Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A tale of two loves.

I think Mr. Knitty and I are going through a bit of a difficult phase of late. I just seem to have grown bored with him, you see. 34 years we've been together and I have been enticed away by a newcomer - Mr. Crochet. Ah, Mr C. - so new, so exciting, so versatile, and so easygoing, just a hook and some yarn and we're off. And Mr. C comes in all shapes and sizes, from Granny striped blanket to teensy delicate doilies. And both at the same time too.
So I've already given you a peek at the granny blanket and to be honest it's progress has slowed a little so I think an update wouldn't be that interesting right now. But the doily - ah yes, I'm sure you'd like a peek at this?
Well let me tell you, I know it's infatuation with Mr. C as I have even decided that reading a chart isn't that bad, something I avoid at all costs with longterm companion Mr. K. 
This is the chart I am following:

And this is the hook and threads I am using:

1.25mm hooks and crochet cotton thread, so delicate.

And this is how the work is coming along:

Kind of sweet don't you think?
The original pattern is found in a copy of StitchCraft and is worked in all white but I wanted it to be a bit more cheerful and fit in with my bedroom decor so I'm using the pastel colours instead. I'm amazing myself at how I am doing with this, I never ever thought I would be able to crochet something this intricate. 
Sorry Mr. K, I know you've been here for such a long time, and now I haven't even thought of you in weeks. I know you'll stay waiting patiently for me though and we'll get back together soon enough. But for now this woman is enjoying the charms of Mr. C and all the tricks he has waiting to show me.

How about you? Ar you sticking with a familiar craft? Or do you enjoy having your head turned by new pastimes?
Hope you're enjoying whatever you're up to.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011


So I told you I'd be back with the car boot sale bargains. And this is them - six 100g balls of Sirdar Denim chunky for £5 and five 100g balls of Paton's Symphony for £3:

Pretty good, don't you think?? 
But even better was these:
The lady had a whole stack of StitchCraft magazines from the late 70's to early 80's! These are lovely booklets and I already have a few in my collection. They cover a range of different needlecrafts - crochet, knitting, embroidery, cross-stitch, rugmaking, all wonderful crafts:


. The illustrations are just lovely and although some of the patterns are a bit too "of the times" there are some great ones that need no adjusting if you love the vintage look, or that can be brought right up to date with just a few tweaks. Getting hold of the yarns used would probably be impossible now, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to use some of them anyway ;-). So how much for these five I hear you ask? £2.00! Isn't that a bargain? The seller had a pile of them, maybe 30 or more, and she was asking 50p each one. John asked her what kind of deals she was open to but she was very non-committal and had the maybe I appeared over keen as she just said she would let me select what I wanted before she gave a price. Despite saying again that I would love them all she wouldn't commit to a price so I eventually selected these five. I do wish I had haggled a price with her over the whole collection........
Another lovely find was these candlestick holders:

Ok they're not that great but they only cost £1 for the pair, and then further on I came across a can of enamel spray for £1 too which I snapped up and now my candle holders look like this:

Lovely don't you think?

So there we go, the yarnbuying ban is officially over. And ready to start again for another six months! Why, do you ask? Because I have also been treated to some lovely yarns from my lovely man. Yesterday I also acquired a skein of laceweight, some sock yarn, some more cotton 4ply, and a couple of skeins of Mirasol T'ika. So the dent I had created in the stash has now been smoothed over and filled in. Now to find the inspiration to start working through it all over again. That's if I can tear myself away from the strangely addictive Granny stripe hookiness.........
So what crafty bargains have you come across lately? And please - links to yarn sales are not allowed here! Well maybe if you really want to.........


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Complete bed in a day!

Four years ago we found this in a car boot sale for Sophie:

Well a week or two ago Sophie and Emma brought it round in a real sorry state. The frill was pulled partly off, the pillow had a paint splash and the canopy was torn. Sophie wanted to know if I could make it nice again. So today I set to work and within an hour or two we had this:

So there you go - a complete new bed set in a day. Not bad huh? Now come on, you didn't really think I meant a real bed when you read the title did you?

Other news - no Woolfest visit. If you read the other blog you will know already but unfortunately my plans were scuppered by the beginnings of a virus, which coupled with my hayfever and the sudden change to very humid weather meant that I felt awful yesterday morning and couldn't even get out of bed, never mind do the 100+ mile trip to Cumbria. Oh well, there's always next year. And I did feel a little better this morning so managed a potter round the car boot sale where I found some lovely bargains which I'll share with you all tomorrow.
How about you? Did you manage any crafting this weekend?
See you all tomorrow.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Let the light shine.

After many, many years putting up with the same dusty old dull lampshade it was time for a change. I stripped off the silky purple fabric from the frame and chose a piece of white gauzy fabric leftover from trimming Helens curtains:

Still dull and boring so I added a few lengths of ribbon and ricrac from the scraps box and this is what we have now:

Brighter, cleaner and more in keeping with the newly refurbished on a shoestring room. And I managed not to bleed on it after several stabbings of my finger whilst handsewing the trim!


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Bits and pieces.

A little spinning practise:

 A lot more needed!

Sewing new trousers for Heather:

Why are all little people's trousers made with such a long bottom, large waist and short legs? Ok I know why - nappies of course. Not great if the little person is small and slender and only just fitting into 12-18 month clothes though and doesn't wear a nappy! Guess Heather is going to have to put up with mama made trousers for a long while yet.....

Pretty hair bobble for Sophie:

 Just some scraps stitched to an old hair bobble, but pink and sparkly is Sophie's thing.

Jumping on the Granny stripe bandwagon:

Hoping I can keep up the momentum and actually finish this BIG blanket!

No yarn buying still but that is sooo going to change next week., six more sleeps till Woolfest and the yarn drought is over.......... So who else is going to be there?


Monday, 13 June 2011


I never did show the Christmas gift my dearest John got for me did I?
So how about I show you now:

Yes, he was listening all those times I rambled on about how I would love to learn to spin my own yarn. And just before Christmas he was passing a secondhand shop when he spotted this wheel on top of a sideboard in the street outside. He had no idea what he was looking at but bought it simply because "everything moved" on it! So anyway I put it in my craft corner and had a go at treadling now and then. No idea what I was doing and when I found that there was a snapped part, (the windy part on the horizontal tension knob that kind of goes into the table??) I just decided it wouldn't work and so left it there thinking that one day I would get round to doing something with it.

So in 2 weeks it will be my 40th birthday and knowing how much I wanted a real working wheel John has been browsing Ebay on the lookout for one. Last week we saw a Wee Peggy for sale and after seeking advice online (thanks Dawn) we kept an eye on it. I decided it was too far away but unbeknown to me John had other ideas and so he bid on it and won it. Last Friday he went to collect it but as I was working all weekend I didn't have to chance to look at it properly. 

So today I'm home, Heather napped and the boy's played together for a while. The perfect opportunity to examine my new plaything. I treadled awhile to get the feel of it and then wondered what to do next. I remember reading online that it's a good idea to get the feel of the wheel by plying some already spun yarn so I grabbed a couple of acrylics from my stash and used the wheel to wind them onto bobbins. And then I plied them together. Well I tried anyway. But you know nothing happened! I had a handful of twisted yarn in my hand but it wouldn't go onto the bobbin. So I had another look online and discovered a new phrase "scotch tension". Well that explained the random piece of string with the spring attached. So I threaded the string over the bobbin and attached the spring and had another try. No idea if it was right or not but hey, if you don't give it a go.... So I began spinning again and this time the yarns twisted together and began to take up onto the bobbin. Hurrah!! 
And so this is where we're at now:

See my two separate yarns? And the much nicer yellow/orange yarn below? I'm so very pleased with it, you just wouldn't believe :) So now to find a nice introduction to spinning book (I'm not so much of a visual learner as a literal one) and some fleece and away I go. 

Thanks to my lovely husband and extra thanks to the lovely Dawn for her advice and guidance, although I know I ended up with something other than Dawn recommended but you can blame the husband for that!

Oh just one thing - please ignore the dust over both of them! The first one has been standing in the corner for quite a while and the second carries the previous owners dust, eurghhh, what can I say!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

More sewing.

See, told you I was catching the sewing bug! A special treat for my sewing machine to keep it's very own cosy cover.

From this:

To this:

In half a day. Still loving it, and I think that leaving one end shorter than the rest of the sides to allow the leads to tuck through was a stroke of genius, don't you? So what if it wasn't actually in the initial plan? It's only a mistake if it can't be fixed right?
Well that's my thinking anyway ;-) 
Must remember to be a little more careful with the tape measure in future!


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Can I just.........

bask in my own admiration for a moment?
I've blogged about my (lack of) sewing skills before. Self taught and impatience do not go well together when sewing anything at all. But that is changing. I finally have the sewing love. So it hasn't hit as hard as the crochet love did when I finally got "it", but it has hit none the less. And what caused this change? This urge to pull out the machine before the hooks or yarns? 
Why, this little cushion:

See, straight lines. Right angles. Neat edges. Amazing. Not like my usual sewing technique at all. Usually it's just dash the pieces together and keep sewing and trimming, sewing and trimming, until the thing is at best functional if not the neatest or prettiest of things. But this lovely cushion has changed all that. I made the cushion and then was inspired to cover my whole lovely old rocking chair, blogged about here after I found it in a car boot sale for £2.91!

From this:

To this:

With a few scraps from the remnants box in the local fabric store and a Rosali Cath Kidston at Ikea duvet set. The greatest compliment was when each and every person who has seen it so far has asked where I bought it and how much I paid! See, I sewed something that doesn't look like I sewed it. A true reflection of how well I did. And no loose ends, or mis-shaped seams. Now let's just hope I can remember that patience is a virtue when it comes to sewing. And I won't tell how I unpicked the first line of squares when the right angles went astray......

More to show on this theme but for now I hear my Suzie (sewing machine) calling. Oh and I have a hooky WIP to share soon too........ And I've not forgotten that I was going to show you the other crafty thing I have been learning......
Busy, busy, busy, oh why do I have to work all weekend?
See you soon.