Sunday, 2 November 2014

Button eyes

A strange thing happened to me yesterday. I bought some fabric!

Seriously, it has been months and months since I bought any fabric. I'm hardly sewing these days. But yesterday, dh and I drove into Derbyshire. We stopped in Crich for a late breakfast, and walked past a haberdashery shop called "Love Hector". I paused to look at the vintage sewing machine in the window, at which point, dh asked if I wanted to go in.

Well. Twenty minutes later, and somewhat poorer, I left the shop again. With this package:


The shopkeeper kindly wrapped up my purchases in an old dressmaking pattern.

Unwrapped, there is this:


And this:


The panel is printed with the pieces to make a doll and a toy dog. They would be wonderful for Halloween, so it's a pity I'm a little late. But next year might be doable, considering how slow I am with actually crafting!

These fabrics remind me of something. Do they remind you??


Apologies for the poor lighting in my photos today. My camera battery was nearly flat, so I couldn't use the flash. And if I delay, I might just not write a blog post, so I thought better seize the moment!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Stashdown #10: October 2014

I bought one skein of red yarn this month, to make a pair of baby bootees. Yarn in: 137.

FOs with yardage out:

  • pair of strawberry bootees using aforementioned red yarn. 78 yards out.
  • innocent mini hat #21 - hallowe'en pumpkin. 12 yards out. 

My total yardage has gone up again for the second month in a row. I'm feeling that this year, my target of nil net increase might not be met. :(

BF from last month: +1630
In: +137
Out: -90
YTD:  +1677

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Twelve

Someone has had another birthday:


For this year's birthday outing, we went to the National Media Museum in Bradford, where there is a whole gallery dedicated to computer animation, including some vintage arcade games at only 10p.


You can also try operating film cameras, and learn about the history of the internet. We had a great day, although we were less than impressed with Bradford itself. Ended up having dinner in Leeds instead!


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Strawberry Fair

I love making strawberries. Previously I made four of the strawberry innocent mini hats:



And last weekend, I made a pair of baby bootees that look like strawberries:


The seeds were done with duplicate stitch. And the pattern was in a book called Knitted Bootees for Tiny Feet by Catherine Bouquerel. Although they are sweet little designs, I can't whole-hearted recommend this book, because there are pattern errors in it. I've made two pairs of booties from it so far, and both had stitch count problems. 38 stitches will not work with 2x2 rib, nor for the strawberry leaf element on this one. Sigh.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Stashdown #9: September 2014

Oooh, what a bad blogger I am. Bad blogger, bad crafter, all round very bad. In my defence, job change in September has had a big impact. I had a lot of work to finish up in my old job and then my new job has taken up a lot of time and energy, and I'm working more hours now too so have less time for crafting.

Anyway, here's my stashdown report for September:

Yardage in:

1687 of 4 ply to make a colour affection. This is about 400 yards more than required, owing to difficulties with colour choice.

Yardage out:

27 yards on 2 mini hats. *Blushes* This is my least productive September for some years!!

YTD brought forward -30 yards
+1687 in
-27 out
New YTD +1630.

Guess I'd better get on with the knitting!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Stashdown #8: August 2014

Stashdown report for end August is extremely short. No yarn in, no yarn out, so I am still at net -30. I have however been to the yarn shop this week, so I shall have an increase to report next time, as no way will I knit all of that down inside a month:


It's all 4-ply yarn, mostly intended for a Color Affection shawl.

I didn't do any crafting in August and I haven't written here much either. There was a lot of organising needed to get ds ready to start secondary school (honestly, how did that happen?? When I first started blogging here, he was only six years old!) My grandma has not been too well in August so I had a few related family visits. I had booked a week off in mid-August and I was hoping to go away for a few days, but I was invited to a job interview in the middle of it, so we had to stay home. Luckily I actually got that job! I will be working a few more hours and it will be quite a challenge, especially at first, so I think there could be negative crafting impact. I'm due to start in a couple more weeks.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Historical fact and fiction

This August, I have not been knitting, crocheting or sewing. I haven't even been to the yarn shop. I have mostly been reading!

In a charity shop in early August, I found a copy of Midnight is a Place. Re-reading that caused me to look in my boxed children's book collection, where I found the short story book A Harp of Fishbones and Go Saddle the Sea, an adventure story set mainly in Spain in the early nineteenth century.  I had always thought Go Saddle the Sea seemed not to have a proper ending, and this time, when I finished it, I looked it up on Amazon, and discovered it was part of a trilogy. In the pre-Internet age, when I first read it, I had no idea! So guess what speedily downloaded itself onto my Kindle?!



I also finished a book I started ages ago called How to be a Victorian. Yes, a book actually for grown ups! I wanted to finish it after reading Midnight is a Place, which is a fictional account of life for child factory workers in the nineteenth century. After reading this book, I am no longer surprised at the high mortality rate amongst Victorian children. Instead, I'm rather astonished that anyone ever lived to grow up. Not only were infectious diseases and dirty water rife, the food was terrible. There was no formula milk, and many women were working, so according to this book, infants were fed mostly on bread mixed with water, with a side helping of laudanum (alcohol and opiates) to keep them quiet. Suppose they didn't die from malnutrition, infection, or the effects of the opiates, dangerous factory work could easily finish them off in a few years.

That's depressing. I was glad to get back to Joan Aiken! Another charity shop foray added A Small Pinch of Weather (short stories. I especially like the ones about the Armitage children). I'm now trying to locate a copy of All but a Few that I also had as a kid. More short stories! And I'd love to read A Necklace of Raindrops, which I haven't before, and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase again. I'll keep you posted :)