Stars and Stripes

Hello! How are you? Have you squeezed in some crafting time this week? We are hurtling towards Christmas at breakneck speed it feels! And there are so many things I want to get finished before the end of the year.

The good news is I have managed to get two projects off the needles and hooks this week.

The first are these beautiful stripy Candy Cane socks! This is my 11th finished pair of 2020 and I’m ahead of my goal of 12 pairs for the year so I’m absolutely thrilled! The yarn I used is the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply in the colourway ‘Candy Cane’ with the contract colour in the same yarn in the colourway ‘Cayenne Pepper’. There is still so much yarn left that I’d like to make myself another pair next year with green heels, toes and cuffs.

I used my tried and trusted pattern ‘Basic Socks’ by Winwick Mum. I absolutely love this pattern for a simple, well-fitted sock and I know I will continue to use it on and on.

However, one of my goals for 2021 is to start trying out different sock patterns and learning new techniques. I’ll talk more about this in future posts but it’s something mulling in the back of my mind at the moment.

The second finished project is a bit different. It’s technically not a finished project yet but I have completed crocheting the stars for the community Christmas display. I managed to make 130. I had grand delusions of making 400 at the beginning of the project but I would have needed to have no other projects on the go in order to accomplish that! And as it turned out, there was no need as lots of other lovely ladies joined in and made lots as well so we have been told we have enough now!

Unfortunately I was unable to get a photo of all the stars together, so I have a few pictures. They were sent off in batches to the amazing lady who is co-ordinating the whole project. Once I had finished, she contacted me to ask if I could block all of the other stars that have been crocheted as they do go quite curly. I was happy to do this so I collected them on Wednesday evening mid dog walk. It’s lovely to see the other creations. I thought I’d share how I block them in case anyone was unsure. I use Dr Beckman Spray Starch. I spray each star and then pin it out on some foam boards that I bought from Amazon a long time ago, then leave them over night to dry and stiffen. Here is a before and after shot so you can see what a difference it makes.

It won’t hold them indefinitely but hopefully it will do the trick. Another option may have been to coat them with watered down PVC and if they do curl up on the display over time, this might be something to think about in the future.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished display. I was also responsible for cutting out the lettering so I hope I did it okay! I’ll share the display once it’s up.

My main WIP this week has been the Lola Socks. I cast these on weeks ago and then they sat in my project bag untouched. I was apprehensive about them because I haven’t done any of these techniques before and they required a lot of concentration. However, I’m thrilled that I have learned how to do a godet heel this week! Jooles’ pattern is so well written and she links to video tutorials for the unusual bits which are so easy to follow when you can see someone else doing them. So good in fact, that I took advantage of her 3 for 2 pattern offer and purchased more of her patterns this week!

I’ve cast off the first sock and I have really enjoyed learning new techniques and working on these towards the end of the week.

I have also cast on the cuff of my cheering socks but not enough to show you yet. I haven’t made much progress on my alpine hoop this week either so I’ll save showing it until I have or it will get a bit boring!

I have put a few more rows on my Tidings Shawl, but again, nothing worth showing yet. If only I had more time to knit! Full time jobs just get in the way!

Last weekend, I finally got a bit of nice weather and time to plant my tulip bulbs for next Spring. I absolutely love tulips. They are one of my favourite flowers (although honestly, I do say that about a lot of flowers!). Favourite spring flower, I should say. Although I also love daffodils… and crocus… and hyacinths…

I also baked my christmas cake on Stir Up Sunday (22nd November) as well as some cheaty mini mince pies using shop bought pastry and mince meat. Faye was desperate for a mince pie, so what’s a Mum to do?!

When I sat down to write this post I thought I didn’t really have anything to share but it’s surprising when you start writing it all down how much you can get done in a week.

We’re still in lockdown number 2 here in the UK and unfortunately, we will be in tier 3 when we come out of it on 2nd December. It’s not a huge hardship for me. The only niggly thing I have is that the local post office is closed on Saturdays at the moment which makes it extremely difficult to post out a couple of gifts that I want to get sent. I shall have to try and fit it in on a lunch break in the week but that will mean I’ll need to take Cosmo out for his walk first thing instead of at lunch time. I realise these aren’t huge problems but we have got into a lovely routine now and he’s super snoozy in the morning before I start work which is ideal knitting time! I’m sure one day won’t hurt.

I think that’s about it for this week. Happy crafting! x

Winter Woollies

Hello! How are you? This week has gone by in a blur of busyness! I don’t feel like I’ve had any unproductive minutes in the last few days and I’ve fallen into bed each night and been asleep as soon as my head has hit the pillow!

My first finished project this week was the Sonder Shawl. This was a pattern from this book by Helen Stewart. I knit it from Stylecraft Special XL Chunky in the colourway ‘Mushroom’ and used approximately 500g (2 and a half balls) and 8mm needles. It has taken me far longer to knit this than it should have done given the weight of the yarn, but I think I prefer to work with smaller needles and yarn, and actually the chunkier the needles, the longer it takes me to knit!

Faye agreed to model it for me and then decided she’d actually rather like to keep it!

My second finished object this week is my Hearten Cowl. Oh my goodness, I have loved every single stitch of this project. The pattern was the first pattern in this year’s Knitvent by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I used a mixture of mini skeins and sock yarn leftovers and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Having cast off two projects, I decided to try and get on with the candy cane socks that I started last month. I have finished one and I’m aiming to make some good progress on the second one over the weekend. I challenged myself to knit these on small circulars as I always use dpns and wanted to branch out a bit more on my techniques and tools. It always feels a little bit uncomfortable when I start knitting but I generally relax into it. I really love this yarn and it’s definitely putting me in a festive mood!

The next two Knitvent patterns were released last Thursday, a cowl and matching hat, but I’ve decided not to cast these on now. I’m not really looking to make another cowl this month so I think I’ll go straight onto this week’s pattern which is a lovely pair of socks! I’ve selected my yarn but I may not cast on straight away until I have the other socks off the needles. I’ll see how I feel.

Last weekend, I made Faye some reuseable makeup pads. I cut out squares of cotton fabric and squares of towelling then zigzag stitched around the edge twice. She has used them and we have washed a few and they seem to have held together nicely. I’m going to make some for myself as well.

I had told myself that I couldn’t start another embroidery or cross stitch project until I’d finished the Disney castle. However, I decided this week that this was ridiculous rule seeing as I wasn’t feeling like working on that and instead was desperate to start a winter themed embroidery. Why does it matter if I finish he Disney cross stitch now or next April?! I love to make seasonal things and I think that is why I’ve stalled on the Disney cross stitch. So, I started! The pattern was in ‘Love Embroidery’ magazine that I have now subscribed to. Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far as I seem to have no functioning hand sewing needles that aren’t cross stitch needles, so I had to order some more. Currently, the post is taking much longer than usual so they haven’t arrived yet. I’m very much looking forward to the stitching when they do.

You can probably guess that I’m really enjoying all the crafts at the moment. There are not enough free hours to make all of the things I want to! I have things stacked up ready to start and loads of ideas of things I’d like to make. It’s a lovely feeling to be so inspired and motivated. Long may it continue!

Until next time… Happy Crafting!

Crafting in the Gaps

I have no finished projects to share with you this week although I have done a lot of knitting, some crochet and even some sewing! I feel like every spare moment when I’m not working or doing chores, I have had a project in hand this week!

I’ve mostly been working on the first two Knitvent projects.

I’m about 60% of the way through the Hearten Cowl and truly loving every stitch.

And I’m 20% in on the Tidings Shawl. All Helen’s patterns are in a table and give you percentages so you can see how far through the project you are. I really love this and try to aim for a certain number of rows a day or even 5%.

I’ve also picked up a WIP that I started at the end of August. At the time, the weather warmed up and it was a struggle to knit with as it’s so bulky so I put it to one side. It’s the Sonder shawl, again by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade from her book. This is the 4th pattern I’ve made from this book. I’d like to make all six eventually.

I’m knitting this shawl out of Stylecraft Special XL Super Chunky in the colourway: ‘Mushroom’. Although it should knit up really quickly, it has seemed to take me an age! I think that’s because I’m used to knitting with smaller needles with socks and 4-ply yarn so using these 8mm needles makes me feel so clunky and uncoordinated!

It will be such a cosy shawl to wear on my dog walks when the weather gets colder. I’ve started to wear my Frost at Midnight cowl on my evening walks now as it has definitely cooled down. I also need to knit myself a pair of fingerless mitts. I made everyone else some last year but didn’t get round to making any for myself.

Frost at Midnight Cowl from Knitvent 2018

Rob works alternative shifts each week so when he works his late shift, he takes Cosmo for this lunch time walk which means I get an hour free to eat my lunch and then do what I want. This has started to become my sewing time and I love it! It’s quite amazing what you can get done in 45 minutes. I managed to make Cosmo a new cover for his bed one lunch time because the little monkey had chewed a big hole in the other one! Honestly, anything with a tag on is like sparkle to a magpie!

The other projects I’m currently working on are gifts so I can’t share them with you. Here is a little peek at the prep pile…

In the local community craft group I’m part of, we have turned our attentions to Christmas now and are planning a big display. For this, I’m currently crocheting as many little stars as I can using this pattern by Attic24. It’s such a simple pattern that after I’d made one, I didn’t need to look again. Any spare 5 minutes, I make another one. Any phone calls I take are on loud speaker so my hands are free to crochet a few more! We have a deadline of 1st December to finish all of the bits. I’m also in charge of cutting out the main letters in sparkly felt so I’m hoping to get that done this weekend so I’ll be able to share my progress with you next week. It’s really exciting! I love a shared project!

I’ve really found comfort in my knitting this week. It has kept me going. On Saturday, we had a call to say someone had found Ginny’s remains on their front garden. It was so upsetting. She was a wonderful rabbit and we’ll all miss her so much. It’s been a tough week for Faye, especially.

On Sunday, I made an apple crumble to use up the rest of the cooking apples. I took the crumble recipe from a magazine supplement that said to use soft brown sugar. Unfortunately, this created a paste with the butter rather than breadcrumbs so it didn’t turn out as ‘crumbly’ as I would have liked, although the oats and nuts helped to break it up a bit, and it did taste delicious, which is the main thing!

I hope you’ve managed to squeeze in as much craft time as possible this week.

Happy crafting! xx

Finishing WIPs and Knitvent Fun

It’s been an unsettling week, not least with the news of a November lockdown in the UK, but our rabbit, Ginny, has gone missing. We believe she has escaped through a small hole in the fence after Faye left the door to her run open on Sunday afternoon (oh, the poor love feels so bad). We have been carrying out a search and have lots of people involved helping us. She has been sighted once in the street behind our house so I just hope she can find her way back to us if we don’t manage to get to her first. I’m sure you can imagine, this week has been rather upsetting.

In crafty news, I have managed to finish my ‘Leaky Cauldron’ socks using the beautiful yarn from Biffsugar Yarns and my modified Winwick Mum Basic Sock pattern. I was a bit more adventurous and adding a purl panel down the front of the socks for a change. This is my 10th finished pair this year and I’m still on track to complete my goal of 12 pairs this year. In fact, I’m wondering if I might sneak in an extra pair or two if I can.

I have another finished project! I was hoping to get this completed at the end of last week but I ran out of yarn so I had to order some more. It arrived earlier this week and I crocheted as fast as I could as I really wanted to start using this blanket.

I crocheted my Cath Kidston-inspired Granny Square Blanket in Stylecraft Special DK in the following colours using a 3.5mm hook:

  • White
  • Lipstick
  • Soft Peach
  • Fondant
  • Cypress
  • Buttermilk
  • Storm Blue

This has been on the hook since February, so it feels like a big achievement to have finished it. I was inspired by my Cath Kidston ironing board cover for the colours.

My favourite WIP to work on this week has been the Hearten Cowl which is the first Knitvent pattern of 2020. I’m in love with the colours I have chosen. I have minis from FeltFusion, Junction Ten on Etsy and Mr and Mrs Rabbit Yarns, then the rest is from stash.

It is such a comforting pattern and has been my TV knitting in the evenings this week. Candles lit, a nice hot cup of tea and an episode of Game of Thrones (Rob and I have started a re-watch). Cosy autumn loveliness.

My minis from Mr and Mrs Rabbit Yarns

I’ve snipped the last of the dahlias from the garden this week. This variety are cream with a pale purple edge. They are so gorgeous. It’s been my best year for dahlias but I definitely need to build some sort of structure for them to go through next year as some of them snapped in the high winds and others had such big flowers, they drooped into the soil!

Last Saturday, it was Halloween and I made us spooky waffles for breakfast. i just added a little green food colouring and some chocolate chips to the mixture and added some googly eyes. Everyone found it really funny!

Faye and I had fun making some cupcakes with Halloween themed fondant toppers.

Earlier this week, I took all of the Halloween decorations down and had a really good clean downstairs before putting all the autumn decorations back up.

I also made some shortbread biscuits this week and started reading a new book ‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes. I’m only a cople of chapters in but enjoying it so far. I have read most of Jojo Moyes’ other books and have enjoyed them all, so my expectations are high!

I haven’t managed to get any sewing done this week as a lot of my free time has been spent bunny searching! I’m hoping to find some time this weekend to start a new sewing project but we’ll see!

I’m also looking forward to casting on the next Knitvent project: the Tidings Shawl. I have been stash diving and selected my yarns. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn but I don’t have any and really want to use stash for as many of these projects as I can, so I decided to use double knit yarn. As one of the colours requires more than 100g, I had a choice of my main colour being a dusky pink or a navy blue. Naturally, I’m drawn to the pink, however, I knit the Bide shawl last year in a dusky pink so I went for the navy.

My yarns are:

  • Stylecraft Bellissima double knitting in shade 3931 ‘Double Denim’ x 2 100g balls
  • Stylecraft Bambino double knitting in shade 7117 ‘Sage’ x 1 100g ball
  • Stylecraft Batik double knitting in shade 1916 ‘Rose’ x 1 50g ball

Happy crafting! Xx

Pumpkins, Poppies and Progress

It’s been the half-term holidays this week in the UK, so Faye has been home from school. I’ve still been working from home but it’s been nice to have some company in the house, and another pair of eyes to watch Cosmo!

Faye loves Halloween, so we always decorate the house. She really enjoys painting our faces on Halloween too and although we won’t be trick or treating this year, we still plan to paint faces anyway.

On Thursday evening, we played with some polymer clay and made some Halloween inspired mini ornaments for the twiggy tree. It was a lovely craft session with non-stop chattering and lots of giggling at the things we were making 😆

I should have out something in so you could see the scale. They are all around thumbnail size.

This week, I baked a coffee and walnut traybake using a recipe from Mary Berry’s ‘Baking Bible’. It was delicious!

We’re planning to bake some cupcakes over the weekend and decorate them for Halloween.

I’ve been meaning to make some fabric pumpkins for a few years now, so I’m thrilled that I finally made the time to do it. I bought some fat quarters and cut them in half (so I only used half of each fabric), sewed the short sides with the material right-side together on my sewing machine. Then I did a running stitch around the bottom and pulled it tight and secured it, stuffed the pumpkin with toy filling, then did another running stitch around the top. I sewed down through the centre of the pumpkin and back up a few times and pulled the thread tight to create an indent in the pumpkin. On two of them, I ran some lengths of embroidery thread through the centre as a finishing touch. For the stalks, I just rolled up some felt and used a glue gun to secure them in place.

I crocheted this cute little pumpkin mouse using a pattern by Kate Eastwood using cotton dk yarn from my stash. He’s been on my making wishlist for a while now too, so it felt good to finally make him.

The local community craft group put a call out for handmade poppies that they need to create a display. I managed to complete 50 with the yarn I had.

Sock progress has been a little slow this week. I have only picked up my Leaky Cauldron socks but I’ve just done the heel turn and that’s it. All that sock knitting last week and barely any at all this week!

My main project this week has been crocheting my Cath Kidston-inspired Granny Square Blanket. I was hopeful that I could get this finished before the end of the month but I always forget how long it takes to complete a round when the blanket gets to this size. I’m really close to finishing but sadly have run out of three colours and need to order some more. This will leave me with leftover yarn but I can add the green and blue to Cosmo’s blanket. Speaking of the little monkey, he’s been ‘helping’ me…

I did have grand plans to complete the Disney Cross Stitch this month too, but it was just a stretch too far, and it was a project I just didn’t feel like picking up all that much. Saying that, I have made significant progress on it and I have ordered a hoop big enough to display the finished piece.

Sometimes setting goals really spurs me on and at other times, it puts me off working on things, perhaps because it feels unachievable or having the deadline takes away the fun of it. At this time of year, with the nights drawing in, I always feel so lethargic. Like my body is going into hibernation mode! I think it’s best to just take things one day at a time and enjoy working on whatever project I feel like without imposing deadlines on myself. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what I finish or when! It’s a hobby!

I was so happy that Knitvent 2020 started this week. This is a 6-project KAL by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. Having taken part the last two years and really enjoying it, I took the opportunity to buy the early bird pattern collection. The first pattern was released this week and I couldn’t wait to cast on, particularly after I had organised my mini skeins!

Happy crafting! xx

Feeling Autumnal

Hello! I’m making an effort to get back in to weekly blogging but I seem to have lost the ability to type sentences. I think the best thing to do is just dive right in from where I am now and what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve had an amazing crafty week! That’s why I enjoy writing this blog because sometimes, I don’t feel like I’ve done much through the week and then I put it all together and think: Wow! I accomplished quite a bit!

This week it’s all been about the socks with my knitting. I now have not one, not two, but THREE pairs on the needles! This is the first time I have ever had multiple pairs on the go but weirdly it seems to be making me more productive as I can pick up the ones I feel like working on.

Here is a picture of my current progress. I have my October socks using Biffsugar yarns ‘Leaky Cauldron’; Christmas socks using West Yorkshire Spinners ‘Candy Cane’ and ‘Cayenne Pepper’ for the contrast. Both of these are using the Basic Sock pattern by Winwick Mum. Then on Saturday, I cast on the Lola Socks (pattern by Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet) as this is the official Strictly Sockalong pattern. The Strictly Sockalong in organised by Ali of Little Drops of Wonderful and this is the first year I’m taking part. And Strictly has started! I’m so happy. I love it so much. To make it extra fun, my mum and I watch it together (her in Cornwall and me in Staffordshire) and we text each other all the way through. This does make the knitting part more tricky! But if I’m honest, I only knit through the talking bits anyway as I can’t knit and look at the screen at the same time!

I’ve enjoyed a bit of impromptu crochet this week too. I blame Instagram! I saw that Kate Eastwood of Just Pootling had shared her mini pumpkin bunting pattern and I couldn’t resist. I made it in an evening and I love it. It’s so cute!

Making the bunting reminded me that I had the lovely book by Kate Eastman for my birthday, so I made a few crochet pumpkins to add to my autumn display. I decided to finish them with some twigs for the stalks instead of crocheting them.

We had a request through the community craft group for poppies for a planned display, so I downloaded a free crochet pattern by Catherine Adamson from Ravelry and got 20 finished this week. They need to be in by the end of the month, so I’m hoping to get more done (as many as I have yarn for!).

I managed to get some time on my sewing machine last weekend and finished my patchwork cushion covers for our bed. I made these up as I went along using stash fabric and leftovers from the curtains I made at the beginning of the month. They are far from perfect but I’m still pleased with how they turned out. Each finished project gives me a little bit more sewing machine confidence.

I have baked two new recipes this week. Both recipes were from the autumn supplement from this month’s BBC Good Food magazine. I don’t always buy it – usually around autumn, Christmas and Easter – but I always enjoy reading it. I put post-its in and mean to have a go at them and then never seem to get around to it. So, this month, I promised myself I would make something and I’m so glad I did. These recipes have turned out beautifully and I would definitely make them again.

The first was a Dorset apple cake. Perfect for a hot pudding with custard.

The second recipe was for chocolate fudge crinkle biscuits. These are a family favourite. Everyone LOVED them!

I’ve pretty much finished up in the garden for the winter months now, except I still need to empty a few pots and plant out the tulip bulbs. However, my dahlias are still going strong and I was amazed to find one of my roses is still flowering!

Cosmo, our border collie pup, is 4 months old now! We’ve been enjoying some lovely autumnal walks (and some soggy, wet ones too!)

Having a puppy is full on. It’s lovely and fun, and I do feel like we’ve been very lucky. He was house trained within two weeks really. He always sits by the back door and gives me ‘the look’ when he needs to go. If he’s really desperate and I’m not paying attention, he does a little jumpy dance accompanied by whining. Now, he’s realised that if he sits there, I will let him out, so sometimes he’s a tinker and just does it so he can escape across the garden at great speed and wants me to chase him!

His fur is thickening up so much now and he has lost 3 baby teeth this week. He loves playing and is so good at tricks, but he will not bring the toy back yet. Trying to teach him fetch is challenging!

I can’t remember what our life was like before he came along now. It means I rarely get a lie in and have to do more washing, mopping and hoovering. But it also means I have an amazing reason to get out for walks every single day. It means I have a little cosy body snuggling up to me on my chair each evening. It means we laugh every day at the daft things he gets up to and we all just love him so much. And I think he loves us too.

Happy crafting! xxx

September 2020 Making Review

It’s a bit of a late round up of last month and I hope to get back into blogging a bit more now. Life is starting to settle into more of a routine with our new puppy, Cosmo, and Faye going back to school. I’m still working from home and I love it. There are parts of working in the office that I miss but I must admit, I prefer being at home.

Life just feels so much more relaxed in lots of ways. I realise that is not the case for everyone and I feel very lucky to feel this way. But for me, home is my happy place and I get to be in it every day. I’m getting to spend all this time with Cosmo that in normal life, just wouldn’t have been the case. It’s so peaceful sitting in my kitchen and getting on with my work, then I can just shut down my laptop, pack it all in a bag and start the dinner! I can also go to my craft room on my lunch break or pop out into the garden or take Cosmo for a walk. An office lunch break is sat at your desk or walking around the town and is definitely not as nice as this.

It’s so easy to feel despairing with the way life is currently. There are many things I miss. But I think it’s crucial to also focus on the little gifts this strange time can give us too. One day, we will look back on this and it will be this major historical point that changed so many things. Living through something is so different to reading about a past event. I’m finding it hard to say what I mean here… I suppose if you consider how people just got on with their daily life during the World Wars and didn’t stop to think about how generations later, people would marvel at how they coped and what they went through. They just got on with it. Each week, each day, each hour, each minute… living with that new normality. That’s what we’re doing now. It’s not the same situation, of course, but it’s comparable in that it is something that is affecting the whole world and it’s changed the way we live.

I wonder how Faye will remember this time in her life. How it could affect her future. The uncertainty is the anxiety-inducing thing. But it’s something we will just have to roll with and deal with things as they come up.

How are you feeling about everything? Are you able to take time to focus on the little delights in your new normal life?

Finished Projects

So onto all things crafty after that deep and meaningful start! With a new puppy in the house, crafting time hasn’t been as fruitful. I tried to work on small projects that wouldn’t be tempting for him to chew on and only got my knitting out when he was asleep to begin with! I do have some FOs for you though, so I’m pleased about that!

I started and finished my Apple Gradient socks for August (ahem) this month. I got a bit behind with my one pair of socks per month goal for 2020, but it’s fine. I’m almost back on track now.

I shared this yarn in my last review blog. I purchased it from Sophie at Pixie Yarn. This was the ‘Hey Little Apple Blossom’ mini skein set of 5 x 20g merino nylon sock 4 ply. It’s so soft and beautiful. I really like how they’ve turned out. I sort of wished that I had continued into the foot with the heel colour to make the gradient blend better but I didn’t.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I joined in with a community craft group over lockdown to help out with knitting and crochet and sewing. I made face masks for them back in July and I’ve also knitted a few bears. This month they wanted to create a Community Quilt to display with the them of ‘Lockdown’, so I completed two squares for it. I really enjoyed embroidering as I haven’t done any for ages. I think it may have woken up a sleeping craft desire and I may have more embroideries in my future!

I was sorting in my craft room as I like to do (all the treasure!) and found a box of hexies that I made for Faye’s quilt but when I laid out all the pieces (a long time ago now!), I realised it was too big and I needed to remove some. I knew I would use them for something one day and I just had the urge to whip something up quickly, so I made Hexies Bookmarks for gifts for my Aunties birthdays at the end of the month. They both enjoy reading so I made these to go with the book gifts.

WIPs

I tried so hard to get my Ice cream socks for September finished before the end of the month but I just ran out of steam. Having a new puppy is hard work! So unfortunately, this is still a WIP but very close to being finished. I shall give the yarn details next time when they are finished.

I cast on the Sonder Shawl at the start of the month, but only made it about halfway as the weather warmed up and it was too warm to work with that very chunky yarn. Also, as it got longer, I couldn’t guarantee that the end draping down my legs wouldn’t be too tempting for Cosmo to chew, so it’s been shelved until it’s colder and my puppy training is better. Although, I must admit, he is a clever little sausage and is learning soooo quickly.

I wrote about the Battenberg Blanket in the previous blog post but it’s essentially a free pattern from Sandra at Cherry Heart and is beautiful and mindless. Perfect for puppy watching! I’ve made quite a few squares so far but this will definitely be a very long-term project to pick up and put down whenever I feel in the mood for it

Knit and Natter

I thought I’d add this little section to my monthly blog review so I could have a space to chat about some of the projects I’m thinking about. As I said earlier, I really would like to do some embroidery. I’m thinking some pretty wall art in hoops to start me off.

I’ve also been thinking about trying do some more sewing. Sewing all those face masks in the summer made me more comfortable with my sewing machine. Perhaps I need to do more simple sewing like this before I try more dressmaking. Having said that, I did enjoy making Faye’s dresses in August as they were really simple too. Now I’m working in the kitchen (perfect situ for the inevitable puppy house training), I have my craft room back and can leave projects out on my desk.

I always wish I had more time for making but I doubt there would ever be enough free time to enable me to make all the things I’d like to.

My main goals for October will be to get back on track with my sock knitting and to finish my Disney cross stitch. Here is where I was when I last worked on it:

I still have a long way to go but I think it’s doable. Famous last words!

Until next time, Happy Making! xx

All of the Blankets (and a Quilt)

I have a number of large projects on the go at the moment and as I’ve not been blogging regularly, I thought I would catch you up on where I am with them. I don’t think I had shared all of them before.

Cath Kidston-inspired Granny Square Blanket

In February, I decided that I’d like to crochet something in Cath Kidston colours. In particular, the colours of my beautiful ironing board cover which is the Wells Rose print.

I wanted a mindless project that could be picked up and put down at any moment, so I chose a giant granny square blanket. 

I’m crocheting with a 3.5mm hook and the yarn is Stylecraft Special Double Knit. I did a lot of swatching until I decided on the following colours:

  • White
  • Lipstick
  • Soft Peach
  • Fondant
  • Cypress
  • Buttermilk
  • Storm Blue

It’s still not finished but I love to have a long project that I can pick up whenever I don’t have the capacity to concentrate too much.

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The start of the blanket with the inspirational ironing board cover behind it
Current progress

Battenberg Blanket

I had started knitting the Habitation Throw from Knitvent 2019 (a pattern collection from Helen Stewart) and although I liked the pattern, I wasn’t really enjoying how it was turning out.

I tend not to enjoy random colour selections. I still wanted a project where I used up all my leftover beautiful 4-ply yarns so I decided to start the Battenberg Blanket by Sandra of Cherry Heart. I frogged the Habitation Throw and used up all the yarn to make the tiny little crochet squares. I am really enjoying working on this project but it is going to take me a very long time.

I will also be using some pretty mini skeins but I don’t have a huge stash of these. I think I need around 530 coloured squares and the same again with my contrast colour which I am yet to decide on though I have a few ideas.

Cosmo’s Blanket

I have lots of leftovers in Stylecraft Special DK so I decided I’d like to crochet a blanket for Cosmo. He won’t be getting it for a while, partly because it will take me ages to finish, but mostly because he would probably chew it at the moment!

I gathered together all my blues, greens, greys and neutrals and did a long chain (no idea how many stitches) and then I’m treble crocheting (I think) to create a striped effect. I worked on it quite a bit before he arrived but as it’s a big project and dangles on the floor when I’m working, progress has halted while I teach him not to chew my projects. I’m focusing my efforts on handheld/fit neatly in my lap projects at the moment!!

Faye’s Hexies Quilt

Talking about long-term projects… this one was started in January 2018!

The first hexies

I knew it would take a long time and I have to be in the right mood to dig it out and work on it.

I think I have about 5 rows left to sew on and then I need to figure out how to do the edges. I haven’t chosen my backing fabric yet as I wanted to have all the hexies sewn together first before I made a purchase. I think I might treat myself to some Liberty fabric as this is such a special project and will hopefully be an heirloom. I’m thinking of a blue colour but will keep you updated!

So there we are, all my big project WIPs. I’m in no rush to finish any of them but I would like to get all the hexies sewn together before the end of the year and maybe finish the CK Granny Square blanket but we shall see.

Do you have any long-term projects? I’d love to know.