Friday, April 30, 2010

Clearing out the Stash!

My attic is insulated with Mohair.


When I moved here over 6 years ago, Mark said to me "Pack the most important stuff first as there isn't much room in the attic."

So I packed all my yarn first.

He has been saying for the best part of a year now that we have to empty the attic so that it can be insulated properly. And it isn't all going back up.

I know what he will expect, he will get it all down and I will have to sort it all out straight away and get rid of it. I have been telling him that if he gets it down bit by bit, I can get it sorted.

Finally, he got down a little the other day. Only because he wants the tubs they are in. Anyway, I have sorted what was in them and listed most of it on eBay.

Then I decided that I might as well start on the wardrobe.I have soooooooooo much stuff in there. Most of it is prototypes from designing my patterns. I just don't have the outlets to sell them like I did when I was in Barry.

So I have been listing all that lot on eBay as well.

There will be a lot more when it is all sorted out. I don't want to throw it all out and, although with some of the items I will not even be getting my initial lay out back, at least by selling it I know it will be going where it is wanted.

There is also the fact that I am trying really hard to save up to get my A-Z book published. It is really hard with the drop in wages, I just don't have any spare money. Basically, my savings are mostly what I make from my patterns.

So go on over to eBay, grab yourself a bargain and help me get my book published!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Summer Challenge - Part Two

So maybe I was being a bit ambitious with a frame that size but I never did do things by halves.

I started working with my lucet, 8 brown threads to make the thick first stem, which I separated into two sets of 4 but added two more green to each so I still had 6.

I carried on, separating the threads and adding more in to make the various branches. I was going ok to start but as I started making more branches it got very tangled.

Very, very tangled.

So I abandoned that idea! Not that I gave up completely, I just needed a re-think. I finally undid most of what I had done and started again. This time deciding to make the branches separately and sewing them on afterwards. However, I still kept the beginning as it was. It was only one bobbin to cope with and hardly any tangles.

I proceded making just the two main stems. While I was doing this, I was thinking of a a way to attach the new branches with out too many ends to sew in. I can do it when I crochet, why not with the lucet?

This is what I came up with -

I worked out how much thread I would need for the bit I was working on. No easy way, make it up, undo it and measure how much I used. It might seem a waste of time but as I was doing lots of bits the same, it saved time - and thread - in the long run.

I measured the thread off, doubling the original measurement and putting a slip knot half way along.

Using a tapestry needle, I threaded it through the middle of the stem I wanted to attach it to. The slip knot provided a stop end.

I then used a steel crochet hook to pull two loops through, which I slipped over the lucet - and carried on as normal!

Here are the resulting stems. The loose ends will be used to sew the leaves and flowers on later.

I was actually quite pleased with myself until I went to Craft Club last week and found out that were are supposed to keep them relatively small. About 2'.

It is well under 2' wide but...........

So I cut it off at the bar across the middle. The way I have attached the jute thread meant that I could do it without having to redo the whole thing. It is now 2'6" and isn't going any smaller.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Did I mention my lucet?

I went to the NEC at the end of March, for the Hobbycrafts and Sewing for Pleasure exhibition. I haven't been to one of these for quite a few years so I was really looking forward to it.

Also, some local online friends were going as well. We had all booked on the same coach trip so I was doubly looking forward to it.

As always, it was mostly paper crafts and cross-stitch so I didn't even spend 1/3 of what I too with me. But I did get a few things.

One was this REALLY expensive ball of wool. If I had realised just how much it was, I probably wouldn't have. However, I didn't. Still, it is for a lovely pair of knitted fingerless gloves that I saw on Ravelry. I downloaded the pattern and a friend is going to knit them for me.

I also got one of those 3-D butterfly punches that I have been fancying for a while and a corner rounder for card to go with my BIA.

And a lucet.

I haven't seen one before and I was quite fascinated watching the demonstrater using it. I was also quite facinated with some of the things he was making with it. It is basically to make cords but he was doing all sorts.

If you want to know more, go along to his site "The Lucet Company", he explains it all so much better than I can.

I am no where as near as good as him yet, but I just couldn't resist making some Rainbow laces to match my earrings!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Summer Challenge

At our Craft and Lace Club, we decided it would be fun to have a "Summer Challenge". After some discussion the theme of "Summer" was decided upon as some wanted "Gardens" and some wanted "Seaside". Summer covers everything.

After some considerable thought, and changing my mind about 50 times, I decided to try to re-create the Clematis in my garden.

After even more considerable thought, I decided to make the frame from bamboo and garden string. I wanted to make it look as realistic as possible. The canes I bought were about 4 foot long, so I decided to use the whole length. I lashed them together to make a frame. However, my dearest complained that I hadn't done it properly or tight enough, so I gave it to him to redo!

I then spent the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening tying garden string with clove hitches to make a latice for the clematis to "climb" up.

I was ever so pleased with my creation and set to work designing the rest. I have decided to use my new lucet to make the stems.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sofa, So Good!

Our sofa was old. I bought it 2nd hand just before I had Benjamin so it was well over 12 years. It was getting rather uncomfortable.

But the worst thing about the sofa was listening to Mark complain about it every time we used it!!!!!!

The plan was to decorate the front room before buying a new one but we just couldn't wait. On February 24th, we ordered a nice new corner unit from Argos. They told us it wasn't in stock but did we know about their 28 day delivery promise?

So, there we are, expecting our new sofa withing 28 days. Incidentally, the payment came off the credit card almost immediately.

Just before the 28 days was up we checked our delivery status online. It said we would have a call to arrange delivery by March 29th. So much for a 28 day delivery promise.

On March 27th we had a call to say our order had been delayed annd was expected in the warehouse by April 18th.

So I phoned them. No, they don't deliver on Sundays but they do work on Sundays so we should have a call to arrange delivery for the following week.

"But what about the 28 day delivery promise?"
"That only applies if the item is in stock."
"So its a load of bunkam?"
"No, its not a load of bunkam but........"
"Yes, ok."

On April 7th we had a call to arrange delivery. The first available slot was Saturday April 10th between 7 and 12 am. Well, I wasn't going to say "No", was I?

On the Friday we had a call to say it would be delivered between 8 and 9 am and we would get a call an hour beforehand.

So we didn't get up, thinking that an hour was more than enough time to get ourselves organised when they rang. Yes, you know where this is going, don't you?

At 7.23 we had a call to say they would be here in 15 mins. That, by any stretch of the imagination is not between 8 and 9 with an hours notice.

So not only did I have to get dreessed and ready in less then 15 mins, I also had to put up with a very grumpy man who hadn't had his two cups of tea yet.

Still, it was worth it. The sofa is really comfy and I don't have to put up with the complaining any more.

However, I used to keep all my bits that I was working on down the side of the sofa. I can't do that any more. Mark has suggested that I get some sort of case to keep the stuff in that can go away when I am not using it.

I quite fancy this.

But I need to see how big it is first.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I can crochet a Rainbow

And so can you!

I has come to my attention that so many people out there can crochet but can not follow a pattern.

This is the one that was featured in Scrapbook Inspirations in 2008.

With this in mind, I have adapted my free Rainbow Pattern to one that is just for those learning to read patterns.

It really isn't that difficult when you know how!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Everything is coming up...


I do love these little white ones. They are not so prolific as the common blues ones which took over my trough and choked everything else in there.

Here are some pretty little blues ones. Again, not the common ones. I think they may be cultivated ones but have no idea really as I was given them.

I hope they are not going to spread too much otherwise they will have go. I only have my planter with limited space so can't have them taking over.

And this is a Black Viola which I bought at the end of last summer. It was in flower when I bought it so I am hoping that flowering this early means it will carry on all summer.

It does look a bit darker than in the photo.






Finally, just a little something I planted this morning!

These are some crocuses I crocheted for a Spring Challenge on one of my craft groups. I thought the garden was the best place to take photos of them!