Tuesday, 29 April 2008

A nice lining (in honour of Chrissnow)

Along with attempting to finish all the other things in my UFO bag, I have used MILs old curtains to contain some of my needles, hooks, spare balls of wool and other assorted crafting paraphenalia. Now as I may have mentioned, I do love a nice lining and this lovely granny print is no exception, am not mad about dusky rose velour but the lining just makes me feel all warm and happy and it is (dons halo) recycled (the bag that is, not strictly speaking, the lining). And while I am not absolutely in love with the outside, I think if I decorated it with some crochet flowers made out of cream coloured crochet thread, I could rather like it.

Onto one of my neglected UFOs, I have a vintage pattern fetish, which I may have mentioned before and which is indulged quite frequently, yes I am that annoying woman taking up all the counter space with the pattern book in your local age concern! This early 70s Patons pattern is one of a huge book of 60s and 70s patterns that my mum gave me when I first started to knit and crochet and I started it an age ago, in a fit of boredom, I picked it up the other night and started on the increase rows, heaven knows when it will actually be finished, probably in time for my dd's 21st I should think but, I am rather pleased with the way it's going.

Mind you, looking at these photos it looks like I am going through a deeply pink phase, must root out that teal wool to counteract the overwhelming girliness.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Bag lady and I've been TAGGED!!

Observing my fabric mountain, I thought it would be a good time to drag out the sewing machine and whittle down my stash by making some craft bags. The fabric for this stash bag came from a reccy in Walthamstow (recommended by an MNer) which cost the princely sum of a quid for a metre!! I lined it but I didn't bother interfacing it as it's only for keeping my UFOs in, (you can just spy a bit of one poking out of the top) and I've filled it fit to bursting already, as you can no doubt see. I made full use of the eyelet tool my Mum gave me and I bought a length of wonderfully gold naff curtain tie-back to use for the handles from the habby stall at Stevenage market.

Am now in the swing of it, so I am currently making a stiffer stash bag from my MILs dusky rose pink velour curtains (nice!!) and a denim bag using an old pair of jeans (which will no doubt be guest starring on these pages soon).

In other news, dear reader, I have been tagged by Greebos Whiskers
so if you don't want to destroy the wonderous vision you hold of me in your head, look away now.

4 jobs I have had:
A burger flipper in the, then, local Wimpy (yes I did have to wear the costume, it smelt, quite a lot as it happens).
Train Announcer (yes if you've travelled through a major London station circa 11 years ago, you have probably had the pleasure of hearing my dulcet tones. And I had the dubious honor of being the first female member of staff there for 15 years, what a trailblazer).
Booking Office Manager
Revenue Accounts Auditor (this is what happens when you are full of yourself, they promote you to head office, oh the giddy heights).

4 favourite films:
Dirty Dancing
Pretty in Pink (because Molly Ringwald is everything I want to be in this film)
Quadrophenia (love the film, love the fashion, love the music)

4 places I've been:
Hunstanton (what do you mean, where?)
Brussels (beer)

4 places I've lived:

4 favourite tv shows:
Father Ted
Blackadder (the second, obviously)
Life on Mars
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4 favourite radio programs:
Mark Lamarr on Radio 2
Radcliffe and Maconie on Radio 2
Womens Hour on Radio 4
And er.. that's it.

4 favourite foods:
Salsa with plenty of chili and lime
Pizza with chili oil
Macaroni cheese (added chili please)
Pasta with tomato sauce

4 places I'd rather be:
Loch Long
In my bed
New Zealand

Er, now I've got to think of someone else to tag, remember, it could be YOU.

Am back, I am tagging Littlegeckos.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

I turned a corner....and a heel.

Well the lurgy finally caught up with me, so to while away the hours, I've done some more work on my WIPs for GM and Miaou and finally picked up the socks that I chucked onto the UFO pile sometime ago in disgust. I have made some very simple socks before but I have never turned a heel, so when heel turning time came on these I cocked it up royally, so fed up was I with the whole process that I hid the offending item at the bottom of my knitting bag with visions of ripping the whole lot out 'at some point'.
Because I needed to unearth the bottom of said bag today to look for a knitters needle, I happened upon them and decided to sit down and try and work out how to actually turn the flaming heel for once and all, and you know what, once I actually stopped to look at it properly I could see clearly how it was done. And voila.... I did it, I turned the heel and the switch in my head that insisted it couldn't be done.
I've knitted this in cotton for a purpose, so that I can swathe my manky old feet in half a jar of foot butter at night, slap above mentioned socks on and wake up with delicate, smooth as a babys bottom tootsies. Am enjoying it so much now that I have plans to knit socks for just about everyone I know, yes beware, if you have the misfortune to know me then you too could be the recipient of a pair of cotton bed socks and if you're really lucky a jar of foot butter for satisfying slathering!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Two WIPs for you to marvel at!

Ta dah!! Two amiguiri for the price of one, have started GMs owl, which is proving to be a good stash buster, it's the purply blue circle on the right and that circle ladies (and gentleman) will eventually be it's head, the one on the left is the beginnings of a flapper girl amiguiri doll, the pattern for which I am testing for another mner, the lovely Miaou, when it's finished I will post pics , here is Miaou's blog with Tilly (the flapper girl) included Miaoucrafts.com/jill
she's so lovely that I'm sure you will probably all want the pattern and you will have to contact Miaou for it. Strictly speaking the flapper girl should be cream but as my stash is bereft of cream (and overflowing with white), I've used white, after all pale was very fashionable in the 1920s, I believe.
The lovely Nbg has asked that I point you in the general direction of her doll craft swap so here it is
I am going to join, although I suspect my project may run late, of course ALL of my projects tend to run late but I do attempt not to be tardy, my life just has other ideas sometimes!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Buttons, buttons, buttons and a trip to the V&A!

Just recently I have been suffering from a severe button fetish brought on by buying some beautiful glass buttons from an MNer, this was followed by a couple of ebay purchases (the tin full of buttons in the middle pic being one of them). Of course, darling daughter has caught the bug too and rather fancied her own tin of buttons, so every week we visit the habby stall at our local market and I treat her (and me) to a few buttons, you can see a very small selection of dd's buttons at the bottom. We've also had a few goodies from the charity shops, the Sally Army shop being one of the best for real vintage buttons and she's even snapped up a few that I really want to pinch but 'she got there first'. I'm particularly fond of her big pink 60s style resin ones that she got from the habby man, so much so that after failing to prise them from her grubby mitts, I had to make a special trip to buy some of my own.'

Today, I made my much anticipated trip to the V&A, so no crafting but plenty of gawping , so much so that I managed to only 'gawp' at the lower levels. I unexpectedly, loved the Ottoman exhibits in the Middle East section, think it was the combination of the blues and greens in the tiling and textiles that did it and in case you're reading mother, blue and green are meant to be seen, not just when you're dining with the Queen! And the furniture and wall hangings in the Europe section just off the tube tunnel made me feel awed, even the ones that weren't to my taste, just because so much toil and sweat must have gone into them.

The fashion section was lovely, as expected and I did actually press my nose up against the glass trying to see the tiny stitchwork of the courturiers and I think I have a new appreciation for Vivienne Westwood, I can see where her ideas come from. In fact so engrossed was I, that time passed me by and I didn't get a chance to see the upper levels, so another trip is on the cards, I feel. I really want to see the Textiles and the Galleries, so while I am still a free woman (which is only until May) I am going back.!

Monday, 7 April 2008

Vintage Swap and a thank you for Nbg!

Drum roll please.... I have at last finished my vintage swap for Gingermonkey. In truth I doubt I could actually claim that the amiguiri owl is vintage but it was crocheted with charity shop wool (courtesy of The Garden House Hospice in Hitchin, which incidentally is an absolute treasure trove for wool and needles). I am much more pleased with this amiguiri owl than the last one, mainly because I stuffed him with a lot of stuffing (he's very firm but, as a result rather large!) and I popped a couple of curtain weights in the bottom so that he stands up better, he still topples over a bit after a while but I didn't want him to be so heavy that he caused injury if thrown at someone!

The sachets (one for GM and one as a thank you for nbg) I feel are much more in keeping with the vintage theme, you don't really see them about much in these supersonic high tech days and they are basically my MILs old curtains cut up and used as an inner lining with a couple of filet crochet panels sewn on top. Filet crochet is also one of those old worldy things that you don't seem to see much of these days and I love doing filet crochet, it feels really calming and I really enjoyed making them. And although I have done filet crochet in the past, it's a long time since I picked up a small steel crochet hook (always small steel hooks for fine crochet) and a bit of cream coloured thread and actually done some, I even enjoyed sewing the lining and I am not a lady who enjoys hand sewing much usually. Although I popped a couple of rosewood balls in with the stuffing so hope the recipients like rose, still I'm sure if not they can find someone to gift them to.


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

A glorious vintage treat from GM, a now battered amiguiri owl and a surprise from another lovely MNer.

I'm obviously a lucky, lucky girl this week, I got paired with Gingermonkey again for our MN vintage swap and this gorgeous bag with two lavender mice is my reward. Of course darling daughter has snaffled one of the mice to stash in her vest drawer, she abides by the mantra 'what is yours is also mine', I will get my revenge by spending her inheritance on fancy fabric! The gorgeous bag is now living in my handbag and keeps together my tissues, lippy and compact because I love the idea of nonchantly pulling out a bag made of gorgeous vintage fabric to retrieve my 'nose blowers' (copyright dd), plus it means I can easily find those bits and bobs that would otherwise entail a 15 minute hunt throught the warzone that is my handbag.

Last week I finished my first attempt at amiguiri, this owl was featured in Crochet Today last year, I'm fairly pleased with it but my next attempt will involve more stuffing, I think. That aside I was rather chuffed with her obvious delight at receiving it and it hasn't left her bed since.

Another kind mner, this time Nbg, offered up some leftover fabric on our craft board and kindly said I could have it. It's perfect for lining bags, I do love a nice lining in a bag. Of course dd has her eye on it to make flowers with, so I might save her a square!
This week I've mainly been finishing my swap(s) for Gm, which are nearly done, of course I need to go to the habby stall at Hitchin market (it's my new addiction) for a couple of things and then, I'm done. Will blog results at the weekend, hopefully, along with a few photos of our growing button collection (courtesy of every charity shop within a 20 mile radius of us).