Saturday 31 August 2013

Sheffield Here She Comes...

Yesterday was moving day for Grace.

They should have given us a hire van with elastic walls because we could have done with squeezing in a bit more.

Look at all this lovely space in the new flat.

Now filled with all Grace's stuff (thankfully no longer in our dining room).  I was too polite to take any photos of the pile of boxes and bags now filling her spare bedroom!

A very successful move - oops apart from forgetting to take the cutlery!

There is still a significant amount of "stuff" to be moved.  We're off for a visit one day next week so we can load up the car and take this with us.  Hopefully I can then get back in control - so much to do, so much started and not finished, so much promised and still to do.  I suppose life would be very boring if I was actually in control all the time!

Thursday 29 August 2013

One More Sleep...

One more sleep then Grace is moving to Sheffield to start her new job.

We went to Ikea the other day and now the hallway is full of boxes of furniture.

The dining room has no space left to move in.

But tomorrow it's all on its way to Sheffield along with my big girl.

I'm looking forward to getting the space back but I'll miss Grace. I'm sure she'll be very happy in her new job and new home.  I'm quite envious - new beginnings are always so exciting.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Apple Cosy

Many years ago I crocheted some apple cosies for the girls' school packed lunches.  Very useful and they have continued to be useful long after the girls have left school.

Following our trip to the cricket match a few weeks ago, I discovered that one of the cosies was missing.  I think I may have accidentally thrown it in the rubbish bin with the apple core!

Oh well - I always try to be positive - turn my lemons into lemonade.  So - an excellent opportunity to make a new apple cosy!

I've been deprived of Fair Isle knitting recently as I am using up stashed yarn to make a plain sweater.  So some Fair Isle knitting was just what I needed for my new cosy.

I used my favourite Rowan yarn - fine tweed.  The lovely turquoise and bright pink are two of the latest colours to be added to the range.

How I miss Fair Isle knitting - I may have to make some more!

Thursday 22 August 2013

The Lone Ranger

We had to go and see it - despite the reports that it had had bad reviews in America.  The Lone Ranger - I had wanted to see this as soon as I saw the trailers.  And I really enjoyed it.

The cinema was full and it was a very appreciative audience.  All good reviews from us.

I loved the part towards the end when the music from the William Tell Overture (the Lone Ranger theme tune) came on.  It was so stirring - I had to buy the Hans Zimmer version.  I'm playing it now as I bounce up and down, riding my imaginary Silver, in time to the music.

Hi-Yo Silver away!

Sunday 18 August 2013

Scrap Challenge # 3

Another week, another challenge.  This week the challenge was to cover a jar with fabric.  No sewing involved - just messy gluing.

Not very inspiring I thought, but it is only week 3 so it's far too early to start opting out.

So I grabbed myself an old jam jar, cut up some fabric strips and proceeded to glue my fingers together!

The result is surprisingly pleasing.

I added a strip of fabric flowers around the neck of the jar as a finishing touch.

That's the good thing about these challenges - you may not be inspired to start with - but you can make it your own.

Looking forward to tomorrow's new scrap challenge.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Simple Pleasures

It's the little things that make the difference... like, spending a few minutes crocheting letters to form a favourite word.

It makes me smile.

Thank you to Handy Kitty for the free letters pattern - they really are so quick to make.

Saturday 10 August 2013

Scrap Challenge # 2

This week's scrap challenge by Samelia's Mum is to make a needlecase.

It didn't excite me at first but then I found some inspiring pictures on Pinterest that led me to hen's teeth.  Such beautiful and fun embroidery gave me some ideas - so here is what I made.



inside - with pockets

full cover

Once I started with the embroidery I couldn't stop - I just loved creating this.

I ended up spending all yesterday afternoon working on it but it was a most enjoyable afternoon and I'm pleased with the results.

Now I'm looking forward to next week's challenge which will be announced on Monday.

Friday 9 August 2013

Seeking Perfection

Over the last few months I've been trying out different methods of knitting a seamless (or as near to seamless as possible) sweater.  

I haven't liked any of the methods I've tried so far.  The latest one I have tried uses the contiguous method by SusieM, the instructions are available on Ravelry as a free download, here.  The Contiguous method is a way of knitting the shoulder seams and sleeve caps of a garment from the top down.

I used a pattern called Avril in April by Reiko Kuwamura which uses this method to create a square necked sweater.  This pattern is also available as a free Ravelry download, here.  

It was interesting making the shoulders and then forming the sleeve cap.  I liked the idea behind this method but until the sweater was joined under the armholes it was difficult to assess how it would fit.

Once joined, I had a lovely armhole shaping but I wasn't happy with the shoulder shaping - far too sloping and the back neck sat too high.

It doesn't look too bad on the mannequin but wasn't right on me.  I'm not pursuing this sweater any further - it was only ever meant to be a test knit.

From here I'm incorporating what I've learnt from the different 'seamless' methods I've tried and I'm developing my own idea.  I'm knitting up a pattern by Kim Hargreaves called Salina that I made several years ago but I'm aiming to do it all seamlessly with nice fitted armholes and correctly sloping shoulders.  It's a lovely pinky yarn and it's knitting beautifully - so far so good.

This search for perfection is challenging - but someone has to do it!  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Knitting and Cricket

What a pleasant way to spend a summer afternoon - watching Lancashire 2nd XI play a cricket match against Nottinghamshire 2nd XI at Northern Cricket Club.

Sitting in the sun and knitting.

Not a care in the world.  What bliss!

Monday 5 August 2013

A New Challenge

On Saturday, I was reading through my favourite blogs and was interested to see that Ginny over at Ginx Craft has joined in a 52 week scrap challenge run by Samelia's Mum.

This involves a new project each week to use up scraps of fabric.  I must admit that my stash of fabric has been sadly neglected of late.  It sits in a large crate in the store room where it is slowly starting to smell very musty.

Despite the fact that I have a list as long as my arm of things I want to make but haven't got the time for.. yet, I thought it might be good fun to sew along with this idea.  An excellent opportunity to air the fabric stash.  I'm not committing myself fully but I'll certainly give it a go.

The first week's challenge was to make a pincushion heart.  So, yesterday, full of enthusiasm I raided my fabric stash, dragged out the sewing machine and got to work.  In just over an hour I had made my heart... and I must say I'm jolly pleased with the result.

I added an embroidered pearl stitch edging to cover the seam, and a little button for decoration.

What fun!

This week's challenge is to make a needlecase.  I'll keep you informed of my progress.

Sunday 4 August 2013

A New Lease of Life

I have an old bathroom stool that was originally in my Mother-in-law's house.  It was just plain and boring with the seat covered in white sticky-back plastic.  It was crying out to receive attention from the crochet hook.  Unfortunately it's being crying out for some time but I have finally been stirred into action.

So this is what I have made.

I used a free pattern called Squaring the Big Circle by Kate Jenks.

It really has given the stool a new lease of life - so sorry it had to wait so long!

Friday 2 August 2013

Baby Mice - free pattern

I love mice - the knitted variety that is - I'm not sure about the real variety, I guess I would get a bit panicky if I met one face to face.  But the knitted ones are wonderful.

I have a growing collection of 4 ply wools - mostly Rowan Fine Tweed - such gorgeous tweedy colours.

The colours always look different - better - when they are knitted up than when they are still in a ball.  So I decided to make some little mice - one in each colour, to act as a sample of each colour.

Swatch mice - that's what they are.  Very useful for comparing and contrasting when planning a Fair Isle project.

So far I have made 10 of the little darlings.  I think I still have about 14 to go - but they are so quick and easy to make, I'll soon have them done.

The mouse factory!

If you would like to make your own little mouse - or mice (they always look better in big numbers, I think) then the pattern is available for free, HERE.

I hope you enjoy this pattern, I'll look forward to seeing your projects on Ravelry.