19 July 2021

All About the Hats

 In the last few days I’ve been making hats.  I’ve made the Talmadge Cloche by Romi Hill which is the Year of Techniques book by Jen Arnall-Culliford.  It wasn’t an easy pattern as I started this in May and I frogged back and restarted at the end of last month. The good thing about this book is there is not only a physical book to leaf through, but also an ebook so that the individual patterns can be printed off to write on, and I did write on this one.

There are 5 panels on this hat and my double pointed needles come in sets of 5, so I had to use one 3.25 needle in addition to my 3.0 set, but that worked out ok.  It is a lovely Lacy pattern which shows better once blocked, which I did over a head size ball of bubble wrap!   The buttons I used from my stash which were formerly trim from a pair of slippers.

Meanwhile I used some yarn from Sarah’s cardigan to make another hat from the book, the Ruschia hat, by Woolly Wormhead which is sideways knitted, with a provisional cast on (never done that before) and those stitches were grafted onto the last row stitches. It only took a few days to knit and I think there may be more of these in my future.

So these are my knitted hat finishes. Now for a sewing hat finish….

This is the bucket hat by Kitsch Bitsch, which I can’t link as it no longer exists.  I bought a sun hat from National Trust which folds up buy the brim is so wide that it’s easily caught by the wind.  I used the pattern before a few years back but the hat is long gone so on Saturday I made this one,  the fabric from stash, was a Lewis and Irene ‘A Little Bird Told Me’ with a grey Makower cow parsley design fabric for the lining. 

I’ll try not to lose this one! 

11 July 2021



This is monthly marker for July, which was a facecloth from the end of last month. I loved the delicacy of the speckles of colour in the cotton yarn.  This is King Cole Cottonsoft, which has a lovely feel to it.

This month will be catching up with any UFO’s for the end on the second quarter of the FAL2021 and listing those to work on and hopefully finish for the next quarter.  I’ve also had a couple of fabric packs for the local Project Linus group to make up.

Also for July David and I get to go away at the end of the month (touch wood 🪵) to Derbyshire and a few places there we’d like to visit.  Our first break away from home this year.

Meanwhile, we had a day out on Friday to Bicton Botanical Gardens, near Budleigh Salterton in Devon.  Just about doable in a day and the furthest we’ve been for some time.  The day was lovely and sunny, though it cloud later and the bonus is we had some Tesco Clubcard vouchers to use which went towards the tickets. Although there were quite a few people there was plenty of space around and the gardens were delightful to see. Here are a few pics of our visit.

The domed building is the palm house, which predates the one in Kew by 20 years.  In front were beds of poppies, callistemon (bottle brush plant) and roses. The coffee cup was the view when we arrived looking over the Italian garden. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of a full parked on top of the head of one of the statues by the lake.  

It was a lovely place to visit, but unlike the morning’s journey to get there it was a different matter getting home, when the main road, A30 was closed and surrounding roads were getting jammed up - it took us 4 hours! But at least we managed to get home, unlike those involved in the accident that closed the road.

I will do a catch up soon with my third quarter for the Finish Along.

30 June 2021

Furtling in June

 This month has been about crochet with a bit of knitting, cross stitch, going to visit gardens and catching up with family members.  

There’s been a challenge between 3 of us in the knit and natter group to make a waistcoat using the stitch pattern of the Cosy Stripe Blanket (by Attic 24, of course) two have been completed but I’m left with mine, with has been crocheted up to the armholes in one piece and I have to work out the split of stitches for the fronts and back, which I haven’t done.

I’ll have to work that out and give it a go.

Meanwhile on the crochet front I’ve made 5 cowls from some super chunky yarn called Indie.  This was discontinued years ago and I acquired this from someone’s stash about a couple of years ago.  Rather than making the balls into one large blanket I made the cowls out of them instead and I intend to take them to Salvation Army as warm items to wear.

Being super chunky they needed a large wooden hook 10mm, but took no time at all to complete.  The yarn was in a variety of colours -  black/orange, brown/orange/yellow, blue/brown/yellow and I mixed them up.  I will wash them first (because the yarn came from the stash of a smoker and I’ve only aired the yarn) and pass them on. The pattern I used was one I had with some yarn few years back from the Woolly Beader in Okehampton, which isn’t listed on their website so I think may be discontinued. 

On the knitting front I’ve made a dishcloth and washcloth.  I didn’t get why knitters and crocheters wanted to make these, but they are quick and easy to make in between larger projects, also for knit and natter where there’s something that didn’t much thinking about.

The pics have been uploaded the wrong way round, but the one above I finished on Tuesday is a free pattern from The Kitchen Sink Shop on Ravelry.  It’s part of the Year of Dishcloths patterns, which I heard about through the Crafty Cleggs You Tube podcast. I’ve knitted this in King Cole Cottonsoft Candy. It is so soft that it’s too good to be a dishcloth so it’ll be a washcloth to use in the shower (I now think I should have made a hanging loop). There’s a lot of this left after making one, so there’s going to be more of these made.
The one I finished earlier is Gramma’s Dishcloth by P J Allen, also a free pattern on Ravelry, knitted in Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream.  This is proper dishcloth yarn, quite coarse, not sure if it does soften up with use. The yield is just one cloth as there’s not enough to make another, unless I get another ball for a second and the remains of both to make a third cloth.

I’ve made 2 lots of blocks for Siblings Together this month.  Jenny asked for quarter square triangles for the Bee swap

Then there was a mini block drive on Siblings Together blogand I could not resist making this block, so much so that I made 4.  It did cost me extra in postage, so note to self, check the weight first! But I did like making this and a handy block pattern to keep as it made large 14” blocks.

Oh yes, the cross stitches have been rediscovered this month and I finished these two, which only needed back stitching detail, cleaning and finishing. I wrote about it here

They’ve been hibernating for years! It was good to get them finished off.  But then lurking in my yarn storage drawer was an envelope (dated 1997) with this.
This, believe or not, is an Arsenal shield, with only the wheel of the cannon sewn.  This has got to be done, so I made a project bag to put it in and I wound the stranded cotton onto bobbins. I wrote about it here, but since then, by doing a little bit each day and this is the progress by Sunday (27th June). The cannon still looks like a tractor...

A few new things have been tried.  An ATC, artist trading card, in a group run by the Townswomens’ Guild internet group. The theme was red, white and blue and I was inspired by this Makower fabric. I made 2 cards, one to keep and one to swap.

And I had this lovely embroidered one from Tricia in return.

David and I have visited a couple of gardens not far away. Kingston Lacy is just outside Wimborne and a favourite place to visit. The pictures below are of the big old gnarly Wisteria that grows along the length of the greenhouse.

Another, a bit further away in Cranborne, in the countryside between Wimborne and Shaftesbury. The garden is around the Manor and has a garden centre attached.

The second picture has beds of pinks and roses in a walled garden, the smell was just intoxicating, lovely. The manor garden is only open one afternoon a week but worth the visit.

Last but not least, another postcard swap came up of the UKQU postcard Facebook page on the theme of As You Like It, so anything goes.  At the same time I saw a post by Seasalt on Instagram of one of their artist pictures by Megan Glenister and I took a screenshot 

And made this postcard

It probably looks nothing like her picture, but that’s ok, it was the inspiration that I was after.  I added some free machining and fancy stitches as well as the wavy lines for the sky and the sand. I used a bit of glitter glue for the sparkling sea.

 Phew, that was a busy month.

For July I’ve got two cut out Project Linus kits to make up. I want to finish off the Tubix quilt with some stitching in the borders.  I hope to start on a larger knitting project too.  Still keeping busy...

Joining Archie the Wonderdog for Mini Archie’s Furtle Around the Blogosphere. Click on the picture to link

Archie The Wonder Dog

25 June 2021

Organising Projects and Garden Visit

 Following my last post about old cross stitch projects now completed, I found another with a lot of work needed on it.  This is the Arsenal shield, mentioned in my last post too, which needs a lot doing to it. Figuring that if I did a few minutes each day it will eventually get done. First of all if needed a project bag to keep fabric, threads and chart together.

The front, with a vinyl cover
The back with quilt as you go strips.  I’ve used strips from the Cocktail Party fabrics in my stash.

All safely tucked in place and ready to pick up when I want to work on it.  Stitches on the wheel of the cannon was as far as I got when I found it.  Working this week it’s got a little further - this may take awhile.
Another hand sewing project I’ve been working on is this crewel work embroidery but as I’ve only got a vague idea of the stitches used, I’ve done it my way.  That too is organised with embroidery, threads and picture in another pouch, which I made quite a while ago.

Having suggested making one or two project bags for my granddaughter’s activities, I’ll be busy making more.

This week David and I have been out visiting a garden at Cranborne Manor between Wimborne and Shaftesbury.  It was a lovely afternoon and a delight to walk around and then have tea and scones after.

The pink flowerbed above had pinks (dianthus) as well as roses, so the perfume was really powerful and just buzzing (literally) with bees. The arched walkway had apples trained over the arch. It was a lovely afternoon out. 

I made a new friend - he didn’t say a lot but he had my mask!  No he didn’t - I put mine down on the grass to take a selfie and forgot to pick it up after. David had a spare one in the car fortunately. 

13 June 2021

Old Cross Stitches Completed.

 I found a couple of cross stitch kits in a storage box where I keep some yarn. They were old ones that I started way back in the 1990’s and the designers themselves have long since stopped their businesses. So these 2 items as positively ancient.

The first one, a conservatory picture designed by Barbara Thompson, one of a series I think, just needed back stitching on the plant in the bottom left corner. It only took me half hour to do, so why did I leave it so long? I really don’t know.  As you can see from the chart the pattern was copyrighted 1989! 

Anyway having been shopping in Poole, I bought a frame in Wilko’s and I had a small piece of mounting board to cut to size.  It was washed, dried, ironed and framed by Saturday afternoon. It fits into a 5” x 7” frame.

With this was another cross stitch kit, which again only needed back stitching detail, but more than the one above. This one is called the Flying Scotsman at York designed by Masterplan. I used their kits before as they specialised in vehicles. I remember making a Metro one when David was a driving instructor during the mid 90’s and it was one of the learner cars that he had at the time. I don’t know what happened to that 

Anyway, this kit had typed instructions and drawn symbols on the chart and been printed, so no swish computer stuff.

The detailing has taken longer and I have measured up the frame size and will need to get a sheet of mounting board as I haven’t got a piece big enough for this.This will fit into a 10” x 8” frame. So this will be this weeks task. 

EDIT to post (14/6) the Flying Scotsman is finished!

I have since found another cross stitch kit which is an Arsenal shield kit.  Both my sons support Arsenal and this was for their room when they were growing up.  Both are now in their mid thirties and have their own homes now.  This is in an envelope and the postmark is 8 May 1997 - 24 years ago!  I don’t know if my eyes can take working on this, we’ll wait and see.

These were the start of my creativity - cross stitch led to patchwork and quilting, later embroidery.   Though I’ve always been a maker as I’ve knitted and crocheted and made my own clothes from a young age, but these things waned and it wasn’t as easy to get yarn or fabric during the 90’s . I know that for patchwork fabric it was mainly by post (no internet ordering then) or at exhibitions.  There was an embroidery shop locally, closed down years ago and I first saw the cross stitch picture which started me on this. I bought the kit, picture below, and that was it.

I made this for David in 1992 when he qualified as a driving instructor, which he did for 6 - 7 years.

I went on to make more cross stitching pictures which are dotted around the house

An alphabet sampler on the landing

A Morgan in the office
This is in the living room

This one is also in the living room, but I only half finished this one and it was finished off by my  Mum! Very subtle, dark shades were difficult to pick upon this one.

Anyway, that was a potted history of my cross stitch and there might be more sewing content soon.

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