Monday, 6 July 2020
Friday, 26 June 2020
Well, my fair isle challenge was a success! This lovely retirement + lockdown thingy means I have finished my beanie hat already …… bring on the winter so that I can try it out!! only kidding 😁although I have been absolutely melting in this heat.🌞 I am NOT a sun worshipper! I’m fair skinned, so burn easily. Still, at least I don’t need to go out in it (i.e. go to work), so I have mostly stayed indoors or just sat in the shade in the garden. Indoors is definitely cooler than outdoors! I’m rather proud of how neat the inside is – that's the ‘wraps’ as they call them in fair isle as you bring the different colour yarns across each time you change colour.
And one of it on my head!!
As well as knitting, I’ve also been trying out a bit of hand embroidery – haven’t done any in a while – this is just a little fun piece using a wooden cute cow button and embroidered roses and leaves.
Talking about outdoors, I need to replace my garden fence panels, but do you think I can find anywhere that has what I need in stock? - I’ve spent ages looking! I’ve been told to try again next month. It’s not a surprise really with lockdown and the very hot weather ……….. clearly everyone’s been putting in new fence posts.
Do you know the thing I really, really miss because of lockdown? Theatre! I sooooo miss a trip to a musical or a play ….. but as it must be for now!
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Well, here’s a new challenge for me! Knitting 🧶 ‘in the round’. I was taught to knit as a child by my mom, but I’ve only ever dipped into it here and there over the years - matinee coats for babies; and even sweaters for myself, plus one for an ex-husband (not ‘ex’ at the time LOL).
Over the last 6 or 7 years I though, I’ve become more and more interested in knitting again – and lately I love to knit for my Waldorf dolls.
So, 'knitting in the round' - something I’ve never tried! For me, it’s only ever been two straight needles, knitting and purling; and generally able to follow a pattern. However, with the new surge in knitting (and other crafts too) it seems increasingly that when I look at a pattern, it calls for knitting in the round. Initially I simply avoided those patterns, but then realised I was missing out on some lovely things to knit. So, in the end I caved in, bought some circular needles and decided that learning this strange (to me) method of knitting was the answer! So on to YouTube I went. There’s hardly any kind of teaching resource you can’t find on YouTube - and mostly free – it’s fab! Just lots of lovely crafting communities willing to share their knowledge.
Alongside this over recent years (like many) I’ve become ever aware of the damage we’re all doing to our planet with the global warming issues and the over use of plastic, so wherever possible I’m doing my best to swap to sustainable, natural products. And with that in mind, I’ve vowed to never again buy acrylic knitting yarn - for acrylic read plastic! The same applies to any fabrics I buy, although I’ve vastly cut back on fabric.
So in my search for some pure/natural yarn, I came across the beautiful yarns produced in the Shetland Islands, which is great as I’m also attempting to ‘buy British’ and do away with those ‘air miles’. Buying from Shetland also sparked an interest in fairisle knitting. There are some extremely talented ladies on Shetland who are just amazing ....... and so fast at it too!
Anyway, this is a very long-winded introduction to my current project - and little of it to show at the moment, but having sent off for some lovely 100% Shetland wool yarn, I’m breaking myself in gently (I hope 😟) by knitting a beanie hat. Wrong time of year I know, but it might take until next winter to finish it 😁.
So yesterday I made a slow start and managed to get as far as the ribbed edge. I was very pleased with myself though when bearing in mind:-
· This is my first attempt at ‘knitting in the round’ (apart from one little practice piece);
· It’s 4-ply yarn, so takes longer to knit up; and
· It’s fairisle.
So, this is what I’ve achieved so
And this is how I hope it’ll look when finished, but in a different colourway.
I’ve also discovered the Shetland Islands hold a knitting festival each year 😁. This would have been its 11th year. At the beginning of the year I was pondering the notion of a trip to Shetland (Britain’s most northerly region) to visit the island and of course go to the knitting festival ……….... yes I know, there are closer knitting festivals – to be honest France is closer to me than Shetland!! But it would be a mini holiday too wouldn’t it - and now being a (retired) lady of leisure, I can do that. Of course, due to Coronavirus, this year’s festival has now been cancelled, but I’m planning for next year instead. Have you seen how close it is to Norway and Iceland? Yes, it’ll be cold 🥶 but with a good wind, I’ll have my beanie hat to wear.
...... too adventurous maybe??
Oh, I nearly forgot! I’ve also made these two tabard aprons for my nephew’s partner who needs them ready when she returns to work as a Steiner teacher. Crafting with little ones can get messy!
So, that's it for now!
Monday, 1 June 2020
I will get faster eventually at making Waldorf Dolls, but for now, they take me an age – there is so much involved!!!! And I still have plenty to learn, but I think this one is better than the last, so I must be getting there.
Her dungarees are made from cotton velvet, lined with a Tilda cotton fabric ………. note to self: DO NOT sew with velvet again – it moves!!!! 😊
You’ll see in the first photo that she’s being very sensible and wearing her mask ….. sorry, just had to do it 😊
Thursday, 21 May 2020
We have the time though ………….. did I mention I'm now retired??!!
She needs a name too!
I've recently celebrated turning 60 (hence retirement) and thought you might enjoy seeing some of the balloons my darling!! eldest nephew organised for me ……… he does love a laugh (at my expense). I think they're brilliant! The 'Hip Hip Replacement' is referring to the knee replacement I had about 18 months ago. You can't get knee, knee replacement, because clearly that wouldn't be funny, so 'Hip' was the next best thing. I keep on trying to explain to this 33-year old nephew that he too will, one day, become old and decrepit 😄
So, I hope everyone is managing to keep well and safe and enjoying plenty of crafty time.
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
A year or more ago, I bought the pattern to make this rather quirky earflap knitted hat …….. it just appealed to me!😕 Then I bought the yarn to knit it; and as I do not want to waste what I've bought, I was determined I would knit it. So, in the midst of sunny Spring weather, I finally got around to it. It involves a bit of fairisle knitting, but it's a nice chunky yarn and wasn't too onerous. And I'm sure I'll appreciate it in the depths of chilling winter walks!
Next, is a knitted dishcloth. Some years ago when I noticed that many ladies were knitting/crocheting dishcloths, I didn't really get it - what's the point in going to so much trouble for a dishcloth I thought??!! I even, much to my embarrassment, said as much to another crafter, who promptly told me that her mother made them …….. that was a rather red face moment!! 😳 This looks grey on my laptop screen, but is in fact a nice dusty pale blue.
I know it's only a dishcloth, but it's part of an increasing interest in homemade, recycling, minimalizing etc. I have developed over the last 4 - 5 years. Like many others, I have developed a deeper sense of the damage we humans are doing to our planet, so I won't start on how much I now hate plastic - and yes, I also have plenty of the stuff in my home - who does not; however, I plan to buy no more wherever possible. Grocery shopping often makes it very difficult, particularly when you have to run a very tight ship (financially) as I do. And I know also that it has its place, such as in hospitals. But, we have to start somewhere and I shall do whatever I can from now on. By the way, the dishcloth is knitted with a 100% cotton yarn. I will never buy acrylic yarn again!! Rant over!
Lastly, just to show I have not forgotten about my Waldorf dolls, I have also spent considerable time on my next one. I actually started on two at the same time, but the other one isn't working for me at the moment, so I'll need to back peddle a bit and try to put right what's wrong. But this one is working for me. The doll is finished, but now she needs some hair - that may get started today. And then the task of making clothes …… always my favourite part 😊
For now, I need to psych myself up for tomorrow when I shall be 60 years old ….. eeeek!! I don't complain though about getting older …. it really is just a number. And as a favourite saying has it " aging is a privilege denied to many". This always makes me think about my wonderful brother who died tragically 10 years ago at the age of 53 - he ought to still be here and aged 63, but he's not!
It won't of course, be terribly exciting - the fun has to be postponed for now, but I hope to be having video calls with friends and family. I may even receive some cards in the post if I'm lucky (a few have already arrived actually). And I've decided I shall bake myself a cake and put a candle on it. Then those at the other end of the video call can sing 'Happy Birthday' to me and I'll blow out the candle. That's the best we can do for now. There are tons of others having to put their celebrations on hold too. I feel really sorry for those who have had to postpone their weddings!! 😞
Anyway, that's it for now. Stay safe everybody 💓
Saturday, 18 April 2020
Thursday, 16 April 2020
A slight digression here, but with reason …….
The doll itself is based on the Tone Finanger ‘Tilda’ doll, but with some modifications. I used to have a couple of the ‘Tilda’ books but sold them during a clear-out a few years ago. So, I had to freehand a pattern based on pictures I found on Pinterest. I used some lovely pure white lightweight 100% cotton/linen mix fabric for the dress and added some pretty lace at the cuffs. The bodice is made from a very delicate antique rose stripe fabric (had it in my stash for years), which I carefully inserted some antique style brass metal eyelets (love them). The hair is some felting yarn I had in and then I tied a piece of cheesecloth fabric in a lovely plum colour around her hair. She’s then finished off with painted shoes (to match the hair tie) silk ribbons and a little bit of gold glitter.
All in all, I’m rather pleased with her:0)
Tuesday, 7 April 2020
So first of all, I grabbed some of my card making supplies and my 'Gemini' die-cutting machine and using some stencils, distress inks, black liner pen, glitter glue and a lovely antique gold gilding wax, created this Easter/Spring banner, and which is now decorating my old Singer sewing machine
Just look at those cute little bunnies - aren't they sweet?
Have a nice day everyone!
Friday, 3 April 2020
Did anyone watch the National Theatre Live production of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors, starring James Corden on YouTube? It was being broadcast free of charge. Boy, it was very funny ....... and who's not in need of a good old belly laugh at the moment!