Thursday, February 28, 2013


I have actually finished a few odds and ends recently. This first is part of my felted sweater project--a knitting needle holder for a friend's birthday present (late, as usual).
Last Christmas I made a bunch of crayon prints. In the evenings, I've been working on finishing up those I hadn't gotten done in a more timely manner. I'll be ready for next year early!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Great week for mail!

Last week was a great week for fun mail. First, I'd won a prize in Wooly Thread's recent giveaway days.

I was thrilled to learn the Talliferro pomegranate pattern and instructions would be mine. The package of instructions is really complete and I've been wishing I'd thought to order the threads for the design at the same time.  I will soon. (I am a customer of Wooly Thread and think their service is great.)

I also received another package with treasures from Eileen's estate. This one came a round-about route, but arrived safe and sound. (Thanks!) With an extra--a package of Waitrose Shortbread. It was really hard but I shared it with my office mates one afternoon. I brought the rest home to savor.
The package had some lovely needlework items in it.
This is one of several pieces of Battenburg Lace (left)--and a smaller, older piece of Princess lace (right). Both are tape laces made with similar techniques.

I've never seen colors like these in a Chinese embroidery before. I just love the rosy-peachy tones.

This drawn thread table topper is amazing--this is one corner. And it is in great shape--obviously well cared for.

As is this needle lace table runner/dresser scarf. I haven't yet had time to thoroughly explore these pieces.

This card has some unusual old trim. It's shown along with some lovely crochet edging--quite a long piece--and a piece of very fine, very old bobbin lace.

I've been piddling along, not doing too much evenings. I've knit a bit, worked on a Japanese embroidery piece, made a gift for a friend, and worked on my pattern/plan for finishing my felted sweater purse. It feels so slow and I've been feeling rather bummed about it, until I got home early last night and realized that most days I'm awake and at home about four hours--for getting ready for work, breakfast, dinner, getting cleaned up and ready for bed...I think I'll be easier on myself (for a while at least).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Recent progress

I finished the "sweater" tea cozy and have been using it. It works well and is plenty big to fit all of my teapots.
 I had thought the purse was done, I'd stitched up the openings and buttonholed the edges, but I've decided I need to better stabilize the handle and I prefer a closed purse. So I've been working on a pattern and I got some calico to line the purse, make a zippered opening and line the handle. I plan to finish the edges with bias trim from the fabric.

If I use the sleeves, I'll have used all of the sweater. I think they'd make nice knitting needle holders. I plan to make round "caps" for the open ends, covered in the calico from the purse, similar to the little pods I made before Christmas. Then I can add a drawstring at the top.

It feels very satisfying to have plans for the entire sweater.
I've gotten the knit tie underway. It's about 6" long. This is the back.

And this is the front. It will be about 5' more of the same. (I figured if I did an inch a week, it would take me more than a year to complete it. Hopefully, I can speed up the knitting pace a bit!)
 I've made some progress on the London quilt. I can't quite figure out how the turn in the river will work out, but it will. What you can't see, but what is a great help, is that my sister helped me to cover both sides of my fragile paper pattern with contact paper. It's much sturdier now and easier to work with.

I added some more fabric from a new line of William Morris prints and a couple of fabrics I made (one painted and one rust dyed). I have more than enough hexagons covered, I think, but I need just the right color for each spot so I keep making more.

So, that's what's been keeping me busy. I'd love to hear about what you're working on these days.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gift from friends

This week I received a box from a friend. It was full of treasures from a her mother's estate (I was pleased to also consider Eileen a friend and I miss her). Mostly textile treasures. We shared a love of lace and fabric and creating.
There were two of these amazing beaded medallions. The edges need some stabilization but I'm thinking they'd make a lovely little purse, back to back with a zipper or perhaps a purse frame.
One of my friend's daughters remembers her grandmother using this scissors case. It is very sweet. I have more photos of the needlebook below.
My friend remembers this spangled fabric from her childhood. it's a long piece, with two corners, cut off from something (a table cloth, perhaps?) The spangles are punched from the metal, with a hole punched in the center (more often spangles are made from a coil of wire, snipped into rings and hammered flat--you can see the join in most of them). The beads appear to be cut steel.
Here is the back, showing a netting like interfacing to support the sequins and beads.
The needlebook has really cute endpapers--they remind me of some favorite fabric I had in the 70s with little sewing tools (it was even the same color).
Best, it's full of needles. I've found that quality older needles are often better than modern needles--they're smoother with smoother eyes. I love finding needles in antique stores. Bohin and John James make good needles, but they're not available at the corner store.
This ribbon was also in the box (along with a few other goodies). It says 70s to me. These treasures brought back my chats with Eileen and, oh, how I would love to ask her about some of them.
 And this lovely Christmas gift was tucked into the box, too. (great packaging, isn't it?)  Thanks!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday morning ramblings

As I grabbed my lunch to head to work on Valentine's Day, I spied this lovely bouquet in the refrigerator. Hubby presented it to me, along with a heart-shaped box of chocolates, that evening. I made him a little pouch with crocheted hearts.

Lately, I've been just chugging along with projects, trying to do a little each evening. I've washed and stretched the needle-painted robin. It's drying. It looks exactly the same as it did when I finished it. The London quilt and various other projects are creeping along. I've also been reading, sitting snuggled in my chair with a cup of tea (my idea of heaven).
This book was a Christmas gift from friends. It's really good, as are all of the books I've seen from this Royal School of Needlework series. Very interesting ideas. I love how things are layered for depth.
I realized a while ago that my subscription to Stitch magazine had run out. I resubscribed from where it ended and received a lovely package with the missing issues. I've always loved magazines and while I've cut back and no longer get as many as I used to, Stitch is one of my keepers.
I've been enjoying the inspirations in these issues. I love reading embroidery instructions, even if I never intend to make the project. I always learn something.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope your Valentine's Day is Wonderful!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Broken Needle Festival

Today is the Japanese Festival in honor of your worn and broken pins and needles.  I posted on Flying Fingers Plus about it.  

I have piles of pin cushions, needlebooks and pinkeeps. I love making them.
Here are a few in honor of the day.
Half-doll pincushion with emory.
Crewel Scissors Case with pincushion fob.
Patchwork Biscornu.
Felt bottle cap eye pincushion.
Needlefelted pincushion. It's thick and large to hold my felting needles.
Bottle cap Sushi pincushion.
Assorted bottle cap and pull ring pincushions.
Crewel needlebook
Two-sided felt pincusion

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Getting ready for Valentine's day

I recently found a great website with some lovely party ideas. The Party Artisan has a great post with instructions for making tiny hearts. (Their party ideas are also fun browsing--very colorful and creative.)

I made another tiny pod and filled it with tiny hearts. I love the color of the variegated Sugar 'n Cream yarn but found out when I got home it's a new scented version.

I'm sensitive to scents and I think it reeks. I tried skeining some off and washing it but it only seemed to get worse. Lily said it's only supposed to have a "light scent" when you rub or work with it. Sorry, but just sitting there, it's noticeable. (to me, but, again, I'm sensitive to this kind of thing and so hyper aware of it.) I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. Probably send it to the charity shop. I don't want to wash it with my laundry. (It scented the towel I dried it on.) Just a warning.
And more cuteness--a friend sent me this teeny little kit this week (the box is maybe 3" square) with all the makings for a pair of sweet baby booties. What are you making for Valentine's Day this year?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hubby's Birthday Weekend

Today is my husband's birthday. We have had a quiet weekend. He did some snow shoveling--more like sweeping. The flakes were really fat and light and fluffy and very pretty. A nice snow.

Yesterday we ventured out to Southlake Mall (a place we usually avoid) to scout out a new bookstore we'd heard of. We weren't impressed.  We mostly hung around the house. I worked hard all last week and especially yesterday and got up early this morning to complete the buttonhole edging around his eagle blanket.  It was folded on his chair when he got up this morning.
I also put my card for him there--Happy Birthday in Gallifreyan script (the language of the Time Lords of Dr. Who). I've been playing around with it lately.

Since I was happily into buttonhole stitch and I had perle coton left over from the blanket, I began two new projects. I don't have finished pictures--and it's too dark now to take them--but since I took these pictures, I've completed the tea cozy and am about 1/3 of the way done with the tote bag.
Both are made from a thrift shop sweater that I'd felted a couple of years ago. Last fall as I was making the Dr. Who tea cozy, I realized I needed a new tea cozy, too. I just cut an arc from the bottom of the sweater and stitched the two pieces together. I'm debating about embroidering something, such as a monogram on it, but for now I'm enjoying it just plain.

For the tote, I cut off the sleeves and stitched the opening, stitched the neck opening together--it had a folded-in hem so it still tends to fold in. The handle is the sides of the sweater where I cut out the tea cozy. It looks basket-like to me. Right now I'm closing it with a very large pin, but I plan to add a large snap to the inside. I'm buttonholing all the raw edges with the perle cotton. I'll finish it tonight or tomorrow.

Now I'm looking for something to do with the two sleeves.

It feels pretty good for a weekend's work!

Hubby asked for tacos for dinner so I should go and get his birthday dinner going. I hope you all have a good week.