28 December 2014

'Twelve Days of Christmas' Socks

Many of us are World Champions when it comes to starting new projects, but find it a little more difficult to finish these projects, as there are so many other fun projects to start! I'm a prime example! I have a book which is jam-packed with beautiful sock patterns (Around the World in Knitted Socks), and I want to knit most of them. Well, at least make a start on them... It seems it will take me two years to finish each pair, so the 26 different models will keep me busy for the rest of my life.

Two years ago I finished my first pair from the book (link), and I have been using them this Christmas as my official Christmas socks. As soon as I finished the first pair, however, I started on another pair, which I finished today. Yay! I think they will replace the first pair as my official Christmas socks, or perhaps they could be my Twelve Days of Christmas socks. They have the right two turtle doves theme to be appropritate.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Grab a UFO (UnFinished Object) and finish it! Big or small doesn't matter, it will be most satisfying no matter what!

20 December 2014

Deck the Halls

In a recent episode on Design Matters TV, Linda Kemshall demonstrated how to make some beautiful little Christmas ornaments, and I was so intrigued that I had to make one myself.

The shape of the ornament wasn't unfamiliar to me. In fact, Ive seen something similar by Clover called a 'Clam Shell Accessories Case'. You can buy the pieces that make up the walls of the case, and cover them with the fabric of your choice. In DMTV Linda demonstrated that it is very easy to make these pieces yourself from card or sturdy watercolour paper. Or why not stencil plastic to make them even sturdier? For a Christmas ornament, however, card is probably enough, as most of the time it will just be hanging in your home looking pretty. I say most of the time, because you can also use them for hiding little objects or sweets, if you leave an opening, so they'll have to be able to withstand a bit of handling. If you don't have access to DMTV, Clover has also published an instructional video that will show you another method for making these little cases.

So, with a bit of patience, three little leaf-shaped fabric-covered pieces of card

could turn into something like this:

And if you want to hide something inside it, you just press it open like this:

Pretty neat, right?

And while I'm on the subject, here's another Christmas ornament that Linda and Laura Kemshall have inspired me to make. A few years ago I learned from them how to make triangular hanging bags (here's one that I've made), and that inspired me to make a tiny version that you could hang on your Christmas tree. There's room for a sweet in this one too!

It is so enjoyable to make precious little ornaments like these that I'm thinking perhaps I should start a tradition and make a new one very year.

Thanks for visiting!

18 December 2014

I [heart] Sashiko

If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I enjoy experimentation just as much as working with a particular product in mind. However, once in a while it's very satisfying to actually finish a project that's been hanging around in the UFO (UnFinished Objects) basket for a while. A few days ago I put the final touches to a little sashiko drawstring purse that I started working on 1,5 years ago, on my trip to England and The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. For this little baggie I followed the instructions in Susan Briscoe's The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook.

This image will illustrate how I went about creating the sashiko embroidery:

I marked the fabric with the help of my favorite marking tool, a Prym mechanical chalk pencil, and a circle cut out from card.

On one side of the purse I embroidered a pattern called 'linked seven treasures' (shippo tsunagi)

and on the other side a pattern called 'circular Bishamon' (maru bishamon) for courage, prosperity and protection.

This is what it looks like when the purse is closed:

I love the flower decorations at the end of the strings:

I hope I have inspired you to try some sashiko embrodery. The stitches are basically just a running stitch where the gap between the stitches should be shorter than the stitches themselves. I'm always amazed by how much you can do and how beautiful work you can create with the simple running stitch. I think it must be my favourite stitch along with French knots!

Thanks for visiting my blog!