Spring turns to Summer, and the Crafting goes on….

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

I really don’t know where the months are going! I love this time of year, when it’s not quite Summer, but Spring is beating a rather leasurely retreat. In the words of John Denver, (my favourite Country Singer) ‘some days are diamonds, some days are stone’  Some mornings I wake up to glorious sunshine, the world, and my crafting, is full of promise….other days the skies are leaden and I have to push myself to create anything…I find it fascinating, how much the seasons and the weather affect how creative I feel…during Winter I want to hunker down and knit or crochet blankets….I want to feel cozy, warm and thankful for the shelter my small home provides for us all….IMG_20161228_111119This photo was taken in Christmas week, that ‘waiting time’ between Christmas and New Year, when you may  still be on holiday from work, but family visitors or friends have come and gone but the New Year Celebrations are still a little way off… Looking back today at this photo, I feel a warm glow of rememberence, that was such a lovely day!

Moving on through the year, I find myself gravitating towards Patchwork and Hardanger Embroidery. The knitting and crochet are set aside until the Autumn and I can sit in my local Coffee House, where they have huge floor to ceiling windows, and a comfy Sofa right next to them…

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The light is amazing, here!
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I can sit in my tiny garden, and catch the early morning sun.

I feel incredibly lucky that knitting, sewing and crochet form such a back drop to my days. There is rarely a day that I don’t pick up a needle of some sort, or a hook, and while away an hour or two and I’m sure I would feel totally bereft without them.

This last couple of days I’ve been struggling very badly with the dreaded Hayfever… it has affected my nose and head so badly that I have been unable to doing any sort of Crafting at all. It has been truly awful, and tested my patience to the absolue limit, feeling grotty and unwell? I can cope with that….being unable to sew for fear of sneezing all over my precious work? Oh dear, I have suffered!

I have tried to console myself by looking at pictures of Hardanger and English Paper Piecing on Social Media, but there’s no substitute for the real thing!  Hopefully, tomorrow I will feel more like myself, and the pollen count will settle into more managable levels again, but until then…here’s some more work that I’ve been doing since in the last couple of months or so.

20170609_143732Hardanger Embroidery tablecloth. White 28count Evenweave fabric and Anchor Colour 1

20170517_134611Snow melt Shawl..making good progress here and onto Clue 3….

IMG_20170506_121555_065And the ‘Big Quilt’…. I’m on to the hand quilting now and enjoying every minute!

It isn’t in any way perfect, but I’ve learnt such a lot during the making of it, and I am thrilled to bits with it!

The Big Quilt really deserves a blog post all of it’s own…and I will try in the next few days to put one together… 😊

So until the next time,

Debbie

 

Hello, old friend, it’s been TOO long…..

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

Ah, Hardanger Embroidery, how I have missed you! Of course, like most things, I hadn’t realised just how much until I picked my needle up again….

I have been in Crafting heaven over the last few days but it’s also been hard work, that’s for sure. I enjoy a challenge and I have decided to do one thing in Crafting that scares me, every day.

Just ONE thing otherwise, I was thinking, I will stagnate and allow myself to sink into the comfortable position of only working on things I know how to do well…. so, what then scares me in Crafting? Using my rotary cutter….eek! I’m not that great, it makes me uncomfortable…because, I’m not such a ‘hot shot’ at it. I have to THINK, and allow myself to make those mistakes that ineviatably happen when you’re learning…. So on Tuesday, I had a whole morning cutting out. It wasn’t bad! In fact, if I don’t say so myself, I improved massively.20170418_145034Yesterday, I took a trip into the City to gather last minute bits n’bobs so that I have everything together and could go ahead and make the sewing book….. I need to be brave! because sewing things together makes me nervous too- I like things to look good straight away…. I wonder if I’m the only person who looks at a picture in a book, and thinks… I want to make that, but it has to look just as good as it does in the picture, even though the person who made that project has probably been sewing for 20 years+ and I’ve been learning for a few months!? 😊

But, I digress….back to the Hardanger! The other thing that scares me is design! I am not a Designer in any way, and have always shied away from  making up my own patterns because I always want to be sewing rather than drawing and if I’m honest, I’m also impatient and find the focus needed for designing takes longer than I am willing to give. Until this week…

Time to move out of my comfort zone! 20170417_170242 Oh, Dear Reader, I have had SO much fun! I hasn’t been the trial I was expecting it to be! I have found a way of working that suits me… ( for now 😊) what I do, is just work directly onto the fabric, so I effectively, cut out the middle man… which of course is the graph paper or computer programe. So I get the best of both worlds, I am ‘making it up as I go’ but I get to sew too!20170417_160926Here’s what I got up to on Thursday… A whole day of work….but gosh, I was happy by the end!IMG_20170420_182031_830And lastly, as my Crafting goes EVERWHERE with me….a little Tea Break in the middle of the day yesterday….Waterstones Cafe!20170421_145501how lucky am I, to have the life I do!        I’m always grateful!

I hope you’ve had a good week, and managed to do a little Crafting of your own….

Until next time….

Debbie

Snowmelt Shawl

Hello there, thanks for popping by…..

It’s funny isn’t it, I’ve been merrily knitting and sewing away as time has allowed this year, knitting socks and  sewing bags and not really thinking at all about Shawls….

Those of you who follow me on Social Media will know that last year was most definitely the year of the Shawls! 😊 I did so many!  And I loved doing every single one….WIN_20160812_10_06_16_ProI bet you thought that I would knit them forever! With each one, my confidence grew…..Finished - Highland Peak Shawl 22.06.16But then, just as suddenly, towards the end of the year I finished the grey and had no desire to cast on for another….socks became my thing!20170114_143815To be fair, they still are, to a degree… BUT I joined a new group on Facebook called Everyday Knitter, and their monthly discussion for April is Shawls….oh my! Such beautiful pictures flooded my newsfeed day after day! I couldn’t resist the call of the Shawl for long….. 😊

Happily for me, this all coincided with a planned trip to Spring into Wool on Saturday….what an amazing Festival it was! Stupidly, I forgot to take my camera so I have no pictures to show you…I’m afraid you’re going to have to take my word for it!

Leeds isn’t that far from me, and after a very pleasant, sunny drive out we arrived in plenty of time. It’s in it’s first year, so for us, this meant few queues….which was a godsend as I can’t bear crowds of people! It was truly a lovely day out, and I didn’t come back empty handed! I’d already set my heart on the Snowmelt Shawl pattern from Helen at Curious handmade. The grey Amulet Shawl I made last year was one of her patterns and they are so well presented and easy to follow…. 😊

After trailing round for half the morning, my friends and I went for a restorative cup of tea and lunch….I already had in my mind the colour combinations I wanted to use and also the yarn I wanted to buy And because it was much quieter in the afternoon, I mananaged to have some lovely conversations with the Vendors too, which is always my favourite bit!

SO, here’s my final selection for the Snowmelt Shawl….IMG_20170411_202325_298Aren’t they devine? I am in yarn Heaven! Yesterday afternoon, I cast on…..20170412_083039it’s such a relaxing knit. The Yarn is SO soft and I’ve made quite a lot of progress in a short space of time wouldn’t you say? 😊

I can’t wait for the first colour change coming up in the next few rows! You can be sure I’ll be working on this for the rest of the day…..whatever you’re working on today, I hope you can make time for some Crafting….

Until next time,

Debbie.

Hello Spring!

Hello there, thanks for popping by….

Well hello! What a whirlwind the start of this year has been….things are just starting to slow down a bit which means I can begin to draw breath and pop my head above the parapet at last! 😊

I absolutely love this time of year….aside from the fact that we celebrate two Birthdays in March in our family, I love the promise of Springtime…everything is waking up! I feel like I’m waking up too….this last month I’ve tried my hand at a few new things….would you like to see? I had a bit of a ‘Bag’ thing going on….20170313_11291920170318_090011IMG_20170319_182400_977I had SO much fun making them and I’m rather pleased with finished results, if I don’t say so myself…. 😊

Then I went back to knitting socks….the first red pair, I have pulled out….I should know better than to try and work a complicated lace pattern when being able to concentrate fully, isn’t on the agenda! 😊20170227_114807I started the ones below, yesterday, using the same wool… There has been some disappointment for me this morning.

I’m dealing with it, the only way I know how….FB_IMG_1491823859975When life gives you lemons. Make lemonade….. 😊

Until the next time…..happy crafting!

Debbie

Continuing on….socks and more socks!

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Well, after all the excitement of my Christmas Eve finish and then steaming ahead with the green vanilla socks I decided that I was most definitely on a ‘sock’ roll! No sooner had I cast off the green pair, these were on my needles….Vanilla Latte socks on Ravelry by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. I have given myself a Deadline of six weeks from the point of which I took this photo…I’m pleased to report that I finished them in less than two weeks. The yarn, well, I’ve had that in my stash for about two years. I think it was a Wendy fusion yarn, but I’ve lost the Ball band ( as usual! ) 😉

I loved knitting them, the pattern is easy to memorise and I think a really good next step up from a plain ‘vanilla’ sock. Here they are, in all their finished glory! The photos were taken at our local Vintage Tea Room because the light up here today has been absolutely dreadful but they have a huge front window! I think the picture below is a true likeness of the colour of the yarn…it’s one of my favourites!20170227_114642

However, no sooner were they hot off the needles, a new pair was born. Started this morning, actually…. These ones are called Molly Weasley’s Gift socks in Superba premium superwash in a gorgeous red!

The needles are my usual 2.5 mm DPN’s….I can hardly wait to get going! 😊

20170227_1148070We’ll have to see how long these take to finish….

That’s all from my neck of the woods for now…

Until the next time,

Debbie

 

 

 

Socks! ( And a little Christmas Eve finish.)

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Happy New Year Folks! I hope you had a lovely Christmas….we had a lovely holiday spent with family and friends.  I’m chomping on the bit to get busy crafting again…I did manage to sneak in a little Christmas Eve finish though… my Cozy Stripe blanket from Lucy, at Attic 24.img_20161122_190645

It was made using Stylecraft DK yarn with a 4mm hook and the pattern is a free one, over at Lucy’s blog, Attic 24. She has the most amazingly visual tutorials, and I learnt to crochet using them. Great stuff!

Would you like to see?img_20161224_162833_088It’s a good lap size blanket, just perfect for wrapping over your knees whilst you’re reading a book or watching television…me? I prefer to knit or crochet… 😊

Today I had my first finish of the New Year.20161121_141435 Socks! 20170114_143815

I like to knit them from time to time, and this pattern is a particular favourite of mine…it’s from the book, ‘Knitting Rules!’ by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and it’s her plain sock pattern, which is lovely when you just want to knit a pair of socks mindlessly! 😊 I’m using my new sock blockers too, they’re Knit Pro ones, and I bought them from Amazon a little while back.

I can’t wait to cast on a new pair!…I think this may be the year of the sock… ( last year became the year of the shawl!)

These plain socks were knit on  2.50 mm Double Pointed Needles with a Rico 4ply sock yarn from my stash…

I’m off now to go and find a new pattern, and some more yarn from my stash to cast on for pair number 2!  Wish me luck… 😊

Until next time,

Debbie

The next ‘Ta-dah’ moment…aka another finished Shawl!

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll realise just how much I love knitting Shawls…almost as much as I love wearing them, if I’m honest. But the thing I love most of all about them, is when they grow! I get such a buzz from seeing a pile of yarn, looking like nothing on earth, with the stitches all bunched together, and just knowing that this… edited_1476264185112will all too soon, with the help of a huge amount of space  (our bed) 😊( We can’t go to bed tonight until it’s dry) 😊 two enormous towels and a packet of pins leads to- fb_img_1476623530669I think it’s completely magical how, with a little bit of time and effort, the lace blooms and you suddenly realise that all the sighing, and occasional strong language used- you have to pull back this ‘sticky’ yarn yet again because you seem to have lost the ability to count to 12! ( pattern repeats..don’t ask! ) was, in the end, absolutely worth it…20161017_10464820161017_10491920161017_104743The photographs were taken at our local Coffee House…unfortunately, it’s Winter now, and my lovely little garden is hibernating so I’ve had to become a little more creative for my photo shoots! 😊

If you’re interested in knitting the Amulet Shawl yourself, the pattern is part of a series of Shawls designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade…I believe the patterns will be released individually after December…for now, you have to buy the set. It’s available on Ravelry..

Needles: 4mm circular

Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Herriot fine.

That’s all for now, folks..

Until the next time,

Debbie