Last minute gifts

My mom’s birthday was last week.  I had chosen some nice toiletries for her and was crocheting a face cloth to go with them.  I showed you the start of it in a previous post.  Then at the last minute, well two days to go, thought a small storage box to put them all in would be nice.

I pulled fabric, made a pattern and was feeling quite satisfied that it could be done without buying more fabric. But…  Could I find any firm interfacing?  No.  After a thorough search of various cupboards and boxes, I decided buying more would be easier.  So off to the shops I went.  The interfacing will get used, well, it will, as long as I don’t put it some where so sensible that I can’t find it.  I am sure I have some but as yet it has not surfaced.

I was good as well, as I didn’t buy anything else.  Did look and covet, but as I am going to the Sewing for Pleasure at the NEC this week I held onto my pennies.

Box 1

So here is my fabric all cut out and ready for assembly.

Box 2

I was very pleased how my corners turned out.  Not sure if the best way was to attached the sides to the base and then sew up the sides or to sew all the sides together and attach them to the base?  Which way do you do it?  I tried both, outer one way and the lining the other.

Box 4

They did fit together, with some persuasion to get all the seams to sit nicely.

Box 5

It’s really starting to look good with the binding pinned in place.

Box 7

I did machine the binding to the outside, then fold it over and hand finish it on the inside.  I wanted a neat finish as it was to be a present.

Face Cloth 1

The face cloth came out like this.  I have never made a face cloth before so wasn’t sure what to expect from the finish.  I used Rowan Softknit Cotton and a 5mm hook and followed this pattern.  I did however change the pattern repeat to 10 as I used different yarn to the pattern maker, to get a face cloth the right size.  I am really pleased.  It had a lovely feel and I can see me making more of these.

Face Cloth 2

I had some ribbon that was free from a magazine ( don’t ask me which one or when ) that finished it off perfectly.

Box & Face Cloth

Here it is all ready for wrapping.

I love being able to make things to add to something bought.

What have you made to add to a gift?


Sewing mojo?…..

sewing mojo pouchesI have found it really hard to find any motivation to do much crafting so far this year.  I have been trying, but I haven’t been able to get that buzz you get when excited about a project. I have picked up things and put them down again.  Can’t seem to settle.  But I am determined to get out of thin funk.  My cupboards and drawers are groaning with stash that needs using.  Well they don’t need using, but those areas are looking messy and its irritating me.

books 03.2016

I have treated myself to a couple of books, hoping they will help.  I have been coveting them for a while and thought why wait?

books em

This one was actually a birthday present in November.  So I started the Emma bunny, with the plan to have two for the kids for Easter.

em body 1

One body done.  Small steps.

Bu as for sewing, well….

Last year, on various travels, I bought quite a bit of dressmaking fabric, with the plan of using it obviously.  But the funk arrived and being honest, part of me is a bit nervous about cutting into it.  Stupid I know.  Its just fabric.  I have not made many clothes recently for myself, so wanted to start again.  Plus I wanted to sew with knits, so again my books are helping here.

So to help kick the sewing mojo back into action, I decided to sew something I have made before and the kids need.  Well I say they need.  I am making some pouches for them.  They each got headphones for Christmas last year, so we don’t have to listen to tablet games, and a bag to keep them neat and tidy will be useful.

sewing mojo pouches

The third is an extra for Sweetpea as she was given nail varnishes, etc for her birthday.  The little bottles are currently living on top of her bedside table, so a better home needs to be made.

Not wanting to do one thing at a time, that would be far too sensible, I started this this afternoon.

new crochet

Can’t say too much as it’s going to be part of a birthday gift.  I am pleased at the look and feel of it as it grows though.

Must go and start putting those pouches together.


Q4 Finish Along List

To try and finish some WIPs, so that I can do other things without feeling guilty, and to make space on my sewing table, I am linking up with the FAL Q4 2015.  Its the first time I have done this, so we shall see where we get to.

My list is:

FAL 2015 pjs

These are supposed to be PJs for my son.  The pattern is cut, the fabric washed and ironed.  I have even bought T-shirts, but no PJs yet.  He will have grown out of the T-shirts if I don’t make these soon.

FAL 2015 apronAgain for Dr S.  Last year, he wanted a new apron, like his Dads, for when he was doing the seasonal baking that we do.  I’ve had the fabric and the tape since then, so need to make this before we start this years seasonal baking!

FAL 2015 pencil rolls

These pieces are for pencil rolls, two are needed for gifts.  I was asked for these, I think, in April, so again need to get these done.

FAL 2015 stocking

This has a definite deadline of before Christmas.  Its one of a pair and the other was made last year, so need this one done ready for filling!

FAL 2015 sampler quilt

I have had a push to finish my sampler quilt, but again am flagging.  I have layered up and pin basted the third panel for quilting, so by committing to this FAL, fingers crossed I can get this ticked off the list.

FAL 2015 jumper

Last but not least, a non-sewing WIP.  I started this jumper, I think, at the end of last year, and with the colder weather arriving already here in the UK, I would like this done.  This is what I do while watching TV in the evenings.  I find that I can’t sit and just watch.  It feels like a waste.

Well that me.  Lets see how I get on.

What are you trying to finish before the end of the year?


2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sorry again!…..

Sorry, again, I know I disappeared from blog land.  Life got too busy and something had to give.

I can tell you that working in a fabric and wool shop is fantastic and a nightmare at the same time.  How???  Well now that I work even just part-time, there is no way near enough time to make all the ideas that arrive in my head.  And the new arrival of stuff at work does not help, just puts more on that to do list in my head.

I am trying to be good and stick to one project at a time not too many projects at any one time.  My ripple blankets has gained more ripples and I was good and did not start a cosy blanket on the CAL that Attic 24 was running.  I did almost.  I went and sat in front of the Stylecraft DK selection to see which colours I didn’t have, when a customer asked if I had finished the ripple yet.  That made me stop and think, maybe I should do a bit on that first.  So I did a couple of ripples and bought some Debbie Bliss Fez on special and started a jumper!

Debbie Bliss Fez

Look at that colour!  Isn’t it gorgeous!

At £2.00 per ball I could not leave it on the shelf.  I was good and did a tension square as the pattern I am doing uses Rowan Lima, so I had to drop my needle size (listen to me sound like I know what I am doing!).  But the colour!  That’s what sold it to me.  I had been thinking of a nice grey.  There is a lovely silver grey in Lima, but that pink just sold itself to me.  And… and the wool is sooooo soft!

But…. I have been good and have finished my Teal cardigan.  I LOVE IT!

I finished it well before my birthday (so vouchers were received! Result!) but did cop out big time for about a month with the sewing up.  I felt daunted.  Didn’t want to mess it up.  I had this bundle of knitting, which had taken me ages, in beautiful wool and really didn’t want to make a mess of the final step.  So I did my normal procrastination, which involved lots of research about sewing up.  Eventually a friend at knitting group said she would do it for me.  Ironically this spurred me on, as I didn’t want someone else to do it for me, just for me not to do it wrong.  Do you know the really stupid thing?  It took me two days and once I got the hang of mattress stitch and easing the shape together, It was an absolute doddle.  I don’t know why I was so frightened.  But hey, there are lots of situations in life where we do the same thing.  You would think that by my age I would know this.  I keep telling my kids to try new things.  Most of the time they are not as hard as we think they are going to be.  But as parents we often “do as I say not as I do” don’t we?  As soon as I take a picture I will post it.

These were all done before Christmas, so there have been other makes.  Some were presents, decorations and just because.  I will post them as it seems fit.  I won’t bore you with a complete download of all crafting makes, that would be a bit much.

However like many people, I wanted to plan for the coming year and be better organised.  The other half would really like me to be better organised!  On the creative side, there are some techniques that have been on my to do list for a while.  So why wait?

The first was to use dpns (double pointed needles) and knit socks.  This cold freezing weather that the UK is having has prompted all of us at work to knit socks.  Two of us have never used dpns, but my boss is an excellent knitter and gave pointers.


As you can see I have finished my first sock!

My boss has knitted two pairs in the same period of time!  Never mind.  I have been surprised how easy it is to use dpns, once you work out how to join without twisting the stitches.  Its great.  The short rows mean that there is not a problem with children interrupting, as each needle only has 20 stitches on it.  I am not the fastest knitter so fewer stitches are better for interruptions.  I had a week off between finishing the first and not wanting to suffer from one sock syndrome, cast-on at the weekend.

2nd sock

You can see, I am out of the rib and doing the cuff.  Its great for watching TV.  So tonight I plan to do more rows while watching the new sewing bee.

I am hoping/planning on being better with posts, so see you soon.


Red Arrows!!!!

For a short week, it went really fast with lots of activities and sorry didn’t get a chance to chat.  I’ll give you a catch up.

Wednesday was our first day of the holidays and I was determined this year to wash, fold, iron and put all uniform away.

Job done!

I also managed to buy all the new items that are needed.  I have never, and I mean never, managed to do this in one go. It does mean that I have quite a bit of hand sewing to do now.  I am a bit compulsive about the name labels, even down to one in each sock.

I know its mad, but my son would lose his head if it wasn’t attached.

Thursday we were invited to a families fun day.  We set off with a couple of cousins, thinking we were going for a couple of hours and my two would be going to their swimming lessons at 5pm.  Little did we know.

However when the fun day is hosted by the RAF they have quite a few interesting things to provide entertainment.

It was a full on air show!

Dr S and his cousins were in 7th heaven.  Sweetpea not so much, but she enjoyed playing with her cousins and dancing to the music between displays.

So the highlight was to see the following.


The Red Arrows were amazing and truly are the best of the best.


This is their concorde formation.


All eyes were glued.

We also got to see the RAF Falcons, who are the parachute display team.

This is them forming their stack.


There was a whole day of displays with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, loads of other planes and jets, helicopter demonstrations and Chinooks doing things that really should not be possible by an aircraft of its size.

Sorry no pics, my jaw had dropped too much.  Picture a skateboard in a skate park, going up and down the ramps and jumps, with twists and turns.  That’s basically what the pilots of the Chinook did.  Even down to landing on the back wheels only, reversing and taking off backwards.  I wish I had pics, but I was just so gobsmacked.  Truly in awe.

So we missed swimming lessons.  There was no way I was going to get Dr S out of there before they threw us out.

Friday was therefore a lot lower key, with a picnic with friends in a local park.

The weekend went quickly with birthday parties and more Fun Days locally and I got an impromptu day out on Sunday.

Where did I go?

I went to Fibre East!

Not knowing what to expect, two knitting friends and I thought we would go for the morning.  Oh the goodies.  The wool, their colours, they were amazing.  We were like kids in a sweet shop.

Not expecting the fabulous amount of woolie goodness that we found, I didn’t take my camera.  Sorry.  I know a big blogging faux pa. I am realising that I need to become surgically attached to my camera, so nothing is missed.  Sorry will do better.  (Head is bowed in shame).

This is what I bought


The bluey-green one is 80% baby alpaca 20% Silk lace weight and the hand-painted yarn is 50% baby camel 50% silk 2 ply.

I have no real plan of what to do with them, but maybe a shawl with at least one.

I really should finish some WIPs before I start something else.  Really should, but these new yarns are calling to me.  They are so soft and tactile its amazing.

What new projects are you trying to justify?  And have you finished the WIPs or turned a blind eye?

Take care