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

Will this be the final finish for 2014?

Good evening everybody,

Today I have a finished project to share with you. Some of you may remember this gorgeous parcel of woolly goodness that arrived here for my birthday last February.

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I chose ten of the brightest colours I could find and also added some black. Then it was time to find a pattern. I chose this one called Double Vision by Woolly Thoughts because it reminded me of stained glass.

I knitted up the 100 squares really quickly. In fact, for a time I thought I was addicted to knitting these little gems. I decided not to knit the pattern as instructed (nothing new there then) and to make all of my squares on the diagonal.

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After finishing I tried edging with black crochet but wasn’t happy with the irregular finish, particularly as the squares had turned out so perfect.

So, it was back to the drawing board which usually means “Stuff it into a cupboard and think for a few months”. Anyway, with the weather turning really cold here over recent weeks I had decided that when I had time I would drag the bag from the cupboard and go for a finish. That was last week. I knew I would soon have a few days without work so I looked for a good way to sew the squares together in preparation for the sewing together marathon. I completely abandoned the idea of each square having a black outline. I found a video for the invisible stitching together of garter stitch knitting here. I think it worked really well. Here is a close up. Can you see the stitches?

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Work in progress…

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Finally, I crocheted a double border around the edge, again with two strands of yarn, and it finished it all off a treat.

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It’s so heavy that it’s all stretching as it hangs LOL.

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The finished size is 50 inches square and it’s really chunky and warm, perfect for those winter evenings on the sofa.

I really enjoyed making this blanket and I’m very happy with the finish. If I was to make it again, I’d definitely sew the squares together as I knitted them. The pattern suggests a method of picking up stiches and joining as you go but I didn’t want a ridge on the back of the blanket. Mine is fully reversible and that’s what I’d hoped to achieve.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope to see you again in the New Year Smile.

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

Partly Solved Mysteries

Posted on both blogs Oh Sew Tempting and Sewing Beside the Sea.

Hi everyone,

Last week I posted about two mystery objects that I’d found when going through my late Aunt Edith’s crafting goodies. I asked for your suggestions for their uses and promised to reveal the answers to you this week. The original post is here if you want to see more photos.

I already knew what this object was used for.

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It’s a tool for making proggy mats. Proggy, or clippy mats, as we call them in the North East of England were made from wool or strips of fabric, reclaimed from worn out clothes. My maternal Grandmother, who died before I was born, was apparently an expert clippy mat maker. I wish I could have met her because I’m told she was an amazing craftswoman who could turn her hands to many different crafts.

Here is a link to some modern proggy mats on Pinterest.

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When the tool is pushed against the rug backing, the “proggy bit”, which is loaded with wool or fabric strip, pushes through. When the tool is pulled away from the rug, the internal spring makes the “proggy bit” retract back inside the metal tube.

This is the original box.

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And the instructions.

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So now you know what it is for Smile.

Now, the second mystery object is still a mystery in my opinion.

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Several readers thought it might be a hinge. There were also other ideas. I think they mean the type of hinge that stops a drop down lid from dropping too far. For example on a writing bureau or upwards on the lid of a chest. I’m not convinced it is a hinge as it doesn’t straighten so I’m still open to suggestions on that one. I just don’t understand why this would have been stored with Aunt Edith’s crafty things if it is a hinge.

So, sorry I don’t have an answer to Mystery number 2 but I hope you enjoy looking at the proggy mats anyway Smile.

Avis x

End of Part One!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend of crafting. It’s been very busy here for the last few weeks so I’ve been doing a large project that is easy to pick up and put down when I get spare moments. I told you all about it in my previous post here. I have altered the pattern a lot. There is a link to the pattern here as well. Only the basic concept of the design has been used.

I showed you a few of the completed squares before but I’ve now got all 100 squares finished. Here they are in their colour groups.

Pink

Pinks

Purple

Purples

Dark blue

Dark Blues

Turquoise

Turquoises

Dark green

Dark Greens

Light green

Light Greens

Red

Reds

Orange

Oranges

Gold

Golds

Lemon

Lemons

You will probably have spotted that I’ve crocheted a black border around a few of the squares and I need to do that to the rest. I can hear some of you saying “Why didn’t you do that as you completed each one?”. Well, I considered that and quickly dismissed it because I was having so much fun with the colours which are much more vibrant in real life than in any of the photos. I’m happy with my choice and will no doubt be sent to sit on the naughty seat when I start whinging about how boring it is to do the borders 😆

I resisted laying out the completed squares until I had all 100 finished. So this afternoon, I’ve been playing on the floor rearranging them, even though it is going to look different when the black is done.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far. They are much better if you stand back from the screen Smile

Choice 1

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 2

Choice 3

Choice 3

I’ll finish the black and then make a final choice and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all move around again. It’s been very addictive so far and I can’t wait to get it finished.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile

Avis x

A New Beginning!

Happy weekend to you all!

I thought you might like to see the latest project I’ve embarked upon. It involves these little beauties plus black….except the turquoise one at the bottom left.

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This yarn was a birthday present from my other half way back in February and I’ve been mulling over what to do with it since then. It was going to be another ripple blanket like my other one, then it was going to be a crocheted Klimt style blanket inspired by these but then I saw this one…..and I was bowled over…..completely head over heels!

Here’s my progress so far. Twenty nine squares down, seventy one to go Smile

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I can never resist making changes to patterns (annoying isn’t it?) but there is method in my madness. I’ve decided to knit all of my squares on the diagonal and not to make the black borders by picking up along the edge and knitting as suggested by the pattern. My stitches were uneven and I didn’t like the ridge that formed on the reverse of the finished squares after picking up stitches. I also thought that the back wasn’t looking as tidy as I wanted. I like the back of a project to look as good as the front if at all possible.

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So, I tried a few crochet stitches, with and without chains, one strand of yarn or two, and came up with this method which is the best of a bunch for me.

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I know it’ll take ages to crochet all of the borders but it doesn’t take any brain power so I’ll be able to add the black as and when I wish during spare moments. This is part of the pink set I’ve completed so far.

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Here are the purples.

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These are the blues.

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The pattern is very yarn hungry as it is knitted with two strands at the same time but the squares are lovely and thick and it is going to make a super chunky heavy blanket. I need to buy more yarn to finish the sets but so far I’m really enjoying mixing up the colours and watching the pile of squares grow. You will notice that I haven’t used any orange, yellow or gold yet. Hopefully, when I do get around to knitting those colours they will make the whole thing zing Smile That’s the plan anyway. I’ve no idea which colours are used in the original. I didn’t even look because I already had these colours and wasn’t looking to buy more. 

I wonder what you have all been up to while I’ve had my head in my squares…

Hopefully, you’ve been having fun crafting too!

Avis x

Were you correct?

Happy Saturday everyone!

Did you guess what the mystery embroidery was in my last post? Here is another little teaser in case you didn’t. I bet you know now. Scroll down for the big reveal!

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Here it is in all its glory Smile.

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Every time I look at it I find another embroidery style or beads that I’d missed before.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile.

Avis x

Motif #11

Hi everyone,

Here is my version of motif #11 from the book I mentioned in this earlier post. I hope you like it.

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Avis x

Motif #10

Hi everyone,

Here is my version of motif #10 from the book I mentioned in this earlier post. I hope you like it.

11

Avis x

Motif #9

Hi everyone,

Here is my version of motif #9 from the book I mentioned in this earlier post. I hope you like it.

9

Avis x