Sunday, December 23, 2007

Knitting, stitching and such.

Its been rather a long time since I last posted to my Blog. Work got in the way, and my much-loved sewing machine decided to break down, but I still managed to get rather a lot of knitting done.

I've started two pairs of socks - useful mobile knitting. The first design is "Firestarter" by Yarnissima. This interesting design can be found at

The second design is "Naive Socks" by Spillyjane. This is a delightful cabled sock design and can be found at

The third project is using up the Jaeger Trinity yarn I have had in my stash for some time. This poor yarn has been used for two previous projects which I really did not enjoy knitting and so ripped them back. This seems to be third time lucky. The design is Hazel from the Jaeger book JB34. This is another beautifully cabled design which I really enjoy knitting. This is getting on far faster than the socks at the moment. I have already finished the back and have started the front.

Here is the promised photo of the Mocassin Socks. Coco wanted to have her photo taken, so we compromised I took a photo as she posed with my socks. This was not an Elizabeth's Year project I really enjoyed, but I shall use these socks. I think what puts me off is the seam underneath the foot - something that I personally find uncomfortable to walk in. They will prove useful as house socks on chilly days.
The last project waiting to be started is the beautiful "Ice Queen" from I have managed to get myself involved in yet another knittalong to knit this.The group calls itself Ice_Queen and is a Yahoo group.
As well as all this, I have now finished the design work on the Band Robin. This will be shown after I know it has arrived with the next person on the list. The design was based on a wonderful carved stone design from the 12th Century which I found in a gorgeous book. I shall tell you more another time, but I can tell you that the book was a lucky find. I found it in a Charity shop!
Happy Christmas everyone!
For those who don't share Christmas, may I wish you some very happy, uninterrupted time with your own textile projects.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sewing again

Well, I have been busily knitting again this week - sorry no photos. I have been working on the Moccasin Socks for the Elizabeth's Year group. My first sock is almost complete and I have knitted the sock cuff on the second. I shall post photos when I have finished them.

I have now completed my recorder bag. As you can see, the recorder fits snggly inside with a pocket free for small bits and pieces like a soft drying / cleaning cloth. I shall let you know how it gets on with the wear and tear of regular use.

The next piece, or should I say pieces have been stuck in my "what am I going to do with this" pile for some time. You may recognise the circular motif, "Leaves".

The background piece is made up of a collection of accidentally dyed "Colour Catchers". These are the remarkable pieces of what feels like a paper-based fabric which you can buy to put in with your washing whenever there is a danger of a piece of the load leaching dye onto anything else. (One of those red sock turning a white load of washing pink times.)

The ones I am able to get hold of can only be used once, but the colours that come out are wonderful! This was an attempt to use them. I only got as far as sewing them on to a piece of sheet I had dyed. I was not sure what to do next.

The other day, I took it out to look at it, added "Leaves" and left it on my wall. More needs to be added, but I need to stop and think about it first.

Also waiting for me to start work is this beautiful piece of stitching. It is the Band Robin from the Stitching Sisters group. It rests on my ideas board. I have a two inch deep section to add either to the top or the bottom of this piece. The talent of the stitchers in the group is awe-inspiring.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recorders, knitting and stuff.

I finally completed my Notre Dame de Grace pullover this week. I decided in the end not to add a button, but to use my collection of brooches instead.

This second photos shows one of my home-made brooches. This was made some years ago, but the colours really seem to suit this jumper.

Today, I started work on my recorder case. I bought the fabric a few weeks ago from a charity shop. So now it begins. This first photo shows my Treble (Alto) recorder resting on the fabric. This is the true colour.

I've now got to the stage of binding the bag which will be rolled around the instrument to protect it as I carry it to rehearsals and performances. I'm a member of a local recorder group, playing mostly Treble.

This is the lining of the roll-up bag - the recorder pieces are in place. There are inner pockets to stop the smaller pieces falling to the bottom. The next photo look a bit washed-out in colour, but shows the bag rolled up with the recorder cocooned inside. I shall add a ribbon to keep the roll firmly together.

The CD case belongs to the music I was listening to as I sewed this together - Kathryn Tickell's Band. A rather nice folk music CD. Kathryn plays the Northumbrian small pipes superbly.
I had hoped to get more than one section of the binding done, but Coco decided to fall asleep on my fabric!

I hadn't the heart to move her.
The following pictures show a quick and essential repair I did to a pair of jeans. The dragonfly and flower motifs hold a piece of fabric in place on the reverse of the jeans. It all holds together a section that was going into rather a large hole.

Finally, I have started the November project for Elizabeth's Year. These will become the Moccasin socks. This time I am using the instructions printed in "Knitting Around" since this allows me to use up the remaining yarn from the open-collar pullover I finished recently.

The next photos show the completed open-collar pullover. The first shows the original buttons, the second shows the buttons it now has. These were chosen by my eldest daughter who had come to visit and rather liked the jumper. It is now hers. Well, it was her birthday! She left the house wearing it.....

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Well, I have done a fair amount of knitting this week. The Notre Dame de Grace pullover is now being blocked. The next stage will be to partially stitch it all together and then get on with the collar.

The Open Collar jumper - the October project for the Elizabeth's Year group is also now up to the collar.

The buttons are the ones I am auditioning for the completed jumper. They have little flecks of just the right shade of green for the project, but may be a little too fussy............ They can always be used for a different project.

You can just the see the edges of one of my blocking boards near to my workspace desk. Over the back of the chair is one of my favourite cardigans. It was made some years ago and is currently on the second set of buttons - the first set lost its colouring in the wash! Its one of those comforting cardigans - one to snuggle up in when the air is chill. The collar is quite wide and almost like a shawl.

I had a disaster earlier in the week when I managed to knock the tip off one of my needles. (Serves me right for storing this project in a wicker basket!) It was one of the needles I was using for the Notre Dame pullover. This set was plastic and really nice to use. My dear husband came to the rescue and remade the tip for me using his lathe. The needles are back in use,as good as new, the only difference being that one is slightly shorter than the other!

Can you tell which tip has been redone?
Its the lower of the two needles shown above..........
I took some photos during the week of the evening sky. The colours were so beautiful as I walked home from school, that I just had to record them.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time to stitch!

Well, its been a most enjoyable week. It has been half term holiday from school this week, so I have been able to enjoy myself in my new sewing space.

In sorting out my stash of fabrics I found fabric I had forgotten I had, things I should have mended ages ago, two skirts that needed altering, and some items I thought I had lost. The mending has finally been completed and I have the two skirts hanging in my wardrobe ready to be worn. The knitting has come on well too.

A rather busy, but very enjoyable week.

The first photos show the progress with my two jumpers. First, the Elizabeth's Year project. As you can see, I have got quite a way towards completing the decreases to the collar. I am not sure whether I shall get this completed by the end of the month. The group will be knitting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Moccasin socks in November. The yarn I have left over from this jumper project will be used for the socks.

The next project is the Notre Dame de Grace pullover. As you can see, I have nearly got to the end of the increases on the second sleeve. The buttons on the sleeve are those I am auditioning for the placket button. This is purely decorative, but needs a rather special button to set it off. I found these gorgeous buttons in a craft shop and couldn't choose between them.

The last photo shows the progress with my bright throw which I started last weekend. The pieced section on the left is the foundation pieced section I showed you last time. The lower section with the rooftops is a piece I found when tidying. I made it some time ago for the Round Robin I was involved in with Cranford Quilters. It was a duplicate made for a friend's quilt since I wasn't sure which of two colourways would be best. Her topic was Architecture - a fascinating choice for a quilt. This section fits rather nicely with the rest of the throw. The third piece of fabric is one I came across this week. I hadn't been intending to buy any more fabric. Honest! However, the Knots and Needles Ps and Qs which I go to had been given some fabric. We all looked intently into the collection. I bought a number of pieces, including some pink silk. This particular piece, a design which uses all the colours I had chosen for the throw just shouted at me. All the monies from the sale of the fabric goes to the local Hospice, so I refuse to feel too guilty.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


At long last I have somewhere to work. Well, somewhere to spread my sewing and various projects out so that I can see what I am doing. I am not a tidy worker.

This is the start of a new project. Its just going to be a throw to cover the spare bed which shares my workspace. I wanted something bright and cheerful. This will end up as a sampler of different techniques - foundation pieceing, applique, etc. The backing will be the acrylic blanket it currently sits on. It will feel cosy as well as being colourful. The cats will love it.............

I haven't got so far with the Elizabeth's Year project this week - the sleeves have now been added to the body, I now need to take a deep breath and get the sleeves and opening sorted out.......

I have been doing a lot more work with this project. The Notre Dame de Grace Pullover by Veronik Avery, from the Summer 2007 "Interweave Knits" magazine. The front and back are both finished. So is the first sleeve. I got into a bit of a panic yesterday when I realised that I just did not have enough wool to complete the project. I rang and ordered some more, since I could not spare the time to travel to the shop (Stash in Chester). The wool arrived with the postman this morning! The dyelot is the same............ Knitters will understand my joy and contentment. To say nothing of the relief...........
The next photos were taken around the village where I live. I went for a walk on Sunday morning taking the camera with me since the colours around me were so gorgeous. It had been a cold night and the mist had not fully lifted. Autumn has really arrived.
This is the farm lane I was walking down. Its also a public footpath. When I turned round this was what I saw.
The field to my left still had some of the frost lying on the grass.

I am so lucky to live here..............

Monday, October 15, 2007

More knitting.

As you can see I have been making good progress with the Elizabeth's Year project, I have now reached the underarm stage and am working on the first of the two sleeves. The second cuff is already done and ready to be knitted up to match the first sleeve. I did toy with the idea of trying out the magic loop method, but chickened out of trying it since I had already cast on both cuffs and knitted them to the right depth.

Magic Loop is something I really would like to try out, but will leave it until I have rather more time and not so many projects to concentrate on.

You may have noticed the addition of three extra colours. I found myself getting rather bored knitting the plain orange, so got the other colours this weekend. The plan is to add a broad stripe around the lower armhole area rising to the neck edge.

There has been some progress with the Notre Dame do Grace jumper. Not as much as I had intended, but then I find myself concentrating more on the Elizabeth's Year project at the moment. This one tends to get worked on when I need thinking time to sort out the instructions in the Knitter's Almanac.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Knitting and sewing.

Its been quite a busy week. The trees have all started changing colour and the hanging baskets have just about finished flowering. These amazing little flowers give a startling burst of colour to add to the visual din.

I managed to finish the machine embroidery on my jeans, though I do have a feeling that a few beads would add an interesting bit of sparkle....

During the week, I also finished the back of one jumper - the Notre Dame de Grace I started last weekend. I've now got started on the front..........

I did start my jumper for the Elizabeth's Year October project. However, I wasn't happy with the first version - I'd decided to try having a hem. It looked far too bulky, so I ripped it back. Then I started again, this time ribbing the edge. It kept getting twisted on the needles, so that got ripped back. I have started once more..... Hopefully this time it will work well.
I haven't yet started the sock yarn - I've been far too busy. On top of everything else, I was asked to help with cutting a couple of inches off the bottom of a pair of ready-made lined curtains. Rather a nice task that I've almost finished.
Last night my elder daughter asked if I could repair a pair of trousers for her....... not much, just a damaged seam and turn-ups that need a few stitches to reinforce. Oh and could I take up another pair of trousers for her? The legs are two inches too long...........
Why do I find myself saying "yes"?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Self indulgence.

I have completed this pair of socks. They are so cosy! They will be a joy to wear inside my boots this winter.

The following photos show a project which I have finally started. I grabbed this pair of jeans from some rubbish thrown out a while ago by one of my daughters. They are almost new - the only problem being that the legs have been slit from the bottom edge for a distance of roughly two inches. I have patched the cut and darned the area.

Then I have added some patterned scraps of fabric. The bits were first ironed onto Bondaweb, before being ironed onto the patched area at the bottom of each trouser leg. I shall use free-machine-embroidery to scribble a pattern over the top to secure the fabric scraps. After this I shall embroider some patterns around the fabric scraps just to decorate the area. I shall post photos when I have finished.

Yesterday, I spent a rather self-indulgent afternoon in Chester. This is a beautiful city, right on the edge of Cheshire in the UK. I was visiting to buy fabric, yarn and anything else that took my fancy.

In a Charity shop - Save the Children..... I found these pieces of furnishing fabric. There is just less than a yard of the blue and just over two yards of the cream. The blue is destined for my new recorder music bag. If there is anything left I shall be making rolled, padded, cases for my instruments.

The cream will be used to complete the task. I shall then use the remainder to make rolls to contain my collections of circular needles, double-pointed needles and straight needles. It will be so nice to be able to keep these tidy.......

Whilst in Chester I visited a favourite shop. Stash. I indulged myself, buying three different yarns for three different projects. I have already started the first of these. Its the "Notre Dame de Grace Pullover" by Veronik Avery. This is in the Summer 2007 edition of Interweave Knits. I am using Debbie Bliss' Rialto Aran. It feels so nice................

I found this lovely yarn for the October project for Elizabeth's Year, I bought some Addi bamboo circular needles for the same project.
I found this gorgeous sock yarn too. I couldn't resist..........