Tuesday, 15 January 2013

A Crazy Mix!

Oh dear, I'm not finding time to blog as often as I'd like.  Being at home most of the day there always seems to be something else to get done first, and blogging comes bottom of the list.  Still, never mind, I'm here now so I'll get on and tell you what I've been up to.

I mentioned last time that my crafting over Christmas consisted of fiddling and experimenting - which means mostly handwork since the machine was put away for the holiday.

 I bought this yarn, made from the bark of banana trees, a while ago just to see what it was like.  I couldn't decide what to do with it so just got out some needles and knitted it up into a square to see what it looked like.  It was quite difficult to work with because it was so tightly twisted (I presume to keep it together) that it kept curling around itself, and the thickness varied so much in places that it was difficult to keep any kind of tension.  I couldn't think of anything to make with it in a square, so I undid it and......

...after seeing an idea (somewhere, I can't remember - I really should make a note) found a loose, open stitch pattern to knit it into a sort of cowl/scarf.  This I am really pleased with and have worn it quite a lot already.  I'm now considering getting some of this in different colours to make some more.

I know that many of you patchworkers will, like me, have piles of scraps left over from projects, that you can't throw away.  The problem is, what to do with them.  While I was doing some sewing before Christmas I got some scraps out and just sewed them together randomly with very little thought of colour or design or what I was going to do with them. (Do you see a theme emerging here?) Looking at them the other day I remembered that DD said she liked the crazy patchwork place mats that they used when visiting her fiance's parents.  As her birthday is coming up soon..................do you see where this is going?

With the poor light we've been having around here lately I was trying all sorts to get a decent photo.  I liked the stained-glass window effect of this one.

Another thing I had a brief (shambolic) go at was free-motion machine quilting.  I've been too afraid to try before in case it was completely beyond me but decided to plunge in and go for it (a bit like the tap dancing last night!).  Not a complete disaster by any means, but I didn't have too high expectations anyway. I am glad  I didn't use a contrasting thread though because that would have been a little too revealing.

Finally, was the return of cross-stitching.  I forget between x-stitch projects how time-consuming it is and plunge straight back into another project thinking it will go swimmingly. Sorting these threads into the separate colours took ages, before I could even start.  And without colour names or symbols on the chart I'm floundering a bit. Some of the colours are very similar and there is only the coloured chart to go by.  I tried getting some clues from the picture of the finished item on  the packaging, but it's different from the chart in places, so I can't rely on that too much.  Lastly, is the issue of how many strands of thread to use.  I took my cue from the packaging, where there are pictures of threads which seem to be of 3 strands each. But now that I'm partly done, I think maybe I should be using 2 strands.  Lets just hope I don't run out, although I've found in the past that generous amounts are usually supplied.

What's that?  You want to know more about the tap dancing?  Well, for our next show, we've been asked to  give it a try.  "Anything Goes" is well known for it's tap-dancing, so we've got to try and include at least a little.  We've got a teacher and about 16 of us had our first lesson last night.  How did it go?  Well, let's just say, we've got plenty of time so we can only hope we get the hang of it soon!!

Bye for now
Teresa x


Shirley said...

What a great idea to do with the wool, brilliant pop of colour on any outfit.

Good luck with the cross stitch it does take a while to get started, I hope you have enough floss, most of the stitching I have done is 2 strands, having said that the thing I am doing at the moment is three.

wayside wanderer said...

It sounds like you are really enjoying some productive days at home. I love the pink and orange cowl!!! Very pretty. Just seeing your cross stitch makes me want to pick up a project. And tap dancing!?! I like how you are always stretching yourself and doing new and different things.

Natalie Jones said...

I love the patchwork placemats - have you hand or machine sewn the patches together? And keep up with the tap dancing - I've always fancied a go but my feet are an awfully long way away from my brain (I'm freakishly tall) so I don't know that it would be a good idea!

Very Berry Handmade said...

The scarf is just lovely Teresa - and isn't it just great when you have an idea that works out just right! Am loving the crazy patchwork too.. sometimes you just have to jump right in there and go for it...

hausfrau said...

You were right: while the projects were interesting it was the tap dancing that caught my eye!