Saturday, 16 June 2012

A House of my Own

This seems about as close as I'll get any time soon to owning property.
Wooden Houses 2
I was looking for some little wooden blanks to paint into houses since my trip to Amsterdam. I first saw some tiny ones in Prague in about 2003 and the large ones in Amsterdam souvenir shops reminded me of them all over again. There are lots on etsy...

Source: via Alex on Pinterest

...but I wanted to make my own. I should have known that it required merely a word in my Dad Rob's ear.
Wooden Houses 3
He is an electrician and general manly crafter. He made these out of some scraps. I love them.
Wooden Houses 1
I'm tempted to lightly oil or varnish them and leave them as they are but I am going to give the painting a go. Onward, ever onward.

The cat is now firmly out of the bag and Nickerjac has announced her nuptials. There has been much planning and discussion already and my first task is to make two waistcoats. I was idly strolling along the road thinking of this when I stopped in my tracks. Well, she will need a cake, right?
Barbie Cake
Meanwhile I will continue thinking of waistcoats. I had no idea there were so many styles. I'm guessing something like this just won't do.
Niles - Nervous Bunny Softie
The creator calls him "Niles the Nervous Bunny". Strangely apt!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


I love these.
Mouse Stitchmarkers
I've got two kits for the bronze ones in my etsy shop but I've kept the silver ones for myself. Yippee! Also while perusing Etsy I came across snag free stitchmarkers. Now I have heard of such a thing before but didn't like the weird stringy appearance of them. The ones I found were much nicer true craft whore style...I have copied them.
Snag free stitchmarkers
Hands up mine are not as good and lack finesse and I encourage you to go and buy the originals, but I rather like them.

Having launched my business - I Block Your Knitting - I do feel more strongly drawn to lace then last week. I'been looking at what is in my queue on Ravelry and do rather fancy this lace hoody. Thing is I very rarely buy more than one skein of a sock yarn. In fact I never buy more than one. And this top needs 5. And with indie yarns that means £50 easily. Hmmm...rethink....

Monday, 11 June 2012

I Block Your Knits

I discussed this with the Romford Knitting Group a few months ago. After much thought and deliberation here it is...

It is exactly what it says - you post me your item, I block it and I post it back. I've got a special introductory offer.

Shawls are just £10 plus postage. 

Even if you don't need anything blocking drop by the website and give me your feedback. All comments welcome.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Past Achievements

I have spent this weekend at Mater's, communing with cats and making a start on the curtains for the barn. Large check red gingham with a small check matching red gingham bottom border. Sewing projects at Mater's require the use of The Sewing Box which is one I used to use when I was but a littl'un. Behold.
Outside of my old sewing box
The applique was my first attempt at such a thing having been reading a seventies craft book in wide eyed amazement at what could be achieved with needle and thread. The fabric, I fondly remember, was from a pair of pants that had lost their elastic. Embroidery thread was something to be had from the market for something silly like 10p a skein and I used it endlessly for both embroidery and friendship bracelets and for darning pairs of tights and jeans and anything else that needed two bits holding together. At one point a friend of my Dad's declared her embroidery days were over and I almost passed out with joy as she handed me a carrier bag full of tangled skeins she had dumped out of an old drawer. Parts of many of them still reside in the box.
Inside my old sewing box
Even at that fresh age (maybe 9 years old?) I was leaving UFOs in my wake. These were destined to be pin cushions but never got made.
Cross stitch samples
But when it comes to UFOs I didn't just keep them small.
Unfinished house cross stitch
This doesn't really give you an idea of scale. The hoop is about 9" across. I spent hours working away on this. Sadly the chart has vanished in the 20 years or so since I picked it up so if anyone knows how to get hold of a copy please do seriously get in touch. It is labelled "WM Briggs and Co" and must have been from around 1988. I seem to remember buying it with birthday money when I was 11 but it could have been earlier. WM Briggs is part of Coats whose website is clear in saying they do not keep an archive so I am not sure where to start looking. I do still remember doing my favourite bits first. For instance the staircase.
Cross stitch close up
And the footman in the dining room.
Cross stitch close up
It would be nice to finish it one day but would be fairly hopeless without the chart.

On the subject of cats I finally got to meet and stroke Dudley, or Mr Dudley as my mother refers to him. He moved in next door some months ago and was very polite but had a definite look of sadness on his little face.
Dudley the cat
I was prepared to be friendly but my Dad tells me he suspects Dudley of bullying our resident Artemis (cue gratuitous Artemis picture from the archive).
 Cat on a blanket
And even of causing her bodily harm when she came in with a cut or scratch on her head. I would like to think Dudley looks sad because he has realised the error of his ways and misses the old times. But perhaps on the inside he really is a vicious brute. That's the trouble with cats. You generally can't tell until it's too late whether they are angelic buckets of purrs or demonic hatchet men.
Evil Cat

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