Sunday, January 22, 2017

Skinny Skeins

I need to have a lot of different colours for my triangles blanket. So I spun and plied 200 g wool and then wound skinny skeins - 25 times around the niddy noddy instead of my usual 50. I finished up with 13 skeins,  I was happy with that.  That's quite a lot of dyeing, even in the microwave. To save time and energy, I did some two-in-one dyelots. I mixed up the dye powder, water and vinegar in a plastic tub, put one skein in and left it for a minute to absorb some of the dye and then put a second skein in. They could then be 'cooked' together. If you use a 'straight' dye, the second skein should be a paler version of the first. But when you mix dyes, the different elements are sometimes absorbed at different rates and the second skein can be quite a different shade to the first. I hope the photos below  illustrate this:

That's a sneaky way of dyeing fewer dyelots but still finishing up with a lot of different colours. One thing to remember is that if there is too much dye in the water, the second skein can be pretty much the same as the first, because the first one couldn't absorb what was in the water.

Day 5

In an afternoon photo, the shadows are different. I try to take photos in the mornings, but I've been busy today, cooking lunch for six people, and clearing up afterwards. It was 5 pm before I got to the tat it and see. I guess I could've left it until tomorrow to take the photo, but no, no, shadows it is.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Think Shipping

I had a lot of help and encouragement in my endeavour to learn the basics of Hardanger embroidery, from people in my craft group, blog readers, on-line tutorials..... Thank you all! I have now finished the bookmark, mounted it as per instructions and attached samples of fabric and thread. Whatever the judges say (trust me, they are very hard to please!) I have learnt a lot and really enjoyed the project.

Friday, January 20, 2017


The first ten completed triangles for my blanket. I altered the pattern slightly, making the side chains 2 chain each instead of 1 chain. The triangles will still need blocking, but I think they lie flatter than my original samples did. I haven't worked out how many triangles I'm going to need, but in any case this is just the beginning, many more triangles are needed!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 4

I haven't done a Z chain before. Like pearl tatting, it boggles the mind a little, you have to concentrate. Of course with tat it and see you don't have to concentrate for long, phew.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Thanks to SherryL for pointing out yesterday that my needleweaving was a bit loose. I had forgotten to put the fabric onto an embroidery frame when I worked it. This morning I did the third set using a frame. The result was so much better that I unpicked the first two and redid them. Unpicking was easier than I had visualised, phew.

The Open Squares

This is not a tutorial, you understand, it's just a response to a comment from someone who said they couldn't understand how the open squares were made on Hardanger work. The steps go like this:

A 'frame' of satin stitch blocks (kloster blocks) is worked.

The fabric is cut. In truth my scissors are not sharp enough for the job. I did contemplate leaving the job until I could borrow a really good pair of scissors, but the bookmark must be handed in at the next meeting, so I've carried on regardless.

The fabric threads which have been cut at each end are removed with tweezers.

This leaves a grid of threads like this.

Using a finer thread than was used for the kloster blocks, needle weaving is done on that frame of thread to reinforce them and make a set of open squares.

Like this.