Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Work in Progress Wednesdays - 24 February 2021

Anyone who knows much about my embroidery work knows I love hardanger.  It's quite quick, it looks great and is deceptively simple to work.  So, when I saw this kit going on, I instantly fell for it and bought it with my anniversary money last summer.

At first I thought I'd make the square mat up as a dining table centre or something like that, but it really didn't feel right.  So, I decided to omit the edging and make it up as a scatter cushion cover for the sofa, even though it will work out as a rather larger one than I'm used to having.

Naturally, starting out with the white diamonds and the linking segments, then moving on to the coloured work in cross and back stitching.

Below is all the surface work completed.  As you may be able to see, I changed some of the colours in the cross stitch.  I didn't really like the blues in and around the flowers, so replaced them with pale yellow and a light yellow-lime.

Beginning with the cutting and removing of the threads.  I know a lot of stitchers find the very idea of this part quite unnerving, but I'm OK with it.  You just have to bear in mind the traditional carpenters' saying: 'Measure twice, cut once'.  In this case, count twice, cut once.  It really helps to avoid mistakes if you double check at every stage of a counted thread project - especially when it comes to things that would be hard to hide, like taking out one thread too many!  It's possible, but I don't recommend it. ;)

More on this one soon.

Again, just over four years since the last Work in Progress Wednesdays post!  I can't promise them weekly from hereon in, but it may be possible, even if I don't fancy doing a full blown multi-photo post, to do a brief one with one image from the Blogger app.  It's quite basic, but will allow for that nicely.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2021

Monday, 22 February 2021

2018 Needlecrafts Review

2018 saw one more embroidery finish tham 2017 with a grand total of six, but some of them were definitely  more labour intensive than those from the previous year.

I had two needlepainting finishes, again from the Trish Burr 'Beginners' book.  I changed the designs slightly in each case (the shape of one rose leaf spray and the purples of the pansies) and I was flattered that my husband told me that my shading skills had improved when he saw the leaves on the pansies.  Do you know, I think he may even be right.  Both pieces ended up in special cards.

Another special card was this window 'look through' one that was my own design for our 19th wedding anniversary.  She didn't have windows like this, but the garden was my idea of what mum's could be like when we'd finished renovating it.  Unlike a few of his cards to me, which contain photo collages of the previous year (and are great!), this one was meant to be a year forward.  Of course, the garden didn't develop to this point, but it was a fun project anyway.

I can't remember who got this card with the ribbon work in, but it was a kit from Crafty Ribbons.  It was quite hard work to stitch and I had to pad the backing in order to make it an even finish (the ribbons bunched up behind somewhat), but I thought it came out well.  I have a red one somewhere.  Poppies, I think....

This last project was these two lavender bags below - one for me, one for my mum.  To be honest, I have no idea where they are now.  Seriously, you can tell I've gone through the change in recent years as my previously flawless memory is annoyingly patchy!

Moving on to knitting, which is all adult garments this year, but still rather lacking some decent photos - or any at all of two projects.

Above is a Brett Marble Chunky cable knit I sized up from a girls' pattern and wear myself.  It's all acrylic, so it's good for mid-seasons rather than winter.

The one you see Sir modelling here is wool blend and this type of yarn has come to be a personal favourite.  It's King Cole's Tweed Chunky and it's 25 or 30% wool and is machine washable.  Both warm and easy care.

Both of the above ended up with sleeves slightly too short, but Sir doesn't mind as he says it's more jacket length and looks good with a shirt.  Later in the year I made him a matching scarf in double stocking stitch, which he gets good wear out of in the very cold weather.

I also did a new black cardigan for myself with simple, directional cables like the lemon baby one I did in 2017.  Again, the sleeves are too short, but it's very usable nonetheless.

This last piece was done for my late mother at her request.  During the last year or so of her life, she wore it as often as she could and loved it.  Medical visitors would often exclaim, "Oooh, I love your waistcoat!",  which was nice for me to hear.  As was her proudly explaining, "My daughter made it for me."  As you can see, it was made from oddments left over from the marble jumpers, and the edgings came from the purple jumper and black jacket that I mentioned in the 2017 review.

During this year I also ran up a couple of simple scatter cushion covers and finally hemmed a black/rose print raglan sleeved t-shirt I'd done most of at a sewing with knit fabrics workshop from the previous summer.  I'd put it off so long as I'm not good at sewing in a straight line, but I finally took myself in hand, but my double needle stuff in order, drew a line on the fabric as best I could and got on with it.  It waggled only once - right front and centre, where the dip actually looks like it could be part of the design!  

Look out for 2019 next Monday.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2021

Sunday, 21 February 2021

The Sunday Yarn - 21 February 2021

It's been two days over four years since my last Sunday yarn post - wow!  As knitting is something I'm doing regularly these days, and plan to get through a good amount of this year, I expect to have a fair few update posts on how projects are going.  If yarncrafts aren't your thing, please feel free to just skip this post.  I know not everyone is interested in knitting or making clothes in general.

Today I'd like to share the completion of a long knitting project.  This first photo I took of this jumper was date stamped 26 November 2019 and it was finally completed last month, in late January 2021.  I wasn't working on it all that time.  In fact, there was a long break between what you can see here and taking it back up in either late April or early May of 2020 after we'd moved and I'd completed all those chunky knits you may have seen in my 2020 Needlecrafts Review post.   There was another break late autumn when I had some pain in my shoulders.

Once I'd exercised that out so that I could knit comfortably again, I finished it up as soon as I reasonably can (when you consider I had 8 needlework projects on the go at one point!) and now it's in use.  I'm happy to say that Sir was wearing it this morning.

Knit in Wendy wool blend aran from a Hayfield Bonus Aran pattern downloaded from  When I got it, it was free, but later appeared for sale.  You may be able to still get hold of s free copy if you're interested in making one yourself.  The sizes go from child to men's, with a choice of V necked, round necked and collared versions.

I've already begun a soft mulberry pink, round necked one for me. :)  More on that in a future Sunday post.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2021

Monday, 15 February 2021

2017 Needlecrafts Review

Welcome to 2017!!

This is the year the Big Blog Break began in, so those of you who are kind enough to have taken an interest in my creations over the years will have seen some of these pieces in progress.  I don't expect you to remember any of them though, as I had a couple of surprises when I went back through my Instagram feed to see what had been finished during the year!

It was more of a knitting than a stitching year, but I'll present the 4 embroidery finishes first as that's what most visitors are most interested in, I think.  There were only four finishes, all of which ended up in cards, but at least they were all different styles.

First above is the violets thread painting from Trish Burr's 'Needlepainting Embroidery - Fresh Ideas for Beginners'.  I had some trouble with the bud on this one and put it on hold for a while (from 2016, if I remember correctly), but I cracked it in the end and it served well as a baptism card for a Chinese friend.

The green based hardanger piece I believe was a sympathy card, but I can't quite remember for whom....  Anyway, it was nice to work with this colour scheme instead of always on white.

This beaded, coloured blackwork style piece I confess to having copied from a picture I saw somewhere.  Pinterest, probably.  It was quite hard going, but it made a nice anniversary card for Sir.

This last one, a cross stitch 'Forever Friends' bear, was for friends' 10th wedding anniversary.

Onto knitting, which was much more prolific.  If you're not interested in yarn crafts, feel free to exit here. 

In 2017, I knitted no less than seven baby jackets from two in premature sizes for charity, to two 6-12 months sizes.  One had a matching hat and several of them had embroidered trims on them.

There were also three adult garments, but I don't seem able to find any decent photographs of them.  

The first completed one was for a cold friend and was a simple chunky, purple jumper with a basic double cable up the front.  Started before that one, but finished afterwards was a black chunky jacket/cardy for me.  Both were done with budget yarns, but seemed to come out OK,

The third was worked with James C  Brett's marble chunky, which hasn't photographed well so far.  I'll have to try again some time.

Last up is the bamboo cotton scarf that I made for myself, but which really isn't warm enough for winter use.  It's really only useful as a trim,  but it's a glorious colour. 

That's it for 2017.  

Catching up slowly!  Look out for 2018's review this time next week.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2021

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Review of the stitching year 2020

Well, hello! Here I am, still alive and crawling out of an almost 30 month silence to present a mammoth needlework year review.  I may not have been blogging here, but my needles - of various types - have been busy just the same.

I managed to complete 27 things over this last year, but it's not quite as impressive as it sounds when you realise that 14 were fairly quick sewing tasks, such as finally finishing up 3 of those Lizzie*Kate 'Button Up!' seasonal cross stitch pieces as hangings which are changed with the natural season and hung on our coat rack (and are a lot bluer than they seem here):

The other 11 were 4 Bible covers:

4 quick cushion covers (not the white one, that comes later) - the black ones don't even have zips:

A padded, drawstring bag for my hubby to take his visualizer to work safely in:

And 2 pillowcase liners, which aren't shown here as they're on the pillows!

Knitting was productive too, with 4 adult garments done and 2 small girl's cardigans. 

I'm also half way through the last piece of an Aran jumper for Sir, but that'll obviously come in on next year's list.

Embroidery finishes were 5 cards, all for wedding anniversaries:

One picture that I'd started in Germany on World Embroidery Day 2019:

And, finally, one hardanger scatter cushion cover:

I'll try and get back in a few days to start sharing projects from mid 2017 to the end of 2019, so you can catch up with what I've been working on whilst my tech was sub-functional.  Afterwards, maybe I can get back to periodic updates on current projects as before. I can't promise prolific posting, as I'm really out of the habit now and building up a blog is no longer a priority as it used to be back up to 2015, but I'll try my best. :)

In the meantime, look me up on Instagram, which is much more up to date.  You can click on the link at the top left of the blog, or search @sew_in_love_stitch_art from your IG account, if you have one.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2020

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Welcome visitors from Pintangle!

Thank you very much for clicking over to see me. ☺

I was very flattered when Sharon asked to include me in her TAST interview series, especially as I haven't been able to join in as much as I'd have liked to.  Also, if you've read the interview you'll know I'm not very good at the exploratory process - I'm very different from many of the artists featured thus far!  However, I do like to learn new things and develop as much skill as I can, so TAST is one of the challenges that offer a constant opportunity to move forward.  I'm planning on looking more closely into the Embroiderer's Guild distance learning courses towards the end of this year, so they may provide the needed impetus.

If you'd like to know more about the wedding dress panel, you can see my series of seven posts on the project, or hop over to the Kreinik Threads Blog to read their interview with me about it. ☺♥☻

I'm having some technology problems at the moment - both my laptop and my digital camera urgently need replacing (the camera I can only use if I seal the battery door up with duct tape, and the laptop is exasperatingly slow, no matter how much I delete, disable or otherwise clean up), so blogging has been rather neglected of late.  It takes a lot of patience and planning to get anything done, so there are a few projects waiting to be published.  Assuming I get my tech up to speed in the next few weeks (as I very much hope to, and Sir has agreed the funds for it ☺) , here's a sneak peek at what's coming up soon:

Here you can see some previews of counted thread and freestyle embroideries, sewing and knitting projects, and preparation for entering some local summer shows.

I'll be blogging all of these projects and more in the near future, including my sewing workshop days and some overviews of all the handicrafts exhibits at the Bingley and Ryedale Shows held later this month and the Shadwell Flower Show in mid August.

You can subscribe using the e-mail service (just remember to complete the verification process, or you won't be signed up), or any of the usual reader services.  There are widgets for some of the most popular part way down in the side bar.  I'm also on Instagram.

If you'd like to know more about my work, please do feel free to have a look at the gallery pages which you can find links for just under the blog header image.

My apologies for a relatively short and dull intro post, but I seem to be in for a bout of tonsillitis (or a cold at least) and I'm feeling just that little bit ropey today. However, thanks very much again for calling in and I hope to host you in my web home often. ☺♥☻

If you haven't seen the interview I'm referring to in this post, click here for a look!

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Welcome readers from the Kreinik Threads Blog!

Thank you for following the link on the Kreinik Threads blog to come and visit me here.  I hope you enjoyed the brief review of the wedding dress panel project that the lovely people over at Kreinik kindly took an interest in, and that you'll find more to stimulate your imagination here today. ☺

As you new visitors are fans of metallic threads and what they can do, here are a few of the projects I've completed over the past decade or so which feature lots of sparkle - often courtesy of good ol' Kreinik.

This first one, a couched dragonfly design was done in the same threads as the wedding dress panel - Kreinik Japan #1, #5 and #7 - only in gold this time.  The blue and black ones are Anchor Marlitt, which is a very shiny, rayon thread and features in this next project too in two pretty purple shades.  The inner silver outlines and gridlines are various Kreinik braids and are couched with their Cord in silver.  The outer, thick thread is a silver goldwork twist thread, and the French knots in the middle are two of DMC's Light Effects range.

Here's something a little more unusual and unexpected - metallics in hardanger!  The centre eyelet and the square filling stitch are in a fine, gold metallic, very probably Kreinik Cord in 002C.  The red hearts were worked in one of Anchor's pearl metallic mixes - basically a red #5 pearl cotton with a red metallic filament mixed in.

This was for a Chinese couple's wedding day as red is their colour of joy and celebration. ♥

The dragonfly and waterlily piece uses a variety of metallic thread brands and types including Kreinik Japan #5 in gold, and #7 (or maybe both #7...) in silver, Coats Reflecta in pink and silver, a Kreinik thread in turquoise, and bright check purl chipping in the centre.  I can't remember what the dragonfly was made out of as it was something I worked back in 2009.

These fish fins and tail are worked in the beautifully fine gauged Kreinik Cord and there's a thicker braid outlining the body - probably Very Fine Braid in 001C or Cable in 001 or similar.  This one is from 2008 too and also includes shiny Anchor Marlitt and some of their cotton threads.

Lastly is a piece I worked just over a year ago and it's some outline lettering in Kreinik Fine Braid 102C, couched with Cord in 102.

I think I've remembered all those details correctly, but you get an idea of how they can be used in all sorts of embroidery styles.

I've been doing some form of embroidery for the last 15 years, progressing from cross stitch through hardanger and various freestyle techniques to raised work.  I love metallic threads and use them wherever I reasonably can.

You'll be able to find lots more projects with and without sparklies of some sort by clicking on some of the subjects under the heading photo and feel free to subscribe to my blog via the e-mail service or any other way that works for you. I'm dealing with some health problems and a variety of other types of chaos (including the fact that I rather need a new laptop and camera) these days, so updates are a little less frequent than I'd like them to be.  However, stick around, I'll be back!

In the meantime, if you'd like to read the full series of seven posts about the wedding dress project, click here. NB. They'll show in reverse order.

If you didn't arrive here from the Kreinik interview article and don't know what I mean, why not make their blog your next stop today? ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017