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July 2015

June 2015

Aother hat

I first knitted this hat back in 2011 and it was my first attempt at a different type of pattern.  (Back then I thought it was cables but I now know the difference.)  I don't think that first try was very good but now, 4 years later, I can see that I have learnt a lot over the past few years.


I know I puzzled over some of the stitches back then and the tension was terrible.  My daughter lost that first hat and I can't say I blame her.


The pattern is by Gundrun Johnston and is called "Breiwick Beret" and you can still buy the pattern on Raverly.  I used 8ply wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills.


Finding the felt

The felt that I used for my ornaments came out of my stash and the stash came from England, now I have to find wool felt in the colours I like.  This isn't as easy as it might sound.  I live in the sub tropics and most quilters or embroiderers here don't use wool felt.  After searching all the shops in Brisbane I have only found 1, the Quilters and Embroiderers Store, that has any decent amount of stock and then not in the colours I want.  I have until September to source these supplies so I have been looking to come up with some other colour ways that would work.  In my search I came upon the blog "gold on the ceiling".  

If you are looking for a data bank of colour schemes this is a wonderful source. 

There is page after page of examples like this.  Sure makes selecting colours easy.

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The partridge & pear - proptype 1

Well I like the shape of the pear but I think I can make some improvements on the embroidery.  I am constrained by the threads that I know they have available in their stock.  I think this would have looked better in a perle thread.  However I think that I could get the same effect with 3 strands of DMC stranded  cotton, which we have tons of. I have only used 2 here.


Still I can always tweek the embroidery.  Maybe have a selection of motives that can be used or even let them design their own.  

Now onto the partridge.  Here I used three strands of embroidery threads and the difference is noticeable.


In the drawing that bit under the beak went right around the eye but when I did this it looked wrong and the head feathers were not to good so he has this funny crest.  In spite of all that I think the stitching is something that kids can handle.  I have used running, blanket, back, fly, detached chain and french knots.  These are all simple stitches but ones kids should learn.

So this will be the Children's September holiday class at the Queensland Embroiderers'Guild. 

"The first day of Christmas."


Boy, I have been stitching for two days here!  I haven't tried to be perfect with my stitching, rather stitching as I think a kid would to see if they could achieve these ornaments in two days.  They will all want to do the bird and I think the pear will be for our more experienced stitchers.

Kid's Embroidery

I am starting work on a new project for the Children's embroidery class in September this year.  It is really difficult to come up with new things all the time but I think that a couple of Christmas ornaments might be something that would appeal to children.  I did something similar last year but I was thinking about the song the days of Christmas and in particular the partridge in a pear tree.  A partridge and a pear would probably be do-able.  What made me think of this was the fact that the adults had an embroidery challenge on this theme last Christmas.

Now I have never seen a partridge, only heard about one in the song.  I don't even know what one looks like.  When I googled 'partridge' I got so many different images that I am totally confused as to what the partridge in the song would look like.

This or

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or this?

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I then put the 'partridge in a pear tree' into the search box and this was probably the best match to what I imagine the partridge in question should look like.

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I think I will start with the pear.  I know what that should look like.  For stitching inspiration I have selected three reference books.


The Karin Holmberg is a recent publication and a great source of designs.  The other 2 are books I picked up at sales.  The Winsome Douglass was published in 1958 and although only a little book, 32 pages, I use it all the time when designing.  The other book I picked up in Copenhagen at a sale in an old church along with some original 1960's Chinese propaganda posters.  I think the whole bundle cost me less than $5.  The book still has a terrible musty smell but it is a great book on printing designs that easily translate to embroidery. So on with the pear.


I have made a concerted effort this week to finish the stitching of this piece.  Now it is ready for blocking.  So far I have put over 400 hours of stitching into it.


After looking at the number of hours I have invested in the stitching the fact that Japanese women who stitched the original Kogin clothing only producted one garment a year makes sense. 

Another Bag

I have another embroidery made into a tote bag that I have finished.


I have diamond quilted the back.


And put in an internal pocket to fit a smart phone and a wallet.


I have been told that all future bags etc can't go to the Embroiderers Guild table.  My daughter has taken a stall on the Finder's Day Fair in July and she doesn't have enought stock.  So all my work is going on her stall and if it doesn't sell then I can take it to the Guild. There is nothing on the facebook page as yet about the day but I have seen some posters on the ferry.  Someone will get arounds to it I suppose

A tool I din't think would be useful.

This is a house warming present given to me by a friend.  A pair of wooden tongs.


So what?  Well they are fantastic for getting out bread or in this case a crumpet that has got stuck in the toaster.


You know when that happens the first thing you reach for is a knife and then you think, "no I will get zapped."  Well these things don't zap you.


And they have a magnetic button on the side so they stay stuck to the toaster and you can always find them.  Neat gift.

A new cowl for my daughter

Sometimes I wonder why I knit for members of my family at all?  Non of them seem to take care of the items that I spend so much time constructing, let alone consider the amount of money I spend on good materials.  But they keep asking for more.

Laura's new cowl is a good illustration of what I mean.  I spent a lot of time and effort making her a hat and cowl.  She really liked them.  Took them into the bush on an expedition and then lent them to a some one, who hadn't brought enough warm clothing.  This person then lost them or forgot to pick them up when they moved on.  Now there was a request for a replacement but could I make one "with no holes in the pattern?"  In other words not use a lace pattern.  


This is the result.  It isn't as pretty as a lace cowl but it will be warm.  I made it in an 8ply wool called "Rustic" from the Bendigo Woollen Mills.  (The best quality wool at the best price bar non in the whole world.)  I'm sure it would work in any 8ply (double knitting) and as it doesn't need to fit like a cardigan or hat the gauge isn't really critical.


I have written out the pattern as a free download.   Download Laura's Cowl

N.B.  The method I used to cast on was to make the stitches by knitting between the stitches.


This gives a nice solid edge.  I replicated this at the cast off end by knitting into the back of the stitch .


A whole bundle of books

Because I have been having trouble with my eyes I have had to put my sewing aside for a bit, so I have got the knitting needles out and am in the process of addressing the 'request' list.  There has not been a lot of progress I'm afraid.  Why?  Well I started to surf on the net and found a heap of books I would like.  But first I thought I would look in my local library.

It is good having a place in town and on the island as it means I pay rates in two different regions which give my membership of two different library zones and access to a lot more books.  Today I picked up some holds from the Brisbane library.  A couple of Donna Leon books,"The death of Faith"


and "Suffer the Little Children."  











These are finished over night so they are very light reading but enjoyable.  I will have finished all 24 books soon so will have to look for some other light reading.  

But the other book I really wanted was "Eco Colour" by India Flint.  I am not sure if I want to spend the $60 to add this to my library sight unseen so I have borrowed it to see how useful it will be.  The first impression is that I will buy it.  It looks a very useful book.


But the book I bought from the Book Depository, "Simple Cloth Daisy Dolls", takes the prize for swiftness of delivery.  I have been after a Steiner doll for my grand daughter but they are so expensive here.  Like up to $200.  So I will make a couple myself.


 I ordered it last Saturday and it arrived today from England. That is only 5 days 2 of which were non working days.  Amazing.


By comparison my friend Angela sent me a post card from NZ which has taken almost a month to get here.  


The postal system is just mad at the moment.  Good thing I have a good supply of reading in hand. I hope this will not be detrimental to my eye sight.