I got my new toy yesterday!

I got a little brother!!  Oh sorry, I mean a little Brother!!  The Brother Innovis-55 to be exact.  I collected it yesterday morning after itching to get it all weekend.IMG_3244

Look at all these flipping’ stitches……

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I brought it home, walked the dog and then finished the bag I’d started last week.  It’s a smallish messenger bag from the Book of Bags.  I used some soft furnishing fabric and some craft cotton from Abakhan.  I’m not sure it is actually big enough for me so may give it away as a gift.

And now I shall attempt some garments again.

Anniversary hearts and birthday flowers

I took a blank white rectangle of card and used a background stamp to add one line in black and two in purple.  I drew around the edge of the card with a black fine-liner pen.

I sprayed purple and red spritzing ink onto white card and then die cut three hearts from the result.  I stuck them along the stamped lines vertically and outlined them with the black pen.

I stamp the greeting and cut it out, inked the edges and stuck it to the card.  Then inked the edges of the card and stuck it to a white card blank and doodled round the edges of that.  I added two purple gems to the sentiment and liquid pearls to the hearts.

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On this one I followed a card in a magazine.  I made a card blank from brown yardstick.  Then cut two patterned papers the same size and doodled around the edges.  I stuck one on the other on the brown card, overlapping.

I then stamped the flowers and fussy cut them out, stuck them on and drew leaves.  I wrote the sentiments and added those.  Finally I put liquid pearls in the centres of the flowers.

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Sewing machines.

I have been sewing the last few days.  Last Friday I went with my friend Anne to Jaycott’s because she wanted to look at sewing machines.  About an hour later we emerged after she had been persuaded by me and the lovely salesman to purchase a Brother fancy-schmancy new machine and an overlocker.  Inspired by this I dug out a book I have – The Book of Bags – and decided that this week would be a sewing week.

I decided to go for an easy pattern to get started again – it’s been about 12 months since I sewed anything – and chose the triangle bag.  After a bi of humming and hawwing over the instructions I came up with this….

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It’s not the most secure bag in the world and not very big.  I think I need to seam down the diagonal bits.  The pattern says to put in a few random stitches but there is a bit of gaping.  It’s ok for holding a book or a small knitting project.

My second project is a small messenger bag.  I am about halfway through, it is lined and has a handle but it needs a flap adding.  I am not continuing with this bag until next week as I am awaiting a new sewing machine!  I was so envious of Anne’s new toys that I popped back to Jaycott’s today and chose a new machine.  My current machine has 20 stitches and you choose the stitch on a big dial, thread the needle by eye – not easy at my age! – and clunk away.  The new one is all computerised and practically does everything for you.  It has loads of stitches, different buttonholes, lettering and the best bit – it threads the needle!!  I passed on the overlocker but did get a free quilting table kit with it.  Not that I’ll be quilting mind.  So I should get it on Monday, they are going to ring me.

This is my old one if anyone is interested.  I’m going to put it on eBay.  To be honest there is nothing wrong with it and it hasn’t been used very much at all.

Version 2

Poor neglected blog!

Hello, are you still out there!  Yikes it’s been a while.

In the meantime I’ve had my back operation, lost my job, and got a new dog!

And I have more time now for crafting.  But somehow my days do seem to involve the everyday tasks like hoovering, washing and the (very) occasional bit of ironing.

I have very little knitting to talk about.  I have been having problems with my finger joints and a dodgy shoulder which are both made worse by knitting so I’ve been avoiding it apart from once a week at knit group, where I get about two rows done when I can take a break from chatting!!  I still have the Merrimack cardigan as my current WIP.  I am just getting to the end of the second sleeve, after which it is a case of joining all the bits up to go onto the hood.

Sadly I no longer work in the yarn shop.  Stash Fine Yarns was bought by a company in Bradford and they closed the Chester shop making us redundant.  I do miss it.  I only worked there two days a week but since it closed I feel I have lost touch with the knitting world.  They have taken on the running of the website under the same name so you can still order but it won’t be me packing the orders or making the tea & coffee anymore :(

We got a new doggy in November.  After much searching and agonising at all the rescue sites and centres we finally got a chocolate Lab from Labrador Rescue North West, the same place as  Susie came from.  A boy this time, he is 4 years old called Rufus.

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He’s been a bit poorly today after eating a bar of soap!!

I think my craft room is about full now, and that’s without the yarn!  Amazing how you grow to fill a space.  I have been making quite a few cards recently.  Here are some of the Christmas cards I made……

And various birthday and random occasion cards……..

I’ll try to do individual posts for future ones, this is just a catch up.

My back operation was a complete success, I have no pain and am back to full movement. They removed the part of the disc that was protruding and I was up and walking within two hours!  It took a month or so until I felt a lot better and I’m now almost weaned off the painkillers.  I don’t need them but can’t just stop after being on them for a year.

So I hope you all have some lovely plans for 2016.  I plan to do more podcasting with Jane at The Baarmygirls Podcast.  Hope you’ll come over and have a listen.  I can’t guarantee a huge amount of knitting content but we have a good giggle.

See you soon!

My knitting mojo is back!

Hellooooooo

Last Tuesday I went into hospital and had a micro discectomy on my back.  This was because of the prolapsed disc I had, which started last November.  Anyway I finally got to have the op and things appear to be going very well.  I am not allowed to drive or go to work for 4-6 weeks, so I am taking the time to do stuff I like doing.

And one of those things is knitting.  I had had sore hands for a while and knitting just made it worse so I decided to have a break.  However a few weeks ago I discovered a pattern at work from Juniper Moon Farm called Merrimack, and fell in love with it.  I had made a major mistake on my previous project and was not friends with it – I threw it in the naughty corner – so I decided to have a go at the Merrimack instead.  I remembered some John Arbon Knit by Numbers that I had in my stash, bought at last year’s Yarndale, and made a start.

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I’d only done a few rows when I knew I was going to love this cardigan.  The yarn is sooooooo soft and warm, I’m excited!  And it doesn’t seem to be affecting my hands.  Maybe it is the soft yarn or maybe it is the needles.  I have been using my Chiagoo Interchangeables, needles that I have not used before. They are smooth, pointy for the cabling without a needle, but also slightly grippy – the combination with the yarn just seems to work.

However I was catching up on other blogs when I came across a review for the new KnitPro Zing needles. I didn’t know about these, so being a KnitPro fan I ordered a couple.  They only come in DPNS and fixed circulars at the moment, hopefully in the future they will do needle tips to fit the current cables.  Anyway I got a 2.5mm for socks, and a 3.75mm which is the size I’m using for the Merrimack from Meadow Yarn.  Each size is a different colour, which would make them easy to find in your knitting bag, with silver tips.  There is no join between the shaft and tip so that is super smooth.  Like the Chiagoos they are smooth with some grippiness.  Not as pointy though.  I have knit a couple of rows with them but haven’t got to a cable row yet, so can’t say how easy they will be to cable without a cable needle.

KnitPro Zing (left), Chicago interchangeables (right).

KnitPro Zing (left), Chicago interchangeables (right).

I suspect that I would use the KnitPros for quite plain projects and the Chiagoos or HiyaHiyas for anything with lace or cables.  Hmmmmm, that’s a job I could do while I’m recuperating – sort out all my needles!!

All Dressed Up

I recently entered a giveaway on the All Dressed Up Digital Stamps Facebook page.  You submitted a card to their gallery and a random number was drawn.  My number came up!!  I’d only just joined the group too so I was really surprised!  My prize was to choose three free images from All Dressed Up Etsy store.  I chose ‘I love my puppy’, ‘A little me time’ and ‘All wrapped up’ because it had a knitted scarf in the design.

So this card is the one I am going to enter for the next challenge.  If you want to enter click here.

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I used the ‘I love my Puppy‘ image.  I wanted to use yellow because I’d seen it used recently on another blog.  Blue always goes well so I coloured most of the image in.  But I left the hair til last and couldn’t decide on Blonde, brown, black or red.  None of them seemed to suit.  So I thought why not blue.  That way it kept the whole image in the same two colours (apart from a couple of very pale green leaves).

Copic marker colours used were:  Face E000, E00, R20;  Blue B32,B93, B95;  Yellow Y11, Y06, Y02, Y08

I then rummaged through my papers and found the blues and yellows, stamped the sentiment and die cut it.  Then added the flowers and pearls.  There is a bit of blue Sakura Glaze pen on the little flowers and the hair tendrils but it isn’t clear in the photo.