I am an avid user of instagram (you could say addicted but hey) and I have been seeing some beautiful repairs of clothes, especially the ones done by hunterhammerstein.
Because of recent changes in my life, the majority of my wardrobe is fairly recent and therefore there are fairly few repairs that need to be made. So I’ve been keeping an eye out for something with a hole in it (that was worth fixing). And then I found it, one of my plain jumpers had a snag in the body. I gathered it up and spent some time deciding on colours, in the end I went for quite a bright colour scheme but based off the wrong cross stitch scheme.
I then put the selection away because I had quite a lot of crafty stuff and life wise going on just before Christmas. However after Christmas I had a few days back at my place and I spent most of the time crafting in piece.
I began with the hole and went around it in a binding stitch. This made it quite a bit bigger but hopefully has stabilised it. I then embroidered the flowers around it. I started with the big red one, this is the one I’m least happy with. However it looks fine especially surrounded by the others. They were all trial and error stitches and the fairly open knit of the jumper made it pretty tricky to find stitches that worked well.
I’ve since worn and washed the jumper, and all the stitches are still in place. I like the overall effect, it is pretty but not too over stated.
Despite it being easter here, it really doesn’t feel very spring like, its still very cold and damp. Hopefully April will bring some spring weather.
March felt hectic with work and travel so I haven’t done much crafting. I’m also feeling like starting something new soon so keep an eye out next month.
Quilt – no change
Beaded purse – no change
Peyote card case – no change
Beaded handbag – no change
Bead crochet – a little bit of growth
Jumper – the sizing wasn’t right so I started the first panel again
Epp stars – I’ve got 42 stars cut and basted of which I have about 10 left to piece. I’ve added hexagons to the ones I’ve made and am now adding them as I go. I took this project with me while travelling so I’m feeling productive with it. I might start joining bits while at home and doing the small bits on the move.
Pottery – I took this up recently and have several bits that need painting and glazing
Finishes this month are:
My mini hoop – it is ready to be posted and I will write it up when its been received
Some cards – I had a day off so got out my supplies
My butterfly cross stitch – technically this requires some finishing but she has flown round the world with me and I added the last stitch on my way back from this trip. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with her
This months feature image is from the summer palace in Beijing. I had a lovely two weeks in China this month, working and sightseeing. It was a fascinating country and I barely saw any of it. It is definitely one of those places where you can really feel how quickly we are developing.
When I was first learning to knit, I made a blanket. It was the second or third thing I started and it was a little dysfunctional. The full story of version 1 can be found here, but the short version is I ended up with a ‘blanket’ that was 2.10m x 0.85m.
My original plan had been to add borders but I’d used lovely merino wool (and lots of it) for the middle and in my searches for something compatible I hadn’t found anything as nice but cheaper (perhaps not a suprise). I didn’t want to compromise but couldn’t face spending potentially hundreds of pounds to make an overly large blanket. So I sat and thought about it for over a year.
Then on a wander round the internet I saw a tutorial for knitting squares from the middle out, and I knew I had found a vaguely more sensible idea, so I began unraveling the blanket.
Instead of just following the tutorial, I decided I wanted to make a rectangle not a square so cast on enough stitches to give me a 2 x 3 rectangle. However as you increase all sides by the same amount, you lose the rectangle pretty quickly because who can tell the difference when the sides are 150 x 151 sides. I should have gone back once I realised this at the beginning but I’m a little stubborn and too quick to rush into things. I think this might be why the final blanket tents a little.
I started on a long circular needle but quickly had to swap to using multiple circular needles like double pointed needles. Ive now ended up with 5 6.5mm circular needles, so I am set if I ever want to make another. I am a much quicker knitter now than when I started the first blanket and I was knitting it over Christmas and new year so there was a lot of in front of the tve knitting time, and it went together very quickly.
When I originally chose the wool, I’d planned on having a light purple center and dark borders, and had bought two balls of the darker colour. So when it came to thinking about casting off I thought about using up those balls. I found this useful comparison of cast offs a while ago and was drawn to the picot cast off. I decided to go for it and I really like the end effect.
The finished blanket could really do with being blocked to help with the tenting and rolling of the edges, but my flat isn’t big enough so it will have to wait. I may have had to make it twice but it is a lovely blanket for curling up under.
February suprised me this year. However January has been a good month. I went to a local beading group and despite the tricky journey, I had a lovely morning and will be doing my best to go again. Crafting wise it has been mixed, in some areas I’ve been productive and others have stagnated. I also took some time in January to review my longer term projects, so the list looks a little different.
Quilt – suprise, suprise no change
Beaded purse – no change
Epp stars – I’ve made ~12, bought more fabric, picked a design, cut out another 12 and some of the background pieces.
Beaded business case – on pause for a minute
Bead crochet – one I’ve started and the other I bought hardware but haven’t put it together
Necklace – again I’ve bought hardware and not put it together
Lapis lazuli necklace – I splashed out on some gems when I left the beadshop in 2016 and finally got round to making something. Guess what – needs hardware
Chenille rope – I started this at my beadgroup and it is a fun stitch
I’ve only got one finish in January, but it is a big one.
The purple blanket.
Its not perfect but very cosy and so much better than last time. I’ll tell you about it soon.
I have the potential to finish several things in Feb but who knows what will happen.
For my feature image, it is snowdrops. They come out earlier down here than back home, but even though they suprised me, I still went and rung one.
Back in the autumn Ali at veryberryhandmade announced she was hosting another atc swap. I’ve loved every one I’ve participated in so far, so I signed up immediately. The theme this time was small things. I like to use making these cards as an opportunity to try a new technique or experiment more with something. I knew I wanted to try embroidery this time, after seeing some amazing work on instagram. Therefore I kept that in mind when I was planning the design. I had two ideas in mind, things that grow and all the small things by blink 182.
In the end the all the small things idea was too captivating, and as my partner in the swap hadn’t given me any directions, I went with my heart. I took one of the lyrics from the song as my inspiration and wanted to embroider roses on the stairs. I’m not an artist so it took me quite while to work out how to make it look in proportion.
I used satin stitch for most of the background. I started with the stairs, where I used a mixture of colours to help with the shading. I then randomly stitched roses all over the stairs. This was a very fun part, I like the playing with colours and sizes.
It took me quite awhile to figure out what to do with the background, and which way the stitches should go. I’m glad I did it though because it really helps with the proportions.
Every time I make these cards, I use a different construction technique. This time I needed it to have a fairly stiff structure so the satin stitch stays in place. I used a sort of English paper piecing technique, I based the front and back onto paper pieces but then left the paper in when I whip-stitched the two halves together. It worked pretty well.
Hopefully my partner liked it. In return I received this beautiful ATC. It depicts a little manchester bee.
It’s been a year of flux and waiting for me. I’ve started a new job and left London and then been waiting for my partner to finish his PhD and see where his job search would take him. So while my own circumstances havent changed since the spring, it feels like we’ve been dealing with a different set of circumstances every other month. Its now looking like we’ll be much more settled with us properly living together next year, so I’m looking forward to less change. Although I’ve probably jinxed it by typing that sentance.
So for 2017, I finished approximately 21 different projects, learnt 4 new skills and have only carried 5 projects through the year.
My new skills were English paper piecing, resin casting, knitting with beads and bead crochet. I haven’t really taken to the resin casting but all the others I will be carrying on with.
I can’t really pick anything as a favourite make this year, I think the cross stitch along with friends was possibly the most fun.
For 2018, I really want to knit a garment, but my blanket takes precedence. I’m trying to learn brioche knitting. I would also like to get my sewing machine up and running again, but let’s see what happens.
For December 2017, I did quite a lot of stuff this month due to the holidays.
Beaded handbag – I did a couple of inches
Quilt – no change
Lip balm cozies – no change
Heat packs – no change
Beaded purse – no change
Beaded case for business cards – no change
Purple blanket – I’m now using 5 circular needles like double pointed needles.
Epp – I have 4 complete stars
Bead crochet. I completed the stringing.
Bead crochet. I have completed the crochet but it needs some hardware before it’s complete.
I’ve had one finish this month, a netted bauble. I made this up as I went along and it required a few goes to get the last bit right but it looks lovely now.
The final feature image of the year is from the coast near Edinburgh where I had a short holiday at the beginning of the month.