Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Scrap Happy Natter!

It’s the 15th of the month so it’s time for some scrap happiness, which is hosted by Kate. There is knitting at the end, in case you were wondering.

I have continued to work on my yarn scraps to make a second blanket for the homeless. It needs be about the size of a single bed. I made one granny square and am now on the second. When it’s the same size I will join the two together and then make a border till it’s big enough or I run out of scraps, in which case I may need to buy some yarn to complete it, so someone can well and truly wrap themselves up in it and stay cosy.

I hope to get a good few rows added to it tomorrow at the next Repair Cafe. I am still living in hopes that someone will come in with a tangle of knitting for me to fettle.

A huge thanks to everyone who joined in last weeks natter on the subject of how to make quilting lines on my beginners quilt. Some had used the frixion pens with no ill effects. The problem with them seems to arise when quilts are sent by air for competitions as the hold is very cold. Kerry raised the point that we don’t know the long-term effect of these pens as they were designed for use on paper and not on fabric.

Some advocated embroidery pens where the lines disappear in air, many plumped for ceramic pens, thanks Kate for the advice on these, and some for hera pens which leave a nice crease.

After much deliberation I ordered all three of these pens and determined to use the first one which arrived in the post, which was the embroidery pen. So I can now say that all quilting lines have been stitched and 99% of the lines have vanished with two weeks before the next class.

Now the next stage involves making a scrappy binding, ( I now know the difference between a border and a binding). And our homework was to cut strips 2 1/4 inches wide from our scraps. I was quite convinced I wouldn’t have enough fabric for this but what do you know I did. Go the foot of the stairs! (another Yorkshire-ism Pauline)

So that is my pile of scrappy fabric for the binding. I have watched hours of You Tube on the subject of scrappy binding and I think I finally understand how the strips work. Believe me it took me quite a time to see how something you sew at right angles ends up in a straight line. Dare I tell you how long it took me to realise that my cutting mat was centimetres on one side and inches on the other… half an hour of my huffing this is ridiculous how can I do this, how big is a centimetre to an inch….der!

It was probably inevitable that I would notice scrappy quilts on You Tube along with the scrappy binding videos and then only a very small step to looking at the strips which were too narrow to make the binding.

That’s when I had the most fun. Fabric still has the power to frighten me with the what ifs, suppose I cut it wrong….But give me a pile of scraps and I am a happy bunny. So before you knew where I was, I was there at the sewing machineand had made four 6 inch scrappy blocks.

Nearly all the same size, but getting there. So I can either put them to one side and add to them with each project, or I can rummage through my fabric scrap box, which is by the way twice the size of my unused fat quarter box, and just have fun and make some more. Or I can use the bigger scraps from the quilt, yes there are some and make a little cushion to go with the quilt, what do you think?

Anyway at the very least they gave me some cutting and sewing practice..

I am trying very hard this year to use / make some of the projects I have all lined up. Believe me there are a lot. I am allowing myself to buy new materials for the quilt class and I have ordered a jelly roll. I just wanted one I fell in love with. I am now anxiously waiting the arrival of the postman. It’s like being a child on your birthday… so immature Cathy.

So I am trying very hard on the yarn front. The jumper for Miss F is nearing the end, and who knows there may be a finished article next week.

Do you feel the but coming?

Last year I got to some shows. One of my favourites was Spring into Wool in Leeds. This year held on 13 and 14 April. Now on the off-chance anyone was thinking of going it’s ticket only on the Saturday.

Last year I made three purchases of which I have made two.

the fingerless mitts and

and this scarf. This year one of the things I would like to accomplish on the knitting front is to knit a pair of socks. I have never ever done this and it seems to me that at this show I would be able to buy some jolly nice yarn and a pattern. I like to buy pattern and yarn at the same time, it saves so much effort. So I wondered if anyone had any advice on what is a noddy proof pattern and yarn to look out for please?

In order to save myself from too much temptation at the show I am booked into a workshop ( thanks Bekki for the ideas on what is the difference between a workshop and a class) into something called surface crochet. It seems to involve trebles, a lot of them, I can do them, but I really have no idea what surface crochet is, but it will be fun. Do you know what it is please?

Anyway I must stop nattering now, it’s the family history group this morning and I am on the coffee-making rota today so I better get a wiggle on.

I wondered what your plans for the weekend are? Please do join in the natter in the comments. And I’ll see you after lunch.

Take Care and

Be Happy,





Comments on: "Scrap Happy Natter!" (38)

  1. Oh how I feel for you struggling with measurements. How dare they not tell you there are inches on the back side of the mat. 😉 Glad you found it. Bindings aren’t hard till you get to the point of connecting the ends together. I bookmarked a video that I have to watch each time I finish attaching the binding. I don’t do it enough. Making the binding is easy…now. I love all the projects you have here. I too have a too large stack of to-do’s. You will be as excellent a quilter as you are a knitter in short order.

  2. Winwick Mum ….blog….video tutorials and the option to buy her book from amazon. Beware of time using those tiny fixed circular needles though, it’s how I got injured and it’s now nearly a year later with no craft at all.

  3. deemallon said:

    Wow! You’ve been busy! Love that phrase, “get a wiggle on”!

  4. Beautiful projects you have going on. I love the scarf! So pretty in all of those shades of blue. I have no idea what surface crochet is, but then again, my crochet knowledge/skills is on the low end. I will be interested in hearing all about it.

  5. Joanne S said:

    I feel about yarn the way you feel about fabric. 😀 I think your blankets for the homeless is a double-header (scrap happy project and heart-given gift).

  6. This is your usual commenting form Cathy that you set in your settings pages. The other is a contact form set in your posts page where you write a post – hope this helps. x

  7. Hello Again. Just found this free beginner sock pattern link. It’s come through from Let’s Knit Magazine. https://woolfull.com/woolfull-free-knitting-pattern-beginner-sock-knitting-pattern/

  8. I think I would make the cushion with your scrap squares.
    I love the rose city roller sock pattern on Ravelry.
    It’s my first weekend of holiday so I’m hoping for knitting and reading.

  9. claire93 said:

    yarn scraps and now fabric scraps ^^ The great thing about patchwork is, it does help to use up some of those scraps.

  10. I notice a few people recommend toe-up socks and a short row heel which is the way I like to do socks. For a plain sock the pattern I use is here – http://wendyjohnson.net/blog/sockpattern.htm – It is good because it explains how to decided how many stitches you need based on how big the foot you are knitting for is. I like a short circular needle though since you are so good at knitting maybe you can manage double-pointed needles.
    There are lots of lovely self-stripping sock yarns out there which are a good choice for your first pair as it will just involve knit stitches. If you wanted to buy on-line Wool Warehouse have some good sock yarn. You could either go cheap (but perfectly good yarn) and choose Drops Fabel (Don’t choose Drops Delight. I didn’t find it delightful at all!). Or I would suggest the Regia Design Line sock wool as they look to create such amazing patterns

  11. I agree with you on the use of scraps — to me there are few things more satisfying than turning those leftover bits into something useful!
    It is fun to read about all your projects and plans!

  12. Cathy, you positively flummox me with your quilting and knitting socks! Have a wonderful weekend! We are due almost the first un-rainy weekend since January, so I may do some walkabouts. But sewing or cutting out today as thunderstorms are predicted.

    • I flummox myself too which is why I have stacks of to do projects lurking in cupboards! Hope you get some sewing and walks in this weekend. I really need to plan my next group walk for April.

  13. Lovely scraps and yarn bits and future projects, Cathy! I have a plea sock pattern that I use for DH. It is a photo book of all the steps, suitable for a raw beginner. You aren’t that by any stretch, but it is my go to plain sock pattern all the same. She has several options: http://www.cometosilver.com/socks
    Now I’m going to check out the other suggestions!

  14. Hello. That blanket’s growing! What a brilliant thought that scraps aren’t scary, but fabric is. A great way to practice and now you’re into patchwork your scrappy binding will look absolutely fab once you have enough scraps. Ha ha! that’s exactly what I did when I first quilted, ordered lots of different pens and tried what came first.
    So jealous you’re off to Leeds for a show. Want to go to a show, but so little down here and I lived in Leeds for 10 years and haven’t been back for ages.
    Definitely buy some sock yarn that’s dyed to give some sort of pattern, so much more fun to knit. Can’t recommend any patterns in particular, but an ordinary short row heel is easiest. Also if you knit toe up you can avoid having to do Kitchener stitch, but then, of course, you’ll have to knit a toe down pair later so you can try Kitchener stitch. I wouldn’t advise knitting two socks at a time for your first pair of socks. It’s going to give you more to think about and I always knit socks one at a time, so if I reach a heel turn when I’m knitting somewhere I can’t concentrate properly, like in the car or when I’m chatting, I can stop the sock I’m on and pick up the other one and do the heel turn later. Mind I don’t suffer from second sock syndrome.

    • Kitchener stitch…. more new words. Has to be doing my brain good. I think I will do one at a time and certainly pretty yarn. I mean how hard can it be? To quote my sister in law. Thank you so much for your help. Toe up certainly seems to be the way. I have vague memories of my Mum knitting plain green army socks which she abandoned and made garter stitch squares with the yarn. She didn’t really take up knitting till my first son came along and all the other teachers were knitting in the staff room during breaks.

      • I always say, it’s all just knits and purls – once you can do that you can knit anything – although Kitchener stitch is actually sewing; sewing the seam at the toes so it doesn’t make a ridge. Invented by General Kitchener, so the troops in the trenches toes didn’t rub on the toe seam.

  15. My head always spins when I read these posts of yours–you have so much going on and that breathless, excited approach to life! I especially love reading about your exploration into quilting–it lets me remember when I was brand new at it–and how thrilling that all was.

  16. Your projects are looking fab, good luck with your sock research! It’s still very windy here today, and recycling so I’ve had a quick dash round the garden picking up what has blown out of someone’s bin! We are having a fun day tomorrow with friends coming round for Super Saturday rugby watching. Hope you have a fab weekend x

    • Gosh you are a rugby fan. Football for my sons, Mr E doesn’t do energetic. Very windy here too but sunny with it. I think I shall stop in for some natter and knitting!

  17. OOh, I have lots of tangled yarn that needs fettling. I started frogging a cardigan I made and never wore but started at the wrong end and I got in such a mess with it.
    Socks used to be on my ‘never going to bother with’ list. I am a slow sock knitter so can’t give much advice but I would say, if you can manage it, do them two at a time to avoid ‘second sock syndrome’. I use a method which is from the toe up, two at a time on a circular needle using the magic loop method. I use a very comprehensive tutorial on somebody’s blog which, if you want, I’ll give you the link for. Also, if you can get sock yarn which is dyed in a special way, you can get an instant fair isle effect without the effort. Something like this https://goo.gl/VLNrpT

    • p.s. I think my comment first went through to you as an email, I don’t know why – if so, please ignore it.

      • I noticed a lot of comments have come in to my email inbox. I blame wordpress!
        Thanks for the help on the socks, I shall google shortly.

  18. Hi Cathy…Jan from Snainton here….I knit socks!….here’s a tip…google ‘Winwick Mum’ her blog is about knitting socks…she has a free pattern for basic socks which is so easy…there is a Facebook page too where you will get loads of advise if you get stuck. She is will be at Yarndale in Skipton in September. You can get all supplies from Woolwarehouse online shop….beware it’s addictive!!! If I can do it anyone can 😂 the trick is using a small circular needle anyway it’s all on her blog!

    I have lost you email address so I hope you don’t mind me asking you here….does Pickering library do photocopIng want to downsize a doll pattern that I bought online…TIA

    Kind regards
    Jan x

    • Hi Jan. I will google the name you mentioned. I’ve yet to venture to Yarndale…
      Yes we do photocopying at the library, 10p a copy. It’s supposed to be self service, but usually we end up helping! I’m there on Monday morning.

  19. Good job on the scraps!!!

    And such fun you will have making socks! The heels will feel scary and strange, but a good basic pattern will walk you right through it. I mostly do toe up socks with a short row heel, no flap, and have found that the Fundamental Toe Up Socks by Jennifer Hagan is a good pattern with sizes from child to adult, with many yarn weights covered.

    Snail of Happiness is right about yarn. You want something not too soft, perhaps with a little bit of nylon. They will soften with wear and last longer than lovely merino.

    • Thanks for your help, toe up, heel flap, all new terms for me. I love learning new lingo for crafts.

      • Lol socks are either knit from the cuff (top) down to the toe, or from the toe up to the cuff. The heel flap is just what it sounds like. 😉

  20. Many online stores who sell sock yarn will also send you a free pattern too. Make sure you buy proper sock yarn and avoid merino/ alpaca etc: you need something that will last.I like WYS sock yarn. One of the first pairs of socks I made was in merino and they wore out after a few wears – I was so upset. I suggest that you choose a simple sock pattern with a heel flap – if you can’t find one, let me know and I’ll send you one. Have fun!

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