Sunday, December 31, 2023

Thank You

Thank you to all those who read my blog during 2023 and a bigger thank you to those who commented. I wish everyone all the best in 2024, may there be plenty of stitches and not too much frogging or untatting (I don't think frogging works for tatting, you can't rip it!)

Friday, December 29, 2023

Do Over Done


I've reknitted the second glove so that it matches the first one, the thumb gussets starting at the same spot! The pattern is Alder Fingerless Mitts by Agnes Zombory. The pattern has much longer cuffs, but I wanted these to be similar to the other ones on my market stall, so I shortened them. I like the pattern. It requires some concentration to get all the knits and purls in the right places, but is worth the effort. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Yup, A Mistake


You know that feeling when you think you've made a mistake but aren't absolutely sure? And continue until it's obvious that you did, indeed, make a mistake. I'm knitting Alder Fingerless Mitts by Agnes Zombory. The pattern is very clearly written, but complicated. To make things easier for myself, I've been marking the pattern as I go:

There was quite a gap between knitting the first and second mitts and I couldn't remember - did I mark the original sequence, or only the repeats? Turns out I chose the wrong option, but it was difficult to be sure of that until I got right to the top. I could have undone the second mitt just to the start of the thumb gusset, but in the end decided to just start afresh. At least knitting is easy to unravel! 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Sewing For The House


I bought this fabric some time ago, with the idea of making cushions for the veranda chairs. But I never got around to it. In truth, I put the fabric away and forgot about it. I'd find it every now and then, when I was busy with something else! So I got it out the other day and left it next to my sewing machine. And finally made the cushions. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Sewing For Me


I've finished all my sewing orders and delivered them. The weekly craft group is closed until January. I have time to sew something for me! This fabric has been lurking since last Christmas. I was visualising a skirt, but once I took a good look, I realised that there was enough for a dress, so I decided on that instead. The fabric is rayon. It drapes well, but seems a bit flimsy, so I have lined the dress.  It's perfect for summer. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Commenting Conumdrum

 My daughter tried to comment on my blog this morning and received a notice that said her account was not permitted to comment! She investigated and it seems that Google have changed a default setting that blocks some comments. To unblock it, she clicked on the shield on the top left of my main page, up near the URL, and then turned off that setting. So if anyone else wants to comment and can't, please try that.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Before And After


I hope that the before  after pictures look pretty much the same as each other! I felt as though I was wrestling with a dinosaur at times, but the job is done. Here's a closer view of the trees:

 I learnt various tricks along the way. When I sewed the clouds on, I sewed the top of the cloud and then sewed the bottom separately from the same direction, so that I didn't have to turn the work. I sewed the 'lava' onto the mountain before I sewed the mountain to the backing, so that I could do all the wiggles.

 I'm pleased with the back of the work. Following my discovery when making towels, I used a thread in the bobbin that matched each background section.

So there isn't a glaring 'ghost image' on the back.

It's all rolled up and ready to be collected by the dinosaur-fan's dad. It's going to be a Christmas present, so I'm guessing Dad will have to smuggle it in discreetly. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

A Mammoth Task


Woolly mammoth perhaps. There was an appeal on a local Facebook group from someone looking for a sewist who could work with felt. Yes, sure. I said, I work with felt. So Tash brought it around. It's a mat the size of my 8-seater diningroom table, intended for her son to put his dinosaur collection on. Tash had cut out all the motifs, and wants me to sew around them. Right. I separated it into sections and began yesterday with the bottom bit. It went surprisingly well and didn't take long.

The green section is a different story, mainly because the felt is very stiff. I struggle to turn the felt and fit it into my sewing machine, even using my daughter's tip of rolling up the sides.

I have sewn the leaves.

Now for the trunks. I had originally thought I'd sew around the trunks, but that's going to be very difficult. Instead, I think I'll do a wide zig zag, so I can sew each one in one pass. I sewed a sample and showed it to Tash.

I had better get back to it. It's a change from sewing bags - I do like the variety! 

Thursday, December 7, 2023



 I had a break from bag sewing yesterday morning because my little sewing pupil was here. It's school holidays here now, so we had more time than usual and were able to complete his triple pencil case. He tells me what he wants to do and then I figure out a way to do it. I think it turned out pretty well. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Another Jeweller


On Friday I had a visit from another jeweller, wanting bags to put earrings and things in. Of course, now it's December and they're needed quick quick. Saturday was the market and Sunday I gave myself a day off. Yesterday I sewed 20 bags in one size and today I'm working on 20 in a smaller size.

I was bit concerned about how the pattern was going to look on small bags, but they turned out fine. I couldn't afford to waste fabric or time aligning the pattern with the bags, but fortunately serendipity did alright on its own! 

The market, last one for the year, went pretty well on Saturday. It's funny how different products sell on different days. I didn't sell much jam, but sold most of the puppets. I had some of Jack's honey there too. I swapped one bottle for a pocket of potatoes and sold one bottle. I had enquiries, but people seemed put off by the price. Since the price was very reasonable, I assume they were hoping for a bargain. 

Friday, December 1, 2023



I made a zebra hooded towel for tomorrow's market, to add to the two towels that have been gracing the table for a few months. Ring the changes a little. I changed the shape of zebra's eyes. Last time I made a zebra, I looked up cartoon zebra images, and they mostly had round or oval eyes. I used oval. But it didn't really seem right to me. So this time I did a more realistic eye, and even remembered to sew it on with black thread so it would show up against the white toweling. I'm sure no one cares, but there you go. 

Thursday, November 30, 2023



I think I should call the top one Diane! The keyrings I did in blues proved popular, so I thought I'd make a bracelet version. The beaded part of the keyring is 5 beads in circumference, the bracelet 8. How to make up the difference? I could make a bracelet of 6 circumference, but it's a bit skinny. I could add another colour. White? Gold? Brown? Eventually I hit on the idea of using one colour twice. Aha. These two bracelets add to my stock for Saturday's market. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023



This one reminds me of licorice all sorts! The designer is Christa Kohlbauer. I used the same colours as in the pattern. I thought it was an 8 circumference, but when I came to start crocheting, realised it is 9. It's a little stiff, I should have used a thinner thread. Still, I'm happy with it. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023



I've been sewing bags again - the jeweler is expecting a surge in sales before Christmas. As before, I sewed the bags in two batches. I decided to see how much time each stage of the procedure took for 15 bags. It looks like this - 1 hour to cut and hem; 30 minutes to sew and neaten the seams; 30  minutes to cut threads, turn the bags and press them; just over an hour to thread the ribbons in. So if I have a spare half hour, I know it's enough to sew seams, but not enough to thread all the ribbons! 

Thursday, November 23, 2023



I sold two necklaces last week, ta-da. Now my stocks are really low, so I thought I'd make some more. The ones I sold were flowery ones, so I've made another flower one, albeit different to those. The designer is Miaya (Mariam). The circumference is 8 beads, my favourite for necklaces like this. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

Making Waves


Fingerless gloves are popular on my market stall, so I thought I'd knit some more, even though it's summer here. I used the pattern Nalu by Sparrowhawk, which I've used before. They fit me, but are quite small, so I thought I'd make another pair as well, in the bigger size:

Thursday, November 16, 2023

More Bags


I'm working on another order for 30 jewelry bags. I made 15 yesterday. I decided when I was sewing masks that it's better to have a small batch completed than a large batch half done! So I'm working on the same principle now. I've made a start on the second 15, but I'm not sure I'll finish today because I need to do some preparation for tomorrow's craft group meeting. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Ready To Go


At last I've finished the 20 tatted 'lavender bunches' for an order. I delivered 8 earlier, so here are another 12 packaged and ready to go. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Friendship Bracelets


The craft group I run in a retirement home is one of a number of such groups. Usually we act independently, each developing our own projects for the week. But every now and then there's a project that all or most of the groups do. The friendship bracelet is one such project. I collected the loom and cut threads yesterday, so my preparation this week is minimal. I do however need to make a sample, and decide how we're going to finish the bracelets. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Back To Tatting Lavender


I'm tatting lavender again after taking a week off to prepare for the market. The market was very quiet, there weren't many visitors, but I did sell enough to make it worthwhile going. Jam was my biggest seller I think. I didn't sell any tatted bookmarks, but I gave one  away to a lady who said she tried to learn to tat and gave up. The next market is the December/Christmas one, so hopefully it'll be better attended. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Experimenting (once the sock was finished!)


I've been saving the second sock for when I wanted easy knitting. For instance, sitting in the car waiting for Jack to buy chicken food. But eventually I got fed up and just wanted the pair finished. I put some time in yesterday and got it done. That freed up my needles to try an experiment. 

I get regular Interweave newsletters, one about crochet and one about knitting. Recently there was a post on the knitting version about Ladderback Jacquard. The headline promised to explain it, but the article left me not much wiser, and in retrospect I realise that even the main picture doesn't show ladderback jacquard! However, it did arouse my curiosity and I googled it. Hmm, I'll have to give it a try. 

I used a tutorial from Knit Darling.  It has a video and a written explanation, which I found helpful - I could watch the video to understand and then just follow the written version as I tried it out. It's easier worked in the round, so I cast on a little tube of 30 stitches. It's a way of managing long floats at the back of the work. The interweave article mentioned that it could be used to knit a sort of intarsia in the round. I'm wondering if I can use it to knit motifs on socks. Hmmm. 

Thursday, November 2, 2023



I listened to someone the other day saying that the problem with monthly markets is that the stalls have the same items each time. I'm not sure I entirely agree; I'd be disappointed if I went to the lady I usually buy cream from and found she had marigolds. But I thought I'd try to put something new on my stall on Saturday and tat some bookmarks. Of course I've left it rather late to carry out said plan, so I had to go with a very simple pattern. I'm busy preparing for tomorrow's craft group meeting, but even so I should have time to whip up a few more before Saturday. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Trying New Patterns


I decided to make some beaded key rings for Saturday's market. I've found that a 5 circumference beaded crochet rope works best for key rings. I didn't have many 5 circumference patterns in my file, so I thought I'd look for some more. I browsed Pinterest and found quite a few. I downloaded a bunch, printed out four of them and used three. I like how they turned out. Many of the patterns I found are labelled DB-Beads, but that is just a software program for writing patterns, so doesn't help identify the designers. Thank you, whoever you are! I now have 8 key rings ready for market

Monday, October 30, 2023

30 Bags


I sewed the remaining bags yesterday to complete the first batch of 30 jewelry bags. 

It's a great exercise for practising using my cutting board and ruler. They work well for measuring and getting everything square. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Christmas Trees


I'm preparing for tomorrow's craft group meeting. The project requires glue! I'm sure it's good for me to go outside my comfort zone, but I find that difficult to believe as I get all sticky and try to keep track of little red blobs. 

I finished 15 bags yesterday, with the help of the cutting mat that appears in the top picture. It's marvelous for keeping everything square and ship shape. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Bag Lady


I'm sewing bags for jewelry again. It's easier than the bags I sewed a year ago because all the bags are one size and there's no dyeing involved. I've been asked to sew them because the lady who usually does it, Liz, is ill. Liz is a quilter and very meticulous; I hope I can keep up her standards! She sewed the bags in the picture, I just finished them off by threading the ribbons. 30 bags a month are needed. I'll carry on until Liz feels better. 

I'm also still working on the lavender. I delivered eight on Sunday and made two more yesterday. 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Tatting Lesson


I took my shuttles to the knit and natter session yesterday because Maria wants to learn to tat. She learnt beaded crochet rope in a flash and a blur, but tatting is a bit more tricky. Especially as she is left handed and I am right handed. I showed her briefly last week and then she looked on the internet, but didn't find a tutorial that helped. I showed her again yesterday, starting with two colours so that it's easy to see how the flip works. Maria did see that, and feel it,  so now she knows what she's aiming for and I'm sure she'll soon get the hang of it. Slightly disturbing was that she discovered a way of tatting a ring with direct (unflipped) stitches! I said I thought she'd be better in the long run to learn the correct way to tat a ring, even if her version did move. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Christmas Decorations

 Already? Well, the group in the retirement home will be closed in December, so we thought we could make a start. I've just been making a sample for this week's project, a fabric bell. I found it via Pinterest, it's here. It says it's a tutorial, but really it's a picture and a lot of adverts! But the bell is very simple, so I guess I've worked out what to do. 

Last week we made angels out of tongue depressor sticks and ice cream sticks:

Pinterest had a picture from Erika Trechova. 

The week before, we made Christmas baubles using styrofoam balls:

The balls are coloured using a mixture of glue and flood colouring. Messy to apply, so I did that job at home and just took them along to be decorated. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Fixing The Link

 I tried to review my own lavender pattern yesterday and found that the link on the sidebar didn't work! I've now fixed it. I think the problem is that http// or whatever it is, is already on the layout and then appears again when you copy the link. So a lot of deleting went on the put the link in properly. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

One Leaf Or Two?


I have another order for tatted lavender, 20 this time. I was a bit short of green on the shuttle on one stalk, so I left the leaf off. The leaf is definitely the most time consuming part of doing the lavender. I wondered if I should only do one leaf per bunch to speed things up a bit. Or does it look better with two?

Thursday, October 12, 2023

I've Been Tatting


I spent yesterday afternoon tatting Frivole's new snowflake pattern. Mine is not really presentable, I made a few mistakes, nothing to do with the pattern itself!