07 July 2020

July 2020

Below is my monthly marker for July

This is part of a darning picture that I started last year at one of the West Country Embroiderers workshops  and still haven’t finished.  Here’s a full photo of the embroidery.
I’ve got a couple of finishes already this month as I’ve finished the Autumn Garden (Hostfagring) shawl and it’s even been washed and block and it drapes well,  but I’ve had problems trying to display a nice photo.  But here is is being blocked. The two little balls of yarn are all that’s left!

I used Stylecraft Batik Yarn Cake in Stargazer with the addition of another Batik yarn, the yellow, which is Old Gold. I started this shawl back in November last year and crocheted the gold tip and then started on the rest of the shawl, which was in 6 instalments at the beginning of June and it came together really quickly.

Another quick-ish make has been on Sunday afternoon was a coat for my Luna Lapin.  I already had 3 felt sheets but it wasn’t quite enough,  so I substituted some pink fabric that was used for Luna’s dress for the coat facing and facing the collar.

This pic shows the fabric lining inside. I also cheated with the buttons as I didn’t make buttonholes but put  popper fasteners on instead.
She wanted a scarf 
So I knitted her one.  She’ll be cosy when winter comes.  Luna Lapin is designed by Sarah Peel and her website is here.

Another finish has been my last book, which I finished yesterday - The Midnight Line by Lee Child, which I really enjoyed reading and the storyline was really believable with short chapters that fitted well with my half hour reads.

So my next read, which I started today is The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson about his growing up in Des Moines, Iowa.  I also bought a book today of Favourite Poems.  Poems that are familiar in some way to us and I just wanted something different to read, alongside the Bill Bryson book.
I was pleased this afternoon after months away to go to Kingston Lacy and although we could not enjoy the kitchen garden it was a nice walk that ended with ice cream.

30 June 2020

Furtling in June

June May have been only 30 days but they’ve been busy ones. We’ve had socially distant visitors and socially distant visiting has been done too.  The sunny weather has helped a bit with this.  I’ve finished now with the mask making and I wrote about it here . 

I’ve also been busy with some crochet finishes of little kits, some sewing of a new pouch and quilt blocks and started a new knitting project.  There’s been some books read with my half hour daily reading sessions too. 

This month I made up the two kits (left) from Crochet Now from a few years back of Brian the Brown Bear and Henry the Hedgehog. On the right I’ve finished off kits in progress from Little Box of Crochet of an Entrelac Tunisian crochet pouch and a Toft cockapoo.  The animals all like of an little corner shelf along with my small flock of sheep.

I’m continuing with my Höstfägring shawl by In the Spring Garden which is growing quite large.  I finished part 5 yesterday so just part 6 to go. Excuse the other items on the floor.  This has been worked in a Stylecraft Batik Swirl yarn cake together with a mustard yellow ball of Batik yarn. This next part will create the point on the other end of the shawl.
I also decided to finished the Attic 24 Neat Ripple blanket.  This is a lap sized one which finishes at 36” wide by 40” high.  There’s still some yarn left to make another, but I may make a corner to corner blanket.

A new start, knitting this time the Spindrift shawl, designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade, here.  Progressed a bit more than in the photo below. Using the Wild Strawberry yarn from Sherry Iris that I bought last month.

June also saw some progress on the Youngish Quilter quilt, but I’ve still got one more block to make and to put together, so that will be sorted next month I hope. 

Another bit of sewing had been a fabric postcard for the UKQU postcard swap on the theme of two colours. It was posted on Friday and I’m awaiting a postcard.

I started on another new project (oh dear!). I like the Sew 4 the Soul project by Anne Brooke of Hannemade .  This is to make a wadding book and decorating the pages with fabrics and embellishments.  I’ve enjoyed the You Tube videos describing her work process. Due to lockdown I’ve been using what I’ve had to hand rather than buying so I spent a couple of hours joining small pieces of wadding to make the pages, instead of chopping up a larger piece into pages. The wadding will be covered so it won’t matter. Catching up with buying wadding, Bondaweb and other bits and bobs may be in order next month.

Blimey, June was flipping busy! I’m linking in with  Mini Archie’s June Furtle Around the Blogosphere . 

27 June 2020

Masks and Scrubs Bags

For the past almost 2 months, along with other bits and bobs, I’ve been making Facemasks and scrubs bags for a couple of local groups- For the Love of Scrubs and Frontline Facemasks. 

The bags were for medical and care staff to be able to put their medical scrubs into when finishing a shaft and the whole lot can got into the washing machine so as to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  The bags were made of cotton fabric to take a hot 60 degree wash.  I reckoned that I made 43 in total of those.

I had a go at ear savers, but didn’t make many of those, just 10.  They are bands to go at the back of the head with buttons for the elastic to go around

About the same time as I made bags I was also making some face masks too and had a specific pattern so the inside lining could have a filter of some sort, be it Sew In Vilene or more basically a piece of kitchen towel, between the outer and lining. I used some of my own fabric as obviously I have quite a bit, and a request at one time was for child friendly ones for adult Carers to wear and I could dive into some of my novelty fabrics. Later I was supplied with sheeting and other cotton fabric by the local coordinator.

By mid May, elastic was becoming a problem, nowhere had any, but by the end of May everywhere had some.  A request was for more male masks so I made some in plain blue sheeting and also grey.  Below are just a few of those I made.

This week the demand for Facemasks has decreased so it has been decided to close the Frontline Facemasks group at the end of July.  When this started there weren’t enough of these items to be had, but now face mask protection and PPE is readily available so I can understand why this has happened. But I’m pleased to have done my bit in helping in a small way during this Covid Crisis.  Below are the last 10 masks that I’ve finished today.
So in total I made 

43 scrubs bags
75 masks
10 ear savers

That’s not bad work in two months.

22 June 2020

June Musings

Heading towards the end of June and getting out and about more. Last Monday saw me visiting a friend who I haven’t seen in ages.   Last Wednesday was my granddaughter‘s 2nd birthday and a trip to the local country park, which was really lovely family time.

Yesterday I visited my Mum, then my sister and brother-in-law for the first time in months.  I was in the garden for both visits and caught the sun but it was good to see them all.

I’ve continued with getting some crochet projects done and finished this lovely little Cockapoo.

And here he is with the other animals that are taking up room on my shelf

This was from a Little Box Of Crochet kit from Christmas before last and is a design by Toft, who design animal crochet. I completed the dog’s body but not the loopy bits around the head, nuzzle and tail.  I ran out of the light coloured yarn and only had the darker one left.  So after much deliberation I decided to go with that darker colour than order more of the light coloured yarn and finished off all his frilly bits.

Next will be another Little Box of Crochet Kit called Gareth the Sleeping Fox. I’ve made the body ages ago, but have had problems with crocheting the other body parts in waistcoat stitch, which hasn’t been easy going in the round.  I managed it for the body so should be able to manage the rest, but I think I ran out of patience, which must have accounted for its hibernation.  

I’m still keeping up with lockdown book reading.  I’m reading at least half hour each day by using the timer on my phone.  If a book has been really good it’s some time been more.

I’ve just finished A Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah.  Although it seems a highly improbable story as the story written by the character’s daughter is sort of a story about her friend’s parent’s family.  All a bit odd, but readable and got me reading a bit more so I finished this book after 6 days.
The book I’ll start reading tomorrow is The Midnight Line by Lee Child.  This was another book I got from TG.  Someone in the reading group recommended the Jack Reacher books, so I’ll give that a go.
Without the discipline of getting myself to read half hour a day, I wouldn’t be reading at all, so it’s a good habit to have.

Eight more Frontline Facemasks have been made and contributed

On Friday I made a postcard for the latest UKQU postcard swap.  I used a circular ruler to draw the lines and sewn on those lines and cut back to reveal the orange underneath. Adding a mix of hand and machine embroidery, a few beads and sequins, a bit of lace too, to finish of the card.
I get a regular newsletter from The Bramble Patch in my email and every Friday there is a fabric featuring in a box that they offer with free postage and I couldn’t resist this, which arrived in the post this morning.
Some lovely fat eighths of a fabric line called Reef By Beth Studley along with a few of Moda Grunge Fabrics, such lovely fabrics in a lovely arrangement it seems too good to come out of the box.  Might just keep it there for a few days to look at.  No project in mind but just loved the fabric.  

14 June 2020

All About the Crochet

This week I’ve been making little bits and pieces that have been cluttering up my room.  I took out a subscription that finished ages ago for Crochet Now magazine and like a lot of craft magazines, they have free gifts. Most have been unused or passed on or disposed of but I kept a few.

One I started in my last post was Brian the Brown Bear.  The instructions for the kit were in the magazine so having sorted and got rid of the magazine I started crocheting this and just kept going. It is in Amigurumi style, crocheted in a spiral and he was soon finished.

Then there was another kit, but this time the instructions were a leaflet with the kit.  I remember when I first received this that it was vacuum packed to save bulk in the post, so the pack was all crinkled.  This is for Henry the Hedgehog and the kit had enough to make something else small from the leaflet such as an acorn or mushroom.

The pic above shows the ‘bunting’ of spikes for Henry’s back

Then all sewn up.

On a roll, I decided to tackle a small project from a couple of years ago from Little Box of Crochet.  This was an Entrelac Tunisian crochet (sounds very technical!) project to make a small pouch.  I enjoyed doing something a bit different, but although I’ve had a go it’s not something I will be in a hurry to try again.  So let’s say it’s better done than perfect.  Anyway the zip didn’t go in well, so I took it out and re-sewn and it looks better than it did.  I’ve blocked it and I will put a lining it.

I’ve got two more Little Box of Crochet kits to finish off and will get those done this coming week,

While I’m in a crochet mood I pick up a project that I started and carried on with it. I’ve shown this briefly last time, this is the Autumn Garden (Höstfägring) shawl by In the Yarn Garden blog. This was a Crochet A Long from last year.  I’m using Stylecraft Batik and Batik Swirl for this and I’m currently on part 4 of 6 parts and it’s going to be fairly big.  With the Swirl yarn cake I’m having to go with the flow of the colours instead of neatly changing colours as I go.  The mustard yellow is used at the beginning and might see if I can use that at the end part or on the edging.

But it’s not all crochet, there has been a bit of sewing too.  I’ve made another two blocks of the Youngish Quilters block of the week - one from last week and one from this week.
On the left is a machine appliqué block and right another appliqué block called orange peel.  Using the Cocktail Time fabrics by Lewis and Irene.  There is another appliqué block for the 12th block but it might end up being Sue’s choice.  I was thinking of foundation piecing, so I may have a look and see what I find.

08 June 2020

Keeping Busy

This week has been about tidying and sorting out as we got the living room back into some sort of order after decorating last weekend.  We were also due to have visitors for the first time in months, with my youngest son coming over with his family and my daughter with hers (on different days).  Keeping socially distant in the garden it was lovely to see them all in real life instead of a computer screen!

I have been letting go of magazines - a lot of old patchwork and crochet/knitting ones and keeping some of the patterns and articles I like to keep.  That is leading to another job I should do and and indexing the patterns in the folders instead of having to root through the folders to find what I want - but that’s another day!

Aside from more masks- I’ve made 10 this week. I have to tell you about the pillowcase I received. This was a brand new one that I was given from the coordinator of Frontline Facemasks Group for linings.  I didn’t escape the there to be quite so much fabric.  The pillowcase had an Oxford edging around it and by the time I unpicked the stitches of the edging I had a piece of fabric that measured a metre wide by 60cm high, it was a massive pillowcase. Double that width for the back plus there was a large flap I had a lot of fabric to use.

I decided on Saturday afternoon I had enough of masks and made something for me. Another pouch, but this time using one (of 3) lace edged zips. Although this looks pink, it’s actually light grey.  The fabric used is a Karen Lewis screen print by RJR Fabrics.  I like the selvedge so that’s being kept,

I used a pattern that I’ve had for several years from a Craftsy free class and made several of these.  To take advantage of the nice zip I joined the outer and lining pieces of the front first before adding the zip, instead of joining them with the zip in between.

 Of course I have to add a little pocket, I’ve put a cotton reel to open up the pouch.
Earlier this week I made another block for the Youngish Quilter Block of the week.This week was Drunkards Path.
 This is how the block collection looks now.

I have a finish!  The fingerless glove for David. I’ve used left over Head Over Heels Yarn, but I knew I didn’t have quite enough, so used a small ball of dark green hand dyed yarn for the rib and finger bases.

In my sorting out a found a project I started at the end of last year. I will go into more detail next time.  This will be a large shawl made with Stylecraft Batik yarn.

And another bit of crochet to keep me busy is this one. Only started yesterday afternoon. I tore the instructions from the Crochet Now magazine. I’ve only had this little kit for over 2 years!  I’ve got the muzzle, ears and arms to do so it should take long to finish off.  No idea what I’m going to do once he’s done.  A bit of frippery.  There is another little magazine kit of a hedgehog with instructions so might have a go at that one this week.

Yesterday David and I went to Poole Park, an everyday occurrence when I used to work in Poole. Since lockdown though this is the first time we’ve been back.  We had a look at the memorial garden which has a lovely display of roses and perennial plants and looked really lovely.

So I’m keeping busy

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