Saturday, 31 March 2012

Stashdown #3

Continuing to stash down, it's now two months since I bought any yarn. Quite astonishing. During March, I used up:

  • 150 yards babylonglegs sock yarn - the second sock of the pair I started in February
  • 300 yards of Schoppelwolle Zauberball in another pair of socks
  • 180 yards of Rowan cotton jeans. I have only 15g of this left now, down from 8 skeins at the start of the year
  • About 150 yards of assorted yarns making some crocheted play food for my niece to use in her toy kitchen
  • 50 yards of JC Rennie 4-ply making a mini moon amigurumi. For no real reason! See below. I gave it to ds to play with, but it could be hung as a mobile in due course

If my maths is right, this means I knitted down 830 yards in March.

I sent a skein of Schoppelwolle - 400 yards - in a swap parcel. Does that count as stashing down? It certainly is no longer in my stash. On the other hand, I received 130 yards of dk yarn in a swap parcel. Net reduction: 270 yards.

Overall reduction in March taking these adjustments into account:  1000 yards.

Add this to the 1100 I decreased by over Jan (300 yards net) and Feb (800 yards) and the YTD reduction is 2100.

I shall most likely be doing no knitting next month, owing to it being the break month at Hogwarts. I am also going on holiday soon to a place which may involve yarn shops, so it's possible there may be some stash additions in April. I'll let you know!

Friday, 30 March 2012


Today, I can tell you I have knitted an Actual Garment. As you'll be used to a diet of smaller projects, you'll no doubt be surprised to see this:

The pattern is Liesl by Ysolda Teague. This is the first time I knitted one of her patterns and it was great, I found no errors at all (after my previous attempts at cardigan knitting, this is a bit of a shock!)

I made it out of Rowan cotton jeans yarn that I bought in the sales 3 years ago, and which has hung around in my stash ever since. I've used all of it up now - six balls for Liesl, and another two for this pleated demin purse:

The purse pattern is in Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin. Nice pattern to knit. I like the eclectic button mix also.

Back tomorrow with another stashdown report and it is looking good for March :-)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Lots of socks

I am sock knitting this term, in an effort to improve my sock-knitting skills  I had a plan to make four pairs of socks by the end of March.

I finished these socks first, back in January:

They were in the Knitting Book by Frederica Patmore. Nice knit, but possibly a bit on the large size for me. It was only given in  one size, to fit women's medium, and I have only little feet. I tried to compensate by using my smallest needles, but I could have done with going down even smaller. I used Knit Picks stroll tonal yarn to make these - it's lovely.

Then I knitted a pair of socks in Ravenclaw colours. As HP reader fans will know, Ravenclaw colours according to the written text are blue and bronze, not the blue and silver used on screen. I worked from a pattern in Charmed Knits and used more Knit Picks stroll sock yarn. For bronze, I used a shade called Agate Heather.

After that I knitted Hermione's Every Day socks (link is to free pattern). This time I used some Babylonglegs sock yarn that had been sitting in my yarn stash since Feb 2010. Rather pleased with these, although there was a little patch of pooling on both socks. Funny it was in roughly the same place on each sock, too.

The fourth pair is these owls socks, which I'm knitting using a ball of Schoppelwolle Zauberball, also from stash. This shade is called Shadows. It's lovely, although possibly I should have ensured the cabled owl sections fell in the lighter parts of the yarn. Never mind, I'm clearly going for subtle here.

If I get this last pair finished by 12 midnight Pacific Time on 31st March, I will secure an Arithmancy OWL badge (and 100 points for Ravenclaw House). I have about three-quarters of the last sock to go. Wish me luck!

Edits: Final socks done, 28 March:

And, better photos of the other socks added, 30 Mar.

Saturday, 17 March 2012


After I posted on here yesterday, I looked back at my blog entry, and said "oh no!". Because I noticed in the photo, I had placed one of the star tips upside down in the yellow section. I had to unpick quite a few seams to fix it. However, I have fixed it, and sewed on the remaining sections also.

Here's what my quilt pieces look like now.

I laid them out like this, trying to make a decision about the border fabrics. I have a large blue chambray sheet, which is one option. But I rather think the panel looks best with a white border, in which case I can use the blue for backing. Thinking it over... I must decide, and buy wadding, this week. There are only a few weeks left before dd's birthday now.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Seeing stars

More rainbow quilt progress: I've now made the yellow stars section, and they were much easier than I anticipated. In fact, I'd say that the green log cabin section I did before was more difficult.

If you are making this quilt, errata alert! In the stars cutting list, the imperial conversion for the centre squares is incorrect, and should read 4 1/2 ins, not 5 1/2 ins. The metric 11 cms is correct though.

I feel quite sentimental about this section, because it has pieces from one of dd's little dresses, plus some of the fabric I used to sew her a cot duvet cover when she was a baby. This quilt is going to hold lots of memories by the time it's finished.

Then I made a start on quilt-top assembly. I had to put it away before I finished, as dd was expected back from school, but here's where I am so far:

Shaping up nicely!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Posh laundry

I recently sewed this laundry bag. I would have blogged about it sooner, only I didn't take pictures till today.

I made it from a pattern (and templates) in Sew Hip magazine no. 39. The original version in the mag has embroidered words on it too, that say "posh pants" below the appliques, only I wasn't convinced my embroidery skills were up to that task, so I went for a simplified version. If you want to see the original, there is a picture in this blog post by the designer.

For my version, I re-purposed an ancient pillow case for the white sections, and used some Cath Kidston polka dot fabric I had in stash for the appliques. And I'm really happy with how my newly-serviced machine now manages applique!

This is going to be a birthday present. I'm thinking of making another for myself, in which case I may try the embroidery part. Will let you know!

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Yesterday, I went to the Minifolk market in West Bridgford. On the flyer it said: "recycled, vintage, old and new, clothes and toys and things to do".

I've found the quality of local crafts fairs to be variable, but this one was a pretty good one. There were sewn items, card-makers and illustrators, children's clothes, machine-knitting, cupcakes - proper crafts stalls staffed by the makers, not imported stuff being sold as "craft". There were also various second-hand stalls - mainly toys and kids' clothes; sale stock generally high quality (and I am fussy!)  It would be a good place to take your small-ish children, as there were hands-on children's crafts, and a small cafe area also.

If you live locally and want to take a look in person, Minifolk are having another event at the Lady Bay All Hallows Church Hall, 10.30 to 1.30 on Saturday 17th March. I liked it so much yesterday, I might go again.

If you live further away, you can find your way to lots of the sellers through this website for Nottingham craft and creative businesses, where there are also links to various other local events and classes.

I did actually buy something at the fair:

This little lavender bag was made by Rachel Ainley. I asked where the fabric with a little picture of Canterbury Cathedral came from and Rachel explained she uses pictorial tea-towels in her work. She makes gorgeous coffee cosies as well. How clever! Actually, when she said this, it took me right back to when I made my tablecloth skirt (which I was still wearing last summer).

I felt a sudden urge to start buying souvenir tea-towels myself and working them into my kitchen sewing, so I picked up these two in the Oxfam shop later

But you can't expect to see these anytime soon. I MUST finish my rainbow quilt first.

I would like to make it clear, no-one paid me, or even asked me, to write this entry -  this is an independent and non-profit blog.