Kits, cards, and a missing colour

It’s an excellent thing to get children interested in crafts for all sorts of reasons besides giving them an enjoyable hobby for the rest of their lives, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone by producing some children’s kits and offer them for sale at our church’s mother & toddler group to raise money for the building fund. Having considered and rejected the mini peacock as not really being a children’s design, I remembered a kit I put together some years ago for some young friends of ours whom we were “babysitting”. It needed a serious rummage to unearth it, but I managed to dig up my Hot Air Balloon chart! Here is its first stitcher proudly displaying her work; a sneak peek at the chart; and the blue aida and perle cotton I’ve picked to make the kits with (I think the first one was done with coton a broder).

A young stitcher shows off her work The hot air balloon chart Materials for the kit

Talking of the building fund, the Art & Craft Fair went well, a good number of people came in and viewed, browsed and bought, although as usual the cake stall proved to be the most popular smiley. Lots of people took flyers for the workshop, so I’m hoping for a full house and possibly a second workshop! But first I’ll be doing a sponsored cycle ride around the local reservoir this Saturday – and the weather forecast is not good …

My table at the Craft Fair

The new Notebook Kits (just visible on the Craft Fair display above) are finally on the website – with pop-up pictures of all available colours, which is why it took a while for them to appear as I had to stitch the model in a further five colour combinations. As I didn’t want to use up any more of the notebooks, they’re not actually attached. Fortunately they work on cards too! It’s always good to have a further use for a kit, isn’t it?

The notebook patch works on cards too

Having finished the notebook models, and keeping the Floral Lace finishes as in-between and travel projects, I had to decide which of the Planned designs I’d stitch next. I went for Orpheus, a pair of designs based on Ukrainian whitework, although these will be stitched on two shades of Sparklies hand-dyed Lugana rather than on white. I do plan to use threads in the same shade as the fabric, though, and this is where I ran into an unexpected problem: I didn’t have perle #5 in the right shade. Originally I had planned one of the pair to be worked on Zweigart’s Moss Green with DMC perle 503, and the other on Burnt Orange with 722. But 722 is too dark, really, for Sparklies’ lovely muted orange Pumpkin Patch – it needs 402. And for some unfathomable reason I do not have 402 in perle #5! So a visit to Sew & So is called for, with possibly a few extra skeins of White perle thrown in (always useful) in order to make the most of the postage. For now I leave you with my colour dilemma:

Which shade for Orpheus?

A birthday and a new kit

It’s Mabel’s Fancies’ birthday! Hard to believe I first opened the website on Easter Monday 2011 (and by the way, I hope you all had a lovely Easter). Even harder to believe that it was less than 18 months after I’d first tried my hand at Hardanger. But here we are, and a birthday calls for a celebration, so this week we have a special Three for Two offer: order any two charts from one section (except Sets & Series) and choose a third one for free.

Here is a colourful recent acquisition of mine: 30 foam notebooks. You may recognise them from the Gallery, where there are two embellished with designs from Snippets and Three of Diamonds. But what do you do with thirty of them? Why, make them into kits!

30 notebooks to be made into kits

I try not to stock too many “physical” items; so far I’ve limited myself to squissors, mini matchbook kits for beginners and acrylic coasters to display finished projects. But as a small-project stitcher myself I felt that there might be a demand for more small Hardanger kits, this time for people who are not quite beginners. As I had embellished one of my own notebooks with a Snippet design, it seemed a natural decision to use that for the kit as well. A possible reason not to was the fact that Snippets have an unusual and slightly more difficult cutting pattern; should I re-chart it to be a bit more standard? In the end I decided to stick with the original design, but to provide much more detailed instructions than in the Snippets chart pack, so that the kit offers a manageable challenge.

One of the challenges in the design is to get from one stitch to another without trailing the thread behind parts that will be cut. But, I wondered, would it be possible to trail the thread behind parts that would be wrapped? So I tried. And it is. The thread does not interfere with the cutting, and afterwards gets incorporated into the wrapped bars. It’s really rather neat and I’m quite proud of the idea smiley!

Notebook Snippet in progress, front Notebook Snippet in progress, back Notebook Snippet cut, front Notebook Snippet cut, back

And just for a bit more cheerful colour, here are the threads I’ve chosen to go with the six notebook shades:

Threads to go with the notebooks