Saturday, 16 January 2021

AGD Kirsten's Winter Woolies.

"Oh where and oh where has my Kirsten doll gone,

Oh where and of where can she be?

With her eyes so blue and her hair so blonde,

Oh where and oh where is she?"

 In 2014 I had started to try and make a cardi for my Kirsten doll similar to the retired wool set American Girl dolls had made years before. I had read that the original ones they sold were actually hand knit! (makes me wonder how much the knitters were paid to produce those!)

A Ravelry friend Beth sent me some detailed photos of the original set she had. I set to work counting sts and rows and tried to produce a similar effect. I made the body of the cardi but then the whole thing was set aside when my first Grandchild was born. 

Fast forward a few years and I had totally forgotten about the whole thing until I looked through some unfinished projects for a Ravelry Kal! 

The day after I was putting some things away in my craft room and there was the cardi! No yarn with it but from my project page I found what the black yarn was and then managed to find some white. 

So back to the knitting! Sleeves and button band were easy to make and a morning spent sewing together the pieces and weaving in yarn ends finished it.

I picked up sts from fronts and neck and worked a simple rib button band.

I didn't have pewter buttons so used some little wood ones.

Then I started on the hat. I found it easier to make a simple chart. 

Co 84 sts.

 3 rows 1x1 rib. 

1 row purl.
3x3 white/black blocks. 4 blocks high.
Knit 7 rows stockinette.

Then I followed my chart decreasing the sections on the right side after I finished the boy and girl patterns. (7)

I knitted this flat but would knit in the round if I made another one.

A simple pompom completed the effect.

Mittens: 21sts. Five rows 1x1 rows. Purl one row. As diagram.

I knit these in two flat pieces and sewed them. The cord is a simple crochet chain 15 inches long. 

Kirsten is very happy to have her new Winter Woolies!

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Tea towels galore!

So what have I been doing? Yes you guessed it! Machine embroidery!

ricamo a macchina

I have been busy embroidering a whole load of tea towels I had. Fun just putting simple lettering on them. 

Here are a few photos:



I have done over 40 teatowels! A lot have already left the house.


Between doing those and masks I have been very busy. Now I need to catch up with some sewing that is all piled up here! 


Have a nice day!

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Machine Embroidery.

I am continuing my machine embroidery experiments. 

Machine set up

 An Eagle:

embroidered eagle

Yesterday I decided to try some appliquè. Just very simple.

I took some blue fabric and then some white on top. I stabilized the blue with tear away stabilizer. I basted the white at the corners floating on the frame. I didn't use any glue. I don't have any yet and to be honest I am scared of getting my frames and machine sticky. I keep seeing FB posts asking how to remove the glue! 


I chose a simple circle design on my machine and stitched it out. 

Then I took the frame off the machine and carefully cut the excess white fabric from the outside of the stitching. I replaced the frame and then did another programmed circle with a satin stitch in the exact same place. 


Then I added a simple E in the center. All without altering the position of the hoop design. 


It was quite fun and simple enough for me to not worry about spoiling a project. 
I have no idea what if anything I will use it for but another practice piece is done. Lol! 

cross stitch

It is lovely to be trying out "new to me" things. Even cross stitch!


Bye for now! Happy sewing.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Machine Embroidery.

Well I have a new love in my life....machine embroidery! 

Embroidery machine
I bought a Brother Innovis F440e embroidery only machine. I already have a good sewing machine. 

An embroidery machine is something I have wanted for a long time. 

I was very scared in case I didn't manage to learn to use it. There are no local lessons available. Fortunately there are many videos online and I managed to find some with the machine I had ordered.
I also found the instruction book online and read and reread that many times before my machine arrived. 

I found that machine embroidery is a whole new world. 
Ordinary sewing thread is not used but special 40 weight embroidery thread. There are many brands and different sorts of thread. I ordered some New Brothread. A pack of different colours so I had a starting selection. 

40 weight thread

Then there is the bobbin thread. My machine takes 90 weight bobbin thread which is very thin and resistent. I ordered pre-wound bobbins which work beautifully so far!

Other machines which are combined sewing and embroidery machines use 60 weight bobbin thread. It is important to check the instruction book with the machine. 

After learning that I had to find out all about different stabilizers! The fabric in the hoop needs stabilizing to embroider well. I bought some online and also bought a starter pack with various types to try and a super help it had an instruction booklet for newbies like me! 

machine embroidery

Everything bought online as there are no local shops who have these things. 

As soon as my machine arrived I tried it. I was lucky as it threaded and worked fine first time! I was shaking as I tried it! Lol! 

The first thing I wrote was my name! 

Brother F440e
Then I started slowly working through a mountain of teatowels I have to embroider! 

Tea towels

Obviously with Covid-19 still around masks were another must to make:

face masks

Now the latest thing I have embroidered were some towels. I found a letter E which fit into the oval on the big towel. For the smaller one I remembered that I can reduce the design size slightly so I thought to try that. It worked! The machine actually automatically recalculated the stitch density as well and number of stitches. It took over 1000 sts less and a minute less to embroider! I was fascinated! Magic! Lol!


So much more to add! But now I am going to go and do some embroidery!

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Banana Jam

Lol! I just found this post draft from December! With my DH ill at the time I obviously totally forgot to publish it! Anyway a belated recipe and crochet cover!

Ripe bananas.
Half weight of bananas in cane sugar.

Mash bananas in a pan. Add the cane sugar. Slowly cook stiring frequently for about 10 mins.
Add the cinamon stick.
Spoon into jars and close lids. Cover with clean dry cloths. Leave to cool.
It should seal lid. I do not bother reheating the jars as I use it quickly!

Mini Jam jar covers.

A small amount of sport weight cotton yarn.
Size 3mm crochet hook.

Start using magic loop:
1: 12 sc in loop.
2: 12x 1 dc, 1 ch.
3: 24 sc.
4: 24x 1 dc, 1 ch.
5: 48 sc.
6: 48 dc.
7: 1sc, 1ch, skip one dc, repeat around.
8: 48 sc.
9: 4sc, picot of 3ch; repeat around.
Bind off. Weave in yarn end.

Elizabeth's shawl.

Yellow shawl pattern.

I found an old note from my Mother while reading old letters. She had written these instructions which are from a Patons and Baldwins Woolcraft magazine it seems. 16th edition she wrote on it.

I am curious to know what the original design was for. The only version I have found online is the 9th which does not have this stitch pattern in it.
I think it is one of the most difficult stitch patterns I have done. It has patterning on both sides with a lot of purl 2 together through back loop! Not my favourite stitch to do but I love the effect. The pattern repeat is 19 with an extra 14sts.
I am using it for a doll shawl border. I can’t imagine making anything big from it.
A Ravelry friend found and sent me a photo from the book. It seems it was from a selection of knitting stitches in the booklet not a pattern.

So here is my version of this thing! 
Using cobweb weight yarn and size 2mm needles cast on 153sts. 

Knit first and last 3sts on all rows for border.

1: K2 *K1, (wf, k2tog tbl)x3, k3, wf, k3, k3tog, k3, wf, repeat from * to last 12 sts, k1, (wf, k2tog tbl)x3, k5.

2: P4, (p2tog tbl, wrn)x3, p2, *p1, wrn, p2, p3tog, p2, wrn, p3, (p2tog tbl, wrn)x3, p2, repeat from * to last 2sts, p2.

3: K2 *K3, (wf, k2tog tbl)x3, k3, wf, k1, k3tog, k1, wf, k2, repeat from * to last 12 sts, k3, (wf, k2tog tbl)x3, k3.

4: P2, (p2tog tbl, wrn)x3, p4, *p3, wrn, p3tog, wrn, p3, (p2tog tbl, wrn)x3, p4, repeat from * to last 2sts, p2.

5: K2 *K3, (k2tog,wf)x3, k1, wf, k3, k3tog, k3, wf, repeat from * to last 12 sts, k3, (k2tog, wf)x3, k3.

6: P4, (wrn,p2tog)x3, p2,*p1, wrn, p2, p3tog, p2, wrn, p3 (wrn, p2tog)x3, p2, repeat from * to last 2sts, p2.

7: K2 *K1, (k2tog,wf)x3, k5, wf, k1, k3tog, k1, wf, k2, repeat from * to last 12 sts, k1, (k2tog, wf)x3, k5.

8: P6(wrn,p2tog)x3, *p3, wrn, p3tog, wrn, p7 (wrn, p2tog)x3; repeat from * to last 2sts, p2.

(There are 7 repeats of 19sts plus 14sts plus 3sts at each side for border= 153sts)

24 rows pattern. 

Change to garter stitch and shaping. 
1: K79, pm on left hand needle, turn. (You will have sts unworked on this row and the following rows.) 
2: (ws): k5, pm on left hand needle, turn. Center 5 sts are now “framed” with st markers. 
3: (rs): K to marker, remove marker, k5, pm on left hand needle, turn. 
4: (ws): K to marker, remove marker, k5, pm on left hand needle, turn. 
Rep Rows 3 – 4 until you have 3 sts on each end of work between needle tip and marker. 
Last rs row: K to marker, remove marker, k3. 
Last ws row: K to marker, remove marker, k3.)

Bind off all stitches loosely.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think of this!

Thursday, 14 November 2019

My Grandfather's clock.

I finally found the full version of the song I always sang to my children and grandchildren:

My grandfather's clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopped short — never to go again —
When the old man died.
In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent while a boy;
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
And to share both his grief and his joy.
For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride;
But it stopped short — never to go again —
When the old man died.
My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found;
For it wasted no time, and had but one desire —
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its place — not a frown upon its face,
And its hands never hung by its side.
But it stopped short — never to go again —
When the old man died.
It rang an alarm in the dead of the night —
An alarm that for years had been dumb;
And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight —
That his hour of departure had come.
Still the clock kept the time, with a soft and muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side;
But it stopped short — never to go again —
When the old man died.
Ninety years without slumbering
(tick, tock, tick, tock),
His life's seconds numbering,
(tick, tock, tick, tock),
It stopped short — never to go again —
When the old man died