Thursday, 31 December 2009

Friday night sew in and a giveaway

If you nip over to, you will find details of a fantastic giveaway.  Heidi is also organising a monthly Friday night sew in, which seems to be a fantastic way to get projects completed.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Eventually-A Wall Hanging

It's taken a while, but I have finally finshed the autumn wall hanging.  The fabric that I used for the backing and binding came from the oddment bin at the fabric shop.  It cost me less than a pound and there is still some remaining, so I can't complain.

There was a little of the leaf fabric left over, so I made it into a bookmark.  I was lazy and used a shop bought tassle.

All  I have left from all these autumn projects are some leaves.  Now I have to decide how to use them, I think it might be some cards, but I'm not sure yet.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Notebook Cover

This is the first notebook cover I have made from crochet, and I might try and do a bigger one now I know it works.  Once the crocheted cover was complete, I added the button and then the felt strips inside to hold the book.

For a first attempt, I don't think it was bad.

What is even more satisfying, I have a sleeve that has the correct dimensions.  The child will be a gorilla no more!

Monday, 28 December 2009

For my Budding Artist

With the children away, it means I can make them things without having to pack up half way through so they can't see.  One of those items was a paintbrush holder for D.  He is beginning to get quite a collection of papers and paints, so I thought I would help him on his way with some different paintbrushes.  The ones I have here for the children aren't so specialised-I did have a couple of expensive ones I bought for myself, that they weren't allowed to touch.  You know what young children do to paintbrushes.  Now he is older and doing more painting, he is needing specialised brushes.

I thought this fabric would be just the thing, it reminds me of the pictures we used to get when they were younger.

I used some white fabric for the lining and some blue that I had to form the pockets.

The top folds over, then it is rolled up and tied to keep closed.

Now all he has to do is to remember to clean the brushes properly and put them away when he's finished with them.  Mmm, think that might take a little longer to accomplish.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Draughts no more

It seems that our British weather has made the news in some parts of the world.  It has certainly been cold over the last couple of weeks, so while we were out last week, the boys and I decided I would make some draught excluders.

I made three and no, they are not all for the one door!  The fattest one is to go by the front door, and the others are for internal doors.  I used fabric that has been in my stash for so long, I can't remember where it came from.  I either inherited it from my mum, or else it was an ebay bargain.

As per usual, once you think of a solution to a problem, the problem goes away - it is now warming up outside.  Never mind, we will be prepared for the next cold snap we have. 

I am now waiting to see now if the cats will decide these need to be killed, or if the boys are more likely to use them to hit each other rather than to keep out the cold.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Flower of the month-December

This is the second of the flower BOM's I have done, and I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it.  My favourite bits were the holly berries.  It was stitched throughout using three strands of DMC thread.

Leaves-#367-split stitch, straight stitch.
Narcissus- blanc- split stitch, straight stitch and #725-straight stitch for the stamens
Holly-#321-split stitch, padded satin stitch
Holly stems-#938-split stitch
Letters-#321-split stitch

I used split stitch for the outlines and lettering this time, as I prefered the look of it compared to the outline stitch I used last time.

I've also been working on J's jumper which is a lot easier when he is away.  I have now worked out why the sleeve seemed to be taking forever to get to the right number of increase stitches and was going to reach to J's knees. 

I was counting the rows according to the shape of the stitches, (knitters will understand what I mean).  However, as the knit stitch is knitted into the row below, what I was counting as one row, was actually two!  The 14 rows I was counting between increases, was actually 28!  Having now worked that out, I  now have a sleeve to unpick and reknit, but at least it will be in proportion to the rest of the body. The bonus to counting properly, the second sleeve is knitting up relatively quickly now.  Maybe I can catch up over the weekend.

Friday, 25 December 2009

A more relaxing holiday

Last year I was decorating over the Christmas holidays, but this year it is going to be more relaxing.  It's going to be a stitching and knitting holiday.  I've even rearranged the furniture yesterday so that my cutting table is down the warmest end of the room and I have a working triangle, or rather a working square. 

My settee is in the centre, to the left, my fabric chests, the cutting table to the right, and the sewing table opposite the settee.  It is definitely easier having everything to hand.  I'd better not get too used to it, I  will have to change it back for when the boys get home.

Once the furniture had been moved, I was ready for a couple of easy finishes, two cards.

The first I just mounted onto coloured card, then onto a plain white card.  By chance, I had card that matched the pink of the ears and cheeks, almost as if it had been planned!

The second card was mounted in an aperture card with wadding behind.  Again, it was more luck than judgement that the card matched the colour of the leaves on the flowers. 

Now to sort out something else to do.

Hope you all enjoy your day

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A big surprise

Going through my emails this morning, I came across one I didn't recognise with the subject, "you've won".  I nearly deleted the message until I realised there was something very vaguely familiar with the address, so I opened the mail.  So glad I did as I have won this giveaway at Retroknit Design.

I have the pdf pattern for Harlow and will receive the Madelinetosh Wren yarn in due course.  I look forward to knitting this pattern and receiving the yarn too.

So glad I wasn't too hasty in deleting the message, I might never have known.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Number 9

This is the last of the clown numbers, so for all those who don't like clowns, they won't be making another appearance until the wall hanging is complete.

I've just noticed in the photo, about half a dozen back stitches are missing!  I would never have noticed without the photo.  I suppose I had better go and rectify that before I do anything else.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Super Chunky Neck Sock

I had some of the yarn leftover from the montana tunic, so I thought a neck sock might be the perfect way to use it up.  I think next time, I will cast on less stitches, or use finer yarn.  I must say though, just what we need with our temperatures at the moment.  If I got the right colours, I could even do some for the boys, they are a lot easier to keep on than scarves.

My floss arrived yesterday, so both Sew and So and Royal Mail did their jobs perfectly.  I suppose I should finish the last clown today so he can join the others waiting patiently in the pile.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Number 8

Number 8 was stitched without a hitch, and as the number takes up so much room, it was a  quick one to do.  Number 9 is underway, but I've run out of some of the floss.  It has been ordered, and I am hoping it will arrive today, though, that will very much depend on Royal Mail.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Number 7

The second attempt on number 7 worked out perfectly and we have another cheerful chappy to add to the pile.

I went to the fabric shop today and found some fabric that would go to make up the wallhanging.  On the way home, I remembered I would need binding, so it looks like I will have to go shopping again. So much for being prepared!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Not as planned

The day started off well, the washing and ironing got done, the front room got cleaned and all by half nine.  Time to jump in the bath and then spend the day sewing.  Trouble was, the boys dinner was cancelled as the family they were suppposed to be visiting were ill.   My sewing time had to be changed to cooking time.  For some reason the boys don't appreciate not being fed.

I did manage to finish an ATC that was hanging around, and Clown Number 6 has joined the completed pile.

I might have had number 7 if I hadn't miscounted the number of stitches in the first row.  I had done the number and as I was starting to stitch the face and hands around it, I realised it was too small, by two stitches. It was easier and less time consuming to start again.

Let's hope today works out a little better.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Number 5

What with sleepless nights and catching up on housework after a busy week, I haven't had the time or inclination to get stuck into somthing substantial, so it is another clown.

Now number 5 is done,  there are four more to do.  My pile of prepared squares is rapidly diminishing.

The boys are out for dinner today, so I am hoping that, once the necessary chores are done, I might get to some of the projects on the finishing pile.  If another clown pops up, you know I was too tired and didn't get there.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Number 4 and a postcard received

As I expected, this week has been full of coming and going, and it's been a matter of grabbing the odd minute here and there to stitch.  These clowns have been ideal as they are very simple and quick to do.

Number 4 is now ready to join his friends and wait for the next five to be stitched.

In the post yesterday, I received this lovely postcard from Mary Lou in the USA.  This is part of the autumn exchange on Stitchin Fingers.  I know there is at least one more travelling it's way to me.

After a tiring day, there is nothing more that a girl likes than to have a bit of TLC.  However, this is the price you have to pay if you let DS2 massage body lotion into your legs and feet!

I'm not sure how much is left in  the bottle after that!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Number 2

Back on track now, with number 2 done. The fact that these are all different, certainly makes them easier to stitch and they are ideal for this week when we don't have much time. Another 6 to go.

J spoilt my knitting routine.  He decided he wasn't well, so didn't go out as he normally does last night.  It meant that progress on his sleeve is going to be even slower than normal.  Never mind, there is always clown to be stitched.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Clown Number 3

I know 2 should come after 1, but for some reason, I started stitching the 3 before I realised.  I think it was to do with the position on the page, or maybe, I just like to be awkward.

For all you clown haters, there are only another 7 to go.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Clown Number 1

Apologies to all my readers who don't like clowns, but here is the next in the series of clown numbers.

DS2 doesn't like clowns in real life, but he doesn't mind the pictures.  I hope I won't be giving some poor child nightmares by making this wall hanging!

Number 1 was quicker to do than the '0'.  These are great for stitching in spare minutes as it doesn't take long to see progress.  Only another 8 to go.

My ball of yarn has arrived, (great service, from  McA Direct), so I am hoping to get time between outings with the boys to get the jumper finished this week.  This week is going to be rather hectic, so I am not holding my breath.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Another Quick Finish

This Cross Stitch Crazy magazine is great for quick stitches,  This cat design makes for a lovely card.  DS1 said the cat was the wrong colour, our cats are black and white!  It doesn't seem to matter what colour cats are, they seem to like flower pots.  Throughout the summer, I had either one of our cats, or next doors, sleeping in our flower pots.  They seem to think they have been put there especially for them.

This cat has his very own pot, though  I think he might have to wait for the flowers to die of before he can get in there to sleep.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Sweet Smell of Lavender

I have been gathering the bits needed for this project for a couple of weeks.  It has been lovely to come in and smell the lavender every day and it was a delight to work with it yesterday.

I have made two different types of lavender bags.  The first is made from  lavender coloured chiffon.  I made a basic bag, filled with lavender and then tied with ribbon.

The second lot of bags are made from muslin.  I made drawstring bags using ribbon for tying.  Before filling with lavender, I stamped the bags with a lavender stamp.

These would make lovely gifts, even DS2 has tried walking off with one to put in his bedroom.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Number Clowns

In between being busy with the boys and dealing with a couple of domestic disasters, I have managed to do a little sewing and knitting.

I finished the front and the sleeve on a girl's jumper and am just waiting delivery of another ball of yarn to get the second sleeve finished.  The first sleeve on J's jumper is still growing, though I still haven't completed all the increase rows.

I have also started a larger project from the Cross Stitch Crazy magazine.  This is a series of number clowns.

This is the first one, and the numbers go up to 9.  I am thinking of making it into a wall hanging for a chid's bedroom.  I am now on the lookout for some suitable fabric.  This project combines the joy of quick finishes with that of  doing a larger project.

 If I can find the fabric, I think this will be something to finish when the boys are away.  I have almost two weeks of peace and quiet to fill and I think this will do nicely.

Monday, 30 November 2009

A couple more quick stitches

It's been fun to be doing some quick stitches and finishes for a change.  The almost instant gratification is wonderful.  Both these designs have come out of the August 2000  issue of Cross Stitch Crazy.

The first was this little hedgehog.  Mrs Tiggywinkle was always one of my favourite Beatrix Potter characters, so I had to do this one.  She is mounted in a card I got free in a magazine.  I have used wadding under the aperture to give a bit of padding. 

The next one was the free cover gift, which I still had after 10 years.  This is the first notebook finish I have done.

Both of these were stitched using DMC threads.  I did substitute the colours for the hedgehog's hat to use colours I already had.

I am hoping that the knitting needles will get an airing today, and that I can finish at least one of the jumpers I have on the go.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Circular Needle Holder

When I made the first of the needle rolls, someone asked if it was possible to make one for circular needles.  The thinking cap has been on and this is the result.  Once the needles are in and the flap is down, it rolls up like the previous holders.

There are three layers for the needles to go in, so this one will hold a large number of needles.  I think, if I did another one, I would do a smaller version, and maybe slightly larger compartments to make it easier to organise the flexible part of the needles.  Having done the first one,  the second should be easier.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Homage to the Frog

Seeing as the frogs seemed determined to stay the other night, I thought I would stitch this to keep them company.  Maybe if they knew a frog was already in residence, they would stay away.

This was a quick fun stitch and makes a lovely card.  The design came from the August 2000 copy of Cross Stitch Crazy.  I have already lined up another quick stitch from the magazine for another card.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Flower of the Month-November

On the Yahoo Hand Embroidery group, they pointed us in the direction of Flower of the month blocks for October, November and December.  I went and checked out the site and thought I would have a go at doing the whole quilt.  I missed October, think I blinked and the month had gone, so I decided to do November.

I stiched this on some fine calico.  It feels lovely to stitch on, so I went and bought enough to do the twelve blocks.  I used 3 strands of DMC threads/ (722,727,3345,367)  Stitches used-outline stitch, split stitch, straight stitch, back stitch, lazy daisy, and fly stitch.

I haven't done any hand embroidery for ages, and it shows. I did enjoy stitching this and with another 11 blocks to do, it should get better.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


The frogs didn't disappear completely, but despite them visiting, I have finished the stitching on 'An Important Flower'.

Despite the delays, it is  finished on time as the last chart was released this month.  Now, I hadn't expected that!  I must say thank you to the ladies at Alexandra Adelaide Needleworks for releasing this design.  It has been a pleasure to stitch this over the year.

It will now go in the finishing pile for a little while.  Hopefully  for not too long as one of my goals over the next year will be to get some of the finished stitching into frames or made into other useful items.  I have a pile that has grown over a period of maybe 10 years or more that need attention.  I'd better get cracking.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Another chart done

Despite having to take a section out and restitch,  I did get to the end of the next chart.

The design has narrowed right down now, so I am hoping that the next section will be quicker to stitch.  Of course it would help if I didn't  miscount and start stitching in the wrong place.

I have also been going through some of the saved projects on the computer and am in the process of getting supplies for them.  Maybe if I get them done I can delete some of these extra files.  I probably won't get to them all in the next week or so, but as the boys are away for 10 days next month, I might as well be prepared and have plenty to keep me occupied.  I am not going to be spending the month decorating this year, this year will be more relaxing, I hope.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Last two postcards

I got there in the end!  I finally got the last two postcards backed and ready to go.

There is enough of the original collage left to make into a wallhanging.  I've made a start, but I need to buy some thread to match the backing fabric.  Never seem to have the right one here, despite the fact that I've started buying thread at the same time as fabric to make sure.  This one must have slipped through.  That means I can't do any more with it until after Wednesday.  That gives me time to decide which way I want to hang it!

I did do some more on "An Important Flower", but it turned out to be one of those nights.  I ended up taking out as much as I put in.  On one section, I was out by one row!  Never mind, perseverance is the key.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Using Offcuts

I have a small pile of offcuts from the crochet hook and knitting rolls.  They have been waiting patiently on the shelf waiting for me to do something with them.  I have managed to use two of them so far.

The first I have made into a pen/pencil holder. It folds over and is closed using velcro, holding up to 12 pens.

The next one was inspired by Rudee. All knitters tend to acquire lots of  cable and double pointed needles and stitch holders.  They are always the last thing your hand reaches when you are trying to find them.

This holder will hold narrow stitch holders and cable needles on one side and double pointed needles up to 8" on the other side.  It certainly saves scrabbling in the bottom of the knitting bag for them.  I couldn't find my other double pointed needles to take the photo, which just goes to prove the point.

I have a few other offcuts left.  Some are quite small, so it might take a little imagination to think of something useful to make them into.  A little more thinking time is required,  and, oh yes, some time to do it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The post just keeps coming

This time, I have a postcard and an ATC, both from swaps on Stitchin Fingers.

The postcard is from Marja and I love the background colours and the felt leaves.

The ATC is from Pauline, it is wonderful.  It looks as if she has used a leaf skeleton and then stitched veins ove the top.  It is lovely and I am grateful to both ladies.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

September's Section Complete

Nice to know I am only a little behind, lol, but progress is progress!  This is the next section complete and the design gets narrower as we go on now.   I have already made a start on October's charts and then there is only Novembers to do.  It feels exciting to see the end in sight.

I've also done a bit more on J's jumper.  The neverending black jumper now has a front to go with the back, and a cuff for the first sleeve is almost complete too.  I am hoping that I'll get to work on this a bit more over the weekend as the boys are away.

Friday, 20 November 2009

More Lovely Post

I had two lovely cards arrive in the post, one was totally unexpected.

The first was this fabric postcard from Robbie.  It is fascinating and there are so many unusual elements to the card, I really wanted to be able to speak to her to find out how it was done.  Fortunately, I have found her blog and could read all about the process.  Thanks Robbie I keep going back and looking at it some more.

The other card was a complete surprise from Sue.  I love the way she has used fabric to cover the card and use it for the background of her stitching.  Thank you for the lovely surprise Sue.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

In the flow

I seem to be in the flow with this one now and each section seems to be getting done quite quickly.  I only have one more chart printed off, so I must get to the library to get the next section or else this will come to a standstill again.

At the moment, it makes a good lap cover when it is spread out, but there is quite an art to keeping all that fabric out of the way while stitching.  I can't wait to see how big the finished design will be.