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

Patterns are fun …eventually

Hello All

The sun has got its hat on. Hip hip hip hooray! Yesterday was a wonderful day for a train journey to my favourite city, Carlisle. A day when all my bus train bus connections came together and travel was an absolute pleasure.

As you know there is little chance of finding me on a train without wool and a project. Yesterday was no exception.

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In truth however I was running scared. I thought after the bauble success of last week I would try another pattern from the colourful “Boho Crochet” book edited by Merenke Slump. My knees turned to jelly when I realised I was moving from a two star to a THREE star skill rating. What was I thinking?! FPtrs and FPdtrs awaited along with surface crochet and sl st into blo (don’t ask, spare yourselves).

But before I could hook my way through a new crocheting learning curve my train had pulled in at Carlisle station. I had a little time before meeting with my friends at Tullie House Museum. Time for a visit to the library to pick up some light reading and settle down with a cup of tea.

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And yes that is brilliant sunlight casting shadows! Apologies for getting so excited but we don’t get a lot of sunshine in Cumbria. Infact like Nosferatu caught out by dawn we squinted, we fidgeted, we MOVED to get out of the rays. We may not get much sun but when we do it is stunning. Our eyes need time to adjust.

It was lovely meeting up with my friends but all too soon I was time to go our separate ways. A beautiful train ride later and I was back home and it was time to face my ‘Star Fruit Pattern Rug’ fears. Gulp.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts.  I discovered I didn’t know my WS from my RS!

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Oops!

But having discovered this fundamental I started to get to grips with the lingo and enjoy myself.

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The Star Fruit shape began to form as I worked in the surface crochet. And the motif came together with the addition of the third colour edging.

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In no time at all I had three motifs completed. Only another 67 to go and I’ll have a rustic new rug!

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In case you were wondering I am using a 4mm hook and these chunky rough dyed rug yarns from Farfield Mill.

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Patterns. Pah! Nothing to fear after all. Next time 4 stars. Bring it on.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Fingers and toes crossed ….

Hello All

Don’t get too excited or that will make two of us running around shouting ‘Yipppppeeeeee’.

After my poor old (only 10 years… things just aren’t made to last these days!) Mac gave up the ghost last Autumn I thought I was exiled permanently from the Blogosphere. But thanks to the generosity of my friends the Pods I am now working at getting back to blogging with a vengeance. I have a lot of catching up to do but with the help of Mr Pod’s less old laptop (named Vera well why not?!) I hope to start re-posting any day now… so WATCH THIS SPACE.

It is so good to be back as I have missed you all and our little sorties into the Lakeland scenery and the woolly ways of yours truly.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Christmas Cottage

Hello All and a very Merry Christmas to you

The pressies are open so here are a few of the makes I couldn’t reveal before Yuletide:

This year No 1 Daughter had booked us all into a cottage near Cartmel for Christmas. It was lovely. Everything a cottage should be, with interesting nooks and crannies,

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beams, DSCI0361

quirky little stairways,

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and a welcoming kitchen.

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It was comfortable and charming. Perfect for a relaxed family holiday.

No 1 Daughter and Son together with No1 Daughter’s boyfriend had settled in and sorted out the decorations and food before I arrived. What a treat to sit together for scrumptious meals. No 1 Daughter’s season chalet hosting a couple of years ago certainly paid off!

We had a wonderful time and with no WiFi nor mobile phone reception – YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!! – mastered the hilarious art of charades and (almost) got to grips with the complexities of dominos.

Our dogs also had a superb holiday. Looking for their presents,

and enjoying the sort of mischief that only two small dogs can get up to. No 1 Daughter’s dog idolises my rather elderly Cavalier, James, so they were always together …. James adopting a Yoda like mentoring role … treats under the tree find you will ….

He is a wise old boy and after all that food…. James magnificently sums up how I feel.

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We have been very lucky. Our thoughts go out to those for whom Christmas is not a happy time.

Love and best wishes for 2015, Moke xx

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

This year’s new baubles

Hello All

Every year we have a happy little family tradition. We each get a new bauble for the Christmas tree. Consequently we never have a particular colour or style instead we have a hotch potch of all sorts on our tree. Every little trinket telling a story or recalling a memory.

This year I was thinking of buying (eeek!) our 3 new decorations for the tree. Then I got to wondering whether a shop bought  what-not would quite capture the spirit of randomness our annual tree embodies. Don’t get me wrong there are many shop purchases swinging gaily from the needly branches. But most were donated by family or chosen when our small tribe of three were together to select them. From these I remember the people that gifted them or times when my big people were little folk and insistent that a blue elephant fairy would sit comfortably next to Piglet on a peg (what were the school thinking?!).

Rather than battle through the Black Friday…Pink Tuesday…..Lemon Thurdsay…..whatever…..crowds and pick up anything that would get me out of there fast I had a little think. And when I had thunk the idea of needle felted baubles was born. I already had my needle-felting goodies out for the wreath-making-needle-felting-styrofoam adventure (don’t ask!) and was glad to put them to a happier use (I said…don’t ask).

Combining the idea of needle-felted baubles with Wool Buddies I set off. First a Herdwick body DSCI0292 then a little red tummy (you can see where this is going)

a pair of wild Marty Feldman eyes

and there we have him. The scourge of the Christmas garden that feisty little chappy Robin Redbreast. I can’t wait to see him staring out from the branches of our tree. Ok ok he is a bit scary – lucky my children are grown up – but I like to think he’ll make us chuckle. He will dangle perfectly next to the glass painted acetate Santa (we were hard up that year). By the by he is very light which is perfect for hanging from delicate branches.

Next I worked on a scrap of hand-dyed fleece, DSCI0306 and as it reminded me of a stormy sky I added a few stars.

In time honoured fashion I have saved the best for last,

colourful merino tops felted into a ball and then randomly covered with a swirly pattern. Definitely my favourite. I think I have certainly upheld the tree tradition of quirky-ness. Only problem is they are sort of addictive. Can I stop? or will we need a bigger tree?

Before I go. I went to a wonderful leaving ‘do’ at the library on Friday night and as you have had an occasional glimpse of AW’s sugar-craft I thought you might like a peek at her latest creation made for HWh who was leaving the library after an amazing 44 years!

I think you’ll agree it is beautiful. Sweet dreams.

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