Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hooky joy and other things....

Hello lovely folks 
and very happy Mothering Sunday to you :-)

In this post i show you a couple of my knitty creations, catch up with the latest news on those vintage hexies, check on the garden and last but not least, pop into the studio to see what been up to this week with crochet hook..... you may like to join in.

I adore colour so it it's not surprising that I drool over the work of Kaffe Fassett and more recently, Cath Kidston.

The two following items have been influenced by Kaffe. The basic batwing pattern comes from a magazine in the eighties and I've made up the design as I've gone along with no previous planning. It is knitted up from hand dyed, hand spun yarn and commercial yarn. It's never been washed or blocked...

So without further ado.....

Ta dah!

I love it!

...and the next to show you is my shawl that I made at the end of last year. I acquired a lot of tapestry yarn... I do really mean a lot! I was in heaven with all that variegated colour. The basic pattern is from one of Kaffe's books where you cast on 3 stitches and increase one stitch at both ends of every row. I had about 450 (approx) on my circular needle at the end. It's so big that the fringe touches the floor...I may remove the fringe and add a crochet that I can crochet.

Ta dah!

Some garden updates...

And the news from my studio is that some of my home made bunting is cheerfully decorating my creative space. I made the bunting a few years ago for my 50th. I generally use it outside in the summertime but as I did have an addiction to making bunting at one time, I have plenty for both. On the odd occasion at church I get nicknamed Tracey Bunting!...(It's because I can be a little crazy, perhaps eccentric at times).

I've been fiddle faddling around with my vintage hexie finds trying to choose a background fabric that will fit in with my decor, show the hexies up well and fit in with the vintage feel.....

...still deliberating...

 I need to do some research before I decide. I've more or less decided to applique them to a background fabric but I'm still unsure if they should become a quilt top or several smaller items. Perhaps I could do both...  well see :-)

Other creative news...
I'm joining the mand-a-long that the two lovely ladies... Chrissie Crafts and Lazy Daisy Jones.... have instigated, along with the help of Wink. It's my first ever crochet-a-long and I'm rather excited. I've made my first mandala.... I guess I could show's been pressed but not blocked.  I used the yarn that Deci gifted me last week.

it's from Wink's pattern in issue 14 of Simply Crochet magazine. It's certainly not perfect but as it's my first I'm not worried in the least as I will be hooking some more for sure. It's a fab pattern to follow and it's completely my fault that I didn't get it right as I didn't count stitches... do I hang my head in shame.... No way, as I had such fun hooking it! And anyway, if you only see perfect ones and you are a beginner like me, it could put you off trying and then you'd miss out on lovely hooky joy...... and what a shame 't'would be.

Well I think that is it for now, I was going to hurry off to make dinner but Lovely Husband has it all organised... Thank you :-)

Cheery bye!
Tracey xx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Yarn stash...

Hello Lovelies

A lady from our village, who I am only just starting to get to know, arrived around lunchtime today with two large carrier bags full off yarn from her stash!
I have to show you....

Tumbled on to the floor...

I love the yellow in the middle...

I have quite a stash of my own but I am always pleased to add to it!
There are yarns in this new pile that I wouldn't necessarily buy myself and it's got my brain whirring with ideas.... you can probably hear it!

I have no time for drawing at the moment...I don't even want to draw.... I just want to revel in these glorious colours and to thank Deci very, very much for her generosity.

...and my Constant Companion....

...yes, just as we expected. Bless his heart!

Tracey xx

Monday, 24 March 2014

The gift... Ta dah!

Hi there!
I know there is more rain coming but right now I am just revelling in the sunshine.
I've had a walk around the garden picking daffodils for my neighbour.
I can hear you saying... 'Hurry up and get on with the ta dah!'

But first I really must thank all the lovely people who post comments and send me emails, I really appreciate every single one and they really make my day. Thank you! It's lovely to be making new friends :-)

Now for the ta dah... Actually, I'm a bit nerwous about it...but here goes...

Ta dah...!

It was rather windy

...and waiting patiently for the birthday girl to arrive...

My friend loves it so much but in the excitement of present giving I forgot to take a photo of the shawly scarfy delight on her person... actually, I think she would rather I forgot that!
I used this pattern by Kirsten Finlay, but not strictly. I would advise winding the yarn twice around the needle when making the first 'yarn forward' increase at the beginning of each increase row otherwise the sides are too tight and very difficult to block. I found  making that stitch loose was not enough and had to undo the work and start again.
I used this yarn in the colour way named Tamaya which I purchased from my
I previously made this pattern in Stylecraft Senses yarn in the Eucalyptus colour way and to be honest I preferred using that yarn for this pattern.
What other crafty things have I been up too...?  Well, my ripple blanket/throw is growing slowly but I am really enjoying it.

I've made several more dishcloths which I am going to sell to raise money for our village church - you can see a glimpse of the church in the background of the top photo.  I'm just selling them locally for now.  Actually, I gave my friend a dishcloth too but she said it was too nice and would use it as a cloth under a plant pot!  I had made a round one and edged it in pink :)

There's a couple of other things I'm trying to make for fundraising but I've not quite there yet.

I am very relieved to have finished the shawly scarfy thing as I missed being able to crochet.  I have been knitting since I was about 4 years old so that's nearly 50 years.  I have loved knitting but at the moment I LOVE CROCHET MORE!  Sorry for shouting but it was an excited shout, an almost 'I can't believe it' shout.
I think I may show you a couple of my knitty makes from the past in my next post... a shawl and a batwing jumper.  Of course there are many, many other knitty makes I've made but methinks you will like to see these two particular garments.

And what is my constant companion doing... need we ask!?

...and here is a peek off one of our window sills...

Well, it's been lovely chatting with you over our cups of tea, [mine is an Earl Grey], but the Rayburn is getting hungry so I must go feed her.
Bye for now my lovelies, have a fabulous week,
<3 Tracey xx

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A birthday gift

Hello lovelies, 

It's a friend's special birthday next week and I am busy knitting a little something for her. Here's a wee peek...

My friend chose the yarn but this photo doesn't do it justice. The colour is Tamaya. Once it's blocked I'll take a photo with my camera and will show you after the gift has been received :-)
Ooh... I love the giving bit...I'm getting excited just thinking of it.

Have a lovely week,
Tracey xx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A vintage find

Haven't we had some lovely weather the last few days?  My garden is positively erupting into colour.  Gorgeous.
Ah, but this post is not about the weather. No. But I did need the sunshine for the photos.
After visiting my lovely friend and her beautiful little baby daughter yesterday I did a spot of charity shop perusing in my local town centre.  Just as I went into one shop an assistant was placing 'new to the shop' items on a previously empty table and I was so delighted to find that they were crafty things.  Of course I immediately pounced on the table to see what treasure lay there...
I found this...

I didn't open the bag until this morning when I went over to my arty crafty room.
Can you tell what it is? It's not yarn, but is something rather exciting if you like fabric and even more so if you like vintage fabric.
The bag is full of paper pieced hexagons, many of which date back to the 1950's.  How do I know, I hear you say... well, take a look at these....

"By Appointment to the Late King George VI"
and there he is on the stamp!
Hmm...I know... the card and stamp don't necessarily make the fabric the same age and I am not a textile historian but isn't it nice to think so...?  I do.
Perhaps you want to see some more...

and here is a view of the 'right' side...

I believe these hexagons were made over many years as some of the backing cards are much younger and the fabrics a little more familiar.  For example, several could be from the seventies as they remind me of fabrics that my mum used in making clothes for my younger sister.

Below is a not so brilliant photo but here they are all laid out together.

There's also some smaller hexies in the bag, some of which are sewn together and a pile that are loose...

It's hard to date these ones but they are not so old.  The black lumpy things are my slippered feet.

The thing is, I now have a bit of a dilemma as I was going to use the fabric (goodness knows what for at the moment) but now I am thinking that I shouldn't spoil the connection between the backing card and the fabric.  Wouldn't the biggy wigs in some quilting association want it documented?  Am I being silly? 
What would you do?
The hexies are not well constructed in that they are all odd shaped.  To sew them together would not be fun at all as some sides are longer and others short.  However the tiny stitches of the sewn hexi flowers are lovely and neat.


While I was out in my arty crafty room I took a few photos to give you an idea of the lovely space I have to work in.

...and a couple of close ups of yarny stashy goodness... 

Thank you so much for your comments, they really do brighten my day :)

ttfn xx

Monday, 3 March 2014 crochet project

Hello lovely people,
I hope you had a great weekend.
A couple of weeks ago my gem of a husband bought me some more yarny stash from my local yarn shop ...I had decided I wanted to make a blanket and thought I wanted lots of colours.
Well, these yarny balls of goodness played on my mind a lot.  The more I thought about them the more confused I became on how to use them.  I had tentatively made some granny squares but wasn't convinced that was what I wanted.
So, some new and some from my stash... here are some of the colours I had teasing me...
Yesterday I decided upon Lucy's ripple pattern and started a brand new hooky project.
I've only hooked about five rows but I couldn't wait to show you
so here it is....
Surprise! I'm only using three colours.
I've had to pull it apart a couple of times and it's still not perfect but I am fine with it now and happy just to hook away at it.
It is a lovely pattern to work once you get use to it... rhythmic and therapeutic. Lovely :)
Thank you so much Lucy... I owe you a coffee!
I'll show you a progress report when there is something more substantial to see.
Nag me if I don't!
I've been fiddling around with my blog header.  What do you think?
I'm not too sure at the moment so I'll live with it a few days before I make a decision.
Several people have had problems with not being able to leave messages.  I have checked everything and cannot find anything wrong.  Have you had a similar problem with your blog? time to go as Bertie (wee Cairn like dog) wants some attention.
Toodlypip xxx