27 January 2016

Patiently Waiting

I am waiting patiently for Sarah's BOM to start at the end of this month. I have collected together a nice selection of Liberty fabrics, I still haven't decided on a background fabric.

I thought these looked a little cold so I added a few more...

While we are waiting Sarah kindly provided us with a little fun project. I have had these fabrics for a couple of years, waiting for the right project
How fun is the dog fabric?!
It reminded me of a certain Golden Retriever
The project is for a block book, such a clever idea to store all of our blocks as we complete them each month
It has 12 pages of wadding and is light and portable
I am all ready! in the meantime I have been keeping up with my mystery knitting, the last clue will be published on Friday. I would really like this shawl finished before I start another project.
Having a main focus project seems to be working for me so far, I feel I am actually achieving something each week.

I am linking to Freshly Pieced Small Things and Esther this week

12 January 2016

Knitting up a Storm

The weather here has turned decidedly colder and there is something quite comforting about knitting in front of the fire. I find knitting with wooden needles really helps my hands, so for the first time ever I have two projects on the go! I know a dangerous precedent...

I cast on this cardigan before Christmas, the pattern is 'It's the Berries' by Carol Sunday, you can purchase it on Ravelry here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/its-the-berries

This is Carol's photo of the finished item
I am knitting my version in this gorgeous Cherry Red coloured yarn, it is Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran a mix of 55% Merino Wool and 45% Silk, it is lovely to knit with and shows the pattern really well.
So far I have knitted the back, both fronts and have started the first sleeve.
I really like the front edge detail

I put this project on hold for a few days while I knitted clue one of the Mystery Shawl by Alana Dakos of Never not Knitting. You can find the info on Ravelry here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mystery-shawl-knit-a-long

Alana is releasing one clue each week, I know I am making a shawl with cables etc, but I don't know the finished design. It is a lot of fun and there is a support group on Ravelry to help. I have finished clue one and am back knitting my cardigan while I wait for the second clue on Friday.

I am using a Rowan Fine Art Aran Yarn which is 50% Wool; 25% Alpaca; 20% Mohair; 5% Silk.

I bought it on sale with no real plan for it, I had the last few skeins of the discontinued 'Squirrel' colour. The yarn is a bit 'hairy' due to the mohair but I think it shows the pattern up quite well and I am glad to have found a use for it. The shawl should certainly be warm.

This is clue one, I have ordered a longer cable for my interchangeable needles as I am running out of room already!

I don't really like having more than one project on the go knitting wise, I seem to spend ages trying to work out where I am on the pattern each time I stop. I will keep going with these two for now but then go back to one. I really want to have a go at Fair Isle next. My Ravelry queue seems to get longer daily...

04 January 2016

A Year of Learning

Like most people my free time is limited, and coupled with my on going joint issues, I want to make sure that when I can quilt or knit or embroider that I am working on something I really want to make! It is so tempting to join in all the new year fun and start lots of new BOM projects, but this year I have been very restrained! I would like to broaden my skills this year too and learn some new techniques. Embroidery class will start again in a couple of weeks, I have signed up until Easter and I would love to finish my Owl and Pussy Cat piece by then. This is the photo of Jenny Adin Christie's finished piece.
mine has some way to go...

I have signed up for a new BOM by Sarah Fielke of The Last Piece, Sarah will provide video instruction and tuition throughout the year in lots of different techniques including:
appliqué -  hand or machine
foundation paper piecing
English paper piecing
traditional machine piecing - with template options to piece by hand
step down piecing
The quilt will finish at Queen size, however there will be advice on making the quilt smaller and changing the border size. I think I will work on a smaller version. There is only a sketch of the final design at the moment.

I would really like to improve my machine skills, so I am hoping that I will learn lots from this quilt! I think I will use my Liberty fabrics, we will get the fabric requirements later this month so I will decide then.

I would also like to improve my knitting this year, things have really moved on from when I learnt to knit about 40 years ago! I am joining in my first ever KAL (Knit along) to make a mystery shawl. It is hosted by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting. The design is a mystery but I do know that it will be cosy and warm and combine lace, textured cables and knitted leaves. I have the yarn already, I frogged an earlier attempt at the end of the year. It is an aran weight yarn by Artesano, a lovely mix of wool and alpaca.
I have finally finished making new curtains for our bedroom, I love the blue and ivory Toile fabric we chose, and am not sure why I have been putting off making these, I bought the fabric in July! I think it was probably as I needed three pairs, and I find curtain making boring!! The curtains are lined with blackout lining so hopefully will be warm in winter and cool in summer.
Now I need a new quilt for our bed! I made this one a few years ago, it will retire to the spare room as you can see it doesn't go at all!
I would really like a scrappy blue and white quilt to replace it, but I can't decide what to make! I am saving patterns at the moment for The 1857 Album Quilt by Sentimental Stitches

and The new Quilt Show BOM a copy of The Rajah Quilt.

I will just save the patterns for now and decide later as I really need to finish the lap quilt I am making for my son's new flat. Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville has finished releasing all the clues for this year's mystery Allietare, it is a beauty, but I am only on clue 3. I need to get a move on!

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced and Esther this week