October 2017

Its definitely heading into autumn and winter here. Its been grey and wet for awhile although I’ve not needed to put the heating on just yet. I’m starting to think about Christmas making and have already started on winter accessories. Actually one thing I do need to crack on with is Christmas cards.

I’ve done a lot of knitting but not much else this month so I think I’ve actually added to the list rather than clear it up.

  1. Fringed Handbag – No change
  2. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  3. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  4. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  5. Lip balm cozies – No change
  6. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – No change
  7. A knitted scarf with beads – I’ve made reasonable progress on this one. It feels like knitting weather and I would like to be wearing it this side of Christmas.
  8. Sewn cards – I’ve drawn the patterns and punched the holes, so just need to do the sewing
  9. Purple blanket – I’ve taken the plunge and started trying to make this beast usable. I’ve actually changed tack and instead of adding borders to make a giant blanket, I’m going to frog it and knit a more sensible sized blanket. I’m attempting to knit it from the center out, so lets see what happens

 

I’ve only finished one thing this month but it is beautiful and I’ve worn it a couple of times.

  1. Ivy trails necklace
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I participated in a photo challenge on instagram this month (with mixed success) and this was the photo I used for the heading ‘pick me up’ 

I realised while writing this that the names I give these posts varies between the month gone and the month coming. thinking about it, I’m going to try and use the month coming as its a little more positive to think about the things I’m going to be working on rather than just what I have and haven’t finished.

My feature image this month is from Turin, where I spent a lovely weekend with my partner.

 

 

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Cross Stitching with Friends

As I’ve talked about, I am taking part in a cross-stitch along with a couple of friends. I talked about how we selected a pattern (and the mistake I made) here, and talked about how I planned (or not) what I would do here and my progress at that point here.

This is how far I’d got at that point on the left:

Well I’ve finally finished (on the right).

I’ve made some substantial changes to the pattern. I’ve included more books, especially trilogies and collections. I added the cat, large pot plant, dream catcher, vase and air plant. I added these things to better fit the oldy worldy colour palette I’d chosen and lessen the sweetness of the original pattern.

I stitched the main sections of the books pretty quickly and enjoyed all the colour choices. I mostly used single colours but did experiment with blending threads especially for the clock, globe and frame of the painting.

I then took a bit of a break, before filling in all the details on the books. I actually found this bit much harder than I thought I would. I used one normal cotton thread and three sparkly ones. Some times I kept the colours of cotton and sparkle threads constant and others I used more contrast. I think I had more success with the mixtures that were more alike in colour.

Deciding what colour the details should be, was really hard. I think the books with darker details look best. In the end I’m happy with the overall look, even if there is a couple of books I’m not that keen on.

Some of the additional bits, I drafted on the blank space of the pattern using a pencil (the vase, cat and air plant). The dreamcatcher is based on the circle of the clock face. The pot plant comes from a different pattern.

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I wish my bookcase looked like this one

 

I’m the first of my friends to finish but having seen their progress so far, I’m excited to see what they end up with. I don’t have another on the go, but I have enjoyed the process. Now I need to figure out what else I could make other than just pictures, so that I can do some more.

 

August 2017

  1. Fringed Handbag – No change
  2. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  3. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  4. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  5. Lip balm cozies – No change
  6. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – No change
  7. A knitted scarf with beads – I used up all the first ball of wool and have got started on the second
  8. Ivy trails necklace – I did a little more

My partner has left to go travelling for a bit, so I had more weekends at home and alone this month than I’ve had for a while, hence having managed to get two finishes in this month.

  1. Fingerless gloves
  2. the wrong cross stitch

I’ll tell you about it soon but I haven’t got round to photographing it yet.

One other thing I wanted to tell you about was the feature images for my list articles. I started using my own pictures awhile ago, partly because I couldn’t find anything relevant for that month and partly because I was finding navigating copyright tricky and assigning ownership clearly an issue. My phone has a decent camera and its good practice to take some pictures with it. Im going to start updating you on the pictures as well (mostly because this month has a fab story).

The feature image was taken on cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador. August when I was there is supposed to be the dry season, I think it rained nearly every day we were in the highlands. We got told repeatedly that ‘it never rains in August’. When we went to cotopaxi, it snowed, enough to make the Ecuadorian news. So my feature image this month is of a sunshine colored flower in the unusual snow.

 

Surprise Finish – Tipless gloves

I was considering which one of the many things on my list I was going to finish this month, and decided on cracking on with my gloves. I had done quite a lot of work on them last month as I spent a fair few hours on trains and I find knitting on dpns is a pretty train friendly craft. I find knitting on normal needles needs more elbow room than a train seat normally provides, but with dpns I hold myself differently.

So on my trip home I managed to do the majority of the hand part of the glove, and when I went to pick them up the other day, I had much less to do than I had remembered, hence the surprise finish.

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Knitting these gloves has been an interesting journey. Its only my second time using dpns, and as with my socks I’ve not quite nailed keeping tension the same across the pair but they fit comfortably so it doesn’t matter too much. The pattern is Treads by Victoria Anne Baker and was a free download from Ravelry. I really wanted proper tipless gloves as I don’t like the inability to do things that comes with gloves but wanted something a little more complex (and warm) than just handwarmers. I used Cool Woo Big Melange by Lana Grossa, which is a gorgeously soft merino wool but as its quite loosely spun I had to be careful not to split it.

The pattern was very easy to follow, even the slightly complicated lateral braid (which is even harder in my tight tension). I really love the look  of the lateral braid and will definitely try and use it again.

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Doing the fingers was tricky. This was the only place I found the instructions a little tricky. It turns out a fourchette stitch isn’t a stitch method but the name of the stitches that sit between the fingers allowing you to move them sideways. You create them by casting on new stitches. It took me a bit of googling to figure this out but once I had it was easy to do. The tricky or fiddly bit was all the attaching the wool and weaving in ends. It takes ages. For the first glove I did it all at the end but on the second glove, I did it as I went along – a much better choice.

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So here we are another finish, which seeing as I’ve already been bookmarking cardigan patterns is probably a good thing, and it gives me a some time to put a few hours into other projects.

July 2017

This month has mostly been knitting. Unfortunately I’ve need the repetitive calming motion of knitting straight rows quite a bit this month, but at least it means my scarf is coming on nicely.

  1. Fingerless Gloves – I took this with me on some long train journeys so I’ve done quite a bit, just the fingers to go on the second glove
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – its now ~1/3 done
  8. A knitted scarf with beads – I used up all the beads I had added at the beginning so added more
  9. The right cross stitch – I haven’t touched this this month
  10. Ivy trails necklace – I’m about three quarters through

 

My only finish is my EPP panel, which I even managed to write up, so it’s not all bad. I have however finished some of the easier of the long term projects on the list, so lets see what I finish next. I’m hoping it will actually be shorter next month

 

English Paper Piecing

I started some English paper piecing in about February 2016 and I am now calling it finished. I have square 18” panel as originally I planned to make a cushion cover. However I only have one cushion and it has a cover at the moment, so I don’t really need another one. I’m not sure what I will make with the panel yet but I guess it will be used for something.

For the english paper piecing, I printed the templates (2″ Hexagons)  from the internet,  I think I ended up using two different sites as one set has an extra set of writing on the hexagons. I then cut up the papers myself – yes it took a while but its pretty easy and I almost definitely did it while I was watching tv.

About to take up #epp

A post shared by Shyeni Paul (@makingshyeni) on

I made a template for myself,  by drawing round a hexagon on some card and adding a quarter inch. I then used that to cut the hexagons from the fabric. I used a set of fabric I bought back in 2015 at the Country Living Fair + another piece that my mother had chosen from the same collection. I’m sure I’ve written about it in the past but I can’t find it anywhere so maybe I hadn’t so here goes. My mum took me and my sister to the 2015 Country Living Christmas Fair and at some point I wandered off slightly and bought a fat quarter bundle of this Asian themed fabric (I’m pretty sure its Asami for Makower UK from googling but I don’t have any selvedges). When I then showed it to my mum, she pulled a face rather than a more normal comment. She then owned up to having bought fat quarter from the collection (but luckily not one in my bundle) to put in my Christmas stocking. Just goes to prove how well she knows me.

I glue basted my hexagons, using a pritt stick – its a washable glue that’s fairly removable so I figured it would be ok and it was. Now that I have had to unpick all the papers, I would definitely use less glue to baste the papers. I basted the papers for the hexagons I used to square up the edges at the end of the project and I used much less glue on those ones and they were far easier to remove.

Once I had basted my hexagons I sewed 4 matching ones  together into a diamond shape. I really didn’t want to make flowers. At some point I worked out how many diamonds I would need to make a cushion cover, I think my cushion is 18” by 18”. I only cut out enough hexagons to do the panel. Sewing the hexagons into the diamonds was a very portable little project so I did do it all over the place. I started by using whipstitch to attach the hexagons, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make them invisible. I then switched to ladder stitch (is that it’s name? when you hold them flat rather than face to face and go across). It much less visible but I had to be careful to keep it tight so they stay next to each other.

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My diagram

Once I had all the diamonds, I planned the layout and drew a diagram for myself. At this point it became less portable but still manageable to do on a sofa. The combination of the two types of hexagons caused some issues with fitting the hexagons together but I just had to ease them together. Its a little wobbly now its finished but I reckon a good press would sort it out. Once I had the diamonds done, I added a few extra hexagons to help square it up. Taking the papers out was a little tricky due to the amount of glue I had used but I got them out in the end.

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The last paper

So now it is done. Sort of. I’ll put it away for now and one day I’ll put it to use.

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The finished panel

 

July 2017

June went so quickly. I was really determined to have a few more things finished by now but it wasn’t to be. I do have some changes to the list though as I did put quite a bit of time into doing things.

  1. Fingerless Gloves – No change
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. EPP pillow case – No change
  8. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – I did a little more
  9. A knitted scarf with beads – Added a few more rows
  10. The right cross stitch – I did some more, but because there are so many decisions to be made , its taking me a while

I finally have some finishes though:

  1. The wire wrapped seaglass necklace – Its finally been moved on, and I’ve worn it twice
  2. A beaded necklace – I wanted a quick project as I have so many long term ones
  3. The wrong cross stitch – I put some time into this at the beginning of the month and now is sitting one its shelf

I’m going to try and get another long termer off the list this month but I’m not sure which one yet, so lets see what happens