Thursday, 25 October 2012


...I've remembered that Thursdays are random!

I have to confess that there's not much random in my life at the moment.  Or everything is so random that I no longer notice.  One of the two.

My first random thing is this:

Sorry about the wobbly camera - I was at the ready from three minutes out so I got rather tired and couldn't hold the camera still!!
Yes, my new washing machine plays a tune when it's finished the cycle.  It also plays a little tune when you switch it on and another when you switch it off.  It goes rather well with my telly that plays a tune when you take it off (and another when you put it on) stand-by.  How long before the tune gets on my wick rather than making me smile?! 

I'm sure I have some more random somewhere *going off to look*

Ah, yes, I knew I had some!

I found this saucer (it cost £2) and the old crochet hooks in a local charity shop.  I needed a saucer to put under an orchid (and I can use it in my sewing room if  when it dies) and I couldn't walk away without bringing some of the crochet hooks with me.  I'm not sure I'll ever use them but at 20p each I couldn't leave them behind...

We've been having some lovely skies over the last couple of weeks and I attempted to capture the colours and textures one afternoon.  Not entirely successful but I do only have a 'point and shoot' camera...

It's very, very hard to see but the moon is visible...

I'm currently wearing the proud owner of this:

 ...a tennis elbow brace.  And I'm finding it quite irritating!  I've got to wear it for four weeks to see if it makes a difference to the aches and pains in my forearm/wrist/hands/fingers.  It's made a difference all right.  It's worse!   Only one week to go and I'll find out if the doctor will let me take it off...

I've finally got my Summersville squares ready and have found an alternative use for the lovely book wallet/ideas folder that Sarah made for me...

It also makes a perfect embroidery case!

I've started another Umaro scarf, this time for my sister-in-law:

It looks so different from the one I finished last week

And finally...I had ten minutes filled with more fun than you'd imagine earlier in the week when I decided I would try to take a photo of Archie catching a biscuit.  It took me a while to work out the timing but I'm pretty pleased with what I managed.

It all started like this:

Did she say 'biscuit'?  Where's it gone?

And progressed to this:

In two of them I've managed to get the biscuit in shot as well as most of Archie - no mean feat!!

I laughed so much my sides ached - hope I've managed to raise a smile or two!

Don't forget to pop over to Cindy's and take a look at the other Really Random Thursday posts.

P.S.  I've finally (after about three months) managed to do some machine sewing so that thing I promised you way back in August may finally be happening.  I'm not promising it's going to happen before the end of the month but happen it will!

Monday, 15 October 2012

A little progress is still progress!

I think that last time I sort of promised a post within a few days...turned out I lied!  Not deliberately, of course, but it was a lie nonetheless *hanging head in shame*

I have made some progress since then.  Not a lot, but progress is progress, even if it's snail-like!  (Not to sound like a squeaky wheel but I really am knackered at the moment, fortunately I'm well enough for crochet/knitting and The Big Bang Theory, but little else!)

My Summersville squares went from this:

Ten squares of Summersville
 to this:

48 squares of Summersville and 49 squares of interfacing

(I need to cut one more square of 'Town' but I'm waiting until I can lay them all out and see if I've missed any section of the design  - if not I'm going to make sure the square includes the library as that's my favourite building on the moment, anyway!)

I cut my interfacing over the course of a few days and after the first day I realised that despite ordering what I thought was going to be more than enough, I was going to be about 25cm short. *sigh*  I ordered some more from The Cotton Patch while they still had it and to make full use of the postage charge I also ordered some perle cotton - I'm sure that getting as much in the envelope as possible makes the charge better value for money...

The next day I went back to cutting interfacing and discovered that I wasn't going to be short at all...oh well, it'll come in for something!  Note to self: don't do any working out when you're exhausted, it never ends well!

Interfacing for which I no longer have a desperate need and some pretty perle cotton!

The pincushion is now finished and has flown the nest:

I should have ironed the background first!

I've finally started a crochet project that's been lurking in my head for a while - I just needed to find the right combination of pattern and yarn

It's going to be a blanket for much for buying one ball at a time!
I love this yarn (Bamboo Cotton by King Cole) - it's really, really soft and will be perfect to snuggle under in the winter when I can't afford (and/or am too tight) to have the heating on.  It won't be done for this winter but hopefully it'll be finished by November 2013.  I've just realised one drawback: it can't be tumble dried.  I'm hoping that it won't need washing very often but I'll just have to choose a sunny week and lay it out in the conservatory for a day or two.  Does anyone have any other better ideas about how to dry a large (and, at the moment, non-existent) blanket?!

The Dorothy bag in the photo was made by Jude and it's perfect for keeping my hooks and scissors in.  And the empty mint tin keeps my darning needle safe...

Not long after my last post (about nine hours!) I caved and bought the Umaro knitting pattern which I first saw on Nat's blog and fell in love with instantly.  I thought it was too hard for me to attempt at the moment, especially as it's knitted from a chart and I've never done that before.  Turns out it's not too hard after all and I love knitting from a chart!

It's going to be a scarf for a friend (she doesn't read my blog so I'm safe to show it here!)

I've had more lovely post from lovely people:

A custom charm pack from Nicky

Gorgeous fabric (and chocolate!) from Sarah

And Archie got some post from Sheila:

Doggy newspaper fabric!
He's planning to swap little pieces for extra biscuits.  Note: not biscuits that he would get anyway, biscuits that are in addition to his woefully small ration...

Thank you, all of you, I'm we're blessed to have such wonderful friends!

Archie (and Alfie) have been keeping me amused company in their own inimitable style...

I'm the king of the castle...
When is it time to go home?
(He's watching out of the front window for his lift!)

I think they look like two naughty school boys in these photos - they're plotting something!!

And finally, one last word from Archie:

Pleeeeeease can I have another biscuit?!

P.S.  I'm way behind with blog reading (and especially with my emails) and may never catch up so I may end up clicking 'mark all as read'/'delete all' and starting afresh...I hope you won't be offended if I do!!  I've read quite a few posts in my reader and so haven't commented but I have been admiring all the wonderful things people are making!

I hope you're all well and doing more sewing than I am (wouldn't be hard) - thanks for popping in xx

Monday, 1 October 2012

In the blink of an eye...

...September has gone and it's been more than a month since I last wrote a blog post - oops!


I wish I had lots of lovely projects to show you but the truth is that I've done very little since my last post as I've just been exhausted most of the time. 

I have finished something though.  Yes, an actual finish!  I know you're not going to believe me until you see proof so here it is...

Baby blanket
I've added this to my project list on Ravelry if you're interested.  Okay, so it's the only project on the 
list but you've got to start somewhere!

Blanket stats:
Pattern - Pine Forest baby blanket
Stitches - 165
Repeats - 61
Yarn - six* balls Rico Baby Classic DK in tuerkis (£2.25 a ball)
Size - approx. 28" x 32"
Time taken - three weeks
* I was only just into the sixth ball (about ten rows of garter stitch) so I could've made it longer, or just bought five balls and made it shorter, but I decided that 32" seemed like a good length for a baby blanket.

I now have ambitions of a knitted blanket for myself (I've fallen in love with this pattern) but it probably won't happen.  I am about to start a crocheted blanket though - a scrappy one, so I can buy the yarn a ball or two at a time!  This time next week should see me making a start on it...I'll let you know!

I've had some lovely post over the last few weeks, especially from Nicky:

Fat eights for my ET quilt, which I'm going to start when I've pieced the final seventeen hexies - hopefully it'll still be 2012!

Nicky also sent a special charm set full of wonderful fabrics but I forgot to take a photo before I washed them and they're currently languishing in the ironing basket!  Thank you, Nicky, for being such a wonderful friend - I feel blessed to know you!

I've also washed my Terrain charm packs (ready for ET!) and this is what happens when you tumble dry three charm packs

Fabric hundreds and thousands! 

And I've made a few purchases:

A magnificent Kona colour card

I bought this from Justine at Simply Solids and it arrived twenty three hours after I ordered it, complete with a free FQ of...something.  I've no idea what it is but it's lovely!  I don't buy/use solids very often but I thought it would be handy to have as a reference tool as I'm sick of emailing shop owners to ask if a fabric is 'Boro red' or 'Tony the tiger orange'. (Yes, really!)  This should be much easier!

I've wanted this book for a while now and when I saw a second hand copy on sale for about £6.50 I couldn't resist!  It's an ex-library book and is in wonderful condition.

And this may be the most boring photo I've taken in a while (although I accept that depends on how you feel about the 'fabric hundreds and thousands' photo!) but at least I've made an attempt to liven up the background

Fusible cotton interfacing and a new unpicker

I ordered these from The Cotton Patch - I originally didn't want/need a new unpicker but when I read Florence's post I decided that an unpicker that had earned the title of 'favourite ever seam ripper' I decided to give it a go.  I haven't used it yet (I haven't touched my sewing machine in a couple of months!) but I have high hopes for how comfortable the handle is going to be - perfect for unpicking long lines of quilting!  The interfacing is for a 'sitting on the settee' project, I just need to get it ready for sewing!

I've also had some lovely post from Cindy but I'm not going to share this until I've held up my end of the bargain which will involve something from this post.  My still unannounced giveaway may also involve something from that post, or something else, should the winner request it, but I'm putting it on hold until I have the energy to make what I'm giving away.  To give you some idea of how tired I am (because if I was reading this I may wonder what 'too tired' looks like on a daily basis) I did this on Wednesday afternoon (for my 'sitting on the settee' project)

Half a metre of Town (from Summersville) cut into ten 7" squares.

and then was so tired that I couldn't do any more cutting.  In fact, I did very little for the rest of the afternoon/evening...I hope this doesn't come across as whinging (I'm really not!) but I wanted to give you some idea of what I'm able to do (or rather, not do!) and why it's currently taking me so long to get anything done.  I can manage things that I can prepare and make (in dribs and drabs) while I'm sitting on the settee so I've started another pin cushion to fill in the time while I finish preparing the Summersville/interfacing squares

When I grow up I'm going to be a pin cushion
The sides are probably a little shallow at 1" but it was the measurement that worked best with the fabric.

Nicky sent this lovely fabric (her choice for the Japanese import fabric swap which Sarah is running) and I decided that a Paris-themed pin cushion would be just the job to show off all the lovely images - I'll hopefully finish it this week and I'll be able to pop back on and share another finish.  (Have I really just said I'll do two posts in one week?!  I think I did...)  I've been using the cream 50wt thread I won in Alison's giveaway - it's from Empress Mills and is beautiful to sew with - as soon as I ran it through my fingers when threading my needle I felt a noticeable difference between this and my usual thread (Coats cotton): this is much smoother and feels more, well, expensive!  At the moment I haven't done any EPP with Aurifil (or machine pieced with the EM thread) so can't compare the two but I'm really happy with it so far.

There have been a couple of small domestic crises happening while I've been absent.  The first was a leaky loo (clean water, thankfully!) that necessitated my dad destroying some of the best tiling he's ever done (it was so good a British Gas workman once commented on it!) in order to get to the leak.  That's all sorted now but my bathroom is no longer the beautiful space it once was and it won't be for a few months while the floor dries out and Dad works out how to put back the tiles, etc. but make it so it's easy to remove, if necessary.  At least I have a loo again!  (It's the only one in the house.)

The second was slightly more serious but fear not, all is fine now.  A couple of weeks ago Dad took Archie and Alfie for their teatime walk and they came back after about ten minutes...and Archie had a hole in his side where a mastiff and mastiff/Great Dane cross had attacked him.  It could have been a lot worse but as it was Archie needed rushing to the vet for sedation and four stitches on his shoulder.  He was on Tramadol for the pain (he was very stiff and sore but so would you be if you had about 20 stone of dog rolling around on top of you - Archie weighs about 15 kilos, or 33 pounds, so the weight difference is huge) and he was quite subdued for a number of days but he's almost back to normal now.  He had his stitches out yesterday (he ate all the treats I was distracting him with while the vet was removing two of the stitches so she had to go out to reception to get more for the final two!!) and he's now allowed on an extending lead when he goes out for a walk.  Next weekend he'll be allowed off and he can visit all his favourite sniffing places and check whether the food fairy has left any parcels (biscuits, cheese, crisps, doughnuts, etc.) while he's been away...

Mind you, he may have been subdued because of the indignity that happened every time I went out

Oh, the indignity of it!  This isn't how I expect to be treated - are you sure you want to leave me dressed like this?

When I came back his Boots and Beer t-shirt (my dad's!) was on the floor - still tied at the back.  I seem to have been living with Houdini all these years and not realised!

This is his current top and while he's not exactly thrilled about it he's just relieved it wasn't the pink one...

Well, it's comfy enough but I won't be winning any prizes.  Except the twit award, I'd get that, easy!

He has had some fun though.  Or maybe it's me that's had the fun... 
(This photo never fails to make me properly laugh out loud!)

Another bald bit...
(It's okay, he didn't run into the cupboard or bang his head, I'm not that cruel!)

I'll leave the final word to Archie

You'd better not be laughing at me in a t-shirt...or with my head in a bag...And don't worry, I'm fine, honestly!

Edited to add:  I'm linking up to Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts - I'm not sure knitting counts but Archie's got the stitches bit covered!

P.S.  Thank you for all the lovely emails I've had to check I was okay - I really appreciate them!

P.P.S  A further (very) small domestic crisis minor irritation: bloody digital switchover.  I've lost about four channels that were working perfectly well before they started interfering and no amount of retuning helps!  Oh well, I can live without E4+1, I suppose!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...