Sunday, 16 December 2012

Knitted Socks for the Tree

Little socks for the Christmas tree made at the workshop on Saturday at Moonstone Yarns. A lovely day sitting knitting and chatting and eating cake. What's not to like. Keep an eye on Moonstone's website for future workshops and comment if there is anything in particular you would like to learn how to do. We can probably make it happen.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Square Dance

Inspired by this I went shopping in Hobbycraft with a photo of my hearth rug for colours. I chose fourteen skeins of tapestry wools and bought an 18" by 18" piece of 10 hpi canvas. It has been years since I did any tapestry and that was all printed canvas in quite intricate designs. Doing this is so liberating as I'm obviously keeping to the 4 x 4 blocks but am choosing colours and deciding as I go along how big to make it. I think I will deviate from Jane's design by putting a border on it of several 2 row lines of the different colours. We'll see when I get there. It is going fairly quickly but as with all these projects and my rather disorganised way of working I have other projects half done which need finishing, I'm torn. I need to spend an hour on each one in turn so that things get finished.

The Climbing Vines Cardigan is the most important of these UFO's because I really want to wear it. It's going to go with so many of my clothes and I love the cabling and the colour, this photo doesn't do it justice as its a lovely shade of mustard. But, it's on fairly small needles and there is at least one use of the cable needle in every row! The cable repeat is twelve rows long and there are about eight different cable configurations. I have done the back, the fronts and am onto the sleeves so the end is nigh. I have a couple of hours this morning before I go and teach a year 4 class in Luton, so I shall knuckle down, deep joy!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Pretty Interchangeable Knitting Needle Cosy

Storing interchangeable knitting needles can be a problem, the plastic pouch I bought my set in was ugly and started splitting almost as soon as I started using it. A solution needed to be found. So I made one of these for myself a few months ago and have found it solved the problem. This is the second one I have made with modifications on the first and for a friend at Moonstone Yarns Knit Group. 

This fabric is much prettier than the one I made for myself as I was trying out and didn't want to waste lovely material if I messed up or it didn't work.

There are thin pockets for the needles, large pockets for the cables and small ones for the needle stopper and the little metal things to help attach needles to cables. The small square pockets have velcro to keep things from falling out. I'm still not happy though and want to find another method of keeping the small pockets closed. There are more than enough pockets for additional items. I keep small scissors, small tape measure, little flat box of sewing up needles, needle size gauge and row markers in the pockets and there is plenty of room in mine. Hope you like it Mandy.

Two Drawstring Bags for Two Little Girls

This tried and tested pattern has come up trumps again for these two bags for two little girls. Its a simple, versatile and sensible pattern that takes little time to make and does what it says on the tin. I hope Gracie May and Ivy May like them. I made them almost identical, just individualising them with different linings and ties to match. Just incase you haven't seen or tried this pattern, here is the link.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sock Knitting Workshop

I love this stack of knitted socks, you too can knit some like this by joining in with the latest sock knitting workshop at Moonstone Yarns. If you can knit and purl then you can join the sock knitting community by coming along and joining in the fun.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sock Monkey Workshop

Meet Colin. Who'd have thought you could turn a pair of socks into a cute toy. He now needs some clothes. I'm on it!

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Cracking Mitred Corners

The latest make for the school xmas fayre which is this Sunday! I have plastic boxes full of stuff, pencil cases, kindle cosies, glasses cases, lavendar bags, handbag tissue holders, sock knitting kits, baby bibs, pincushions, and the list goes on.  I have to say I am very proud of my corners on this quilt. I have struggled to make them  look neat and professional, these come close. This picture also shows off the backing fabric which I choose, I have to say how much I'm liking the stripe, I love the way it looks on the back with the binding in the same fabric. It pleases my eye as it goes in the same direction on two of the edges and perpendicular on the other two. 

I made a quick dash to Threads and Patches this morning so I could finish the quilt. I have two weeks off from looking after my elderly mother so I am doing supply teaching, no work today though so I thought I had better get the quilt finished as I had a free day. Good job I did as I have work tomorrow and Friday.

On Saturday I'm going to be having fun at Moonstone Yarns  making sock monkeys with Kathy and some of the rest of my knitty friends. Pictures will follow.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Bunting and Tweet

Blimey but it's hard to photograph is bunting! Nowhere in my little house was there a wall big enough without pictures, shelves, doors or windows in the way. So I took it outside which worked except that I should have tidied up the conservatory before I took it. Mind you it shows a busy workroom. It started to rain then so I decided to leave it. I am pleased with the bunting though, hopefully it will set my table off to tee for the school fayre.

Appliqued cushion, I'm hoping to use this as an example should anyone want a personalised one, I can do any name and any picture as long as it is a simple shape. I'm thinking of doing a 'Woof' one next with a little dog on it in blues, I'm going to struggle though as most of my stash is pink, I have no idea how that has happened. The back of the cushion is pink stripe, you can just see it at the top of the picture.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Pink IPad Cosy

At the second attempt the Ipad cosy worked. I changed the zip structure so that the pouch would open more fully. Also to keep the Ipad safe I put wadding in between the outer and inner fabrics. Although I didn't want to quilt to keep the layers together, it needed something so I used a little embroidery. I am pleased with the way this turned out. I used this tutorial from Noodlehead. I changed some of it to suit my needs but essentially its the same.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Busy Knitting

Just finished this lovely beret and scarf. It's Louisa Harding's new yarn Amitola. When this yarn fell out of the soft tree it hit every branch on the way down. It's merino and silk and the colours are gorgeous. This took just under 2 50 gm balls. Kathy of Moonstone Yarns puts new yarns on the table when we have a knitting lock in, so hard to resist!  

I think it's too new for the patterns from this book to be on Ravelry.

This is the next project, I've had this pattern for years and have finally decided to knit it up, this gorgeous purple yarn is by Blacker Designs, unfortunately I couldn't get it any more so I have gone with this Shilasdair luxury DK. There are lots of cables and twists so I doubt it will be a TV project.

The colour is perfect to go with a green skirt I have just bought, well in the top half of the picture it is, I'm not sure why there is a line across the middle, there isn't on the original. Anyway I'm going to cast on tonight, I've wound one skein into little dumpy puddings with my ball winder so I'm ready to go.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

I Have a New Toy - No Not Like That!

No longer do I have to fight the kids at school for the glue gun as I have my own. I needed a secure way of attaching the felt back and brooch pin to the fabric flowers and this was the answer.

This little batch of flowers is going to Moonstone Yarns for their coffee morning for breast cancer research. Hence the pink, I know there will also be knitted cupcakes and other bits and pieces as well as coffee of course. Check out the website for the location and be there on 19th October between 12 and 3.

See what a neat job the glue gun made of the back. Now what else needs glueing??

Friday, 5 October 2012

Pictures of Micky

Just had to share this photo of grandson Micky in the bib I made for him. He is looking a little disgruntled as the feeding stopped for the Kodak moment.

I haven't been a good blogger recently as I have been busy making things for the school xmas fair, it's always a dilemma when there are things to do and things to blog about, what to prioritize? I really want a full table with lots of choice for people to buy and I'm trying really hard to make things everyday, yesterday was a pencil case day and today is going to be a tote bag day.

One more photo, couldn't resist, of Micky with his grandad. So cute.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Thank you Justine of Simply Solids for the gorgeous purple fabric for the letters on my bunting. This is some if the flags for my bunting sign for the school Xmas fayre. Just need to get enough tape to see them onto.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Summer Time Socks

So named as the colours of the yarn are the pinks and blues and yellows of the flowers and the greens of the grass and leaves.  

These knitted socks are ideal inside wellies or hiking boots. Also great for snuggling on the sofa on a cold evening. So on those cold winter nights there is a breath of sunny gardens on my feet. That is of course if they don't get sold as they are in my Etsy shop :-(

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

This weekends makes for the Xmas Fayre at school. Three button over bags. One lavender sachet stack and seven handbag tissues holders. Trying to stick to something made every day so my table will be groaning.

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Friday, 14 September 2012

Dumpling Purses and Lavender Stack

Today's makes for the school Xmas Fayre. Two little dumpling purses and the first lavender stack of three lavender sachets. If I can make something most days then hopefully I'll have a full table.

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my iPhone

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Baby Bib Stack

Been busy today stock building for the school Christmas Fayre. So 5 baby bibs to add to the 3 in my etsy shop, that's 8 so far. What's next? Zippy pencil cases I think and a few strawberry pin cushions. It's a start.

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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Presents for Baby

I'm very happy with the way these have turned out. I especially like the bib which I backed with the blue spot. I was just playing around with the scraps. I also like my new labels, a little more modern than my old ones and easy to sew into seams.

All we need now is the baby who is due any time. I'm going to make a label for the back of the quilt with the name and date of birth on it, I was also thinking of embroidering some bunting along the edge of the label to tie it in with the front of the quilt.

Although I got the fabric from Bramble Patch, it was in a bundle and it is a mixture of manufacturers so I can't tell you exactly what they are. I foolishly binned the selvedges.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

WIP Wednesday

This pile of pieces became:-

This quilt top, and hopefully by the end of the day it will become a completed babyquilt for our first grandchild whose due date is today! 

Couldn't resist using some of the scraps to make these cubes, soft and easy for little fingers to hold and matching the quilt.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Henry Vaughan Walk

While in Talybont-on-Usk we found a leaflet for the Henry Vaughan Walk, he was a poet who lived in this area with his twin brother. The walk was delightful, through woods, across fields and along rivers and the canal it was lovely. At various points on the walk there were posts with little pieces of his poetry.

This one for example was by the river.

This one at the start of the walk. It was fun looking for the posts with the verses on them and seeing how they related to the particular bit of the walk. We had to hold them up to read them as they dropped into the posts to keep them dry. On the other side was the same verse in welsh.

Monday, 3 September 2012

A Tale of Three Quilts

We deserved a well earned break and took it in Shropshire and Wales. The Bed and Breakfasts we stayed in were all three just lovely in different ways. This first photo shows the room we had at Hopton House It was beautiful. Not only the room with its balcony and amazing views but also this lovely quilt on the bed. Sometimes its the fabric that makes the quilt not the careful piecing of blocks and complex quilting.  The colours used made this quilt really special, I loved it.

The second Bed and Breakfast we stayed in was in Talybont-on-Usk. The location of this place was what made it so good, on a river and a canal with two great pubs across the road. The Malt House is the family home of Mike and Lyn who made us welcome in their beautiful home. This photo shows the quilt on the bed in our room, a loft room with beams and a fantastic view.

Finally Hafod-y-Garreg, the oldest house in Wales owned by Annie and John whose maxim is that people come as quests and leave as friends. This was our second visit to this historic and quirky B&B, and for the second time we were made so welcome, greeted with offers of a glass of wine and a catch up chat in the sitting room with a fireplace so huge you could party in it. The quilt in this room was on the wall. Annie is an expert on antique textiles and clothing. This quilt's centre was 1900th century and the borders a little later but all stitched by hand, the hexagons only a little over an inch across, so much work and still in great condition.

There will be more about our holiday, but for now the quilts tell the story, as different from each other as the Bed and Breakfasts themselves. 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Excellent B&B, Would Recommend.

Sunshine and showers in lovely Shropshire. This bed and breakfast is fab. I especially love the room with this gorgeous quilt. I'll post a link to Hopton House when I get home as I'm struggling to do it on the phone.

This morning I had scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on brioche - delicious. Tomorrow it will be French toast with maple syrup and summer berries.

I'm loving this.

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Interchangeable Knitting Needle Cosy

I have been wanting to make myself one of these for ages. My interchangeable needles are all over the place and I badly needed something to store them in. As this was a try out, I used fabric that I didn't like very much in case it didn't turn out. I now need to make one in funkier fabric.

There are pockets for the needles themselves, with tape that I can write on to indicate what size needle is in the pocket. I think I have made too many pockets but no matter, I can always have more of the same size. Also three large pockets for the cables, my tape measure, sewing up needles, row markers etc. Three smaller pockets for for the needle stoppers and the turny thing for getting the needles on to and off the cables.

It folds into three and rolls up and is secured with ties to that nothing falls out! I'm really surprised at how well this has turned out. I used paper to make a pattern using the needles and cables to make sure I had the right size. I must make another one in prettier fabric. The fabric I used was Fabric Freedom William Morris designs.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Baby Bibs

With grandchild number one expected in a week or two I thought I'd make a bib for him.  I got carried away! Well why make one when you can make three. These came together really quickly and it gave me an opportunity to revisit my button hole attachment on the sewing machine, not something I use very often. I've lined the bibs with flannel rather than towelling as I  think it makes a neater bib. It will wash and wear just as well. I'm chuffed to bits with these.

Lined with blue spotty fabric

Lined with solid red.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Posy Baby Cardigan

The pattern for this little cardigan is now available here and in my 'patterns and tutorials' page.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

London 2012

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to go to the Olympic Aquatic Centre to watch the men's qualifying dives for the 3 metre springboard. It was fantastic, I have to join in with all the people that have talked about the atmosphere and the support of the crowds, it was awesome. The actual venue was interesting as the roof dips over the pool so if you are high up, which we were, you can't see the audience on the other side which made it a little claustrophobic, the centre of the roof where it dips though looks like a sperm whale which was cool.

The whole venue was huge and packed with people, the atmosphere was brilliant, everyone was smiling and enjoying the day, the volunteers where everywhere and so helpful and cheery, even at St Pancras and Stratford International stations they greeted us with a smile.
The buildings, some temporary and some permanent were works of art, especially the velodrome and BMW car centre. It blew us away as it had water falling all round it and into a pool.

I had seen on TV the planting in the gardens in the park but was really impressed when I saw them for real. The look was of meadows of flowers, really informal except that they were in colour families. I loved the warmth of the yellows, golds and oranges. With the pop of blue of the cornflowers.

And the delicacy of the blues, pinks and whites. It was all so pretty
We had a great day out and I'm only sorry we were only able to get one set of tickets for one event, it was so frustrating walking near the main stadium and hearing the roaring crowds and not being able to be in there. I think I might try to get tickets for a para-olympic event just to get into the main arena to enjoy the atmosphere.