Saturday, 27 December 2008

A quick check in

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has left greetings over the last couple of weeks. I hope everyone has had an enjoyable time with their families.

I was going to show you a beautiful fabric postcard I received from Australia last week, but I have packed it! I finished J's bedroom and moved him back in, and then have packed up the front room in readiness to start here as the boys are away. Safely tucked away is the postcard, so I will have to show you when I have finished.

Amongst all the activity here, I have managed to finish the back of D's jumper and we have decided on a shawl collar. I am almost up to the raglan shaping on the front. Pictures to follow in a later post.

I have managed to catch up on a few blogs, but it is taking a long time to catch up with everyone. I am really looking forward to getting back into a routine and being inspired by everyone.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend

Thursday, 18 December 2008

On Strike

Yesterday, the thought of emptying a bedroom was just too much. J had got engrossed in a book, so we decided we would go on strike for a day.

I took advantage and started a jumper for D. This is going to be an aran sweater using a wool, acrylic mix yarn. We are still debating if we are going to finish this with a crew neck or a shawl collar. I have the rest of the back to knit before I have to decide. It was back to the decorating today, though only as far as getting the room empty. Shopping ans swimming took up the rest of the day. The painting starts tomorrow. After almost a year, J will get a blue bedroom rather than the pink and lilac he has had until now.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Halfway through the month

and the hallway, kitchen, bathroom and toilet have been redecorated. Now there is J's bedroom and the front room left to do. It seems like a marathon and my arms and shoulders are aching. I can't wait until it is all over and I can do some sewing and knitting again, much easier on the muscles.

I did manage to summon enough energy together this evening to sew J's jumper together, so there is at least one finished object this month.

I have a ball of yarn left over from this jumper, so I think I may get a couple more balls and do one for D, probably a different pattern. I think that may have to wait until next month.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Some order has been restored

For almost a week, the contents of my kitchen were in the front room which meant that it was impossible to get near the computer. Finally last night I was able to start catching up with everyone.

We have spent the last week stripping wallpaper and then painting the kitchen. After we had already started, J said we should have taken a before photo. Never mind, you get the after photo which is a lot better. The kitchen now looks brighter and in the morning when the sun comes up, it has a real glow.I am really pleased with the cupboards. They had been green with red handles but have now been transformed. They are now latte and with chocolate handles. Even my landlord was impressed, which is a relief.The highlight of the week was this fabric postcard I received from Angela. In all the chaos, it brought a little ray of sunshine into the house. It is a spring meadow, a welcome relief from the grey sky we have at the moment.
I haven't done anything on J's jumper. When I have had the time, I didn't have the energy even to pick it up. I am hoping I may do some over the weekend as I am now onto the smallest room of the house, which only requires a couple of coats of paint. As it needs to dry between coats, I may get a chance to knit.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Lakeland Update

I have caught up with the last two weeks needlepoint this morning and it feels good to see this piece filling out. As the stitching is being completed, the perspective is becoming more evident. There is hope that I will like this once it is completed.

I have also been knitting J's jumper. I have now completed the back and sleeves. I started the front yesterday and may have done a bit more if I hadn't fallen asleep on the settee. So much for making the most of the boys being at the football!
The front is the only piece with the cable detail. There are two cable panels separated by stocking stitch. Once dinner is out of the way, I will be knitting again.
Starting tomorrow, I will be decorating so things may be a bit quiet here for a few weeks. I will definitely be trying to keep up with every one's blogs and I am sure I will find time to do something. I'll need something to wind down with at the end of the day.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Anyone for Strawberries?

A big thank you to Jayne who sent me some beads so I could finish my strawberries. I am so grateful to her generosity. Check out her blog, she has some lovely cross stitch projects on the go at the moment. (
It only took about a minute to attach the last of the beads and then I could make up the frame. I used double sided tape to attach the aida to the front frame and then added some wadding.
The backing was then secured, again using double sided tape.
I then attached the stand, so I have a freestanding picture.
The whole point of doing these little kits was to build up a stash of completed cards and pictures I could use to send to people. D's first reaction to seeing this was to say "you're not giving this one away!" Maybe with the redecoration, I can keep him happy and find a little space for this one live.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Not embroidery, but....

I should have been embroidering my herbs over the last couple of days, but I got sidetracked.

I started J's jumper the other night as it was too dark to start choosing colours for the embroidery. Trouble is, I haven't stopped knitting. I have completed the back and a good way up the first sleeve. Although the back and sleeves are in stocking stitch, the front has a cable detail. I'm saving the best to last. I am using Hayfield Bonus DK in cream with added flecks of browns and blacks. It just adds a bit of interest to what would be a plain jumper. The pattern I am using is Sirdar pattern number 5065.
I will be getting back to the herbs as I want to make them into a wall hanging for the kitchen. I am hoping the kitchen will be decorated over the next couple of weeks, so that will be a good incentive to get stitching.
Unfortunately, the decorating is going to be taking me away from knitting and stitching, but at least it means in the new year, I can sit and gaze at clean walls and enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Monday, 24 November 2008

A frog for a little princess

I had done the stitching for this card some time ago. It was a little kit from a cross stitch magazine. I can't remember which one, it was so long ago.

Today I made it into a card and thought I would send it to B with her goodies.

I made a start on my final task for this month. On the Yahoo Hand Embroidery group, the autumn challenge was to stitch some herbs. There was a choice of eight in total.

Today, I printed them all off, traced them, then flipped them over to transfer onto fabric for stitching. Tugger thought he could help by sitting on the traced images, right on top of the hand that was holding everything into place. Twice I had to call the boys in to take him off.

As it was too dark when I finished transfering the images onto the fabric. I have decided to wait until tomorrow to choose the colours. If I get a chance tonight, I'll start J's jumper as I am not sure how much time I will get next month. I have finally decided that December will be the month to get out the paintbrushes and do some decorating.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Just a little frustrated

Over the years, I have collected quite a few freebie kits from magazines, and have also bought a selection of card kits. I have decided I am going to try and deplete the pile. Even after giving lots away, I still have quite a number so I have set myself goal of stitching one card/kit a month.

This month I chose a beaded strawberry kit, which had all the necessary bits to make into a stand up picture.

Last night, I did all the cross stitch and back stitching. That left me today to attach the beads and then make up the frame. This was going to be a quick finish which is what we all like.

I improvised with the top of a plastic container to hold the beads and was quite happy attaching the beads. I haven't done a lot of beading, but I quite enjoy it. Maybe I ought to do some more.

Here comes the frustrating part. There were not enough white beads included in the pack to complete the picture, and to add insult to injury, there were far too many red beads. I only have cream beads here, so I will have to wait until I can get some beads before I can finish this picture.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Hat and Gloves Complete

I am hoping there will be a happy little girl in South Wales next week. I finished knitting the second glove this afternoon. The tabs were knitted and then sewn on. The buttons were attached to the hat and gloves, and after sewing in the ends, the set is complete. As I am going to be knitting her a jumper or cardigan in the near future, I decided one pair of gloves were enough. I added the button to the tab of the pink hat, so she will be receiving two hats and a pair of gloves. Hopefully it will keep her warm and happy for a little while.

One down, three to go

There was a little retail therapy going on yesterday, but it was all necessary-well, nearly all. The floss is for the cross stitch poppies, the buttons for my jacket, the yarn for J's next jumper and the snow globes were an extra.

These are for the boys. There is a space for them to insert photos and as they were on special offer and I had a £3 coupon, it wasn't a back little extra to get.The buttons were duly attached and the jacket is now ready to keep me warm. Thanks to J, you also get a view of the washing drying. I didn't notice until I uploaded the picture.
After I'd sewn on the buttons it was back to B's glove. Before you ask, 'Where are the fingers?', these are fingerless. As she is small, it will only be the tips of her fingers showing.
This one just has to have the ends sewn in and the tab attached. The tabs are yet to be knitted.
Now I have three more to knit

Friday, 21 November 2008

The Blanket is Complete!

With the arrival of the yarn, I was able to complete the knitting of my mohair jacket. This took no time at all as there was only the collar to cast off and the button bands to do. As each band was a total of 6 rows, including cast on and off, it was a quick knit.

This meant I was soon onto the colossal job of sewing it all together. It had felt like a blanket when I was knitting it, but even more so when I was sewing it together. As you can see, Tugger thought it was all for his benefit. I was actually sewing the sleeves in here.

Here it is all sewn up and waiting for buttons. The sleeves look so short in comparison, I had doubts they were long enough. I tried it on to make sure. I had forgotten, this was a long jacket, and it is just like a blanket. I will be able to wrap myself up in it quite happily.

I then made a start on B's gloves. I have never knitted using double pointed pins, so I wasn't sure what this was going to be like. In the end, once you get into a rhythm, it is not too bad at all. Not sure if I like it enough to start knitting socks!

I wonder how long it will take me to knit two pairs of gloves?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Section 3 complete

Thanks to us all having a disturbed nights for various reasons, we didn't go swimming today, so that meant I have been able to spend a good amount of time stitching.
I am pleased to say that section three is now complete, including back stitch. I'm practically two thirds the way through.

I need to get some floss to do the back stitch on the poppy and beads need to be added. Section one will be on the to do list next month. After the leaves, it will make a nice change as section one is two poppy flowers.
The wool I ordered has arrived today, so the mohair jacket is next on the list to complete. At the moment, everything seems to be coming together nicely. Hope it is for you too.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Not much time today

As I expected, I didn't get much time today, so the left hand leaf has only grown a little. The stem has grown a little bit too. I would love to finish the leaf tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I will get enough time. The double pointed needles I needed for the gloves have arrived, and just by chance today, I found these buttons. The pink and purple ones are going to be perfect for B's gloves and hat. Not bad for 99p.
All being well I can get them knitted and sent of for her by the beginning of next week.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Poppy Cross Stitch Update

Yesterday and today I have spent some time on the cross stitch poppy design by Jane Greenoff. I am hoping to get this section completed this month, but I need to get some more floss on Friday. Happily, I do have enough to keep going until then.

Yesterday I completed the central stem, and most of the right stem and leaf. I would have been quite happy to have stayed up later stitching, but my little furry friend kept insisting he would help. In the interests of keeping the stitching all in one piece, I decided to go to bed. I came back to it this afternoon and completed the right leaf and stem and have started on the left stem and leaf. The back stitch has also been stitched on the right leaf.
I am not sure what it is, but I have found stitching on this design very relaxing, maybe it is the green. It's a colour that I have found myself drawn too over the last couple of years and there are some soft greens used here which do have a calming effect.
I am not sure how much time I will get tomorrow as we are out most of the day, but all being well, I shall have some time tomorrow evening to stitch.

Monday, 17 November 2008

This one is mine

It has been another day that has run like clockwork and I have accomplished more than I set out to do. Such a good feeling and I am enjoying it while I can. I know it will all change later in the week and time will just disappear.

You may remember a couple of months ago I made some place mats. These were claimed by the boys, so finally today, I made one for me.

I did this one differently to the others, I decided not to quilt this one. The cats are on the front with the fabric below as the backing. Sandwiched between is some quilt batting to absorb the heat. (Photo taken before ironing)
Instead of using separate fabric to bind the edges, I took the backing around to the front edges and machine stitched into place.
After this, I also made a fabric postcard, but I can't post a picture as the recipient reads my blog. I'll post details as soon as I can. The boys liked it and J has requested I make one for him. I have already worked out the changes I would make if I did this one again.
As today as gone so well, I have also had time to get on with some cross stitch. I started the third section of the chart on the poppies I have been working on. I am hoping to have a relaxing evening with this tonight. I will post progress details tomorrow.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Almost, but not quite

I must say that today has been one of those days where everything has gone smoothly.

After catching up with the tapestry, I managed to finish knitting the second sleeve of my jacket. The shoulders have been stitched together and the collar knitted to the casting off.
Unfortunately, this is where the yarn ran out, so now this will have to be put on hold until I can acquire some more yarn. I am hoping if I order it tomorrow, it won't take too long to deliver. I have to finish casting off the collar and then the button bands have to be knitted. These shouldn't take too long as they are only four rows in total each.
I am now looking at my list of things to do this month to decide what to do next. I think I know what I am going to do tomorrow but am debating if I am going to do anything more tonight.

Lakeland Update

I didn't do any stitching on Lakeland last week. I think the combination of having both boys ill, and the weather being as miserable as they were, wasn't very conducive for working on this.

Today, I was a good girl and did two weeks work on it, so we are now up to date. The blue sky and sunshine was too good an opportunity to miss. I must say, I prefer the look of the tapestry in the photo than I do in real life. I think this is a piece that is better viewed from a distance.

This week was a real mixture. I stitched water, flowers and foliage. It will be more of the same next week.

On the knitting front, I am about halfway through the second sleeve. It should have been finished but the combination of spending time with number one son and the kitten sitting on top of my knitting every time I started, meant that I didn't get as much done.

As Rum Tum Tugger is now curled up asleep on a chair the other side of the room, I am going to sneak back and see if I can finish the sleeve before he notices.

Friday, 14 November 2008

One down, one to go

I seem to have got into the groove now, and the needles are going well.

Thanks to an evening of Children in Need to keep me going, I have managed to start and complete the first sleeve. I'm just hoping for an equally good day tomorrow.
Only glitch on the horizon I can see is that it may be a bit tight as far is yarn is concerned. I may have to send of for some more.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

And a right front

I must say am very pleased to have managed to finish the right front. I was out most of yesterday so didn't get to sit down until the evening to knit. I knitted the rest tonight. Let's hope I can get a good run and get the sleeves done over the weekend. If I can do that, I'll be a happy lady.

On a personal note, I just have to tell you how proud I am of my eldest son.

He will be twelve in a couple of weeks and for the last eight weeks he has been on a MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do It) programme. This was because he was concerned about his weight. The goal of the programme was to lose inches around his waist by increasing activity and eating properly and the correct amounts. He was measured at the beginning and end of the programme.

Over the eight weeks he has grown 1.5 cms, lost 7cms around his waist and lost 3.2kgs in weight (almost half a stone). I can't tell you how proud I am of all the hard work he has done to achieve this. I am hoping this will be something he will continue even though the programme is finished.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

We have a left front

I should have done a lot more today, but J has an ear infection and wanted a cuddle this afternoon and wouldn't let me knit. It is his fault that I ended up falling asleep for an hour or so on the settee! Brings back memories of when they were little and this was our regular afternoon routine.

After I woke up, I did get the needles working and have completed the left front. I will start the right front tonight and hope for at least some time to knit tomorrow. There isn't going to be much time between Spanish lessons, visits to the vets and shopping.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Almost human again

Yesterday was a real struggle, but after some perseverance, I did manage to complete knitting the back of the jacket. I got as far as casting on for the left front, but couldn't face doing anymore. I didn't even work on my Lakeland tapestry, so I'll have to catch up on that this week.

We have had a busy day here today, but this evening when I sat down to knit, I realised I felt completely different. It was quite a joy to be sat knitting. The joy was made even greater when my son sat with me for an hour doing his cross stitch cushion. As you can see from the photo, I have managed to get almost halfway up to the armhole shaping on the left front.

I have decided I am not going to put pockets in, so it will be a straightforward knit for the fronts.

I am hoping the almost human feeling improves and I can enjoy some knitting again tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

What I've been doing this week

Thank you to everyone for their get well wishes. My eyes are getting better but by they end of the day they are beginning to feel quite sore.

I have managed to do some knitting though and I have been good and have been taking breaks.As you can see, some of the breaks have been enforced! I think the yarn meets with her approval.

This is a jacket I started a couple of years ago. I am not quite sure why I didn't get very far as it is quite a straight forward pattern. All I can think of, is that life got in the way.

I am using Capricorn Mohair in two slightly different shades of lilac. Both colours are used together. The yarn is 82% mohair, 9% wool and 9% nylon.
This shows the texture of the pattern. It means it should be very warm to wear.
When I took this out, I had done about four inches. Over the last few days I have managed to get to the armhole shaping and hope to complete the back today.
First, I have this weeks quota on Lakeland to do-after I run out to get the washing in. It's raining!

Look what the postman brought

I have a good with as regards to post this week.

This ATC is from Christine in Australia, my partner on the Stitchin Fingers ATC swap.

It is beautiful, stitched on Belfast linen with beads and clay button embellishments. I love the colours. The other package was from Phyl. ( We have become friends over the last year through our blogs and she very kindly sent me a couple of embroideries she did a long time ago. I was two at the time these were stitched!

I am going to reframe them so I can hang them up. I really appreciate this gift and her friendship.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Thomas Kinkade SAL

I seem to have picked up some sort of eye infection which means by the end of the day, they feel quite sore and stitching is not much fun.

This has meant over the last couple of days I haven't done much at all, but I did pick up my cross stitch and did a little more on the Thomas Kinkade. The trees to the left of the house have been added. I am trying to get to the left border of the pattern, so am slowly working my way across. As the infection seems to have gone to the other eye, I am hoping that knitting may be more relaxing to do as it won't require as much eye movement. I shall let you know how it goes.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Andrew's Not Quite Card

A friend of mine is a quantity surveyor and is taking a big exam at the end of the month. I wanted to send a card wishing him all the best for the exam. I wanted to do something personal and hopefully bring a smile during all the stress of revising.

As part of his job, he has to do site visits, so I wanted to find a picture that would relate to that part of his job. I did a search for a free clip art picture which I then adapted. Here it is drawn onto fabric. The next stage is the fun bit. I coloured in the picture using crayons. Once that was done, I fixed the crayon using an iron over some kitchen towel. This was repeated until no crayon lifted onto the towel.
The picture was then ready for stitching. As I wanted to keep a cartoony feel to the picture, I just outlined the drawing using two strands of black DMC embroidery thread. I used back stitch throughout.

Once the stitching was complete, I ironed the fabric and mounted onto some card. There is a layer or wadding between the fabric and card to give a cushioned effect.

I now have to get some double fold card or plain card stock to make my own card. I thought I had some upstairs but was sadly mistaken. Hopefully, I can get some on Wednesday so I can get the card completed and posted before the weekend.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I prefer this one

I had visitors this afternoon, so I was not able to get to do the embroidery I was hoping for, so the knitting needles came back out. Perfect for watching the last Grand Prix of the season too.

I have used the other yarn I purchased to knit another hat for B. I am so much happier with this one. I just need to get a button for the tab to complete this. I used Sirdar Denim Double knit for this hat and love the soft feel to it. I am hoping that both will meet with B's approval.

Lakeland Update

I have done a bit of water and the rocks and foliage this week. Now the water is the same level as the foliage, I am going to work my way right across the canvas to keep it all even. This will mean a bit of variety in the colours I am able to stitch with, as there is nothing really exciting in row after row of tent stitch.

I think I may go and have some fun and go and do some embroidery. I have a card to make.