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1  California / California: North / Craft supply shops in San Francisco? on: August 17, 2017 07:57:53 AM
I am visiting my daughter in San Francisco in September. I'd really love to take advantage of the excellent craft shops in the US so would be most grateful for any advice about shopping for fabric, yarn, threads etc in San Francisco - preferably within walking distance of Haight Ashbury where my daughter lives.
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Gone Fishing on: August 03, 2016 03:36:24 AM
Our Needlecraft Guild competition theme this year was Around the Pond.

This was my entry in the Miscellaneous Category.
He is a soft bodied doll with button jointed arms and legs.
His fishing rod is a bamboo skewer and the fishing reel is a press stud - the kind with a hole through the middle so it can be held on with a pin and with a beading pin cut and bent to shape and glued on with super glue to form a handle. So it does actually turn - a little Wink
His fold-up seat was made from ice lolly sticks (Ours have Childline numbers stamped into them which took me  long time to sand off) and bamboo skewers cut to size.
He has one fish on his line and one in the catch net in his pocket. I filled their bodies with fine sand to weigh them down a bit.
The frog trying to escape from a pocket is made from beads and is a little two dimensional.
The jersey is knitted from the top down more or less from the pattern I posted here
and the hat is a circle cut from the woven raffia you sometimes get wrapped around a bunch of flowers, stiffened with diluted PVA glue and shaped over a ball in a cup.
The judge liked the piece and gave him a first.
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Around the Pond lap rug on: July 29, 2016 08:38:05 AM
The theme for our Needlecraft Guild competition this year was Around the Pond.  For my crochet entry I took inspiration from A Blanket for Squiggle by Vicelikeplague.

My inspiration for the terrapins came from http://www.crochetbug.com/all-roads-lead-to-fresno/;
for the rabbits from http://lovethebluebird.blogspot.com/2012/04/spring-bunny-tutorial.html; and the water lilies were modified from http://www.hopefulhoney.com/2015/04/dahlia-hexagon-crochet-pattern.html;
The fish I made up myself using a standard pineapple for head and body and the snake was an exercise in crocheting a two colour spiral.

4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / organza applique cafe curtain on: July 25, 2016 10:36:36 AM
The theme for my Needlecraft Guild challenge this year was Around the Pond and this was my entry in the embroidery category. 

I made a cafe curtain because I needed one for a bedroom and also because all my embroidery has to justify its existence. so even a competition entry still has to be useful.
The background is white organza for the sky and blue for the water.  All the plants  are organza, fixed with fusible web and blanket stitched around the raw edges - apart from the iris and bulrush leaves and stems which are organza ribbon that was slip-stitched into place. The dragonflies wings are white organza with a silver print and they have bead heads and bodies.

I got the applique design for the irises from http://www.quilterscache.com/I/IrisWreathBlock.html nd the design for the frog from http://azcoloring.com/coloring-page/19879?album=frog-prince-coloring-pages

The curtain is lined with white organza and I used white satin bias binding to finish the loops for hanging.
There are a lot of mistakes. In particular one of the irises is concealing a large hole that I melted with the iron when applying fusible web.  Tongue  And my stitching got rather uneven towards the end.  But the judge liked it enough to give me third place which I was glad to have as it was rather more than it deserved.
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Jacket from vintage pattern on: July 24, 2016 04:44:56 AM
I've been away from craftster for a bit but I have been busy making things - just haven't gotten around to posting them.

This is from an old pattern that belonged to my mother-in-law.  The pattern is by Lux and just calls for Double Knitting wool of any make.

I dont know the date of the pattern but Lux were still using the "If it's Safe in Water, it's Safe in Lux" slogan. I guess they hadn't heard of goldfish.  Roll Eyes

The stitch is a bit like a moss stitch but with slipped stitches carried up to the row above.

I used acrylic yarn from an ugly twin set I  had made years ago where the tension had gotten looser as I knitted so the whole thing ended up very shapeless.  I did wear it occasionally but decided I could make something better with the yarn. After unravelling and washing to remove the kinks I soaked it in a lot of fabric softener and that made it much easier to roll into balls and to knit with.
If I make this pattern again I won't do the pockets as they don't hold their shape at all. Also I need to learn how to stitch up seams.  Mine turned out very lumpy especially on the cuff which is knitted in one long strip and I had to sew the cast off edge to the cast on edge.  Sad

I much prefer knitting in the round and no seams, but that wasn't entirely possible for this design.

6  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Mat for animal shelter on: September 30, 2015 11:23:31 AM
At our monthly Needlecraft guild meeting a couple of months ago we set aside the whole afternoon for making these mats to go under the dog and cat beds at a our local Friends Animal Welfare foundation.
Someone had donated bags and bags of fabric off cuts.  The non-knitters/crocheters cut the fabric into strips and looped the strips into continuous lengths of yarn and rolled them up into huge balls.
Those of us who had large knitting needles or crochet hooks knitted or crocheted the yarn into square mats. They will go under the pet beds and will provide insulation during the cold weather.

This is a picture of mine.  It took a lot of yarn and was very hard on the hands. Just as well there were so many of us. Wink

And here it is half way through showing the large needles I used for it. They are about 13mm diameter.
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bargello-work bag on: September 22, 2015 12:29:34 AM
Every year the Needlecraft Guild, to which I belong, has a year long project where we work on a sampler or similar and learn new techniques or stitches every month. Last year it was a strip of bargello work and when it was finished I turned it into a small bag.

My colour choice was a bit eclectic as I wasn't thinking of what I would use the sampler for when it was finished but was merely practising the technique.  So the design on the flap was not part of the project but was a design I found in one of our Guild library books and used to finish off the rest of the canvas and also to try and pull together the random colours I'd used.
The other stitches are all the stitches that we worked on over the course of the year.

  The Back

   The Front

The crochet butterfly was added because after I had done the lining I discovered a flaw in the fabric.  Embarrassed

I found it quite difficult working with canvas to make it into a bag.  I'd love to know how other people manage to turn their  tapestry into something useful as the canvas is very stiff, bulky and unwieldy.
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Frozen style Ice princess hat on: September 16, 2015 08:39:32 AM
A lady I know is undergoing chemo and friends have been making hats for her.  Her little daughter said she would like a hat too to be like mum so I crocheted this ice princess style hat for her.

The blue crown is held on by two buttons so is removable.

I wanted the hat to look as if it was made of snowflakes so I used the row of daisies pattern that sonnetbird used to make an afghan and modified it to work in the round - which was a bit of a mission and the start of each row spirals round the hat but it isn't really obvious so I think it works.  Except that it doesn't really look like snowflakes. They still look like daisies to me.  But she likes it which is the main thing.
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bird silhouette on: September 04, 2015 08:38:09 AM
At last month's Needlecraft guild meeting we got a little kit of a piece of calico and an outline shape to trace - either a bird or a butterfly.  Then we practised the technique of outlining the shape in french knots that start out very close together and then move further apart.  Changing  the shade of embroidery thread also adds to the effect.
   This is the bird I made

but since I am never happy unless my embroidery has some purpose in life, I turned it into a child's apron using some spare calico I had in store, with a scrap of green satin ribbon to prettify the waistband

I also embellished the pocket by inserting some green embroidery thread using the pulled-thread technique.

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / 25 squares cardigan on: August 30, 2015 04:20:12 AM
Our Needlecraft Guild competition this year had the theme of "25" as it was our 25th anniversary.  For my entry in the knitting/crochet class I devised a square that was knitted from the centre out so that it had exactly the same number of stitches on each side and the squares could be grafted together instead of sewn. (I do not like sewing up my knitting.  I always get it wrong and it looks lumpy)

This jacket/coat/cardigan  is made of exactly 25 squares. Here it is modelled by my daughter, although it is way too large for her.

Technical details
The yarn I used was Elle Escapade DK  col. 371 Ginger Glow. I don't think it is available any more.  This yarn is 100 % Acrylic  and the cardigan took 5 x 100g balls.
I used two 6 mm circulars needles for each square and I used  a very long one for finishing the edging.

Although I carefully knitted a tension square and calculated all the dimensions it turned out rather larger than I intended.

Here it is laid out flat.

The buttons are Dorset buttons made from slices of pvc pipe, sanded smooth and wrapped with the same yarn as the cardigan.

As I promised I have attached a pdf of the pattern for the square.  I hope I have made it clear enough but my notes were a little scruffy.
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