Saturday, 20 August 2011



I am hosting a Cranford Mitt-a-long on Ravelry. Hoorah! The Cranford Mitts were one of the first p/hop patterns and have now been knitted almost 500 times.

The more the merrier so come along to Ravelry and join in! 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Craft Catch Up

Iza bin busy.
this shirt was quite popular at the Con
Pooch was very much your Star Wars aficionado. He had an impressive knowledge of the planets, species, languages, abilities and so on of the characters. Therefore when I left him one of the things I told myself was that never again would I watch any of the films or use any Star Wars references. Oh how naive was I? It is impossible to go for more than a few days without someone quoting from it somehow (just today CM Punk - yeah you know who I mean - said he would only respond to tweets that were star wars links and within seconds had 100's of "it's a trap" replies) and so I have given in and just now, when thinking of how to start this entry, found myself thinking in a Jar Jar Binks voice. The shame.

But I have been busy so enough beating myself over the head with an R2D2 plushy. I actually made some of this stuff quite a while ago but other stuff like, oh yeah, getting divorced, interrupted me from posting it.
book page christmas tree decoration
I made a series of these back in july - because who doesn't make xmas decos in a heatwave? I got the idea from Pinterest and had a rummage in the bargain bin of a second-hand place on Charing Cross Road. Cue a copy of Adam Bede with half a cover that no one was ever going to love again.
book page christmas tree decoration
Normally nothing would persuade me to take scissors to book but as it was already beyond repair...and they do look rather sweet. Tutorial here.

When I did my Make Lounge workshop I bought a lampshade kit in the shop. You can do a workshop on how to make them which I assume is a bit more complicated than "open kit, assemble" but I figured the kit was enough for me and at Festival of Quilts I found the perfect fabric.
Here it is in detail:
Lampshade fabric
I am thinking of getting some more and making a skirt. Of course that would involve me remembering which stand it was from. Er....

While coughing it out on the sofa the last few days I've managed to start and finish a christmas present which I can't blog, and also tried out the Kanzashi maker I got at the weekend. Let me say immediately that in no way does this gadget replace Sister Diane's book, which is awesome. But it does make the whole thing amazingly simple if you just want to produce one size, one shape petals out of thin cotton.
Clover Kanzashi
I made the two murky green ones on the right of the picture in about 40 mins including cutting out the fabric. I am going to add buttons to the centres and then glue them back to back with a loop of ribbon in between as a xmas deco (murky green fabric has gold holly pattern printed on it).

Keeping with the 'glue' theme I have had the fabric cut out and half assembled for another metal frame bag (such as I made at Make Lounge) since the day after the workshop. Thing is, it was a frame I had had for ages and been meaning to try and it wasn't the same shape/size as the ones I had patterns for and so...well...all I'll say is it's best not to use a fabric with a horizontal stripe on a first solo attempt.
Metal frame snap purse wonky
Tad wonky. Not to be put off though this frame was a doubler and so I now have a purse within a bag resting on my dinky dining table as the glue dries.
Metal frame snap purse lining
Well what other lining fabric was I going to have used? Just need to decide on the handle/strap.

I find being ill very frustrating as it means I suddenly have the time to do extra crafting but the inclination and necessary brain power are inevitably missing. I've ended up working to near completion on my ripple blanket, which now resembles a toxic rainbow double bed-spread.
Crochet Rainbow Ripple Blanket
It is now just 4 rows and a tidy-up away from being finished. Having had a temperature though it wasn't great having the blanket on my lap as I hooked so I looked for a knit project to get on with. Alas - brain could not come to any conclusion and it is only now as I have started to feel slightly more human that I have decided on the fall-away cardigan although I am no nearer deciding whether to go for dark brown alpaca from a past SkipNorth swap or purple wool from a distant trip to France.

Being ill and living alone without even a cat called Smackdown is a recipe for loneliness. The only person I spoke to yesterday was the plumber who called in to give a quote for a new shower (the previous one having exploded the week after the washing machine flooded the kitchen but the week before the hoover caught fire). We had met once before when he isolated the exploding shower so I could turn the water back on. 

"Hello" he said. 
"Hello" I said. 
"I can't kiss you because I've got a cold" he explained. 
"Fair enough" I replied. 

Oooo, it's just started raining. Got to go....

Monday, 15 August 2011

Almost Quilted Out

If you sew then Festival of Quilts ought to be on your 'must see' list each year. This was my third visit (last year is here on this blog) and I think it was bigger than ever, regardless of the recession.
The Quilts were once again extraordinary and I took a tonne of photos, all of which are on Flickr here. The ones in this post are just highlights. As usual there were categories and winners and commendations in each category. What always surprises me is the ones that don't win an award. This for example.
It's about double bedsized and made entirely from hexagons in black and white novelty fabrics.
And that didn't win an award? Amazing. There were hundreds of quilts and hundreds of stands and I was with Mater which made it all the better as I always prefer having someone to share things with. She is not keen on photos so here is a rare reverse shot.
You can see where I get the hair from although she is only about 5'2". As Mum remarked several times, it was very busy and you couldn't help bumping in to people but everyone was just so polite. There was a real ambience in the hall at the NEC because everyone was pleased to be there and knew that they shared their interest with everyone else. Bumping elbows with someone you apologise only for the other woman to say "Don't worry - wonderful isn't it?" with a huge grin on her face.

Union Jacks proliferated but it was a number of the small quilts - 12"x12", circles from quilting groups around the world, or the actual 'miniature quilts' section which really caught my eye.
The stripes in this one are each about 2mm across. The whole thing was about 14" square.
I came away with some lovely fabrics....
Plus some goodies. The Kanzashi tool is one I have seen Sister Diane use and I thought I'd have a play.
Then lastly I brought home this little guy who is less than 2cm tall.
 China Chicken Bead
Got to love a chinese china chicken. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Good blog comments are hard to come by

I got some humdingers to my last post though. I therefore declare the first round of Lixie Hug Awards open.
zombie kitty wants a hug

Virtual hugs are going to...

You've all taken the time to comment and it really has helped. Thanks xx
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