Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Five Year Knitting Project

I was reading some posts recently on The Twisted Yarn about a long term project to make a crocheted rainbow afghan (that’s a blanket to non knitters!), particularly the one about finishing it, and it made me think that I have never properly posted about the biggest project in my life.  In 2009 (yes, you read that right) I started the Lizard Ridge Afghan.  This is a very popular pattern on Ravelry, it has 2102 projects. That means people have made, or are making, over 2000 of these bad boys.  Lizard Ridge uses Noro Kureyon yarn, which is Japanese, multicoloured and pretty expensive.  Have I told you before that I am pretty tasteless sometimes when it comes to colour? I love lots and lots of bright colours together! I don’t go for tasteful neutrals, that’s why I have red sofas when everyone else has cream, brown or grey.  So you can see why this pattern would appeal to me.

I was a pretty new knitter when I started this and I knit it in squares, learning new techniques like short rows (and spit splicing, ha ha!) along the way.  Soon-ish I had 24 squares, but they sat in piles for ages because I was scared to seam them together and too lazy to wash and block them all.  Gradually I did it, and in April 2012 I finally bought some yarn to seam it. But then I decided it would look better bigger, so I knit a load more squares instead.

The first square, 2009

Getting some ideas for placements, 2010?

And then I made my 2013 New Year’s Resolution to finish it. With the aid of a class at a Knitting festival, and some internet tutorials I realised that sewing it together wouldn’t be so bad after all. Those seams are so damn neat now! But it sat around, with the newer squares still not blocked and unseamed. Sigh. I kept pretending to my self that blocking is an awkward job when you can hardly move….

Knitting a square with cat help, March 2013

Final placement, 2014

At the beginning of this year I made it my 2014 resolution to finish it and I really mean it this time! I want to enter it in the craft exhibition at the village festival at the end of May, because this blanket really deserves a rosette in my humble opinion – and there won’t be another chance until 2016.  I’ve just finished the sewing up, which took about four evenings in front of the telly, turfing the cat off the ends every so often, then I took another three evenings to weave in all the ends.  I know a lot of people hate weaving in ends but I don’t mind really, the sense of anticipation at completing a project always gets me through!


Hattie getting in the way of weaving in ends, April 2014

So now I move onto the idea of edging it.  I decided that I just couldn’t bear to learn to crochet so I looked amongst those 2102 projects for another idea, and settled on applied i-cord edging.  I am literally just learning how to do it right now, and thank God for the internet and photo tutorials.  I’m using this one and it is starting well, fingers crossed.

Hopefully it won’t be too long until I can post about it in its finished form.  I am pretty excited about it!




Filed under Knitting

The Great Essex Sewing Bee

I have been avidly watching The Great British Sewing Bee, even though I don’t make clothes.  The skills on show are awesome! I am still a little gutted that Chinelo didn’t win.  I can’t do a tenth of what is done on the show, but it does inspire me to sit at my machine.  My Monday days off can be proper sewing time if I can get organised, so last Monday I spent most of the day sewing (in between getting bitten by the cat and writing blog posts that is), finishing things I started ages ago, testing new ideas and bodging some stuff.

  1. I started this before Christmas! Not too thrilling but this peg bag from Emma Hardy’s Sewing in no Time matches the carrier bag holder I made my mum.

    Hattie wonders if she can get in it.

    Hattie wonders if she can get in it.

  2. Napkins! I sort of don’t know why I wanted to make these, because it’s not like I am sophisticated enough to use a napkin at every meal, but they do look nice, and I wanted to learn mitred corners.  The tutorial came from here. The fabric came from Fabric Rehab. I think they’d make good presents, maybe for a wedding or house warming?

    There's one good mitred corner at least...

    There’s one good mitred corner at least…

  3. I also bodged a case with elastic and velcro to hold an ice bag on a knee.  I wonder why I was so interested in that? Work is getting busy again so the ice pack is going to be my best friend again! It’s not really pretty but I’m not exactly intending to flaunt it.


    There was also something else that I worked on using a mixture of tutorials and making it up as I went along, so watch this space for my homemade Kindle holder!

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Filed under Sewing

Acorns and stitches – Textiles week 6

I think I enjoyed my homework from Textiles class a bit too much… I had to make myself an acorn stamp to add the acorns to my falling oak leaf cushion from weeks 4 and 5.  The stamp was super simple to make – I just drew the acorn, used a scalpel to prick through onto some sticky backed foam and then joined the dots to cut it out.  The foam was pretty thin so I did three and stuck them one on top of the other onto a wooden block.  Then using my special “don’t mix the paint properly” technique I used a brush to add the paint to the foam and stamped away!2014-03-31 14.34.45

Added acorns

I think I got a little carried away at this point…

DSCN1333 DSCN1335

There’s not much left to do on it now, I might add some foil to a few of the acorns, and I’m thinking about embroidering some leaf veins on a few of the leaves.  Handily, week 6 was all about learning some embroidery stitches – I think you can tell I’ve never done it before:

First embroidering stitches


I’ll have to get a bit better though because I’m planning that my next project will involve some embroidery… You can see what crazy ideas I’m having at my Pinterest board!


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Filed under Other crafts, Sewing