Monday, 23 April 2012

Shopping, stitching and sighing!

I realised when looking at my photos that the only photos I have shared of the markets here were of the fish market. Now, whilst we like fish we do buy other things at the market, so this weekend on our weekly shopping trip and walk back through the Old Town I took some photos to give you an idea of the shopping opportunities in Riga!

Now that Spring has (finally) arrived many of the fruit and veg stallholders have moved outside, so the area around the Market pavilions is a riot of colour. Later in the summer small stalls will be set up with people offering produce from their gardens and allotments. Last year we particularly enjoyed the tiny wild strawberries for sale on these stalls, so we are looking forward to trying more of them this summer. The time for fur hats has, thankfully, passed so the ones you see are aimed at tourists, who were out in force this weekend, so the fur lady and her neighbours selling knitted socks and gloves and amber jewellery will have been happy. The handicraft ladies ply their wares all year round so must be a very hardy bunch!

Although it felt like I spent a lot of time sewing over the weekend I don't seem to have much to show for it. I did, however, get last week's project from the Zakka-style SAL completed.

I have been hoarding the fabric and ribbon for a while so it was nice to finally find a use for them. I didn't have the right stuffing so made do with leftover wadding, so it is a bit lumpier than I would have liked. At least, though, it is finished which is more than can be said for the first project in the book, the zig-zag style tote. Having spent what seems like all week on this tote I am still some way from finishing and the photo below shows you why!

When I joined the zig-zag panel to the plain side panels to make up the front of the tote I lost my points on the edges! I was tempted, as you can see, to ignore this and make up the bag anyway, but have decided that this is all character building so am steeling myself to start all over on the zig-zags. I have also discovered (thanks Kirsty QP) that I am not the only one to have trouble with this project, so I don't feel quite so bad :) Check out Finding Fifth's  blog if you are struggling too.

As it is nearly the end of the month I am trying to catch up on my BOM's before I get behind again, so spent again what seemed like many hours hand-piecing hexagons for the Craftsy BOM for April. One down, one to go, hope there is something good on TV this week so that I can get stuck into the second block.

I only realised as I was sewing the last one down that I had intended to have both of the half-hexagons with the blue side on the white background. At 11.00p.m it was definitely not going to be changed!

When we  were in Tallinn a few weeks ago I found a copy of the craft magazine Mollie Makes so naturally snapped it up. The magazine had a pattern for a Crochet Flower Brooch, which caught my eye as it seemed reasonably straightforward for a non-crocheter. However, despite several attempts I have to confess to coming unstuck.

I am hoping the crochet experts amongst you can explain what the following instruction means (or point me in the direction of a good tutorial) as I cannot get my head around it. The pattern says "With RS of the work facing, work in a spiral towards the centre of the base. Work into both loops of Round 4, then into the unused loops of rounds 3, 2 and then 1 of the spiral base, until you have reached the very centre." Sorry, I have no idea what this means!!

We are heading off on a trip next weekend so I was hoping to take the crochet along to do on the plane,  hopefully someone will be able to help me out.

Hope your weekend was more productive than mine.

Linking up to BOM's away here , Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday here and Manic Monday here


  1. I always love the markets in the villages in the Provence when we go on holiday there, we never get markets here!

    I have a flat zakka pincushion right now, as I'm holding out waiting for some crushed walnuts that are somewhere in the post/with a courier right now.

    As for the tote, I feel your pain, although I work with a very scant 1/4" seam, so I didn't lose points, but I did lose a smidge of sanity worrying if it would all hold until I whacked the fusible fleece on lol (it was fine)

    For the hexies, I'm being totally anal about sewing mine together, they're clipped together in neat, orderly, numbered piles. I think I should probably get out more... ;o)

    As for the crochet, I have that kit, and am hoping someone at the FQ Retreat can show me the magic!

  2. I'm afraid that I can't help on the crochet or the tote sorry - they look far better than I could manage! The markets look amazing too.

  3. How frustrating to have all those little problems. I've been a bit like that with my latest project - nothing seems to be going right and I think I need to put it down for a fe days and try something else.

    The crochet instructions are a little vague - would need to see more of it to understand it but the general concept of working round in a spiral and working into previous rows to attach the spiral makes sense to create the flower shape. If you want some more help, let me know.

    1. Well, if you think they are vague then it is no wonder I am lost! I have had another look at them and think that I might have missed a point! I thought that these instructions were specific to the next round, but now I am thinking that they are in fact general instructions for the next set of rounds with the specifics for each round listed seperately. Does that make sense to you?

  4. Lovely pin cushion and the hexes look great. The markets look great, just like the ones in Helsinki. It is so lovely to see some colour coming back after winter!

  5. Your pincushion is so cute and your points on your zigzag are loads better than mine! My zigzags didn't even nestle! But I have no character, so no need to build it and left it how it was.

    OK, for the instructions. I'm guessing that the bit above tells you to work in the front loop only? When you look at the top of your crochet stitch, it's like a V, there's two strands of thread. For the first stitches, you'll have worked in the front one only, this leaves the back stitch free which is what it's referring to. I'm afraid this isn't a beginner's pattern but there's no reason why you can't make it! Let me know if you need more help and I could take some photos for you.

  6. Love seeing photos from Riga. It looks like such a lovely place!

    Glad to hear Fiona's blog helped a bit with your zig zag tote! I think it'll be well worth the effort once done! Your pincushion looks fabulous! :)

    I used to crochet (pre-quilting hehe!) but the instructions do seem a bit vague. Wendy has suggested pretty much what I would about the loops!

  7. Aw Fiona...I feel your pointy pain. We are not he only ones to lose them in the tote for the Zakka Style Sew-Along. You won;t have to start again...just unpick the missing points...repin the seam and make sure you place the pin in the apex of the zigzag point...then run it back under the machine sewing a scant seam if you can.

  8. Those tomatoes look so yummy! I love your pincushion, the fabric & ribbon are great! I feel your pain on the zig zags! I didn't do that particular project, but I did a block with a similar pattern. It is still waiting for a re-do :D.

  9. Great pics of Riga! You have been busy! Great job! The blue and white-gotta love those hexies, I am still trying to complete mine too!

  10. That market looks fun! I love that hexie block -- great layout and colours!

  11. I love the pin cushion! I'm frustrated to hear that some of the other Zakka Style projects have incorrect instructions, too. I made the round potholder, and it, too, had errors in the instructions. I went to the author's blog, and she had posted some corrections. Sad tale.


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