Knitting geniuses and a knitting numpty

Hello everyone

I have made a start on the Sarah and Ann’s Knit Along, in fact I have made 3 starts on it :-(

My great excitement last year about being able to knit in the round meant that I thought that I would have no problems with the pattern.

It is a very well written pattern but for some reason I started knitting backwards from rear of the needles rather than the front so ended up with it being back to front.

Anyway lovely Sarah helped me out at knitting group so I have started again. I have chosen two of my favourite colours and my favourite wool Debbie Bliss Sublime.

Sarah's knit along 1

I am going to be in Spain all next week so hope that I will get chance to do more work on it. At the moment it is just two not very impressive rows!

Sarah's knit along 2

If you would like more information about the Knit Along you can go to the Ravelry group and look at the discussion. Sarah and Ann have a video introducing themselves on Youtube as well.

It is really lovely to know such talented people, their designs are stunning. I have already told you about Sarah’s Elven Reckoning book but she has other really lovely designs as well including lots smaller designs for hats etc.

Here are a couple of my favourites, pictures from her her web site. Firstly the Alexandria fingerless gloves .

Alexandria+Gauntlets-logo+1

Next the Bella cowl. Wouldn’t these make lovely gifts especially in matching yarn.

Sarah's Bella Cowl

I don’t know if I would ever be able to do any of Ann’s designs, they are amazing and so pretty but maybe beyond me at the moment, especially if I can’t work out which way round I am knitting!

This is the stunning Hedgerow jumper – picture from Ann’s Ravelry page   , isn’t it just beautiful.

Ann Kingstone Hedgerow jumper

A group of friends knitted themselves one each, it looks fabulous in any colour, again picture from Ann’s Ravelry pattern page.

Ann Kingstone Hedgerow group shot- small

I have made good progress with the mouse though so am not feeling like a complete numpty. It is so cute – just look at the lovely furry yarn and those little ears!

Mouse parts 1

Mouse parts 2

I have knitted most of the little ballet cardigan as well, this has been really quick to do so I think that all my little girl animals are going to have to have cardigans now, it is so sweet.

Ballet cardigan

I am nearly all packed to go away, just my knitting to add and I am also taking my beautiful Printemps fabric for some hexi making.

I shall catch up with you all when I get back in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile have fun and thanks for visiting.

Joining in again

Hello again, more things that you might want to consider joining for your crafty entertainment this year.

The first is from the lovely Jenny of Elefantz and is her new free Block of the Month embroidery. As you know I am already a member of Jenny’s Stitch Club so I get loveliness every month but this is for everyone. Photo from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ gentle domesticity button

The theme this year is Gentle Domesticity and there is a free block published on the 5th of each month, that stays free for the rest of that month before being sold in her Craftsy shop, where she has loads of other gorgeous designs as well.

The great thing about Jenny’s designs is that can all be personalised and made into gifts so that you can use them for all sorts of things which is why I love them so much. I love adding names or my own messages to her work.

This is the January block, I love the house and heart together and this would make a lovely housewarming gift for someone. Photo from Jenny’s blog.

ELEFANTZ gentle domesticity BOM block 1 jan 2015

The next one I want to share with you I originally found about from Jenny’s page and this looks amazing.

It is called The Splendid Sampler and is no less than 100 blocks by 83 designers which are all free in a mystery block of the month.

The-Splendid-Sampler-Sew-Along-big-button

The designers include so many brilliant people, including Jenny and lots of other people whose blogs I follow so this looks like an excellent project. I love the fact that the some of the blocks will be embroidery and English Paper Piecing as well.

Of course I will be saving the block information rather than trying to make two blocks a week but there should be some lovely stuff here :-)

All this excitement starts on the 14th Feb with two 6 inch block designs released each week.

They have already released a design for a block case which you can find on the Splendid Sampler website here. Photo from the web site.

Splendid sampler block case

This very useful case not only keeps a ruler safe but also lets you audition fabrics on the inside section and keep fabric and completed blocks safe. Photo from the web site as before.

Splendid sampler block case - interior

There is also a Facebook group and so far 7740 people have joined that, there are some lovely fabric pictures of peoples choices to drool over at the moment.

According to the poll there are 8 of us from Yorkshire doing it, not thought about any fabric yet as I will probably do blocks in different choices depending on design and purpose.

Isn’t it lovely that social media lets us do all these exciting things. And to think I once said to a friend when he explained what the internet was back in about 1994, ‘no I don’t think I’ll be using that…can’t really see the point’. Ha ha, how wrong I was!

Well I will leave you and get back to some actual crafting, Ellie and Kerry are due later for a visit and we have a Fire Festival in the village tonight as well.Thanks very much for visiting and see you all soon.

A very long term project

Hello everyone

Like a lot of people I have been thinking about projects for this year, and more specifically my WIPs.

I don’t have many thankfully and most are things that I have done that need an end purpose like some of my experiments with different techniques.

A while ago I discovered the joys of English Paper Piecing and the delights of the mini charm pack. I have thoroughly enjoyed making lots and lots of hexagons, some with an idea in mind of an end product others to be filed for further inspiration.

One of my recent rediscoveries going through the WIPS box, I only have the one and it is quite small honest, was these lovely hexagons pieced from a mini charm pack of Moda Printemps that I bought from Simply Solids.

Printemps fabric 3

I had also acquired some further fat quarters from the Quilt Show in August and my Quilt Cabin workshop in the summer so have quite a bit of this gorgeous fabric but what to make with it?

Printemps fabric 5

Printemps fabric 2

Musing on this a couple of weeks ago I came across a charm pack on Ebay at a very bargain price so added that to the stash – yes I know I should not have been looking for more fabric, just for patterns but you know how it goes.

Printemps fabric 1

I have also just found some more of the fabric on Ebay at a great price so ordered 3 fat quarters early on Saturday evening from Simply All Sorts.

I was absolutely delighted when they messaged me on Sunday and told me that as they had reduced the price of those fabrics at 10pm that evening, after I had ordered, they were going to refund me the difference! What brilliant customer service and to say thank you I ordered another fat quarter which ended up only costing me £1.

I have now decided on a quilt but this is going to be mainly handpieced, which is why it is going to be a very long term project.

I would love to own just one large quilt for me and am in awe of the people who make them in a week but I am thinking a couple of years for this one.

I was browsing for inspiration again yesterday and came across these three lovely designs using the fabric. This one comes from Susie’s Pinwheel Cottage blog and I love the design she has created. Isn’t this so pretty!

Printemps Quilt - Pinwheel Cottage

This one is from Shannon’s blog and uses a pattern called Picket Fence. She is such a prolific quilter and makes the most gorgeous things, go take a look.

Picket Fence Primtemps Quilt

I really like the idea of using the charm pack as it is for some of the blocks as in this design above as it is such beautiful fabric and doing all pieced blocks would not let the design shine through. The Moda picture below shows all the colours and designs in the range.

Moda Printemps colours

As I already have five hexagons and love making them and they are so portable to take away with me I think that most of the other blocks would be hexagons, not sure yet if I will applique them on to a background of try and piece round them to make blocks.

I also love the idea of Dresden blocks, have never made one but they look feasible but am not certain how they would blend with hexagons.

The free pattern that came with the fabric range has got large Dresden Plate blocks with hexagon centres but I am not sure I like that design.

However this version from Bella Rose Quilts looks amazing with the background quilting. A bit beyond my skills at the moment!

Bella Rose Printemps Dresden

What do you think? Anyone tried the two together?

Anyway I shall enjoy the process and the excuse to do more hand piecing, am getting better at machine work but hand stitching will always be my preference, especially on cold winter days when I can snuggle watching TV.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

Lovely presents

Hello everyone

I have been waiting a while to get some good pictures of the great things I got for Christmas this year.We had a nice sunny day yesterday so I was able to get pictures of my new craft room treats.

You may remember me saying that I had bought a sewing machine themed cotton reel holder and had the matching hook set on my wish list, well guess what my lovely children bought me for Christmas!

Xmas presents 1

This was a total surprise and I was delighted, Ellie said she thought the link on my blog was a hint but it was just really for me to remember where it was from as it was quite expensive and I was going to save up for it. So thank you brilliant children :-)

I am using it at the moment to hang bags from and on it is another one of my gifts on it, this knitting bag on the left from my brother Ben and his (now wife!) Amanda.

Xmas presents 2

The girls at knitting all thought that we should get t-shirts with this on as it is so true! They got this from Not On The High Street.

Xmas presents 3

My lovely friend Kerry always gets my great gifts and this year she bought me this diary from my wish list. Look at all the quilty joy that is in here.

Xmas presents 4

This rainbow quilt is brilliant and I love the look of the rail fence cushions.

Xmas presents 5

Xmas presents 6

She also, ‘gifted’, me some fabric that she bought some years ago at Harrogate but has never used and I was very pleased.

I would be pleased with Christmas fabric anyway but there at the bottom is the red version of the gorgeous stuff I managed to get five fat quarters of last year at Harrogate.

Xmas presents 7

When I brought it home I was thinking how great it would be if I had some more of the red as well and now I have!

Not much crafting to share with you this week, mouse is still a WIP but I have recently finished another of Jenny of Elefantz’s designs, this one in the variegated thread again.

Elefantz heart stitching 1

I think the thickness of the thread looks really good with the flower design. The heart is cut from some batik.

Elefantz heart stitching 2

Am finishing off the mouse this weekend so will be knitting the cute ballet cardigan tomorrow then need to get some tulle for a tutu so that I can make it up next week.

Hope that you have a very enjoyable weekend, it has just started snowing here so I am staying snuggled under the fleece enjoying my hygge home!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

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.