Scavenger Hunt

Monday, 4 November 2019

Crochet Cardigan

Hello Folks!

As much as I have enjoyed embroidery and sewing things on my vintage Singers, I have also been indulging in some Box Set crochet.

I have been interested obsessed by Finnish Artist Oma Koppa.  I'm not sure that she blogs any more but I came across this post and knew I needed to have a go.   She draws lovely pictures of her crochet with chalk which, upon first glance, appear to be clear instructions but as I tried to work them out, a little improvisation was needed.  

I had some Drops Nepal languishing in my stash so I pulled it out.

The cardigan is a very simple boxy shape and was pretty easy to do.  

Once I had the motifs worked out, I made 9 for the back and 12 for the front.

I crochet joined the motifs through the back loop with a slip stitch.

There was a bit of faffing and undoing to get the arm holes the right size and when I had sorted them out there was even more faffing with the sleeves.  The first one was too baggy so that was ripped back but as they are a treble and a chain they were quick and easy to do.  I decreased every six rows or so, trying on for size all the time.

I made the sleeves to come just over my wrists,

and added a scalloped edge 

which made the sleeves bell out.

I continued the scalloped edge around the bottom and neck.

Working without a pattern was incredibly liberating and as you can probably tell, I have really enjoyed making this.  It's been just the thing for our colder weather.  Later on today I am catching my flight back to the UK and the cardigan is staying here.

I have got a helix stripes toe-up sock started for the journey and I have moved my seat to the rear of the plane for 4 reasons.  1.  Empty seats ~ when I checked in ~ around me.  2.  Toilets near  3. Aisle seat and 4. Close to the flight crew ~ I have found when I knit with my light on I get lots of offers of 'something to drink?' 

I'm waiting for Mr Clicky to get in from work and take me to O'Hare.  It's been a bit mad being here, when I came it was Summer and now it's nearly Christmas.  Phew.  I am so looking forward to catching up with family and friends and of course, Baby Needles.  She was 2 months when I left and now she is nearly 5 months.  She has changed so much, I have lots of cuddles to get in and make up for lost time.

See you soon.............Clicky Needles.

Friday, 1 November 2019


Hello Folks!

My time in Illinois is drawing to a close.  I have spent a thoroughly enjoyable 3 months with Mr Clicky most of my day times enjoying the sun next to the pool in our apartment complex.  The pool closed at the end of September but I still managed a few weeks sometimes in bikini sometimes not, sitting by the pool reading/knitting/crocheting/listening to podcasts.  The weather has got a bit chillier although we've still had some glorious sunny autumn days and a really warm halloween this Sunday.

Three days later however, on actual Halloween, this happened.  It snowed.  All day. 

I cosied up indoors with a hot chocolate and carried on with my quilt.

It's nearly finished now.

Stay warm!.........Clicky Needles.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Trick or Treat?

Hello there!

One of Mr Clicky's colleagues invited us to a Halloween neighbourhood party on Sunday.  We thought it would be fun to experience and went in costume.

We had a wander around our local Halloween pop-up shop and decided that a 'Day of the Dead' Día de Muertos theme would be easy to do. 

Incidentally did you know that the whole Day of the Dead parade was dreamt up when the James Bond film Spectre was made?  The people of Mexico City adopted it afterwards.  Read all about it here.

I bought 5 yards of black and red net, pleated it and sewed onto a wide piece of black ribbon as a skirt.

We bought a hat for Mr Clicky, a headband for me and some make-up from the Halloween shop.  The make-up wasn't easy to do, but it is hard when you are dead.

When we got to the neighbourhood we were greeted by a barbeque, and at 1.00pm we nabbed two of their teens who were dressed as a dog and a unicorn and set off trick or treating.

It was a stunning Autumn afternoon.  There were many families around and a lovely happy atmosphere. 
It soon became apparent which houses to visit.

The decorations were unlike anything I had seen before.

This pumpkin carving must have taken ages, or lots of family to do it.

Lots of people were sat outside on their porches with large buckets of candy.

The sun shone and our dog and unicorn soon got too hot.  The dog head came off and the unicorn ended up in the shorts and t-shirt she had on underneath.

We walked slowly and chatted to the girls, when we arrived back at their home we realised we had been out for 1 1/2 hours.  The unicorn was definitely flagging by this point. 

Mr Clicky and I didn't collect any candy but the girls had taken pillowcases for the stash.  They were half full and offered us some.  I had some Swedish Fish for the first time.  Yum. 

So there we are, Halloween for us was a pleasant walk in the sunshine.

See you soon........Clicky Needles.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

What I've Been Up To Lately

Hello there.

As I mentioned in my last post I have some finished things to show you.  

I have been really enjoying sewing and embroidery lately.  I popped this kit into my suitcase when I came out here in August as it didn't take up much room.  I have had this kit for years ~ I think it may be 25 (!) 

It is called Hedgebank, with Buttercups, Nettles, Campion and Bluebells in a blue wool.

The kit was designed to be put in a rectangular frame but I used a hoop and embroidered the edges of the scene instead.

After that I found this set of three on Amazon.  The kits came with everything that was needed including the hoop.  There were three long needles included but they could've been a bit sharper, I bent one of the needles trying to get six strands of thread through a French Knot.   I've not come across using all the strands of thread before.

The hoop is large ~ 8" and it only took two days to complete.  Despite the needle bending I really enjoyed the stitching.

The embroideries are displayed together on our apartment wall giving a much needed bit of colour.  I'll complete the other two in the spring when I'm back again.
I finally got round to sorting out a new motor for my lovely 1916 Singer 66 Redeye.  Despite penetrating oil and elbow grease we were unable to remove the screws from the old motor so I bit the bullet and bought a new one.   It was easy to fit and she was up and sewing within a few minutes.  Of course, she is a joy to use.  

I decided to make a grocery bag using this this Walmart one as a pattern.
I snapped up a bargain sheet set in Walmart and used the fabric.  I wanted the bag to be able to stand up, so it could fit onto the carousel that they use at the checkouts, so I added batting that I already had, quilted all the pieces and added a lining.  I realise that this is probably over engineered but it gave me a chance to do some wavy quilting for the first time on my machine.  The result?  Well, I'm pleased with it, and after finishing I realised it is insulated as well.  When it gets dirty, just chuck it in the washing machine.

Whilst I was falling down the black hole that is Pinterest the other day I came across some rather nice fabric boxes.  As I was lacking in something to keep my necklaces and earrings this was the perfect solution.

I took the 5 minute walk to Hobby Lobby and found some pretty grey fabric.  There was such a wide range I wanted it all.

I used this pattern.  There was a little bit of swearing and they are far from perfect but things are looking neater.

I'm back to the UK in one and a bit weeks so I am trying to finish the quilt I started with the blue jelly roll. 

We have been invited to a Halloween Party on Saturday, so I am sewing a costume for that.  That sounds rather grand, actually it's a net skirt.  I am really looking forward to it, as Halloween isn't quite the same back home and I am keen to experience it US style.

Finally, a tree in Fall colours with a beautiful blue sky.  As much as I love summer, I love Autumn too.

Have a good week.............Clicky Needles.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

A Weekend in Chicago

Hello folks.

It was Mr Clicky's birthday last week so we decided to have a weekend in Chicago.  As we are an hour or so north west of the city, we took the Metra train and rattled and clanked down. 

Our hotel was near Millennium square one of the many sky scrapers; it is true that when you are in Chicago you look up all the time.   We took the water taxi to save our feet whenever we could but I still managed 10,000 steps before lunchtime. 

Of course, the buildings aren't all glass and steel, if you look you can find the older ones.

We stopped in a cafe in the Pittsfield Building which was built in 1922.  It was shrouded in scaffolding and unassuming from the outside but inside.....

it was breathtaking

Suitably refreshed we walked onto the Art Institute Of Chicago.  We made for the Impressionist Gallery.  I loved this Renoir.

Young Woman Sewing also by Renoir.


I always love a Monet and there were quite a few.

Pointillism by Georges Seurat.  A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  This is large ~ 2m x 3m but there were many people around and I couldn't get a good picture.  It was stunning.

Not everything was large, this illuminated letter O was roughly 10 x 10 cm but so beautiful.

We left the paintings and went to the textiles gallery.
This piece looked printed from a distance.

On closer inspection, I could see it was embroidered.

It was made in strips and then sewn together, wow! what work.

Passing on by I was transfixed by this macrame piece called A Private Affair by Claire Zeisler.

It is made from knotted hemp.

I could have stood and stared at it for ages, but Mr Clicky ushered me onwards.  We decided not to bother with the Warhol collection and came across this.  Now, I didn't take a picture of the information and can't find anything on line, so I don't know who made it but..........the man, whoever he was, took commercially made jumpers or sweaters which proported to be 100% wool and analysed each one.
The results?  Well, a good majority were not 100%.  This Royal Navy 'wooly pully' was only 60% wool.  In fact 60% seemed to be a common theme.  

The samples on the wall varied from light blue to almost black and it certainly made an interesting display, and made me think about the yarn that I use.  How do we know really what is in our yarn?  The next question, of course, but is it art?  It made me question things.  Is that the point of art?  Or is it something to look at?  Discuss!!!!

We headed back to our hotel which was on the Chicago River but with views of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan; had an hour's rest and left for our evening entertainment.
We went to a Drunk Shakespeare performance.  It was a very small venue behind a non-descript door.  We were greeted by the actors as we came in taken to our seats and given a drink.

Our play was to be MacBeth.  The lead male actor then drank five shots of tequila and the show began.  There was lots of audience participation, lots of ad libs and lots of laughs.  It was a testament to the actor's abilities that even under the influence it was still understandable.

After a good night's sleep and a large stack of pancakes for breakfast from nearby Eggy's Diner we checked out and took the water taxi again.  We had a day pass so took full advantage and went from one end to the other and back again.  

Seeing the city from the river is definitely worth it, away from the bustle of the streets.  

At the end of the river taxi route is Chinatown so we popped in to see.  

We didn't stay long but when we turned around we could see the city sky line in the distance, no sky scrapers here.

We boarded the water taxi again and went back into the melee.  Even on a Sunday it is so noisy.

We wandered back to the train station and an hour and a half later were back in our apartment, resting our feet and drinking a nice cup of tea. Aaaaah.

That's me for now, next post, things I have been making. 

Bye for now...........Clicky Needles.

I forgot to add, I did find a yarn shop but resisted all temptation and came out empty handed.