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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Love & Peace

Well, my goddess now has arms plus a little revision. Out went the fruit and the heavy worsted weight embroidery and in came lots of practice at bullion knot roses.

So, instead of being a goddess of plenty, she's now a flower power goddess. She's a real 60's wild child witnessed by the symbols on her back. Love and peace, man! ;-)

What else? Well, I made Jared Flood's Habitat hat for Becca's Chemo Hats project.

I didn't think I liked knitting cables but I really enjoyed knitting this!

Much to my surprise I gathered the confidence to join this project. Basically, you choose a theme and do one beaded project a month within this theme for the whole year and then decide how to display them. Well, I thought it would motivate me to try this out after dabbling my feet in the water with the beaded dotees but no way can I compare my feeble efforts with that of a lot of the really talented people that are taking part in this project. However, everyone has to start somewhere and this is where I'm starting. I've commenced January's effort but it's not finished yet as there is so much else going on. I will have to catch up, hopefully, in February. The theme I've chosen is 'Women of Myth' and my first is entitled 'Sea Siren'.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm trying to lose the U from my UFOs as I'm very fond of starting projects and then getting carried away with something else. The grass always seems to be greener on the other side!

For a start, this goddess of plenty needs some arms. The basic goddess shape is from a pattern by Michelle Simkins and then you embellish to your heart's content. I started off embellishing her with flowers but then got carried away and added leaves, fruit, veg, bees and bugs, etc, so she became a goddess of plenty. I still have the back to embellish and her arms, of course! I put a muslin bag of rice in her base to add weight to enable her to stand up by herself and added a few drops of geranium, rose, lavender and orange essential oils.

This lace tunic design I started a few months ago and then it got left in the flurry of Xmas giftmaking.

I must try to find the time to finish it.

Then, there's my first embroidery project which I hadn't touched for ages. I had a good go at it yesterday and I think it's finished except that I'm not happy with the semi-precious stones that I've used so have ordered a selection of different ones to see which might work best. Here is my semi-precious rockery as it is at the moment (semi-precious chips not sewn on yet).

Not much else to report for the time being except that I've spent quite a bit of time over the last couple of weeks working on a secret project which is now finished but can't be shown yet so that's it for today!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

7-Strand Braid

This is for Carrie-Anne who asked how to make 7-strand braid. Just cut yourself a piece of cardboard the shape as in the pic below. Make a hole in the middle of it and make eight slits or notches as shown.

Take about a metre of each of seven different yarns. Cotton yarn is probably better but I just used whatever was available. A metre of 7 different yarns should make about 20" of braid. Tie a knot at the end of the seven different yarns held together and put this one side of the hole at the centre of your cardboard disc. Then fix a strand of each of your seven different yarns in seven different slits. That will leave one slit free. The following instructions are if you are right handed and will need to be reversed for lefties. You hold the disc in your left hand and, with your right hand, take the strand that is third to the right of the vacant slit and place it in the vacant slit, repeat this over and over, just taking the third strand to the right of the empty slit and placing it in the vacant slit whilst turning the disc clockwise. At the same time, make sure that you have some amount of tension on your strands so that your braid doesn't end up loose. Voila, you have seven strand braid.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Another New Year

Well, here we are - another new year - and I don't normally make resolutions but this year I did. One of them was to spend more time learning other crafts and not to spend so much time knitting. Don't get me wrong, I love knitting but one can have too much of a good thing and I feel that I'm missing out on other stuff.

Christmas was quietish but fun - relatives on Xmas day and Boxing Day and friends on the 27th. I didn't bother with a real tree but just used our fibre optic one which gives instant effect without any of the bother. I did, however, add some lovely decorations that I had received in swaps to the tree later on so some effort was made.

DS bought me lovely Xmas roses so they graced our hall table and were a welcome sight to all entering.

I finished all of my Xmas crafting in time. Luckily, the recipient of this New York hat and scarf didn't visit until 27th so it didn't matter that the last bits of finishing got done on Boxing Day.

Here's a pic of a washcloth I made along with some handmade soaps which I bought from eBay.

These have now been gifted so I'm adding blog pics.

A final beaded Snow Queen dotee was made which I was going to gift but, in the end, I decided to keep her.

I thought, after all that beading, I deserved to keep at least one. That's not so bad, is it?

To start the year the way I mean to carry on, I learned two new techniques yesterday. The first was cathedral windows. For those who haven't tried this, it's very fiddly, measurements need to be absolutely precise as it involves corners folding in to the centre a couple of times and it's a bit like origami.

I also had a go at making braid from 7 different strands of leftover yarn.

This was the complete opposite of the cathedral windows - easy-peasy! I think I'm now ready to have a go at some more complicated braidmaking using the Hamanaka Kumihimo Disk Kit that I bought at Ally Pally.