Saturday, February 28, 2009

London Calling

Bit of a blog break there - we had a few days in London over half-term - didn't take any pictures myself but here's a couple that DH took - the London Eye at night and a row of London buses with The Gherkin in the background. I know feelings are mixed about The Gherkin, but I think it's a great building.

When I was a kid, if we ever went to London we always had to 'look out for someone famous' - the premise being that London is full of famous people and you've only got to keep your eyes open to spot one. Needless to say, we never say anyone remotely famous, until now that is, when we saw David Blunkett catching a train to Sheffield while we were waiting for our train home.

Part of the reason for the break was that my daughter had a briefing session for the course she is starting at University in the autumn, so we thought we might as well all go too (to London, not to the briefing session, that would have been well embarrassing).

I also found time to find my way to Fabrics Galore in Lavender Hill. I did succumb to temptation, but really, I think I need to call a halt to fabric buying and start using it - otherwise I'm in serious danger of running out of anywhere to put it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Nowadays it seems de rigeur to refuse a plastic bag in favour of one you've brought along yourself. Before Christmas I bought this Japanese pattern book for eco-bags from e-bay:

The link to the page on e-bay is here and shows more pictures from inside the book. There are lots of great quick-to-make bags to save on using up plastic ones. It's taken me until now, but here's the first one I've made. I used some old poly-cotton that has been hanging around for years waiting for its time to come. Well, poly-cotton, your time is now - 100% cotton would probably be too thick to use in this bag, in the book it looked like they used rip-stop nylon for strength, but the thought of sewing slippery nylon gives me the shudders - poly cotton is bad enough.
You fold up the bag into the little pouch that you can see attached to the top - about 3 X 4 inches - just right to pop in your handbag.
And here it is, modelling a loaf of bread to show its capacious properties. Actually, if I made another one I would probably make it a bit longer, this was the largest of 3 size options and even so, I think it's a tad short. The other problem I had was converting all of the measurements from centimetres to inches, because my rulers only have inches on them. Even though we 'did' metric measurements at school, I'm still an unreconstructed ounces, pounds, inches, yards kind of a woman. Still, that's my problem, the instructions in the book were really clear and I just followed the pictures. I'll definitely make more bags from the same book.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Can you tell what it is yet?

Leslie and I have been chatting about feeling the yearning to knit but not wanting to make a man-size jumper but something small, like a baby item or a teddy bear (big hint there). We loved Lucy's knitted bear, Rainier, and it reminded me that I made a bear from a pattern in the same book as Lucy last year (you can see it here), and that I had actually knitted up all of the individual pieces for another one in the summer. But sewing up the pieces is my least favourite part of the process so I just left them to fester in the meantime. Now I've published a picture of the pieces I feel kind of obligated to sew them up so watch this spot.
When I fished them out of the bag I had put them in, I also found these. I bought them in Carlisle at Christmas, they are made of papier mache, the large head is about the size of a ping pong ball. I thought they would look good with arms and legs made of yo-yos. (Though goodness knows when, if ever, I'll get round to that!)