13 February 2019

Its All About the Crochet

Way back in June 2017 I started a Crochet A Long (CAL) published in Crochet Now magazine, which was designed by Sandra Paul of Cherry Heart Blog/podcast, which was called Vintage Sweethearts.  The crochet were a variety mainly V-stitch or Granny square in pale vintage-y colours.

I blogged about this here and duly ordered the pack of yarn from Wool Warehouse.  This was some Scheepjes acrylic yarn, which is a softer, bouncier yarn than the Stylecraft I'd usually use for a crochet blanket.  In my enthusiasm I made the blocks up whenever a new magazine came out until I got to part 9 and things must have wavered.  The crochet blocks were loose in individual plastic bags inside the Wool Warehouse net bag,

I dug the project out last Monday and set to with starting to join the blocks together and at the end of last week started to crochet the remainder of the Part 9 blocks and have just finished crocheting Part 10, ready to sew in ends and join together.  There are 12 parts, the last being the borders around the blanket.  I'm giving myself until the end of March to finish this, although I didn't add this to the Finish A Long list.

So here is my progress - up to Friday...

Part 9 blocks sewn together

Part 10 in progress (with 1 large block similar to the blue one above, yet to be made

I'm experiencing trouble with my photos at present so don't have much to show this time.  iCloud has decided that I'm running out of storage for photos and won't load any more when I do have plenty of of cloud storage.  Not sure what is happening, lets hope normal service is resumed shortly.

01 February 2019

January Round Up

It's now February!
January seems to have lasted an age - being a cold, dark month - but there were one or two bright days and on Monday went with other TG ladies for a walk around our local country park, which was really lovely.  Contrast with today which is snowy and cold.  No snowy pics here as the its not very impressive (go back to posts at the end of 2010 to see more impressive snow when we lived up North!!).

Anyway because there's been more time indoors than out I've managed to get quite a bit done on the sewing and knitting.

I finished off this...

 Carry all caddy (more about that on my last post)

And this...
Dazzling Diamonds quilt.  That pic was when I'd put the binding on.  As I'm hibernating indoors today that's now been slipstitched down.  I will make a sleeve to put on the back for hanging.

So that's 2 finished items on my Finish A Long list.

Started and finished items...

 An EPP journal size quilt

And a Zip Up Tray pouch.

I've also made some blocks for the Siblings Together Bee - some Wonky Cross blocks in assorted sizes from 4.5" to 8.5"

On the knitting from I've made 3 pairs of fingerless mitts

 Above is my first attempt, knitting straight across the fingers.  This was a pattern by Nicolette Kernohan.  These were for David but he wanted 'half fingers' so another pair were made, see pic below.  Both pairs were made with the same yarn but photos are taken in different light.

I enjoyed making the gloves so I made a pair for myself.  That small ball of yarn is all I had left after making these. The pattern is by Paula McKeever and called Fingerless or Not Gloves.  Both the fingerless glove patterns are free to download from Ravelry

I've now started making myself a jumper.  It's been a long time since I made one and this one is a bit different as its a top down, all in one jumper

As you can see I've started from the neck and done some ribbing and well progressed with the raglan shaping.  Soon to do the scary bit of splitting off the stitches onto waste yarn for the sleeves while the body is knitted.  The yarn is Drops Air from the Wool Warehouse and the pattern is a free one from Drops which is called Winter Wine

I try to keep my Ravelry page updated, when I remember, but I keep forgetting! So you can have a look at my projects page here.

I follow other blogs on Bloglovin' including Archie The Wonder Dog, who not only has revived her blog but also started a monthly round up of blogs called Mini Archie's Furtle Around the Blogosphere.  This is a bit like Fresh Sewing Day that Lily's Quilts used to run each month which I joined in with from time to time, which finished a few years back.  So I'm going to link this post to the Furtle Around and hope you will have a look at other blogs Furtle-ing Around too!

Archie The Wonder Dog

So that was January.  I'm hoping that February will be more progress on the above jumper.  Being February is Valentine's month I am hoping to layer up and start quilting the Hearts quilt which is on my Finish A Long list this quarter.

Mid month for the first time I will be going to a Fibre Festival - Unravel at Farnham Maltings.  I will be going on the Saturday and really looking forward to it as there aren't many yarn exhibitions in the South.

23 January 2019

There's Been Some Sewing Going On

This past week I've gone out so much and the weather this week hasn't been brilliant, but fortunately no snow here.  Apart from going out on Saturday afternoon I've stayed in an sewn by hand and machine.

On Friday I saw an Instagram post from Jo Avery at My Bear Paw who was preparing for a quilt retreat and was making a Sea Urchin block that she was going to teach there.  I saw it was done with English Paper Piecing (EPP) and just seeing the pic I thought I would have a go at this.  You know you just see something and a 'lightbulb moment' happens.

On Saturday I grabbed a piece of paper and drew and elliptical shape with another inside and segmented it (this all sound technical) and traced the shape on another piece of paper to cut the pieces.  I used some scraps of red fabric for EPP and when completed I appliquéd the shape onto some blue fabric.  Sunday was spent listening to the radio and embroidering the background to quilt it.  This is the result

I decided to use thick thread and a chenille needle to sew large stitch embroidery on the piece.  It is small journal size at approximately 10" x 8" but I wasn't precise about the measurement.  I was just inspired to sew and really enjoyed this.  It has a name too - Instant Karma, which was played on Johnnie Walker's Sound of the Seventies by John Lennon and the title fitted this little quilt too.  The John Lennon record was written, recorded and finished all in one day.  Sometimes you just have to go where things take you and I really enjoyed making this.

On a roll I went and tackled one of my listed finishes and it's finished!  The Catch All Caddy a By Annie pattern  Last week I decided to sew the binding on that was hanging of the caddy when I left it to hibernate.  I managed to get it all on but there were still places on the bag where I hadn't caught all the layers and had to unpick parts of it and rejoin but at least I hadn't broken any needles! Around the sides and front there 4 layers of foam interlining as well as layers of fabric so it's incredibly thick. On Monday I tackled the job on unpicking and re-sewing and in the evening I slipstitched the binding and it is done.  
Above is the photo that I took for the Finish A Long listing, post here.

And this is how it looks now its finished.

I am disappointed at myself for not getting this done for it's intended recipient as it was supposed to e a gift for my room mate Marie at the Sewing Shindig last year,  but instead I made another bag the Sewing Date Traveler which went together a lot better.  It will now be a bag for my larger knitting projects.  I am hoping to progress beyond socks and fingerless gloves soon!

I also started and finished something else yesterday a Zip Up Tray Pouch, pattern by Aneela Hoey which is a really well detailed pattern.  I made one last year for my grandson to keep his Lego pieces in while working on the models and he likes it.  So I've made one for me which I hope will keep things contained when doing embroidery keeping things together (that's the theory).  It was a chance to use this lovely colourful fabric too.

I don't think I showed Freddie's tray - here it is 

I went to West Country Embroiderers last week where the workshop was Take a Letter to take an initial an embroider with all sorts of threads and stitches.  This is mine, still in progress.  Getting into the swing of things mid afternoon had to clear things quickly as another group were using the hall meant that I mislaid a couple of things - one being a pair of scissors (which did have a tag on them) so if I take the zippy tray at least what I'm working on can be contained and quickly picked up.

I got that far so still a work in progress.  Can I be inspired to keep going with this?  Wait and see...

11 January 2019

Finish A Long 2019 - First Quarter

After a solo finish a long last year as I couldn't find the links in time to join up, I've made sure that I'm linking up with the 2019 Finish A Long this year and posting the finishes I hope to achieve this year.  Sandra from Studio Sew of Course had a useful list to write down projects to help keep track.  I will also put the projects on a list on my sidebar too.

As I've written in an earlier post we had problems with our shower which meant that the cupboard in my room needed a clear out and tidy (which has sort of, ahem, happened) and it also gave me the opportunity of listing quilt projects that need finishing.  Most are tops that have wadding (batting) with them though need backing.

So here goes

1 Kingfisher Quilt - this is an intentionally slow quilt with EPP hexies sewn onto diamond shaped background pieces and these have been joined together with a neutral narrow border.

I would like to attach a coloured border with neutral hexies, but haven't found a fabric that would suit as yet.

2. Hearts Quilt. I made this as a strippy quilt some years ago!  But have found the top and it has a backing too but will need wadding. Once thats sorted then I can get to work on that one and I will machine quilt this to go to Linus.  Its a cute but not too cute a quilt that would suit a teenager so I will endeavour to get that done this quarter.

3.  Ups and Downs Quilt.  This was a variation on Delectable Mountains which was done as a 'secret' workshop about a couple of years ago at Pauline's Patchworks in Dorchester.  The top has turned out to be a long thin top and looking at this again I think a couple of rows could come off the bottom and placed at the sides to make wider.  Decision to be made on whether to border or not.  Not sure what to do when finished.

4.  I'll call the this quilt The Long One.  This is an old project which was to be made for the house we rented in Yorkshire (we've been back in Poole for 8 years now so it is going back a bit!) which had a deep drop in the stairwell and thought would brighten the passageway.  Of course its not needed now but would be good to get finished off.  I started to quilt it but needs more detail in the quilting so I am hoping to finish this quarter.

5.  Dazzling Diamonds quilt.  This is a quilt top at another workshop at Pauline's Patchworks taught by Jan Hassard and a brilliant workshop it was too, really enjoyable.  It has left me with another quilt top though so I must get a backing and wadding sorted on that.

6.  Tubix Quilt.  I tested the pattern out for Sue Abrey QuiltSue some years ago and it had been in a magazine (can't remember which one) a few years back.  The top has been lingering in the cupboard and I bought backing (which I didn't like so that may be why I didn't progress this) so this must be progressed. It does look good, in spite of the plain fabric, which I wouldn't normally go for, but it is colourful and fits on top of our bed quite nicely, so if I can find a backing fabric I do like then finish off.

7.  Carry All Tote.  I made this originally as a gift to Marie, my room mate at the Sewing Shindig but it was one of those projects that kept going wrong no matter what I tried and in the end I made her other choice of a Sewing Date Traveler, which went together a lot better.  It has got to the point where I need to attached the binding all the way around the bag and even though I have got denim/jeans needles the machine (which is a Juki!) still protested.  I watched a You Tube video with hints on how to make this bag and the lady on that said she would put on the binding by hand.  This bag is going to be finished, not sure how but it will be!!

So these are my proposed finishes in this quarter as far as sewing and quilting goes.  At least two will be certain but others will roll over.  It gives me something to aim for for the year.  I am also taking part in making Siblings Together blocks and I've got a few knitting and crochet things to do too.

Linking up with 2019 Finish A Long

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03 January 2019

Happy New Year 2019

A bit belated but

Its good in a way that Christmas and New Year are done and can get back to the normality (whatever that is) of everyday life.  New Year's Day was celebrated with a family dinner at my sister's house and was followed later by going to Bournemouth in the evening to see the Christmas Tree Wonderland in the Lower Gardens which lead down to the seafront.  The first pic below is in the town Square

We walked down to the seafront and even though it was dark the coffee shop on the Pier Approach still had ice cream for sale, which we could not resist, it had to be done!

Walking back to the town centre I noticed by the Pavilion theatre that glass doors had reflections of the Christmas trees - gives them a ghostly look, especially as the theatre was closed.

Not only a New Year but a new month too.  I've had some tidying up in my room and done an 'audit' of quilt tops that have been lingering for and need finishing off.  It has been easy to pick up a small project or make a few blocks here and there and not tackle the large projects that require more attention.  I've decided to join 2019 Finish A Long list and will post about these larger items when the link up opens on 10th January for a week.  Sandra of Sew of Course is one of the hosts and has details and a useful project list, which I will post about in the link up.  Will there be at least one finished quilt?  Wait and see.....

Of course a New Year would not be complete without new projects and I posted here about the jumper that I'm starting and have already started the Little Box of Crochet amigurumi Cockapoo dog - it's tiny!  Along with that David has asked for fingerless gloves which I made a start on today at Knit and Natter.

Any resolutions?  Well mine will be to make use of what I have if at all possible and to be mindful of what I buy.  I can't (and shouldn't) go buying stuff - yarn and fabric - without there being purpose.  Having retired last year my income is not what it was! So Mindful is the word for this year - I hope I can stick to that.

31 December 2018

End of December Round Up

I hope your Christmas went well and looking forward to the New Year ahead.  David and I had a quiet Christmas Day at home, though Boxing Day was a family gathering at my youngest son's so that was a busy one.  All over now for another year but it was strange having to think what day of the week it is between Christmas and New Year and it'll be good to get back into a 'normal' routine!

Apart from the cruise, which has been the basis of my posts this month I have managed some crafty stuff.  On the days at sea a growing knit and natter group gathered in one of the bars in the afternoon and while going to this I got a second sock knitted for me for Christmas.

You may be able to see that I've done an eyelet pattern of a Christmas tree on one side of each sock.  Unfortunately I didn't record the pattern that I made on the first sock which got me into a bit of trouble knitting and un-knitting the rows on the second sock. So I had to wing it and hope that I got it right but it doesn't look too bad.  The yarn is King Cole Zig Zag and the colour way is Summer but when I bought the yarn it said Christmas to me.  They fit well so I'm pleased and they were worn at Christmas!

Another thing I was working on was the November Little Box of Crochet which had this gorgeous Mandala designed by Amanda Williams (which you may have seen on my Christmas Day post part done). The photo below shows the finished article. Isn't it just gorgeous?

The design is worked into the front and back stitches so it gets dense with the layers of crochet stitches, but you should see the back and I love that too.

There was also a little sheep wooden decoration and he had a little Christmas coat.  I really liked this pattern and I might possibly have a go at another mandala in the future.

No sewing happened at all in December until yesterday and I made a postcard - black and white and .. (one other colour).  I haven't done fabric weaving in a long time so I made this

Its ok, a bit boring, but it got me back into sewing again.  I wish I put a bit more effort into it.  I'll have to think about something a bit more exciting than this.

Anyway, New Year, New Projects.  I decided to make myself a jumper from watching Tina from Simply in Stitches starting a KAL (Knit A Long) on You Tube.  I ordered yarn and needles from Wool Warehouse and I wasn't worried about getting the package until after Christmas but it came the Friday before on Christmas!    The jumper is to be knitted in Drops Alpaca yarn which is lovely and soft.I've started a tension piece for the jumper and need to go down one size of needles which now means a search for the correct size circulars! Hey ho...

On the Saturday before Christmas the Little Box of Crochet arrived for December.  We were out that day (which usually happens) and it looks lovely with a really cute Amigurumi puppy designed by Kerry Lord of Toft.  As I've recently finished the mandala and got to finish the Tunisian crochet pouch from October's box I will start then when the pouch is finished.

My room was in a mess over the holidays as our shower decided not to work.  The other side of the wall from the built in wardrobe is the bathroom and there is a pump for the shower boxed in at the bottom of the wardrobe. I closed the door on all the mess over Christmas!  But I will have to get things back in order and that can wait just a little while longer...

I hope you have a fab New Year! 🎉🎉🎉. (I'm pleased that Blogger now has emojis!)

30 December 2018

Madeira and Canary Islands Cruise - Part 4 - Lisbon

This is the last part of our cruise adventure and it now seems long ago as we've been back over 2 weeks now.  The last leg came after a day at sea and the weather was noticeably colder as we headed north from the Canaries.  Approaching Lisbon the ship, Oceana, had to sail in the River Tagus and go past a few recognisable landmarks that I recognised from in Lisbon back in 1970.  The bridge that crosses the river, had been renamed being the 25 April Bridge.  There was also the Belem Tower and the monument to Henry the Navigator. The last two are now UN Heritage sites.

 Belem Tower
 Henry the Navigator
 25 April Bridge looking towards Christ the Redeemer statue
Another view of the bridge with a plane flying over

When landing in the port we were booked on an excursion around the city by coach with a vintage tram tour.  The old trams are quite short as the streets in the city are very small and twisty with only just enough room for the tram and no other vehicles! While we had our ride we had the traditional sweet custard tarts with a small glass of port.

The end of the tram tour took us to the Basilica da Estrela, a really large, impressive church.

Around the corner at the coach pick up, we saw a lot of other tram services coming and going but this tram (below) wasn't going anywhere - its an ice cream kiosk! That's not too bad a photo seeing as it taken through a glass window.

Another stop was this Cultural Square which has a museum and art gallery amongst its buildings and we were free to explore for a short time.  On our wanders we came across this Oriental structure (arch, pergola?) and waited for the young couple to finish taking photos before I took some

 And we took a silly selfie just to show we've been there!

We loved the mosaics on the pavements and walkways, and this was just a small bit of the mosaic in the square 

 And some in the city centre
Our coach dropped us off back at the terminal but we walked into the city centre and had a wander around.
 We didn't go inside as there was a long queue for the Santa Just a elevator, the back leads out to streets at a higher level
 St Nicholas Square with its Christmas market
A last look as we headed back to the ship. By now the blue skies from earlier in the day were replaced by dark clouds as the weather was changing.

After 2 rather rough sea days we came into the calm of the English Channel and disembarked at Southampton.  This was the photo that I put on Facebook (from the buffet restaurant on the ship so excuse the reflection) of a really dark and wet Southampton which continued that way for the rest of the day.

So that's it - for us a cruise is a good way to 'dip a toe' into places and to be able to explore a little later.  David and I would like return visits to Madeira and La Palma in the future and would probably not do another holiday so close to Christmas though, but then that's because of our anniversary being in December which is what we wanted to celebrate.   Trying to get ahead before we went and the catching up after we came back was a bit stressful, but we got there in the end.  

As you will probably guess I like Christmas decorations and it was interesting to see how other countries have the same recognisable Christmas icons (tree, baubles, lights, etc.) but put their own way of displaying them.  It was a pity the ship sailed late afternoon from each port so we couldn't see the lights.


This is my 700th post since starting the blog, which I've reached just before the end of the year! 

Next month is New Year so I hope to do a reflective post and look forward to my aims for the year ahead.  

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