Monday 28 June 2021

I was as intrigued as you...

Thank you for all the lovely comments about my new granny square blanket. There was a lot of interest piqued by the photo at the end showing some jester DK yarn with pom poms attached. I was as intrigued as you about what these two 50p skeins would turn out to be. 

I knew they would be some kind of neck attire and thought that crochet would enable me to manipulate the pom poms more easily than knitting so I just sat down and started crocheting.

I made a chain length long enough to go over my head and joined it in a ring. Then I chained three stitches, missed two chains from the previous row and did a double crochet to hold it in the next stitch. By repeating this, I got a kind of super fast chain mail and the pom poms appeared randomly. To make sure that they did not get bunched up, I then joined the second skein to the bottom and crocheted in the other direction hence the join you can see in the middle.

The stretch of the fabric is good because when the...(let's call it a snood) snood gets worn it compresses down and then you can stretch it back out into shape again.

The only disappointing element to the yarn is that it is acrylic and in being so the hue of red is very acrylic too. You know, the kind of 1970's boys jumper red that you see in photo albums while all the adults wear various shades of brown.

Luckily, it goes fabulously well with my £10 Boden charity shop coat find so I am super pleased.

So there you are, that is what it became: a £1 snood to wear with a £10 coat and I feel a million dollars about it!

Thanks for reading. Jo x

Tuesday 22 June 2021

Woolen Blanket

Ta Dah! A gorgeous wool blanket. As soon as I laid it on the grass for a photo, Beano hopped on for a lie down.

As previously mentioned Christina from A colourful life sent my daughter some yarn which she decided she no longer had the time to crochet up. In the bag was a little stack of granny squares. Both Heidi and I made up the rest of the yarn into squares. It turns out for all three of us to get the same sized gauge, we all needed to use different sized hooks!

I blocked the squares in batches moving them around on the pencils so that the top ones had some time on the bottom. They were all the same size by the time I crocheted them together.

The two balls of pale grey were not quite enough for me to add another row on each one while I used the join-as-you-go method to join it all together but not to worry. I can always use the third ball to make a baby cardy or something.

It has made the most beautiful lap blanket with a substantial wool weight to it which makes it very comforting. Talking of wool, can you spot the sheep in the grass? It is so long at the moment that we can hardly see them and they look so funny hiding in the long stalks.

The mix of colours are just perfect. I used two rows of double crochet, then two rows of trebles to make a border finally finishing it off with my favourite crab stitch edging.

It now lives on my chair and in the evening I love the look and style of it on the arts and crafts chair.

At the end of a project I always star to think about the next one. Last week I picked up two skeins of jester yarn for 50p each in a charity shop. I am not sure what to make with it but it will certainly be some kind of neck attire. The initial problem is how do you make yarn cakes from yarn with pom poms hanging off it? with difficulty it turns out. I had to sort of gather them all on one side to continue rolling the ball.

Anyway, thanks for popping in. I am off to catch up with you folks....

Jo xx

Thursday 17 June 2021

Some successful sewing

 Making clothes has been pretty prolific since starting to freelance sew for Minerva. I make media content for their site, mainly sewing tutorials, which are not live yet. This means that I am making about an item of clothing a week. The garments are useful for our whole family and many have been gifted to friends too.

Here is a round up of this month's successful sewing.

A vintage pattern make with a touch of 'Call the midwife' about it, but in a good way. I loved making the matching belt which suits me more than a strap with a bow. The fabric is by Dashwood studios and is a perfect cotton for shift dresses.

On a more casual and free vein, I toiled up a pair of Heyday dungarees from a piece of linen mix fabric which my friend bought for her daughter in lockdown but never got round to using. Her husband was going to throw it outcan you believe but she said I could use it - too right. Andy asked me if I wanted him to put on Dexy's Midnight Runners on the ipod! Cheeky.

Sewing has not been exclusively for me. This beauty was made for my big girl for a wedding we are attending on 17th July. She is stuck in the no-mans-land of not quite being in adult clothes but too old for children's clothes. I remember it well. 

This fabric pressed like a dream so it was used to make a tutorial on box pleats. The fabric is cotton sateen which has a kind of lustre finish and is often brightly printed. The princess seams of McCalls 7714 meant that I could take in the bust but still keep the overall shape with the waistband.

The smaller one wants trousers to wear to the same event but she is very specific. She wants floppy trousers and a top which tucks in to make it look like a jumpsuit. She wants to be able to go to the toilet - so wise for one so young. I have made allowances for the trousers to be unpicked at the ankle hems and let down so we should get two summers out of these disco trews. I haven't finished the ensemble yet.

I am currently on a quest to use more solid colour fabrics because my clothes are getting a bit 'busy'. Who wouldn't need a white top for summer to go with everyyyything? The pattern is free called the 'Hello sailor top' I had to make quite a few modifications on my first one because it was too tight across the shoulder blades but this one from my modified pattern was spot on.

Talking of plain colours, I have cut out a pair of cords for Autumn by the skin of my teeth. This is what I had left over.

Last but not least, I made a second pair of PJ's for the big girl to practise making rouleau loops and pin tucks ready for an up and coming tutorial.

The sewing continues... Have you been watching the Sewing Bee on TV? I watched the final with a gin and elderflower fizzy thing. Wonderful!

Off to catch up on all of your blogging news now. Jo xxxxx

Thursday 10 June 2021

 Loving - cut flowers from the garden.

Feeling - a bit young to be turning collars but my denim jacket is my favourite and oldest piece of clothing which I want to live on a little longer so I unpicked the collar and sewed it back on the other way around. It has lasted 25 years, here's to some more.

Eating - winter food?? but now we can move onto sunnier dining.

Wondering - when I started writing these posts. It was March 2017. I went back and wrote down all the verbs I used to use so I can reintroduce them.

Buying - loop turning tubes for waist ties, straps and rouleau loops. It is a game changer, far less swearing at turning thin straps.

Accepting - this beautiful gift from my uncle. We were in a charity shop and I said I liked the correspondence box in the window so he bought it for me.

Selling - Lots of left over building materials: roof tiles, quarry tiles, ridge tiles etc. It was looking like a reclamation yard in the field.

Sorting - out my wardrobe. I always pack away my winter clothes and get out my summer dresses. It feels like I have lots of new things. Some are a little on the snug side I must say! Out with the wool, velvet and long sleeved tees and out with the bright cotton prints.

Wearing - Summer dresses. All handmade except for one. YAY!

Avoiding - sewing in the day and trying to sew in the evenings and early mornings to enjoy the long awaited sunshine.

Making - An Indigo tunic by Tilly and Buttons with this beautiful delicate fabric.

Whizzing - up a batch of wild garlic pesto. Delicious!

Loving - that Meg has got her cactus to flower. She was so excited but they only lasted a day or two.

Deciding - to open the bi-fold doors for the first time. I thought it would make the house too hot but on the contrary, it was super breezy and cool. Looking out and looking in gave me great joy. I almost forgot the pain it took for us to get them shipped in time for the builders to fit them.

Crocheting - the last of the squares for a blanket with Heidi. It was so much quicker with two of us doing them.

Introducing - Monty, a seventeen year old in the village who has bought shearing equipment and is learning to shear. It turns out when he said he was new to shearing, he had only done 25 of his own suffolks in total. The first of our hebrideans took him 40 mins but he got faster. We invited an old shearer friend to come and share some tips and Monty got down to nine minutes. He had not done ones with horns before so he did pretty well and was proud of himself.

Teaching - my girl to wrap fleeces. The photo she took of me bending over, red faced and covered in lanolin was far too unflattering to show you!

Practising - a dress for Heidi for a wedding we are attending in July. I cut a size 6 but it still needed scaling down a bit so I tried it out in curtain lining first. Ready for the beautiful fabric she chose now.

Finally, I will leave you with the view because it doesn't matter how long I live here, it will always make me feel fabulous inside.

Jo xxx