Sunday 29 September 2019

How Often....

How often is my knitting basket, my sock project bag and my crochet zip bag EMPTY?

It is Sunday evening. There is a roast in the oven however, I am in a hiatus of zilch yarn projects on the go and here I am with an hour to spare. A very rare phenomenon indeed. I have a tingling, excited feeling that I could knit anything next. My daughter Megan says she feels the same when she is ready to choose a new reading book; wonderful.

I started a new job this term at a school and I absolutely have to share a conversation from the staff room this week which is for all you knitters/crocheters out there.

Head: You are clever Jo, I could't knit a thing.
Me:   Thanks, I knit every night before I go to bed.
Head: What, every night?
Me:   Yes, I always stop my day at 9:30pm to knit for an hour. It helps me relax and process the day. I have to be really ill not to knit.
Head: What do you do when there is nothing left to knit?
Me:   (slightly hysterical laughing) That will never, ever happen!

There are not enough minutes in the rest of my hopeful life to knit all the things I would love to knit. 

With that in mind I have chosen to make Sanctuary from Summer 2019 Pom Pom magazine with new alpaca 4ply I bought at a ridiculously high price in a local yarn shop called Ippikin. I buy most of my yarn online and use a lot of donated yarn but sometimes you just have to support a local shop to make sure it stays open. I felt very righteous. 

Now what size shall I plump for? No more things left to knit, I mean really, honestly, who are these people?

Jo xxxx

Wednesday 25 September 2019

All Done #24 - Crochet

It has been a while since I have posted an All done post. They show how I use up my craft materials to the very end. I do not like having piles of half used stuff filling boxes, I like to see it all done to make way for new things.

The last of my mercerised cotton scraps were made up into teacher gift key rings. I don't know if my teaching assistant colleagues will give a present to me at Christmas (I am new to the school) but if they do, I will be right there with a little homemade crochet.

I found a use for the last two squares from my cowl by making a plain back for each one. It satisfied my inner soul to use them.

This yarn has been a joy to crochet with which is why it keeps popping up to be used. It is too nice to have stuffed under the sofa in a sandwich bag. It was called Drops Muskat and here is what I have made with it...

I bought it originally to make this baby blanket in 2018

Added to the baby gift set was this bunny.

Recently I made this cowl.

And have now stashed away a few pressies. 
Want to see what I have left?

BOOM! Nailed it. All done Drops Muskat cotton yarn.

Thanks for dropping in. Inspired to use up some stash? Jo xxx

Thursday 19 September 2019

The Prairie Fairy

Thank you for your kind words on my last post. I will hold them dear.

I consider myself one lucky knitter. My twelve year old has wanted a fair isle jumper for a long time. We have seen lots of patterns where she is always drawn to the colours and patterns. Trouble is, she hates wearing pure wool. She requested one made in cotton. Fair Isle/Norwegian sweaters are not traditionally made from cotton but if a pre-teen asks for a hand knit jumper, you have to try your best and work around it.

I started this pattern on the first of March. It is called the Prairie Fairy and it is free on Ravelry. 

She helped me choose the yarn online and I explained to her how colour values work so that the sweater pattern stands out and doesn't merge into one colourful trifle. The dark red and cream were the key colours. She coloured in the chart with felt pens to show me which ones she wanted where. 

It is worked top down so we were able to make the sleeves and body the length she wanted with a few fittings as it got longer. She doesn't wear crop tops but a short jumper was a good teenage compromise.

I knit the sleeve cuffs on much smaller needles so that they weren't baggy. She liked the neckline and was happy that she could wear a T-shirt underneath without it showing.

But crikey the ends, oh the ends! It took a whole evening to re tie them and sew them in.

She wore it the day after I finished it with such enthusiasm. 

As I say, I am one lucky knitter. I am not sure how much longer she will ask me to knit her things but I know my card will soon be marked. Every item she asks for feels like another triumph of childhood. In another fortunate stroke of serendipity, her younger sister does not ask for hand knits. She asks for hoodies or sweatshirts to be sewn on the machine. This means everyone gets what they want in a time frame they can wear before they grow too quickly.

Thanks for dropping in. What are you knitting?
Jo xxxxx

Saturday 14 September 2019

Building Gallery

By way of a little house update here is a gallery of things we have ALL been doing over the Summer. I won't bore you with the details you can add your own commentary. Busy, Busy...


And just in case you thought we were nearly finished because I made a noticeboard - here is the upstairs!

The weather will soon change and I have stepped away from the house for a rest. Andy continues to go every weekend but I have been neglecting the girls, skipping family jobs and getting a bit frazzled. This Saturday we changed the bed sheets, went to the park, did some baking, went to a local craft show with my mum and completed all homework tasks. My youngest said, "I have enjoyed today, this feels like the weekends we used to have doesn't it?" and my heart was torn in two but then I knew I had made the right decision to step away for a breather.

Motivational comments will be more than welcome!
Lots of Love Jo xxx

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Wearing - My new Sew Over It Pussy Bow blouse. I thought I might look like I worked in a travel agents but I am really pleased with it. The fabric is a light cotton lawn from Minerva.

Growing - On my spider plants to go into my macrame hangers.

Making - Fresh pasta. The girls had never done it before and absolutely loved it.

Baking - Courgette cake from this favourite recipe

Building - a kitchen island out of old apple crates. My friend made it and I sanded and waxed it. It is on lockable wheels so you can move it around (or not).

Disliking - Being stretched in too many directions.

Thinking - I am getting to be a bit of a mad woman and need to slow down.

Avoiding - Taking on any more tasks that are not really important right now.

Loving - This picture of Little M which Andy took on holiday.

Enjoying - Some late summer blooming. These Gladioli are great.

Finding - that if I water my house plants, we are rewarded with flowers. Who knew?

Knitting - A fair isle jumper for Heidi, on request, in cotton.

Going - Blackberry picking again, I may have enough for a batch of wine.

Filling - The freezer with meals after defrosting it over the Summer. I have been labeling things properly of late too to avoid unwanted surprises. No more bolognese crumble for us!

Sewing - A moleskin textured dress ready for Autumn to wear with my new mustard tights.

Buying - Lots: baskets, school shoes, winter tights, storage jars, haberdashery items, a new A4 notebook. That is me done until January!

Finishing - A crochet bath mat from recycled t-shirt yarn and left over macrame string.

Deciding - I look alright after seeing this photo Heidi took. I always feel relaxed when she photographs me. She does most of my blog photos and I feel I can be myself with her.

Feeling - The need for balance.

Have a Good week. Jo xxx