Sunday, 29 September 2013

Out of exile

On Thursday we went down to London to see the Professor. Everything that could be crossed was as we didn’t want a repeat performance of my hip popping out again.  I’m delighted to say that all is well and I can get back to normality. Yippee!!!!!

I’m still not allowed to climb stairs until I see him again in January and I’ve got to take it easy walking with my stickies as he doesn’t want my shoulders and arms overdoing things - he doesn’t know that I do boxing  so they’re a lot stronger than they look.... If I behave myself then I should see a big improvement in my walking by the summer. 

Not only did I had my first bath in three months last night (it was pure bliss by the way) but I was finally allowed back into my sewing room !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here it is.....
 

It’s not very big, only nine feet by seven feet, so finding space to put things can be a bit tricky, especially when I inherited a lot of my mam's sewing items.

However it's my little corner of the world and like most crafter I love spending time in there. I even have my own kettle and fridge....

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

How many work in progress do you have?

That was one of the questions set by Natalie in my recent post 11 questions.

I replied: 'I can't count that high !!! Off the top of my head I have: a knitted cable jumper; a knitted cable blanket, a crotchet blanket; two needlepoint cushions; two needlepoint glasses/scissors cases; four quilts; three cross stitch Christmas cards; two large cross stitch patterns – a tiger cub and a tigers eye; a four foot model of the QM2 cruise ship and a large needlepoint of the Battle of Trafalgar (started in 1985 !!!)'.

My list has got a littler smaller as I've just finished one of the Christmas cross stitches.


Whilst I had my camera out I thought you might like to see some of my WIP.

Knitted cable jumper: I'm still getting the hang of the cable patterns so haven't done as much as I would have liked.


Knitted cable blanket: This is going to be a long term project as there's 302 stitches and 33 inches of blanket to knit.... As you may have gathered I like a challenge!!!!


Two needlepoint cushions: This will be the fourth cushion I've done using this pattern.


I made this pattern up myself using a mixture of various needlepoint stitches.


Tigers eye: This is mainly a summer project as I need quite a bit of light to stitch the black fabric.


I'm off to see the Professor on Thursday so it's fingers crossed that he says everything is fine and I can finally get back into my work room.....

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Another one I made earlier

When my mam died in March I decided to finish the comfort teddies and quilts she had started or was planning to make.

The teddies are all done. Well I thought they were, until I mentioned them to my sister. Have you given them any underwear? she asked. Er, no. Mam was very insistent that they all had knickers, she said. Do I get the knitting needles out and make some or leave them as they are? I don't think the little recipients of the teddies will mind them having no undies so I've decided not to bother.

I finally finished hand stitching the last of the three quilts that my mam was going to make for homeless families. I'll put the backing fabric on them when I can get back into my sewing room.

They're not very photogenic at the moment so instead here's a picture of a lap quilt I made at the beginning of the year.


It was made using two block patterns and some scrap fabric. The cream stripping came from old bed sheets.

I made my own bias binding by stitching pieces of scrap fabric together.


For the back of the quilt I wanted to use fleecing as I thought it would be warmer than fabric. As luck would have it I found a fleece blanket in IKEA for less than a fiver.

I've quite pleased with how it came out as it was the first quilt I've made. Maybe next I make a quilt though I won't do any machine stitching when I'm suffering from the flu !!!!

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Wedding ring shawl

In Wednesday's post I mentioned the item I was most proud to have made was a wedding ring shawl.

Back in the middle 80's Woman's Weekly magazine did an article about the Shetland Islands and how the elderly ladies were teaching the young to carry on their knitting traditions.

The magazine offered readers a free wedding ring shawl knitting pattern, so I sent off my required stamped address envelope and a week later the pattern arrived. It was eight pages of solid text !!!!!

It looked way beyond my knitting ability so I just forgot about it. A couple of years later my parents and I were in a craft shop in Whitby and I noticed they sold one ply Shetland wool (the wool needed for the shawl). I was bored doing cross stitch so decided to have a go at making it. I had no idea how many skeins I'd need so just guessed the amount. As we didn't live locally the shop owner kindly suggested if I needed any more or had bought too much I could give her a ring and she's either send me more or buy back the spare skeins.

The scalloped edging was knitted first. There was only 10 stitches and 12 rows to the pattern, however I had to knit over 500 of them !!!!!!  

Using a very long circular needle I had to pick up about 1000 stitches from the first row of the scallops to form the body of the shawl. 

It seemed like every waking moment was spent working on the shawl. I remember it once took me all evening just to knit one row of the shawl..... Eventually after eight long weeks it was finished.

Now came the true test. Could it, as the name suggested, fit through a wedding ring? I borrowed my mams ring, and very carefully so not to break the yarn, fed the shawl through the ring. It worked !!!!

I'm proud of the shawl as it was the first time I'd ever used a circular knitting needle. I'd never knitted with anything as fine as one ply before and it's the most complex pattern I've ever come across.

Note: Apologies for the lack of shawl photos only it was put in the loft a few years ago and we now can't find it !!!!!!!

Update: We've finally found it so here are a couple of photos.
Wedding ring shawl





Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

11 questions

I was delighted to be nominated for the Liebster Award from Natalie at 'Love Natalie'.

To receive the award I have to post 11 things about myself, answer 11 questions set by Natalie then set 11 questions myself and nominate 11 bloggers for the award – I hope I've explained that correctly!!!

So here are 11 things about myself:
I love reading but because I have mild dyslexia it takes me ages to finish a book.

I have two big phobias - thunder storms & wasps/bees.

I celebrated my 21st birthday in four different countries; Austria, Italy, Germany and UK.

One of my most embarrassing moments happened when I was 18. I threw up all over the marbled floor in Castle Howard - I had food poisoning...

I met Mr Gertie when we both worked for a radio station. He was a studio manager and I was a presenter.

I was a chief official on a round of the world rally championship.

My favourite TV programme of all time is M*A*S*H.

My most hated food is trifle.

I used to be a civil servant - for my sins!!!

I enjoy writing. I've written one novel (unpublished at the moment....) and am working on another, and I'm also writing a non-fiction book.

I got my first knitting machine when I was 14.


Here are the questions set by Natalie:
Where do you see your blog/craft in 5 years time?
I'd like it to include more recipes for baking (at least one post a week) and to have sewing/craft tips and tutorials. As for my craft, I'd like the business I'm in the process of setting up to be successful.

What was the first thing you ever crafted?
That's a tough one as I've always made things. I do remember making clothes for my Sindy dolls when I was about seven.

Do you make mostly for yourself, others or to sell?
I would say it's probably mostly for me though a lot of them end up in the cupboard.....

Why did you start blogging?
We (myself and Mr Gertie) set up 'The BOGOF Blog' as a way of staying in touch with our friends who are scattered around the country. I then set up 'The Joint Journals' as a diary of my life without a hip, and with 'Gerties' blog, it was somewhere to keep a record of the things I've made and to pass on my favourite recipes.

Do you have an allocated craft space/studio?

I do. The room has been several things in its life including an office when Mr Gertie and myself used to organise conferences for a national charity and a knitting room (I used to have three knitting machines up and running....). Currently it's a craft room-cum-study.

Do you have a dream project that you'd like to make if money and time were no object?
We live in a 1910 terraced house and I'd love to build doll house size replicas charting it's history from when it was first built, to how it looked in the 20's, the second war years, the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and finally as it is now.

How much time do you spend each week writing posts and reading blogs?
I write Gertie's post either on Sunday morning or afternoon. I've been neglecting our other two blogs recently so they haven't been updated for a while. I usually try and check my favourite blogs once a day/once every two days

Is there a craft that you would like to be able to master?

Lace making. I tried it many years ago and managed to make a very stringy bookmark.

Do you only make things for a purpose or do you have a "stock" of items that you've made for fun?

A bit of both.

How many Works In Progress do you have?
I can't count that high !!! Off the top of my head I have: a knitted cable jumper; a knitted cable blanket, a crotchet blanket; two needlepoint cushions; two needlepoint glasses/scissors cases; four quilts; three cross stitch Christmas cards; two large cross stitch patterns – a tiger cub and a tigers eye; a four foot model of the QM2 cruise ship and a large needlepoint of the Battle of Trafalgar (started in 1985 !!!).

What are you most proud of having made?
A wedding ring shawl.

At this point I should be nominating 11 people to receive this award. Well I'm going to be a bit of a rebel and not do this. If you’ve never had a blog award then this is for you. 

Here are my 11 questions:

What craft have you tried but couldn't get the hang of?

What is the furthest you've travelled?

Excluding relatives, who would you like to have as a dinner guest and what would you eat?

What's your favourite craft website/blog?

Have you had any crafting disasters?

If money was no object, where in the world would you live, and why?

What's the most expensive thing you've made?

Who would you like to craft for and what would you make?

What were your favourite childhood sweets?

What's the most useless/silliest thing you've purchased at a craft show?

What piece of craft equipment you couldn't be without?


Have fun.

Gertie xx

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Lifting the ban

Thank you for all your lovely comments on last weeks blog, and Natalie, thank you for my award. I'll be posting my answers later in the week.

Yesterday Mr Gertie temporary lifted the ban on my workroom being a no-go area so it was good to be back even if it was just for an hour or two. I know it's just a room but I have missed it so much - ridiculous I know !!!!!

I've been busy this week reading up on how to set up a craft business and also coming up with various bag and accessories designs. That was why Mr Gertie let me into my workroom as I needed the space to convert my rough sketches into something more workable.

For the moment though that's as far as I can get as the next stage is making mock-ups and that's definitely banned !!!!!

I'm making good progress with my mam's quilts. Both the boy and baby ones have been hand quilted. There's just the girls to finish stitching.


To give my fingers a rest from quilting I'm making a start on another cable jumper. I had thought about knitting a simple lace jumper but I wanted something bit more challenging. Here's a photo of what I'm doing.

 

Whether it'll turn out like this is another matter!!!

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.