Knitting Patterns by Lyndell

Halter Neck Dress for Neo Blythes - here
Design your own Dress for Neo Blythes - here
Gum-Nut Hat for Neo Blythes - here

Who? What? eh?

This is the blog of a constant crafter - a 'showcase' for some of the things I make, some hints for crafting & recylcing - lots of photos and some words. I hope it will inspire.
Please Note: all photos are Copyright.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Making Lace amongst the Ducks

We've been finding lots of lovely images of French lace-makers on the web - most of them are from old post-cards.

They are in Le Puy-en-Velay in France. I presume they lined up outside for the photographer and didn't normally make lace in the poultry yard :-) Love the wooden clogs and their head-wear but just look at how many bobbins are on those pillows!

I don't believe I'm contravening any copyright by posting this image here - but please contact me if there is a problem.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Some Knitting, Some Lace and the Dolls' House

Knitting - found a bargain on my last trip to Spotlight ... Patons' Bluebell at $2 a ball! There was a nice dark tealish green and my grandson lurvs green so I grabbed enough (plus a bit) to make a vest for him. A vintage styled vest. In the 30s & 40s textured stitches were very popular for masculine knits, lots of twisted stitches, some cables and lots of patterns in simple knit & purl.

I had a lovely time trawling though my vintage patterns and eventually selected this knit/purl stitch pattern - the original is called "Lance" or perhaps that was the name of the dog. I'm using a more modern pattern for the maths but will adapt as it has 80's armhole shaping.

Lace - lots of lace news :-) At Epping Lace group on Thurs I only managed to do 1 tiny exercise - The Footside from Jennifer Fisher's book "Torchon Lace for Today" but that night I had the bright idea of making that exercise - in much finer thread - to put on the ends of the towels I'm making for my dolls' house. Only problem was that I'd had the book on loan and had returned it. So next day I had to try to remember how it went - luckily it is very simple. Not sure I got it quite right but in 1 strand of embroidery floss it does make quite a good, very fringe like trim for a miniature towel. Cheap Emb floss does not wash well though - I think this will benefit from a bit of ironing.

I must say that it felt wonderful to make my first pieces of Lace for a Purpose - not just a sample or exercise - even though the purpose is rather a silly one, being trim for miniature dolls' house towels! Here are some of those towels in situ - with new "perfume bottles" and new "plant" - it is a new species, the African Sage Violet.

The bathroom is almost done now - solved another little problem too. As the dolls' house is a cupboard all the rooms are quite deep - which means that the small rooms are awkward to arrange - with one bit of furniture hiding others and those at the front dominating. The ceramic wear was a cheap set (which I then painted) and I've always been unhappy with the base of the hand basin, it's clumpy, but how to disguise it? plants? a little rubbish bin? Had another bright idea looking at my sewing thimbles ... I had one that is too large and has a flat tip ... paint it up and voila!

But back to Lace - also went to the Lace Guild day at Linnwood on Sunday, spent lots of credit card and now I have my own lace-making equipment YEA! pretty pearwood bobbins :-)

Celebrated last night by making that sample (it is not an amoeba!) lace-makers will recognise it from Rosemary Shephard's book (I hope!)

Friday, 26 March 2010

My new Winder and the Dolls' House

My latest Gadget ...

a ball-winder. Have been wanting one for winding up my home-spun and home-dyed yarns as they look so lovely and professional when wound neatly on one of these gadgets - however - the retail price of these quite simple gadgets is bizarrely astronomical. So I waited (not very patiently) and on the weekend, browsing through the 2nd hand shops ... found this one for $25 :-)

Have been 'playing' with my dolls' house this week - finally solved the problem of suitable fabric for miniature towels (more later - when I finally finish them!) and have done lots of work on the bathroom. Lots of fun with tiny pots of smelly paint!

In my previous post I was probably a bit confusing about how this dolls' house works - it is a cupboard - an idea I copied from one I saw in a tiny museum in Queensland almost 30yrs ago. Here are photos with the doors shut and open

3 rooms per floor / shelf, no doors or stairs but some (fake) windows.

And here is the bathroom - newly painted.
I've filled in the hole in the ceiling, added cornices, skirting tiles, and a border at the top of the tiles. Also I've made a flower pot for the wire stand and fixed the light fitting so it hangs straight! And I've sent away for a proper window. Once the towels are finished, the flower-pot 'planted' and that window installed and curtained ... I think I'll be able to say the bathroom is done! Dolls' houses are like real ones - once you start ... ...

Will I work on the Nursery next?

It needs: a new light fitting, more pictures, better curtains - lots of soft furnishings. At least I think it has enough toys :-)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Home Made Dyelots and Attempts at LaceMaking

When you dye your own yarn, one thing you dread is running out of that yarn 1/2 way through the project. It is just SO difficult to dye a 2nd batch of yarn to the same colour.

That is exactly what has happened with the vintage style dress I'm knitting for granddaughter in wave stitch and yarn I dyed an aqua colour - previous post. I got a bit confused with translating ounces to grams and I've made the skirt very generous and full and 'girly'. There is enough of the original 200gr to complete the bodice but not enough for the sleeves which will be generous, full and 'girly' puffs. So - I stopped knitting at the waistband - procrastinated for a few weeks then plucked up some courage & another 200gr of the yarn & my dyes.

Luckily, after more than 4 decades of crafting I am beginning to learn the importance of taking notes and had done so with the 1st aqua dye job. Here are the results - skirt of dress next to newly dyed skein.

Not bad huh! the new dyelot is very slightly bluer but I think it'll be quite acceptable given that the break from one to the other will be at the waistband - and I've enough of the original to do that alternating 2rows from each ball of yarn trick. Big sigh of relief!

Meanwhile, I'm trying to learn how to make lace - bobbin or pillow lace. Because I really do need a new craft :-)

Here is my 2nd "bookmark" of whole stitch, half stitch and something else - tension is horrid and there are lots of mistakes ...

However, time to move on to "Torchon Ground" and after much brain strain trying to follow the instructions in Jennifer Fisher's book "Torchon Lace for today" (thanks for the loans of equipment and book Jay) ...

Those who know will see the mistakes - and yes there are knots at the top, I was conserving my thread !!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Roses and a mini bathroom

Bought some gorgeous old-fashioned roses at our local Farmers' Market yesterday ... wish we had smell-a-'puter because they smell even better than they look.

And there is no need to worry about how this bathroom smells - it is part of my dolls' house!

Originally started for our daughter about 25yrs ago - this dolls' house is a converted cupboard which means it is all about the interior and there are no chimneys to fall off or roof tiles that catch the dust. The wood on the side of that photo is the door of the cupboard.

Daughter quickly disowned the dolls' house and it has become another of my UFOs (UnFinished Projects). So - in an attempt to provide myself with some motivation, I'm posting about it. The bathroom is one of 3 rooms on the top floor/shelf of the cupboard. I'm quite pleased with the ceramic-ware which I painted - we couldn't afford gorgeous repro flowered ceramic-ware for our own bathroom when we renovated but I could make some for the dolls' house :-) and the light fitting is OK though it doesn't like to hang straight! (it is made of beads, string and Fimo). However, the green paint job needs redoing and the 'window' at the back is rather awful. Also I need to make towels and things but have been completely stuck for suitable fabric.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Update on bonnet from yesterday

Finished the Petal bonnet last night (apart from the ribbons) once again it is being modeled by Ms Yellow Balloon.

Only slight adaptations to the pattern - to make it a little larger.

Love the way the pattern forms a pretty flower / star at the back.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Sweet pretty things

White satin and stiff white tulle ...
has to be either a tutu OR something Bridal - and it is the latter. Am working on a vintage wedding dress - practically a complete re-make - and that is part of the petticoat. Petticoats are great things and they can work miracles - this one is helping to turn a sad old nylon frock into something very pretty and "ballerina". And the long Ballet costume would've been this frock's original inspiration. Another lesson in the importance of underpinnings!

I've also been knitting lots of head-wear of late - this beret for myself and made to match a micro-cardigan I'd made from the same yarns - Colinette yarns "Iona" and "Giotto" - my own pattern, the tip is a series of wedges using lots of short-rows.

Unfortunately, my daughter has adopted / acquired / stolen the micro cardigan ... well it did look great on her (big sigh!) so now I have the beret and nothing to wear it with. Does this sound like a good excuse to purchase more Colinette yarn so I can make myself another cardigan ?

Last week I found some inexpensive angora yarn in Lincraft - Amazing! angora is usually completely unaffordable which is sad as I have lots of lovely vintage knitting patterns for the soft fluffy bunny stuff ... so when I saw this reasonably priced angora - decent quality - limited range of colours except in purple (there were 3 shades of purple - fine by me!) well I pounced and as there has been a mini baby boom in our street with 2 new little girls in less than 3weeks ... Perfect.

Out came the vintage patterns and this one is done except for the ribbons -Excuse the yellow balloon - was the closest approximation to a baby's head I could find! The pattern says to knit it in plain ole' stocking stitch which is boring - so I used a lace stitch called "cloisters".
I do love a bonnet with a pie-crust flange at the back like that - makes them look very Victorian :-)

The 2nd bonnet is (so-far) following the pattern almost exactly ...