Being Frank…

Accepting my failings

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Yehaaaaaaaaaa! It’s the WIP roundup…

I’m hoping towards the end of this week to start putting photographs on the blog again having now sorted out my technological issues…in the meantime a status report…

This month the emphasis has been on decluttering rather than making,  so not much stash busting but little purchasing so I guess I end the month on a win

WIP’s first since I am feeling quite pleased with myself… you see I’ve finished my Mum’s cardigan…ok so when I say finished I mean I’ve stopped knitting, Mum is unfortunately still waiting for the finished article as it needs ends sewn in, sewing up washing blocking.  Pikkuveli on the other hand now has buttons and is in the cupboard waiting for winter

Myrna is on the naughty step but Liam and Catkin have both been examined, detangled and places found in the pattern

Everything else remains untouched or unphotograph or both

In sewing Hollyburn has been recut and is waiting resewing…nothing else resolved…I was too busy getting through second sleeve syndrome


Yarn –I ended July with 5556 grams and have ended August with 5756 having purchased 2 balls of sock yarn whilst on holiday (from a German supermarket) – I have however run out of hat sized bits of leftovers and have donated lots of ends of balls to an organisation in Nottingham who amongst other things are knitting poppies 

Material     Stash end of July 9959cm  Stash at end of August 9809cm

I made 2 Mabel’s this month although I counted 1 of them in the last round up. Both need hemming…neither of which are likely to be hemmed this side of Christmas (not even the one that was the right side) as I have it on good authority that the Mabel is not for me!

Fabric used 1.5 metres, 0.5 metres from stash…

However, none purchased… not sure I will be saying that next month as the weather is turning and thoughts are turning to thicker fabrics…of which I seem to own few…



Spring Sewing Swap

I am not known for my ability to post things on time…I have a fear of the post office these days as the one in Reading has become very automated but not in a way that speeds things up… however I was tempted into the post office queue by the chance to take part in Kerry’s Swing Sewing Swap…

When the swap partners were announced I was delighted to discover I had Maryanne aka Mrs C  (who used to blog as Hectic Eclectic but can now be found at Sent from my iRon)…I have been a long term lurker of Mrs C and had in fact spent a happy 2 days one Christmas working my way through her archived posts (instead of working…).

But then I suddenly thought, “Oh my God, she runs a craft shop/haberdashers, how am I going to find something she hasn’t already got…”  I needn’t have worried however as not only is Maryanne very nice and friendly…she also has an alter ego called Constance Craving who turned out to be very easy to buy for…my share of the swap can be found over here

Despite the panic and worry, there is very much an upside of swapping with someone who runs a haberdashers…because…they run a haberdashers !!!

I very much hit the jackpot with my allocated swapper and I am very happy about it as I was gifted such wonderful goodies



That yummy wool you can see in the photo in the most beautiful of blood reds is not just genuine New Zealand merino, nor is it just genuine New Zealand merino with possum but genuine New Zealand merino with possum and silk…wooohoo… so so soft

And on top of that a fabulous length of material with kiwi birds all over it…which fits in great with my recent birds obsession…plus some funky tapes for sewing into projects or tying on to parcel….

I know just the pattern for the merino, and this one is for me…time for some selfish knitting I think

Thank you Mrs C, it’s been a blast corresponding with you…and legitimately stalking your blog !

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Stash Down

Sometime ago I made a sewresolution that I would find the perfect skirt pattern by making 3 skirts a month, different skirt each month… then I came down with flu and lost my sewjo for almost a year…

I started again this January…because lets face it I wear skirts a lot both for work and for home…and 12 months on I was still in the same clothing crisis I was in the previous January – I hate buying clothes, I’m sorry but there it is, I know I should be drummed out of the girls club… don’t fit in, never have, never will…stopped trying anyway…

Anyway this time there is a twist…a twist because I am feeling guilty and afraid that I may be turning into a cloth hoarder (but the prints are so pretty and the knits feel so goooooood !)…so wherever possible I shop the stash first before I buy

These are the results so far…I can’t give percentages as “stash” is an ever changing state of being… and I take a loose definition in that its anything that’s been in the house for more than 6 months…

January – sewed just under 7 metres from stash out of a total of 9.5 metres

February – 3 metres sewn from stash, 3 metres sewn all told

March – 6.5 metres sewn from stash out of a total of 6.5 metres

April – 4.5 metres stash, 4.5 metres sewn total

Then thing started to go a bit wrong

May – 5 metres, all out of my Mum’s stash, although tecnnically 2 metres were mine just were living at Mum’s…all of which were charity shop finds so I guess if we were keeping score I’d get points for that ?

June – none, not sewn there is still time and I do sort of have a skirt on the go but I’ve been lost in a house reorganisation…besides this is a skirt out of leftovers and I’m not sure how you count that


The lost…the found…and maybe later in march a giveaway

The small thing  I  lost is my Cria cardigan…I put it to one side on Saturday to photograph so that I could post about it on Monday but the safe place  turned out to be far too safe and I now can’t find it…hoping it hasn’t accidentally gone through the washing machine…if it has then the big thing I’ve lost means that it will not be quickly replaced…

The big lost thing is my knitting mojo. I’ve not knitted a thing since the 28th January, actually that’s not true I did frog and reknit some cuffs but that’s it. There’s hardly anything that needs finishing and I just can’t find the enthusiasm to start anything…

…hoping that these losses are temporary…

The found are not really found, but they make me happy.  I came back from work yesterday to find 3 patterns from Sewaholic – I went on a small shopping spree the other week to cheer myself up after such a horrible February – spurred on by Tasia’s birthday discount. Today, waiting for me was Cake pattern’s Pavlova…oh and the sun was found by last !

The sudden influx of patterns to this house has started to get me a bit jittery as last year I purchased 4 patterns from Colette and as yet haven’t  made a start on any of them, and that’s on top of the Colette sewing handbook and Gerties book…I don’t know if it is a streak of puritanism or a streak of miserliness but I feel guilty about spending money on things if they don’t then get used…or possibly it’s just I fear clutter which is why I don’t really want to build up too big a stash of yarn, fabric or patterns.

ve never bothered doing giveaways on here as there isn’t much blog traffic but I am vaguely thinking of possibly the occasional giveaway of things surplus to requirement, that someone else can find a better home for…

Possibly first to go will be  kids casual pattern  Style 2845 which is for tracksuit tops and bottoms for boys age 2-7. I think it is all there and all the sizes still intact, I’ve not investigated in full, possibly inherited it from Husband’s ex-wife…It’s surplus to requirement as I have a Burda pattern in slightly larger sizes for the same sort of thing…


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FO Fingerless gloves (Handmade)

I didn’t make much this christmas, to be honest the day job was taking up so much of my time that I didn’t want the added stress of deadlines…but I did spend a couple of hours whipping up a pair of fingerless gloves (from the Handmade by Thompson and Badger) out of some left over sock yarn

I made them for Spider’s teacher as I noticed her wearing a variety of pairs over the last 3 months.

I’m not really into fingerless mits/gloves or arm/wrist warmers myself I do have a bit of a thing about gloves though…so perhaps I should try making a few different pairs this year instead of socks.

Trying to decide now whether I want to have a handmade christmas this year or not…if I start now it might actually be achievable for once and to not find myself on christmas morning desperately trying to finish things off and get dressed at the same time.

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It’s curtains for spider

About 2 years ago I bought some material to make curtains for Spider’s room…it’s still sitting there. If I don’t make the curtains in the next month or so then there will be no point, he will be heading off into being just that little bit too old for cartoon-ish dinosaurs.

I’ve been putting off making the curtains on the grounds I need lining material…this is just my usual procrastination and fear of screwing up…

Anyway I can’t put it off any longer as whilst I was on holiday I ran out of excuses. I wasn’t sure what was going on in the shop but I knew they were selling material. It was a whole shop full of pre-cut lengths of material with price tickets on. I think it was off cuts from clothing manufacturers as whilst mooching around the shop I recognised a stretch orange/terracotta material that about 10 years ago was the material for a bridesmaids dress I bought in Monsoon…

After some uhmming and ahhing I spent about 34 euros on 3 lengths, about 8 metres of material in all which was cheap enough I guess but when I got to the check out they knocked 50% off the ticket price…

So for about £5 total I scored 3 metres of 240cm cotton sheeting in a lime green colour…

…guess I’d better clean that kitchen floor again and get cutting

note: whilst I was on holiday Mum and the Flapjack Queen came round and tidied the downstairs of my house (love you Mum !) including cleaning the floor…we’ve been back 60 hours…it needs doing again !

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Vintage: Everyone should have a box

(in advance, apologies for the photos, the light is not being kind to me in these dull dreary post christmas days)

Can you guess what these are ? These are history, these are 3 generations of button boxes, mine, my Mum’s and my Grandma’s (from the point of view of “things handed down from mother to daughter it would have been more poetic to have my Nana’s button box but my Mum is one of 4 sisters and besides Nana’s button box is very slightly famous).

When I was small it was a pretty safe bet that there was a button box in most houses, in the ’70’s more people sewed. My Mum’s box back then was clear, I think it was a tub that once held cotton buds or it may have been a large jar of glace cherries. But it was large, and clear and full of wonders – I could spend hours sorting the buttons, making patterns, telling stories, simply playing with the buttons and most of them had memories, like the patchwork I showed the other week I could name most of the clothes that the buttons came off.

That box has long since gone and I got a bit of a shock when I saw the contents of Mum’s boxIt’s been organised ! Part of me, the part that is mentally still 6 or 7 is appalled, where is the fun in a button box that is all in little bags and no happy chaos ! But the other part of me, the part that is learning to sew squeezed in between working, running the house and making sure there is food in the house, the bit of me that values anything that saves time applauds Mum for being sensible and making sure she can find things in a hurry.

When I was 18 my Mum packed me off to university with an emergency sewing kit, the contents are long since gone but I still have the box and now it has buttons in itSadly, the contents of the box are not as much fun as mum’s (despite the organisation) – mine doesn’t quite have the memories and is made up of the odd button that comes with new clothes and a few cards of buttons I’ve purchased over the years because they look nice such as the Paddington Bear ones, some rainbow ones I bought at a craft fair and a set of 6 handmade buttons  we bought last year when we went to the Framework Knitters Museum.

Finally Grandma’s button box. This box came as a surprise to me as I didn’t even know she sewed. Nana ? Nana definitely sewed, at one point in her life she did it for a living she was what she described as a “Tailoress” and her button box was overflowing and often used in games with her many grandchildren and great grandchildren (she had 14 grandchildren).

At Nana’s funeral my cousin Julie told a story about a game called “Tommy Button” played with the button box which apparently features now in a book as a game for children with learning difficulties because Julie shared the game with a friend who shared it with a friend etc etc

Anyway, back to Grandma’s button boxWhat a fabulous chaos of buttons, what memories – there are a lot that remind me of coats she used to have, some have clearly come off chairs and sofas and there are a number of self cover buttons (which I am getting into at the moment) and there is one, just one APR button which unfortunately didn’t photograph well – I wonder who that belonged to ?

Unfortunately however despite having 3 boxes to go through I couldn’t find enough buttons of the same type that would fit and look good on either my Manu or Coraline cardigans so I had to go shopping…and got lost in the wonder of buttons…I fear I could get obsessed !