How do you like my new look?

I finally finished my patchwork blanket (except for a border but I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about that yet). I’ve been working on it for a whole year. As it’s so colourful and encompasses my loves of knitting and crochet, I thought it might make a good picture for a new header. Then while I was at it I carried on and changed my theme. Hope you like it! I’d love to know what you think…

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Little sockies

Tonight I finished my first ever pair of knitted socks, woo hoo!
Well, I guess they’re more like slipper sock type things as they come just over the heel.

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The tension is much neater on the second one (on the left) than the first as I’m not really used to knitting on double pointed needles but I wanted to have another go. The only other thing I’ve made on dpn’s was a pair of cabled wrist warmers a few years ago which were too baggy, too big, never got worn and eventually got pulled back and I used the wool for something else.

No chance of the same thing happening with these beauties! I love them, though they are far from perfect.

I had some Rowan cocoon left over from the teddy project I did in the summer and really wanted to use it for something cosy for myself! I wanted to do socks and I basically just searched Ravelry for sock patterns in chunky wool that used the amount I had our less and this is what I found!

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I love them, they’re so cosy and comfy and the fit is perfect – as they’re home made! They were pretty easy to make considering how long I’d wanted to try socks and put it off. For a first go I recommend using a pattern in chunky yarn though because they make up quickly so you don’t get bored and give up – I did each one in two evenings.

Too many WIP’s!

At work yesterday one of my colleagues asked if I could make her some little crochet woodland characters for her child’s bedroom. I’d love to help but I explained I’ve got so much on at the moment that it might take me a while (plus, no patterns in my collection immediately sprang to mind). Later, she asked what I was working on? When I started to reel off a list I realised that I might have to start finishing some projects before I start any new ones…

Crochet butterfly motifs to decorate home-made cushion,
needlepoint cushion, (plus I need to make up the matching one I made last year)
knitted/crochet patchwork blanket (now a whole year in the making),
tea cosy, toaster cover and food mixer cover to match kitchen blind,
re-cover old footstool in fabric with a fox on (and a cushion to match),
crochet skirt that I have just received the yarn I’d ordered for…

and this morning I had an idea for a crochet cushion in country-inspired yarn/colours…

and a pair of socks I started last night!

So much crafting, so little time! There seemed to be even more when I was talking through them. I just can’t seem to help myself at the moment – all I want to do is crafts and I’m forever having more ideas for things I’d like to do and I feel like I have to seize the moment or it might just stay an idea! Maybe I should try to get better at drawing and start sketching my project ideas? That way I’d get them out of my head (it seems very cluttered in there at the moment) and into a book or something so I could come back to the idea later and remember the details rather than constantly starting new things? Or maybe I just like to have lots going on so I can choose what I feel like doing that day…?

Would you like to see a few of my wips/recent FO’s?

Image My hat that was the first think I’d knitted on a circular needle

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Christmas bunting I made at a sewing workshop

ImageMy part-finished blanket and a selection of as yet un-joined squares (bit of a rubbish picture, sorry)

Image My first “sockette”

Image A little amigurumi fox toy for a friend from work who’s having a baby

Image Handle covers for my boyfriend’s ugly old drinks cabinet

Image And here’s the fox fabric I bought for a cushion and footstool.

I think that’s enough for now… I’d better go and get on with something!

Dining table and chairs upcycle – day 2

Haven’t got so much done today as each step takes ages. Also there’s drying time to consider. Firstly I used wood filler around the new feet to tidy them up a little, which has to dry before you can sand it. I then added a second coat of primer to the first chair and have managed to do two coats on the table base. Not bad progress I guess!

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Can’t wait to get it finished but it’s going to take a while!

In other news, my order arrived for some wool to make a baby blanket for a friend – very exciting! My favourite yarn supplier at the moment is Love Knitting for their great range of yarn and very quick delivery!

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We have a birthday celebration to attend tonight so won’t get anything else done today but I hope we can get some more done tomorrow.

Time for a teddy

It’s been a little while since my last post as I’ve had lots of things on the go, but hopefully that means I’ll have lots to tell you about over the coming weeks!

When I found out one of my friends was expecting a baby I felt like making something different to the usual little cardigans I tend to go for. So, I had a look through all my patterns and the one I couldn’t resist was a gorgeous little teddy bear from a book called Baby and toddler knits made easy. The link takes you to the book people’s website. I have no affiliation with them, it’s just where I got the book from! Anyway it is full of lovely patterns using some of my favourite wool brands and the patterns I’ve used from it work really well and are easy to follow – just like the title suggests!

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When I was younger I had a nasty habit of collecting bits of projects in my basket and never quite getting around to making them up. This probably stems from the fact that I’m not as confident with my sewing as I am my knitting. So on this one, as it was for a friend and had a time limit of the baby’s arrival, I decided to try to follow the instructions and make it up as I went along. It sort of worked out!

DSCF1922  How cute are his little legs!

DSCF1925 Nearly there now…

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And he’s finished! I think I put his ears on a little low down and his nose is a bit too pointy so he’s looks a little bit more like a mouse than a bear, but I’m still pleased with him as it was my first attempt at a toy since I made one of Jean Greenhow’s classic doll patterns when I was a little girl.

My favourite thing about doing projects like this is that they’re quick to do and so you get that instant hit of satisfaction! He’s also made of simple garter stitch (knit) throughout with just a little bit of stocking stitch for his nose (alternate knit and purl rows) and a smidgen of embroidery for the eyes, so it’s a really easy pattern but looks pretty impressive. I’d highly recommend you to have a go!

A taste of things to come

It’s been great to see that people enjoyed my first post. I thought my next one should be a little taster of some of the other projects I like to do, as I’m generally into doing anything creative!

The first is this present that I made for my parents’ wedding anniversary. 

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I put the design together from various motifs in Jo Verso’s cross stitch books.  Despite having these books for years (probably over a decade, eek), I’d never actually done that before but I really enjoyed the process. I adapted the colours to match the clothes my parents’ had worn on their big day, and their hair colour etc.  I already had loads of colours left over from other cross stitch projects I’ve done over the years, so it was just a case of selecting the right ones.  The whole process for this one was really enjoyable – as was the reaction from Mum and Dad when they saw it!

The next few pictures show how much much my crochet skills have improved this year. I taught myself to crochet from books last winter and am loving it. Though I’ve always enjoyed knitting I’d been itching to learn to crochet for ages and finally bit the bullet. My favourite things about crocheting are that the projects seem to grow more quickly than knitting does and it’s also so versatile. Here is my tablet cover that I knocked up on the morning of my birthday to protect my brand new present!

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It is basically just a long piece of double crochet that I joined up at the sides with single crochet. Then I started this project from Crochet Today magazine.  It was designed to be a basket for a bicycle but as I don’t have one of those I thought it’d make a great craft bag, so I made some longer handles to put on it. It was made from oddments of yarn that I had in my stash so all I had to buy was the plastic canvas to line it and the cotton to sew that to the crochet pieces. I must admit this took some time and I would tend to make a section and then leave it for a while. I probably started this last winter and have only recently finished it but I’m so pleased with the result! I also had to learn the difference between British and American crochet terminology as I discovered that the stitches are the same but have different names! I kind of love the 70’s vibe of the colours and it is definitely my most adventurous crochet project to date.

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The last crochet project that I wanted to share was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest. The original pin was for a framed piece of wall art made from 9 granny squares.  However, as I had tons of little balls of different coloured yarn I found I just couldn’t stop – and in the end decided they needed to be made into something practical. So they became a cover for my ugly black printer!

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I had to look online for tutorials for the half granny squares along the bottom row (the printer is deeper at one side than the other) and in the end pretty much just worked it out for myself as I found it easier that way.

Finally, I’ve been trying my hand at a little sewing. I’ve “borrowed” my mum’s sewing machine which it almost 30 years old but she’s never really used it much and still works really well. Although it terrified me at first I’m getting used to it now. I was determined to make my own travel laundry bag for our holiday to America earlier this summer so I bought some lovely Clarke and Clarke fabric and some matching ribbon.  I started adapting some instructions from Knit and Stitch Collection (Bergere de France) but was freestyling it by the end (as usual)!

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It’s the first thing I’ve ever made in this way and am really proud of it.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and if you have please feel free to spread the word! Now I’d better go and get on with some more projects or I’ll have nothing to write about next week… Smile