Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year and a Smocked Dress

To end off my last post for the year here is a photo of my granddaughter on Christmas day.

She is wearing the very first smocked dress I made, not for her but for her mom all those years ago. I used a variety of stitches and colours and just had fun. She is a real girl and loves dressing up and putting on shoes. But yes that is a car she is holding! Her big brother who is 3 likes to play with her and teaches her how to play cars.

The last day of 2013 already and tomorrow the start of a new year! How time flies. I wish all my readers a very happy, healthy 2014 and lots of pleasant times for stitching. Thank you for all your comments and support. It's been lovely chatting to you whether through comments, email or in person in the supermarket.

Till next time, Happy New Year and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Stocking for the Christmas Tree

Someone reminded me this week about my little Christmas stockings. She had just come across one that she had made after a workshop I gave at an Embroidery Guild Christmas meeting a few years ago.

I've put all my workshop notes together, and the pattern for the Christmas stocking is now available in my Etsy shop Lynlubell - just in time for you to make one up before Christmas.

The finished stocking is about 9.5cm high and is ideal to hang on the Christmas tree. You can even add some small surprises as a little gift for a special friend.

You could also add some beads or sequins to the little stocking for extra Christmassy sparkle.

If you'd like a pattern, click here for the link to my shop Lynlubell on Etsy.
We have family visiting for Christmas so it may be a while until my next post. It will be a busy time with two little grandsons in the house but what fun it will be to enjoy Christmas through the eyes of a 3 year old.
Till then, happy stitching and have a wonderfully happy and safe festive season!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Space dyed yarn

Its a while since I did any knitting and using spaced dyed knitting yarn was new to me. It gives the effect of fair isle knitting but without the careful counting of stitches and the changing of colours every few stitches. The results seem unpredictable until you've knitted a few repeats of the dyed lengths of the yarn, but its intriguing to the last stitch. 

This was for my soon-to-be 1 year old granddaughter. The pattern was a free one from Red Heart and the yarn was Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter double knitting.

If you are looking for a good wool shop in Cape Town try Orion Wool and Crafts in Gardens. Roger provides a friendly, helpful service and has a good range of knitting yarn and some embroidery threads too.

At the same time as I knitted the pink jersey, my daughter knitted a tiny blue one using King Cole Splash double knitting.  We had quiet, companionable evenings sitting together knitting and comparing notes as we went along. Yes, we knitted in the steamy heat of Bangkok! Who notices the heat when you are visiting from another continent and you have an opportunity to sit and knit with your daughter?

The blue jersey is a very small size and the repeats of the dyed length are longer so the results are quite different. I just love the pretty band of coloured fair isle of this one.

One thing we did discover is that to get the fronts to look similar, and the sleeves to look similar, you have to make sure that you start the second front, or sleeve, at the same spot along the length of the dyed repeat of the yarn. We really wanted those bands of colour to match up on each side or we'd have had the random look which seemed a bit too busy for a baby. We were a little puzzled as to how we were going to do that, but once you have knitted the back and then one of the fronts you get to know the wool and how the pattern of the space dyed yarn works. Perhaps this is all quite obvious to experienced knitters. It took us a while to figure it out.

Knitting for babies is rewarding because it goes quickly. The fair isle effect of the space dyed yarns makes for interesting knitting and I'd love to try another little jersey soon.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas presents

In my last post I said I'd been busy making pyjamas for my two grandsons. Here they are ready for wrapping and posting, together with a pair for a little cousin who is the same age.

Its a while since I have been able to buy pure cotton t-shirting to make my own t-shirts. These t-shirts are from a local chain store. I simply cut out cars from the pants fabric and appliqued them onto the t-shirts so that they 'match' the pants.
Usually I leave my Christmas shopping and present making to the last minute. In a way this year is different yet not too different. One pair of pyjamas has to reach Brisbane by Christmas Day. Tomorrow I'm off to the post office.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dresden Lace Whitework Embroidery

For years I have been fascinated by Dresden Lace embroidery and wondered whether it is possible for me to do something similar. Most pulled work today is done on linen, but the Dresden Lace embroidered in the 18th Century is very fine and that is what I find so appealing. The embroidery itself is mostly counted work and usually includes a wide range of pulled work stitches combined with shadow work and a limited number of surface stitches.

Its taken a while to find suitable fabric - fabric that is made from a natural fibre, is fairly transparent and that has a high thread count.  With this fine fabric, I have found that a magnifier and a good light are a must to be able to see and count the threads.

The year is drawing to an end and on reflection I seem to have done rather little embroidery. I did however put a couple of small items on the CEG exhibition a couple of months ago. This Dresden Lace Lily was one of them. Its one of a number of similar pieces that I have been working on during the year.
1. Dresden Lace Lily embroidered by Lyn Warner.

The design was adapted from a sleeve ruffle which appears in Heather Toomer's book Embroidered with White. Another challenge was to find unusual stitches and stitches that vary in texture.

2. Dresden Lace Lily embroidered by Lyn Warner
The other piece I had on the exhibition was a small canvas work book cover and I'll post a photo of that soon. Now to get back to the pyjamas I'm making for my little grandsons - pyjamas with cars on them.