Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Knitting magic

My goddaughter sent me this picture a while ago with a message which sounds like she was challenging me. That was enough to get me started.

Desktop4Pictures taken by my Goddaughter, somewhere in New Zeland

A quick search on Ravelry later, and I had this star pattern in mind. Rather than knitting the baby blanket, I've decided on making a scarf: I added garter stitches before and after the motive and on each sides. I also reworked the pattern in order to have a full big star on the centre.

And now, are you ready for some magic?  Depending on the angle you look at the scarf, you can either see white and black stripes or stars. Magic!

Magic knitting1

How does it work?  It is actually quite simple and clever. You need two contrasting colours of yarn, alternating 2 rows from each colour. The background row, in my case the dark one, is Knit on the front side, Purl on the back. The design colour, is Purl on the front, Knit on the back.  Knitting those 2 sets of rows will give a stripe texture piece. In order to create the motive, the Purl and Knit stitches are reversed where the motive happens.

Do find out more, you should go and check Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer’s website.  Their work is super impressive, so detailed with so much craftsmanship, precise planning... They are sharing some very informative tutorials on how to draft a pattern from a picture.

Here is my very humble contribution to the world of illusion knitting.

scrapbooking papers6


Monday, 19 September 2016

The Dove blouse

There are a few things I tend to shy away from.  Things like mystery quilt, swap with total stranger or pattern testing.  Not that I don’t like to do any of these, but I am not a super fast maker and I tend to start a new project on impulse.  Well, I sign for a pattern testing on an impulse…  When I read that Megan Nielsen was looking for testers for her new pattern my thoughts went: ‘why not?’ – ‘but her patterns are for young people, and I am not’ – ‘let’s register, anyway there’s going to be too many testers, I won’t be chosen!’…  And guess what?  I made it to the testers team!

So here is Dove, made from some cotton/linen bought at my local shop, the Sewing Studio (I think the fabric might still be in stock).  Was linen a good choice for this blouse?  NO because it wrinkles like mad and I had to iron far to many times during the construction.  YES, because it gives the garment a Bo-ho look that I love.

Dove has a V-neck, comes with 3 different sleeves: elbow, flare and bell sleeves (I made version 2 – flare sleeves).  I wasn’t quite sure about the flare or bell sleeves.  But again, the idea of testing a pattern was also to get out of my comfort zone.

Dove has a high-low curved hemline.  Did I mention before that I did not like high-low hemline?  I was WRONG.  I LOVE the high-low curved on this blouse, again the Bo-ho feel.

Dove test


Dove test1

Construction wise, it went like a breath.  The instructions are clear, going through each step in details (that’s why I love Indie patterns so much!).  The curved hem and the neck are faced which gives a nice, clean finish.  I had to grade the pattern as busty-me would not fit in the larger size, adding 3 inches.  It works well around the bust, but I think the shoulders are slightly too big now.  I am planning to make another one, and this time I’ll do a FBA and probably lower the French dart, and still add a bit of ease at the back.  I might also have to shorten the sleeves, they are cut in the bias and they have ‘grown’ since I made it.

I am so pleased and thankful to have been part of Megan Nielsen pattern testing. I probably would never have picked this pattern for myself and I would have been so wrong.  It is lovely, the lines are modern and flattering and I learnt that I am still young enough to be hipster ;).

There is a round up of the Dove Pattern testers on Megan’s blog, you can found it here.  There’s also an Instagram handle #MNDove.

NB.  have you notice my necklace?  I made it!  It is a fairly easy knotting project: glass and silver beads with contrasting silk thread, Buddha head stone and homemade embroidery cotton tassel.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Amazing people

Quilts made out of 93 blocks donated to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild – finished size 66x66

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this picture.  You might have liked it or even commented on it.  For all the Likes and the Comments, thank you, thank you so much.  This is probably one of my most popular entries on Instagram.  As much as I enjoy the attention, it has also made me reflect on a few things.

First, I really wish I had not made this quilt, I really wish the #QuiltsforPulse had no meaning, I really wish that there was nobody to receive those quilts, I really wish that the event which has made quilters from all over the world sew hearts had NEVER NEVER happened, that none of us had spent this summer wild amazed by this tragedy, that we did not have to congratulate ourselves for the enormous flow of generosity, being overwhelmed by everyone’s response to this drive.

Secondly, if you follow our Guild blog or receive our Guild newsletter, you might have seen the stats associated to the #QuiltsforPulse drive, but I am not sure it can encompass the scale of the project. 
This morning was our monthly meeting and the normally empty tables at the back of the room overflowed with quilts.  I don’t think anyone can really grasp how much work our committee members have been putting into organising the smooth running of this project.

From receiving the quilts and blocks, opening the mail (and getting rid of the packaging),
From sorting the blocks and organising them into kits to be sewn,
From coordinating the distribution of blocks to be pieced together, tops to be quilted, backings to be assembled, finished quilts to be bound and labelled (I went to pick up some quilts at the back of a parking lot and felt like a dodgy dealer ;),
From taking pictures of every single quilt for further documentation,
From coordinating with the various organisations involved with the victims and their families, and other people affected,
From working with suppliers so we have enough batting, thread, fabric to work on the quilts,
From organising thank you messages to quilters,
From keeping us informed of the progress,
From keeping us motivated, moving things along…

There are some amazing people behind all of this, working, giving their time and energy to ensure that all the received donations are given back to those who have suffered.  I want to express my gratitude and respect to all of them: they’ve been working and are still working to make sure that this worldwide act of generosity is passed around.  This drive would NOT have been successful without them.

If you want to see more of the quilts, have further details, go an explore some of those links: https://www.pinterest.com/OrlandoMQG/quiltsforpulse/, http://theorlandomodernquiltguild.blogspot.com/, https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/quiltsforpulse/.  Or go here and register to the Guild’s newsletter and here for the past issues.