s post for more details. I did manage to sketch out some little templates for my cards, this task has sized my shapes for the card dimensions and I’m ready to go.

                       

I’ve created a few tree shapes and a Robin. I’ve also thought about a few little oblong/square boxes, as wrapped gifts with ribbons or string. I’d like to replicate the shapes so have created paper templates. I’ve decided to use a pencil to trace around each shape, this gives a clear line for cutting and seems to be the most efficient technique.

Having prepped the card blanks and will experiment with sewing today. I’m hoping to attach the shapes with a machine stitch, using a contrasting thread colour. I will also try some freestyle machine sewing for the greetings words but also have some printed and stamped words too. I’ll see which works best, before deciding on the final card design. I’m thinking a combination of free machining and printing will work best for this project. I’m hoping to make an initial batch of 20 so will aim for the most efficient techniques.

Call in, for another update tomorrow. 
Thanks for visiting today.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Christmas Trees

Hi Everyone
I’m back on my Christmas card project today. I didn’t get much done last Tuesday, so I need to come up with my samples today. I’ve been searching my stash (for suitable fabric) and have found trees from last years Christmas Makes which could work for the appliqué job. These trees, were part of a printing project and seem perfect for the appliqué job. The fabric was hand printed using acrylic paint (you can check out this project in my blog posts from December 2016) and the resulting fabric has a great stability which lends itself to machining. The plan is to sew the fabric shapes directly onto card, using my sewing machine. I’d like a range of small and larger cards and have ideas to link the cards - in design terms ? 

                      
I would also like to develop more tree shapes for the cards but these trees (in the photo) are a lovely shape. In addition to using fabric, I’m exploring felt and paper trees for the card range. I’ll bring the Collection together by using similar colours and stitching styles. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll come up with ? My design work will need a couple of days, so I’m extending this little project until the end of the week. 
The Collection will also include a range of gift tags, so I’m hoping to have some samples of all my experiments over the next few days. I’ll be back tomorrow with an update.

Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Polymer Clay Day

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing the results of my Clay Day experiment from last week. The plan was to create some Polymer Clay beads (in red) using a mould from a previous project. I wanted to adapt the bead idea to have a flat back. The original project sandwiched two moulded pieces together. The flat back idea is a way of making the bead  smaller and potentially easier to wear for an everyday piece of jewellery. Here’s a quick look at the process of producing beads, so far :

                               
I used a simple round cutter to create a flat back for the beads (bottom right).Before  sandwiching the moulded half with the flat half, I placed a small stick over the flat half to create a channel for threading. I placed the moulded half on top of the flat black and used the cutter to ensure both sides are equal in size and shape. The beads are now cured (baked) and polished and ready for threading. 

My issue now, is to decide if I need some kind of spacer bead. I want the beads to have a beautiful, neat opening to the threading channel. I’ve used a shaped reamer to give such a neat hole but I’m still wondering if a spacer bead is needed ? If I go for a spacer bead, should I use the same colour clay or does it need a silver, flat spacer bead ? Not sure what to do ? There are so many options. 

My plan today, is to make some more small, red clay beads, to act as spacers and try them out. I’ll also try a few silver spacer beads and decide. Come back next week to check out my decision.

Thanks for calling in today.



Friday, 3 November 2017

Fibre Friday News

Hi Everyone
I seem to have been working on fibre stuff all week but I don’t have too much to report ? I do have a finished crochet object - a little Snowman bag/tree hanger. This item featured in our latest Making Working and has been quite a success with our Makers. It’s a very simple but cute little project and has got us into the very early Christmas preparations. On the subject of crochet, I’ve not done too much more on the Hanabira (read back last Friday for more on this) - only a few rows, not worth a photo ! Im happy with the project and am ‘in’ for the long haul, so all is well.

Spinning has also been a bit limited this week. I’ve completed another couple of rolags for the ongoing large sweater spin. You can read back Fridays for more details of this project. I seem to have been spinning forever ! It’s a lovely spin but not hugely exciting. I do love the resulting yarn and it will make a lovely sweater (it’s not even for me !) - eventually. I will do a more detailed review of this project next time.  However, still with spinning,I’ve got lots of lovely fibre in my stash and am going to start another little project to keep me interested and excited about spinning. I will choose a couple of bats of Merino fibre and spin a few hanks for a cardigan. I have an idea of adding a section of hand spun on the bottom and on the sleeves of a simple cardigan design. The main part of this cardigan idea will use some hand dyed yarn, waiting for the job. More next week on this new project. The fibre I’ve chosen for the spin, is a lovely combination of green/blues with some mustard and white elements. Very excited to get this underway.

My main knitting project this week, has been the red Nuuk. I did make a couple of mistakes (very early in the knit) and needed to rip out, twice  ? - not sure exactly what happened there ?The pattern is great and the yarn (Dovestone DK) is lovely. I’m well on the way now. I want to make a few changes to the length of the sweater and some possible changes to the sleeve - not sure exactly as yet ? I’ll report on the results next time.

The other project in one of my bags is the Polworth Socks, my final item in the Blacker Yarns KAL. I’ve literally just ‘cast on’ so nothing much to show. Hopefully, there will be progress for next time. I’ll also collect all my Blacker Yarns KAL items together for a summary of my efforts. I will have four items in total.

In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the projects I’ve talked about today.

                 

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.



Thursday, 2 November 2017

Silver Day

Hi Everyone
It’s Silver Day today and I’m working on a little Collection of earrings. Each pair will have a surface design stamped or created onto the surface of a square or circle, in various sizes.
My inspiration is a current pair of silver earrings. However, this time, I’m going for a shiney, bright silver finish rather than the oxidised finish in my photo.

                           

I’m creating the main part of the earrings from Art Clay in silver and am not sure how many pieces I will get from my last small packet of clay ? I want to try for eight pairs, I’m hopeful I can produce this number of individual pieces. I will make the ear wires from Sterling Silver wire - which I will soldier onto the fired shapes.

I’m hoping to go for a completely new surface design. I like the idea of very simple lines and circle shapes at the moment but who knows what will happen ? I’ll share my earrings when they are ready. When I use Art Clay, I like to leave the final prepared items overnight - for drying before firing so it will be a few days before I have anything to show.

Thanks for calling in today.



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Wardrobe Architect Responce

Hi Everyone
Today, I want to talk about something called Wardrobe Architect. This is an experiment which started in 2014 by Collete (the sewing pattern team). The Collete team talk about having a goal of ‘reviving the art of sewing’. I love this idea. Collete have been producing sewing patterns in both booklet and PDF form since 2009 and the Wardrobe Architect initiative has been going since 2014. It’s an amazing experiment for developing a ‘pared down’ and very personal collection of clothing, reflecting how better decisions can be made about what to buy and make in terms of fashion and personal choices. To read from the beginning, start here.

I’ve been reading about all this for some time and am hugely inspired and attracted to the idea of Wardrobe Architect. I’ve not really done very much about it (practically) but momentum is building and I’m starting to think about how to start. My own personal wardrobe is chaotic and unmanageable - literally, I don’t have enough space to keep all my clothes. Like most people, I probably use a very small proportion of them. I would like to be in a position to have a core selection of clothes which I like and which suit me. I’d also like to start to fill gaps or develop new styles by making my own clothing. 
The Collete blog has lots of exercises to try and work out what personal style is and how to interpret a range of information which allows this idea of personal choices to develop. Defining a core style with specific shapes and silhouettes, colours etc is central to the idea.
There are also lots of resources, downloadable sheets for instance which give a practical direction, to move through planning a personal Wardrobe. However, I have a wonderful resource of my own, a birthday gift from a lovely friend - from last year. This is a notebook from Merchant Mills- ready and waiting for my take on Wardrobe Architect. At the moment, I’m using my workbook for filing sewing ideas but I want to make it central to my own Wardrobe Architect response.

                   

I’ve dabbled over the last few years with the Collete Wardrobe Architect process but I’m going to start again, from the beginning and use my Merchant Mills book to record progress. I want this little project to become a pleasure and work towards getting my sewing on track. I have aspirations to make a pair of jeans and a coat this year (by November 2018) - hopefully these two items, amongst others will form part of my core Wardrobe.

Thanks for calling in today.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Planning and Preparation

Hi Everyone
It’s my focus on sewing today (in theory every Tuesday) and I’m inspired to develop some sewn appliqué Christmas Card samples. This project will prepare and test a few samples for a small batch of Christmas cards. I like the idea of a simple decorated tree but have also seen some cute Robins which I may try out. 
Take a look at my Christmas card Pinterest board HERE for more inspiration ideas and starting point for the cards. Here’s a couple of my favourite images at the moment. I may change my mind later !

                         

I like the ideas of coming up with something similar to the right hand image but with a Christmas theme rather than flowers. I’m unsure about wether to stitch directly onto card of make a motif to stick onto a card ? I’ll try both and decide. I’m also slightly ‘up in the air’ about colours  ? Should I go for traditional or contemporary ? So many decisions !

I’m hoping I can be a little more organised this year re Christmas. I always have great intentions and lots of elaborate ideas which rarely fully materialise because of time. So, hopefully, I can be better prepared if I keep to my current plans, test them out properly and plan thoroughly. Is it possible ?

Thanks for calling in today.






Monday, 30 October 2017

Making Moulds

Hi Everyone
I’m sharing a little more of the polymer clay project I talked about a couple of weeks ago check it out here. I mentioned using a range of moulds that I had made. The moulds were made from something called Siligum. This moulding paste is widely available and is very easy to make, it’s a fast setting, two-component silicone paste. Ideal for moulding small objects. My moulds were made by pressing natural seed heads into the mixed paste. After setting the seed heads can simply be removed. The moulds are very flexible and work beautifully on the natural material.
In my samples, I developed beads from polymer clay which has been pressed into the moulds, removed and either rounded to form a large bead or flatterned and sandwiched together (with a channel for threading).

               

My new batch of beads are to be developed in shades of mixed red clay but I’m also going to experiment with surface dyes to colour the white samples.

I’m hoping I will have some interesting results to share next Monday.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
It’s Friday again - how did that happen so quickly ? If you are a regular reader, you will know I’ve been on holiday (at home) and had thought I’d have lots of knitting progress to show. However ! - although I’ve been busy with fibre, I’ve spent most of my time ripping out and starting again - so not much actual progress to show.

It’s all good news, the Hanabira (a long standing crochet project for me) has been completely ripped out and I’ve started again. I was almost finished. My #2 version is going well and the only regret is pulling out the lovely flower section. I spent forever learning how to do this and made a decent job in the end. Still, move on and I’ll be in a better position to do it again, when the time comes.


Sticking with crochet, I’ve also been working on a tiny little project for the Making Workshop (read back on the blog for more on this regular initiative). It’s a crochet Snowman, so fits into Friday fibre updates. The Snowman is either a gift bag or a tree ornament. I’ll share more on the detail next time.

Spinning has been limited to 2 more rolags for the big sweater. I’ll give more details next time with a review of progress on this project.

I did mention casting on a Blacker Yarn sock last time. It hasn’t happened ! Hopefully, I’ll get that one going this weekend. Again, more on this next time.

My last story is about the new Nuuk (see last Friday for more detail). Another little issue - I’m probably not much further than the photo from last time. I had added 10 new rows but had not read the pattern correctly. Instead of increasing at the sleeve points every other row, I’d increased every row. Fortunately, I thought things were not quite right before going too far. I’ve ripped out the offending rows and I’m back on track. I’m off to my weekly knit group this morning so should make some progress today. However, I often need to rip out lots of knitting after knit group - too much chatting and general lack of concentration !! However, I always have a lovely time.

That’s it for my fibre update this week.

Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday.



Thursday, 26 October 2017

Henni’s World

Hi Everyone
It’s Day 4 of the Henni Doll Project and I think, the sketch maybe there ! At this stage, it’s time to get some colours and textures into the piece. I’ve chosen a colour palette with the help of decoupage papers and I’ll start adding colour to Henni’s face today. My approach to getting paint onto dolls faces is very much like applying makeup. I’ll start with a foundation and add highlights for shaping,eye colour, lips and cheekbones. This is a long process and I’ll go carefully, layering light shades each time. I’m not sure exactly the look I’m going for but I’d like to stick with the Titian hair colour therefore Henni needs a fair complexion. The warm colours of the papers will help me here.
Have a quick look at the development so far :

                                 

I’m hoping to keep this project going for a few weeks. I’ll hope to spend an hour or so each day. It will be interesting to have a photo of each day as I progress. Often, I change my mind and new plans are formed and that fine (I’m prepared for that) - Henni will tell me what to do.
Here’s the colour palette I’ve chosen :

                                

Thanks for calling in today.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Henni #2

Hi Everyone
Henni is still developing ! (read back this week for more on Henni). She has been changed slightly and there is still ‘a way to go’. I’ve altered her eyes and her mouth and I’d like to keep her looking slightly ‘other worldly’. I feel her features are a bit big for her face but that’s almost the look I’m going for. I will possibly change the length of her face ? I like the bone structure of her cheekbone and may exaggerate that a little more. I like her eyes looking into a stare/far away - not quite real. My husband thought she looked liked Lady Penelope (of Thunderbird fame).I can see the resemblance.
The colours are, of course, blue ! but I’d like to have some pattern going on - not sure of the detail of the pattern yet ? More decisions needed today.
Here she is at he moment :

                     
                            

I wanted to finish off the clay elements yesterday but ran out of time, so that’s another job for today. The colours on the bottom are some of the range I’m thinking of using. I also changed the neckline of the dress, yesterday’s Henni had a Peter Pan collar. 
I’ve been wondering about hair colour too - I’m almost decided on Titian (not red !).
I’ll be back tomorrow, sharing whatever turns out of my session today.

Thanks for calling in.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Doll Talk

Hi Everyone
If you called in yesterday, you will know I’m working on a new multi media painting. The theme of the painting is a simple folk art doll with the idea of having wings and therefore able to ‘fly’ - in the symbolic sense. It’s all about confidence and dreams, reaching out with imagination, thought and freedom. 

I found a canvas to work with, my initial idea was to use a hard board but I didn’t seem to have one in the right size. So, I’m going with it. I’ve sketched out a very rough head and shoulders with two different sides to the face. I’m calling my doll, Henni (Henrietta). Henni isn’t very pretty at the moment!  She needs to have two sides of her face which look similar. I’m also not happy with the clothing - I will change that today. Henni needs a high collar style rather than the cute Peter Pan version (my default neckline - not sure why this is ?). 

                         
Her left eye (shape) is the one I will go for - I think ? Her mouth is also too big, so that needs fixing. My final face will look very different - I should have just made the face shape but can’t resist creating a character for my dolls with the eyes and mouth. Lots of decisions around colours will happen today. I also want to add lots of papers for background textures and depth, so the placing of the head is all that’s important at this stage. I think the hair will be braided at the top and more flowing at the sides. I’m hoping to add some wool fibre for this job.

You will see, I’ve got a ‘wing’ going on, only one at this stage. Love this idea. I’ve  also made some gold polymer wings and a crown. I will place the smaller wings in the painting somewhere and the crown will go on Henni. The crown is very small but I like that. Both wings and crown need some extra finishing before curing. 

So, not huge progress but it’s a start. There will be more to share tomorrow.
Thanks for calling in today.

Monday, 23 October 2017

A week of dolls

Hi Everyone
In theory, it’s a week of holidays for me. Not sure how the week will work out ? but I’m hoping to indulge myself in ‘dolls’. I’m abandoning my usual regime for blog themes and concentrating on creating a new inspirational piece of work. I’d like to develop a multimedia painting as well as develop one of my art dolls. I probably won’t finish either but it’s a start. I also have other stuff to get done (work and house commitments will continue) and I’ll keep my crochet/knitting projects going. Generally, I’m planning a nice time.
Here’s a look at my inspirational piece :

                     

This part of a large piece that I painted quite a few years ago. My main aim for the new work is to develop a painting of a folk art doll. I like the wings idea in the image above and will go for similar colouring, I think ?. It’s only my starting point, so anything could happen ! I also want to develop some ideas for a workshop (in a few weeks) for a wooden/knitting project - more about that nearer the time. I have some ideas for using polymer clay wings and possibly a crown ? 
Generally, I’m hoping to have a lovely time, messing about with paper, paint and clay. Wish me luck. 
Hopefully, I’ll have something to share tomorrow.

Thanks for calling in today.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Fibre Friday

Hi Everyone
I’m on holiday today ! - not quite sure what difference that means to my day ? but I’ve got some deluded idea I can do a bit of knitting at some point during the afternoon. We are staying at home so no big packing etc required. I’ll let you know how things turn out next time.

So, I’ve started the new Nuuk (look back on Fridays for more on the Nuuk). As per my plan for last week, the Moussaillon cardigan has finally gone from my life and I now have an enormous ball of lovely Dovestone DK in Worksley Bob. The Nuuk is well underway and I’m very pleased with my decision (read back on Fridays for more background on this story).

                          


My Blacker Yarn KAL, again more on this over the last few Fridays, has three items completed, with one to go. The Azzurite Mittens and two pairs of Holt Wristwarmers are ‘done’. I still have the Polgooth socks (Sonja Bargielowska) to go. These socks are a top down sock in Blacker, Classic DK, so chunky socks. Although the pattern suggests no colourwork is involved, the socks are heavily striped and look like colourwork - they look very interesting. I’ll be casting on this week, so I should have something to share for next time. I have until December, so plenty time for other things too.

Next up - my blue Garland sweater (Stefani Pollmeier). I’ve tentatively started casting on for the sweater but am being a little cautious about sizing. My friend , mentioned last time and the time before, is still on holiday and I’d like a chance to chat to her about her experience of the sweater sizing before committing to my chosen size. I love her finished sweater and am quite excited about getting underway. I will spend some time looking through Ravelry posts about this project today but am still keen to chat with my friend first.

The crochet cardigan (Hanabira by Elaine Alcocer) from way back, is definitely coming out ! I’ll start it again with another crochet stitch - I think ? The majority of the make is done in single crochet, I’m thinking a ‘half double crochet’ could work ? I’ll let you know how it turns out. This cardigan has been going for some time and the yarn will be very crinkly when it gets unraveled, I’m thinking about re soaking and winding again today. I’ll take it out first but I’m thinking it could be a completely new beginning, if it’s done properly. I’m ok about ripping out - I’ve learned lots about crochet, so it all good.

Very little spinning completed. Only a few rolags. I’m hoping I can spend a few hours over the weekend, spinning. I’ll share more on spinning next time.

Thanks for calling in today. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Silver Rings #3

Hi Everyone
I've another batch of silver rings to develop today. This batch will be a small one, five stacking rings in total with three ring elements each.

                      
                        

I've soldered and filed the silver wire and need to do some initial shaping. I always enjoy the shaping part, I'll find my favourite podcast videos and hammer away ! As I get near to the size I need for each ring, I'll start shaping the rings together.
Hopefully, I can get the shaped rings into the tumbler after lunch and have some bright, shined silver rings by the end of the day.
I'll get a few images before the rings go to their new homes.

Thanks for calling in today.



Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Knitting Journal

Hi Everyone
I've got a busy day today (I'm out and about most of them day) but I'm hoping to spend some time updating my knitting journal. Currently, I have lots and lots of yarn and fibre waiting for something to happen to it. I'm hoping I can introduce some organisation into the stash sometime soon. Id like to use my knitting journal to help me plan how to use all this lovely stuff.

At the moment, my knitting journal is organised into pages which detail specific knitting patterns along with the yarn I've used but it's only a record of what I've done. I'd like to develop some form of 'wish list' for what I'd like to do in the future and give me options for knitting projects. I think, I'm going to use some of the elements on Ravelry (online knitting site with lots of interactive knitting functions) but somehow I want to link plans and ideas to my knitting journal ? I'm not sure how I can do this but I'll try and work on it today.

                         

This is a quick look at the actual journal. It's a simple soft backed, lined exercise book. It does have a very pretty gold cover with spectacular flowers and birds on it. I do like writing in the journal and would like it to be more involved in my everyday knitting. I''m not sure how I can achieve my goal today ? but I'll link my ideas with my Fibre Friday Update in a few days time.

Thanks for calling in today.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Sewing Project

Hi Everyone
I have a new sewing project underway today. It's a hand crafted, fabric case for my DPNs (double pointed knitting needles).

                            

I have seen many of these lovely cases but found this tutorial on Pinterest. I had already worked out a plan of my own but having found this tutorial, I think I will stick with it.
I've found some fabric (from my own stash) and will cut out the sections for the case today. I especially like the numbered little pockets for the DPNs, which should make life easier when I'm searching for just the right size. Hopefully, this sort of case will also stop me buying duplicate sized needles in the future.

I'll share my 'make' as soon as I finish. My aim is to complete by the end the week and have my DPNs secured in the case, ready for use.

Thanks for calling in today.