Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What a difference 25 years makes :-)

Doesn't time fly when you are working hard, raising a family, moving half way round the world, having fun? My oh my, don't we look sooooo young! Where did the last 25 years go?!

We are flying to Christchurch on Friday for Labour weekend to celebrate. It will be our first visit to the South Island...can't wait :-)

19 October 1985


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


After reading Carolyn's post today, I left this comment.....

I am surprised - and slightly saddened - to realise that I have got to the stage where the whole process is kind of daunting now! Shocked actually.....as at one time I would have made at least 60-80% of my wardrobe, and have made just about everything from baby to bridal.

After a break of about 4 or 5 years I have now got to the stage where I don't know where to start to get back to what I loved! Sometimes I go into my sewing room....look at my patterns, choose one and match it with fabric...then think about everything I have to do before it becomes a garment, and instead of being excited....I am left feeling overwhelmed :-(

Got to get back to some kind of sewing pleasure again!

It is how I feel right now and I really do want to change that. I used to live, breathe and sleep sewing - particularly making my own clothes. I know things change and we all go through phases, but I would really love to feel excited about sewing my own clothes again.

So, with summer just around the corner I think I will try some skirts first......I have this lovely new Japanese linen that is ideal for this time of year, and a simple pattern that I know works.....so, baby steps :-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Niece and finished baby blanket :-)

My new niece has arrived safe and sound. I was honoured to be at her birth and to be the person to dress her for the very first time :-)

After making great progress on the baby gift for her I had come to a standstill with the borders...but I finally finished it over the weekend. It has been washed and blocked and has turned out beautiful! I love it......and so does my Sister In Law (don't know about the baby yet, haven't really asked her Lol)

I realise it is not a conventional baby blanket....but nor is my SIL! It was knitted in Sirdar Eco Wool which is Undyed Natural Wool and the borders are cast off in red.

Sorry, the photo's aren't great but I will try and link to the pattern online if I can. It is called the 'Stanley blanket' and designed by Julie Bernhardt.

Got to go, late for work - will come back later and try to link this post!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hamilton here I come.

Tomorrow I am driving to Hamilton with three friends to visit the Hamilton Craft Fair. We are leaving very early....6.30am early! We want to get there in time for it opening so we can make the most of the day.

I don't have any planned purchases....I will just go with the flow, and the budget of course :-)

The Bead Hold's stand is on my must visit list.....one day I intend to visit the shop in Auckland at some time and do a class there. Their website and customer service is great, but nothing compares to actually being in a shop like that :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Latest knitting

I usually have some knitting on the go, although I don't always think to blog about it! My latest project is a snuggle sack for my new niece or nephew who is due to arrive in about 4 weeks time. I just couldn't resist this beautiful pattern and yarn combination - and doesn't that baby look so cosy? Makes you want to climb in, doesn't it? Although, I would only get one foot in it so not much point really Lol.I am using a 60cm interchangeable needle, I have recently treated myself to some Knit Pro Symfonie Wood needles and I love them. In fact, we have decided to stock them in the shop as we are so in love with them :-) Seems like we aren't the only ones as they are already selling well.

The colour isn't that great in this shot. The pattern instructions have you knit 3 seperate pieces for this item!? A circular base, a rectangle for the main part and then a ribbed top. Then you are told to stitch all the pieces together. Why would you want all those seams in an item like this? And why would you want all that extra work?
It made absolutely no sense to me, so I didn't cast off the base, just increased the 6 extra stitches on my last row and am knitting the main part in the round, then I will only need to increase 1 stitch before doing the rib...........no seams at all!

The yarn is a new one to us in the shop. It is a 4 ply Machine Washable (got to love that!) NZ Merino, Alpaca & Possum (with a small amount of nylon to make it suitable for socks) It is already proving very popular and while knitting with it I can totally see why. Beautiful colours and so lovely to knit with.

The pattern isn't easy to see in this colourway but it gives a lovely feel to the knitting. It is knitted at a slightly loose tension which makes it feel very soft and 'snuggly' :-)
I am also working on another item for the same baby which has been a real labour of love over the past 6 or 7 months, I have had to work on other things in between as I needed small breaks from it. It is almost finished so I will show you once it is blocked - I love it and can't wait to give it to my Brother and SIL as I know they will too.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crafternoon Tea

I had a lovely afternoon at the Govett Brewster art gallery for their Crafternoon Tea. It is linked with a new exhibition by Yin Xiuzhen, part of which is this amazing installation of weapons! All of them are covered in knitting. On the floor was what looked like a huge knitted circular mattress - which turned out to be 1'000 scarves wound in a spiral - it was called Unbearable Warmth and is to symbolise the pressure that can come from parents and grandparents, particularly for those children who don't have siblings and carry the expectations and hopes of not only their parents but also their grandparents. Very interesting. I know I wasnt' the only one who wanted to dive on it and lounge around Lol. I am just annoyed that I didn't charge my camera battery in time!

On 15th August there is another event for Guerilla knitting which I plan to attend. It was like being part of a large knitting group.

Another part of the exhibition is the giant scarf they have there that is being worked on by anyone who cares to. It will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to a charity of the artists choice. The scarf has 88 stitches and is being knitted in white, to represent luck and purity.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Back again :-)

I'm back. No excuses, no promises :-)

I really want to make some clothes for Spring and Summer, and I would like to use fabric I already have - which shouldn't be difficult. A few dresses are on my list and I want to start with a knit dress to take away with me when DH and I go away in October to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.
I cut out Butterick 4976 which I have had in my pattern stash for ages and never made. The fabric is a knit that I bought in a sale - I only paid about $3 for the roll which must have about 10 metres on it! So, it will be my muslin.

I will upload a picture of the 'good stuff' that I plan to make it up in. There have been a lot of reviews for various knit dresses and I like the idea of a wrap top but not a wrap skirt. Hopefully I will get round to making it up over the weekend.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New patterns and plans

I want to make another cardi-wrap. I think I will use this luscious rich purple. I might have enough to make a plain tee for under it also. I have yet to perfect a t-shirt pattern but think I will make it my winter project - nice and simple Lol! I have Pamela's Patterns Perfect T-shirt and Versatile Twin Set so will start with that. it would be good to have a 'go to' tank and t pattern for those times I just feel like making something fast.

In fact, I think I might make a start this afternoon! I am itching to sew something...the kilt I am altering is ready for a fitting so he is coming tomorrow evening, it will only need a couple of hours work once I know it fits. I have finished and delivered the tie back(s). There are a few other pending alteration/mending jobs to be done but I will tackle them one by one.

Actually, I really like the look of the bolero jacket on the Twin Set pattern - hadn't taken much notice of it before...but with long sleeves it would make a great addition to my winter wardrobe! Hmm, wonder if I can get hold of any of the $10 a metre Merino from Global fabrics??!!!

When these patterns got delivered I had completely forgotten I had even ordered them! I love the simple lines of the skirt and think it could be a very versatile pattern. The Cynthia Rowley jacket I love for the details but would need to make it slightly more shaped at the waist for me. For the life of me I can't imagine why I ordered the Vogue dress...............does anyone else have any idea Lol??? I know it wasn't for the jacket as it is about as wrong for my shape as you can get! Oh well, I will put it with my other patterns for now - maybe my memory will return!

OK, off to the sewing room now with visits in-between to the kitchen as I must do some baking today. The biscuit tin is empty and I also want to make a big batch of veg soup. We are having haggis for dinner - DH has had a tin (not as good as the real thing!) in the pantry for ages and we keep forgetting it is there. So, haggis, mashed tatties and mashed swede (no neeps to be had :-))

Sunday, April 18, 2010

She did it!

Jumped that is! And landed too!! What an amazing lady, I am proud to call her my friend :-))

A little over a year ago we were talking about things we would like to do in our life, and Isobel mentioned a skydive.........I asked her if she would really do it if she got the chance (although at the time I didn't know we would get her a voucher) and she assured me she would. So, for her 70th birthday 7 of us got together and bought her the chance to jump out of a plane! She was not at all fazed, not nervous and when she landed wanted to know when she could do it again!!

Go Isobel!


...finding my way back to doing some sewing! I am not going to comment on how long it has been since my last post, or my lost mojo etc!

This weekend I had a couple of jobs I needed to get done. One of them was a pair of curtain tie backs for friends - I made them some a few months ago and they realised they hadn't asked me to make enough. Unfortunately the last pair took forever to finish - I just haven't been in my sewing room lately and on the odd occasion I have I would see the fabric mocking me and then promptly forget again as soon as I walked out!! The situation wasn't helped by the fact that, for some reason, I thought they only needed one more tie back - I proudly presented them with it on Friday and they had to break the news to me that I was one short!! Why on earth would I imagine they would only need one tie back?? Don't ask me! Anyway, I finished it today.

The second job is a kilt alteration. I have been putting this off - although I don't know why, why do we procrastinate about things when it is so much easier to 'just do it'?! So, Friday morning I unpicked the fringe and basted the new fold line (you can just see it in the pic). I am just off to do some more basting, the pleats need to be all basted to allow me to work with it without creasing, and also to press the kilt when I have finished. Not a huge job but it needs to be finished for a wedding next month and I am sure the groom is getting anxious. I have never missed a deadline yet :-)

I will have a few home dec jobs over the next few months but not big jobs, blinds to finish and curtains to make. We have decided to put our house on the market in the spring so have some 'little' jobs to do.

I am also excited for this afternoon as I am off to watch a good friend do a tandem skydive! She is one of our small sewing group and she had a big '0' birthday recently, we all clubbed together for a voucher........by the way, her big '0' birthday was her 70th!! Photos will follow - promise!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's been....

....almost a month since my last post! Oh dear, I am not a very good blogger at the moment. I am not a very good sewist at the moment either - which is why I haven't been blogging Lol!

I am seriously lacking in motivation, enthusiasm, inspiration and anything else I require to make myself sew. The thing is, I really want to be making some new clothes - I think about it a lot! Plan what I will make, read my BWOF and Threads mags, browse my patterns, peruse my stash - but nothing seems to make me go into my sewing room and actually sew! Even though I want to - does that make ANY sense???

Anyway, just wanted to drop by and let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth - just in case you were wondering :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Still here, still sewing......

.......slowly!!! I have to confess that I haven't been sticking to my 30 minutes a day - are you surprised??? :-)

I have been doing more than I was though, both knitting and sewing. Yesterday I got my blouse to the try on stage and I am quite pleased with it - pleased enough to be enthusiastic about finishing it off and wearing it next week. I think I will let the darts out just a little but other than that I am very happy with it. It also needs to be shortened slightly, but I already knew that.

I am thinking about moving my sewing "stuff" to my eldest sons room (well, ex-room!). It is considerably larger than my current room but not as well lit - especially after my DH installed a very bright flourescent light for me! That won't be possible in the new room as the ceiling is too high, so I will have to rely on my daylight lamps. As my hubby is an electrician it would be easy to put in other lights but I want to make sure it is easy to reinstate the room to a bedroom when we eventually sell. I will have to think about that one. Also, we are expecting two lots of visitors in April and will need somewhere for them to sleep - I thought I would have a spare bedroom now that both my boys have moved out but the eldest is on his way back home at the end of Feb!! Probably just for a year while he studies, so maybe I will just stay where I am for now :-) I was told that they would be back! Not that I mind, really!

We are busy in the shop at the moment, working on our newsletter and class list and samples for the next 6 months. I am working on an amazing quilt designed by Judy Niemeyer which will become a Block of the Month. Not difficult at all, just time consuming and very detailed - just the kind of quilt I like - the more piecing the better :-) I also love foundation piecing!

Our colours are similar but we have made a few changes, I will post a pic when it is finished - it could take a while :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Daily minimum required.

Ok, I am going to try a different approach to my sewing/knitting in the hope of locating my lost mojo. Summerset has often used the '30 minutes a day' rule to get extra sewing done when she is busy - and I am shamelessly going to copy her :-) Although for me, it is going to be the basis of my sewing and knitting for now. So, I am going to remind myself that I love to sew and commit to spending a minimum of 30 mins a day (social and class activities allowing) in my sewing room. I figure that I could probably get at least one simple garment finished in a week, especially if I spend a little longer than the 30 minutes. But, if I don't get a garment completed, I am not going to fret about it - remember... I enjoy sewing, it brings me pleasure not stress!

On that basis, yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and just start something - anything!! So I cut out New Look 6407, view D but with sleeves from view E. I am making it up in a white cotton voile with daisy print. The fabric is quite transparent in the areas where there are no daisies, but I think I will get away with it if I wear a skin toned under garment.

Monday: Cut out pattern pieces after making decision about what size to make. Cut out fabric and mark darts etc.

Tuesday: Stitch darts in fronts and back, stay stitch neck edges, cut out and fuse interfacing to pieces that require it.

Here is a close up of the fabric. The blue you can see underneath it is my magnetic pin cushion. the centre of the daisies has a different feel than the rest of the fabric, almost rubbery and I can feel it when I sew over it on the machine.

Next tonight, I plan to sit on the sofa with my hubby and watch a bit of tv - with my knitting of course! 30 minutes of knitting is about all my hands can cope with anyway so that isn't a bad thing. I am going to try to use this rule for my other crafts - I have been stamping and card making for a year now but never seem to make anything at home, only when I go to Stamp Club at Sharlenes or when Debbie suggests a card making get-together! Sometimes when I think of all I want to do it is a bit overwhelming, if I break it down into small chunks it isn't quite so scary :-)

Reminder to self............... sewing and crafting makes me happy, I do it because I enjoy it!