Sunday, 10 December 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Spanish Tiles


Last week's palm tree is at the centre of the courtyard in the cloisters at Alicante cathedral, and on the wall beneath the arches is a beautiful tiled panel.  This charming detail shows the traditional costume of Alicante, known as the traje de Alicantina.  Totally sumptuous.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Winter Cardigan


Bring on the winter knitting challenge!

I have enjoyed myself (so far) with this project.  Not only is it the first item I have knitted for myself for over two decades, it has also amply demonstrated the rule that it is impossible to bust a stash without buying more.  Mixing yarns is just as much fun as playing around with fabrics.



The random yarn brought out the control freak in me.  I wasn't convinced by the way four black stripes ended up bunched together in the ribbing at the front.  The black is perhaps a little too black, looking smudgy like coal dust when you have had a careless moment making a fire.  But I can live with it.  Once the button band is on these stripes should blend in better.



The plan when I started was to make set in sleeves and shoulder seams.  Then I changed my mind and decided to do raglan shaping and knit the whole lot on a circular needle.  I am really pleased with the way the stripes change direction with the shoulder shaping.

Perhaps it will be finished by Christmas, but if not I should have it in plenty of time for February, which is often when winter finally decides to hit us.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 165 - Binding Scraps


Ever noticed I'm a slow starter?  For the third week running I am showing what I am going to do, but with zero progress.  This afternoon I chose two strips of left over binding from the scraps tin, and decided that I am going to make a simple rectangular shaped pouch for my camera.  But as for sewing... no, I'm still feeling far too sluggish as a result of the virus.  All my energy has gone into knitting.  And laundry.  And other things far too tedious to mention.



Here goes for Week 165.

The project that caught my eye in Week 164 was Dione's strawberry quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.

Pink and green quilt
If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.


Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.


So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.




Thursday, 30 November 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 164 - Spot The Difference


This photo looks suspiciously like last week's photo, but with a slight difference.  It is a picture of my new camera taken with my old one, as opposed to the other way round. 

My plans for making a camera cosy have come to nothing so far.  I have been thwarted by a ghastly virus, which kept my husband off work for a week and has now worked its way across to me.  Last Thursday in particular was a write off.  Sewing is still far too complicated and strenuous a task to tackle, but knitting.... now, that's a different matter entirely.  Thank goodness I have had a project to carry on with during all the hours I have been vegetating on the settee.


Here goes for Week 164.

The project that caught my eye in Week 163 was Janine Marie's Christmas tree.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and have a closer look.





If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.


Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.


So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.




Sunday, 26 November 2017

A Picture for Sunday - Lichen


Shapes and colours like coral on the branch of a dead tree.  This is how I discovered that my new camera takes amazing close ups.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Mixing Yarns


Unable to resist a bargain, I pounced on a pack of end of dye-lot yarns at a local shop.  The shopkeeper had very cannily teamed the random grey and maroon with a dark purple and a soft raspberry.  Once I was home I fished the grey mohair out of my huge wool stash and thought for a few days about what I should make.


Now I am well on the way making a cardigan.  This is the first item I am knitting myself for years.  Will it be ready to wrap up and surprise myself with at Christmas?

Although I love random yarns, I can't help controlling them.  They have a nasty habit of falling into solid blocks of colour, and arranging themselves differently according to the number of stitches in a row.  Casting on and working the first two rows of rib in dark purple contains the random effect; also, because the purple is 100% acrylic and the grey random is slightly thinner and 75% acrylic and 25% wool, the purple will give a more hard wearing edge.


The rib is worked on size 10 (3¼ quarter) needles.


For the main part of the knitting, I have changed to size 8 (4 mm) needles.  The stitch is my favourite basket weave, with the plain and purl rows worked in the grey mohair, and the knit 2 purl 2 rows worked in the grey random, purple and raspberry in a sequence of stripes.  The effect is textured and lightly fluffy, with the colour showing to best advantage on the front...


...and the fluff being thrown mainly to the back.

I am already dreaming up a matching hat.  Or would that be too much?

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