Thursday, 30 July 2009

So Cute

I try to take advantage, wherever possible, of sales when buying yarn. When I saw that Readicut had bags of Sirdar Bubbly DK in the sale, along with some free patterns, I took jumped at the chance. When it arrived, I was a very happy bunny. The yarn was a beautiful yellow (it was a pot luck selection) and one pattern in particular jumped out at me. So this week, I sat down and did the little cardigan. It is a cropped style and will fasten on the curve. Just need to get a button. Then I was onto knitting what drew me to the pattern in the first place, these adorable shoes.

I just love these shoes! I just need to get the buttons for the strap fastenings.
The other benefit is that these are quick to do. Well, they would be if the kitten didn't think that swinging from the needles was a good game.
There was another first today, but I can't show you. It is for an exchange, so you will have to wait.
The peace and quiet here is over, the boys are back!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Old Faithfuls

I have a couple of bits of furniture that were part of my childhood. Nothing special to anyone else, but they have always been there and are a bit of my history and memories. These two stools were around before I was born, (only just, as my parents married in the year before) and have had a few incarnations. Despite the toils of coping with children and grandchildren, they are still going strong.

One has been recovered once before, this one twice. The last time was probably about 13 years ago when my mum still had them. At that time, the wooden frame got a makeover too. They were painted a dusky pink and waxed. The colour matched the curtain material she used for the top. I have no idea why the second stool wasn't recovered at the same time. As you can see, the seat was looking a bit worse for wear and I just happened to find two squares of curtain material in my fabric stash. These were left over from some curtains I made when the boys were babies. I think I must have intended on recovering the stools even then. It has just taken a bit of time to get there!
Yesterday, I finally got out the staple gun and got to work. I found that it works better when the correct staples are used (I have two staple guns, though I can only find one-I couldn't work out why this one wasn't working properly until I discovered I had two sizes of staples!)
The seat tops lift out so it was an easy thing to staple gun the fabric to the wooden base, trim to size and refit. Hopefully these will last for another good few years. The next time they will need stripping right back to the base and the foam replacing.
I wonder if the boys will notice when they come home?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

My first bag

Amazing how simple things can please simple people, but I was so pleased with this. I have seen so many bags that people have made and have wanted to have a go making them myself for such a long time. I eventually got around to it, and this will definitely not be the last. I have done it double thickness for strength and have lined it.
I did two rows of stitching around the top, so I am hoping that the handles are secure. At least, they didn't come off when I was tugging at them earlier to test.
I have already picked out some fabric to make another one. I am also thinking that I can make some with longer handles. I don't know about you, but I find it easier using bags with shoulder straps rather than handles, I find it better for carrying heavier items. It also has the added benefit of leaving the hands free for carrying more!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Applique Rose Bag

I did get to finish this bag this week. I applied iron on interfacing to the fabric to give it more stability and to protect the back of the stitching. It had the added benefit of making it easier to handle. I machine stitched the seams leaving about 3cms at the top. This is to form the channel for the ribbon.

To make it easier to stitch, I ironed the top over, and then hemmed it into place. I then thread two pieces of ribbon through to make the loops for closing.

I quite like the way this has turned out, it would make a lovely gift bag or for holding something smelly to put in a clothes drawer.
I even managed to finish all my mending and put the button on the crochet roll.
Now all the hooks can be held securely in place.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Almost, but not quite

I was very happy to find that the chart I had purchased, could be adapted to fit the round robin. The original chart has the cup on lace with a rose at the side. The tea cup was a perfect size, so I happily began stitching.

Unfortunately, I've run out of white thread, so it won't get finished until the end of the week, but at least it will still be on time.

I need to do the cross stitch inside the cup, and just a little on the front. Then it will be the back stitch around the top. I did as much of the backstitch I could yesterday. I am thinking of doing the full design, maybe for a tray insert, but that will be a to do one day project.

I've also got my felt samples.
I didn't do this the "proper" way, I knitted the wool left over and then put it through a hot wash. I think I may put it through another wash and see how it turns out then.

However, I do like the way this has turned out and have decided what I will do with the remaining three balls. I think there should be enough for me to knit a bag. I'll then put it through a hot wash and it will have the strength needed to hold whatever goes into a mum's bag. I'll have to go away and think of a design now.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Gillet finished

This would have been finished a lot quicker if I had concentrated my time on it. The wool knits up really quickly, and having no sleeves to do was a bonus.

This feels so soft, it's beautiful, and the cats appreciate it too. This was knitted using Sirdar Peru Naturals, colour pico. It is 64% Wool, 31% Acrylic, 5% Alpaca, no wonder is it soft and warm.

There were a couple of ball ends left which I have knitted up and am going to try to felt. This will be a first for me. I'll see how it goes, then decide what to do with the three remaining balls.

The cushion pad arrived, so now the zebras are all big and squishy, it makes me wish I had quilted the giraffes now.

I am off to get some buttons for the gillet and hook roll. This should be an easier task than normal, I have remembered to pack them to take with me, rather than trying from memory!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Elephants galore

I have a wooden trunk that holds my fabric stash. This fabric I inherited from my mum. I imagine she had all sorts of things planned to make for the children, who would have been babies at the time. Bearing in mind that it was 10 years this week since my mum died, this fabric has been waiting a long time to have something done with it.

The first project I had in mind was a baby quilt. I decided to keep it simple, as that is what I do best, and have just hand quilted around the elephants. The quilting hoop that I bought about 15 years ago got it's first use too. You can see how long ago I wanted to have a go at quilting, some things just take a bit of time. I now have to buy some fabric for the backing and binding. I will then machine quilt lengthwise using the patterned borders as a guide.

There is a lot more of this fabric left, so maybe a cushion cover will be next.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Crochet Hook Roll

I had crocheted the outer cover for this some weeks ago, so it was a real pleasure to get it finished. It was a real bonus that it was so relaxing to do.

I blocked the crochet over night and then cut the felt to fit. It had to be long enough that when folded back, it would form the pocket for the crochet hooks. I pinned the felt into place and then stitched into place using running stitch.

Once that was done, running stitch was used to divide the pocket to hold the hooks. I then had to crochet a button loop. This was a lot more successful than the cord I tried to crochet before. I t joined the ends and sewed into place. All I need now, is a button.
As always, it is a relief to finish something and find that it works!

Now I wonder how many hooks there are in a full set

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A cushion it is

Thank you to every one that helped to decide the fate of the quilted panel. The consensus was for a cushion so I ordered some fabric for the backing. Unfortunately, it just didn't go so I had to wait until last week when we went to Hobbycraft and I bought some plain black. I have done a very simple finish but with a slight twist.
I have lined the inside with fabric. The zebra markings on this fabric were two close together to be used as the backing, it just didn't match up with the front, but is great for the inside, (so it wasn't a complete waste buying it).
I am just waiting for the cushion pad to arrive and this will be another project completed, it's only been waiting for about seven years.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The boring bits and some fun

I don't know about you, but although I enjoy all sorts of needlework, mending isn't one of them. However, I just couldn't avoid it anymore.

Those of you that have boys, will be well aware of the toll they take on their trousers. J had a pair of track suit bottoms that were well ventilated. He had managed to go through the outer and inner layer of the crotch, so there was nothing to do but to some mend them.

I will find out if it was successful when he comes home and he is able to put them on without contorting his legs! Even though there were some other bits to do, I thought that was enough pain for one day, and I did something much more exciting.
This is going to be a little drawstring bag which could be used for small toiletries, make up, or even a gift bag. The pieces have all been appliqued using button hole stitch. The stems and leaf markings are done in stem stitch.

I would have made it up, but the fabric is quite fine and I thought I would back it with some interfacing. I thought this would help to protect the reverse of the stitching too.

The interfacing has been ordered, along with a chart I think will be suitable for the RR, and a few other bits. All being well, it should be all systems go by the end of the week.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Best laid plans

I had fully intended stitching the next part of Alla Turca. When I went to get the pattern from my bag, I found that I had only been given half the pages I had printed at the library. Alla Turca was one of those that didn't come back home, so I had to have a rethink.

I thought I'd do the next RR which, this time, is teapots and cups. I had a pattern that I thought would be appropriate, only to find that it would be too small, so the RR has gone away again for another day.

I decided to stitch the design anyway, and made it into a card. The way the day was going, I was surprised I had a card in my box that would be appropriate, but this time, things were going my way. Once this was done, I started on the third scarf. I am two thirds of the way through, so that shouldn't take too long to finish.

Hopefully, some embroidery will get done too.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Alla Turca Part VI

Yesterday, I finally had the whole day in with no interruptions. Well, I did have to feed the cats, play with the kitten when she decided killing my hands was much more fun than sleeping, and a few emails here and there, but it was a good day. There was even some old films on television to watch too.

I finished the second of the scarves I am doing in the morning, then after lunch Alla Turca came out. (I did warn you, Gaynor, lol) Part VI is now completed. I just need to do Part VII and I will be up to date-at last!

First things first though, I have to go to the shop and get cat biscuits. How could I forget such an essential item when I did the shopping?
The other day, I met up with a friend who collected the rest of D's bits from art class. If you have a moment, please go and have a look at them- I have always wanted to make felt, but D got there first and he used them to decorate a banner. He also dyed the fabric himself. I am just a little proud of what he has accomplished, I think I had better watch out.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Funky Fish

Another card workshop without D. He is not going to be happy when he gets home and sees what we did this week. This was so much fun, and definitely brought out the child in me. The fish are paper woven with lovely feathery tails. Brads were used to make the eyes and a smile was drawn on for the mouth.

Just as the class was finishing, I had a call from a friend and ended up going for an unexpected coffee, so I am yet to be home long enough to notice the absence of the boys. I think today will be the first full day at home (it's early yet, and anything can happen). I have neat piles spread on the floor for projects to be done, just have to chose which will be first.

Lets hope the cats don't think I have put it there for them to play in.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Summer Exchange

When I got back from taking the boys to meet their dad, I came home to find an envelope from Spain. It was unexpected, so I was trying to work out what it was as I was opening it up. Inside there was a package with this wonderful flower attached. No clues here, but when I opened up the package I knew straight away.

This month's theme on Exchange Heaven is Summer and Edit sent me this lovely bag. Inside was some lovely goodies.
It was such a lovely parcel to open and the rubbers she enclosed for the boys will be much appreciated, especially by DS2. He is learning Spanish so he will be delighted and he will want to have paella too. I can let him follow the recipe on the postcard!
Thank you so much Edit.
I had better get my Summer exchange piece finished and ready for posting.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Received-Fabric Postcard

It was lovely to come home and find that this lovely postcard had arrived from Phyllis B ( ). It was for the exchange on Stitchin Fingers.

The stitchery was most appropriate for me, as my youngest son loves doing origami. It looks just like the swan.

This is the first fabric postcard that Phyllis has made, and I am delighted to be the recipient. Apparently she is soon to be married, so I wish her all the best with the preparations and every happiness for the future.

I need to get working on the next exchange we are having. I think I will have a look at my fabric stash and see if I can come up with some ideas.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A scarf and some shopping

The last couple of days there has been plenty of washing and ironing to do to get the boys ready to go away. The scarf has been perfect for filling in the time before they leave. The first one is finished, and the second has been started. It has been lovely to relax without having to tax the brain. I packed the boys clothes into the suitcase this morning and it was pretty obvious the boys had selected what to pack. One child (love him dearly) had decided one pair of socks was enough to last a fortnight! He compensated by packing lots of underwear.

Once that was done, I took the boys to the cinema and did some shopping so that I was prepared for the next fortnight.
This little bundle and some interfacing are for at least three projects I have planned. I have a small pile stacked up in readiness and will just see how I go. There are at least two firsts on the list.

Monday, 13 July 2009

The Phoenix has arisen

Well Friday didn't exactly turn out the way I had planned. The morning went well, then after lunch, I closed my eyes for what I told my boys, would be a ten minute nap.

Two hours later, they told me that was a long 10 minutes! Hmmm, think I was tired. Try again Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, I was so close to finishing, I told the boys dinner would be in the evening, not the middle of the day. They were fantastic and made cheese on toast for lunch so I could keep stitching. They even kept a steady supply of tea coming. At 4.30 yesterday afternoon, there was a big cheer.
It was all done and I could get it ready to go on the next leg of it's journey.
The design I used was a modification of a design from the Magical Cross Stitch book. These aren't usually my first choice of designs, but there are a few in there I might give a go. What is good about this book, they give suggestions on adaptations of the patterns and I am definitely going to give the mirror surrounds a go - one day!
Once this was out the way, I needed something simple for the evening. I started this scarf, no thinking required. Plain stocking stitch with garter border and I just keep going until the wool runs out. This is will be the perfect project to take with me when I have to take the boys out, though there won't be much of that for a few weeks. They are away for about two weeks from Thursday.
Now where's my list of things to do while they are away

Friday, 10 July 2009

The bag-it has handles

Earlier this week, the bag handles arrived and sat patiently for me to attach them to the bag. While D had his art lesson yesterday, I thought it was too good an opportunity to waste. So, here it is after a short delay, one crocheted bag complete with handles. I crocheted the bag using James C Brett Kool Cotton, which is a 50/50 cotton acrylic mix. This should make this fairly hard wearing. The handles are curved beech effect. To me, they seemed to fit better than the straight ones, which is just as well, as when I finally ordered them, they didn't have the straight ones this size in stock.

Apart from this, I have been stitching like mad on the Round Robin. I am now about 75% of the way through.
I am getting the whole day to stitch today. Well, if you ignore the fact I will still have to feed the boys and get washing hung out on the line to dry before the rain arrives tomorrow.
I told the children if they helped in the garden yesterday, they could stay in bed as long as they liked today and could do what they wanted, IE no extra jobs (they'll still do the washing up). It seemed a good idea yesterday, but all the pruning has left me with blisters on my hand. Fortunately, they're not on the sewing hand, so I should be able to proceed unhampered.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A cooler day

Rumple Teaser seems to have settled well, she was charging around the front room with Tugger this morning. I can see these two getting into mischief together before too long.

Yesterday we had rain and cooler temperatures. Oh what a relief. Though it has been nice to see the sun, it does make it difficult for sewing. My hands were getting too hot and sticky. It was so lovely to be able to enjoy a long stitching session.

In the morning, I went to a class and made this card using vellum.It is so simple but effective, and there are so many possibilities. For that extra special occasion, a picture could be put in the middle of the flower, or you could use different charms and peel offs. This will be one that I'll be experimenting with at home.

It was then back home to carry on with the round robin. I am almost half way through.

I gave up when the light went last night, and hope to have another good go with it today. I need to find a new needle first as I literally wore the other one out. I had worn right through one side of the eye. Now to find another trusty friend to put through it's paces.