[other] Let’s digress with jewellery

Yes, it seems I have too much free time on my hands, I need to find another hobby such as jewellery! No seriously, the reason I made these is that I love earrings, I have loads of them and I want have many more. I had my ears pierced rather late (I was 22, my father had always said no) but I think I’ve made up for all this time without earrings by now.

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When I went to the CSF fair in November with my friend Catherine, there were many booths selling jewellery items and how can you not be tempted to try some. In one of those booths, I don’t remember which, I picked up a little card of this online blog and shop: “Mon bijou facile” (you can translate it as ‘my easy jewel’). The blog offers tutorials for easy necklaces, bracelets and earrings and they sell everything in the little online shop. What’s not to love?! As I’m not particularly creative, I copied the tutorials with the same exact colours 🙂 So far I’ve made one bracelet, one necklace and 4 pairs of earrings. And I’m going to make many more.

 

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As for overdiversification, it’s not getting any better: after seeing this photo on Instagram, I had to order a Constellation Quilt Kit by Haptic Lab. If you don’t know them already, go and see their work, it’s amazing! And no, I’ve never made a quilt, but I can always learn, no 😉 ?

 

[crochet] Snowflake CAL with iMake

Have you heard of Martine and Jen’s most recent CAL? it’s all about snowflakes! They pick 2 or 3 each month for Caitlin Sainio’s book and we get to crochet along. It’s really not very involved as you can crochet a snowflake in 15 minutes up to 2 hours if it doesn’t work as planned. This means it’s been very easy to include in my busy knitting and embroidery after dinner schedule.

So far I’ve done all the snowflakes for January and February and eagerly waiting the announcement for March.

I’m using a white silk yarn from my stash: brilliant use for it, because I could not think of anything else to do with 100 % silk yarn.

Both Martine and Jen make sure to include a beginner pattern in the selection so you can build experience along the way. So far I’m making good progress, I now know how to read the charts! I encourage you to join us, there’s still time to catch up if you are so inclined. Everything you need to know about the CAL can be found either on the Ravelry iMake podcast group or on Martine’s blog. Happy crochet!

 

[sewing] [embroidery] Sashiko bag

Finally finished! It took me ages to finish this bag, though the actual embroidery itself wasn’t that long to do. Had I been working on it more regularly, it would have been finished ages ago. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself though, otherwise what’s the point of a craft?

Doing these three panels, I discovered I prefered curvy patterns rather than lines: the process is funnier and the result suits me best. I’ll have to remember that when planning for my bedspread (you know, the one I aim to finish before 2020). So now I have another knitting bag, of an intermediate size: perfect for a few balls of yarn and a knitting magazine – exactly what I need for my baby knitting. Can you tell I love my new bag?

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My preferred one is the top one!

[embroidery] Sashiko again

Even if my sewing has slowed down a little the last few weeks I still have plenty of things to show you, but not yet. I also would like to share with you my findings at the latest fabric festival (Stoffenspektakel !) that we attended last weekend. I went with my two friends Lucy and Catherine and we spent a little money and had a great time together fondling the fabrics. We also bought some notions and and helped Lucy find some basic equipment as she’s starting to sew. It’s wonderful to have a new addict with us !
But now I have another kind of work in progress to show you. A few months ago I shared my first attempt at Sashiko and in the meantime I have thought about something easy I could stitch for training. Of course it had to be a knitting bag. I chose three different patterns and organise them in panels, I have nearly finished the second one. I’m planning to make a very basic knitting bag: a simple rectangle with handles. I’m not working on it very regularly so I don’t know when it will be finished. I think I treat embroidery and Sashiko as I do spinning: it’s an occasional activity that I sometimes feel the urge to do (I haven’t touched my spinning wheel in months now).

I really love the simple lines of Sachiko as well as the two contrasting colours. One day maybe I will be brave or patient enough to make a bedspread (or do you say bedcover?)

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[embroidery] Normal service will resume shortly

Yes, I’m finally on holidays and at home for the most part, it means I can get back to my sewing machine! I did sew a few items during the weekends over the past months but haven’t had time to photograph them or even blog about them. So they will probably appear here in between newer stuff.

Sashiko swatching

Strange thing is, now I have time to sew, I don’t know where to start! I’m slightly overwhelmed: I have plenty of ideas but can’t get round to even pulling out a pattern. I want to make the most of my time at home but instead of that I seem to be wasting this time! Oh well, I’ll try not to be too hard on myself.

Above is something I haven’t technically started yet because I needed to practice before engaging time and effort in it. Since I discovered sashiko, I wanted to try; I really like embroidery but am not much into cross stitch: I prefer simple lines and colours and sashiko seems to suit my tastes a lot.

sashiko needles (very long) and sashiko thread in my tin box from last easter – isn’t it cute?

I’ve started by doing a kind of swatch: I won’t be doing anything with this at all but it helped me practice regularity of the stitches and make progress on corners. Corners are important in sashiko and there is a preferred way to do them.

Practicing corners on the smaller squares

Inspiration and motifs come from this book: The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook by Susan Briscoe. It has beautiful stitch patterns and clear instructions on where to start when you’re an absolute beginner like me.


If you’re interested in this kind of embroidery, I really recommend this book : I probably won’t use all the patterns but there are so many that the book will keep me occupied a long time before I need to move on to something else.

Achats du jour

Les achats du jour : une partie vient de chez Butinette (je suis d’ailleurs très contente du service, je recommanderai à nouveau sur ce site), l’autre de chez Paulo Tissus à Orchies (petite déception de ce côté-là).

– jersey noir romanite 1,4 m à 9,95€ le ml. Composition : 75% polyester, 22% viscose, 4% élasthanne. Environ 300 g/m²
– jersey noir extensible 1,4 m à 6,95€ le ml. Composition : 96% viscose, 4% élasthanne.
– 100% coton petits cercles 1,9 m à 7,50€ le ml. Environ 130 g/m²

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Chez Paulo tissus
– coton gratté ? 5,10€
– coton imprimé à pois 6€

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Craftsy BOM

Dans la droite ligne de ce que j’annonçais hier au sujet de l’apprentissage continu et de la découverte, je me suis inscrite au cours en ligne “The Craftsy Block of the Month”. Il s’agit d’un cours gratuit sur 12 mois et on découvre chaque mois un ou deux blocs de quilting. Je ne connais pas cette technique et ça me permettra d’apprendre doucement, à mon rythme et surtout sans me prendre trop de temps. J’ai donc créé une nouvelle catégorie : BOM.

Je vais essayer de suivre le rythme : pour janvier il y a deux blocs – “The Asterisk Block” et “The Wonky Pound Sign Block”. A la fin de l’année, je devrais avoir un quilt de 140 x 170 cm, soit déjà une belle taille. Si j’ai bien compris, chaque bloc fait 30 cm de côté. Première étape : le matériel. J’envisage de faire un quilt avec fond noir et du bleu en couleurs constrastantes. Je ne sais pas très bien où je vais trouver des fat quarters en bleu, je vais donc partir à la chasse !

Oma house slippers – petits chaussons

Une petite réalisation au crochet, très rapide et utile tout de suite ! Oma house slippers de Tara Murray, disponibles sur Etsy. J’ai eu quelques soucis de taille, je n’ai pas de crochet de 6.5 mm. J’ai donc essayé, dé-crocheté et recommencé : je fais une taille 7, mais j’ai fini par faire une taille 11-12 avec deux fils de Garn Studio Drops Paris, 100 % Coton. Donc si je veux en faire des plus grands, il va falloir investir dans un crochet plus grand également. En attendant, mes pieds sont heureux, c’est léger, lavable et très discret – je peux me mouvoir sans bruit comme mon Chaton.


A very quick project to crochet: extremely useful! Oma house slippers by Tara Murray, available on Etsy. I had to start again because my gauge wasn’t right and ended doing 5 sizes bigger. I really need to buy a bigger crochet! The pattern calls for a 6.5 mm and my biggest is 6 mm. I used 2 colours of Garn Studio Drops Paris, 100 % cotton. My feet are happy, the slippers are very lightweight, washable and discrete: I can move around without making noise, just like my cat.

Crimes contre le crochet – Crimes against crochet

Je crochète peu et je n’accroche pas nécessairement à tous les modèles (comme en tricot, ceci dit), mais je suis prête à défendre le crochet contre certains criminels qui le torturent. Les preuves ici et ici (entre autres). Attention, ça pique les yeux !
I hardly crochet and I’m not necessarily keen on all crochet patterns, but I’m ready to protect this craft against huge crimes. Evidence can be found here and here (amongst other). Be warned, colours are very bright!

fin du tour de Fleece

eh oui déjà ! et à l’heure du bilan, je suis loin d’avoir atteint mon objectif.. Mais je me suis fait plaisir et c’est pas mal non plus. 
J’ai fait quelques échantillons avec la toison tout juste lavée de Romney avant de me lancer dans le filage complet des 500g. J’ai donc expérimenté différents types de retors : 2 brins, 3 brins et Navajo et en fin de compte, je crois que le 3 brins sera le plus adapté. 
Tour de Fleece is nearly finsihed ! I haven’t achieved everything I had planned, but I really enjoyed spinning theses different fibers. Recently I’ve swatched some of my handspun Romney to determine which plying would suit best between 2 ply, 3 ply and Navajo. And I’ve chosen 3 ply, the one in the middle of the photo.
Voici les trois petits échantillons (le finaliste est au centre) avec la toison avant cardage – elle sent nettement le mouton, ça change des laines commerciales !
Et pour changer du rouet (et aussi parce que j’avais quelques soucis pour filer cette fibre au rouet), j’attaque une grosse boule de mérinos au fuseau. 
I’ve had this blue merino for almost a year now, and couldn’t really spin it because the singles snapped way to often on the spinning wheel. So after having a look at this post here on the blog Things and Ideas, I decided to have a go again, only with my spindle. And for now, it works great !
Jusqu’ici mon fil se casse nettement moins qu’au rouet, donc je vais continuer comme ça ! Le poids du fuseau est parfait et la pierre de la fusaïole est très belle ce qui ne gâte rien.
La fibre mérinos vient des Laines du Mouchon ; le fuseau et la toison de Romney viennent de chez Alysse créations. Je crois qu’ils vont devenir mes deux nouveaux fournisseurs de fibres !
Merino fibre from Les Laines du Mouchon; Romney fleece and spindle from Alysse Créations.