Sunday, 20 July 2014

On Holiday

As I said in my last post, I'm on holiday at the moment. I spent a week visiting my lovely friend and her family, and now I'm in another city with Mr Handmade, relaxing and enjoying ourselves. There's a great little bakery about a block and a half from our hotel, so we've had some great breakfasts from there. We also took a pretty long uphill walk to a local grocer's and bought things like bread and lactose-free cheese and cereal bars so that we could lunch in the hotel room if we wanted to. This morning we breakfasted in the hotel room because there's an event on in the shopping centre nearby which is causing all sorts of clogged up shops and bakeries and stuff.

I've been enjoying a lot of frozen yoghurt and some great sushi and mexican food, both of which are a little scarce in my hometown. I've taken advantage of better prices over here to buy fabric for myself and I've bought some yarn. Pictures will come after the holiday is over.

Swistle's post about travelling with Elizabeth made me think about what I pack in hand luggage for long flights - it's about a 16 hour journey from my hometown to here, so there's plenty of long time spent in airports and on planes. I pack my handluggage with two aims in mind - first, that I can amuse myself easily on the flight, and second, that if my luggage doesn't arrive with me, I'll be okay for at least two or three days. For this trip, my handluggage contained:

*Two forms of photo ID (passport and driver's licence) with paperwork for travelling.
*Clean underwear (3 pairs) and 2 summer dresses, rolled up tightly to take up little space
*Shower gel, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner in small, travel sized bottles
*All medication needed for the duration of the holiday
*Empty bottle to be filled with water once through security
*Book of sudoku and pencil to fill them out (wasn't used on the flight over)
*2 books (Dust, by Hugh Howey, which I finished, and The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, which I read half of on the plane)
*Kindle, loaded with three new books (Americanah, The Snow Child, The Golden Notebook) and pre-switched to airplane mode
*Headphones (yes, airlines provide them, but my ears are unusually small and my own are more comfortable)
*Ipod, fully charged
*Mobile phone, fully charged and pre-switched to airplane mode
*Charger cables for all of the above electronic items

On one of the flights, I also took a simple knitting project with enough yarn to finish it. I worked on this during the wait at the airport, but not on the plane itself.

How does this differ from what you would tend to pack in your hand luggage?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Secret project revealed

The secret project! It was not one project, really, but three linked ones, gifts for my friend and her family because I'm visiting this week and they're putting up with me. Aren't they wonderful for letting me invade like this?

So I've made three little bags - about ten inches by six, just the right size for some big bars of British chocolate - one each for my dear friend, her mother and her sister. All fully lined, and all with little zipped pockets inside. I hope they'll be a useful size for keeping things in.

I love this detail in the lining of the blue bag - the fabric I used for lining has all sorts of British icons on it, like the tea caddy you can just see there, and afternoon tea. The blue bag was one that I wanted to be light and pretty, for my lovely pretty friend who loves blue. You saw the lining of the inside pocket of this bag last week.

This bag is for a purple-loving lady - no problems with that here! My love of purple is well documented... I wanted something modern and striking, so I did some flying geese for this one. The points have come out very well, I think! Much better than usual for me, anyway.

It's lined with this pretty print which I got from Mandors in Edinburgh, and the pocket is lined with this sweet floral. I have a headband in this fabric that I wear quite often.

Finally, I made subtle inquiries and was informed that one of the party had blue and yellow as her favourite colours. I'm not long on yellows in my stash, but I had this fun print with the bees and the daisies, and the blue with yellow flowers is one from my double bento-box quilt that I made a couple of years ago. I designed this bag to be based on a traditional dove-at-the-window block (one of many with that name), which works wonderfully in just two colours. Finally, I lined it in this rather charming fabric with tea pots and jam on it. The yellow pocket lining was pinched from my mum's stash.

So, there we go. Far more detail than you ever wanted to know about a little project, I'm sure!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Secret WIP is finished!

As I said yesterday, this project is secret. Its reveal won't be for about another week, yet, but it is finished! Threads trimmed, ironed, and stroked and admired plenty (yes I'm proud of my handiwork).

So, a sneak peek? How's this:

You want an inside look too? Well... alright then. Another teensy sneaky little peek. Here you go:

Now the only problem is, what do I work on next? Back to the WIP quilt for me, or do I do a lap quilt for Mr Handmade, which has 3 blocks done and the fabric sitting there in a bag waiting for me to finish? Or do I do another quick project of one sort or another...? No, better to go back to the WIPs. I'm going to finish those quilts this summer, you just see if I don't.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Works in Progress

Wow, things got incredibly busy here! My life has been incredibly hectic since September, really, though I was able to carve out a little time for me... since January, I've been unable to get even that, just working a lot and not being able to find any time to spend knitting, blogging, doing anything that is just indulgence, really.

But! I have a job where I get a chunk of time off in the summer, so I've been free and breezy the last week or so, and using it to indulge all my crafty needs.

I have this pile of quilt blocks that I made over 2 years ago - that's 3 houses ago!

There are 11 blocks there, and 3 more that I made at around the same time but didn't include in the photo. 14 blocks just sitting around, taking up space in my stash boxes, not the right number to make a good quilt or anything. They needed one more to be a 3x5 quilt, which is just a nice size for a lap quilt to throw over the back of a sofa, I think.

So I threw this one together from the book Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts, to make it up to 15 blocks. Now I have a lovely scrappy sampler quilt to put together. I've got the backing already, so it shouldn't take long to make up.

Of course, that's not the only WIP that's finally getting some love. I've got a secret project that will be revealed in a few weeks, but I can give this sneak peek of one step - that's 32 half-square triangles ready to turn into 16 wee squares.

It's odd, getting the urge to go back and finish a WIP after it's been hibernating for 2 years. What's the longest you've ever had a WIP before finishing it?