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11  First effort at Crewelwork - UPDATED in Needlework: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: February 26, 2012 09:46:32 AM
I decided to take a course with the Royal School of Needlework (based just outside of London).  It is a certificate in technical hand embroidery, I have four topics to do, and decided to start with Crewelwork!  

Crewelwork is worked in wool threads on a heavy linen twill.  I had to design my own image in the Jacobean style.  Sadly I struggled to find information on Crewelwork or the Jacobean style so had to wing it slightly.  The course syllabus gave guidance on the elements that needed to be included, these where:

tree of life
over sized leaves and flowers
an animal

I managed to draw most the the elements, except the parrot and flower and leaf at the top of the image.  I photocopied these out of the only book I could find on the subject, that was sadly short on words but, thankfully, heavy on design ideas!

My tutors at the RSN suggested the spray of "berries" at the top of the image and I was off!  picking the colour palette was lots of fun, along with learning all the stitches.  I have never worked this technique before, so I learnt an awful lot!  

sadly I didn't get pictures of it in progress, so I only have the final project which is this:

As I have enjoyed crewelwork so much, I have decided I want to try a few small designs to play with stitches and colour, I have come up with a butterfly but am also working on a couple of other shapes to fill!  

My next topic is blackwork - which I am also really looking forward to!

UPDATE:  I have just realised I have some additional pictures of the piece, sadly it is before the "parrot-scaping"  that is the trimming of a stitch call Turkey rug stitch (on the parrot's head).  Turkey rug stitch is a series of loops and holding stitches that you then trim and shape!  quite fun but quite unnerving when you take a pair of scissors to you work!!

Anyway here we go!

this is a close up of the middle leaf, the stitches covering it is known as trellis work.  Basically, long stitches that come up at one edge and go down at the opposite edge, width and length wise with a securing stitch where they cross.  This should form squares (that's when you know you have done it right)  you then fill in as desired.  if you look at the belly of the bird it is also stitched in this manor with french knots around where the threads cross.  On the leaf I went all out and formed a sort of tartan pattern with large squares overlaid on the basic grid, with french knots to hide the plunged threads.  I then couched the same colour as the french knots (yellow) with the basic grid colour (dark blue)  using the basic grid as a guide to place my hold stitches.

this is a close up of the top of the piece, lots of decorative surface stitches, most of which I hadn't tried before.  Also scary blending of block shading and long and short (where the turquoise blends with the purple just above the parrots head.

this is the bottom, mainly seed stitch and long and short shading, which started of fun, but became a bit of a headache!  the two hillocks are burden stitch (on the left) which is made up of vertical long stitches with small interlock horizontal stitches over the top (it can also work with short vertical stitches over horizontal long stitches) and chain stitches on the right - that was fun to do, especially gettin the middle row straight ( or nearly straight!)

hope you like the close ups
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12  Safari Sweeties! in Knitting: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: November 21, 2011 08:54:37 AM
I found these patterns in a magazine in the UK and have been knitting them on and off ever since!  My cousin and his wife recently had their first child, so I thought they would be ideal!

here they are together:


The new baby (Erin) got them last weekend and I introduced her to each one.  She seemed to be fascinated by Mr Elephant but was a little freaked out by Mr Zebra.  However she was only about six weeks old at the time, being held by a stranger (me) and hungry!!

It turns out that they have decorated her room with a african safari/wild animal theme (which I didn't know about) so they fit in perfectly!

All of the patterns have been added to ravelry now if anyone is interested in the details (sadly no patterns) look for designer Alan Dart
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13  OMG! Finally its done! in Needlework: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: November 08, 2011 08:47:42 AM
OMG Finally its done!

I must have started this one sometime in 2006/2007 and finished it a couple of weeks ago.  It has moved with me three times and I have been making excuses about not finishing, ie too cold or not enough light!  Finally enough was enough and I decided to finish it once and for all, then I stopped for a few weeks, before deciding enough was enough and... well you get the picture.  BUT - OMG Finally its done!

It is a Gold Collection Kit, that I have had stashed away for sometime, the count is quite small.  And really I have no excuse for not finishing it, but I will keep making them anyway!

some detail shots:




The threads and tassels on the swords handles had to be made up from leftover yarn and then couched down.


Skirt (with metallic threads):

Peacock tail:

You can't seem them very well but there are some french knots done in metallic threads - nightmare!! Shocked

As this was a big project I couldn't really take to work to do at lunch so I fitted in these little ones as well:

Can't remember if have shown this one to you so I thought I would show it again!!

the individual pictures (please excuse the ring marks!:

And this one:

I felt I had to do this one, as I learnt to knit using a shaun the sheep kit; therefore a picture of shaun the sheep knitting in cross stitched seemed perfect....in my head.  Say it out loud or writing it down does make it seem a bit daft!!

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14  Yet another tardis.... in Knitting: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: September 12, 2011 08:40:18 AM
Don't get my wrong, I love Dr Who, but this is my fourth tardis and I knocked it out in about two weeks!!  A friend of my was getting married and she and her Fiance asked if they could borrow one of the original three (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=372370.msg4381553#msg4381553)  but as they had gone to their new owners, this was a little impractical!  so I made a new one!!

It was personalised with their initials


and they date they got married:

I put a piece of card in the bottom to make it stand upright and added ribbons so they could use it as a ring cushion as well.  I haven't seen the wedding pictures yet but the bride was pretty keen on this idea  Grin  demo below with one of my rings!

I got a text from the bride a few days after the wedding letting me know that everyone had a great day, they had lots of lovely comments on the tardis and she would send me pictures when they came through - I can't wait to see them!!
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15  A little bit more Crochet!! in Crochet: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: September 12, 2011 08:33:50 AM
As I have said previously, this year I learnt to Crochet.  I found this beautiful pattern on ravelry


- the original blog post:  http://knot-cha-cha.blogspot.com/2010/06/tutorial-for-understatement-necklace.html

And after  several weeks of searching I found some beads and thread that I liked.  Armed with a crochet hook from the set my sister gave me for christmas, and I was off.  This pattern is quite simple (even with the beads) and I managed to knock this one out quite quickly:

I decided one wasn't enough when I saw a beautiful blue variegated yarn in my local craft shop and came up with this one:

I had planned to do some others as the shop I got the beads from had them in every colour.  Sadly they sold out quite quickly and had no plans to restock, then the shop closed down  Huh  However I think I can get them on-line, but am also going to try the next craft exhibition that comes up.

by the way, they threads I used were Anchor embroidery cotton, and have loads of it left!!
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16  A Blanket for Squiggle in Crochet: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: July 18, 2011 07:10:58 AM
I first learnt crochet around christmas time last year, so I have little over seven months experience.  My first efforts can be found here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=372628.msg4384470#msg4384470

Of course seven months is exactly the right about of experience to be designing and crocheting my first every baby blanket!  So when I found out that the wife of a colleague of mine was due to have their fourth (and final) child and I set to work.  Having waited long enough to find out the baby's gender I settled on the idea of a garden and hit the internet!

The design element was for the overall look of the blanket not designing the patterns.  For that I used patterns found on both Ravelry and the Lion Brand website (all free Grin).  Six weeks and 70 odd hexagons later I had this:

close up of the pond:

The fish were my own pattern!

the lilies (x2)

lily pad

And daisies on the lawn (x9):

And for luck for "Squiggle" (this was the name mum gave her bump) I found this:

this started as a three leaf clover, but I added an extra leaf for luck!

Squiggle was born on Friday and has been dubbed Naomi Melody, the blanket has gone in the post today.  I was hoping to get it to them before the birth, but Squiggle decided that she couldn't wait any longer and came two week early.  Everyone is happy and healthy!!

The best bit is the parents don't know anything about the blanket!!  Can't wait to hear what they think of it!

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17  First attempts at crochet in Crochet: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: February 09, 2011 08:37:48 AM
For Christmas I sister bought me crochet hooks, crochet yarns and the Encyclopedia of Crochet Techniques (which is excellent).  So boxing day I sat with my new book, hooks and yarn and start playing around with them.  First I tried practising doubles, half trebles, trebles and double trebles.  I got bored with the basic stitches so decided to go with a little shell stitch to see if I could get the effect, it wasn't too bad, although I didn't really understand turning chains!! (I think I do now!)

You can see my first attempt here (in red)

The blue is my first crochet in the round, not too bad although the cast off wasn't great (more obvious in the flesh)

I enjoyed the crochet round so much that I gave another pattern ago (the blue one below)  unfortunately I did this wrong and wasn't able to build up the rest of the square!  So I moved on to the red and white hexagon which was fun to do, although it won't lay flat, I think this might be due to tension or something!

Having been successful with the hexagon I tried the round to a square pattern again, in red and white. This time I  managed to count properly and therefore build the layers into a square, sadly when I finished if off I realised I had miscounted on the final section  Undecided.  I decided I wouldn't let this put me off and made a cute little flower and a spiral to cheer myself up!! 

Having grown bored of practising I decided I wanted to do a proper project (I also had a gem of an idea forming in my head, so I came up with this:

I used CanCan yarn to get the ruffles which was attached to a base of double trebles made up to fit a cushion I found in a charity shop.  I kept adding another round and offering it up to the cushion until it seemed about the right size.  Then halved the original numbers to get a semi circle pattern for the back, of which I made up two and they look like this:

My sister suggested the ribbon to lace the cushion which I thought finished it off nicely.

We also had a looming birthday, the lady in question loves to read so when I found this pattern on Ravelry, I knew she would like it:

These were all finished around the third week of january, so not bad going I thought!!
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18  More Willow Weaving in Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: February 07, 2011 08:09:32 AM
Last summer my sister and I took a day course on willow weaving and both came back very happy with baskets we had made. 

The tutor of our course contacted us again to say that she was holding a half day class on willow weaving for christmas, so we both jumped at the chance to go back and have another go!!

although we made a number of different bits and pieces, I am particularly please with the willow chain I made.  We took lengths of prepared willow and wrapped them around a jar to get the circular shape, slid the willow of the jar and then wrapped the ends into the circle.  To make a chain, you follow the same process but thread the piece of will through the previous circle before wrapping it around the jar.  I then added a small star to either end using short lengths of the same willow and tied the ends together with raffia.

We decided to us it as a garland to decorate the curtain pole above our window, using ribbon to tie it on:

and putting a small beaded star in the middle (I also made the star!!)

The whole this looks like this (bad photo I know  Undecided)

We have decided to leave it up all year because we quite like the effect!!

After completing the beaded star, I go the bug for beading and found a wonderful kit at my local hobby store.  Following the instructions produced this:

Which I think is quite beautiful, but have only had the time to make one.  I am wondering about having a play with the beads and coming up with something else, but only time will tell!!

Along the theme of beading...

my sister and I have decided we will try to make something for our christmas tree each year.  So when we found this kit at a show we decided to buy it and have a play:

Again following the instructions produced this:

My sister had a play and came up with another design, but I didn't get pictures of that  Embarrassed

Lastly, I made this about 2 years ago.  I learnt bobbin lace as a child and decided to revisit it with a book found in the library, unfortunately this was the only piece I made as the book needed returning!

However, I think it is really cute, my little bookworm bookmark!:

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19  Epic Christmas Knitting & post!! in Knitting: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: February 07, 2011 03:56:51 AM
....well for me anyway!  Last May I cast on one of my favourite projects, which I christened "The Tardye Project".  I found a tardis pattern on Ravelry and set about collecting the appropriate yarns and needles.  I decided to make it as a gift for three little boys I know, unfortunately the don't share, so I had to make three tardises (hence the name Tardye, I don't know if it is the plural for Tardis but it worked!!)

I decided to mark each one with the child's initials so that they could distinguish which one was their own.  So to the pictures:

It took a long time to get all of the pieces done, I tried intarsia but didn't get on with it so decided to knit each panel and add the detail in afterwards.  This worked really well because the detail was raised slightly of the panel which gave it an extra dimension.  

Close up of the detail:

My sister agreed to knit the pieces for one tardis and I did the rest, as you can see we came up with three different sizes!!

Half way through the project I decided that a tardis phone cover and tree ornament would be perfect for their mum and the christmas tree, so I abandoned the tardye and set to work on this:

personalised with mums initial.  We had a slight crisis when we realised that it would not fit her phone, so I unpicked it and my sister knitted a small strip to sit between the two panels and then reassembled the sock, thankfully it fitted!!

For their father, I decided to something a little less Sci-Fi and went with "The Accountants Scarf", again found on Ravelry (can you tell I love Ravelry???), it is a ribbed seed (moss) stitch and looks pretty good done!

then of course the christmas tree ornament - the boys made salt dough ornaments for us last year so I returned the favour with this:

both the phone sock and ornament were self designed.  Towards the end of this project I was heartily sick of blue yarn.....

So, to break up the Tardye monotony I decided to cast on a couple of novelty scarves, one in bobbley yarn:

for a friend for christmas and these three in Flounce

the red/black one is mine, blue for my sister and brown for another friend for christmas.

And this one completed post christmas (yet another gift for the mother of the Tardye children)

in CanCan and had to be ripped back about a gazillion times!!

Also not pictured is an iPhone "hoodie" for my sister that was finished yesterday, I am not happy with it but she won't give it back so I can rip it out and start again!!!

I think I might be all knitted out!!
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20  Some little things I have been working on! Mickey and Gold Work in Needlework: Completed Projects by Vicelikeplague on: September 08, 2010 06:03:22 AM
I have said before on this board that I love cross stitch and have been doing it a long time.  Until recently I had lost my stitching mojo a bit  Embarrassed

But I think I might have it back!  I started with this little piece (which I got a little obsessive with!)

I tidied the edges of it slightly because I quite enjoy the effect fractional stitches give.

I have been looking at expanding my skills, as I don't do any other type of embroidery.  Whilst wandering around the internet I discovered the website of the Royal School of Needlework based at Hampton Court Palace (just outside of London) and decided I wanted to do a Goldwork course.  This decision was made last year around the time my mum wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas, so I sent her a link and she booked it for me!   Grin  

I got a little over excited about this (as I am prone to doing) so when I saw a goldwork taster hour at a stitching show I was looking to attend I decided to book that as well (it was on 7!)

so this is my first ever piece of goldwork, started at Olympia in March:

Unfortunately there wasn't time to finish it in the hour, so I took it home with the intention of finishing.  Sadly I chicken out (I didn't want to ruin it)  but the nice ladies at the RSN gave me advice on how to finish it off.  And I'm quite proud of it!!

The piece I started during my day course at the RSN is now finished as well and looks like this:

I enjoyed myself so much, I am going to try and treat myself to a course at the RSN every quarter (if I can afford it)
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