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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.

15/05/2017

A row of tulips - bookmark pattern

Hello, everyone, here come a few pictures of my latest projects, and a small cross stitch pattern for you.

I have been knitting a lot lately, it is one of those periods when I am very tired so I need lots of time when I just relax. I decided to develop my sock-knitting skills, so I am knitting woollen socks in different sizes and different materials. I looked at some tutorials and from those I put together a variation that works for me - and my technique of knitting with the magic loop, two at a time. I really don't like knitting with the double pointed needles. I would like to learn the steps by heart so I can knit these without looking at a pattern. After three pairs I am getting there but not there yet. There will be more two follow. I only have picture of one pair though.




Another thing I was working on was more zipper pouches. Last time I posted, I shared with you a cross stitch pattern that I turned into a zipper pouch. That gave me the idea to use some of my cross stitched or hardanger pieces that were just lying in a drawer and I had no idea what to do with them. Now they can be used. And made one with patchwork, too, for a friend who likes pink-white and gray.



I am also doing an online course with Dionne Swift, Drawing for textiles. She is amazing and I love the exercises we do. It is not about drawing a realistic picture of something rather focusing on mark-making, creating lines with different techniques. Here are some of my examples:




And finally, the cross stitch freebie, a simple row of tulips to celebrate spring. Can be used on a bookmark, a towel, as a border on something, or just use one or two elements for a card. Or make a zipper pouch :D


Happy stitching.

18/04/2017

Zipper pouch with a cross stitch panel. Free tulip pattern

I had Easter break last week. And of course, I got sick. Luckily, just a little cold, it didn't turn into anything nasty, but for a few days I was not doing much, just resting. I didn't have the energy to continue with my patchwork projects, and needed to put down the knitting for a few days because my hand started to hurt, so I took a piece of Aida and started a cross stitch project. It's been a while since I last did cross stitch, and I was really missing it.
Found a small tulip motive on my computer that I drew ages ago, and quickly turned it into a repetitive pattern that almost covers the whole fabric. I was just going to see how it looks, but then couldn't stop :D After four days, I finished it last night, and today made it into this zipper pouch. I really love it, I think this will be my favourite from now on.






Here is the pattern. Just repeat - or leave out - as many elements as you wish. It is only two colours, so it is really easy to pick your own colours, too, and I am sure that variegated threads would look great as well.

28/03/2017

A wedding sampler made from the blackwork pattern

Denise has just sent me this fantastic picture. She used elements of the Blackwork sampler pattern to create a wedding sampler. Very creative! Isn't it just beautiful?


Thank you, Denise, for sharing it with us.

25/03/2017

Easter bunny free cross stitch pattern


Easter is coming! Spring is here! I am so excited. Went for a walk today and saw the first blåsippa - that is anemone hepatica, or liverwort, kidneywort or pennywort in English (according to Wikipedia). Here are a few pictures from my walk. The pink flowering bush is something we try to find every year, but I forgot the name, I will ask Stephen when he wakes up :D



I thought this is something to celebrate, so that's why I made this pattern for you. It is simple and easy, and there is still time to stitch it for Easter. It is small, so you can use it for a card or put it on a cushion or on a door hanging. Lots of colours, bunny and flowers - I hope it will lift everyone's spirits. It certainly made me happy. :D

Click on the picture to get to the pdf file.



I was busy lately, but somehow didn't manage to write on the blog. Let me make up for it. Here are a few things I have been working on.



Serendipty II is finished:


I got a new mobile so I made a new cross stitched mobile phone case.


I did lots of English paper piecing, love these hexagons. They are also perfect for using even the smallest scraps.




I think this photo I made of the hexagon paper templates turned out to be really cool. :)



I continued working on the quilt I am making for my daughter, made of 7,5 cm (=3 inch) half square triangles, I was totally crazy when I decided on this. :D But it is going to be lovely.


I also made a quilt top from some cool panels.


I am hopin to be able to finish quilting these myself. I started learning free motion quilting.







I made some softies, like this kitty...


...and this bunny.


And this is a summer bag, for going to the beach.


I also did some knitting:

a scarf,...


double knitted hat and mittens, with my own pattern...


as well as these hats. I am going to publish the pattern for these soon.




I also learnt how to knit from top down. For this little sweater I followed a pattern. Unfortunately it became smaller than expected, but I will find someone who can use it, and I am planning to knit another, slightly bigger one now.



Whoa, I got tired just from showing you all this - and this is the result of the last three months. Not too bad, is it?
I also have some more things that I started but they are far from being finished, so I will show you later.

HAPPY SPRING! :D

06/02/2017

Heart in rainbow colours for Valentines

Hello everyone,



I have been MIA for more than a month, sorry. I got some silly cold and wasn't feeling very well. I did some easy, mindless sewing but couldn't do much of anything that required thinking or counting etc. I will show you some pictures later.
But now it feels I am back among the living :D and getting more active, hopefully.


I was thinking long what to do for Valentine's day. If you have read my blog for a while you might remember that I am not a big fan of it, mostly because in my home country, Hungary, it is a recent holiday, introduced by flower and sweet shops and is all about trying to sell things, without any real meaning or tradition behind it. But perhaps the younger generations feel different about it.

At the end, I made a small heart pattern that expresses much more than just love. It also has a "political" meaning, if you like: the right for everyone to love whom and how they want. I feel very strongly about human rights, and I am following the craftivism movement (crafts + activism that is using crafts for a cause).

This pattern can perhaps be my first, although simple, contribution to craftivism. Use it on a card, a pincushion, a bookmark etc.



Some practical advice:

Don't worry if you don't have the exact colours I used. Just take out your threads, first choose the main colours of the rainbow, then pick out some that can be transition colours (or you can even omit those) and stitch. Have fun playing with your colours.

I hope you like it.
Happy stitching

01/01/2017

Happy new year!

My dear readers,

wishing everyone a very happy new year full of stitches.

Here are some of my plans for the new year - mind you, no resolutions, just plans, and those are tend to change as time goes...

- design and write down (that is the more difficult part) more knitting patterns
- learn to crochet from a chart (never tried, might be easy, we will see)
- do more patchwork
- learn free motion quilting on my machine
- practice hand-quilting more (done a little last year for university)
- learn new embroidery stitches
- weave more

and perhaps the most important:

- develop my fabric art and have a small exhibition somewhere in the second half of the year. This sounds and feels like a big step but I need to take this step. It's important to me. It involves lots of things, maybe new techniques (although I don't want to put a lot of emphasis on this), finding my own style and finding ways to express my feelings.

Here is a picture of the piece I was working on since last summer, but had to put it aside in the autumn and only picked it up again during Christmas.Now it is almost done, only need to cut down the background, bind it, and maybe add a few small details. Right now it is just hanging in my living room so I can see it a lot and let my feelings vibrate around it to see how I want it to be. Haven't got a name for it yet...





I also want to continue writing on this blog, hopefully more often, to record my work. I hope many of you will come along with me on this journey. There will be more cross stitch (and perhaps other) patterns published for you guys, too.


Once again, happy new year.






25/12/2016

A sweater - my first knitting pattern


I managed to finish my daughter's sweater (or jumper? pullover? - I never know which word is the best) on Christmas Eve. It would have been perfect, only we are 2600 kms apart, so I was very late with it. The way post offices work nowadays, I should have finished it about a month earlier for her to get it for Christmas. So now this will become a New Year's present instead...

The story is, I made this sweater for myself last year. I had this idea in my head: I thought I would knit it and at the same time write down what I do and thus make my first ever knitting pattern. No the first I ever made, I do knit almost all the time following my head instead of patterns. Not always with a big success though. Only I never wrote down anything.
Well, my sweater was ready and full of mistakes. The front and back were different length. I tried to fix it by folding up the edge - it became even worse.

I wanted it to be VERY easy to knit, to have one of those mindless crafting projects I need sometimes, when you don't need to count, don't need to pay any attention, you can just move your hands automatically... I also wanted it to be VERY soft and cosy. So I decided to use a thin sock yarn, Drops Fabel, big knitting needles, number 10, and garter stitch. I also wanted the stripes to go vertically instead of horizontally, so I knitted from side to side.

Well, it was a great project for mindless crafting, that bit was true. It became soft and cosy, too. But the thin yarn and very loose knitting meant that it gets caught on everything, I have already pulled out long pieces of yarn that are impossible to pull back. Luckily, they don't show too much.

All in all, my sweater was not a great success. I don't really wear it outside the home, because I feel it is not nice looking enough. For home, however, it is super, warm without being too heavy. When my daughter visited me last year, she borrowed it and was wearing it all the time, she loved it so much. So I thought I will give it another try, and see what happens. With university, work, moving etc it took me a whole year to finish, but now it is ready. I made a few mistakes on this one, too, but not too terrible ones :D I went down 2 needle sizes, so while it is still very loose, not as loose as the first one, let's hope it will not snag so much.



So here I give you: Eszter's sweater - a loosely fitting size S. Would probably fit an M size, too, but you might need to lengthen the sleeves a bit.

Yarn: Drops Fabel. Or any yarn that calls for 3 mm needles (US 2,5/D-3). This one is 75% wool and 25 % polyamide, a sock yarn, but I am sure 100% wool would work just as well.

Needles: 6 mm (circular) needles (US 10).

Gauge: 16 stitches x 27 rows in garter stitch = 10 cm x 10 cm

Abbreviations:

k2tog: knit 2 together
M1: make one: knit in the front leg of the stitch, don't lift it off the left needle, knit in the back leg of the same stitch, lift it off. You made one extra stitch.


Back: cast on 120 stitches (With this many it became a bit too long, she can wear it almost as a mini-dress with leggings. At least I think so, we will see when she gets it and tries it on. If you want to make it shorter, try 100 stitches.)

rows 1-54: knit garter stitch (knit both sides)

row 55: k2tog, k2tog, knit to the end of the row (118)
row 56: knit
row 57: k2tog, k2tog, knit knit to the end of the row (116)

rows 58-104: knit

row 105: M1, M1, knit to the end of the row (118)
row 106: knit
row 107: M1, M1, knit to the end of the row (120)

row 108-162 knit garter stitch

Cast off loosely. It is important that the cast off edge becomes the same length as the cast on edge. I had to restart a few times until I found the right tension which was much looser than my usual cast off.


The front is almost the same, only we do more decrease and increase for the neck.

Front: cast on 120 stitches (With this many it became a bit too long, she can wear it almost as a mini-dress with leggings. At least I think so, we will see when she gets it and tries it on. If you want to make it shorter, try 100 stitches.)

rows 1-54: knit garter stitch (knit both sides)

row 55: k2tog, k2tog, knit to the end of the row (118)
row 56: knit
row 57: k2tog, k2tog, knit knit to the end of the row (116)
row 58: knit
row 59: k2tog, k2tog, knit knit to the end of the row (114)
row 60: knit
row 61: row 57: k2tog, k2tog, knit knit to the end of the row (112)


rows 62-100: knit

row 101: M1, M1, knit to the end of the row (114)
row 102: knit
row 103: M1, M1, knit to the end of the row (116)
row 104: knit
row 105: M1, M1, knit to the end of the row (118)
row 106: knit
row 107: M1, M1, knit to the end of the row (120)

row 108-162 knit garter stitch

Cast off loosely.

Sew together front and back shoulders. Measure and mark 30 cm from the shoulders down the sides. This will be the armhole. Sew together from this mark down to the bottom.


Sleeves:

Pick up stitches all around the armhole. Mark the beginning of the row at the side seam. Knit on circular needles like this:

For me it was 84 stitches.


Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl

Repeat these two rows 7 times (=14 rounds)

Then we begin to decrease:

Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Round 3: k2tog, knit to the last 2 stitches, k2tog
Round 4 purl


Repeat these four rows 16 times (= 64 rows) (52)

(At about 60 stitches I switched to double pointed needles, I found it easier to work with them.)

Then:

Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl

Repeat 6 times (=12 rows)

(This length should be enough for my daughter, considering that the sweater has drop shoulders. In case you need longer sleeves, count how many more rows you need and divide the decreases accordingly, perhaps every fifth round).

The cuff was made with a *knit 2, purl 2* rib, in 24 rounds. Then I folded the live stitches back to the beginning of the rib, on the wrong side, and dropping them one by one from the needle, sewed them down. I found this is much better than any cast off when one needs a flexible opening.

Then, of course, repeat the whole thing for the other sleeve.

Neck:

Pick up stitches around the neckline, knit a *knit 2, purl 2* rib in 24 rounds and finish off the same way as the sleeves.

Weave in all yarn ends. It is possible to block the front and the back before sewing them together, but the sleeves need to be blocked afterwards anyway, so I am just blocking the whole thing now when it is ready.

Here is a picture of it lying on my yoga mat, blocking the body. I will have to block the sleeves next because I don't have a big enough mat.






This is my first ever knitting pattern, please let me know if you don't understand something or if you find a mistake.
Happy knitting!