Sunday, 12 July 2015

Gardens, Yorkshire and Little Miss

It's been nearly a month since I last posted on my blog. Not because I haven't had anything to say but because I've been struggling with posting photos onto blogger using my mac. Finally I think I've solved the problem by putting a copy onto the desktop and taking it from there, I'm about to try it.

Success, isn't this lovely? We went to Grow London a couple of weeks ago and saw this garden, it was full, colour coordinated and cottagy, gorgeous. Definitely something to try. Grow London was in a marquee on Hampstead Heath, it was interesting as there were not so many gardens, infact only a couple inside the marquee, but there were lots of stands including The Stripes Company I bought a hat, their stand was so colourful. Deck chair fabric for deckchairs and other things.

This was a garden we passed walking through Kilburn in North Yorkshire, this is the village where the Mouseman has his shop. This garden was just lovely, so cleverly planting next to this little beck.

This is a view of the garden at Millgate House in Richmond, the garden is RHS affiliated and rightly so. It's just crammed with roses, hostas, penstemens, honeysuckle, clematis. The thing that strikes you is how full it is and how scented it is, we visited in the day and the smell of the roses was lovely, but I should imagine at dusk the scent would be incredible.

Just two of the beautiful roses in the garden, Millgate House is also a B&B, the pictures of the interior of the house look gorgeous, must stay there one day.

Finally I'm really happy with the way this turned out. The pattern was straight forward, I bodged from a pattern for Little Miss Sunshine. It took longer to sew together and to stuff than to knit. Someone on Ravelry has done a Little Miss Princess, might do that one next, it's pink. It was an extra, late birthday present for Marnie.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Washi the Fourth!

This is the fourth one of these I have made. This pattern is great. I have made three dresses and one top. This one uses some Liberty fabric that I was given for Christmas and it works so well. I decided to make patch pockets instead of the inseam ones in the pattern, the neckline is faced and the sleeves are bound with bias tape on the inside.

Not a very good picture of me in the dress, but at least it gives an idea. The pattern suggests using shirring elastic in 6 rows at the back, on this one I made a casing which I sewed to the outside back and threaded knicker elastic through it and caught it in the side seams to the correct stretch for me. It worked fine. (Sorry that is a really clumsy sentence)

Here is a close up of the bodice with the lace at the neck. I tried machining it on at first but it pulled the lace too tight, I tried again and by gathering it a little and hand stitching it on it was fine.

This one uses Cath Kidston fabric that I got in the sale. I made the dress without any modifications except for the addition of a full bodice lining.  This gives a garment with thin fabric structure and body, it feels really nice to wear.

This was the first one I made. I used a linen cotton mix fabric and a contrast floral for the facing. The dress was exactly as the pattern. I saw one made up at Backstitch near Cambridge using a contrast for the facing, I loved it and had to have a go.

More liberty fabric, this time from the Fent Shop in Skipton, good value in the sale. This one is shorter to wear with jeans or leggings and no cap sleeves. It still has the inseam pockets though.

I have worn all of them many times except for the most recent. A great pattern.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Tale of Two Blankets

I don't really know how I've ended up working on two blankets, especially as it is now the end of May, so early summer. As they get bigger, I get hotter, not good for a woman of a certain age.

This one is my ripple blanket as per Lucy from Attic24 I've used her Cosy pack of yarn from Wool Warehouse it's Stylecraft Special DK. It's great for this project as it's soft, washable, the colours are perfect and its very cheap. I've just finished the third repeat of the 15 colours and I need to do six to complete it, so half way there.

This one is my sock yarn blanket, as those of you who know me know, I like knitting socks, there is always some left over so I was ending up with a huge bag of bits of sock yarn. I used this pattern by Shelley Lang and set to. I have been knitting this for ages and ages. I'm now trying to be disciplined and knitting at least one square per day, as they only take about 20 minutes that's doable. Hopefully I should be nearly done by Christmas.

Every big project needs a bit project bag. The sock yarn blanket lives in my huge Cath Kidston project bag and my crochet ripple blanket lives in the enormous beach bag I made the other week. Even though these are both getting really big, they remain projects that can be picked up and put down easily as the method for both if very simple, no trawling through the pattern to see where I'm up to and what to do next. With these its just knit another square or crochet another ripple. So off I go to knit another square and crochet another ripple.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Indulgent Post

My first time ever at Chelsea Flower Show. I've never been able to go before because it is always in term time and the weekend days would have been just too busy and impossible to see anything. I went on Wednesday, it was fantastic. Gorgeous gardens, colours, scents, things to buy, people to see. I loved it.

What about that sweet teapot with a plant in, definitely something to try once I've found a little tea pot at a car boot sale.

How about the garden in a pond rather than a pond in a garden, fantastic. The mirrored boxes that held the cactus' reflected all the available light and looked as though they had lightbulbs in them. What a great idea.

So many alliums, on display in the floral marquee and amongst the planting in so many of the gardens. Many varieties were on display, they seem to be able to do the formal and the informal, I love them.

All in all a really good day. I will definitely go again next year, I've joined the RHS so hopefully I can go on a member only day which will make it less busy. 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Feeling Sheepish

O.K. so its been many, many months since my last post. I would apologise but I doubt if anyone is  reading as its been so long since there has been anything to read.
I have recently been feeling the need to blog if just to record some of my craftiness. Things I have made, how and why with pictures. That was mostly what this blog was about anyway so I'm going to try and rekindle this and be more disciplined with it as a record for myself mostly. I might revamp the blog a bit, ditch a few things, add a few things just for a change.
I thought this first post for ages should contain lots of colour so here is a picture of my Ripple Blanket with the Cosy Colour Pack.

More colour than you can shake a stick at. This pattern and colours are from Lucy at Attic24, the pattern is in a list of her crochet patterns on the blog. Lucy's patterns are so well written, I'm loving the rhythm of the hooking and watching the colours as the blanket grows. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK, cheap as chips but great for this project as its soft and washable.

Recently I have been attending a sewing group on  Tuesday evening. We have made a peg bag, a chicken doorstop and most recently a large beach bag. Mine is not for the beach, it is for the above blanket. I didn't choose the fabric so it is by sheer chance that it looks as good as it does in the bag.
The bag is huge, just as well for a blanket project. The outer fabric is from Ikea, I hand quilted it as the design was perfect for hand quilting and it wasn't quilt sized to it didn't take long.
That's it for now, I'm off for a walk and then some more hooking.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Self Striping Sock Wool

Keeping the skein smaller really helped with the tangling and winding and gnashing of teeth. (see my previous post) This blue and yellow was much easier to manage. I've knitted a small bit of it up just to see how it looks and I love it. 

I have been dyeing again today, trying to recreate the colours in this picture of foxgloves that I took at Chatsworth back in August.
I made up a green using easidyes and put that in the big pot. I put half of the skein in the green dye and rested the other half on the metal rack above the dye mix. I then sprinkled magenta dye crystals on top of it, put the lid on and simmered for 15 minutes. When it's dry I'll put a picture on, the natural part of the skein ended up pink in places and some of the green ended up blue, I've no idea why. However, I like it and can't wait for it to dry so I can knit it. There was quite a lot of colour in the big pot when I removed the skein of yarn so I put another one in, its a lovely blue with shades of green, love that too.
That is the big problem with all of the dyeing, I want to knit it all and not sell it on Etsy. And it is selling, I sold two skeins this week.
I've just ordered another 5 skeins of undyed sock wool, merino this time, so more dyeing at the end of the week. Fab!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Dyeing Self Striping Sock Yarn

I love knitting socks, they are a quick satisfying project. However the best thing about knitting socks is sock yarn. Self patterning, semi solid colours and self striping. I have dyed wool for socks but I really wanted to have a go at self striping.

The blue and red was the first attempt and it's knitting up beautifully. I had no idea how wide each stripe would be, the large skein I wound I did on my sisters deck between two chairs. It wasn't easy, as as soon as I started her three cats and a dog turned up to help! I dyed it, washed it, dried it and tried to get it back into a small skein or ball to knit. Nightmare! It was twisted and tangled, I had it spread out between my kitchen, living room and conservatory, it took ages. The stripes are about 9 to 10 yards each and knit up to about 10 rounds.

Thinking that the red and blue stripes are a little wide, the next attempt was for a slightly smaller skein. About half of the red and blue, 4-5 yards. Easier to make the smaller skein. These two pots have been steamed, the dye is all absorbed and now it is drying. Can't wait to knit this one up. I have tried to keep it from tangling this time, and as it's smaller it should be O.K. Such fun!

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