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One week’s craftiness, stamp, fold, knit

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Whilst sitting for the last two days, full of a cold, plied with warm drinks and watching a plethora of catch up tv I have been thinking how lucky I am to craft so often and meet with lovely like minded friends, new and old, whilst doing so.

Last week I helped a friend run a Christmas card making class.  We used a dye cutting machine, stamping, glitter dots, ribbons and other embellishments.  I managed to snap just a couple of photos before the ladies headed home.  Most of them loved the cards so much they said they’d find it hard to give them away!

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Then Monday night this week I met with other crafty friends for our final pre Christmas get-together to do a joint project.  This time was an introduction to origami, making these super stars.  There was a bit of wonky folding along the way but we had a good selection of finished ones by the time we were full of wine/cake/the evening was over!

I had my sewing machine out at the weekend but can’t show off what I made yet.  I will reveal all on a later blog post.

Finally, some knitting, quite a bit of knitting since Sunday.  I knit at home in the quiet, when listening to music, when watching tv, in the car, whenever I can really.  I knit a lot for myself and for charity and I love gifting to friends if I think they’ll appreciate it though sometimes you are never sure if people really appreciate hand made presents.

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However, a few weeks ago a good friend  (of nearly 40 years, we met when we used to pull each others pigtails!) and I were out walking and I noticed she was wearing a hat I made for her several years ago.  She loves the hat but it’s losing it’s oomph and she gently hinted it might be time for a replacement. I’ve made the one she wore several times and was determined not to go down the same route.  I chose a new pattern, dived into my stash and .. a lovely new hat is done. I enjoyed making it so much I made myself one too!  I shall just have to make sure we don’t wear them at the same time .

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I also attacked a few more rows with my chunky grey shrug and started a prem baby cardigan as I heard a family member’s latest arrival may be making an appearance sooner rather than later.  Now back to the sofa and onto the next Box Set and if my fuggy head lets me a little more knitting too.

 

 

 

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A woollen tale: A basket full of opportunity or just another disaster?

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I was going to use up some of my yarn stash, yarn left from blanket making about three years ago. I found a jacket pattern and picked up sticks.   It started well, growing quickly, that was the idea, get rid of it quick then treat myself to another woolly purchase and not feel guilty that my stash could rival a yarn stores’.

Then I noticed a mistake half way down one front panel.  I ripped it back and corrected it.  I knit a little further.

Having made a few things over the years that have either been too small or too big, the wrong shape, the wrong style I decided to try and ‘wear’ the panels to gauge how this might turn out.  Urgh! It was so bad that this is now what it looks like …

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So I still have that part of my stash and who knows what it may turn into.  The world of knitting patterns is vast. My own imagination runs riot.  One day this will make one or several successful items, maybe just not this week. I am sure I am not the only one who has the odd disaster. I would love to read about others so I don’t feel so alone, though I do look at is as an opportunity rather than a complete disaster, at least I hadn’t finished it then found the mistake or realised it looked so horrid!

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As a stop gap, I finished another hat for a friend’s charity sale.  Baby size, quick knit, scraps from my stash.  You could say I am slowly depleting my yarn stash, SLOWLY being the word.

Did anyone else here go to the Creative Craft Show at Excel in London last weekend.  Lots to admire, some Christmas treats purchased, lovely people met and business cards taken away for future shopping.  I resisted adding to my yarn stash – I guess that was another success for the week.  Thinking positive!

Christmas Panic Crafting amongst other Christmas Panics

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We’ve had a light smattering of snow and the Christmas tree is up courtesy of hubby and son. But it’s happened again – Christmas is almost upon us and I am starting to panic about not being organised enough!

Hubby is always difficult to buy for and handknits for him are a no-no, he just doesn’t appreciate them so I can’t do an emergency knit for him. I can usually get away usually with gifting a hat and that’s about it (but I did that last year!)

A stinker of a cold arrived at the end of last week and it’s really knocked me for six. Having not left the sofa for days, fuelled only on hot honey and lemon drinks I haven’t got a lot done.

It’s imperative I finish knitting two items before the 25th and I hope I will get those done, but I sit looking longingly at a little pile of fabric on the dresser and I think amongst other things ‘thank goodness it’s Christmas next year, the table runner I’d planned will be lovely next year..’.  Practically every year it comes to December and I haven’t quite got my Christmas ‘act’ together.   I like to be spontaneous, perhaps that’s why I can’t bring myself to start planning too far ahead. I am not one of those people who start creating in January ready for December.

greenyarnThis teal ball is turning into something I can’t share here yet.  Let’s just say it involves 2 sticks and a little counting here and there.

So in my five minutes of lucidity this afternoon, I’ve knitted two rows, ripped back one, knitted two more, squinted at the last wondering if the pattern sits right,  then I’ve blogged here.

Later on I need to plan food for 24th, 25th and 26th December.  I at least need to think about what we’ll eat and how long it all takes to get it together and what allergies and preferences guests have. This year so far there are no vats of soup or yummy cakes in the freezer. What have I been doing I ask myself?

Oh well, back to the couch for a bit.

 

A quieter week with the pointy sticks

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I’ve not been completely inactive in the woolly world in the last week.  I am trying to keep up with creating!  I made a cowl for myself (photo to follow later). ‘Another one?!’ my husband cried, ‘don’t you have loads of those things you wear round your neck?’ he of course meant cowls and scarves, though he sometimes applies the same thought to the buying of jewellery – if you’ve got some, why do you need some more?  I don’t agree with his sentiment for either woolly things or jewellery.

I also gave my sister her winter hat – her late Christmas present.jenshat1

I had promised to knit something as an IOU as I ran out of time to complete things before 25th Dec.  Big, Chunky, Double strands of yarn, furry pom pom, what’s not to love, eh?  It meant we met before Christmas so she could choose from the choice of yarn snippets I offered, not knowing what the gift would be, then we met again so I could hand the gift over.  Twice we got to lunch together, which actually worked out a month apart – that’s also part of my new me/new year plans – to make a better effort at getting together with those that matter to me.
eks-1-2    Using up my stash, more next time …eks-3-2

 

 

 

What was on my needles this weekend?

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A treat of a weekend – I actually knitted for myself!  I have the back and half a front of a chunky pink cardigan just for me, yay!  I had been putting other projects first for a couple of weeks. If I switch between little hats to sell and this one big project I might actually finish it in time to wear this winter.  I love the colour but I am not loving the wool, sadly.  I hope it grows on me as it grows on the needles.  It was a reasonable priced yarn and I thought I would give it a try based on the colour alone, not something I would usually do (Cascade Pacific Chunky).  That’s the one thing with shopping online for yarn and textiles.  I like the convenience of shopping on line and do it a lot, but I also like visiting stores to stroke and squish wools and fabrics.  Thank goodness I am lucky enough to be able to do both (and often do which leads to a stash to rival knitting and haberdashery shops!).

This weekend also confirmed I don’t much like knitting on long, plastic needles. I haven’t knitted on plastic needles regularly for years, usually opting for bamboo or rosewood from my collection.  The pink yarn cast on needed quite a long needle and at the cast on stage these 35mm Pony needles were just handily poking out from one of my needle rolls (having had a slight accident knocking the needle roll off the shelf the day before). I quickly switched to birch for both the smoothness, weight and also these ones are very pretty too, being a rosy pink to match the yarn!  The yarn just didn’t travel along smoothly for me on the plastic needles. Knitting needles are an item of choice for everyone and it is not for me to tell anyone to avoid them, however I know I will not choose plastic ones if I can help it for future projects.

So, no photo of the pink one yet but here’s a taste of a current hat – this one will be for a 6-12month old baby, rather vintage don’t you think?  Using a Knitpro circular needle here.

What’s on others’ needles this week?vintagehat (2)