Sunday, 2 April 2017

Completed projects this year

I have been taking a wee break from quilting and have been focusing on knitting projects.  I have been testing out some patterns that we currently sell at Wellington Sewing Center, plus doing a little experimenting.

First project completed this year was my 7 kg blanket.  Its on display in the shop which I had to wheel it in my large suitcase.
I used 7 x 1kg bumps of Ashford corridale sliver - natural stripe, 25mm circular needles and casted on 50 stitches.
I used the window seat to support the weight of the blanket as I knitted it.

50 stitches + 7 bumps = queen size

Ashford corridale sliver

My next projects - a series of children's knitted garments.
Cleckheaton seamless sweater size 8 knitted in Cleakheaton natruals
This pattern is knitted from the neck down on circular needles.
I did have to purchase an extra ball from the pattern recommendation.



Same pattern but knitted in Shephard Colour 4 me. Size 4
Again I used one more ball than what the pattern recommended.
 
This is a little cutie by touch yarns.  Knitted in size 5-7 years.
Two double knit yarns knitted together.
I used 5 balls of 100gm Ashford DK Te kapo

I have been looking at yarn bowls.  Some of them are amazing and very beautiful.  I would break a ceramic bowl and the wooden ones would be heavy in my bag so I need something a bit more practical.
So I started experimenting last night and this is what I finished up with this morning.
Finished product
I crochet my bowl (instructions at the end of this post) using two strands of DK yarn.
Then using my embellisher machine (mini felting machine), I felted the inside.
If you have one of these machines, place the right side facing up.  The felting will happen on the reverse.
Inside is felted
The outside still shows off the crochet stitches.


I created a loop and sewed on a shank button
Close the loop over your yarn and it should roll around nicely.
 
I felted the interior to prevent any loose wool fibres from attaching to the yarn I am knitting. I am using left over yarn from other projects but if your interested in making one, experiment with mixing yarns.  For example:
Here I am knitting the Hitchhikers shawl (Ravery by Martina Belm) using Ashford Opal sock yarn
to give a flash of colour and Alpaca Yarns 4ply as the base colour.

Now I struggle to read crochet patterns let alone write you a stitch by stitch account on how I made my bowl.  So hopefully you can follow these:
Using two strands of DK together make 4 chains into a round using hook size 6mm.
6 Double crochet to create a circle. 
Continue in double crochet rounds until the base if approx. 7" (18cm). Add 1 chain after each double crochet to keep your work flat.
(note: if you want a larger bowl, increase the base size)

This is my approximate width of the base.
Sides:
Continue double crochet for three rounds without adding a chain after every stitch.  Your work should curve thus creating the base of the sides.
Work four rounds of treble crochet or whatever design you like until the sides measure 3" (8cm).
Work two rounds of double crochet to finish.

Felting the inside created a more sturdy bowl.  If you don't want to felt your bowl then I suggest you double crochet up the sides to make it more sturdy.

Add bling or whatever you like to add your personal touch.

Happy stitching
Shirls


Sunday, 19 February 2017

QAYG Another class variation

Last week I attended Coastal Quilters club meeting and was excited to see another quilt completed from my QAYG class held early 2016.

This is Leonie's quilt. I love it.


TOWRAGS

I had the opportunity to attend an exhibition at Old St Pauls church  of 150 quilts made by seven quilt makers calling themselves the  T.O.W.R.A.G.S (Totally Organised Women Religiously Attending Group Stitching).  Was an outstanding display.  My photo's don't do this exhibition justice.

 



 
 
Meet the Quilters (from left to right)
Sheryl, Irene, Pat, Deborah
 
 
(Left to right) Gaynor, Ngaira and Jeanie
 
 
Great show ladies, thank you
 
Shirls

Shetland Belt

Yesterday I held a Zip Art class.   Ladies learnt how to manipulate pieces of zip to enable them to create their own zip art. One of my students Lillian is a Shetland Knitter and brought her knitting belt to show us.  It was a wonderful privilege to touch and try it on.  The purpose of the belt was to enable the knitter to continue with their chores / work while knitting as they go.
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/180/a-shetland-woman-knitting Follow this link to view a similar belt in action.

 
Lillian's Shetland Knitting belt made by her Father out of leather.

Close up.  Different hole sizes for different needles.

Lillian's shawl she made when she was 12 years old using her belt.
 
Traditional Shetland Man's cardigan made for Lillian's husband by her mother in the 1970s.
Check out both sides of the gloves.

The inside of the cardigan.  So perfectly and evenly knitted.
 
I'm wearing Lillian's belt.  The needles used are double pointed.
 
Thank you Lillian for sharing.
 
Shirley

Sunday, 5 February 2017

QAYG class variation

These are two variations using my QAYG template.  The white background quilt has been my main class sample.  During my classes we have played around with layouts using students blocks.  I finally have put together another variation in the greys.





For those of you who have attended my previous QAYG classes, you can use the same templates but instead of laying the first piece at the bottom of your diamond batting/backing, you place it on the side of the diamond.
My grey quilt isn't finished although I have sewn on the binding.  In the future I will eventually square up the sides to create a more functional quilt but for now its an ok size and weight to travel to Christchurch for my QAYG 2017 symposium class.

One of the major hiccups when creating QAYG blocks is demonstrated below.  See even I do it!! - Sew without checking the previous seam has been sewn in correctly.
 

There is no getting around this.  I took out the block and unpicked it.
Here are two tips I hope you will find useful when unpicking and recreating your block.
Use a lint roller to help pick up your unpicked threads.


Close your sewing holes by lightly spraying water onto your fabric, then gently rubbing with your finger making sure you don't warp any bias edges.  Finally iron dry.










I have been focused on finishing a knitted blanket which needs to be completed this week.  Will post you the photos soon.

happy stitching
Shirley


Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Iron Caddy Tote

Happy New Year - this is my first posting for 2017.  I have been busy working on a couple of projects that are not going too well.  Bit sad really as I have been doing an awful lot of unpicking.

To take a break from these projects I started making an Iron Caddy for a friend's birthday last night.  I also need to make a couple for my class irons.  I used the free pattern available from Tri Country Quilters.com.  http://tricountyquilters.weebly.com/uploads/3/0/2/4/3024945/iron_caddytote.pdf

 
This pattern is easy to follow however I did find a little error on the diagram page regarding measurements.  The final height is 19 1/2".  The lower and upper middle sections should be 6 1/4" in height not 6 1/2".  My other recommendation would be not to precut your fabrics and batting to the correct size before sewing.  It is easier to trim down to the correct size.  I found my fabrics moved & shrunk quite a bit when sewing and I was very reluctant to put pin holes into the Silver Iron Board fabric.
I used wonderclips to hold the layers together instead of pins.  This worked very well.

The only material I had difficulty in finding within New Zealand was the Silver Iron Board Fabric.
I spoke with quite a few suppliers late last year who are unable to bring this product in the country due to the cost plus shipping.  So if I can't find a product in NZ my next best place is :Nancysnotions.com.  Product link below.
http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/by+the+yard+-+iron+quick+fabric.do


I didn't make my own binding or handles - opting for ready made bias binding and webbing for handles.  I used flat buttons rather than ones on a shank.  When the mat is laid out  shank buttons will raise the corners.

Back to my "stalled" quilts.

Happy stitching
Shirls