Monday, 30 January 2023

Stitching And Other Updates

 Joining in today with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.

The only stitching/crafting I have worked on this week is cross stitching. I have completed one of my WIPGO goals for January, having stitched 14 hours on the 2020 Pandemic Sampler (a free pattern by Sarcy Gurl that you are still able to get here).

My progress at the beginning of January, before the WIPGO call.

My progress after 14 hours of stitching - WIPGO call completed.

I am only halfway to my 14 hour goal on Lavender and Lace's Ice Angel. It just requires more concentration so I have found I cannot stitch on it with a house full of kids. Summer school holidays finish in a few days, so many I can squeeze in a little more time before February starts. Progress photo to come! 

I have also found a fabulous year long free stitching challenge that I think will be amazing for motivation. It is hosted by Creatively Crafting and is very simply called Free Cross Stitch Challenge.
I did invest in their PDF printable planner as I do like to have a printed version of all the challenges and planning pages to mark off physically. And being a PDF, I can just print off the pages I need. I am not fussed on the aesthetic so have designed my own more primitive/vintage cover on Canva. But it has all the planning pages I will need for 2023! 

As January is pretty much over, I will start the challenges in February. You can join the free challenge without purchasing the planner. The link to the challenge page will be emailed to you before the beginning of each month. 
What I like about this challenge is that none of the squares are too difficult or daunting to achieve - ticking off little steps always seems more rewarding and it all adds up in the end. 

For example, some of January's challenges include:

* Stitch with your favourite drink
* Stitch 50 stitches
* Stitch with dark blue
* Stitch a snowflake
* Stitch on a Friday

All the little challenges are super achievable and I feel it will be very motivating to have lots of opportunities to tick challenges off the list. 
There is also a points system for number of stitches completed. I find accumulating points very motivating as well. It must be that I am just a competitive person?! 
Speaking of competitive, maybe I can get a few of January's out of the way quickly before month end?! I need to do some ticking! 

Walking wise, my street view has remained the same for the last few days - the ferry terminal at Dover.

I am currently 'walking' across the English Channel and surprisingly there are no street views along the way! 

Hope you have been getting some crafting or other fun stuff done this week! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

2023 - The Year To Get Stuff Done!

Again, I have been away for AGES - why does this always happen?!

I have started a new job and it is keeping me very busy. After being a SAHM for 25 years, it is taking a little getting used to juggling all the housework, kids' stuff and work.

But I still want 2023 to be the year of getting stuff done. All those languishing WIPs, project plans that I really want to make but never quite got to, books I have been meaning to read for ages, organising the spare (aka junk) room, all the things! 

So let's roll up our sleeves and get to it! 


I will be continuing on with my 35c earned per 10g knitted rule. Believe me, there is no way in this world that I need any more yarn, so I may allow my 'earnings' in different categories to be spent across any of the categories. 
It is 38 degrees C here today (100F) so knitting is not really on my mind today! But autumn/winter will be on us soon, thank goodness, and then the real knitting can begin.
And I will continue, slowly, slowly, with my vintage knitting, in particular from Stitchcraft magazines. 


While I do not have any specific earning goals for quilting, I certainly have projects that I would like to finish and fabric stash that needs to be used up. Some of this fabric will sneak on over to the cross stitch category to use as finishes. And I really want to make some project bags using Elizabethanncanstitch's Youtube tutorial.

Cross Stitch

Again, I will be continuing on with previous earnings projects for cross stitch, using the guidelines from the Stitch From Stash Facebook group
I will also be participating in WIPGO, hosted by Jessie Marie Does Stuff  (this link will take you to the How To WIPGO video).

I do not have enough WIPs (in cross stitch, anyway!) to fill all the squares on the board once, so have chosen to add projects multiple times. Hopefully this will lead to at least a few finishes in 2023.

I will be working on each project for 14 hours in the month it is called.
So January's calls were squares 6 and 10 - the 2020 Pandemic Sampler by Sarcygurl and Ice Angel by Lavender and Lace. 
Ice Angel is one of my oldest WIPs. I couldn't say exactly how long I have been working on this. Let's just say, the last time I remember stitching on it was when I was in hospital for the birth of my oldest son and he turned 18 last year! It needs to be finished! 

This is my progress as at the beginning of January on the 2020 Pandemic Sampler.

And for Ice Angel.

Let's see how far 14 hours of stitching on each can get me! 

I picked up these planners from Amazon (using Christmas gift money) to help keep me on track. 


I have a ridiculously high Goodreads goal this year - feel free to friend me over there. 

I would like to focus on more Australian authors and nonfiction this year as well as continuing with my reading from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall. 

I participate in a number of reading challenge groups as I always like a list or prompt to follow! 


Not a crafty goal but I am finding this to be a lot of fun and quite motivating. I found this free app (or you can use it on your computer) called World Walking. It links to the health app on my iPhone so I can add my steps for the day to my chosen walk. 
And always one to take on the biggest challenge, I have of course chosen to 'walk' from London to Lapland! 
It is fun as you can look at a street view of where you are currently (except for when you are crossing an ocean!) as well as follow on the map. 

As you can see, this will take a while! My movement is hardly registering on the map but I am almost at Canterbury. Looking forward to reaching Dover and heading across to the Dunkirk Ferry Terminal. 

You can also set up walking groups, so you can walk with friends.

I may walk Transylvania next - after I make it to Lapland! 

So that is some of what I have planned for 2023 - I will expand on each section soon. I am attempting to publish two blog posts a week - fingers crossed! 

Happy crafting, reading, walking, or whatever you have planned! 

Saturday, 11 June 2022

Time For Some More Free Sock Knitting Patterns!


Here in the Southern Hemisphere, it is getting cold! So my mind has turned to sock knitting again.

I have been adding so many free patterns to my Ravelry library, and it is time for another free sock pattern roundup.

Let's see what we can find! 

Business Casual by Tanis Fiber Arts, a simple but effective faux-argyle pattern.

Sugar Frost Socks by Marianne Heikkinen provide a pretty backdrop for those gorgeous handdyed yarns in your stash.

Most of us have heard of Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder, but did you know that this designer has other Harry Potter inspired sock designs? Including this one, Socks For The Deputy Headmistress

If you like knitting for Halloween or just like spooky knits in general, the Happy Haunts Socks by Valorie Wibbens are super cute.

Hamish by General Hogbuffer is a chance to practice your colourwork knitting skills. 

An unusual pattern adorns the Pumpkin Socks by Debbie Ford. 

Nutmeg Socks by Tania Barley, another pair of socks with a simple texture pattern.

I am sensing a totally unplanned autumn theme emerging here!

The Golden Gardens Socks by Fairlight Fibers are a very pretty and delicate colourwork design.

The Hemenway Socks by All Knit Up Designs feature a simple seed stitch rib which looks fabulous (and much more difficult than it is!)
And do take a look at All Knit Up Designs for more free sock patterns.

The Mad Mix Socks provide a fun opportunity to use up all your sock yarn scraps (we all have them stashed away somewhere, to use some day!) Mix and match to your heart's content! 

And Cute Hearts Socks are just that, cute! 

So concludes another little trip around the free sock knitting patterns of Ravelry. I have tried to find some with fewer projects so you may find something that is not popping up that often. 
Let's give some of these wonderful patterns some love! 

Soon it will be time to start planning for our Christmas knitting - maybe some socks? A post on that will be coming soon. 

Please let me know if you decide to knit any of these patterns. 

Until next time, happy sock knitting! 

Sunday, 1 May 2022

It's A New (Vintage) Year - 1933, Here We Come!


After finally, finally, finishing my red and white diamonds jumper from the November 1932 issue, let's hop over to 1933!
(I still hold out hopes of, one day, getting my hands on a copy of December 1932 - it is my holy grail of Stitchcraft magazines now!)
But until then, 1933 it is! 

Once again, thank you to Barbara at the UK Knitting and Crochet Guild for scanning this magazine from their archives. Without the access that a very reasonably priced international membership gives me to this archive, I would never be able to afford (or find) all these early issues of Stitchcraft. 
Do head over to see Barbara on Instagram and check out all the amazing pattern photos - believe me, you will want a membership as well! 

Well, let's take a look at the knits in the January 1933 issue. 

OK, the first one is not knitting, but Irish crochet. But this jumper certainly makes me want to learn how to crochet. It is just stunning. It says a novice can tackle it with confidence - I'm not sure but I guess like most crafts, it looks very complicated until you know how to do it. 

Engineering Knits has a video on making an Edwardian Irish crochet lace collar. All her videos are fabulous, if you like vintage knitting and sewing. A particularly fun one was where she taught herself tatting from a Victorian book. Youtube tutorials just make it so much easier for us now! 


These next-to-the-skin undies were apparently a much requested item, with the original being knitted in a pale green. 

"This engaging little affair is in royal blue and white and the vest goes right up to the neck with a gleaming silver "Lightning" fastener finished with a tassel of blue wool."

Of course, we know these fasteners now as zips or zippers, the Lightning Fastener being a term used from the Lightning Fastener Co in Ontario, Canada. 

The cover jumper is very tempting. But I have already made a leg-o'-mutton sleeve jumper with a tie from the first issue. Hmmm, decisions!

Woollies for the school children, including regulation-shape cardigans and gym knickers.

Another reason for me to learn to crochet! The cherry and grey colour scheme sounds very appealing.

A knitted plaid set which consists of bag, scarf and glove gauntlets. 

This jumper is called 'A Jumper That Is Kind To Extra Inches'. It measures 42". I really like the simple look of this design, the square neckline and the off-centre button band. 

I really love the look of this coat. The original is knitted in navy, red and saxe grey, with navy being the main colour. 

And the last project from the magazine is this simple beret and scarf. Maybe I should give myself a quickie project as I took so long on the last one! And it is knitted in DK rather than fingering like the jumpers are!

Well, this issue certainly has a wealth of projects and there are quite a few I would love to tackle. But I feel that the front runners are the 'extra inches' jumper and the coat with the striped collar. The benefit of the extra inches jumper is that I would not really need to do any resizing of the pattern, maybe I may need to go down a needle size, as I am definitely closer to 42" than the 36" of the coat. 

We will see, we will see!

Do any of these projects catch your eye? Which would you choose and what colours? 

I will let you know which one I think I will make next week! 

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Well, It's Been A Whole Year (and a bit more)!

 Can you believe I have let a whole year (plus!) pass by without a single post?! 

Admittedly, the last two years have been an up and down experience for us all and many routines have been disrupted and replaced with new habits and routines. 

My knitting definitely suffered during the rounds of lockdown - with everyone at home all the time, it just seemed to be more difficult to carve out those pockets of quiet time for crafting.

Looking at my knitting journal, I managed to do a little bit of knitting until July 2021 - and then, nothing! No knitting at all until I finally picked my needles back up in February 2022.

Do you ever find that you stop doing something that you love and you end up forgetting for a while just how much you love and rely on it? Until you pick it up again and are astounded as to why you stopped in the first place! 

So during the second week of February, I suddenly picked up my needles again (I cannot even remember why) and quickly knitted up four dishcloths to get me back in the zone. 

Dishcloths are the perfect project for when you need to feel accomplished, as you get the feeling of accomplishment that comes with casting off, sewing in the ends and finishing. I tend to knit at least half a dozen a year to add to my drawer so I will always have new dishcloths at the ready. 

My go to pattern is the Waffle Knit Dishcloth by Debbie Andriulli. I have been knitting this pattern for years! It has the perfect texture for cleaning. Much as I love the picture dishcloths, they just are not as practical for actual use as the Waffle Knit Dishcloth.

I will also be continuing (oh so slowly!) with Adventures In Stitchcraft.

The diamond jumper from the November 1932 issue of Stitchcraft is finally finished. Again, why do I get SO CLOSE to finishing projects and then leave them languishing for months? I had finished the neckband and sewn up half the seams and then put it aside. I can only think it is a psychological blockage whereby I am worried that the finished object will not work out as expected or fit properly. So I would rather leave them unfinished than face issues such as these! 

Anyway, here it is! My Diamonds Are Trumps jumper (the scarlet and white jumper from the second ever issue of Stitchcraft - November 1932).

I knitted this with Bendigo Classic 3 ply in colours Cranberry and Pussy Willow, which come on 500 gram cones.
The yarn cost $15.88 (209 grams) of Cranberry and $13.15 (173 grams) of Pussy Willow, for a total of $29.03 (382 grams). No buttons or other notions were required, so quite a good value knit. 

This was a LOT of colourwork knitted flat, so I think it will be a while before I want to do that again. But I love the look of this jumper and the two colours are great together.

Roxanne Richardson on Youtube featured Finish It February, and I did try to get some of my WIPS out the door. Technically I only finished the one WIP, but better than nothing!  Finishing WIPs also serves the purpose of helping to increase my grams/metres knitted total as I am refocusing on my project of earning dollars to spend on yarn based on how much I have knitted. I have not purchased any yarn for a long time, so it will be exciting to make some new purchases. 
And just because I have not met a spreadsheet / tracking planner that I do not love, I will also be keeping track of stitches knit per day. I wonder what would be a good number of stitches per day to aim for?!

18th February was cast on day for The Woolly Thistle's Colorwork KAL 2022. This year you need to knit an allover colourwork accessory - so socks, hats, cowls, scarves, mittens, gloves, leg warmers, whatever else you can think of as an accessory. The only real requirement is that it must contain an allover colourwork pattern, not just a colourwork band or small amount of colourwork.

I decided to knit a mitten pattern in worsted weight for quick knitting.

These are the Maine Woods and River Mittens by Pat Higgins, a free pattern on Ravelry. I used non-superwash Wool of the Andes, so felted them a little, as they were definitely too big. The pattern is for men, so I have gone down to 3.25mm needles. Even after going down a needle size and felting, they are still slightly roomy. I also did not make the inner cuff; it just does not get cold enough here! 

My current WIP (well, one of!) is the Pray for Ukraine mittens by knitting lotta, also a free pattern on Ravelry. I love her designs but even when I go down to 2mm needles, I still find them too sloppy a fit. I do have tiny hands! 

Hopefully blocking will improve the fit somewhat. 

More knitting and vintage content will be coming as I plan for my next Stitchcraft project from the January 1933 issue (I have had no luck at all finding a copy or any patterns from the December 1932 issue - if anyone has one, I'd love to see it, please!)

See you soon!