Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A crochet bargain...I think

At the start of the six week Summer holiday we went into a charity shop in Cinderford looking for children's books as we always do . Big Sis spotted this beautiful duffle coat from John Lewis aged 10 years. It was £2.00 so we snapped it up!

Later in the same holiday we came across a wool shop at Taurus Crafts. I am on a stash diet this year so I resisted for myself but I always like to support small businesses so I bought this kit for Big Sis. A crocheted scarf with dangly bits in the most sublime merino and cotton mix Italian yarn. The yarn, pattern and buttons were £10. She was really excited about her kit.

I felt sure she could do it. I added some extra detail to the pattern and off she went. She loved it at first;the short rows and initial adrenaline but soon she waned as the rows got longer.

I spurred her on by watching TV with her while she completed half or a whole row at a time. She is a crocheter like many of us so her feelings were absolutely the same as an adult doing a large piece. When she could see the end, she was back on the project with gusto.

She found some large pandora style beads in an antique/junk shop which she bought out of her own money to weigh the ends down to stop it flying off in the wind. She went all out on the details - tassels, flowers, beads and little plaits.

Ta Dah!

So even though the scarf cost more than the coat it was all still a bargain I think. Super proud of my crocheter and I love this picture of her, it is my current favourite.

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxx

Monday, 28 August 2017

Festival Frolics

We have had a fabulous weekend at the Shrewsbury Folk festival. A huge event full of colour, music, dancing, tradition, activity and food. Here is a little ensemble of images from our action packed weekend.

The girls had henna hand tattoos.

I danced and danced and danced. My fitness tracker said I had done over 23,000 steps on both Saturday and Sunday! We danced on stage at the festival and in the local town of Shrewsbury with the Morris dancing teams. I danced on Sunday from 11am to 4pm every 5 or 10 mins with a 20 minute break to scoff a sandwich.

There is not a single photo of me, I took so many of my friends though in their wonderful costumes which we all make ourselves.

oooh! some hand dyed yarn...

What do you think happened?...

The stall holder said she felt very honoured that I had broken my stash diet embargo for 2017 on one of her hand dyed skeins. This one is called 'Winter Rainbow' Just beautiful.

A spot of sock knitting which attracted three more sock knitters who walked past, they said Hi and parked for a knit and a chat.

The children went to an Indian dance workshop, family yoga, circus skills and a festivcal slam workshop playing instruments and singing.

I watched a lot of Morris dancing from all over the country. These guys were in our dance set for busking in town - they were loud, raucous and a lot of fun. (some of that may have been real ale induced!)

All four of us have slept in the back of a transit van for two nights but it was cosy after a night of watching live music in the big tent. We are pretty worn out now, a sort of happy tired...

What have you been up to this weekend?
Jo xxx

Friday, 25 August 2017

Minerva August It is all in the detail

I signed off on Wednesday and forgot about my monthly Minerva post, here is a cheeky extra one I made a while back!

 It is all in the detail with sewing. Sometimes I really like to take my time and do all the little fiddly bits with care. Which is why I chose view D of this vintage pattern- It looks so pretty and I thought it looked like a pussy bow blouse which I had been coveting.

The fabric is from Minerva a snip at £2.99. I thought it would feel more like a chalis viscose but it was different to that. Think travel agent/airline steward/corporate workwear and you are in the right zone.

I loved the print and the colour palette. I was originally going to make a dress when I ordered it but as soon as I felt the fabric is screamed 'blouse' to me.

There were some tricky cuff details to master.

A rolling collar and tie to ease in. 
Button holes in slippy fabric to make.

And facings to lay in the neckline for structure.

"Why, that is a smashing blouse you are wearing."
Rik Mayall

I used the rest to line a skirt to go with it. I have had the butter/mustard suiting fabric for four years. Still stash busting.

This is a wash and non-iron garment so I feel it is going to have lots of wear! Really enjoyed using this fabric and love my new blouse. 

"Did you pack those bags yourself madam?"
Jo xxx

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Impromptu Skirt from New Look K6217

I will model a new make anywhere. Here, the girls and I are sat in the car park at an agricultural merchants while bloke popped in to get chainsaw spares. Cue, impromptu jump out of the car to photograph my new skirt in front of a shed!

I said I would make another one of these easy-peasy skirts from New Look K6217 which uses the smallest piece of fabric. Caroline from CJ made sent me this farbic in a giveaway and it was perfect for a Cath Kidston style rip off skirt.

These are snap shots, there was a man in a van watching us possibly asking himself, "why is that woman posing in front of a shed while her daughter takes pictures of her!"

I used up a pink invisible zip I don't even remember buying too which was a bonus.Side vents make this a comfortable wear and an easy sew. We ran back to the car before bloke came back! 

No more Summer skirts now. We are off to Shrewsbury Folk Festival this weekend, camping and everything, so I will share some colourful details next week. Have a good few days friends.
Jo x

Monday, 21 August 2017

Fourth Time Lucky??

I don't need another knitting project on the go but when the sock needle became free after finishing my fingerless gloves and my pal buys me such lovely wool as a present, who wouldn't?

I knit the rib on my smaller DPN needles to have a tight top.
If I am honest, I still haven't quite mastered socks. I do a lot of knitting off piste so to make two of something is quite hard for me. I MUST follow the pattern I tell myself. This is my fourth pair of socks. Fourth time lucky? I mean is that even a thing?

I keep all the sock knitting paraphernalia(who would have thought there would be so much)in a basket which I made. I will repeatedly tell you that I made this basket every time it pops up on my blog because I am immensely proud of it. I did manage to make A good sock which I really enjoyed knitting. The challenge for me is to make another one the same.

I used the DPN's for the rib and then knit the leg part on my new Addi Sockwunder. It was great because there were no ladder issues knitting in the round which I had previously encountered on DPN's. To get the stitch counts for each needle I simply used stitch markers so it was all pretty easy. I used the smaller DPN's for the heel flap and toe which has made a tighter more robust fabric which I feel is a good thing.

I thought you might like to see my new bit of sock making kit. A springy holder to stop the work coming off in the basket. My friend was sporting one at a knit and natter group and I blatantly copied it.

A tube of fabric, with wide elastic threaded through leaving 2 inches at the ends for folding over to make little pockets. Genius!

Wish me luck for sock number 2. I am not holding out much hope - I knit a second left front for my mustard cardigan this week which I have just frogged. Duh!

Jo xxxx

Friday, 18 August 2017

Last of the Summer Camisole

I'm working doubly hard at the moment to use up the smaller pieces of fabric I have left over from other projects. 6 months into my fabric diet and the choices are getting more tricky. I usually make something for the girls from small bits but this fabric was just too grown-up.

I liked the look of the Ogden Cami by True Bias which I had seen on 'Did you make that?' blog. Karen's promise of full bra coverage was what drew me in. The shape is good for me because it flares at the hip. There are deep front and back facings which make a neat finish. The pattern is based on a C cup so if you are any bigger you will find it a strain across the bust unless you adjust accordingly.

Anyway less of this larking about in the bathroom. Cardigan on, sleeves rolled up and let's crack on with that ironing. 

A keeper of a pattern for those pesky little pieces left over.

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xx

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

My heart wasn't in it...

"There are many things in life which will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those."

It all looked so wonderful in the magazine and all stacked up in my basket but two thirds of the way up the back - it just wasn't right.I had the feeling it was going to be too small for starters. Also the colourwork was all knobbly but when I honestly looked at the modeled photo, so was theirs. I had a few mistakes too which was making me loose careful concentration. There must have been a reason this had been hibernating for so long with no progress.

I had a 'WIP assessment meeting' with my mum and took stock of what I had on the go. The mustard cardigan is back on the knitting needles, I have one sock half done, I have finished my infinity scarf and I am also revisiting my blue cascade roll neck jumper.

I mean if I could mull it over with my mum for five minutes and decide I didn't like it then it had to go. She said, "if your heart isn't in it, don't knit it." She was right, there is so little time and so many patterns I decided to frog the brown and bin the rest.

The upshot of all that lovely autumnal yarn is that I am going to give all my love to this stripy sweater instead. 

Any Work In Progress hiding at your place?

Monday, 14 August 2017

Rabbit Rascals

 Let me introduce you to rabbit rascals. Cute or what?

My friend Maddy made the two gentlemen and the well dressed missus on the right. She made them and gave them to my girls last week when we visited. The girls were delighted and played with them in a shoe box (that is how we roll around here) However... Little M left her two rabbits in a precarious place and the dog ate her lady rabbit!

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, from us as well as the dog, so I made her another one.

They are small which meant they only took an evening using up ends. The pattern in on ravelry. They are called Rabbit Rascals by Wendy Phillips.


The A5 book shows the scale. A rather enjoyable knit from a rather traumatic situation. I have already knit a friend one too. 
Thanks for popping in and Thank you Maddy for such beautiful creatures. Jo xx