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Archive for March, 2014

A trio of street art spotted in Cambridge Gardens, W10.

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I’ve finally got my computer back again, after not having access to it for a month.  I have to say I’ve not really missed it, apart from my e-mails and the fact that it’s a lot more fiddly to write blog posts without it (I can do it from my phone, but it just takes so long).

Anyway, week before last I went to The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia, and normally I would have blogged about it straight away… but here I am, late, and the show is long since finished but that doesn’t mean I can’t still show you some pretty things.

There were an awful lot of beautiful knitting goodies available, and I noticed that gift sets seemed to be quite a big thing this year.  This make-a-doll set was pretty cute…

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…but it was these luxury knitting hampers from The Little Knitting Company that really had me drooling.  Sadly well out of my price range, but a girl can dream can’t she?  I also loved these rosewood or subabul knitting needles (handmade and ethically sourced, for those who like to know these things).

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Is it time for a gratuitous teddy bear yet?  I think it must be…

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This incredibly soft and fluffy bear (and really, you have to feel him to believe just how marvellously soft and fluffy he is) is by TOFT, and made from real alpaca fur.  Don’t worry, no alpacas were harmed in the making of this bear (he’s the byproduct of a young alpaca that died of natural causes).

Anyway, I didn’t buy any yarn this year.  Nope, not a single ball or skein.  Yes, you heard that right!  What I did buy was ALL the fabric…

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…as well as some pretty buttons and ribbons…

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There was a plethora of beautiful yarn to choose from, but as I don’t have any specific knitting/crochet projects on the go at the moment (and my current stash is already a little on the large size…) I thought I would be a good girl and buy fabric instead.  These will all feature on notebooks in the future, so keep your eyes on my shop in the months to come.

The show was great fun again, and I not only got to indulge in shopping but also got to sit down and have a natter with Mr X Stitch himself.  He’s a lovely bloke and I really enjoyed chatting with him and some of the other people at his stand, plus I got to do a little cross-stitching too

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I’d forgotten how much I enjoy cross-stitching (I’ve not done any for at least a year), but my goodness did it give me a bit of a backache!  I’m proud of my little space invader though, and will probably add another one to that piece before I’m through.

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Just a couple of quick ideas I scrawled while I was on the bus the other day.

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Wednesday WIP

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The builders finished work on our loft at the weekend, so the only work in progress at the moment is cleaning and decorating.  Endless amounts of both.  Normal service will resume shortly!

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Street Art #5

Sadly it was a bit dark when I took this photo (Coles Green Road, NW2), but it caught my eye nonetheless.

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Street Art #4

Not the most elaborate graffiti, but it made me smile.  From Allington Road (W10).

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Gosh, my hundredth sketchblog post. Perhaps I ought to have made more of an effort this week, but with an army of builders still swarming over my house I must admit I’ve had more pressing things on my mind! 

As such here are another few pages from my sketch book, drawn last weekend while we were away.

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A long time ago (August 2013, to be more precise) I came across some amigurumi patterns for various incarnations of Dr Who (plus the Tardis).  The dolls made from these patterns looked fabulous – don’t just take my word for it, go and see all eleven doctors by clicking here.  My partner’s nephew is crazy about all things Dr Who (in 2012 I made him a Dr Who quilt) so I decided that, for xmas 2013, I would make him a Dr Who and a Tardis.

Having checked with my sister-in-sin as to which Doctor Who I ought to make, I purchased the patterns via Ravelry and immediately started scratching my head with puzzlement.  The pattern for the doctor doesn’t give you any idea as to how much yarn you’re going to need.  It tells you that you need yarn in various colours (as one would imagine for body, shirt, trousers, jacket, hair, etc.)… but not even a hint about how much of each.

So, you need seven different colours of yarn, but no idea how much of each.  Ok, some are going to be easy to work out (you’re not going to need much red yarn, for instance, to crochet a fez and a bow tie), but for things like the tweed jacket and the Doctor’s skin I was really quite annoyed at not being given even a rough guide.  Not everyone has things like tweed or flesh-tone yarn kicking around, and having to buy a whole ball of something new when you might be able to scrounge a partial ball from somewhere instead is very frustrating.

I did scrounge some yarn in the end, for the tweed jacket and the skin, but the flesh tone was a little too dark and the tweed wasn’t quite right…

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See, more grey than brown in that photo, but there was something not quite right about the texture.  It was about this point that I got distracted by other things (such as our new puppy…) and poor old Dr Who was left by the wayside.  Archie never did get his special handmade gift from me at xmas time…

Anyway, I did eventually go back to this project and went and bought myself some tweed wool (and didn’t use it all, so was able to do this with the leftovers), and a ball of flesh tone too (no idea what I’m going to do with the rest of that).  Dr Who came along quickly after that and despite my irritation at the vagueness of the materials list it’s actually a very easy pattern to follow.

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I will eventually finish the eleventh Doctor (once my house is no longer a building site!), hopefully in time for Archie’s birthday in July (and when I do I will post another update with photos).

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But what about the Tardis?  Well that wasn’t such a success, more’s the pity.  When I purchased the pattern I really should have paid closer attention to the description which said “You also need felt, plastic canvas, printable fabric, and other odds and ends.”

Hmm, that’s a lot of extra materials.  Still, I scrounged some royal blue yarn from a friend and made a start anyway… and then lost the will to live.  This is far as I got before I decided to abandon the project altogether.

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It really was incredibly dull work, and when I had a look online to see how much the extra materials would cost me (mainly the plastic canvas and printable fabric) I was appalled – after all this was supposed to be a fun gift, just a little extra present for Archie as he’d already had his main presents.  The pattern is great, after all it’s been really well designed and the finished object (assuming you do have all the bits and pieces necessary for completion) is pretty amazing looking … but really I just wasn’t feeling the Tardis love.  Sorry Archie!

Would I recommend these patterns?  Yes, although do be aware that the amount of yarn you’ll need for the Doctor will remain a mystery until you actually need to use it…

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Wednesday WIP

I can’t quite believe that it’s already March, this year has already started to fly by and I’ve barely done any work.  My extended hiatus from work has been due to this…

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We’re having our loft converted and so the house is a mess, and although we put a lot of stuff into storage we also ended up storing things in my studio too. The dog and I are spending most of our time in the studio (as the house is overrun with builders during the day) and it’s a tight fit so crafting is not that easy.

Still, yesterday I unearthed my sewing machine and managed to get a little work done…

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…well, after removing the doglet from my lap! I really enjoyed getting back to work, and there is now a lot of bunting to be added to my Etsy shop when it reopens later this week.

Today the weather is glorious so I think I might spend the rest of the afternoon sketching in the garden and making the most of the sunshine.

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Portobello Road (W10).

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