Hand spinning take 3!

Happy Friday!

I’m a bit late this week reporting my latest progress in spinning but it’s okay because I don’t have class this week (very sadly 😢). I can see I have made a lot of progress which is very encouraging. I think I’ve actually got the hang of drafting the fibre into the wheel and I can spin a pretty even 2 ply aran weight, which is awesome!

I have made two new skeins, one of alpaca (it was just so soft!!) and one using a wool top. I really liked the alpaca as it wasn’t as greasy as the sheep wool but it was very very dusty and still needed thorough washing. The wool top was a bit harder to spin (as it needed a lot of twist) but it was very clean and only required to be set in hot water post spinning.

I’m really loving that we get to try all those fibres with this class, it’s been so nice to see the differences with thickness and length of the fibre, greasiness, and processing. I’ve also been busy this week using my hand spun wool in my first ever project, a beanie for hubby. I’ve used my black Corriedale wool and got to work. I didn’t use a particular pattern but I’m very happy with the results and it fits hubby well so it’s great!

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I cannot wait for the next lesson next week, when we get to use bats (which are mixed fibres) and even to make our own! I’m very excited about that last class and I really hope I get lots done before I have to give back the wheel. I’m trying to save up to get my own hopefully in September for my birthday but we shall see (I might give in before that 😅).

Have a lovely weekend!

Emma

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18 for 2018 – May update

18 letters sent to friends – 2/18
With the interstate move I would like to keep in contact with friends so I want to make the effort to send them handwritten letter throughout the year.

I’ve sent all my invitations for my baby shower (that was almost 30!). I’m only counting it as 1 letter as it was the same invitation sent to everyone! 

17 new recipes tried – 12/17
If you’ve been following me for a while you will know that I love cooking and baking so this should be pretty easy. Plus, the monthly bake-along will definitely help me with this one!

Another recipe tried this month with our Fantastic Bake along. Those muffins were just to die for! 

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16 painted units of miniatures – 4/16
My husband and I play a miniature game and one of the fun parts is to build and paint our own miniatures. I haven’t done much last year so I hope to catch up this year by painting more models.

I’ve painted a new unit but haven’t had time to take a good picture yet. I will make sure to take one for next time. 

15 books read – 4/15
I’ve decided to tune down this goal from last year, as I don’t have a lot of time to read. But I feel like 15 would be a good number to reach this year.

I’ve re-read a book from one of my favourite French series. The author, Pierre Bottero, is amazing, I’ve read pretty much all of his work and I was so very sad when he passed in 2009. I’m planning on re-reading all the series before the end of the year. 

14 mitered squares added to my memory blanket – 1/14
I have started a knitted memory blanket using my scraps of yarn from previous projects (mostly socks) and I’d like to see it grow this year.

No extra squares this month, I should probably get onto this goal 🙈

13 batches of biscuits made and eaten – 4/13
Again, with the bake-along this should be quite easy to accomplish!

I’ve made another batch of madeleine, which are little French cakes. Hubby loves them and me too! 

12 pairs of socks – 2/12
We have real winters in Melbourne, so hubby and I will definitely need new socks, I thought one per month was a manageable goal.

I’ve been really slack with this goal, I need to cast some socks back on!

11 new stitch markers made – 0/11
I have been playing with shrinking plastic lately and I’d like to make new stitch markers using some cute drawings.

Hum hum, next month?

10 new movies seen – Complete!
We go to the movies almost every week, so I think this goal will be easy to reach, but it will give me a change to blog about movies I see a bit more.

I’ve actually seen two more movies this month, Deadpool 2 and Solo and I loved them both. Deadpool was just so funny (as you could expect based on the first movie 😂) and I thought Solo was great with awesome action and a really good story. 

9 amigurumi made – 2/9
I obviously love amigurumi enough to design some! I want to precise that those 9 amigurumi will be from other designers, I might even participate in another ami-along.

This month I’ve made the little owls I’ve shown you last week. I did miss making amigurumi so I’ll try to make a few more next month.

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8 months cross-stitched on the snowblower diaries calendar – 2/8
This did not get worked on at all last year, so I’d like to finish it this year.

No month finished this time around, it’s been a bit cold which hasn’t made me very motivated to work on it but I’ll make an effort for next month. 

7 games of 40k played with hubby – 2/7
The good thing with painting miniatures is that I will definitely want to play more (I’m hoping anyway) and this will definitely be a fun activity to do with my husband.

No new game this month, we’ve been really busy on weekends and haven’t had time to go to the store. 

6 new designs published – 2/6
As you know I already have two new designs that I need to write up and publish. I have also started on a knitted shawl design using the beautiful yarn I got in NZ. Very excited about this one!

No new design this month, I still need to write up a couple of patterns I have ready but I’ve been too busy with work to really dedicate any time to it. 

5 k steps walked every day – 23/31
I changed this goal. I am still trying to keep moving during my pregnancy to not transform into a couch potato! Hopefully this will help me keep healthy despite the weight gain.

I feel like I’ve done quite good with that. Our dog was definitely very happy to go on long walks every day! 

4 LOTR squares finished – 1/4
Yes I know I’ve been making this for ages but 2018 is the year I get it finished!

Nothing new here, because I have been really slow with crochet lately. 

3 jumpers knitted – 0/3
Similarly to the need for socks, I will need more jumpers this year! I already have the yarn and a pattern for my first jumper so I’m hoping this goes smoothly.

The jumper is almost finished! So there will be one finished jumper next month!

2 getaway trips – 1/2
We are trying to save money for a house deposit this year, but I’d still like to get a couple weekends away with hubby. We already have one planned, we will be going to the Bendigo sheep and wool show in July

July couldn’t come faster! I’ve actually met some lovely ladies in my spinning class who will also be going to Bendigo and I’m so excited! 

1 thesis submitted – 0/1
I’m so keen to finish my PhD, so this is definitely my n°1 goal this year!

Submission is due before the end of the month! How exciting!

That’s it for me this month! A little progress on some goals, with a lot more going on on the side! I hope you’ve all had a great month 😊

Emma

 

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Hand Quilt Along – 3/06/18

Happy Sunday!

As usual, this is my 3-week update post on the Hand Quilt Along hosted by Kathy (link below). I’ve been working on my English paper piecing quilt and I have added quite a few motifs. I’m happy with the progress but I think I’ll need to work a bit more on it in the coming months otherwise it will never get finished by October! I think I’ll give myself until the middle of August to finish the quilt top and that would leave around 1 month and a half to quilt and bind the blanket (hopefully enough!)

Sorry about the weird colours on today’s picture, we’ve had a dreadful weather and I didn’t have much natural light but it still gives you an idea. I’m hoping to finish this half of the quilt top by next time, wish me luck!

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.
Here are the others participating in this HQAL, please go check their posts!

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Quilt show

Happy Friday!

I hope you’ve all had a great week! I have been to a quilt show last week and I wanted to share my favourite ones with you. The show was hosted at the Warratina Lavender farm, and they seem to be hosting quite a few craft exhibitions, which is great because they are only 20 min away from my house!

I just loved all the colours and how cool is that pokemon one? 😄 my favourite was actually the octopus garden one, on the right of the middle row. The appliqué work on it was so amazing! I’m looking forward to checking out more shows in the area, and maybe participate next year.

Have you entered a quilt show before? what was your experience? I’d love to know!

Emma

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A parliament of owls

Hello lovely readers!

I have decided I would like to make some handmade gifts for our baby shower coming up in July, to thank our friends and family for coming. I have decided on little amigurumi keyring using a free owl ornament pattern from Josephine Wu. I just love how cute those look and they are quite easy and fast to make. Which is great, considering we are planning on inviting lots of people!

I have completed one so far but I’ve crocheted a few more, which need to be stuffed and have eyes and beaks added. So far I’ve decided to glue the felt on but I might secure the pieces with some extra embroidery if I have time.

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Hubby and I have decided to use a whole heap of colours and I think I’ll hang them on branches on the day for some extra decorations before people take them home 😊

Have you hand made small gifts for people to take home after a party? Did you feel like people appreciated? I’d love to know what your thoughts are on this!

Emma

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Hand spinning – part 2

Happy Monday!

I’m sorry I haven’t been on last week much, I had the best intentions to blog on Friday but I ended up super busy with work and then we went to dinner for hubby’s work. And then, my weekend was completely full of spinning! I think I’ve become completely addicted.

If last week was fun, this week was just even better! We got to try all kind of different fibres and I made my very fist skein of yarn! How exciting!

I feel like I’ve gotten much better in a week already, I’m spinning much more even and thinner than I did and it’s been very encouraging to see progress. This week, we got to continue spinning our white Corriedale wool, but we also tried black Corriedale, alpaca and even processed wool top. We also learnt how to ply and wash our wool and I love how the washed wool looks and smell!

I’ve also already spun all my alpaca (the brown skein) and made a little sampler yarn, and you can see already that the fibre looks much finer and even than on my white wool, yay!

Now I just can’t wait for next week, when we will get to try dying!

Have a great week 😊

Emma

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My first go at hand spinning

Happy Monday!

I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but a few months ago I treated myself to a hand spinning course, which just started this weekend. This was something I had wanted to try for a while and I was just so excited to start!

During our first 3 hours, we got to learn how to work the double treadle spinning wheels, how to recognise good sheep fleece, how to prepare the fleece (from pulling out locks to combing them) and of course, we got a taste of spinning. I have to say that it was as hard as I imagined it would. I got the wheel spinning quite well when I was not thinking about it but it was a bit hard to draft the right quantity of fibre from my fleece while making sure to move the wheel in the same direction. Our teacher, Janet Day from My spin on Things, was so knowledgeable and helpful during the class though. Watching her, you would think spinning was the easiest thing on earth! Although my spinning was not perfect (read very very chunky and uneven!) I did manage to spin quite a lot during the class.

The great thing about the class was that we got to bring the wheels home with us to practice and I’m loving it! I’ve been spinning more and I can’t wait for next week’s lesson, when we get to ply our yarn. I’ll share my progress here with you, and maybe by the end of the course (in about 5 weeks) I will be able to have a beautiful even yarn like Janet (on the left picture).

Have you tried something that had been on your bucket list for a while? Did it match your expectations?

Emma

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Fantastic Bake Along – Rosemary Muffins

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Happy Sunday everyone!

Like every month, I’m participating in the Fantastic Bake Along hosted by Tracy @itsatsweetday. This month’s star baker is Brenna from Crochet539 and she chose a delicious recipe for savoury muffins, which you can find on Taste of Home. I’m sorry I’m a bit late for this one, I actually had the muffins made (and eaten) on Friday but I didn’t get around to post yesterday as I was super busy with doing my first ever spinning class! (more about that on Monday)

Anyway, the muffin recipe was super easy to follow, I just made a few modifications. I don’t like the taste of baking soda so I just doubled the quantity of baking powder instead. I also used olive oil instead of canola oil as I always cook and bake with olive oil (I don’t even think I have any canola oil in my cupboard). I also replaced the wheat flour with just plain flour and best of all, I used my special mediterranean herb mustard instead of standard Dijon mustard.

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The batter looked amazing, and ever more so with the addition of the goat’s cheese, rosemary and olives. Then it was in the oven for 25-30 minutes and ready to eat!

You may notice that there are not quite 12 muffins in the plate, as hubby and I couldn’t help but have a muffin straight away (before I could even remember to take a picture for you guys)!

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Those were hands down the best muffin we’ve had and I’m sure I’ll make them again! Hubby did suggest that next time, I had some bacon bits to them and I think that’s a brilliant idea.

How did your bake turn out?

If you are interested in participating, contact Tracy and you can also follow my Pinterest board where I will be adding all the recipes for the Bake Along.

Please also check out the other amazing bakers/cooks normally participating in the Fantastic BAL

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HO Wednesday – Knotty gloves

Happy Wednesday!

Just a quick one today. I’m very happy that I have a half finished object today to show you (HO)! I’ve cast off my first knotty glove yesterday, and it fits like a glove (pun intended).

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I’m so happy with this project, I love the yarn and I love the pattern, what more to ask? Have a great end to your week!

Emma

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Hand Quilt Along – 13/05/18

Happy Sunday readers and happy mothers day if you are in Australia!
I’m very happy I’m made lots of progress on my English paper piecing this time around. My mum was over visiting last week and we were working on it together (she was cutting the fabric and also helped me with choosing some new fabrics). She was very excited to be able to participate in this project, as it will be a quilt for baby. I don’t see my parents very often as they still live in France but this really made our weekend together extra special.
Maybe it was the extra help or I have just been very inspired to work on it (considering I didn’t have any update last time), either way I’ve added quite a few more diamond shapes to the quilt.
I’m now past half way up, but I think I’ll fill in some of the bottom before going much higher. Mum and I also chose a back for the quilt, and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of my EPP on top of it to show you.

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The back is a bit big at the moment but I will trim it to size after I quilt the lot, to make sure it doesn’t end up too small after quilting.
That’s it for me, I hope you had a wonderful week and we will be back for another update on the EPP in three weeks!
This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.
Here are the others participating in this HQAL, please go check their posts!

 

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