Saturday, 28 February 2009

Is this classed as colour?

The boys had ice skating in the morning, so I was going to stitch the "D" on the serviette. I took my needle and my floss and began to settle myself to begin stitching when I realised that I had forgotten a very important piece of equipment-scissors! Now I don't mind biting through one strand of cotton, but I didn't think trying to do it through six strands of DMC was a good idea.

This meant I had to settle for my book, rather frustrating as the two hours they were skating would have been more than enough time to complete the stitching. By the time we got home, the urge for embroidery had gone, so I found something to knit.

This is some of the yarn I bought reduced last year (£3.99 for 10 balls) and will be knitted into a summer top. I thought the sunny weather needed a bit of encouragement, and even if we don't get summer, no harm in dreaming.

The yarn is Sirdar Fresco and as you can see it has bobbley bits along the yarn. These feel like velvet and once knit up, it feels very soft.

This is a great relaxing knit, all in stocking stitch, so perfect for relaxing in the evening.

I had better get "D" stitched today or else DS2 will think I don't love him.

Friday, 27 February 2009

I love my postman

It has been a good post week for me this week, it has been lovely. I received the above pin keep from Lindsay for the Friendship Exchange on Exchange Heaven. It is beautiful, and I love it.

She also included this pattern. There are two patterns to stitch, so that will keep me out of mischief.

I even had time to sew together J's jumper. I did persuade him not to wear to bed, but it is back on today. I have surprised myself and said I'd do him another black jumper. I think it will be something with fisherman's rib, something uncomplicated.
It won't be my next project, D has already picked out the yarn he wants for his next jumper. I think I need a bit more colour before I go back to black.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

A day of letters

J got his way, and his serviette now has his initial embroidered in black. We are not going to mistake who this one belongs to, even if I do an initial on mine. Mine definitely won't be black!

I stitched this using satin stitch in two strands of DMC 310 then outlined in split stitch. I now have to do a D in red.

After the black letter, I went for a bit of colour.

Each letter of the alphabet is stitched in a different colour DMC thread. I just worked my way through my box. This will be made into a pin cushion. I will have to look through my fabric trunk and find something suitable.

The boys have swimming today, and I am well prepared this time. I have J's jumper to finish and sew together and a huge book to finish. As I am only on chapter 9, it should keep me going for as long as they want to be swimming.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Lovely Post and a Finsh

I received this in the post yesterday from Bridget in Austrailia ( She has several ATC's on offer to swap and I chose two of my favourites.
I love these ATC's and spent ages admiring the tatting on them yesterday. They are so delicate and small, my admiration for anyone that does tatting has risen considerably. DS2 was so taken with them, he has asked if he can do his own ATC to send to her. I have to sort him out with some fabric and threads later and see what he comes up with.
I had a lovely afternoon stitching and I just had to stay up late and finish it. I couldn't leave half a fish and a star fish until today.

The shells were stitched using encroaching satin stitch and some of the threads have been blended to create shading. The satin stitch fish used the same technique across their backs.
This was an absolute joy to stitch. The shell in the centre was my favourite. The transfer for this was so clear, I am going to see if I can get a second image from it, and use part of the design for something else.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

So close....

.....yet so far! I sewed the shoulder together and knit the collar, then ran out of wool halfway along the cast off row. This is how much further I had to go. Never mind, that's life. There is going to be plenty of wool for sewing up and repairing a pair of gloves.
The abrupt ending of the jumper meant I had plenty of time to start stitching something else. I asked the boys what colours they wanted for their initials. The first response was black and brown, brown because it's like chocolate. There has been progress since, the brown is now red. I am still working on the black.
It seemed as if the sea picture would probably be a bit more satisfying to stitch, the colours are definitely more interesting. I am doing the waves at the moment. The only stitch used is satin stitch.

This is the first time I have used Madeira threads and I really am enjoying it. They seem to have a silkier finish to DMC. I can't wait to get the back to this today.

Monday, 23 February 2009

I started

I did start my sea embroidery-I got as far as transferring the pattern to the fabric! It's on the frame ready for the stitching to start. I also transferred some initials to serviettes to embroider for the boys. They got very excited just seeing the transfer. I will let them chose the colours they want and will satin stitch the initials for them.

I have been wanting to do something on these serviettes for about four months, so quite pleased that I am getting closer to getting them done. I have two others serviettes waiting to be embroidered. I need to choose the designs for them.

I decided I would carry on with J's jumper as I was so close to finishing. I have finished knitting the sleeve, so today I will sew it together and start on the neck. I am getting close to the end of the wool, so I may be forced to stop and wait until Wednesday. It will be such a shame to have to buy a 100g ball for such a small bit of knitting.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Trellis and Spiral Trellis Stitch

I liked the postman yesterday. He brought me the threads I had ordered for a project I have planned to do. It was one for this month, but as it is so late in the month that the threads have arrived, it may slip into next month. These are for a sea themed satin stitch picture which will be used to decorate a bag. I can't wait to get started.
Yesterday, I finally took the plunge and started having a go at this month stitch for Sharon B's stitch explorer. It is trellis and spiral trellis which I have never tried before. It looked really difficult just looking at the examples, but as always, the reality is not always as bad.
Saying that, I am not that happy with the flat trellis stitch, but I am beginning to have fun with the raised stitches.
The white button I attached and them worked the trellis stitch using Paterna Persian tapestry wool around it until it was almost all enclosed. The purple patterned button was attached in the middle of a completed "chimney" of trellis stitch. I used anchor tapestry wool for this one.
The triangle was worked using a bouble sort of thread, and as I decreased the stitches quite quickly it is quite flat. I imagine in theory, you should be able to stitch a pyramid.
The effect of the circles seems to change with the size. I really love the little one, it is quite like a ball. Both of these were stitched in anchor tapestry wool.
I am going to work on this some more next week. I want to get some other types of thread to use and some beads. I'm not going to be able to get these before Friday, so I will have to concentrate on something else in the meantime.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

First Biscornu

I may not have got the full day I was hoping for, but I had enough time to be able to complete my first ever biscornu. The cross stitching was the easy bit. Once that was done, I found some fabric from my stash as a backing and attached it to the aida with back stitch. This also gave me the border for joining the two halves together.

It was quite fiddly to start with, but I soon got the hang of it. It was strange seeing the shape appear the further around I got.

After stuffing and closing up, I found some matching buttons in my tin and attached them. Next time, if there is one, I will use a longer needle to do this.

It is by no means perfect, but for a first attempt, I am pleased with it. I used the finishing instructions found here . They were so clear and well illustrated.

Once this was done, I even managed to complete the first sleeve on J's jumper. I wonder if I can do the other sleeve and get this one finished before the end of the month. Shame February is such a short month!

Friday, 20 February 2009

A first for me

On the Yahoo group, Stitchersheaven, a few of us are having go at making biscornus. I have admired so many made by Sue ( over the last few months, I had to give it a go.

I printed of a free pattern from and started it yesterday after tea.

I have used some pale blue 14count aida I had in my stash and using Anchor 873. I am going to do the same design front and back. I will hopefully stitch the second side today and make it up. It will be interesting to see if it ends up looking as it should.
I was hoping to have a full day crafting today, but there is a small matter of ironing and baking to be tackled first. D has also requested a haircut. I think I had better do that too before he can't see through the mane.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

TAST-Basque Stitch

Many thanks for all the messages about my eyes. I am resting them, honestly, cough, cough. At least, I am doing less than I usually do, but I cannot stop completely.
This was the postcard I had started the day before. I have pieced this as a crazy quilted piece, hand stitching the lace to one of the seams. I then added the button and did basque stitch all around. I would have taken some close ups, but the battery in my camera died.
The left seam, I stitch two rows of basque stitch back to back. To me, close up, it looks a bit like fern. The right seam is a single row, with beads added to the fixing stitch.

I then hand stitched the back to the front to make into a postcard. I am finding it very relaxing doing the postcards and ATC's completely by hand, but I think I may have to invest in a thimble.

I did do a bit of knitting, but only until the increase rows on the sleeve were completed, then I took my eyes to bed early.

I have ordered the threads I need for a satin stitch piece I want to do. This will be stitched onto a panel to decorate the front of a bag. Also, today I purchased another ball of yarn to carry on with my blanket blocks. My list of things to do just never seems to get any shorter.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

TAST-Satin Stitch

Although the day didn't go exactly to plan, I did get to stitch and knit most of the day. This was despite the fact that I ended up at the doctors. I have a stye in one eye and a meibomian cyst in the other. So now I am having antibiotic drops in both eyes. The irritation meant that, by the end of the day, my eyes were feeling rather tired, so it was an early end to crafting.

Before that I had quite a good, productive time. The first thing I made was this ATC. The cloud pattern on the fabric was perfect for a kite.

The kite was stitched using satin stitch with two strands of DMC stranded cotton, then outlined using split stitch. The tail is six strands of DMC which is then fixed at the four point with a bow using the same stranded cotton used for the kite.

The ATC is given some stability by having some stiff interfacing between the front and backing which were stitch together with a tiny over stitch.

This was quite a fun piece to do and was a lovely contrast to the grey skies we had yesterday.

After this, I put together my exchange piece, but photos for that will have to wait until it has arrived at it's new home.

I managed to get a start on another fabric postcard before going to the doctor. This is using another stitch for TAST, and hopefully I can show you the results tomorrow. I have to take D for his Spanish lesson first.

J now has about a quarter of a sleeve for his jumper. I am 10 stitches short from the total required, so it shouldn't be too long before the increase rows are complete.

I am now hoping to have Friday as a full day for crafting. There are no activities for the children, and as J is under the weather, they don't want me to find anything for them to do. Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A home required

Yesterday definitely didn't go to plan. By the time the ironing was done, paperwork sorted and filed, lost letter found, children fed and my bath had, it was already mid afternoon. So much for a full stitching day! By that time, I felt so fatigued due to a week of bad nights, it was very difficult to build up any enthusiasm to do anything.
I ended up rethinking my food and drink exchange piece. I just wasn't happy with my first choice and really couldn't build up any desire to stitch on it. However, now I have chosen something else, the cross stitch is complete, the back stitch done and it is waiting for making up. I will do this during the day today. There are a few other bits to get together for this, but I have a few weeks to do that.

I am now hoping that today will be my full stitching day. I have a couple of projects in mind and it is looking good so far.

As I was searching through paperwork, I found these.
When the boys were smaller, I would use leftover wool from knitting jumpers to make baby and toddler items. These never found a new home, they got put away and forgotten as everyone I knew that was expecting, ended up having girls.If anyone would like to give these a home, I will finish sewing in the ends and will happily send them to you. They can be for your own child, or as a gift for someone you know. I will be happy knowing someone is using them.

I can't remember the size, but I think it is upwards of 3 months.

If you would like them, or know someone that would, please leave me a message. If there are more than one person interested, I will put all the names into a hat and get the boys to draw a name on Saturday.

If you know a little girl, keep watching this space. I have something that might interest you coming up in a couple of days.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Wolhemel blanket block 9 and Austrailian Aid

I know we have all been shocked at what has happened in Australia, but as always, it has given people an opportunity to show their generosity. Lorraine over at is collecting bits and pieces to pass on to those that have lost everything. I am sure she will be grateful for any help anyone can provide.

Yesterday, I had a search through and have put together a parcel to send. There are knitting needles and stitch holders for knitters, a tapestry frame, a couple of cushion squares and fat quarters for quilters, some cross stitch kits, and some floss and tapestry wools. I will get them into the post later in the week and hopefully they will be a start to building up someones stash. At least it will give someone a crafting opportunity. I did block nine yesterday afternoon. These blocks of stitches have a wrap around stitch which adds another dimension to the stocking stitch.
The next block has cables on it, so I have to buy some more yarn.
On stitchersheaven yahoo group, there is bingo from time to time. As winner of the last one, it is my pleasure to organise this one. Yesterday I was thinking of different ways of finishing stitching for my list of words. I now have to remember to post it and then draw the words every day. Now that will be a challenge.
I was hoping that today would be a full day of stitching. The schools are on half term, so the boys and I usually have a relaxing week. However, an important letter has gone walk about, so my precious stitching time is going to be used sorting paperwork. Not much fun, methinks.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Wolhemel balnket block 7

I finally got the back finished last night for J's jumper, and have cast on for the first sleeve. If the back is anything to go by, this will take some time.

Whilst watching the rugby, I knit the seventh blanket block. This has some lovely bobbles set within a lacy pattern, though this is not so clear from the photo. I haven't knit anything with bobbles for over twenty years. I did myself a large, chunky cable cardigan that had lots of bobbles in the pattern. I think I was all bobbled out by the finish. The sleeves had a central pattern, and the bobbles were quite prominent. My mum always said it was like a pork pie crust! It didn't put me of wearing it though, the cardigan was lovely and warm.

I've been baking this morning, and can't quite make up my mind what to do this afternoon. So many choices.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

More Cards

I had some more fun yesterday making cards. The sequins and stars were the most fun to stick down, they seemed to prefer my fingers to the cards. I think they will be turning up for a few days as they seemed to have a mind of their own.

J had a good idea. He said leave them up on the mantelpiece and tell everyone they were all the valentines cards I received. Kids!

I was very kind, and let D make one too. We had a laugh afterwards thinking how the champagne could flow in the direction he had made it go. His answer was that it was a very pressurised bottle.

I knitted and knitted last night, but I still didn't get to finish the back of J's jumper. I have about 3 more inches to go. I want to get it finished, but then I have the joy of sleeves.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Time to fill

I always take something with me to do when I take the boys to their different activities. I hate sitting and doing nothing, as you may have realised by now. Yesterday, was swimming and I knew there would beup to three hours to fill.

To keep busy yesterday, I took my book and the fabric postcards to stitch together. Trouble was, I finished my book, stitched the postcards and still had an hour to spare. It was all I could do, not to drag the boys from the pool to come home. I even ran out of information leaflets to read.With this card, I just slip stitched the back and front together with stiff interfacing in the centre to add a bit of weight. This is my favourite way of finishing my cards.

I finished this one a little differently. As the picture had been quilted, I decided to finish it like a quilt. I'm not sure if I will do this again, I'm in two minds about it, but that is the joy of these postcards, great for experimenting.

I have also managed to do some knitting on J's jumper. The back is almost half done, I'm going to try and finish the back by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


What with Spanish and swimming lessons yesterday, I think I managed a total of six rows of knitting on J's jumper. By the time we got home and dinner and baths were sorted, the battle with the elements got the better of me. I felt exhausted and Tugger took advantage, and draped himself around my neck. I was quite happy to give him a bit of attention.
I have got two fabric postcards prepared to stitch the fronts and backs together. This is using the TAST stitches I did of the sheep and the cat. I may get to stitch them together when the boys are swimming today.

When I was looking for something else at the weekend, I found some card making kits I had bought a couple of years ago. I decided I would have a bit of fun by putting some together.
The labels on the bottom, I will stamp with the relevant sentiments when I know what the cards will be used for. These were quite simple to do and fun. I have another set of five to make using hearts and champagne bottles.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Wolhemel balnket block 8

I have jumped a block again, as I wanted to make sure I had enough of this yarn to complete a block. If needed, I could have gone and got another ball today, but it wasn't necessary. There also looks to be enough for another block.

I knitted this using James C Brett Firenze. It is a cotton blend yarn and I love the colours. Quite by coincidence, it is made up using 3 of the other greens I have used which should tie it in very nicely. The other good thing was that I got this ball in the sale.

I also managed to knit some more of J's jumper, though there is still a very long way to reach the top.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Alla Turca Part Two

Last week, on the Yahoo Group Stitchersheaven, the second part of the Alla Turca SAL was released. I had a lovely time yesterday stitching and managed to complete the whole of the second part before I went to bed. It's going to seem a long time before part 3 will be released.

The snow here, shows no sign of disappearing. Every time it begins to melt, we get more. The problem is, it is usually falling on ice. Fortunately, we don't have to go anywhere today, so hopefully the pavements will have time to improve by tomorrow.

I think it will be a perfect day for staying indoors and knitting, or stitching. It's a toss up between another blanket block or working on my exchange piece. We'll see what takes my fancy once I have made my bread.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Wolhemel blanket block 5

This is blanket block five using a cluster stitch. I've never done this stitch before and looks so more complicated than it is in practise. It looks like sheaves of wheat or corn to me.

I like the colour of this yarn too, not a solid colour but you see the flecks of the blue and yellow that make up the green. I would love to do one of the boys a jumper in this colour.

I also managed to complete the front on J's jumper, but a really bad headache prevented me from doing more than casting on for the back.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Mackintosh Solo

I got my relaxing afternoon and continued with the long stitch Mackintosh. I managed to get it finished just after dinner. This was a really relaxing project to stitch and I just love the colours.

It was stitched on 22 count canvas using Paterna Persian stranded wool. This is one that definitely will have to be framed.

Once I had completed this, I continued with J's jumper. The front is now about 4cms short of the neck shaping. Hopefully, the front will be completed by tonight.

The boys are out for the day, I'm not sure yet what I am going to do. I think it may be another block for the Wolhemel blanket, but I am definitely going to make the best of the peace and quiet.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Friendship Exchange

My exchange partner has now received this, so you can now see what I stitched.

I printed the chart from and stitched it on Aida using DMC stranded cotton.
I backed it with some pink polycotton and put wadding in the centre to give it a bit of body and made a little hanger.

I am pleased to say the recipient was very happy with it, so I am too.
I was very disappointed this morning to get up and discover the elves hadn't been and cleaned up overnight. This has meant that I will just have to do the housework myself. I am hoping then to be able to have a quiet afternoon stitching whilst watching Six Nations Rugby.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

I hate black

At least, I hate knitting using black yarn! The photo shows up the stitches a lot more than they do in real life.
Why am I doing it? Because it is what J has wanted for a very long time. To make matters worse, he wants me to do the jumper a size bigger so he can grow into it. This means I am knitting a jumper for my son, that would fit me! Where has all that time gone, only seems five minutes when he was a baby?
This jumper is the same pattern as the one I have just completed for D, a perfect pattern for black. The yarn is the same too, apart from the colour, so is lovely and soft.
I also bought a couple of balls of wool for my blanket blocks, so I can continue with those, as long as I stop finding other things to do.
Talking of which, yesterday when I was looking for yarn to do my embroidery, I came across this long stitch kit, and I just had to start it last night.
It is a Derwentwater Designs kit called Mackintosh Solo. I love the style and delicate colours used.
The good thing is, it shouldn't take too long to stitch and that's one thing less in my stash waiting to be stitched.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

TAST-Woven and Whipped wheel

I have seen several examples of these stitches in other pieces work and had no idea how they worked. It was so nice to discover the secrets today, and to find it wasn't as difficult as it looked.
I really enjoyed playing with this stitch and am delighted that I can now do ribbon roses.
The fabric used was from a Stef Francis experimental pack that I bought many years ago. I never really know what to do with it. Nice to know I have progress over the last few years.
Threads used were stranded cotton, anchor tapestry wool, ribbon, jute. I used a variety of buttons and a ring thing. That is the only way to describe it as I have no idea what it is. It was in a tin of buttons I acquired.
Last night, I was sorting threads to do another exchange piece. The theme this time is food and drink. Whilst I was looking for the bobbins, I came across this piece.
It was started by my mum when she was very ill. It has been waiting to be finished for almost ten years. It didn't take long to stitch last night. I think I will find a way to finish it and one of the boys can have it. It will be something to remember their nan by.

Wolhemel Blanket block 6

No you haven't missed one, I went to block 6 as block 5 uses quite a bit of yarn. I wouldn't have had enough here to finish the block.

I love block 6 and think I may use it, at a later date, to do a baby blanket. Alternating blank blocks with the cats would be lovely. Thinking about it, I know just who to make it for!

I know have to find some more yarn to carry on with these blocks. Hopefully, if the snow clears and the buses are running, I might actually be able to get some tomorrow.

Monday, 2 February 2009

TAST-Running Stitch

A lovely simple stitch this time for TAST-running stitch.

I did a double row of running stitch around the square in pale green Anchor Perle, then laced it with white.

I then used running stitch to quilt the block. The three dimensional look doesn't really show up in the photo, but I like the way the picture seems to come to life after quilting.

The mouse button was added to give the cat something to chase.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

First finish for February

I can't believe January is over. It seems to have flown by. I have been able to do most of the things I wanted to achieve during the month and others besides. I didn't do all the TAST stitches I had planned, but that should change now I have rethought how I am going to use the stitches. I had lost the inspiration to do the bigger blocks. I have also given the Lakeland needlepoint a rest until later in the year. It is not inspiring me at all. I am hoping that it will be much easier and more enjoyable to stitch in the summer.

My to do list for February is as follows:
clear porch
D's jumper
fabric postcards
Stitch Explore
Alla Turca Part 2
Food and Drink Exchange
Satin Stitch Picture
Wolhemel blanket blocks x 4

The first job on the list was done yesterday, a day early. J demanded that we get it done, so who was I to argue when the hired help was so eager. We had to clear out a lot of stuff belonging to the landlord. Some went up into the loft we tidied last month, and some went into the garage. As we had removed his things, my tools have come in. This might mean that I am closer to doing my picture framing as I won't have to go hunting for all the equipment. I also finished D's jumper. All the knitting was completed yesterday and the morning was spent stitching it all together. It looks and feels really snugly. I really like the collar on this sweater. It is a deep rib that is folded in and slip stitched into place. It always seems to look so much more cosier and gives a much better finish. I thing I will be doing another one of these for J, but in black. He has been asking for a black jumper for such a long time.

I think the rest of the afternoon will be doing some embroidery. I have another TAST stitch calling.