Monday, 30 June 2008

An Unfinished Object No Longer

The sort out bug has stayed with me today. You think when you move, you have everything sorted, trouble is, finding it the other end.

I have a window seat in the bedroom that I use for storing craft items, but I didn't know exactly what was there. So today, it was emptied and sorted.

One of the bags I found contained partly knitted jumpers and cardigans. They were ones that I had been knitting to use up yarn from other projects, but I had run out of yarn before they were complete. I had kept them on the off chance I would find the correct yarn to complete them. One of the items was this baby jacket.

While I was in a sorting out mood, I remembered that there was a bin liner in the wardrobe with yarn in. I thought it was the ideal time to check what I had and if I could use it. I was absolutely delighted to find the yarn to finish the little jacket.

Here is the finished item.

I hadn't found the pattern, so I did the collar from memory. It seems to look ok here, so hopefully it should be fine when it is worn. Now to get some buttons.

I also started to do another baby hat using the Sirdar yarn that I had left over from the baby set I completed a couple of weeks ago. It will be making it's way to the States when it is complete.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

A Day of Preparation

It's been a funny sort of day today. Seem to have been busy most of the day and not a lot to show for it.

There have been lots of projects I have signed up for and I thought it would be a good idea to get all my bits sorted so I could see exactly what I had and could easily put my hand on the project in hand. By the end of the day, projects in progress had their own bag or folder. So something good has been achieved, and a shopping list has been written.

The first project to be sorted was for the summer challenge on the Hand Embroidery Blog. I had to get the patterns transferred onto fabric so they were ready for embroidery.

First of all, I had to print the patterns from the computer. Two were the wrong size, they were too big, but D is going to use them to do applique pictures. The others were printed and then cut out and taped to the window.

They were then traced onto the fabric. I am using some plain calico, as I think I will incorporate the pieces in the patchwork quilt.

The first one I will stitch is the pansy.

As you can see, the threads are selected and the fabric stretched ready to go.

It even has its own folder to keep clean and tidy.

The other project I am going to start this week is on Stichin Fingers with the needlepoint group. This is something I am really looking forward to. I love needlepoint and really want to be able to improve in my abilities.

The canvas has been stretched and I have some threads from my stash suitable, but need to get some pearle cotton this week.

I then turned attention to the crazy patchwork that I am going to use as a base for the Take a Stitch Tuesday.

I added a border and some antique lace. I'm not exactly sure where the lace came from, but it came from the bits I got from my mum. I still need to get some threads to use with this, but I did find some today when I was sorting through a box. I'll show them when I begin the stitching. I only have four weeks to catch up!

I even got D ready for his Take a Stitch Tuesday. His aida is all ready on the frame and he will choose some thread when we go shopping next week.

Now I might get a bit of cross stitching down while the boys watch the football. I think that Spain is the favourite in this house.

Saturday, 28 June 2008


Yarn:Firefly, Sirdar pattern number 8645

Not the best of pictures here. I'll try and get it modelled tomorrow and hopefully have a better photo to show you.

This top was quick to knit, but the stitches were hard to keep under control, but I do like the effect. I'll knit the other top, but I am not going to do the jumper. I think I would have had enough of this yarn by then.

Mind you, by the time I got on to the second ball, I did begin to get a feel for it, but this was definitely not something to pick up and put down all the time. It was too easy to lose stitches.

I'l have to find something to wear it with now. A good excuse to go shopping if nothing else.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Clarice Cliffe Update

It was a good day for stitching today. I was able to spend a good amount of uninterrupted time on it.

The top corner is now complete and then I moved down to the side and below the house. I now have three corners of the cross stitch marked out. I feel now that I am on the second half of the project but in reality, I have a bit more than half to do.

Thursday, 26 June 2008


J's slipover is complete. As you can see he is very happy with his newly knitted acquisition. He said he's not going to take it off and has already got two more jumpers lined up for me to knit. Not sure he is very keen to join the back of the queue as D has to have one first.

D will have to wait too as I have started knitting with the Firefly yarn. I'm not really sure what to make of it. It will be a nightmare to find any dropped stitches and as it quite slippery and loose, you do have to concentrate on what you're doing. It is only a stocking stitch, so at least a pattern doesn't have to be followed.

Saying that, I quite like the finished effect and as it is knitted on large guage needles it won't take long to knit up. Not sure I will get another pack and do the jumper though, I think two tops will be enough experience!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Front Is Finished

I feel as if I accomplished something today, I didn't have so many interruptions.

I have finished knitting the front of J's slipover. Now all I have left to do is the ribbing on the neck and armholes. I think I will finish it tomorrow. It might cheer J up as he has been very rough this week suffering from hayfever.

My list of to do items has grown, D has chosen the jumper he wants me to do, and J has already decided which one he wants next too.

Temptation Not Resisted

As you can see, the top corner still isn't completed. It is surprising how many cross stitches it takes to fill that area in. This piece did take a trip into Sheffield yesterday and a few stitches done at the bus station while I was waiting for the bus. It will be done this week, I am determined, but it will be back to knitting today.

As it was Tuesday, I should have been doing my TAST(Take a Stitch Tuesday) hence the trip to Sheffield. I needed to get some embellishments and threads so D and I went into town.

The shop we went to only had stranded cottons whih wasn't what I was looking for, so I was a little disappointed, but not for very long.

There was a sale on some knitting yarn. £7.99 from £22.50. I should be able to get two tops from it. The patterns were in the sale too, 50p each. What a bargain, two tops for less than £10.

I have never knitted with anything like this, so can't wait to see what it is like. After many years of reducing my stash, it seems to be building up very quickly, but what is a girl to do when she sees a bargain like that!

D look at it today and thought it was "cool". Wonder if I can get him proficient enough at knitting to be able to knit my tops for me. He is really interested in the cable design on J's jumper. I love being able to discuss patterns with him, my mum and I used to do the same. Maybe one day I will have my own Kaffe Fassett.

Quilted Balloons

I found this the other day when I was sorting out my fabric. I really enjoyed stitching this. It made a real change to do some quilted embroidery and it adds real definition to the balloons.

As you can see from this photo, there were lots of french knots. They had never been my favourite stitch, but by the time I had completed this project, I was a real expert.

I haven't quite decided how to finish this yet. I could always frame it, but it would be difficult to keep clean in a frame. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Enjoying the Cable

Well I didn't finish the corner on the Clarice Cliffe cross stitch last night, I was sensible and went to bed at a decent time.

Today I did some more of J's slipover. On the front there is a twist and cable pattern. It's great, and it took only one repeat to get the pattern. That means I should be able to take it to home ed group tomorrow and not get lost.

What has been interesting for me on this pattern is that the twist is done on the needles and not using the cable needle. I haven't done it this way before and it is so much easier and a lot less fiddly.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Crazy Patchwork

I've been thinking about what I am going to use as the base for my Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. After some consideration I decided on crazy patchwork which I could then embellish.

I haven't done amy patchwork for many years and never crazy patchwork. This is my first attempt and I know it's not perfect, but I have learned a couple of lessons.

First lesson was to take a picture of the position of the pattern pieces before you cut them out. Even though I thought I had numbered them and knew exactly where they went, once they were ready to stitch, I had totally forgotten.

The second was to work out the position of the pieces before cutting the fabric to get more variety. I thought by making sure the numbers were well separated I'd be ok, but as you see, they ended up next to each other.

Never mind, it has given me a piece to embellish and work with, and either tomorrow or Tuesday I will be shopping for ribbon and threads.

D has drawn me some more patterns for other panels so I will get plenty of practice to do more. Eventually, they will all go together and be quilted I think, which means that it will keep J happy.

Once that was done, I was able to get back to do a bit more of the cross stitch. I did finish the green I was working on, but now, I'm stiching in green! A different shade though. I'm hoping to get this corner finished tonight before I go to bed or tomorrow.

I think I must be a glutton for punishment, I have also signed up to the hand embroidery yahoo group. There is a summer embroidery challenge. I have some flowers to embroider. I think I will put them on panels and incorporate them into the quilt.

I have lots of ideas, just need the direction and guidance to develop the ideas.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Back to Cross Stitch

Well yesterday was a day out at the beach at Cleethorpes so no craft work was done at all. I was too tired by the time we got home and the boys were sorted for bed. Think I had half the beach in the bath!

I did take my knitting with me to do, but it was too windy, sand was flying everywhere, so it was a time to catch up on some reading.

Saturday is always a cleaning day and we went out this afternoon to the Green Fair at Heeley City Farm.

I decided I fancied doing something different this evening, so I did a bit more on the Clarice Cliffe cross stitch. Think I wil be glad to finish this bit of the tree,
I will be dreaming in green!

I have so many things I want to be doing, I think I am going back to my old routine-a different craft/project everyday. This is to accommodate the challenges I have signed up to online and to get finished some of the ongoing projects I have here.

Tomorrow, I will give it some thought and work out how to fit it all in.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

They Just Keep Growing

Last night I signed up to Take a Stitch Tuesdays on Stiching Fingers. Each week you experiment using a different stitch and D has said he will do it with me. We're also going to do a seasonal stitch along.

We have got the fabric we will be using, but we will need to go and get some thread and embellishments to use on them too. For a very long time, I have wanted to develop my embroidery skills and this seems to be the perfect way to do it.

The boys had swimming today, so my knitting came with me and I have finished the back to J's jumper. It makes you realise how much they have grown, I think I will have to stop feeding him soon.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Endings and Beginnings

I have somewhat eractic sleep patterns and last night, after a string of nights where I was struggling to stay awake at 10pm, last night it was midnight. I have been known to go as late as 3am!

As I stayed up later I was able to complete the second front to the baby jacket and start one of the sleeves.

Not only do I sometimes go to bed late, I can also get up anytime from 4am. This morning was a little later, 5.45. This did mean that all my chores and our lunch was packed ready to go by 9am this morning, so before we went out, I finished knitting the first sleeve. Good progress was being made.

I finished knitting the second sleeve at home ed group this afternoon, but as I didn't want to do any sewing up there, I made a start on J's slipover.

I did finish the knitting of the jacket this evening.

As you can see, it is just the sewing up and finishing off left to do. I would have done it this evening, but as my first attempt saw me stitching the front and sleeve seams together, I thought it was better to leave it until tomorrow. The poor baby would have had to be a contortionist to be able to get it on.

Here is the start of J's slipover. It is definitely greener in real life and J is quite happpy with the way it is knitting up. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks with more on the needle.

Monday, 16 June 2008

I've Succumbed

The beauty of knitting baby items is, they are quick to do. I've even managed to do one of the fronts to go with the back I finished yesterday. I have started the next front, and am hoping to get a bit more done by the time I go to bed.

On Saturday, I was recommended a shop to go to for wool, so today, the boys and I went to have a look.

It was the first time I had been into Atkinsons, and I was impressed with the selection of yarns they had. I was a bit disappointed with the selection of knitting patterns for boys. J is between child and adult sizes. I'm hoping I can find where I have put all my knitting patterns. I can't remember where I put them after I moved!

I did buy a pattern for a slipover with a cable pattern and some wool.

The actual wool is slightly greener than it shows here. I can't wait to see how it knits up and I am torn between finishing the jacket and starting J's jumper. You'll find out tomorrow what I've decided.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Two Down, One To Go

The completed pram blanket as promised.

With the hat.

D came home and thought the hat was really sweet. Think he has plans to make one.

I thought it would be a great day for getting on with knitting today as I had a quiet day to myself and I thought I was doing quite well with the back of the baby jacket. That was until I realised that I had used the wrong sized needles!

That was happens when you stop rechecking the pattern and I was distracted by nursing a sick hamster.

As I seem to have plenty of wool, I just cut it off and resarted from scratch. At least I was able to complete knitting the back of the jacket before the boys came home. I even started one of the fronts. I will show you pictures tomorrow.

Maybe I didn't get as mcuh done as I had expected, but at least I am on the last item of the set. I'm even thinking of going and finding a pattern and some yarn to do a jumper for the boys tomorrow.

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Friday and Saturday were really busy days and I was unable to post updates. The trouble with waking up around 4 in the morning is, by 10 pm it is getting very difficult to keep awake.

Boys had ice skating Friday, and as they are on the ice for two hours, my knitting went along with me.

I made good progress on the baby blanket. I finished the other border and got all the stiches back onto the needle ready to do the top border. It felt really good to get to that stage, felt I was nearing the end, and that was my aim for the day, to get it finished that day!

After ice skating, we had to go to the train station. The boys were going to stay with their dad for the weekend. D did a row of his knitting while we were waiting for the train and then another on the train. He said it was his own Knit In Public day as he was going to miss Saturday. Here he is knitting on the train.

And I was sat next to him doing mine. What a pair we make!

I managed to do a few more rows while I was waiting for the train to come home, but the train was too crowded to get my knitting out. Think I may have caused someone and injury if I had attempted to get the needles out.

As I was determined to get the blanket finished that night, I came home and carried on with my knitting. Hence no blog Friday.

I managed to finish the knitting and then completed sewing the borders and finishing all the ends. I'll post some pictures later on so you can see the finished article.

Saturday I was up early again so managed to get the housework done. It meant I could go out and enjoy the Knit in Public day with a clear conscience.

I had never been to Crystal Peaks before and had never met the group of people that were going to be at O'Briens cafe. I am quite naturally shy, so it was a great effort to go and find them, and I was so glad I did. They were a lovely group of people and I was made to feel so welcome. I think they were impressed I had come from the other side of Sheffield to meet them.

They have a regular knitting group on a Thursday and I may try and see if we can get there every other week (boys won't want to miss swimming). They said the boys would be more than welcome and it would be great for D to see other people knitting too. I am hoping that J may get interested as there is a lady who is left handed in the group. Hoping she might be willing to show him how to do it. I'll ask him when he comes home if he would like to try.

This group of ladies regularly knit for the Special Baby Care Unit. I thought it may be a nice idea for D to do something for them once he becomes more competant. Once I have finished the baby set I am doing now, I think I may knit a jacket to go to them and maybe another blanket like I have just done.

It was lovely to sit with them yesterday and enjoy four hours knitting with them. We did have some lovely comments from members of the public which made the event worthwhile.

I was very happy to start and complete the hat that goes with the baby set I am doing. All it needs now is to be sewn together. It reminded me how small newborn babies are!

As I have a quiet day before the boys come home, I'm hoping to make good progress on the jacket. I'll post pictures and an update of what today has brought later on.

To all those that took part yesterday, hope you had as much fun as I did. From some of the blogs I have read this morning, the day seemed to be a great success, and here's to the next year.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

More of the same

Well, I didn't get the time I was expecting as J had to go to the doctors this morning and I had to go out this afternoon.

I did succeed in knitting one side of the border on the baby blanket and about half of the second side. I suppose I can't complain.

I have managed to locate a KIP venue in Sheffield for Saturday. D is not very happy as he will not be here, and he would've liked to go along. Wonder what the reaction would've been? He'd probably get spoilt rotten. Never mind, there is always next year. I think I will see what the weather is going to be like, I have to go across the other side of Sheffield, not much fun on public transport in the rain.

I had to sort out some of D's clothes today, he's growing too fast. I found this jumper and waistcoat I knitted for him. I'm hoping I can find someone that can use them.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I need more time!

The last two days have been very busy with the boys. We have been out of the house before 10 both days and haven't come back until tea time, so I haven't been able to do much in the way of crafts.

Yesterday, I did a bit of knitting while we were at home ed group and managed to finish the central stocking stich centre section of the baby blanket.

Last night, and this evening, I have been able to spend just a short time knitting up one of the borders. I have been sewing it into place as I go so I know for certain that it will match the length.

I am hoping tomorrow I will be able to accomplish a little bit more. D wants to sit with me and do some knitting, so hopefully we will see some real progress.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Sea Bed

This is a cross stitch design from a magazine, and although it is quite intensive in the number of stitches, it was quite easy to do. It was done completely in whole cross stich and I really enjoyed the colours in the design.

The frame was a wooden frame that I recycled. I painted it yellow to compliment the design of the picture. So that the stiching didn't appear flat, I placed a layer of wadding behind the stithing. It just gives a much softer appearance.


I always envy those who are able to draw, or can put paintbrush to paper, and are able to produce a masterpiece.

Though I can't produce masterpieces, I do like painting and drawing and find it relaxing. I did these for the boys when they were very small and the childish designs were ideal for them at that age.

The top one was done using gouache and the bottom picture is done on glass using glass paints.

The pictures were both framed using the same pine moulding as the cards, so they all fitted together in the room.

Framed Greeting Cards

These are some greetings cards that I bought and framed for the boys bedroom when they were little. As you can probably tell, it had a sea theme.

This was a simple and cheap way to acquire pictures to display in their room.

Although they were all framed using the same moulding, the mounts were chosen to compliment the individual cards. The moulding is natural pine and was ideal to go with the seaside theme.

The moulding was lovely to use, easy to cut and fit together well. I really enjoyed using it.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Not what I had planned

Oh well, broken two of my rules for this year-work on one project at a time, and not buying anything new until I have used all the kits, fabric etc I have stored here.

I had been stitching this cross stitch Clarice Cliffe design which was going well, but my knitting fingers were getting itchy. It's all those interesting knitting blogs, makes you want to join in.

Last week I went to Hobbycraft and bought the pattern and yarn to knit a baby set. My excuse is that my sister in law is pregnant and the baby needs clothes!

I chose the Sirdar pattern number 1501 for a jacket, blanket and hat. So last night I succumbed and did this before I went to bed.

Today I have enjoyed some quiet times watching the tennis and grand prix to make a good start on the blanket. It is certainly a lot easier to knit watching television than it is to count and place half cross stitches!

Managed to get this much knitted today. Looking forward to doing some more tomorrow.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


As I was growing up I was very lucky in having a couple of lovely neighbours that were kind enough to spend time with me and pass on some of their handicraft knowledge. One, Auntie Jane, showed me the basics of crochet, and Miss Hepple, who showed me latch hook rugs. It was something I always fancied to try when I was older.

This is a latch hook rug kit that I bought to do for the boys bedroom. I found it a very relaxing experience to make and it was lovely to see it progressing on the frame.

It was supposed to be a rug, but I felt it was too nice to walk on, especially as the boys were quite small at the time, so I made it into a wall hanging.

The edges were sealed with binding which was machine stitched to the edge of the worked area, then hand stitch into place covering the edges of the canvas. The mitred corners meant that they were not too bulky. From the binding I made two hanging tags. It was then ready to hang.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Cross Stitch Card

There are many times that we need to send a card. Maybe its for a special occasion or just because you want to drop a friend a line. When I can, I like to send a card that I have made.

After the cross stitch and the back stitch was completed, I trimmed the excess fabric to fit into the card. As this was a lightweight project, I secured the stitching with double sided tape.

On top of the aida, I placed a square of wadding, also secured with double sided tape. This cushions the stitching and just makes for a more pleasing appearance.

Now the cross stitch card is all ready to be written up and posted out.


I made both the boys a beanbag when they were little. It was quite a simple project to do.

The fabric was folded, right sides together and machine stitched around the three open sides, leaving an opening to turn it out and to insert the beads. Once that was done, the opening was hand stitched closed.

The boys loved sitting and lying on them, but over the years the beanbags have become rather flat. The bean bag beads have become compressed and the beanbags had become rather uncomfortable. As the boys still enjoy sitting on the floor to watch television, I decided to give the bags some attention.

First of all, I machine washed the beanbag. I knew I wouldn't be able to do once it had been refilled and I wanted it to be fresh for them. Fortunately, the weather was with me and I was able to peg it out on the line to dry.

Next job was to open one of the seams far enough to be able to pour in the bean bag beads. I bought a bag of Habico Bean Bag Top Up from Hobbycraft. I wanted the opening in the seam to be large enough to fit the opening of the refill bag into the beanbag. These beads go everywhere.

It was definitely a two man job. Whilst I held the beanbag open and holding the refil bag in place, D held the top bag in place. It was very satisfying watching the beads emptying into the beanbag and not over the floor.

Once all the bean bag beads had emptied in, it was time to reseal the seam. I did this by handstitching the seam closed.

Once it was completed, it didn't take long to find a volunteer to test it for me. Only one more bag to do, but that will be a job for another day.