Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 Recap

Well I hope you have all had a good Christmas, and now we are fast approaching the New Year.  When I look back over the year at my blog ,  Ive had some creative hits and misses.  its interesting to see what has become part of my everyday wardrobe and whats got buried to the bottom of my drawers. So here is recap at what has worked and what didnt for 2013

MAY Still havent altered this dress yet.  Feel like a granny in this one.

MARCH   I  wear this dress on hot days, when Im pottering around, not for anywhere special.  Its so cool being 100% cotton.  I wouldn't  make this  pattern again though, the little cardi has hardly been worn also.

Its funny, I love white especially in the summer and when I started making this top I was convinced I would get loads of wear from it, but I have only worn this blouse once. Its not that I dont like its just the cotton  is quite firm, (it was a sheet I used)  its hard to wear anything over it.  I think the answer is to shorten the sleeves, to make it more wearable.

  Such an intricate pattern but Ive had such a lot of wear from this dress, will make this again.

JULY   Quilt for my daughter she loves this and its getting lots of use, which makes it all worthwhile
AUGUST I love this skirt, fabric does all the work so just a simple straight skirt pattern.  Cant wait to wear it again.

SEPTEMBER  These tops are so easy to wear and go with such a lot of things in my wardrobe

DECEMBER Christmas socks.  The Family love them (wish I could knit quicker, started making them in May)
TOTAL MAKES 17 items
3 pairs of hand knitted socks
1 bag and 1 Bag liner
1 hat
1 pair of men's trousers
2 tops
1 blouse
3 skirts
3 dresses
1 patchwork quilt. 

And one wadder that I wont mention.

Ive double checked, but I could have sworn Ive made more, but I havent. I was incapacitated after my spell in hospital, but that was only a short while.  Looking at the list, I would like to make  more in 2014.

Im pleased to say I like and wear most of the things Ive made, which is alot better than making loads of things and only wearing a few.   How about you, have you had a good creative year?
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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Fuzzy Socks

Hello all, the 1st December here at No. 23 means Christmas advent decorations.  So the calendar is up and a few the other decorations adorn the room for the countdown to Christmas

Santa's waiting patiently  to make his journey down the chimney

The advent candle's waiting to be lit...
But as I look outside, the sun is out and the sky is blue, all is calm its a beautiful day. 

Looking outside Its hard to imagine we are approaching Christmas and Milly is running around the garden like a spring lamb

Now I couldnt have achieved these photos with my old camera, Milly is a fast mover.

The fire was lit and  DH and myself  made homemade bread. For a change my mixture was spot on, the bread was soft and fluffy, however  DHs mixture didnt turn out as good. Normally he makes excellent bread. I ordered some presents on the internet, and a did abit of knitting.
The Christmas bed socks for DD are completed. Oh how I wish there was a way you could all touch these lovely socks, they truly are incredibly soft and fuzzy. The wool was bought in a local charity shop, vintage Jaegar Angora Spun.
The pattern which is on Ravelry had a lacy panel but I couldnt see it because of the pile, so I left them plain. I didnt find this pattern easy to follow, too little information, I do like it when a pattern states how many stitches you should have left after decreasing,  just minor points like that, that were omitted.

So onto the scarf. After knitting such soft wool this sock wool feels like rope, I assure you it isnt. It is a great little pattern easy to knit. Im so enjoying knitting this scarf, its so different, and the colours in the wool are not disappointing me. Ive completed 15 points, the pattern says I should be able to make 40 with my 100gms.  I had to go onto 3.25mm needles as my tension was too tight, it will be interesting to see how many I get from my ball.

 As the day closes, the candle is lit,  and the knitting beckons.  

Hope you had an enjoyable Sunday

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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Something to smile about

 Firstly, I feel like Snoopy  as the hospital discharged me.

 What great news. Outcome... I still dont have all the answers because my scans didnt reveal anything. and it could happen again. Well Thats life, and onto something that fills my my heart with happiness.  Creating

This ball of wool, is calling me.  Its saying  "Knit me, Knit me," but I must resist as I still havent quite finished my second sock yet.
Its my own fault, I blame myself entirely   I have been drooling over my wool stash, looking over patterns and now I have made a decision I cant wait to start.  So let me tell you more. I shall be using this lovely sock wool. Such lovely soft colours. Its  Opal Vincent van Gogh  "The Trinquetaille Bridge"  sock wool. A range of yarns based on Van Gogh's paintings


I am going to knit a scarf with it.  The pattern is called hitchhiker  on Ravelry. 

It sounds so intriguing and fun. You start with just 2 stitches and you keep increasing to a certain point then stop when you run out of wool or when you have had enough.  How good is that, no panic of running out of wool (unless its not as long as you would have liked) The result being either a cowl or long scarf.  I have a 100gm ball so we shall see how far we get with it, this should be interesting.  
Do you get excited at the prospect of starting a new project be it a pattern or a piece of fabric just waiting to be cut into.  Part of the reason I am always thinking ahead with projects, especially knitting  is to spur me onto finishing whats on the needles, Im a slow knitter, sewing is so much quicker.  
I  only have one knitting project on the go at a time, it would be fatal starting something new.  
I wasnt always like this.  When I first started dressmaking  in my teens I remember having lots of bags of unfinished pieces, probably when I had either gone wrong or couldnt understand the pattern. They used to be stashed away behind my Mums sofa.  She did complain about them. Of course back then in the 70s there was no internet for research, tutorials so I just trundled along.
So readers do you knit or sew one piece at a time? Are you forever planning the next project, or do you have lots of projects on the go at once, and if so do they get finished? 
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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Yummy Buns

The other day something short of a little miracle happened.  I baked a perfect bun.  Now I can make fat-less sponge cakes, muffins  but not a Victoria Sponge mixture they always come out flat or peaky.  So much so I have given up trying. But the other day I tried once more using a recipe my friends mother uses, her cakes are wonderful so it was worth the try. Recipe -  Weigh the eggs, whatever they weigh use the same of margarine, flour and sugar (I put in a little less sugar.)  So I tried it and it worked. Boy am I proud. Soft fluffy cakes, Yummy 

Sadly my sewing mojo has disappeared just like the buns, and the needles are clicking away as I sit by the fire keeping warm. Our house is over 150 years old its cold and drafty.  No doubt after Christmas with thoughts of Spring I will return to the sewing table, hopefully sooner.

So I have finished one bed sock for dd, hopefully a Christmas present. The sock had a pattern but it wasnt visible due to the fuzziness of the wool, so I knitted in stocking stitch instead.  I am struggling with the second piece.  This always occurs  once I have completed one, which is why I love knitting 2 at once but I chose to knit these on sets of fours for a change.  Tomorrow I  have a follow up hospital appointment to find out why I was admitted to hospital in the Summer (hopefully they will have answers)  Its a long journey, probably long waits so I will take the knitting and hope I can make an impression on the sock.  I seem to be spending  too much time browsing ravelry for patterns and looking at my over flowing stash of wool, Im  so longing to start something new and exciting.    

Lastly, a fresh tablecloth and some dried flowers are making me smile at the moment. Given to me by one of our Mustard Seed customers.  I only know this as Honesty.  These paper thin white leaves catch the light from the french doors giving them a  lovely silver glow. Very pretty.

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Monday, 25 November 2013

the bird lady

Monday I did my usual stint at Mustard Seeds,  we were quieter this week but of course everyone came in all at once and it was chaos.  This little coffee shop continues to flourish and bring so much joy to these pensioners in our village.

Afterwards I walked home instead of my usual lift home, I had the camera with me  as I wanted to take a photo of our new tablecloths and menu sheets, looking all new and fresh.  

As I passed the mere I spotted "the bird lady" feeding the birds .
This lady calls every day to feed the birds.  They were all enjoying their food when all of a sudden the geese looked across the water...

and then took off, everyone followed


I was pleased I had my camera with me.

I noticed the newcomers were stood observing from a distance looking very regimental

As I left, I noticed the big guys approaching, not sure if they had anything to do with it. 

 Watching the birds behaviour fascinates me, especially the swans.  This mere is such a lovely place and I never take it for granted.  I feel very fortunate it is literally just around the corner from where I live. 

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Saturday, 9 November 2013

vintage sewing and craft books

Blogging so inspires me.  After reading a post earlier in the day it prompted me to get a couple of books of my shelf and familirise its contents.  

These books are wonderful I love them a great insight into sewing in the 1940's when times were hard, money and supplies sparse and rationed but imagination was unlimited. I just had to share them with you.

 Isnt the inner cover a lovely design, ingeneous.  Once inside the books there are endless patterns and ideas.  Articles on darning and repairing.  Getting wear out of wool jackets by unpicking the whole outfit and turning in inside out for more wear, have you ever heard of anything so bizzare, and even 1940's

My favourite parts are where they decorate their plain materials to create something unique using simple ribbons, and rick rack.
love the top left trim made from ribbon.

Just look at this collar made from rick rack braid, wouldnt it look lovely on a simple shift dress, and even plain covered button get a makeover.

Here is a 1940's onesie, they called them cleaning overalls, very much like our "onesies" which were selling like hotcakes today in the shops when Christmas shopping. I do hope you liked these books as much as I do. 
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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Call me "Lazy"

It is cold here at the  moment such a shock to the system after all the lovely weather last month.  I struggle with fashion in the winter months, unless I am heading out for the day  it is so easy just to throw on a pair of jeans, thick socks and a lovely warm jumper.   Its not very exciting on a daily basis but practical.  It all comes down to me being lazy.

In fairness, trousers are definitely warmer than skirts when the weathers at its worst, so I must try and and get to grips with making them, can  anyone recommend a good trouser pattern for a curvy figure.  But somehow I am always drawn to dresses.   So my November garment a month challenge of the month is to use my vintage wool crepe in my stash and sew a dress. Its a bottle green colour.

Pattern choice  Vogue 8667  I like the oatmeal version with the collar, I would like to make a matching buckled belt (not done one of those before)  Some thick wool tights, boots a nice cardi and Im sorted. Just need to make it and pray it doesnt get so cold that I grab the jeans. 

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