Thursday, 6 October 2011

Iced Gems from The Yarn Yard

Just a quick post to show you my progress on working with Natalie of The Yarn Yard's 'Iced Gems' that I purchased earlier in the week before her new Etsy Shop was cleared out of HDT...

From this:

to this:

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

UK has a new HDT Supplier!

OK Natalie is not exactly new to the dying game as she's been successfully running 'The Yarn Yard' for several years now supplying knitters and crocheters with beautiful colour combinations of yarns in solids, semi-solids and variegated colourways.

Anyway she rang me last week about her venture into the 'embroidery' market with HDT as I've sold Oliver Twists for several years anyway we talked and she would send me a sample. We talked some more and due to my new found interest of tatting I said we're short of HDT supplier in the UK so I suggested some base threads and suggested she got in touch with Jane Eborall of 'Tatting and not a lot Else' who is one of the UK's foremost & prolific tatters. Natalie also sent Jane a skein to try and this is what she said about the 100% Swiss silk thread.

I tatted a small motif called 'Starchic' by Jon Yusoff with the silk thread and this is what it turned out like:

The thread was nice to tat with but as a new tatter I did find untatting I had to be careful not to pluck the thread. While it tats up nice I have to confess to saying I prefer 100% cotton to tat with - I love to see those crisp little stitches that have such great definition you get with 100% cotton. I know Jane felt the same in regards to what makes a good thread for tatting - but it does boils down to the individual tatters taste, but Jane and I seem to like the same base threads of 100% cotton and especially Lizbeth 20.

Anyway we reported back to Natalie, by which time she'd bought in some Lizbeth 20 and was under way in dying some HDT for her new Etsy shop. Here's were you can read about it and see some of the glorious colours she created with evocative names like 'Passionate', 'Iced Gems' and 'Gunmetal'.

Anway you got to support a new venture haven't you? so I ordered two skeins one each of 'Iced Gems' and 'Gunmetal' - they arrived today (Tuesday) and here they are, glorious aren't they?

Now I know Jane has already tried her thread she bought yesterday so go back and check her blog out on Wednesday to see what she did with 'Birthday' ;o)

Now does anyone know where I can buy 'time' so I can try out Natalie's new thread sigh...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Eye Candy

Yarnplayer updated her shop last Wednesday... who am I to refuse her offerings... Have to say can't get over the USPS & Royal Mail when posted on 22nd September the postman handed over the goodies this morning (27th)

From top to bottom in size #20: Knitty Gritty, Solid Gold, Sugar Maple, Solid Green & A Leaf Falls
carrying on down from there in size #10: Stardate, Sugar Maple & A Leaf Falls

No projects in mind but the size #10 will probably be used for motifs on my little pots as the size allows to do a reasonbly small, uncomplicated motif which will when embellished nicely fill the lid.

I also received in the post last week my first purchase from Krystledawne a trio threads entitled 'Vineyard at Dusk' which consists of the variegated 'Vineyard at Dusk' and two solids 'Light Withered Vine' & 'Twilight Grape'

And last but not least I plunged and bought a 'pimped' shuttle from La Cossette - well could I resist with a shuttle called 'Autumn Berries' and looks like this ;o)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I learned to Tat

I know it's been over 12 months since I blogged but somehow just couldn't get round to it and then I didn't feel like it and life has gotten hectic as well especially more so since the end of June when 'Dexta' our then 9 week GSD came to live with us we sadly lost Cara our 11 year old GSD 5th November 2010.

He is 5 months old next week and if anyone would like to see various photos of him over the time we've had him you can go here and see an assortment of photos of him....

Anyway since I taught myself to tat a month ago I thought I'd share what I've been doing with you. I haven't been dormant since my last blog post plenty of crocheting of garments and shawls but as most of you are on Ravelry yo can just go to my projects and wander through what I've done.

I decided rather than try and catch up as I never manage to do that I just decided that I would try and blog and keep my posts short and sweet then I don't feel like everything else is being sacrificed or precious crochet, knitting, spinning & now tatting time is eaten up IYKWIM?

Anyway I'll not bore you with the pictures of the bag of trials that were my 1st attempts but here's a selection of motifs I've been tatting adding beads and attaching to felt and then adhering onto the lids of pots that once came from 'The Bodyshop' and contained Body Butter.

3D Flower from Rosemarie Peel's Book - Tatting Basic Patterns in Anchor Freccia #12

Maggie from Rosemarie Peel's Book - Tatting Basic Patterns in Anchor Freccia #12

Yarnplayer's Easy Tatted Butterfly in Oliver Twists Pearl Cotton #5

Yarnplayer's Easy Tatted Flower in Anchor Freccia #12

My own improvised design in Yarnplayer's HDT 'Knitty Gritty' #10

6 Petal Motif from これならわかるタティングレースの本 in Coats Mercer #20
 ISBN: 978-4-52904967-2

I have also completed 'Adiratna' from Jon Yusoff aka Tat-a-Renda in DMC Cebelia #10 although not sure what I'm going to do with it but as it was my first 'proper' tatting achievement I'm going to keep it for myself...

So after seeing these if anyone is interested in learning to tat you can do no better than go to Tatted Treasures blog and follow her very excellent 'Absolute Beginner' series on learning to tat.

That's enough for now don't you think?

Apart from perhaps I should rename my blog as Littleberry rarely does much knitting these days apart from socks, what do you think?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Thread & Thread alike...

Since my last post I have been working a lot with thread (not exclusively) for crocheting... I enjoy the 'popping' it makes over the tiny Clover Soft Touch crochet hook... sad I know but none the less we all have our little quirks...

I was introduced (by Ravelry, where else) to the designs of a lady called Patricia Kristoffersen (PK is often how she's referred to) via the group 'PK Doilies'. I have since collected several, OK well the majority of her booklets with her designs apart from 'Wonderful Doilies' (ASN 1277) & 'Elegant Coasters (LA 2923) and am on a mission to find reasonably priced copies of these.... anyway rather than wax lyrical about the designs it's just easier to give you a photo heavy post of some of her designs I've worked recently and I'll let you make your mind up about her designs... However, I must warn you the photos may not show up her clever use of surface stitches such as post stitches which feature heavily in her work...

From her book - 'Coasters by the Dozen' (LA 3081) all worked in Coats Puppets 'Eldorado' Tkt 10 with a 1.5mm hook

From 'The Big Book of Little Doilies' (LA 2874)

From 'Doilies with Charm' (LA 3161) - Spellbinding worked with Coats Mercer Crochet #20 and .25mm hook

From 'Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies' (LA 2879) - Sunflower Bloom worked with Coats Mercer Crochet #20 and 1.25mm hook

From 'Coffee 'n' Cream' (LA 3073) - Café Latte worked in Coats Freccia #16 and 1.25mm hook

Now for a little of my own engineering - reverse that is ;o) This mat below (cream) has sat on my dressing table for years along with it's partner and the traditional larger centre mat. It was made by maternal grandmother pre 1966 (that's when she died) so I have no idea how old it is. Anyway just for the hell of it a few weeks back a random thought just wandered across my mind  (as they do) if I could possibly reverse engineer a piece of crochet (only simple) - I'd heard other people talking about it and I just thought can I do it?

I grabbed the nearest and only thing in the house I could 'copy' - the above mat and the nearest thread that was hanging around - hence why it's pink when I can hear you saying 'Ann doesn't do pink!' and my hook. I came up with the mat below. I have to say I am more than a little pleased with myself :o)))) I wrote down the instructions I worked as I went along and at some point I will write them up and work the larger mat which starts off the same then changes to form a much more decorative centre piece, but it won't be in pink!

Next up was a free pattern from Coats Crafts UK -  A Round Doily I used the stated thread but decided to have a go with multiple colours after seeing the work by the talented TheShrone on Ravelry. Am fairly pleased with the results and am just in the process of looking for a frame to mount it as a picture!

Nearly at the end of the post and I hope I'm not boring you. After I did a runner for my mum's 80th earlier this year, she asked if i would do her one to go on her dining room table - so we chose the Queen Anne Motif and two colours of Coats Mercer #20 from my stash Buttercup (it's more buttermilk) and a rather nice brown which we shall say is called Chocolate Brown otherwise if I give it it's correct name from the 1950's/ 60's I'll be up for politically incorrect remarks.

Here's the resulting runner (3 x 8 motifs) with close up below. I like it and looks great in-situ (no not on my carpet on he dining room table) but I am never doing it again! it was tedious and boring to say the least and the motifs could be easily memorized within completing one or two of them - no challenge to say the least! The up side is that each of the large motifs was easily completed within 1 hour - so as the Dr would recommend 'take one a day', I did one motif a day... the border was not much better and broken down into two sessions there's about 5 - 6 hours crocheting just of the scalloped edges but the runner is a respectable 13 x 39"

and finally last but no means least as they say - something I put together myself after working a pansy to work out how they were constructed so I could repair one on one of my grandmother's mats (she liked pansies) and yes it was repaired using the original thread too!

I had this pansy floating around so I made a few more, made some other little flowers, worked a few leaves and added a splash of colour with some non-de-script filler flowers and came up with this....

and a close up for detail...

I now have a crochet decorated project tote :o) all the threads are coats mercer #20 from my stash and are older than me ;o)

Next post we'll move onto something a little chunkier and bigger

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Pierrot Yarns

I can't believe it's well over a month since I posted last - time certainly flies as you get older...

As promised in my last post I said I was nearly caught up and that's more or less true, after this post the items I have to show have been completed relatively recently as opposed to last year or several months ago...

I came across a Japanese yarn company via Ravelry called Pierrot Yarns who have started to create a English based website for their western readers as well as their well established Japanese one.... so over 2 or 3  orders I purchased several different yarns. This company doesn't sell patterns but instead have all their pattern online free to download - and there's quite a lot I can tell you as well as good variety. However, they're all in chart form whether knitting or crocheting, which I have to say I much prefer to written word anyway. Most of the  patterns have been added to Ravlery so you can see the suggested yarns for the project etc... and should you need guidelines for following Japanese Patterns Linda aka Dancingbarefoot did a very good job.....

Anyway I can hear you crying out for photos - I'm not going to list loads of photos of my stash you can always go route through my stash on Ravelry if you want to see what I purchased ;o) which by the way Pierrot Yarns are offering a 'flat rate postage service' after their summer holidays of $10 EMS postage to anywhere in the world (that accepts EMS) for any orders over Y5000. I have to say it's a very good deal.... and their service is exceptional.

Anyway I digress... I decided I'd show you 3 items all made with Pierrot yarns which I entered in their first competition and proud to say I got a 3rd prize with my African Flowers Blanket.

So the first Item I completed in Teori Wool is my lacy motif shawl. Made up of motifs and joined together it's from a Japanese book Crochet Winter Motif

here's a single motif:

and the finished object

Next I used Pierrot's Soft Merino Fingering yarn to construct myself a lapghan / throw using the freely available motif 'African Flowers' which now has several variations to it as people have interpreted the motif in their own way - me included. I constructed a join-as-you-go method for mine then there was no tedious sewing together ;o)

My 3rd entry as I was running close to the deadline was a small purse which could be used to put cosmetics in or needlework tools. This was my own design.... I used Pierrot's Cotton Lace No 20

and I think that's more or less it for catch up... next post should be more recently completed items and wip's....

Friday, 18 June 2010

Almost Caught up...

Thank you to those of you who left comments and I was pleasantly surprised by how many of you liked the Wheat Ear runner in the #20's thread especially in today's climate of thinking by many that doilies are old fashioned.....

I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed working with the #20's thread that I opted to do more...

On Ravelry there's a group just dedicated to the doilies, coasters etc designed by Patricia Kristoffersen of which there are many talented ladies... I was bought for Christmas (it was one book on my list for Christmas) Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies by PK so armed with my newly acquired 1.25mm Clover Soft Touch hook and one 20g ball of Coats Mercer #20 in Turkey Red (as most of you know not one of mt favourite colours) I set about working Pineapple Patch.

The patterns are well written and no errors (well that I found) although for a UK candidate whose just spent months working from charts I had a few false starts converting US to UK terms on the fly, however I got there in the end and produced my very 1st PK doily.

I thoroughly enjoyed this pattern and decided I would tackle another form the book. This time I chose the Windsor Round, I have no idea why as I have to admit it wasn't one of the favourites when I flicked through the book, but I have to say it's now one of my favourites after working it. Again one ball of Coats mercer #20 a 1.25mm hook (I have to admit to this thread and this size of hook are my favourite combination); and yet again no idea why but I chose a pink colour called Coral Pink???????????? again another colour I don't like really... perhaps I was subconsciously trying to get it out of my stash!!!

Anyway 9 days later I produced this:

I love the detail around the centre created by the long stitches worked backwards and forwards into stitches of previous rounds - something I'd not come across before.

I'm sad to say I've not had chance to get back to doing any doilies since then due to other crochet and knitting comments but as I'm on holiday this coming week I may 'treat myself' Mmmmmm....

One last thing about doilies before I move on.

Can anyone tell me how such a small item can use so many pins for blocking?

Doilies seem to use far more pins than lace knitting, although DH is pleased as he doesn't have to get involved in blocking these ;o)
After the doilies I did some knitting, yes I did say Knitting - although sorry no lace.

I started stocking some Noro yarns in the shop so I opted to knit a waistcoat (Design 26 from Noro: MIni Knits 2 by Jenny Watson) in Noro's Kureyon to display the yarns and pattern books.

Although the pattern is per the book I converted it into knitting the fronts and back in one piece up to the armholes, I also lengthened it for myself and didn't make the collar quite as wide as suggested. All in all I'm pleased with it but glad to say we've really not had suitable weather to wear it yet!

The other thing I tried with this pattern was the Japanese 3 Needle Bind Off blogged about by Another Long Yarn. I used this to join the front and back at the shoulder seams and it worked beautifully...

And finally the last item for this post - back to crocheting!

I'd been fascinated by Mabel by Sarah London so when she published the pattern I purchased it and proceeded to make one of my own. It's a well written pattern and quick to work up - 2 days it took me; in fact it took longer for the cushion pad to arrive than it did to crochet it.

Worked in Patons Diploma Gold DK - and as I didn't have enough to do both sides the same I did a 'Light & Dark Mabel'

I've actually found women prefer the light side and men prefer the darker side... me I just turn it over when I'm passing so I get the best of both sides!!!

Well that's it for now - I reckon one more 'catch-up' post in which I shall tell you about my interlude using yarns from Pierrot Yarns in Japan and entering their competition and that I think should see me pretty much up to date and blogging about things I'm either currently working on or have finished in the last week....