Archive for the ‘textiles’ Category


Slowing down.

March 2, 2010

Part of my being ill means I’ve been unable to keep up with a lot of things and I’ve had to slow down the rate I work on things and choose more determinedly between things I want to work on.

I haven’t done any work on my hexagon blanket, or sewn my belt bag together yet, mainly because ever since I figured out how to do those twisty crochet stitches I’ve been a little obsessed with them, especially “granny” stitch projects so have been spending my limited crafting energy on those.

I’m still somewhat obsessively working on my little sisters somewhat belated birthday present, which is taking up a lot of time and I can’t show it to you till its finished but I’ve started working on a crochet project for myself:


Using the leftover marble chunky from my pretty neaty cardi, I have started a triangular shawl pattern using the same principles as the granny square but in a triangle instead.

It involves a odd beginning where you seem to be working a semi circle, but then you start to shape it, and the chains at the beginning of each row create a lovely top edge.

Part of this crochet madness is partly because I’m finding crochet easier on my wrists at the moment and till the doctors help me get the pain under control, I seem to be able to crochet more than I can knit!

My blogging is slowing down as well, but i’m hoping to get back to more regular posts soon.


Thinking Inside The Square

February 9, 2010

I, Purplestocking, have an announcement to make.

Over the course of the last few days, whilst feeling terrible and not up to doing very much I’ve looked at the couple of books I have that show you how to crochet and I think I have finally managed to get the hang of it. Its not pretty yet, but its definetly crochet!

I’ve practiced my chains, my doubles and and my trebles. I even went so far as to try some half-trebles. Now, don’t all gasp at once.

This, completed on Sunday afternoon, is my first ever Granny Square and my second ever Granny Square.


Its not perfect but I think its beautiful. Sirdar Click Chunky, and a size 6 crochet hook. It took half a dozen attempts but as I’ve barely been up to getting up off the sofa, let alone anything else, my brain has been working on overtime and something finally clicked.

As someone who has been obsessed with Granny Squares for some time, this is a huge deal for me.

At my weekly knitting group last night, I was gifted with LOTS and LOTS of Sirdar Bonus Chunky yarn (free yarn is the best yarn in the world!) by the lovely Tsuki and straight away started working on some Chunky Granny Squares. She had got it all for a knitted blanket that never came to be and I’m helping it realise its blankety destiny. Things can have blankety destiny can’t they?


Rather dandy if I say so myself! Lots of pretty colours, although I am liking the idea of striping each one with the black. Can you stripe in the round?

Chunky yarn worked with a 7mm hook and a 4 round square. Measures about 6inches across.

The chunky crochet is also good for when my wrists and fingers are being painful (stupid M.E.), so thats something I can work on when my hands aren’t up to knitting socks or hexagons.

More coming soon, but for now I’m enjoying the feeling of finally conquering something I’ve wanted to for so long!


WISPy Wednesday

October 7, 2009

I’m still ill so you would think I have lots done…well, I don’t…Between naps and just simply not having the energy to do anything I’ve done hardly anything.



The first of Fella’s birthday socks is done and I unfortunately seem to have developed second sock syndrome. The boy has large feet and his socks always feel like a bit of a trek compared to mine.  I hope it isn’t also subconscious rebellion against Socktoberfest. That would be awful!


Seriously though – The top sock is mine, the bottom is his…no wonder they take so long!


I have made a mini sock – the idea is to make 2 dozen of them to be an advent calendar. The Fella and I find the prospect of an advent calender thats been sitting in the supermarket from the beginning of September particularly unattractive! It was fun and only took a couple of hours; great left over sock yarn project. If I knew of somewhere that sold mini skeins of sock yarn I might get some to make rainbow ones and black and purple striped ones and purple ones…


I’ve also been making mini (half size) bunting by quesselchen which is a very cool pattern. She and some others, including Tsuki, made metres and metres of it for Jen of Fyberspates. I literally halved the size of the pattern and adjusted accordingly. Excuse the fact I haven’t woven in the ends yet! I only plan to make a metre or so worth to go on one of my bookshelves. I think it will be 10 or maybe 20 little flags.

I’ve reached the 50 hexagon landmark for my blanket…just another 100 or so to go *rolls eyes* I must be a masochist. I need to do some proper maths and work out exactly how many I need.

I haven’t done a single stitch on my bloomers or my industrial rose socklets but I may give myself an hour on each at some point soon, or allocate one as Formula 1 knitting – then they get the Saturday qualifying time and the Sunday race itself dedicated to them.

I think I’m gonna hibernate my sideways silky short socks for the time being.


I’ve primarily been working on sewing on my rag doll.


I’ve made the body and I am currently embroidering her hair – Hundreds of french knots. I’ve done approx half her head so far and am using one of my huge doll making needles to help with pulling it through. I’ve already embroidered her face; I’ve made her less stern than the origional.


I do like the simple shape and I’ve decided to use brown rather than black to outline her features. Its softer. I will be giving her black Mary Jane style shoes and purple and black  stripy legs though – If I can’t wear purple stockings she may have to 😉 . Can’t decide whether to embroider or fabric paint them…i suppose I could even knit some!

I have some lawn I can make her undergarments out of and I’ll have to keep an eye out for a small enough print for her dress or a nice colour etc.

I’ve already had thoughts for more than one outfit.

Perhaps the fact I didn’t have dolls I could dress up as a child is finally affecting me! What do you think? Just what effect did my mother’s feminism and not wanting us to get affected by gender stereotypes have? Answers on a postcard please!


I’ve also been working on some quilting hexagons using some upholstery  fabric samples I was given. Am mostly planning to make them into a cushion for my computer chair..

I’ve got some garments planned at the moment, but they are waiting for me to feel up to clearing enough space to cut out fabric. More on those next week if i get anywhere with them.


I finally got round to cutting out a decent number of card blanks for ATCS…Now I just have to find the time/energy to actually make some and stick the little envelopes I’ve made together too! I would show you a photo but you really don’t want to see lots of little card rectangles…

I’ve been really enjoying blogging again the last few days and I am going to attempt to stick to some sort of loose schedule from now on.

leaf roses

Ooh and if I felt up to it I’d be out collecting leaves to make these.Aren’t they wonderful?!


Wispy knitting central

September 22, 2009

Don’t worry I haven’t transformed into a mist even though I  would if mists didn’t get colds. I am literally FULL of cold and it isn’t pleasant.

I’m talking about Works In Slow Progress. I’ve been so busy recently and had had a slight bout of startitis that means I now have several things on the needles….

This is rather an essay length post so you may want to get a cup of tea and a biscuit…ready?

  • Hexagon Blanket.

I started this project well over a year ago ( A year ago in July) and am currently up to 44 hexagons.  Don’t they look so pretty lined up all in a row?


This is my main knitting project this winter. This is a picture  of the hexagon template sheet I’m using to keep track of them – as you can see, I have quite a way to go.


To surmise whats happened since I started this project:

  • I started planning to make this entirely in one brand of yarn, Sirdar Country Style DK.
  • I stalled for a while and  changed my mind due to finding out my favourite colours had been discontinued trying to use other yarns
  • I tried using other yarns but then realised I would only get the same gauge using the same yarn so changed my mind back again and started collecting yarn in earnest.

I love the flecked colours of Country Style DK and really enjoy how it knits up.

Many thanks to Knitty, Vintage and Rosy who put the For the Love of Hexagons pattern on her blog for me to find when I was frantically searching for a KNITTED hexagon rather than a crocheted one. Seriously, until I found Norah Gaughan’s Knitting Nature, this was the only knitted hexagon pattern I’d found.

  • I have 3 pairs of socks on the needles, but they will be covered in a seperate post for tis nearly Socktoberfest time 🙂
  • Unmentionables – This is my HUGE project at the moment – another garment!


Knitty’s picture not mine. Thier copyright etc.

I first saw the unmentionable pattern from Knitty last year.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with knitted bloomers?
I’ve wanted to make them ever since, as always I’ve can’t buy the right kind of yarn at prices I could afford – it does need to be some kind of cotton blend.

As usual my ambitions outweighed my wallet, but I got a great amount of yarn for my birthday and so have started work on these. The yarn is a 50% cotton/45% rayon and 5% silk mix called Rowan Luxury Cotton DK. It’s deliciously soft.The colourway is called Bloom and is a greyish purpley lilac, with a strand of slightly deeper mauvey lilac twisted though it.


I’ve used a knitted provisional cast on as I have enough problems crocheting without trying to crochet  166 stitches onto a circular needle.

On saturday I knit about 13 rows, realised the cast on had been hopelessly twisted, frogged it all and re cast on again and knitted till I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Between Sunday and Monday evening I have knitted 30 rows overall (4inches of fabric) and used one 50g ball.

Only downside? They are those arty type balls that look great but as they are loosely wound centre pull balls they collapse in on themselves in a particularly unhelpful way.

I do actually have a couple of finished objects to show you!

I made some Knitfits.

  • Knitfits

These are drawstring bag with a i cord handle with a knitted strap in the middle which rests on your wrist. The idea is it means you can carry your small knitting project while keeping your hands free. I like the idea of this and have knitted a couple:

One in some multicoloured yarn and one in black.


DSCF3623They are a hand free yarn caddy so you have your hands free while you knit, and walk, etc…fun idea and I needed some WIP bags. To stop needles etc sticking through they are lined with the lids from blank CD/DVD spindles. I need to trim the catch spines from the edge though.


Hows that for upcycling!?

  • I also made a pouch/envelope for my journal:


Simple pattern made up as I was going along as there was nothing out there suitable.  Garter stitch,reverse stockinette turning rows, and a pointed flap. Side seams bound using a 3 needle bind off. Very simple and just what I need. Fits my journal, a pen and a couple of pieces of folded paper if i’ve made notes I want to journal about later.

I think thats all the knitting I have to show you at the moment and I will blog in a couple of days time with the sewing projects I’m working on.

It’s good to be back to doing this. Will keep you posted on progress on these WISPs.


Karmic Harmony

May 1, 2009

Well, my karma seems to be appriciating all the good things I’ve done lately; helping people out with things, getting back to work and generally trying to do unto others as I’d wish to be done unto.

My shawl design is coming along nicely and my lovely family were kind enough to get me some Knitpro Harmony needles in order to help with the process.

I LOVE these needles, they are slick but have enough friction to be just sticky enough to stop yarns sliding off and the colours on the needles are just beautiful; really uplifting to work with. Of course the fact that the cables are purple also help.

Kudos to P2tog who dispatched them straight away and are sending me a replacement set of 3mm tips as one of mine was faulty.

Futher Karmic payback include my fella’s dad using his fabulous wood turning skills to make me 4 bobbins for my spinning wheel; 2 standard and 2 with larger drive band wheel on the end of them.

In an effort to further boost my karma, I’m currently halfway through a trip visiting my family and a few old friends in my home town for a fortnight. On the train journey down I finished a hat, met an interesting man who is writing a very interesting sounding book on grafitti art, and defended the honour of my generation to the nicely opinionated man at the next table.

I do have to admit that while knitting I was asked what I was making and I couldn’t resist the urge to say “a postmodernist ironic statement hat”….*facepalm*

Unfortunatly all this socialising and “touching base” is seriously cramping my knitting time!

I shall post again soon!


Sense of Sisterhood

July 31, 2008

I have a very dear friend with whom I correspond regularly by letter and a while ago we were writing to each other about the sense of sisterhood we felt whilst working together to get some pieces finished for an art and crafts fair we were doing a stall at together.

We were sat up late the night before, by this point mainly powered by pots of tea, frantically finishing some pieces, and both of us felt a nice sense of connection, of solidarity through our handcrafts and through our love of textiles.

Now, this feeling of a sisterly union I’ve felt before, both in my reenactment days as there was often several of us, the night before the event huddled together doing last minute repairs and finishing our clothing (not the best thing to do by the light of a campfire, but needs must!)

I felt it today, whilst sitting in a nearby cafe chatting to a new friend about anything and everything,and I feel it when I go to my local knitting group.

It seems to be that this sense of coming together and having a stitch and bitch (or knit and bitch) or something similar is sadly missing from society today. The feeling of women coming together to be creative and just be women together seems to be something we cling to with the pressures of modern life. (And I’m not saying men should be excluded, I’m just saying its nice to spend time with other women)

There’s a really interesting article over at the Fword called Whatever happened to sisterhood, that’s really interesting.

Having moved to a town where I literally only knew a couple of people, making friends wasn’t easy as there were few places I could go to meet them, other than pubs and I don’t like getting to know people around alcohol.

Its taken doing something seen as traditionally feminine – knitting – to meet independent like minded women who have a wide range of interests and are interested in learning new skills like spinning (again, I’m not saying men don’t want to learn, I just haven’t met any yet).

There seems to be a paradoxical situation where women who have ‘feminine’ hobbies or careers feel they have to apologise for them and that I don’t agree with. I love to knit, sew, embroider, embellish and have pretty things. It doesn’t stop me believing in equality for the sexes. I can be a feminine feminist, dammit!

I applaud the current move in ‘subversive’ crafts, such as subversive needlework, The Anticraft, Sublime Stitching (God I wish I could afford to import some of her patterns!) etc, as well as Knitta Graffiti and similar activities but am just astounded by the resurgence of the mend and make (do) ethos that’s happening these days and it makes me proud to feel a sense of sisterhood with all this amazing creative women.

(I think that makes sense……)