Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Patchwork love

Hello lovely readers! I hope you are all well.
I wanted to share a little bit of patchwork with you today. Not that I don't have any crochet or knitting progress to show, oh no! I have been very busy of late. My 2 newest crochet projects are speeding along beautifully, and I started a knitting project today - but I will share these with you another day. Today is all about patchwork.
You may remember these from the Festival of Quilts...
My pretty goodies!
The lovelies that I bought from the NEC - ah! I was soooo desperate to start ALL the projects I had in my excited little head when we got back home! I could hardly contain myself! So I now have a fair few started and not finished bits and bobs lying about the house! As I finish them I will share - I promise :-)
If you look in the top row of the picture you will see a pack of pre-cut paper hexagons (I love hexies!!) and some scrap bags. The fabric all came out of the scrap bags and got ironed and admired greatly for it's loveliness. The little hexagons were admired for their neatness - far neater than I could have drawn and cut out myself!
And then I started cutting and tacking little pieces of fabric to little paper hexagons. Which, I have to say, was so much fun! I know paper piecing is time consuming, and that some people don't like it for that reason, but I really enjoy the repetitive wrapping and stitching, and wrapping and stitching...
I started with not much idea of what I was making.
I was just making.
Having fun.
But as time went on I decided on a teeny quilt. It won't be very big because I don't have an awful lot of fabric. But it will be big enough for me to have a go at hand quilting when the patching is all finished. So here is what I have so far - this will be the top(ish) of the quilt.

I will finish the dark green border at the top and bottom of this panel. Then I will have pretty much run out of both green fabrics. Still got lots of the patterned fabrics though!! The plan is to randomly place the remaining fabrics in a totally haphazard fashion, to contrast with the order of the top panel.

I just love how pretty all the little hexies look together!
Well, that's all the patching for tonight. I'm off to check Little Woolie's blog for the 5,000th time today to see if she has posted the pattern for the next rows of her mixed stitch stripey blanket so I can carry on with this...
My "me" blanket so far...
So many pretty things in my house at the moment :-)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Joining in

Just a quick post this morning to show you my newly started project. My "me" project :-)
I am very excited to be joining my first crochet-a-long, the beautiful mixed stitch stripey blanket from one of my favourite blogs Little Woolie 
I had a little dither about how wide to make it and in the end decided to throw myself full force into this project and chained 390, which I'm hoping will cover our bed. Yay!!! Snuggly blanky all for me!!!

So here is what I have so far. 5 rows of htr. I'm using Stylecraft DK as I love working with it - and it's not too expensive so I don't mind Henry sleeping on it! That cat does like a blanket!!!

I'm loving it so far, although those long rows do take a while!!! A whole evening to work only 5 rows?!?! haha. Very excited about the next few rows, grannies and some wiggles :-) and then I have to wait and see what comes next! Oooh! The excitement of a mystery crochet-a-long!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Granny stripe love

It's finished! My beautiful granny stripe! To be honest, I'm a little sad. It has been such a lovely project to work on, so easy, so pretty.
It is a present, for the little girl of a very good friend. She didn't have much in the way of requests - just that it had holes in (she likes to wiggle her fingers into the holes as she snuggles) and that it had some pinks and purples in it. So I decided to do a granny stripe as I had not done one before. I had a look through my stash of wool and picked out these 8 colours. I took these 2 photos when I was a few rows in, and already I was quite in love with it!

I continued to work on this (as well as all my other WIPs!) and I grew to love it more and more. I would fold it and lay it over my basket so it looked gorgeous. I wanted to take it everywhere and show it to people!

Once it was square I had to decide on an edge. How is that so hard?! I didn't want to spoil the simple loveliness of the stripes, but it really needed something.
So I started with 2 rounds of half-trebles and they looked great. Then I did 1 row of trebles, with the intention of doing another 3 or 4 rows of trebles or half-trebles. But the blanket spoke to me. She said "I'm beautiful just like this - don't spoil me with any more edging." So that was it.

I'm so pleased with the edge, simple and pretty. Just like the stripes.
I had intended to do a wider edge to make the blanket about 80cm x 80cm but because I stopped a bit early it is now about 72cm x 72cm. Perfect snuggling size.
But now I have a new problem. One I have not encountered before. Several people have said to me "How can you give away that beautiful blanket/scarf etc?" Because I have started all these projects with the intention of giving them away it has been easy. But not this one. I knew from the very start it was for little A and not me. It's not really big enough for me to use myself. But I still want it. I want it bad!
Oh, I'll give it to A - and I'll love seeing her snuggling it. But I think it might be time to crochet something for me. Something I don't have to give away. Something big enough for ME to snuggle under.
I have the perfect project in mind.....

Friday, 17 August 2012

The best day out - EVER!

Hello! I hope you are all well. There is a little bit of sunshine where I am at the moment which is lovely and cheery. I even popped outside and did a little bit of dead-heading this morning, lovely. Very calm and peaceful. Not at all like yesterday.

Yesterday I went on a little day trip. I had been getting excited about this trip for a while! I packed myself a lunch (I'm totally lying, M&S packed my lunch for me!) and I met up with 2 lovely friends, who had suggested and organised the trip, at the train station. We did some excited giggling, even though we are grown ups! Then our train pulled into the station and we found our seats (we booked seats which I think proves we are grown ups!) We chatted, we clapped our hands excitedly, we wondered what awaited us at the other end of our journey.

Finally the 40 min journey was over and we had arrived at the NEC in Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts!

I just need to take a moment here to share with you the reactions I have had to those 3 words. Say "Festival of Quilts" at our Thursday evening knitting group and you'll here lots of "oohs" and "aahs" and "won't that be super". Say "Festival of Quilts" to Mr T and he nearly falls off his chair laughing. Explain that we are going on the Thursday because we think it will be the least busy day and he rolls around some more saying that NO day will be busy, ha, ha, ha! Hmmm, thanks very much :(

Anyway - us 3 very excited would-be quilters were thrilled to be at the NEC. We all have some quilting experience and were keen to get some more ideas, and stock up on supplies! We weren't really prepared for the scale of the "festival" though. We walked in and realised that if we wanted to get round the WHOLE exhibition we would have to run and not stop to look at anything! That certainly was not going to happen! So we spent quite a few hours wandering up and down, marvelling at quilts, wanting very much to touch and squidge the quilts, but not being allowed :( I took a lot of pictures. I'd love to show them all to you but fear I may bore you silly. So here are just a few,

Very pretty hexagon patchwork quilt.

Sunshiny yellow patchwork stars.

Sweet quilted seaside houses.

Amazing quilted scenes of Britain.

These last 2 quilts are miniature quilts. Never have I seen such tiny pieces of fabric patched together, with such perfect, tiny, neat stitches! And then quilted just as finely. Each quilt was maybe only 20cm squared. Amazing. I'm going to have a go! See the miniature log cabin on the right hand side? There was a lovely lady making another the same and she showed me what she was doing, how she constructed all those weeny bits of fabric. And then she gave me a template! So kind, so helpful. I'm so excited to get started!

Of course, as well as quilts to admire and gather inspiration from there were stalls selling crafty goodies. I think there must have been a million of them. Certainly far too many for me to visit in 1 day, which is probably just as well, my purse would not have coped! I didn't really have anything that I needed, or particularly wanted to buy. I have signed up for a quilting course in October and I do need A LOT of fabric for that, but I decided that I needed to be much calmer for such a massive (expensive) fabric buying session. However, I still managed to make a fair few purchases!

At the top of the photo you can see a pack of pre-cut paper hexagons for patchwork, and 3 packs of scraps for practising my quilting skills on! I love bags of scraps, so exciting! The first one has really small, narrow strips and I'm going to use these for my log cabin mini-quilt. If you look carefully you can even see the paper template the lovely kind lady gave me! The middle row of the photo is some fabric for a secret project :) The bottom row has some low volume fabric which I bought just because I liked it (and it was a bargain!) and finally a fat quarter of red/pink fabric that looks like patchwork. I bought this to practise machine quilting on - I don't like the thought of making a piece of patchwork this size and then stuffing it up by quilting it badly!!

Before we knew it the tannoy voice was telling us it was 5.30 and the show was closed. We were sad. We wanted to stay. We are planning on going again next year. For 2 days instead of 1!!!


I just quickly want to show you another finished WIP before I go. This is the bunting I made for Miss M's bedroom. She is still on holiday so hopefully this will be a nice surprise for her when she gets back later tonight :)

Pink, pink, pink!

I love it! Pretty bunting xx

Wishing you all a lovely weekend! See you soon xxxx

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Brilliant Blocking!

The blocking was a success! I left it far longer than I probably needed to because I was scared of taking out the pins (heehee) but I needn't have worried - one beautifully flat ripply scarf :-)

No chance of any full length shots I'm afraid, it is very, very long!! I have to wind it round my neck 4 times!! But it will keep my friend nice and toasty in the NZ winter.

Draped over a door!

Close up - lovely colourful ripples.
I have made a few little tweaks to my blog today, it took me a REALLY long time and I'm still nowhere near happy with it, I think it will be another WIP to add to the pile :-)

Karen xx

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

On my hook (and my needles)

Welcome, again, to my little blog :-) I'm so happy that you have come to visit.

As promised, today I will be giving you a little peek at my WIPs. I recently introduced my sister to Ravelry and she asked, "What is a WIP?!" So just for her, today we will look at my Works In Progress :-)

There are not that many of them! I know, you're laughing. But really, I have been quite good recently and finished a few projects off, so at the moment, today (because it could all change tomorrow!) I have 6 projects on-the-go. 2 knitting, 1 crochet, 1 cross stitch, 1 patchwork and 1 sewing. Phew!

OK, project number 1. Ripple scarf.
(This is kind of cheating because it's pretty much finished) This will be a present for a friend who has very recently moved back to her home in New Zealand. It's like a little hug from me to her from all these miles away. I chose the pattern because it reminded me of the crochet ripples I love so much! It was lovely and easy to knit, and the yarn I picked worked up into perfect stripes, with NO planning! Sometimes I just get lucky! It did, however, bunch itself up into a little folded scarf, which looked odd. And skinny. Hmm..

I realised that my scarf would need blocking. Which frightened me. I had never blocked before! Fortunately there are some super lovely ladies at my Thursday night knitting group who gave me great advice. One of them even lent me her pins, wires and mats :-) I was sooo grateful! And here is my first attempt at blocking,

I'll let you know what happens when I take out the pins!!!!!

Project number 2. Small Granny stripe.
I know some of you have seen this one on Ravelry already so I won't go on about it too much. Let me just say I. LOVE. IT. Although it is not made from a favourite yarn the colours are so fresh and pretty and it is quick and simple to hook up. So I'm feeling the love for this one!!

Will keep you updated on progress :-)

Project number 3. Cross stitch.
Oh how aptly named this project is. It makes me cross. It has been a WIP for over 10 months now and it is really not a big project. But every time I pick it up I get cross with it, so it goes away again. There are 2 things that make me cross about this project. The first problem is that it is worked on linen instead of evenweave so the stitches are not all the same size. It is uneven, messy, wonky, everything that cross stitch should not be. I know this will not matter to the finished product (or Miss M as this is for her!) but it bothers me. The other problem is the colour. Very pale grey and white sheep stitched onto cream linen. There are very few times when the light is good enough to be able to see my stitches, grrrr!!

Hopefully I will soon feel a sudden burst of enthusiasm for this project and get it off my WIP list!!!

Project number 4. Peggy squares blanket.
This is my on-going, uses up all my left-over bits of yarn project. I just knit garter stitch squares - I LOVE having something this simple to switch off to between other projects. Sometimes I knit them all in 1 colour. Sometimes I play. There are only about 10 of them so far so I'm not expecting this one to be finished any time soon, it needs time, and left overs!

Project number 5. Bunting.
This won't be on the list for long :-) I started it on Sunday, has to be finished by Friday when Miss M comes home from her holidays (with her grandparents). This pretty pink bunting will be hung in her room as a surprise when she returns. I love bunting. And I love pink. What a fab combo! Will show you a photo just as soon as it is finished :)

Project number 6. Liberty patchwork.
Do you remember those lovely ladies at Thursday night knitting that I told you about? Remember the one who so kindly lent me her blocking equipment? Well it's her fault that I have all these teeny little Liberty fabric patches. I was quite happy thinking that Liberty fabric was something far beyond the reaches of my purse. But then C came to knitting one Thursday and showed us all the pieces of Liberty fabrics that she had just bought on line. Oh, how I loved them! And somehow, I still don't really know how it actually happened, but somehow, that very evening I managed to order a pack of 2" Liberty squares from eBay!
Well, they arrived, and they were gorgeous. I spread them all out and marvelled at all the different prints, and then put them away again. Until this week!! I got the urge, you know how it is when you just have to start something - NOW. So I started cutting out teeny 3cm squares from paper, and the carefully tacking each piece of fabric around the papers. I forgot how calming patchwork is. And so lovely to get to have a good look at all the different prints as I tack :)

I have to confess I don't know where this project is going yet, I've had a couple of ideas about what to make with the patchwork; bag, purse, cushion, place mats - but no decisions yet. I'm just enjoying them!

So that is my WIP list! Not too long, and a good variety of crafts - stops me getting fed up with anything (except that grrr cross stitch!) It was lovely to share them with you, I hope you have enjoyed having a little peek at them. I will show you photos of the finished projects as they leave the WIP pile!

See you again soon! xxx

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Welcome to my blog! I'm very excited to be here - I have been thinking about blogging for some time and now I've done it! Please forgive me while I get the hang of all the fancy bits and bobs - I'm sure I'll manage to get it looking great eventually!!

So, introductions... My name is Karen, I live in Milton Keynes with the lovely Mr T and the usually lovely Miss M (she is 12 - need I say any more?!) We also have a very gorgeous tabby cat called Henry.

Hmm, mobile phone camera not great :( but Henry very gorgeous!

Which leads me to the explanation of the name of my blog. We have a shed in our garden that our cat Henry sleeps in if he can't get into the house. In reality it is a tatty, messy, full of spiders shed. But in my imagination... Oh my! In my head this shed is beautiful, it is painted in pastel stripes, it has bunting hanging around it, it has a cute little table (with a checked table-cloth) and a vase of freshly-picked-from-the-garden flowers. It is big enough for me to escape to and sit and crochet, or knit, or patchwork, or read... I think you get the idea! Henry's Shed is the craft room I wish I had, and for that reason I have chosen it as the name of my blog, where I will chat about all my crafting adventures!

There are so many things I would like to write about here, I must try not to get carried away in my first post... Maybe a good way to start would be to share with you a few of my recently finished projects? OK, let's start with ripples, I love ripples :) I have been really inspired by Lucy of Attic24, just love her blog SO much!

This was my very first ripple :)

I very quickly made another!!

Both ripples were presents for friends and unfortunately I was in such a rush to finish, wash and wrap the 2nd that I never took a picture of it finished!! Silly me.

Next was a circles in squares blanket. I really enjoyed making all the little circles, especially as they were so pretty and pink!

This was the first time I had put a proper "edge" on a blanket and I really love the way it turned out. This was another present :)

My most recently finished project was also my first ever stylecraft project. As a devoted follower of Attic24 I had oohed and aahed at Lucy's stylecraft blankets for ages and eventually gave in and ordered myself a "Lucy pack". Oh, the excitement when that big bag of yarn arrived! I squished them, rubbed them on my cheeks, laid them out in different colour combinations and generally got a bit too carried away (thank goodness Mr T was not around to see such silliness!) But I couldn't decide what to make! There were too many options so I left them for quite some time, occasionally getting them out for a squish :) The arrival of a new baby girl (to a very close friend) gave me the perfect excuse to get out the stylecraft. I picked out the girliest colours and started making granny squares. I used the join as you go method which I really like, added a pretty edge and it was finished in no time at all! The sun even managed to shine for me to take some outside photos :)

Wow! Look at how much I have waffled already! I think I am really going to like blogging :)

Next time I'll share with you the projects I have got on-the-go at the moment! I'm very much looking forward to it!

Bye for now!
x x x