Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy new year

2010 - we were discussing last night how you pronounce it: "two thousand and 10?", "twenty-ten"? are we in the 'tweenies' now? (which will be better than the 'noughties', an expression I never liked). We had a quiet night in last night, then watched all the fireworks on TV taking place up in London, while meanwhile we could hear fireworks going off all over our neighbourhood. I hope you had an enjoyable new year's eve.

I am now officially unemployed. It feels weird, but I expect it won't really sink in until DH goes back to work and DS goes back to school. At the moment, it just feels like an extended christmas holiday. I went into work for the last time on Wednesday, to delete the last of my files and hand in my ID cards and phone. Just as I was leaving, my boss presented me with a gift bag which turned out to contain a very gaudy necklace when I opened it at home. Not my thing at all, and not anything that anyone at work would expect me to wear if they knew me at all. I looked it up on the internet out of curiousity and was appalled to find it cost over £100!!! Why couldn't they have given me a gift voucher which I could have used on something sensible - like yarn? or fabric? Honestly. But it was meant kindly. Just such a waste. I might see if I can sell it on Ebay then use that money to get myself something more meaningful. After leaving work, I popped up to John Lewis on Oxford Street where I was delighted to find loads of yarn in the half-price sale. I got a sweater's worth of Rowan Kidsilk Classic, Rowan Felted Tweed and Rowan Scottish Tweed. The Kidsilk Classic may be to knit Kelmscott, a cardigan from Twist Collective.

I spent a lot of yesterday sewing clothes for my poor nekkid old fashioned doll which I made over two years ago. She has been shivering away, gathering dust, ever since. I was shamed into it by a feature in Quiltmania magazine about a shop in Indianapolis, which featured several of these dolls in sweet little vignettes - and all with clothes on. I made up my own pattern based on the dresses in the picture, and used quilt fabric. I still need to make a little dress for her dolly.

Here is the start of my fingerless gloves, using Garnstudio Drops Design Fabel sock yarn. I got as far as closing in the thumb, while I was knitting on Boxing Day down at the in-laws, but discovered the pattern was about 10 stitches too wide. So I ripped back down to the cuff and started over again. I do like knitting on dpns and having a little project going, to take around in my handbag for train journeys and when I have to wait.

I've quilted another top on my frame, this time it was the Bento Box quilt I made in the summer. I just did squiggles all over it using white thread, partly because it is such a busy pattern, and partly because that is the easiest pattern to do on my home quilting frame which only lets me do patterns of around 4-5".

I am knitting a pair of Argyle Slippers, which are another pattern from the Simply Knitting magazine free calendar supplement. They are in Artesano Aran, a 50% alpaca/50% wool mix, which is surprisingly tough (it is really hard to snap the yarn when you can't find your scissors). I've knit two soles, two sides, and am just finishing two argyle tops. Annoyingly, I have now run short of the blue yarn, even though I bought the one skein specified in the pattern, and am only knitting the smallest size. I'm not buying another skein, so will use the pink to knit the cuff of the slippers.

This is what the enormous christmas stocking looked like when it was finished. I purposely felted it a little when I washed it, which helped to give it some more body, and smooth out the stitches. It served me well on christmas morning, producing many treats.

And finally, I tackled a little christmas project over the holidays. A few years ago I bought this gingerbread house in the half-price sales. When I got it home, I decided to see if I could take the back off. I could, so I went back and bought the remaining 'gingerbread' ornaments also at half-price, to use for furnishings.

I chose three of the gingerbread people to be the family living in the house, then I cannabalised the remaining ornaments to make the interior of the house. First I cut up the back piece, to make a new mezzanine floor for the bedroom.

Then I made a little gingerbread bed, using a heart-shaped piece for the headboard, and the former windowsill for the footer, and some quilty fabric for the spread. The 'gingerbread' is some kind of plasticy Fimo-like material which I can cut with scissors.

I cut up a bit more of the back, and a few gingerbread men, to make a table.

Raiding my dollshouse stash, I found more christmas ornaments and decorations to furnish the house, and made a wall shelf out of a bit more gingerbread.

And here is the happy family, I even found a tiny little gingerbread man button, so the little girl can have a dolly.


Denise said...

Your dolly looks so cute. Will you be making her some accessories? Love the gingerbread house!

Quilter Kathy said...

Your gingerbread house is amazing! I don't know how you think of these things :)
Enjoy your time will be back to work soon enough!

Mad about Craft said...

Enjoy your extended holiday. I hope you manage to be really productive and do some projects you've wanted to do for a long time.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Hope you are settling into your new routine...I suspect it will take a week or two before it starts to feel normal. As for the necklace...sell it on Ebay! No point holding on to it if you don't love it.

Thought your gingerbread house is really took creativity to the next level!

Sal said...

what a beautiful house xxxx

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