Sunday, 30 January 2011

Starts and finishes

It's been a week of starts and finishes, plus a visit to the Ardingly quilt show today.  That made a nice day out as it was a gorgeous sunny day.  We were half an hour later getting there as our mini-bus driver mistakenly delivered us to a polo ground 12 kilometres away from the quilt show then revealed that he didn't have a large scale map on board (nor GPS) to find where Ardingly was.  Luckily some passengers knew the show was near Haywards Heath, so after driving in a big unnecessary circle, we arrived at the showground.  Coming home was a lot faster, he must have borrowed a map from another driver and had a look while we were in the show.

This is a fairly small show, with a ground floor of traders, and an upper room of quilts.  The quilts were mostly exhibits:  displays of several quilts by one maker, a round of mystery quilts, the quilts from a new book for beginners called 'Charmed Beginnings' (because the designs use charm squares) and some Hoffman Challenge quilts.  I didn't buy very much because I am trying to cut down and use stash, but I did get 1.5m of Steam-a-Seam-Lite, a gadget to draw quarter-inch seam lines for half-square triangles which will come in very useful for my Kaffe Fassett Stars of England quilt, a border stencil, a half-price book of quilt settings by Margaret Miller whom I heard speak on the topic at Paducah, some buttons, and a skein of Katia Ondas yarn (which is a web which knits up into a ruffled scarf).  I enjoyed looking though, and saw lots of nice fabric and a new Block of the Month club for a pattern called 'Tiny Town' which I really liked (lots of little houses in pastel colours).

The buttons I bought were for my Jaeger Natural Fleece Yoked Cardigan that I knit using the Ann Budd book of handy sweater measurements.  I wasted time at my local sewing shop (a chaotic unattractive place that is likely violating fire regulations and has terrible service) yesterday looking for buttons.  Every tube I picked up had about three buttons in it, and I needed nine.  DH drove me over to The Pincushion  in Windsor, where I got the blue polka dot buttons even though I'm not sure they are big enough.  Today I found the wooden buttons at the show, from The Button Lady.  I will have to lay both buttons out on the jumper and see which I prefer.  The cardigan itself is lovely and warm, soft and surprisingly not too heavy.  It is supposed to be finished with single crochet around the edges, but I'm not sure how crochet is going to work with this slightly slubby yarn.

I finished my Pavo Slipper Socks from Interweave Knits.  I used a skein of Cascade 220 and had 21g left over.

I sewed the first of the crockery blocks from my Dutch book of foundation patterns.  This is a six-inch block and I bought the red fabrics in The Hague several years ago at one of the International Quilt shows there. My wallhanging is going to feature a tea setting with teapot, cup, milk jug etc.

I started my Liesl Cardigan using variegated Knitcol DK yarn.  I am following the pattern as written but using the 50" size to allow for the DK yarn, as recommended on Ravelry, and I chose the wide neck option.

I added machine-knit bands to my Machine knit sock wool sleeveless pullover so it just needs to be seamed up now and it will be finished.  It only took me about an hour to knit on both bands using my ribber and main bed, so I can definitely see that practicing does improve performance.  I will have to try to keep up the machine knitting so that I can continue to improve and not backslide.

I ordered some Mission Falls 1824 cotton yarn from Cafe Knits, after reading that it has been discontinued (so it was on sale).  I've read several reviews praising this yarn, and had always meant to try it, so was a bit disappointed that it has been discontinued.  However, now that I am knitting with it, I don't really like it.  The colour of the variegated yarn ('Coast' on right of picture) is lovely, but the quality is very poor.  The yarn is like a single tiny roving, held together by a cotton thread wrapped around it.  Only the cotton thread is frequently broken (I'm on my third ball now and they are all the same) and hangs out as a loose thread, and even the roving can be threadbare or, in one bald spot, completely broken so that only the thread is holding the yarn together.  The yarn knits up well but I fear for its integrity.

I am knitting my first Baby Surprise Jacket, which I suppose every knitter has to make sometime.   I am finding it an easy knit.  I started it because I was going to a local history talk with DH on Tuesday and I worried they would put out the lights (they didn't) so I wanted something in garter stitch.  I had a good knit on the BSJ that night, and again today on the bus to/from Ardingly today.

I feel very inspired by all the lovely fabric and quilts I saw today - wish tomorrow was a sewing day and not a  Monday at work.  Sometimes work feels like such a waste of time, when there are so many lovely things we could be doing at home...


loulee said...

Sheesh! I'm tired just reading that lot. How do you keep up with all those projects? LOL

Miss Martha said...

Good Heavens! I share many of the same hobbies -- quilting, knitting (hand and machine), and dollhouses. How on earth do you get around to it all, and work, too! I'm retired, 76 years old, just can't seem to get it all in. Are you sure you aren't twins -- triplets, even?

You're an inspiration!

Martha in NW Florida

Daisy said...

How bizarre, I'd always thought that Missions Falls yarn was really good - from people's reports of it! Maybe this is why it's been discontinued?!

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