Winter’s Coming (So It’s Time For New Pyjamas)

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If The Game of Thrones reference makes you think that I watch it, you’d be very mistaken. I’m a huge Sean Bean fan and the fact that they not only killed his character in the first series, but decapitated him meaning he couldn’t be pretend dead and come back later (along with the bizarre random sex and huge cast of annoying characters I couldn’t find any empathy for), put me off for good.

Anyway, it is turning colder now so it was time for new winter pyjamas for the boys as they’ve both grown out of their old pairs (I had to remove the monkey ones from Piggle’s drawer when he wasn’t looking to avoid a fit!). I am out of children’s flannel and fancied a change from the usual ‘proper’ pyjamas anyway (as well as not being able to afford to buy 8m of the stuff) so I dug into the fabric collection and along with Kwik Sew Sewing for Children and Kwik Sew 1557 for Jim’s trousers I came up with these.

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Jim isn’t a fan of race cars or baseball but I figure as he’s going to have his eyes closed most of the time he was wearing them he could live with it! The blue London pair I made for Piggle he picked the fabric for and the Dylon that I used to dye it all, the bottoms of those are a cotton velour. All the other bottoms are sherpa left over from my nappy making and selling days I still have enough left for a few years worth of pyjamas yet, or I might make some hoodies from it sometime just to use it up as it takes up one hell of a lot of room.

Anyway, both boys are very happy with their new cosy jimjams and all the sets have been worn. That’s sadly the last of that little car print, I don’t know how much I bought but I can think off the top of my head of 5 different things I’ve made from it. I took a too small t-shirt out of Piggle’s drawer in that print and he didn’t want me to get rid of it until I told him he was getting pjs using it. The rest of the tops are PRR jersey which I couldn’t be bothered to dye so white it is!

A month and a half ago or so I looked at the baskets of fat quarters and quilting fabric stacked in the sewing room and became irritated with them. I was always having to dig through them to try to find stuff and they were an annoying waste of space. So I measured the gap and went to a local antique place to see if they had anything. I came home with a lovely bamboo bookcase which has narrow shelves (think paperback size) and is therefore perfect for putting fat quarters on.

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I’m really happy with how it fits in the space and how I can now see what I have (and that I seriously need more grey fabrics, that stack is tiny). Now if I could just fine two nice comfy chairs, one for my office and one for my bedroom, and some curtains for the boys’ room we’d be all sorted… You can see from the first picture how uneven the floors are in my sewing room, I can’t actually look down the length of it from the door as the tilt makes me feel a little queasy!

The statue of the two people on the top of the shelf I got years ago from a nick nack shop, it’s called ‘Shotgun Wedding’ and the bride is very pregnant. Always makes me smile as it’s just so silly.

So, this weekend I’m going to go and look at a local fabric sale, going to a food fair and also going to try to attempt to get some sewing done. I have the Maya Shirt/Dress pattern all cut out and some fabric ready to do a test run with (I think the shirt needs more length). I also want to start cutting the linen for the boys’ quilts. 9y is a lot to cut up into small pieces and that type of major cutting is my least favourite part of quilting, I just want to sew, therefore it’s been put off for weeks and weeks, time to just get on with it. I have curtains that need making too, but my Mum is here for a few days start of next week so I will get her to help me cut them, then I can blame it on her if it all goes wrong! Just remembered I need more curtain tape too. Also just remembered that I need to do my Do Good Stitches blocks at some point this month, better make sure I spend as much time as I can in the sewing room this weekend, doesn’t look like it’s Tinder’s time to be seamed….

Hope you all get to sew and knit as much as you want this weekend!

In the Knitting Basket(s)

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I’ve been blogging since July 2004, the earliest entries are embarrassing (I think everyone with a blog feels that way) and I talked a lot about gardening until I got into knitting and sewing. I’ve read a couple of posts lately that have made me feel nostalgic about how blogging used to be and the community that surrounded it, Jodi’s in particular. Her’s was one of the first blogs I ever read, and one of the few from that period that I’m still reading today.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how the way I blog and what I blog has changed over the years. There used to be a lot more progress reports along the way, now it all seems to be about FO’s and completing things, the whole getting there has disappeared. I used to update all the time about what was in my knitting basket. I now have three of them (and will buy a couple more if Ikea has some more nice ones as I like one for each project!) so I think that every now and again, semi-regularly if I can manage it, I will let you know what I’m working on, rather than just what I’ve finished.

I know that if you’re on Ravelry and have me as a friend there you can see my progress (my username is Anna, yeah, I’ve been on there a long time too!), but if you’re anything like me you tend to use Ravelry to record stuff and find new stuff to make and don’t have a lot of time to cruise through your friend’s pages, in fact I don’t remember the last time I actually did.

So, here’s what I’m working on now:

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This is Space Girl, I bought the yarn specifically for this two years ago but only cast on last month. Not sure what’s going on with that stitch to the left of the bottom of the V. Anyway, this is my desk knitting that I work on while I’m reading. I find just sitting there reading doesn’t work with my inability to actually stay still, so the knitting keeps me in my chair for longer and makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. I have about another 30 cms of round and round stocking stitch to go on this, and then obviously the sleeves, so it’ll be a while, but I’m loving the way it’s looking so far and really enjoying knitting with this SMC Cotton Time yarn.

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The first Curiosity Cabinet project, I’ve done two repeats on these socks and I think it’ll be another two before I get to the heel. These are actually living in the kitchen at the moment and I’m doing a row here and there whilst I wait for things to come to the boil or finish cooking etc. I love the way they’re looking and I’m loving the new Knit Pro dpns, so non-bendy and pointy, lovely!

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This is Tinder, I’ve had this on the needles for about 18 months now, it’s been in this blocked waiting to be seamed state for about a month now, I’ve even got the buttons there waiting. I really must get on with it as otherwise it will end up waiting for Spring to be light enough to pick up the collar and the button bands in this dark yarn. Seeing Marie working on her version of this got me working on it again after a long break, now I just need that final burst of enthusiasm to get it done.

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This is a jumper for Jim, he picked out the pattern and the yarn from a local yarn shop, hard to say now when they’re so enthusiastic about you making them something and take the time to go through the pattern books! I’m adding a little length as he’s a bit taller than the largest size of this. I’m enjoying working on it and have finished the back and half the first sleeve. There is something that bugs me about this jumper though that I didn’t realise until I was too far into it to be bothered to rip it out and start again, and that’s that the cables all cross the same way rather than mirroring each other. I’m trying to convince myself it’s a design choice and not to be bothered by it, but my brain is finding it weird. I’m trying to get on with this so he can wear it this winter, it’s on 5mm needles using aran weight so it works up quite fast.

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This is the Austin Hoodie that I’ve had on my list to make forever and a day. I bought a huge amount of Twilley’s Freedom Gorgeous when Kemps had it dead cheap almost 2 years ago now, I mean tons of the stuff for different projects as I love the feel of this bamboo mix yarn and was annoyed that it was discontinued. This was my desk knitting until I got to the back and forth patterned sections (the lower body is knit in one piece back and forth, it’ll even out when it’s blocked and not scrunched up in a basket!). I knit the hood before the sleeves as I didn’t want the stitch holders catching the work or coming undone and dropping stitches like they had done a few times so now all I have left are the sleeves. For some reason I picked up 2/3 of the stitches for a sleeve and then stopped and didn’t go any further. They’re just stocking stitch after the short row shaping at the shoulder so I think it will go back to the desk once I get to the round and round bit and hopefully get this done soonish.

Also in my list of WIPS on Ravelry is Linda, however I’m not 100% sure where that project is as the moment (probably behind the table in the living room). I cast on and knit a few rows and then put it down again. I will get to it one day, it’s just not calling to me at the moment.

I found this in a basket too:

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According to Ravelry this is Cold Mountain which I cast on for in July 2012… I’m thinking that as I can’t even remember the last time I worked on this that maybe it’s time to frog it and put the yarn back in the stash where it’s apparently most comfortable as I’ve owned it for about 9 years now! One day a project will come for it I’m sure.

So, that’s where I am right now with the knitting. I do have a dishcloth on the go but there’s only a few rows left of that before I show you the FO so no point taking pictures now. There is also my crochet sock yarn blanket no. 2 which is up to date except for the Rhubarb yarn, it’s got a ways to go before it’s big enough though, maybe I’ll snap a picture soon though. I have some sewing FO’s to show you soon too and maybe I will show my next planned sewing, we’ll see. Right now Space Girl and my research are calling!

Curiosity Cabinet Challenge

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A few weeks back I followed a link on Ravelry, when I should have been doing something else, and discovered a series of books called The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet.  There are three books to the series containing patterns for shawls, hats, gloves and socks. Usually when I find a collection of patterns there are only one or two that I like and want to make, this time I like everything and want to make it all. I bought the third volume first (in ebook version which works out at £13 for 18 patterns which is a bargain, plus it’s not available on Amazon over here) and have decided to set a challenge for myself.

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I am going to attempt to knit all 18 projects from this book, in the order they appear. In this volume there are 3 hats, 9 pairs of socks, 3 shawls and 2 pairs of gloves. I’m not setting a time limit on this as my last pair of socks took me 3 months and I don’t want to add more stress to my life like I felt with the 12 pairs of socks in a year challenge! I do want to make progress though, especially as I love what’s in the other two volumes too and want to knit some of those things!

The first pattern is for the Conferva Villoso Socks:

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and I will be using some Yarntopia Treasures bamboo cotton sock yarn in the Sunflower colourway.

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I’m just waiting for my new 2.25mm needles to arrive in the post (they weren’t there today, hopefully tomorrow) and I will cast on.

The only thing I find odd about the book is that it doesn’t list the needle sizes with the patterns, I think the designer wants you to go on gauge and use whichever size works for you and your yarn. However, they do seem to be listed on Ravelry which is helpful as it’s nice to have a good place to start from, especially when you’re substituting yarns as I always do.

Has anyone knit any of these Curiosity Cabinet patterns? I’m excited to get on with this, there are some lovely things and I’ve not knit a hat or a shawl in a long time. It’ll also be a good stash busting exercise which is always a bonus!

Christmas, Both Early and Late

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This time last year I bought the pattern and things I needed for the Fifteen Degrees Quilt. I don’t know why I fell for this design so hard, but whatever it was got me to spend £15 on a ruler than I’m not sure I’ll ever use again! I had also fallen in love with some Christmas fabric, so I decided to make myself a Christmas quilt.

All was going well, the top went together nicely, I loved the way it looked. I pin basted it and got to quilting. At this point, about 25 rows of straight stitching in, using a walking foot, the quilt top and bottom had moved so much I couldn’t carry on.  Basically, as I was sewing the quilt top was sliding down the batting slowly, something that has never happened to me before. I had been ignoring it for a while and telling myself it would be fine, but once the top went over the edge of the backing there was no way I could recover from that. I was so angry and annoyed, it was November for goodness sake, I should have been home free and had a finished quilt. I folded that puppy up and stuffed it WAY into the stash and then I sulked for a good long time.

I had bought poly batting as this quilt will be stored in a box for 10.5 months of the year and it seemed like the right thing to do. It is Dream Puff, highly recommended by a lot of quilters, and I had used my usual number of pins, so why it slid like that I really don’t know.

It got moved to this house in its ball of shame and I decided that over the summer I would sort it out. I unpicked all the rows of stitching, which took forever and a day. I thought I had some cotton batting the right size, but unfortunately I didn’t, so I used the Dream Puff again and ALL THE PINS I could find. I also did my straight line stitching further apart so I didn’t end up screaming at the walls half way through (it always takes MUCH longer than you think to do straight lines, stippling in much faster).

So, off I went with the quilting full of hope, and the bloody thing shifted again. The cursing was varied and extreme and went on for a long period of time. I did not want to unpick again, so I waited until it had shifted right to the edge of the extra inch I allow around the edge of my quilts and then I changed directions. This means that there are two rows on this quilt that are puckered, this always happens when you change direction like that when quilting. But I figured after washing the quilt it would be wrinkled anyway so it wouldn’t show, and it doesn’t really. I had to do that on both sides of the quilt (I start with a row down the centre and then work outwards to one side, turn it around and work outwards to the other side). Needless to say I will never be buying this batting again.

Finally though, I do have a finished quilt which looks like this:

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The fabric is called Hip Holiday and I bought a half yard bundle of it. The grey and white are Kona solids and the pink is a Bella solid, but it’s been so long I can’t remember the names (except for the white that is!).

The backing is the pink tree fabric from this range, I was going to use the cars with trees on their roofs as that’s my favourite print, but then I realised that this was already white enough so I went with bright pink instead, because nothing says Christmas more than hot pink…

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The bed picture is just to show the size of it, it’s going on the sofa, not a bed. The binding, which I don’t seem to have a good shot of, is scrappy from all the different prints. It’s funny how often a random binding matches up to the print it’s going next to.

So, now it’s done I really like it, I’m still angry at it, but I’m hoping when it comes out of the box on December 1st that I will feel better about it and have at least forgotten, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive the batting for what it put me through…

Since then I have made this month’s blocks for Do Good Stitches. These are a disappearing 9 patch and I don’t actually like what I came up with very much, I hope they work for the quilt as they fit what was asked for, guess they can’t all be something I love.

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I finished up a pair of socks yesterday, why on earth it took me three months to make these I don’t know, especially considering that the second sock took me less than a week once I got working on it. They are the AM Socks from the Sock Trio Ebook which is a free download (I want to do the other 2 pairs in the future). The yarn is Yarntopia Treasures Bamboo Cotton in Rhubarb. I’m not sure where the purple comes into rhubarb but the reddy pinks are spot on and I got over the green and purple striping after a bit.

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The ribbing is mirrored on each sock. They had the most bizarre toe I have ever worked, you did double decreases on only 2 of the needles, but it seems to work and looks ok, I will see how it feels to wear them though.

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And now, if we could have a moment’s silence for my 2.25mm sock needles that I have been using for about 10 years now. Not only are they blunt and bent but they are also bendy which makes them irritating to use and a new set is on the way to me now. Thank you needles for all your work and for the brief moment of heat you will provide when I use you for kindling in the wood burner.

And on….

Sad That Summer’s Over

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I’ve been trying to write this post for over a week now, I came into my office this morning intending to finish it off and instead have ordered 2 cardigan’s worth of Sirdar Simply Recycled DK from Kemps sale pages (£1.39 a ball and free postage!) and generally mucked about online. Anyway, I’m fed up with not having this done so I will postpone my Research for another half our and finish!

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We had a really busy but fun summer getting up to all sorts of things in our new locale, I was really sad when school rolled around again which isn’t like me at all as I love school (luckily both the boys do too), but I just didn’t want the summer to end.

As far as crafting goes, I did manage to get a few things checked off my list. First up was the Who Me? Cardigan from Knitscene. This took me almost a year to make, not because I didn’t like it or the yarn, but because in my enthusiasm to cast on for it once I found yarn to use I overlooked the fact that the whole bloody thing is ribbing, which gets incredibly tedious very fast.

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I used Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran in Terracotta that I got from Kemps for 99p a ball. I’m not so sure about the colour now, I haven’t really found anything to wear it with yet. The buttons are from my seemingly never ending wooden button stash, I used a few less than the pattern called for as they seemed too close together to me with the full amount. Also, the pocket placement bothers me, I feel like they should have been further towards the side seams (I followed the pattern), hopefully I’ll stop noticing that soon though!

Next up was the Scrap Vomit Quilt which I’d also been working on for over a year. Probably going totally against the idea of this being a quilt to use up scraps from your stash, I actually had to buy in a few scrap bundles from various places as I didn’t have enough variety.

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I used Kona Cerise and I can’t remember the name of the black I used, but anyway, it was Kona! It was during the making of this quilt that I realised that I needed to stop pushing the fabric up against the 1/4 inch foot and instead just use it as a guide as my blocks weren’t coming out the right size, which means that a lot of my squares aren’t actually square! Anyway, it’s so busy that you can’t really tell.

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So, you can see it’s the perfect size to top a double bed after removing a row from the length. Looking at the quilt after making it I learnt that my ‘random’ will never actually be random as my brain will not allow pictures to be upside down, which I guess makes it easy to see which way is the top of this quilt even if you don’t really need a top or bottom!

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The backing is the much used in blogland Ikea fabric. I ran it sideways as otherwise I would have ended up with lots of offcuts from it as it’s really wide, plus this way it only used 3m which left me with another 3m for future use. I stippled the quilt using the variegated black/grey/white Aurifil in 50wt I have in my thread stash.

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The binding is from my stash and is machine sewn, as are all my bindings. I love this quilt lots and lots and I’m so glad that I finally finished it! I actually have another quilt finish to show you as soon as I get some pictures of it!

Next up

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Another dishcloth made whilst waiting for the boys to do things or in cafes on holiday for coffee to arrive. This is double moss stitch using Lang Yarns Tissa in colourway 2609 that I got from the Knitting and Stitching Show last year. I’ve cast on for another dishcloth and I carry it around with me as I’m finding it’s a great way tot get them done and to not be bored when I have to wait!

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I made these 3 Kwik Sew Sewing for Children t-shirts for Piggle when I noticed that he had grown out of the last lot. All of these used up the final bits of these fabrics, I’m sad that he’s getting so big now that I can’t use up all the really small bits so I’ve been going through the stash pulling out what needs to be used before there’s not enough fabric to make anything!

Almost time for the winter pyjama parade to begin, I’ve pulled fabrics and have a plan so I just need to get sewing.

Talking of the stash, it is finally back on shelves again

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I was surprised to see that I don’t actually have as much as I thought I did, I was sure that these two sets of Ikea shelves wouldn’t hold it all but they easily do. I found out too that the reason I can never find a cotton I want to work with is that my cotton stash is desperately low so I will need to find somewhere to stock up on some at some point.

Next to the shelves is the china cabinet that has been re-purposed as a yarn cabinet.

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My goal is to get my yarn stash to all fit inside this cabinet instead of also having a small chest of drawers and the stack of yarn next to it. I was doing quite well until I succumbed to Kemps twice recently, I guess I will just have to knit faster! I do have another cardigan blocking at the moment and I’m making good progress on a bamboo hoodie too so hopefully I will get those off the needles soon.

I think that’s everything that I finished off over the summer. All that’s left to show you is what 9 yards of linen looks like on the washing line!

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I am going to be making Elizabeth Hartman’s (Oh Fransson) hedgehog and fox quilts for the boys using the same fabrics and this is the plain background fabric, Yarn Dyed Essex Linen in Indigo. I wanted it all off the same bolt so that they match completely. I’m planning on sewing them at the same time, first off I need to cut all of this linen and then I will cut each FQ and make one hedgehog and 2 foxes with it, then go onto the next one. It’s a long process as there are 40 FQs but I’m looking forward to getting started on it after I get a few more things out of the sewing room and off the list!

Hopefully my next post will be much sooner (I always say that don’t I? Maybe I should accept the fact that I only have time to blog sporadically now), I’ve still got the long mental list of all the stuff I’d like to finish off, hopefully cold winter nights will mean lots of knitting, crochet and hand sewing gets done, that’s the plan anyway!

Forgotten Things and New Things

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I was clearing out my photo folder and came across some things that it appears I forgot to blog about, plus there are a couple of small projects that I’ve managed to finish too!

First up, the do. Good Stitches Bee blocks, these are June’s. They’re paper pieced and it took me until the 4th one to manage to get all the way through without having to rip out a seam, I guess my brain just wasn’t into the paper piecing that day!

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These are July’s blocks, as I had to buy the cream fabric for them I figured I would use it all up and do three 12″ blocks. All the patterned fabrics for these blocks is coming out of my scrap basket which is nice as it uses it up and means I don’t need to cut into fat quarters for little bits. Anyway, these aren’t my favourite blocks, I don’t really like the design much, I did use a new to me way of making four half square triangles at a time though rather than sewing together tons of triangles as the tutorial said.

014I somehow never blogged about the Emma Louise sweater that I finished at the end of June. I bought the pattern at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year and found the lovely Twilleys Freedom Echo from Kemps in just the blue I wanted to make it in. It’s a recycled yarn and was really nice to knit with.

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The stripes are made by going from 4mm to 8mm needles for a set number of rows which made this a fun knit as well as being fast and easy. The picture is a bit rubbish as it’s hard to photograph and there isn’t really that hole under the front of the neckband as it appears. This is basically two rectangles with the front being split and the ‘sleeves’ are just ribbing that it sewn on the side making it sort of  a batwing shape.

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It’s really comfortable to wear and I’m very happy with how it came out.

Whilst watching the boys play at various playgrounds last week I made a very simple crochet dishcloth using a leftover ball of the Echo. I just chained as long as seemed good and then kept going until I’d used all the yarn. I really like the texture of it.

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I have cast on another dishcloth to carry around with me, I need some new ones and it’ll be nice to get the yarn out of my stash and into use, I think I have four or so that I can make this summer and it makes the sitting about waiting more productive and less frustrating!

I also made this short sleeve v-neck Renfrew t-shirt at the end of June. I used this fabric before years back and this was the other half of the fabric. It won’t hold its shape or its colour for long but it’s a fun summer t-shirt all the same.

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I have three more t-shirt patterns I want to try out to add a few more to my collection when I get around to it, all are downloaded patterns, two free and one I paid for, so hopefully I will have something to show you soon, although next up for the sewing is to finish off my Scrap Vomit Quilt.

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The final thing to show you is this very very simple curtain which literally took 20 minutes as all I had to do was to seam the four sides of this piece of fabric. I don’t know where this came from but it looks really nice on this door and lightens up the hallway a lot as the previous curtain was lined and made from quite a dark fabric so it kept the light out. I know this curtain, being unlined, won’t keep the heat in as well as the old one did, but as the cat flap is in the door behind this door it’s never going to be shut anyway so it won’t matter all that much!

On a different note, I think I might have finally found the shelves that can handle my cookbook collection. The previous ones are in my sewing room and are totally trashed from the weight of the books, so trashed that they will be thrown away when we move from here as there’s no point in moving them again. This set is metal and from Ikea, they fit the space in the kitchen just perfectly and I’m not worried about them throwing a shelf of books on my head like the last ones did.

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I had the books in boxes for about three weeks before I got these shelves and it was so nice to finally have them out and to be able to use them again. There is also room for expansion which is great!

So, that’s it for now, I need to go and buy some oil and lots of flour for the huge baking afternoon I have planned, lots of seasonal fruit to use up (and more bananas on their way out!) and I plan to fill the freezer with treats!

Summer Again!

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I’m happy to have the summer holidays roll around again, I love having the boys home and now that we’re somewhere new we have a lot of new places to explore! I also have a huge mental list of all the sewing, knitting, crochet, cross stitch etc. projects that I would like to get done before September, totally impossible unless I never do anything except make stuff but it’s nice to have the time to work on things and not feel guilty that I should be doing my research (I work extra hours during term time so I can take the holidays off with the boys).

I got off to a good start finishing up my Lady Kina cardigan that I have been working on whilst doing research reading. I hate just sitting there waiting to find something to underline or to take notes on so I have a simple knitting project on my desk all the time. It has to be garter or stocking stitch, even ribbing is too distracting as I can’t count and read at the same time! I used 12 balls of Rowan Cotton Jeans for this which I bought from Kemps, I don’t know if this colourway was in the 99p a ball batch that I bought (I have 2 more colourways in my stash) or in the first reduced batch but it wasn’t very expensive that’s for sure. The colourway is called Sailcloth, but it’s more trees and wood to me.

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It’s very simply knit from the top down, the yoke is the hardest bit as there are a ton of stitches, but once you’re past that and have taken the sleeves off it’s easy going. The button is from my stash, it’s a bit of wood which I think goes really well with this and it was nice to finally be able to use it! I used all the yarn I had for this, I had to unpick the cast off and one row as I ran out of yarn 16 stitches from finishing which was a bit annoying, and with it being knit all in one piece there weren’t any leftover bits to finish off with! I really like this cardigan, the colours are lovely and it’s got a nice weight to it so I’m looking forward to wearing it.

I also finished up a Poolside Tote from the Noodlehead pattern. I’ve been waiting for this one to come out as I wanted a nice big bag for our summer days out. I always end up carrying everything we might need; drinks, suntan lotion, rain coats, jumpers, sticks and pinecones the boys pick up, maps, brochures, camera, lunch etc etc etc! I used some Essex Linen and the remainder of the tree print I bought to back the first Siblings Together quilt I made. I had to do a seam down the middle of the lining pieces as I only had long strips of fabric but I don’t think it’s that noticeable.

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I’ve had these metal zips for ages and hardly ever use them (I got a ton from someone clearing out their stash) so it was nice to see them on something. I used duck cloth in the middle of the handles to make them a little bit more substantial, but I think they’re actually a bit too thick now so I probably should have used two layers of interfacing instead. The bag holds its shape from the stiff interfacing, and I used a thinner one on the lining too, but it doesn’t stand up on its own. This was a pretty easy pattern to follow, a lot of prep though and lots of basting stitches to pick out at the end, but beyond that it was fun to make.

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I added a zipped inside pocket as I like to know that my purse is nice and safe and hidden away rather than floating around in the bag. If I’ve zipped it in the pocket I can feel it from the outside and don’t do the ‘purse panic’ over and over again! This bag is a great size, we won’t use it for swimming as I don’t like swimming so the boys go with their Dad, but for days out it is great and we used it earlier this week for one such day. It’ll also be great for shopping days as there’s tons of space to stick purchases in, I had a small bathroom peddle bin in this bag while we looked at a few more shops!

The sewing room is now finished and all the fabric and yarn is put away, I will try and remember to take pictures soon. I discovered that it wasn’t my imagination, I am running low on cottons and I really need to find somewhere with good prices and nice prints for a re-stock! There aren’t any fabric shops around here that I’ve found though so I will have to keep searching and hope one turns up.

Now Here, Not There

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This was what my dining room looked like as it became a storage room when I was packing up the old house, literally a small path was left to the front door by the time I was done! The move went well, despite the movers getting lost on the way to the house, and we’re now all settled in the new place. I think I might have set a record by unpacking the entire place in 6 days, goodness knows it took me most of the next week to recover from it!

The final room to get done was the sewing room which looked like this at the start

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It took a bit of furniture shuffling and moving bits about but I finally got it into a useable state and it’s now much nicer and waiting for me to spend a lot of time in it.

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There is still a bit to be done as you can see from the stack of Ikea bags holding my fabric stash. I need an Ikea trip for a set of metal shelves and a new wheel for my chair which the movers lost somewhere along the way. They also managed to go back with the glass shelves for the china cabinet which is going to hold my yarn. My goal is to try to work my yarn stash down to where it all fits in just that cabinet and I can get rid of the striped chest of drawers, it’s going to take a while but I am ready for the challenge!

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Hopefully within a fortnight I can show you it all done, if they ever send the shelves which I’ve rung them three times about now and keep being promised will be sent right away. I’m not sure all the fabric will fit on one set of shelves but that’s all I have room for at the moment, so maybe that’s a fabric stash challenge, to get it all on the shelves!

I have managed to make something already in the room whilst balancing on the chair so it didn’t tip over. Another Scout T-shirt, this time using up a synthetic stretch fabric that I made a dress from a few years back. I used FOE on the neckline of this and it went on first time without me having to rip any parts out to re-do them, I hope that’s a sign that the sewing in this room will be easy and good!

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I have another t-shirt cut out and ready to go and I need to get my do. Good Stitches blocks for this month done as well now that I can find the fabric for them! I also pulled out several pieces of fabric and a stack of patterns while I was sorting things that I’d like to try to match up at some point, although tops are a priority at the moment as my t-shirt drawer needs a bit of an update.

I knew that the old house had a lot of things that bugged me but I didn’t realise quite how much it really pissed me off constantly; it was very damp, too small, the windows were rubbish, the kitchen had been designed by a man who didn’t cook, the sewing room was stupidly tiny, the carpets were rubbish, there was no garden and generally I was just ready to be out of there. The relief of living in a house without any of those problems and plenty of kitchen cupboards and counter space alone is amazing and I just feel so much better for being away from there. Hopefully things will go well for us here, I’m already worrying about snow in the winter as we’re down a very small hilly road, but it’s worth it for the views, the new places to run and a house that already feels like home.

Siblings Together Bee Quilt

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We’re moving later today, I finished the last bit of cleaning and sealing of boxes just before midnight and the movers arrive in 7 hours time so I had better try and get some sleep whilst listening to the not so dulcet tones of Lorenzo wailing in the room I’ve shut him in!

Before I go silent, until Broadband reaches our new house, I wanted to direct you to Lily’s Quilts where the post about my Siblings Together Quilt can be found.

See you when I see you!

A Fit of Finishing

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We move in just under 2 weeks, no boxes yet to start packing so it’s a little stressful and worrying but I will have to get it done, it has to be! At the moment the boys are enthused about it all and very happy to help with cleaning, I’ve never seen anyone as happy to wash skirting boards as they were earlier, hopefully it will last!

I realised that I would be dismantling my sewing room right from the get go as I’m not taking the chest of drawers the patterns are in (it fell apart, was fixed and is now falling apart again) and to get it out I have to take the table down and move other various bits out-of-the-way. That means no sewing after probably Thursday here and goodness knows how long it will be before I have time to put it all back together at the other end. Cue a bout of finishing up everything I can before then!

I finished off the Siblings Together quilt. A post about that will go up on a different blog but I will let you know when it will appear. I also did two small bag projects for my Mother, they didn’t take too long and it means I don’t have to take them with me and have them hanging about waiting to be handed back!

After that lot I moved onto getting the Bee blocks for May done. This is the last month of Siblings Together, I can’t believe it’s been an entire year, it seems to have flown by. This is my final block for that.

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Ages ago I signed up for the do. Good Stitches quilting bee which is an international bee made up of different groups in different areas/countries. Each chapter of the bee decides which charities they will be giving to. The English bee had an opening so I was asked if I still wanted to join. We make the blocks for this out of our own stashes in the design the Quilter of the month asks for. This month it was economy blocks which I’d never made before. I really enjoyed doing these and I’m thinking about doing a cushion from them (a whole quilt would be really hard work as there’s lots of trimming and the blocks are only 5″ square when done!). We were asked for purples, turquoise and greys for a teenager and this is what I came up with from my scrap basket.

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I hope they’re ok, and I can’t wait to see what June will bring from this bee.

I’ve wanted some new t-shirts so I pulled out the Scout pattern and some knit I got from Boyes and whipped up this one which I really love.

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I was pretty happy with the matching of the stripes too, although towards the bottom they go out of synch.

I am almost done with a woven synthetic version of this pattern too. I just need to put the sleeves in but have discovered that I am going to have to gather them which is going to be a real pain as I’m doing french seams with a really slippery fabric, so I put it aside for a little bit and will hopefully get up the enthusiasm to finish it off soon, otherwise it’ll travel in a box sleeveless!

Piggle needed new pyjamas, Jim will be fine with the ones he has for another summer. When I was digging around in the stash for fabric for the Scouts I found some really bright orange knit that I don’t think any of us would wear out of the house! It also had some sun damage to it and faded patches but for pyjamas it was just fine so I pulled out the tracing from Kwik Sew Sewing for Children in his size and got to work.

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I bought four colours of striped knit a few years back and have never gotten around to using them so it was nice to see them on something rather than in the basket. I also found the owl appliqué in my stash and stuck it on the front to stop it being so plain. Piggle wasn’t sure about the fabric when he first saw it but is happy with the pyjamas and wore them last night.

A while back I pulled out the last metre and a half pieces of cotton I’d bought for pyjamas. Piggle is now at the size where he really needs 2 metres or yards so I ended up doing short sleeves on these. For some reason I didn’t ever trace the 7-year-old size of Kwik Sew 1556 for Jim so I just added length to the 6-year-old size as these are pretty baggy pyjamas anyway. I gave him an extra two inches on the trousers and the shirt (last year he had an extra inch on just the shirt as he’s got a long body) and he should have some growing room in these.

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I did these in a couple of hours sewing both pairs at the same time, nice brainless sewing. I now need to replenish my stash of pyjama fabric as I’m pretty much out for summer and winter. I think I will do knit pyjamas for winter for them as I seem to have quite a bit of that, low priced good quality flannel is so hard to come by over here and the high shipping rates from the States have cut off my usual supply.

So, besides the shirt if I finish it that’s it from this address sewing-wise, I will have to knit, crochet and cross stitch for my crafting fix until I get sorted in the new place! It feels nice to have completed these things and crossed a few things off my list and I’ll have to get my sewing room in some sort of working order so I can do the June bee block.

I won’t have Broadband right away when I move (the broadband and mobile reception where I’m going seems akin to living in a cave under the sea rather than modern day Britain) so I don’t know how long it will be until I can check in again if I don’t before we go. Hopefully it won’t be the months like it was when we moved here!