Magpie Clue 2 and Owl Basket

I finished clue 2 of the Magpie mystery knit a long last week. It was quite intense with all the beading – this is my first knit with beads. It’s looking really pretty with the beads and I’m pleased with the colours of the yarn. I decided though that a little break was needed before I tackle the challenge of clue 3 – lots more beading to come! Here it is at the end of clue 2…

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I decided that I would start on the owl basket crochet pattern that I recently bought as I thought it would be a relaxing project. I failed to get it going twice in one evening so set it aside and worked on a swap project (can’t show pictures of that yet) instead. Last night though I sat down and decided to try again and…success! woot woot! It’s not that it’s difficult really, the problem for me was that it requires you to use 4 strands of yarn and I was all over the place with it the first two times – things were twisted and I couldn’t see the stitches (because I’d twisted it!) Anyway, no matter because I got it going last night and I’m on a roll. It’s a little tiring on the hands with that huge thickness for yarn but the actual pattern itself is easy so far. Here’s where I’m at…

 

 

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I’m using Stylecraft Special Chunky in the colour parchment and I really like the colour – the Stylecraft yarn is ok too – this is my first time of using it. I think now that I’ve got going on it that this won’t take too long to crochet even with the breaks for hand fatigue!

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Posted in 2014 Stitching, Crochet, Knitting, Laura Nelkin Designs, Magpie MKAL | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

What Does the Fox Say?

Catherine became quite a fan last year of a song called What Does the Fox Say? As a result, we were on the lookout for items of foxiness! In the recent issue of Simply Crochet magazine there was a pattern for crocheted fox stole – it was a must make! I bought some the specified yarn which was Drops Nepal – this is a new yarn to me and it is very soft, really lovely in fact. I finished the fox on Friday night and managed to get some photos this morning of Catherine wearing it. It was a super easy make once I’d worked out what the instructions were asking me to do on the face part – that’s always my difficulty with crocheted items so I’m pleased that I seem to be making a bit of progress in that area.

260114-2Lots of lovely trebling and some treble togethers in the middle of the row to make that chevron shape.

Here’s a close up of his face…

260114-3Yesterday was a horrible, rainy day so I decided to press on with a mystery knit that I’m taking part in. We’d had to take a break from each other for a week as for some reason I kept getting my stitch count wrong! I put it right and put it away for a little while. Yesterday I finished off the first half of part one and got a very good start on the second part. This is a pic of part one of part one!

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There are a few new to me techniques in this knit – crocheted provisional cast on, working with beads and a centre decrease. Fingers crossed it seems to be going ok at the moment. I’m perplexed as to why it’s causing me problems as it’s really not difficult at all. I’m eager to progress onto part 2 now so I think I’ll be spending some time working on this later on today as it’s yet another dark and rainy day!

 

 

Posted in 2014 Stitching, Crochet, Knitting, Laura Nelkin Designs, Magpie MKAL, Simply Crochet magazine | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fabriholics Anonymous – January

So this is my report for January on how I’ve managed on the fabric spending front. I. Have.Spent. Not. One. Penny. On. Fabric. Yes indeedy – although I was sorely tempted when Melissa at Happy Quilting started her quilt a long. Let’s find a link for that – Star Light Star Bright Quilt a Long

I wanted to make some of the really large sized blocks but when I hunted through my fabric there wasn’t enough yardage of enough fabrics to do it. I even went so far as to tell myself that I could allow a background fabric purchase if I could locate sufficient prints etc from my stash for the other fabrics. Anyway, it wasn’t a goer so I am just going to have to be happy with a smaller sized block and make either a cushion or a lap quilt. It’s not a problem – it’s not as though I have a lack of other projects to work on! (thinking of all those BOM I have stashed away!)

So, what have I worked on this month? Not a great deal really on the quilting front. I have started foundation piecing December’s Lucky Stars block¬†for an eventual runner for my dressing table. Although I didn’t make all of last year’s Lucky Stars blocks I did sign up for this years patterns too – I really like the designs and I have a large quilt in mind using a lot of the stars. I got about half way through this star before Catherine fell ill with a vicious bug which has kept her away from college all of this week. I don’t recall her ever being so poorly before as to need an entire week away from school. As she’s been at home all week, I’ve spent my time sitting with her instead of spending any time in my sewing room. Not good for the quilting but very good for the crocheting and the brow soothing!

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I’m looking forward to finishing this off and making another one – I’m using my precious stash of Fig Tree fabrics.

I did spend some time last weekend preparing some more applique for the Evelyn’s Album quilt. I cut out all of the pieces for block 3 and traced the shapes for the blocks 4 and 5. I think this week, given that no more bugs occur, I’ll get those three finished up and ready for the embroidery. I really enjoy these blocks a great deal. I have two more Primitive Gatherings quilt kits to make. I’m trying to be good and not start another one until I’ve got all of the blocks stitched for this one.

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So yes, this month has gone really well on the spending front and there was really only that one urge I had to take part in the quilt a long and honestly – I have more than enough things to be making, I really don’t need another one! I will file it away for the future though and perhaps content myself with making a pillow from the block design this time.

Posted in 2014 Stitching, Applique, Evelyn's Album, Foundation Piecing, Lucky Stars BOM | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

A couple of finishes from last year…

I never got around to posting these finishes last year and didn’t want them to feel left out!

The first one is the Little House Needleworks mystery called Song of the Seasons. I finished this way back in November and had it framed to match the frame of The Library.

150114-9That’s not really a brilliant photo at all now that I come to look at it again! I did get a bit weary of stitching this one although I am absolutely delighted with the finish, it’s lovely.

The second project that finally got finished, much to Catherine’s delight, was the Grinch quilt. This poor thing had been ongoing for ages and ages. I finally got a grip and got the quilting on him finished off. It was difficult to get a photo of him once he was finished because he was taken straight off to the bedroom and put on her bed! This is one that I swiped from Catherine.

150114-10You can just see the matching pillow in at the top of her bed that I finished using the leftovers about 12 months before I finished the actual quilt! It was worth the effort, it’s already much loved ūüôā

In other quilty goings on, I finished block 2 of Evelyn’s Album. I love stitching these – very relaxing along with a good programme on the tele! I have block 3 almost ready to start stitching – just needs ironing onto the background.¬†150114-11

 

I have a couple of quick quilts in mind to make soon – I’ve been thinking about them long enough so it’s certainly time for them to be made! I am of course working from stash for quilts this year – one of these projects uses a very large panel of Monsters Inc. that I bought last year. I’m trying to decide whether to just put a simple border of different coloured squares on it or whether to make some more complicated blocks, hmmm – decisions, decisions!

 

 

Posted in 2013 Stitching, Applique, Cross Stitch, Evelyn's Album, LHN Song of the Seasons, Primitive Gatherings, Quilting | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A touch of Crochet

I have always liked crocheting – my Mum taught me many, many years ago, but I’ve never really made much beyond a few Granny squares or simple blankets. On a recent trip to the Black Sheep Wool shop I spotted a book called Twenty to Make : Crocheted Beanies by Frauke Kiedaisch for the bargain price of ¬£4.99. I have a daughter who loves hats so it was a must buy! I was a bit daunted by actually making a hat but decided that for a fiver I would have a go.

New Year’s Eve saw the birth of this creation…

 

 

 

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This is Baker Boy, from the book and it uses one ball of Rowan Big Wool – it was made in no time at all. I was quite impressed with myself!

Next up was this Cloche Hat. This isn’t in the book but is a pattern that I bought from Ravelry called the Garbo Cloche¬†I used 2 balls of Wendy Thor. Although the yarn was the type specified it was turning into a huge creation so I had to make a few adjustments. Again – it was made in no time at all.

 

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My third creation was also from the book and is called Shades of Grey in the book…

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See my beautiful model there? The Baker Boy cap graced her head up until this one was finished and it’s barely left her head since…just when sleeping I think! This yarn is Stylecraft Swift Knit – beautifully soft, I wish I’d bought more of it but I bought it in the sale and it’s since sold out. If I were making this one again I would probably make a smaller bobble, I got a bit carried away with the size of the thing and it turned out to be enormous! This one took a little bit longer to make mostly due to the bobble I think!

Next up – another Baker Boy! When I bought the book a young friend spied the Baker Boy and admired it. Full of my successes I decided to whip another one up just for her in her favourite colour…

 

 

150114-7This yarn was a gorgeous red colour and is called Sirdar Big Softie (on sale too!)

Finally I set out to make another one from the book that Catherine had expressed a liking for. This one proved tricky – very tricky. Luckily I started making it at our monthly get together and so had a lot of help from friend Karin. This is as far as I’ve got with it…

150114-8Now I was quite keen to carry on but after all this enjoyment the RSI decided to say “no more” very loudly! So, I’ve had to give it rest for a while and do something else. I have thoroughly enjoyed my little crocheting adventure though and will be back to it as soon as I have the ok from my wrist/arm whatever!

 

 

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Stitch from Stash – January 2014

My first post of the New Year! where does the time go ūüėģ In addition to swearing off buying quilting fabric I’ve also decided to spend this year cross stitching from my stash. I’m very good at spotting new charts that I like and then kitting them up – much more quickly than I can stitch of course! This year I’m going to lose that habit and stitch what I’ve got stashed away. We are allowed a month off plus a small spend each month – the budget for that is $25, I’m going to take that as being ¬£15 and I’ll use it to buy any threads that I run out of for those things that I have already kitted up.

This is my January report for Stitch from Stash:

Amount Spend: £0

New Starts from Stash: Tree of Hope by Mirabilia; Florette Stitcher’s Carousel by Jane Greenhoff

WIPs or UFOs worked on: On the Rosebud Swing by All Our Yesterdays; 

A few pictures –

150114-3This is the Rosebud Swing – as you can see, it’s not far away from a finish…I got a bit bored with the grass underneath the swing! Looking at it now I feel quite inspired to press on with it.

150114-1This is a new start – the Florette Stitcher’s Carousel by Jane Greenhoff. This is a lovely project that makes all sorts of stitching accessories. This first part that I’m working on is a pincushion which gets fixed to the top of the wooden carousel. There are also needle rolls and scissors case and some other whatnots that I forget the name of now! I bought this kit last year for my birthday.

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My second start is the Tree of Hope by Mirabilia. The chart and beads were a gift from Sue (my Santa this year in our little group of friends). I had this all kitted up before Christmas ready to start on New Year’s Day along with the Mirabilia Facebook group. I am loving stitching it so far.

It would be nice to finish off that Rosebud Swing before next month’s report!

It’s been quite a long time since I updated my blog and I have some other finishes to show but I’ll do those in a separate post as they’re not related to Stitch from Stash.

 

 

Posted in 2014 Stitching, All Our Yesterdays, Cross Stitch, Mirabilia, Stitch from Stash | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fabriholics Anonymous

I seem to have accumulated a considerable fabric stash over the last few years. When I started quilting I wanted only to buy by the project…that hasn’t really worked out! There’s just too much lovely fabric out there and while I do buy by the project I can’t sew quickly enough to make all of the projects that I want to make! Of course, I did fall into the habit of buying ‘because it’s lovely’ as well. The result is – too much fabric sitting waiting for me to cut it up and stitch it together! I read a post on Jess’s blog¬†this morning about swearing off buying any fabric in 2014. It sounds hard to do but I think it’s necessary. I have quite a lot of WIPs that I would like to finish and quite a lot of fabric that I would love to see doing something instead of sitting on my shelves. I’ve decided to join in :gulp:

Here are the rules/goals…

GOALS:
– To use the Stash I already have!
– Finish UFOs without distraction by shifting to other new beautiful fabric.
РStop the insanity of constantly buying the latest and greatest fabric.
РSave the £££ I spend on stashing.
– Destash the fabrics that I realize I am never going to use.
FABRIC FAST RULES:
1) No fabric purchases for 6 months beginning January 1, 2014.   
2) At 6 months reevaluate status and decide whether to keep going for full year.  Evaluation July 1, 2014.
3) Create a UFO list and complete them!
4) Exceptions
  • Backing: purchasing a backing to finish a quilt top is permissible. ¬†However, attempting to use fabric in your possession for a backing is preferable.
  • Books and Magazine purchases are allowed as they are not fabric. ¬†Notions acceptable too.
  • Swap Mama Fabric: if hosting a swap you are permitted to by fabric to execute swap duties, but you may not join a swap simply for the sake of being able to buy fabric!
  • Quilts for Publication: if you are making a quilt for a publication and need certain fabric to execute it correctly then that is a major exception – who can blame you?

Now straight away I’m going to have to say that there is something that I need to buy :blush: I’ve been stitching away on the Hexy MF quilt and almost have all of the flowers stitched together – I think I have something like 15 left to stitch onto the quilt top. Back when I started making this quilt I knew it would take ages so I chose but did not buy the border/binding fabric – I’ll need to get that to finish it off. Am I cheating already? I hope not. I will see if I can piece together the backing from existing fabric though instead of buying some so a bit of a trade off there I think ūüôā I have more than enough projects lined up to keep me sewing for the next few lifetimes so I’ve no reason to run out of things to make. Here’s to seeing plenty of finished quilts in 2014 and the cessation of the groaning from my shelves at the weight they’re carrying!

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