Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – March

It’s March. It’s spring, or autumn, depending on where you are, but no matter where I’m sure for many thoughts of Christmas are far, far away. I, however, discovered last year how liberating it was to work on gift and décor projects month by month throughout the year and thus totally avoid the pressures and stresses of a last minute rush in November/December. This year is no different and with the monthly Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew link parties to keep me motivated I work on items as and when ideas come to me.Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and PinsNow I must admit that this month I don’t have any sewn items to share, but only because the projects I have been working on are all knitted. I’ve always loved knitting although in recent years the needles have been stashed away. But before I share my latest makes with you let me first remind you about this month’s Ho, Ho, Ho, and On We Sew link party.

Ho Ho Ho button photoThis month’s link party is being hosted by Sally over at Wonky Patchwork so be sure to pop over and find out what Sally has been making this month, along with details on the link party giveaway. This month’s link party is being sponsored by Patchwork Elephant, who have provided a meter of festive fabric for one lucky linker. Patchwork elephant

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is to link up any festive make that you have completed this month. Don”t worry if you haven’t made anything yet as you can still start sewing. The link party remains open till the end of the month so plenty of time to get something made.

Now that I’ve told you how you too can join in this month’s fun let me get back to sharing all about my knitting. Thanks to both myself and my mum the boys both had plenty of jumpers to see them through the recent winters, and I too had more than enough to keep me going. This year however I knew it was time to get back to some knitting and amongst other things I decided to make myself some shawls, hats and scarves/cowls. In my perusal of ravelry I discovered the candy cowl pattern and the stunning knit collage wool it featured. I decided to give it a go and I can honestly say I was hooked on both the pattern and the wool.

I started with my version of the cowl and with the leftover yarn I designed myself a fun matching hat – there was no way I was going to waste a single piece of that wool if I could help it. Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

Buoyed on by that success I quickly set about adding several more skeins of knit collage wool to my stash, although I’m not sure I can really say I added them to my stash as I found myself knitting them up almost as soon as I had purchased them.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

Hats and cowls, hats and scarves. Between the chunky wool and the large needles I was using they knit up so effortlessly and I quickly found myself churning out set after set.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and PinsSome have been gifted already, some have been put away and I still have plans for more. I think I should really knit myself another set in red and white that I can keep for the festive season.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

I had never come across art yarns until I start knitting with the knit collage yarns and I can honestly say I am absolutely head over heels in love with them. The yarns I have used for these projects are whimsical and fun, beautiful to knit, soft to the touch. Each one is different and as I wind and knit each new skein I love finding out what fibers and embellishments have been woven in with the wool.

Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins Knitting cowls/scarfs and hats with Knit Collage yarns / Mud, Pies and Pins

I have found some other beautiful art yarns on etsy which will make for beautiful knitted gifts or personal items and I look forward to sharing these with you in the future,

What about you? Have you been getting ahead with you festive sewing this month. If you have be sure to pop on over to join in the link party over at Wonky Patchwork. I look forward to seeing you there and reading all about your latest makes.

#LoLSwapRound2 – Package Received

Last week I shared with you the EPP lotus blossom pillow and other items I had made for my partner in the Instagram Liberty of London Swap Round 2, #lolswapround2. Today I’d like to show you the beautiful items that I received from my partner @cosertejercrear, otherwise known as Mariana from Coser Tejer Crear.
As my regular followers will know I have been knitting a fair bit this winter. Knitting? I hear you wonder, when this was supposed to be a post about Liberty of London. Well bear with me and all will become clear. In the past I always used metal knitting needles, most of which were inherited from my grandmothers. I never really had any proper storage for them but kept them paired up in a bag in my knitting supplies box. More recently I’ve started to purchase and use bamboo and other wooden needles and I knew my ever expanding needle collection was in need of better and more organized storage. Because of that one of the possible swap items I had listed for my partner to me for me when I joined the swap was a knitting needle case. So you can imagine my joy when that was exactly what I received.

Knitting case cover

Isn’t this just stunning. Not only is it a Liberty knitting needle case (or roll), it is an EPP’ed Liberty hexie knitting needle case! I’d been following Marianna’s progress on IG as she made this case and was in love with it from the very beginning. The combination of fabrics in the cover is just perfect. It’s so delicate and coordinated and so very much to my taste.

Knitting case inner open
The inside of the case is just as stunning as the cover. There are a multitude of pockets that will be perfect for all the different needles that I own. The little flecks of Liberty lawn inserted into the inner fabric are just stunning, and the stitched details on the top flap are just one more beautiful feature that makes this case so stunning.

Knitting case inner closed
I can honestly say that I will cherish this case and it will be very much used and loved.

Pincushion
Marianna sent me lots of lovely extras as well. There is an adorable Liberty pincushion that features more decorative stitching and has the cutest little pin in it. It now sits happily by my sewing machine and my eyes are drawn to it every time I sit down to sew.

Swap items recieved

As well as two stunning pieces of Liberty fabric which I will definitely put to good use there was also some dark chocolate which is my favourite, and which was very much enjoyed; a pair of the cutest owl sock which go so very well with all the other fun socks in my sock drawer; and adorable little cross stitched picture, did I ever mention that cross stitch is another of my hobbies; and a couple of other goodies which are all finding great use in my sewing room. It really couldn’t have been a more perfect package.

Knitting case collage
I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this swap. It’s been so much fun to swatch everyone’s progress on IG, to see all of the finished pieces and swap packages as they are revealed and to meet so many new IG friends and you can be sure that if there is another round I’ll be in line to sign-up.

#LoLSwapRound2 – Package Sent

It’s no secret that I love to join in swaps. They are a great way to meet new people, a lovely challenge as you strive to make something for someone who you usually don’t know personally, and a really great excuse to just keep on sewing (not that an excuse is really needed tbh). Being the Liberty lover that I am I was every so sorry I had missed the sign-ups for #lolswapround1 when I saw lots of photos from that swap appearing on my IG feed and was determined to make sure I didn’t miss #lolswapround2. I can honestly say I am so very glad that I didn’t. Run by @ohhowsweetco this swap focuses on swapping items made with Liberty tana lawn. Like any swap you have to make one large item for your swap partner, with Liberty being the main focus of the piece. My partner, @misspipilotta, expressed a preference for a pillow and for pink and so I stitched up my first version of my lotus blossom epp design to feature on the pillow top.

Lotus Blossum English paper pieced Liberty lawn pillow topy by Mud, Pies and Pins

Photo courtesy of @misspipilotta on IG

I quilted the front of the pillow, but kept the stitching to a minimum by simply sititching in the ditch around each petal piece with my favourite Aurifil 50wt #2021 to ensure the Liberty remained the main focus of the piece. The pillow has an envelope back in pink linen that coordinates well with the front and adds an extra little pop of colour.

I must admit it was hard to part with this piece as I am totally in love with it myself but I know it is gone to a perfect home and I have to say it looks just perfect in its new setting. Needless to say I already have started to create the pieces for the next lotus blossom and I see plenty more of these in my future.

We were also asked to include some extra goodies in our partner’s package along with some fabric. I knew my partner liked pink, ballet, and the Liberty fabric Gallymoggers Reynard B in pink and it was these factors that pretty much guided my decisions when it came to filling the rest of the swap package.

lolswapround2 swap package goodies by Mud, Pies and Pins

Photo courtesy of @misspipilotta on IG

I started with the ballerina, which featured some fussy cut Liberty Aranov for her dress and an embroidered outline based on this original design. Once stitched I mounted the design in a hoop ready to hang in it’s new home.

Ballerina hoop art by Mud, Pies and Pins

When it came to chosing fabric to send the Gallymoggers Reynard B in pink was an obvious choice, but I also added in one of the Very Berry Handmade Libery scrap packs that I love to stitch with. A spool of Aurifil 50wt #2021 found its way into the package as it is just perfect for stitching Liberty fabrics along with some chocolate and candy goodies with pink packaging that I just couldn’t resist. At the very last minute I decided I would stitch up a quick button closed pouch as one last extra and as packing for these added goodies. I used some of the linen I had left over from backing the cushion along with some of the Alice in Wonderland print my partner likes so much and in no time at all had the perfect gift wrapper.

Alice in wonderland Pouch by Mud, Pies and Pins

Needless to say my partner is more than delighted with her package, and I am overjoyed as I have enjoyed every last minute of this swap. I hope you’ll pop by again on Monday when I’m going to show you the wonderful package that I received. In the meantime why not pop over to Instagram and have a look at all the magnificent items that have been created and swapped in #lolswapround2.

Spring is in the Air

It’s the start of March and while there is still plenty of snow around here in places spring is most definitely in the air.

Spring floweres | Mud, Pies and Pins

February has pretty much passed me by here on Mud, Pies and Pins. In February the schools here all close for a week for “sports week” to allow families time to go skiing or enjoy other winter sports. Like so many others we headed to the hills to enjoy some snow time fun. For me that mostly meant sitting out in the snow park watching my youngest at ski school there, and helping him out when necessary. We were lucky to have nothing but sunshine for most of our time away so I brought various knitting projects that I could work on while the little man skied.

Knitting in the snow | Mud, Pies and Pins

Knitting in the snow | Mud, Pies and Pins

I did try to get some work done on some EPP as well but I didn’t make much progress at the time. It really wasn’t that easy to drop the EPP at a moment’s notice when the little man needed my help, but the knitting on the other hand dropped neatly into my knitting bag and became my handwork of choice for our time away.

EPP in the snow | Mud, Pies and Pins

We were lucky to be able to stretch our time in the hills to take in most of two weeks and between that, a winter cold that threatened to lay me low for a few weeks and the ensuing catch-up time I’m only now getting back on track and getting back to you all here and I look forward to sharing my recent makes with you just as soon as I get the last of my holiday/project photographs organised.

Winter Woollies – WiP Wednesday

Winter has thankfully finally found us here in Switzerland and we are finally enjoying crisp and frosty mornings, snowfall, and more. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who probably think I am mad to be celebrating such weather, but I do so enjoy winter. I love crisp cold days and wrapping up in layers. I love the sight of frosted fields and forests and most of all I love the snow. Crisp, white and lots of fun. I love the the fun I get to have with my boys playing in the snow and I’m getting no end out of enjoyment out of weekends in the mountains when I I get to watch and help them learn to ski.

Now of course with all this chilly weather it’s important to wrap up and stay warm so as my Instagram followers will be aware I’ve been swapping out the sewing for the knitting on and off over the past few weeks. Although I’ve probably got enough functional hats and scarves (read black and unexciting) I certainly don’t have many that I would consider fashionable fun so I’ve treated myself to some beautiful yarns in order to rectify that fact.

Wool collage wool

Yesterday it was the turn of a skein of Wool Collage’s Gypsy Garden in Purple Haze to make it on to the needles along with a ball of Schulana’s Kid Seta Lux in aqua. The Gypsy Garden is a beautiful mix of wool hand spun with tiny flower trims, sequins, bits of lace and ribbon rosebuds and I was determined to make the most of the 1 skein I had so I decided I would team it up with the Kid Seta and make a cowl following a pattern I had found on Ravelry.

Wool collage knitting

As it turns out this is a really quick project and I made great progress in the little free time I had available to me yesterday. Today I’m back to working on some more of my Liberty epp project as I want to also progress that project, but I should get back to my needles this evening or tomorrow and I’m sure I’ll get the cowl quickly finished when I do. It’s also looking like I will have a little of the Gypsy Garden left over but if I do I’m hoping I’ll have enough to make a hat to match the cowl and I’d hate to waste even the tiniest bit of this magnificent yarn.