Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Fettle Those Finishes! 2023


Hello, and welcome to the second full year of Fettle Those Finishes! The link up is for the whole year so I’ll leave it open until 28th February to give you chance to think about and assemble your list - it’s not something to rush into, is it, although adding stuff to your list (or taking stuff off if you’ve changed your mind about a project) through the year is perfectly acceptable. Encouraged, in fact, as there’s no point in sticking with something you no longer love/need just out of habit.

There’ll be a progress link up somewhere near the halfway point of the year, I’ll try to remember to mention when it’s approaching but it’ll be early July, probably just after the June Furtle.

The rules

Be kind. Be encouraging. Be honest.* 

* Don’t put things on your list you’d finished before the year started, there’s no fun or honour in that. 

Your list can be as long or as short as you wish. Mine comprises a list (projects I’ve started, their status at the start of the year and the year they were started) and a waiting list (the things I’ve been meaning to start for years). The list is comprehensive and includes everything I’ve got under construction, the waiting list is not and it may change: some things may be removed, others added. It is (probably) not a list of everything I will make or intend to make this year, but yours can be if you wish. In short, it’s your list, compile and use it as you wish. 
There are no prizes, just the pride of whittling down your list to something which doesn’t keep you awake at night and the sense of achievement which comes from finishing something and crossing it off a list. And also the satisfaction which comes from making progress on something, whether it’ll be finished this year or not.

I’ve written my list and will be setting to any day now… 

Now, who’s in? Buttons for your blog post are below, there are now two sizes and they now take you to the Fettle Those Finishes! page. 

Copy and paste one of the codes below and paste it into your browser. The button should then magically appear, please shout if it doesn’t and I’ll see if I can help. 
Small button 
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Large button
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I’ve run into a slight technical issue with the link up: as I only have a free Inlinkz account, I can’t have more than two link up parties running at the same time, so this one can’t open until the December Furtle closes on 10th January at 11pm. So, what I propose is that you leave your list links in the comments and I’ll add them here (shout if there’s a particular photo you want me to choose). Then, once the link is open, you can either link up yourself or I can do it for you (that offer is dependent on there only being a handful of links to add between now and then!)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, 31 December 2022

Fettle Those Finishes! End Of Year Reports


Well, it’s that time of year. Although, as someone who went through (and then worked in) the English education system, this is completely the wrong time of year to be getting or writing an end of year report* but I’ve always thought it made sense to tie the academic year to the calendar year so I’m embracing it. 

*Fortunately, we don’t have to participate in sports day/end of year plays/school discos but there can be Toy Day and Big Toy Day if you fancy. Don’t bring anything with lots of small parts or which is very expensive or very new. You are entirely responsible for making sure you have all the correct toys and all the component parts with you at home time.


I’ve been trying to decide how to write my report and have decided that I will stick with pictures, for the main. It’s at this point that I am making a note to 2023 me not to delete photos of finished objects until I’ve written my Fettle Those Finishes Report. In this instance, tidying as you go does not make life easier. Screenshots from Instagram here we come *sighs*

Here are the links to my Fettling Lists: List I and List II plus my progress report from July

First on my list was the ever-patient ET quilt, which looked like this when I wrote my list:

And which now, after quite a bit of drama, looks like this:
Fettled post
Fettling score = 1

Next to be tackled was Summersville, which when I wrote the list was a stack of blocks and a map for where each one was going and is now a stack of numbered blocks which have been sewn into strips of three:

(It was set aside in about April as I was having trouble with my elbow and shoulder and then the pressing need for some summer tops took over.)

Fettling score = 1 

The next item has been a bit more successful, albeit not yet fettled. When I wrote my list, I had a Winterkist top and some fleece yardage which was already proving to be a bit of a sod (little did I know how much more it had planned for me, which is a good thing or I’d have made that into a huge cosy jumper and bought backing and wadding instead):

And now it’s partly quilted, the fleece is behaving *touches wood* and I have a plan for the rest of it:

Fettling score = 1 (at least it’s not going backwards!)

In July, I wrote an updated/amended list and first on it was a stack of jersey to be made into Lou Box tops:

Fettling score = 10

In that list, I expanded my waiting list as I realised that a very tight/pared down waiting list wasn’t necessarily working for me when it came to smaller projects like sock knitting. I’ve knitted sixteen pairs of socks this year:

As many were knitted before I added my sock yarn and leftovers ‘kits’ to my Fettling List, those knitted before July were removed rather than crossed out and those original photos (which are just screenshots of the album I’ve put all the individual photos into) now look like this:

Fettling score = 17

I also added all my dressmaking yardage and managed to use one of the pieces to make a wearable toile (albeit one which leaves black fluff all around my house whenever I wear it):

 And that photo now looks like this:
Fettling score = 18

Also on the waiting list was turning a standard-size hot water bottle cover into a miniature one:
and here it is:
Fettled post
Fettling score = 19

I even managed to squeeze in one last Lou Box top (which, was, admittedly, added to the waiting list in November):
Fettled post
Fettling score = 20

And that is my Fettle Those Finishes end of year report for 2022. Have I finished everything on the list? Absolutely not. Have I done more than I thought I would? Absolutely. And has the Fettling List helped me focus on what I want/need to tackle next? Definitely. Will I be fettling in 2023? Yes, and I hope you’ll join me.

I’m thinking about moving to terms or quarters next year, what do you think? Obviously, you wouldn’t have to do a round up post at the end of each session nor write a new list at the start of each one if you didn’t want to, but I wonder whether I’d prefer to have the option? Now I think about it, three months does seem like an awfully short time. Perhaps we should stick to half yearly. Or something else I haven’t thought of? 

I’m looking forward to reading your reports and hearing your thoughts about next year. Thanks for joining in, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun on my own! The link for the reports closes on 31st January so you’ve got loads to time to write it and the link for the 2023 lists will open sometime in January, depending on how long it takes me to write the post (and my list).

As ever, Mini Archie is planning to keep me on track:
It’s high time you circled back to this *hard stare* 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Mini Archie’s December Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

 Furtle (v): to have a rummage or delve into the contents of something

Hello, and welcome to the final Furtle of the year! (How? How?!)

I finished the socks I started last month and they are now (although perhaps not literally) on the feet of their owner. These are they (socks not feet):

There’s enough left over leftovers to  make her another pair so once I’ve finished my current pair, I’ll set to. This most recent pair takes my sock count for 2022 to sixteen.

I also finished the top I’d started last month:
And made another:

which I temporarily turned into a Christmas top with the addition of some red seed beads:

Those take my tops count for 2022 to fourteen (eleven short sleeved and three long sleeved).

I did loads of quilting on my Winterkist quilt, loads more than I planned because the fleece behaved so well (about time too) that I quilted all the ditches and not just those running from one edge to the other.

I’ve now got a plan for the rest of the quilting: I’m going to outline all the gnomes in matching thread and then, if that goes well, I’ll quilt ghost gnome outlines in the big areas which need some quilting in them. 


That takes my quilts finished count for 2022 to, um, one.

Once I’d finished the socks, I took a couple of evenings to bind the seams of the mini hot water bottle cover (while watching The Traitors):



My hot water bottle cover count for 2022 is one. 

And I’ve knitted four Advent trees (including one in a new colour):
Yarn is Drops Alpaca from Knitted Home

Which takes my Advent tree count for 2022 to six.

I’ve started another sock to take me into the new year:
Yarn is WYS Winter Icicle (878)


We had Eddie staying for a few days recently and he decided that instead of eating his chew stick, he’d guard it in his bed. With Mini Archie’s help, I managed to separate him from it (he’s on the other side of this door) and this is the celebration photo:
I and mine Pointy Stick is victorious once more *modest face*

(Just in case you’re worried, Eddie got it back the next morning and ate it straight away.)

Linking up to the December Furtle 

If you're linking up, please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in the month, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in the next month (and then in next month's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share. This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up. Please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment, and more if you can manage it - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome. If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help. Please add the Furtling button to your blog post: copy the code below and paste it into your blog post - it should then magically appear when you publish your blog post (I'll do my best to help if you have any problems) and it will help people find the Furtling page with all the details of the link up.

<p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com/p/furtling.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJ7oo6tyMM0/XFF5HxcQW1I/AAAAAAAAEJU/BZnZPfse8k0BXwjt6KAOJIMwySjnfDHbQCLcBGAs/s200/textgram_1548790799.png" alt="Archie The Wonder Dog" /></a></p>


To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email. This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 10th January; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the December Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Mini Archie’s November Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

Furtle (v): to have a rummage or delve into the contents of something

Hello! November feels like it’s lasted sixty days rather than thirty and, upon looking in my Furtling photo album (I add photos in across the month in an attempt to remember everything and make writing this post a little easier), I find I have squeezed in a lot of knitting and sewing so perhaps it really has been twice as long as usual?

I finished the scrappy socks I started last month:
Isn’t it amazing how you can take small balls of left over yarn 

and turn them into a pair of socks which look deliberate?! 

Speaking of deliberate, the fleece backing for my Winterkist quilt continues to be deliberately (and impressively) obstreperous but I got it pieced into the right size and shape for the top towards the end of last month and then tacked down all the seams (so they didn’t flip over during layering) and have, with the help of the same friend who’s been helping me fleece wrestle throughout this process, managed to layer the quilt. It took us an entire afternoon! And that was just to get enough pins in for us to be able to move it and check the top was straight on the back. (Although it didn’t go down without a fight and I had to herringbone stitch a slither of spare fleece to one corner as somehow, despite loads (and loads) of measuring, it couldn’t resist another bit of mischief and the top ran off at that point.)
It now has all the pins in to (hopefully) help it behave during quilting. I have yet to quilt the first line, but I’m prepared for it to go badly, if I’m honest.
If you’ve been here a while, you may remember me making a penguin hot water bottle cover for me and then another, almost identical one, for my eldest niece. The one I made for me was a bit tight, particularly around the top, and so getting the bottle filled/emptied was a bit of a pain. 

I bought a mini hot water bottle (from Vinted) and decided to cut down my cover and make it in the same pouch style as I did for my niece. (I’ll make other covers for my two standard-sized hot water bottles at some point, I’ve edited the waiting list portion of my Fettle Those Finishes list to add them.)

As the inside of my old cover was completely hidden, I used (part of) an old mattress protector as the backing/lining fabric, which explains why you can see curved quilting (theirs) as well as straight line quilting (mine). I’d had quite a few pieces of quilted fabric left over from the original cover as I used quilted rectangular pieces rather than attempting to shape them before quilting and had kept them thinking they could be made into small pouches or something. Turns out what I needed them for was remaking the cover as I couldn’t get the new mini cover out of the pieces from the larger one (which seems counterintuitive, but there we are). I top stitched each seam twice to hold down the (bulky because they’d already been quilted) seams and that’s worked well but I think I’ll also bind them to stop them getting tatty from taking the bottle in and out. I have some of that pink gingham ready-made bias binding left so I’ll use that. 
Here is it complete with hot water bottle. It’s the perfect size to sit on your lap and I’m filling it with the (often lime-scaly) dregs of the kettle after making a pot of tea as even 50ml can provide a surprising amount of warmth. The cover measures 26cm x 17cm.
After seeing an idea for an Advent calendar, I got my yarn and needles out to create a pattern and, after a fair few attempts, I’ve got a pattern I’m happy with and have found yarn which felts and fluffs up nicely. My aim is to knit at least two trees each month next year so that they’re ready for next Advent - hopefully you’ll be seeing these throughout 2023.
I’ve been knitting a pair of scrappy socks for a friend. These are the sock leftovers:
And these are the socks so far:

Finally, I’ve done a quick bit of dressmaking and will soon have another long-sleeved Lou Box top to wear this winter, this time one from French terry which should be lovely and cosy. This just needs the hems pinning, tacking and twin stitching.

I call this the sling it on the floor and hope for the best style of
photography. I think it’ll take off. (It looks like it’s mid shrug, somehow.)

Mini Archie is keeping me on task:

I hopes you isn’t finking of avoiding this *hard stare* Shall I set up the machine for you so it is ready to go?


Linking up to the November Furtle 

If you're linking up, please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in the month, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in the next month (and then in next month's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share. This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up. Please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment, and more if you can manage it - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome. If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help. Please add the Furtling button to your blog post: copy the code below and paste it into your blog post - it should then magically appear when you publish your blog post (I'll do my best to help if you have any problems) and it will help people find the Furtling page with all the details of the link up.

<p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com/p/furtling.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJ7oo6tyMM0/XFF5HxcQW1I/AAAAAAAAEJU/BZnZPfse8k0BXwjt6KAOJIMwySjnfDHbQCLcBGAs/s200/textgram_1548790799.png" alt="Archie The Wonder Dog" /></a></p>


To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email. This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 17th December; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the November Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, 31 October 2022

Mini Archie’s October Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

 Furtle (v): to have a rummage or delve into the contents of something

Hello! It’s finally woolly sock weather, hooray! And it’s almost long sleeves weather, which is my favourite type. I’ve finished the two tops I’d started last month and have been able to wear them rather than them going in my wardrobe for next summer, which is nice. Again, both are the Lou Box top (with alterations):

Fabric is from Pound Fabrics but it’s out of stock

Fabric is from ByGraziela

I’ve also finished the socks I was knitting for a friend and they fit. Phew!
Yarn is Opal Red (5180)

And knitted a pair for another friend:
Yarn is ‘Unicorn’ from Made By Penguins mystery skein sale

In September, I drafted a long sleeve for the tops I’ve been making and I’ve made a wearable (and very warm) toile out of some sweatshirt fabric from The Cupboard Of Possibilities:


And as the sleeves are fine, I can get started on these two now:
Yes, I did cave and get the dachshunds in black (from here), I couldn’t resist!
Penguin French Terry is from Pound Fabrics

I’ve started a new pair of scrappy socks. I started with these leftovers:

Added some orange and pink left over leftovers from my previous orange scrappy socks and got started:

And now I’m approaching the halfway point of the foot:


Some faffing has taken place around working out a pattern for some wee Advent trees to make for next Christmas. No photo of that yet as I haven’t actually finished a sample I’m happy with, although I’m almost there. Maybe. Just need to get those socks finished so I can use the needles to hopefully make a final test tree.


And, *drum roll* I’ve finally got the back of my Winterkist quilt fettled and ready to assemble. I love this (organic) cotton fleece but it’s been a right sod so far - it needed washing thirteen times to get all the excess dye out, then it took two of us about 40 minutes to get it folded in half evenly so that it didn’t ripple, and then it took (the same two of) us (on a different day) almost an entire afternoon to measure and mark and cut it into five pieces. She’s promised that if I ever mention ‘fleece backing’ for something which isn’t a baby quilt being backed by a blanket, she’s going to come round and slap me*. In short, if you want fleece backing for a quilt, don’t buy yardage, use a blanket! Just to add insult to injury, I joined the two sets of narrow strips and stretched the seam so had to cut them off and start again (it’s okay, we didn’t cut those to length so I had spare). I’m going to put a note on the reel of thread (and then again on the machine when I start to quilt it) reminding me to go at an elderly snail’s pace. 

*I am allowed to consider buying some more to make into a cosy jumper. Or maybe not.
I think you’ll agree that this is the best photo in the whole post…

Mini Archie is gearing up for the Sticky ProdAlong and is testing his prodding stamina by being extra ruthless with the snoopervising of the destash parcelling up:
First we chooses a box or envelope from BC’s extensive collection
Then we puts the fings inside the box or envelope and weighs it.
(We uses this tin to lift up biggerer Parcels so we can see the display and a
box lid on top of that for big floppy Parcels)
And then we tapes it shut, writes the label and puts some clear tape over the top to
stop both the rain getting in and the label coming off.


Linking up to the October Furtle 

If you're linking up, please add a link (one per person, please) to your blog post, which could contain: a mosaic of all you've made in the month, something you've made/started/worked on, a goal which you'd like to achieve in the next month (and then in next month's post you can reflect on that goal and set yourself another one - I find this particularly handy if I'm in the midst of a big project and finding the making of hundreds of blocks to be interminable), anything crafty you'd like to share. This isn't just for sewing or quilting, but is for all crafts so if you knit, make lace, make clothes, do anything which could come under the heading of 'craft', then please link up. Please visit the link immediately before and after you and leave an encouraging comment, and more if you can manage it - we all know that comments create joy, so let's spread some around. Also, please treat all the linked posts and their authors with respect - I want this to be an inclusive space for all crafters and crafts and all are welcome. If you're not sure if you're welcome or you belong, you do - this is by no means a closed space and if you want to join, then you are most welcome. If you need help linking up, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help. Please add the Furtling button to your blog post: copy the code below and paste it into your blog post - it should then magically appear when you publish your blog post (I'll do my best to help if you have any problems) and it will help people find the Furtling page with all the details of the link up.

<p style="text-align:center"><a href="https://archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com/p/furtling.html"><img src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fJ7oo6tyMM0/XFF5HxcQW1I/AAAAAAAAEJU/BZnZPfse8k0BXwjt6KAOJIMwySjnfDHbQCLcBGAs/s200/textgram_1548790799.png" alt="Archie The Wonder Dog" /></a></p>


To link up, go to the link at the bottom of this page and click on 'link up' (it's a blue button) and then add your link (website URL), a title (this could be your blog name but could also be something interesting to draw people to it (keep it clean!) if you prefer), and your email. This last one doesn't appear on the link (I will have access to it - I won't use it unless there's a problem and I need to contact you) so don't worry that you're about to share your email address with the world (or the handful of people who find this link), you're not! The link will remain open until 17th November; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the October Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter




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