Saturday, November 26, 2005

all that jazz block

all that jazz block
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Finally, I have made a start to the block for the all that jazz fundraiser. I made the foundation bigger than the 9" in the instructions so that I can put it in a hoop for the hand work. Then I drew a 9" square in the centre and sewed my fabrics onto the foundation. I was very unsure about some of my fabric choices. The colour palette suggested was purple, green and gold (mardis gras colours) with hot pink, red, bright blue and orange to jazz it up.

The photo, which I took with natural light to give the closest to true colours, shows how low the sun is here at the moment - today is the 26th November and it is hardly peeking over the garden wall. So lots of long shadowsalthough it's not even 1pm yet :).

So now the real work begins and today the gallery for the finished blocks went up at inaminuteago. Stiff competition but I'm not competeing just sending in an also ran so maybe it wont matter if I miss the deadline and the voting Sharon can just add my contribution to the other items for auction other than the main quilt. If I get my skates on i should still make Dec.8th but it will be cutting it fine :)

It's nice to be doing another project like the bags of fun which I can blog with a clear conscience without spoiling the surprise for a swap partner.

Monday, November 21, 2005

New Years Resolutions - what already?

Yep, I'm resolving already :) Firstly I will knit some jumpers in the round to avoid the sewing up problem - I'm useless at it!

Secondly I will design something, still have more crone in me (now, no comments please) so it may be her, but I'd like to do an expanded version of that figure from my bags of fun bag. Perhaps I'll start with a stitchery, I have a hankering to use some blackwork on a cq too so who knows but my resolution is not to leave my fledgling designing where it is at the moment - untested.

The previous post was a bit of frivolousness. How can everyone's birthdate say such lovely things about each person? But it did spark a little self examination! Perish the thought! My conclusion is that my crafting in the past has more often than not been about comfort and ease and that it is time I tried a little harder and risked making mistakes and getting things wrong because maybe they will actually be right and worth the extra effort.

I have done a few projects recently, the doll for a swap for example, where I have worked outside my usual boundaries but once again I have played it safe with following the pattern to the T. So look out 2006 is my year for going beyond ...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

More displacement activity?

Your Birthdate: September 15

You take life as it is, and you find happiness in a variety of things.
You tend to be close to family and friends. But it's hard to get into your inner circle.
Making the little things wonderful is important to you, and you probably have an inviting home.
You seek harmony with others, but occasionally you have a very stubborn streak.

Your strength: Your intense optimism

Your weakness: You shy away from exploring your talents

Your power color: Jade

Your power symbol: Flower

Your power month: June

Friday, November 18, 2005

Displacement activity - knitting gloves

As I have too many Christmas porjects and not enough time I have, of course, found myself spending increasing amounts of time on the computer, displacement activity.

In the past when studying for exams I have taken an unnatural (and uncharacteristic)interest in housework, displacement activity.

When working to a deadline that is fast approaching I find myself wandering around the shops browsing items I have no intention of buying, displacement activity.

Anywa,y during my cybersurfing, displacement activity, I followed serveral links, displacement activity, to find a pattern for handknitted gloves.

Wow, what a wonderful displacement actitvity. But this one is even better than all of the above as it is in installments so I have to wait between each installment for the next, procrastinators paradise! Additionally I need to order yarn and then wait for it to be delivered.

Will I ever get the sewing projects for Christmas finished? Me thinks not, I foresee a trip to the shops for last minute presents for friends and family who might be expecting handsewn gifts and not reeiving them unless of course they want a pair of handknitted gloves!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I have started a new blog for the row by row swap I am in satrting in January, you can find it here.

I have also finished the Christmas ornaments I have been working on. More information about these earlier in my blog and also
here. I will post a longer piece about this cqing later, after the opening at the end of the month. I have learnt a lot during this swap as I tried something a bit different with my colour choices :)

Bought some gorgeous soft Debbie Bliss yarn this afternoon - maybe for clapotis?! Maybe for little X's next jumper. Can't decide. Yet.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Off the needles tonight

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Here is the finished thingy - shrug/poncho/shawl whatever it is? My experiment with repalcing the yarn in the pattern (Rowan Biggy Print) with three strands of aran weight yarn from my stash worked fine :) the shape is made from a 50" long rectangle of garter stitch (every row knit) over 38 stitches on size 15mm kneedles. Once the cast off edge is made turn the end through 180 degrees and sew up to form a tube with a twist in it. Love how this feels so may be making one for myself too - have loads of aran wool so will try different combinations of colours, this was three shades of purple which is my niece's favoutire colour. Oh took 2 balls of each - i.e. 6 100g balls.

But the clapotis is calling - look at it - don't you think I should knit this next? clapotisNot convinced? Then you must read this.

back of the thing

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

This is the rear view of the shrug/poncho/shawl thing - must find the mag the oattern was in and discover what it's really called!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

CQ Christmas Ornies

CQ Christmas Ornies
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

And after the second night of stitching this is where I am at. Having fun again now and not stressing about the colours of the thread, keeping it simple. At this stage I am ready to make up the ornaments but should they be single or double sided?

Beginning the embellishment

Beginning the embellishment
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Trying to stick to a limited colour palette was much harder than I originally envisaged. My bags of fun and the work on Mary's block was so bright I decided to confine myself to using the stitches to decorate rather than the colours - now I've done a couple of sessions (this photo was taken after the first evenings sewing) it is getting easier to stay withing those colours, cream and gold mainly.

Christmas Ornament Beginnings

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

First step was to construct the naked blocks - then they sat around for an age while I worked on other things. Next I was stalled by deciding what shapes to make. In the end I went for the easy traditional option of baubles, bells and stockings - very original I know but I was wateing time.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Stash Sunday

Just added a button for Stash Sunday to the bottom of my sidebar (right - scroll down to bottom of collum) will try to remember to add it to my sunday posts. The link will take you to the stash sunday flickr group where you can see all the other posts for stash sunday :)

Christmas Ornies

Just a quick progress report this evening :)

I have actually made some progress on the Christmas ornies! Yes, I have started them! Will post piccies tomorrow of the shapes on the naked blocks and the work so far. Trying to stick to a limited palette but not sure how successful this will be until I do a bit more on them, reserving judgment - think I made the naked blocks a bit too colourful with the gold as well as the creams, maybe I should have saved the gold for the embroidery? Anyway, as I said - photos tomorrow.

Also OTK (on the kneedles) I have a shrug/poncho/shawl thing for my niece for Christmas. The pattern calls for Rowan Biggy print but this means buying more yarn and I am trying an experiment to use some of my wool stash. The yarn is very thick and lumpy - I can't do lumpy but 3 strands of Aran in different but complementary shades of purple should be thick enough. Now, I know I should do a tension square first to check but, hey, why break the habits of a lifetime? So no tension square just lots of lovely chunky knitting - size 15mm kneedles too - like knitting with broom handles :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Knitting patterns

Whilst reading another blog (or was it on a forum?) the other day I saw a request for a knitting pattern. Just thought I'd post this link to free knitting patterns at the V & A while I have it fresh in my mind.

All the patterns here are downloadable as PDF or Word docs. so ... you need never buy a knitting pattern again.

While I'm thinking knitting :) I wonder if anyone knows what weight Rowan Biggy Print wool knits up as?

I have a lovely wrapp/shawl pattern but don't want to buy any more wool at the mo. I wonder if two strands of Arran would knit up at the same tension? Can't believe I am finally going to have to knit a tension square - shock horror - never done one before - wonder why my jumpers are always so baggy :) ROFL

Monday, November 07, 2005

wise woman

wise woman
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

This is the finished wise woman. The gold ribon represents the milky way, the objects below the solar system and those above the elements. Plus the spider for good luck and perseverence.


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Added a tapestry base for a hard wearing surface and to provide a more bablanced shape.

bags of fun bag front

bagsoffun bag front
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Maiden with her aura and wise woman with the knowledge of all things - could have gone on adding embroidery forever but time beat me :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Adding this photo to the stash sunday flickr group. About all I can manage today - still working on the bags of fun bag - deadline 8th November so need to get onto the making up stage although I could carry on embellishing for ever :)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

DD sews first seam treatment

Sorry no photo :( but DD has sewn her first contribution to a CQ RR for Mary's block (pictured in the post below) Mairead added a whipped Running stitch to the seam above where I worked my little bead and shisha garden. She chose the colours (purple & yellow) and did all the sewing herself. She also attached the violin charm which Belle very kindly sent with the block after she had added her cats in the flower garden. DD has provarocated ever since the block arrived, saying she didn't want to add anything because she would spoil it. But she did a great job and I am really pleased that in the end the 'doing of it' was quietly confident and decisive. See, the 'thinking about it' is much harder than the 'doing'. So now it is posted to Butterfly-Blue - go on Joy, not too much thinking and enjoy the doing :)