Sunday, 29 October 2017

Christmas knitting

I rarely do any Christmas present knitting, in fact I think this year is the first year I have done! and I've set myself a big challenge to knit 2 adult sized garments!

Last month I showed you a jumper I'm knitting for SofM. I showed it being knit in Drops Belle, which was the yarn called for in the pattern. This jumper is knitted in the round. The Drops Belle is a cotton based yarn and I hated it, it was spilty and it was knitting up huge, also I was getting nasty ladders on the sleeve from the DPNs so I frogged it and ordered some Drops Drops Merino Extra Fine and it is knitting up 100% better! 

When we were away in Norfolk at the beginning of the month, I went into a lovely little yarn shop called Norfolk Needlecraft in Mundesley, which is on the coast. There was a delivery of new yarn from King Cole - Indulge, which is a chunky Acrylic, Polyester and Alpaca mix. The colours are lovely and when I saw this pattern and this colourway I knew DD would love it!

It should be knit in the flat and seamed but I hate doing that so I've cast on 2 extra stitches to ensure the pattern is going to be correct and I'm knitting the fronts and back together. I was going to knit the sleeves on DPNs but that didn't work very well so I will knit those flat.

The nice thing with King Cole patterns you always get 2 patterns for the price of one - in this case it is a long and short jacket, I'm doing the long one.

My socks are finished! I had a job with the toe grafting, I'm not very good at it! I will keep practicing!

I used to do a lot of cross stitch, in fact it was all I did throughout the 1990's and early 2000's but I've only done little bits here and there since I started quilting in 2007 but every so often I see a pattern that really appeals.

This pattern is one of them, from this month's 'Cross Stitcher'. I like this magazine - the designs are quite modern and I like that. You can't see it on the photo but the fabric has a glittery thread through it which is lovely.

I started a cross stitch before last Christmas that I must finish too!

I'm knitting another pair of socks, this time for Little Gromit, to wear with his wellies! They need to be finished for next Saturday because we are taking him to a bonfire for Guy Fawkes night (or bomb night as he calls it) and he will need to wear his wellies.

I've been watching a lot of knitting podcasts recently and most of the podcasters knit socks and get left with lots of bit of sock yarn that is too good to get rid of so they are knitting 'cosy memories' blankets. I love the look of the blankets but haven't got the patience to knit one so I'm crocheting one. Just good old granny squares surrounded in a natural coloured sock yarn and crocheted together. This will be a long term project and I am enjoying collecting mini skeins of hand dyed yarn for it.

And last but not least I'm knitting a DK weight jumper for myself. This jumper called 'For the love of trees and is in issue 79 of 'Knit Now' I'm also using Drops Merino Extra Fine for this. I've haven't worn this type of jumper for over 20 years as I don't think I suit them but I want to try one and I loved the pattern.

Last night my Mum, Dd and I went to Crewe Lyceum to see 'The Nutcracker'. It was lovely! we really enjoyed it! We rarely go to the theatre so it was a real treat!

Thursday, 21 September 2017


Last week I took Mum up to Scotland for a weeks' holiday. We stayed in a little house in Gullane, near North Berwick. The weather wasn't brilliant but we did get out and about. One of our trips out was to see the Kelpies. These are an amazing sight, they stand 30 meters tall, on either side of a canal lock.

Whilst we were away I also got plenty of knitting time. I did contemplate taking my sewing machine but I'm glad I didn't as there wasn't really a suitable space to set it up.

I spend a good bit of time watching podcasts and saw some wonderful things being knitted, so I planned my Christmas knitting.

I saw this shawl pattern on Ali's podcast - Little Drops of Wonderful (sorry, I couldn't get the link!) and loved it! She has knitted this pattern 3 times! So this is part of my secret Christmas knitting!

I don't buy many magazines these days but when I go away I treat myself!

This issue of Simply Knitting is 163. I just loved this man's jumper and thought it perfect for Son of Mine for Christmas. The yarn is Drops Belle in colourway 7 - Zinc. I ordered it from Wool Warehouse whilst I was away and it was waiting for me when I got back.

It is a pattern written in the round which I love but you wouldn't credit how many mistakes I've made! (although I think there is a mistake in the pattern for the sleeve), the pattern is a 4 row pattern and easy to remember but I still have managed to get confused! The only other thing I'd say about this, is the yarn is splity so you have to watch it.

Last time I posted I showed this tiny bit of scrunched up knitting - 

it is now a blocked but not quite dry shawl! Done in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply, colourway Pennyroyal, pattern - a free pattern on Ravelry - The Oaklet shawl by Megan Goodacre.

My sock has also moved on - I had just turned the heel, I am now shaping for toe.

I have got a different pair of socks on the go too but I'll show you those next time.

I haven't touched my sewing machine again and I won't be able to for a few weeks as DD is moving house and needs my help and we go away again on the 30th of September for 6 days.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Summer 2017 - Part 2

 Three months has gone by since I last posted and we've had a few days out and I've done some crafting and just generally pottered through the summer.

I've lacked motivation this year so far and my depression has reared its' ugly head from time to time during the summer so I haven't achieved anything like the amount of things I could have if I'd been in a better place.

Anyway, here's want I have been doing!

From March 2016 to this August I've done no machine quilting at all, I've not been to any quilt shows or bought much fabric, nor have I started any new quilts - 

but, in August I decided to get this quilt out - this is the year I am going to finish this quilt! It is for our king size bed.

 These 12" star blocks (to my own pattern) made with Moda French General have been in process since at lease 2014! It is time it was finished!

All the blocks are complete. I am using the 'quilt as you go' method so all the blocks are sandwiched and quilted. One row of 8 blocks is completed including the hand sewing on the back, another row is stitched together awaiting its' hand sewing and the rest of the blocks need trimming down and the sashings sewn on, so it could be finished by the end of September if I get a move on!

I have gone through all my projects that have been started and decided which I am going to finish and which I was getting rid of. This cardigan is an item that's been on the needles for years and it needed very little doing to it, it is now finished apart from weaving 3 ends in and sewing a button on.

 I really like it! I knitted the 2 fronts an the back together so I wouldn't have to sew up the side seams, I also knitted the sleeves on DPNs, again so no seaming! The yarn used was Rowan Felted Tweed, the colorway 151 Bilberry.

I liked this pattern so much I've stated it again, using Sirdar Harrap Tweed colourway 107 Shelley, which is a lot cheaper! It is a very similar yarn to felted tweed but slightly thicker. 

It's a great knit whilst watching Netflix!

These socks are another thing that has been on the needles for a long time. The first sock was finished except grafting of the toe. I have had real difficultly doing the grafting because I'm left handed but after watching You Tube videos and blogs I've managed it, it's not as neat as it should be but I should get better with practice! I do love knitting socks and these fit me really well.

 I use this basic pattern - Super Simple Sock Pattern by Allison Sarnoff. It is a free pattern on Raverly.

I have also cast on a shawl too! The pattern is the Oaklet shawl by Megan Goodacre and it is another free pattern on Raverly. I am knitting it in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in the colour way 530 Pennyroyal. This yarn is a standard sock weight yarn and comes in self striping colours as well as solid colours. It is lovely to knit with.  

I have started decorating my house for Autumn and I decided the other day I wanted a Autumn themed table runner. I had this Moda charm pack 'Awesome' by Sandy Gervais for ages and thought it fitted the bill nicely. I thought I would do a 3 block disappearing 9 patch so I sewed the 3 blocks and started to cut the 1st one to turn it into the 'disappearing' bit and made a right old mess of it so I put it away for another day!

I am also crocheting 'Attic 24's' Hydrangea blanket, I did a couple of rows this week but it will be on hold now as I take my Mum on holiday next week.

This is my charity knitting that I do when I go to a charity knitting group every fortnight. We knit baby blankets and hats for our local hospital. So far I've knitted one hat and a blanket.

And our biggest news of this summer is that we now have a baby grandaughter!  Meet little Miss Gromit, who looked just like her brother when she was born.

She was born on 22nd July at 19.19, weighing 11 pounds 9 ozs.

and here she is today, 7 weeks tomorrow! She has been helping me write this post today!

I did buy a little bit of fabric! - Moda Nanette, for Little Miss Gromit of course, as she has to have her own quilt!

Friday, 30 June 2017

This summer....Part 1

They last time I blogged we were getting ready to to go on holiday.

We had a week in Maderia at the beginning of April with my Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law.

The weather was fantastic - wall to wall sunshine all week - a really lovely break!

 The Tropical Garden in Monte, above Funchal.

Maderia is famous for being able to grow fantastic Birds of Paradise.

At the end of April we had a week's canal boat holiday on the Kennet and Avon canal with the family - 5 adults, one 3 year old and 2 dogs! The weather was mediocre but at least we didn't see much rain!

Deep lock in Bath

69ft boat - the longest that can go through the locks!

It was a busy week but it was lovely to spend time with the family!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The last 6 months..... has plodded on as usual, for which I am eternally grateful! I rather like a quiet life!

Soaring Santa by Emma Congdon from issue 223 Cross
Stitch Crazy - I started this in November 2016 & I am further on than 
shown here!

In the craft department I have mainly knitting and doing cross stitch, which was my first love before I started quilting.

I completed this little pumpkin in time for Halloween!

I am currently working on a cross stitch of Venice which was in Cross Stitch Gold magazine.

Also I concentrated on journaling for the last third of 2016

I completed a 'December Daily' journal for the month of December. I was really pleased to complete this and I'll do a separate post on it. 

I haven't done any quilt piecing or quilting on the sewing machine since last May, I just haven't wanted to! But I have been working steadily on these Hexagon blocks from Katja Marek's New Hexagon book. I have really enjoyed doing these!

I always have a bit of knitting on the go, even if I don't finish it - lol. I have cast on this cardigan for my Mum. It is a pattern from People's Friend magazine and I am hoping to complete it for Christmas!

I have recently joined a charity knitting group. We are knitting baby things for our local hospital. I am really enjoying this. Unfortunately I've struggled with local quilting groups, I haven't fitted in well, I think it is me but I'm not sure what it is that is wrong so I'm leaving it for now but I will concentrate on this group as its' started so well. 

I also managed to make my own Christmas cards this year, which was an achievement!

 This was the first Christmas that we had the new fire! So 
new decorations for the mantelpiece!

Christmas happened! Certain bits looked a bit different due to last year's redecorations!

This little arrangement used to be on a shelf that we no longer have! 
It now resides on a sideboard in an alcove by the fireplace. 

I continue to look after Little Gromit whilst my daughter is at work. He is 3 now and a bit of a handful at times!

He has several passions - Lego and Duplo building, Play doh and transport of all kinds!

 At a recent wedding!

Son of Mine is still in Edinburgh, living with his girlfriend and seeming happy and settled!

The Oh! Bearded One and I are fine, although we have had cold after cold (courtesy of Little Gromit) since Christmas and Oh! Bearded One has had awful trouble with his sinuses! 

He is 65 in June and could retire but he doesn't feel ready to and wants to continue working for another couple of years.

 You may remember I broke my foot in October 2015. It was a Lisfranc injury and even now I still am getting a little bit of pain and stiffness in it which has made me reluctant to be as active as I need to be, hopefully it may improve more over the Spring and Summer. Also Osteoarthritis in my thumbs is a complete pain - only allowing me to work on things for short periods! I have just got a thumb splint so I'll see how that goes!

DD has another baby in July - a little girl, which is exciting and scary at the same time! Neither of us is sure how we will cope, I'm sure we will in the end!

At present I am spending some money on the house! We have had a new mattress and bedding in our room and there are other new things on the horizon that I will post about as they happen!

Right! off to finish packing, we go to Madeira tomorrow!