Saturday, 31 March 2012

On The Crest Of A Wave

Work is progressing well on my sister's quilt (based on the Paradise Batik Wave quilt by Cara from Moda Bake Shop) partly due to the extremely soggy weather during my stay in Scotland.
 I have 144 of these squares to construct and press (I hate pressing but love the look of pressed blocks - an awkward catch 22 unless I have a spare sister around!) before I can start constructing the top finally.  There's still a considerable amount of work to do but it feels like the beginning of the end, I've even started to consider how to quilt this monster.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Slowly Slowly Knitty Blanket

Actually when I concentrate on the the blanket squares don't actually take too long to knit, it just seems recently that I start my concentrating after 10pm at night!

Even with that slight handicap I have completed 2 more squares this week...
...which makes 4 out of the 14 squares I currently have.  Another package of 5 squares is due at the start of next week.  

The orange square caused me more trouble than I was expecting but I like the finished effect.  I love the blue square, but as I have only recently learnt how to add beads to knitted work I'm a sucker for anything knitted with beads at the moment.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A (Bright) Blast from the Past

Whilst up in Scotland my mum unearthed an English paper pieced quilt top we made together many years ago for my sister.  I tacked the hexies around the paper templates and my mum sewed all the hexies together.  Removing the papers at the end was a major group effort!

(Whilst trying to take a decent photo of this top I was kicking myself for not taking advantage of this evening's gloriously sunny weather to show it at its best!)

We made the quilt a generous single size, which as my sister now likes a double bed, is too small for her bed.  But fear not this is not destined to languish unfinished forever.  We've decided to back it with a fleece fabric so she can use it as a blanket for lazing on the sofa or for extra warmth in the winter.  Hopefully I'll get this backed and quilted in the very near future as it's a shame to keep something so cheerful hidden away.

Monday, 26 March 2012


I've been on holiday for the last week in the Highlands of Scotland (the rain and my forgetfulness means I have no pictures of my visit there), on the way back I decided to visit the Rheged Centre in Cumbria (conveniently just off the motorway home) to see their WOW exhibition, otherwise known as Wonder of Wool.  As you may guess from the name of the exhibition this little exhibition was dedicated to wool in all its forms - fresh from the sheep, off a variety of needles or even recycled.

A salon bench (one of several) covered in knitting from a group

A gallery of pieces all made in wool by locals

There were knitted houses of crime (replicas of places where murderesses had lived) and work knitted by children inspired by a car factory and there were even a flock of Cumbrian sheep ... 
...all made from 100% wool (ideally British) and which the organisers hope will be joined by thousands of others (

Although only a fairly small exhibition this was an interesting look at how wool can be used and how other people see it.  Definitely an ideal break from the M6!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Continuing Tale of the Mystery Blanket

I finally bit the bullet a few days ago and attempted my second square for the DA MB 2012.  The intarsia had been scaring me but the realisation that if I didn't get a move on this would quickly become a large, and expensive, UFO spurred me on.
I picked an easy intarsia square to start on and it quickly and satisfyingly came together well.  I then had a bit of a pause when faced with the challenge of how to pick up the stitches to start the orange square, but as you can see I have overcome this too.  The third square in this strip shouldn't cause me any pauses (fingers crossed!).

2 and a half squares out of 49 completed! (I don't actually have the materials or instructions for all 49 squares yet so its not quite as bad as it sounds)

For Japan - A Year On (Link Up)

Borrowed from Nellie's Niceties

As a follower of Nellie's Niceties I have just seen her post about two quilts she is selling to raise money for the International Rescue Committee's ongoing work in Japan.  Please go and visit her blog and read all about it and then share all about it on your blog, facebook or twitter, or even better by far place a bid on one of the quilts!

Borrowed from Nellie's Niceties

Monday, 12 March 2012

Bath Half Marathon

Sunday saw me travelling into Bath to participate in my first ever half marathon.  There was a party atmosphere in the sunny town and the 12000 runners seemed to be the entertainment for the partying spectators.  The payback for providing this entertainment was the amount of support the spectators (and the already finished runners) gave those on the course.

My time wasn't spectacular but that wasn't the aim, the aim this time was to see if I could do it and enjoy it.  And I can say yes on both counts, I especially enjoyed jogging up the hills! I though the fact that you did two laps of the course to achieve the 13.1 miles would make it more difficult but I actually quite liked knowing what to expect during the second half.

Will I do another?  Ask again in couple of days once the aches have worn off...but at the moment I think the answer is yes, but faster next time. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Landscape Quilt

On Saturday, after a significant diversion round the Somerset countryside (read getting lost for over an hour) I attended, for the first time, a quilting course at Midsomer Quilting.  A lovely LQS between Bath and Bristol where the kettle seems to be permanently on to keep the husbands' creche happy!

The course I'd decided to attend was Landscape Quilts taught by Effie Galletly. When I eventually found the shop I found the course in full swing transferring landscape photos to patterns, a fairly time consuming process.  I eventually settled on a photo I'd taken in Skye a few years ago as my quilt subject (I'd brought a good selection of pictures as I didn't know what'd work and dithered a lot over which to use).

The next few hours were busily consumed converting this picture to a set of fabric templates.

We then got to rummage through Effie's extensive landscape themed scraps box.  Very kindly she supplemented the fabrics we had brought along meaning that we got the best effect without having to buy lot of bits of fabrics when we only needed a small square.

By the end of the class I'd managed to find all the pieces of fabric I needed (the water sections proved to be a persistent problem even when I'd found the perfect fabric) and had manage to cut some out using the templates.

I've got some days off coming up visiting my family, I may find some time during the holiday to do a little more on this - maybe even attempt the scary sewing up!

Friday, 9 March 2012


Double headed daffs

A (rather dark) friendship bracelet destined to be a camera wrist strap one day

Running gear (from which I need to select something to wear for a 1/2 marathon on Sun)

A new lace knitting project (with a lot of stitch markers)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Slow Knitted Socks

Optimistically I think I started these socks during Xmas 2010, although I have a niggling feeling they may actually have been in progress since 2008!
Anyway either way I have finally finished my Pomatomus socks found in a 2005 issue of
(Since taking the photo I have sewn in the ends and grafted the toe)

The photo isn't the best (maybe I'll display finished socks on my feet in future) but there is a pattern of ribbed fans and lace all over the socks, which I found surprisingly easy to do and absorbing.  The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Peacock.  Both socks were knitted from one skein of yarn so the differing stripe pattern is a bit unexpected but I love them anyway.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Hen Party

Slightly less crafting than usual took place this weekend as I spent Saturday at my friend's Hen Party.  There was a twist on the traditional going out pubbing and clubbing and instead we attended a cookery class for the day.

First up was cupcake (fairy cake) decorating...
All enhanced with edible glitter!

And then we set about cooking a 3 course Caribbean themed meal...
This was the coconut and bean soup simmering nicely.  We also made jerk seasoned quorn pasties (using really simple flaky type pastry) with jerk peppers and tomatoes.  Followed by milk chocolate ganache tart.  I had intended to take photos of the finished items but I was so hungry and they were so nice that I had eaten my meal before I remembered (imagine an embarrassed face here). 

All in all it was a good way to spend a day.