Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paterna Wool, no more

Last week I was very disappointed to find out that Paterna wool will no longer be available in Cape Town.

I will miss it because its the wool I most like using for needlepoint stitching on a 14 count canvas. I use one strand and it gives a good coverage of the canvas. It also has a lovely feel when you work with it.

Flower and Cushion Stitch pincushion

For years, Janet Grey has been the only local stockist of Paterna. She is however no longer able to get it from her supplier in the UK as the owner there has sadly passed away after a long illness and the future of his business seems uncertain. So Janet will now stock Appletons crewel wool instead.

This means a change over for me to using 2 strands of Appletons on a 14 count canvas instead of a single strand of Paterna, but Janet assures me that it works well and also that the range of colours is very good. She has ordered the first batch of Appletons and it should arrive quite soon. For the moment I continue to use Paterna wool for my pincushions.

The exciting news is that after talking about it for years, my friend Beryl Saunders and I are designing some patterns for needlepoint pincushions that we will soon have for sale on Etsy.

The photo above is a preview of our first design. The pattern will come complete with full instructions for all the stitches used in the design as well as the design chart. It will be available in pdf format which means that you can download it immediately, print it and start stitching. I will let you know as soon as the pattern is available.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bonnet Stitch

Here is my experiment with Bonnet stitch, a new stitch to me but fun to work. It's a line stitch and something like a twisted herringbone with a chain variation. It's the stitch of the week over on Pintangle's TAST - Take a Stitch Tuesday.

I'm not entirely sure which way the upright bit should twist or if it really matters? And talking of twisting, in the top line of stitches on my sample I tried ending the stitch slightly differently: Along the bottom of the row on the left it has a twisted look, like a twisted chain stitch. On the right it looks more like a normal chain stitch. I think I prefer the twisted look. Do you?

Take a look too at the lovely Bonnet stitch piece here on Ella's Craft Creations done with white thread, pearls and crytals and a softly painted background. It's like a breath of fresh air to look at.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Little tracksuits

Another visit by a dear little grandson is over. I was busy in the weeks before he arrived sewing long pants and little zip-up tracksuit tops to keep him warm in chilly Cape Town. He needs little more than shorts and T-shirts in steamy Bangkok. I was relieved when Liam arrived to find that they all fitted him.

To add a little character, I cut out motifs from a cotton print and appliqued them to the tops.

While sewing, I had a few problems with my trusty old Bernina. I kept breaking the double needles! In the end I had to do without them. I use them to give a nice neat finish around the ribtrim and on the elastic top of the pants. For some reason the needle shank of the double needles is smaller than that of a single needle which worked fine.

It turns out that the clamp on my machine which holds the needle was worn and Bernina don't make the parts any more! Luckily I was able to get a second hand part, but it doesn't bode well for future snags with my machine. It also made me realise that I was making tracksuits on it for Liam's mom when she was his age - some 30 years ago. How time flies!