Sunday, 30 November 2008

Glittery present gift tag

This was an experiment of mine...a combination of a silver sticker, some backing plastic and glitter glue pens. Actually now that I've dug it out again, it doesn't look so bad. When I was in the process of making it and the glue hadn't dried it looked pretty darned awful! All I need to do now is find some prettier cardboard to mount it on and cut the edges a pretty pattern...

Yes, sometimes I investigate the kids stationery section too!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Cath Kidston Competition

Last week a christmas catalogue arrived from Cath Kidston. I'm still off work so I had plenty of time to peruse at leisure and found a competition to enter! Even better there's a free pattern involved and you can win £75 worth of their sewing items if you win. I always love looking at the innovative designs of stockings in the shops and thinking what mine would look like. Mine used to be stuffed with chocolate coins, a selection box, a satsuma, a christmas edition of a magazine and a toy!

If you have the time to make a christmas stocking get cracking as the deadline is 17th December.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Strawberry Pincushion Tutorial

Recently I realised I didn't have a pincushion for my embroidery needles. I have tons as they give one away free with each kit you buy but I couldn't find one the other day and wasted time hunting one down. This is such an easy pincushion to make - a child could do it in a few hours.

All you do is trace round something circular of your desired size onto a red piece of felt. Next time I do a pincushion in the future, perhaps to sell or raise funds, I'll buy a larger piece of felt by the metre and use a dinner plate. For this project I used a large bowl turned upside down. Measure its diameter across four points and half it, thus finding the middle. Mark it with a pencil and draw a line through it, therefore splitting it into two halves. Cut and fold in half as above.

Sew the side of the strawberry, taking care as this will be visable when it's finished. Embroider little seeds in DMC 165 or similar. Stuff the inside of the strawberry putting slightly more in than you think will go so it's not limp when you sew it up.

Then sew a simple long stitch around the top of the circle and gather up. Sew in place securely. Don't worry, the top of the strawberry will be hidden.

Take some green felt and cut the leaf for the top, then carefully attach from underneath so the stiches don't show at the top.

Ahhh...I'm missing strawberries!

Update - you can now buy my strawberry in my etsy shop : ))

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Shades and stitches

Well, I've managed to emerge from my bed. It's been a bit touch and go since Tuesday morning, but I've finally managed to stop having the kind of violent nausea that makes you want to jump off a cliff! Of course, knitting has kept me sane. I have yet to finish the bear, but I have been experimenting with some more stitches from my book by Erika Knight in the picture above. I can still only manage to alternate knit and purl rows, not stitches, but there are about 10 stitches you can do on this basis...only 240 to learn! I tried cartridge stitch where you purl 2 rows out of 6. Underneath you can see my scribblings on a free pattern from the new Rowan website, trying to work out how you knit from a chart. I've bought some great knitting books so I managed it eventually!

I also found some shade cards on the Rowan website which I wanted ages ago but the site was being relaunched earlier this month. They cost £1.50 for each range but it will be so useful just to see at a glance which colours to choose from when making a present for someone or a bear. The net just isn't the same. I rang Debbie Bliss but you have to be a retailer for them to supply you. Totally understandable...happy stitching!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Bears galore!

First of all, a huge apology if you have found my blog, returned to it expecting another post and been disappointed. I wouldn't usually leave it three weeks to blog but I have been unwell and haven't been picking up my knitting as much as I usually would. I am suffering the side effects from some medication I have been taking to try and solve a physical medical problem. I am always so wary of drugs and tend to conclude, cycnically, that they don't work. The problem they have given me is much worse than the problem they were taken to solve, so it looks as if I've been proven right! I could get angry but I'll just take the prescribed week off work from my doctor and pick up my knitting and sewing!

A couple of days ago I managed to finish my teddy bear above. I can't believe the whole project only cost a few pounds as the pattern was free over on the DMC club website. There were so many browns and blues in the pattern I thought I would never finish, but it was fulfilling to see the shape form. I'm very fussy about bears - some patterns look horrendous and it's the same with knitting patterns, but this one is smart enough to meet my high standards! I'm so close to finishing my knitted teddy bear I will probably be blogging about it next week after my week off!

This is a long project I've been working on for the last two years. I bought it when I was unemployed but still didn't finish it! I've since learnt that smaller intermediate projects give me a high of making something much quicker...

It doesn't look so good in this photo but it's so stunning when you look at the finished picture on the pack. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are, of course, my favourite parts of London. Which reminds me to book some tickets for a shopping trip!
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