Sunday, 29 September 2013

Elizabeth Cat

So, I made a fox for one of Eve's friends for her birthday.  This created quite a stir with her other friends.

Then someone else put in a request for a crocheted something for her birthday.  I can never refuse, so I have made a lime green cat!

For the fox, I made my own pattern because I couldn't find anything already out there that I liked.  However for the cat, I found a pattern that fitted what we wanted.  This pattern is called Amineko Crocheted Cat and it is available free, here.

Our cat is called Elizabeth and we had great fun posing her for the photos.

I’m sure it will keep Eve and her university friends amused for hours!

And I'm also sure it won't be the last of the requests - but I love getting them!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Scrap Challenge - Limping Along

It was bound to happen - full of enthusiasm, ever the optimist - but after only three weeks, I fell behind with the Samelia's Mum challenge.

I keep promising myself that I'm going to make an effort to try to make something each week - but inevitably, life gets in the way (more accurately - it's easier to pick up a bit of knitting than getting the sewing machine set up!).

So today I made an effort to find half an hour to sew something scrappy.  I chose the challenge from week 7 - a cord tidy.  Admittedly this is a very easy project and it took longer to get the sewing machine set up than it did to make the thing.

And what a useful little thing it turns out to be.

It's what we've been needing for some time now.

I feel I should make some more - because let's face it, there are lots of cords around that need to be tidier - but I suspect I won't get round to it.

This week's challenge is a lovely mini patchwork mat.  Now I do fancy a go at that - but oops! I just put the sewing machine away and packed that scrappy fabric bits bags into the store room.  Maybe tomorrow?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Family Reunion

One of the amazing things about tracing your family tree is finding long lost relatives.  I spent last Sunday in the company of three wonderful ladies who I was meeting for the first time but who are all related to me.  Two second cousins and a third cousin (all once removed).  We are all related through William Parry who was born in North Wales in 1816.  He was a slate quarrier.  He took his family to America in 1851, to work in the slate quarries in Pennsylvania but he returned to North Wales with some of the family about 25 years later.

We were perplexed to understand why anyone would give up Pennsylvania for the slate quarries of North Wales, but I wouldn't be here if he hadn't!  My third cousin is from the branch of the family that wisely stayed in America.  She now lives in Texas and she brought me a slab of pecan praline in the shape of Texas!

Texan Pecan Praline

We had a wonderful day swapping family stories and exploring cemeteries, looking for Parry graves.  The weather was not at its best, high winds and rain, and it seemed to enhance the bleakness of the Welsh mountains.  Not ideal for fighting your way round overgrown graveyards.


We were finally rewarded with finding the grave of my great-great grandfather.

All in Welsh
 Thankfully one of my cousins is a Welsh speaker and was able to translate for us.
Glad I took my woollies!

We then went to the village where the family had lived and some of our grandfathers had been born.

Yr Fron

Aerial view of Yr Fron

It was a wonderful experience.   We all came home with a slab of Welsh slate as a souvenir!  But most important of all, we have new friends who share a passion for family research.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Salina Finished

What a delight - I've finished my Salina sweater and it's perfect.

I had knitted this pattern by Kim Hargreaves before ( in the dark days before I had discovered Ravelry!).  The original sweater was rather large across the shoulders and I'd knitted it in a disappointing green colour (I should steer well away from green but I never learn!).  I only wear it now for my early morning walks.  However, the pattern was one I always thought I would knit up again.

This time I reduced the number of stitches for both the front and back by 16!  The sweater is now a lovely fit.

I also knitted it in the round as seamlessly as possible.  This meant that most of the sleeve cap shaping was done seamlessly except the very top of the sleeve cap.  For the shoulders I did some short row shaping and a three needle bind off.

I think I've found what I was looking for in terms of a technique for seamless but well fitting.  The only change I would make would be to try to make the small seam at the top of the sleeve cap smaller and less visible.

My plan is to knit up a basic sweater using this technique (with some tweaking) and then I can use it as a basis for other patterns.  The maths for the sleeve shaping takes some sorting out and the notes I scribbled down whilst knitting Salina are already looking confusing.  But it will be worth it in the end.  I shall call it my Mary Poppins pattern - practically perfect in every way!  How exciting!

Details of the pattern, yarn and needles etc for my Salina sweater can be seen on my Ravelry page, here.

Monday, 9 September 2013

A Love of Lists

Lists are wonderful things.  They satisfy my need to feel in control; they give me a sense of achievement as I tick things off: and when I look back at them them remind me of my aims and wishes.

So when I came across this little book, I felt as though it had been published especially for me.

The blurb on the back says "The ultimate fill-in journal for pondering the road ahead!"

There are the obvious pages to fill-in.

List of things you want to accomplish.

And some not so obvious but fun anyway.

List of other lives you'd want to lead if you had nine lives!

List of fictional character you'd like to hang out with!

I can't wait to start filling it in - but it's so nice I don't want to spoil it - I may have to make some preliminary lists in another notebook just to be on the safe side!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Another One Ticked Off the List...

The knitted shawl is now finished and blocked.  I'm really motoring now!  I love ticking things off the list - a great sense of achievement and progress - even if it is only a shawl.

The pattern was so easy and required very little concentration - perfect for reading and knitting at the same time.

The pattern is called The Age of Brass and Steam.  It's by Orange Flower and it's available as a free Ravelry download, here.

Full details of the yarn I used etc can be found on my Ravelry project page, here.

Despite the ticking off of the list - it still grows longer - I'll just have to knit faster!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Abigail Fox

As I'm feeling very organised at the moment, I got straight into typing up the crochet fox pattern this morning and I'm pleased to say it's all done.  I've also rephotographed her as yesterday's pictures weren't very impressive (not sure today's are any better but I try my best!).

The pattern is called Abigail Fox.

It uses brown double knitting yarn – about 25g, oddments of black and white DK yarn and a 
3mm crochet hook

The finished size is approximately 19 cm (7 1/2 inches) tall in seated position.

The pattern is available as a free PDF, here.  

I hope you enjoy the pattern.  

Sheffield Revisited

On Tuesday, we loaded up the car with more of Grace's belongings and headed back to Sheffield.

Grace's flat has progressed significantly since we left it last Friday.  More furniture has been delivered and its looking very homely.

Happy days - we're looking forward to plenty of visits.

Her job starts today - so GOOD LUCK my lovely big girl.  I'm sure everything will go well.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

So Where Am I Up To?

Now that Grace is happily settled into her new home in Sheffield, I can turn my thoughts back to the various (and numerous) projects that are currently awaiting attention.  Here are some of my WIPs.

My colourful multi-stitch blanket from the crochet along with Jules over at little woollie is coming on a treat.

I'm planning on working on section #9 this evening.  Shouldn't be too long now before it's finished.

I've also been working on another wrap.  After the last shawl I did say I wasn't interested in making another one but the ball of wool pleaded with me to buy it - and who am I to refuse.

It was a 150g ball of wool (nicely reduced in price) and I planned to keep going until the wool ran out.

As you can see it has run out - with about 75 stitches still to cast off.  I've got something similar in colour so it shouldn't be a problem getting this finished.

I'm almost there on the sweater I'm knitting.  The pattern is Salina by Kim Hargreaves but I'm knitting it seamlessly, bottom-up.

So far so good, but making sure I rewrite the pattern correctly for the armholes is proving a bit stressful.  Hopefully it will be worth it in the end.

I'll let you have full details of these patterns when I've finished the projects.

Finally, I've just finished this cute little crocheted fox.

It will be a birthday present for one of Eve's friends.

It's one of my own patterns so I'll write up the details as soon as I can to share with you.  

Wow, it's good to see that most of these projects are nearly completed.  A good enough excuse to start some new projects!