Friday, September 29, 2006

I joined the knitting forums run by angel yarns last night. They have tales of sock dragons and lace dragons, and generally lots of good knitting stuff.

Today I was eager to join in the fun.

Did I?

  1. immediately cast on a new and exciting knitting project

  2. finish off an old and boring knitting project, so I had mental space to cast on a new and exciting knitting project later

  3. finish off some non-knitting UFO, so I could cast on a new and exciting knitting project later

  4. or

  5. decide to start some completely unrelated non-knitting embroidery project

Er, the last option. I started a kit I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show from Needleworks. It is a fairly small project, which should only take a few evenings. I might send it to swop partner, which gives me a perfect excuse not to pfaff round taking photos etc.

In other news, I got my copy of the "Proud to be Crafty" 'zine from Little Lixie yesterday. She has useful info, as how to make an oyster card holder and the parts of sheep.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Charlotte's Web

The pig and the sheep are together in the stall:
pig and sheep biscuits
spider biscuit
Characters from Waitrose, plot from the book Charlotte's Web, by E. B. White.

Aside: yes, they are still in cellophane wrappings, but they were bought for tea.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Saturn in chain stitch

These is really the instructions for a knitted hat, but it was the Saturn, embroidered in chain stitch that struck me.

She also has a knitted sheep, which is cute too.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Popular Patchwork - now out

wet pavingYesterday was warm with a strong breeze, ideal for cleaning anything from laundry to carpets. Today, it was tipping down. Guess which day I'd arranged to get the carpets cleaned?

After the carpet cleaner had gone, I ventured out to look for Popular Patchwork. I had an errand in a different town to normal, and an unfamiliar WH Smith. This one had:

  • six cardmaking magazines
  • three general papercraft magazines
  • eight cross-stitch magazines
  • one general embroidery magazine
  • a rack of puzzle magazines
  • zero patchwork magazines
Luckily it wasn't the only newsagent in town: the other one did have Popular Patchwork. I have glanced through it. My Charmed quilt is on page 13 - the first page of quilts - and Ferret is mentioned on pages 45-47. There are some interesting looking wallhangings. I liked "Wish you were here", which is a beach scene, but I can imagine it with a stormy sea instead. Also the article on "Landscapes in Contempory Quilts" looks good.

Oh rats! Pictures deleted.

I seem to have accidently deleted all my photos from the web server where I keep them.

Oh rats, dash it all, and other rude words.

I've still got the originals: however I don't intend to upload all of them again right now, or possibly ever. I will improve the directory structure first.

Meanwhile Tracey is blogging aqain.

And if you want a picture:
cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Popular Patchwork out on Friday

I got into town earlier, and found a huge pile of Popular Patchwork magazines: unfortunately they are from the last issue. The new issue is officially due out on Friday 22nd.

The wallhanging arrived home today: along with a very nice letter. I think it said there were 130 entries, or there abouts. Also enclosed was a photo of the booth. I hadn't got one, so it is nice to have. Even though my little hanging was in an obscure spot (practically on the floor, with a socket on one side and a table on the other), it was still in full view on the photo. The other thing in the parcel was a quilt label.

A special thank you to Ferret. Ages ago, she said that it didn't matter how much experience anyone had, one should still enter competitions. Without that encouragement, I would have had the ideas, but I just wouldn't have entered. So what if I didn't win? I enjoyed making it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

In print!

I have just had a message to say my quilt is in Popular Patchwork magazine! Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.

(Can you tell, I'm excited!)

I don't know when it comes out, or whether it is out yet, but I'm really chuffed about it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Knitting and Stitching, NEC

I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC yesterday (Friday), and bought lots of buttons - two "lucky dip bags" full of odds and ends - as well as some other buttons. I spent a lot of time this morning seeing if there were any matches and there were. I didn't take any pictures: I started to do a little bit, then Kiddo came to help, and suddenly there were hundreds of little piles on the dining room table, all of which had to be moved so we could have lunch.

I got a 350g hank of pure wool for £7.50, a ball of sock wool from Web of Wool to match the jumper I am slowly knitting with wool I bought from them at Alexandra Palace last year. I got a ball of Fleece Artist sock wool from the get knitted stall, with the vague thought of turning it into a nearly Clapotis, but I don't think I have enough.

I subscribed to Yarn Forward, I bought a couple of books, and some material, two cross-stitch kits and a few other odds and ends. I might take some photos later. I looked for, but failed to find, Interweave Knits magazine or the Mason-Dixie book, both of which I want.

I didn't met any bloggers other then Kerrie, but we had a good chat.

The overall impression was that it is

  1. significantly smaller then Alexandra Palace
  2. far fewer visitors
  3. a good range of crafts
  4. few stalls of a particular type

I'm glad I went, but I'm also glad I'll be going to Ally Pally.

One frustration: I knitted my sock on the train on the way there, and I seem to have lost one of the needles. Maybe it will turn up...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Where's my guide!

Months ago - about July - I ordered tickets for the Knitting and Stitching Show(s), which are held at the NEC, Alexander Palace, Harrogate and Dublin. (A ticket doesn't specify which venue, you can use them at any one.) The one at the NEC is this weekend, starting on Thursday, and I plan to go there on Friday, and to Alexandra Palace in October.

I also ordered the Guide to the show. If you buy it in advance, you have to pay postage, but it also allows you to work out your "must-sees" from your "would be nices", and hence avoid lots of pointless milling round. In addition it would enable me to work out which stallholders I'd only see at the NEC: I would want to concentrate more time/spending on them.

Well, it hasn't turned up! I rang up on Monday morning, and was told they had been sent out at the end of last week. The post hadn't arrived at that point, so I was willing to wait. But it didn't come with yesterday's post, or today's.

I rang again today: '!Saul' told me I could get a claim form when I was there: but that is just a load of unnecessary pfaffing, and totally negates the reason for ordering it in advance.

Instead I am trying various web searches to see if I can find anyone who might be going, and basically spending a long time hurridly turning it into a spreadsheet of things to see.

PS It was looking at loads of the blog entries after I had been to Alexandra Palace on my own that got me into blogging, and hence to this blog.)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sheep challange

Late last night, I came across the sheep challange at Wooly Wornhead's blog. The challange is to take photots of "daft, imaginary or artificial" sheep. It sounded interesting, but I was undecided about joining.

Today I was driving through a village, which was holding a village fete (raising funds for a new roof for the church). At the refreshments table, there was a plate of farmyard fairy cakes.
hourse and pig fairy cakes

A child had paused to choose one, but which...?

It wasn't this one:sheep fairy cake

My first sheep!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The craft for the day is...

Just like Caroline yesterday, my children were back at school today, and just like Caroline, I was ready to start crafting at ten.

I decided to make the "needle nest" kit I'd bought from Village Fabrics at the Festival of Quilts. I was tempted to replace their material with some other, and then use this same other material to make a pin cushion. OTOH, I almost certainly didn't have the right types, and then I'd wait until I'd bought some, and the whole thing would go on and on.

Here is what came with the kit:
And here is the other equiptment I thought I might need.
Do I have any co-ordinating blue thread?
Look at how well I got the lines to cross - I did it by eye.
neatly crossed stitches
I didn't like their button much so I thought I'd see if I had an alternative: theirs is the one on the top left, but I thought the one on the bottom left matched better.
several buttons
finished kitI thought the kit was very good. The material was good quality. The instructions were clear and easy to follow.

I'd give it an overall 10 out of 10.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Some Favourite Motorway Bridges or how to be a nerd

This post is really for Ferret, who is making quilts that depict bridges.

One of my favourite bridges on the M25 is between junction 12 and 13. I was already vaguely aware it was of interest to civil engineers, but here is the results of tonight's surfing.

This picture was already uploaded to blogger (not by me), but has almost certainly been swiped from the Motorway Archive pages of the Institution of Highways & Transportation website.

The Lyne Railway Bridge was the first concrete cable-stayed bridge in Great Britain, and the first cable stayed railway bridge in Western Europe. The resident engineer was Stephen Brame.

More information about it can be found at ICE website and here with a mention here.

If you'd like more information about cable-stayed bridges, you might still be able to get a place on this course at the Wessex Institute of Technology, a snip at €1200, including lunch and coffee. If that is a bit too expensive, you could buy this book from the American Society of Civil Engineers, a mere $137. On the other hand the Bridge Pros and the Bridges Project sites probably tell you all you need to know for free.