Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Reasons to be cheerful- finishes and flowers.

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who has visited via Vicki's Grow Your Blog party 2015 and decided to follow my quilting and crafting adventures this year. The link to the party is in the margin on the right side as is my post for the party so if you are just catching up and want a chance to win the giveaway please visit my  original post and leave a comment. You do not need to follow to enter the giveaway or you may have been a follower for some time- anyone can enter!

I LOVE the end of January and the beginning of February. The days are now getting slightly longer and the dreary long month of January with it's low light levels is over. I've got several finishes to share as well so hold on to your hats and here we go!

I made the two foundation pieced hearts at a class with Sue Warren at Busy Bees in Newport ages ago. They are made on the quilt as you go principle. I really enjoy FPP. This was a simple block but I think it is quite effective. It has been languishing in a drawer for a bit (I've just checked and it was October 2014 I am ashamed to say!) so I decided to make the blocks into the front of a pillow (20 x 16"). Just right in time for Valentine's Day this month.

I also have two small knitting finishes to share.
  • My very first pair of socks

The pattern is Hermione's Everyday socks by Erica Lueder. I adapted the pattern and used the Fish Lips Kiss heel which I found on Ravelry on Sox Therapy This pattern for the heel gets rid of any holes, flaps, picking up stitches and is well worth checking out. Full details of my socks are on my Ravelry page. 
  • My first knitted hat

The pattern for the beanie is Oak Trail by Alana Dakos from the first Botanical Knits book. I used a SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted yarn and the colourway is Oxblood. The yarn is subtly shaded and a very pretty color to cheer me up. I also treated myself to a few new circular needles and after lots of advice on Ravelry I plumped for Chiaogoo Red Lace fixed circulars. The tips are stainless steel with the size etched on, so no more guessing as numbers rub off. The red cables are flexible and they are a joy to use. I got mine from Loop who turned the order round very quickly. Sorry, just checked and I got mine from Meadow Yarn.

Lastly, even the garden is waking up with snowdrops poking cheerful heads through the ground. The best thing out there though is a Daphne Buhloa "Jacqueline Postill". Mike and I saw this bush a few years ago on a garden visit and had to have one. The scent is very sweet and it is covered in pretty pale pink florets.

Only problem is that the flowers do not last more than a day inside but the smell in the room was divine.

I'll be linking up to last Sunday's Wool on Sunday at the Rainbowhare blog and Nicole's Keep Calm Craft on at Frontier Dreams
I'll also be linking to Yarn-along with Ginny at Small things. Unfortunately, I've been reading on my Kindle this week so no book jacket to show. The novel is The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. I'm half way through and really enjoying the descriptions of a mother and daughter struggling to maintain their genteel household in the post war years and the effects of taking a young married couple into the household. It is a great study of manners, class distinctions and the blurring of boundaries in the 20thC.
Also linking to Freshly Finished Friday for knitty finishes and TGIFF (link in the sidebar)

Did you notice my new orange social media buttons in the margin? I was reading one of the new blogs I followed from GYB 2015 this morning. Fabric and Memories with Cheri, the quilting nanny. She had added one or two new widgets to her blog by following tutorials on Code It Pretty. It was all explained so easily on the site so I had a go..... et voila!

So until February 15th when I'll publish the winner of the giveaway, have a wonderful week,



  1. Ooh, socks - I'm impressed! I used to knit a lot but find it's really hard on my shoulder these days. switching to circular needles has helped, but I can't knit for very long without paying for it whereas I can crochet for hours and hours and it doesn't seem to have the same effect.

  2. Love the Valentine pillow, and am very impressed by the knitting!

  3. Nice cushion Catherine, and great finishes with the knitting. I have never attempted to knit socks so I am always impressed by those who do!

  4. Beautiful quilting, and I love the socks and hat! I'd never come across that hat pattern before but I'm already making plans to knit it!

  5. Nice socks! And hat. You're so productive.

  6. Your pillow looks great and I love your socks and hat - beautiful! I will certainly look at that heel technique. I love the sound of etched needles as well. I finally invested in a needle gauge the other day for circulars and dpns but etching sounds so much better :) Thank you for linking up with Wool on Sundays :)

  7. The hearts pillow is quite sweet. I wish I were better at sewing, but I never really take the time to practice, because I have to haul out my machine and supplies and don't have a fixed space for it, while my knitting is accessible and portable.

    And I am impressed with your forays into knitting. Good job! I'm jealous of your daphne. We moved to the more arid part of our state and it doesn't really grow well here. Not to mention we're still waiting for winter to end.

  8. You've been busy! The pillow is so pretty and your knitting projects are, too. I've been busy these cold days but haven't been as productive as you!! No flowers blooming around here. Just snow. Enjoy your weekend!

  9. Is that really your first ever pair of knitted socks?? They're amazing! I can knit, but badly, and wanting to knit my own pair of socks is the only thing that keeps me interested. Love the hat too. x

  10. Great knitting finishes! I need to get my Mum to knit some socks for me for next time we visit the UK - I had constantly cold feet last time I was there!

  11. Pretty pillow neat pair of socks and lovely hat too.

  12. Lovely first pair of socks!! Beware giving your loved ones hand knitted socks -- the demand for more that follows can be overwhelming!?!

  13. Love those colours! I could really use those socks (in my favourite colour too) up here -- it's -18 C today and going down to -30 C tomorrow. LOL! Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!


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