Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday night catch up x

Oops, I missed this weeks Tuesdays Tallies & it's only the second one, tut tut!  I'll have a double whammy next week I promise :)

Part of my excuse was having a busy Bank Holiday down in London.  I'm very lucky to have wonderful friends & family down there and blessed that J seems happy to spend weekends travelling down with me :)

We made the most of the amazing weather (sunny on a Bank Holiday?!) and went to Rochester on Saturday.

It's an old town and has lots of quaint little shops, my favourite is Hometown which had moved into a bigger shop!  It sells some of the most beautiful fabric I've ever seen, really difficult to leave empty handed but me proud of me because somehow I did!


It sells

I love wooden painted doors and this one's a great colour but I probably won't be doing ours like that if we get a house :) And look at all the bunting, there was loads!

We stopped for lunch & I proved J wrong; I was not sick after having half a sausage sandwich/barm and a chocolate fudge milkshake!

We popped into a random shop which I think was called the Market, really it was like a massive charity / junk shop (you should have seen the old computers & fax machines!) & there was far too much stuff to look at but look what I did find...

More knitting needles than I've ever seen 

I've got quite a lot of needles already so I was only really looking for something colorful but do you think I could find a pair?  In the end I settled for some pink aluminium DPNs and a needle size gauge which I've been after for ages

So speaking of DPNs, I finished my little jar cosie which fits nicely onto a salsa jar & is now full of odds and sods :)


x x x x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Tuesdays Tallies 1 - the secret project!

One a Day Banner

... is back!!

Last year I joined in with the One A Day project hosted by Carole over at Ginger Bread Girl. It was definitely the motivating factor that got my hexagon blanket finished.

Hexagon blanket

 Last week Carole posted that she was starting up again but at the time I said I didn't really have any One A Day suitable projects...

Oh what I didn't know then!  Over the weekend I was reading Heathers latest post on Little Tin Bird and it was all over.  That fire ignited in my head and heart, I just HAD to make myself a blanket like this!

You'll know that I'm on a bit of a yarn de-stash so this looks perfect.  I want to use pinks/purples and some green from my Stylecraft bag.  Here's what I've hooked up so far

Pinkie blanket

And because there's not a lot to see, here's them arranged differently.  How exciting ;-)

Pinkie blanket

I've followed Heathers tutorial which is really easy and can be found here.  It's the same one that she's used for her beautiful Elmer blankets as well.

They're super quick to make, I think I can get one done in about 15 minutes, which may sound a lot but trust me when you're making granny squares with rounds in different colours this is much quicker.


Unlike Heather who is far more generous, I will be keeping my blanket all for me!  Mostly because J has been stealing my hexagons (I've had to rescue it as my end weaving wasn't very good!).

Ahh...  now speaking of J, you might be wondering why this is a secret project!  I've already said it's for me so you know I'm not hiding it from it's recipient.  No.  I just can't bring myself to tell J I'm making another blanket when we have so many already (handmade & otherwise) because I can't quite believe I'm doing this again when I swore I wouldn't!

This one will be different, I'm thinking more of a lap blanket so hopefully much smaller.  We'll see.

Anywho, pop over to Caroles blog to see if anyone else has joined in :D

One a Day Banner

x x x x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The afternoon tea dress

It's been said that the BBC has a lot to answer for recently, and no I don't mean any of that stuff that's been going on - this is a crafty blog! - I'm talking about the Great British Sewing Bee...

 I'm not new when it comes to sewing, I've knocked up all sorts of things from...

...Cushion covers
Cushions bunting...


... and I've made a couple of skirts.  But when I watched the first episode of The Sewing Bee I was like "right, I NEED to make a dress now!" And apparently I wasn't the only one, the

So I bought this simplicity pattern, it's 3 dresses and two little jackets (although I'm unlikely to make those) and at the time it was half price so I was pretty chuffed with that.  It's Simplicity pattern 1873 :)

Simplicity 1873

I should warn you, this next bit is very photo heavy so if you just want to see the finished this just scroll to the bottom :)

Tea dress

Tea dress

Tea dress

learning tailors tacks
Tea dress

Tea dress

my first ever darts
Tea dress

cutting the lining that I decided I didn't need & quickly realised I did
Tea dress

a sewn bodice!
Tea dress

pinning & sewing the sleeves
Tea dress

Tea dress
Tea dress

attaching the sleeves!
Tea dress

finishing touches on the waist band
Tea dress

And finally after a couple of days, of pins in my thumbs, of ripping out stitching I'd done wrong & consulting books and YouTube when the pattern made me think "you what?!"....  it was finished :)

Tea dress

Wooooop!  I'm more surprised than anyone that it even fits, ok it's not perfect & I could do with working on my measurements & darts but hey you know what I really like it.

Typically it's not stopped raining since so I haven't worn it out :(  Maybe we'll have a nice bank holiday?

Anyone else inspired to get the sewing machine out?  I'd love to see what you've been making! 

x x x x  

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Learning to love DPNs

I think the reason I enjoy knitting so much is the challenge.  I don't like things to be so difficult that I can't do it and get frustrated (who does!) but I really enjoy that moment when you finally 'get it'.
Learning to love DPNs

Using DPNs (double pointed needles) hasn't exactly been one of these moments but I'm definitely getting better and it's something I want to be able to do so I don't shy away from patterns I want to try.

The lovely Alice shared with me the way she does it, to knit inside out so 'the stockinette stitch is on the inside and knit around the inside of the circle' - it totally works!

x x x x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Stolen Pat's Work Quilts

Fellow crafters this is a call to arms!

Several handmade patch work quilts have been stolen from an exhibition in Colne.  The quilts were lent to the exhibition and I can't imagine how upset I'd be :(

A friend shared this on Facebook and knowing how long it took me to make the tiniest patch work cushion this has really struck a nerve!

Please share this, check ebay, Folksy, Etsy - anywhere you can think x

Saturday, 11 May 2013

I'm still here honest!

Excuse me while I just dust off the cobwebs there...  Wow I have missed blogging!!  I haven't been away travelling or anything exciting like that but I just seem to be very busy lately & blogging has had to take a back seat.  I've kept up on my reading (just about) & I'm feeling very inspired and creative!

New old needles

As there's a lot to talk about I'll start with hats :-) These are my new obsession & for better or worse our two nephews will slowly be gaining a collection of knitted animal hats as I continue to churn them out for no other reason than I enjoy the clicking of needles & I'm trying to de-stash a little!

Check me out, I haven't bought any yarn all year and it's MAY!
When I said that in January J scoffed.  Hah.  So no more of this

After making my own crochet cross stitch hat I made one for smallest nephew, it was supposed to be for Christmas but it was given a bit late.  Good thing the weathers been reliably rubbish!  As you can see it's a great fit (testament to the pattern) & he seems to like it :-)
Crochet hat

The pattern is on Tara's blog Easy Makes Me Happy here.

Unfortunately the lion hat was (as I feared) too short so I need to get more Stylecraft in Camel. The only problem is now that I'm actively trying not to buy wool I might need to see if I can get some in a swap or something.

This is my latest hat endeavour intended for biggest nephew


I've loved knitting this even though I slightly messed up the pattern and realised you really do have to follow it but I've made it work.  Lots of new techniques I've not tried before so I feel like I'm a proper knitting bee now :)


Other wondeful endeavours have included afternoon tea in the Northern Quarter - that's my Dad!  Sorry Dad you've been blogged now :)


Climbing in April & May (look at the difference in one month!)

Climbing April May Styal Woods (there's a bloody great big drop beneath me which this photo doesn't do justice.  Probably for the best really.  Hello Mum.)

Styal Woods 

My folks and amazingly my big-little brother came up for a long weekend too so I dragged them out to Alderly Edge, which apart from being full of mansions and footballers (we didn't see any, footballers that is) actually has an 'edge' (another great big drop!) and some lovely walks, including the Wizards Walk.

The Wizards Well
It says, "Drink of this and take thy fill for the water falls by the Wizhard's Will". See his wizardy face at the top?

If you've ever read the the Weirdstone of Brisingamen then you'll know what I'm talking about.  My mum read it to me when I was a kid so I was really excited to take her as the book is all set around here.

Did you all watch the Great British Sewing Bee? I did and it totally got me back into sewing. It's a post for another time but I'm really looking forward to sharing.


x x x x