Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for November, 2014

Nice Surprise

Yesterday I toddled into town, went to the library, borrowed 4 new books , bought some bird seed, went to the butchers and greengrocers, enjoyed the aroma of the chocolate shop whilst buying a Christmas present and came home to find, oh Joy, a package for me. From Jessica at To Boldly Craft my bookmark exchange partner.

Inside this charming bookmark designed specially for me.

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and ,oh yes, and..

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a pretty notebook and a pin cushion.

Thank you so much.

 

Autumn leaf project update

First of all a big thank you to everyone who helped me out with comments on my Autumn Leaf stitching project last month. Your suggestions were really helpful. So what did I do? Well, I painted up some more yellow fabric and made some more leaves. I then used machine embroidery to quilt the piece and  added veins to the bigger leaves. Then I made it into a cushion. I do like a cushion!!

Here we go -adding the big new leaf to the centre.

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Adding the leaf veins

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You can see the machine embroidery too. I really really loved doing this part, I went over and over the fabric loving the texture I was creating.

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A little yellow leaf. and the final cushion

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I learned such a lot from making this.  I did machine embroidery and it wasn’t scary, it was fun. Design.. have I finally learned that I should plan things put properly before plunging in. This is still on the messy side,too much is well too much!  I don’t think I have finished with autumn leaves by a lone chalk, but less is more.

Mr E still didn’t ask about the pile of leaves in the fireplace. They remained looking lovely, as a result of pressing them between newspapers. I burnt them ceremoniously when I stitched the last stitch. And he hasn’t said a word about the new cushion… being polite or merely unobservant?

Meantime I have started , well am starting a new blog called A voice through stitch which you can access by hoovering over my name top right hand  corner. Or by clicking here I will be posting my next Stitching Project on there very soon. I felt that these rather personal stitching responses to the world around me don’t quite fit in my NanaCathy blog hence the new blog. As always I am technically challenged with what I am trying to do , but hopefully the new blog will be ok. Love it if you went for a visit in the next week or so when I make my first stitch post. Thanks.

Once again thanks for the comments on my autumn leaves and if you care to leave another, well that would make me very happy.

 

Knitting and Stitching Show- Harrogate

Last Thursday I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.  I went to see what was new, to top up on supplies and to have a great day out. I didn’t attend any of the workshops, I did check online but there were none I fancied.

I am still not certain what I made of it!! I had been to a previous show ( about 8?years ago maybe)in Harrogate but I think that was a combined embroidery and hobby show, so slightly different. Certainly the earlier show was held on the Showground which had plenty of parking.

The location for the Knitting and Stitching show was in the exhibition centre smack in the middle of town with NO parking. So problem one is find the exhibition centre, problem two find a car park, problem three find your way on foot back to the centre, problem four on leaving remember how to get back to your car!

I don’t like crowds. And as I don’t like crowds I went on the first day and was there shortly after the 4 day show opened. Having bought my ticket, which took less time than I imagined and got inside , guess what? It was crowded, very, very ,very crowded! I figured that everyone had got through the doors and stopped at the first few booths, so I plunged through the hoards and indeed the crowds thinned and I was happier.

I found my way to a couple of stalls I was really interested in. The first being Adelaide Walker from whom I had bought my felt supplies by mail order. Now I would love to be able to show photos of the various stalls I visited, but it was crowded and many of my favourites had a no photo sign, so instead all I can share are the photos I took when I got home ,of the goodies I bought.

The first being this merino wool for felting.

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From there I visited a booth for the International Feltmakers Association, where I had a really interesting, informative and friendly conversation. I then went onto a lady who made fabric collages which were so pretty that I bought two kits for Christmas presents, and I wish I had bought more,  and one for myself. Again this lady was really helpful and happy to chat.

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By now the crowds had caught up for me. I will be honest I was totally staggered by the number of people who attended. In places it felt like a rugby scrum. And from here on in any thoughts of having nice friendly chats with stall holders went out the window. Which was a real shame, because this is a chance to talk to experts and in some cases professional practitioners of the crafts I love. And was what I liked about the show I had attended a few years ago.

There were plenty of stalls for knitting, but as I am pretty sussed on knitting and have two yarn suppliers I am more than happy with, I just had  a casual look round these stalls, and there were no yarn purchases.

But Fabric was a different matter. There were many fabric stalls most offering fat quarters. I did a lot of looking around as the prices varied quite considerably. But here’s what I came away with.

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and these

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Now if I couldn’t cope with the crowds, neither could some of the stalls. Not only didn’t they have time to chat they could barely keep up with their sales. By midday many were looking very harassed and some were already selling out of popular items. It was probably a shop lifters paradise.

One of the biggest scrums surrounded the stall where I bought these. Maybe it was a poor layout but three staff couldn’t keep up… and many shoppers were using their elbows to good effect

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These are baskets for potpourri and lavender to decorate and

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and these precut hearts. And one Christmas present.

There were a couple of more disappointments along the way.  One well known supplier of all things crafty had a series of demonstrations going on, including the weirdly named xpandaprint, only problem was that the demonstrators were so engrossed with what they were doing they forgot to speak.

And the other one, well the prices. It struck me that threads, experimental packs etc were more expensive than I would have expected. I go to such events with cash only to ensure I don’t overspend, so I think carefully before each purchase, and I actually came away with nearly a quarter of my budget left as I didn’t like the prices.

I won’t mention the toilets, or how hard it was to find the exit when I had had enough, which was nearly two hours earlier than I expected.

It is great that so many people want to attend, but maybe the show should be somewhere with a bit more space and a car park!

On the plus side I did get the above items. I chatted to a really lovely fellow attendee over a sandwich at lunch . But would I go again, the jury is out on that one!

Oh, I nearly forgot the best purchase of the day. Look at these lovelies below, wooden hearts and buttons and beads galore, and £1 per pack. I saw some stalls charging nearly that per button.

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Have you been to this show or the one in London, what did you think? What is the best way to see whats new?

Final Doll Update

Oh yes she is finally finished. Materials purchased circa 30 years ago, worked on mostly this year , driven on by the wish to present Miss F with her very own Nana made rag doll. Meet Mary Jane ( Until Miss F renames her).

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Her little face

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Her pinafore, see the pleats at the bottom

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and the sleeves

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there are many imperfections and mistakes. This is quite the hardest bit of sewing I have ever done and I have made trousers for myself and dungarees for Master T,but this was so fiddly and the seam allowances were pathetically  tiny,  but it is made with love, which I hope overcomes the flaws in execution.

Pattern was Simplicity 6147

Joining with Handmade Harbour

 

 

Bakes like Berry!

After a couple of weeks off baking due to Birthday Cake ( mine) I baked another cake from Mary Berry’s 100 Sweet Treats and Puds. Finally I have the Bakes like Berry to hoot and hallooh about. This one is great, super, gorgeous,and divine, the sponge is as soft and light as can be , in short SCRUMMY!

Guernsey Apple Cake

(why Guernsey,but if all the cake on Guernsey is like this I need to visit)

7″ cake tin- round

8oz SR flour

grated zest of 1 lemon

1 level tsp baking powder

4oz butter

8oz light brown sugar

2 big eggs

6oz eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped

icing sugar to dust after baking

oven 160C/gas 6

Line and butter the cake tin

Mix all the ingredients bar the apples in a bowl. Then fold in the chopped apples.Bake for 1-1 1/2 hours till done

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and dust with the icing sugar.

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It did dip in the middle but then so does the one in the book

Here’s my piece

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Love to hear of any baking plans this weekend

 

 

Yarn Along!

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Lets start with the heap of books. The Robert Harris I was reading last time was brilliant. I love this author, his historical novels are so well researched and written, and his thrillers are great too. If you like thrillers with a conspiracy element then do try The Fear Index. I could sum it up in three words but that would give the whole book AWAY. Whilst we were away looking after business I read the John Grisham, The Litigators, another one of his good legal dramas.

Now I am reading The Spice Merchants wife, by Charlotte Betts, the blurb on the back compares her to Phillipa Gregory and Joanne Harris, check out my book page and you will know why I was drawn to this book. Sadly too much of the bodice ripper about it for my taste, but an enjoyable  read for all that.

On the underneath of the pile and barely visible is a Library book called Reclaimed Textiles by Kim Thittichai. The introduction contained sentences which really appealed to me. Consider ” How many of you have at least one drawer of products you have never used? Do you even know why you bought them?Many of us feel guilty of storing away things we are never going to use” THAT’S ME! Or material and objects  with ” an infinite number of colour and texture…many in your home right now” Has this Kim been in my house and had a rummage round.

Readers I borrowed the book. Sat down at home Earl Grey in the mug and commenced reading . By Page 10 the list of things called Basis Techniques began. BUT guess what you need all sorts of things I never heard of let alone having lying around my house unused. Consider Jones Tones heat transfer foils, mica flakes,gilding flakes, gel medium, acrylic wax, foil glues, xpandaprint, and I am only on page 13. Not quite what I was hoping for, but pretty to look at. Anyone heard of any of this stuff?

On the needles right now the tunic I am making for Miss F, the front is done. I never did a pattern before when you do the front before the back. What a sheltered life I have!

Meantime anyone going to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate tomorrow. Hoping I can make it.

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along

Cross stitch book mark

I recently joined Marigold’s loft for a book mark exchange. I was teamed with Jessica, and now I have heard that she has received and liked her book mark I will show you the one I made her, and I proudly add ,designed myself!

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Here is in greater detail is the lower part, writing is in back stitch with a french knot for dot over the i

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and here and out of focus (sorry) is the upper part

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Now for something completely different. Have you ever had a yen to learn felting? It is great fun and here are details of a giveaway for a book on how to felt.

Meantime, we were away last week attending a family funeral and other things.. not been a good year for us, in fact it has on the whole, been awful, but I have good feeling in my bones that the circle has turned and we are on the up.

Hope things are all good in your neck of the woods and if not stay positive, life can only get better!

One more link to Handmade Monday

 

 

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