16 January 2017

BAM 2017 - January so far

I thought I'd show you a couple more pics of Bertha Bling this week.
To read her story go here






And she has been featured, along with some of her kin, 
on the Laughing Purple Goldfish site.




BAMCAL 2017

Another block has been made for my Blues afghan.


This block started off as the circle design from a book (Granny Squares & Shapes by Susan Pinner), but it was a circle, so I modified it to be a square.
And here's how my 3 (so far) January blocks are looking together.
I'm not joining them together until I have made them all, and at the moment, I don't know how many I shall be making... as this is meant to be a stash busting project it just depends on when I run out of blue yarn I suppose.


I'm quite pleased that I have January off to a good start. 

I have also made two more blocks in a different colourway, but I cannot show them here yet.

Onwards and upwards.

Happy Stitching.

Cyra









11 January 2017

(Batty) Bertha Bling


Say hello to Bertha Bling, better known to her closest friends as 'Batty'.


The Ravelry Freeform groups January challenge brief was to create your Inner Beast using a magic ball of yarn. A pattern was provided by one of our members. As this was a Freeform challenge it was expected that the pattern would be used as a starting point, or spring board, to create our own Inner Beasts. Many of the resulting Inner Beasts are hilariously unique. Pop over to the Ravelry Project board to see them, and more Inner Beasts are still being created as some members are having so much fun with this they are creating a whole family of Inner Beasts, lol.
Inner Beast Project Board. (You have to be a member on Ravelry to view this link.)

I started with the pattern instructions for the body, but freeform took over just as I reached the leg holes.
What happened then I can only describe as innovative.
A bit of a Budha style tummy, and other curvy body shapes, appeared. She had driven her way into my head and was creating herself.
She is 16” tall in a siting position, and 27” from toe to crown.
Half woman / half beast. She occupies her days by creating havoc and laughing very loud. In just the nine days that I have known her she has kicked over my water glass twice, hidden the back door key, left a tap running in the bathroom, tipped a box of my yarns over, worst of all, left a hand/claw print in the un-set jelly.
Her name is Bertha Bling but her friends affectionately call her Batty for short.
She is by far the craziest woman, or beast, that has ever come to live in my house (although my family would argue that I’m almost at the top of the crazy list).
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Other things that have been made this week:
Moody Blue 12" square - designed by Helen Shrimpton

and Efflorescent Window - designed by Laurie O. Campbell.
These are 6" squares that may, or may not, be joined together to make another block. I'm undecided whether to use them as individuals or not. They need another round of stitches to get them to the 6", but I'm waiting to see what other 6" blocks I make first.



Happy Stitching



02 January 2017

BAMCAL - YOP - FO's - AYIS - MYIS

Oh boy....... I've done it again..... started lots of projects.

And just in case the title of this blog is reading like a foreign language to you, let me translate it for you here.

BAMCAL = Block-A-Month Crochet-A-Long
YOP = Year Of Projects
FO's = Finished Objects
AYIS - A Year In Stitch
MYIS - My Year In Stitches

2017 BAMCAL is a Ravelry group in which we are given a choice of 3 blocks each month to crochet as we wish for our chosen project. I am going to see if I find enough time to do all 3 blocks, as I would like to make at least two afghans and a tunic/poncho.
My first 12" block is finished - Floral Kaleidoscope Afghan Square by Julie King.
I am using yarn from my stash for this project.

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While I'm showing you FO's, here is a Free Form Ball that I finished for a CAL in another Ravelry group. 




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A Year In Stitches is all about making stitches every day for a year and in a random, freeform style.
I have chosen a colourful printed fabric to randomly embellish with stitches.


And here is the start - Day 1 stitches.
Just a little bit more each day.

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My Year In Stitches is a different project. It still incorporates a little bit of stitching each day, but this one is slightly more organized. It started off life as a patchwork wall hanging that I made a few years ago.... but.... I never really liked it the way it was, so I have decided to spruce it up with a whole heap of stitching to make it more appealing to me, and hopefully, I'll enjoy it enough when it's finished to actually hang it up instead of hiding it in a box.
The green stems are what I have stitched today, and there are quite a lot more of them to stitch too, so I might not share photos again until I get onto something more interesting to see.

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This has been another YOP blog post.

Happy New Year to you all, and Happy Stitching.

Cyra











26 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays

Not very much Christmas activity has been going on here I'm afraid,
and absolutely nothing even remotely stitch related.

Tony & I spent a week at our other house starting to get it ready for our son to move into in January.
We have cleaned it, furnished it, fitted out the kitchen with all the necessary cooking things (pans, crockery, cups, utensils etc.), checked everything works as it should, put up curtains, got the door bells working, changed locks, arranged for the security and alarm system to be installed, and started the bathroom renovation to add a 2nd shower room.
Just waiting now for the ordered special mixer shower tap to arrive, and the 3 sets of new blinds to be made and delivered. Then the new residents can move in.

We arrived back at our home on Christmas Eve evening, and I had a quick run through my local village supermarket (small shop) for whatever I could find suitable for Christmas dinner, lol. 
It turned out to be a rather non-traditional dinner for us, but still very enjoyable.

We managed to get a bit of exploring done at some beaches that we have not been to to before, and we had the deserted beach to ourselves.
That is Tony at the waters edge. 



The place had me spellbound. It's like a graveyard for washed-up and sun-bleached trees.



Most of New Zealand has this amazing sparkly black sand. 
Like shiny little diamonds glittering at you. 


So that was what we have been up to over the last week.
It's Boxing Day here now, and we're just chillin. Lovely to have the boys home for Christmas too.

Peace, Love & Joy to you all.

xxx






11 December 2016

YOP - Doilies - Decoupage Tree - Stash

Two completed projects to show this week.
They will both benefit from a blocking soon, to help them keep their shape better.




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Stash Enhancement Xercise

100% pure NZ Merino top. 
Colour : Deep Rainbow.
For a needle-felting project starting sometime early(ish) 2017.

I am so lucky to have discovered a treasure, a very local hand-dyer of beautiful fibers and yarns, he lives about two streets away from me. Ian recently won a 1st prize award for a crocheted afghan made with his hand-dyed fibers.
This is my first purchase from him (the first of very many I'm beginning to think).

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And just to add to the season of Jollility, here is my decoupage tree, making another appearance this year as I love it's simplicity.

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This has been another Year Of Projects post.
If you would like to see what the YOP is all about, 
you can click on this icon in the side-bar, and
be taken to the Ravelry group.











05 December 2016

A YOP finish & 'My Week'

Another YOP finished object to add to my list on the YOP-FO tab

I have finished the Christmassy Cat decoration- what a little cutie. 
My 'someone special' is going to love it.
It's about 6" high and embroidered with DMC floss.
An enjoyable and quick project to stitch. I might do a whole load for next Christmas, lol.

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My Summers End crochet mandala has not progressed any this week, but
I have started another 2 crochet projects, but can't show pics yet because they are for Christmas presents.
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I enjoyed a lovely Christmas dinner with the Embroiderers Guild group that I belong to.
Lovely company and great food.
 (or should that read)
Lovely food and great company.
Either way works for me.
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I went to my local church fair this week. Plenty of nick-nacks for sale, and lovely music provided by a couple of teenagers from the high school, singing and playing guitar and keyboards. They were very good, and certainly in the Christmas spirit. Isn't it good to see the youth of today enjoying making people smile.

One of our junior schools in our little town also had a Country Fair, which was very fun entertainment for all the children. I do so enjoy listening to the happy little voices of children playing and having fun. It was another day of smiles for me.

There is a Market Day at the High School tomorrow, and an evening Crafty Christmas Fair event later in the week. I shall happily be attending those events too. I try to buy locally if I can, and I do my best to support local events and fundraisers. 
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The garden has taken up some time this week, so with a lack of stitching related photos to show this week, here are some of my lovely blossoms and blooms purely for your enjoyment too.




Well, that's it for this week folks.
I hope you have a great time if you are attending any functions.



This has been another Year Of Projects post









29 November 2016

A Few More Stitches

Here are a few more stitches that have happened this week.

This Christmassy Cat will, in the next week or so, be made into a hanging decoration and posted off to someone special for a very special greeting.


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My Summers End Mandala Madness Part 14 is done (the fawn bit). Hope to get part 15 started this week too.


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And I enjoyed making my last garden inspired weaving, so I've started another fiberart weaving to match it using the same warp, and it has begun with an even plain weave at the bottom for a reason, which will be revealed at a later date when a bit more has been completed, and some more of my freeform style has been added.


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And, after a joint effort (hubby & I), we got all the lounge furniture out of the lounge so that we could get that carpet cleaned before putting up the Christmas tree and decorations. It looks so much better now, and we can put the furniture back in tomorrow.
We also went shopping for two days to select a houseful of furniture for the new house we bought for our son to live in while at Uni in another town a few hours away from us.
Phew!!! It has been a very busy week.


This has been another YOP post.


Happy Stitching




21 November 2016

Oh My Goodness, Did You Miss Me

I can't believe so many weeks have passed and I didn't get to blog about anything.
I am truly sorry to my regular readers who like to see what I am up to.
It has been a long month (nearly two months to be precise).

I'll not bore you with details of the non-stitching stuff (because, frankly, it WAS mostly really boring stuff).

A big FO for me was this Freeform Weaving project.
Inspiration from my garden.
Size is about 22" x 15".
Includes freeform crochet scrumbles.






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I also finished the baby blanket and have sent that off.


This was the blanket that someone else started but passed away before finishing it.
The 'trouble' was that all the circles were different sizes, and it's nearly impossible to put circles together with a straight edge.
Anyway, I think I managed to make a reasonable blanket for the grandchild of the deceased lady, even if it does have uneven edges and quite a few 'hills & valleys'.
It has plenty of character, definitely not perfect, and holds many of life's little hiccups within it's essence.
It will be treasured for all the right reasons though.


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I have actually finally got my Ocean Freeform Challenge piece bordered, backed, quilted and hanging properly.
I wanted to finish it ready to hang in an exhibition.
I can now add that to my FO list.



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I attended a craft workshop at one of my local groups.
We made these mixed media canvas pieces.


This blue one is my piece.


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Yesterday I finished a circle weaving project using a home-made recycled plastic bowl for a loom.



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So, that's me..... finally caught up with blogging about my makes and creations.
Phew!!!


This has been another YOP post for your enjoyment.












20 November 2016

Warping a Rigid Heddle Loom - Tutorial



How To Warp A Rigid Heddle Weaving Loom

Looking from the back of the loom, this is the 'take-up bar' that your warp threads are tied to. 
The bar is attached to the rear roller with string. This should be permanently attached, and ready to warp for your next project.


The rear ratchet should be in the LOCKED position.


The warp threads are attached to the rear 'take-up bar'. 
(Note - I usually attach my rear warps first, but I know other weavers who like to to attach their front warps first. I don't think it is set in concrete which way it should be done. It's your personal preference).
Lay your lengths of warp threads on the loom. Start in the middle of the rear 'take-up bar'.
I usually hold about 8 to 10 threads in hand, pass them from the front of the loom over the heddle and over the rear 'take-up bar', pass the ends under the bar, split the threads evenly before bringing back on either side, and over the top, of the whole bunch of warp threads, and tie in a double knot. Don't tie too tightly just yet, in case you need to adjust the tension or position of any once you have tied all your warp threads to the 'take-up bar'.


Carry on tying your warp threads to the back bar.



 Hot tip:  Number a couple of sheets of recycled printer paper. Orientate the paper to landscape position, and write your Large numbers on the bottom of the paper.
Use this paper (starting with number 1), to slide in between the warp and the rear roller, as you turn the ratchet to take-up the excess warp thread. 
As your work (weaving cloth) progresses you can easily keep track of how much warp you have left on your back roller by checking what number you are on with the paper.


My project in this photo is about 15 inches wide, so I had to use two sheets of paper slightly overlapping. One piece was the numbered one and the other sheet was blank.


Carefully wind the back ratchet so that the 'take-up bar' is pulled towards the back roller, and start adding your paper as you roll. Kepp rolling the warp and paper until you only have enough yarn left to reach to the front roller.

Note: Remember to put the locking lever to the LOCKED position on the back roller ratchet.

Next you have to thread the warp through the heddle.
Most looms come complete with a special heddle hook that fits easily between the slots and into the holes to make threading each individual warp a lot easier for you.


The heddle has holes and slots. Warp thread is passed through each slot and hole in order.
As I am using a variegated thread for my warp, I do not have to worry about placement of different colours for this project. But if you are planning a particular pattern, then the warp threads might have to be threaded in a certain order for the pattern to show. Refer to your pattern instructions if you are using a pattern.
If this is your first weaving on a heddle, I would choose a solid colour warp thread, or a variegated like mine.
Hot Tip: Do not use a stretchy warp thread, especially if this is your first weaving project. Wool yarn is not suitable for warping because it stretches too much and you cannot keep good tension while weaving. There are special warp threads that can be purchased especially for this job, or you can use cotton, strong string, or similar.
I am using carpet weaving cotton which is strong and non-stretchy, but it is a bit 'hairy' as the following photo shows.


Here are all my warp threads hanging down loose after being threaded through the heddle.
This is when you make sure that you have enough length at the front of the heddle to tie the warp to the front 'take-up bar'.
If you need some more thread, just release the latch that is locking the back ratchet, and slowly pull enough warp for tying up.


Now tie your warp threads to the front 'take-up bar' in the same way that you tied the back bar.
Tighten the front ratchet to a suitable tension, and make sure that the locking lever is in the LOCKED position.


Voila!!! A warped Rigid Heddle Loom ready for weaving.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and can now warp your loom with ease.
Follow this blog to get first hand updates for when I upload more tutorials.

Happy Weaving