Just sew

 

Hello All

The sun is out but there is still a nip in the air. Let’s stay in.

Today just felt ripe for setting up my trusty Singer and getting a couple of sewing jobs done. You know the sort of things: those little niggley tasks that have been cluttering your ‘to do’ lists for longer than you care to admit. Tabs for duvet covers whose poppers gave up the ghost several washes ago have waited long enough. My life is just so scintillating!

I obviously needed to sweeten the pill. Yeah! a project that used my cloth stash and would provide a little something for young Peanut happily sprang to mind.

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Those of you that knew me as a library lady will possibly remember this fabric I used it to make a shirt which I often wore for story times. Never fear readers there is no danger of an Omi-Granddaughter matching outfit scenario. My old Toddler Tales shirt has long since been relegated to the category of clothes that are only to be worn for painting and gardening.

Safe in the knowledge that there will be no baby-grandparent twinnage let’s move swiftly on.

The cutting out was a breeze. Only four pattern pieces and two pieces of interfacing. Call me odd but attaching iron-on interfacing is so satisfying.

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Like any clothes-making for littlies it was fun to pull it all together. Whizzing up the side seams, stitching the facing sections to the main body of the pinnie.

Even for me, an inexpert sewer, the running up of this simple dress was a breeze. That is  until …. the buttonholes!!!!!!!

As you’ll see I managed them. But even with a special buttonholing foot on my machine (I need all the help I can get) there was a certain amount of teeth gnashing. Believe me if you go awry with these little beauties it is the stuff of nightmares to unpick .

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BUT slicing between the two rows with my trusty seam ripper…..oooooooohhhhhh….felt goosepimply good.

And in no time at all I had a Peanut sized pinafore dress all sewed up.

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For those of you that would like to know which pattern I used it was New Look (Easy, Kids) Nos.6578.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Latest Addition

Hello All

Now I am back in the blogosphere I think I had better introduce to you the newest member of the It’ll Be Reet clan.

On Thursday 17 December 2015 Number 1 daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She and her partner were over-the-moon as were new uncles and aunties and two very proud grandmothers (Nanna A and me, Omi).

Birthday 17.12.2015 few hours - Peanut 1

Being new to this Omi lark I am not sure how much baby cooing and gurgling I should subject you my dear readers to. But if you will forgive me I may run wild with gooey-ness in just this one blog.

As you can see yarns have been important from day one. Little Peanut was a wee bit on the small size and needed a prem-baby-bonnet to keep warm. But I can’t claim to have knitted the one above – good grief what sort of Omi am I?! – it was knitted by the kind knitters of Leeds especially for the maternity unit. Thank you lovely ladies and gents.

Peanut was obviously a chip off the old block and soon was enjoying the snuggly pleasures of an Omi made blanket..

16.1.2016 Peanut and the blanket that Omi made

… and a Daddy-sized woolly hat.

27.02.2016 Daddy's hat suits me

So there is no better way to wish you a Happy Easter from our latest addition, Peanut, in her own fleecy Easter bonnet.

2016.03.27 - Blue eyed bonnet

Until next we meet, Omi Moke x

Do not open before Christmas…

Hello All

I’ve hit a snag. Everything I make at the moment is earmarked as a gift for friends and family. I can’t show anything I’ve made in case pressies are revealed prematurely.

Will you be satisfied with a label?

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A wrapped present?

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A small clutch of parcels?

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No? Baubles will have to save the day.

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Guard Robin is looking after a slowly growing clutch of Christmas Tree decorations. Latest addition a blue ball with yellow spots.

Before I go CONGRATULATIONS to L and D on your wedding yesterday. It was brilliant to be able to join you in your celebrations. All my best wishes for a wonderful future together.

Until next we meet, Moke x

The wreath-making-needle-felting-styrofoam adventure

Hello All

Now if I’d been clever I would have done this logically and kicked off “On the first day of Christmas ….. ” but if I know anything about myself its that I’m not that clever! So here is the start of the wreath-making-needle-felting-styrofoam adventure and it doesn’t begin with (sing along if you want) “A Partridge In a Pear Tree”.

You’ll have guessed that the theme for my wreath is the Twelve Days of Christmas. I was inspired by finding Diane Stretcher’s blog ‘Diane Again’ about the Twelve Days (bring them back!) and the beautiful drawings on the Christmas card produced for Hammersmith Hospital Kidney Patients’ Association (unfortunately I can’t trace the artist!).

I would love to say that I had perfectly emulated the artist’s quirky yet elegant style. We may have to be satisfied with quirky. You’ll see why.

Materials ready,

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equipment to hand.

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Off we go…..

In my innumerate way I started with one of the two turtle doves.

I needle felted this little fellow from the loose tops straight on to the styrofoam ring. It was not as easy as I thought. It was a struggle to concentrate on the bird’s shape while also trying to fix it to the wreath. For my next ‘rough’ – a swan a-swimming – I shaped the swan on my usual foam pad first and then ‘fixed’ it to the ring (sorry for fuzzy felty photo ),

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once the swan was on the wreath I started to add a bit of detail, some wing feathers.

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I used a similar technique to add  a geese (goose!!!)-a-laying.

Don’t ask about the Christmas Tree! it was a moment of madness that I hope I can improve when I add more texture to the piece.

So far so (sort of) good. But I see trouble ahead…..I wish I’d bought a bigger ring because I think I may struggle to fit all twelve symbols on, already my Lord-a-leaping is taking more space than he ought. Ain’t that always the way?! I may have to revert to applying the figures straight onto the styrofoam so I can use up every teeny tiny nook and cranny. Let’s wait and see.

Now it is time to rest my needle-felter’s wrist (that styrofoam is tougher than you’d imagine) and perch my embryo wreath ready for it’s picture being taken.

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Before I go it was a social Saturday yesterday. Thanks to my cousins P and A for a delicious lunch and a small family gathering. It was lovely to see them and their son my Godson with his gorgeous daughter NF. It was very special to have some time together.

One friend is not faring so well. AJ sorry to hear about your broken leg get fixed up with that plate and mend soon. Thinking of you.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Twinkle Twinkle

Hello All

When I was a library lady one of my favourite tasks was to lead Toddler Tales every Monday morning. It was a great way to start the week. The chaos of little people, parents, grandparents and carers all momentarily calmed by coming together to sing rhymes and listen to stories.

Most beautiful of all was the sharing of nursery rhymes which all the generations could share. Simple couplets so ingrained in our memories that we instantly recall them as soon as the first magic words are said. One such has to be “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. It brings a little tingle to the back of my neck recalling how sweet it was to hear old and young voices combined to sing this lovely poem.

And what brought about this happy memory? Good friend B sent me a link to a crochet pattern! Thanks to a free Moogly pattern you can use up your yarn scraps to make your own little stars.

With a couple of minutes to spare, a few basic tools,

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and even the scrappiest of scrap,
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you can make up a simple decorative star in a trice. Have fun trying different yarns and hook sizes

and perhaps add another point

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to create your own perfect twinkling star.

Ah well time to hook up a few more stars – it’s kind of addictive – and start thinking about presents and cards and all things Christmassy….eeeeekkkk …… maybe I’ll just enjoy making stars and keep Christmas thoughts at bay until December.

 

Until next we meet, Moke x

PS Sorry I vanished last week but my internet went off!!! Zut alors! Mx

 

 

Tiny toes and sore teeth

Hello All

Amongst the myriad chores that need doing time had to be made for some crafting this week. I know, life’s tough!

One of my colleagues has just had a baby giving me the opportunity to crochet a pair of bootees.

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These little cosies for toesies are very satisfying to make. From the neat teeny soles DSCI0163

to the finished pair

there is enough variety in the stitches to be challenging yet they are hooked up in a trice. What’s more they are very very cute. The pattern comes from my favourite crochet book “Crochet Unravelled” by Claire Bojczuk.

Today my own baby girl has been suffering with a very painful wisdom tooth and in between finding a dentist and sorting out treatment has spent a great deal of the day on the phone to mum! Bless. All I could offer were soothing words coupled with encouraging advice and – when she had cheered up – the confession that while I had been listening to her tale of woe I had managed to knit up a hat!

And here it is DSCI0164

Knitted from a free pattern on the Rowan website

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I used some of my Wool Clip stash for this Snug Hat pattern by Cathy Caron

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I had hoped to use just one of the 50g balls but the hat needed a tad more so I used a little of this lovely purple yarn to finish off the rolled band. What pleased me most – and this was after No1 Daughter had visited the dentist – was using mattress stitch to sew together the seams almost invisibly. DSCI0168

Altogether the right simple knitting project to keep you calm while having a long distance comfort conversation with an ailing girl.

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Unfortunately No1 Daughter still has a tender tooth but she is relieved to know she is doing all the right things, has registered with a dentist and made an appointment to have the troublesome tooth checked over. Hopefully in the meantime it will settle down.

Until next we meet. Moke x

PS She liked the hat. M x

 

High Days and Roman Holidays

Hello All

Being born on 24 July in the 57th year of the last century means that I have just turned 57 myself. A pleasing symmetry.

After an early morning birthday call from No1 Son, No1 Daughter arrived to take her old mum out for the day. Off we set in glorious sunshine for the pretty Lancashire village of Ribchester.

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Steamingly hot no one was sitting inside said glass house but outside under cheerful parasols or broad brimmed hats thoughtfully provided by the proprietors. I snaffled a jaunty blue number. I thought I looked tres chic. I can’t imagine what that girl of mine was sniggering at.

What a friendly and convivial setting for a happy birthday lunch.

The cafe is part of an eclectic mix of little businesses which are set up in small summer houses dotted around what is also a delightful rambling garden centre.

A special treat. But the day was not over.

Lying on the banks of an expansive stretch of the River Ribble – on this hot day filled with squealing children trying to cool down – Ribchester is a picture postcard village. It has a 13th century church, St Wilfred’s DSCI0337

 

cottages quaint enough to feature on top of a biscuit tin lid DSCI0332

 

and comes complete with an 18th century hostelry, The White Bull. DSCI0328

But what makes it very special to me are the remains of the Roman fort of Bremetennacum the story of which is told in the village’s small but beautifully formed museum.DSCI0330

 

Famously Bremetennacum was garrisoned by Sarmatian auxiliaries. These highly accomplished horsemen from the lower Danube came to Britain after their defeat by the legions of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in 175AD. In this fabulous mongrel nation of ours I like to fancy that modern day Ribchesterians will be descended from these exotic nomadic people.

The ‘Roman’ visitors also left behind more tangible traces of their lives at Bremetennacum: their granaries

and a little walk away, their bath house

complete with an add-on medieval well DSCI0342

I couldn’t resist patting the sun-warmed stones and thinking of the people who had dressed and placed them there. It made me smile.

I’ll let you into a little secret: over the years I have researched the Sarmatians in Roman Britain for a novel and if you are really interested you can have a sneaky peek of the first few chapters on Wattpad. Beware it is very different from my blog!

No1 Daughter and I had a lovely time chatting and tootling about the site of this ancient world but thank goodness for modern conveniences and a last cup of tea. DSCI0347

 

Until we meet next. Moke