Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Mini Archie’s May Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

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

Hello! This month has seen a slight improvement in my arm (and I have a physio appointment for the end of next month) so I’ve not only managed a bit of knitting on the slowest socks ever, but I’ve also been doing some dressmaking. 

This is how the socks look now (I’m at the heel):


As I mentioned, I’ve slowly been making a very simple summer top to see if it’s possible to whip up a few for this summer. Yes, summer is virtually here but at least I’ve made a start! Since the only shop I’ve found which sells tops properly designed for tall people closed, I’ve not managed to buy any summer tops and the few I do have are well past their best. So this summer is the one where I actually make some tops rather than just plan to. 

The pattern I chose from my pattern box is the Lou Box Top. (I have the old version with just a few size bands which was a gift from a friend but decided I didn’t need to buy the updated version as I could spend that money (and the cost of having it printed) on jersey for more tops.) I chose this pattern as it’s really simple and so would be faster to make: fewer pieces to cut out (three if, like me, you don’t want the pocket) and no sleeves to set in (which I know isn’t hard but it all takes time and therefore more of my limited energy). Plus, it looked like it might need less altering to get a good fit and it can be made in either woven or jersey which is handy. (Sew DIY now focus on designing patterns for tall people, just in case you’re also tall or sew for someone who is.)

I need to hem the sleeve and body and then I can lay it on the pattern pieces to trace the alterations I’ve made so the next one will (hopefully) need less faffing. 



Please feel free to admire the neckband, which went on perfectly at the first attempt. And the twin needle behaved. And the overlocker needed no adjustment to either the threading up or the tension and I had four cones of the same colour thread. Truly, a miracle has occurred. (And they’re probably saving up all their mischief for the next top, I know that and will try to accept it with grace when it happens...)


Mini Archie has been keeping me out of mischief, here he is admiring the progress of Mouse with his chum Billy:
Mouse has beed verrrrrry busy, why isn’t you doing the same? *stern face*


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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, 5 May 2022

ET Phone Home, Fettled!

Long, long (long) ago, I started a hand piecing project that I knew would be a long-term project. I had no idea just how long it would actually take.

It started when I saw a blog post by Lynne of Lily’s Quilts of her new block and I fell in love with it. Her blog is undergoing some renovation, so this follow up post to the initial one is only post I can find. And on that post, I left this comment:

Notice the date - such optimism!

I started (not long after Lynne’s post) by making a test block

(It was made into a mini quilt in June 2015)

I bought background fabric and furtled through my fabric boxes to find suitable prints and plains (and a lovely friend bought me some bright tone on tone fabrics at FOQ (or maybe the first Fat Quarterly retreat?) to supplement what I had) and by April 2013, I had this:


And by the start of June, I had my first block:


It took me eighteen months to finish the next block (isn’t it amazing how long things take to make when you’re not working on them? It’s a constant surprise) and by June 2015 I had a box of coloured triangles cut and marked, ready to piece. 

By April 2018, I had nine blocks so I was obviously getting into my stride (cutting the background into strips for each round of shapes and batch prepping the pieces made a huge difference to how quickly I could prep a block, which meant I was more likely to do it) and by June 2018, I had sixteen blocks which were sashed and joined. The original plan had been for thirty-five blocks but by 2018 (if not earlier), I knew that I wasn’t going to make all those so changed the plan - once I got to sixteen, I thought about whether I wanted to make another nine to get to twenty-five and the answer was no!

By late spring 2019, I had a finished top:


And then that summer I decided that I didn’t like the backing I’d bought for it a year or so before (it was pink and white and I realised I wanted to quilt in the ditches on the front and didn’t want to have to faff with black thread on the front and bright pink on the back), so in April 2020, I bought the backing from Olive + Flo Handcraft and by July I’d pieced the back (all those Zoom chats were ideal for hand sewing the two long seams):




And then I layered it and things sped up a little. Only kidding - stitching in the ditch round all those triangles took ages and I thought I’d never finish. All that turning and stuffing of a big quilt through a small harp space was warm work and, in the end, I had to wait for cooler weather. 

I finished quilting the middle and started the edges in October 2021 and that was when I really had to grit my teeth and concentrate on getting to the end: I quilted the corners and wasn’t happy with the spacing because three had eighteen lines quilted and the fourth had nineteen marked. So I pulled out three corners, re-marked all of them, quilted them and then turned the quilt over and saw the drag lines:

So I pulled them out again! I then misted and pressed all three layers of every corner and took it to a friend’s house so we could have a go at getting the back under enough tension so that I could re re quilt the lines. That didn’t work (fortunately, we decided to check it would work after tacking the first corner), and we spent the rest of the afternoon playing with lengths of thread trying to find a quilting design we liked. We found a couple so I spent the next couple of weeks marking them, discovering they didn’t work on all four corners (no idea why and I wasn’t in the mood to find out) and I didn’t like them anyway. Just as I was teetering on the edge of the pit of (project) despair and contemplating setting fire to the bl**dy thing, it occurred to me that hand quilting was an option and that the original straight lines might work as it’s a gentler process than machine quilting. So I tacked a corner, marked a few lines and got to work. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I turned it over after those lines were done and didn’t see drag lines! 



Finally, in January 2022, I trimmed it

and attached the binding to the front. And then, by the middle of February, it was finished. You may be wondering why it’s taken until now to post about it? So am I, to be honest! But, when it’s taken nigh on a decade to make, why rush the blog post?! On a windy March day, I went to a friend’s house (the same friend who helped with the quilting plan when all felt lost) and pegged it on her line (I didn’t have anywhere big enough unless I laid it on the front lawn and leant out of the upstairs window to take photos. Given that I live on a windy street, I decided that wasn’t something to be undertaken without an assistant/weight so a friend’s washing line it was, which was much better all round) and tried to take photos in the split seconds between gusts of wind.





Quilt stats

(It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve done one of these!)

Name: ET Phone Home

Block designer: Lynne Goldsworthy 

Fabrics: Garden Dot (white on black) plus various plains, prints and Oakshott cottons

Pieced: by hand

Quilted: by machine and hand

Thread:  pieced in black Coats cotton, quilted in King Tut in ebony

Wadding: Warm & White

Backing: AGF from Olive + Flo Handcraft’s backing section (always worth a look!)

Block size: ~12”

Quilt size: ~78.5”

Started: May 2013

Finished: February 2022


Needless to say, Mini Archie has already lined up the next Fettling List project to concentrate on…

I finks it’s going to be Summersville until your arm is betterer
and then Winterkist once it’s up to doing quilting *benevolent face* 

Well done for getting to the end, even if you did scroll down to the finished quilt photos/video and then straight on to see Mini Archie!

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Mini Archie’s April Furtle Around The Blogosphere


Archie The Wonder Dog

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

Hello! I’ve made some progress on my socks since last I furtled, I’m a way off a finished pair of socks, but I’m just glad I can do some knitting some days, even if it is only for a few minutes each time. My elbow and shoulder are still sore, but I think my elbow is a bit better than it was, which is nice.

After putting up with watching telly and only watching telly (that’s harder than you think - what do other people do while watching telly if they don’t sew or knit? Eat sweets?!), I decided to see if I could do some pinning so fetched the Summersville blocks down and over about a fortnight, I pinned them in sets of three. Then, over the next week and a bit, I (machine) sewed the seams - I can only do four (that’s seams, not rows) before I have to stop, but all progress is welcome and I now have lots of seams to press. I suspect that will have to be done a (very) little at a time, too, so I’ll set the ironing board up upstairs (once my elbow and shoulder have forgiven me for the machine sewing) and see if I can do a strip each day or similar. Slow and steady and all that.

Mini Archie has been hiding each day and decided to see if he looked as good in purple as he thought he would…
Just as I finked: spiffing! I finks I needs some purple dungas next.


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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Mini Archie’s March Furtle Around The Blogosphere

 


Archie The Wonder Dog

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

Hello! A short post from me this month because I’ve done barely any knitting (and no sewing) this month as I’m resting my right elbow (which has come out in sympathy with my right shoulder which got caught behind a door, didn’t leave the room when the rest of me did and is now sulking) so I’ve managed this much knitting:


I hope you’ve managed more?!

Mini Archie has been having fun in the garden climbing trees and admiring how much taller one is than this time last year and the colour of the other:




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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, 28 February 2022

Mini Archie’s February Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

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

This month has been a knitting month: Mam decided she needed some new bed socks and wanted some knitting. I said there was no way I was knitting socks in 4ply just for her to wear in bed (I tried and failed to suggest she just kept her socks on from that day - she was worried about them going prematurely bobbly) so suggested she get double knitting yarn. Unfortunately, the shop she looked in only had one lot of patterned WYS essential dk so…

…she bought three balls. I think you can imagine how boring socks five and six were to knit, but you’d be wrong, it was worse. (Thank goodness it was patterned yarn, plain yarn might have seen me off.)


Mini Archie has a plan for the leftovers and it involves a pompom maker/cardboard rings *sighs* so if you have any tips on how to make perfectly round tiny pompoms, please shout (before he does)!


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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, 31 January 2022

Mini Archie’s January Furtle Around The Blogosphere

Archie The Wonder Dog

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

Hello! This month I’ve made what feels like a giant leap towards finishing ET: I’ve finished the quilting! (Turns out that actually picking it up and doing some quilting makes quite the difference to how quickly you can hand quilt. See also: not allowing yourself to do any other sewing/knitting until said quilting is complete. Who knew?!)
Not only that, but I’ve trimmed it, cut and joined the binding strips and there’s just a short pressing session and then a longer machine sewing session standing between me and watching a film while sewing the binding to the back.

And as well as all that quilting, writing my Fettling List and sorting out the link up in case anyone else wants to join in, I’ve knitted a sock. Which I was absolutely allowed to start because I was between stages in the ET finishing (and none of those stages were sitting on the settee watching telly stages), I just won’t be allowed to touch it once ET is once again a settee project. 
Yarn is Regia Colourline 6814 Kornblume from the Sock Yarn Shop

Mini Archie has been keeping a close eye on me:
See how bare these branches is? That’s how bare I wants your Fettling List to be. Best get cracking.

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Fettle Those Finishes: A Link Party


Hello, and welcome to Fettle Those Finishes!  

For those of you wondering what on earth 'fettle' means, it's one of those words which can mean different things. You can be in fine fettle (good health and feeling perky), you can fettle clay before firing (less of a dialect word, more of a technical one, that) and you can sort out/mend something or get it ready.  You might 'fettle that cupboard once and for all' (give it a good sort out), you might 'fettle the tension on that sewing machine' (fix it) or you might 'give it a fettle' (get it ready). For this, I'm using the 'sort out' definition as we're going to give our project list a good sort out and hopefully get some things crossed off. Flummoxed?  I do hope not!

As it doesn’t look as though the Finish Along is coming back any time soon, I thought I’d see if there was any interest in an informal and relaxed link up party to encourage us to finish some of the things (all of the things?!) on our lists (our long, long, oh-so-very-long lists) and make progress on others (and encourage each other while we do it), and here it is. This link up is for the year (unless, you know, we all race through our lists by the end of March *watches a pig fly overhead*) so I’ll leave it open until 17th February to give you chance to think about and assemble your list - it’s not something to rush into, is it?! 


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 - blogger really wasn’t very obliging when it came to doing this bit of the list, which is somewhat of an understatement. I wonder if that’s a sign?!). 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 not a list of everything I will make or intend to make this year (I fully intend to knit lots of socks but as they don’t tend to hang around unfinished, except as socks-in-waiting aka skeins/balls, they won’t make it onto the list), 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.


There’ll be a progress link up somewhere near the halfway point of the year, so in late June or, more likely, early July.



Now, who’s in? If you would like a button for your blog post, copy and paste the code 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.  

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You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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