Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sneaky Peek - Work In Progress

I've been hinting for a bit that I am working on a pattern for a new vehicle. So although it is not yet quite complete, I thought I would give you a sneaky peek. It is the iconic mini. It is the car that I seem to see most frequently where I live. I don't think it is the most popular car, it is just that it is so very distinctive that you cannot help but notice it.

My very first attempt at a mini was hysterically funny. It turned out so long that it looked like a stretch limo. 

So I am nearly there with the pattern, and there is just a bit of tweaky to go, and then a huge amount of test knitting. So if you want to make or buy a very British mini keep an eye on my Etsy and ravelry shops, as they will be appearing there soon. The craft fair yesterday did not go well. I took exactly what the table fee was, so it has only confirmed in my head what I had already thought, Etsy is the way to go for me.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly

The lavender in my back garden

 Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.

Call up your men, dilly, dilly, set them to work
Some to the plough, dilly, dilly, some to the fork,
Some to make hay, dilly, dilly, some to cut corn,
While you and I, dilly, dilly, keep ourselves warm.
Lavender's green, dilly, dilly, Lavender's blue, 
If you love me, dilly, dilly, I will love you. 
Let the birds sing, dilly, dilly, And the lambs play; 
We shall be safe, dilly, dilly, out of harm's way.
I love to dance, dilly, dilly, I love to sing; 
When I am queen, dilly, dilly, You'll be my king. 
Who told me so, dilly, dilly, Who told me so? 
I told myself, dilly, dilly, I told me so.

I am very fond of this nursery rhyme. It always seems so romantic. Also the only thing I remember of my very first day at school, was standing in a circle with other children singing this song.

But did you know that the earliest surviving version of the song was printed in England between 1672 and 1685, under the name Diddle Diddle, Or The Kind Country Lovers?  The lyrics printed in this version are not so romantic but quite bawdy.  

I have been making lavender bags, mainly because my mum supplied me with an enormous bag of lavender. She lives in sheltered housing with a communal garden, so having checked that no one else wanted the lavender she went out and picked it, dried it, and stripped it from the stems. So my work room has the delicious smell of lavender at the moment.

The first bags I made were not my own design, but from this book. I used silk for the main fabric, as I didn't have the linen that was suggested. Very handy to keep your undies smelling nice! 

I thought about the song, and how all the lavender I see is not blue, but lilac or deep purple. But a bit of research and I have found white, pink and blue lavender. To my surprise there is even a yellow variety of lavender!

I then had still more lavender, so decided to make some from my own design. First I appliqued felt on to hessian for the plant pots. (I still haven't mastered the free motion sewing, so these are edged neatly with my feed dogs up.) Then I embroidered the lavender plants using wool. I made little bags of muslin for the lavender, as I thought it might work its way out through the hessian. 

My first idea was to sew little bags and turn them out, but the hessian was just too stiff for this. So instead I simple pinned the front and back of the bags together, and sewed round the edge. I had to use my zipper foot for this, so I could get nice and close in to the muslin bag. I think the rustic look is rather nice. They have a ribbon in case you want to hang them in your wardrobe. Despite saying I wasn't going to do any more craft fairs, I have one coming up next weekend, and am hoping these might sell well. After that they may end up in my Etsy shop, and I guess the postage will be very low.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Wedding Photography

I made these little wedding dolls for my niece, and her now husband. I was going to scrap these photos, but then I decided I quite like how the dolls look a bit scared of the looming cat. 

Having removed the cat, reassured the bride and groom, here are the official photos. It must be my imagination, but they definitely look happier.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

How to Make a Small Bobble

This is the bobble technique I have used in my Frog Motif, Frog Mittens and Frog Baby Hat. There are many different techniques for making bobbles. In them all you will increase from one stitch to several, and then decrease back to one. If you want a larger bobble there are methods where you increase to many more stitches than here, and knit several rows just on these stitches, before decreasing. But for my frog I only needed a very small bobble, and after a bit of experimenting I found this the simplest method, but it also gave the best , most froggy results.
Here I am casting on in my normal way to make two stitches from one.
I repeat this to make three stitches.
Putting the third stitch onto my left needle.
Here I have knitted the first two stitches.
I then pass the first stitch over the second to get rid of it.
Then having knitted the last of the stitches, I again cast off.

Now I have the same number of stitches that I started with.

In my frogs I knit three of these bobbles in a row on each foot. Then further up the eyes are also made with two bobbles with two knit stitches inbetween.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Shore Thing - Homespun

I am really thrilled to have my Spiral Shell featured in the current June issue of Homespun Magazine. (Click on their name to go to the web page, and they also have a facebook page here.) Homespun is an Australian Magazine, and as you can see covers all things crafty: sewing, quilting, embroidery, as well as wool crafts. I wish it was on sale in the UK, as it seems to specifically cover all my interests.  

My contributor's copy has just arrived. A lovely selection of projects, with pattern pieces at the back, and all printed on really luscious thick paper. Settling down with a cup of tea for a good read.

I was especially pleased that they were happy to use my own photograph of the shells, which isn't as blurry as it looks above. I also have another project in the pipeline with Homespun, but can't tell you about that yet.

Readers are offered a discount code on my Spiral Shell pattern, which I can also share with you. It my be a bit hard to make out, but the code is GINX28, and will give you 25% off the pattern on ravelry. It will run for 3 months: June, July and August. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

New Car Blue Car

No, this isn't the title of a Dr Seuss book. 

I was so pleased that three of my 2CV cars are now in Italy with their new owner. So I have made one more for my Etsy shop, this time a blue one. You may notice that there are no numberplates at present, as I really like the idea of making personalised ones. This car is knitted from my Henrietta 2CV pattern. I am currently working on a pattern for a completely new vehicle.