2014 Catchup

Happy New Year lovely reader! I hope it’s been good to you so far.

I was creating a page to summarise all my completed projects that have associated blog posts with information about them, which¬†you can see here¬†and I realised¬†I’d¬†done so much last year that I hadn’t shown you.¬†¬†Unfortunately I think it’s probably too late now to catch you up on everything but here’s a gallery of pictures that you might enjoy. If there is anything you would particularly like to hear more about, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to oblige! If you hover over the image it shows the caption which you can use to tell me what you think of them. I’m going to try to write more regularly this year as I do enjoy sharing my crafty projects with you.

I’d love to tell you more about many of these projects but I feel like I’d never catch up. Please do drop me a line though if you would like to know more – I’ll happily write to request and add more photos if I have them! There are still more projects not pictured here. Hopefully I’ll get around to showing you them all at some point! Seeing everything laid out like this makes me realise how much I actually got done last year!

I hope to have lots more crafty projects to tell you about soon. I’m already in the middle of a crochet blanket inspired by Lucy at Attic 24 blog and also have a new pair of socks on the go which are a pattern from an old issue of¬†The Knitter. I have lots of plans for more¬†projects for 2015 and I can’t wait to share my progress here with you!

Best wishes for your crafty 2015 too!

Sarah x

Re-covered footstool

Well it’s been a very busy week this week and there’s been little time for crafting. I’ve done some work on my crochet skirt (from Love Crochet Autumn 2013, pictures to follow) and last weekend I finished my patchwork blanket that is now my header picture! Now that was a long project – its taken a whole year to do and may not even be completely finished now – I’m still thinking of putting a border on it at some point!

So after two long ongoing projects, today I felt inspired to do a project that I could start and finish on a day. An afternoon in fact!

I’ve had the materials for this project for a while now but haven’t gotten around to actually doing it. My mum gave me a footstool she no longer uses that used to belong to her uncle Jack, my great uncle Jack, so it’s pretty old. I remember mum re-covering it once when I was a child. It was now in a pretty poor state – stained, tatty, and the foam had pretty much perished. If you’ve read my blog before you may remember me mentioning some fabric I bought with foxes on (Scion’s Mr Fox). My family name is Fox as you may have guessed from the name of my blog! So I’m always drawn to foxy things, and there’s so much of it around at the moment – it’s great! I had a couple of things in mind for the fabric – the footstool and a cushion. It is a bit awkward as the print on the fabric is so big but I’m pretty pleased with how my footstool had turned out…
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I’ve never done anything like this before and had to admit I pretty much made it up as I went along and not at all perfect but I’m still really happy with it! No step by step pictures this time I’m afraid as I was so determined to get it done quite quickly. It’s a simple process I suppose although it was a little tricky in parts and my staple gun broke half way through so it was a good job I had plenty of upholstery tacks!

Getting all the old covering and foam off it was a bit tricky as it was very old. I’d bought a big piece of foam which I cut to size with a hack saw – definitely not the best tool to use but all I had to hand. Then I covered this with some wadding and stapled it in place. Then I had to cut out my fabric with the design in the centre which was a bit scary as I didn’t want to get it wrong – I only have a metre of fabric. Then I machine stitched around the edge to prevent fraying. I put the fabric over the stool, wrong side facing, and pinned the corners. I straight-stiched these to make the shape of the cushion and cut off the excess fabric from the corners, oversewing the edges again.

Then I just had to tack it in place and add my edging. Thinking I was nearly finished I was a bit gutted to realise that because my pom pom edging was so narrow it didn’t cover up all the staples and tacks and the edge of the fabric as I’d wanted. Luckily I found some black grossgrain ribbon in my stash and attached that first then tacked on the pom pom edging on top. As I said before it really isn’t perfect but it’s just for me and in really proud of it so it doesn’t matter! I’d love to hear what you think of it though, and if it’s inspired you to have a go, or even any tips for me in case I ever end up doing something similar again!

Next week is due to be a busy one as it’s my birthday on Wednesday but hopefully I’ll get chance to do some crafting, or maybe even some baking…

Thanks for reading!

Sewing a zip in a knitted project

It’s been aaaaages since my last blog – sorry about that! Things have been very busy lately and I’m struggling to get everything done (but what’s new).

The other day I had an urge to just get something finished. One of my projects that I’ve had ongoing for ages – and there are many of these at the moment! I’ve been knitting a cushion cover for my living room. I wanted quite a chunky but professional-looking finish but was pretty short of cash when I first started this project when we’d just moved house and got back from holiday! I found some aran yarn in Poundstretcher – somewhere I’d never normally think to look for knitting supplies but I just walked past it and it was the perfect colour. It also seems pretty good quality for an acrylic and is really soft and warm, but best of all it was only ¬£2.49 for a 200g ball!

2013-09-30 19.58.36

I bought two. One day I’ll get around to making a matching cushion cover!

The pattern for the cushion was from The Knitting Book¬†http://www.amazon.co.uk/Knitting-Book-Frederica-Patmore/dp/1405368039¬†and is called the Strawberry cushion. It was easy to follow and the cable stitch was straightforward. The fact that it is on a garter stitch (knit) background made it fairly quick to do once you get going. The two sides are worked in the same way and there is a special “cable” cast on that creates a pretty edge where you sew the zip in. I’d had to look this up for another project previously. It is easy to do and creates a lovely edge.

So here was my kit for sewing the cover together…

2013-09-25 20.34.43  16 inch long zip, pins, matching sewing thread, contrasting embroidery thread and spare yarn for sewing up the rest of the cover.

I began with some trepidation as I’d never added a zip to a knitted item before. I followed the instructions in the book and it turned out to be pretty straightforward, if somewhat lengthy. I’ll summarise the process here for you… First I pinned the zip to one side of the knitting, working with the right side facing and pinning the zip to the decorative cast-on edge. I started with the ends of the zip then spaced my pins evenly along the zip. I used lots of pins and the instructions advised to pin at right angles to the zip rather than along the same way. Using the contrasting embroidery thread I then tacked the zip in place on this first side. Then I used the matching sewing thread to back-stitch all the way along the edge and then turned the work over and ran a zigzag stitch along the edge of the zip to secure it to the knitting. I did everything by hand as I didn’t dare try to do it on the sewing machine. I made sure the decorative cast-on edge was quite close to the teeth of the zip. I then repeated this with the other side – which was a little bit tricky to do by hand as it was quite a big piece by this time and you’re stitching across the middle of it rather than an edge.

2013-09-25 22.40.58  My finished zip closure!

After I’d added the zip, working on the wrong side, I pinned the remaining three sides of the cushion, ensuring that the zip was open so that when I’d finished stitching the cover together I could turn it back the right way out! And here she is, the finished cushion…

2013-09-25 23.19.23¬†(the colour doesn’t look that great here I’m afraid but in normal light you can’t see the cushion pad through so much).

I’m really pleased with it and am looking forward to doing another one later in the winter when I’ve caught up with some other projects. Do you thing I should do another identical one or in a slightly different pattern? I think I’d like to stick with the cable but do a slightly different version – it would be great to hear your thoughts!

Here’s an update on my patchwork blanket made of knitted and crocheted squares that I showed you earlier in the summer – I still need to make a few more squares but I’ve started to sew them together!

2013-09-19 18.02.39¬† No grand plan – just trying to spread the different colours out throughout the blanket. I’ll keep you updated in future posts. I’m also working on a rag rug made from old t-shirts which I plan to feature in a blog post soon hopefully…

2013-09-18 22.34.54 What do you think of it so far?

Finally before I go, I thought I’d mention that I hope to finally feature some baking on the blog pretty soon! After moving into our house the landlord didn’t provide a cooker so we had to save up for a little while and make do with an electric hob thing for a few months. We finally have a cooker though and I’ve organised a “bake-off” at work which we do every so often in homage to the Great British Bake Off. I can’t believe we’re more than half way through the series already, I don’t want it to be over!

Until next time… x