Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Mermaid sampler

I had been wanting to create something with a mermaid for a while now, made a sketch at the beginning of the year,  but then lost a bit the inspiration- So the project sat in my To-do list for a couple month, until I decided that I was just going to have to finish it or abandon it once-and-for-all.

My mother us to tell me when I was a child ‘L’app├ętit vient en mangeant !’ (Appetite comes with eating ), and the same can be said for creating – Inspiration comes as you start to work.

So I pulled out a variety of old alphabets books, some antique bits-and-pieces and started to put together a little sampler.

I’m pleased with its originality and the possibilities it gives for personalizing. You can use the colors of your choice for the alphabets and borders, and even add your name, date, or a verse or quotation of your choice in the extra space. 

I’ll be stitching it during the summer months, and you can keep up with the progress by following on Instagram.

Pattern available on ETSY, website, Makerist 

Remember to share your stitching project with the rest of us by using the tag #rolanddesigns

I’m very curious, and looking forward to seeing  how other stitchers will interpret this pattern. 

Here you can see my original sketch, and the inspirational pieces behind the sampler.
I’ve decided to use some pretty, blue variegated threads from DMC and white 28 ct linen.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Knitting mistakes, and knitted socks.

Knitting socks is kind of addictive, and I just finished my second pair this year in beautiful King Cole zig zag 4 ply sock yarn (1250 Eton Mess)
I wish I could say that it was as easy as pie, but it wasn’t ! A friend had sent me several  yarns, and a pattern for lacy knitted socks. I eagerly started on the pattern without doing my home-work first, and only too late realized that the pattern was meant for a slightly different sized wool and needles. I am not a good enough knitter to adapt lace patterns, so I started again with a classic King Cole pattern.

The lacy socks are still on my to-do list, but before I start again I will make sure I have the right size of yarn.

Brand new socks in King Cole zig zag Eton Mess

Yikes ! See how wide my knitted lace socks would have been ? Almost wide enough for a sweater sleeve.

PS: All recommendations are my own preference; I am not sponsored by the designer, websites, manufacturers.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

More knitted mermaid

I wanted to share with you some photos of Emilie’s latest knitted mermaids. As many of you know, my 13 years old daughter is an avid knitter and has knitted quite a few mermaids and dolls in the past couple years.

She doesn’t follow any patterns, just her fantasy and the yarn she has available – many of it gifts from friends and admirers ( Thank you all so much ! )

Her newest mermaids have a little twist – The tails come off to reveal a set of legs. A clever little idea which gives more play possibilities, since we all know that all mermaids dream of legs and feet so that they can go ashore and find a human prince.

I’ve been asked before, and “No !”, Emilie is not allowed to sell her mermaids, or other knitted items until she is older

Two cute little knitted mermaids

The tails can come off.

Aren't they cute ?

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Small rose. Free cross stitch pattern - Part 3 Petit point

In the 1800’s the economic situation in the Western world began to change, and with more and more families becoming what we refer to now as ‘middle class’ there grew a need for respectable past-times for the ladies of households who had time to spare and few activities to indulge in. 

Labor was cheap, and most families with means would employ cooks, maids and governesses; thus freeing the women of the house from most of the common chores of housekeeping. 

The home was everything, and the lady of the house would take great pride in tastefully decorating her sitting room, and home with beautiful and skillfully worked cushions, curtains, chair covers, runners and all sorts of handmade dainty things to show of her skill and diligence.

Not all day was spent in leisure, but much of it would have been employed with something or another to do with a needle and thread. Before off the rack fashion, private tailors were (and still are) a luxury, so dress making, mending and making layettes for babies, or trousseaus for a soon to be bride would take priority, but when that was done then the more fun and frivolous projects could be worked on – and became known as ‘fancy work’.

And of all fancy work, none could rival in popularity Berlin woolwork. 
Counted patterns for Berlin woolwork and other embroidery were easily available, and though the best ones were pricey and would be shared or traded between friends. Lower quality, yet still lovely designs were often included in publications and periodicals of the time

Counted patterns are relatively easy to follow, and were eventually criticized  by the arts-and-craft movement for being vulgar and inferior to older forms of embroidery. But no matter what they said about them, counted patterns are here to stay, with cross stitch being probably the most practiced form of embroidery today.


The third flower is stitched with both petit point and cross stitch, a classic favorite for bringing out delicate details in flowers or faces/hands. 

I simply replaced each ‘cross stitch’ space with four petit point stitches. The rose is quite small, so it was easy. But if you would use this technique in a larger pattern, be sure to concentrate and count, count, count! Unstitching mistakes in petit-point is not fun, and can damage the cloth and surrounding stitches.

Three roses, three different styles of counted embroidery

Petit point and cross stitch

Small rose part 1 - Cross stitch
Small rose part 2 - Gobelin stitch

The small rose pattern is available as a free instant download on my website, see link below. 
I would like to challenge you to also try out different techniques and styles of embroidery, needlework or other crafts that can be worked from counted patterns. The possibilities are endless, and lot’s of fun. 
Be sure to tag your work with #smallrosechallenge  or #rolanddesigns

The rose was stitched with 2 threads over two threads on 28 ct linen.
The free pattern can be downloaded here: