Thursday, 25 October 2007

Why does it always happen to me?

I am always mesmerised by the wonderful skeins of assorted yarns that are available nowadays. They are definitely Must Have and/or Can't Live Without purchases and I am seduced into handing over my money.

As soon as I start to use them, however, they seem to become one huge tangle which is what happened yesterday to me. All I did was pull one thread out .....

I then had to spend ages sorting them out.

I knew my exercise bike would come in handy one day!Now the question is how to store them? What does everyone else do? Do you neatly wrap them individually onto little bits of card as soon as you get them, or do you struggle and swear (just a little bit) like me when you come to use them? Surely, there must be a solution somewhere in the middle?

Sunday, 21 October 2007

The Wedding

The wedding went off fantastically yesterday. Everyone had a great time, and the bride and groom beamed all day. The Dress looked stunning.

The mother of the bride looked fabulous, even if she had previously remarked she would have rather gone shopping for a new pair of walking boots than a posh outfit!

Everyone knows that brides are meant to wear:

“Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”

Ever the individual, the bride decided on stripey blue socks for the “Something Blue”!

Transport for the day for the bridal party and guests was a wonderful old red London bus.
One of my favourite photos from the day was this one of some of the now defunct “baby sitting circle”, with some of the babies now very much grown up.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Barcelona vs Knitting & Stitch Show

The reason I didn't get to the Knitting and Stitch Show was because, although I had booked the time off work, Hubs fancied a City Break to Barcelona and I am not one to turn a holiday down.

We had a fabulous few days, staying right in the centre. Gorgeous weather meant we were walking around in tee shirts and eating outside. It was great to have such a choice of places to visit. I took loads of photos. I particularly loved Gaudi's use of curves. These were in one of his houses:

This was one of the laundry rooms. If you look carefully you can see clothes displayed on these sheer hangings. The clothes were actually holograms.

We went to the unfinished cathedral which was stunning. A few of my favourite photos:

Unfortnately, it was back to work on Monday, which we both found really hard after such a wonderful few days away.

Wednesday was great, however, as our newly formed stitchng group had our second day together. We now have a name: ZigZag. It was with gusts of laughter that we ruled out quite a few, including Gina's Babes. In Stitches came a close second but ZigZag won. I came away with two gorgeous ATCS from our swap but do you think I can find them at the moment to take a photo! No!

We continued with our goldwork using the machine, and I had a go with Lynda's braiding foot and her cording foot on my Brother machine. Decided I can't live without these, so have ordered them. Its great working with someone with a similar machine, especially as she actually teaches it. I have had this particular machine for about five years now, and am still discovering new things. The other day I used the overlocking foot with the side cutter to turn my daughter's trousers up. How quick it was! Note to myself: must be braver in future to have a go.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

On Friday, I had a wonderful evening at the local branch of the Embroiderers' Guild. There were four activities for us to have a go at. I managed three.

On the first table Lynne took us through making the Christmas decoration on the left. We were provided with everything, even the tassels.

Secondly, Sandie took us through some ideas to use for cards:- weaving fabric, crazy patchwork and much much more. Can't wait to have a go and use those card with precut windows that I have lurking in the cupboard.

Tricia then started us off on the wonderful Christmas tree on the right. Both decorations I finished at home, and it was great to have a bit of handstitching to do.

I took part in an ATC swap too and received this amazing card which was made from paper folding. Thanks Jo.

It was a fantastic evening and I came away buzzing with creative ideas. Many thanks to everyone involved.

Last week I braved the builders again and sketched part of the church. Its very old, with some parts of it going back to 1120.
This is one of the motifs on the gravestones in the churchyard. "In Memory of Mary Weatherhead"

I also came across five gravestones all in a row with skull and crossbones on them. They looked exceedingly creepy. I wonder if it means anything in particular. Anyone any ideas? Blogger wouldn't let me add this photo.
Using the outline of the Church as a motif I played with the shape in my sketchbook, and added ideas for turning it into a textile. I am pleased to say I have even used one of the ideas and created an ATC.
Last but not least, a picture of this morning's washing! More rust dyeing. Hate the green, it really isn't my colour, but the fabric looks very much like the lichen I have been seeing on the gravestones. Unfortunately, I can't make the Knitting and Stitch Show which starts at Ally Pally tomorrow. Look forward to hearing about it from everyone.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Experimenting with rust dyeing

I have had great success recently with rust dyeing using wire wool.

From left to right, the fabrics are butter muslin, cotton, silk and heavyweight calico. These were left for about 48 hours. Some gorgeous marks. Not sure if I can bring myself to stitch on them.

These were two fabrics I had dyed with Procion dyes previously.

The orange fabric, I only left for 24 hours with the wire wool as I couldn't wait any longer. The marks are somewhat paler as a result. Using the same wire wool throughout, I then tried it with brown fabric not really expecting any marks to show up at all and was quite amazed with the results. The brown fabric was an awful shade previously and now it looks quite amazing.

The wire wool has now truly disintegrated and can not be used again.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

A busy week.

I didn't get round to doing much last week, hence no blog. The reason, however, was because I managed to scratch my eye quite badly trying to retrieve a contact lens that had decided to fold itself up in the corner of my eye. Ended up going to the opticians and seeing two optometrists who both confirmed that by the time I saw them in the afternoon the lens was no longer in my eye! One of them did say though that the eye "looked a bit cross". Understatement of the year in my opinion. Felt very sorry for myself, so as Hubs was away, daughter and I popped out to the local Harvesters for dinner and some comfort food.

Sunday I spent helping friend to turn up The Dress ready for wedding on 20th October. I know all brides look stunning but she really does look stunning. I have known this young lady since she was two (now 24) and felt very privileged to be asked to help. I did make her do the actual sewing though ... I really didn't have the nerve.

This week I have made up for my lack of creation last week. I visited our local church and started drawing gravestones, and carried on bravely despite being given weird looks by the builders on the roof. I really got into the history of those buried. One family had lost three sons under 25.

I am not sure that you can see it clearly in the doorway picture on the right but the second door behind the locked, wrought iron gate says WELCOME. Some welcome indeed.

One of our monthly challenges was to make an ATC in the colour opposite our favourite one, which meant I had to use orange. I raided my stash and came across two orange fabrics from the very first swap I ever did, some years ago now. Thanks to Liz and Sheila. Then using some Supermend and transfer foil, I added some gold bits. Cut some shapes out and stitched them here and there, and hey presto not one but six:

This morning a friend and I spent some time experimenting with Transfer Dyes. I had painted the papers yesterday so just had to iron them off. These are some of the ones I liked best:

Transfer dye on kitchen towel:

Paper scrunched up before ironing and a fabric leaf shape as a resist.

Transfer dye on raised wallpaper:

This is my favourite one. Using a skeleton leaf as a resist, and then printing with the residue on the leaf. The holes on the left are from the iron - unintentional but looks really good.
I can't say I am enamoured of using polyester fabric, so had a go with some thin calico. Worked well I think.

Now to do some work.