Knit Happens

Every fortnight, a merry band of stitchers meet at the Traveller’s Rest (in Witton Gilbert, Durham) for Knit Happens.


The group was formed by my friend Lucy, who owns a lovely wool shop called Woolaballoo in Hexham.  There are so many beautiful yarns to choose from, as well as all your needles and hooks and notions.  You can also attend workshops so you can learn new techniques – see the website for all the details.  For Knit Happens, we just get together knit and crochet an chat and laugh, and usually we eat copious amounts of delicious homemade pub grub as well.  Yummy!

We’re all working on different things at the moment.  Some of us are knitting (on a variety of needles) and some of us are crocheting.  Some are quite experienced and some are just starting out.  Here are some pictures of what we’re making – a couple of blankets, the beginnings of a cushion, socks, hats and snoods.

The blanket I’m working on is from the Attic 24 blog, the Cosy Stripe Blanket.  I just love the colours, and can’t wait to finish it.  However, as I discovered at last night’s Knit Happens, it’s getting a tad warm to be sat with an ever-growing blanket on your lap!  I may need to put it aside until the winter.  But, never fear – as every self-respecting crafter knows, it simply isn’t enough to have just one project on the go, and I have many works in progress I can pick up.  🙂

And, last night I came away with a new sewing project too!  Lucy has asked whether I can line this (soon to be bag) for her.  It will be interesting because I don’t have a pattern to work from, so I’ll just have to make it up as I go.  I think I have a pretty clear idea of how I’m going to tackle it.  Regardless, it’s so nerve-wracking knowing that if I fluff it up I’ll have ruined Lucy’s bag.  Keep everything crossed!  I’ll let you know how I get along with it.

If you live in the Durham area and want to pop in sometime, please do!  The next one will be on April 29th (and it’ll be every fortnight thereafter).

Re-loved shopping

Last week Rachael and I took an entire afternoon off work to scour the vintage and charity shops of Durham to see what we could find.

The rules were very simple.

  1. We were only allowed to visit vintage and charity shops (with the exception of the obligatory coffee and cake stop, obviously).
  2. We had a budget of £50 for the entire day.
  3. With our new sewing skills in mind, each of us had to buy at least one thing that we could customise/re-fashion in some way.

We succeeded on all three counts, spending less than £25 each.  So, what did we get?  Well, I won’t share everything because we both ended up getting quite a bit, but I will tell you what we plan to re-fashion.  I got this black and white wool-look skirt, which is my size, but is a really unflattering length on me and my little legs (it falls just below mid-shin – not a good look for my barely-taller-than-five-feet self).  However, I really like the fabric and the pleat detail on the front, so I decided I’d buy it and take off some of the length.  Plus, it only cost me 50 pence!  50 pence + a bit of black thread + a little bit of my time = one absolutely bargainous skirt.  Rachael got a grey jumper because it was so soft (like, seriously, the softest jumper known to man).  We think this jumper started out as menswear, but Rachael happens to quite like the fit of it and has plans to add some sort of lace embellishment.

Let me share my favourite purchases with you too – a green dress and some green shoes.  Obviously I liked green last week.  What am I saying?  I always like green.  I don’t know where this dress came from (I don’t recognise the name on the label), but I love it!  I love that it’s got a bit of a 20s-60s fusion thing going on.  It’s really just a fitted shift dress, I suppose, but the beads give it a flapper feel.  Ah, it’s just beautiful!  I’m so looking forward to wearing it – a steal at £7.  I’ve already worn my new brogues 🙂  I’ve worn them a lot.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted them. They weren’t even on the shelf yet, they were just being unpacked.  “I’ll have those too, please!”  They must have been only worn once or twice (possibly never!) – even the creases you can see in these pictures weren’t there until after I’d already worn them.  They are a Clark’s creation and only set me back £4.50.  They’re possibly the catch of the day, actually.

Following on from our shopping trip, I went to Barnard Castle over the weekend and found another skirt that I hope to re-fashion.  This one is pretty much a full on kilt, with a wraparound design on the front and heavily pleated on the back.  I was originally drawn to this because of the colour – green (what a shocker).  However, it’s quite a bit too big for me, and as with the other skirt I got, the length won’t work on me.  In the end I bought it, simply because the fabric is very decent.  It’s 100% wool and it also has these leather buckles on it, which I’m hoping to re-purpose as well.  I’m going to have a go at giving this skirt a complete.  I’m going to attempt to get the waistband off and get the pleats out with a wash and some serious pressing (I’m hoping they’ll come out with enough effort), and then essentially start from scratch, treating it as a brand new piece of fabric.  I’ll try to incorporate the buckles and wraparound feature, but I don’t know what I’ll end up with.  How adventurous of me! I’ll let you know what I end up doing 😀

I think I’ve picked up some right gems that can now be loved for that little while longer – by me!  I’ll definitely be doing this again at some point – there are so many clothes that have life in them yet.