Doing things in reverse Part 1

After abstaining for a few years, I finally succumbed to my friends request to go to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, more commonly known as Ally Pally. Regular readers will know I have been trying to down size my craft stash for a few years. The yarn stash has halved but the fabric stash doesn’t seem to be moving at all.

Anyways,back to Ally Pally. We started the day with a lovely breakfast before the show opened so we were raring to go when the doors opened. We had a plan, to start at the far end and walk up and down each aisle. I was prepared, I had a short shopping list, I fell at the first aisle. The Lovliest Yarn Company had a lovely shawl in the, most, gorgeous, soft yarn, Juniper Moon Farm Herriot. It was love at first touch, 100% baby alpaca, so soft, so scrumptious, my will power went and I purchased the yarn to knit the shawl. The shawl on display was in green and I almost bought that colour but decided against it and went with……. red.

I was okay for a while and concentrated on hunting for the items on my list, I found the bobbins for my sewing machine , then it was the hunt for boys patterns, Harry’s red yarn and magazine subscriptions. If I am going to subscribe to a magazine, I prefer to do it at one of the shows. The price is generally a bit better and normally the free gift is much better than getting it through an offer in the magazine. Unfortunately most of them were doing three issues for a pound or six pound and then a rolling quarterly subscription which I don’t want. I prefer to pay for an annual subscription with a one off payment , so if I don’t require it after the year , there’s nothing to do, it just ends. Knitting magazine however were doing a fabulous deal. They gave you the current issue, a ten ball yarn pack, out of a choice of two and a years subscription of 13 issues for £50. My yarn choice was the mixed colour Stylecraft Super Chunky Special XL. This is destined to be hats and scarves for various family members.It also came with six pattern books, which I gave to a friend.


Harry yarn was next on the list. When I told Harry I was going to the knitting and stitching show, he asked me to get him some red yarn to knit him a sweater. As I have loads in the stash, I didn’t want to pay too much and I pounced on a bag of King Cole Galaxy chunky at Black Sheep yarns, it was only when photographing the yarn tonight, I realised I have made a boo boo. The yarn has sequins in it. Doh, I guess this is now Evalyns.


I have already started the Touch Me shawl pattern which is a free pattern on Ravelry, if  you want an easy shawl, relaxing to knit and looks good, knit this, I cannot praise this pattern enough. This is where I am doing things in reverse. I am planning on making and using the yarn and fabrics I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show instead of adding it to the stash and using the stash first.  There are still some bits from stash on the needles but I need to use these new bits first.

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Working on a PHD or two

In this case my PHD stands for Projects Half Done! I still have a number of sewing projects to be done but I am working slowly but surely on the vibrant sweater by Marie Wallin’s from an issue of Vogue Knitting. I only have the body to knit and am aiming to knit a minimum of two rounds per week. Cosy by Kim Hargeaves is going well and I only have the front to knit. This years Mystery Blanket by Debbie Abrahams has made progress but I started to get a little bored so I have shelved this for the moment and have decided not to knit next years even though I know I will regret it at some point. Although I still have a number of projects on the go I have decided to cast on a pair of socks so that I can knit them at work. That has to be mindless knitting.
The gorgeous Liberty Alice In Wonderland fabric has been made in to a summer dress/tunic ( well some of it ), unfortunately the to do list from my previous list is unchanged. I also have to sew some bunting for my cousins gorgeous son Jacob Oliver . I also need to sew some for my adorable grandaughter,
The craft culling is going well although I am getting into my card making again so I need to be careful I don’t splash out on card stuff. I really need a good day so I can pull out everything from the workshop and sort out my notions.
When my grandson was born I made him some taggies which he never used. They just never appealed to him, his younger sister on the other hand cannot sleep with out one. She only likes one of them, it is in a Rowan fabric nd it is the fabric that she likes. Luckily I still had some of the fabric so for her birthday I made another 5. One for each grandparents house and car and a spare phew

A change of scene

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.

Falling off the wagon

I have been doing really well with not buying any yarn or fabric. I have sold and destashed various yarns, exchanged ones I’m not sure about for ones I will definitely use but today I fell off the wagon.  I had to go to London to meet some one and as I had plenty of time after we met I decided to go for a wander. I was either going to Berwick Street and look at the scrumptious fabric shops or travel to Waterloo and finally visit the I Knit London store.

Well the decision was made as I’d told hubbie I wouldn’t go shopping in Oxford Street so of to I knit I went. I am rubbish at using the GPS map thing on my phone so had to ask 3 people at differnt stages how to get there from the station. Once there I was in heaven with all the books and yarns. Such gorgeous colours and fibres and yes I did succumb. I purchased a Knit Pro Cubix circular and an Addi Lace circular as I am itching to knit something with Rowan Fine Lace, saw the Scrumptious baby booklet and had to get it and of course I bought some beautiful yarn. Alpaca of course although this is blended with Pima Cotton. I can’t wait to knit with it but must get on with the baby bits first. The yarn is Manos Del Uruguay Serena and yes of course it is in the heather family of colours.

too soft to miss

On the baby Jones fron the Building blocks blanket is coming along well and 2 complete strips have been knitted and sewn together as well as another two squares. I have also managed to knit a few pairs of bootees and the Rice Pudding Cardigan from Knit Now issue 5

I am going to be a nanna

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

It’s here

Why do all the lovely knitting bits come at the same time. Yesterday my members copy of the Rowan magazine 50 arrived. It truly is a thing of beauty. The postman knocked whilst I was on my way out and handed me a cardboard covered package. I looked at it and thought it can’t be can it? Rowan 50 wasn’t due until 15th July. I decided it must be , excitement took over and I ripped open the cardboard. I was so excited I couldn’t sit down I was running around the front room saying OMG its gorgeous. I semi calmed down and looked at each page, taking in the beautiful photography ,scenery and of course the amazing designs. There is so much I like in this issue. Some I adore but won’t wear as they won’t suit me and at least six I love and aim to knit.
I am a book worm and the dark grey with gold lettering hardcover is something to behold I wish all my Rowan magazines came like this. Can you imagine how good a shelf of these would look.

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Then the following day the latest issue of Knitting magazine arrived with a gorgeous coat with matching collar/cowl by designer Jo Sharpie in Rowan British Sheep Breeds Undyed  as well as a lovely pair of cotton wristwarmers by Sarah Hazell. I plan on making the coat as I can wear it to work and have it on the shop floor to show off the yarn. I need to knit Cordial from Rowan 50 first though

Mystery Cushion 2011

I recieved my mystery cushion parcel at the beginning of June and it has an interesting mix of colours. All the yarn is from Rowan, most of it is Belle by Amy Butler Organic Wool Cotton DK. All the previous mystery blankets I have knitted, I have given away as gifts but this cushion is a keepeer. As soon as I finished the  first square I knew I had to keep it. The swiss darning has yet to be sewn on the first square but it still looks good. Debbie Abrahams is such a great designer. I would never have thought to put those colours together. I am also knitting this years Mystery Blanket but have only knitted the first square. My plan is to stay on top of the cushion squares and then knit as many of the blanket squares as possible before the new Rowan magazine is realeased. Hopefully I’ll be up to date by then. Unlikely but as ever optomistic

Yarn Package for mystery cushion 2011

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