Remember - Its not the length of your life that's important - it's the depth.

Monday, 27 October 2014

More inspiration.... Oh Dear!... will there ever be enought time?

Well friends, this will be the 2nd time I have been back here in 7 days, which as you all know is not like me at all! But...
On Saturday I set off for Malvern with the lovely Sheila, Laura and Lisa, we left early in order to sign up for some workshops. Originally I was going to do three W/S's during the day but then decided it would not be fair to 'abandon' Lisa for several hours as this was her first major English show and it would not give me chance to look round. So starting the day with a cuppa and a bacon butty we split up to have a look round, wandering round the traders with Lisa I stopped at Sadie Yeoman's stand (Cornerhouse Crafts from Worcs.) and found the pattern for the red-work Christmas bunting for the same price as the class I had planned to do! The workshop I settled on was Kantha Embroidery with the lovely Jane Davies. I did a workshop with her last year (see post on 5/11/13) and she is a very easy tutor to work with, very much encouraging students to 'do their own thing', This time it was no different, we started with a set of her lovely hand dyed fabrics and thread, this was my fabric pack.
First up Jane explained a little about Traditional Kantha going on to say that this class was a little different and used a more contemporary style of Kantha (she also said it was better done while enjoying a glass of good cider - but I haven't tried that yet LOL) I had taken along my other piece, remember this?
to ask if she thought I had it right and she said that I was definitely on the right lines! She then proceeded to show everyone in the class!!! one of whom asked if she could take a picture of it (my ego was well an truly polished here!!) Jane very kindly said we were allowed to photograph her work as long as we kept the pictures for our personal use!
 She soon had us working, first selecting and placing fabrics, before pinning and tacking them in place, we then started adding stitches using the wonderful thread, here are some of the ladies at work
By the end of the class I had managed to get this far....
Then having got home, after a cuppa and something to eat I started sewing again, then did a little more last night and again today after DD and Little H left to go home... I am completely hooked and can't wait to get it finished. I have even thought of a title for it, think I will call it 'Konteporary Kantha' It now looks like this.....
The Centre
The Top - I think! but I may change my mind about that!
Full View

I guess when my Darling Grandmother used to say that pride comes before a fall she was right, I read and re-read my last post before publishing it here and at no point did I spot the mistake in the 'BIG' sweater project, the error in the cable pattern was the same as the last one (a C4b instead of C4f) it stands out a mile in the photographs I showed you. How I would like to know, can I make the same mistake twice!!!! So having got up at 6 o'clock today to let the dog out, (Mr T is staying the week and when he wants to get up I get up!!) I had to unpick 34 rows to get back to the mistake :-o and by 8.30 I had successfully picked up the stitches and knitted 12 of the rows back up.  Guess I will have to concentrate more..

Well It's time to sign off,

Friday, 24 October 2014

My Heart Goes Out

To the residents of Ottawa and all Canadians following the dreadful happenings in the Parliament building this week. I visited Ottawa in 2006 with my Daughter and we had taken the tour of the building, I had stood in the very halls where the shootings had happened. I could not believe what I was seeing on the newsreels. I send heartfelt thoughts to all affected by this terrible act and too all Canadians wherever they are.

On a brighter note I have had a great week, I have done some more hand quilting on the 'aged project' tho it's now too cold to sit in the conservatory, but I only have one row to finish quilting.
I was only going to do one set of diagonal stitching to this row but thought it needed a bit more, so I decided to do a couple of rows going in the opposite direction to see how it looked and I'm really glad I did. I really like the way it seems to give the appearance of  1/4 triangles to the fabric squares so I am going to complete the row this way. I have used a variegated thread which I hope works well with all the pinks. hopefully I can find some good light as I really want to get this finished.
 Secondly I have now done enough of 'the sweater' to see the pattern properly, and I'm very pleased with it so far.

Even if I had to unpick 4 rows today as I spotted a 'cable 4 back' where there should have been a 'cable 4 front'!!!
Then on wednesday after coffee with the lovely Lisa we went off to the The Wool Stop to look at yarns, her sewing machine has become proper poorly since she arrived here and has been sent off to the Machine Doctor, like all of us she misses having something crafty to do and so wants to try her hand at knitting. That done we decided to get lunch at the pub (is this becoming a habit I wonder?) then after collecting her children from school she gave me a lift back home. There waiting for me I found a largeish box that had arrived by post while I was out. I was not expecting any parcels so had no idea what it contained, I took it off to the workroom to open and got called to the phone and then in a 'senior moment' I forgot about it. Later on I went upstairs to have look and what a lovely surprise, I had been sent some freebies from The Knitting Gift Shop. I then remembered putting my name and address in a box on their stand at the  Bristol Wool Fair in August for some free yarn, as I hadn't heard anything I assumed I had not been drawn out but Whoo HOO look at this lot.....
It is all Sirdar Yarns but I like those anyway so I really felt like it was my birthday!! the colours of some are lovely and I feel a few new project/s coming on.
There was 3 balls of this which will make quite a few premmie garments for my charity.
there are two balls of each colour of this one - which is Sirdar Escape Chunky and there just happens to be a pattern for a gorgeous Chunky Cowl in my new Let's Knit Magazine which arrived today! Last but not least is this grey/green Aran,(the picture does not do the colour justice) tho I am not sure what I will use it for
Well my friends I am going to sign off for this time, the lovable Ted is here again enjoying the benefits of 'Grandma's Spa' and as he is convinced it's his tea time he keeps coming over and nudging me with his wet nose so I better go and feed him and also give some thoughts to feeding DH as well!!!
See you all again next time

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

I've been sewing again!!!

...with a little knitting thrown in of course! Yes folks I've had a great time since I last talked to you all, first up the  proper yarn arrived for the BIG knitting project which you may be relieved to hear is going much better and actually looks like it will fit DH when it's done, Whooo Hoo!! I'm now on week 7 of the Rowan Mystery Knit Along (see previous posts) About three weeks ago I decided to randomly pull out a project from the WIP's pile, this turned out to be my Row Robin, set as a group challenge at Severn Valley Quilters in 2005 (Yes really! that long ago) The Row Robin project was a group of 7 quilters of mixed ability, we decided to set some guidelines so that we all worked to a common theme, and the rows were passed around anonymously, I'm sure you all know how these things work so won't bore you with all the details. I had originally thought that I would hand quilt the easy bits and machine quilt the rest, so not being able to remember how far I had got and leaning towards a bit of hand quilting I decided that it would suit the purpose. The weather was still warm so I took it to the conservatory to establish what needed doing. Well! It turned out that there were only 2 more rows to  left to quilt and as I had already hand quilted most of it I decided to continue and complete the whole thing by hand. After a couple of hours I had made some good progress, but the old fingers were aching so I put it away, then later that week I did a bit more. I was due to visit the American Museum to attend one of their sewing bees with some of the girls from SVQ, and thought it would be a great opportunity to get a bit more done while talking to the visitors. At the September meeting of SVQ I met a young woman who with her husband and children recently moved to the village from California, she was looking for a quilt group and came along as a visitor, unfortunately our group is at capacity so she was unable to join, but we had a chat and she's really missing her quilting friends from the U.S. I later emailed her to suggest we might meet for coffee and to invite her to a small local quilt show. We had a great day, the show did not take us long as it was very small and so having gone to the pub to get lunch we ended up staying there chatting all afternoon. Then she invited me to her house for a sewing day last week, again we had a good time and I managed to get more done on the quilting, so now my quilt is almost all done and looks like this...I'm currently working on the final bit of quilting on the row at the top.
Row Robin ably displayed by DH 

During the process I decided I would keep a diary as I worked and looking back it makes interesting reading as I can now see what I was thinking as I worked on each row of the various quilts and how I solved some of the things that cropped up.
Last week on a very wet Monday DD, DGD and I set out for a day at the West Midland Safari Park, we had a great day despite the weather and as there was hardly any other visitors there we were able to get a good view of all the 'residents' including this litttle cutie.
Isn't he just the cutest thing on 4 legs?
Some of the other animals were not enjoying the weather at all as you can see here, all the Lemurs were snuggled up to one another and looked totally fed up!

On Saturday I'm off to Malvern for the Autumn Show with 3 friends, I'm hoping to do some of the workshops, (I did some last year and they were great fun!!) as well as see the quilt displays, I am not 'planning' any shopping as I am trying not to put any more fabrics etc in the workroom, that way there will be less to pack up and move when we get the new workroom built which at this rate is going to be sometime next year! Now I know that seems a long way off but all things considered I probably have just enough supplies to keep me going till then and there are quite a few WIP's waiting in the pile to work on, so I'll try to concentrate on that for the time being and hopefully the workshops will keep me occupied from looking at tooo many traders. Well folks it's well after midnight here so I'll say Night Night.