Rounding off 2020

What a year!  I know there’s been precious little action on the blog this month, but I have a really, really good excuse..  Making Christmas presents!  And obviously I cannot show those until they’ve been recieved, so.  I wish I could show them now, as Christmas day has been, but Boris stuffed up my Christmas plans, so those presents are still here with me and not with the people they were for!  Except for one.

I wanted to make little things for the girls’ advent calendar, one of those ones you can fill with goodies, and not just chocolate!  Although chocolate did feature heavily!  In our garden, we’re frequently visited by lots of birds, chief amongst them are the tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits and the little Willow Tit.  I thought it would be cute to find a little decoration that I could make, in the shape of one of those birds.  After much trawling on Etsy, I found this pattern.  American, so they call the bird a Chickadee, but it’s a tit!

willow tit 2

After downloading and printing, I decided the bird was a little big, so reduced the pattern pieces to 80% of the original size to be more lifelike.  Perfect!  The felt was also from Etsy, and came relatively quickly, given the state of the post office!  I had most of the required colours of embroidery thread in my stash and only needed to buy a couple from a local store.  Cutting the felt was fiddly, because the pieces are so small.  Best tool to cut with?  Curved nail scissors!  Trust me on this, they work a treat!  I decided the birds needed to be “double-sided” as they’d probably swing around on the tree.  My embroidery skills need some work, but I’m happy with the individuality of the birdies!!  There were going to be 5, but as these 3 took so long to make and time was not on my side, I will have to make the other 2 for next Christmas!

willow tit 1

They’re so cute and were very well recieved!!

So what else have I been up to?  Well, back in April when I was in South Africa with my mum and getting fidgity to make something, I thought I’d take advantage of her copious knitting knowlegde and knit something.  I made a beanie and a pair of mittens and came away with a couple of very easy patterns and the desire to knit a little more.  I am a very reluctant knitter, I just don’t have the patience to knit for months and then find I don’t like what I’ve made, or worse still – what I’ve made doesn’t fit!!!!

Anyway, I eventually bought some Aran weight yarn in a pretty misty blue/green colour and raided a friend’s pattern stash.  I picked what I thought was going to be an easy pattern, but I still needed to learn some tricks!  I needed to learn how to knit on a circular needle, how to make German Short rows, increasing and decreasing (on purpose), and how to make a Magic Loop in order to knit the sleeves.  But I did it, and from starting in October, I have a jumper finished before Christmas!!  Never did I think that would happen!  Now I want more Aran weight yarn, or chunkier, so I can knit something else just as fast!

jumper
Finish it and put it on immediately! Blocking – naa – later!!

At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to learn new things, have a “year of firsts”.  Ahem..  So, what did I manage then?  Well, I made my first quilt.  Still not finished, but I’m getting there.  I knitted my first beanie, and first pair of gloves – fingerless!  I spent more time on the allotment than in my sewing room and went for extended periods of time without sewing anything!  In the Christmas present pile is another first, but those details will have to wait!  And of course, there’s this jumper.  The first one I’ve started and finished by myself, and I actually like!  So it’s not been all bad.

There are a couple of projects that haven’t made it to the blog yet, and probably won’t get their own posts.  I used the remainder of the blue floral print viscose to make a cowl cami, using my old favourite camisole pattern, Butterick 5487 .  The scraps left over have gone into making a couple of masks and the lining of some pouches.  I also had some gorgeous navy blue fine knit that I brought back from South Africa – made a Toaster Sweater #2.  I had to take it in drastically at the sides, 10cm in total, shorten the body and the sleeves, and narrowed the sleeves too.  It’s been a brilliant extra layer, I like fine knits for layering in the winter!

cowl cami

Next year is going to be a wait and see year, I think, not too much planning.  As the government seems to be changing the rules an a fortnightly basis, I think that’s the way to go in the beginning.  So for now, I think I’ll start January with some #SewJapaneseInJanuary, I have two books I got in 2018 that I have yet to trace a single pattern from!  There must be something in the stash I can use for a pattern somewhere.  Then there is that fabric I got from Rainbow Fabrics in November/October – still haven’t cut them out!  I also want to make a denim coat from old jeans – I collected a large pile in the summer and that pile is making me feel guilty everytime I look at it!  So it’s not like I’ve nothing to make or no ideas – I just need my sewing room back again!

So that’s it, I guess I’ll be seeing you all in 2021!  Happy New Year everyone!