Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Cross Stitch Sampler in lilacs & creams

I love the cross stitch pattern I'm using for this sampler.
It's an antique design and showed the pattern being worked in lots of different colours. However, I liked this anchor white silk I already had - its a very old skein and I have a few of them so its ideal for working on this project ( I know I won't run out!) I think the colour has faded to a creamy antique white and it works well with this piece of linen. It was supposed to be a 32 count but it seems a larger stitch when worked. I have temporarily ditched the other antique sampler I was working on, as I was so frustrated with the colours supplied. I work mainly in the evenings and rely on a good pattern to see the stitches properly  and I just wasn't enjoying this one.
The knitting box was picked up at my local junk market (it really is mostly junk, but occasionally you do find the odd gem) for £2.00. The box was filled to brimming with double pointed needles and a few hooky mat prodders and hooks also. I was drawn more to the beautifully hand-painted lid. My Gran used to do this with some of her things, she would go to a class on an afternoon and learn how to paint specifically to apply to boxes or other items.
I have a lovely hand-painted fire screen in my bedroom that she made at one such class.
I re-discovered this piece of needlework the other day.
It was going to be a large needle case with lots of sections for different needles. The count on this is really tiny. It's a piece/section of linen from my Mom's skirt she no longer wanted. You can still see the seams running down the edge of this piece in the photo. It has a distinctive raw element to the fabric that I wanted to give the needle case an special 'old/antique' feel about it. How could I have forgot about this when I had spent so many hours working on these tiny stitches!
A picture of me in my bedroom
(you can just make out my miniature teddy bear collection in the cabinet on the back wall).

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Antique Sampler 2

 I am so far through this sampler and realising that it just isn't working. 
The background linen colour is just too similar in shade to the threads I'm using to cross stitch. They have photographed ok but in daylight they are so pale you can hardy see some of the letters.
Its so upsetting to get even this far and have to think of stopping.
I'm in a dilemma of what to do now, do I carry on or stop and make what I have into a banner for a book cover or pencil case?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fair isle neck warmer - greys & creams

When I was a little girl I used to sit watching my mother knit for hours. I loved the rhythmic clatter of her needles, the soothing sound they made. I was mesmerised by the complex construction of yarn and sticks that extended from her arms. I would try in vain to copy her, so I could join her on the settee so we could clack away together.
However it was just not meant to be, knitting was too hard for me to learn.
I just didn't get it.  
I would use my knitting doll instead and sit making length after length of woven tube made out of leftover scraps of mom's knitting yarn. I was defeated.
A few years ago I learnt to knit, this time with success. I could actually knit a scarf or a dishcloth, I even managed a tank top ( no neckline as such though - just 2 rectangles sewn together).
I loved fair isle, hand knit being the best, it had a lovely homemade quality that I loved.
More recently through blogging I discovered other knitters and their beautiful work. I particularly adored the work of Kate Davies - I even bought her book in the hope of being able to work through one of her patterns. Then through a neck warmer pattern I saw in a book things just clicked for me and I was able to do a tiny fair isle swatch, it worked. Then I made another and another and before I knew it they actually resembled knitting! Even though it was ambitious of me I started the neck warmer pattern and finished it.
I now have the confidence to try making one of my own colour/pattern choice.
Today I am actually enjoying knitting, really enjoying it.
I do a little bit ever day and its fun.
How great is that?
Don't give up if you are trying master a craft you really like, it is so worth the wait.
Now who would have thought that it would take this long to learn to knit.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Antique Sampler& my crazy in-tray...

The other day I bought this antique sampler from an auction site and just had to start it straight away! I love the colours in particular, they are muted/pastel and are so pleasing to look at. I would really like to create my own cross stitch sampler at some point and this one has given me loads of inspiration.
However, I have so many projects on the go now, I am finding it hard to complete even one. For example case in hand:
Black work Quaker style cross stitch
LOVE cross stitch
Big Bow crochet cardigan
Raspberries & Cream crochet shawl
Silver soft knitted cardigan - will I ever finish you?
Fair isle knitted neck warmer No.2
Japanese Flower crochet shawl No. 2
Flower tea cosy cover - crochet
Beaded tea cosy cover - knitted
About 3 crochet hot water bottle covers - each for different member of family
2 knitted sock kits I have yet to start
Projects finished but have yet to weave in ends:
Large 100per cent pure wool crochet blanket ( there are masses of ends to be sewn in yet we have been using it a lot - so much so that the straggles of  yarn have felted slightly!)
Fair isle neck warmer - (actually worn this a few times with ends stitching out through bottom)
Crochet blanket using scraps of yarn that will be a dog blanket has so many ends I could cry.
This is the tip of the iceberg so to speak as I have loads of other projects that I have created/dabbled/designed with myself but yet to finish and live in the back of a cupboard. I know I am not alone in this after reading an article in Mollie Makes not so long ago. Not sure if this makes me feel better or worse though. I think it might be time to start finishing a few of what I have started.
Any words of advice?


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