Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Tea Towel Tote

Hello All!

Well, it's half term and I have another lurgy, which is of course, what happens to us school people.  I'm all blocked up and sinusy, the sort when you lean forward, your head hurts. 
I'm trying not to let it get in may way. 

I promised myself a sewing day.   I can sew in straight lines and am of the generation that were taught how to sew in secondary school.  I made dresses for Miss Clicky when she was little but I don't really use my machine much these days.   I've been trawling Pinterest for bag patterns over the last few months and have pinned more bags than I can possibly do.  I had fabric (more about that later) but nothing suitable for the handles so I popped down to Favourite Fabrics in Gloucester.  They are an eBay shop but open to the public from 8.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

They had lots of lovely fabric (sorry for the rubbish photos the lights were very bright)

and lots of lovely ribbons, tapes and bias binding.
I bought this selection of fat quarters 
and some plain webbing for bag handles.
 And onto my bag.  I had bought these tea towels in Tesco about a year ago with intention of making something with it.
I pushed the dining table against the wall and made myself a sewing corner.  As I laid everything out Maisie said she wanted to keep an eye on me the make sure I did it right.
I used the Purl Bee 40 Minute Tote Pattern which can found here.  I loved the idea of a reversible bag but decided I didn't want a pocket.   As I mentioned the fabric was tea towels, and I decided to leave the hems on.  Mistake No 1.
Mistake No 2 came when I (very proudly) looked at my bag and lining side by side.   I'd made my first boxed bottom.  Spot my mistake yet?  Yes, both the lining and the outer are made with good side out.  Obviously when the two are sewn together and you try the reverse the bag it won't work.  Maisie gave me a disapproving look and I undid the stripy bag.  I sewed it again and it was wrong.......again.  Luckily it was right a third time.   When I got ready to stitch the two bags together Mistake No 1 reared it's ugly head.  Leaving the seams on the edges meant that there were a lot of layers of fabric to get through.  Impossible.
I had to stitch up to the seam by hand and oversewed the lumpy bit.  The pattern said to sew down the edge seam from the top to join the lining and outer together but again, that was impossible.  Instead I stab stitched through the bottom corners.
Maisie forgave me in the end and even agreed to model for me.
She prefers the stripy side, but it's the spots for me.
I love the way they look together.
And I am over the moon with the result.
I've also learnt some lessons.  The usual one, don't think 'I've got this,' that's always when it goes wrong, don't leave the seams on the tea towels...oh and make sure you take all the pins out of your fabric before you stitch together.  I found 3 pins sealed inside, I had to cut the metal of the pin with pliers,  leaving the round head inside.  I suppose it makes my bag more unique!
And lastly I'll leave you with a picture of the dog, ~who loves sunlight~ catching a few rays on the stairs.
I'll see you soon, as always have fun.

Clicky Needles.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Basket Making

Hello folks!

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to go on a basket making course, organised by my knitting pal Romain for her W.I.  There was an unexpected space, so she asked me if I fancied it.  I jumped at the chance.

The tutor was a lovely local basket maker. 
I had thought that the structure would be complicated but once it was explained, not so much.
Firstly you make the base. 
When that is complete you can start working upwards...
..until you reach the height you want, and then you can bend over and tuck in the top.
This was my first attempt, I used all the different colours of willow that were available.
This was my second basket, which was much quicker.  
 For this I used stripped (white) and steamed willow which makes the natural colour go dark.  A bit holey, but not too bad.
At the end of the day there was a big array of different colours and sizes. 
 I really enjoyed it.  Will I try it again?  Maybe.
The other thing I need to show you today is my new quilt cover.  It came from Tesco, I missed it last winter and happened across it a few weeks ago whilst browsing the Tesco website.
I was really miffed when I couldn't get it and I guess you can see why.
A super soft and cosy brushed cotton cover, and IT'S KNITTED!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, not really knitted but a knitted print.
I love this sooooooooooo much. 
 Mr Clicky was less impressed, "I've got to sleep in knitting too?"  
Yes Mr C, you do.
It's really chilly at the moment so a brushed cotton cover is just what we need.

Righto, I'll see you soon, as always, have fun.

Clicky Needles. x



Sunday, 1 February 2015

My Kitchen Window Sill

When I was out shopping the other day in the supermarket I looked through the reduced flower bucket.  I stopped for a moment and realised I my kitchen window sill has actually got flowers on already.  It is north facing and therefore fairly cool, pot plants do really well there.

Firstly, the amaryllis is fully out.  A lovely soft pink and white.
Next to that a very fragrant jasmine.  I bought one for Mum for Christmas and one for me too.  This is filling the kitchen with beautiful scent.
Next, a cyclamen  which was given to me 4 years ago.  I've managed to keep it alive and it flowers all through the winter.
Then we have Camile the 25p camelia that Miss Clicky got from work
and an orchid that was given to me by a neighbour for my birthday several years ago.
So really, I probably don't need to buy flowers.

One other thing to show you today, some lovely velvet ribbon from Tiger.  Just because......

See you soon ... Clicky Needles.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Flat ~ In Two Ways

Hello Folks.

I awoke this morning to a flat tyre.  This was not wholly unexpected as I have been pumping it up for the past 6 weeks or so.  Today it was undriveable.  "No worries," I said to Mr Clicky, "I'll phone the RAC, they'll do it."  Mr C muttered that he could change a tyre and we didn't need them.  He started loosening the wheel nuts but the locking nut proved to be a sticking point.  We both jumped up and down on the tyre lever, but it would not budge.  30 minutes later the nice RAC man turned up and had it changed in a jiffy, the culprit being a broken off screw firmly lodged in the tread.
We had a little bit of snow in the week.  It was very beautiful, but unfortunately not enough to cause a snow day.
It then becomes a nuisance because at school the children take 10 minutes either side of break times, trying to find wellies, hats, scarves and gloves.  It had warmed enough by the afternoon for a bit of rain, and soon it was gone.
   My Mum gave me a Amaryllis for Christmas which was lovely because I can't remember the last time I had one.  It's been putting on inches every day and is nearly ready to burst.
Which about describes me as well at the moment.  Do you remember my Caramel Cardigan?  I cast on on Christmas Day, all excited that a new project was under way.  Remember that I said my tension was "a bit off'?"  I've got to the sleeves and split the body.  Maisie was happy to model.  There was however, a bit of a problem.  It was too tight!  I measured my tension again, still off.  What could it be?  I was at loss and then checked my needles.  Pattern states 4mm......................I was using 3.25mm.
What was I thinking????????  As I have previously said I did cast this on on Christmas Day but I had only drunk 2 glasses of champagne.    AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH.

This evening I shall mostly be frogging.

Have a good week, I'll see you soon.

Clicky Needles.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Back to it

Hello All.

The house had been undecorated and the decorations packed away snuggly
and put back into the attic.
Our tree joined the others in the village recycling skip after we chopped it in half to get it into the car more easily.  
One last Christmassy picture to show you, Master Clicky made this snowflake decoration in his graphics lesson.  It was laser cut by computer from a sheet of thin MDF, he wanted me to show it to you.
The first week back at school has been good, although it took a little while to get back into the swing of things, the weather hasn't helped which is wet and windy right now.

I though you might like to see these pictures.  The first one of Tipper (the dog) helping Mr Clicky doing some pre-Christmas plumbing looking very angelic.
And the second one what happens when he ~ the dog obviously ~ manages to get to the bin at night time.
Oh dear.

That's me for now, I'll see you soon.

Clicky Needles 







Friday, 2 January 2015

2015!

Hello All!

Wow, it's 2015. 
 I've had a super Christmas visiting family and having family here.  My New Year was very quiet ~ I was in bed by 9.15pm! ~ too many late nights that caught up with me.

On Christmas Eve I received this lovely cross stitch card of a partridge in a pear tree made by Jill from Emerald Cottage as part of the Christmas Card Swap organised by Amy from Love Made My Home.  Thanks for organising Amy!
Jill's life looks typical of a young family, being woken at 4am,  stockings, playing with toys received on Christmas Day, something that is missing from our (near) grown ups,  although being woken at 4am is something I don't miss.
Anyhoo I digress,  this beautiful card is definitely coming out year on year, thank you so much Jill, I love it.  If you click on the Emerald Cottage link you can see the one I made, which must have taken a fraction of the time Jill's did.
For Christmas I got the usual assortment of candles, chocs and smellies from the children at school.  The presents the children give are always lovely and their cards quite often have extra drawings and messages inside which are guaranteed to raise a smile.

Miss Clicky bought me an assortment of teas.  I love tea.  I've been having a few each day. Yum.
You'll notice some of the boxes are ripped, this happened on boxing day when the dog was left to his own devices.
I got a lovely bright selection of gardening gloves, brilliant, as all my current one have holes.
Mr Clicky got me a new friend.  Named straight away as Maisie, I've been after a Tailors Dummy for a while.  She's modelling my latest project ~ unfortunately the cable is giving it Fu Manchu type collar.
Waay!  The brain mush has gone and I have been knitting.  Like a demon.  I'm making a caramel by Isabell Kraemer.   I've got loads of Isabell Kraemer patterns in by Ravelry queue, lots are stripy and they all look really wearable.   I'm using some Rowan Felted Tweed dk gifted to me by my lovely knitting pal Romain ~ bet you wish you had one too!  I laid out the colours I had been given, in the order I thought looked ok,
but then took out the red (Rage) and aqua (Watery) as they didn't seem to gel with the others so much.  
My tension is a bit off, I don't know why, I'm usually pretty good, so I'll need to do a bit of winging but I'm sure I'll manage.  This could be the reason for the late nights...........
I always want to finish to the end of the stripe.

So there we are, Christmas and New Year finished.  The task of undecorating starts tomorrow.  This will probably take all day.

Do you remember I said I hadn't felt Christmassy and blamed the weather?  I decided that actually I hadn't felt Christmassy because I hadn't been to many shops.  Lots of present buying was done on line.  I shall remedy this next year........in fact I have chosen a new theme for next year's decorations and have spent a lot of time on Pinterest gaining inspiration.  My sewing machine might be coming out too.

Thanks for popping by, I'll see you soon.

Have fun..............Clicky Needles.x

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve

The candle has gone, one more sleep.
I hope you have fantastic day wherever you are, whatever you do.

With love..................Clicky Needles.