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Hello everyone, hope that you are all ok and enjoying the weekend.
As I don’t enjoy shopping anyway nothing would have induced me to go and join the supposed throngs in Black Friday retail endeavours and I had a far more exciting and colourful trip planned to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.
Part of the reason for going was to buy things, (of course!), but I was very restrained and stuck to my budget. Will show you my purchases in a later post as I want to share with you the lovely displays in the exhibition sections.
There were the winning quilts from the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, though I had seen some of these before we didn’t know whose were the winning ones at the time as that was not announced until later so here are some of the beautiful ones that won prizes in various categories.
There was a great mix of traditional and art quilts on display.
I love the use of newsprint fabric and flowers on this one, winner of the Contemporary Quilt category by Lesley Brankin.
This was one of the most photographed in the exhibition, so sparkly and gorgeous, it was the winner of the Pictorial Quilts category and is by Claudia Pfeil. She has some other amazing pictorial quilts on her website.
This beautiful applique quilt won the Two Person Quilt Category and was made by Alison Wells and Mandy Parks.
This was the Traditional Quilts winner by Janette Chilver. The quilting is just amazing.
There was also the SAQA Quilts Food for Thought exhibition with some more amazing examples of machine quilting.
This was one of my favourite fruits when I was in China, love the blacks beads she has used for seeds. This one is by Helena Scheffer.
And the level of detail is brilliant on these Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Diane Powers-Harris and the Tomato quilt by Sarah-Anne Smith.
My friends from the Knitting and Crochet Guild were there as it is based in Huddersfield and they had a beautiful display of vintage accessories and crochet. It gave me some great ideas for bunting!
It is another wet and windy day here so an afternoon of stitching on the sofa watching TV seems in order, oh dear what a pity ;-)
Have fun, thanks for visiting and see you all soon.
Hope you are all ok, it is a beautiful sunny morning here in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to a lovely weekend of sewing and crafting.
This is the weekend to finish the wedding jacket and make the shirt and I am hosting another crafternoon tomorrow for friends from knitting group to work on Christmas ornaments.
I have been working very hard on all of my stitched things for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale and managed to finish everything just in time last Friday for her to pack up the car and head off. She and Sharon had a great time which I am so glad about, Sarah has worked so hard for this.
Here they all are at Yarndale with the stall, (picture copyright to Sarah).
She sold a lot of her brilliant book of Elven inspired designs and also some of my things sold as well which is lovely. I was actually hoping that not all of them would sell out, partly as I want some of the stuff for me and for Christmas presents!
You will have already seen work in progress pictures of all of these pincushions and needle books but here they all are on my little display stand.
Sarah said it looked really good on her stall and brought people in to have a look at everything else which is nice.
Just peeking out behind that are the larger needle cases I made, I my haste I didn’t take pictures of the fronts of these but they had the same large Liberty hexagons on as the rolled ones.
I made two knitting needle cases for circular needles and accessories and two knitting needle rolls for circular needles, I have seen lots available for straight needles but wanted something for circulars now I have learnt to use them.
As you can see I have been taking full advantage of my new sewing machine’s lovely embroidery stitches for all of these things.
I love my new machine so much and am really looking forward to using it more over the autumn and winter. I have so many lovely quilting projects planned!
The last two accessories cases were for scissors and tape measures.
I am also counting these as project number 12 on my 2015 Sewing Bucket List which is a bag.
Right off to do some more work now then later a bit of cutting out of the jacket lining. Have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
Am having a lovely weekend sewing, Jake has gone back to Uni so it is very quiet here now.
I am just finishing off the last few bits for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale next week but have popped in to share with you the very exciting news that her book of designs is being published and is available for pre-order.
Not only does it have some stunning designs in it, Sarah is hugely talented and very creative and there are some beautiful things, it also features my lovely daughter Ellie with elf ears!
She was very, very excited to be asked to model for this, (unaccustomed as she is to having her photo taken of course), and had a brilliant day with the other two models, my friends Suzi and Helen from knitting group, in a local park which has a lot of dells filled with ferns and made a brilliant setting for the designs.
There is a little video showing the location and an outtake from the shoot here – the girls challenging their inner Charlie’s Angels!
Unfortunately the elf ears had to be added post -production as the make – up artist was not available that day but she looks fab in them.
I think this is my favourite picture of Ellie.
Though this one is very lovely too – she is actually wearing one of my flower head dresses in this picture ;-)
I can’t wait until my wrist is better and I can start knitting again. I think I am going to make a shawl like this beautiful one modelled by Suzi, or maybe a jumper for Ellie as she did request one of the ones she had modelled.
Copyright for all pictures belongs to Sarah.
I am going to be having a lovely day again today, more sewing in front of the TV and it is Channel 5’s, ‘End of the World Weekend’, with lots of disaster movies. I do love a good disaster movie :-)
As long it is not really the end of the world as that would be sad, given the amount of work that Sarah has put into her book ;-) and the fact that Ellie and her best friend from Uni are going to Spain tomorrow for a very hard-earned week of R and R in the sun.
Hopefully we still all be here next week, I have a busy week ahead as the trainees are in all week so little crafting time but lots of fun planned around that.
Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.
Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and enjoying the prospect of your weekend.I have had a pretty productive few days even with still being on light duties.
Have cut back on my planned sewing and knitting for the time being to give my wrist a rest and have been enjoying the delights of the Liberty stash packs that Kerry and Ellie bought me for Christmas from Very Berry fabrics.
I have nearly run out of some of the prints so will be looking to restock when we go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham next week. We have a girly trip planned with some of the knitting group, I have give them strict instructions to them to restrain my fabric buying though ;-)
I was very late to the love of Liberty party, it was only really when I went to the brooch making workshop last year that I realised how useful the little prints could be and since then have been inspired by blogs like Nana Company.
So here is the fruit of my labours, have still to put together the needlebooks as I am busy making more pretty hexagons for these which it is a little bit addictive.
That and a boxed set on Sky and I am very happily entertained! Am currently avidly watching Falling Skies, a series set after an alien invasion which is very edge of your seat stuff.
I have given each pincushion some little coordinated pins, these were recently obtained from EBay, don’t know which I like best, flowers, hearts, drops or leaves as they are all so pretty.
I have also been finishing off the little knitted pincushions, have added charms and altered the one I made earlier using ribbons to do the divisions rather than thread which I think makes it look very cute.
Well I shall love you and leave you now and get back to the hard slog of television and stitching!
Thanks, as always, for visiting.
We have had a very nice if damp weekend away at the Tatton event and this morning went to visit Dunham Massey, a National Trust property with a special exhibition which was very interesting.
It links in with several books that I have been reading about the role of women in the First World War and is called Sanctuary from the Trenches .
The story that is told is of the Stamford Military Hospital set up during the war at the property and of the nurses who worked there, particularly Sister Catherine Bennett who was matron and Lady Jane Grey, the daughter of the Stanford family who worked as a VAD during the war.
It is a very well put together display using both historical artefacts and interpretations, including lovely text printed on articles such as sheets, socks and bedside tables to tell the story of the men who spent time at that hospital.
My friend Barbara has recently done a talk on knitting for the First World War – the Knitting and Crochet Guild based in Huddersfield has some artefacts that were knitted for soldiers. I thought this reproduction of a note from a knitter was very thought provoking.
One of the rooms was displaying artefacts from the lives of the nurses who lived and worked there including their training manual.
I have recently read a very good fictional trilogy which I have just bought copies of for Ellie called Daughters of War by Hilary Green dealing with a similar story of women volunteering for duty during the war in Gallipoli.
In the kitchen at Dunham Massey there were some costumed volunteers who were knitting for the troops, they very kindly allowed me to take pictures.
On one of our recent Trust visits we got lots of lovely books from one of their second – hand book shops, one of which was an amazing book called, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, by Margaret Foster , edited from the diaries of Millicent King, born in 1901 who of course experienced both the First and Second World Wars and kept a diary of her life from the age of 13 until the age of 93.
It would have been a really interesting book if it had been a work of fiction but was all the more poignant for being a true story.
A very interesting, thought provoking and moving morning.
Hope that you have had a good weekend whatever you have been doing, see you soon and thanks for visiting.
Hello everyone, I hope that you did have a very nice weekend, mine was productive and I am posting today to share with you my latest creations.
I have told you before about my love of pincushions, like most crafters I have several and love making them but these are my very first knitted ones :-)
I took inspiration from all the lovely things on a pincushion Pinterest board here and another Pinterest search for knitted pincushions, (there are some seriously cute crochet ones out there, must learn to crochet next, my life will not be complete until I can make a granny square pin cushion!).
I didn’t follow a pattern, just made it up as I went along so I have put a tutorial here for you in case you want to make some yourself.
1. Using 2.5mm double pointed needles and 4 ply yarn cast on 45 stitches. Thicker yarn and/or larger needles will give a larger pincushion – these measure approx. 8cm inches in diameter.
2. Distribute the stitches evenly between the 3 needles.
3. For the purple pincushion knit in stocking stitch (all knit rows) until work measures 9cm in length.
4. Leave stitches on needles and using long tail of thread and large eyed needle gather all stitches, pull tight and fasten securely
5. For pink pincushion knit in stocking stitch, (all rows knit), until work measures 4 cm in length then knit in moss stitch, (knit 1, purl 1) ,for 6 rows. Then knit in stocking stitch for a further 3.5 cm in length.
6. Finish as for purple pincushion in step 4.
7. Stuff firmly with polyester toy stuffing and then using length of yarn and large eyed needle pick up stitches from cast on edge to gather. Pull tight and fasten securely.
8. For purple pincushion – use a length of embroidery thread , (all 6 strands), or similar threaded onto a sharp needle. Stitch to attach thread to gathered up centre.
9. Securely wrap thread around the body of the pincushion to form eight segments. Pull tightly as you do this and secure each time you take thread back to centre with a stitch.
10. For both pincushions stitch buttons at centre of pincushion (top and bottom) to cover gathered join. Pull tightly when stitching to flatten pincushion. I did both buttons simultaneously then left thread tail inside of body.
11. Add co-ordinating pins!
One of my favourite bloggers, Mary Kathryn, has just made some gorgeous embroidered linen pincushions, go and have a look at her post about them, if she shipped to the UK I would have bought one as they are just beautiful.
I have just ordered some more buttons and charms from Etsy as well to decorate the next few batches of accessories , I really love these little decorated buttons that I first saw at Yarndale last year.
I am going to test out one with a lace pattern border this week to improve my skills at lace knitting in the round!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
I have been wanting to learn to knit with double-pointed and circular needles for ages, I did try a pair of socks of few years ago and it was a disaster as I could not avoid making holes at the join of the stitches.
The recent delivery of the Knit for Winter pattern meant that I knew I had to try to tackle it again and I am very pleased to say that with the help of my lovely friends at knitting group, (especially Sarah who was so patient when I kept ending up with only two needles), I have managed it.
This is truly knitting genius and I have to say I am hooked, don’t think I will ever knit in the flat again, all the things they say about knitting in the round are true.
It is so clever to just knit and get stocking stitch without having to remember which is your purl row. And no seams! That is fantastic.
I have finished one pair of the mittens from the Erin Cowl and Fingerless Mitts pattern by Lesley Jones and I am pleased with most of the work. I did have little issues with losing stitches from the end of my needles so have had to pick up a few things which makes it look a bit messy.
The lace pattern at the top did also go a bit awry – I like the look of the pattern that I ended up with but the two mitts don’t match very well so I have been knitting another pair which are coming out better for the Knit for Winter project and will keep the first pair for myself.
I am also very proud of the fact that I have knitted a thumb for the first time especially as knitting a lace pattern on only 24 stitches in the round was very fiddly!
I have plans to knit the cowl as well to match. I have lots of this wool left and it is so pretty. Despite the mitts pattern looking a bit complex it isn’t and I have really enjoyed it, it completes quickly and is simple enough to work the lace while watching TV.
I am also very excited as now that I have learnt to work in the round I am going to able to knit a sample for Sarah, she designs her own patterns, (a true knitting genius), under the name Aldersign Designs and has a stall booked at Yarndale in September this year so I am going to knit a pair of mitts for the stall. She is working on a book of patterns all inspired by Elves which will be fantastic.
I am also going to be working on some knitting accessories such as pin cushions, scissor and needles storage etc for her to sell on her stall as well using mainly my recycled denim, vintage crochet and embroidery and hexi applique.
Below is a little bit of knitting in the round that I have done with some spare stash Debbie Bliss Sublime yarn that I will being turning into a pincushion. I love how working on such small needles (2.5mm) gives you such a neat and pretty pattern in simple stocking stitch.
This will be my summer project in between kit making. The great thing is that knitting in the round is so portable for taking on trains and knitting in cars on the journeys to events. So that is my summer crafting sorted!
Am spending most of this weekend finally getting to make the surcoat for Jamie and may be able to make the April Block of the Month as well – have got behind due to the loveliness of having holidays and lots of visitors last month but must get some of the kit I have promised everyone (including me!) actually started.
Hope that you are all going to have a lovely weekend ahead. Thanks for visiting.
I blame Amazon, all you are doing is checking if they have a book and putting it on your wishlist for future reference, a sewing book recommended by one of my new favourite blogs, Did You Make That?
Then when you are updating your wishlist there is a little message that says, ‘get yourself a little something’ , and you think, ‘no Amazon I am being good’, as I have 27 books in the, ‘to be read pile’ , already.
But then you see that something you have had on your wishlist for ages has gone down to a ridiculously low price AND it is being sold by one of the charity book sellers and it is Easter and you don’t really like chocolate so no-one has bought you any so it is really an Easter present to yourself :-)
Anyway it is done and it is on its way and I could have worse vices than a small book addiction I suppose.
I have bought Flower Power Patchwork which was reviewed in one of my quilt mags a while ago, looks like it will be really good for using some of my beautiful Liberty fabric.
It is a gorgeous weekend here and I am very much enjoying the sunshine, I replanted my hanging baskets yesterday and they are looking very pretty.
I have also made very good progress with the re-knitting of the cuff for the #knit for winter mittens that I first blogged about a couple of days ago.
It worked much better with the Debbie Bliss yarn and I have now picked up all of the stitches and am ready for the knitting in the round stuff.
It doesn’t seem to fit very well on the circular needles, seems to be a bit too small for me to actually knit with – maybe I am doing something wrong but think I need to use the DPNs instead, shall wait until knitting group on Tuesday for more advice.
Well must go now as the bin men have just been which means I can put the washing out for the first time this year – very exciting, my life is so rock and roll ;-)
Thanks for visiting and enjoy your sunshine if you are lucky enough to have some.
Hope that you are all having a great Easter weekend, I am very much enjoying myself pottering around the house, the weather has been kind so done a little garden tidying and lots of knitting while catching up on some of my recorded TV. Have finally finished game of Thrones (just in time for Season 5) and Wolf Hall.
I have had guests for the last few weekends which has been very nice but I am also very much enjoying quiet time alone (Jake is still here for the holidays but is happily amusing himself with the joys of online entertainment).
I was talking to him last night about blogs etc and was surprised that he had never used Pinterest, I was explaining the pleasure I get from being able to look up sewing, knitting and quilting inspiration and then later on in the evening while doing a bit of catching up of my favourite blogs I came across this amazing board which I though I would share with you.
She has lots of lovely boards with her quilting on but this Quilts, Quilts, Quilts Pinterest board she has linked to set up by Maryland Quilter has no fewer than 170,865 pins on it, enough to keep you amused for a while! There is some amazing stuff out there and I am in awe at the skill levels of people.
Meanwhile on the actually productive front I have finished the fairly tricky lace pattern for the first cuff of my #knit for winter mittens but unfortunately it is not working with the wool.
It is beautiful wool but is variegated with a lot of different colours and is just not going to work on this small an item.
I should have realised before but sometimes it takes a while for things to sink in and it was only when I finished I realised that I am not happy with the fact that the seam for the cuffs is going to have such a drastic colour change.
Am starting again with some Debbie Bliss Rialto four ply that I got as part of another de-stash, re-stash from knitting group and will save the other wool for a larger scale project, I think it would make a lovely hat for the #knit for winter campaign as the colours are beautiful but it needs a larger scale to show it off.
I also think that this smoother wool will work better with the lace pattern as well as I am not happy about the untidiness of the top of the pattern here.
Also cast on for a simple knitting group project (one that I can drink wine with!) This is a moss stitch cowl from a Let’s Knit freebie booklet from a few years ago with some Rowan wool cotton, again from the de-stash, re-stash and this will be donated to the #knit for winter campaign as well.
I am really looking forward to the week ahead as my lovely Mum arrives on Weds and we are off to Copenhagen on Friday for a few days, will post lots of Scandinavian historical stuff when I get back!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
I know that the post title may be a bit confusing as it is Easter but the way the weather is here in Yorkshire today it might as well be November, we had a beautiful warm Spring day here yesterday and I was getting all excited but now it is all ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ again.
Not that this is a problem as my Easter weekend is full of indoor knitting and stitching plans anyway.
Although I am not doing as much knitting this year I was very excited to be asked to participate in a project to raise awareness of the campaign #knit for winter being run by Sunrise Senior Living.
Myself and several other bloggers have been asked to knit items which will be donated to charities who help older people to raise money and awareness of the effects of the cold weather for older people.
This is a quote from the campaign blog post showing how big a problem this can be.
“Age UK report than an average of 25,000 “excess winter deaths” occur each year during the winter months (December – March). One elderly person dies needlessly every 7 minutes from the cold. That is around 206 deaths each day which could be prevented.”
If you would like to get involved then you can post a comment with contact details on the Knit for Winter blog post or if you use Twitter search #knitforwinter
I know that there are lots of knitters with spare wool and time who would love to get involved in this very good cause – use up your stash and not only will you get a warm feeling, someone else will as well ;-)
To start the campaign they have very kindly given me some gorgeous wool and a pattern, look at this lovely stuff.
The pattern is by Lesley Jones and is called the Eirin cowl and fingerless mitts and I have put a link to her Etsy site in case you love the pattern as much as I do. She also has more shawls as well as the Eirin pattern on her Ravelry page.
I chose this pattern from all the ones I was offered as it is similar to some wristwarmers that I knitted a few years ago in the picture below and wanted to have a practise with lace again.
It is in the round which will be a challenge as I have never done that before but I have my lovely friends at knitting group if I get stuck!
I have also just finished this little hat out of some de-stash, re-stash wool that I got when we had a swap session at knitting group, going to add some tassels to it and that can be donated as well.
Have got enough wool for a few more of these in different colours so will be casting on for those over the next few weeks, these are great knitting group projects as you don’t have to concentrate too hard on them when you have had wine!