Wednesday, 9 October 2019

FAL Finish: Not Socks!!


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I've managed to squeeze in a final finish this quarter and it's one which has been languishing on my FAL list since Q1 2015 - I think it had given up all hope of being finished, but I knew I'd get to it one day.  It is item two on my Q3 FAL list and I'm linking up with mere hours to spare!

This is what it looked like at the start of the quarter (and the start of every quarter since Q1 2015!):


The best photo I have of it - a blurry one.  What a surprise!

The reason this made a reappearance on my FAL list (it was finished for the first time in Q2 2014 - here's the 'It's finished!' blog post from then) is because the bobbin thread kept snapping.  Initially, I was going to re-quilt each line (one at a time so I could keep the binding on) with a heavier thread, but the thought really didn't appeal, which is why it has remained untouched for so long.  A couple of weeks ago, I got it out, had another think and decided that I could add quilting in the ditch in the heavier thread to help stabilise the bias stretch and hopefully reduce it enough to stop the original quilting snapping.  (As well as replacing the snapped lines in the original thread - I re-quilted eight in all, I think.)  So I set to using my preferred quilt management system: shoving! I quilted along all the sashing strips and then round the frames of each block - it meant lots of ends to darn in (remember that I left the binding on so had to darn in each and every end!), but it was worth it.  Or, rather, I hope it will be because I don't want this to be on the list for a third time!


The one drawback of the shoving system with my machine is that the reverse tab is right above the needle and the bulk of a quilt quite often pushes the tab back and activates it. Most annoying when you're chugging along and suddenly start going backwards! To combat it, I use a cocktail stick snapped in half (and a bit of washi tape to keep it in place) which means the tab can't go back even if pushed. The washi doesn't leave any residue and the sticks are then put back in the box for next time.  I sometimes have to put a piece of paper/thin card over the sticks (before the washi) to help keep them in place if I'm quilting a very bulky quilt, but it wasn't necessary with this quilt.



Here's what the front looked like once all the extra quilting was done, but before it was washed and dried (something I've not dared do before for fear more threads would snap!):


And here's what it looks like after a go in the washer and then Mam's drier:


The weather has been, um, wet, so inside photos it was given that my preferred fence was soaked and I wasn't about to put a freshly washed quilt on it!



If you peer really closely, you can see the extra quilting lines on the back.  The diagonal lines are the original lines, the horizontal and vertical lines are all new.

You can see the extra quilting lines better in this one
I didn't think I'd say this, but I actually prefer it now!  The extra quilting lines mean it's beautifully crinkled - the extra quilting lines only show on the back so from the front it looks like an extra crinkly quilt, and from the back all the texture from the quilting (in a matching thread - grey on top, aqua on the bottom) show up.


I had help taking the photos:

What the hell are you doing?!

Mini Archie has been climbing the sunflowers:

I knows I looks spiffing up here! And Mr Sun and Mrs Blue Sky comed out specially for I!

Thanks for popping in!  Why not pop over to the finishes link and visit a few people and their finishes?

Monday, 30 September 2019

Mini Archie's September Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

It's the end of September already!  I know I start each Furtle post marvelling at how quickly the month has gone, but, really, where does the year go?!!  I feel like I've been quite productive this month (on the can-be-done-while-sitting-on-the-settee front, at least), so let's see if that bears out, eh?

There were socks:
Yarn by Made By Penguins

More socks were started and almost finished:

Yarn by Made By Penguins 
(You would not believe how many photos I've taken of these socks and I still can't persuade them to come out not blurry!)


And then another sock was started (because it wasn't a night for grafting but it was a night for ribbing and who am I to argue when the muse of my least favourite bit of knitting a sock comes calling?):

Yarn from Made By Penguins


And many LV blocks were made. Five, to be precise:


That poor girl seems destined to be forever parted from her head...




And the unpressed block from last month was pressed and deigned to have a picture taken of its backside. Very obliging:





Which means I now have sixteen made:



Mini Archie and Billy got some new sticks because there's been an increase in pirate activity lately:

Lefal, I finks you'll agree  *fierce face*


Linking up to the September 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 13th October; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the September Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Monday, 9 September 2019

FAL Finish: Yet More Socks, Again!


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The final pair of socks on my Q3 FAL list is finished!




These are knitted from 85%/15% merino/nylon yarn from Made By Penguins called 'Solar' and are incredibly soft - they'll be like wearing clouds on your feet, I imagine!  I bought it as part of a 'lucky dip' from Made By Penguins and the offer is still available: lucky Dip 100g merino/nylon; lucky Dip 20g merino/nylon (A very good price for very good yarn, especially if you buy four 100g hanks! I'm still tempted to get another set...)

This is item 17 from my Q3 FAL list and I'll be linking up with the finishes party when the time comes.



One of the Wooliam gang mice on instagram ran a sunflower competition this summer and Mini Archie et al entered with enthusiasm but were let down by late sowing, late planting out, and fairly useless compost (finding peat-free compost round here is a challenge so I ended up using Lidl's and I'm not that impressed with it to be honest) and so what could have been 15' sunflowers ended up being just 3' high by the closing date. They're still growing, though, so we're hopeful of them at least reaching the tops of the canes before the frosts hit!
I is comfier than I finked I would be on this sunflower

And there's even room for Billy!

Thanks for popping in!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Mini Archie's August Furtle Around The Blogosphere


Archie The Wonder Dog

Hello! I don't feel like I've managed much this month, but when I look at the pictures I've taken, I realise I've grafted the toes of eight socks (two of which were half knitted, and two which were started from scratch this month), made good progress on another pair, and hand pieced three LV blocks!  You'll notice that all of these can (and have!) been done while sitting on the settee watching telly (I've been catching up with 'Suits' from the beginning and have watched all of seasons one, two, and three. Unfortunately, the channel which was showing them has stopped at the end of season three so I need to keep an eye out for them starting season four.) and drinking tea.  Except when it's been too hot to drink tea, of course.  Roll on autumn!

Here's what I've been making this month:

Every time I crop photos of these blocks, they turn blurry - very frustrating!  Which is why there's a lot of floor in these pictures!

The camera doesn't seem to have the same problem with blocks without text fabric in them.


This one has just been finished and needs a press, but it felt mean to leave it out!

I've already blogged about three of the pairs of socks I've finished off this month (pair one, pair two, pair three) and here's the fourth pair:


These are the first socks I've ever knitted with indie-dyed yarn and also the first pair of merino/nylon socks I've ever knitted and they are very, very soft and the yarn is wonderful to work with. The yarn is called 'Mulled Wine' and is from (and dyed by) Made By Penguins and was one of four hanks I bought in a 'lucky dip' offer - I'm beginning to wish I'd got two sets!  This is item 16 from my Q3 FAL list and I'll be linking up with the finishes party when the time comes.

****** I've just noticed that the offer is still on!!!  Lucky Dip 100g merino/nylon  Lucky Dip 20g merino/nylon ******  (Tempting, verrrrrry tempting!)

The second pair of 'lucky dip' socks (these will all be Mam's Christmas present so I can't sit on my laurels for too long!) are coming on a treat, aided greatly by a *(thankfully rare) night of very sleep and then a trip to the car dealership to have a safety recall sorted.  This yarn is called 'Solar' (and was dyed using sunshine!. Yes, in the UK!!):

Sock one (I graft the toes when both are finished) - I love the difference between how the leg has knitted up and how the foot has and is fascinating to knit!  (There's a four-stitch difference between the two and I think that accounts for it.)

Sock two is coming along nicely.

Some of you might be wondering why the ball is on a big knitting needle.  Well, thanks to TECHknitter, I discovered that my yarn was twisting not because I was knitting in the round (which is what I thought was causing it and I was, quite frankly, getting sick of having to dangle my knitting to get the yarn to untwist itself) but because unspooling (whether from the outside or inside of 'caked' yarn (i.e. wound on a ball winder) imparts twist in the yarn, a little like a telephone cable, which then kinks up on itself. The solution?  Pull the yarn from the outside of the ball, but allow the ball to rotate rather than pulling it from above as I had been doing.  I tried a few things from around the house to solve the problem, but none allowed the ball to rotate smoothly and be practical for settee knitting until I tried the knitting needle.  I put it through the ball and then tuck the point end under my right thigh and the ball rotates as the yarn is pulled.  Is it perfect?  No.  Sometimes the ball doesn't rotate, but I'm quickly perfecting the art of pulling so that the ball is more likely to rotate.  Does it solve my twisted tangled yarn problem?  Yes.  And I'll be continuing to do it.  Thank goodness for Mini Archie liking the look of these hefty sticks (000, I think) in a studio sale and pleading for me to buy them! I wouldn't like to knit with them, mind, it'd be like knitting with broom shanks!


I think the reason I didn't feel as though I'd done much is because I haven't been in my sewing room or used my sewing machine, but it's amazing how much can be done while sitting on the settee watching Suits and Law&Order!



Linking up to the August 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, please 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 7th September; if you're seeing this post after this date, I'm afraid you can't link up to the August Furtle, but you can link next month if you like.


We've had a visitor this month and Mini Archie was quick to recruit her to the pirate watching duty rota:

I finks these big eyes of Penny's will be verrrrrrrrrry good at spotting Pirates. How long did you say she was staying? 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, 15 August 2019

FAL Finish: Yet More Socks!


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These pair of socks are my third Q3 FAL finish and are item 15 on my Q3 2019 FAL list - I will be linking up to the FAL finishes party when the time comes.  These needed the most work of the three pairs as, at the start of the quarter, I was halfway down the leg on one and at the start of the heel flap on the other.  I love those purple, lime, blue, and pink stripes!



Here they are together, ready for Mam's sock drawer this winter!



Mini Archie announced to the world when all the socks were finished:



Thanks for popping in!

FAL Finish: More Socks!


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My second finish this quarter is this pair of socks, which were fun to knit - I love Opal sock yarn!  These also just needed the toes grafting and the ends darning in and fifteen minutes in front of the telly saw them finished and ready for their photo:



These are item 14 on my Q3 2019 FAL list and I will be linking up to the FAL finishes party when the time comes.


Mini Archie has been practising his 'Teacayking':

I is good at it, isn't I? *modest face*

Thanks for popping in!



FAL Finish: Socks


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It's always nice to be able to record a finish nearer to the start of the quarter than the end, isn't it? This time I have three and I'm going to blog about them separately so they're ready to link up with the FAL finishes party when the time comes.

My first finish is this pair of socks, which, at the start of the quarter, just needed the toe grafting and the ends darning in.  That's now done and I can proudly present my first Q3 finish!

These are item 13 on my Q3 2019 FAL list.

My phone camera hates these socks and refuses to take a completely in-focus of them, no matter how many times I ask it...

Mini Archie was on paw to help free the knitting needles:



Thanks for popping in!


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