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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Saturday, 2 November 2013

100 posts so let's celebrate with chocolate.. Of course

This is my 100th post. 
In all honesty I am surprised I got this far. At times I wondered if I was writing to myself, and sometimes I thought of giving up, especially when I had writers block. So lets celebrate with chocolate........

and one of my favourites. It so reminds me of Christmas Selection boxes and Easter Eggs.

The top I made for my "garment a month challenge" is the exact colour of the foil paper on a Cadbury's chocolate bar  and its shiny too!! 

This is made from a piece of fabric that was left over sitting in my stash. I didnt  originally choose this fabric. My daughters choice when I made her a dress a few years ago, but it is a beautiful clear purple and polka dots are always a hit with me.  
The pattern is Butterick 5890.     
I had just enough to make  the shorter version minus the collar. (c)  I also omitted the front seam (why have a seam down the front, to me unsightly).
Do I like it?   Yes I do. Though I dont shy away from colour its very shiny, which I am not used to.  I think I just need to get used to it. I would have preferred the longer version which suits me better but there wasnt enough fabric  This top will give a good splash of colour under a cardigan for autumn/spring.     

The pattern says use a  22" zip.  I just dont see why you need such a long zip on this pattern. I can easily get this top on and off without undoing the zip. Even the  previous version I made which was more fitted I can manage with a zip half that length. 

There is plenty of room in it but it is rising up at the front which gives me the impression it needs to be bigger in the bust. No doubt I will make this again and will correct that next time.  I also made the neckline a little bit deeper as I dont like high round necks on me.  Overall I am happy with it and it will be a good addition to my pinks and greys that I wear a lot of.
A while back I mentioned I was thinking of upgrading my camera. Well I am so pleased to tell you that we have finally got a dlsr.  I have been eyeing these up for sometime.  Its a  Nikon D3100, its a beginner dlsr, I should be able to manage that. I love it, the pics are so much clearer. I need to get a tripod and case ordered for it.  So excited :-)  
We went to visit the in laws this week and took them to Lincoln. Of course I was clicking away like a tourist, considering it was late October when these pictures were taken the weather was incredibly warm, we didnt even wear coats.

I also mentioned that I wanted to finish dh socks , and yes (hooray!)  they are complete.  They were ribbed throughout so they were very time consuming.  At hubbies request he wanted them as long as possible, these socks go on forever.

Left: blue ribbed socks  Right:  daughters socks, made earlier in the year.  Both made from drops fabel sock wool, just different patterns in their wool.  I love their wool and have never been disappointed with the quality, and such a good price, especially when they have offers on. Do check them out.   Christmas pressies,  Dont they look lovely.

With the days getting colder and shorter, I find I struggle to  dressmake on a regular basis.  I am more likely to be sat curled up by the wood burner knitting.  I will still try to complete my challenge a month project.  In the stash is some vintage green wool crepe which will make a nice warm dress.  Just need to choose a pattern.  

On the knitting needles  at the moment is some vintage Jaeger angora Spun.  £2.00 from a charity shop.  A pair of bed socks for my daughter, who feels the cold all year round.  A lovely royal blue, this wool is so incredibly soft and fuzzy. I am so going to enjoy knitting this wool, I may not want to part with them.

Whats on your needles or sewing table at the moment.