Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So long away

Has it really been so long? Live has been very hectic over the last year, mainly with moving house and trying to keep everything else going at the same time.  It's been several years in the making. We decided that we wanted to move several years ago, it just needed to be the right time and more importantly the right house.

So here it is - our new house

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympic Tea Cosy

Now that I've got the team at work addicted to tea, it was about time to clothe the tea pot! It's difficult to find time to dedicate to knitting, so I set myself the challenge to knit one as part of the Ravelympics, casting on during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, then knitting like fury to complete in the 16 days that follow.

It wasn't particularly complicated or but with a week camping and then a week recovering from camping and decorating, the challenge was finding time to dedicate to kitting (and watching Olympics of course!)

So 16 days later I'm sat watching the closing ceremony covered in stray sequins! The yarn had hundreds incorporated, which gives its bling factor, but we are going to be finding them for months!

Tomorrow it's back to work and reality time, but when ever I make a pot of tea I'll remember the London 2012 Olympics!! so many memories of fantastics people achieving amazing results. Well done to all the athletics who took part, those that got medals and those that missed the mark, but showed courage and determination. Well done to the organisers for doing us proud with truly amazing opening and closing ceremonies and most importantly to all the volunteers, Police and Armed Forces who gave their time to make it all happen!

Thanks for an amazing 2 weeks!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Quilted table mats

Now that I gave had a few quilting lessons I thought it was time to practice my skills. I started 2 tablemats for my mum. She likes cream and green. The wadding is a special heat resistant type so that hot dishes can be put down onto it without damaging the table underneath.

I finished one completely - 4 log cabin blocks. I added side panels to get the right size. Machine quilted with circles to complement the angular lines of the log cabin blocks.

Close-up on the backing fabric. This will be the fabric for the other placemats that I intend to make to eventually make a set.

I got the panel finished for this one, but ran out of time so will quilt and bond it later. Again I will quilt circles

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

hidden bag

I made this to hold my phone and change to be hidden under a top, so that I could have all this thngs I needed while working on an exhibition stand. There was limited room to store a handbag and I wanted to keep my belongings on me. It has 2 zipped pockets and a strap so that it went over the shoulder and across the body. It worked well at the exhibition, so very pleased with it.


I've taken the quilting further and very pleased with the results
This is the quilt I made for my nephew Archie

I used YouTube clips to get the inspiration and polyester wadding, then 'stitch-in-the-ditch' techniques of sowing over the joins between the pieces. I was pleased with the results, but have learnt since then
This is the next quilt for my friend's new baby. This time I went to a proper Quilting shop for advice - Quilter's Den in Warwick. I learnt that polyester wadding is quite bulky and the Cotton type gives a finer finish. I quilted in lines across the whole quilt with variegated thread and was very impressed with the results. This quilt took a day to complete - a very intense and enjoyable day - well and truly got the bug now!!
So in my pursuit to hone my skills I have signed up for a quilting class 'Block of the Month' at the Quilter's Den - the idea is that I make a quilt inspired by this.....

Block one

I love it!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Projects from 2010, well just some...

Christmas time is when we reflect on the year and I've had a look at previous blogs and realised that I should really do this more often. Some of the projects I blogged about I had almost forgotten and others I have actually finished!

Roam - I started this in May 2008 and put it on hold many times to work on something else more interesting. Roam is a plain hoodie that was featured on knitty.com and is totally moss stitch! Yes a great idea at the time to make something casual for winter, but I never actually said which winter... Well it's finally finished and made it's first outing when we took all four children to Cornwall in the October half term. Pictures to follow

Multicoloured blanket - I think I started this about the same time as Roam... Again it got put down in favour of other more interesting or pressing projects. It's gut a full border and is FINISHED!

Proud to say that I do not gave any long term UFOs

So what else have I made?

Archie's techicolour blanket

This took almost as much brain power as actual crochet! I wanted to crochet a modern blanket using a stitch pattern that my Grandma Sweeney used to use, thus combining old and new. The yarn is Blue-Faced Leicester commercially spun as sock weight. I purchased the purple mix and rainbow mix at Yarn Gathering, which subsequently closed. It did not take long to realise that 2 skeins was not going to be enough and so the hunt for more yarn started.

On a time limit as we knew Archie was cooking, I could not take all year to find more yarn, so took the bold step to dye my own, as I has found a supplier of Blue-Faced Leicester sock yarn. A productive day later I had more yarn to work with.... And dyed lots of other yarn and fluff too!

So I had to frog the blanket as was and started again with four colourways and no fear of running out of yarn before I was happy the blanket was big enough.

Inkle weaving - practicing, but needs more. Caught the bug again at the Reenactment fairs

Nasty acrylic to practice with

Hand spun silk plyed

Handspun singles, prepared especially for this project - spun from silk caps. I was happy that I could spin fine enough, but caps are probably not the best silk to use as the threads catch when moving the sheds - more work to be done here.

On the needles....

So my current projects are:-

Christmas jumper and Cardigan for Oliver and Lily

Lily's is complete... Just needs sewing and Oliver's just has a few rows of the second sleeve, sewing and picking up the collar.

Lily's Jacob - Lily fell in love with the Spinning Guild's life size Jacob Lamb, which as a coop project where members spun and knitted bits, which were sewn together. Lily fell in love when we looked after him, so I have started one for her - so far we have 2 legs, a tail and half a side piece, so it's going to take some time, especially as I'm spinning it too!

Hats for Finn and Archie

I did not get time to make Finn and Archie hats before Christmas, so finished them off over New Year.

Finn's hat
Sherlock Holmes style with button up flap at the front. I spun the dark green with silk for extra softness, but was not sure if I had enough, so striped it with commercially spun lime green DK Merino.

Archie's Hat
As he is newborn, he needed the softest yarn I could find. That's Alpaca, so I spun some white and brown from my stash and was very pleased with how soft and consistent it was.

The original idea was that they would have matching hats, but I could not find a pattern that I was happy with for both sizes, so designed my own version of a simple roll up beanie to show off the yarn.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Christmas Angels

So pleased with these... Tilda patterns

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First steps in quilting

Quilting has been in the back of my mind for dome time now. As i've finally cracked the new sewing machine it was about time to put it to the test.

So armed with the iPhone and YouTube I created my first quilt - thus is for Finn's bedroom. The letters are appliqué using straight stitch as I was not confident with the appliqué stitch on the machine at this point

The skull was appliqué by hand. The inner was polyester wadding... I have since learnt that there is a better product. Happy with the results of the first attempt .

This is where the skills learnt with Finn's banner really came together. This was constructed using fat quarters and polyester wadding again. I used the 'stitch in the ditch' method of quilting, which shows up the channels. This was for Archie, our new nephew. I'm very pleased with the results, especially the binding.

Ok so now I really know how to quilt! A visit to the local quilting shop in Warwick - http://www.thequiltersden.co.uk/
Quilters Den. Now I know that I should use a specific wadding, this is a cotton one. Also I should quilt all over rather than 'stitch in the ditch' to look neater.

I'm quite staggered by thus one!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Verdict on the silk Inkle

I woven as much as I could until one of the warps finally snapped :(

Very pleased with the outcome - I spun consistent warps with enough spin to undergo the tension required to survive (well for a while at least)

The pattern came out well and the weave was mostly consistent. I am still struggling with maintaining the tension when I move the work on but it's getting there.

-- Post From My iPhone