Pysanky

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These are a few of the pysanky (Ukranian Easter Eggs) I have done. Painstaking work even with an electric stylus. This is a collection of eggs I did a number of years ago to showcase the better executed ones. Most I simply gave away.

Haven’t done any for several years – stopped making them (although I still have all the supplies, including the dyes) for two reasons: first, working with the stylus had become painful – my right wrist would ache when I attempted the small movements required by the designs; and second, the shells of local eggs in my supermarkets seem to have become much more brittle than they used to be. The last time I did pysanky I managed to bring just two eggs through the entire process out of the dozen I began. Hairline cracks destroyed the eggs in the heating process to remove the wax – so I gave up.

Maybe this spring I’ll have another go at making pysanky – it’s always so interesting to see how they turn out.

Here’s some information on pysanky.

This is the book I have used.

Here is a YouTube video showing the process.

Le Petit Prince 2

The first pair of Le Petit Prince socks were well received – Jim thought they were lovely. I haven’t heard from him so I’m assuming they fit him fine.

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This is the second pair from Le Petit Prince (Opal Yarn) – they’ve turned out to be quite colourful. I’m tempted to put them in my sock drawer but it’s full to overflowing so this pair will go in the give away pile. And on to the next.

I’m also nearing the end of a winter beret to wear with the wine coloured jacket (it has no hood) and yesterday I started to crochet  a wool poncho – made one 40 years ago and had it until this spring. I’d loaned it to a friend visiting from Ghana and it came back having been washed in a scented detergent. I tried everything to remove the scent and couldn’t get rid of it and couldn’t wear the poncho because it made me cough. So I sent it off to Value Village (the community clothing recycling shop). On Sunday, a friend handed me a bag of yarn (previously knit but unwound) to pass on but the bulk of that yarn was in a natural colour – perfect for a poncho. Still working on the lace-weight shawl – the rows are now so long I’m bored to death with it. It probably needs 12-14 rows in the third colour – that’s all, but each row is over 500 stitches and it’s all I can do to manage a single row at a time. It will get done, but who knows when.

Gift Bags

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From time to time I make a bunch of small zippered bags to have on hand as gifts. Two days ago, I was tidying up the baskets in my sewing room and came across some denim from a pair of jeans which I’d cut up – making a shopping bag from the top leaving the leg portions. I thought with some embroidery they’d make nice zippered bags. There was also a piece of tapestry left over from a large carry bag I’d made for my bed foam which I take with me when I travel. So I made a small bag from that leftover. As you can see I embroidered each denim bag differently (the tapestry had an interesting enough pattern that I left it alone).

There was also a scrap of pink fabric which I used to make a larger bag:

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The design in this case was made from built in machine stitches – it was saved as an embroidery and done in one of the larger hoops.

This morning I began using some “lacy” fabric which surfaced in the clean up – I’ve done two bags, I have enough fabric to do two more.

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These will all go into the bag stash and be given away as gifts when the occasion calls for something. I use them as gift wrap often, putting something else inside.

If you’re interested, here are instructions for making a simple zippered bag.

Baby Sleep Sack

IMG_2415It took four tries but I finally figured out how to assemble the baby sleep sack – this one is actually #2.

I found a pattern online:
http://www.bombshellbling.com/baby-sleep-sack-pattern/
and made one, but the binding was a hassle – after doing two more, I realized that the whole would go together much more easily if I did the following:

  • when cutting the pieces, make the front neckline about 1 1/2″ deeper than the back neckline
  • sew a six inch seam to join the two fronts together at the bottom (5/8″ seam), press seam open
  • attach the zipper (extending the top about an inch above the neckline – (it will get cut off when the facing is applied – be sure the zipper slide is below the cutting point!), press flat.
  • sew shoulder seams together, press open
  • add neck binding (1/2″ bias tape is the easiest to use for this purpose) – attaching to the wrong side of neckline (leaving 1″ extending beyond the zipper edge, and be sure to have the zipper facing the edge so it will zip properly), press
  • turn binding and top stitch a needle width from edge (turn in edges at the zipper edges), press
  • turn armhole openings under 1/4″ and stitch and press
  • now pin front to back, aline arm holes – because Sarah McKenna cut the front and back the same size the back is a bit wide through the sack – trim excess away, sew a straight seam to secure the pieces, then serge around the bag, turn right side out and press flat
  • you’re done!

This goes very quickly and is easier to execute than the original instructions. I haven’t bothered to adjust the pattern so the finished front and back are the same size – I will probably do that.

Grey Wool Shirt

This is the other wool fabric I bought while I was in Portland in June. Just finished the shirt – I knew I wanted to use both sides of the fabric to contrast the shades of grey. I also knew I had this bright pink dupioni silk in my stash (I had two 1 metre pieces, in fact) and I thought it would be fun to use it for the under collar, the inside of the collar stand, the pocket facings, and the inside of the cuffs. I brought a pink accent to the outside by stitching the buttons on using pink thread. I really enjoy making shirts – they make up surprisingly quickly and the more I make them, the better I get at the detail. I’m quite happy with this one. (Pattern: Islander Sewing Systems Men’s Easy Shirt – I reverse the fronts for a women’s shirt.)

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Le Petit Prince – Socks

Finished these a week ago – they’re for my massage therapist – his name has been on my sock list for quite a while, I finally got to these done for him. Subdued, I’d say – not too flashy. He’ll get them tomorrow when I go for my appointment along with some Christmas fruit cake. The yarn: Le Petit Prince (7765) by Opal (there are a number of brighter patterns in this collection)IMG_2412