Tuesday 30 September 2014

My Very First Knitted Skirt

I've finished it!  The knitted skirt is done!  My very first knitted skirt!  Knitting whilst watching the Ryder Cup on television meant that the skirt was completed in no time.  And here it is...

I haven't blocked it yet, and I didn't have the correct width of elastic for the waistband so it has some narrower elastic in it as a temporary measure, but I couldn't wait to show it to you.

The waistband is so neat, and after the initial sizing error, on my part, the fit is perfect.

Eve and I are off into Liverpool today to do some last minute shopping before she goes back to Cambridge, so I'll pick up some elastic while I'm out.

I'll make sure she takes some photos of me wearing it before she goes away.  I'll also let you have full details of the yarn I used and the pattern.  Until then, I'm off to shop 'til I drop!

Sunday 28 September 2014

Golf and Knitting Were Made for Each Other

This weekend we are watching the Ryder Cup on television.  I always look forward to sporting weekends, as it's a fabulous excuse to sit and knit or crochet whilst watching whatever sport is on offer.

So this weekend it's golf.  An excellent sport for knitting as each match lasts for hours.  I'm watching Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson and the rest of the European and US teams.

And whilst it's on I'm crocheting and knitting away happily, and eating this delicious cake I've made!

I've made excellent progress with my little squares for my sun rise cushion cover,

And there's no better way to cope with the boredom of endless stocking stitch, than to have an exciting sport to watch.

Look how fast I'm knitting my skirt!

Wow, the golf is exciting - I'm racing through my work-in-progress.

Friday 26 September 2014

Some Cross Stitching

Before I tell you about the little cross stitch picture I've been working on, I've been asked about the pattern for the doily I made the other day.

The pattern is from a book by Melody Griffiths called 201 Crochet Blocks, Motifs, projects and Ideas.  I had previously borrowed this book from my local library and I know it is a fabulous book.  I no longer have the book on loan but some one has uploaded pictures of the pages onto the internet.  I think this may be a breach of copyright, but I'm not sure.  The pictures of all the motifs are also on Pinterest.

The motif I used for my doily is called Fan Border Medallion.  You can see details of this pattern on Ravelry, here.  The webpage with the pages from Melody Griffiths book is here, scroll down and the one I used is on page 36 of the book.

As an alternative to the woolly crafts, I've been doing some cross stitch embroidery lately.  I used to do tons of cross stitching and I still have lots of cross stitching magazines that I had bought or been given over the years.  I found a lovely little house motif  and thought I'd make it up... and here it is.

It has a home-spun feel to the design, which I like.

I've got a nice hanger to attach it to and I may add some embellishments.  I'll let you see the finished project shortly.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Liverpool Collage

If you've been reading this blog for some time now, you'll know I love my home city of Liverpool and feel great warmth and pride towards it.  I can trace the Liverpool residents from my family tree back to the seventeenth century and if the records existed, probably a lot earlier than that, so Liverpool is very much in my genes.

So I decided to make a collage to show my love of Liverpool and especially its architecture.

The collage features the three iconic waterfront buildings known collectively as the Three Graces.

They are, from left to right, the Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.

Can you see the little Liver Bird on top of the Liver Building?

This is what the actual bird looks like close up.  There are two of them and they are eighteen feet tall!

And here's a photo I took last year of three buildings.

I really enjoyed making this collage.  What's not to like about spending an afternoon cutting and pasting for real rather than on the laptop!

The pictures of the buildings that I used in my collage are taken from this wonderful book.

It is full of the author's fabulous drawings of the Liverpool architecture.  Here's Bluecoat Chambers.

And here is my photo of the building.

Here's the Albert Dock with the Anglican Cathedral (we have two cathedrals in Liverpool) in the background.

And my photo of a similar view.

We have so many lovely buildings here in Liverpool - we are so spoilt!

Wednesday 24 September 2014

A Doily a Day...

..keeps the boredom at bay!

Well, I'm back on track with the knitted skirt.  I'm making good progress and, yes, it is quick to knit - but...  plain stocking stitch, yawn, yawn, it's so boring.

I don't know what went wrong with the colour here, but
it's not as pink as this in real life!

OK, it's good for knitting whilst watching something on Netflix, or reading a book, no thinking required, but not very exciting any other time.

So I had to have a little distraction.  Something with a bit of colour in it  and requiring some but not a lot of concentration.

This little doily is based on something I saw on Pinterest.   (I have to confess, that sometimes Pinterest can produce a bit of an inspiration overload.  My "Stuff I Want To Make" board grows on a daily basis!)

It was quick to make  and provided just enough distraction in the afternoon to make me happy to return to the stocking stitch skirt in the evening.

Do you have any little tricks for getting through your work-in-progress?

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Tantallon Hat - Finished

I'm so pleased with my lovely new knitted hat.  Here it is modelled by Eve (she has more hair than me!).

It's very pink - five shades of pink and one grey used in the Fair Isle pattern.

The pattern is by Kate Davies and it's called Tantallon.

You can see full details of this project on my Ravelry page, here.

Obviously, I'm going to have to have to knit some mittens to match the hat - that might be the next project I cast on.  Nice and jolly and colourful for the coming Winter!

Monday 22 September 2014

Just a Perfect Day

The seasons are changing, the lovely summer weather we have enjoyed this year will soon be over.  Here in the north west of England we have been lucky enough to have missed the bad weather that other parts of the country have been having lately.  The weather is set fair for the next week or two.  Better make the most of it.

Yesterday, I woke to a beautiful sunny morning with not a breath of wind - perfect for an early walk on the beach.

The early morning sun cast long shadows across the sands.

We have lovely golden sand (with some muddy bits) on our beach.  It's all very flat and gentle.

There's nothing more relaxing and calming than walking along the shore, looking for interesting shells, as the waves gently lap around your feet.

There were a number of other walkers on the beach, and of course the Antony Gormley statues.

Is that Santa's coat he's wearing?

There's always plenty of shipping activity.

I saw this enormous jellyfish on the beach.

I placed some shells next to it (on the left), so that you can judge the size of it.

What an impressive specimen!

I enjoyed my walk, it was a great way to start the day - and I'm so glad I remembered to take my camera with me.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Take a Deep Breath and Move Away from the Knitting...

So I'm tootling away, knitting up my skirt, it's growing quite quickly, waistband done....

...but hey, hang on a minute, it looks enormous!  I followed the advice for sizing the pattern but there's no way my hips are that big!

So, nothing else for it, rip it out and start again!!!

That means starting everything, including the provisional cast on.

How frustrating and bothersome.  I find the best thing to do in these situations is to get it started, so that it's up and running again, but then to put it down, put it to one side and distract yourself with something new.

I gathered together all the oddments of aran weight yarn I could find in my stash.  I don't knit that often with the heavier weight yarns but I seem to have acquired a substantial collection of bits and pieces.

And I'm now crocheting a huge, warm, cosy, wrap-around, shawl - using as much of this yarn as I can.

I'm following a pattern called Lagniappe Shawl, it's free on Ravelry.

I'm loving it already.  There's plenty of variety in the stitches and I may add some variations of my own.

So, now I'm feeling a lot less frustrated and bothered.  I'm no longer angry with the skirt - it's not the skirt's fault.  I can happily return to knitting it, knowing I have my crochet shawl to look forward to working on.  Once again, I'm at peace with my knitting and crocheting!

Friday 19 September 2014

Unbelievably Organised

Unbelievably organised - yep! That's me.  Back in June I had my Christmas planning day, I thought through everything I wanted to do, make or organise for Christmas this year.  Then I drew up a schedule of when everything needed to be done, so that the work was spread over a number of months.

One of my tasks for September was to make my Christmas cards.  And here's some of the cards I've made.

I had a very sticky, but fun, session yesterday, glue, paper and ribbons everywhere - but I'm very pleased with the results.

The white strip of paper that features on the middle of each card is actually textured wallpaper, a  free sample from the local Do-It-Yourself shop.  I think it adds a nice snowy touch.

So that's another one ticked off the Christmas planning list.  There'll be no "I wish I had more time" when we get to December.  I'm on top of it all.  How come I'm so organised at the moment? - it worries me that I'm missing something big!