Welcome to my blog. I live, knit and craft near the Northumbrian Coast (but not too near – the waves won't be splashing my knitting!).There's a story in every stitch, every grain of sand, every blade of grass. I thought I'd blog about it…
I have a ridiculous amount of crafty stuff. There is fabric, a sewing machine and sewing accessories, loads of yarn and fibre, my drum carder and other spinning accessories, art and card-making materials, beads and jewellery making supplies and much more. I came across the acronym SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy) a while ago and it must apply to me.
The candle-making kit, has invaded the garage, also known as K’s man cave (and he want’s it out) but everything else is in the conservatory, which is where I do my crafty activities. It had become a sorry mess. Until recently I shared the space with son’s drum kit, but that’s gone now. Also, I recently got a second hand microwave that I plan to use for dyeing fibre and yarn. I needed to move things around to accommodate that. I bought a load of plastic crates and, with a lot of help from daughter, who has been an absolute star, we’ve sorted the space out. I love it!
The first job I tackled in the newly revamped space were doggy duvet covers! I made some cosy doggy bedding a while ago from an old duvet, but the white cotton covering shows every muddy paw mark. I had a couple of old throws made from a nice soft fleece fabric, which were surplus to requirements so I’ve used these to cover some of the doggy duvets. I just cut them to size, pinned them in place over the duvets and machine stitched all the way round, about 2 cm from the edge and then again as close to the edge as possible.
They look much better than the uncovered ones.
More importantly, Buddy seems to really like them!
We had a small but select gathering online for our Knit and Natter Group on Friday. As you can see, we are all keeping busy!
R’s hexagon patchwork (pictured above) is growing rapidly.
A is also working with hexagons – in crochet, being pieced together to make a pretty blanket in shades of pink.
L is making this knitting T shirt top.
We recently heard about an opportunity to take part in a yarn bombing event at Alnwick Garden. We are all rather excited about this and T has started already. This colourful scarf will look amazing wrapped round a tree!
I’m still spinning alpaca fleece. I’m working towards a sweater for myself.
It’s always great to see what everyone is working on.Knitting,crochet
I’ve always enjoyed knitting with a view. This usually entails a drive to the beach. I sit in the car watching the waves (and knitting) while K walks the dog. I recently acquired a battery pack for my little e-spinner, so I can spin yarn anywhere. I took it outside for the first time today for some very scenic spinning at the Alnwick Garden.
We wandered up to the walled garden first of all. In spring this part of the garden has a spectacular display of tulips.
There are a couple of secluded little secret gardens, sheltered by tall yew hedges with a central pool and fountain.
I stopped at a bench here and spun some of the alpaca fibre I prepared. It is such a peaceful spot.
Our next stop was the Cherry Orchard. Here 329 Taihaku cherry trees are planted on a steep slope. At the moment the cherry blossom is at its peak and it is breathtaking.
Every branch is smothered in white flowers which are alive with bees feasting on the nectar .
A path snakes down the bank through the trees in a series of hairpins, past benches and swing seats. I stopped here for a bit more spinning.
On we went past the poison garden and stopped for a coffee on the lawns in front of the grand cascade.
I’d packed my spinning into a little old picnic hamper which also balances on the front of my scooter so I can set up on there.
It was a perfect spring day, with hardly a cloud in the sky and warm in the sun out of the wind. I’m looking forward to a lot more more al fresco spinning this summer.
When there’s a new baby being fussed over and showered with gifts, older siblings can get left out. When I delivered the Teddy Bear Baby Hoodie for my friend’s new baby boy I wanted to take something for his big sister. I didn’t have much time to come up with something but I made this flower hat on the knitting loom and it didn’t take long at all.
I used three strands of DK yarn, each in a different colour (purple, magenta and lilac).
When I finished it is felt there was something missing.
I crocheted a flower and sewed it on. Much better!
It was lovely to see the children and their mum this morning when I took their presents over. We sat in the garden and had coffee. What a nice way to spend a morning!
What do you make when you need a last minute gift?
Do you have a go to pattern when knitting for a new baby? This is one of mine. I’ve done it at least five times now. I even made it twice for my great nephew. He grew out of the first one and his mum asked if I could make it again in a larger size as they all liked it so much! I’ve just knitted it again for a friend’s new baby boy and I’m looking forward to meeting him when I deliver it in person tomorrow.
It’s a Stylecraft Lullaby pattern and I think both pattern and yarn are discontinued so I needed to pick out an alternative DK yarn.
When I bought it and the matching buttons, all but essential shops were closed as part of the COVID Lockdown (though many of us might consider yarn/craft shops as pretty essential! ) I was still able to choose yarn and buttons from The Amble Pin Cushion via a series of messages. Proprietor Norma picked out a selection of suitable yarns and sent a photo. I picked the shade I liked best in a washable yarn (hand wash only baby clothes are not a very practical gift!). We repeated the process with the buttons, then I paid by phone and went to collect my order the next day – Norma even brought it out to my car!
The hoodie uses a DK yarn and it’s knitted in a broken rib pattern with K2P2 rib edges.
The cute teddy bear ears are what make it special.
Although there are a lot of components to sew together it is fun to knit. I hope its new owner likes it!
It’s been a strange few weeks. The weather is all over the place (four seasons in one day) and as we gradually come out of Lockdown and readjust to yet another “new normal ” it is reassuring to find a few constants in life. Friday Knit and Natter Zoom meetings have become that, though of lately knitting seems to have ground to a halt. Fortunately the other group members have been very productive, whether they fit knitting in between work and family commitments or knit around the clock. I’m always curious (and Inspired) to see what everyone is up to because they produce such range of items. We all have such diverse knitting interests, whether that is participating in a community or charity project or knitting for ourselves and family members. Some prefer to knit smaller items such as hats or baby clothes and others prefer longer term projects like blankets or adult sweaters. There are always so many techniques being used too, whether that is colour work or cable…..and not just knitting but crochet too…and in this selection, embroidery and patchwork! Here are some of the many items they have been completing via screenshots from our weekly Zoom meetings.
LC was inspired by a pattern in a magazine and quickly completed this Fair Isle Cushion cover in bright primary colours.
Y completed her sock knitting challenge and raised money for charity. She also made a boy’s hoodie with a diamond cable panel, a red jacket with a contrasting white design on the yoke and a reverse stocking stitch jumper in pretty pastels with a lacy panel (from her “Knit in a Box” subscription). She even made some mittens at the request of someone with a Bearded Collie – they already had some yarn spun from their dog’s coat and wanted an item made from it. They look super-warm! Both Y and her husband spin yarn – he’s been prepping several different sheep fibres on the drum carder and now Y is knitting him a jumper with the yarn he’s spun. Teamwork!
R finished her aqua ombre scarf and is now working on something completely different. She’s returned to a project she began with her mother some 50 years ago! She’s hand sewing a patchwork of hexagons. It’s been lovely to see all the fabric colours and designs and watch it growing with each week as more sections are added.
Also getting bigger is T’s blanket. We’ve all fallen in love with the raspberry pink/red shades.
LG’s crochet blanket in black and grey with a hint of pink is now finished. It’s a great colour combination….sort of girly goth! She then moved on to a colourful rainbow scarf and is now making a much paler baby pink blanket
The group have made a lot of baby clothes since we began, and these have been sent to good causes at home and abroad. Gill has been busy continuing this and producing some lovely items, including a very pretty multicolour cable jumper.
S has been making baby items too.. These her most recent completions.
She also told us about a project she’s been involved with to create a banner for the Climate Change Summit being held later this year. This will be comprised of many small panels made by participating crafters, each with their own environmental themed designs. S has used some examples of endangered wildlife on her contributions. The finished banner is going to give an amazing depiction of biodiversity under threat from climate change.
Our newest member A has also been making charity baby clothes including, bootees and hats as well as a cuddly bunny. She recently acquired a new book full a patterns for different hats and scarves and made a flowery one – perfect for using up oddments of yarn!. She also made a cabled headband with a Celtic weave design
After some information was circulated round the group about a plan to create a display of knitted poppies for Remembrance Day later in the year , we were all a bit puzzled by the pattern supplied. It included a twist to give the shape but it wasn’t very clear about how to do this. We put our heads together one Friday and Y worked it out, then A found a You Tube video that showed a similar technique. What a collaboration!
No doubt I’ve missed some items out for which I apologise….I really need to keep up to date with my blog!
The group met again today and I just had to post about LC’s Fair Isle cushion, now completed with a stylish ribbed edge and button closure as it looks amazing. I didn’t take any other photos as we were enthusiastically discussing potential plans to take part in a yarn bombing project. !
Have you ever done yarn bombing? I’d love to hear about what you did.