Monday, 26 January 2015

Summer holiday

We have just returned from our summer holiday at Papamoa beach and it was one of the best holidays ever.  The weather was perfect, the water was warm and I had a swim every day (that hasn't happened for years!)  We spent time walking, snorkeling, catching up with friends and playing games; "Rage" is our favourite.  I also had time to start stitching a new cross stitch and got lots of knitting done.  Knitting is so transportable and perfect for all the time spent travelling in the car.
The first finish is the Reminisce hat (ravelry link here).  This hat is designed by Libby at Truly Myrtle and I was able to test knit it which was pretty special for me.  I used a beautiful merino and possum yarn, made in New Zealand, which has a very soft feel. The hat was blocked on a dinnerplate which gives it the slightly slouchy beret look.  The pattern is released now and is a gorgeous design.
The sock pattern is Dancetty (ravelry link here) and is an Abbey Morris design.  I used yarn left over from the shawl I made last year.  I love these socks and especially love the stitch used on the heel which makes it feel reinforced.
I knitted the Checkerboard mitts (ravelry page here) for Josh (15 year old) as I wasn't very happy with the ones I knitted for him last year.  These feel comfy and warm and have plenty of room for my growing boy.
I love all three of these knits. It's almost enough to get me looking forward to winter (Yeah Right!) Wendy xx

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Chateau hexagon

I love the week between Christmas and New Year.  Suddenly the city becomes hushed and empty and all my responsibilities and work quiet for a little while.  I have taken advantage of the quiet and worked away on my Chateau Hexagon quilt.  First I stitched on the last row of hexagons, pieced the border and sewed them on the quilt.  Then came the quilting which is not the easiest for me.  I know I need to learn and practice machine quilting but do not seem to have the time at this stage.  I tell myself that wonky quilting adds to the naive appeal of the quilt :)  Holly gave the quilt her seal of approval and interrupted my sewing more than once.  On Sunday I was ready to make a scrappy binding, attach it and sew it down.  The final step was to sew the beautiful wooden buttons to each block.  And hang it ... and step back ... and enjoy!  I get to enjoy it each time I leave my bedroom :)
While I have been sewing away we have also been enjoying time with family and friends, welcoming the New Year in with a barbeque and fireworks.  I love the New Year just like I love Mondays; the start of a new year or a new week is a chance to start fresh, putting any mistakes behind and trying again.  Wishing you all a Happy New Year, dear friends!  Wendy xx

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas week

Just a couple of little makes this week: a Scandi bird that was a kit with the Simply Crochet magazine, at home on my mini white tree with my other handmade ornaments; and a pair of boot cuffs for my niece (free pattern here).  Our days are filled up with last minute Christmas shopping, preparations and baking, and a bit of movie watching.  Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Christmas, filled with everything and everyone you love.  With much love and best wishes, Wendy xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Catching up


December already, where did November go?  

I have been working on my summer-wardrobe sewing but this was interrupted when Colette Patterns released their new pattern, the Dahlia dress.  I had some red fabric from years ago and I thought it would make a perfect Dahlia.  It is a polyester crepe I think, it has no give to it at all but it drapes nicely.  I made an American size 10 and graded up to size 12 at the waist and hips although ended up trimming this off again.  I also added 5" to the length.  This was the first time I used my dressmakers dummy properly, fitting the bodice to it as I went along.  I have narrow shoulders so I ended up adding a dart on the shoulder and removed some of the fullness from the raglan seams.  I realized later that the top of the bodice was meant to be gathered (somehow I missed that step) and this would have taken up some of the fullness that I removed.  I finished the neckline and sleeves with a purchased bias binding in a maroon colour and I quite like the little contrast it gives.  I really love this dress and I think it will be great under layers for autumn and winter too.

Charlie had requested a crochet bunting when she saw the one I made for my room here.  It is finished and the cream looks pretty against her pink walls.  By the way, why do cats insist on sitting on wool when it's blocking?

I have also been keeping at my Chateau Hexagon, stitching away on the last block.  

The tree is trimmed, the house is decorated.  Just some last minute gift-making and shopping to go ... it's beginning to feel like Christmas!  Wendy xx

Friday, 7 November 2014

Beautiful spring

In truth spring has been cold and wet so far but today the sun shone and it was nice to get outside.  The flowers don't seem to mind the weather and are looking their best; spring is the prettiest time in our garden before the summer sun dries everything out.  I haven't had too much time for crafting lately but I did finish a little crochet project, a half lotus bunting which is a free pattern here.  It looks pretty hanging at our bedroom window with the morning sun shining through it, although Paul thinks it is perhaps too pretty since it is his room as well!  I finally have my Chateau Hexagon out again and have started the applique.  There are sixteen windows to stitch in place and then quite a bit of embroidery.  But it is starting to feel like I am on the home stretch! Wendy xx

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A shawl and a dress

I think this would have to be my prettiest knit ever.  It is the first shawl and lace knitting I have done; the Settler shawl designed by Libby Jonson.  I used Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply yarn, a gorgeous merino.  The magic of the shawl comes once it's blocked; when the knitting is complete.  Blocking stretches the lace open and it becomes a thing of beauty, such a lovely pattern.
The dress I am wearing with it is a Moneta by Colette Patterns.  I made the medium size and the only alteration was to add 5" to the length.  The fabric is a knit viscose from The Fabric Store in Auckland and it has the most beautiful drape.  It feels very soft and flowing.  I think the dress also goes well with my Myrna cardigan that I made last month.  I actually made the dress in July but it has been just too cold to wear, even today it's still a little too cold.  Our spring has certainly been changeable so far, in fact I've just finished lighting the fire!  Despite the cool temperatures I am pushing on with making my summer wardrobe in the hope that warmer weather is on the way.  Wendy xx