Thursday, 13 November 2014

Back to the machine !!

I had a few hours free at the weekend so decided to get a couple of extra Christmas gifts sewn.  Now I had seen a little tote bag that had a drawstring top on line somewhere and set myself the task of looking for it........well, that was easier said than done.   I searched pinterest and other sites but only  came up with a couple that seemed too big for what I wanted.  I just could not get to the pattern frustrating is that!! Eventually I came across this one by Pink Penguin it was in my files already but I just couldn't remember where.....its a really nice size for small projects, and was  quite quick to make.  I did add a couple of pockets inside for those small bits that always get lost at the bottom of bags.

7.5" H x  7" W x  5"D 

Little Miss I loves dots so hope she likes this

I then thought I would make a small table runner and decided on this pattern  but I was just going to use the start blocks.  I did exactly as the pattern said, cut up all my mini charms then could not get them to sit nicely on the 4" plain fabric and when I looked at the photos, something didn't seem to match up. So I gave up with a grumpy face as I had already cut my fabric and I felt the mini charm pack was just wasted!  I then came up with this one which went together in no time at all.  Unfortunately a second pack of mini charms had to be used, but at least I got another small gift finished.

Mine is much smaller than the original pattern.

My  knitting needles have been dashing away and  I made another 'cardie' but this one is a bit larger (just added a few more stitches at the 'cast-on' stage) and once again I reduced the length as the pattern did say it was originally made for a rather tall lady   

Think this one will work fine for me.
That's about it for now, so see you next time x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Knitting Nora......

 Firstly let me show you a tiny bit more of my 'quilt as you go' quilt.   I do feel quite happy with this quilt now as I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing to get it finished.   I have added a couple of borders since my little 'slip up' with the scissors.  Firstly, I added a patterned  half inch joining border, then the final border with 'cross hatch' quilting, (mainly because I thought it would be the easiest (big mistake) as I had to unpick about three times before I was reasonably happy!!).  Anyway I am now ready to bind it and add my 'piece-de-resistance' in the center

just getting started
Slowly Slowly
Just a glimpse of the corner
Not a good photo, but as you can see its almost finished

Then the  knitting  took over, and it seems I have finished my 2ply lace mitts just in time......Yes, winter seems to have arrived and they are very handy.   I never did get to grips with the way the pattern told you to cast off, but I could see it would work if you were working on an even rib pattern ie. Knit 1 purl1, or knit 2 purl 2 but my last rows had a mix and I couldn't get to grips with it!

great to wear even indoors

I have also unpicked the kiddies socks that I showed in the last post,  I just thought they were too small.  Firstly I thought I just needed to make the foot longer, but that didn't look right either, so it was back to the beginning......... I unpicked both of them and have re-knitted them having increased the cast on stitiches from 40 to 48.  Its amazing what a difference 8 stitches makes.....just have to hope now that they are not too big and she will have to wait to grow into them.

They now look quite big.

Lastly, I saw my friend wearing a nice 'cardie' that I thought would be great for me, so off I went  to Pinterest looking for patterns and this is the one I chose to use.  Its knitted in chunky yarn, so grows very quickly, but I think the pattern is a bit small for me, so once again I am back to the drawing board.  I hope one of my daughters would like this one, and I am about to start adding extra stitches to the next one and hope that one fits me better.

Keep warm and toastie x x

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Bit of this, bit of that, and a bit of learning inbetween.

Oh goodness the excitement of Yarndale still goes see  I had played with some of my goodies,  and now have some more to play with. Yeah!  My friend L and I decided it would be nice to order some yummy colours of the carpet yarn so the crochet ladies could make themselves some bright colourful bags etc.  Choosing the yarn was a bit difficult as there were so many beautiful colours but we decided 20 cones was a good number, giving lots of choices.  Once the order came through I noticed there were 26 cones, I had left 3 extra colours as query's and, as L had 3 more she wanted to add, the final total was 20 + the extra 3 each = 26 cones.   Oh my! we must get cracking now.

One thing I saw at Yarndale was  a ceramic yarn container, but the price was £40 and as nice as it was I just could not justify that cost....SO, lets try to crochet one.....

It works well with hand wound yarn.
this bowl is crochet with the three yarns together, it has a hole for your yarn to thread through and a bit of a lip for your needles to rest in.  I now have to go make up a pattern, and hope the ladies like it.

I have also finished the socks for little Miss I.  I couldn't really find a pattern so just adjusted the full size pattern, I reduced it by 1/3rd, but I am beginning to think they may be a bit small.....back to the drawing board..

love the colour

they will fit someone.....
The other thing I have been knitting is a pair of fingerless gloves.  The pattern calls for 2ply yarn and 2mm double pointed needles. Phew!  that's fine and thin.....  I think the pattern is written by someone from overseas and there are stitches in it that I have never used before, so to say it was a learning experience is not an exaggeration (what did we do before Google and You Tube).  I am almost finished the first glove, but now she talks about casting off using the 'kitchener rib bind off'', I have never heard of that before, but she does direct you to a website where  there is a tutorial for the technique.   I'll let you know next time how that goes.

Must make myself some posh markers.

Last but never least.... On Saturday I went off to my lesson on 'quilt as you go' with Jan.  I had a lovely day and really thought I was steaming along, I had ideas of what to do next and Jan helped explain how to do it, Wonderful...what could go wrong!!!!!!  trimming some of my wadding that's what can go wrong! Oooop's!  I needed to trim back some of my wadding on seams already sewn, I had completed three of the sides of the quilt, and almost finished the last side when after a snip of those scissors I thought things didn't feel quite right........ good job it was just the one 'snip'

I decided it was time to go home. 

All repaired, even that little tuck has been fixed

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!!