18 October 2020

It’s Been a While....

 I’ve not been up to much so there’s not been to much to share.  A little bit of hand sewing here and there was punctuated by making a fabric jug following the West Country Embroiderers Zoom meeting last week.

There was a pattern and instructions beforehand, which I prepared prior to the meeting and I went on to sew together afterwards.  Inside hides a jam jar to display the fake flowers.  I would have liked to have used Bondaweb to attach the outside fabric to the pelmet Vilene but in its absence I used fabric glue pen to hold the fabric in place and while I sewed the seams they were held together with binding clips.  

I’ve been reading a lot recently.  With the Townswomen’s Guild book group recently restarting I read The Miniaturist by Jessica Burton, which was a bit slow for me but became a lot more interesting about halfway through to the point I could not put it down.  I then found on Facebook that a book by Tracy Chevalier called A Single Thread was on offer as an e-book for just 99p, so bought this through Apple Books (it’s also available through Amazon’s Kindle app). This is a really good book which takes a real location, Winchester Cathedral and one of the characters, was a real person and building a story around them. This was another can’t put down read and really enjoyed this book. I’ve got another week and a bit until the next TG book group so I must find something else to read in the meantime. If there’s been a good thing to come out of these times, it has made me make time to read.  

Last week David and I went to Kingston Lacy, the local NT house and gardens near Wimborne.  We reckoned it would be good to take in the Autumn colour as the Acers there turn some lovely shades as they lose their leaves and we were not disappointed.

To think that just in a couple of weeks these trees will be bare.

Progress is being made on my cardigan (second sleeve in progress) and the Aria blanket (I’ve now started the border).  More about those in another post.

02 October 2020

October and a Trip Away


The photo above is of one of the Dahlias in a display at The Vyne, a National Trust property near Basingstoke at the beginning of last month, on one of our days out.  As it’s autumn places are getting a little quieter and making it easier to get out an about now, so we planned a short break of a couple of nights in Liskeard, north Cornwall and booked a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  Due to the rain we thought this would be a disaster,  but rebooked the afternoon and the rain eased and there was even some sunshine.

Above is a distant view to Mevagissy and the sea (though it merges into the grey of the sky!)

The Mud Maiden with a all her greenery.

Walking through the Jungle on a boardwalk which surrounds the area and below David and I tackled the rope bridge.  The feeling wasn’t so strange walking across, but felt wobbly for a few seconds after getting of it.

It did turn out to be a really good afternoon, even if the day didn’t start as well as we hoped, isn’t that always the way?

We spent some time in Liskeard town as we had another venue booked to visit on our way home.  It’s only a little town, but with a few interesting shops.  I added to my fabric stash at Painters, which we previously knew as an arts and crafts shop, but there are changes afoot and the business is on the move and only sell fabric and yarn.  Here’s my modest purchases
(Ignore the black fabric, my friend gave me this sheep fabric the week before).  Some green fabric, a bit of purple Kaffe, and (I surprised myself with this) 3 quarters of Tula Pink fabric from different ranges.

We were aware of a few crocheted and knitted items in some shops, like the crochet sausages in the butcher’s shop, or the large key in the shoe repairer’s shop and a knitted bookworm in a bookshop. Until we came to an empty shop on a corner of a street that had crocheted Mandalas in the windows. Here’s just a selection, but there is a lot of reflection.

The display is organised by 3 Bags Full. A local group who organise an annual yarn festival in the town, every October and would have been on the weekend on 17th and 18th.  Along with other exhibitions held this year, this one will also be online, but they took over this former florist’s shop to ‘yarn bomb’ it.  The large mandalas are made over hula hoops and the small ones cover old CDs. We thought it was really brilliant.

Pop over to the link above to 3 Bags Full and you will be yarnbombing from other years.

From Liskeard we headed North before going home to Knightshayes a National Trust property near Tiverton, which is a bit north of where we’d normally travel to get back to Dorset, but not too much out of our way. We did get caught in showers, but not too much, so a gentle walk around the grounds and woodland. It is one of the few places that has opened the house since lockdown as it can operate a one way system and it is a Victorian house built in the Gothic style popular at the time.
This is the stables, used for the visitor centre
The the house, the photos had to be lightened because if was so cloudy and dull.  Although photos could be taken with flash and I couldn’t resist the medieval style ceiling in the main reception room.
Outside I liked the gate near beside the house, which looked rusty, with flowers and leaves.

So that was our trip away.  Back home again and catching up things, like the blog, and thinking this may be the last time this year we have a break, but not the last time we go for days out I hope.

28 September 2020

A September Yarn

Posting a little before the end of the month as David and I are going away for a couple of days.  Our first break away since the beginning of March, when things were getting ‘iffy’ before lockdown and wondering if we were going away. 

Not much sewing has taken place recently other than a couple of blocks for Siblings Together sewing bee, which has been pinwheel blocks 

One block produces extra to make a smaller block in reverse order, so two blocks for price of one!
I made a letter postcard combining Drunkards Path for the letter D.  Simple idea, but took a while in getting my thoughts turned into patchwork. My first attempt didn’t work, it looked lost in a snowstorm! 
My Youngish Quilter quilt is now finished and I’ve hung this on the rail in my room and it goes really well with the green wall.  It is proper finished with hanging sleeve and a label. Youngish Quilters 

If proof is needed, here’s the label.  I used t-shirt transfer paper onto plain green fabric.  There was too much detail I wanted to include to write on the label, so this was a bit of a cheat.

A bit more has been added to my Sew 4 the Soul, but I will leave posting about that for another time. It’s slow stitching and things are going slowly.

I have progressed my knitting, so I now have a back and two fronts on my cardigan and have started on a sleeve.  I decided that the right front would have a pocket, so I took the pocket and pocket top instructions from an old pattern (1980’s) that I had and it worked well with this addition. The pattern is Stylecraft Bellissima with a chevron pattern at sides and on the sleeves.  The yarn is Stylecraft Highland Heathers Thistle.

The evenings just don’t have the light to work on the cardigan, so I started on the Aria blanket and love how the colours are working on this.  The ends are showing on the 5th row and I should sew in end of each block, but I crochet a few blocks then sew ends in. The Aria blanket is designed by Lucy of Attic 24 and the pack and instructions from Wool Warehouse

I’m afraid to say with these two largish projects on the go, that my socks have been neglected and there’s been no further progress from my last post, but I will get to work on it soon.  The pattern is the Seedhead Socks by Vikki Bird Designs.  The yarn is by Strawberry Fields Yarns and I love the speckles in this yarn ad I didn’t want anything too patterned.

Well I have plenty to keep me busy.

16 September 2020

All About the Yarn

 I felt the need to be making another cardigan for the autumn (will probably be the winter now) and bought some purple yarn from my local wool shop,  Not Just Wool, where there was a new Stylecraft yarn called Highland Heathers in a lovely deep purple.  I’m not far off the armhole shaping on the back. I’m using the same pattern as for my red cardigan with a diagonal stitch pattern at the sides. 

I mostly knit on circular needles, even for flat knitting as when I do travel knitting I don’t have to worry about dropped needles.  I started this cardigan a week and a half ago, but I also stated another cast on - this time another pair of socks! On Sunday I found some hand dyed wool with sprinkles of colour which would come in useful for another pair of Seedhead socks, this time with the Seedhead pattern!

So I’m left with a choice of which project to work on!  Not only that I made another yarn purchase...

Another Attic 24 blanket! I do have someone in mind for this, but the blanket pattern “spoke” to me as I have fond memories of my Nan making crochet Granny Square blankets for the “old folk” who were often younger than she was! I loved the colours and so did my granddaughter Flo, who delighted in taking the balls of yarn out of the bag and telling us what colours they were.  She already has a mini Dahlia blanket.

I think this little lot will keep me busy for a while.

05 September 2020



This month is starting quietly.  It may be a new term and students will be going back/starting their education after a 6 months + hiatus due to the virus, but groups and other social gatherings are not ready to start this month though and some are smaller to accommodate social distancing. So times are still a bit strange.

Last week David and I managed a day out at Stourhead in Wiltshire and a nice ramble around the grounds and enjoying the scenery.  There was a one way system on th footpath to follow and we had to pre-book before going there (checking that the weather would be ok for that day!).  But it was somewhere we hadn’t been for a few years so nice to have a change of scenery

This week I have been working on my toe up socks and have now finished the second sock.  The patterning of the self striping yarn has worked out well.  The pattern is by Vikki Bird and called Seed Head socks and there is a pretty pattern panel running along the front length of the socks.  I decided to knit my socks without the pattern but just as plain toe up socks and I can say this is the most successful toe up socks I’ve made so far and fit really well.  Please excuse that I haven’t yet sewn in the ends but here’s a “sockfie”

As this was a self striping yarn the seed head pattern would not have shown up, so that’s why I kept the sock plain stocking stitch.  So I’d like to get some plain coloured sock yarn to be able to follow the seed head pattern.  

There were references to techniques like Judy’s Magic Cast On for the toe stitches and Jenny’s stretchy bind (cast) off for casting off the cuff stitches.  I also followed the instructions for the short row heels, but there also instructions for the gusset and heel flap variation too for a higher instep.  So it’s a very good detailed pattern and I’d make these again.

The yarn I’ve used is from stash and I’ve had it a few years so there was no label, but I have a feeling it may be a King Cole one . There was 80 grams of the yarn and I had 26grams left, so this has taken 54 grams to make.  I do have small feet and using the short rows instead of working gusset increased stitches probably used less yarn. 

I’ve also been working on a mini Sew 4 the Soul book.  I thought I would just get the basic bits done but ended up finishing the whole book. It consists of a strip of 12” x 4” calico as a base and folded concertina style to give 6 little pages. 

The pics below are in the wrong order (grr)
Pages 5 and 6
Pages 1 and 2
The cover
Pages 3 and 4

I’ve used some hand dyed felt for the cover but as the middle pages stick out slightly I added some lace under the front of the cover,  I will decorate that a bit more, but I am pleased with the pages. It was also a nice gentle bit of sewing of an afternoon.  I’ve yet to add the pocket on the page in the larger book to add it to.  The project is inspired by Anne Brooke of Hannemade

So that’s been my ramblings for this week.  Have a good crafty week,

31 August 2020

An August Furtle

 For a 31 day month, August has disappeared really quickly - where did it go? With autumnal temperatures and being the first tomorrow it seems like summer is on the way out. 

Anyway, I haven’t posted much this month, but I have been kept busy as usual.  I’ve got two finished quilts, one of which is a fleece backed one for Project Linus, which I made in a couple of days.

And my second one, not sure where it’s going yet, is this green and red one that was made from leftover blocks from another quilt.  Both of these can be read about in my last post.

I worked on my Daisy the Herdwick sheep, and made her some knickers and a dress too. The photos have loaded up in the wrong order, even though I clicked to get them in the right order!

Daisy the Herdwick 

With her dress and knickers (she’s properly dressed)

Sharing the sheep shelf with the rest of the flock

And making friend with Luna

 I think I’m getting a slight addiction here.  I bought second book of Luna Lapin and friends series and there may be another animal, and certainly more outfits for Luna and Daisy. There is also a Facebook group which I joined last month Lunas are breeding almost like rabbits!

There’s been some progress on my Sew 4 the Soul book, which I may dedicate another post to next month. I’ve started on another two pages, which may take a little bit longer to complete,  but I have sewn together 
The first two sets of pages.

And then this week there’s been some sock knitting action going on.  I had a turn out of my yarn stash and found some purple yarn.  No label as I bought it some years ago, but it was self striping sock yarn and I had 80 grams of it so it was enough for a pair of socks.  I’ve tried unsuccessfully to make toe up socks and I bought a pattern last month from Vikki Bird Designs for the Seed Head socks.  Now the seed head pattern would have got lost in self striping yarn, so decided to omit the pattern but use the toe up instructions which have been very comprehensive.  I finished my first sock yesterday evening still leaving the markers in so it’ll help guide me with the second sock.

I found that not only do the needles match with orange of the stripes, but the maker for the front toe of the sock almost matches the sock itself! Anyway, the first sock fits really well. I look forward to making another pair in a solid colour so I can use the seedhead pattern.

So linking up with Mini Archie’s tour around the Blogosphere this month, here

(Sorry, you will have to use the link above this month - I can’t get Blogger to cooperate!)

Popular Posts