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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!


  1. Boy you may not blog every hour like I seem to do but, when you do blog, you really do go for it. Poor old Archie, he does look funny with that bag on his head. XXX

  2. bwahahahaa!! the INDIGNITY!!!! Seriously though, I am glad he is going to be ok. Poor lad! My puppy got bitten through her ear the other day. Just horrible, but thankfully no stitches required.

  3. Honestly Helen, you must write the best blog posts ever! So pleased Archie is on the mend. Did those bully dogs get reported? And I love the baby blanket but I really, really love the adult size throw. Go on - knit it! It is stunning and it doesn't matter how long it takes to do.

  4. Ahhhh Helen, poor Archie! So glad he is on the mend. Loved all the photos, esp with the bag on his head. haha Your knitting is GORGEOUS! Enjoyed catching up with you. I've missed you. xo

  5. Hugs to you and the boy. Totally jealous of your knitting. Sniff.

  6. Don't worry about the no sew, who doesn't love funny dog pictures? He is seriously cute.

  7. Saw your link at Lily's Quilts. Your dog is so cute - and I love that Kona color card! I can't figure out how to put the Fresh Sewing Day directly into my post!

  8. Ohh poor Archie, I hope he got a few bites back!!! He may just have started a new trend for dogs...tee shirt coats! Sorry to hear about the bathroom, there is always something isn't there and it's always when it's all finished. Love your little pincushion - Tres Chic!! Hugs x

  9. Oh Helen poor Archie :((( We have a 9 week old Jack Russell Terrier and I am nervous about taking him out with all these horrible big blooming dogs with irresponsible owners (no offence to the responsible owners of said dogs out there but you know what I mean!). He seems to be recovering well and love his photo with the crisp bag! It is a surefire LOL one!

    You blanket is beautiful and that little pinnie will be sweet as anything. Hope you are well.
    Love Collette x

  10. Oh no Archie that's rubbish! What a nightmare. I hope you soon feel less exhausted! ME really sucks! Hugs to you xxx

  11. Yikes, you wash your charm packs?! I respect that - I can't be bothered, lol! What a beautiful blanket too - maybe one day I'll pick up knitting again. It's only been, oh I don't know, 15 years or so?!

  12. Wow what a lot of news, poor Archie, sorry to hear about his injuries- when other dogs do attack it is my worst dog walking nightmare

  13. Knitting is my nemesis!! Both blankets are beautiful and I hope you make the other one as it is amazing and I admire all knitters! Glad you are okay and poor Archie - oh the absolute indignity of it! Hee hee.

  14. Love the knitting!, Love the Header! And I'm sorry but I really love the picture of Archie with the bag! I laughed out loud too :)
    Hope he's all better now x

  15. Lol Archie you are so funny with a bag on your head and wearing a tshirt! Helen the knitting is marvellous and I LOVE the new pattern! Really, you wash charm packs? glad Archie is ok, and your conveniences are sorted now, good ol dad! Wow, I'm exhausted !

  16. Aw, poor Archie - sorry to hear he's been in the wars, but I must confess to having a good giggle at his head in a bag!
    Love your knitted blankie too, and look forward to seeing all the other makes you've got lined up.
    And seriously - is one supposed to wash charm packs? Oops, I've just learnt something new!
    Take care of you & Archie,

  17. Oh poor Archie, though TBH all dog owners need a picture of their dog with a bag on their heads of some description (Fletcher has his head in a McDonald's bag in my picture) or with some ridiculous piece of clothing (we have him dressed as an old lady in a scarf and hat that sits like a bonnet, then there's the one with a slipper on his head...) so it's all part of the job of being a pet ;)

    I am slightly astonished that you wash Charm packs, am I heathen for not pre-washing any kind of fabric, especially precuts for patchwork? I just let it crinkle up afterwards....

  18. Poor you and poor Archie!
    Lovely fabric mail though, and your sneaky peaks and plans all look and sound wonderful.
    I love the blanket - totally beautiful xxx

  19. you might not blog often but when you do it is a book to read LOL. Poor, poor Archie I feel so bad for him. Hope he is on the mend and will be well soon. And you too - being tired all the time is not a good feeling.
    Love the Kona cotton chart of colors I have a similar one of some bali water color batiks that I love.
    Lucky you have a dad to fix things in the house!

  20. Beautiful blankie, and the pinnie will be fabulous too :-) Oh but Archiballs... poor wee archibald. He looks so fed up in his t shirts doesnt he. Big big cuddles to him. (and WASHING CHARM PACKS? Jeez sweetie, your time is precious, what on earth are you doing that for?! lol ) big loves x

  21. Archie looks great in a t-shirt. I don't know what he is complaining about. Where was Alfie while all of this was going down? What good is having a handsome doggie pal if he leaves you when the big dogs start fussing.

    Love your knitting.

  22. Hi Archie! I'm sorry to hear about you herting yourself - what a bad dog that was! I hope you are better - you look great with your shirts!
    I have been too busy and lost so many of your beautiful projects! I have now my first charm pack and I was thinking if I was it, is there anything left ... did you just wash them in the washing machine? I like to wash all the fabrics before sewing them.
    Hugs to Archie! x Teje

  23. Archie...I've missed you. Sorry to hear you have been in the wars but super glad to hear you are on the mend.

  24. I've really missed you! I've devoured every word of your post. Somehow I didn't know that you knit! Your blanket is just beautiful and I love the color.

  25. Oh that photo made me laugh out loud too. Poor Archie, I hope you didn't have to cover the vet bills either!!
    I love your knitting and your little paris pincushion. Something little and often is better than nothing at all. Take care x

  26. Oh I was really enjoying your post until I gasped out loud for Archie!! Bloomin' bully dog!!
    So glad he is on the mend now.
    Lovely blanket, I would be pleased if I could knit that in 3 weeks, my knitting output is sloooow.

  27. Archie, I have just the ticket for you; a pattern for a dog's coat made out of fat quarters. I did think when I saw it " why would anybody put their dog in that?" but there you go,there is always someone! Perhaps you would prefer it without the frill? Hope you are feeling better and Helen too. X

  28. Oooooooh, shock, E4+1 is very important!!! :D

    Glad to hear that you're doing ok and still making!

  29. Poor old Archie :-( I couldn't help but remember what it says about no bags near the heads of children and babies - it should also say Archie! Maybe he wanted to see if you'd got him a better outfit? Who am I kidding he was after the biscuits? Looks like you've been getting some lovely mail. Love that Paris pinnie! I may even get to Paris one day myself - although it's getting nearer to next birthday not last!

  30. Oooh, fab colour on your finish, and that wee pinnie is going to be so cute! Sorry to hear Archie's been overcome with religion, hope he's back to normal (?!) soon :oD

  31. Oh my gosh - I'm glad Archie is on the mend! Your knit blanket is lovely. That Paris fabric is just too cute!

  32. Glad Archie is on the mend after that big dog steamroller incident. Hope the doughnut fairy leaves you a treat :)

  33. I am sorry to hear about the mean dogs but Archie seems to have come through it well, and he is funny with the bag on his head. I love that white blanket, I do hope you knit it. If you got started, the knit part would rest in your lap over the fall and into the winter, growing into a nice warm blanket as the weather gets colder. I still love that pincushion.

  34. Oh, thank goodness Archie is on the mend! Hope he's getting lots of treats while he recuperates. Sorry to admit it, but I too laughed at the picture of him with his head in the bag!

  35. that baby blanket is gorgeous! and poor Archie! i'm glad he is healing well. maybe he needs an official doggy sweater? a masculine one? or would that also be frowned upon?

  36. I do think Archie should win an Oscar - no matter what you make - the blanket is just adorable and how gorgeous is that pincushion - he always seems to steal the show ! Ah well it is his blog!

    I agree Archie needs a proper coat made by mum!

  37. I am sorry, I have been so busy looking at flickr, and sewing costumes, I didn't know poor Archie was in trouble!
    I hope he is feeling a lot more like himself now.
    Hugs to all who need/want them!

  38. Loved your post. I have really missed you! Glad Archie is okay.Lovely knitting too.

  39. Oh poor Archie! I'm so glad it isn't as bad as it could have been :( and that he's healing well. But why was he wearing a t-shirt? LOL
    Love your little baby blanket :) Didn't know you liked to play with yarn too :)) Your new pincushion is equally as cute as your first one. Love that fabric. I hope you're feeling a bit better too. Being so tired you can't function really is the pits. Hugs Ellyx

  40. Poor Archie. Some dog owners should be shot, sounds like the attacking dogs have been badly trained/supervised.
    Great blanket. Have just added you as a friend on ravelry now I know you're on it :)
    Very nice collection of fabric there. I hope you get enough energy back that you can start doing something with it soon.

  41. ...And breathe! Wow, that was a LOT of stuff, most of it good, but poor Archie, and digital switchover is a pain in the rear. When we switched over in our last house we went from mint reception to pooh picture, it was maddening, especially as we were only a few miles from the mast for the area!! And next time, please put pics of Archie in pink, I bet he would make a great metrosexual doggie! ;)

  42. What a month you and Archie have endured! Hope this month is kinder to you both. I agree with Archie sometimes life looks so much better from the inside of a crisp bag! :) Or better still a bag of chocolate. Have you got enough Terrain for your project? I've got a spare charm pack if you'd like it? Take care. Xxx


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