Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Knit 1, Crochet 1 etc. etc,

After having a couple of great weekends I had to get down to "making"........It was going to be a bit hard to decide what to make first from my 'buys' at Yarndale, but first I had to finish those hats for the "littlies" in South Africa.

This one is for Miss I

And Master B chose this one

Now what to make next...... It gets so exciting when new projects and new yarns come into play.  I had decided that I wanted to make something from the carpet yarn to encourage my crochet group to play with this yarn, so I plumped for a bag.  I had to unpick a few times before I was happy with the results.  The base is made from half trebles (easy bit) then after a number of starts and 'unpicks' I decided the best way up the sides was making treble clusters.

One more round to finish the base

Phew!  done just in time for crochet group

I also started this (I have no idea what you would call it). I saw it hanging on a coat hanger and the way they had it hanging it looked like the rib would go around your neck.......cosy for those cold days 

I thought this bit went around your neck
but look how wrong I was .... the rib goes around the waist

This will keep me warm this winter

and remember the beautiful blanket pattern I showed you?  I can't justify buying the correct yarn (silk and expensive) so I thought I would try it with the left over bits of the sock yarn....... I think it will work.

Now I just need some time to carry on
So it has been busy busy busy and my fingers now need a bit of a rest,......well for a day or two!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Bit like Buses

Weekend breaks are a bit like buses...... go months with out one, then two come along....... Last weekend was the trip up to Yorkshire, and this weekend we took a trip to London.  The main reason for the visit was to visit my family and to get to see some of the newer London sites.  On Sunday we planned to visit the Olympic Park, and what a beautiful day we chose.  The sun was shining and, as we are early birds, we had the place to ourselves when we first arrived, so we thought we would take the opportunity to have a trip up the ArcelorMittal Orbit.  The trip up is via the lift, and you can choose your decent......either the lift or the stairs.  There were two viewing platforms, and I have to say the views were stunning, we all thought the Orbit views were probably even better than the London Eye.  We spent time searching out the old landmarks and 'oohing and aahing' over the new ones.

What a picture!!!!

There were T.V>screens that told you each of the larger landmarks
Mr. D and I decided to walk down, and every 12 stairs there are different sounds with explanations...... one was the sound of Petticoat Lane, another children playing in the park, men working on a building site, Lee Valley nature reserve etc which made the walk down the 450 steps much more interesting

Mr D listening to the sounds of Construction
We spent a number of hours walking around the park, and were very impressed with the walkways, cycle paths, and gardens.  I know there is still a lot of work going on around the Stratford area, and all I have seen is a great improvement on the old Stratford.

Monday was a planned visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the mode of transport was the 'London Buses'....... have to say the journey took longer than we first thought, but what a treat to travel through the city and spot places where we worked in our younger days.  The city has change tremendously as well, and spotting roads was not so easy as we thought it would be, but we made it to the the 'V and A' and had a few hours wandering this beautiful building.  

Tuesday we again caught the bus and this time headed towards the Tower of London to see the Poppies........  I was amazed and so pleased we got to see them.  I take my hat off to the designer of the Poppy sculpture it is very thought provoking......there are 888,246 Poppies, that's one flower for each soldier from Britain or the British colonies who died in WW1.  

A sea of Red

'Swept Lands and Sea of Red'
We then walked across Tower Bridge to catch a bus to North Greenwich so we could have a trip across the Thames on the Emirates Cable car.  Its years since I have been back to this part of the world, and I didn't recognise one iota of it.....oh yes I did, there is still one Gasometer standing near the Blackwall Tunnel. Once again the views from the gondola of the city (and more) is great and I would highly recommend the trip if you are ever in the area.  

Gondola to ourselves

What a trip

So different to the docks I remember 

We had a great 'long' weekend, the weather was kind to us and the sites amazing.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Yarndale Whoop! Whoop!

We began our journey 'up north' on Friday afternoon, and, considering it was Friday, the journey wasn't too bad.  Had a lovely evening with the 'B' family and an early night ready for our big day at Yarndale on Saturday.  Our first task on getting to the Auction Mart was to meet up with Mr. B as he and Mr. D had a date with the golf course.  This plan turned out to be a bit more difficult than first imagined, but after a few laughs and chasing across the car park shouting at parking marshals to'stop that car' we all finally got together and the two men left. Our day was just beginning,  S and I found  our friend L sitting at her lesson,

All hooking away nicely

She did look like she was paying attention and concentrating so we left her to finish and did a bit of a 'recci' of  the aisle's of yarn.  After going to a few quilt shows with fabric everywhere it is such a change to see wonderful hanks of yarn, so many different types and the colour's are just eye popping.

I also tried to take a couple of photos of the Mandala's and may have got (lucky) a shot of some of the ones that our crochet group sent. There were so many, and the camera does not do them justice.

These were pinned all across the Auction Mart Sheds

Think some of these are from our little group

 You may recognise the next photos from here......Yes we went to Attic 24's corner and

Summer wreath
 This was in the entrance hall, ....

There were more bikes around the town
I may have shown you this last year, I just love it.

Double bed size

It is just oh so neat! Can you see the variegated thread?

We all wandered shopped, wandered and shopped again until we were "yarned" out.  As L hadn't been to this part of the world before, S took us into Skipton to show us the sights.......not really.....but she did take us to the studio where Lucy from Attic 24 hangs out with the talented and very friendly Tracy. 

Tracy shares the studio with Lucy and had decided to have an open weekend, so there were lots of ladies (sometimes in single file) wandering around.  Tracy is such a talented lady, making friendly mice, rabbits, and sometimes the odd fox, you should visit her facebook page. 

I  wanted them all

 Downstairs from the studio is 'Coopers' the coffee shop, but that was packed and no room to sit, so Tracy invited us to sit in Lucy's corner and have our tea there ( oh my goodness!- I know some folks will be very jealous of that!) so we took a few snaps just to show off.

I had bought a few projects at the show, but first I have to make a couple of hats for the 'littlies' living in South Africa, so after getting a few tips from the ladies at yarndale I managed to finish one hat, but now need to add the detail. Then I can start playing with my new yarns.  I will show you more of the hat as it develops

base done, now to turn it into a bear!!!!

My "buys" from the show....Watch this space to see what comes next....

On Sunday S and I had a trip to some big stores a few towns away,  but Monday when everyone had left for school or work Mr. D and I went into Skipton to wander along the canal.  When we started it looked like a typical autumn day,.....

First thing...bit misty

but by the time we were ready to turn around the sun had burnt the mist away and it was absolutely gorgeous.

 We had some lunch in town then returned to sit in the garden lapping up what might be the last of the warm sunshine of this year.  What a great weekend it's been!! 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tah Dah!!!! Well almost...

There are a few 'Tah Dah's!!'.  Firstly our door has finally been fixed, so now we can look into the garden and actually see the flowers and birds again rather than the itsy bitsy glass crystals that made up the exploded door.  Mind you when the sun shone on that shattered glass in the door it did look beautiful.

I also went to Jan Shepherds workshop and have now added one border to my quilt.  I am now not sure where I should go with the quilt.  I know it needs to be a bit bigger, but I am not sure how I want the next borders to look. If I was being really good, I think I should do some hand quilting, but we don't want to do that do we???????  So I am just in the planning stage....Yep! planning how to get those magical fairies in to do the work.  I suppose I can't get a full 'Tah Dah' for just adding the one border, but.........

Socks are finished and I love them.

I just love that 'Fair Isle' look
The only other thing I have been working on is a bit of smocking.  I am making a gift for a friend, and it will be what I would call an 'Armchair Ch√Ętelaine'.  I have started by working a double honeycomb stitch across the fabric.  Honeycomb stitch in smocking will give a lot more stretch to the fabric, and will be much more of an open pattern which is just what I need as I am going to embroider over the stitching.   I thought I would show you a few of the steps, but you might get this over the next week or so.

 This first photo shows my beginnings, but let me tell you I usually finish each row before starting the next, and I have no idea why I stitched like this....
Not sure if you can see but this stitch does travel over two rows --hence Double Honeycomb
Next step is blocking the piece.  Once blocked properly your smocking should keep its shape.

Pinned and steamed to block
I now needed to cut the smocking into two pieces to make pockets in my Ch√Ętelaine.  I have stitched two rows of machine stitching down the centre, and chopped it in two...

Now I am ready to embroider.
More next time.....

I am off to Yarndale at the weekend YEAH!!!!  My daughter lives a few miles north of Skipton, so I get two treats...Yarndale and a weekend with S and her family DOUBLE YEAH!!!!!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Crash, Bang ....

On Saturday we were sat eating breakfast when the peace was shattered along with the glass in our back door.  I have never heard an explosion, but the sound that glass breaking is what I imagine it would sound like.  We have no idea what made the glass shatter and as its the inside pane we can't blame the lawn strimmer or any other outside influences.

The glass looks like raindrops

You might be able to see that the break started in the second pane down from the top

After we had contacted the glazier and he reassured us that we were in no danger and  the house was safe we got on our bikes.......  Rutland water was our chosen ride this week.  

Lovely views

Places to rest

The loan cyclist 

Such a nice quiet ride

Monday I had the day at Higham piecemakers and made a few more of these cute thread catchers

Open ...

and I am back to knitting socks.  This is the fifth pair that I have made, and its so exciting seeing how this yarn makes its own patterns.  This pair look as if I have been very clever and knitted a 'Fair Isle ' pattern.  

I just love them 
We have had a couple of warm sunny days which is a bonus at this time of year.....hope the weather has been kind to you. x x

Friday, 12 September 2014

Doing, undoing, and doing again.....

Do you remember that I asked to make a quilt for my friend?  It was something I had not attempted before, and it gave me a chance to practice on my new machine.  The last time I showed you it was at this stage....
Its all in the planning.....

just look at it now...

Mapping out on the lounge floor
added the borders

The washing line comes in handy
and finally quilted.  I have to tell you this is my second attempt at quilting this.  I am not sure what went wrong, but I wasn't happy and after a nights sleep I decided to unpick.  I was a little worried that the stitches might mark the fabric, so I unpicked just a little to see how it looked and to my joy no needle holes could be seen.  YEAH!!!!!   

Thanks for the opportunity to make this quilt 

Note:  How do you unpick your machine stitching?  I use my quick unpick to break the thread on  every fifth or sixth bobbin stitch, then turn my work over and pull the top thread which should just unravel.  You are left with some small bits of thread coming through and all you have to do is brush them off your quilt.  A good tool for this job is a 'seam fix' seam ripper, and I have on good authority that Poppy Patch have them on order and expect them back in stock shortly......one of my best buys.

The sewing mat for my machine is now completed and the pockets are full of those precious bits that I never put away 'properly', but always know which pocket to find them in.


I have also been playing with my machine, and spent many happy hours making samples of the stitches.  I did this with my old machine and find it a much better way of actually seeing the embroidery stitches.  I even worked on a label for the quilt which meant I had to use the machines memory Phew!!! Quite a challenge. 

Just a few of the 270 stitches 

I haven't done any more with my 'quilt as you go' quilt, but I have some ideas for the borders, and I am not sure I can wait until next Saturday when I should meet up with Jan for some instructions......  I will keep you posted....

Happy sewing  x x