Am back from a slight knitting hiatus due to a housefull of lovely friends from Melbourne. We had to toddler proof the house and soon realised how dangerous some things are. Anyway, we had a wonderful time and did lots of sightseeing and catching up. So, I only just got my Socktoberfest socks done but here they are in all their loveliness. Details are in this previous post. I just adore Yahaira’s Atomic River socks. They would be my favourite of the ones I’ve looked at and I hope she wins something for the design.

Strawberry Cream socks

Am about halfway up this sleeve and it’s a good one to knit if you’re not bothered about changing yarn every row. If you’ve not got the patience then this one’s not for you. I was knitting the two sleeves and the back together/at the same time but I got a bit carried away last night watching a film. I found that I had been saving time as I had a particular yarn handy then just carried on for the next two pieces then changed to the next colour. Oh well, rules are there to be broken.

Mystical Stripe sleeve

AND Joy got her Vintage Swap package safe and sound. I hope mine arrives this week, can’t wait! She’s a fabulous photographer, go and check out some of her work on her blog.

Whilst I will knit in the car, on a campsite and in hospital, I’m not really one for group knitting or knitting on the tube and I’ve never been to a workshop or had any formal instruction. I currently have the time and so signed up for a workshop day run by Debbie Abrahams through Rowan at John Lewis. Debbie is such a lovely girl and we certainly had a fun day. Nobody else was taking photos, so I felt really self-conscious about it, so sorry folks, I didn’t. I should really have taken one of the kit before it got hacked open because it looked so lovely. Apparently her Mum makes them up for her. The project was to knit up a mini Christmas stocking using the techniques of fairisle, intarsia, slipstitch beading, swiss darning and mattress stitch. She also covered wrapping stitches and weaving in ends. We covered a massive amount in one day and she seemed to be quite impressed with how much we all covered. I think we were all fairly proficient knitters to start with though but it was a fun day and here’s the result!

Mini Christmas stocking

Her new book will be released in the UK in a week or so but you can buy it on Amazon.

Well, I was a having a good tidy up this afternoon, was vaguely looking for a couple of books too and decided to go right through a few shelves and sort stuff out……which then led to the recipe book……more later.

The first craft book I had was called ‘Things to Make and Do’ when I was a kid. It was fab and what with knitting and sewing with Mum and my Granny, I’ve never looked back. I have a large stash of books and allsorts back at Mum’s in Oz but I’ve never bothered to have them shipped over here, so I just keep collecting more! But we’re all guilty of that, right? So, here are some of my crafty reference collection. I did alot of tapestry or tapisserie (I was an overly keen French student) in my teens and adored Elizabeth Bradley’s Victorian needlepoint books and that’s how I got into Mary Norden’s work. I got her ‘Ethnic Needlepoint’ ISBN 1863735704 book as a gift and have since bought quite a few of hers. I just love the photography and styling in them. I also collected alot of the Australian Inspirations magazines but have never been much of an embroiderer, which is something I now regret. My Granny was an incredible needlewoman and I did dabble with it as a little girl but that was it.

Craft books #1

My late great Aunt Nell was a big Reader’s Digest fan and one school holidays we went to visit and I was presented with the ‘Needlecraft’ ISBN 0-909486-78-6 book you see below. I must’ve been about 9 or 10 at the time and I can’t imagine how many hours I’ve pawed over that book over the years. I refer to it SO very often. In my opinion, it is the best piece of craft reference I’ve got. It covers embroidery, knitting, tapestry, crochet, applique, lacework, patchwork, macrame, quilting and rugmaking. So you can imagine my glee when I found the British version of this in my local charity shop! I sent it to my very bestest crafty friend and she was v. thrilled and hasn’t put it down since.

Craft books #2

Here’s my Rowan mag collection. Now I always find something inspiring in these but I think some are missing in action or on loan to people that I’ve forgotten about! Oh dear. Now that’s a thought, all of my crochet books (3 or 4) are on loan to a friend……must get them back!

Rowan mag collection

Mapman’s messy maps! Look at the state of these – I know there’s more….they’re most likely hiding/festering at the bottom of a rucksack in a cupboard. Need I say more?

Hmmmm more maps

Thirties Baby quilt
Cream prints (4.5″ sq) & thirties print offcuts (2 x 4.5″)
Unbordered – 28″ sq

I had the strips made up for this a few months ago and got distracted with other things. The thirties prints came as a job lot of offcuts from a quilt show I went to last year. I think the bag was £2 from memory and the creams are a variety of leftovers from my wedding quilt.

Holey Socks
Luxury Alpaca DK 100g – Strawberry Cream
3.5mm vintage dpns

The lacey pattern is fun to knit but I’m not 100% happy with the overall shape of these socks, especially the gusset and heel shaping. They do look quite short from the picture but it’s quite a stretchy knit and I am getting someone with smaller feet to try them this week before I finish sewing up the toes! (Just in case).

30's sampler quilt