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

New Beginnings Week 1

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

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Shopping from the stash

After sorting through my knitting books to see which ones I should keep I decided to reorganise my children and baby knitting books. As my grandson is 16 months old I have put them in age order so that I can knit patterns from the books with the smaller sizes first. I really want to knit two sweaters from Zoe Mellors Nursery Knits but as this goes up to age three I am starting with the patterns in Little Rowan. All of these patterns are knitted in 4ply so I went to the stash cupboard and found some gorgeous RYC Cashcotton. I had red and a lovely royal blue. I gave the balls to my grandson who decided on the blue.
georgie porgie
I am still working on Jo Stories Ash in Rowan British Sheep Breeds chunky. this should have been a really quick knit because it is all knitted in garter stitch on large needles. I however get bored knitting garter stitch so this has been delegated to be my knitting group project, as truth be told I can’t do much more than garter stitch when at knitting group. I only have the front to do now so it may be finished by the end of the year

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

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

It’s finished

Well I am pleased to announce that Dominika from Rowan Knitting Magazine 48 is finally finished, well all bar the blocking and sewing. I also decided that as the knitted fabric was so nice I want to line it. In my stash I have the perfect fabric colour wise and have cut it out ready . The sleeve linings will be in a plain lining fabric as I didn’t have enough of the Cotton. One front and the back have been blocked so once the rest is done I can sew it all together. Hopefully this will happen before Monday but I’m not going to rush it so we shall see. I really enjoyed knitting this and love the yarn. Rowan Felted Tweed Aran a dream to knit with. My only minor complaint is that I’m not over keen on the moss stitch top of the sleeve.