Excuse # 238

Despite the online quietness, it’s been busy at Hadenmaiden’s House. Though I started 2019 determined that I wouldn’t be bound by lists this year, I seem to have committed to rather too many things (again). I’ve managed to make some good progress on several projects, and have a couple of finishes which means I can tick appropriate boxes.

First up is a quick mobius cowl for a KAL being hosted on Ravelry. This was an ideal project to take along to Knit & Natter, being a simple one row pattern that I really couldn’t lose track with.


I finally managed to take my trusty sewing machine out of storage in the garage – now it’s beckoning me to get on and do some proper sewing. I started off with a couple of bags – the one pictured below, and a Japanese know bag with the same fabric. I think I may now have the sewing bug in addition to all the other things that compete for my time and attention…


I’ve also cast on a lace weight shawl for another KAL. Gave myself an extra brownie point for using stash, but unfortunately the colour doesn’t show well in this image, which makes a lovely rich jewel toned green look like royal blue!



In the blue corner

I finally made a bit of a start on the blanket squares for this year’s long KAL.

Managed to get 7 squares from 1 x100g ball. I have 10 balls each of 2 colours, so if this is typical, I should get around 140 squares in total. There are 30 different squares to choose from, and several different blanket sizes. Unless the plan changes, I’m aiming for three sets of 30 squares, to end up with a throw size blanket. That would also mean I have yarn for a border, or possible a couple of hat/mitts sets for next winter.squares

1 down, 34 to go

Finally got around to starting the Dutchman’s Puzzle quilt. I took the makings of the first block to craft group on Monday, and now have one of the35 blocks I will need. The colours don’t show up very well, hopefully the next progress picture will rectify that. biggest lesson learned this week – using the size 10 milliners needles and Bottom line thread that were recommended to me makes the stitching so much better, but the needles are difficult to thread in electric light. I fixed that by pre-threading a bunch of needles in the daytime, so I have enough to keep me going through the evening ūüôā


I picked up a bargain this morning, too. Popped into town for a special birthday and, and whilst I was in the shop spied these three little lovelies – just 4.5″, 5.5″ & 6.5″ Ideal for dressing and keeping in my bag for emergencies, and only ¬£1.50 for the three!


Time to get on with it, then!

Having fully intended (and trying!) to get my craft projects organised at the end of 2018 for a good start on 1 January, I find that a week into 2019 I’m still sorting out. The quilt log sheets that I downloaded last week made me realise that I have two ongoing projects that need updating, and some progress made, so yesterday I took pictures of the progress to date on those, as well as one of the first stitching on the blues hexie quilt that is anew start. The first is a charm quilt, which will eventually have 999 pieces, but is currently being formed up in blocks of 32 – 1.5″x3″ rectangles in pairs, each placed next to a pair on a different axis.


The second is a sampler quilt comprising various 12″ blocks in different colour ways – great for using up scraps!img_2813

Craft group/knit & natter restarted on Monday for the new year, and I took the first hexes for my shades of blue quilt. A small start, but a start, nonetheless. The darker one on the bottom row looks skew, but it isn’t just a bit bent up on the picture!img_2812


Before the afterthought

One¬†of the project challenges for 2017 is a project using a technique that I haven’t used before. ¬†I could still do with some more socks for the April trip, so decided to do socks with an afterthought heel. Part of the beauty of an afterthought heel is that you can use a contrast yarn easily if you want to, and with a variegated yarn the pattern sequence doesn’t stretch out of shape because all of the rounds have the same number of stitches.

With this pair I wanted to keep it simple, so am just using one colour, and minimal texture on the sock body. To avoid the possibility of second-sock syndrome, I’m knitting both socks before I put in the heel. The first one is done, and you can see the waste yarn that marks where to put the heel. Hopefully there will be a transformed pair of socks posted in the next few days!¬†image

Asclepias and the Ripper

10 days into January and all challenges are at least started.

Asclepias hat and gloves completed this evening will count for a point in the FGF17 points challenge, as well as ticking one of the projects for the project challenge.

Shadow of the Ripper is a book published today, so it’s a box ticked on the reading challenge and one towards my Netgalley 55 books.

It’s too dark to take a decent picture tonight, so there’ll be a picture added for Asclepias tomorrow.¬†image

1 genealogy post made using the prompt list, ¬†and in the background a decent bit of progress towards one of the other genealogy projects I’m working on.

Good job I don’t have a day job!

So far, so good….

Plan, part two


The¬†last few months have been very much focussed on a sizeable research project, which has seen me putting in regular 50 hour weeks- great fun, but tending to push other activity out of the window. I’ve been working on a plan to rebalance my activity for 2017. The genealogy plan has been described earlier, and one I’ve just stumbled on a crafting plan.

Thanks to an inspired Ravelry member, I’ve just signed up to her 2017 challenge, and mean to get my thinking hat on before the weekend to decide at least one of the items before New Year. The list comprises:

A pattern from your queue

A pattern you previously tried and didn’t complete (could be a WIP)

A pattern you were inspired to make by someone else’s beautiful FO

Something from stash

A pattern involving a technique that is new to you

An accessory that you haven’t made before

A pattern recommended to you by somebody else

A pattern from a book/magazine you own but have never used

Something for somebody else

A project using more than one type of yarn

I’m not sure if one item can tick off more than one of the criteria, but I don’t see why not. If I get desperate to complete, I could always make somebody else something from stash, which is in my queue and was inspired by someone else’s FO……….

Whilst still on a crafting theme, I did manage to get a couple of cross stitch pieces framed before the end of the year, and with thanks to Jen, now have a sensible way to display them in the craft room.




Self-fulfilling prophecy?


It appears that the title of my previous posting was prophetic – three months since this blog has been updated, and no excuse, other than having too little week to pack my list into.

Knitting has been virtually non existent.

Crochet hasn’t happened.

The usual four Christmas cakes have been reduced to two.

Family tree has been sporadic at best.

On the other hand, I’ve been putting in excess of a forty hour week into a project that I’ve managed to get myself involved with, and which will be high on the agenda for¬†at least the next eighteen months. ¬†It’s great fun, and very rewarding, but is in danger of taking over more than it should. ¬†With that in mind, I’ve decided that after the Christmas break, there’ll be a bit of a change here.

Firstly, there will be a change of emphasis – I know that crafting time will be much reduced throughout 2017, so I will deliberately curtail my to do list, and make it achievable. This will mean less crafting posts – whether that is a bonus or not; we’ll see.

Secondly, because I’m really not prepared for the family history to take quite such a back seat, I’ll be taking part in a genealogy challenge through blogging. ¬†Not yet sure what form that will take, but all will be made clear in the first week of 2017. [That will give me chance to make some semblance of sense of what is, at the moment, just the germ of an idea that hasn’t had chance to develop in the scramble of my brain!]

In the mean time, there are 3 weeks left of 2016, so I’ll commit to at least three more posts; if nothing else, to get back into the routine of blogging a bit.

There will be pictures – we need pictures.



36 hour day required

Only one more full week and we’ll have Easter upon us – I must be getting older than i give myself credit for; the weeks are just disappearing before my eyes. ¬†I’d thought finishing work would leave hours ahead of me to do all of those things that I have on my ‘to do’ list. In some ways it did – in others, it gave me the opportunity to add more to the list, and, let’s face it, there are just too many interesting things to do!

Last week I managed to tick off something that I’ve been trying to get around to for months – ventured out half an our or so up the M54 to the outskirts of Wolverhampton to visit the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church. ¬†Armed with a list of 26 relatives to hunt for, I was convinced that none would have a headstone and I would be coming home with several pictures of random grassed areas (bearing in mind our previous trip to Merridale). ¬†The volunteer staff at the Open Church morning were super, giving me plot plans for the two main parts of the churchyard that I needed, and we were rewarded with finding several family members with headstones, as well as being able to mark this without a headstone onto the plot plans. Even better, we ‘found’ two plots that marked the final resting place of family members I hand discovered yet!

The latest Futurelearn course started up this week, and is accompanied by a particularly active group on Facebook – yet another way for the hours to pass me by….. ¬†Add that to my now regular Tuesday morning at the pub with a newly discovered genealogy/WW1 addicted pal, and the week feels pretty full. ¬†I have lost count of the new projects these Tuesday cuppa have inspired, and just hope that I manage to see at least one or two of them through!

Family members should also be warned that I’ve ben directed to a genealogical codicil which has duly been printed off and will be filled in imminently. ¬†Thanks to the Devon Family History Society for that, it’s a cracking idea. Now would be¬†a good time to let me know if you want to be on the ‘first refusal’ list, as it doesn’t look at this stage like any of my offspring will be interested in the mounds of information I’ve unearthed!

Updating the ‘interminable list’, and the 2016 stash down makes me realise I’m never going to get everything done, but hey, it’s fun trying ūüėČ

just to add a little colour to this post, here’s a view of the gaffs and crocus in the local park where we walked Jess this morning, and a teaser till next time, to see if you can imagine what Bob was up to last week….