Sunday, January 29, 2017

Princess Quilt for a Princess

Over the Christmas break I kept myself busy with piecing, and quilting, so that I could finish a princess quilt for this sweet princess.

Princess on a Princess Quilt

I'd started this quilt well over a year ago (princess is now 9 months!) and would only work on this project sporadically.  As Christmas approached I decided to kick it up a notch and try and get this one finished and over to its intended recipient.  There were lots of blurry eyed late nights invested... but soo worth it.


For the quilt design, I wanted something that would allow me to feature the princess pictures out of this Alexander Henry 'Once Upon A Time' fabric.  I came across the 'Oh My Stars!' Quiltalong, which looked straight forward enough my for beginner quilt skills and would allow me to fussy cut those princess images for the center of different sized stars.  It is a great tutorial, and if you check out the Oh My Stars Flicker Group you will see some creative and diverse applications of this approach.


I composed the layout as I went along.  It took me a few shuffles of stars before I landed on a composition that was pleasing to me -- having a large central star surrounded by medium and smaller stars.


After I had pieced the quilt, I knew that there would be a strong probability that I would not be able to get it out to a professional long arm quilter for completing over the busy Christmas period.  So, I decided that I would quilt it myself!  I spray basted the quilt together and started by shadow outlining the stars in a Pearl DMC top thread - using this great tutorial for guidance.  And then further echoed that outline with Aurifil thread, until I reached the edges of the quilt.  It was a lot of work but well worth the effort.  I am enormously pleased with how this turned out.



I have my next quilt in the very early planning stages... more to come in a future post.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.  What fun plans do you have?
Sam xxx

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Handspun Wurm

I am especially fond of handspun yarn. I love the squish of the yarn and that it has interest when it is not entirely consistent and uniform. The color combinations and graduations are gorgeous. I found a seller on Etsy whose handspun yarn is fabulous: Bockstarkknits.

Have you seen any handspun sellers that you would recommend?


I recently picked up some of Bockstarkknit's gorgeous yarn - a 2ply sock weight merino/firestar yarn - which I had fully intended to be a pair of socks. That is until I started unwinding the skein and rolling it into a ball... I then decided that it was too pretty to be hidden in a pair of shoes. It would be better suited for a hat.

  Plane knitting  Bockstark knits handspun

The hat pattern that I selected was Wurm by Katharina Nopp, a free download on Ravelry. The yarn colorway was aptly named Bohemia, and for me, the Wurm hat also has an unconventional vibe that would work well with this gradient yarn.

  Wurm Wurm

If you have visited this blog a few years ago you may recall that I have made the wurm hat before. It is one of my favorite hats, and a really fun knit. Previously I had used 2 separate yarns for the knit rounds and the purl ridges. This time I worked from either end of my ball of gradient handspun yarn, so that it had a bold blast of color pop through between the purl ridges. I think it would have been equally effective if I had just knit from one side of the yarn, and you'd really see the gradient yarn play out.


So there you have it - a fun project for a gradient yarn, and a delightful knit to boot!

Apologies for my absence here.
Wishing you all good things for 2017.
Sam xxx

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Halloween Prepping

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Denyse Schmidt at Fancy Tiger crafts. It was fascinating to hear how her crafting story unfolded, and also the business decisions she had made along the way. I love her quilts and fabrics and thoroughly enjoyed listening to her creative process.


While I was at Fancy Tiger I did a little window shopping. Which turned into actual shopping, when these beauties came home with me.  I'd been looking on Pinterest for a trick or treat tote to make for Naomi, and these fabrics are just the ticket! Loving the ouchy tooth image. Naomi got a kick out of that too!

Cotton and Steel Halloween Fabrics

The pattern I used is the Pocket Tote, Library Bag from Sugar Bee Crafts.  It is a great pattern - well written with clear supporting photographs (her selection of fabric is adorable too!).  I like that this is kid-sized and has some structure to it.  Naomi thinks the tote is awesome, so we have a winner!

Trick or treat bag

Halloween trick or treat bag

In addition to this sewing project I've been working on a little capelet cardigan for Naomi in the fun Madeline Tosh yarn that has the 'rainbow paint splats' on it.  I am winging this one, so hoping that it works out nicely.

Rainbow splash cardigan

And of course continuing to plug away on the lace section of the rosewater shawl.  This is such a fun color for Halloween... not sure if it will be finished in time though.


Hope you are having a great weekend,

Sunday, September 04, 2016


Apologies for the absence. I had the good fortune to take an extended work trip to 2 places that I have been on my wish list - China and Japan.

Shanghai was my first destination and although I spent most of my time in meeting rooms, I got to experience local food and culture and this amazing skyline:

Shanghai by day

Shanghai by night

Over the weekend I was able to visit the Yu Garden area in Shanghai, which is an interesting mix of older architecture and commerce.  I enjoyed wandering around this area and seeing some craftsmen at work.

Yu Garden, Shanghai

Yu Garden, Shanghai

The next destination was Tokyo, and I was able to see the Meiji Jingu Shrine, the Imperial Palace, Harajuku, and one craft area in a local department store (bonus!)

Meiji Jingu shrine barrels of sake

Meiji Jingu shrine prayers, Tokyo


I was on a high after this trip, feeling extremely lucky to have had a taste of these great cities, and I hope to return to both places in the future.

Long flights also means I have a little craft update too with lots of plane knitting time! Shortly before the trip I had received a recommended post in my facebook feed for a new-to-me designer: Janina Kallio. I really liked the airy shawl designs, and selected one of these for the trip - Rosewater shawl. I had the perfect yarn for it too - some handspun that I had found on Etsy a few years ago, in a gorgeous purple. The beginning garter stitch section was good simple knitting for a travel project.

Garter stitch


Have you had a fun summer?

I hope that you are all well.
Best wishes,
Sam xxx

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Fun Girly Poncho

Are you having a great weekend? Have you been watching, and enjoying, the start of the Olympics? We watched the opening ceremony on Friday, and then watched the swimming qualifiers, table tennis, women's soccer and the men's gymnastics yesterday.  Yes, I love watching the Olympics, and Naomi is also getting hooked... she is particularly fond of the gymnastics.  (We can't wait to see Simone Biles... and are watching the uneven bar qualifiers right now).

During the opening ceremony I was able to cast on, and finish this fun girly poncho:

The yarn is Knit Collage Gypsy Garden, in Shooting Star color way.  It is a bulky thick/thin wool and mohair yarn that has 'flair' spun into it -- glittery ribbons and colorful threads, little ribbon roses and flowers.  It really is a fun yarn!  My very thoughtful sister bought a skein for me when she was visiting the Purl Soho store in New York.  I picked up a 2nd skein on Ravelry destash to ensure that I'd have enough yardage for a project (each skein is 32 yards).

Yarn off sis
This didn't start out as a poncho,  It was intended to be a cowl.  For me.  I searched on Ravelry for a pattern that used a super bulky yarn, with less that 150 yards, and picked the Marian cowl pattern by Jane Richmond designs, which is a free Ravelry download.

At first I knit as instructed in the pattern, using a seed stitch.  However there was too much going on for my taste with the 'flair' plus the seed stitch pattern.  So I frogged and worked the cowl instructions in a simple stocking stitch.  That worked much better - you could really see the thick and thin yarn, and all the sparkles and embellishments.

I asked Naomi to model the cowl for blog photos for me, and when she tried it on it fell over her shoulders like a poncho.  She fell in love with it!  So there you have it - Momma's cowl, became a fun girly poncho for Naomi!

Wishing you a good rest of your weekend.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

It has been a slow week...

This time last year we were back in the UK for my sister's wedding.
The whole gang
I had all good intentions to create a 1 year anniversary gift for her: A wedding portrait cross stitch, similar to the cross stitch portrait my brother had requested. Unfortunately it has been another couple of nutty work weeks so I didn't have the free/craft time to pull it off. The silver lining is that the traditional 2nd year anniversary gift is 'cotton'... so that can be the new goal! Sorry, Sis xxx
I have a reasonable start, and have been enjoying working on my Sis in her fabulous wedding dress. Pretty cute, huh! (She's ridiculously cute in real life too). I cant tell you how much fun these portraits are to work on.
Now I just need to keep this little fella from chewing up the threads!!!
(Isn't that a guilty look)
Wishing you a great Sunday,

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rockies Sockies

Last night was Star Wars night at Coor's Field. While I'm not a big sports fan, or Star Wars fan for that matter, I do like a good event and last night was a great one! We took a pedicab to the baseball field, which is always a fun way to get to the park quickly. The folks that operate the pedicabs are a delightful bunch and yesterday's experience was no exception - once we reached our destination, the driver had Naomi squealing in delight as he treated her to her very own 'figure of eight' fairground style turns! I love this shot we were able to snap - the Colorado shirt with the iconic Union Station in the background. Aah gott a love Colorado.
There were lots of cool details at the ball park last night: A Star Wars costume parade around the field. Dinger, the mascot, donned in a Jedi cloak and carrying a light saber. I also enjoyed that each time a player was announced on the board, he had been assigned a Star Wars character. Naturally the Rockies represented the good guys, and the opposing team were all Stormtroopers! My favourite was the bearded Charlie Blackmon as Chewy!
As we were at a Rockies game it seemed only right that I dug out my Rockies sock yarn to knit on. Isn't this colorway perfect! I always get a few funny looks when knitting at a game - but this is a few hours of sitting time... a perfect time to knit! Does anyone else knit at sporting events? I know there used to be annual stitch and pitch events where knitters would gather and craft at the game. Soo much fun!
Rockies Sockies
Plus the Rockies colorway beats the boring black man sock that I also have on the needles right now.
Boring Black man sock
Hope you have had a fun weekend too.