Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Little Bit of Richelieu

Richelieu work or Cutwork is lace made by using a button hole stitch around fabric shapes.  The shapes are then cut out of the fabric and woven bars stabilize the fabric left.  Most of the cutwork I have seen was poorly made and used poor quality materials.  I mean no disrespect to the lacemakers.  They often work under poor condition, are under paid and have to supply their own materials.  But with time and quality fabric and thread there is no reason that it can't be beautiful.

Closeup of motif from a 19th century panel.

This morning I got up and wanted to try some Richelieu work.  Several years ago I bought a book on lace making called "The Art of Lacemaking" by Ann Collier.  The book includes a pattern for Richeliu and instructions. So today I prepared a finely woven cotton fabric and copied the pattern to it.  According to the instructions the first step is to embroider running stitches in between the pattern lines.  It doesn't say why but I believe it is to help stabilize the edges of the fabric.  Then as you stitch you run 3 or 4 long stitches when the pattern shows a connecting line.  At first I ran the stitches leaving working threads on both sides of the fabric.  But that would leave unworked threads hanging off the back of the fabric.  So I stitched a long stitch on the front and then brought the thread up beside the long stitch.  That way only small stitches would be on the back and they will be covered with buttonhole stitch later.  It will be a bit of work but it will also be lovely.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An Amazing Day

Today was the first day in 3 months that I felt able to get out of bed and actually do things.  Even my eyesight cleared and I could see really well.  So I got out the sewing machine and worked on several projects.  People who know me are probably shuddering right now.  I am a very clumsy person and my track record with sewing machines is quite bad.  In fact I have injured someone when the bobbin flew out of the machine and hit them.

At first when I got the machine out I was struggling to figure out how to even thread it.  But luck was with me and it worked wonderfully.  I used both a zigzag and straight stitch and sewed a tablecloth.  About half way through the sewing the bobbin ran out.  So then I couldn't get the bobbin rewound.  The truth is I couldn't get the first one wound either without moving the thread up and down while the thread spun around.  But with a little work I found the gadget that supported the thread and the bobbin wound evenly.  Then I tried threading the machine the same way and it made an awful noise.  Somehow I got the machine working earlier missing two gadgets and threading the needle backward!  This time I did it right and it worked great and I got 3/4 of the tablecloth finished.

Tablecloth of Japanese print and white satin.
Since the machine was working so well I also sewed a reticule using some heavy drapery type fabric.  I had tried to hand sew it but the fabric was to thick.  The fabric was from an old sample book that Lee's mom bought and shared with me.  I've wanted to make it for ages but I knew it would have to wait until I got the sewing machine working.  I am thinking of getting out the Kumihimo stand and making a matching cording for the seams and ties.  The lining was made from the leftovers of the table cloth.
Reticule pattern from about 1850's the fabric is beautiful.
Next I took some of leftover satin and made a Kippah.  The pattern was from "The Needle Worker" magazine August/September 1999.  It was a ribbon work project.  I haven't decided how to decorate it or what kind of fabric to line it, but then designing is half the fun!
Satin Kippah.
After all the sewing I decided to finish the Romanian Point Lace project.  While doing the needle weaving I saw where I didn't line up the braids so it looks wonky.  I love it!  It was a great experience and I hope to make another once I get the size 20 braid finished.  I wonder if a Kumihimo braid would work instead of the crocheted braid.  Well then it wouldn't be Romanian point lace anymore.  There are lace making techniques that use machine made braids.  I just don't know what they were called.  Part of the needle weaving problems I had was how thick the size 10 braid was.  It was so thick that it left little room for needle weaving inside the loops.
Finished Romanian Point Lace project.
I hope to have more productive days soon!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Romanian Point Lace and Other Stuff

The Romanian Point Lace project hasn't turned out like I was hoping, but I am still happy.  Sometimes you do learn more making mistakes.   When I taped project #1 pattern together I notice that it was slightly oblong.  But as I was just practising I didn't let it worry me.  Which is why I used size 10 variegated purple crochet thread, it was next to me at the time that I started.  The decision to use size 10 thread was because I was having trouble learning cord #1 in smaller thread.  Now that I know the pattern I've started crocheting braid for the next project in size 20 thread.  When I tacked the outside braid to it's path I didn't pay as much attention as it needed.  So there are some sections of the inner braid closer to the outer braid then it should be. I thought that if I drew a lace pattern in Coreldraw then I could print it onto some printable cotton canvas sheets.  That would make it a lot easier then trying to trace the patterns onto thick fabric.  I have been shaking more lately and Coreldraw should make things easier.  But even with all of that I am really happy with the project.  Here are some pictures.

Romanian Point Lace project #1.
The picture is a little blury but it shows
that the center worked out so lovely.
Lee went to the store and bought me some more DMC thread for the projects in the needle painting book.  Now I can start with project #1 and work my way through the book.
The Chrismas fairy has been on hold while I found fabric for her clothes.  Today I found a beautiful ribbon that I think will make a nice dress for her.  All of the stitching around her body is finished.  The wings are a concern because they are in the background so I can't make them to showy.  It has been a lot of fun to work on.
The research on hedebo and crewel work is going slowly but I've found some interesting information.  Now it is time to rest and sleep.  Tomorrow more lace work!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Burgundy Rose buds and the Brazilian Dimensional Embroiders Guild

Finished burgundy rose buds.

The Burgundy Rose buds are finished!  I wasn't paying proper attention to the large leaf and so it isn't shaded correctly. If I had followed the instructions the shading helps to shape the leaf, my leaf looks very flat.  While embroidering the leaves I realized I was still missing colors.  So I chose the greens as best I could.  The mistake I made was using two shades that were so close together that I had trouble telling them apart. So when they were embroidered it all looked the same shade.  But that taught me a lot about choosing colors.  Even with it's problems I am quite happy with the embroidery and I have learned a lot.  The book "Needle Painting Embroidery, fresh ideas for beginners" is a wonderful book, the only problem I had was with amount of thread required to do all the projects.  But if you buy the thread for just 3 or 4 projects at a time it isn't so bad.  I'm looking forward to the other projects especially the birds.  Tomorrow I will make the embroidery into a card.  I'm sure it will be beautiful.  Here are some progress pictures.

Filling in the leaf with shades of green.
Shading leaf.

Back of work.

Yesterday I was searching and found this web site  Rather a specialized guild but interesting.  I like doing Brazilian work but not enough to join.  The EGA should give me plenty of inspiration.  The Brazilian Embroidery Guild have a free pattern every month and this months is beautiful!  Here is a link to the pattern.  The stylized flower is very pretty and it has some challenging stitches.  I've already copied it to fabric and went through my stash of Brazilian threads.  Not that I need to start another project.

Working the Romanian Point Lace project has been a little more difficult.  This morning I copied the 1/2 pattern doily and taped it together into a complete pattern.  Then I copied the pattern to a heavy fabric and couched the crocheted cord to the inside cord path.  I am having trouble understanding the second crochet cording pattern.  It uses three single crochet groups alternately, but I don't seem to quite get it.  I was thinking that it might be fun to make a more decorative braid and use it on the outside braid path.  If I can't get the recommended braid pattern I may just substitute another edging.  Here are some pictures.

Couching crocheted braid.
Close up of braid couching.

Finished couching crocheted braid to the inner braid path.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Needle Painting

Needle Painted Roses in progress.
When I woke up this morning I really wanted to do many things but decided to try needle painting using the book "Needle Painting Embroidery, fresh ideas for beginners" by Trish burr.  I decided to try the 6th lesson because I had most of the needed colors and because the author explained that she had used this lesson to teach needle painting with.  So with some closely woven white cotton fabric I traced the burgundy rosebuds design using pencil.  Then I reread the basic instructions through again before starting to embroider.  The instructions were very easy to understand and it reminded me of art classes that I took years ago.  Then with my needle waiting to start painting I went to lesson 6.  The author broke the project into sections and gave very clear instructions on how to embroider and what colors to use and the order to work.  The book really is well written and the author is a skilled teacher.  So many hours later I have finally stopped because my hands are so tired.  This technique is as easy as it is lovely.  I recommend both the book and this style of embroidery.  Very different from what I usually do but I can see this technique improving my stump work bugs.  Here are some pictures of the roses in progress.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Collecting Supplies

This morning I got up early looking forward to the new books I received.  I even was going to work a little outside.  I had barely started in the yard when I found something that had been missing since the summer.  When I made paper last year I couldn't find the blade section of the blender.  Today I found it with my foot.  There was a sharp pain in my foot and when I lifted it up there was the blade of the blender hanging from my foot!  At this point I decided to go back inside. 

So now that I was safely inside I started to make up a list of threads needed for the first 5 lessons of the needle painting book.  Going through the DMC threads that I already had came up very short.  So I started to get dressed so that Lee could take me to Joann's Fabrics.  I was in the bathroom getting dressed when the strangest thing happened.  I was putting on my bra and somehow the bra hooks got caught in my underwear!  I couldn't do anything and had to have Lee help me get unhooked!  At this point I really thought that hiding in bed might be a safe way to spend the day.  But I was brave and went out anyway.  The reason I went to Joann's was they have a large selection DMC threads plus I didn't want anyone I knew to have to scan all the thread at the checkout!  Even with a list it took a long time to find all the threads.  I purchased 71 skeins and still didn't get everything.  I accidentally transposed some numbers and because some colors were mixed in with others I bought the wrong numbers.  So after all that I still didn't have enough colors for any of the first 5 projects.  So I decided to re-inventory the DMC thread I already had.  That took a long time!  My stash had 68 colors and when I checked it against all 15 projects in the book it really helped to fill in what I needed.  So then I made a list of what I still needed and it came to another 71 skeins!  To do all the projects in the book you have to take the store home!  So here I am with 142 colors and still need 71 more skeins of thread!  It never occurred to me that buying the thread would cost a lot more then the book.  This could explain why I don't know anyone who needle paints.

The Romanian Point Lace is on hold until I can get the braiding made.  It is getting easier to crochet the braid so next I will try to make size 20 braiding.  But I have had enough for today and think I will try again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I was asking Lee what he would like to do and he said watch a movie.  When I asked what movie, Lee brought out a Blu-Ray player and "The Hobbit"!  It was a nice surprise!  Then I got my box from Nordic Needle!  I am very happy with my order.  Now that I have a new set of tatting needle I can do more than practise.  The Romanian Point Lace book is very nice, so far I am working on making the crocheted cable.  The cable was to hard to crochet in size 30 thread and learn at the same time.  So I have been using size 10 thread.  If I can make 30 inches of cable I can start making a Romanian Point Lace motifs and practise needle weaving.  I'm really excited to learn more about the whole technique.  Romanian Point Lace will be my first point style lace.  If I can learn I will definitely create a tutorial.

The other book I ordered "Needle Painting Embroidery, Fresh Ideas For Beginners", by Trish Burr, is really lovely.  The lessons are very inspiring and I wanted to start today but I don't have the right colors of floss.  That usually wouldn't stop me but because the book is based on blending colors it makes sense to start with the suggested colors.  I am sure I will enjoy this book, I love just looking at the projects.  Tomorrow I hope to go out and get the embroidery threads maybe even a cup of coffee!

Some Research on Crewel Work

Today I started going through my crafting books looking for information on Crewel work.  So far the information has been interesting but not a lot of detail.  It came as a surprise that I have no books specifically on Crewel work.  Even the Golden Hands books don't refer to Crewel work but some of the surface embroideries look like they were inspired by Crewel textured stitches. So haunting the Internet for information doesn't help that much.  The images that come up doing a search are very lovely and I really like the Jacobean designs of the Tree of Life.  The designs are so stylised and flowing very beautiful.

This morning I finished outlining the Christmas Tree Fairy in black silk thread.  The fairy's dress will be made from some delicate white ribbon if I can find the ribbon in my stash.  I've spent enough money on supplies lately along with several books, so I want to use what I have first.  Besides I have a ton of threads and ribbons.  So far I have a good idea for the background embroidery.  The Christmas ornaments are going to be a bit tricky because they are in the middle ground and two much embroidery will upstage the fairy.  Perhaps a few stitches in rayon threads to add a bit of sparkle to the ornaments.  Her wings would probably look best lightly embroidered in accents of rayon, silk, beads and a bit of fine thread needle weaving.  Tomorrow will be a quiet day so we will see what I can get done.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cicel Mary Barker's Christmas Tree Fairy

Cicel Mary Barker's Christmas Tree Fairy.

Tonight after cheesecake and presents we came home and I started to rummage through the fabrics for something interesting and fun to do.  After days of needle weaving I needed to do something with fewer rules.  There in the fabrics were the Cicely Mary Barker's fairies.  The fairy I chose was the Christmas Tree Fairy.  So I got some fine white fabric for the backing and started stitching it to the fairy block.  The reason for a backing is that it adds strength to the project so that no tearing and holes are made while embroidering.  Using white I started taking large stitches from the center of the fairy block out to the edges.  After tacking in north, south, east and west directions I then tacked from the center in a diagonal direction.  Finally I tacked all the way around the edges of the fabric.  With that important step finished I worked on outlining the fairy's face, arms and legs using Gutermann black silk thread.  Taking very fine stitches and working in the black outline of the fairy this both accented the image and made it possible to trapunto the area later.  Then I spent some time looking at the book "Flower Fairies in Ribbon Embroidery and Stumpwork".  After all that work now comes the playing!  So many fibers and techniques!  But that is for later today, it is time to get some rest.

Full image of the Christmas Tree Fairy.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finished and Happy and Cheesecake

Last night I was up until 4:00 am making a cheesecake for today.  The recipe was very simple but was a last minute idea.  The cheesecake calls for 1 hour of baking and then 1 hour in the oven without heat.  Making the cake this way creates a beautiful top.  After that I let it sit 1 hour on the counter before refrigerating it.  The cheesecake is an Alton Brown recipe.

The doily is finally finished!  Last night I almost finished all the buttonholing on the edge of the doily.  This morning it took 2 hours to complete and another 2 hours to run all the ends and repair weak spots and thread breaks.  I had to use "Stop Fray" on some of the shorter threads.  First putting the glue on the thread and then running the end.  I took a great deal of care with finishing so hopefully the doily will last. 

While I was cutting the doily from the fabric I was at first nervous but the unwoven edging made it very simple.  Definitely worth the effort of all the thread pulling.  As I cut I became excited seeing the hardanger needlework turn into a piece of lace!

Cutting the doily free from the fabric.
The true test was in the washing!  After admiring the doily came the washing.  I washed it gently by hand and it stayed together!
Finished hardanger doily.

Monday, March 18, 2013

In the Home Stretch or How to Finish a Hardanger Doily

Saturday night I was working on the doily and cut the wrong threads.  It was devastating.  I put away the doily and Sunday tried to reweave the mistake but nothing worked.  After rethinking the design I could save the original shape and all of the needle weaving.  So the doily is small again and I made another bad cut but I was able to reweave it.  So today I was buttonholing the outside edge.  That required that I pulled almost as many threads outside the doily as I did inside it.  Slowly it is coming together.  Tonight I will bake a cheesecake and will finish the doily in the morning.  I want fresh eyes on the doily before I make the final cuts.
Unweaving around doily before adding buttonhole edge.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

EGA Meeting

Had a lot of fun at the EGA meeting.  It was inspiring to see so many people doing different projects.  Got a lot of help on the hardanger doily.  Not to many surface embroiders were there, mostly canvas work.  The projects were really nice but I think surface embroidery is really for me.  They were working on bookmarks for the library reading program, when got home I looked through some small projects that would make nice bookmarks.  The only thing that I didn't like were their class projects.  The projects were very nice and creative but not what I would really enjoy.  We will see how the next meeting goes!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Going to an EGA Meeting

Today has been busy.  This weekend is the local Embroiders Guild of American meeting.  So I was going to stop by and see what the meetings were like.  What I'm really interested in is their magazine and lending library.  Doubtfully I will get to many meetings.  Then I realize that I don't have a scissor fob.  I lose things so easily and I don't want to take some one's scissors home by mistake.  There will be a lot of people at the meeting with stork scissors.  I tried making a fob from a fabric motif of a fan but it was too small.  I couldn't turn the fan inside out without breaking the seams.  Sad it didn't work because it would have matched my scissor case.  I just ended up tying a ribbon to the handle.  That works too!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Miserable Day

The doily had issues today.  I was working on the doily when I discovered that two threads going different directions in the same intersection tore.  This took a bit of work to weave it back together.  How the fabric tore I don't know but the fabric was showing signs of wear.  The wear caused the fibers to become fuzzy and it made the weaving uneven.  So I was determined to finish the diamonds today before anything else went wrong.  It is not as nicely woven as I hoped but it looks alright.  The only good news is the threads and books are on the way hopefully in time to finish the doily.

Two diamonds finished.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reticella Started

When I started working on the doily today I cut the wrong threads straight away.  So I just put it up.  Instead I found some old leftover hardanger pieces and started a reticella square.  First cutting out a 1.25 inch square from the fabric I ran two padding stitches around each of the sides using size 8 thread.  Then using size 8 thread again, buttonholed around the opening.  I forgot to leave four threads horizontal and verticle in the opening.  So I will need to start the next step by running perle cotton to fill in for the missing threads.  But that will have to wait for tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hedebo Whitework

The last days I have been reading descriptions of hedebo whitework.  My interest in this form of whitework comes from demonstrating at the museum in Solvang.  They really like people to demo needlework tecniques from Denmark and I have demonstrated at Elverhoj before.  It was lots of fun and I learned a lot.  Slowly I am coming to understand hedebo and found two patterns in the book "Victorian Fancy Stitchery".  But that may have to wait because there is still the Fair, and I have kept very few projects left from last year.

Today I placed an order with Nortic Needle.  The thread for the pink hardanger doily is going fast and no local store has the right color.  While ordering I got some tatting needles and a book on Romanian Point Lace but it is different from the more expensive book.  Today a whole lot of used "Romanian Point Lace" books showed up on Amazon as used as low as $150.  Maybe that will lower the price some more.  For those who don't know about Romanian Point Lace it is made by crocheting a cord which is then tacked down and lace filling stitches are added.  It is a very lovely form of lace.

The second hardanger diamond is half done.  That means that I have to decide on what to do with the area around the hearts.  Lee thinks the Reticella Lace would be nice.  I will have to try out a reticella square before I try it on the doily.  Going to rest my eyes and hands and start again tomorrow.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hardanger Hazards

Progress on hardanger doily.

When starting a piece of cutwork I get a sinking feeling in my tummy and making those first cuts of threads is stressful.  But the accident I had last night was unique.  While finishing the first diamond of the hardanger doily I accidentally wove my hair into it.  When I let go of the fabric it was hanging from my head.  I immediately thought of all those silly cartoons.  So I cut it out of my hair and rewove the section.  It proves that you should not work on projects while sleepy.  So far the project has 49 dove eyes and nearly 400 woven bars.  The original design had 1/10 of the needle weaving and it is difficult doodling cutwork.  After looking through some cutwork books I decided to try a reticella square in the two other corners of the doily.  I have two wonderful pattern books.  "Renaissance Patterns for Lace, Embroidery and Needlepoint" by Federico Vinciolo and "Pictorial Archive of Lace Designs, 32 Historic Examples" by Carol Belanger Grafton.  So now I just have to pick a pattern.  About a quarter of the second diamond is finished but there is still a lot to do.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Books, Books and Books

This morning I was reading "Needle-Made Laces and Net Embroideries" by Doris Campbell Preston.  It is a Dover book reprinted from the 1938 edition.  The book gives an over view and instructions on several types of lace work.  Wanting another source I went to  they have a large selection of needlework books.  There I saw "Jours Modernes A Fils Tires " a reproduction print of the first four books for $40.00.  Then I went to Amazon and they had an original copy of the 6th book for $49.30  So I went to Google to see if I could find the books elsewhere and saw one of the books offered for 25,00 euros.  So finally I went to
There all 6 books were available for free download and then I printed some.  All it cost me the ink and paper but I am really quite happy with the find.  When buying books it really pays to check several sites.  Especially older books.  If only I could find a book called "Romanian Point Lace" for a good price, it is over $400 on Amazon and $200 at Lacis!

I haven't yet worked on the hardanger piece yet today.  However I have been looking at the antique hardanger books and looking forward to my next piece with more advanced needle weaving.  Better start weaving again or the doily will not be finished in time.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

5:30 AM Cats and Schwalm

This morning at 5:30 the cat went off and woke me up.  She had eaten all the cat food!  Of course I am her biped with opposable thumbs.  So she walked on me until I woke up.  After making certain she had enough food I went back to bed.  However I decided to outsmart her by staying up because I knew she would want to go out the window after eating.  So I went through the book "Schwalm Embroidery, Techniques and Designs" by Christine Bishop.  It didn't take long to read the book because there was only a short section describing what makes Schwalm embroidery.  It has very specific rules to differentiate Schwalm from other forms of embroidery.  First is the use of "Tree of Life" symbols.  This embroidery uses tulip, heart, pinecone, sun, flowers, fruits, leaves, tendrils and dove designs.  Schwalm also uses a variety of embroidery stitches some in specific orders.  Chain stitches surround the designs followed by the coral stitch.  The embroidery is also rich in decorative stitches and uses both pulled and drawn techniques.  I have actually never seen any Schwalm embroidery and wouldn't even know about it if it weren't for this book.  Looking through the book it has wonderful designs and projects and I enjoyed looking through the pictures.  The instructions are very detailed but some of the illustrations for the stitches left me a bit confused.  If I were just starting to learn pulled and drawn work I would probably have trouble.  But with some experience and a book of stitches I believe I will really enjoy the challenge.  The cat waited until I went back to sleep before wanting out!

The hardanger doily is coming along slowly.  I forgot that it takes me four times longer to do things now.  But I am almost finished with one diamond with lots of dove eyes.  The rest of the doily will depend on how much time I have left after the diamonds are done.  One idea is to make some needle woven squares to put beside the hardanger hearts.  Guess it will work out somehow.

Hardanger doliy.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quite Insane

Last night I worked on both the hardanger doily and lace scarf.  The work on both has been slow.  It has been some time since I last did any hardanger and this doily is the largest piece I have tried.  So I read through the hardanger instructions so that I knew the correct way to proceed.  There was one thing the instructions said that was very different from what I had done before.  It suggested only cutting and pulling a small section at a time.  That makes some sense because the fabric is more stable when weaving bars.  But by not pulling all the threads you don't know if the kloster blocks line up!  What a horrible feeling after all the weaving to find that the klosters don't match up!  But I've decided to do a section at a time to see if it aids the bar weaving.  During all this I was half tempted to buy a gift certificate and lose the doily in a pile of projects.  Every one would be happy and I wouldn't be struggling to finish the project.  Well maybe next year.  The only thing that keeps me crafting is that the projects aren't easily purchased and if done well can become heirlooms.  If I can make them well!  Actually I found some lovely hardanger work on Etsy just now that are at incredible prices.  At least they don't have any schwalm work!

The mountmellick white work pillow was my first idea for a gift.  It was starting to really look nice until I used some size 5 white perle cotton.  At first I didn't notice the thread was slightly off white.  So the project is at a stand still while I decide whether to tear out the thread or wash the piece.  Such problems just making a gift!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hardanger and Schwalm Work

The hardanger doily is coming out well.  For the first time I was able to stitch the hardanger star motif.  The embroidery was difficult for me and it had to be pulled out several times.  Then the real fun started with cutting threads and weaving the uncut ones.

Embroidered stars.
Cut threads and reweaving started.
Even on 22 threads to the inch the doily looks lacy.  So far the closter blocks are lining up, the only problem has been two threads accidentally cut.  The cut threads were easily rewoven and don't show.  Earlier I was tempted to add some Schwalm embroidery techniques but decided to stick with the traditional hardanger.  Tomorrow hopefully the first diamond will be finished.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lace Curtain Scarf II

It has been a cold rainy day which is just what we needed.  The area has not had a lot of rain this season so every rain is important.  Still sore from doing hardanger yesterday I decided to do some crocheting.  So with the rain beating against the window I decided to make a Spring/Summer lace scarf.  The lace was a piece of curtain lace purchased at the craft store for $3.00.  I have bought lace curtain fabric and made a scarf before.  So when I saw the delicate netted lace fabric I thought of making another scarf.

Lace curtain material.
One of the reasons for selecting this material was that it had repeating strips of lace across the material.  This made it easy to cut the scarf piece from the rest of the fabric.  I chose a section of five strips and cut the fabric close to the straight line separating the sections.
Cut edge of fabric.
At first I tried crocheting a scalloped edging on the cut edge of the scarf but it wasn't delicate enough.  So with size 30 thread and a size 10 crochet hook I made a single crocheted edge.
Crocheting an edging on the fabric.
After a couple of tries the edging looked best when each netted loop had a single crochet in it.
Single crocheted edging.
The single crochet edge looked great but I wanted to make it a bit more ornate.  So I went over the single crochets with a crab stitch.
Crab stitch edging.
The crab stitch is easy but strange.  Another name for the crab stitch is a reverse single crochet.  Once you finish the single crocheted edge you work back on the edge without chaining or turning the work.  You simply put the hook in the last single crochet and work another single crochet.
Single crocheted edge finished.

Working the beginning of the crab stitch.
Working the beginning of the crab stitch by reversing the hook in the last crochet in this case it is being worked left to right.
Here the crab stitch is in progress when the thread is worked into the single crochet and the thread loop is picked up.
A yarn over and pull thought the loops completes the reverse single crochet or crab stitch.
You will know when you have it right because it will create a little pearl like stitch.
Completed crab stitch edging.
When working the crab stitch the thread will want to wrap itself around the crab stitch to the left.  It is best to keep a tight control on the thread and give the thread an extra tug before starting the next stitch.  It is a tricky stitch but it is worth learning.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pink Hardanger doily

More work on organizing the craft area.  I battled my way past massive piles of crafting supplies beating them back into containers and bags.  Not without a few bruises and cuts.  It seems so difficult to organize things because of all the hobbies.  The fabric stash seems so large and uncontrollable but in fact almost all of fabric fits on one shelf of the linen closet and embroidery chest!  Tomorrow I must make a safari hat and net, wade into the swamp of supplies and hope that there are no half finished stuffed alligators in the soggy marshland!  Somewhere in the room is a crocheted wedding dress I want to finish and other odds and ends. 

Ok, it really isn't that bad but the room is a challenge and I do have bruises.  Today I got the outline of the hardanger doily finished.  But I will have to put in a row of buttonhole stitch and I'm running out of size 8 thread.  I also tried to put in another heart shape but had to cut it out.  My eyes gave out and tomorrow will be counting threads on the fabric to center the embroidered stars.  Hopefully this will be a happily received gift, hardanger isn't that hard but it is time consuming.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Halloween Cross Stitch

The day was a major organizing event.  Going through craft supplies and getting odds and ends together.  The problem is that so many crafts use the same supplies.  Looking though some yarn supplies I found my stork scissors,  They have been lost quite a while.  This evening I worked a Halloween cross stitch.  I lost my place in the pattern so instead of throwing it across the room I adapted the pattern.  Here is what I did so far.

The embroidery stitches form a pumpkin shape.  The original pattern is by Jeannette Douglas.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cross Stitch Pin Cushion

2.5 x 2.5 cross stitch pineapple motif.
The other day I was looking for some Easter cross stitch patterns and found this pineapple motif.  The pineapple was part of a sampler.  I never seem to be able to do cross stitch.  Counting threads and working colorful threads into the right holes defeats me.  But this pattern was very simple and used only four colors.  So I was able to make the cross stitch using a scrap of 28 threads per inch cotton over 2 threads.  I'm very proud that I was able to stitch the pineapple.
Yesterday I started a hardanger doily and it is so much easier then cross stitch.  Hardanger is easy because the fabric is woven 2 threads together equalling 22 threads per inch.  Then cloister stitches, 5 stitches over 4 threads, is worked back and fourth creating the edges.  When the edges are done threads are cut and drawn out of the design.  Then the threads remaining are woven into different designs.
Hardanger motif edges done in closter stitches.
Hardanger motif with threads drawn out and needle weaving started.
Hardanger heart done on 32 threads per inch worked over one thread,
The handanger doily is waiting to be worked on.  I'm thinking of adding two more diamond shapes to make it wider.  The design has to have lined up closters or it will fall apart when cutting.  So I am being very careful and will work on it when my head is clearer.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hardanger Doily

After a lot of thinking I got out all the linen and decided to make a small hardanger doily as a gift.  Using a picture from a magazine I am working out the pattern.  There are a lot of gifts to catch up on so this month will be busy.

Hardanger doily in progress.
Another gift idea I had was to make a clothes pin doll.  I found a pattern in an old "Crochet with Heart" magazine but I made a a lot of changes to it.
Clothes pin angels.
My adapted pattern.
The doll came out really cute and I have an idea of using stumpwork wings and making a dragonfly clothes pin next.