Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A sew-along skirt!

Even making the simplest of garments always seemed a complicated and scary task in my mind, but once I got going on the sew-along I managed to get through it with relative ease.  I even managed to get a zip in without the aid of a zipper foot.  So here it is:

A big thank you to Daisy for her sew-along and for guiding me through the lack of zipper foot crisis!  

More McCall's 3341 skirts to be made for sure.  Going to Eridge Park Decorative Living Fair next week and it would be lovely to find some vintage fabric.  Fingers crossed.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tulips at Pashley Manor

Pashley Manor in Ticehurst, East Sussex is one of my favourite local haunts and today's visit was just what the doctor ordered.

The beautiful timber framed manor house is private, but the gardens are open to the public.

Love the lichen on this very old, very large shrub ...

... and the mistletoe in this old apple tree ...

... and these unfurling ferns ... 

There are special events throughout the year and at the moment it's the Tulip Festival.

I really like these copper tulip sculptures - I dropped some very heavy hints, possibly weighing about a ton each, but they seemed to go straight over Mr T's head!

Wonderful.  I can feel a visit to my other favourites, Sissinghurst and Great Dixter, coming on.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Old, new, borrowed and blue

Nothing to do with weddings, but instead an old WIP, a new experience, borrowed ideas and the blue speaks for itself.

Would like to try something new so I've decided to join Daisy's sew-along, although I think I've arrived a bit late to the party.  I've cut out and marked the pieces and now I have to re-acquaint myself with my sewing machine, which hasn't been used for a while, and I haven't made an item of clothing since I was about 15 so feeling a bit nervous.  I bought a plain fabric as I wasn't sure whether there would be any problems with patterns (it looks dark grey in the photo but it is, in fact, a dark denim).

My first ever post was about a patchwork blanket of knitted and crocheted squares that I'd made for my eldest daughter.

When it was finished I promised to make one for my younger daughter and started knitting blue squares in earnest, but was then distracted by various other things.  

Feeling a bit mean now as I should have finished it a while ago so the squares are back out.  To make it different from the other one (apart from the colour that is) I'm going to use more crocheted squares than knitted ones - my cunning plan to speed up the process (I seem to be able to crochet squares far quicker than I can knit them).  For the little flower motif in the middle I followed Just Pootling Kate's daisy blanket tutorial here.

My daughter is back from uni in about 4 weeks so the race is on.  

Not that much to do then :o)

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Catching up with a Nordic shawl

I finished this Nordic shawl some time ago, but it's only now that I've had the chance to post some pictures

Worked in:
  • Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK:  Salty (010), Eskimo (342), Holiday (350), Audrey (351), Black Cherry (364) 
  • Rowan Pure Wool DK:  Hyacinth (026)
  • Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK:  White (930)

* * *

Easter for us has been touched by much sadness. Our beautiful Irish Setter, Millie, passed away last week. The photo below (obviously taken on a very bad house day) is perhaps not the best taken of her, but the smiley face is typical of her (that and a constantly wagging tail). She was the sweetest girl and we are heartbroken.

Loved everyone, loved by everyone

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Friday, 4 April 2014

What can you do with a mandala?

I'm joining in with Chrissie and Daisy's Mand-a-long this week.

Very simple, just ivory and two shades of pink.  I mostly followed Nela's pattern here with a bit of subtle variation.

I used Schachenmayr Catania cotton yarn in natural (105), light pink (246) and magenta (251).  I first saw this yarn here at Annie's Place where Sharron has created some beautiful makes with it.  

But what does one do with a mandala?  Pot grab?  Don't want it to get stained.  Protective mat to save marks on furniture?  Will be mostly hidden.  Bowl cover to protect food?  It's a bit holey and the most determined creepy-crawlies could still get through, but I like the idea.

Settled.  Might sew some beads on to weigh it down a bit.  

What are you doing with your mandala?

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

PS Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post on the ripple blanket x