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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Fool-proof bag

I attended Christine Bishop's Fool-proof Bag class at the Embroiderers' Guild in February this year. The concept is a linen bag, put together using counted thread embroidery techniques, and adaptable in size, colour and decoration.  The class teaches the basic construction and foundation stitches.

While I have done a little basic counted thread work, it is not my strength, and this year I wanted to improve my counted thread skills. The two-day course was a lot of fun.

Between the two days of the course I dug out a book with a design for a cross-stitched flannel flower and added it to my bag at the crucial stage - before the sides were sewn together.

I was very happy with the result.

Christine pointed out that the bag lends itself to using up off-cuts of linen - or left over bits and pieces.I didn't need to be told twice! I made straight for my stash of left-over linen oddments and tried it out.

With the help of some silk scraps for lining I made another bag in which to store jewellery and preserve lustre.

I then followed Christine's advice, and tacked the hems on a range of off-cuts, putting them into a bag for those rainy days when I need a quick project.

Some of the linen is fine and some fairly course.  Each piece, however, has potential to make an attractive and useful bag.

I confess to taking these to England in the bottom of my suitcase but not progressing any. That's because, as I travelled, I was able to continue work on the projects from the embroidery retreat.  The linen bag pieces did not take up much room - and would have come into their own had I run out of stitching while away (Heaven forbid!).

It's another great idea from Christine. I owe a lot of my growth as a needlewoman to her.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Knitted vest

In spite of all my good intentions not to buy ANY more wool until I have knitted up what I have, last year I succumbed to the temptation of Bendigo Woollen Mill's special lot of Bloom wool.

I ordered enough to make myself a jacket/cardigan in the 'wine' colourway, along with this pattern.

My agreement with myself was that if I bought it, I had to get on with it straight away. It was not to join the three drawers of unknitted yarn I already had.

I began well. It knits beautifully. I finished the back.

On the fronts, it holds the cable really well.
It is a great pattern to knit. The cable is easy to remember. It's a great pick-up-put-down project.

Admittedly, because I have had a number of embroidery projects to finish, it has been put down more than it has been picked up!  Not a lot got done over Christmas period but I made good progress in February, finishing the first front.

I am now working on the second front, but have just begun to wonder if the variation in the colour rotation in the balls of wool is going to matter. This is the variation between the two fronts

and between the three pieces. The huge difference wasn't apparent to me as I knitted each piece.

I'm certainly not going to stop now, but it may look a bit odd when put together. 

We'll see in a week or so when I finish. Maybe it will prove to be a(nother) declaration of an eccentric old woman!