Friday, 20 June 2014

Lofty ambitions

I have a loft room. I used to get really jealous of people who have a dedicated place to work, now that's me! I have to be honest- I haven't spent masses of time up top because I like company but I'm sure I will creep up more and more often when I get used to not being part of the melee! 

I have really crammed my materials in- there is always more than you think isn't there? So much wool, thread, fabric, beads, paints and BOOKS. Oh my gosh the quantity of it all is obscene......and wonderful! It's a tip already. Perfect, I can't get my juices flowing in a sterile environment can you? 

I have also had a nudging mail from my City and Guilds tutor, no I haven't been making much progress lately, what with the moves and the building work and and and..enough excuses. I have sought advice and cracked on with my 'seeding' sample. I haven't sent images for approval yet but hopefully I won't have to do too much more to add this to my file. 

In truth I should be able to finish the course this year if I pull my finger out. Of course there are always distractions;

 Anna will be 8 next week and as such she has invited 8 friends round for her party. We will be screening the first Harry Potter film interspersed with little activities. One of the tasks is to rescue an owl from Fluffy so I have made ten owl familiars for them to save. The pattern is free and available here.
Plenty more distractions are calling but I shall try to be strong and stick to the City and Guilds like Bondaweb until it is signed, sealed and delivered. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Spring time stirings

I am loving putting tiny characters in small containers.

Is this weird?

This little poppet is a worry doll, made for the Chain Gang valentine swap. 

She will bring happiness and love- guaranteed.

I will be making more of these, I won't be able to resist. 
This was what I pulled form the valentines goodie bag- I'm so chuffed- this heart has a lovely texture and solidity, Sarah made it- she is one clever gal.

Emily and I have also been busy working on Magical Stitchery Tour projects, the business is doing so well- it's so exciting. Pop over to the blog if you'd like to see what we've been up to. xx

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Gardener's World

Last time I stopped by I was telling you about the rug which Simon had been bequeathed which had inspired a blanket. I am adding flowers to the blanket and am about a third of the way through, it is looking really cool if I do say so myself. I have also been to help my Dad do some clearing at my Grandparents old house. He is executing their estate with my Aunt and there is a lot of sorting out to do. The house is a three story Georgian house which had been divided up into flats to allow my Grandparents to take in lodgers. There aren't lots of original features and the house has been declining over the last few years as my Grandpa lost interest and lost a lot of his sight. It was pretty sad going round there and seeing it all unloved and empty. But of course within that the little memories peep through and I found myself visualising things I remembered from childhood.
When we used to go to play there was always plenty going on. Dad is one of five and there were five local cousins who were often around. We used to love colouring and playing with the 'junk jewellery'. There was a big bag of cars, dolly's, a tea set and a push along terrier. My most favourite of all though had to be the garden. This was a 'Brittens' toy and was made up of felt boards, cardboard printed with paths and lots of plastic flower beds into which a variety of plastic foliage could be 'planted'.
This was all sat in a carrier bag on the sofa when we went to do some sorting so I bought it home to see if it was as cool as I was. Will made this garden and went on to dismantle it and make two more.
What do you remember playing with at your grandparents? I had a cool time at my other Granfer's house too but here I mucked in, gardening with him, looking at a book, watching snooker or cricket or making daisy chains with him on the lawn. Did your Grandparents play with you or give you stuff to play with? I'm interested to know.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Primrose Throw

Oh Arne and Carlos, how I love you, how I long to live in your cute world, sit in your garden, drink tea whilst we crochet together. We could be sat for some time though- because I am making your 'Primrose Throw'.
 As you may have gathered from the lack of regular blogging 'shit' has happened over the last few months. Nothing desperate just quite a lot of life, happening all at once. Between us Simon and I lost three Grandparents in the last ten months, they were all three of them at the end of their journey, so although it was sad it wasn't tragic, if you know what I mean.

We were touched to have been left a rather lovely large rug as a specific bequest from Simon's Danish grandmother 'Bestermor'. It was made by her husband, his Welsh grandfather 'Taid', he made the rug from a kit after he retired from his work as a G.P. Unfortunately his retirement was short so this is one of the last memories Simon has of his Taid.

I have been wanting to make a blanket or quilt for our bedroom. Simon and I just couldn't agree on a scheme or design but having the rug in our new bedroom inspired a scheme and when Simon flicked through my new Arne and Carlos book and pointed out a throw it seemed to be the perfect answer.
Now, a couple of hundred flowers later, I am wondering just what I was thinking! It has only taken a week to get this far so watch this space to see if my stamina holds out. As always though the instructions are very well written and it is like having friends chatting to you whilst you work with books by these guys. 
It's all good practise though, 'Magical Stitchery Tour' has it's first workshop open for bookings and it is ........Crochet for Beginners.....perhaps the students would like to help me crochet this little lot together! xxxxx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

On the first day of advent

my true love sent to me...a penguin in an Acer tree. Hello! Are you getting the festive glittering feeling down in you toes? I have my own advent calender this year and as a way of getting you feeling all childlike and excitable I can thoroughly recommend it. Mine has beauty treats in which is ironic as the boiler has decided to make hot water in only two minute bursts so ablutions at the moment are both stressful and a little too 'invigorating'.
So the big news around here is that the 'Magical Stitchery Tour' has delivered it's first home party. We taught five people to crochet granny squares and helped a sixth make a cute crochet Robin. Nice work! It was really good fun and we are in the process of looking at venues and designing some six week 'learn to' courses for the new year. I have also completed a secret project, begun a crochet shawl/scarf combo for a gift and have avoided doing my City and Guilds. I am being a bit rubbish about doing my course work actually. The shiny sparkly newness of it has all worn off now and I don't really know how to get my ass in gear again. Maybe having a work room will help and apart from the lack of stairs up to it the actual attic room is coming on really well. I think builder fatigue is also a problem, they are so nice but a month of not having the house to ourselves is wearing pretty thin. I think if the builders had been any less than lovely I might have knocked them out with a roof joist actually, and I'm usually such a hospitable soul.
The felt decorations pictured above were designed and made by myself to tout at a craft fair, they didn't sell but will be the samples of 'festive felt' for courses next winter. It's all good! xxxxx

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Hello blogging my old friend

It has been a while. How are you? Are things good with you? We are all in one piece here, it has been one heck of a summer- Simon underwent spinal surgery, which went well thanks and then we moved house......again. Do you want to hear all about it? Shall we talk about the past, or the future. After such a long break I'm not sure how much back-story is necessary. Anyway my instinct is to be looking forward. After failing to finish my City and Guilds in the three years I have just paid a further enrolment. I Need to get this nailed, but I don't have anywhere to work or organise my supplies at the moment. The loft conversion should start next week so there is a light at the end of the tunnel- all be it a very distant one. I am reminded of the amazing work created in Peru and rural China though- I don't suppose the ladies who created this stitching have a dedicated work room so perhaps it will be possible to progress?
The Chain Gang is continuing to thrive which is lovely- we have a plan to knit a cardigan in a day to raise money for this space.
In other news a friend 'from the gang' and I are investigating business ideas. She has had quite a summer too and I think we are both ready for a change. Tiny baby steps though, we both have families and jobs and lives to keep jogging along so this is a weeny carrot seed we are planting rather than a huge fat acorn! 
On the making front I seem to have been knitting.....a lot..... this is simply due to it's portable nature and the fact that even if I can't find the right sized needles it is not the end of the world to buy another cheap pair. Like I said though, time to get my shoulder back to the C&G grind stone, I have come so far on the journey and need to take those last few weary steps. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Four needles, an adventure.

I was tempted. Not even forty hours in a desert and I succumbed. I'm sure you get those e-mails too; Deramores sale, Hancocks sale, Search Press sale. I was sucked in and spent a happy time filling my basket with books. I will show you the others at some point but today let's talk about Arne and Carlos. I love these guys, they are super cute. Mum had great fun kitting Christmas baubles from their first book but I was scared. I was scared of all that five needle action- the potential for disaster. I said 'I can't do that' I was wrong. This Easter book was in the 'Hurt Books' section of the Search Press website, and it did have a slightly bashed corner but it was cheap because of it's damage and it seriously didn't detract from the contents of the book one bit.Attempt one at knitting an egg can be seen above and to the left- yes it's a ball. I was so damned pleased with myself for not poking my eye out with one of the five (!) needles I was using I rather lost sight of the actual Pattern. Anyhow, that little ball under my belt, as it were, I tried a proper fair isle egg. Now my tension when stranding is as we have previously seen a bit uptight so all was well until I broke off the second colour of wool to finish the top section of my 'egg' and it all suddenly got a lot....floppier. Basically I ended up with a pear rather than an egg and had a bit of a crisis of confidence. Later though I saw that my pear was actually Matroyshka shaped! I added a felt head scarf and face and Bobs your Uncle and Anika's your Pear! 

Of course now that double endeds had been conquered I needed to really push the boundaries and try........socks! These beauties came out on the large size after convincing myself that my ankles were as fat as a 'large man's. They are great over another pair and under my walking boots though- I know- I have worn them thus! Everyone I know will be getting socks for Christmas =fact. Knitting socks is magic, it is quick , cheap, jolly, satisfying, a bit clever and showy offy. What is not to like? Finally I needed to show you the cute rabbit I made for the Chain Gang Easter swap. The pattern is Free and came from here. I changed the face a bit and added a scarf to reflect the chill weather. I was very very lucky to receive a swap gift made by Sarah and I will show that soon, probably along with about a dozen more socks!