Thursday, December 30, 2010

I've moved

you can find me here

just a bit fed up of blogger crashing my browsers, whatever one I try! I have also tried to find out why it is doing this but to no avail...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Exciting Times

My lovely Mum was having her hair MAZ_1876done when she needed to find something from her little purse that I had made her.  Pamela, the hairdresser saw the purse and asked Mum about it.  Pamela is opening a new ladies hairdressing salon and thought that my little purses would suit the Vintage theme of the place.

MAZ_1877I spoke to Pamela yesterday and she has asked me if I’ll make about 10 different styles of purses for her to sell in the Salon. I am so excited about this, especially as I was also asked to show Pamela any new ideas I have to see if they will suit the shop. What a lovely person she is to work with too Smile 

 

I have also been asked to do a wholesale order for my fibre, these are indeed exciting times for Fluff-n-Stuff…

My Interchangeable Needle Organisers

have had more good reviews and I have been taking orders for quite a few of these.

interchangeable organiser (1)

interchangeable organiser (2)  I still have a few spaces left before Christmas if anyone else would like one…? They make excellent presents for a knitting friend..

 

 

 

digital recorder barry

It was Barry’s birthday yesterday and I felt like I hadn’t given him much of present.  He had had a new Sat Nav system a month or so ago which was to be his birthday present but I felt I needed to give him another present so I bought him the RAF Air force Band’s CD, Reach for the Skies.  On the day, this CD seemed inadequate….

When Barry is rehearsing or playing with the band he likes to record their music to listen to again and again (thank goodness for headphones eh? Don’t get me wrong, I adore Brass Band music but there is a limit to how often I want to hear a section of music played…). The recorder he uses was in a flimsy black bag which offered no protection for the special gadget.  So whilst he was at work I made him a bag he had been asking me make for ages.  Black denim lined with beautiful craft cotton fabric bought from America (I really didn’t like cutting that special fabric), I love the internet for shopping! I also added a pocket for headphones and other bits and bobs and a magnetic popper to keep it all in it’s place.  I am now thinking of turning this into a useful wallet/purse to add to my shop.  This one is fully interfaced and padded and when Barry came home from work I was so excited for him to open this present.  He was delighted with it!

Right, time to get back on with my knitting, a Christmas present for someone special…no, not Barry this time!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where did that week go?

Last Saturday was spent in Exeter at the wonderful Knit Expo event…I had a great time there and met some lovelyDenise people like Denise, also known as KnittingPixie. I have chatted and worked with Denise for ages and it was great to meet in real life. My stand was next to Five Moons from whom I purchased enough yarn to make myself a Spr√∂ssling cardigan. The girls from Five Moons were so lovely, I had many a laugh with Evva SmileFor the front of the cardigan, I have ordered some beautiful Czech glass buttons from Martina from Yarn to Knit. I just need to actually make a start on this cardigan now!

My new improved interchangeable needle organiser bags proved to be very popular, I sold out of all that I took with me and took orders for more. I had a good review from a customer, here’s what she had to say:-

‘I bought one of your larger folding cases at the Exeter Knit Expo and love it. My friend and I kept commenting on how beautifully made it is and I'll certainly be pointing others in your direction for cases. I am so pleased with it Thank you. I have had 3 failed purchases for cases that just weren't big enough and didn't do the job, so I really am chuffed to bits to have found one that fits the bill perfectly’

Also, my shopkeeper’s pinnies caused a lot of interest after Suzie from The Wool Sanctuary (she also knitted the words and houses on the intro to Kirsty’s homemade Home!) sported her pinny on the day, sadly I forgot to take a photo but I gather she was delighted with it. I am enjoying a bout of sewing at the moment and once these orders are completed I intend to make myself a dress or two. I have some gorgeous red/black/grey tartan material to make a pinafore and I am eager to get it cut out…arghh all those checks to match up!!

Maddie's Aspen-3My son in law brought my three gorgeous grandchildren to Knit Expo to see me which made my day. I understand he cut it a bit fine getting back for the girl’s ballet lessons though. Maddie was wearing one of my Aspen Cardigans…she looks so elegant. Sullivan clung onto me with his head on my shoulder, I could have stayed like that all day if he wasn’t so heavy!

We drove back to Cambridgeshire after the show as Barry was blowing his trumpet in a Memorial Service on the Sunday morning. The music from the brass band was amazing and the occasion moving...

nigella andrea and meLater on the Sunday my friend Andrea arrived and she stayed until Thursday. The highlight of our week as a literary lunch with Nigella. We found her to be beautiful, informative and entertaining. A charming woman that knows her stuff in the kitchen! I managed to spill a glass of elderflower cordial all over me, my new coat and the floor of the church where the event was held. Felt extremely clumsy that day but it made us laugh!

Cranford Mitts-3

Before Andrea left I managed to get a few shots of her wearing the Cranford Mitts which I made for her and the Lubushka’s which are mine. The pattern tells you to use separate balls of Rowan Felted Tweed, LUBUSHKA FINGERLESS GLOVESloads of different colours which would have cost a bomb, I am delighted with the Plum Duff Plushness from Skein Queen and am now knitting another pair with some more brightly coloured variegated yarn.

Handspun Woodsmoke Scarf-2

The handspun Woodsmoke Scarf has now been blocked and is very beautiful to look at let alone touch! I am amazed at how the colours have stayed separate as it was a 2 ply yarn. I made this scarf shorter but wider than the pattern suggests and love it more than the original.

~*~

My Barry has been so unwell, Shingles have taken their toll on him and left him with a horrid chest infection which has caused him to need an inhaler and antibiotics. I hope all the medicines he has had to take lately will make him feel better. I bought him a heated Tens Machine which was a revelation in the pain department. Let’s hope we both get some decent sleep soon, I am exhausted so can only begin to imagine how he is feeling.

Way back Barry bought us tickets to go and see Dreamboats and Petticoats in London, sadly, Barry was too poorly to attend but tired as I was, I decided it would be good for me to get out, especially as it was a coach trip so I could relax on the journey. Heather came with me and we had a lovely time. We took our time over a wonderful Italian meal and feeling stuffed we made our way to the Playhouse Theatre. Such a charming old building and not as big as I thought it would be. The show was amazing and got us up dancing at the end..

Today I have been doing some shredding, there is loads more to shred so I could be gone for some time..

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Remember me?

Long time no hear eh?
I am at that stage of show preparation again, not one spare minute for me. If you want me I’m probably in the conservatory sewing, or else I’m in the living room labelling my fluff. Actually, I like that job, I can relax as I do it and it means that I have done the dyeing but a little voice keeps saying, maybe go and dye up a little more???

Yesterday I took a day off and went to my spinning guild at Rampton. I almost managed to spin up the last of 300g of some Oatmeal BFL and Silk ready to N-Ply it into some chunky yarn. It was lovely catching up with friends, I’m so glad I made myself go as I do get bogged down with my own company at times


MAZ_1550
The day after Knit Expo, my special friend Andrea is coming to stay for a few days. The highlight of her visit is going to see Nigella in Ely, we’re both so excited about that. which reminds me, I need to go and collect the tickets! Perhaps I’ll combine the collection with a visit to my knit group on Wednesday morning in the Ely Wool Shop.

I think Autumn has got to me, I am trying to ignore how it makes me feel but it is a strong force and makes me feel like I want to run and hide from the world. It’ll soon pass, I’ll just keep busy as usual and hope that is finally gives up and leaves me in peace with myself again. Here’s some photos of what has kept me busy lately….

and last weekend I had fun photographing this little fairy and her big brother, what a couple of cuties!



Today is sunny, my mood is weird Sad smile


When Barry gets back from band practice we are off out for a carvery at a local pub, I’d better go and make myself presentable…have a happy Sunday


Marianne x

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sewing

Yesterday, after a lot of days thinking, I decided it was time to make myself a sensible case in which to store my interchangeable needles. I have a lantern moon purse which is for fixed circulars, and this served it’s purpose as long as the needles were connected to a cable. If I placed the needles in the bag without a cable attached to them, then when i opened the bag the needles fell out, grrr!
So I did some measuring, some calculating, some cutting, some sewing, ironing and came up with this:-
MAZ_1323
Now this bag has pleased me! My needles stay in the pockets, the fixed needles stay in the bigger pockets behind the small sections and the lovely big zipped pocket stores everything else that I need to keep by my side.
Now, I played with this bag all yesterday evening, shoving it in Barry’s face to admire and putting photos on Facebook and Twitter, sorry but I do get excited when I am happy with one of my creations. However, as I was playing with this bag, I realised that I needed to improve on the design a little. The ribbon closure for a start, that had to go!! I loved the big pocket and the location of it. I three back pockets were a little too deep as were the needle pockets at the front. So today, once I was up and dressed I set to work on my next model. I wrote down all the measurements and ideas as I went along and came up with this one:
MAZ_1330
Here are the specs:-
  • 21cm wide x 17cm high all folded up
  • 20cm wide x 18cm high zipped pocked, fully lined and interfaced with fabric covered ends of the zip and a fabric tab on the actual tab of the zip
  • 32cm wide x 21cm high main part of the organiser (excluding the zipped pocket and with the top flap folded over)
  • 3 large pockets each measuring 10.5cm wide x 15cm high, for fixed cable needles
  • 5 small needle sections measuring 2.5cm x 8.5cm high and 5 wider sections measuring 4cm x 8.5cm high
  • a large flap to completely enclose everything when bag is folded so nothing will fall out
  • a lovely big loop closure which will extend as you fill this bag up
  • pretty machine embroidery which adds extra strength
  • all seams have been double stitched or strengthened at stress points
  • all quality fabrics
  • each piece of fabric has been interfaced with a cotton backed interfacing so where the fabric is doubled, ie everywhere,it is firm and feels substantial
I love how this folds into a neat little clutch purse shape!
All in all this is a keeper, a very useful and well made bit of kit! I enjoy well made creations and have got a little bit fussy over what I want to keep in my life. I hope the quality of my work comes across to you as I have spent a lifetime sewing and learning how to get the best from this hobby. Second best doesn’t come into it!
Can you tell that I am very proud of this creation? I am hoping to have a few of these to take with me to Knit Expo,the big Knit show in Exeter on November the 13th.
Thank you to everyone regarding my cold, I am almost better, just the occasional cough and splutter. I am pleased about that and think my speedy recovery is down to a fizzy Echinacea drink have been having every morning. Hope I’m not speaking too soon mind you…

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I-Knit Weekender 2

Fluff~n~Stuff at iKnit Fluff~n~Stuff at iKnit

Wowee what a weekend that was! So many of you lovely people came and said hello and chatted, it was like a party! I did extremely well, maybe it was beginners luck but my fluff was flying out of the shop at a steady speed. I had help on the Friday from my friend Heather and on the Saturday, Sally and James came along to help too. I couldn’t have managed without you guys. James and Sally did some spinning on my Victoria wheel and James also did some spindle spinning, seemed to draw people to watch. I am so grateful for all the happy help I received, thank you!!

Barry did a sterling job, all that driving, unpacking and assembling and kisses and cuddles and smiles and laughs..made the whole weekend special, even if it did cost us a new Nikon(or two)!

Lots of people were drawn by the colours, several asked me how they would knit with the fluff, which took me by surprise!

I am rubbish at remembering names and rather than leave people out I thought I’d best not mention those that I do remember, you are all special to me and I am chuffed that you sought me out to say hello :)

My Aspen Leaf cardigan was a great success and after the fashion show on the Friday I sold quite a few of the patterns and fibre for people to make it! Some people bought the pattern to make with commercial yarn which got me thinking that maybe I would dye some aran weight up so the kit could be purchased. I would like the yarn to have a high alpaca content so it fluffs a bit…will keep my eyes peeled. Anyone got any suggestions?

The hotel we stayed in left a lot to be desired, they foolishly emailed us asking for a review! I wrote a really good review of a bad hotel, felt strongly that things needed to be said! Not heard back from them for some reason lol…

The day after we got back from I-Knit we went on a trip to Barcelona, took loads and loads of photos which are all on Flickr but I’ll direct you to them in my next post as I wanted to direct you to the photos that Barry took on his new camera of the I-Knit weekend

All in all Barry and I both loved the whole weekend (good job we were so tired that sleeping was a priority in the hotel!). I am keen to do more events and am off to Flitwick this Sunday for The Ravelry Meet, looking forward to the whole day where I think I’ll be doing some spinning. I have been in fast forward for too long and need to slow down or I might blow a fuse! lol

I am also booked in for Knit Expo in Exeter on November 13th and for Fibre East next July…will have to get organised about other events too!

I want to do more sewing too, my little pinny proved popular and I have 2 orders already :)

Be back soon to tell you about Barcelona…whoooosh phew!!

I’ll leave you with a photo of Longdraw James and James Toft, Sally’s new Alpaca…notice the matching quiffy fringes!

4983877115_069b1fdddd_b

Barry bought me one too, as a celebration of our first big knit event, mine’s blond and gorgeous so she’s called Posh Toft and she resides near my fireplace next to the old bobbin and shuttle displayed there, maybe a photo is needed!

Monday, September 06, 2010

I-Knit Weekender

Whose idea was this exactly?  When it was suggested, I agreed, it did sound like a good idea, and now I am almost ready to roll I agree again, it is a good idea, but oh my, the work that has gone on to get me to this stage has been immense!

Maybe my op back in July took it’s toll on me, but dyeing up many kilos of fibre has been hard work.  It was fun too, don’t get me wrong, I love to work with this fluffy stuff and dyes, I just get lost in it, so much so that a day can disappear with me just playing in my workroom*

*for workroom read anywhere in the house that has a space, sorry honey…will all be back to normal soon

applique logo fluff-1

This is my banner for my stand, I am so pleased with it, really I need to zigzag around all the letters but at the moment, I will leave it as it is.  I might mess it up if I try to do it quickly so I’ll sort that out after the event.  I have a some more spinning/knitting events lined up and will hopefully have it completely finished by the time they come round.

 

fluff shop

Last Thursday my lovely friend Sally came round and helped me do a trial set up on my dining room table.  It was reassuring to see the fluff filling the table, and to know that there was even more still in bags ready to put out.  I have dyed up 3 or 4 of the same in one dye lot as I felt it would be good for spinners if they wanted to spin to knit something bigger than a scarf.

I am printing off some of my Aspen Leaf patterns to give as a freebie if 400g or more of the same fibre is purchased, also I will be giving 15% discount on 300g or more of any fibre, any colours. Hope I can find somewhere to hang everything up, I have a feeling I will be too warm to wear my alpaca version….

 

Oh and I’ll be taking all my made up Aspen’s too.  I have just finished knitting a tiny one, to fit a 12-18month size

I used DK/Sport weight yarn and 4mm needles to knit the smallest size and got this cutie

MAZ_9694

all from 100g of yarn with a bit left over!

This morning I made myself a cute pinny to keep all my dosh

pens and things in, I just love the funky fabric!

IMG00210-20100906-1250

So, who’s coming to see me? Don’t forget to wear your badge and please don’t be shy, I love to chat..Sally is helping me on Friday and Heather is doing a stint on the Saturday, I have got some lovely friends!

See you there!!

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