Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy new year (for the tenth time)

DH has pointed out that in March 2017 I will reach my 10-year anniversary on this blog. The end of the year seems an appropriate time for looking back. I think I have kept this blog up week after week more for myself than for anyone out there who might take the time to read my ramblings.  It's a once a week health check on my creativity and output, as well as a record of what I've achieved (or not). It establishes a timeline, so  later on when I wonder when I actually started or finished a project, I can look it up. It's motivational because when things aren't going well or it feels like I never get anything done, then I can look back over my posts and realise I do actually finish things - sometimes a very long time after I started them, but eventually nonetheless. It's also motivational because I will make a push to finish something in order that I can photograph it for the blog. It's a record of things I've given away as gifts or sales. It's even a record of some of the ups and downs of our lives: changing jobs, moving house, empty nests, holiday craft shopping.  Thank you for joining me on this journey - some of you have been here since the beginning (Hi Swooze!) and I appreciate the company.

Last night I sewed the final piece into my Night before Christmas knitted advent project, designed by Frankie Brown and free on Ravelry (donations encouraged to Children's Liver Disease Foundation).  I really enjoyed this project, which was a crossover between my knitting and dollshouse hobbies, and also a great christmas project to work on through December. The designer has even included a basket of knitting next to the chair.






I've now cast on for the Fairwinds Hat by Tanis Williams, a pattern I picked to go with four balls of Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester that I got for £2 a ball at the Mega Sale at Threads and Patches in Fenny Stratford in Bletchley on Wednesday.  This was my first visit to the shop and I was impressed with their broad range of stock.  There were more fabric bolts in one of the two sale rooms than I think my LQS has altogether.  It's not that close to us but I think would be worth the trip if I was looking for a particular fabric.  I only bought two fabrics in the sale, a honey gold print to go with the Morris fabrics I bought a while back at Duxford, and another Morris fabric that was only £5m and very pretty so an impulse buy.  I also bought some more Bosal (not in the sale) to replace what I used on the Honeycomb Basket, and the gingerbread men buttons on the cover of my knitted book above, and some more acrylic yarn at £1 a ball for my toyknitting stash.

As well as driving me to the quilt shop, DH took me into IKEA (very noble as he hates it there) to pick up a few things. I  bought two hanging fabric shoe organisers which I am using to store my knitted shawls which had outgrown the box under the bed. I feel very organised now and hopefully I will wear them more often. And I got some cheap plastic tupperware-type boxes to store my various dollshouse terrain in (turf sprinkle, foliage clumps, 'dirt' etc.) which was getting in a bit of a mess in their various bags.

It was time for the monthly sew-in I go to, and I decided to tackle some of the Japanese fabric I bought on holiday.  In an unusual-these-days burst of creativity, before I went I designed a simple strip quilt for the six fat quarters I bought AND a setting for the geisha panel.  This is the strip quilt which I put together with a border from some yardage I also bought in Tokyo. The colour balance has gone weird in the photo, it's a bit more accurate in the close-up but still not great. The fabrics are in pretty pastels. This is sized to be a wallhanging for an alcove in our study where I like to hang small quilts. The strips are 4x16". As the fabrics are so busy, I thought the setting needed to be kept simple.



For the geisha panel, I had the idea of setting it to look like one of the decorative scrolls that we saw hanging in many alcoves in Japanese historic houses and in restaurants.  For example, this is an antique scroll I saw in a museum.



And here is my fabric version, using the panel and two coordinates I bought in Tokyo, and some pale batik background. In order to stick to the scroll theme, I have turned it through pillowcase style without any wadding, and I will be adding some stabilising stitching to it. This will also be a wallhanging.


My big mouth

Once again I have opened my mouth when I should have kept quiet.  I've been made uncomfortable in the past at this monthly sewing group I go to because almost every meeting someone whose project has been admired offers to photocopy her purchased pattern (often purchased at the actual shop we are meeting in) and hand around the copies so the others can make the same project.  But today one woman was actively lobbying for the group of some 10 women to decide what patterns they want to buy from the shop, chip in funds to buy one copy, then photocopy it for everyone.  I just couldn't believe they were sitting in the very shop actively planning to defraud both the shop owners and the designers, so my mouth opened of its own accord and out came "But you do know that's illegal?".  I earned a disdainful stare from the woman (who has very decided opinions) and then a short lecture from her which finished with "and anyway, everyone does it." To which I couldn't resist responding (my mouth again) with "Well, I don't, because it is ILLEGAL. and also it's happened to me in the past when someone photocopied something I designed and gave it away and it really hurt me" or words to that effect. I got another short lecture about how everything is on the internet these days free for people to take anyway. I was conscious that the room had fallen silent while our discussion escalated so I ended it by saying that just because it's out there doesn't mean you have to take it, then I stood down. When she went off later for drinks, I apologised to the rest of the group for starting it in the first place. But I did feel like I was on the naughty chair for the rest of the afternoon.  I felt like asking if they would wander into the shop and just pocket some thread or a charm pack without paying, but I luckily kept my mouth shut on that one.  I am really wondering if I want to keep going. I do find it motivational to have to plan projects for the day, and to have the dedicated sewing time, and I like to see what other people are making even though for the most part I have very different tastes (probably outdated, lol). But they are fairly cliquey because they see each other at other clubs and some of them are personal friends or neighbours. And now I feel like I am in disgrace.  Also I know I am a hypocrite because I have copied patterns from books that I've borrowed from libraries, and in years past I did copy some patterns from American quilting mags to run group projects where we all made our own version of the pattern - because I was the only one who subscribed and at the time you couldn't buy them on the newsstand in the UK the way you can buy some American mags now. And I've watched YouTube videos of American TV shows I couldn't get over here etc which were very likely pirated.  Hypocrite, but I suppose we have to draw a line somewhere and I want the quilt shop to stay open and not go out of business due to outright theft by ungrateful, thoughtless customers.  Hmmm, perhaps I do need a time out...


Monday, 26 December 2016

Happy Christmas!

It's Boxing Day and the great eating up of leftovers has begun. I hope everyone had an enjoyable day yesterday.  I even got some sewing done and finished up the Honeycomb Basket project I was working on.  I've posted an extra post this week with my thoughts on the pattern, which hopefully might help others making the project.


There is a lot of hand-sewing in the original instructions, as you are sewing down the binding on the tops and the bases of seven pockets.  So that's what I was doing for most of the Christmas television watching.

Once the hand-sewing was done, it was back to the Night before Christmas knit-along project, which has now published all 24 patterns on Ravelry.  I made it up to pattern 21, and was stitching down curtains and knitting 'presents' while watching The Queen yesterday afternoon.


I don't know if you can see that I have the back cover and the spine of the book sewn on.  I still have to knit the front cover pieces before I can finish assembling the scene, then there are a few more decorations to knit such as stockings for the fireplace. There has been a huge amount of knitting to get this far, the equivalent of knitting a couple of baby-sized garments I think.

Did you get anything crafty for Christmas?  I was very happy with what was under the tree this year:

- an A3 paper cutter which will be brilliant for cutting straight precise lines on dollshouse wallpaper and printies.
- a handmade keyhole cover cloth for bobbin lacemaking, from one of my lace friends.
- a handmade little zip pouch and some quilt fabric from my m-i-l
- a handknitted lace dollshouse bedspread from an older quilting/dollshouse friend
- and most delightful: a gorgeous  little miniature Japanese cast-iron traditional tea kettle from Anita which will be brilliant for my Japanese dollshouse one day when it gets built. We saw a lot of life-sized tea kettles just like it on our holiday. Plus a cute 'Sew' sign and a craft calendar which I am sure will fit into my quilt shop very nicely.

I haven't taken pictures yet, sorry.

I'm struggling today because I feel like I should be taking advantage of my holiday to get loads done on my crafts, but I've eaten and drunk so much over the last few days that what I really feel like doing is having a nap, lol.  I'm a bit stalled on my shed project interior, I always have problems furnishing the insides of scenes, I much prefer doing the exterior.  I don't want to have to buy a bunch of new stuff but on the other hand I don't want the inside of the shed to look crude compared to the outside. And I need to get this club project finished so that I can get back to the long list of renovating and completing of houses that I need to do before the club comes to visit in July.  My concept is that it is a writer's retreat, so that I can finally use a Jane Harrop desk and chair set that I made a long time ago. This is a test layout that I tried out on my friend Anita, who rightly pointed out that the tea set is out of scale and that things aren't 'gelling' yet.  It's not a very big space which doesn't help.


Now that the Honeycomb Basket is done, I need to choose my next sewing project. I've got a much-scribbled out list from a few years ago of what was in the quilting pipeline, so I've brought that upstairs to type out cleanly and update.  But I know there is a bunch of stuff that hasn't even made it onto the list yet, like the kits and fabric I bought in Japan, or the fabric for two more pairs of pyjama trousers.  Perhaps I will type out a clean list, take it downstairs and annotate it, then bring it back upstairs to amend it again.  And that's how you spell p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n, children!


A few thoughts on sewing the Honeycomb Basket by Beth Studley

As I'm now on Christmas hols I've had more time for crafts, and over the last few days I've put together the Honeycomb Basket by Beth Studley.  I cut this out from two batik fabrics in my stash and using Bosal for the stiffener.



It's a great design concept and I'm quite pleased with the outcome, which thanks to the Bosal and close quilting, is quite sturdy.

I had a little Google and I couldn't find any notes from other people making this project, apart from one test maker for the designer. So I thought it might be useful to jot down a few thoughts in case they help future basket makers. I'm assuming you have the original pattern and instructions.

Preliminary cutting out: If I were making it again, I would ignore the instructions to cut out 21 separate pieces for the seven pockets. This was time consuming and inevitably (for me anyway) resulted in pieces that weren't identical so didn't exactly stack into identical sandwiches for quilting.  Quilting was also fiddly as you had to go close-to-but-not-over the edges of your sandwiches and also avoid the pins needed to hold the sandwiches together.  I would instead trace three pairs of pockets onto Fabric 1 aligned along the straight side (so each pair would look a bit like a butterfly) and cut around each pair at least one-inch away from the traced line, resulting in three rough rectangles of Fabric 1.  I would then sandwich those three rectangles with equal rectangles of Bosal and Fabric 2.   Similarly I would trace and rough-cut  the seventh central compartment and sandwich it up.

Quilting: I found it much easier and faster to free-motion quilt the wavy lines, but by tracing pairs as above, you could quilt a pair of pockets at the same time, quilting right across the two pocket compartments and turning around in the spare fabric beyond the traced line for the top and bottom.  But do NOT quilt outside the two traced sides of the pockets as we need to keep the spare fabric at the sides unstitched for the next step.

Final cutting out:  You need three pockets with an inch-wide flap in Fabric 1, and three pockets with an inch-wide flap in Fabric 2.  Cut out your pockets on your traced lines but on three of them, cut Fabric 1 an inch wider while cutting the Bosal and Fabric 2 on your traced line. Reverse this for the other three.  For the central compartment, leave a one-inch flap on whichever fabric will be the outside of the compartment (which isn't seen on the finished basket).

Darts - these need to be marked on the lining fabric of each pocket so using the above method, you would need to mark and sew the darts after the quilting step, not before.  Pre-quilting might shrink up the pieces a little but I don't think it would be too much because of the Bosal foam adding stability, so I don't think (without testing I can't be sure) that it would affect marking the darts much.

Top binding: I would still sew the binding on the top edges by hand as directed, but I would cut the shaped binding strips a little wider by adding a fat eighth inch on either side as I cut out. I also wouldn't bother with the mitred seam as this only works if the binding is exactly the right circumference to match the pocket (you sewed the pocket darts exactly the right width).  I would pin the binding round roughly to see where a normal straight seam needed to be made to join the binding, and I would position this seam offset from the covered back pocket seam to reduce bulk. The binding seam is mostly hidden in the finished result so this worked fine.

Shaping the central compartment: I was measuring and remeasuring and couldn't get my central pocket to divide into even three-inch segments, then I realised that the divisions need to be made to line up with the 'valleys' of the scalloped edge.  So just do that and don't worry about the three inch measurements for each segment. I think mine were 2 3/4" and they fit the pockets just fine.

Bases: The pattern instructions likewise call for a one-inch flap to be left for folding over the raw seam edges inside the pockets at the base.  I found this extremely fiddly: the loose flap got in the way while seaming the bases to the pockets,  and wasn't wide enough to easily fold over the raw edges afterwards. Following the instructions results in the folded edge of the flap ending up on 'top' so it is on view when you look into the pocket.  I tried sewing the flap down by machine but as you have to pleat the flap to get it to lie flat, it looked really messy.  So I sewed all seven base flaps down by hand. This took a long time, was fairly difficult as the flap wasn't wide enough and the Bosal not easy to stitch into, and I ended up with cramp in my hand for a couple of days.   And you are still looking at the messy pleated result when you look into the pocket.  I was trying to think of a better way to do this.  I think if I were to do it again, I would just trace the Pocket Base Template six times onto Fabric 1 in a tight grouping, trace the central compartment base template as well, then sandwich this and quilt them all at once. Then I would cut them out on the traced lines: no flaps.  Then I would seam the bases into the pockets.  To cover the raw edges I would cut 1 1/4" bias binding from the appropriate lining fabric (Fabric 1 or Fabric 2 to match the lining of the pocket), and stitch this down onto the pocket side of the base seam. Then when you fold the bias binding around the raw edges (like binding a quilt), your folded edge is going to be on the 'bottom' side of the raw edge, which will be hidden from view when you look into the pocket.  So I think you could then machine it down without worrying about the messy look because it will all be hidden (or you could still hand sew it down but it will be easier because the bias binding will fold better and will be wider).

Final joining: the instructions suggest that it is tricky to join the basket together by machine.  I actually found this quite straightforward and gave a neat result.  I was able to easily join all the pockets to the central compartment, sewing just in the ditch of the binding for an unobtrusive seam, and I sewed the 1 1/2" joining seam between pockets the same way.  Make sure you put a stronger needle into your machine to go through all the layers, I used a 90 sharp needle. Seaming the pockets was slightly trickier as you must flatten down the central compartment to get your needle into the starting position to sew outwards along the pocket for 1.5", but it certainly wasn't hard.

So there you are. I hope these thoughts might make the job easier for another person, and if I make another basket, this is how I would do it.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Three more days

I have three more days of work and then I am off from Thursday right through to the following Thursday - hurrah!  DH is even better, he's off right through until the new year. DS is home now, we collected him on Saturday. He hasn't been home since late September so it feels quite different to have a third person in the house again. I think if this had been his childhood home then it wouldn't be an issue, but because we've only been here a couple of years we've established routines in his absence at university.  He likewise has his own routines, like sleeping in until mid afternoon, sigh...

I've been doing a lot of knitting this week, trying to catch up on the Night Before Christmas KAL.  I'm still behind but I've done enough now that it's starting to look like something.


I still have to knit the book covers and the christmas tree, and obviously the fourth wall needs installing still. I'm really enjoying this project, it's sort of a crossover between my knitting and dollshousing hobbies.

I also finished the Christmas panel that I was quilting on in my last blog post, and it is adorning one of the sofas in the living room.  While I was looking for something in my stash, I came across some plaid fabric which rang a faint bell, and reminded me that I had made something Christmassy last year. I looked in my corner of many tops awaiting quilting, and sure enough there was the snowman quilt from last year which I had completely forgotten about.  Still only a top, but I hung it up to add a festive note. The quilt on the bed is a festive quilt as well all made from Christmas fabrics, that I made years ago from a Marti Michel pattern. One of these days I am going to have to bite the bullet and get out my quilt frame and see if it will fit into any of the rooms in the house, so that I can tackle the small hill of tops waiting to be turned into quilts.  This quilt won't go on the frame though, the snowmen are appliqued from thick wool felt which wouldn't roll smoothly. It will have to be quilted at the normal machine.


After finishing the panel, I started work on the Honeycomb Basket that I cut out the pieces for at the last sit and sew session.  The first step is to assemble and quilt the six pockets, which is going to take a while.  I am using Bosal foam as the stiffener.


I'm calling my Shed Project base finished now.  I painted some cheap gardening tools to look used and old, and have glued them into the garden scene and also finished the trellis seat.  Now I am trawling through my stash looking for items to furnish the inside with.


After we got back from Japan I felt really inspired by all the beautiful gardens we had seen, and I ordered a couple of secondhand books on Japanese gardens from Amazon.  As a first step, we installed a few rocks from the garden centre in the gravel border in our alley to make it look more interesting. I also found a cast stone Japanese lantern on eBay which doesn't look too terrible (we saw some appalling ones at the garden centre cast in resin and painted in technicolour). It would be nice to get a real stone one but they cost hundreds of pounds. It's a start anyway.


I've been working on the Japan scrapbook most nights as well, trying to get it finished so I can show the in-laws at Christmas.  I'm almost done now.  I'm a bit worried that to someone who wasn't on the trip, it is just going to look like a messy compilation of garden and temple pictures. But to us it is a nice memory capture of the whole trip.  It was sure a lot of work, I wouldn't do it for just any holiday.  I've more or less given up on whittling down the mountain of 1200 digital images, but I'm planning to pick 12 favourites and get a 2017 calendar made from them for me to use at my desk.

Hope your Christmas prep is under control and you are looking forward to a great festive weekend.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

On track for Christmas

When I was younger I felt aghast at older people sighing about Christmas for various reasons: the commercialism, the expense, the treadmill of chores and cooking demanded by tradition, they didn't want any gifts because they didn't need any more stuff, etc. etc.

Another sign of my middle-agedness (as if I needed more signs, lol) is that Christmas has come to feel a bit like a long list of chores which must be completed by an immovable deadline; but this year (touch wood) I feel like I am on track.  This week we christmasfied the house, including a lovely tall tree; we bought a turkey and some trimmings for the freezer yesterday (learned my lesson in previous years about leaving that one too late!) as well as a bunch of other treats; I wrote my cards yesterday; and I've ordered or shopped for gifts for almost everyone. I'm knitting away on the Night Before Christmas KAL and I'm even quilting the Christmas panel I bought.  It's been a busy week but I feel good, and looking forward to the holiday.



DH thought the cat might want to get in the mood as well

I've turned the panel through using the pillowcase method and now 
it's pinned up ready for some quilting.

The Night Before Christmas knit along, I'm
knitting hard trying to catch up with the main group


Earlier in the week I grafted my Gilmore Girls Cowl so it is now finished.  I like how it's turned out but I do find the Rowan Hemp Tweed (the main yarn) a bit scratchy on my neck.  I may need to reblock it and add some fabric conditioner to see if that helps.




On my day off I was 'planting' greenery around the Shed Project and adding various details like moss on the stepping stones and planting up the urn. I made the trees and bushes myself using the electric drill and wire method which is featured on YouTube if you search on 'bottlebrush trees' only I used brush bristles instead of frayed rope. I think the outside is just about done, I just need to add the garden seat to the trellis and some gardening tools.  Then I will need to furnish the inside of the shed, always the least important bit for me, I prefer the structures.




When I tried on the pyjama trousers I cut out last weekend, after basting them together, they were enormous. I reduced the width by a couple of inches by pleating the middle of the pattern and re-cut them smaller. The legs are good now but the abdomen is a bit snug.  They are wearable, and I have been wearing them this week, but for next time I have slashed the pattern to open up some more width in that area.  I should be able to cut future pairs out of quilt fabric but it will need almost 2.5m which is more than I keep in my stash apart from backing.  I'm going to go to the Fabric Guild in Leicester before they move locations and investigate their Moving Sale to see if anything says 'pyjamas' (or 'I need to come home with you').

We went to our two club christmas evenings this past week, and this coming week are the work 'do's.  My team are doing a pizza lunch at work one day and then going out for lunch at a restaurant on Friday.  We get Friday afternoon off which is nice.  Then I'm back at work the following week just for a few days and then home for a week over Christmas - yay!  And this year we can enjoy Christmas just the three of us as we are visiting the in-laws in advance of the holiday, so no long drives on Christmas or Boxing Day nor any guests to entertain.  I know those are both parts of many people's Christmas traditions but we like nothing better than a quiet cosy Christmas at home enjoying our hobbies and just relaxing.

Hope you are on track for your Christmas, whatever kind it is, and looking forward to fitting in some craft time over the holiday as well.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

I have bad builders karma

I have to face facts, my karma when it comes to employing tradesmen of any kind - builders, electricians, plumbers, kitchen fitters, whatever - seems to be very poor.  I try to do everything right: I seek recommendations, I investigate references, I research online, I do a lot of advance preparation and planning, I get more than one quote....  and still they let me down, don't turn up, don't do what they contracted to do, don't supervise their subcontractors, work erratic hours, go wildly off piste from their instructions, or just do bizarre things like leaving unsightly eight inch gaps between the top of the refrigerator and the overhead cabinet, or leaving me a gap for my dishwasher but not actually providing any electric point to plug it in or any gap for feeding its drainhose through to the wastepipe.

The latest to let me down is a plumber/builder recommended by neighbours for having done a really good job on their recent bathroom remodel. I've been waiting almost two years for the builder we used on the house renovations to find time to put a shower into our main bathroom so we don't have to all use the (leaky) shower in the ensuite, so I was excited that I might have found a replacement.  I sent the new man an email, he didn't answer. I followed up a week later with a phone call and he made a firm appointment for last night. So I spent part of my day off cleaning the main bathroom and ensuite, working on design sketches, pulling together a brief, emptying the walk-in closet that might get converted into a shower so he would be able to measure, and I made sure I was home in good time for work.  Did he show up? Did he even call to say he wasn't coming?  Of course he didn't.  I called after half an hour and left a message, and he eventually got back to me an hour and a half after he was meant to be with me to basically say that he'd forgotten all about it.  Just the kind of business person you want to commit several thousand pounds of work to.  Not.  But I'm desperate so I've made another appointment for next week and hopefully this time he will remember.  Grrrr.  I feel like I have money for this project that I can't give away.

On my day off I once again put some time into dollshousing.  I had already sanded down the filler I spread on the shed base last week and given it two coats of brown paint. So I was able to start the basic flocking with various ground materials.  I was going for a variegated effect but at the moment it is looking too patchy. But I think once I start adding plants and bushes it will look better.  Here's a picture just before I glued the shed in.


And here's what it looks like with the shed glued in (now with
windowboxes and hanging baskets) but without the gap around the
shed filled in yet.


TV knitting this week has continued to be the Gilmore Girls mystery knitalong cowl and I'm almost finished. This is Clues 1-4, each with a different contrast lace pattern. So I just need to knit a couple more contrast stripes and then graft the end back onto the held stitches and block it.


I haven't managed any sewing this week yet (I'm hoping to do some today) but I did cut out a pair of pyjama trousers using the free pattern I got at the Sew Brum day.  I measured a couple of my existing pairs of pyjamas to decide what size to cut out. I also modified the pattern by lowering the front of the waist by a couple of inches as I didn't think it was going to fit very well if the front and back rise both measured the same. My plan is to baste it together and see if the fit needs adjusting any further.  This is cut out in a blue polkadot cotton which is a slightly heavier weight than quilting cotton, that I bought on the market in Leicester before my holiday.


I've been making a bit of a push on my Idrija bobbin lace doiley because I would like to get it finished so that I can start practicing for the Bucks Point class I am taking in March.  It takes me about 90 minutes to do one 'curl' of the outside border, I'm quite slow. I do find having to constantly stop and do the sewings to connect to previous work a bit tedious. I think I prefer Torchon where you can just make the lace stitches without interruption. So I don't know if I will do much more in this type of lace.



We've started putting up Christmas decorations bit by bit.  Last week we did the lights in the trees outside.  I was up a ladder cursing under my breath as I wrestled with the satan's tangle of wires, lights and branches, wondering why we had ever had such a stupid idea in the first place, when a family walked by. The Dad looked up and said how glad he was we were putting lights up again because they had looked so nice last year, and they all beamed at us. Ahhhh, bless....  We did eventually get everything untangled and into the trees and they do look very nice. We;re hoping to go get a tree today.

I also got out the Advent calendars and put them into action on Thursday.  This one is a quilt panel which I made up several years ago and always enjoy using.  You put an ornament on the tree every day until the tree is fully decorated.

The rest of my free time this week was mostly spent on picking photos to go in a 'scrapbook' of our Japan holiday. I have put 'scrapbook' in quotes because it isn't a proper scrapbook like scrapbookers make. It's a child's A3 colouring pad into which I have stuck various maps, brochures and ticket stubs while scribbling a narration in my appallingly messy handwriting.  I've chosen 316 photos to go into it and have uploaded them to Snapfish and ordered prints. I stuck post-it notes onto each scrapbook page with the photo numbers so that when the prints come back, I can stick the correct photos onto the appropriate pages.  This is the first time I've done anything like this but a friend made a simpler version from her holiday and I thought what a better way of preserving the memories than just keeping a couple of hundred prints in a box I never look into. Yes, it would be nicer if it were tidier, but I think the main thing is that it gets done while I can still remember the holiday, ha ha ha.

Have you seen this free knitalong on Ravelry The Night before Christmas by Frankie Brown? When you open the knitted book, it reveals a complete knitted Christmas scene.  It's cute and I think I might have a go at it. I've ordered some plastic canvas for stiffening the pieces. I think Frankie is releasing a free pattern every day in the run-up to Christmas for all the component parts.


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