FO: Herbert’s Tank Top

At the weekend, I finished the tank top for my friend’s baby which due next month. They’ve nicknamed “the bump” Herbert for now, hence my calling it Herbert’s Tank Top.

I really enjoyed knitting this. There was some interest with the irish moss stitch top half and it came together really quickly. Had a it of a dense moment with doing the ribbing around the neck. Had to redo it 3 times because I was just making silly mistakes, but sometimes it just goes like that, doesn’t it?

herberts-tank-top

The pattern is Rico Knitting Idea 150 and the yarn I used was Rico Baby Classic DK in case you’re interested.

Cooking Success

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago, that I got some cook books for Christmas and I was going to try and cook a new recipe every week. Well, it hasn’t been every week, but I have tried three from Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect so far.

First I tried the Lemon Chicken Risotto which was alright and I’d do it again sometime.

Processed with Moldiv

The Lemon and Limoncello Posset was next and this was amazing!! So smooth and very lemony. It was so easy too. I’d happily serve this at a dinner part and think it would really impress, especially if accompanied by homemade shortbread biscuits. It was meant to have limoncello in it which we didn’t have so I just put some extra lemon juice instead.

Processed with Moldiv

And then tonight I made the Greek Lamb Pilaf with some leftover roast lamb. Didn’t have the Orzo pasta so just did some rice with it instead. Wasn’t sure about this one at first, but I would make it again… maybe without the feta cheese crumbled on top though.

Processed with Moldiv

It’s an excellent book. So many recipes that I want to try in it. Highly recommended!

Finally blocking the poncho

Having quite a productive day today. We went out for breakfast to a local cafe, I did some housework, some washing, guitar practice for church tomorrow and I finally started blocking the poncho!

Processed with Moldiv

Going over to Mum’s in a while and hope to get a bit of sewing done before dinner and then I suspect some knitting in front of the fire and a film tonight!

Phew! Busy day or what?!

Baby Knitting

One of my best friends is due to give birth to her first child in March, so last night at Knit ‘n’ Stitch (the new name for Knit ‘n Natter because we don’t just do knitting these days but sewing too) I decided to knit the baby a little tank top. We know that she’s going to have a little boy, which is very helpful.

I decided on a Rico Design knitting pattern – number 150, which has instructions for both a v-neck jumper and tank top. The bottom half is stocking stitch, but the top half is irish moss stitch which provides a bit more interest for both me as the knitter and for the wearer too!

Sadly it’s a discontinued pattern and we don’t have many copies left in the shop. They’ve discontinued lots of lovely baby patterns unfortunately. Don’t know why because they were selling well for us!

Although written using Rico’s Baby So Soft yarn, I picked Rico’s Baby Classic DK yarn instead as I had it mind that I wanted a beige colour, and they don’t do that in the Baby So Soft range.

I was pleased with the progress I made last night. Normally I don’t get much done at Knit ‘n’ Stitch as I’m busy serving customer and helping people. I have the feeling that this is going to be a quick knit which will give me a bit of a boost to my knitting mojo. My last project, the poncho,  was easy but took ages!!

Still haven’t blocked my poncho which I finished before Christmas. I will try to do it tonight because I want to start wearing it!

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Somerset Mini Quilt

At Christmas I was given one of these gorgeous packs containing a Moda Mini Charm pack from the Somerset collection by Fig Tree, together with coordinating Aurifil threads and a pattern for a mini quilt.

Photo from United Notions

Photo from United Notions

So this weekend I thought I’d start making it and I managed to get the entire top made in just a few hours.

mini quilt

I loved making it and am looking forward to the quilting part next.

Mirabelle Quilt Progress

I have started 2015 with renewed enthusiasm to finish my Mirabelle Quilt quickly. All the blocks are now done and I’ve started to sew the sashing between them.

It was fun trying to decide the order in which to lay out the blocks.

IMG_2029One issue I’ve come across is that a 1/4 inch seam isn’t always 1/4 inch. Sometimes it’s 1/4 inch and a bit more.

I’ve sewed the blocks using various sewing machines at home and in the shop and I became aware that some of the blocks were coming out smaller than they should have been, even though I was trying my hardest to be precise.

Turns out that although I was using 1/4 inch feet on all the machines, some of the seams on the block were quite a generous 1/4 inch, thus making the blocks as much as a half inch too small. The more recently completed blocks were much closer to the 10 inches they should have been because once I’d realised I adjusted the needle position on sewing machine so that it was an accurate 1/4 inch.

Whilst sewing the sashing this week, I’ve had to redo some blocks that were just too small. A few I could stretch, but half an inch is too much! Coincidentally Pat Sloan, one of the Moda fabric designers, published a post about testing your 1/4 inch seams on her blog this week.

 

My 8th Blog Anniversary

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a good holiday season. Today is the 8th anniversary of starting this blog!

As I write this I am relaxing at home, enjoying the end of our Christmas holidays. We decided to close the shop until 5th January as we’ve not had any time off since last Christmas and we needed a decent break.

Christmas was lovely. It was busy beforehand with several services at church in the days preceeding and last minute shopping etc but the day itself was peacefully spent with my family, eating a delicious roast turkey and all the trimmings. I made the family Christmas cake this year too.

christmas cake 2014

I was thoroughly spoilt with presents this year and of course there was a crafty type present or two… This year a bead loom and some seed beads from my Mum, plus a book of hat knitting patterns from my husband.

My husband also bought me some gorgeous little heart shaped beads which reminded me of the design we had on our wedding stationary etc. He thought I could make some stitch markers with them.

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He’s so thoughtful when it comes to presents. I’m useless at thinking of special ideas! I didn’t knit or sew any presents this year either.

2015 promises to be an exciting and busy year. I saw on Instagram and Twitter people posting #onelittleword – a single word to focus on for the year ahead. (An idea started by someone called Ali Edwards.) I thought it was a great idea to do this, rather than specific New Year Resolutions so I’ve decided my one little word will be “GROW“. This year I would like to grow in many areas of my life, as a Christian and as a wife, grow the business, grow our home (we’d like to move house), grow as a knitter and quilter and maybe as a cook too. I was given a total of 5 cookery books for Christmas this year and so I’ve decided to try and cook a new recipe every week from one these books. Two of them are Christmas cookery books, but there are some recipes in them that aren’t specifically Christmassy!

cook booksMy husband has also set me a challenge to learn to crochet properly and crochet him a sheep from a book called Edward’s Menagerie.

Edward's Menagerie

They are gorgeous patterns, but I can only crochet a granny square really, and so I’ve got a lot to learn if I’m going to make a toy!

I must finish at least one quilt this year too and write up some of my own knitting and quilt patterns. Not much then eh?!