lørdag 20. desember 2008

Big, unfinished project

Cuff for national costume shirt
I want to share with you my biggest ongoing project. I have worked on this since 2004, and its embarrassing that it is not finished yet. It is an order from my mother, she wants me to make new embroidery on the shirt for her national costume (called bunad in Norway). That is the collar and cuffs. Her eyes aren't good enough to do it, but we have this "agreement" that I embroider and she sews. Earlier I have made my own and my brother's shirt.

Cuff for national costume shirt
The collar is embroidered with linen thread on linen fabric. As you can see, the pattern is full of details. Please, pay particular attention to the holes. They are the reason it is taking me so long time. They are so tiny! They reach over 4x4 threads and through two layers of fabric, so I have to be careful to hit the right spot on the backside. In addition it is a very nice fabric where the threads are woven very close to each other. I have to wear some reading glasses (+3!) while I embroider because else I cannot see.

I use 1 hour on 4 holes. Last I counted, I had something like 400 holes left. Now my mother is pushing me to finish it before 2010. Hopefully this is the kind of pressure I need to finish it. Do you have any projects like this that is lying around for years?

søndag 7. desember 2008

Simple drawstring backpack

New bag
This simple backpack is perfect for a Sunday-walk. It has room for a sandwich, my photo camera and a book. It is made of oilcloth, and the pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's book called Simple Sewing. It only took me an afternoon to put it together, and was really simple to sew. The straps are combined shoulder straps and drawstring for closing the backpack.

The pictures are taken at the end of October when we still were waiting for the winter to arrive. It was one of the first mornings with frost and ice, and the light was so clear.First signs of winter

fredag 10. oktober 2008

How I learned to crochet

Crochet purse
This purse is the reason why I learned to crochet. I saw it in Norsk Husflid, a norwegian magazine, and thought: I want to make that! I live far away form both my mother and grandmother (my resources for learning traditional crafts), so I borrowed books in the library and searched the Internet for tutorials. This was almost three years ago, and I discovered the online craft community. It was a revelation! My very first resources was Crochet Me, then an online crochet magazine, and the Learn to Crochet tutorial at Lion Brand Yarn. Both websites has changed a lot since I first visited them, but they are still great resources for those new to crocheting both in learning and finding fun and simple patterns. The english tutorials had great figures and instructions, and together with the norwegian books I learned all the terms in both norwegian and english at the same time.

The purse is made in a thick wool yarn with hook size 3,5mm. It is a circle folded in half, about 26cm in diameter. The flowers are embellished with beads in order to break the heavy wool feeling. I was very happy when I finished it, but it is still unused, because the color is really not mine :)

søndag 5. oktober 2008

About me

When I discover a blog I like, I try to find out more about the person who writes it. Who she is (it is most often a she behind the blogs I read), where she is living, how her life is, and so on. Usually this information is easy to find as there often is some kind of “about me” page, or a post introducing the writer. My blog is missing this, and I think that is a bit unfair to those of you stepping by now and then. So here it is, a short introduction.

Maja is watching the neighbourhood

I am a 29 year old woman, living in the far north of Norway in a city called Tromsø. Here the sun never sets in the summer, and never rises in the winter. It is the biggest city in northern Norway with about 60 000 people and 10 000 students.

I am a computer scientist working on a Ph.d in P2P networks. Hopefully I will have my dissertation in 2011. It is hard work, but I love it. I live together with my boyfriend who's also a computer scientist -we met in the computer lab at the university :) Our living room is full of data cables and yarn – to the joy of our cat Maja.

I have been crafting since I was little. I sew my first doll clothes when I was five on an old foot-driven Singer machine. Later I learned to embroider and this has become craft closest to my heart. Sadly, knitting has never been my thing, but a few years ago I learned to crochet, and have now started on my first sweater! I do lots of other crafts as well, but embroidery, crocheting and sewing are my favorites.

This blog is not updated as frequently as I wanted when I started it. This is mostly because my work is taking up much of my time and when I get home I usually just want to relax on the sofa with some craft in my hands. My goal is to write at least 2 posts each month, but only time will tell if I can do that :)

Please leave a comment if you see something you like! And remember to show me your blog, as I love to get inspired by other crafters!

Love Marte

onsdag 13. august 2008

My new top

My new top
Look what I've made! This is my first crochet cloth, and I'm so proud! It turned out exactly as I wanted it. I had to adjust the pattern a little, just adding some length at the bottom and at the top, but with the help from more experienced aunts it was no problem. The pattern is from the book "Fabulous and Flirty Crochet" (amazon).

Here is a close-up of the pattern stitch:
My new top
The yarn I have used is a silk and alpaca blend (20% silk and 80% alpaca). Many of you may think this sounds a bit warm for a summer top, but for the not-so-warm summers here north it is perfect.

This top was a little test to myself to see if I have the patience to crochet large things. Because of the good result, I am now going to make a sweater from the same pattern book. I just have to find the right yarn... The pattern says mohair, but I don't like mohair neither to work with or wear, so I will have to find something else. I'll keep you noticed on the progress!

onsdag 9. juli 2008

Fish and sushi plushie

Felt fish to maki
Felt fish to maki
I made this yesterday for a very good friend's birthday. She loves sushi, so when I found this project at Cut out + Keep I thought of her.

It is sewed by hand, and it took me about 4 hours to make it. You can find patterns and instructions here. It is so funny to look at it's silly expression when it "swallows" the maki while turning into a fish.

Felt fish to maki
Fish "diving" in to a maki.

mandag 21. april 2008

Mama Bear Picking Flowers

Mama Bear tea towel
My first order from Etsy arrived today! I suspect it will not be the last... It is a tea towel made of an old flour sack. I simply love it! It is made by Jacklyn at Cornflower Creations. I discovered her embroideries on flickr one Monday morning, and had a big smile the rest of the day because of them.

Here is a picture of the package before I opened it. Isn't it lovely?
My first package from Etsy

søndag 9. mars 2008

I heart unicorns

Unicorn purse
This makeup purse was a gift to a very good friend of me. She loves unicorns, and when I ordered the unicorn believer pattern from Sublime Stitching I had her in mind. It is all made with backstitches. Because I used a colored textile, I decided not to use so many colors on the motif. But I also want to make a real rainbow-inspired unicorn someday. Still have many unused patterns.

Other side of the purse:
I heart unicorns