Thursday, February 19, 2009

Be Merry


Design: Be Merry
Designer: Lizzie*Kate
Threads: DMC
Fabric: 28 count cream evenweave

I finished this up a while ago, with three other co-ordinating designs. I used beads for the "confetti" stitches, and put this together using the method The Drawn Thread use for their scissor fobs.

The Last Day

... of my thirties today.

How can that be? I don't feel any older than I did in my twenties, although I'm probably - hopefully - wiser.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kiri Shawl


This is the shawl before blocking. Relaxed, it was 62 inches at the widest point, and 29 inches down the 'spine'.


Here it is, taking over most of my living room. At this point, it was 81 inches wide, and 36 inches down the spine. I wet blocked it, and having not done that before, was quite surprised just how much the wool stretched. The sheet prevented the carpet from getting too soggy...

I'm glad I had an appointment to get my hair coloured after pinning this out, I don't think I could have resisted leaving it alone otherwise!


Design: Kiri
Designer: Polly Outhwaite of All Tangled Up. Pattern available here (free)
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn, 2 x 100g skeins.
Total cost: £18.50
Needles: 4mm circular, used as straights

The finished product. It's softer and warmer than I thought it would be knitting it up.

This shawl took a couple of weeks of effort to knit, and it was my focus project. At the end, there were over 450 stitches in a row. The Noro was easier to work with than the mohair I used for my first shawl, and the uneven texture doesn't really show, especially after blocking. I'm not sure that I would use this yarn for socks, though.

I wish the edges had scalloped a little more, but otherwise, I'm very happy with this.

I like the colour changes, and it gives off a very spring like vibe. Fortunately, I was able to join in the second ball with only a little wastage, and I have enough left over for a pair of fingerless mitts or similar.

The pattern was very easy to follow, and the regular repeats meant it was easy to track and correct mistakes, although I generally did that by fudging rather than ripping everything back. I can't see the mistakes in it now, and if I can't then no-one will notice!

I'm going to take great care of this, I don't want to lose it like the last shawl I made! I've spotted a lovely fabric rose pin in just the right shade of pink to wear with this ... over the top? Maybe, but there will certainly be no one else wearing such a shawl :o)


Well, I seem to have my stitching mojo back, having been immersed in knitting for the past little while. I'm feeling a little blue about my knitting at the moment. Not only have Royal Mail lost a shawl I made for my best friend, my beret fell off on the way to work between getting off the bus and into the office (about 150 yards) and despite searching for it, hasn't appeared :o( I'm beginning to feel that my knitting is jinxed ...

I haven't got an awful lot of finished stitching to show you, as I've been mainly working on exchange pieces, although I will post my Valentine finish shortly.


This is a sneak peek at my first finish - for the Biscornu Exchange over on HoE. I used a design from a designer my partner lists as one of her favourites. Which design? Ha, you'll have to wait and see ... I stitched a variant of the same design for the back on a different colour fabric (a la Just Nan) and personalised it. It was really interesting to see just how much changing the fabric colour made to the design


This is my 'commute' project, although I confess it is slow going - I've decided knitting is definitely easier on the bus than stitching! I can reveal what this one will be - it's Holly Berry Sampler by Bent Creek - and I'm stitching it to finally finish the series. The other two are sitting complete - even with their buttons on - on the same piece of fabric. I'm not sure how I will finish these - possibly a tall and skinny set of pinkeeps.


This is going to be a little gift for a friend of mine who had a baby recently. The pregnancy was a bit of a surprise - my friend didn't realise until two months before the birth that she was expecting!

I think I will frog the yellow lettering - although it is nice and cheerful, I don't think it stands out very well. I think I might replace it with a lilac, as the baby is a little girl. I have a sweet rocking horse button to attach too.

The design is Bless the Baby by Lizzie*Kate


I finished this design for my partner on the Year Round Prairie Schooler Exchange. I wanted to stitch something special for a special blogging friend, and I think (blowing my own trumpet, I know!) I've succeeded. I used a part of a larger sampler, from an out of print chart. Which one? Well, that's for me to know and you to find out :o)

Right, I must get off and get some uni work done... Happy stitching!

Fredde's Bookmark


Design: from an alphabet in Alphabets and Borders
Designer: not given, book publisher is Better Homes and Gardens
Threads: DMC 310
Fabric: 14 count aida banding from Textile Heritage

This bookmark was stitched for a cute little boy who was one this month. No, he's not a precocious reader ... yet! His parents were putting together a 'time capsule' for Fredde to open on his tenth birthday, and I thought a personalised bookmark would be a nice timeless gift. The Spot book was for now though :o)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Exchange


Design: All You Need is Love
Designer: The Drawn Thread (freebie available here)
Threads: DMC
Fabric: 28 count evenweave, cream

I stitched this for Staci on the HoE blog.

The freebie from The Drawn Thread was originally much brighter - more reds and deep pinks - but I wanted something softer, so used the palette from the Heart Throb (below) and added a couple of my favourite greens from the 50* range of DMC. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Like all DT designs, it was a pleasure to stitch, and the stitch diagrams are so easy to follow.

I finished the piece as a mattress pincushion, but used a quilting fabric for the sides and base, instead of an evenweave. I think if I do this another time, I will use four shorter pieces instead of one long one, as I think there is room for improvement in the corners, but overall I like the effect, and Staci has told me she likes it, and that's all that matters!


These are the rest of the goodies I sent along - I had a good time finding pink and flowery things. I'm not normally so girly, but sometimes one has to be girly! I found the heart in a gift shop which specialises in 'Fair Trade' goods and it's got me thinking about whether I could do something similar ... LOL

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who reads my blog - may you feel loved and blessed today.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I've just blocked out my Kiri shawl, and I'm waiting for it to dry ...

I can't believe I've made something so big - and so pretty!

Waiting with bated breath now...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Heart Throb - The Drawn Thread


Design: Heart Throb - freebie available here
Designer: The Drawn Thread
Threads: DMC as charted
Fabric: 28 count evenweave, cream

I love The Drawn Thread designs, and whilst I was looking through my charts for ideas for the HoE Valentine's Exchange, couldn't resist stitching this up for myself!

Despite all the speciality stitches - and I even did the dreaded Queen Stitches! - it's a reasonably quick stitch, and the result is so pretty :o) Because Cathy gave me a wonderful Valentine fob (see previous post) this is now hanging from a drawer knob :o)

How Does Your Garden Grow? - Lizzie*Kate


Design: How Does Your Garden Grow? (old freebie, not available online)
Designer: Lizzie*Kate
Threads: DMC conversions, mainly as charted
Fabric: Zweigart 32 count Belfast linen, vintage

I stitched this for my partner Chris in the HoE Lizzie*Kate exchange. Having sneakily snooped around her blog, I knew that Chris's other passion was gardening, so I though it was appropriate!


I made the finished item up into a small pillow using some vintage fabric I found in my stash. I think the fabric came from my gran's, but I'm not sure. It was quite lightweight, so I stiffened it a little with some iron on interfacing, to give it a similar 'body' to the linen and to improve wear - I consider my pieces items to be used :o) The backing is some coordinating felt.


And this is whole exchange - as my partner was in the UK, there was no problem adding seeds to the package, and I added some matching threads and ribbon too. Chris tells me she's very happy with the exchange, which is nice to hear!

Valentine's Day Exchange

I emailed Cathy to say I'd received her wonderful exchange, but I forgot to post here! Blame it on the disrupted week I've had because of the snow, I don't know whether I'm coming or going ...

Here you can see the whole exchange:


Wasn't I spoiled rotten?!

Not one, but two beautiful hardanger stitched pieces - and a pair of matching scissors, some flavoured coffee, two almond crunch bars (yummy!), some Sweethearts candy (which I gave to my sweetie LOL), some soap flakes, a sweet Heart in Hand chart, and a great selection of GAST colours in pinks and mulberries. It was like Christmas all over again :o) (and sets the bar for my sweetie for Valentines LOL!)


This is a close up of the gorgeous sun catcher. Of course, we've had snow ever since, but I'm sure the sun will return when it hears about this :o)


And this is the fob. It is so delicate ... I wondered how Cathy stitched it together, the joining stitches are almost invisible...

Thank you once again, Cathy, for such a wonderful gift!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

January Review and February Goals

I had quite a productive January:

  • Lizzie*Kate Exchange - DONE - this has been received by Chris, but I haven't yet blogged about it!
  • Luna Moth Shawl - DONE - I'm so sad about this. I sent it t my best friend for her birthday, and it appears to have been lost in the mail :o(
  • Valentine's Exchange - DONE - this has been mailed, but hasn't yet arrived. I'm not worried about this one yet, as it had a way to travel.
  • O Christmas Tree - Prairie Schooler - DONE - this was my UFO piece for January, and I'm so pleased with it. Photos will follow.
  • Pair of Socks - DONE - nice and warm and cosy they are too!
  • Tumbling Blocks Quilt Block - I've pieced blocks themselves, but have decided I need some new fabric for the backing so I'm waiting on a trip to the quilt shop.
  • Winter Peace - Sisters and Best Friends - Wallhanging - no, I haven't done this bit of finishing yet either.
Other stuff done:
  • Heart Throb Scissor Fob by The Drawn Thread. And I even made it up and stuffed it too!

February Goals:

  • Follow Your Heart - Lizzie*Kate - Wallhanging - I'd like to make this up as a Valentine gift for The Hermit, as his heart lead him from Canada to the UK :O)
  • Pair of Socks - WIP - these are being knit in a new to me yarn, and I've already posted a progress pic.
  • Biscornu Exchange - WIP - this is coming along well, I'm working both sides at the same time, which is helping with motivation!
  • Neat Country Stuff - Homespun Elegance - I really, really, really want to finish this, it's been hanging around too long!
  • Prairie Schooler Exchange - I still haven't decided what to stitch for this yet. Oh well, I'm sure inspiration will come.
  • Wild Goose Chase Quilt Block
  • Winter into Spring - The Drawn Thread - this is a piece just for me.