Monday, 30 March 2009

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

I do not know where the last two days have gone, but they have flown by. It's 8.20pm and I still haven't got to sit down and do what I wanted to do today.

Yesterday, I got finally got jam made using the recipe from Zetor ( and it definitely got the thumbs up from DS2.

I managed to finish stitching the second side of one of the exchange biscornus and the the sewing machine finally made an appearance. I put together the fabric for six more catnip pouches. Four are ready to be stitched together, but I need some more catnip to complete the others.

I had a visit from a neighbour yesterday who, not only went away with an armful of goodies, has commissioned some other projects. When she left I was still a bit shell shocked. I now have to go and see if I can source some of the fabric etc that I will need.

On the knitting front, all the knitting on the jacket is complete and the first of the bootees has been started. I am hoping I will still get a chance to do some more on this tonight.

I am participating in a biscornu exchange on stitchin fingers and I received mine from Annie today and I love it. Cats are definitely the right subject for me. The words say: I'm only a cat
We'll get along fine
As long as you know
I'm not yours, you're mine

Thank you Annie, I love it

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Slow and Steady

I was hoping to get the sewing machine out today, but it didn't happen. I did quite a bit of baking this morning, so the sewing machine will have to wait until tomorrow. In spite of that, today has been fairly productive.

I have finally finished my first pin keep, but I can't show you until it has reached Ireland. Gaynor and I decided we would be each other's guinea pig for our first pin keeps. Gaynor's arrived yesterday and was here waiting for me when we came home.It is beautiful and I now have it up on display. I love the butterfly embellishment.

The next project was some more decoupage cards. This time, I used square white cards with a linen texture.
I made each of these cards differently, the pattern being placed at a different angle on each one.

It wasn't until I was looking back at the photos that the patterns really stood out to me.

This was the last of the sunrise pictures I had to use.
After the cards, I did some more cross stitching on the LK friendship piece. I'll post a picture of the progress tomorrow.
I managed to get all the buttons attached to the completed cardigans, so that was another good job done. I should manage to complete the hood on the jacket tonight. I am now onto the decrease rows so they are getting quicker to knit.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Food and Drink Exchange

My exchange partner has now received her gift.The design was from an old Jane Greenoff magazine, though there is a slight modification. I have added a book between the storage jars.

Once the stitching was completed, I hand stitched the cross stitch to some fabric. This was then used to cover a note book.

So the inside covers were neat and tidy, I glued in some felt.

Here is the finished book. I am happy to say, as my partner enjoys cooking, it was very appropriate. It was also nice for me to be able to use my stitching in a different way.
I have finally begun to work on my biscornus. I at last remembered to bring the patterns back from the library and I have got one side complete. Progress at last.
When I got home today, I received a lovely pin keep from Gaynor. I will show you all tomorrow. I am off to sew on some buttons and hopefully to complete a baby hood.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


So much for finishing the sleeve and starting the hood! I had almost knitted to the last increase on the sleeve when I realised I had made a mistake after the first pattern, so it all had to come out again. Before going to bed, I did reknit back up to the last increase, so maybe tonight I can get to where I wanted to be last night.

At least the stitching earlier in the day was a little more successful. The clematis is creeping across slowly. I think the one outside is growing quicker, though there are no flowers on that yet. I am hoping that the shopping will be done quickly today, and if I come away from the library with my copies, I should be able to start stitching biscornus for my swaps.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Friendship and honeysuckle

Can you believe I didn't stitch or knit for a whole day! Monday, the boys had a woodland session and I spent the two hours catching up with one of the mum's. By the time we got home, I felt too tired, physically and mentally, to do anything. The evening was spent having a cuddle on the settee with DS2.

I did make up for it yesterday. This is the Lizzie Kate design I started stitching at the weekend. This came to a grinding halt as I have to get yet more DMC stranded cotton. At the moment, it doesn't seem to matter how many I have, I don't have the one's I need.

At least it will be a quick finish once I get the threads, I just have to do the last flower and the pot.

Once that project had come to a standstill, the honeysuckle cushion came back out for a little airing. One flower head is now complete. It looks as if this one may take some time to complete as I am doing it between stitching for other commitments.
The hooded baby jacket is coming along nicely. The back and fronts are complete and I have one sleeve done, with the second started. I am hoping to get to the hood tonight.

No one is more surprised than me, but someone has bought one of the cards I made and two of the catnip pouches are on their way to the US. I am amazed and now I am going to be making some more on Saturday, I'll just have to keep Tugger away from them.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Cat Treats

Yesterday was the day for a fun project, time to make some treats for the cats. I made these pouches using some of the cat fabric I had remaining. Inside is a smaller pouch filled with catnip. The pouches were then stuffed and some jingly bells were put in before closing up the final seam. As you can imagine, I was very popular as I was spooning in the catnip.
This was the result. I do like making people happy!
I have finally finished the pin keep and have assembled it. I just have to find some pins to attach the ribbon. This is the first one I have made and lessons, as always, have been learned. Next time, I will used some thicker cardboard in the centre, but all in all, so far, I am happy with it. Onto the next one.
On the knitting front, I finished the back to the baby jacket. I started one of the fronts, but then ended up going to bed really early. For some reason, I felt really tired. Maybe waking up really early in the morning has something to do with it.
I have started stitching a Lizzie Kate design which I think I will make into another pin keep. This should keep me out of mischief today.

Friday, 20 March 2009

I was a good girl

I was very good this morning and made my bread, cakes, jelly in the shape of rabbits and pudding for two days. Tea with the girls went smoothly and the boys have now disappeared across the road for the night, so all is quiet here.

Once all the baking had been done, I had a lovely hour or so stitching on the pin keep. I haven't got much more to do, but can't show you until after it goes to it's new home. I am really pleased with the way it is stitching up.

The purple cardigan was completed last night, so I tonight I have started a baby jacket and bootees. I am using a pale blue DK yarn which I bought half price on Wednesday. This was a coaster which I completed a couple of weeks ago. It was a freebie gift from an old cross stitch magazine. I found it one day when I was sorting out one of the storage units.
I am going to make the most of my quiet evening now, in the company of a glass of wine and my knitting needles.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

More cards

After being so tired yesterday and not feeling as if I could do much, I was itching to start making some cards today. They won over making the bread, so tomorrow, I hope I wake up with my baking head on. We have the girls from across the road coming for tea, so I need to bake for them. Nothing worse than hungry children.

The first card I did was this little teddy bear with his balloon and pressie. I just need to find an envelope to put him in. Then it was back to the decoupage cards.
They are both sun views, one using an aperture card as a window, and the other just a plain card and totally 3-D.

The next two are called pyramid cards. All the layers line up with the one below, so the picture builds up in the centre, unlike the other two which are just smaller repeats of the picture below.

Foxgloves are one of my favourite flowers, which is why I bought them.

The boys thought they were cool. They are certainly interesting, I've never seen any like this before.
The knitting needles have been busy again. I am now on the last front, so I should have another completed cardigan this evening.
I have a new project planned for the weekend. The cats are already getting excited. Hopefully all will be revealed on Saturday.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I got some more

As I expected, there wasn't a lot of time to do anything interesting yesterday. Apart from that, I felt shattered by the time we got home

I did give the honeysuckle cushion a brief airing and completed one of the flower heads.This will now go away again for a little while as I bought the floss I needed to finish stitching the pin keep today. That will be the first to get finished.

As I was typing, I realised I have left the patterns for the biscornus I printed at the library. I got some new books and forgot to pick the printing up. That was the whole reason for going to the library. Oh bother!
When I bought the floss, I also got some different designs for the decoupage cards. I think I am going to have some fun playing with these tomorrow.

I did start another baby cardigan last night. It is the same design as the one I completed earlier in the week but this time, in purple. The back was completed and one of the sleeves has been started. Hopefully, I can get some more done later.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Did you hear the scream?

I just knew it would happen. I spent hours cleaning from top to bottom and then no visitors! A meeting overran so they couldn't make it. Never mind, the house is clean and the shopping has been done for delivery tomorrow. In theory, this means I will have more time the rest of the week, but it never seems to work like that.

When I eventually sat down, I did do some more stitching on the pin keep, but there is still some way to go, and some threads to buy.

The evening did seem a little more productive. I finished knitting and sewed up the little baby cardigan. I just need to get some buttons. As most of the day will be spent travelling, it is going to be mainly a reading day. Hopefully I can start another little cardigan tonight.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Another Satisfying Day

The lovely thing about having the house to yourself, you can get up in the morning and get stuck into whatever you want to do with no delays. Makes for a long day.

I managed to find some cards for the decoupage. I used aperture cards. This meant that the first layer of the picture was placed under the aperture and was like a window. I then closed the flap and continued the layers on top.

I did two designs. This one, each layer was turned a quarter turn before attaching. I quite like this effect, but my favourite was the more traditonal view.Here the pieces were all layered on top of each other, giving a feeling of perspective. I ended up doing three like this, and only one with the quarter turns.The next job was just to finish a piece of stitching I had already completed. The cross stitch top is now complete as a pin cushion. I did back the aida with a piece of fabric before attaching the backing. It gave it more structure and would help prevent the stuffing from seeping out.
At this stage, I was going to do the stitching for two biscornus I need to do for exchanges. However, my computer being temperamental, wouldn't let me download the patterns. I am now going to have to go to the library to get them printed. They will now have to wait until later in the week.
I then decided to do this month's section of Alla Turca. I didn't want to get caught out with the end of the month and the release of part four.

This months section was a very quick stitch. So satisfying to be able to stitch for a couple of hours and have it complete. Here is how the complete design looks so far

I have also made a start on the stitching for a pinkeep. However, this will have to remain hidden until it is completed and sent to it's new home.
The knitting progressed last night and the cardigan now has the second front, one complete sleeve and the start of the second. The knitting on this should be finished tonight. Don't you just love knitting baby things, so quick.
Today was going to be my last complete day of non stop stitching. However, a friend has said that they may pop in after work today, so it means I have to do some housework. You might hear me scream later if it turns out they can't come, and I've missed out on a few hours of stitching. The only consolation is that I won't be doing it at the weekend!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Organised Chaos

It felt really strange coming home Friday to an empty house, it took a few hours to get used to it and for me to begin to feel as if I could enjoy the peace and quiet. The advantage is that I can keep all my working equipment out. The result is that the house looks like a bomb has landed.

My fabric trunk is open with fabric overspilling onto the floor (why is every thing you want at the bottom?), the ironing board is up (not for ironing clothes),the sewing machine is out, cutting mat is out, and there are knitting patterns everywhere.

At least I can get my hands on whatever I need without having to spend lots of time getting to it.

This is where I have got with Clarice Cliffe. Though you might not be able to see it, the house does have a chimney. Thank goodness for black backstitching! This piece is now going to go away for a little while. I have quite a few exchange pieces to do over the next month or so, so I won't have time for this. I have to do two biscornus, a pin keep, a mail art envelope, a Round Robin and two prizes. I also have the threads to finish my honeysuckle cushion, so that will be done before coming back to Clarice Cliffe.

Friday night, I stayed up until all the knitting had been completed for my second top, so the first task for Saturday morning was to sew it together. My first finish for the day.
Some time ago, I did a lap quilt. However, the evil kitty thinks it is too good a plaything to leave alone, so I decided to make it into a wall hanging before he completely destroys it. I am hoping he doesn't decide it is as good to jump up as the curtains!
I made some loops and attached them to the back, and then using some dowel I have hung it on the wall. I have moved it since I took the photo, I thought I'd enjoy it more than the rat would, and moved it up to the sitting end of the room.
There was another finish which I can't show you at the moment. It is for a food and drink exchange so will show you when it has arrived at it's destination.
I have prepared some decoupage sheets to make into cards. I cut them all ready and am hoping that when I delve into my card making box, I will have cards suitable. Otherwise, they will have to wait until I have been shopping.
As I had finished my top, I needed a new knitting project for the evenings. Some time ago I acquired some wool. They are 100g balls of assorted colours, so not enough to make anything for my sons or my friends daughter, so I am using them to do baby items.
I started a cardigan with a cable detail along the button bands. It is so small that I was able to complete the back and one front last night. It makes a lovely change from the big jumpers I have to do for the boys.
While the patterns were out, I have sorted out the ones that are too small for the boys and will be forwarding them on. Don't you just love giving a busy person something else to do!
Time for another cuppa and for the day to commence. Hopefully, it will be as productive as yesterday and some more items can be crossed off the list.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Now I can finish some projects

It seemed to take all day to do the shopping, so there was not a lot of stitching time, but at least the boys will eat and D has trainers that are in one piece.

I got as far as stocking up with the DMC threads I need to finish the exchange piece and the honeysuckle cushion. The little cross stitch kit reduced to 75p is for D. He wants to have a go at stitching it. I also bought a little pack of decoupage sheets to make 5 cards, not bad for 99p. I just have to find my cutting mat and craft knife. I did manage to get a small amount of cross stitching done, again the main colour was white, so nothing too interesting to see. I am about 3 or 4 inches from the armhole shaping on the top so progress has been made there.

As we have to leave early in the morning, today is going to be spent getting the boys packed and ready for tomorrow. As D didn't get to have his haircut a couple of weeks ago, (playing with his friends was more important at the time), I will have to do that today as well.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Clarice Cliffe Progress

I managed to stitch yesterday, with something other than white. It is now easier to see what has been stitched. The wonderful thing about these designs are the large blocks of colour, the drawback, all the half cross stitches.

The back of my top is now complete and I have made a start on the front. As there are no sleeves for this one, I am hoping to get this finished before the end of the week.

The boys are away this weekend. They go Friday and come back Tuesday which gives me three complete days to myself. I think I am going to have my very own stitching fest! There are lots of projects for me to complete and the opportunity to get it done without interruption is too good to miss.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Another New Start

Well, DS1 has spread his cold through the whole family, so since the weekend, we have all been feeling sorry for ourselves in varying degrees, burying ourselves in a mountain of tissues. Not very pleasant at all. As well as that, yesterday was spent reinstalling drives onto the computer and doing various scans, so all in all it has been a frustrating couple of days.

I have managed to do a bit of stitching and knitting, and yes, there was another new start. I need some more DMC threads for the honeysuckle cushion. I thought if I carried on, there was every chance that I would end up having to frog at a later stage. Don't know about you, but I can do without that. Starting something else seemed the better option.

Some of you are aware I am trying to get through all the kits I have purchased over the years, so I have started a Clarice Cliffe design from Readicut. I completed the first one of the pair last year. They are stitched in cross stitch, half cross stitch and back stitch using DMC threads.

I would show you a picture of what I have stitched so far, but a lot of the stitching I have done is in white. It makes it very difficult to pick up on a photo. Hopefully, today I can get some more colour on there so you can see it tomorrow.

On the knitting front, I have got past the armhole shaping on the back of the top and have about 3 or 4 more inches to knit to complete the back. That should be done this evening.

On another note, I am thinking of making things to sell to make some extra income. I need to find something I can do to stay at home with the boys and someone suggested this might be the way for me to go. I have spent all weekend thinking about it, going from feeling very excited and having lots of ideas, to feeling very apprehensive as to whether anyone would want to buy. The thing with being a single parent, there's no one here that I can thrash ideas out with. I have a few weeks to think about it as the new financial year doesn't start to the beginning of April.

Oh well, I have to go and sort out the bread. I wonder if kneading will help me sort out my thoughts.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

More Lovely Post

I had a lovely surprise in the post this morning. I received this lovely fabric postcard from Wendy ( I love the her landscape postcards. This was a lovely start to the day.

I had quite a varied day with regards to stitching yesterday. The first job was to complete all the stitching I could on my exchange piece. That only took a few minutes and once I have the other threads, the rest of the stitching won't take long to complete.

I then sewed my top together. Sewing up has always been my least favourite part of knitting, but at least with a short sleeved top, there isn't much to do. I now have to get some cord for the neck opening.
Also in the post, I received a fat quarter of 18count aida from Gaynor, ( so I have put it to good use.
One of my favourite plants is honeysuckle. We have had honeysuckle growing in almost every garden we have had from when I was a child until now. Strictly speaking, it's not in my garden here, but I have it growing over the wall from next door. You can be sure I am doing everything I can to encourage it. In the summer, it is lovely having the patio doors open and being able to smell the flowers.
I thought it was about time that I brought it into the house by stitching a honeysuckle cushion. This is a pattern from Jane Greenoff's magazine from 2001. As you can see, I made a small start, but I can't wait to see how this one grows. I wonder if this will be finished before the one outside flowers.

I had four and a half balls left over from the top I finished, so I have started another. This time it is V-neck with no sleeves. That will mean I get two tops for under £4! These are the sort of bargains I like.

I managed to get about 8inches of the back knitted last night, before my mental kitty thought it was fair game to pounce and sit on top of the needles. He even tried to drag it out of my hands to kill. Even I know when to give up.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

My kind of sleeves

It's been a busy couple of days with the boys, so knitting and stitching time has been much reduced.

I can't show the stitching I have done as it is for an exchange. I have almost completed the cross stitching, but I need to get some more DMC stranded cotton when I go shopping on Wednesday. I am three colours short. Typical! I am pleased with how it looks and have all the finishing planned.

Despite the fact I didn't get to sit down until after 9 on Thursday night, I have managed to get all the knitting completed my top. Thursday I had one shoulder and then last night I completed the other shoulder and TWO sleeves.

These are my type of sleeves, each one took about half hour to knit. Better enjoy it while it lasts as the next sleeves I knit are full length.

As you can see, it is all ready to sew together which will be today's task. All I have to do then is wait for summer.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

An important flower part 1 complete

Everything went so smoothly yesterday, all the baking was done by 11 o'clock. Even the ironing was done and washing done.
This left me clear to finish part one of "an important flower". The next part is released in April, so this will go away for a few weeks.
Today I will get to the library and get Alla Turca printed out and hopefully do that this week.
I have got a list of projects to do. I did the fatal thing of looking through a couple of magazines and found things to do.
I have one more item to stitch and finish for the food and drink exchange this month so that will be a priority. I want to cross stitch some banding to finish some shelf edging in the kitchen and do a honeysuckle cushion for my bedroom.
One good thing came from the magazine browsing, I have got a template and instructions for a stitched envelope(needed for an exchange next month). I have also seen a pattern for a table cloth to embroider. I just have to decide if I will do this from scratch, complete with scalloped edging, or buy a ready made plain tablecloth stitch.
I think these two magazines will keep me busy for some time.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

I have a back

We did get in out in the garden yesterday and managed to cut back the shrubs and sweep up the garden. Even more of an achievement, I cut back the shrubs around the back of the pond without falling in! With grey skies today and wintry showers moving down the country, I think we got it done just in time.

After a soak in the bath I did some more stitching on "An Important Flower". The right hand side is now complete. I am hoping that I can finish the left side today and put this away until April.
After dinner, it was the turn of the knitting needles and I finished the back before going to bed. If it is a good day the front should get started today.Before I can even think about doing any of this, I have to bake some more bread and cakes. Wouldn't life be a lot easier if children didn't eat!

Monday, 2 March 2009

An important flower progress and a giveaway

This is stitching up even better than I was expecting and I am really enjoying it. I seem to be getting a taste for one colour stitching. The central panel is complete for this section. I just have to complete the leaves on the two sides.

I also managed to knit up to the armholes on my top too. Hopefully this evening, I should end up not far from the top. Before that, I have a day in the garden, cleaning up after the winter.

Now for a giveaway- I will be happy to send this to a new home for anyone that wants it. I think it was for age 3-6months. Anyone interested, please leave me a comment and I will email you for an address.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Now he knows I love him

Yesterday morning was spent being creative in the kitchen. The end result was a batch of bread, cake, pudding for two days, and 4 jars of lemon curd. Once all that was out of the way I could concentrate on some stitching.
DS2 now knows I love him as the first thing I did was his initial on his serviette. This was done in two strands of DMC 666. It was so much more enjoyable than doing the "J" in black. Both boys have now used their serviettes, so I think they get the thumbs up.
I then started another cross stitch project. Someone on Stitchersheaven mentioned a free design here at AA Needleworks I thought it would be lovely in my bedroom.

I am stitching it on Zweigart Cashel linen in Conference grey using DMC 902 in two strands. Each part is released every two months, so it shouldn't be too difficult to keep up, at least, that's what I am hoping.

I seem to have worked out a nice routine now-stitching during the day and knitting at night. The top I am knitting at the moment, is perfect for keeping the hands busy without taxing the brain when it's tired. Hopefully, it will work for today too