Wednesday 26 December 2018


Hello friends! I have been a little absent from here enjoying a family Christmas with much togetherness, fun and food. 

Today, I am sharing my Christmas Day dress. I never tire of a shift dress, I have many patterns especially vintage ones from the 1960's. This pattern is a new one for me to try from my collection. The needle cord is from Minerva which was super smooth. I love the artwork on this pattern.

We have eaten a lot and hosted family and friends for delicious meals. My fridge only houses cheese now which is fine, I hate waste food. There are a few days ahead, bewtixmas, where I want to do some fun selfish things. We are going to the theatre to see a pantomime;an annual event. I have some sewing to enjoy; fancy dress is required for New Year. We also have to paint the downstairs areas of our new house build before the builders return in the new year to lay tiled floors. Busy, Busy...

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and found a moment to relax, reflect and rejoice. I read lots of your blogposts but didn't leave as many comments as usual but rest assured I spent a little moment with everyone. 

Thanks for dropping in. Jo x

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Knitting Quick Things All done #24

I am all about making the quick things this month which I have really enjoyed. Little gifts for the people who I know appreciate them but also have a little wry smile when they open a handmade item from me. So here goes with some pattern sharing thrown in for good measure...

A yarn purchase meant I could make this chunky cowl in a couple of evenings for a good friend. This pattern is on the right left side of my tool bar. It is worked flat and joined. It used two balls of Stylecraft Swift knit tweed in super chunky on a 10 mm hook. You can try other yarn gauges or hook sizes by checking out the pattern. Every last bit of yarn used up. What a great feeling!

This didn't take forever, it was completed in two nights; a hat for my friend's boy. I noticed last year when we were sledging that he was still wearing the crochet one I made for him when he was 10, he is now 14! The pattern is on ravelry here. It is a fantastic introduction to trying cables as they are only on every 7th row so they appear as waves. I used up a load of chunky ball ends until there was just enough left for a good pom pom. All done.

I made this ear warmer in an evening. No pattern I just chained until it fit around my head loosely then did a row of UK double crochet and then UK trebles alternately until it looked big enough. It is joined together under the other piece of crochet which I sewed on at the end.

 This is a DK yarn run with two strands on a 6mm hook. My friend has curly hair so she hates hats but had mentioned that she would love a headband. All Done my friend!

One evenings crochet turned out a crochet hat for my godson who is 9 months old using this free pattern here. Lots of cotton stash all gone.

Finally, after having the doors fitted in our hew house we are now charged with looking after another set of keys. I knitted this little replica of our house with sock scraps for Andy to use as a key ring. I have hung it from his wrapped present.

With so much stash in the house along with craft books and the internet for inspiration it was really rewarding to choose and make over and over again!

Thanks for dropping by? Are you making very quickly at the moment?Anything last minute? 
Jo xxxxx

Saturday 15 December 2018

Welcome to

Making - A pom Pom wreath at a craft group I run. It always surprises me how much fun people have making them.

Baking - A Bakewell tart without a marzipan taste (YUK!) Our family tart has lemon sponge and lemon curd.

Buying - The last few Christmas presents. 

Building - Our new house which now has walls, floors and windows as well as s bifold door. The oak beam is from the original cow shed that was knocked down in the early 1990's. My dad saved it especially to put in the new house build, he would have loved how it looks now.

Thinking - About some house decor. What will we choose? exciting times ahead.

Loving - Walking into town to watch the Christmas lights being turned on, drinking beer and bumping into friends.

Wondering - How much longer Big Sis will still believe. She is 11.

Eating - Mince pies (and jam ones for Little one who does not like mincemeat)

Growing - Lots of holly with berries at the farm. I always remember my Grandad putting me in the loader bucket on the front of the tractor to cut the best bits from the top. I had a go at a wreath.

Getting - Our tree decorated.

Watching - The Winter colours shine out on rare sunny days.

Disliking - How much pressure many women put on themselves at Christmas time.

Wearing - My new going out top which I made in sumptuous stretch velvet.

Enjoying - Writing Christmas cards. I think if you don't like doing it then you shouldn't put yourself through it.

Deciding - What my new years crafting resolutions might be.

Feeling - Winter Hygge

Best Wishes to you all. Jo xxxx

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Winter Bedtime

We are not a PJ wearing family. We don't wear them in the daytime for relaxing purposes. You have to be pretty ill in this house to not get dressed. It really is just too darn cold at Three Stories not to be wearing a few layers. Big Sis requested long sleeved pyjamas to keep her warm in bed for the coming season.

She chose the fabric from Abakhans on our first trip to the store when it opened. It came to the grand total of £4:70. I guessed it would make a long sleeved set. I did however add some navy jersey leftovers to the length of the body and the sleeves to give it some longevity in both physical and chronological terms.

I chose a couple of tried and tested patterns that I already had cut out: a long sleeved T and a pair of leggings. They were ideal as she had requested slim fitting trousers that didn't ride up her legs under a duvet.

The cuffs are currently turned back but will enable her to take them down as her arms grow. They are made on the overlocker mainly where the whole set took about an hour and a half to sew. (cutting not included)

I tried to make the neck a little slacker than usual for comfort but I think I may have gone a bit too far but she says it is fine. Lucky me, unpicking three stitch zig-zag is a nightmare. I know I have done it before!

Secondly I made a set for myself. This fabric was a five pound wonder piece from Abakhans too in a really pretty pointelle fabric. Unlike my girl, I couldn't squeeze out a long sleeved T so I went for my 'go to' pattern NewLook 6217 and used the top from that.

I made the bottoms by drawing around my best fitting PJ trousers allowing for a front and back crotch when cutting.
The old ones are five years old now and flapping up around my ankles so it was time for a change.

We are both very cosy having treated ourselves to dressing in our nightwear at 6:30pm whilst taking silly photos in front of the camera. Thanks little one for the photos...Such fun!

Happy Crafting. Jo xxxx

Thursday 6 December 2018

Coffee Sweater

Coffee is addictive and so was this sweater. I couldn't knit it fast enough. The easy top down pattern means knitting all the way - none of those pesky purl rows that make me lose my tension. I knit the yoke and cream body in a week of evening knitting. It fitted well across the shoulders, another advantage of top down knits is the ability to try it on as you go. This one is based on the free Ravelry pattern The Simplest Sweater.

Pattern wise, I wanted to incorporate some of the brown balls of yarn which were in the stash bag too. I have forgotten to mention here that the wool was all unwanted therefore given to me for free. I turned to my Knit Nordic book for pattern inspiration and coffee featured again...

'Fana' is a pattern over 12 rows so I made sure I ended the waist decreases on 132 rows, a multiple of 12. It worked a treat, was easy to do and gives it the proper woolly Nordic feel of a winter sweater. Who would have thought a cafetiere pattern would work on a jumper? The coffee palette works well and I used the border part to add detail to the cuffs.

I noticed that on Ravelry I had made pattern notes from the first time I made this sweater back in 2010, I wrote that it would be better with ribbed hems rather than rolled hems so I picked up some stitches around the neck and sleeves to finish it off. I used five balls (500m) of cream Lopi Iceland Fleece Alafoss and some part balls from three different coffee browns. It was knit on 6mm needles.

I am always inspired by the patterned knits at Cozy Things. Kristen has a really good fit to her sweaters, this is achieved with a bit of maths along with a gauge square. There are many more of these sweaters in me. I would like to try one in a finer yarn next. For now though, I have three warm sweaters on rotation this winter.

This jumper is warm, make no mistake. Inevitably, it is itchy on the cuffs and neck but nothing a brown turtle neck underneath can't solve. I have also followed a tutorial on washing it in six tablespoons of hair conditioner in the bath which seems to have softened it up. No machine washing for this one!

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xxxxxx

Sunday 2 December 2018

All Done #23 Silky Scarf

My All Done posts feature a project that finishes off a fabric or material that would otherwise get hoarded or unused. I have achieved this heady outcome 23 times! Today I found six squares of crochet from my Summer dress make. 

After I made the dress, and whilst on holiday, I found it to be too long so I removed three squares from the front and three from the back. The length was much better on me but this double run of three squares was hiding in the bottom of my knitting bag. I decided to make a quick Christmas present by joining them.

There were two remaining balls from Wool and the Gang. I made three more squares, added it to the run, then double crocheted two rows to neaten the edges. There was still nearly a whole ball left so I embarked upon a subtle shell border to use it all up. 

The yarn is 100% Tencel, this is a super soft sustainable yarn made from eucalyptus trees which is perfect for use around your neck because it creates a silky delicious drape. It is lovely and long.

This gift is for my next door neighbour. She is so good to me with babysitting when I want to go to my dance class when bloke is on a night shift. I taught her to crochet about four years ago and she threw herself into it but she had to stop because she had problems with her dexterity. She really deserves this.

I added a label printed on velum which you might find useful to bookmark from here or here.

I love seeing what everyone is making for Christmas presents. Let the making begin... 
Jo xxxx