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Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and enjoying the prospect of your weekend.I have had a pretty productive few days even with still being on light duties.

Have cut back on my planned sewing and knitting for the time being to give my wrist a rest and have been enjoying the delights of the Liberty stash packs that Kerry and Ellie bought me for Christmas from Very Berry fabrics.

I have nearly run out of some of the prints so will be looking to restock when we go to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham next week. We have a girly trip planned with some of the knitting group, I have give them strict instructions to them to restrain my fabric buying though ;-)

I was very late to the love of Liberty party, it was only really when I went to the brooch making workshop last year that I realised how useful the little prints could be and since then have been inspired by blogs like Nana Company.

So here is the fruit of my labours, have still to put together the needlebooks as I am busy making more pretty hexagons for these which it is a little bit addictive.

That and a boxed set on Sky and I am very happily entertained! Am currently avidly watching Falling Skies, a series set after an alien invasion which is very edge of your seat stuff.

Liberty pincushions 1

Liberty Pincushions 2

Liberty Pincushions 3

Liberty Pincushions 4

I have given each pincushion some little coordinated pins, these were recently obtained from EBay, don’t know which I like best, flowers, hearts, drops or leaves as they are all so pretty.

Liberty Pincushions 5

I have also been finishing off the little knitted pincushions, have added charms and altered the one I made earlier using ribbons to do the divisions rather than thread which I think makes it look very cute.

Knitted Pincushions July

Knitted Pincushions July 2

Well I shall love you and leave you now and get back to the hard slog of television and stitching!
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

We have had a very nice if damp weekend away at the Tatton event and this morning went to visit Dunham Massey, a National Trust property with a special exhibition which was very interesting.

It links in with several books that I have been reading about the role of women in the First World War and is called Sanctuary from the Trenches .

The story that is told is of the Stamford Military Hospital set up during the war at the property and of the nurses who worked there, particularly Sister Catherine Bennett who was matron and Lady Jane Grey, the daughter of the Stanford family who worked as a VAD during the war.

It is a very well put together display using both historical artefacts and interpretations, including lovely text printed on articles such as sheets, socks and bedside tables to tell the story of the men who spent time at that hospital.

Dunham Massey 1

Dunham Massey 2

Dunham Massey 3

Dunham Massey 4

Dunham Massey 5

Dunham Massey 6

My friend Barbara has recently done a talk on knitting for the First World War – the Knitting and Crochet Guild based in Huddersfield has some artefacts that were knitted for soldiers. I thought this reproduction of a note from a knitter was very thought provoking.

One of the rooms was displaying artefacts from the lives of the nurses who lived and worked there including their training manual.

Dunham Massey 7

Dunham Massey 8

Dunham Massey 9

Dunham Massey 10

Dunham Massey 11

I have recently read a very good fictional trilogy which I have just bought copies of for Ellie called Daughters of War by Hilary Green dealing with a similar story of women volunteering for duty during the war in Gallipoli.

Dunham Massey 12

In the kitchen at Dunham Massey there were some costumed volunteers who were knitting for the troops, they very kindly allowed me to take pictures.

Dunham Massey 13

Dunham Massey 14

Dunham Massey 15

On one of our recent Trust visits we got lots of lovely books from one of their second – hand book shops, one of which was an amazing book called, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, by Margaret Foster , edited from the diaries of Millicent King, born in 1901 who of course experienced both the First and Second World Wars and kept a diary of her life from the age of 13 until the age of 93.

Dunham Massey

It would have been a really interesting book if it had been a work of fiction but was all the more poignant for being a true story.

A very interesting, thought provoking and moving morning.

Hope that you have had a good weekend whatever you have been doing, see you soon and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone, I hope that you did have a very nice weekend, mine was productive and I am posting today to share with you my latest creations.

I have told you before about my love of pincushions, like most crafters I have several and love making them but these are my very first knitted ones :-)

knitted pincushions May

I am making some things for my friend Sarah of Alder Sign Designs  as she has a stall at Yarndale this September and these are the first two from the production line.

I took inspiration from all the lovely things on a pincushion Pinterest board here and another Pinterest  search for knitted pincushions, (there are some seriously cute crochet ones out there, must learn to crochet next, my life will not be complete until I can make a granny square pin cushion!).

I didn’t follow a pattern, just made it up as I went along so I have put a tutorial here for you in case you want to make some yourself.

1. Using 2.5mm double pointed needles and 4 ply yarn cast on 45 stitches. Thicker yarn and/or larger needles will give a larger pincushion – these measure approx. 8cm inches in diameter.

2. Distribute the stitches evenly between the 3 needles.

3. For the purple pincushion knit in stocking stitch (all knit rows) until work measures 9cm in length.

Purple pincushion

4. Leave stitches on needles and using long tail of thread and large eyed needle gather all stitches, pull tight and fasten securely

Knit for winter mitts May 6

5. For pink pincushion knit in stocking stitch, (all rows knit), until work measures 4 cm in length then knit in moss stitch, (knit 1, purl 1) ,for 6 rows. Then knit in stocking stitch for a further 3.5 cm in length.

knitted pincushions May 2

6. Finish as for purple pincushion in step 4.

7. Stuff firmly with polyester toy stuffing and then using length of yarn and large eyed needle pick up stitches from cast on edge to gather. Pull tight and fasten securely.

8. For purple pincushion – use a length of embroidery thread , (all 6 strands), or similar threaded onto a sharp needle. Stitch to attach thread to gathered up centre.

9. Securely wrap thread around the body of the pincushion to form eight segments. Pull tightly as you do this and secure each time you take thread back to centre with a stitch.

10. For both pincushions stitch buttons at centre of pincushion (top and bottom) to cover gathered join. Pull tightly when stitching to flatten pincushion. I did both buttons simultaneously then left thread tail inside of body.

11. Add co-ordinating pins!

knitted pincushions May 3

knitted pincushions May 4

One of my favourite bloggers, Mary Kathryn, has just made some gorgeous embroidered linen pincushions, go and have a look at her post about them, if she shipped to the UK I would have bought one as they are just beautiful.

I have just ordered some more buttons and charms from Etsy as well to decorate the next few batches of accessories , I really love these little decorated buttons that I first saw at Yarndale last year.

I am going to test out one with a lace pattern border this week to improve my skills at lace knitting in the round!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

I have been wanting to learn to knit with double-pointed and circular needles for ages, I did try a pair of socks of few years ago and it was a disaster as I could not avoid making holes at the join of the stitches.

The recent delivery of the Knit for Winter pattern meant that I knew I had to try to tackle it again and I am very pleased to say that with the help of my lovely friends at knitting group, (especially Sarah who was so patient when I kept ending up with only two needles), I have managed it.

This is truly knitting genius and I have to say I am hooked, don’t think I will ever knit in the flat again, all the things they say about knitting in the round are true.

It is so clever to just knit and get stocking stitch without having to remember which is your purl row. And no seams! That is fantastic.

I have finished one pair of the mittens from the Erin Cowl and Fingerless Mitts pattern by Lesley Jones and I am pleased with most of the work. I did have little issues with losing stitches from the end of my needles so have had to pick up a few things which makes it look a bit messy.

Knit for winter mitts May

The lace pattern at the top did also go a bit awry – I like the look of the pattern that I ended up with but the two mitts don’t match very well so I have been knitting another pair which are coming out better for the Knit for Winter project and will keep the first pair for myself.

Knit for winter mitts May 4

I am also very proud of the fact that I have knitted a thumb for the first time especially as knitting a lace pattern on only 24 stitches in the round was very fiddly!

Knit for winter mitts May
I have plans to knit the cowl as well to match. I have lots of this wool left and it is so pretty. Despite the mitts pattern looking a bit complex it isn’t and I have really enjoyed it, it completes quickly and is simple enough to work the lace while watching TV.

Knit for winter mitts May 3

I am also very excited as now that I have learnt to work in the round I am going to able to knit a sample for Sarah, she designs her own patterns, (a true knitting genius), under the name Aldersign Designs  and has a stall booked at Yarndale in September this year so I am going to knit a pair of mitts for the stall. She is working on a book of patterns all inspired by Elves which will be fantastic.

Yarndale

I am also going to be working on some knitting accessories such as pin cushions, scissor and needles storage etc for her to sell on her stall as well using mainly my recycled denim, vintage crochet and embroidery and hexi applique.

Below is a little bit of knitting in the round that I have done with some spare stash Debbie Bliss Sublime yarn that I will being turning into a pincushion. I love how working on such small needles (2.5mm) gives you such a neat and pretty pattern in simple stocking stitch.

Knit for winter mitts May 5

Knit for winter mitts May 6

This will be my summer project in between kit making. The great thing is that knitting in the round is so portable for taking on trains and knitting in cars on the journeys to events. So that is my summer crafting sorted!

Am spending most of this weekend finally getting to make the surcoat for Jamie and may be able to make the April Block of the Month as well – have got behind due to the loveliness of having holidays and lots of visitors last month but must get some of the kit I have promised everyone (including me!) actually started.

Hope that you are all going to have a lovely weekend ahead. Thanks for visiting.

 

I blame Amazon, all you are doing is checking if they have a book and putting it on your wishlist for future reference, a sewing book recommended by one of my new favourite blogs,  Did You Make That?

Then when you are updating your wishlist there is a little message that says, ‘get yourself a little something’ , and you think, ‘no Amazon I am being good’, as I have 27 books in the, ‘to be read pile’ , already.

But then you see that something you have had on your wishlist for ages has gone down to a ridiculously low price AND it is being sold by one of the charity book sellers and it is Easter and you don’t really like chocolate so no-one has bought you any so it is really an Easter present to yourself :-)

Anyway it is done and it is on its way and I could have worse vices than a small book addiction I suppose.

I have bought Flower Power Patchwork which was reviewed in one of my quilt mags a while ago, looks like it will be really good for using some of my beautiful Liberty fabric.

Flower Power Patchwork

It is a gorgeous weekend here and I am very much enjoying the sunshine, I replanted my hanging baskets yesterday and they are looking very pretty.

April flowers

I have also made very good progress with the re-knitting of the cuff for the #knit for winter mittens that I first blogged about a couple of days ago.

Knit for winter - Cuff knitting

It worked much better with the Debbie Bliss yarn and I have now picked up all of the stitches and am ready for the knitting in the round stuff.

It doesn’t seem to fit very well on the circular needles, seems to be a bit too small for me to actually knit with – maybe I am doing something wrong but think I need to use the DPNs instead, shall wait until knitting group on Tuesday for more advice.

Well must go now as the bin men have just been which means I can put the washing out for the first time this year – very exciting, my life is so rock and roll ;-)

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your sunshine if you are lucky enough to have some.

Hope that you are all having a great Easter weekend, I am very much enjoying myself pottering around the house, the weather has been kind so done a little garden tidying and lots of knitting while catching up on some of my recorded TV. Have finally finished game of Thrones (just in time for Season 5) and Wolf Hall.

I have had guests for the last few weekends which has been very nice but I am also very much enjoying quiet time alone (Jake is still here for the holidays but is happily amusing himself with the joys of online entertainment).

I was talking to him last night about blogs etc and was surprised that he had never used Pinterest, I was explaining the pleasure I get from being able to look up sewing, knitting and quilting inspiration and then later on in the evening while doing a bit of catching up of my favourite blogs I came across this amazing board which I though I would share with you.

It was linked to by Melissa of Happy Quilting – I found her website as a link from Crazy Mom Quilts , one of my favourite quilting sites.

She has lots of lovely boards with her quilting on but this Quilts, Quilts, Quilts Pinterest board  she has linked to set up by Maryland Quilter has no fewer than 170,865 pins on it, enough to keep you amused for a while! There is some amazing stuff out there and I am in awe at the skill levels of people.

Meanwhile on the actually productive front I have finished the fairly tricky lace pattern for the first cuff of my #knit for winter mittens but unfortunately it is not working with the wool.

Knitting April 2015 - finished cuff

It is beautiful wool but is variegated with a lot of different colours and is just not going to work on this small an item.

Knitting April 2015 - variegated wool

I should have realised before but sometimes it takes a while for things to sink in and it was only when I finished I realised that I am not happy with the fact that the seam for the cuffs is going to have such a drastic colour change.

Knitting April 2015 - cuff joined

Am starting again with some Debbie Bliss Rialto four ply that I got as part of another de-stash, re-stash from knitting group and will save the other wool for a larger scale project, I think it would make a lovely hat for the #knit for winter campaign as the colours are beautiful but it needs a larger scale to show it off.

Knitting April 2015 - Debbie Bliss wool

I also think that this smoother wool will work better with the lace pattern as well as I am not happy about the untidiness of the top of the pattern here.

Knitting April 2015 - cuff detail

Also cast on for a simple knitting group project (one that I can drink wine with!) This is a moss stitch cowl from a Let’s Knit freebie booklet from a few years ago with some Rowan wool cotton, again from the de-stash, re-stash and this will be donated to the #knit for winter campaign as well.

Knitting April 2015 - rowan cowl

Knitting April 2015

I am really looking forward to the week ahead as my lovely Mum arrives on Weds and we are off to Copenhagen on Friday for a few days, will post lots of Scandinavian historical stuff when I get back!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

I know that the post title may be a bit confusing as it is Easter but the way the weather is here in Yorkshire today it might as well be November, we had a beautiful warm Spring day here yesterday and I was getting all excited but now it is all ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ again.

Not that this is a problem as my Easter weekend is full of indoor knitting and stitching plans anyway.

Although I am not doing as much knitting this year I was very excited to be asked to participate in a project to raise awareness of the campaign #knit for winter being run by Sunrise Senior Living.

Myself and several other bloggers have been asked to knit items which will be donated to charities who help older people to raise money and awareness of the effects of the cold weather for older people.

This is a quote from the campaign blog post  showing how big a problem this can be.

“Age UK report than an average of 25,000 “excess winter deaths” occur each year during the winter months (December – March). One elderly person dies needlessly every 7 minutes from the cold. That is around 206 deaths each day which could be prevented.”

If you would like to get involved then you can post a comment with contact details on the Knit for Winter blog post or if you use Twitter search #knitforwinter

I know that there are lots of knitters with spare wool and time who would love to get involved in this very good cause – use up your stash and not only will you get a warm feeling, someone else will as well ;-)

To start the campaign they have very kindly given me some gorgeous wool and a pattern, look at this lovely stuff.

Knit for winter -Erin cowl and mitts

Knit for winter 2 cowl

The pattern is by Lesley Jones and is called the Eirin cowl and fingerless mitts and I have put a link to her Etsy site in case you love the pattern as much as I do. She also has more shawls as well as the Eirin pattern on her Ravelry page.

I chose this pattern from all the ones I was offered as it is similar to some wristwarmers that I knitted a few years ago in the picture below and wanted to have a practise with lace again.

knit for winter - lilac-handwarmers

It is in the round which will be a challenge as I have never done that before but I have my lovely friends at knitting group if I get stuck!

Knit for winter 4- mitts

I have also just finished this little hat out of some de-stash, re-stash wool that I got when we had a swap session at knitting group, going to add some tassels to it and that can be donated as well.

Knit for winter-beanie

Have got enough wool for a few more of these in different colours so will be casting on for those over the next few weeks, these are great knitting group projects as you don’t have to concentrate too hard on them when you have had wine!

How I love Saturdays :-) back to back cups of tea and a bit of blogging to share with you the joy that was Harrogate Knitting and Stitching, followed by more actual stitching.

And tomorrow will be more of the same! Ellie and Kerry have gone to Harrogate today and I am sure they will have a fab time as well.

I have not visited for a few years, partly due to not actually needing any more fabric (probably ever) but definitely being good in the run up to moving house and trying to use up what I have got in the last two years.

However this year Sharon and Helen from knitting group also wanted to go.We had a lovely day and also helped with restraining each other’s spending which was soooo hard.

It was fun to shop with people who have very different tastes.I am so drawn to anything medieval whereas Helen loves flowery prints and Sharon bought bright solids for her latest art gallery bunting.

The exhibition halls were full and there was much more gorgeous fabric than in previous years, as well as the lovely wool and stitching stalls and the exhibitions itself.

Our first purchases were actually from Simply Solids (got to support our local business) where I bought some mini charm packs similar to those I got from them on their opening day.

Then I found some fat quarters of the Moda Printemps that I had used from one of those mini charms packs for the hexagons so bought a couple of these to use as backing.

They are going to become toilet bags this afternoon for Christmas presents and will look lovely with some co-ordinating solids – such pretty designs!

Harrogate 2014 hexis backing fabric

As always Sue from Springwood House Designs had some beautiful Robert Kaufman Christmas fabrics so I bought these to add to the stash plus the sliver one for flower brooch making.

Harrogate 2014 Xmas fabric

Harrogate 2014 Xmas fabric 2

I was also very tempted by a wonderful Robert Kaufman tree panel and after seeing it on a few stalls finally gave in and bought one.

Apologies for the creases but you can see from the detail photos what a wonderful piece it is – more like a work of art than just fabric.

Harrogate 2014 tree panel

Harrogate 2014 tree panel

Harrogate 2014 tree panel detail 2

Harrogate 2014 tree panel detail 3

Harrogate 2014 tree panel detail 4

This will not be finished for this year, it needs lots of time lavished on it – hand quilting and maybe some seed beads as well.

I also picked up some bargain back issues of a few magazines, I do love reading craft mags even if I will never have time to make any of the things in them!

Harrogate 2014 magazines

Also came across a bargain bin for fabric on one of the stalls – most of these were £1 each :-) I am trying to break away from just medieval and could not resist the bright elephant print second from right.

Harrogate 2014 bargain bin fabric

The exhibitions are always a delight – these pictures were from the graduate showcases – the first knitter is a Huddersfield student which is very nice to see.

Harrogate 2014 Knitting exhibit 1

I loved this Hobbit themed set – look at Smaug the dragon!

Harrogate 2014 Knitting exhibit 2

Harrogate 2014 Knitting exhibit 3

Harrogate 2014 Knitting exhibit 5 dragon

And these would make amazing gifts for dog owners.

Harrogate 2014 Knitting exhibit 4 dogs

I have some more work to show you but will do that in another post as this one is getting a bit long!

Hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour and thanks for visiting. Now off to use up some of this stuff lol!

Yesterday my friend Sarah from knitting and I went to Yarndale, a festival of all things woolly, in the pretty little town of Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Here is the front cover of the show guide – how cute is that sheep!

Yarndale 15 brochure
Skipton is worth a visit at any time as the town and the countryside are lovely and as the weather was beautiful we had a great journey there.

Sarah is a very talented knitter, crocheter and designer and she has some beautiful patterns here on her blog Wessenden Woollies and on Ravelry. She is working on some new designs and wanted to source wool for these.

I am being very good at the moment and not buying anything else (until the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show) so just went for the chance to see some woolly loveliness.

And it was there in abundance! This is Yarndale’s second year and it is held in the animal auctions sheds in Skipton so the whole place smells of sheep and the pens are ready to welcome new visitors such as these cute alpacas who had come to model their gorgeous fleeces.

Yarndale 1 Alpaca

Yarndale 2 Alpaca

There were some old favourites there such as Oliver Twists who do such beautiful threads and some lovely new things.

Yarndale 4 Oliver Twist

One of my favourites was Susan Crawford Vintage  who designs garments based on patterns from the 1920s to 1950s, published as A Stitch in Time , I do like that name :-).

Yarndale 10-vintage knits

As well as wool there were textile artists. Two that I particularly liked were Marmalade Rose  with gorgeous felted pictures (and some fab vintage linens re-used on her blog) and Anne Brooke with stunning stitched textile pieces.

There were also very original display ideas on the stalls and this was one of my favourites.

Yarndale 8 tray

Yarndale 9 tray

I think it is an old printer’s drawer but thought something like this would be an excellent decoration for my craft room, loved all the little balls of wool and buttons!

The hall was decorated with strings of bunting made for last year’s Yarndale and over 1000 mandalas made for this year’s event by readers of Lucy’s Attic 24 blog. They had been sent from 48 different countries after she asked for help from her bloggy friends – don’t you just love the power of the internet!

Yarndale 6 Bunting

Yarndale 7 Bunting

Yarndale 3 Mandalas

These were a few of the ones laid out on the table for closer inspection, love the sheep buttons on that top one and the bike charms (you may remember Yorkshire hosted the start of the Tour de France earlier this summer).

Yarndale 11 - mandala close up

Yarndale 12 mandala close up

Yarndale 13 mandala close up

There was also a display of crochet flowers.

Yarndale 5 Flower garden
And look at this cute button jug! Might have to add that to my Christmas list as that would look really good in my craft room.

Yarndale 14 button jug

Speaking of buttons I was very good and all I bought at the event were these few buttons. I am using them for more of my flower brooches and made this denim one last night.

Yarndale 18 big pretty buttons

Yarndale 19 Denim flower

Earlier on in the week I ordered some very similar buttons from a supplier I found on Ebay (was looking for holly buttons but got distracted!). They are from Bluebell Craft Supplies  and were very good value as there are 80 small 15mm buttons in a packet for £1.69 plus postage.

arndale 17 pretty buttons

Also bought some Christmas ones – these have got some very cute vintage designs on them.

Yarndale xmas buttons

Have found a supplier of the larger ones on Ebay at Willow Tree Mill  as well so might be tempted to go back for more (only once I have used all these up though!)

I also signed up for a subscription to Simply Crochet, as well as improving my quilting this year I would like to learn to crochet as keep seeing wonderful things that I want to make (got to have something to keep me busy over the off-season apart from work and kit making!)

Since I have had a very busy first week of term and it is a dull day I am going to stay snuggled under my fleecy blanket and make more brooches and Xmas ornaments today.

Don’t forget to like my last post for the giveaway to celebrate 400 posts (thanks to all of you who have already done so) I will be choosing the winner next Sunday. Hope you have had a nice week whatever you have been doing and thanks for visiting.

I am getting ready for the last event of the season at Hampton Court Castle  (not the palace!). This will be the battle of Mortimer’s Cross and is a War of the Roses event that I have not done before. It looks like a beautiful venue so have camera at the ready!

I have knitted some booties this week for my friend’s baby as I thought it might be a little chilly camping. Maria has been re-enacting with her parents all season and been a brilliant baby. She has a little linen outfit to wear so I thought the colour would be good with that.

Booties for Maria

They are knitted with Sublime wool using a pattern that is 24 years old! When I was pregnant with Ellie I knitted some bootie and hat sets to go with her outfits. I really like the pattern as it is very straightforward to knit and the wool is very soft.

Booties for Maria 2

Booties for Maria

Teaching starts again next week, can’t believe summer has gone so fast, have had a brilliant time. Looking forward to all my autumn crafting though. Have lots of lovely things planned both on my own and with friends.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

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