29 April, 2017


Fat free cake!

Sugar free cake!  

I spent a little time today winding some skeins of yarn into cakes.  All set & ready to knit up.  

The grey is a gift project that I needed to get started once I could make up my mind on a pattern.

While I was in the winding of cake mood I picked out a couple of skeins of sock yarn to wind ready for sock moments.  

Dilemma though on which one to do first!  My family were no help whatsoever with each picking a different one.  Which would you choose?  

28 April, 2017

Memorable Socks

This is some beautiful wool that I bought for myself last year.  

BJ was in hospital & I got to go for a walk into town when Stuart came up to visit for a few hours.  I nearly didn't get this one.  I left the shop but turned back to get it after all.  It is gorgeous.  50% alpaca.  What's not to love right?  

Definitely will be a little bit of luxury on my feet in autumn winter.  

Can you believe it?  I even tried a new pattern.  Fish Scales & Fairy Tales Socks.   (I think I picked them because I liked the name!)   They are not my regular super duper mindless sock pattern.  I did have to think about this one a bit more & ummm...  actually have another pair of socks going at the same time which were my mindless knitting moments.  I hadn't done that before with two pairs going at the same time but it is useful.  Rainy days & movies where all the lights had to be out were definitely the mindless sock knitting time.  That was Monday!  And Sunday!  And Saturday!  

27 April, 2017

Thursday Thanks

  • Lots of family time lately.
  • A lovely Easter break.  
  • Wellness for a friend who was able to join us at Easter.
  • Friends that are as good as family members.
  • Catching up with cousins.
  • Enjoyable holidays.
  • Birthday parties.
  • Non busy days.
  • Rainy days to enjoy & rest.  
  • Play time with newer friends that help to get to know each other better.
  • Being able to take some time to just think of my little family unit.  
  • ANZAC remembrance ceremonies.

25 April, 2017

Not Always Successes

I am branching out.

Trying new things again.  

I needed a new challenge.

So this time a stretch knit for me.  It's only a t-shirt actually.  But I had to start simple.  I also had some fabric that I got as a remnant from that spotty shop.  Cost of around $2.50 which is good to ruin isn't it!  

Last week I learnt a lot doing that jacket thing for BJ.  

This week I learnt some more.

Don't use this poly-interlock knit fabric is the first & most important.  It ladders.  You would think it was a pair of stockings.  Ladders without even sewing.  The edges just ran.  

No matter what I did I couldn't get a nice edge on it to neaten the raw edges.  The practice pieces went well.  Fortunately I could turn the first 2 sleeves into practice pieces too as there was just enough horrid stuff to make 2 more sleeves.  Sleeves & hem are now not over edged.  Isn't going to matter as I can't save it.  The ladders in the hem were already going around the pressed edge.  (it's ok remember!  It's only $2.50!  )  

I hadn't done a neck bias edge before either.  Looked good.  I think I did a good job of that.  But my head wouldn't fit through.  I did unpick a bit & restitched it with a different stitch to give a little more but that didn't help & the stitches snapped on one attempt over my head.  (2.50!)  

When I finally had all pieces together badly I found I had almost got the sleeves the same length!  Go me!  

So it's a bit tight.  I actually posted my pictures on a sewing inspiration group I am in on facebook.  Well the brains trust there soon had me pointed in the right direction on what the issues were & tips on how to do different things.  Turns out I wasn't imagining how awful the fabric was as it was a common problem with this stuff & one lady even returned all hers to that spotty shop for a refund because the ladders were terrible!  And if I had wanted ladders I would have gone to Bunnings not Spotty! 

Well here is my picture, taken by an 8 year old.  From his perspective it's probably better.  My chins are gone. I think the 8 year old was the most impressed with my attempt.  That's pretty sweet.  

So as a result I will try again, with it's matching pattern.  Just because I have to.  I can't let it win.   I have some more remnants to use, or some super sale pieces to practice on.  Like I say to the boys constantly, you won't get better if you don't practice something & you can't just give up when it is a bit hard.  So I had better make a point of doing what I say occasionally!  

21 April, 2017

Taking Stock - April

Making :  pillows.
Cooking :  food gifts
Drinking :  less water now it's cooler.  That's bad.
Reading:  Book of Lost Threads - Tess Evans
Trawling:  pattern inspiration
Deciding:  what to make for a friends freezer.
Wishing:  I knew more stuff about stuff.
Enjoying: having chickens.
Waiting: for eggs still...
Liking:  challenging myself to try new things.
Wondering: whether I can do this "sewalong" or not...
Loving:  school holidays!
Pondering:  what to do over the holidays.
Listening: to audio books while I craft
Buying:  not much 
Watching: giving Mad Men a try.  (no, not quite into it at the moment!)
Needing:  some extra enthusiasm when I have the time to use it for the right things.
Wearing: my nice cozy hand knit slippers from last winter.
Noticing: how crisp the days are getting.
Disliking:  snap fasteners on stretch fabric.
Hearing:  some rain at last.
Celebrating:  will be celebrating a little next month so invitations have been written & mailed or delivered.  Yes!  Written invitations!  No facebook event for this one!  :-)  I'm going old style.  

20 April, 2017


Yes, it's finished!  Not well, but finished.  I tried a lot of new things which was interesting.  But really in the great scheme of all the sewing I have done, I have probably done it before but just never known it was a "thing with a name"!  lol    

So I learnt - 
  1.  Understitching.
  2. Top stitching.
  3. Twin top stitching but without a twin needle!   ( I now have a twin needle to experiment with!).
  4. Getting to know stretch fabrics.
  5. Re-learning how to read dress making patterns.
  6. Getting with the new pattern phase of PDF patterns!
  7. Snap fasteners are rotten.  
  8. The front panel isn't even, but I can see what I should have done to get it all matchy matchy. 
  9. This was a project for a sew-along, so lots of people were making it at the same time & it's very encouraging.  
  10. I definitely should have done the sleeves in plain black.  
  11. The collar in the picture isn't sitting right.  
  12. I have an overedge stitch on my regular sewing machine that makes a nice edge not unlike an overlocker.  It does a good job when someone is too scared to learn how to use an overlocker.  
  13. Snap fasteners come off & make holes in garment. 
Well that is good & bad.  But at least it wasn't some super expensive fabric.  I had it ready to learn with so that worked out ok.  I expect to make a lot more mistakes if I keep trying.  But that's ok, I have picked up some good remnants from Spotty so it's not going to make me cry if I ruin anything.  As I tell the boys, you have to keep trying so you learn & get better at something.  Once isn't enough.  

19 April, 2017

Getting Close

It's getting closer to finished.  I am learning a lot in the process.  

Main thing is that stretch sewing isn't so bad.

17 April, 2017


I did it.  

I had been putting off doing the tracing of this pattern.  It's a jacket for BJ maybe, if it works.  It's purely experimental at the moment.  I am not used to sewing with knit fabric for one thing.  Stretchy fabric has a mind of it's own.  

I was pleased to get this far anyway.  It looks right so far too.  That's a good sign.  I won't get any more done for a couple of days & do need to sit & concentrate.  It's all a fun challenge though.  

We'll see if I don't stuff it up later.  

15 April, 2017

Pillow Presents

I had another crazy idea.  You know how these things come to you at crazy times?  Usually when you have so many other things that should be done first.  

My brother & sister in law are here from New Zealand at the moment.  

My niece got engaged a few months back.  

After some chatting about things, my niece & her fiancee still love Marvel Comics.  

So what better than a couple of pillows with Marvel characters all over them.  I had to fussy cut to try to highlight different characters for one than the other.  It's a pain when the pattern repeat is only small.  Oh well, we got there & had two pillow covers done & ready.  I have actually got them off the inserts as I think that they may pack better.  We'll see how they go.   

09 April, 2017


We've had a lovely rainy weekend.  Some beaut rainbows & some awesome thunderstorms.  

Lots of time in there then to finish knitting my rainbow socks.  I love this wool, though it doesn't show as bright here as it really is.  Teamed with the black for highlights I love it.  Winter is coming & sock season with some new socks won't be far.  

This crazy chicken lady is loving hanging out with her chickens.  They dodged the rain today for some play time made themselves cozy in the dirt we filled in last weekend under the fence to keep them in.  It's worked at least.  My little buddy Snowy lets me pat her a bit now which is pretty cool.

05 April, 2017

Cushion 4

BJ was asked to another birthday the other day.  I shouldn't have got excited at the prospect should I?  I was though.

Only because I wanted to make another cushion!  

We went through the fabrics to see what we had that BJ would be happy enough with to give his friend.  Fortunately this large print of Star Wars comic covers was a winner.  I had actually purchased it recently with this child in mind.  So that was lucky.  

This time BJ wanted the name on it too.  So I went to print it up this morning while trying to work out where I would place it.  

A lightbulb moment!!!  

Sometimes those moments are good & sometimes they are bad.  

Fortunately for me, this wasn't such a bad one.  I needed a Star Wars font.  Google & Pinterest are my friends.  The only thing I couldn't remember was how to actually get them into Word.  Google my friend again!  

As you can see I have squeezed the name into the top piece of the comic.  It isn't obvious this time, not like the last Star Wars pillow.  The child was turning 6.  This child is turning 9.  So lets have a little play.  I am waiting now until after school to see if the boys pick the name out easily or not.  

ETA - This pillow was a hit. They were fascinated to find his name on it.  Kind of stopped them in their tracks I think!  lol

03 April, 2017

Stitchy Play

We have some embroidery kits at work.

We needed a sample done.

Once again, I have "sucker" stamped on my head!  Really had to twist my arm of course!  NOT!

I started a while back at work on a few days when it was abysmally quiet.  That didn't last long & I have got sick of carting it back & forth so I just got stuck in over the weekend.

It's an odd design with the pattern on the fabric but you don't have to stitch all of it.  You can choose your own colours too.  I had a bit of a play with a variegated one & a couple of others.  It's not fantastic.  There are some parts I would have done differently if I did it again.  I guess that is often the way though with this sort of work.

01 April, 2017

Chicken Taming

When I get a chance to sit with the chickens & let them get to know me I do.  Usually if there is a DJ running about I have no hope.  

I was out there for a bit today feeding from my hand & patting Snowy.  She's a greedy one.  She is the only one that would let me pat her properly.   

We have worked today to fill in under fences though to keep them in the orchard.  I don't want to have to try to get one out of the neighbours tree again.