Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Etsy favourites: Quilts.

~ This week I will show you what I'm 'favouriting' on Etsy at the moment ~

My favourite quilts on Etsy right now...

Antique Applique Golden Tulips Quilt

Spectacular Antique Double Fan Vintage Quilt - Mint

Antique Quilt Marthas Flower Garden Vintage Quilts Patch

Antique Quilt Prairie Star Patchwork Vintage Quilts Cheddar

VINTAGE QUILT TOP, C 1900, Blues, Blacks, Browns, Polka Dots, Paisley,  eye catcher, 90 X 74

1890 s VINTAGE STAR QUILT, Graphic, Gorgeous,  Brown, Red, Black, hand sewn, homespun back, fab fabrics

Sam xox

Friday, January 27, 2012

From 'The Yarn Cafe'.

I placed my first yarn order at The Yarn Cafe in the UK and it came within two weeks! It was really well packed and everything arrived safely. I ordered some rose wood square knitting needles, a circular needle, and enough yarn to knit up a scarf and two tams.

~ Rooster DK yarn in "Custard" ~

~ Rooster DK yarn in Cornish ~

I loved the Custard yearn so much I even arranged for The Yarn Cafe to send a little care package to Mill (two balls of Custard plus a set of circular knitting needles). We are going to do a knit-along of this pattern.

I can't speak highly enough of The Yarn Cafe. The yarn and needles are top quality and the range of products they sell are dreamy. I think this Rico Essentials Soft Marino yarn might be my next purchase...

~ Happy stitching ~

Sam xox

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The "As Time Goes By" quilt.

Have you ever watched the English show "As Time Goes By"? My MIL adores this show, and has always wanted a quilt like the one that Lionel and Jean sleep under...

 So she is making one for her own bed...

Pin wheel blocks constructed,
combinations of light, medium and dark,
traditional reds, blues, browns and creams,
come together to bring this quilt to life.

It's going to be stunning!

Sam xox

Monday, January 23, 2012

Knitted baby cardigan complete.

It's finished!

My first ever baby knit had the final button stitched on yesterday. This cardigan took me two weeks to make. The pattern is called "Fast Baby Cardigan" and is available on Ravelry here for free (you will need to make a Ravelry account to be able to access the pattern).

I am thrilled with the end result and I think it is the perfect size for a baby 3-6 months of age (I knitted the smallest size). As the parents are not finding out what they are having, I used a gender neutral coloured wool (Patons Dreamtime 8ply).

The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to replace the moss stitching with ribbed stitching as I like this look much better.

Next time I will definitely stitch in button holes, as the snaps were a little tricky to sew on.

I am thrilled with this result and I hope the mum-to-be will be too :-)

I think I can now add 'knitting' to my stitching repertoire!

Sam xox

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


A day trip to Morpeth gave us some much needed time together...

 ~ Those are all turtle heads ~

~ Using the polarizing filter on the camera to capture them all ~

Sam xox

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Baby cardigan progress.

For years I never understood knitting. I know it sounds silly, but I just couldn't get my mind around how two needles and a ball of wool could be woven together to create something. Mill patiently tried to teach me over 6 years ago when we lived together. Full of excitement and enthusiasm I bought some acrylic wool and plastic needles and tried to knit a scarf. A simple stocking stitch scarf. It wasn't too many rows in when it all began to unravel (metaphorically speaking). Somehow I kept getting holes in my knitting. Somehow I managed to knit these holes so they didn't unravel. This was the only thing about my knitting that marvelled Mill. She was a patient teacher, but after a while we both knew it was a hopeless endeavour and we returned to our familiar habits; wool in her hand, and a quilt in mine.

Last weekend I decided to try again. I selected this pattern and gathered supplies. This week, every evening, I have sat quietly after dinner and knitted. And I've enjoyed it. I have learnt a lot from this pattern (with the assistance of a vintage Patons Woolcraft booklet, YouTube and the internet). I now know what PSSO, K2tog, M1and pick up stitch all mean. I have shaped raglan sleeves, used multiple stitch holders, learnt to use a stitch counter, knitted in stockinette stitch and moss stitch. I even did some backwards knitting, after I realised I garter stitched a row I should have been purling... Listen to how 'knitty' I speak now :-)

I ran into a bit of trouble though what I realised I had not stitched in any button holes along the way. The pattern doesn't clearly instruct you to do this, so I had assumed they would be included in the pattern somehow. I made an emergency Skype call to Mill who assured me that it was f'ine, and she suggested I sew on some push studs, and sew the buttons on decoratively instead. Plus, she said we know how wiggly little babies can be, maybe push studs will be easier for the mother?" I hope so, as I don't want to try doing this to get button holes in the cardigan post-knitting!

~ This vintage booklet has been teaching me all the basic stitches ~

Thanks Mill for giving me the trans-continental knitting lesson! Who knows, when we are finally together again we might be knitting fair isle side by side?

Sam xox

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Log cabin quilt continues.

Log cabin quilt, 

Oh how I have missed thee... 
Please don't think I had forgotten you, 
you've been on my mind a long time.
I placed the first stitches in you years ago,
and kind of hid you in a cupboard for a while,
and packed you up and moved you.
But don't think this was how it would end.
I was just waiting for the right time to reconnect with you again, 
and oh have we reconnected old friend.

As I promised, this year I will dedicate more time to my quilting as well as my garment sewing. So on New Years Eve I decided to end 2011 as I meant to begin 2012, with more quilt sewing. I dug out my log cabin quilt I began working on in 2009, and sorted out the different fabrics that I had cut into 1" strips and piled into a paper bag for storage. I had forgotten how much I loved the blues, reds and creams. I was also a little shocked to see just how many 1" strips I had actually cut? I must have been in a bit of a cutting frenzy that weekend.

Over the weekend I added 16 blocks to my 14 already sewn up - that's 30 total now! yippy!

My MIL had fun arranging different combinations (oh and that pinwheel quilt? I promise to share more on that soon).

 ~ A diamond / square arrangement, I really wasn't sure about this ~

 ~ The more traditional log cabin layout, I like this one ~

These blocks are foundation pieced using the template found here. I simply copied the image to Microsoft word and enlarged it to a size I was happy with. There are many good tutorials online on how to foundation piece. Here is a good video that explains the basics. (Tip: Always use 'foundation paper' to sew with, as normal paper is too thick. Foundation paper can be found on eBay).

A log cabin quilt is the perfect quilt for someone who enjoys the sewing process but is apprehensive about making a quilt because of the quilting involved. A log cabin quilt can be secured using the tradition tie method, which does not involve any quilting. The tying method is a legitimate way of finishing quilts and was employed in the past by women who wanted to make up utility quilts quickly.

Are you inspired to make a log cabin quilt too?

Also, it's been such fun connecting with you all on Ravelry! Who knew there were so many sewer/knitters out there :-)

Sam xox

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beware: Learning in progress.

I've started knitting. Seriously knitting. Like ordering wool online, purchasing a pattern and proper needles kind of knitting. I'm nervous and excited and so very confused by some of the pattern instructions, but with my Paton's Woolcraft: How to Knit booklet beside me (and the internet) I am working it all out.

It's going well so far. I have begun knitting a baby cardigan for my friend who is due in June, which will be winter for us down here. She is not finding out the gender, so I am playing it safe and knitting in a cream/neutral coloured 100% Merino wool. It's hard to make attractive gender neutral baby gifts, I was originally going to knit something up in a dark navy, but thought better of it. I reasoned girl babies could wear navy, however I wasn't sure my friend would think this was ok, so plain creamy beige it is.

It's been fun to see a number of other bloggers out there also pick up the knitting needles for 2012 (or earlier) and creating some beautiful things.

Some knitting Etsy love...

Vintage Susan Bates Knitting Needles with Tapestry Style Case

American Thread Co Star Book No 167 Begin to Knit All the Basics Stitches Easy Novelty Stitches Quick Things to Make Booklet

9-inch Boye Needles (We have tons)

Vintage English Crochet Knitting Sewing Tools, some Bone Handles

Circular Knitting Needle Case with Notion Pouch Knitting Needle Holder Organizer Circular Needle Case in Textured Green Pea

Vintage Knitting Needles DESTASH Lot 4 Green Plastic / Bakelite

Are you on Ravelry? I have finally spent some time on this website and it is seriously amazing - a Burda Style of the knitting world (or is Burda Style a Ravelry of the sewing world?) either way, it is a great online community and has taught me quite a bit thus far. My Ravelry profile is 'hand-quilter' if you want to say hi :-)

Sam xox