Welcome


Welcome to my blog. You can read about my adventures in different types of needlework, and I also offer some free
cross stitch patterns. Please, come back often. :)

PLEASE NOTE:


PLEASE, NOTE: The designs on this site are copyrighted to Agnes Palko. They are for your personal use only. They may not be distributed or reproduced without permission.
If you wish to use my patterns to stitch for charity, please, let me know.

24/03/2015

Spring bird freebie - and some more sewing progress.

Hello, everyone, I hope spring has finally arrived at your doorstep - we are still waiting. And waiting… But it cannot be long now :)


Here are a few pictures of my further sewing experiments.
Tried to make a CosPlay costume, for the anime character called Shirayuki Mizore. This was an assignment for the university course. The course is not only about textiles but also about the pedagogy of teaching textile crafts and I like it a lot. We had to choose a topic that would be interesting for our students, so that´s how I ended up with the anime. I myself didn´t know anything about it before.
Anyway, this is what I came up with. The colours are not really good, I was working after a picture from the net, and only found a description of her clothes with all the colours when it was too late.

I sewed the pleated skirt (again, not perfect but perhaps not too bad), and I also made a very simple A-line mini-skirt. We had to think about our students, and I believe the pleated skirt, even the Simplicity skirt with the plaid fabric (see my previous post) would be too difficult. The jumper I made following a simple hoodie pattern, just made a little change at the neck.

Oh, and we practiced fashion sketches, it was really cool. :)






I am in Umeå right now, at the university. We are going to learn pattern making this time, which I really look forward to.


And now, cross stitch. I have created a spring bird cross stitch pattern for you. And for myself, actually - I don´t always stitch my patterns, or rather, haven´t yet, but I am going to do this one as soon as I get home. Just can´t decide which version. I think they would make lovely decoration on an easter basket or pillow…




Hope you will have fun stitching the bird, let me know if you do.

Happy stitching

01/03/2015

Bookmark for St. Patrick's Day



Hello there,


I have another St. Patrick's Day pattern for you. There is still enough time to stitch it if you want to make a statement or a gift. I hope you like it.


If you are interested in St. Patrick's Day patterns, why not take a look at my other freebies here, here and here?


If you want to see what I have been up to lately, here are some pictures.



I have been sewing for my university assignment. First a simple skirt, (Simplicity 2655) that I made more complicated for myself by having to match the checked fabric. Did not turn out to be perfect but not too bad either, I think.


I also started a pleated version but haven't finished it yet, still need to do the waistband and add a zipper.



And I finally found a way to use my bird appliqué pieces that I made a while ago. They have become the centre for two free patchwork pieces. I am turning them into covers for some old and battered ring binders. One is finished with some hand quilting, the other is waiting for me trying my hand in free motion quilting.

20/02/2015

Blackwork biscornu for St. Patrick's Day

Hello,

I am back with more reports about my knitting - crochet course, with some more felting and some embroidery, a finally finished long-time WIP and another freebie - this time it is blackwork for St. Patrick's Day.



Here is a picture from one of my lessons. We just started our knitting unit, and I used this technique that I called the "human knitting machine" to teach the kids the basics. It was great fun! I learnt this at the university. It works the same way as finger knitting or the knitting looms, we just used the kids' hands instead of the pegs.




And here come some more pictures of my homework for the course.

To try out different materials, I did some crochet with a thick cotton cord. The flower shape, as well as the third one, in wool, was done with freeform crochet: I used no pattern, just started and then went on to see what happened. It was fun.


I tried out shadow knitting. I borrowed a book from the library, this one and tried to create my own pattern. While the book has some lovely modern looking pieces, and I found a few interesting pieces on the internet too, my experiment turned out a disaster. I wasn't thinking clearly, I should have realised that the pattern will become too long - I should have adjusted it accordingly. There was no time to do another experiment, and now I am busy with the next course, but this needs to be put on my list of "To try again". I certainly recommend trying this, it looks complicated but it isn't really and it is cool.


Another thing I learnt is called tvåendsstickning in Swedish. It means two-end-knitting, but it is usually called twined knitting in English. The basic technique is that you knit with tho threads, even if there is only one colour. They usually used the two ends of the same yarn ball, hence the name. The first stitch is knitted with one yarn, the second with the other and so on. Between each stitch you twist the threads. It makes a thick, firm fabric, there is hardly any stretch in it. Traditionally you have to do it with z-spinned yarn, that's what I was using for my mittens. I think it works with the usual s-spinned yarn, too, it only looks a bit different. I designed the pattern with the flowers myself, and on the palm side I was just improvising.


This is what it looks like on the inside. You can see how the twisted yarns create almost like a cord on the wrong side of the fabric.



Another homework was to take a knitted woollen sweater or something, felt it in the washing machine, and experiment with it: embroider on it, cut it apart etc. This is what I made out of two pieces. It's a vest, the collar and the sides come from one piece, the "body" from another. I added the crocheted band on the shoulders and around, and the embroidery. On the right side there is a Hungarian motif, on the left a Swedish one. I myself dyed the thread to match the rest.



Two pairs of socks that I also made. The first is knitting the traditional way - although that is still quite new to me. The other was knitted toes-up, and with an afterthought heel. Both of them were made on circular needles, instead of the usual double pointed ones, using the magic loop. I love this technique!





We also had a group homework: we had to create a piece together, on a chosen topic within "communication". We chose "power". We created a puzzle, and this is my piece. I collected a few pictures from the internet for inspiration, and then used a piece of a felted woollen pullover as background, then needle-felted and embroidered my interpretation.



I have collected quite a few links for all these techniques, if you are interested, go and look at my Pinterest page.


My old visitors can perhaps remember how I started to do some weaving on a huge piece of cardboard - perhaps two years ago? Shame, I know, but now I finally managed to finish it.


Although the edges became strangely loose, I still like it a lot. In the middle it is quite nice - not too densely packed but the boucle yarn has made a good, solid fabric, and still soft. I will use it as a scarf. I will take it off the cardboard and tie the ends tomorrow.



And finally, my freebie for you today. I made a blackwork pattern that reminds me of clovers, so I thought it would be perfect for St. Patrick's Day. But with another colour it might give a different effect.

I made it into a biscornu pattern, I hope you will enjoy it. Some more clover patterns are coming soon.



Edit:
If you are interested in St. Patrick's Day patterns, why not take a look at my other freebies here, here and here?

09/02/2015

More hearts - for Valentine or not

As I was browsing through my files today, look what I found. These heart designs I made last summer, and somehow forgot about them. Funny, isn't it, that I would find them just a few days before Valentine's Day.


There are two versions in black and white: a smaller and a bigger one. And then the smaller one I also made in colour, with two different colour schemes. I really like these unusual colours, but feel free to use whatever colours you prefer. Looking forward to seeing your versions. :)

Happy stitching.










Subversive Valentine

After yesterday's broken heart post I got some criticism that I am becoming kitschy… or mushy… and perhaps there is something in it. :)

So, as an answer, I came up with a simple subversive cross stitch pattern for those who have different feelings about Valentine day. And it is anyone's guess which one I truly agree with ;)



Happy stitching :)

08/02/2015

Broken heart - free cross stitch pattern - and knitting


My dear readers,

I owe you a sincere apology for abandoning you for so long. I didn't even post anything for Christmas or new year. I know… So sorry.

Remember, I am doing a university course in textiles, and it was extremely busy during the last few months. It is not much better now, but I simply had to find some time to write on my blog.

So, to start with, I am posting a cross stitch freebie for Valentines day. Love can mend a broken heart. Well, I made it as a statement and not a question, that must mean I am a very positive person, right? Optimistic and all that… :D

I made it all in red, but I am sure it would look lovely in pink, even in different shades, or in a red-pink kind of variegated thread. Please, enjoy.

Remember, a click on the picture takes you to the pdf file. If you cannot download it (e.g. you have no google account), write me an e-mail at palkoagi @ gmail . com and I can send it to you.


And I thought I would share with you my knitting experiments I did for the university course.
We had a task to choose a topic, anything we wanted, and take a "close look" at it, as I understood, as if we were looking at something through a magnifying glass. Make sketches and do experiments based on them.
I chose some Hungarian embroidery motifs from a cushion that my mum made. Isn't it just beautiful?


Here are some of the sketches I made - and this is a great development for me. I have always thought I was rubbish at drawing, I never did good sketches and was kind o f embarrassed about it. But they showed us different methods and it was so good to realise that it is not only drawing, there are many other methods.



And based on this, I made my experiments. First, I played with colour and love the results:


Then tried some structural experiments, but those did not turn out good. I would like to continue trying out different methods, not sure I will have the time though. Here I tried playing with knit and purl stitches, and also making the pattern more prominent by using short rows, like in bubble-knitting. Not working. I also made my first ever lace pattern (not the first I knitted but the first I designed myself). I don't think it is good, but perhaps not too bad either. Worth more experimenting.


And I learnt how to do double knitting.


I learnt this from the net, looking at several tutorials, mostly videos. This was the one that I liked the best, in case you want to try.
I am sure I will do more double knitting in the future, it is so much fun and looks so good. Imagine lovely colourwork without having to carry all that thread in the back!

I also though I would share with you the patterns I created for these knitting experiments. I used my cross stitch pattern making program. I did not knit all of these, I was mostly playing with the patterns. Feel free to try them out for knitting. Or perhaps they might look great in cross stitch, too.

Just one thing though: if you knit them, they will look a bit flattened, because we don't have real squares in knitting. See the pattern for the circle I knitted for my colour experiment? It is not a circle, I made it look like an oval in the pattern - so that it turned out circular in the knitting. Actually, my program does this for me, cool, isn't it?



I have more to show, but that will have to be another time. Hopefully soon. :)

Until then enjoy the freebie and try experimenting with knitting - or any other crafts you do. It is really uplifting.

Happy stitching.

Agi