Saturday, 2 November 2019

Paprika Mustard Classic Knitted Cardigan in Platinum


So earlier this year I knitted myself a cardigan.  It went well but I wasn't sure about the colour and then my Mum saw it so it found another home.  But I still wanted a cardigan, and with a new job coming up and a little time off I suddenly had some time to have another go.


This time I used King Cole Glitz Chunky in platinum.  It's a lovely light grey with silver flecks and it's really soft.  Going up from Aran to Chunky made the cardigan a little bigger too, which I love.  


At the last Thread festival at the Farnham Maltings I had come across some beautiful butterfly buttons by Kate Holliday.  They are ceramic with butterflies printed? on them.  They are so wonderful I bought 8 with this cardigan project in mind.


 While I was happy with the purple cardigan, I absolutely LOVE this one.  Its exactly what I was aiming for and it's soft, warm and comfortable and will look great over a dress or jeans.  I am so glad I had another go.


Saturday, 26 October 2019

Another Knitting Thimble


Last year I created myself a knitting thimble to protect my poor finger while knitting a big project.  It's been invaluable, but I've finally knitted through it and needed to create myself a new one. 
The original had used old chamois leather but I had run out so I bought a new chamois leather and tried that.  But while it was soft and beautiful, it was also very thin, distorted easily and didn't offer much protection.


So I had a little think and wondered if I combined the leather with some fabric if that would do it? I used a little off cut of cord fabric from some trousers I made a couple of years ago.  I used PVA to stick them together then sewed it to the right size.
It works like a dream.  And being a little stiffer if doesn't keep falling off my finger.
I need to use it a bit more to see how it changes as I use it, but I think I've found a good combination.  And my finger is happy again.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

A Matching Cardigan and Bear


In August I finally finished knitting myself a cardigan.  I wasn't sure about the colour, but then my Mum saw it and she was sold!  So I got it finished off in time for her birthday.   


Of course it needed buttons, but what it really needed was a little bear to hide in the pocket. I've finally worked out how to knit him in the round without having to turn him inside out.  I just need to work on my bear faces now.  They are a bit hit and miss.


She was absolutely delighted, especially when she put her hand in the pocket and came across a little purple bear.  Everyone loves a bear.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Lino Printing


At the beginning of the summer I was taking the rubbish out when the front door slammed shut behind me.  I didn't have a key and my phone was inside.  Doh!  'im outdoors has just left on an errand and I wasn't sure when he would be back.  So what to do?  There isn't any side access to the house, but I wondered if I could get into the garden from next door?  I rang their bell and hoped someone was in.
June answered.  Of course I could try her back gate.  But that didn't work.  Maybe her husband could help but he was out walking the dog.  While we waited for him to get back we chatted and she ended up showing me her sheds.
June was a fabric artist who was also a printer.  She doesn't do so much now but she showed me all her stuff and I was quite jealous. 
(her husband was able to get me back into my garden and so into the house.)


I'd told June about my paper making, so a couple of weeks later I put some of my paper through her door as she'd sounded interested.  She thought it was amazing and asked if I'd like to try some printing.  I jumped at the chance.
We finally found a date that worked for us both and she told me to bring some simple line drawings that we could turn into a print.


As it was my Mum's birthday that week and she lives by the sea, I was inspired to try and make a print for a birthday card featuring a seagull.
We went down to Junes shed and she showed me her equipment and what to do.  Her shed is perfect.  It smells like an art shop, full of ink and paper and tools and odds and ends.  I have a room that is trying to be like this but I have a way to go before it is as good as June's shed.


We started by preparing the lino square with a light sanding.  I then drew my design on in pencil.  This requires some thought as you have to think hard about what you want to show in black (or whatever colour you are using) and what should be white.  Also any lettering has to be the wrong way round to come out right in the print.


With the lino all cut away then came the messy part - printing.
First we had to decide which ink to use.  Damp and heat and cold can all change how an ink behaves so it's a bit trial and error.
We also had to decide how to press the print.  We could use a big press or hand burnish it.  Both have their pros and cons.
After a couple of test prints we got the combination right and printed my square.


First we used a piece of plain white paper.  Then we tried some of my garlic paper, lastly a piece of paper with a different texture.
I can't believe how well it came out.  The letters read fine, the bird looks great and the textured background puts me in mind of sea and wind.  Its such a clear print, I keep having to look at it again and remind myself - I made that.  
Once the ink was dry I cut the paper down and stuck it to a bigger piece of card to make a birthday card.  My Mum loved it.
I'm really inspired now and I'm starting to think about what else I could do like this.  Christmas cards maybe?  (but not this year!)

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Garlic Paper part 2


In 2015 I made my first batch of paper using garlic skins.  I loved it so much I started collecting them again straight away so I could make some more at some point - garlic skins being very small and fine you need a lot of them to make paper and collecting that amount takes some time. So some 3 1/2 years later, with a big bag full, I decided it was time to try again.


It really is beautiful stuff.  I love the look and feel. I made a good batch this time and just need to press it flat before I can use it.  I made a mixture of A4, A5 and A6 sheets, so I should be able to find some uses for it.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Chester the Bashful Bunny


At the beginning of the year I made Herman the enigmatic bear.  He was tricky to make because he was so small, but that was also his charm.  So when I found there was a bunny pattern too, I wanted to try it out!
Again Chester was tricky because he is small, but I also love that he is that small.  He was also easier to make as I had a better idea of what I was doing this time.  
Annoyingly I messed up one of his ears - it's inside out, but I think it has helped me realise why I've been having trouble with my knitting-in-the-round.  So after some research it seems that if you use the back needle, which I do when using circular needles, then the right side of the knitting will be inside, however if you use the front needle, which I do when using DPNs, then the right side will be on the outside.
So switching between the different types of needles meant that sometimes the right side was inside and sometimes outside.  Now I understand why I can try again and see if it makes any difference to my knitting.
I look forward to having another go.    

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Coco Top


In 2015 I made my first dress.  It was Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress and I still wear it now.  But I loved the idea that you could also make a top using the same pattern and have been on the look out for nice material ever since.
You can't really see it in the photos but this sweatshirt material is glittery!  With super soft fluff in the inside.  


So on a really hot bank holiday weekend I decided to make a nice warm top ready for the autumn!  It actually went really well as all the templates were ready cut from making the dress.  The only thing that really slowed me down was the front pocket as I had to design that for myself.  In the end I was inspired by the pocket on my dhb sports top.  Using ribbon to edge it makes a pretty little detail.
I'm really pleased with it.  I just need some cooler weather to wear it in!


Friday, 16 August 2019

Paprika Mustard Classic Knitted Cardigan


I love to wear a dress, but you need a nice cardigan to go over the top, or at least I do as I'm always cold.  But I couldn't find one that I liked - they were all too thin and short.  So I started looking at patterns instead and came across the Paprika Mustard Classic Knitted Cardigan and fell in love.  It can be as long as you want and it has pockets and it can be any colour too!


It's taken me ages to make though.  I started knitting around Easter time and it went quite well but then I got stuck on how to do the sleeves and worked on the Woven Wonder Cushion until I could work it out.  Of course once I did work it out they were easy!
And now its finished, except for some buttons.


I think I need to block it out as it sits a little funny in places, but otherwise I'm very happy.  Firstly it actually fits which is a great achievement.   If I do it again I might make the sleeves a little longer but otherwise I'm very pleased with it.


Also I'm not 100% sure about the colour.  It's a Sirdar Supersoft Aran.  I do love a purple, but this is quite bright.  I'd like to try it again in maybe a teal or a storm gray.
I love the pockets.  Again I couldn't get my head round them until I did it, then they were easy! 
It's definitely a classic for my wardrobe.