craft

6500 knitted stitches in 226 miles, 1499 more in Emergency

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Last Saturday involved a road trip of 226 miles. Of course I took some knitting with me. Have you ever worked out how many stitches you knit in any one session?  I calculated approximately 6500 and I only had a back, one front and part of another front of a baby cardigan.  It’s a good job I love knitting because if I always calculated the number of stitches and hours of work it might drive me a little crazy!

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Then yesterday, Monday, which was a work day – was all going well until I fell down a stair (just one stair!) and wrenched my foot.  I ended up at the Accident and Emergency Unit at our local hospital – knitting on and off for three and a half hours whilst being dealt with by nurse, doctor and the x-ray department – diagnosed eventually with soft tissue damage and prescribed rest and ice packs.  I reckon I knitted 1499 stitches whilst I sat waiting around!  Now with this now enforced r&r this cardigan will be finished super quick and if I am lucky I may even have a small pile of other projects done too. There is a bonus to injury this time, always look on the bright side of life!  No camera handy to photograph those extra 1499 stitches yet.

Have a good crafty day.  I know I will!

 

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Countryside themed items – ideas welcomed

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I meant to add this to my last post.  Looking for inspiration please!

I love to hear of crafting challenges. I have not entered into joint challenges online, like those I see on other blogs, though I did join a knitting challenge earlier in the year on Ravelry (not a joint challenge exactly, but a joint show and tell!)

I am often setting myself goals, some of which I achieve, though some become epic fails and I log both on here sometimes … ooops!  Am currently looking for inspiriration with a ‘countryside’ theme – a group of friends hope to have a table sale at a local ‘Countryside Day’ event here in the UK. Thinking of small, reasonably priced gifts for browsers to purchase which are quick to make and don’t cost a packet! All ideas welcomed. I sew and knit, time is limited!

So far, I have come up with squirrels and hedgehogs made of felt – I have 2 patterns but have not started anything!  Outside my house there is an abundance of pine cones – constantly dropping off next doors trees, perhaps there’s something there?  Friends have already made cards and cross stitch mini pics too.  I don’t have much time and am shouting out to others here ! Thanks for any replies!

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My squirrels won’t look as cute as the real thing! 

A wander somewhere special, with a ‘tea and biscuit’ break …

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Somewhere very special to me is Rye in East Sussex (UK).  I used to live a short drive away from here and sometimes go back for a wander.  I was there again recently.  It’s a historical town, it was even mentioned in The Doomsday Book.   I used to visit with my grandparents. Thursday was market day, if memory serves me right, and there was livestock for sale, sheep I think, possibly chickens, as well as fruit and vegetables.  We used to have treat at Simon the Piemans in Lion Street if we were lucky, a little cafe that sold the most delicious fudge – it’s still there – more than 30 years later.  My sister used to drool whilst looking in the window! Unfortunately my camera failed me on my latest visit – so no photo of yummy fudge(!), however …

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Mermaid Street, with all it’s cobbles, and look at that blue sky

Also one of the quirky houses in Mermaid Street

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The House with Two Doors …. don’t know the history, but is sure is quirky – giess once upon a time it was two houses and now it’s one! 

We did stop for a treat whilst in Rye.  I never miss a tea and biscuit break (well, in my case coffee as I don’t drink tea!).  The Old Apothecary was our cake stop http://www.apothecaryrye.co.uk/ check out their website to see how it’s housed in an old chemist shop! The ‘treat’ inspired me a little, though I had homemade cake and not actual biscuits!

Crafting time: These are to add to my items for sale in a local cafe.  For those who regularly follow my blog you may remember doughnuts a while ago.  Same cafe, those doughnuts went down a treat!  Let’s hope a few ‘traditional style’ biscuits go the same way.

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One shop bought, one ‘homemade’ 
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One from a packet, one from the crafting table !

And that’s a little crafting only, still managing to get a little done, rather than a lot, but a little can go a long way!

Bye for now. Happy Friday !

biscuits

 

 

 

What’s your inspiration? It’s the beach for me! What makes your craft juices flow?

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A strange week or so.  Still hospital visiting, still a sad time within my family.  However, when we get a chance we take a break and try and do something good for the soul, which means to me a visit somewhere special or a little crafting time.

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Beach hut at Tankerton Slopes, next to Whitstable 

Recently there’s been a trip to Whitstable, one of my favorite places to visit.  I have mentioned this lovely coastal town on my blog before.  It is somewhere I gravitate towards and it’s just over an hour’s drive from where I live.  We usually park at Tankerton Slopes and walk along the prom towards Whitstable itself.  A stroll admiring the beach huts is wonderful.  If it’s breezy then troubles seem to be blown away, if it’s sunny then the warmth eases all the stresses within your bones.  Either way I love it there!

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More huts on The Slopes.  The same day, different skies! 

There’s always been something special about beach huts for me. Someone has been very clever in a Whitstable pub garden.  The Smack Inn reveals the delights of beach huts as a seating area, with a BBQ area and there was a list of gigs coming up too.  We snatched a quick beer before we had to head back but it won’t be the last time we visit.

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Huts at The Smack

I have added to my beach themed fabric recently too, which I guess is inspired by this visit and I feel a bag coming on.   No photo to share – but there will be!

It’s a friend’s birthday very soon too.  She has been admiring this fabric in a local shop.

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At first we both thought of ‘a swingy 50’s skirt’! But it’s a fairly thick linen/upholstery weight and neither she or I are wearers of those anyway!  With a limit on crafting time and knowing she loves stationary … Ta – da – I made a book sleeve and I hope she’ll love it!  My fabulous sis in law gave me a Kaffe Fassett fabric book sleeve as a gift a while ago, it makes my notebook feel special, not just a book stuffed in my bag to be dragged out for notes and queries!  I am hoping my friend has the same delights when she uses it.

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Not much else to show for the last few days.  I have a lot in my head (cotton wool my husband says sometimes!) , lots of craft projects amongst it, but life is getting in the way right now.  I have knitted a few rows here and there, sewn a little too, messed up a couple of ongoing projects, ripped back and unpicked.  There will be more to show off soon.

Signing off for now.

 

 

New job/old job! Sew impossible today!

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I have a new job.  I start tomorrow.  Well, it is a new job, but it’s kind of an old job too.  I am returning to a Company I left more than five years ago, with a little more responsibility this time and perhaps a slightly different mindset. I am somewhat reassured I know what I’ve let myself in for, however I am also full of trepidation and cannot settle to anything today.

If a friend asked me whether they should return to a job they left I would probably say ‘don’t go back/move forwards’ for a whole host of reasons, especially if they left through choice, as I did.  I have mulled over this very thing. Circumstances have changed slightly, location of job for one.  The Company is moving forwards itself too.   I am hoping there is a mixture of knowing what I am doing, plus a few new challenges and new faces.

I am so lucky to be given this opportunity. However, I had kind of gotten used to not working! I’ve been crafting more and loving it. The job is only part time so I shall still sew and I shall still knit, perhaps not quite as manically, but hopefully as productively.  Today, however, it just isn’t happening –  I have picked up my sewing and held it for ages without stitching a stitch.  I have rummaged in the knitting bag next to my seat yet not been tempted to pick up sticks and actually knit. This feeling of being unsettled is just a temporary blip – I hope!

So, a few of pics of a recent trip to Devon, instead of the usual crafty updates in bulk! This part of the UK truly is a wonderful place.  Unfortunately for us, the drive there took 8 hours rather than 5, less said about that traumatic part of the trip the better !  Goodbye for now, back another day!

 

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Two weekends ago,  hubby and I posing in the sunshine at Salcombe.  Lovely place to visit !
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The view from where we stayed in Bigbury on Sea, across to Bantham Beach. Glorius!
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We walked across the sand to Burgh Island, took refreshments in the Pilchard Inn, thinking of the smugglers who frequented many moons ago!  You have to time your return if you want to walk back – if you miss the tide then there’s a sea tractor as otherwise you’d have to swim or wade !

Heirlooms? No Family Crafted Items survived, but memories do. A little current patchwork therapy too !

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I just read a lovely post, Blankets and Blessings, by thechickengrandma.wordpress.com and it has made me feel thoughtful about life, past and present (reblogged here on my site for interest and musings).

We all come from somewhere and someone.  When we are gone what do we pass on?

What kind of material history do we leave?  Some people say it’s not the material stuff that matters, and true, memories might matter more.  However, I am sure I am not the only one who would love to have more physical reminders occasionally.

I lost both parents (a mother and a stepfather I considered as my father for 30 years) but I often still feel a little lost myself, like a ship without a compass. I am in my 40’s, with a family of my own, and siblings too.  My parents were great influences, and of course I took them for granted, as all children do. I have many wonderful memories, and can pull those up in times of sadness.  I also have a couple of pieces of jewellery, of no value at all apart from sentimental.

There wasn’t a big collection of family hand me downs, not a heirloom christening gown, wedding dresses, memory quilts.  My mother and grandmother crafted all the time, however, nothing much was really kept.  Once it outgrew it’s purpose or fashion changed,  it was usually gifted to charity (that in itself is a kind and brilliant thing).   Perhaps some would say this was also a blessing, my siblings probably would, clearing the house there was lots of ‘stuff’. I kind of miss my grandmother’s handmade hexi quilt for one thing. I remember her making it, showing me how to cut hexigan shapes with card and cover them in fabric and I remember the quilt on her spare bed. Indeed, I have used this method myself to quilt and it reminds me of her (see below!). I miss my mother’s wedding dress. She had made it herself in 1961, though that’s a whole story in itself (my mother and true father divorced and my sister and I as children were allowed to play dressing up with her wedding dress!)   My mother sewed and knitted, she dabbled with macrame, tatting, crochet, many other things.  I remember she made floral displays from coloured stockings and wire (one even for her best friend’s wedding tiara!).  She made cards too sometimes.  She was pretty much an all-rounder craftwise (oh the hundreds of tea cosies she made for a local charity shop too.. flew off their shelves like hot cakes!) Nan was slightly less so, but she still knitted and sewed, and as a keen WI member she baked cakes and made jam, even writing this I can smell her kitchen.  The one thing I have of my Nan’s is a mixing bowl and I love using it occasionally, though also terrified of accidently breaking it as well. My Dad’s material legacy to me is very little, it’s more things he said and things he did that make me smile.

So, what will my own craft legacy be – if anything?  I knit, I sew, I dabble.  I have a son who has never wanted to craft and has no interest in anything I make.  I have a husband who tolerates the crafting chaos, and fakes an interest in completed items! I have gifted various knitted and sewn things to friends over the years and currently am doing so for new babies in the family and for friends.  Perhaps they will become their family heirlooms, or perhaps not.  Who knows?  I would like to think in years ahead someone might find something I made in a long lost storage box and be delighted to rediscover it!

Many current WIPS. One is this …..

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I started with a few hexagons about six years ago, a project that was going to be a large cushion, but having rediscovered it I am going to make a lot more and turn it all into a throw for a sofa.  Not an urgent project, more like an ergonomic past time that will be dipped into over months and years!  Don’t expect to see the finished item here too soon! 

Signing out for now. Feeling nostalgic having had a couple of recent big family celebrations.
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A week of stitching

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Over the Easter weekend I was poorly, but I did get a little stitching in before the weekend and a lot (a lot!) since then. I’ve been having a sewfest (if there is a word – or if there isn’t one, there should be).  It’s been like an obsession.  Whenever I could I sat and stitched, pieced fabrics together, played with design,  patchworked, quilted, sorted fabrics, etc.  I’ve made mistakes, undone the mistakes, restitched, rejigged old patterns, browsed sewing books and so on and so on.  It’s been total indulgence in my crafting world.

I started with the beginnings of a bright green and orange quilted playmat, the cutest nursery prints, mostly fabrics donated to me by a very good friend.  She heard I was sorting out my stash and thought she would add to it. It was so much fun chopping up fabric and piecing it back together.  The top went well and I was on a roll!  In fact, we sat and quilted together. The backing was not quite as successful… more later.

Next I undid a peg bag I had started two weeks ago – I wasn’t pleased with it, slightly skew on the measurings.

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Second time lucky – ta dah!

 

Then I was sorting through some more of the fabric from the same friend. I found the beginnings of a baby patchwork quilt – I asked what she might have been making and for whom – she couldn’t remember! There were random sized strips stitched together – the prettiest designs in pinks and yellows.  I turned it into a bag, lining it with dotty pink fabric from my stash (so I did get to use some of my fabric after all).  I tried to follow a pattern in a book – which presumed you knew a lot about making bags – well, that was fun (sarcastically said, there was more than one attempt with the lining and a lot of frustration!)  Still, you learn a lot as you go sometimes, and I learnt a lot this time!.

tote

Then I still had some of the same fabric left.  I pieced it, backed it, quilted it, chopped it, added a zip – and voila – a fabric pouch. I based this on a previous project, which I still use as a make up pouch.  However, my own one had nasty raw seams inside.  This one, has posh french seaming. Having only done french seams once before I was quite proud of myself. Now who wouldn’t be happy to have this for girly bits and bobs such as hair accessories?

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And then that pouch got a brother – in blues and greens – maybe not for hair accessories this time –  for a picnic bag/day out bag to store tissues and wet wipes 

You can see a few things went well.  Back to the first project, that baby quilt.  I attempted the backing, totally off kilter – I was still feeling under the weather.  I should never craft when I am poorly. Whether it’s sewing or knitting, it just does not go well! So, off came No 1 backing.  A trip to a fabric shop later (why is it sometimes your stash does just not have the right fabric for the job?)  and No 2 backing was perfect.  Just to add the quilt padding, stitching the opening and then maybe hand tying, or maybe not – when finished it will be on show here.

As for what’s going on around me the rest of the week? We are currently having a new roof on our house.  There is noise and chaos surrounding me! I am squirrelled away indoors.  Occasionally I step out of the front door, look up for falling debris, before offering the roofers more tea and biscuits.  A happy builder is one full of tea and biscuits I find! So far, so good. Two skips full of 80+year clay tiles, one wasps nest discovered.

Bye for now.  Back to creating.