Friday, 29 June 2012

Kitchen garden

Our suburban garden is gradually becoming more useful, although it's still primarily decorative - of sorts. I am not great at gardening, although I like sitting in it!

Last year a lot of our strawberries were eaten by a rogue squirrel, so this year we have posted a sentry scarecrow on duty. Hope it works. I did say to dh a net might be more effective!

We planted out some runner beans - better late than never. They will hopefully grow like topsy in this warm and wet weather we're having.

Continuing with the food-related theme, I made a pie. But the apples in it came from the Riverford box delivery and not off our tree - too early.

I will photograph some flowers next!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Follow the White Rabbit

Yesterday I stayed in the house again, this time waiting for a fridge-freezer delivery. And I did indeed finish my bunny as planned:

Here's a view where you can see his fluffy bunny tail:

I made the bunny from a pattern from Mary Jane's tearoom, and it was beautifully written, the instructions were clear and simple to follow, and the result is very cute. 

My white rabbit is wearing Ravenclaw colours (authentic book version, not the screen re-work). He and Alice are supposed to be coming to have tea in the Tower, as part of my Divination OWL. Two of my fandoms are colliding in this one, and I love it! 

Oh yes, my shiny new fridge arrived also. It is fabulously clean compared to my old one, let's hope I can keep it that way. I have to stock the freezer with ice-lollies, but the fridge part is organised already:

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Home Day

I had an unexpected day off, while I waited in for the fridge repair man.

While I was waiting, I enjoyed E. Blyton in the sunshine, along with the obligatory heaps of tomatoes and lashings of ginger beer.

I want it to be known, I didn't do nothing for the entire day, though. I also sewed name tapes into ds's new school clothes, replaced several buttons, and took up a pair of black linen trousers I bought for work. I knitted some more on my bunny. And I sewed a zip into my crocheted purse, so that is now finished.

The fridge-man said the fridge-freezer was uneconomic to repair, so I might have to stay home again in a few days, this time to wait for a new one to be delivered. (Luckily, the fridge part of our fridge-freezer is working just fine. It's the freezer part that is the problem, and that can wait a few days.) Quite like the prospect of another day at home. Maybe I'll finish my bunny.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


This week, I finally seemed to be getting on with my crafting in a more efficient way. I seamed up some mittens that I knitted in May, so they are now finished.

I've knitted about a quarter of my summertime top - beyond the waist shaping now. And that is in fingering weight and stocking-stitch!

I've also knitted all the pieces of my bunny body, and started putting it together. Face embroidery to do next, and clothes to knit.

Yesterday was particularly productive, as I knitted an owl puff, and crocheted most of a watermelon coin purse. And while I was doing this, ds was making his dad a father's day card:

He used these shirt and tie card instructions. It was easy enough for him to do by himself. In the photo, he is looking for suitable collar buttons.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The case of the Crochet Hooks

In a fit of awesome productivity, I have sewn *two* things this week. This morning I sewed the final button and completed this one:

When you open it up, the inside looks like this. The button loop doubles as a handy hanging loop.

On the inside pockets, I  used my favourite Lovely Morning fabric, that I bought from Fabric Rehab. What an awesome fabric shop! I based the pattern on a travel case from Sew Hip magazine issue 26, with a change to add a pocket to store my crochet hooks.

It was the first time I ever attached a zip pocket:

That went well, but it was also the first time I sewed on bias binding. I'll gloss over that, as definitely Could Do Better. The straight edges were fine, but I had trouble sewing round the corners. Tips are welcome if you want to leave them in the comments box.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

PJ shorts

A couple of weeks ago, we had a really warm spell here, during which I complained I was too hot to sleep properly. On the strength of that, I decided to sew myself a pair of pyjama shorts.

I've clearly come a very long way since I restarted sewing in 2009, as I made these shorts without a pattern, just working from an old pair of shorts of mine, and some measurements.

All the fabrics were already in my stash, and so was the thread and elastic, so they didn't cost me a penny in new supplies. I managed to match the gingham reasonably well, and also took the opportunity to practise my binding skills instead of just hemming the legs. The shorts look quite retro, which I like, but I think that's more to do with fabric choices than anything else.

Now, I just have to wait for the weather to warm up again, and I'll be able to wear them.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Jubilee Weekend

Thanks to the Diamond Jubilee we had a four day weekend. We took advantage of the holiday to take a trip up to Yorkshire.

Unfortunately the weather was not the best Britain has to offer. Watching the barges on TV on Sunday, I felt rather sorry for the queen and family, stuck outdoors for hours in the cold. The men were in warm uniforms but the women were wearing only light dresses. I hoped they had thermals underneath! It was even worse for the rowers, musicians and others on the accompanying boats, who didn't even have canopies to protect them from the rain.

But on Monday, there was sunshine in Yorkshire and so we were able to enjoy various community events. Ds had a go at archery and hunted for treasure clues. Then we admired the various scarecrows, got up to look like royal family members for the occasion. Here's ds with the Queen! One of her corgis was at her feet, but unfortunately I didn't capture that in the photo:

Later, dd and I took afternoon tea in the village hall, and brought a plate of jubilee cakes home for other family members:

It was rather nice, all in all. Although I would have liked five days even better. Not looking forward to going back to work.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Stashdown #5: another stash-up

In May, I had to1 buy yarn for the House Cup term ahead. The terms cover three month blocks, and all major knitting projects have to be proposed - with yarn in hand - during the first month, so inevitably there is some stashing up required at the start. When I bought the lace weight last month, I was thinking of knitting a lace shawl for the House Cup, but unfortunately that idea did not work out (which means there is 930 yards of laceweight sitting in my stash with no identified purpose at present. Sigh.). My alternative plan does use quite a lot of stash but I needed 2 balls of Rowan baby alpaca (200 yards) and one 100g ball of Fortissima colors (400 yards) to complete it. I'm also going to tackle a mid-size project and for that, I bought 2 skeins of Araucania lonco multy - another 880 yards. Total additions in May: 1480 yards.

I did rather less knitting in May than I had hoped. The fine weather put me right off, instead I wanted to sit in the garden and drink Pimms. However, I used up this yarn:

  • 120 yards of KP telemark in a pair of fingerless mitts
  • 100 yards of assorted older stash yarns making a knitted hedgehog and a crocheted angry bird
  • 75 yards of the baby alpaca in part of a rabbit toy
  • 25 yards of Rico essential cotton - mini socks for quidditch:

That's only 320 yards knitted, so the net position in May is additions 1480 minus 320 = 1160.

Not only has my stash grown two months in a row, I now have 440 yards more yarn than I started with in January. That wasn't supposed to happen!

I have been sticking to the rule to complete one project from stash before I may buy yarn for another. It's just that the completed projects have been small and the bought yarn has been for larger projects.

Actually, on current performance, it's safe to increase the rule. How about this for a new rule for the rest of the year? I must now complete minimum TWO projects out of stash before I may buy yarn for ONE new project. Let's hope that improves my Stashdown performance in June. But really, I should just not buy any more yarn. Hopefully I won't need to until August.

1. "Had to". Well, I want to play in the House Cup knitting game, and this is part of that. Maybe not "had to" though. Cough.