Saturday, 27 April 2013

Friday Fun

No finishes to share this Friday but I have had a wonderfully fun day I'd like to share with you.

As I mentioned yesterday, today I went to Chipping Norton with my Mum & one of our friends from Needles & Natter, Jacqui. Another of our friends, Elaine was supposed to be coming too but due to unforeseen circumstances she couldn't make it, hey ho maybe next time!

Chipping Norton is a tiny little village/market town thats not too far away from where I live, it takes a little while to get there but it's so worth it :) The reason for our trip today was a visit to the Antiques Centre and the Fibreworks wool shop.

We started at the Antiques Centre just outside the town and decided to have coffee & cake in the tearoom before having a look round. 'Coffee & Cake' became 'hot chocolate with the works & cake' but looks at how yummy!!
I'd almost finished my hot chocolate when I took this photo but the coffee & walnut cake was to die for!! Jacqui & Mum thought so too!!
(Jacqui on the left & Mum on the right)
The antiques centre had some wonderful items, I found a couple of antique needlework samplers I would have loved to have bought home but at £191 for the pair there was no way I could afford them, really wish I'd remembered to snap a photo though, I could have 'reproduced' them for myself...
A few things did make their way home with me, a couple of industrial wooden bobbins, they had several and I'd of liked a few more to store my ribbons/laces on but they were £8.50 each.
We also found this workbox/table upstairs in the centre, the dealer it belonged to informed us that he'd only just put it out this morning.
The box/table came with everything you see in the second picture, all manner of sewing patterns for toys & fabric transfers for hand embroidery (so excited, its something I've been wanting to try for a while now!) knitting patterns & even some embroidery thread! Most of the patterns are dated from the early 50's and there was a letter from a transfer company postmarked 21st June 1951 which had the unused transfers inside, it was literally like stepping back in time and it only cost £38!!
The lining is sadly shot to pieces so we've ripped it all out, one weekend soon we'll spend some time relinning it, maybe in some nice liberty fabric or something cath kidson-like. Either way it's going to look fab when it's finished!
Obviously you can't visit a town with a craft shop without popping in to have a browse....I bought more wool for my anything goes blanket & some different sized DPN's; as my cast on is too tight generally I've brought some 3.5's, the next size up to what I'm currently working on and some 2.5's the next size down as a lot of the sock patterns I have from magazines call for a 2.5 needle.
A quick browse round the town's charity shops after lunch in a local cafe threw up a couple of good finds too. A couple of wicker baskets from Sue Ryder (along with 3 Doctor Who books for 50p each)
I plan on using these as project baskets and whipping up some linings for them ala Lucy @Attic24

Then I found David Tennant's Biography in Helen & Douglas House!! After that we decided it was time to call it a day and decided to head for home when who should we spot on the other side of the road but one of Mum's best friends, Margaret! She'd spent the day in Stratford and had just got off the bus to catch the second bus home but would have to wait till 4 for the bus to arrive. She lives two doors down from us so we gave her a lift home instead :)

Got home to find that my brother had come down for the weekend as he's covering the Oxford branch of his workplace for the weekend & spent the evening catching up with him & also working out just how big I need to make my anything goes blanket & how many squares I'll need to complete it...I have my work cut out for me.... I need 49 squares that are 10 rounds big and 288(!) squares that are 5 rounds big to complete a blanket that will be just a bit bigger than a double duvet before adding a border. Makes me very glad that I'm joining-as-I-go, can't even think about sewing together all those squares at the end!!

So thats the end of my very fun day, tomorrow is the final day of my holiday before I go back to work, I am planning to return some wool to hobbycraft, I bought in 4ply instead of DK. Then I'll be carrying on with my blanket inbetween doing laundry loads and possibly continuing with my dress pattern....maybe! I might even get some stitching done!

Hope your weekends are warm and sunny where you are
Happy Stitching
xX Fiona Xx

Friday, 26 April 2013

Google to the rescue!

I couldn't sleep last night so I went to google to try and solve my sock dilemma :) turns out I was knitting into the back of my sock rather than the front.

Easily solved by turning my sock inside out and starting to knit in the correct place :)

xX Fiona Xx

Needles & Natter Thursday

Today is Thursday which means its a Needles & Natter group day :) I love these crafty mornings, it's a chance to catch up with everyone and find out what we've all been up to.

Today was especially good as I learnt how to knit using double pointed needles thanks to a lovely lady, Ali (you should really go check out her blog Domesticali, I only found it today!)

After a slight mishap with my cast-on (too tight) I was off!

Somewhere however between my cast on and my ribbing I made a mistake and ended up with 2 needles showing perfect rib and 1 needle with what can only be described as moss stitch...still 'it's only a practise' I told myself and decided to start the 'leg' of the sock, Ali had said that I only needed to knit and that the stocking stitch would be created on the outside of the knitting....So why was mine on the inside?
Off it all came and I started again, this time the rib was perfect...
Pleased with myself I moved onto the stocking stitch again, and again it's on the inside?! Below is how it should look (I've turned the knitting inside out)

And here is how it really looks...
Not a happy bunny as I can't for the life of me work out what I've done wrong...any sock knitters out there who can enlighten me?
Off to a wool shop in Chipping Norton tomorrow with a couple of the ladies from 'Needles' and I'm planning to take my odd sock along to see if they can identify what I'm doing wrong. Fingers crossed I can get it sorted before next week!
I've also added a couple more squares to my throw so all in all a rather sucessful day today :)
Till next time, happy stitching!
xX Fiona Xx

Thursday, 25 April 2013

WIP Wednesday

quick post tonight to talk about my WIP's this week, normally I would type for hours but my acid reflux is really playing up tonight and I'm in agony but can't lie down to sleep as it makes it worse :(

So what have I been working on this week so far?

I started a dress pattern after watching 'the great british sewing bee'

I'm doing dress A circled on the model but I'm doing the shorter length circled underneath. The skirt & bodice are being sewn in the striped floral fabric and the midriff band and straps are being done in plain black.

So far this pattern has been a nightmare, I haven't made a piece of clothing since I was 15 and doing my GCSE in textiles at School so pattern reading isn't my strongest point but even my mum agreed that the pattern is very poorly written so as you can expect the sewing is taking forever!

I've been happily hooking away on my new project, using all these scrummy colours

I took my colour scheme from a few pictures of sea glass I found on google images, I've been wanting to hook up my own crochet blanket for ages now (I've been buying yarn since last year!!) but I've always changed my mind about patterns. I originally wanted to use Attic24's summy garden granny sqaure pattern but then I found a different one in a pattern book, then I saw several nice designs on pintrest but none really jumped out at me. Fast forward to Monday evening and during a bloghopping session I ended up at Annie's Place and found this design
and it was instant love, I love the different sizes used and the overall effect it gives of being random while still having a pattern to follow with regards to the layout. Needless to say I started hooking straight away and here's my progress as of last night.
I've since done another large sqaure, I'm using the join-as-you-go method as described on Attic24 so it's really shaping up quickly, if you weave in the ends of each square as you join it then it's even better!!

Dandy Dreams has had a little more work done as well, the wording is almost complete!!

And that's it for my progress report this week, Needles and Natter tomorrow and if Ali is there then hopefully I'll be learning how to begin knitting socks on DPN's, if she's not then I'll be hooking up more of my blanket :)

Till next time, happy stitching
xX Fiona Xx

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

TUSAL Tuesday~The weekly ORT report

Yes it's TUSAL Tuesday once again and this week's ORT's have a distinctly 'wooly' feel to them.

At the very bottom are some threads from Dandy Dreams but mostly they are snippets of my new hooky project but I'll tell you more about that tomorrow ;)

The sun has been shining brightly today and I spent a little time today happily hooking away in the garden, I only spent two hours out there but I've still managed to burn slightly! Summer is certainly on the way!

Happy Stitching!
xX Fiona Xx

Monday, 22 April 2013

Sunday Stitching IHSW edition

well this weekend was International Hermit & Stitch Weekend and given that it was the start of my holiday you'd have thought I'd have made time to stitch right?

Well you'd be wrong! Saturday was spend re-organising the craft room with my mum, mostly her card making stash, as she'd misplaced some recent purchases. Luckily we found them and its looking lovely and tidy (almost) at the moment.

Sunday the sun was shining brightly and finally feeling like spring so we headed over to the boot sale in the morning and I picked up several Doctor Who books including Matt Smith's biography for 50p!& Doctor Who figurines, some knitting & crochet magazines and a couple of old DS games (Jewel Quest for £5 & Cake Mania for £3!)

I spent the afternoon playing Cake Mania, it a funny little game, simple and yet addictive at the same time. I did manage to do another two letters on Dandy Dreams but its really not worth another photo just yet.

Tomorrow is the first official day of my holiday and I plan to start cutting out a dress pattern in the morning and maybe doing a little cross-stitch or crochet in the afternoon.

Hope your weekends were all a little more productive than mine :)

xX Fiona Xx

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Needle & Natter Thursday & a very overdue ORT report :)

I woke up in the most blah mood today, I just didn't feel like doing anything and I have no idea why. When I went to bed I was excited about showing off my finished bracelet & cushion to my knitting friends and getting a few more stitches into Dandy Dreams but when I woke up it was like my excitement had been sucked out of me as I slept.

Regardless I went along to Needles and Natter hoping that my sour mood would improve apon seeing my friends and catching up on the weeks gossip but no, I couldn't even bring myself to thread my needle for the first hour, I just sat there listening to the babble and gossip while sipping my hot chocolate and trying to work out what the hell had happened to me.

Everyone woo'd and ahh'd appreciatively over my cushion and bracelet and a few of the women who couldn't make it to the workshop evening sat together on a table and had an impromtu lesson on wire knitting and I finally managed to get my act together and start stitching.

I really haven't done much, I've almost finished the word 'dream' but any progress is good progress as they say so here's how it looks now:

Sadly my mood lasted for most of the day and this evening but seeing as tomorrow is my last day at work before a week long holiday at home I'm hoping the mood will lift over the weekend, I have plans to organize my craft supplies before starting several new long awaited projects.

I realised after my monster post the other day that it has been over 2 months since my last ORT report and seeing as I'd not even taken photos to document it's progress all I can do is show you what the big jar looks like now:

Till next time, happy stitching
xX Fiona Xx

WIP Wednesday

I actually have no WIP's to show you this week, instead I have some finishes to share!!

On Tuesday night my knitting group 'Needles & Natter' held a knitted bracelet workshop which I attended and I am so pleased I did! I'd never knitted with wire before and I was surprised at how easy it was. Here is how far I got with my bracelet by the end of the 2 hour workshop:

I attached one end of the clasp during the workshop so I'd know how to attach it when I finished knitting!

Looks messy but that is how its supposed to look, honest!
I am planning on writing up a tutorial for this if anyone would be interested in giving it a go themselves :)
 Wednesday was my day off so I decided to spend a morning with my sewing machine, I sewed up one of my cross stitch pieces from the finishing pile into a cushion:
Had a bit of trouble sewing this one, my machine was being decidedly temeramental today and then to top it all off I found that I didn't have enough toy stuffing to fill it with! Quick trip to Hobbycraft proved less than fruitful as they are still sold out so I had to resort to my local fabric shop which actually turned out to be cheaper :)
After the cushion saga I decided to finish off my bracelet from the workshop and I managed it! Didn't take to long and I can see myself making a few of these for presents

Did a little more work on Dandy Dreams this evening but then got caught up watching the Easter Special of Jonathon Creek so I think I actually only managed to finish a single letter!! Still it's a 'needles and natter' morning in a few hours and international hermit & stitch this weekend so I'm sure I'll get some 'needle time' in over the next few days :)
till next time, happy stitching!
xX Fiona Xx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Theme-a-licious Amazon April Amazing Catch Up Post

My poor little corner of blogland has been seriously neglected this last month and a bit but not due to laziness or unwillingness to blog, I have been busy creating!

I say creating because I have been leap-frogging from craft to craft this month (march madness has gone on a little longer than needed!)

Firstly I finally finished up the baby blanket for my co-worker who gave birth to little Freddie on Mothering Sunday (March 12th for those of you not in the UK!) The blanket is basically just one huge granny square with a single round of double crochet for the edge. It's made with Sirdir Snuggly DK & Stylecraft Special DK and is 100% Acrylic.

Next up I made my Rainbow Road Cushion, again its just granny squares, this time I made 2 and sewed the seams together, I also made the pillow sham to fit inside :) Made with Rico Cotton in Aran weight.
Sewing wise I have been watching 'the great british sewing bee' on TV and it has inspired me to take out the machine I bought myself last year and start playing and honestly I'm a little hooked!! I'd seen a number of potential starter projects on Pinterest but the one that caught my eye initially was this one
Pinned Image
I figured it would be easy to apart this to fit those lovely crochet hooks I bought in Chipping Norton last month. So here is my interpretation:

I'd had the fabric in my stash for years so it was actually nice to start cutting it up & using it, still have a good metre left though!
Next up I liked the look of this scissor holder and it looked a little complex to make but I couldn't have been more wrong!
Pinned Image
It's actually made from a rectangle of fabric measuring 11 x 9 inches! Here's mine!

In fact it was so simple to make I've whipped up a few more for some friends in my knitting/sewing group
The one problem I did find with my sewing was that I was dropping pins all over the place as I sewed, my old machine had a magnet stuck on the top that I could stick the pins on but my new one didn't, the solution was found on Pinterest again here & again is very simple to make (I even got to try out my buttonhole foot!)
Pinned Image
And my version, spotty to match my scissor case :)
Cross Stitching now and although I have done some, there is hardly any progress worth showing. Some stitching on Halloween Rules & Dandy Dreams:

Page 3 progress on Super Mario:

And a tiny happy dance in this small patch:
This was actually a very special patch, it ended up being sewn onto another crochet hook case, this one I made for my friend Jacqui's Birthday (it was a special one) and I corrected some mistakes I'd made with mine, the scissor keep is now central and I put wadding in to pad it out!
I gave Jacqui her present last Thursday and I'm thrilled to say she loves it!
So now that I'm all caught up with what I've been doing for the last month I can finally show you what I've been doing this weekend! I've been making flowers, lots and lots of crochet flowers.

No idea what I'm going to do with them just yet but they are simple and fun to make :)
Also I don't think I ever showed a picture of my 'new' antique sampler so here you are, here is 'Mary A' in all her glory.
So there we have it, this is the end of my Amazing Amazon April catch up post, if you've made it this far thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it, hopefully blogging will improve now that I'm all caught up and I won't have such a long post to write again for a while :)
Till next time, happy crafting!!
xX Fiona Xx