Saturday, 19 October 2013

Late - Le Challenge

Oh dear.
Just when I thought all was going well and I was getting back on track with blogging...
Le Challenge day arrived.
I was soooo close to finishing my project, but it was getting late and I knew I had to get up for school in the morning :(
But, it is finished now! So I'm sharing anyway!
The theme this month was Thriller, which I found pretty tough. I'm a bit of a grump when it comes to Halloween and this was all my brain could think about.

But then a chat with my sister got me sorted.
Me: The theme is thriller.
My sister: Ah. Michael Jackson.
Me: What am I gonna do, knit one white glove?!
My sister: White socks?
Me: Snort!!
My sister: He had a monkey though. Called Bubbles. Didn't you knit a monkey once?
Me: I have knitted 6 monkeys already. I'm pretty speedy at them now.
My sister: Sorted.

So, meet monkey number 7 - Bubbles!!

I'll be honest, he was already started. A friend (whose children have had 3 of my previous knitted monkeys!) asked if I would make one for her to give as a Christening gift. So there were a few bits of monkey in my knitting bag.

He is from a fabulous book that I just adore called 'knitted wild animals' by Sarah Keen.
I have made quite a few of the animals from this book!

He will very soon belong to a sweet little boy. I hope they have lots of fun together!
Now, I'd better get started on something for next month...
Stripes! Lots of ideas, just need to make the time!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Catching up - and lots of projects!

Oh, I have totally failed as a blogger these past few months :(
I can't believe it's almost time to post my next Le Challenge project and I've not blogged about anything else in between!
Project bags made in the summer holidays to keep my knitting in!
I have had a 'big think' about this. I don't want to stop blogging, I like it, the sharing, the support, the lovely online friends I have made here. But, realistically, with my new job I don't have anywhere near as much time as I used to. I'm still crafting, there are knitting, crochet, patchwork, embroidery and quilting projects all on the go (and littered about the house!) but the blogging... I never seem to get to it.
My first swoon block. There will be more soon. I hope.
I have realised, during my 'big think' that this is all down to photographs. I'm not a natural photographer. I don't walk around with a camera all the time. My camera is usually hidden away somewhere with no charge. So when I think about writing a post I realise I have no photos to use. I do feel pressured to use 'good' photos in my posts, and all I have are hurried ones I snapped on my phone that are not 'staged' and don't have good light. I use these on Instagram and that's ok, IG is a more instant, snappy place. But up until now I haven't felt that I can use these on my blog.
Quilt progress. On the left, my Saturday Sampler quilt, top almost finished. On the right my vintage sheet quilt, all quilted now, waiting for binding.
So this has to change. If I want to continue blogging I have to make it quicker and easier for myself, and this is my solution. So I apologise if my photos are a bit dull, or if the light is rubbish. But I want to share my projects with you, and be part of the blogging world again!
Lots of knitting at the moment! On the left, Ridgely, which is now finished and being worn :) On the right Henslowe, which I am doing as a knit-along with the lovely Julie from button-button
There are lots more projects that are in various stages of completion that I know I have not got around to sharing, and I will try really hard to do this soon. But it is nice to be back! My project for this months Le Challenge - Thriller is almost finished, although I did have to think quite a long way out of the box this month!!
I'll leave you with a photo of Henry. Being lazy. Which he does A LOT!!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Le Challenge - Heroes

Phew! Nearly forgot!
I have had this project finished for a while - it was needed for a party! But blogging has been sadly neglected over the past few weeks, so I almost forgot that today was Le Challenge day! I started a new job at the beginning of September and have been super-tired in the evenings so there has not been much crafting :( I did manage some sewing machine time today, which has made me very happy!
But back to Le Challenge!
Just about the time 'heroes' was announced, my lovely other half asked if I could make him a cape for a fancy dress party!
Why of course!!!
The party was part of a weekend event at Santa Pod, all very car-related. So we decided that, even though he was dressing up as Superman, the S on the cape should be the Seat S, because he drives a Seat!
And here it is, I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and that it made this months challenge super-easy for me!!
 Hmmm, not the best of photos I'm afraid. I have stitched all the layers beautifully in matching threads, but the stitches don't show up here!!

My hero!!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Saturday Sampler - August

This quilt top is really coming along now.
August saw us not being given more blocks to make, but being asked to put all our blocks together and sew on a tiny purple border.
We were also given LOADS of applique shapes to put into all the white triangles around the edge. But I have decided to just add them in the corners. Too busy otherwise.
Next I think are white panels with applique on, not sure exactly what yet!!
I do like it more now though, it is pretty all put together :)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Baby blankets

I've been keeping these secret for a while! 
If you follow me on instagram (I'm henrys_shed) then you might have seen a sneaky peek! 
But I couldn't share here, or on FB because I would spoil the surprise!
 They are for a very good friend of mine who is expecting her 3rd baby.
I have already crocheted blankets for her 2 girls, so there was no chance baby number 3 would NOT get blankets!
 She announced her pregnancy to me by asking if I had time to crochet another blanket before September!
Not because baby is due in September, but because her and the whole of her lovely family are moving to Australia in September. Australia!!! I am sad, and I will miss them terribly, but what a fantastic opportunity! Plus, Miss M says she is having a gap year and spending it in Australia with them!!! Hmm, we'll see about that!
 So, she asked if I would wait until her 2nd scan, because they wanted to find out the sex of the baby this time.
I had trouble waiting. I wanted to crochet. Straight away!!
But I managed to contain myself, and as I'm sure you have figured out already, they are having a baby boy. Ahhhh!!
 The first blanket I made was a ripple. 
I love ripples!
I had a quick visit to Attic24 to remind myself how to start off, using this great tutorial again :)
I used stylecraft (excellent baby blanket making stuff) and I chose this lovely combination of blues, browns and green.
I really enjoyed this one, it had been a while since I had rippled!
 But then I had to decide about the edge.
I had not put an edge on a ripple before, I quite like them as they are, wibbly.
But I kind of wanted to try.
So I thought about it for a while, and eventually decided to go for it.
And I'm really glad I did!
I used Little Tin Bird's tutorial making-a-ripple-straight
 Then I went a little bit colour crazy.
I decided that the baby really needed a crazy bright blanket too!
So I dug through my stylecraft stash (mountain) and pulled out anything that wasn't girly and I hadn't already used in the ripple. Which wasn't actually that much - I have A LOT of pink/purple stylecraft!!!
I very nearly made solid granny squares, like an Elmer blanket. But then I saw a granny ripple on FB and just had to try!
 I love the pattern, really simple, really quick, lots of fun.
I was worried about the colours for quite some time.
They were a bit, well, LOUD!!!
But actually, I love it!
I gave the blankets to my friend earlier this week.
I'm pretty sure she loved them too.
2 big snuggly cuddles for what will, I'm sure, be a very gorgeous baby.
My way of giving him hugs, even though he'll be born on the other side of the world.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Hexagons for my sewing machine

Hmmm, hexagons!
Love them!
I have had this little 3/4" hexie project on the go for a while now. I bought a scrap bag at FoQ last year and started turning the lovely little bits of fabric into pretty hexagons straight away. But then, I got distracted. How does this happen to me so often? I didn't think I had such a short attention span!!
Anyway, as part of my 'summer holiday finishing things off' project, I pulled out the zippy bag with this half-project in and set to work. I turned the rest of the fabric into hexagons and then... stopped.
I had no idea what I was making.
Never had.
I was just making pretty.
Which is fine, but not when you need to clear some project space. So I had a good think, and played about with the hexagons I had, to see what they might be.
In the end they turned out to be a table mat to go under my sewing machine. "Odd," I hear you cry!! But no! I usually put a tea-towel under my machine when I sew, so I can move it forwards and backwards on the table easily. And I stick pins in the tea-towel too, easier than a pin-cushion! So I double layered the wadding inside the long mat to make it good for sticking pins in, and there it is! A pretty hexagon mat for my sewing machine!
And another project finished!


Saturday, 17 August 2013


Another finished project to share with you today!
This one was started ages ago, half knitted, and the left lying about. Not because I didn't like it, because it is a really beautiful pattern. It was a little challenging for me, although I have been knitting for a long time I have only ever knit 1 thing in the round before. And it was 1 sock. I hated it so much I never even made the other one! But I didn't stop because it was hard, I was really getting into it, but something distracted me. Can't remember what, it could have been so many things! So a couple of weeks ago I whipped it out and finished it off, just like that! (I'm totally lying - I had loads of problems, couldn't remember how to knit in the round!! There were bad words.)
They had a little delay because they needed buttons, which I purchased at the Festival of Quilts :)
Buttons are now all sewn on, and they look beautiful!
A certain 13 year-old is beginning to show an interest in photography (excellent as I am RUBBISH at it!) so I asked her to take these photos for me, and I modelled!!!

The pattern, called Grace was written by the fabulous Julie at button-button and can be found here on Ravelry. I used Artesano Alpaca 4Ply in beautiful soft pink, I think it is called sweet pea.
Another tick on the list! I'm off to find something else to finish...

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Festival of Quilts 2013

Oh, I looked forward to this for soooo long!
Pretty much the whole year since we were there in 2012!
We decided, my 2 quilty buddies and I, that we needed two days this year. One was just not enough. So we were super-lucky enough to spend Thursday and Sunday at the FoQ.
And my goodness did we have fun!!
I could bore you all to death here with ALL the photos I took, but that would not be very fair (and I might go a bit mad as my computer takes AGES to load photos!).
But I will just show you a couple, sorry!!
This is totally amazing! There is definitely a lone star quilt in my future, although I'm not sure mine will be as detailed and brilliant!!
Beautiful! I have no desire to make a quilt like this, but I would LOVE to own it! Such pretty colours!
This quilt is called "Every text he ever sent me" and it is amazing. We looked at this one for ages! It really is made up of loads of text messages, from 'I love you' to 'we need milk'. Brilliant!!
 This was my favourite. It was huge. I didn't even manage to get it all in one photo! Every star has been fussy cut, every star is different. I want to make one like this. This is going on my list.
Urgh! So many quilts, so much fun!
Obviously there was also some shopping. It would be rude not to, right?!!
Here is what was in my bag when we came home on Thursday.
So many pretties!
You'd think that was enough though, wouldn't you?!
This lot came home with me Sunday.
Brown. Not sure what happened there. Sunday was a brown day.
So now I have ideas. And shopping. And 2 and a half weeks left of the summer holidays. Wonder how much I'll get done...

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


Better late than never, right?
This month my collage is very small, only 3 finishes. But one of them was the hexie quilt so that's ok! That was a huge amount of work in July, and totally worth it. Miss M adores it, sleeps under it every night, and also drags it downstairs to snuggle under in front of the TV (when it's not scorching hot!). If you would like to see more pictures of 'Buttercup' you can find them here, not that I'm proud or anything!!
Apart from the quilt, I managed to finish the still nameless table-mat-thingy, and my 2nd Florence scarf. Both beautiful :)
Right then, I'm off to go and finish another WIP, I'm steaming through them at the moment!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Saturday Sampler - July blocks

It has all been a bit crazy round here this week!
We have been decorating, so very little time for crafting, even less time (and space) for taking photos!!
So I have a bit of catching up to do, lots of things to share :)
Here are my blocks for July.

Back soon with more finished projects! Yay me!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fibre East

My first trip to Fibre East! I was really looking forward to going, and it being my first time, I was not disappointed with the location (having nothing to compare it to!). I agree that it was a little odd having some of the stalls in classrooms/sports halls, but as a teacher it all felt pretty familiar to me!! 
Anyway, enough with the location, bring on the yarn!!
I feel I should probably admit now, that I did get a bit over excited. I'm not a big lover of wool, it itches :( This is a problem. I can just about tolerate baby alpaca, because it is super, super soft. But I do find that I struggle to find really pretty yarn that I can actually use to make something for myself. So yes, a bit over excited by silk and cotton and linen and lots of other lovely non-itchy stuff!
So here it is, my pile of Fibre East goodies!
 I was super prepared for the trip. Like a crazy woman prepared. I went through my ravelry library. I chatted to the lovely Julie about some possible knit-alongs. And I wrote a list. A list of possible projects, descriptions of said projects, and yarn requirements. "If I can find yarn for 1 or 2 of these projects that will be fab." I said to myself. Hahahahaha!!! My list had 5 projects on. I bought yarn for all 5. Plus some 'just because' yarn.
Naughty, naughty me :)

So let me tell you about my purchases.
This is super gorgeous cotton lace weight yarn. Yum. Love the colours sooooo much! I will use it to make Henslowe (knit along with Julie) and possibly Celandine too. 
 This is lovely baby alpaca and Mulberry silk yarn from Drops. I will probably knit Wings and it will be all red and Christmasy and lovely :)
Now this is insanely soft!
As you can see from the label, silk and baby camel! I have not knitted with baby camel before and I'm quite excited! Did I mention how soft it is? This will be used for another knit along with Julie (we are going to be SO busy!), Cloud Illusions. Crazy, lacy, silky, soft gorgeousness!!
This is my just because yarn.
It was in the sale, which helped! But mostly I bought it because it is made from sugar cane! What?!?! Sugar cane??? So, I've no idea what I will make with it but it is super soft, totally not itchy and very pretty colours :)
 And this lovely cotton blend will become Ridgely. Love the stripes of this pattern so much!
Oh my.
So much yarn.
But it will keep me busy (and happy!) for ages!
And there will be enough left from some to make extra, not yet planned projects.
Hold on, am I trying to justify buying yarn to you???
I really don't need to do I?!!!
What I do need to do though, is decide which to knit first....


Friday, 26 July 2013

Buttercup ta-dah!

Remember these?
I'm very excited! I finished the hexie quilt!
It has taken me just less than a year, which I'm told is pretty good as the entire quilt is stitched by hand. Hand peiced and hand quilted!
I'm afraid there are going to be a lot of photos now. Not because I love taking photos, it is my least favourite part of blogging. But because I am so pleased with the finished quilt! There have been a few moments over the last year when I wondered if it would ever be finished, if I could bear to stitch one more stitch!
But I did it. So I'm going to show off a bit!
Here it is......
Drum roll please!
 Looking pretty with the sunshine streaming through!

Hand stitched quilt label.
The quilt is called Buttercup because of all the yellow hexie flowers. The label was so much fun to stitch, and just in case you were wondering, those little hexies on the back are quarter inch hexagons.
Yes. They are small.

 My garden fence. The only place big enough to be able to see the whole quilt in one go.
Not that it is a massive quilt! It is single bed size. For Miss M.
If I can bring myself to let her have it!!
 I love how old and crinkly it looks already!!
 And the back.
Which I totally love.
You may remember that my fab friend Julie from button-button found me this perfect vintage sheet in a charity shop. You should go and visit Julie, she has just finished a quilt too! We both took our quilts to our weekly crafty meeting last night to admire!!
So that's it.
My Miss M's Buttercup quilt finished.
I'm so pleased with it. So, so pleased!
And now to plan my next quilt...