I confess that after my family, three huge loves in my life are fabric, yarn and stationery. I have plenty of all three but in recent years I have started to control my spending on note books with gorgeous covers. I still drool over them and if it is vastly reduced I sometimes lose all self control and purchase one. My favourite size note pad is A5 and I was not a lover of A4 until recently. Since the eighties I have owned a Filofax often buying a new personal one instead of refills when needing a new diary insert. Recently my trusty A5 Filofax gave up the fight and broke after ten years of hard work. So I went shopping for a new one. I am particular when I am choosing my Filofax. It has to have the larger rings and I prefer an elastic closure or double poppers. My decision made, I went on the search for a cerise or red Domino A5 Filofax. Now, I realise I could have ordered online and got exactly what I wanted posted to my door,but I want to support the high street and real live shops before we lose them altogether. Every Filofax stockist in Watford was searched and not one had the one I was looking for. I had almost given up and my last stop was Rymans on the parade. They didn’t have one either but what they did have at a bargain price of £25 was an A4 Filofax with an 18 month diary. I can’t resist a bargain and as I wanted to use it for pattern notes I decided to give it a try. Well I have had a complete turnaround. I love my A4 Filofax and use it daily at home. It is so versatile and I can put my patterns in it without folding them. I did manage to get my A5 one which is bursting at the seams with all my old and new pages. In my handbag I have a personal one and as a spare a pocket one. I have the whole Domino family. My stationery family is complete.
I can’t believe it’s September already. August has passed in a blur. I have been working fulltime and getting into a new sleep routine and doing lots of crafting. There are a lot of swap groups on Ravelry and I enjoy doing lots of swaps. One of the groups I am in decided to have a WIP finishing month and this proved to be the kick up the backside I needed.
I am desperate to start a new project but used some self control to not start one until I finished three WIPs I had. Although I didn’t start anything new I did start looking at new projects and putting the yarn together for a few. There is an endless stream of exciting and beautiful new patterns to inspire me and no matter how often I say , that’s it I’m not buying anymore books or magazines there is always another gorgeous design that entices me.
In August I finally finished my daughters neon socks from my own pattern
Knitted a shawl We are Stardust which I had a few issues with , definitely user error what did I expect knitting at 2am.
And I finally finished my mystery cushion 2012. I really enjoyed getting these finished. The only problem is that I now have a long list of projects to knit, mainly jumpers, when I really need a cardigan!
Well I finally did it. I have left my role as a Rowan Design Consultant. I still love Rowan yarns and fabrics but it just is not possible to do the amount of work required with no help in the contracted hours. However I do have a new job which I love, It is working in a call centre, but is far from a normal call centre environment as it has such a great fun atmosphere and you are valued as a staff member. As I am working evenings I have my days to meet friends, look after Harry and craft. Strangely since I am no longer crafting for a living apart from the odd workshop I have done so much. In the week since I left I have made three tops, knitted one pattern repeat on a shawl, started a top for Harry and taught some one how to knit. Let’s hope this level of crafting continues.
The tops are made from a Sew Girl pattern I got free with the fabulous magazine Love Sewing Magazine. It is one of the simplest patterns I have used and I only have one tiny complaint. It leaves it up to you to place the pockets. I would prefer to have been told , luckily I placed them correctly
Here are some of the decorations I made for family and friends for christmas 2013. Every year I have some tags made with Christmas 2013 by Jennifer S. Obviously I change the year but I sew these on to presents I make for the holidays
I decided to add some crochet trim to the bell
The hearts are made with Liberty fabric , felt and trimmed with beads and vintage lace that was made in England.
It’s been a busy few months. One might even use the word hectic.
I’ve done lots of crafting, been on a mini holiday, caught up with friends and family and lots of work.
There’s also been lots of time spent with my wonderful grandson who is becoming even more of a character.
Sewing seems to have the main craft over the last few months although I still got lots of knitting done.
Although I have made lots from my stash I have made a few bits for work which I used new fabric for. I made some project bags from the gorgeous Rowan laminate. My favourite is the blue one which is an Amy Butler Alchemy design,there is a matching cotton fabric so I used this to line my project bag. It’s not like standard oilcloth it is much softer and as it is designed for sewing it goes through the machine easily and is soft. I really enjoyed making them the only problem was that I ended up buying some to make presents with.
I also made a cover for my Filofax. As much as I am fairly tech savvy I still prefer a paper diary. I used all my odd bits of fabric to create a patchwork piece of fabric big enough to make the cover. It was a very random pieces of patchwork no two bits were the same. I them experiment with my machine and embroidered various stitches randomly over the fabric. Before I did the embroidery I appliqued a tulip from Amanda Addisona
I normally think too much about the placement of pieces so this free form patchwork was a nice change.
If this period of waking up in the middle of the night keeps up I may have to think about finding a night job instead of a day job. The only good thing about being wide awake in the wee hours is that I get to catch on on my knitting , television and maybe read a book. On the needles at the moment is still the Building Blocks blanket for baby Jones. I have just finished the fourth of seven strips and am really pleased with the way it looks. However, I am becoming a tad bored with it. I have managed to knit a couple of sets of bootees inbetween sqaures. I must get it finished then I can relax a bit.
I still have the quilt to finish for baby Jones but I have been inspired by a friend to add strips of plain fabric inbeween the patterned squares. This will not only look very effective but will also cut down on the quilting time. I have managed to make a pair of maternity PJ bottoms, shorten some maternity trousers into shorts, insert a jersey baby bump into a pair of skinny jeans (did I mention my daughters pregnant) and three vintage aprons. The PJ bottoms were made from stash and the aprons were from the new Amy Butler for Rowan Lark range fabric.
I am trying to get in the habit of spending at least three hours every weekend sewing to catch up on some bits. Whereas my knitting WIPs are under control with only the blankets, my sewing WIPs are getting a little out of control. It happens when I think I’m being organised by cutting all the fabric and pattern out so it is ready to sew, all this means in reality is that I have lots of bags with projects ready to go.
Next weekend I am going to unearth them all, make one of my lists of what I have, prioritise them and make a time frame for sewing them. I remember a famous seamstress saying once that you should make appointments for your sewing and treat it almost like a job, You set aside a timeslot and use that time for your sewing and because it’s in your diary there’s not need to feel guilty about not doing other bits. I have to confess I generally put my crafting time ahead of housework etc. The housework will always be there but my sanity without my crafting won’t.
I have some amazing news, well it’s amazing for me. My daughter is expecting our first grandchild in late April/early May next year. Yes she was the other family member I spoke of previously. I have lots of knitting and sewing planned and aim to make complete outfits. I will knit a cardigan and sew two or three outfits to be worn with it. My daughter told me when she was 6 weeks when she came round with “food poisoning” to be looked after by mum. I put her to bed and ironically for the first time in two weeks didn’t ask her if she was pregnant. As well as being excited with the prospect of becoming Nanna Jen I am so very pleased for her and her husband. I really want to get stuck in and get the baby bits started but I must concentrate on Christmas gifts first. Although I have been buying some fabric for the baby as I will be making the cot bumper , quilt and play mat, as well a few bibs
I have recently come back from holiday where I managed to finish Fetching and do some more on a girls comforter. THe A-Z 2011 is going quite well and I stand a good chance of finishing it. Pictures will follow shortly