Sunday, February 19, 2017

January Stitching

I had hoped to get this post up last week but it's been half term so time for me has been in short supply but we are all back to our regular routine from tomorrow, thank goodness!

I got more stitching done in January than I can show just at the moment, as I'm working on some gift stitching in my focus slot. 

My rotation actually worked out so I had a new start on January 1st!  I did an excavation into some of my deepest stash and pulled out The Drawn Thread's Prairie Garden.  I bought this shortly after it came out in 2000 (ahem!) so it's been long overdue getting stitched...


I did get Christopher's ornament finished, just in time for it to get put away with the rest.


There has also been a bit of stash enhancement happening last month.  I had a lovely trip over to see a local stitching friend at the end of January.  After a lovely day of stitching and chatting as I was leaving she gave me a bag saying she'd been having a clear out and would I like a few things.  I didn't have time to look in the bag for a couple of hours as I had to get back for the school run but when I did I was blown away to find she had given me two hand painted boxes with matching Merry Cox kits along with a Shepherd's Bush needle roll chart!


I had to place an order for beads for my gift stitching so this cute sampler chart from The Scarlett House had to come too...



Sunday, February 05, 2017

January Reading

I didn't get as much reading in last month as I had hoped but I did get two books finished.


The first finish was 'The Optimist's Daughter' by Eudora Welty which I read for Leeds Book Club, this was a re-read for me and if anything I enjoyed it more this time round.  The other book was a very interesting biography of Joan of Arc by Dr Helen Castor.  Both of them are highly recommended.


There has also been a few books added to my to-read pile this month.  My village has five charity shops on it's Main Street and I like nothing better than a good mooch round at the second hand books. I didn't have a lot of time this month but I did have time to pop into one and I definitely got lucky!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Some Quilting

I have been trying to carve out some time with my sewing machine over the last year with varying degrees of success. One way that I've done this is to join my local branch of the Modern Quilt Guild, I can't always make the monthly sewing day but I did manage to get along for part of the December session.  

Having finished the quilts for Rosie, I am under strict orders to do one for Christopher.  So we took a trip over to Simply Solids during the summer holidays so he could choose his fabric. The quilt is going to be in a similar style to Rosie's.  This is the layout I came up with from his choices, it's a little slimmer than his sisters quilt so I am thinking of adding a border down the sides.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Knitting Update

One of the things that I was looking forward to when I finished the Hartfield Shawl was casting on some new projects.

The first one I went for was the Whispering Island shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.  I have had several skeins of RowanSpun DK in my stash for over 10 years and I have been looking for a suitable project for several months.  I had hoped to knit a cardigan but there wasn't quite enough yardage.  Then I remembered that I had bought this shawl pattern when it came out and it is proving to be the perfect match of pattern and yarn.


I am making the shawl larger than the pattern by adding in some extra pattern repeats as I have plenty of the yarn.  I want this to be a large cosy shawl I can wrap myself up in.

My other new start is for Rosie.  I took a class with Karie Westerman at last year's Leeds Wool Festival on hap construction and the class sample hap was just the right size shawl for her Teddy.  So I got told that she would like a matching shawl for herself.  As I doubt she will want to be matchy-matchy with Teddy for too much longer, I felt I needed to get knitting.  I had a quick browse through Ravelry and decided on Simmer Dim by Gudrun Johnston, the yarn is Harewood 4ply in Periwinkle by Eden Cottage Yarns.


I am really enjoying knitting this so I suspect that I will be casting one on for myself at some point.

I also have some plain top down socks on the needles that I work on when I'm out and about with the kids.  The yarn is Salamander Flash from The Knitting Goddess that was one of the Discworld sock club yarns from last year. I have finished the first sock and am onto the second.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Stitching Update - December

We are two weeks into the new term here and the small fry have finally got back into the school and after school activities routine.  I'm back to feeling like I am going to meet myself coming back along the road!

Stitching time in December was in short supply as I started a new contract and I'm currently working four days a week.  The projects that I worked on during the month are firstly Dorothy Walpole from The Scarlett Letter.  I'm still working on the bargello band but as I have got the top filled in and am working my way down, I think I am approaching the half way point of this band now.  I am stitching this in DMC on 40 count Pearlised Barley Lakeside Linen.


Then I stitched Christopher his ornament,  the ungrateful little sod had loudly declared that he didn't want a stitched ornament this year but I did one for him anyway. I chose to stitch him Dragon Dreams Santa's Unexpected Gift from the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition.  I used the recommend threads and linen.


I also managed to get Rosie's Ornament 'finished' - A Star is Born by Needleplay Needlework Designs also from the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition.


Sunday, January 08, 2017

December Reading

I hope you all had a good start to the new year, ours was a bit rocky as a family member had to go into hospital on New Years Day but she's had her surgery now and has been discharged.  We are all rather hoping that's the last of it for a while, the end of 2016 had a bit too much hospital visiting.

What I want to share with you are the books I finished in December:

Books - December

Two of the three books were started earlier in the year, the only one started and finished last month was A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett and that was easily my favourite. I thoroughly enjoyed my time back with Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle.  I'm not quite sure why the Deborah Needleman took so long to read other than I put it down and didn't get back to it.  The Eric Hobsbawm being theoretical history was read in bursts and alternated with lighter reads when my brain started to hurt!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wrapping Up 2016

I have a couple of major finishes to share with you all before the end of the year. 
First I have finally finished a pair of quilts that I was making for Rosie and her teddy.  I had got the tops pieced back in 2014 from a matching layer cake and charm pack (I have no record that I can find of the fabric line).  I made a determined effort this year to finish them both off,  I have joined my local Modern Quilters Guild in order to make some dedicated time for quilting.  

Rosie was keeping a close eye on progress and as soon as they were finished she whisked them off and put them on her bed.

Rosie's Quilt

Teddy was also thrilled with his quilt!

My other big finish is my Hartfield Shawl,  I finished the knitting in October but for a variety of reasons I wasn't able to get it blocked until this week.   This is a design by Ann Kingstone and I used a skein of her 'Chuffed' cashmere, I purchased both the pattern and yarn at my first Yarndale.  

It's also fair to say that chuffed is also a good description of how I'm feeling about the finished shawl!


Another small finish that is off the needles is a new winter hat as my other wool hats have gone walkabout.  Christopher has taken up football this year and a woolly hat is essential wear for training sessions.


This is another knit from the Drift Collection from Eden Cottage Yarns, Beulah Hat by Clare Devine. I knit this in Wensleydale Long Wool from my stash.

I think this wraps up my finishes for this year, it's been quite a stressful year here which explains why there is more knitting than anything else this year.  I find it much more relaxing to knit than stitch when I'm tired and stressed.

Fingers crossed 2017 will be much steadier as I would like to try to finish more stitching wips next year as well as making more time to be more generally creative.  

The one positive from this year is that I appear to have regained my reading mojo back. I'm on track to meet my goal of reading 36 books this year, I'm at 35 books so far. I just have to finish my current read 'Hat full of Sky' by Terry Pratchett before the year end which will not be difficult. Next year I am going to try for 4 books per month.

I'm also determined to try to blog more frequently next year so I have been giving some thought to the best way to achieve thisUltimately to more time I get to knit, stitch and sew the more I am likely to blog as I will have more to share!

I hope that you all have a good new year and that 2017 is kind to you.