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Flitting about again…just cannot settle!

I am re-thinking the cranked sweater, as the design is not working out as I wanted it to. Plus needing more yarn, of course. Stands to reason a double thickness item (made from tubes not flat panels) is going to need more yarn! Silly me.

As a diversion I am working on something – not ready to say too much about it at the moment, but I think it’s going to be interesting. I dragged out a whole bunch of the scraps from all my knitted socks

SOOOOOO much sock yarn! Some of it was collected from my MIL but most of it is mine. I have knit a crazy number of socks. And I have a ton of yarn still to use. This is JUST THE LEFTOVERS. Yikes.

A few people from WOYWW were confused by the little device – it is specifically for making i-cords, which usually take ages to hand knit or crochet. With the little Embellish-Knit cranker it flies out of the machine. Look at this lovely pile – the yarn is shot thru wit a tiny glittery thread and the spacing worked perfectly for a lovely stripey effect.

I used my Nano tape again to secure the little device to a slat so I didn’t have to hold it in one hand and crank with the other. Looks a bit shit but it works perfectly fine.

It’s not a perfect solution but it’s not horrible either. Now I am just waiting for a very odd little supply to drop thru my letterbox from Amazon. When it does, and if my idea works, I’ll share. Fingers crossed it will.

I miss the days of first and second post. We used to get mail at like 7:30 AM then a second delivery around noon when we lived in London. How times have changed!


WOYWW 669 – little envelopes of stuff

Happy WOYWW. Let’s see – Wednesday so I am off at the replacement window showroom. Fun. My desk is not super inspiring but there are a few things worth noting.

Lots of debris from recent knitting. Very happy with the little iCord cranker. Unlike the rubbish PRYM one, this one works like a dream, and although it was very cheap, it was the branded Embellish-Knit one. The little clamp was apart but it was easy enough to fix.

The other debris is from an envelope I found in with my fodder stash. I think I had started down the route of making a set of ATCs with quotes from 1984 and some slightly dystopian images then shelved them for some reason.

I was collecting up more stuff that I could add to my art journal, and now am wondering if these bits might find a home there.

Back to the IYHT… cards this week:

Humm. Meatballs raining down on you at least means you are sure to be fed, but they could be a bit painful LOL! So yeah, tell all the kids Santa isn’t real…and expect their parents will tell them I’m lying so no harm, no foul!

Just found out someone I was in close contact with has Covid so I’ll be testing for a few days and hoping for the best. It’s been a bit since dose FOUR and I have a blood test scheduled for Thursday and an appointment with the consultant next week. Test yesterday was negative and if I was exposed it would have been last Friday so fingers crossed…..


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Yarn issues so Art Journal instead!

Yeah well, I knew I was going to have an issue with running out of yarn! The yarn I used for the sweater was actually bought for a different project so the amount was always going to be a problem. It’s yarn only found at HobbyCraft and I will (hopefully) be able to visit in person as part of an (annoying) trip down to Southampton for a visit to my consultant. I think it’s been about 3 or so years since I’ve seen him in person so I suppose it is overdue, but the two hour trip (one way) for a 30 minute chat is less than welcome, really. But seeing the colour of the yarn and trying to match the dye lots can only be done in person.

SO, I turned my attention to my little arty journal instead. I always have a LOT of samples floating around on my desk. I get an idea. I try it. It works – or it doesn’t – and the bits hang about until I figure out how to use them or I bin them, usually only in the case of extreme ugliness.

The neuro-art bits were from a while back, intended to be ATCs but I never really found the right link. The word I pulled from my pot of small words, rather than the larger one of long quotes that I have used before. I wanted to figure out how to make it all work as an AJ page.

Now, what I struggle with, sometimes, is the overwhelming desire for order that causes me to want to work on the NEXT PAGE in my journal. Sometimes I can skip a page, working on a right page rather than a left, but I really have to feel the pull of a specific later page in order to flip forward. I bypased the left page when I made the support for Ukraine page, and at some point I flipped forward to make a few pages, but since then I have been working in between so I could fill the gap.

I really didn’t think the skipped page worked, and I don’t really know WHY. So I flipped thru all of the remaining pages (a LOT) to very nearly the end until I found this page:

It was exactly what I wanted!

I grabbed some of my oldest supplies (those Permopaque markers are vibrant and wonderful and at least 25+ years old) to both edge the neuro-art block and to colour one of the white die cuts

and then it was just shuffling stuff about till I got the right placement! The TRIVIAL bothered me, because I feel like there is the tendency for people who don’t art journal to think the work is trivial, that it isn’t real art nor real journling. But if you DO art journal you probably know how beneficial it can be to help process life’s ups and downs. So after I spattered on a bit of white Gloss Spray (and momentarily considered what I might do with that lovely over-spray sheet from my spray-box)

I ended up here.

I really liked how the die cut flowed from the neuro-lines on the block and as this is very nearly the last page (except the inside back cover) it will feel like a fitting finish, when I get to it. I might even just stick the back of it to the back cover and make it so.

And so my butterfly mind flits off again, but only because of the yarn issue. I will have to flit on till I either get more or decide to make my sweater more of a patchwork of colour for the rest of it. Time will tell….

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Weekend project progressing!

I did as I said (or tried to) and worked pretty much only on my Addi/Sentro cranked sweater over the weekend. There were a few interesting point to note. Firstly, because I had to re-crank parts I had already cranked, it gave me a rare opportunity to make some comparisons. To be fair, this may be of little interest to anyone but me. Still, I feel like it is worth noting. And no offense, but mostly I blog for me, so having this info in a place that is searchable and online is helpful.

I am bigger than the “standard” size of the cardigan will fit. Assuming I want cuffs my longest tube (the across the shoulders (one that is 340 rounds in the video) needs to be 74 inches, or 425 rounds (I’m tall and not willowy LOL!)

I had to pull out the tubes already cranked (cause I am rubbish at mounting a knit piece on any of my machines) and it revealed some interesting information.

  1. The tube I pulled out was knit on the Addi 46. It was 340 rounds and when stretched and allowed to relax into it’s finished shape, the gauge was 17 1/2 stitches by 23 rows.
  2. The exact same tube frogged and knit on the Sentro 48 ended up at 315 rounds, with a gauge of 16 stitches and 20 rows!
  3. The width of the tubes measured by ruler was 5 3/4 inches for the Addi and 6 1/8 inches for the Sentro.

I am also wondering what the differences would be between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd hole in the Sentro tension doodah. Not sure I want to take the time to do that, but then again, I might.

I also realized that I really hate both the method and the results when you use a crochet hook to close the tube by slip-stitching the loops together. I mean it’s OK, but just not super nice. I’m not done with the process yet, but I think if all the loose ends are mounted on a very l o n g circular needle you can easily 3-needle bind off the edge as a single row. Now, these are tube, so the 3NB can’t be done as you usually would, with right sides together, but the reverse wrong-sides together seam is quite attractive as an edge, which is what is needed. Pulling off the stitches using a small knitting needle on a long cable is pretty easy, and there is no need for all the pfaffing about with waste yarn.

As I knit each tube, I just add the tubes to the long needle

and then I have things lined up exactly so my mattress stitch to join the tubes never gets twisted! Weird that blue looks so royal in that photo when in fact it is much dustier IRL, more like the one above.

So let’s see – I have the very very long tube and the two shorter arm tubes, and one of two 22 pin Addi tubes that will eventually be part of the under-arms. This is all a bit of a learning curve as I am seriously altering a pattern to (hopefully) fit me. I am resigned that for the next couple of steps it may be more trial and error than I would like. Also that I may not actually have enough yarn. So it may also end up being more of a two-tone item than I had planned! So me.

Weirdly, the Hubster spotted a photo of our magnolia tree on FB – not taken by nor posted by us. Still, nice shot. I love this tree. You can just about see my craft room window there under the chimney on the right!

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My butterfly mind….

It flits and lands and flits away again.

I have momentary obsessions that may stick for a day, a week, a month. I have unfinished projects all over the place. I do eventually circle back to them but it could take a while.

I was sucked into a yarn-y vortex after spending a weekend in my sewing room, sorting out all my yarn.

And at the same time kept seeing crochet things pop up in my YouTube feed – does anyone else get annoyed that Google can’t differentiate between knitting and crochet? Drives me crazy when I am looking for one not the other. Anyway, you may have seen my current obsession with the Tom Daly wavy crochet sweater. It’s lovely. I dragged out my recently sorted basket of cotton yarn and had a bash. But the more I assessed my scraps the more I realized two things. First, I don’t have enough of the handful of colours to make this sweater in my size as anything other than a total scrap yarn mish mash and two I might be too old to pull off such a youthful item. My mate assures me it is all about attitude, not age, and while I love her for that I’m just not sure. My mind flitted on to, back to my knitting machine. I’ve been cranking out tubes for a cardi, using some yarn I unearthed which looks like more than enough to make a project – except for what I wanted as a border!

I am making one a bit shorter, in DK weight yarn, and a solid colour, except for the around the neck border. I did the calculations and it requires a 360 round tube. I had some scraps of yarn in the perfect colour and weight and cranked that sucker out – and came up about 40 rounds short! Grrr. I have a potential solution in some similar but not identical yarn – I am thinking I will see if the lighter yarn and the thinner tube works and if not, I will knit to the half way point, add in the other yarn to fill in at the back of the neck, then carry on with the rest of the initial yarn. It’ll work OK, I think, and be great to use up a bunch of stash yarn. Which made me think I should just crank out tubes of random scrap yarn and make the most massive blanket even, just to use it up so I can actually buy yarn for a project that I WANT to use!

Sadly, even that goes awry sometimes, when I buy yarn I love with no firm pattern in mind. I recently bought some lovely bulky WI yarn.

Too bulky for the Addi, and I bought it to make a cardigan. The Cardigan theme? I’ve never made one before. Well, I made ones for the kids, both knitted and crocheted, but never for me. This blasted yarn has such long lengths of colour, and the transition is so abrupt, with no gradual melding of colours, it is impossible to find a good pattern to use it for. Even Ravelry, which had inspiration for DAYS for most things, I don’t think it shows a single project with this yarn, despite it being in a few people’s stashes. I keep testing out, both knit and crochet stitch patterns and nothing looks good.

I won’t even delve into the whole ATCs, Art Journal, Cardmaking and Dementia Doll knitting thing. So for the weekend I am going to select ONE thing and work on it to the exclusion of all else. Not sure I will finish but I am determined to make progress.

Wish me luck!

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Missed it by a day! An ATC swap.

Not that long ago Susan and I (WOYWW mate) decided to do a blind ATC swap. We each sent off four ATCs and waited for them to cross the world. Susan is in Australia, me in England. Today I got a package. Late in the day, after I had already had my WOYWW post up for our weekly desk hopping party. But I had to share them. Lovely, each and every one!

Even the mailer she included was so clever and cute!

Folded to create four little pockets for each ATC. The ATCs are beautiful – and all so different.

First a lovely shot of them all:

Honestly I cannot pick a favourite. OK well maybe. That pink girl is stunning and so quirky!

I was so excited to see the notation on the back, listing her as from LeighSB designs. Never heard of her, but of course I had to have a bit of a Google… and found her FaceBook page as well as an etsy shop, so woohoo. Not to slight the other cards:

All of them are beautifully made and just so much fun. I am happy to have them in my collection – I do hope she is happy to have mine in hers!

It’s been AGES since I made an ATC. I’ll add that to my list, right after crochet, and my knitting machine, and my art journal, and…and…and…..


WOYWW 668 – desk? not really…

Happy WOYWW y’all. This week it isn’t so much my desk as it is taking a leaf out of Helen (H)’s book and showing you some of my floor!

I’ll probably detail my travels across the internet collecting info of the lovely Tom Daley ripple sweater that is my current obsession, maybe more for myself than anyone else (except my best mate Kirsty) but for now it is just what is all over my craft space.

There is a kit from Wool & the Gang but it is pretty expensive, and the pattern is not really a tricky one – I have a book of ripple stitches that has a couple that are similar

and there are many YouTube video tutorials as well. The construction is basically four squares. I grabbed a basket of cotton yarn (recently sorted when I did my sewing room) and had a bash:

As I was really just testing my capabilities with the pattern, I didn’t want to cut then ends, hence the massive tangle and snarl of yarn!

All my yarn is scraps, no ball bands on most of them, so I am testing out the hook size and trying to see how gap-y the resulting fabric will be, and if I can live with it. It’s not bad with a 4.5mm but may try a 4mm and see if the blue is better with that size.

I keep threatening to get back to my art journal and I will, but not quite yet. I did join the Petite Journal class that… Ali Wade (I think!) mentioned, but I can’t log in with Firefox and so far my email to the teacher has gone unanswered. I also booked a live class, then my dad fell and spent a day in hospital and I couldn’t make the Live-time so will have to catch up on the replay. Life, hey? Dad’s fine, all checked out and he’s doing well for a guy in his mid-80s.

Lastly, I’d like to direct you all back a post (or two) to check out the info on NANO TAPE (not sponsored!) and how I use it to mount unmounted or no-longer-sticky cling stamps! I can’t say enough about this useful stuff and I am sure all the WOYWWers will think of 100 more uses. I did test out the use of only a few small squares on the grey cling stuff on the back of Tim Holtz stamps, almost all of which have totally lost their stick and I cannot bring it back. Ta Dah!

OK so “stamps great” is meant to reflect the fact that all the stamp areas stamp well, ignoring how lazy I am in not wiping off the over-inkage in the background areas! And the grey cling releases, but you need to do it right away and not let it linger. I really think if you are a stamper, with a lot of old unmounted stamps, this is going to make you happy. And I am seriously considering unmounting even some of my “cling” stamps at this point as the bulk of them is so not needed if they simply DO NOT CLING anymore. We’ll see. I think we all know how bad I am at follow-thru LOL!

Happy WOYWW!


More Nano tape play and a surprising result!

First, I gotta apologize for the lack of interesting photos with this whole Nano tape thing. It’s just hard to show and the photos aren’t exciting. But stick with me (see what I did there? LOL!) and I think it is worth it.

First, let’s wrap up the storage issues – Nano tape cling with a death grip to plastic packaging. But it holds and yet releases quite nicely when stored in or on plastic bags like sandwich bags. Leaving the Nano tape covered blocks on a baggie overnight and it still releases easily. So yeah, that’s my storage of choice.

I stored the two block I covered back to back in the baggie and it worked great. Still a little tricky to extract them from inside the bag cause it’s a tiny Snack-sized one, but it does release.

So two other ideas I wanted to play with. I thought MAYBE that you could stamp with the Nano tape, and you can, kinda, but it isn’t a super crisp image. I didn’t want to waste it so I was only playing with scraps from my block-coverage.

I also wondered if you could die-cut it. My idea was IF you could stamp and IF you could die cut, could you then die cut a STAMP to match said die? Yeah, nope. Didn’t snap a photo, but while yes you could die-cut a shape, if was stuck to paper (cause I knew the cover-film would not die cut with a traditional thin die) lots of the Nano tape squished out of the sides. It wasn’t pretty! I was curious, cause they sell about 2 inch wide Nano tape and that size seemed like it could offer up some interesting possibilities.

As I already had the tiny squares cut, I had a moment – was it possible that only a tiny square of Nano tape (rather than a fully covered mounting block) could work? I thought perhaps with a stamp mat it might, so I gave it a go.

It worked, kinda, but I smeared it by rocking the stamp. Not worth showing, but this very much is! I scattered the small squares on the block and used a stamp that I felt would be a bit of a challenge to stamp clearly:

Brace yourself. This really is a surprise!

Crikey. And here I wasted all that tape by covering the block! What I would say is this: you could easily try (on scrap paper, obviously) stamping with a single strip of Nano tape on a block and see if it works. If not, add more small squares in key areas (like for this stamp those pesky little pointy … feet? arms? whatever) and then peel off the tape and store it for re-use later.

I have to say I like the full-block coverage, as for maybe 85% of my stamps, the very small and medium size blocks I’ve covered will do the job. For any of the really LARGE stamps, I would use scraps or small pieces and def. use a stamping mat or something with a bit of give, like my cork tile pieces.

So one more experiment – I thought maybe I could mount the grey cling material to the Nano tape, cause I have a TON of the Tim Holtz stamps that nothing will bring back their stick. I wasn’t keen to have to coat the back of every one with Tack-It! so I had a go. Not a good idea. I know this is going to be nearly impossible to see, especially if you are on a phone, but yes, the grey stuff clings to the Nano tape. But when you are finally able to peel that sucker off, for me the Nano tape buckled and bulged.

To be fair, it was this exact buckle and bulge that made me carry on and test just the tiny squares – and I do believe a few squares might hold the grey clink stamps well enough to be able to stamp with them, but I have to put this aside for the moment and maybe have one last play later. If it works I’ll add it to my WOYWW post tomorrow.

I think there are potentially 100s of interesting uses for Nano Tape (not sponsored!) but this one seems like a universally useful for stampers one. What about using a tiny square or two to mount those lost-their-stick stamps in your storage system? Or sticking a ruler or a special pen to your desk? Temporarily mount some art to your wall? Hold your cranked knitting machine to the table so it doesn’t scoot about? I have to say I just love this stuff and I will keep a roll handy and reach for it often!

Woyww tomorrow!


Using Nano tape with unmounted stamps – or cling that have lost their stick

Nano tape is pretty cool stuff. I bought a pack of two rolls, one for the Hubster, cause I thought he might find some uses for it when mounting technology items in the car, and one for me cause I had an idea.

If you have read here for long you know I hate mounting unmounted stamps. But especially when requesting unavailable in the UK items to be shipped from the USA, unmounted stamps are a helluva lot cheaper to send. So I have a lot.

In the past I have used a hack that I loved (using the otherwise useless Creative Palette and Tack-It! Over and Over to create a mount.

And that does work well, but how many people actually have an old Creative Palette they can cut up and use? Probably not many.

Well, I had a play and Nano tape works just as well. I covered the mounting block with the tape then the stamps, both unmounted red rubber and clear cling that have lost their stick work perfectly well. Impossible in still images to demonstrate a non-cling cling stamp, but here goes…

My first instinct is with Nano tape you need to cover, pretty edge-to-edge, the mounting block. Obviously to get a good stamped impression you need uniform pressure, and I feared you won’t get that if you just added a strip of Nano tape in the middle of the block.

I figured using a small block to begin with, to work out the kinks, made sense. And it performed flawlessly!

The issues you can see with the paper (that black mark and the divots in the centre of the flower) are because it was a random scrap on my desk, not because of any stamping issues.

Now, there are a few things to note. I am testing to see if storing the Nano-tape coated block will work on a few things (a scrap of plastic packaging, a Ziplock/sandwich bag, one of the bags from the LFT test kits, even stuck to another block) and will report back. But as the tape is WASHABLE and REUSABLE it might matter less.

I feel like there is more experiment needed. I’m going to have a bash with a few things and see…Watch this space!

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My sewing room is tidy too. What a relief….

Well. Glad that’s over LOL! I am not going to share again how much of a disaster my sewing room was. But the after shots do make me very happy!

Getting the yarn finally sorted out was a huge effort. Now it is all sorted by colour, which will make things a LOT easier. I am really enjoying my knitting machine at the moment, especially for charity work, and you can see the dementia dolls at a previous stage on my sewing table above. The finished dolls are improved, I think. Originally they were like this:

The far too pale guy with those big round eyes was a problem. But adding some hair and replacing the eyes with softer yarn eyes helped a bit. I added a face to the blue boy, and a face, and had a go at a slightly different pattern for one final doll.

The yellow-haired girl was made from a very odd yarn, cotton crepe, which I just wanted to use up and was kinda the right colour. She has issues, but she is quite cuddly and the knitted dress was all done by cranking on the Addis. I also nailed the hair. The green boy had the individual strands (!) knotted in and it took HOURS to do. The blue guy only has a few wispy strands, as in the video, created from the ends of the eye threads (by far the easiest but only ok for boy dolls) and the largest pink dressed girl has total bed head – her hair is all over the place, but the texture of it is so soft and lovely, not going to change it now. The yellow ponytails were simple – I wrapped, cut, then sandwiched the strands between two sheets of deli paper. Carefully sewing over and over the middle of the strands both joined them and cut the deli paper so it tore away. A few stitches to secure the seam to the middle of the head and yarn ties to create the bunches and DONE. I will make this my go to girl hair from now on!

So then, now I can maybe get back to my art journal for a bit. That will be nice. I’ve been missing it!