Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Little Red Cardigan

Thank you everyone for your enthusiastic comments on my last post.  I've been absent from blogging for a number of days.  I seem to have been kept busy here lately.  I can now share with you the little red cardigan. I am finally finished.  I have no idea why it's taken me so long to knit a baby's cardigan!!  This was knitted with the Heirloom Baby Wool in 4 ply that I purchased from Pick Up Stitches in Kyneton.  It knitted up beautifully, and I'm totally thrilled with the result.

I hope this close-up will show you the little reverse stocking stitch relief pattern.  I rather like the back of it, but thought I'd go with the 'designer' and do as directed.  I do however much prefer to work my ribs as a twisted rib, ie knit and purl into the back of the stitches.  I find I like the finished result.

This design was taken from a very old knitting book I've carted around with me for years.  It has even had a run-in with some hungry mice [notice the corner that has been chewed!!].  I think I was given these books by an aunt years ago.

I've made this to fit 6-9 months, as it's to be a gift for an expected infant - early next year.  The booklet says 3ply, but I have a feeling that today's 4ply is yesterday's 3ply if you get my drift, as my knitting tension was as given in the book.  I encountered a couple of new things with this little pattern.  I had never knitted a band along with the fronts for a V-necked cardigan, but loved the way this was done.  The instructions also suggested to use turning rows every 1½ inches to avoid the sagging that occurs with knitted on borders.  I honestly had never heard of this.  It worked well I must say.  It's actually nice to see a proper set-in sleeve application, rather than that dropped shoulder line effect so common to newer designs.  

I think I'll make a little pair of denim pants to wear with this [I have some quite soft, thinner denim], and have found this really old flannel in my stash which I thought would make a super soft lining for said denim pants.  Now I just need to find that Burda Baby book with the really cool baby duds pattern in it!!

Thank you again to everyone who cares to leave such lovely comments.  I do appreciate the time it takes to do so.  I also appreciate the emails I've received in the last few days asking after me.  I know I have been absent from my blog for a while, so thank you ladies for caring to ask after me.  All is well, I am just busy with animals and outside lately.  I have lots more of this lovely wool, so hope to get another little piece underway soon.   

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Fun

In between my embroidery, and animal duties, I've been playing with some woolwork.  My sister and niece recently sent me their yarn stash, so I've made a start at using it.   I plan to use it for small projects, ie knee rugs, scarves, baby accessories.  Much of it is acrylic, easy to launder.  The knee rug above is the first of my experiments.  I had five large skeins of this multi-coloured pink/purple, and really wasn't sure how far it would go, so I began with the crochet design that starts in one corner and works out on the diagonal.  I kept going until I had used just over two skeins, and then began working my way back into the other corner.  It will make a nice little knee rug to pack in my 'nursing home kit'................  If you see a slight colour variation, you are quite correct.  Despite all the bands displaying the same dyelot number, there still seems to be some difference.  Never mind, this was a project I could work on at night, with a repetitive pattern, and it didn't require a lot of counting and thought.

I have also managed to knit a child's beanie using the wool I purchased recently from Pick Up Stitches.  I love this strong colour contrasting wool.  It is very soft.

This was my first piece of Fishermens' Rib/Brioche Stitch, and I really enjoyed working it.  However, it is VERY elastic, so I needed to use needles one size smaller than I would normally use for traditional rib.  I would love to knit a good sweater in this pattern, perhaps in a colour a little more suited to my age group..........LOL..........

I've not long started a little baby cardigan in red 4 ply pure wool, having almost completed the back, and hope to have it finished by the end of next week.  I really love knitting for babies and toddlers, so will try to do a few things in the coming months, before the real heat sets in here.

I've only just noticed that Blogger seems to have given us a new photograph viewing capability.  I quite like it.  Hope others do too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Postcard Surprise

A few weeks ago I received this lovely postcard.  It was such a nice surprise to receive this from Wanda-Maria  She sent it to me from her holidays.  Thank you so much Wanda-Maria, especially for thinking of me whilst enjoying yourself so much on your holiday.  I wanted to wait until I was sure you were home before I posted this on my blog [I was not sure you had Internet access away from home].  Please take a look at Wanda-Maria's blog.  She does a wonderful array of machine embroidery, and other textile related work.  You will also see some more photographs from her holiday, as well as her beautiful daughter's recent wedding.  I have tried adding her blog to my sidebar again, and Blogger is still not showing her posts correctly.  Forgive 'us', it is not our fault.     

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Recruits

We are constantly in need of new recruits for our working dog pack.  Some are getting old, and need to spend their retirement taking it a bit easy.  We've not long taken charge of three pups, so I thought I'd share them here.  The little fellow above will be given to one of our friends.  He's got very short hair, and feels the cold.  It was a little rainy and miserable here on Friday, so I quickly cut into my stash of polar fleece and made a little coat for him.  If he ever grows into his ears, he'll be a big dog!!  He was quite small when he first came home, but he's now outweighing his sister.  I did have to Photoshop his eye [red eye], but the 'blue' you see is a trait quite common in this type of working dog.

This is Meg.  We will hopefully breed from her in due course, if she lives up to expectations in the field.  She is a little more hairy than Little Bill, and such a gentle little thing.

We haven't given this guy a permanent name at the moment.  I'd like to call him Dude, but the jury is still out.  He's the monster of the pack, and very much like another dog we've had in the past.  One of our dogs is the father of the pups.

And, not to be outdone by pups, our son and DIL have just sent us a photo of their newest foal, a little filly with very long legs, which I am sure they are hoping she will put to good use on the racetrack.  Her name is Chloe around the paddock, not sure what they'll call her for 'racing purposes'.

Okay, just one more to show you her legs!!

I know...................I can't help it, I love baby animals.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pina Colada

I have not long finished my third piece for the Sumptuous Surfaces class, run by Sharon  And, yet again, I've made a folder sleeve using my piece as front adornment.  I have had such fun working the samples for this class, and also learnt a lot of interesting features about stitching, ie viewing and using stitches in different ways.

I am including a good close-up of the pineapple, so if you click onto the file and see it in it's original format you can get a good look at the stitch.  This stitch is called Vault Stitch, found in my Mary Thomas' Dictionary of Stitches.  It's original purpose is for canvas stitching, but bring it down to a finer level, mix up your thread colours, and hey presto, great texture for pineapples in my opinion.

I'm not going to go through the whole journal making procedure yet again, but will show you the back, so you can see how I've crinkled up the abaca tissue, lightly sprayed it with gold Moon Shadow Mist [a product purchased from my favourite store -  and just a small amount of machine quilting.  I'm not sure if the photographs will do the Moon Shadow Mist justice.  It adds just that flecked gold lustre to the surface of the folder.  I just love it This abaca is a slightly aqua blue/green, with golden yellow-brown mottling.  I tried to take some of the 'blue' off it via the Moon Shadow spray.

And in my usual style, I managed to find something reasonably suitable for the lining.  I've had this green/yellow mottled/ringed fabric for ever so long, and thought it blended fairly well with the journal colours.  I did not buy one single thing to make this journal.   It all came out of my stash [not sure if I should actually gloat about this..............LOL].

Thank you all so much for the interest in my stitching.  I'll be leaving this course behind now, and moving on with more knitting, crochet, and other counted work, but really must clear away all these green and yellow threads!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Blogging Gift

Last week I received an absolutely amazing surprise, and felt I would love to share it with everyone.  It was something I'd never seen 'in the flesh', and for me, like finding gold I suppose.  This beautiful little antique needlework book was sent to me by a fellow blogger, Jan  and I really am humbled by her generous gift.  

There are some really interesting techniques in this little book, especially the section on linen work.  I know I have dozens of books related to needlework, but I don't have many really old ones, so this has really made my week.

Thank you so much Jan, for your generosity not only with this lovely book, but your support on my blog.  You are always interested in what I call the mundane part of my life.  But, reading your blog I can see you are interested in so many things, a real glass half full girl, that's for sure.  It is a pleasure to 'know' you.