Joining in

Hello everyone, hope that you have had a good week so far, I am so glad it is nearly Friday, that is excellent news :-) I have had a lovely week but weekends are always better!

Given that I didn’t actually finish the Block of the Month we started last year within the knitting group I am possibly a little optimistic posting about a couple of collaborative ventures I have discovered recently.

However I am working on the basis that I am doing it more for all of you who read my blog than for me and who knows I might win the lottery soon and need lots of things to fill my time with ;-)

Anyway being a new year there are lots of great things happening that you can join in with, I am going to share a couple with you now and I have more in my favourites for a later post.

The first one is a mystery knit along being organised by my very talented friend Sarah from knitting group and her equally talented friend Ann. I am definitely doing this one and it will help to have one of the designers on hand if needed!

The knit along is for a pair of fingerless mittens and it is called, ‘On the other hand’, as for each section you get two pattern options, one from Ann and one from Sarah.

MKAL_Ravelry_group_banner_1

The link above takes you to Ravelry where you can buy the pattern and join the group and the first part gets released on the 5th Feb.

There are also some lovely free block of the months to inspire me. I have never done any of Lori Holt’s designs but love the look of the Quilty Fun and Farm Girl Vintage and she has got a new design called Bloom.

Bloom Sew Along

Isn’t this quilt just so pretty! The pattern does use Lori’s Bloom templates but I think you could make the flowers without those as well as the instructions are very clear. Picture from Lori’s blog.

Bloom Quilt

The overall pattern is free from the Riley Blake site and Lori is giving step by step instructions on her Bee in my Bonnet blog

The fabric is her new Calico Days range and it really is, ‘bloomin gorgeous’, look at all this, pity I am trying to be good and not buy anything! Again picture from Lori’s blog.

Calico days fabric

I have a whole weekend of lovely crafting planned, how unusual ;-)

Will catch up again soon, meanwhile thanks very much for visiting.

 

 

 

What I did on my holidays … or what I did in 2015

Hello everyone, inspired by lots of other people doing review of activities posts I thought that I would take a look back at what I managed in 2015.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, (except for the perennial one of doing less housework and more fun things), but do like thinking about what the year might bring.

I did set myself a number of goals for that year, 12 quilt blocks with our Block of the Month organised by Helen from knitting group, 26 books to be read and 17 sewing projects from the Sewing Bucket List.

I didn’t get any of them completed fully but on the positive side this means I still have things to work on for this year :-)

I finished 5 of the quilt blocks and have another one cut out but have been having a few issues with my new machine :-( so need to spend some time sorting that out before any serious quilt making happens.

I have enjoyed the challenge and it has made me a lot more accurate and confident about piecing and if I hadn’t been doing so much other sewing would have managed all of these.

I have read lots and lots of books this year but got diverted from the list so ended up only completing 11 out of the 26.

My current favourite diversion is my discovery of Debbie Macomber, I really enjoyed watching the adaptation of her Cedar Cove series on Netflix in the summer and as usual picked up a couple of her Blossom Street series in a charity shop in Spain recently and am now hooked! Appropriate for a series that starts with the story of a yarn shop.

Blossom street novel

Have ordered four more of these to take to Spain for my next holiday, yes Alison what happened to not buying any more books until all the ones you had were read?

As for the sewing list 7 out of 17 and again lots of other diversions off to stitch Jenny’s beautiful designs and to make lots of medieval kit and a couple of extra things for the sewing room.

Other things I accomplished not on the list, lots and lots of hexagon piecing, my favourites being the pincushions and needlecases with Liberty fabric.

And learning to knit in the round, the wristwarmers and the little knitted pincushions were my first success with this.

The discovery of Jenny’s embroidery which gave me lots of beautiful things to stitch, my favourite so far are her birds, this one is now in my craft room.

So challenges for 2016 then. Well to finish all these lists, to improve my skills at making quilt blocks.

I still have lots of lovely things I want to make for the craft room and think that single blocks to use as mini quilts is probably a better option than trying to make anything bigger.

2016 will definitely be a year of more embroidery and challenging myself to use different stitches.

As for knitting goals definitely lost more of Julie’s little animals, the mouse is coming along very well and love the speed at which I can complete them.

What about you, any challenges that you want to tackle in 2016?

Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Embracing my inner Scandinavian

Hello everyone and greetings from not a wet Yorkshire but a very white one!

We have finally had the snow that we have been expecting for a week and so there are lots of very excited children out on sledges and heading up to the local reservoir where there is a wonderful slope for them to whizz down.

I however will be staying indoors and practising the Danish concept of hygge which I am getting very good at these days.

Roughly translated as cosiness it involves candles, fleecy blankets, doing nice things to keep yourself cheerful in the dark winter days and possibly mulled wine as well. That sounds like a plan!

We visited Denmark earlier this year and even though it was quite light in the evenings by then we loved all the lights in the Tivoli gardens.

Tivoli Gardens lights

In Norway this Christmas the streets were full of light, not only Christmas lights but also oil lamps outside the shops, lights in windows etc. It really makes a difference when it starts getting dark at 3pm and it is cold.

I have also been able to start knitting again! I have not knitted for nearly 6 months due to the problems with tendonitis in my wrist and though I have been really enjoying my embroidery have had an urge to knit again.

It does seem very much a winter thing and I am working on some more of Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits animals at the moment.

I have previously knitted lots of these gorgeous creatures and several extra dresses for them and this time I am trying some of the other animals.

I have just bought some gorgeously fluffy white wool from my friend Lydia at Spun  for my first mouse, just look at the cuteness of Julie’s boy mouse and those little ears in her pattern!

Boy Mouse LCR

I am planning at least one mouse in a ballerina costume, no-one can resist this little wrap around cardigan from one of Julie’s free added patterns.

ballet_bunny_LCR

I have just bought the cat pattern as I realised that I didn’t have this one and love the plaid dress that she is wearing!

Girl cat - LCR

These are all Julie’s pictures of finished items from the patterns I have bought, I am just showing them to you to inspire you.

I have also been inspired by seeing all the Norwegian knitting in the Folk Museum so I want to make some little dresses with Scandinavian patterns on.

I love all the Christmas stockings I did a few years ago so am thinking of using some of these pictures for inspiration, there are some lovely free motifs from this site.

Norwegian motifs

I know that I have said this before but Julie really is a genius and her animals are wonderful, if you haven’t ever visited her blog please go and see all the lovely animals she has made, guaranteed to bring hygge to your life!

I think you should really buy her patterns as well as that is double happiness, knitting them and the pleasure when people get them.

I love looking though her Etsy shop at all the designs she has sold getting ideas for colour combinations.

So a happy day ahead for me, I will be doing some catching up of TV watching as well. I am going to watch the first couple of episodes of Jericho this afternoon as that looks very good and then there are the double delights of Walking the Himalayas and Call the Midwife tonight!

Have a lovely hygge time yourselves and see you all again soon, thanks for visiting.

A Colourful Friday

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.
Harrogate K and S 2015 7

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.

Harrogate K and S 2015 5

Harrogate K and S 2015 6

This beautiful applique quilt won the Two Person Quilt Category and was made by Alison Wells and Mandy Parks.

Harrogate K and S 2015 4

This was the Traditional Quilts winner by Janette Chilver. The quilting is just amazing.

Harrogate K and S 2015 2

Harrogate K and S Winning Quilts

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.

Harrogate K and S 2015 SAQA Quilts

Harrogate K and S 2015 9

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.

Harrogate K and S 2015 10

Harrogate K and S 2015 11

Harrogate K and S 2015 12

Harrogate K and S 2015 13

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!

Harrogate K and S 2015 Guild

Harrogate K and S 2015 15

Harrogate K and S 2015 16

Harrogate K and S 2015 17

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.

Just in time making!

Hello everyone

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).

Sarah and Sharon at Yarndale

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!

If you would like a copy of the book you can get one from Sarah’s website Alder Sign Designs  or individual patterns are available from her Ravelry shop as well.

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.

Yarndale 6

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.

Yarndale stuff

Yarndale 4

Yarndale 5

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.

Yarndale 2

Yarndale 3

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.

Let there be elf ears!

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.

Sarah's book Front-Cover

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.

Ellie as an elf

Though this one is very lovely too – she is actually wearing one of my flower head dresses in this picture ;-)

Ellie as an elf

So go and take a look at all the wonderful designs in the full book – it is available on Ravelry and on Sarah’s Alder Sign website, it would make a lovely Christmas present for a knitty friend.

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.

Suzi as an elf

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.

Life, love and Liberty

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.

Liberty pincushions 1

Liberty Pincushions 2

Liberty Pincushions 3

Liberty Pincushions 4

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.

Liberty Pincushions 5

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.

Knitted Pincushions July

Knitted Pincushions July 2

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.