Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Finished Objects!

Another stunningly beautiful day today. In fact, if you were to think about the perfect Autumn day, this would surely be it. Perfect blue skies,

a thick frost indicating a nice chill in the air,

and the bright colours of the season (this leaf is in fact the brightest red you ever did see - except my ruddy camera doesn't capture it's colour so well).

Back home, I can show you my finished tapestry. You may recall that my brother kindly bought me this kit from the Historical Sampler Company (under specific instructions, of course), for Christmas. It's been by the side of my chair ever since and I've worked on it slowly over the months, a bit here and a bit there. Last night I finally finished it and unfurled it from it's frame. I'm going to make it into a cushion for the kitchen. Now, however, this does leave me with a tapestry 'gap' - should I wait until Christmas for big brother to get me another one? I doubt I could wait that long, really, although it would be a nice tradition, wouldn't it? One a year. And even more special to have to wait for it. Hmmmm.

I finished the little Halloween garland. The plain pumpkins do in fact have stitched pumpkin lines on them, but of course you can't see them from a distance. Wish I'd put the faces on them now. But it's quite cheery.

And this is the finished runner. In the end, because it was 7 foot long (!) I used a sheet that'd I'd dyed a while ago, for the border and binding, so as not to have any joins. Then I just ran some straight lines of stitching along them, to lightly quilt it, as it does have wadding in the middle. Am quite pleased with it and, remarkably, it has remained stain free so far, which is always a bonus.
Today I am making sweet treats for the school Halloween party tomorrow. I figure anything can look Halloween-y if it's either orange or black, or both :)

Monday, 18 October 2010

Feeling Spooky

Sundays have turned into 'Adventuring' day in our house, mainly for the boy and his dad - but yesterday I was summoned along (not quite sure why). Anyhow, we ventured up to Devoke Water, near Birker Fell. As you can see, the scenery high up in the mountains is almost pre-historic. In fact, these mountains have been here since the dinosaurs were roaming the land. Weird, huh?

We had our picnic near the water. It felt like being on the roof of the world. The boy ran into school this morning and announced he'd been on an adventure yesterday 'climbing mountains'. Well, not quite, but there were suitable gasps from the girls.

I wonder if he'll manage to keep them spellbound in this Wizard's costume? I spotted the fab star fabric on the market on Saturday and had to have it. I was thinking about a black cloak and then wondering how to incorporate the stars and then I thought - long, pointy sleeves! Wizards do seem to have those sorts of sleeves, and with the pointy hat it looks very Wizardy. Completely forgot to get some face paint, but I may just finish it off with a long, pointy beard.

Anyhow, with thoughts of halloween uppermost, I fiddled about with some felt and started to make a little halloween garland to hang across the fireplace. Was rather chuffed with it really. This is part of the joy of having kids - you can indulge all your little ideas and say you're doing it for them ;-)

Friday, 15 October 2010


Well here it is - my first fairisle project. It's knitted in aran weight wool, which made it knit up fast and also made it easier with the fairisling as the stitches were nice and big and it was easy to spot a mistake.
Here is a dreadful picture of moi modelling it - sorry, the light is dreadful here today, so the flash went off and I don't know how to stop it. Anyhow, it's quite a snug fit, but that just makes it very warm - it's more like a jacket really because of it's hefty weight.

Here's the inside - I'm very proud of my neatness here, especially as it is my first attempt (did I mention that at all?).
I have a long, denimn dress which I think will go with this quite nicely. Bit prairie girl, you know.

Meanwhile, I forgot to show you my latest purchase. I spotted a version of this Keep Calm poster in a magazine recently and thought it was hilarious, so I had to have one. I searched high and low for one with the same wording on the net, but couldn't find it anywhere, until I came across a site called Zazzle, which has a Keep-Calm-o-matic poster generator (watch out Wallace and Gromit!). You can choose the wording, the colours, the size - all of that stuff. Admittedly, it was a bit pricely, but I had fallen in love with it by then. It makes me chuckle every time I put the kettle on (it's right next to the kettle, of course) :-)

And look what turned up yesterday, out of the blue. I had it on pre-order from Amazon and had pretty much forgotten about it. On a very rudimentary first glance, it is a lovely book - some fab images, but the projects are somewhat basic at the back. However, as I said, it's a lovely book to look through and gain inspiration and ideas from. I mean, you've just got to love Kirstie for all that she stands for in handmade crafts, haven't you? Keep the flag flying and all that ;)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Split Ends

Well, as you can see, I have a little work on my desk today. Mainly involving these little monkeys - ends ...

It's unavoidable really, if I ever want to finish this fairisle cardi. Can't say it's much fun this bit, but no pain, no gain, as they say.

Meanwhile, as there has been a distinct lack of sewing on this blog of late, I thought I'd show you my current work in progress. It's a table runner (obviously). I started out just joining up hexes into flowers, not really knowing what it was going to become. And then I thought perhaps a nice bit of patchwork in the kitchen would look good. But I couldn't really be bothered to hex them all together, so I just sewed each flower onto a square of fabric - tres lazy.

The girls at my sewing class like it, although it's a bit 'random'. I'm going to have to figure out how to put a long edge on each side with as few seams as possible - it's 7 foot long. Then I will have to find some backing fabric and sandwich in some wadding, then a binding for the edge. Bit like a very thin quilt really.
But at the moment, I am thinking about Wizard costumes. Of course it's Halloween soon and I suspect the 'dress-up' day at school next week will be pretty obvious. At least I hope so. I grabbed a witches hat in the supermarket last week, suspecting that it was better to get it early and avoid the last minute panic. So I'm thinking a very long cape with stars and moons on it. I may even go the whole hog and get some face paint. Then I shall just have to wave my magic wand and hey presto! A wizard will appear!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Good Moow-ning!

Good Mooooow-ning!

Sorry - what was that? Did somebody say something?

Another stunning morning today. So beautifully sunny and bright, a perfect blue sky, and yet that lovely chill in the air. A slight frost on the fields.

As I walked the boy up the hill to school, I told him that Autumn is my favourite time of year. He said winter was his favourite "because first it snows, then it's Christmas!".

Well it's my pattern cutting nightclass again tonight and I've just finished my homework, which was to make up the skirt block we drafted into a skirt, and then design a skirt to cut tonight. Am so loving this course. I have wanted to learn these skills for so long and I'm so excited at the thought of having a new wardrobe that fits ME.

On my to-do list this week is to sew up the fairisle cardigan. I finally finished it and blocked it out at the weekend. Can't say I'm looking forward to sewing in all those ends, up hey ho.

Of course, that left me with nothing on the needles - yikes - not with an X Factor marathon approaching! Luckily, I had enough left-over aran yarn from the fairisle cardi to actually make this jacket for the boy. Except the sleeves will be a combination of stripes to use up all my bits.

I started it on Friday night and by last night had already done the back and the left front! Don't you just love aran? I might even line this with a nice soft brushed cotton. Mmmm. Snuggly.

Thursday, 7 October 2010


Morning all! What a lovely crisp and dry morning for a good stretch of the legs.

Here is our little bridge over the beck, in our little hamlet. The water was babbling away this morning. It's the colour of beer - a deep copper brown with little white horses as it rushes over the rocks.

On my way back I could see the church at the top of the hill, with the boy's school just nestling underneath. I said "Morning!" to 8 people in total, all friends and neighbours, two of which stopped to ask if I needed a lift. No, says I, I'm just taking a morning walk. Jolly good, lovely day, they chirruped! Lovely.

So the last couple of days have been a bit of a baking frenzy, as you can see. Just couldn't stop, once I'd started, I'm afraid.

These little pies are for the boy's packed lunch. He loves them - they have a mixture of corned beef, mashed potato and carrot in them. I make them in a muffin tray and they're just the right size for him.

There was also a huge pastie, but it didn't hang around long enough to have it's picture taken ;)

This carrot cake I took to my sewing class last night, to celebrate the return of Stanley. Yum!

I even made some bread - in the breadmaker - just in the case the whole house wasn't filled quite enough with delicious smells.
So now you can see why I've reinstituted my morning walks. Just to make sure I can still move, what with all the cakey-goodness going on ...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Good Times!

Stanley's back!!! I am happy! My house is warm! I can cook and bake again! The last 4 weeks have seemed like the heart of the house had been ripped out and we were forced to 'camp out' in our own kitchen on a make-shift hob and oven. Anyhow. Ordeal over. Breathe in. Breathe out. :-) Smile.
Yesterday turned out to be a great day, in fact, because as well as getting Stanley fixed, I started my new Pattern Cutting nightclass. Nothing like I expected. The first class was all measuring and calculating and drawing, which was a bit hard on the old - and dusty - brain cells. However, at the end of the evening I had cut out my first skirt 'block'. A block is a basic pattern using your own body measurements, so it will fit perfectly, and which you use as a starting point to design your own patterns. Our homework for next Monday is to design our own skirt, so that we can cut the pattern in the class! Am absolutely chuffed to bits with this as it's something I've always wanted to learn how to do, and of course it means that from now on, every item of clothing I make will fit perfectly. Imagine having a wardrobe which is tailormade! We will be moving onto trousers next which I am especially looking forward to because I honestly don't think I've ever had a pair of trousers that fit me properly.

Meanwhile, I have been progressing with the first fairisle project. Just got one arm to finish and then I think the fun will start as I will have all those ends to sew in :( However, it will need a good blocking session first as the fairisle tends to pull it out of shape somewhat.

But it's going to have to wait for now because I have cakes to bake and pies to cook today. Hurrah!!!