Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A new use for quilts

As I am right in the middle of making a new quilt with nothing much to show you at present, I thought I would catch up on a couple of little projects I finished around Christmas time (better late than never!).

This first one is a tiny mini quilt for my eldest son Felix, the orange-clad travelling hippy (as we call him).
Felix wasn't meant to be home for Christmas as he is travelling until next summer, but he surprised us by turning up at the door unannounced a few weeks before (one of the loveliest days of my life so far).
Of course I hadn't bought him a Christmas present and when I asked him what he wanted he said, "can you make me a tiny quilt like the one you gave Jacob. I need it for re-charging my crystals".
Well I bet you didn't know you could use quilts to do that!!

This is the tiny quilt I gave his brother. I made a few different versions of these about 5 years ago and mounted them in box frames and sold them in the shop. But I could never bear to part with this little Amish one.
Jacob should have had a full-sized quilt for his 21st birthday last August, but due to my tardiness and to his inability to give up control of even the simplest thing *sigh* I have not even started it yet. So for his birthday I gave him this tiny quilt instead, just until I had made the large one. Though actually he says he is not going to give it back now anyway, as it's 'cool'!!

So for Felix's 'crystal re-charger' I made a tiny rainbow Dresden Plate and sewed it to a piece of Hometown fabric which featured quite a few places he had visited. The eye fabric came from one of my remaining pieces of Alexander Henry, Frida Kahlo fabric I have been hoarding for years. Some hand quilting, blanket stitches and French knots finished it off.
Here is the quilt at work...

...and here is the back - some Essex Yarn-dyed in black.
He is off again now and this is travelling with him. Well, you mustn't forget your re-charger when you are travelling ;)

Last Christmas I had great fun knitting my first pair of socks and I was looking forward to another go this year.

I found this Regia sock yarn amongst my wool stash, I had bought a 100g ball years ago to crochet mini owls (remember them anyone?) and still had plenty left.
It is the most amazing wool, which makes you look like you are a really good knitter who knows how to do fairisle and such like. When actually the wool just does it all for you!
And look at my heel - I totally worked out how to do it properly this time!

I don't think I can really express how much fun it is to knit socks. It is like magical 3D engineering with wool. I just love it!! And I wear the socks all the time (and last year's pair), they just go through the washing machine and the tumble dryer over and over again. They fit me perfectly and are so warm. I would encourage anyone to give it a try, they really aren't that hard, especially with this fantastic book, Getting Started Knitting Socks by Anne Budd, which I thoroughly recommend.

I am desperate to knit more but I have been suffering with tendonitis in my left hand due to knitting that Noro jacket (too heavy apparently), so I have had to give up all knitting and crocheting for a bit.
Hopefully I will be back spending quality time with my 5 DPN's very, very soon! That's double pointed needles for your non-sock knitters, and really why wouldn't you just become a sock knitter after everything I've just said!


  1. Your mini dresden is fabulous Jo! and I love your socks!!

  2. What a fabulous idea! I might just have to make a rainbow/chakra mini quilt for my crystals too!!! It would also make a great gift for crystal lovers :-)

  3. your mini quilts and think it's fab that your boys like them as well!

    Thanks for the book tip! I would like to start knitting socks but think I need a good beginner's guide...


  4. Your socks and positive comments make me want to try knitting them.... I wonder how readily available the book you recommend is here? Off to check!

  5. I've ALWAYS wanted to knit a pair of socks. I'm away right now to put that book on my wishlist. And how lovely that there's a piece of you travelling with your boy.

  6. I love your mini rainbow Dresden, who knew about recharging on a mat! I'd have thought with all the hand quilting the mat would have picked up your energies! What do I know! I'd love a pair of hand knitted socks, but really, I haven't knitted for maybe 30 years, maybe in a few more years yet!

  7. But of course *everybody* needs a crystal recharger, duhhhh.... ;o) Never leave home without mine.

    Happy knitting!

  8. Awesome Sauce!! I think that's the book we gave to our boy's girlfriend for Christmas!:)

  9. Your socks are fab. I so wish that I could knit. What do you put into your mini quilts to make them chargers? Lol. Di x

  10. I almost had to ask what recharging crystals was all about, but then you showed that photo!! I'm a new sock knitter too, but I always seem to have something else on!

  11. The mini dresden quilt is so fun to look at, and I am sure it does a great job with those crystals. it is so wonderful that he wanted something hand made for his present. I am not a knitter at all but the stripey socks look toasty and warm.

  12. well there you go - I had no idea that crystals needed to be re-charged :-) They are such cute mini quilts.

  13. I love the little minis, and maybe I should get some crystals so I need a recharger? I also love your socks, the self striping wool is really fun to use and seems awfully sturdy too. I used to knit a lot of socks but given how quickly I wore them out (don't wear them to a day of shopping for example) I have turned to scarves and mittens and such instead.

  14. I love the re-charger, we used to carry similar stones around in our pockets when the girls were small and we called the happy stones.... Maybe we should have recharged them more often!

  15. Your mini quilts are so sweet. I love the socks too - Knitting a pair of socks is the one thing on my list that keeps moving to the bottom because the idea of it daunts me!
    Teresa x