Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

Now that 2014 is behind us I thought it would be a good time to celebrate another year of crafting. It’s been a busy year for me and I have had several periods of sheer exhaustion this year. However, when I looked back over the crafty projects that I’d finished in 2014 I was quite surprised I’d managed to complete so many. Some are bigger and more challenging than others but they were all equally enjoyable to do. Some were done in tandem with my special blogging friend Claire who has motivated me to continue making and doing throughout the year.

2014 Marked the “hatching” of the Chicken Run on my other blog and the beginning of a larger SAL group. Many more personal goals have also been achieved. It’s been a bumper, busy year in so many respects for me but the crafting has kept me going. Sewing has forced me take a break, however small, from life’s challenges that can catch us off guard.

Thanks to all of you who have liked, commented, emailed and read my posts last year. It’s been so wonderful to have you on board!

Here are some photos of completed projects from 2014. If you want to read the original posts click here and then click on the photo of the project you want to read about.

Sewing beside the sea 2014 Collage

Here’s to an amazingly crafty New Year for all of us!

Avis x

My Second Pair of Socks

Hello everyone,

It’s about time I showed you what I’ve been up to recently. I’ve just finished my second pair of knitted socks. I knitted the first of this pair ages ago and then got side-tracked on knitted squares for a blanket. I wish I had more spare time to knit socks. I love knitting on four needles because there is minimal stitching up to do at the end.

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I used this wool that my sister bought me as a gift. She bought two balls and there’s still a lot left. Three balls would easily make two pairs like the ones I made. I altered a pattern called Jeck which is free on Ravelry.com by missing out the pattern stitches and knitting in rib and stocking stich only. I did start to knit the pattern but it was totally lost in all the colour changes of the wool so I pulled it out and knitted plain.

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I enjoyed knitting with this wool so much that I’ve now treated myself to some purple as well Smile

I hope you’ve had a very crafty time this weekend!

Avis x

I’ve been thoroughly spoiled!

Hello again!

Just popping back in again to show you some crafty birthday goodies from my birthday last week.

My lovely sister bought some things from my crafty “wish list” which will come in very handy indeed. I’ve been drooling over these for years!!

Some Bali Pops in the Brown Sugar colourway. There’s lots of lovely teals and bronzes in this pack. I have so many ideas as to what I want to make with these, it’s making my head hurt.

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She also bought sock wool, two balls of this one by Regia. It’s got lots of mossy greens and yellows and is incredibly soft and fine. Yummy!

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I’ve already got the other ball on the needles 😉 I’m knitting this free pattern from Ravelry which I tried and enjoyed last year. You can see my first pair here if you are interested.

Also, Claire from Claire93 sent me a parcel full of individually wrapped prezzies. Isn’t this the cutest biscornu you ever did see? It’s TINY! A lot of work has gone into this!

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She also made a card….perfect 🙂 I love blackwork and the threads and design are beautiful.

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Next up, some crafty supplies to add to my stash. Claire also included a leaflet with some cross stitch charts that are a perfect size for these keyrings.

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At some point I mentioned to her that I don’t have zips. I do now 🙂

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Purple fabric….I love these marbly prints.

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Last but not least, a thread organiser.

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These are made by a French lady who has a lovely blog here.

My OH has also provided the yarn for my next crocheted blanket. He knows I love colour and he also knows what I hope to do with it…..and he approves! You’ll have to wait and see what I come up with 😀

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So, a HUGE thank you each to my sister, my friend Claire and my OH who puts up with all of my crafting mess around the house…. or is he just keeping me busy….. or quiet…… or both 😆

I don’t think I’ll need to be going to the crafty shops for a while!

Aren’t birthdays fun? I’ve been thoroughly spoiled!

Happy crafting everyone 🙂

Avis x

 

A productive surprise!

Good evening everyone,

A few weeks ago, it was about time a dear friend of mine received a surprise gift. I’d been to my local yarn shop that day and couldn’t resist this sock yarn.  Firstly, because the socks on the label looked lovely and secondly because my friend had already showed me socks that she had made with wool that has some very short colour changes.

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Look what she made!!! Aren’t they gorgeous? I love the way this wool makes the socks look as though they are made with a very complicated pattern using lots of different colours. Starting to knit the second sock at the same point in the colour repeat as the first sock has produced two identical socks as if by magic!

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My friend has told me that she really enjoyed knitting them 🙂 Thanks to her for the photos and for inspiring me to get my double pointed needles back out again! There’s another ball of sock wool waiting in my stash.

I hope you like them as much as I do 🙂

Avis x

Getting ready for 2014!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been busy updating the “2013 Finishes” page above and I couldn’t believe how many projects I managed to complete this year, especially as it has been so busy here Beside the Sea. I’ve enjoyed making every single project as well as reading all of the lovely comments and emails from like minded people along the way. Your blogs have been very inspirational too, so I have many ideas stored up for future projects in 2014.

I hope you like the following gallery of my efforts this year. Some of the projects are from my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting. If you’d like to visit any of the posts relating to the pictures in the gallery, just go to the “2013 Finishes” page on either blog and then click on the photo.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have lots of exciting projects lined up for 2014 🙂 I seem to have lost my chocolates! Hmmmm…

Avis x

Happy dancing!

Hello to all the lovely crafters around the world. Today, I have a finish to show you.

I have now finished both socks, the first pair I have ever knitted, and I’m so pleased with them. I ummed and aaahed and asked lots of questions about knitting socks on my other blog about a year ago and then never got around to knitting them. Some of you had great suggestions. I signed up for a Craftsy class for knitting toe-up socks (which I still haven’t looked at) and then found this free pattern on Ravelry called Jeck for a cuff-down version. The yarn is Opal brand and it’s made in Germany but mine was purchased in the UK by my daughter at a craft fair. The label says “Pullover & Sockenwolle 100g”.

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As a complete coincidence, my daughter was buying me wool at a craft fair while I was visiting the Isle of Skye buying more wool. We visited a wonderful shop called Shilasdair. It could actually be described as a small visitor centre as there is a video set-up showing all of the different processes of hand-dyeing the wool they sell and I found it very interesting. Shilasdair uses lots of lovely natural dyes and the colours are stunning. How could I leave without buying some?

This is what I bought. Isn’t it similar to the wool my daughter bought for me?

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The lady in the shop explained that the blues are dyed with indigo but the shades are just like the blaeberries on the label.

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My Shilasdair wool is a mix of cashmere, baby camel, angora and merino lambswool so it is very soft. It is labelled as a luxury double knit weight.

Now all I have to decide is, will I be knitting socks or a scarf with this new wool? I’m drawn towards a scarf this time due to the heavier weight of this yarn, maybe something quite lacy……but then I enjoyed knitting the socks so much on four needles. I could always shop for other sock yarn….decisions, decisions.

Happy crafting!

Avis x

 

A lovely surprise and two odd socks!

Hi everyone!

I just have to share my lovely surprise with you all this morning. I had an email from my friend Claire over at Claire93 to say she’d sent me something in the post and was worried it may have gone missing. WELL….it hasn’t! My little parcel was sitting on the doorstep, having just arrived YEY!!! Apparently, as Lewis Carroll penned, it is my un-birthday today 🙂

Here’s what I have 🙂

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A long quarter of gorgeous quality quilting fabric, ideal for stripping 🙂 I already have ideas as to what it might become. Here’s a close up.

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A card from Paris showing a picture of an amazing glass structure. I have to to see that one day! If you have followed my quilting blog Oh Sew Tempting you will know that I’m mad about maths. I love maths and anything remotely mathematical so the glass pyramid, which I now know is outside the Louvre, really appeals to me 🙂 Here is a clearer picture courtesy of http://www.betanews.com.

There’s also a fab blackwork bookmark which is made from Claire’s test piece for the Pentecost blackwork from http://www.practicalblackwork.com that we are sewing together. This is now in my work diary, which for some reason has no ribbon page keeper like they usually do. Scroll down if you want to see the design we are stitching.

So thank you so much Claire! Isn’t it lovely when you get a complete surprise? I think so. I’m feeling very smiley today 😀

I can also share a half finish today. I have completed one knitted sock of a pair 🙂

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If you have read my previous posts you will know that this is the first time I have knitted anything on four needles. I went boldly on, remembering my Mother knitting on four needles when I was small. It couldn’t be that difficult could it?? Well, should I just say, it was fiddly, VERY fiddly! However, it wouldn’t have been quite so fiddly if I’d had the brains to take a look on Youtube to see it it SHOULD be done. I realised, after I got past the heel and onto the foot part of the sock that I had been knitting on four needles INSIDE OUT!!! Honestly, what a numpty. I realised completely by accident after having turned the knitting right side out to have a look at what I’d done so far. I forgot to turn it back inside out again and continued to knit. For some reason, which took me a while to figure out, I could all of a sudden knit much faster. So, in future, I might not be such a clever clogs and have a look to see how things should be done first.  My adventure into knitting on four needles worked well in the end. I can feel a few more pairs of socks coming on but maybe I should finish this pair first 😉

And just as I type, an email has popped in from Witchylin, one of my regular readers, with a photo of her newly finished sock. At least we have a pair between us LOL.

She has kindly given me permission to share her photo with you.

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I immediately got back to her and asked what brand of wool she’d used as I love the speckly bits. It turns out we are using the same Opal brand wool which can be found at The Woolly Brew in Scotland. My daughter bought my wool from this company as a present and Witchylin has just been back to them this morning to order more. She’s got the knitting bug too! So we are two happy customers and I think the lovely ladies at The Woolly Brew deserve a “Shout out”. If you like yarn, go and take a browse. They have something for everyone 🙂

Now, I’m off to make lunch. I can’t wait for the weekend when there is going to be some serious crafting going on here Beside the Sea 🙂

Avis x