Sunday, 31 January 2010

Parchment Gift Box

I haven't done any pergamano craft for a while, so decided to have a little play and see what I could do.

I made this little gift box, and although there were a couple of glitches, it has come out as it should.  Now I know what I am doing, the next one should be easier. 

Gaynor also sent me a book about parchment craft, which I have read, so I hoping to work my way through it and learn some new techniques.  Who knows, I might even be able to manage to do some of the lace designs.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

First of two fabric postcards

I need to do two fabric postcards for an exchange on Stitchin Fingers for next month.  This is the first and will be off to Australia as soon as I can get to the post office.

The postcard has been padded, covered with ivory satin, with a lay of lace on the top.  I cut out hearts from some batting and dark pink fabric, which was covered with cream chiffon. I used a small running stitch to attach it to the base.  I then added the beads around the edge of the heart.

Hopefully, this weekend, I can get the second postcard done and ready to post.

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Quick Knit

This was such a quick jumper to knit.  Three by three rib throughout on size 9mm needles.  I used Wendy Narvik which is soft and warm to knit with.  The temperatures have dropped here again, so polo necks are just the ticket.

The next top I'm knitting is with thin wool on 4mm needles, so isn't growing quite so quickly.  Never mind, change is as good as a rest, as they say

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Wow, look what I got

This arrived for me in the post and it completely blew me away.  It is beautiful.  It came from Terry and was her last PIF.  I know a lot of you also read her blog, so know that over the last few months Terry has had a lot to cope with.  That has made this quilt so much more special and I will treasure it for years to come.

Every time I look at the quilt, I see something new.  All the fabrics go together so well and it is a lovely addition to my front room.

The bit that I really love is this:

The label made this so special, and it means the boys can't pinch it, it's all mine, lol.

The rules of the PIF is that I pass on the pleasure to three other people.  If you would like to receive a handmade gift from me within the next 12 months, please let me know.  Then within 12 months, you would pass on the pleasure to three other people.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

2nd January BOM

This is the second of Amy's January blocks, and I did get it put together quicker than the first.  I might have even had time to do the third, but the boys were protesting as I kept kicking them off the computer so I could see what to do next.

I don't know if it's just me, or it's the same for everyone, but I seem to get to a stage and it looks as if it will all go horribly wrong.  Then the blocks come together, and I wonder what the panic was about.  It just seems there's a stage in the middle where it all looks untidy and that it won't come together.  I'm glad to say, perseverence pays off.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


This is the last project I have done from the Cross Stitch Crazy magazine, (which has now found a new home.)

It is a light house bookmark for D.  Now when he hurriedly closes his book because I am coming up the stairs and he should be asleep, he won't have to lose his place, lol.  Why is it they don't think we know?

I made the tassel from a DMC varigated thread, though I think I should have made it thinner.  I got a bit carried away.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Not Everything Goes According to Plan

This was supposed to be a girl's bag, but it definitely wasn't turning out like the pattern.  I did think about adapting it to make it work, but in the end decided enough was enough.  I unravelled it all and decided to try again.

The second attempt actually never happened, I decided to do something completely different, and these worked.  They are two egg cosies, with bad hair days.  I did think of putting faces on them, but decided to keep them as they are.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Another Waistcoat

Back last year Loulee sent me a bag of Wendy Moiselle that she wasn't able to use.  I looked around and found a pattern and have eventually got round to knitting it up.  Once I started, it didn't take too long to do.

It's quite an unusual yarn, fibre wrapped in ribbon which makes for an interesting texture.

A twisted cord is used for fastening.  The boys faces were a picture when I made the cord.  It was if I had performed a magic trick.  Nice to know I can surprise them from time to time.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Tooth Fairy Has Been

This is another one of the designs from Cross Stitch Crazy.  I used waste canvas for the first time and stitched the design onto some poly cotton.  Once completed, I backed the fabric with some light iron on interfacing and cut to size.

I folded over the ends and machine stitched to for the chanel for the ribbon and then, with right sides together, stitched the side seams.  I trimmed the corner and turned the right way and threaded the ribbon through the top. 

I thought it would be ideal for keeping the little teeth safe and provide a little pouch to put the pennies in that the tooth fairy leaves.  In all but colour, it matches the little pouch the fairy has for collecting the teeth.

I have now stitched all that I am going to from this magazine.  If there is anyone out there that can make use of it, I am more than happy to post it to you, otherwise it will go for recycling, I need to clear some space.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Panda Complete

This is the panda from last week, all stitching completed and in it's card mount. 

This is another quick stitch from Cross Stitch Crazy.  I've mounted onto pink card, then onto a white card.  I really must stock up on some aperture cards, as I am running low on the medium sizes.

I am hoping to finish a couple of other things this week, I seem to have a little pile of pieces that are just waiting for the finishing touches.  I still haven't been able to get buttons, so hopefully the weather will be kind to us and I can do it this week.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Art of Crochet

Whenever new magazines are advertised, you are never sure if they will live up to expectations or be worth the money they ask.  I saw The Art of Crochet advertised and decided to take the plunge and have a look.  I know there have been a couple of other bloggers that have had the first issue too.  Mine arrived this week and I can say I wasn't disappointed. 

Each issue will have a block to try new stitches and patterns. which will eventually go to make a blanket and this is my first block.  This is made up of rows of double crochet, alternating with one double crochet and one treble crochet, which gives this box like pattern.

There are clear instructions for following the patterns which gives you the confidence to try new things.  I have always wanted to make crocheted garments but have never didn't have the confidence to read the pattern and put it into practise.  I am hoping this will help and am going to have a go at some of the patterns included.  Maybe a cushion cover would be a better place to start than a jumper, we shall see.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Friday night sew in

Yesterday was the first Friday night sew in of the year and I decided to do a card kit I have had hanging around for some time.  As it is of a giant panda, there is a lot of  black, lovely for stitching at night time, lol.  He does have one arm and a bit of bamboo, and I am sure he will grow pretty quickly given the opportunity.

Friday was also the day for an update on the Totally Useless SAL (TUSAL).  I saw lots of people participating last year and thought I'd join in this year as I had seen a couple of ingenious ways to use the orts.  I can't remember whose blog I was reading, but they used them to fill glass baubles, and Annie B uses them to stuff the small ornaments she makes.  What a great way to recycle.

Here are my gatherings for this month,  I have the orts from my stitching and a few from the jumpers I have sewn up.  It's amazing how quickly they all add up.

Friday, 15 January 2010

I did it!

My first ever Block Of the Month and in fact, the first time I have pieced a block at all.

It's not perfect, but for a first attempt I am happy with it.

This is from Amy's BOM, (link via picture in sidebar) and her instructions were perfect.  It may have taken me three times as long as anyone else, but I am sure it will get easier and quicker with practise.

I am using the fabric from a Moda Jelly Roll, Gypsy Rose, which is perfect for the 21/2 inch pieces. I'm also going to use the pale cream cotton in all the blocks.  I will try to use fabric in my stash for the other the 41/2inch pieces, in this case the pink.

There are another two blocks to do for this month, so I will be getting all the practise I need.  I must say thank you to Linda for her encouragement and tips, it was just the boost I needed.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

And then there were two

Another waistcoat is off the needles.  I am hoping that  I can find some buttons when I go into town today, so these can be finished and worn.

Both were knitted using James C Brett Marble Chunky.  I like the effect this yarn gives, and am hoping that, if I can find one dark enough, I can persuade DS1 to have a jumper in something other than black.  Being chunky, it knits up fast so shouldn't take long to do one in his size.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have stocked up on some quilting accesseries.  I now have a ruler for cutting squares, one for triangles, and a 1/4" foot, so am hoping that I can attempt a BOM.  You will be the first to know if it was successful, or not, as the case may be.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Shimmer Jumper

This is another one of those photos where the colour should be deeper,.  Maybe the snow laden skies are playing havoc with the light.

This jumper is knitted in Wendy Shimmer yarn which has now been discontinued.  It was 50p a ball, and I thought the colour was perfect for my friend's little girl.  Anything pink goes down very well.  Think she will need it with the weather we have at the moment.

With this jumper finished, my corner of  UFO's and WIP's is getting very bare.  I'm not sure how much of that is down to projects being completed, or o putting them away.  Actually, I think a lot of the projects I've finished in the last couple of weeks, have been ones that take up a lot of room,  but it is nice to see a bit of space appearing.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

They're Back

The clowns are back for their final bow.  They are finally all sewn together, and ready to hang on the wall.  I chose the fabric, as it reminded me of the clowns trousers, it  just seemed to fit so well with the theme.

I have also used the checkered fabric for the back.  What is even more surprising,  it all lines up at the back as well as the front.  There must has been some improvement in my sewing skills, thanks to all the hints and tips I have been able to glean from my blogging friends.

I've attached a sleeve across the back for the dowel, and when I can get out, I'll get some cord and this will be ready to hang.

I had this out on the floor ready to pin the binding when D started counting the numbers, for one heart stopping moment, I thought he was going to tell me that they were in the wrong order.  I lost count of the number of times I checked, not only the order, but that they were the right way up.  I would have cried to have got to that stage to discover there was a mistake.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Flower of the month-January

This could do with a bit of  an iron, but it is another month completed.  Like the others, it was stitched using three strands of  DMC threads ,

Carnations- Flowers #321-straight, back, split stitch
                   Stems and Leaves #502-split stitch
Snowdrops-Flowers-blanc-split, satin stitch
                   Stems-not sure what colour number, the label had become detached, split stitch

Carnations always remind me of my grandad.  These were the flowers that we had at his funeral when I was 7.  My brother and I both had carnations, but different colours, I think my brother had red.

Snowdrops seem very appropriate at this moment in time with all the snow.  I can remember my fascination at seeing snowdrops poking through snow.  It amazed me that something that looked so delicate could survive and flourish in such hard conditions.  It will be a delight to spot the first snowdrops of this year.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A long time in the making

I'm not even sure when this was started as it was one of the pieces I inherited from my mum ten and a half years ago.  I found it back last year when I was sorting through some of her craft bits and couldn't ever remember seeing it before.  I thought I'd better get it finished.

When I looked, mum had done all the hand quilting, so it was just left to me to back and bind it.  A simple job you might say, but I chose a day when Rumple was in a funny mood to do it.  I had it all laid out neatly on the floor, but when I came down from my bath, she had been pouncing on it and sliding across the floor.  The next game was to catch my fingers as I was trying to pin the binding on.

The machine sewing was the easy bit, but the trimming was a bit of a trial.  Apparently scissors are good to chase too, and rotary cutters!  How she came away with all her paws in tact I don't know, but my paws are covered in scratches.

I chose a plain blue backing slightly ligher than the front, and the binding is a pale turquoisey green that matches the centre of some of the flowers.  It was lovely and warm sitting under it hand sewing the binding and it's good to see it finished after so long. 

The boys are coming back today, weather permitting, so my uninterrupted sewing and knitting will come to an end.  If the weather is as they forecast, we won't be going very far once they do go home, so there should still be plenty of play time.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Geometric Waistcoat

For the life of me, I cannot get the camera to get the colour of the yarn right.  In real life, the colours are darker.  When the snow melts, I might take it outside to see if I can a better representation.

I got the pattern from an internet site, e-pattern central.  It is so simple to do, I think I am going to do another one. I have enough of the yarn to do a second.

The yarn is selfpatterning, so you get stripes as you knit and because you are decreasing in the middle of the row, you end up with a mitred square.  The back is worked in two halves and seamed in the middle and then a border is done on the bottom of the back and the two fronts.

It's all knit in garter stitch, so very easy and quick to do.  Now, I just need to go and get a button and this is the first finish for this year.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Surprise in the post

I hadn't been expecting this in the post, so it was a lovely surprise.  This is from Debi for the autumn exchange on Stitchin Fingers.  It was a lovely start to the day.

Thought I'd show you the pattern I'm using for D's jumper.  This is knitting up a lot quicker than J's did and the colour is certainly easier on the eyes.  It is quite nice to do be an aran pattern for a change.

As if I needed an excuse, today is the perfect day for staying in to sew.  We had a couple of inches of snow in the night, which isn't much, but it has all frozen.  I think that indoors in the warm is the perfect place to be.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Needlepoint Sampler

I have always enjoyed needlepoint when I have done it, but haven't always had the confidence to do anything with it.  I thought going back to basics might help to get more adventurous.  When I saw Janet Perry was offering a free beginners needlepoint lessons, I signed up.  These stitches form the basis of a sampler.  I have done them in a different format and once I have done a border, I will make this into a bell pull

I stitched the sampler using Anchor Perle No 5, colour number 341.  The stitches used are diagonal gobelin, skip tent stitch, diagonal mosaic, mosaic, cashmere, straight gobelin, hungarian, rice, and smyrna cross stitch.

This has been a good exercise to see the different effects each stitch gives, and makes it easier to understand why stichers choose the stitches they do.  I am almost inspired to dig out my needlepoint book and try some of the projects to have some fun using a variety of stitches.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Finished at last

It's taken a while, but finally J's jumper is now completed.  This was in fact my last finish for 2009, and I can't say I am sorry to see the end of it.  Why is it that boys of a certain age like black! 

Seeing it laid out complete, I can't get over how much he has grown.  Who would have believed that when he was born, he was a little scrap of six and a half pounds, with no fat on him at all.  I mean no fat, he didn't even have cheeks on his bum, because he had got so starved.  He's definitely made up for that in the 13 years since, and now I am having to knit almost man sized jumpers for him.

Now this one is done, I have D's to do.  Thankfully, it's not black, but it is aran, and has a cable pattern. I am going to try and get as much done as I can before they get home, this one isn't going to be so easy to pick up and put done between them coming in and out.