Welcome to my blog.
A place to record and share my musings and my work.
'Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?'

Friday, 30 May 2014

Birthday on a Budget!

You may have noticed, from previous posts,
that things have been a little tight, financially, 
since our Gallery had to close last Autumn.
This has forced me to think more creatively,when it 
comes to presents, for friends and family.
It's Mr C's birthday in June.
What could I give him?
He has already been on the receiving end 
of my handknitted socks and fingerless mittens.

I had also made him a book, for Valentines Day.

Can you see the sock, poking out?
I put those inside the book.

I scratched my head for a bit and then had an idea!
He has a bag, that carries his essentials and goes everywhere with him.
It is, very, very, old and tatty and he has been
asking me, plaintively for ages, to make him a new one.
That involves sewing ... I don't do sewing! not 
conventionally, anyway.
It is a measure of the esteem, in which I hold him, 
that I am even considering it!!
What to make it out of. 
He had offered me some canvas, of which he has
an abundance, being an artist.
Obviously, that was out of the question, as it's a surprise.
I looked through my stash and found an offcut from
some curtains that we bought to keep out the draughts.
That would do the job, I thought, strong and very durable.
I set about cutting and sewing. 
Found some jazzy braid for the handles
and this is the result.

Reminds me of those old carpet bags.
Have you noticed that the design is upside down!
Wanted to make use of the hem of the curtain, as the top,
(if that makes sense), as it was so perfectly sewn.
Don't do conventional, I'm afraid. 

Just have to bind the seams and it will be finished.
Hope he likes it!
Finally, just got time to show you, a little
crochet project, I've started.


I am planning to attach, letters or shapes to each one.
The only worry is that I may run out of wool,
before I have made enough triangles.
Fingers crossed.
Hope the sun shines on you this weekend!

Friday, 23 May 2014

A little bit of this and a little bit of that!

"Into every life a little rain must fall" and it certainly
has, these last few days but earlier in the week .....

This was our garden, basking in the sunshine.
If you look very carefully, you can spot the blackbird
sitting on the top of the wooden sculpture.

The blackbirds are nesting in the climbing hydrangea,
round our kitchen window. He is patiently waiting for me 
to go inside, so he can feed his babies.
So I did!
My post this week, is for tying up a few loose ends.

My fairisle went to it's new home and I am delighted 
to say, it fits. One happy man!

I managed to repair the sock, I mentioned last week.
I carefully unravelled and cut out the chewed bit.
I then picked up the stitches at the top and bottom of the hole.
I still had some of the wool, I made the socks from. 
I knitted across the stitches on the first needle 
and using stocking stitch, I completed enough rows to cover the hole.
 At the end of each row, I knitted or purled, the last stitch
 together with the edge stitch of the hole.
It took a couple of goes before I was happy with it.
When I reached the other row of picked up stitches, 
I grafted them together.

Pleased with the result, I think!

I finished and sent off my crochet mandala to Yarndale

successfully bid on ebay for this little, vintage tool.
It's called the Handy Knitting and Crochet Guide and was
made in 1936. Not only does it keep a count the rows but 
 increases and decreases and how many times.
It also has a needle gauge down the side and a ruler 
at the bottom. 
A very useful addition to my knitting equipment. It will
make all those bits of paper, on which I usually record that
 information and have a tendency to lose, redundant.
Of course it's only as good as it's owner .... you have to remember
to move the little arrows, every time. Mmmmm!
All in all, a very productive week.
Enjoy this Bank Holiday Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Making and Remaking!

It's been a red letter day today!
Daisy our new furry friend, was let off the lead,
 for the first time and behaved perfectly.

She does have her mischievous side though but more of that later
I wanted to blog today about repairing old garments.
I recently discovered, a blogger by the name
of 'tomofholland', who has started something called,
 The Visible Mending Programme. He is trying to highlight
the art and craftmanship of clothes repair and wearing a 
beautiful darn, as a badge of honour.
This immediately struck a chord with me, 
as my ethos is, 'lost and found, recycle and renew'.
In the spirit of this, I decided to tackle a favourite 
sweater that I had bought in a Brighton charity shop,
on a visit to my sons. 
It is made from pure wool and is so comfy, I was
reluctant to part with it for a hole in the sleeve.

I must admit that I didn't darn the hole, I used crochet!
I found a very fine crochet hook 2.5mm and some darning
wool, and chained around the hole. I then, crocheted a row of
double crochet, decreasing every other stitch. 
I repeated this row until the hole was filled and there were no stitches left.
It has given, my jumper new life and a new story to tell.
I will wear it with pride.
On the same theme but using  a different method.
I blogged a while ago about making a new version of 
this sweater, that I loved but had had it's day.

I decided to give it a face lift, instead of consigning it to the scrapheap.

I sewed up the seams and bound the cuffs, with material.

I was given some bits of clamshell patchwork, which I think was going to
be a tea cosy. I loved the colours, which would be perfect for my project.
 I sewed the large block, to the back of the sweater
and individual pieces to mask the holes in the front.
I'm pleased with the result and have been wearing it, all week.
It reminded me of the way clothes were repurposed and remade,
 during World War 2. I think it is something to be embraced in our
throw away culture!

Everything these days seems to have built in obsolescence.
If this carries on, we will be drowning in waste.
Okay, getting off my soapbox now!

Oh I nearly forgot.......

This was Daisy's little naughtiness.
This is Mr C's hand knitted sock
after she had chewed it. 
Guess what I'll be doing this weekend.
Hope it's not a lost cause!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Surprise, Surprise!

Much to my surprise, I won a 'giveaway', 
and on my birthday too, by guessing the
colour of the border for Linda's gorgeous blanket.

Hope she won't mind my giving you a 'wee peek' at it.
It's a work of art!
The prize was a little mysterious, which made me 
even more excited. I eagerly waited for it to arrive.
I didn't have long. Inside the parcel, 
were lots of little packages, all individually wrapped.
By this time, my excitement knew no bounds.
I opened, each one carefully, to reveal.......

all these goodies..... 
2 balls of tweedy wool, wooden bird hanging ornament,
owl notebook, crochet heart keyring, notelets, buttons
and a vintage postcard fridge magnet.
I was absolutely delighted. Thank you Linda.
Before I go, I wanted to share my WIP

Can you guess what it will be? 
Yes you've got it.... a crochet mandala.
Lucy from Attic 24 has been asking for mandala wheels
for Yarndale this year. Thought I'd give it a go.
Why don't you!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Finally, It's Finished and a New Friend!

It's been a very strange week, here in our corner 
of North Yorkshire.
A mixture of sunshine and showers.
Today, it is quite chilly......
thought we'd got over all that!

Our tree peony is in bloom
and it's not the only thing in our garden!
If you look very carefully, you can see our new 
friend, Gill.

Yesterday morning, we had no thoughts of having another
dog and that evening, one turned up.

We had, I admit, toyed with the idea.
Mr C. said, one would turn up.
I, not being quite so confident, thought that I might have to give Fate
a helping hand. 'O ye of little faith', cause here she is!
We are just in the process of getting to know each other
but already, she has stolen a little piece of my heart.
Now then!  as they say in Yorkshire.
I can proudly announce that my fairisle
sweater, is finished. It has been rather a marathon
but I have learnt such a lot on the way.

 Over the weeks, I have posted little snapshots of my progress.

Well, here it is, in it's entirety, being modelled by Ethel and even though I
shouldn't blow my own trumpet, I am rather proud of it.

You are getting a sneak preview, as the recipient is
away on holiday, in Spain and won't be receiving it for another week.
I think Ethel will be sorry to see it go, as she has taken
 rather a fancy to it.

It only remains for me to wish you a
Happy Bank Holiday weekend, doing all the
things that you enjoy!