Scavenger Hunt

Sunday 15 December 2019


Hello there.  

I have been making an effort to get bits and bobs finished.  You know how it is, that last little bit of finishing never gets done.

These houses were free with a Christmas magazine last year?  maybe the year before.  I stitched the cross stitch straight away but hadn't got round to the final joining and stuffing.

As always with a kit on a magazine, the supplies were at a bare minimum and there wasn't enough felt to back all three houses, so I found some in my stash.  

Finishing No 2.  A pair of Joes Toes slippers for Baby Needles.  I bought the felt bottoms Wonderwool this year.  Knitting the uppers was a very quick job in a chunky yarn I found in my stash.

They have been sitting around on the side for several months waiting for me to sew them up.  The soles have holes punched in to enable you to join.

All finished now.

Arm warmers.  I started these about a year ago, finished one arm and hadn't bothered to make the other.  These (should've) been a really quick make in Aran wool but........

Will I wear these?  When I am a bit chilly and having a Highlander moment, maybe.

A cardi for Baby Needles.  This should've been another quick project using up some double knit, it's not large.  It sat around for a long time as I procrastinated and didn't move anywhere, mainly I think, because I was running out of yarn and knitting both sleeves at the same time so as not to end up with one sleeve longer than the other.

Anyhoo, I found some mismatched buttons yesterday and sewed them on.

My last thing to show you today is my advent tea light calendar.  I like an advent candle but more often than not, it burns down several days at a time because I forget to blow it out.  Advent tea lights therefore are an excellent solution.  They seem to be disappearing a bit too fast for my liking though.  

Master Clicky and me picked up our Christmas Tree on Saturday but it is in a bucket of water outside still and I still have presents buy/wrap/make.  Mr Clicky comes home on the 21st and I'm not sure whether he will be a help or hinderance.

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

Monday 2 December 2019


Hello All.

December seems to have crept up on me, this morning we woke to a frost.   Not that I'm complaining, anything is better than rain.

I have a few things to show you today.  The first is a cross stitch sampler that I made whilst I was away, for my lovely little granddaughter Willow.  She delights me every time I see her, and is growing fast.  She now has two, very sharp, teeth.

I looked on Pinterest for samplers with Willow trees in and came across this pattern which was on sale on Etsy from AnnieBeezFolkArt.   Bizarrely, she lives about five miles from our apartment.   It is from a set of four; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, called Sheltering Tree, with the tree in various colours and different animals underneath.  I took the season name out added Willow's, and took the whole thing down to add the birth date.  

I found a box frame in The Range and used a piece of Foamboard also from The Range to stretch it over.  It went in and out of the frame several times because I managed to trap some glitter in with it from something else I bought.  It is now in Willow's nursery.

I took it into my head about a week ago to make an Advent Calendar for my (grown up) children.  I had a peruse of Pinterest and thought that paper stars looked good.  This was an easy job.  Cut out stars from brown paper and sew round the outside whilst popping a sweet or chocolate inside.  Easy but time consuming.  Cutting out 100 stars took quite some time even with several layers at once.   I found some red metallic thread in my sewing box which I bought years ago because Shiny Thing! but had never used because I thought it would be difficult to sew.  
Actually it was a doddle, no different from ordinary thread.  Sewing the stars ~ with a needle I keep for paper sewing ~ was again easy, but time consuming.  It is actually my sort of sewing, no need for accuracy and fun to whizz along.  You'll notice I am using my modern 'plastic' machine.  Master Clicky is currently working on a motor of a vintage machine I may have acquired, more on that another time.

Anyhoo, the end result.  The Advent Calendar that is for Master Clicky tied up in our kitchen between the lighting conduit.  I didn't put any sweets in for me, I have cut down a lot in my chocolate consumption since returning from my travels and I don't seem to crave it anymore.

For Miss Clicky and her husband (husband, that still sounds weird!) I cut a piece of contorted willow from the garden and they assembled theirs hanging from a door.  I love how this one looks.

I have been sorting things at home, going through old paper work and shelves, the vast majority of which need chucking out.  Not a nice job but so worth doing.  I also need to reclaim the spare bedroom from Master Clicky's 'stuff' which he lobbed in there whilst, 'Sorting out my room.'  I am trying to persuade him to part with electronic Battleships, numerous old cricket bats and a selection of toy guns, 'Do you really need them?'  

Right, that's me for now, I have a not very nice dental appointment this afternoon, so wish me luck.  

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

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Blue and White

Hello Folks.

I arrived back in the UK safely following a tedious night flight.  I find it hard to sleep on planes, so I don't bother trying ~ I get grumpy if I try to sleep and can't!  Baby Needles and Miss Clicky arrived at home just about the same time as I did, so despite the fact I was desperate for sleep I spent the afternoon having wonderful cuddles.

Our house was still standing, it needed a bit of sorting as you'd expect if a leave a 20 year old boy in charge but it wasn't too bad.  

Before I left I took loads of pictures of the quilt I made on my two vintage Singers.  

Oh my goodness I love this quilt.

There are I know, a lot of things I should have differently and this was very much was a learning curve.

I used a small jelly roll which came from Joanns.

I had to add the white squares in to make it big enough for a queen bed and still had to add extra navy blue cotton around the edges.  

I spray basted the quilt sandwich on our living room floor ~ tricky because our carpet is quite long.  I realised afterwards I should have done it on the stair landing in our communal area which has carpet tiles and is a lot harder, but never mind.  I used cotton batting.

I quilted the central panel around the squares.  I did try to 'stitch in the ditch' but I didn't always remain in the ditch.

The edges were quilted about 4cm apart which I did by eye on my Red Eye Singer.

The quilt has already been used, when the snow came and it kept us toasty warm over the duvet.  I hadn't appreciated just how warm it would be.

I put the basting off for some time, but as it turned out wasn't quite as scary as I thought it would be.

I sewed the scraps of the jelly roll together.

And made a little pincushion.

The quilt is keeping Mr Clicky warm now, there's been more snow.

That's me for now.  See you soon...Clicky Needles.

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.