Wednesday, 31 August 2011

WIP Wednesday (31/08/11): Have you heard the buzz?

As I've already mentioned, the Beekeeper's Quilt bug has bitten here - or should I say 'stung'? Either way, I'm very excited about these little puffs of smooshy goodness - and so are the kids as they are "borrowing" them faster than I can knit them! After starting properly yesterday I'm just about to complete 'hexipuff' number six. 

Here are the first five along with the beautiful Hexibag I managed to get my hands on from Marianne at  Picperfec's Fluff-n-Stuff which she designed for mobile hexipuffing! It has perfect pockets for needles and notions, stuffing, it's shaped like a hexagon, has mismatched buttons and even has a little wrist strap for knitting whilst standing up - she seems to have thought of EVERYTHING! 



The 'puffs are made from a few different yarns - I have only a few genuine scraps (the purple is Nimu Torva which I pinched from my mother) so the others I've had to buy, noted here for future reference.

The bright pink and pale variegated puffs are made from Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 4ply Pure Wool and are lovely - very soft - but my favourite has to be the one made from Regia Extra Twist Merino - it's the softest most lovely thing ever - I am sure there will be many more made from this yarn before I'm done (and there are several other colours available). I also bought a 25g ball of Rowan Fine Nordic Tweed but it's a bit thicker so unless I can figure out the modifications to make the same size 'puffs that will be relegated to the drawer for now, which would be a shame as it's gorgeous! Oh and I'm knitting on 3.25mm DPNs which is a little smaller than in the pattern as I prefer the result.


Edit: Further to the comments of crocheters who don't knit, there is a crochet pattern for a filled hexagon called The Apiary Puff which is available as a free Ravelry download - enjoy :) 

The intention is to have this as a handbag project as it's so easy to pick up at any time and each puff takes less than an hour (I think it's about 50 mins at the moment from start to finish) but at the moment I am too enamoured to think about casting on anything else. This may well become my One a Day  project but I'm not quite sure yet.....


I have a feeling that a lot of my WIP Wednesday updates are going to be featuring this project. 

 
Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Almost over (and some hexipuffing!)

As I've already mentioned, the Beekeeper's Quilt bug has bitten here - or should I say 'stung'? Either way, I'm very excited about these little puffs of smooshy goodness - and so are the kids as they are "borrowing" them faster than I can knit them! After starting properly yesterday I'm just about to complete 'hexipuff' number six. 

Here are the first five along with the beautiful Hexibag I managed to get my hands on from Marianne at  Picperfec's Fluff-n-Stuff which she designed for mobile hexipuffing! It has perfect pockets for needles and notions, stuffing, it's shaped like a hexagon, has mismatched buttons and even has a little wrist strap for knitting whilst standing up - she seems to have thought of EVERYTHING! 



The 'puffs are made from a few different yarns - I have only a few genuine scraps (the purple is Nimu Torva which I pinched from my mother) so the others I've had to buy, noted here for future reference.

The bright pink and pale variegated puffs are made from Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 4ply Pure Wool and are lovely - very soft - but my favourite has to be the one made from Regia Extra Twist Merino - it's the softest most lovely thing ever - I am sure there will be many more made from this yarn before I'm done (and there are several other colours available). I also bought a 25g ball of Rowan Fine Nordic Tweed but it's a bit thicker so unless I can figure out the modifications to make the same size 'puffs that will be relegated to the drawer for now, which would be a shame as it's gorgeous! Oh and I'm knitting on 3.25mm DPNs which is a little smaller than in the pattern as I prefer the result.


Edit: Further to the comments of crocheters who don't knit, there is a crochet pattern for a filled hexagon called The Apiary Puff which is available as a free Ravelry download - enjoy :) 

The intention is to have this as a handbag project as it's so easy to pick up at any time and each puff takes less than an hour (I think it's about 50 mins at the moment from start to finish) but at the moment I am too enamoured to think about casting on anything else. This may well become my One a Day  project but I'm not quite sure yet.....


I have a feeling that a lot of my WIP Wednesday updates are going to be featuring this project. 

 
Friday, 26 August 2011

FO Friday: "Rastamouse" and some Ruffley-Pinky-Goodness!!!

(Source: BBC Press Office)
Another looooooong week (almost) over and it would be a lie to say it's a week I'll look back on fondly - My Boy was ill at the weekend, I wasn't feeling great at the start of the week, Little Miss hasn't slept well and we are ALL exhausted today. Thankfully Fridays are so much better with a "Finished Object" or two! So this post is a little celebratory hoorah - for making it to the end in one piece and with a couple more things ticked off my list of makes. 
To start with, My Boy's Hat was finished in no time at the start of the week - a great easy knit and the yarn worked out well too. He is thrilled with it and loves the stripes... 
Pattern: Ben's Blue Devil Hat
Yarn: Patons Fab DK in Rainbow colourway
... D was less enthused and started singing the Rastamouse theme tune when he saw it! Anyway it's been well received and already worn - not that it's been cold :)  It took considerably less than half a ball so plenty left to tackle the legwarmers on my Year of Projects list

You may remember that on Wednesday I was looking for a cowl pattern. Whilst browsing Ravelry I noticed something sitting in my basket - I couldn't remember adding anything as I usually download immeditely but as soon as the link was clicked, I knew it was PERFECT for the Almerino Aran waiting to be used.

It was Little Miss' turn to be my model today, but she can't keep still long enough to actually get a decent picture - so here they BOTH are (unsewn-ends and all!) in my Just Enough Pinky-goodness scarf: 
Another quick knit, but mainly because I couldn't put it down. Luckily the kids wanted to visit the Farm today and due to the torrential rain they played in the softplay area, leaving me to sit and knit the last three rows and start binding off - I finished it when we got home.  None of the ends are sewn in and it needs blocking but the light was fading fast as I finished it and I wanted to get some quick snaps.
I'm glad I went with this over a cowl as it's more versatile but can still be worn tied at the neck for the cowl effect. Oh and I also learned to do "wrap and turn"/short rows and did my first KFBF (knit into the front, back and front again) for this project too. It's very pleasing.
Pattern: Just Enough Ruffles
Yarn: Rooster Almerino Aran (50% Baby Alpaca/50% Merino) in Brighton Rock
In other yarny news, I have finally succumbed to the Hexipuff bandwagon and downloaded The Beekeeper's Quilt. I've been seeing this on my virtual travels for a little while now, and added it to my queue some time ago, but it was the video on 'Tiny Owl Knits' that finally sold me. If you've never seen Stephanie, she is that kind of kooky-crazy I find to be completely engaging, and I adore her other patterns, so I am sure there will be a few more popping up on these pages. The DPNs are ordered, I have some sock yarn scraps and lots of toy filling at the ready. I'll be giving my first 'puff' a bash in the next few days, although I'm going to have this as a handbag project so it'll take a long while!

Right, that's it from me. There are loads of other Finished Objects at Tami's blogA very busy weekend ahead but I'll post an update from Wales next week. Have a great weekend! xxxx
Wednesday, 24 August 2011

WIP Wednesday 24/08/11 - More grannies

Most Wednesdays, as I am doing a tour of the other WIPW blogs, I find myself adding to the looooong list of things I'd like to make. When I happened upon this pattern via Gingerbread Girl last week I thought I'd give it a whirl with some leftover grey Stylecraft Special DK. I got straight to it! 

By the time I'd started the second square I decided I really didn't like the slash neck, so I've been procrastinating since last week and trying to decide what to do with the front. The completed square keeps telling me it wants to be the back of a cushion cover and that I should frog the front, but I'm not listening...at the moment.
I'm still not decided on how I'll do the rest of the front but I plan on a little experimentation later tonight. I have a few colours left over from my Granny Blanket so I may well cheer it up a bit...
As the hat from Monday is finished, I'm also scouring Ravelry trying to decide what to make next. I have four lovely balls of Rooster Almerino Aran that a friend gave me in a cushion kit she bought - I don't like the cushion so I'm looking for another project for it - maybe a snuggly winter cowl? 
Perhaps I'll find more inspiration over at Tami's Amis :) 

And in non craft-related WIPs, the MOST important thing this week - and the reason for my absence from Blogland - has been helping my Mum with her plans to relocate from Wales to be closer to us *huge grin*. The last few days have been spent viewing properties. It's very exciting but only the first step in a long process so I'm trying not to get too carried away. 
Hope to be back soon with more progress - on everything. 
xxxxx
Saturday, 20 August 2011

Granny's apples & thrifted goodness

YESTERDAY: 
The sun was shining. 
We went to see Grandma. 
There were lots of apples, some huge fish and a dear deer.







(Are you singing yet?) 

TODAY: 
My Boy is sick *boo*
I thrifted the cutest vintage dress for £8 *yay*


I'll show you more when it's had some TLC :) 

I hope that you and yours are having a happy (and healthy) weekend
xxxx
Friday, 19 August 2011

FO Friday 19/08/11 - The Poodle

HELLO and a happy Friday, one and all! Before I show you today's Finished Object, I wanted to mention the new Rowan website which I discovered yesterday and posted on the CftC Facebook page. Many beautiful patterns are listed and to access hundreds of them (for free) you only have to register with the site. I'm sure some many of you would love the things on there, so might be worth taking a look over the weekend. Also The Campaign for Wool has some UK-wide events coming up in two weeks which I also thought worth a mention if you're near any major cities. And now, without further interruption, today's FO.....

Last night I reached the end of my ball of Noro and so the "Poodle" Scarf is done. In fact it's more of a scarf-ette. And it really needs blocking, but the wires I ordered aren't here yet so that will have to wait. I've genuinely been surprised by the amount of lovely comments about this as it's been progressing - I'm not entirely sure about it myself, which may well be due to it's current scrunched-up-ness.

If it looks nicer when blocked it'll be on it's way to someone as a little 'pick me up'. We shall see. Little Miss is currently wandering around with it across her tummy saying it looks like hers.

Here in it's poodle-like glory:
And on my grubby-faced pyjama'd model, because boys can also look great in pink!  
The Yarn: 
Noro Kureyon Sock in colourway S240 (possibly discontinued as I got it in the Noro Clearance at  Stash).

The Pattern: 
A few people asked for the pattern which is just a simple repeat of feather and fan/old shale so I'm sure you can find a proper pattern quite easily, but here's what I did from memory (I started this on holiday when I couldn't access my online patterns).

Using (multiple of 12) + 4 for your cast on (I used long tail cast-on and 64 stitches) continue as follows until desired length:
  • Row 1: knit
  • Row 2: k2, purl to last 2, k2
  • Row 3: k2, (k2tog x2), *(yo, k1 x4) (k2tog x4), repeat from * until last 6 sts, (k2tog x2), k2
  • Row 4: knit
Then use a loose bind off (and BLOCK... unless you like the poodle look!)
EDIT: This scarf was used in my blocking tutorial which you can find here and you can find other patterns and 'recipes' here
Wednesday, 17 August 2011

WIP Wednesday 17/08/11 & a confession

Happy Wednesday! Firstly I must say a huge thanks to everyone for the lovely anniversary wishes on Monday. I spent the afternoon at Fishers Farm with the kids as D was working in London - by the time he got home we only had a couple of hours together but we enjoyed a delicious Takeaway and a bottle of something bubbly. Not the perfect anniversary, but beggars (ie people with small kids, no babysitter and limited time) can't be choosers. 

And so onto a little confession..... I am *whispers* a very nosy person. There, I said it. Peeking into other people's lives and having a rummage - even if it's just a visual one - is a favourite pass-time these days. This is one of the main reasons I follow lots of other blogs (and why I enjoy the posts via Tami's Amis where I get to see everyone's crafts too). 

I LOVE to see all your pictures and to have a glimpse into so many different worlds - crafts, homes, families, surroundings, holiday destinations - ALL of it. So fascinating! 

You can imagine how intrigued I have been this week as Britmums posted on Twitter to ask "What's in your handbag?". I've loved looking at the contents of other people's bags - all those hand sanitiser pumps, earbuds, purses.... So in the interests of fair play, here's mine: 
Name: Sarah
Number of children: 2 (aged 2 and 5) 
Date of photo: Wednesday 17th August 2011

Top row (L to R): Boden dust-cover pouch containing knitting (see below*), 
Yellow vintage silk scarf (for any Hilda moments) 
Vaseline Original (I prefer the Cocoa version but washed it in my jeans pocket and can't find a replacement anywhere) 
"Ouch Pouch" containing arnica, plasters, paracetamol, mini nail clippers, etc

Bottom row: Bendy plastic straw
Louis Vuitton wallet
Nature Babycare wipes 
(the only wipes I can tolerate and it's always only the last 1/4 of a pack in my bag)
Hand sanitiser 
Small carton of juice
Tissues
Notepad and pen
Kindle 

Missing: iPhone used to take the photo

*The knitting pouch contains my current Work in Progress - the Noro scarf that I've been twiddling with again this week. I managed another 8" or so last night but have been otherwise busy with another little gift that I can't show you yet ;) 


This is looking more and more like a poodle with each photo, isn't it? Or someone with REALLY curly hair that has tried to brush it flat and slick it down. Do you know what I mean? Well I've ordered some blocking wires so hopefully it'll look different by the time it's finished. Which I am now trying to do before I start anything else - although My Boy's hat yarn was calling quite loudly from the table in the Cwtch and I've had to hide it away for the time-being. 

I do hope you're having a lovely (and productive) week - as soon as the kids are abed I'll be perusing all the other WIP posts. Bye for now x
Sunday, 14 August 2011

Year of Projects - week 7 update

(Click to visit the YoP group on Ravelry)


Sunday again? Wow! 

It's been a busy seven days - a jam-packed-filled-to-the-brim school holiday week - but I've managed to squeeze a bit of knitting and crochet in. All simple straight-forward stuff and not all of it from my Year of Projects list, indeed not all of it that can be shared yet *wink* so it's a VERY short update this evening. 

'One Day Beret' 
Since my last YoP update I've ...
... made the One Day Beret for Little Miss 
... purchased yarn for My Boy's hat, and
... chosen another Kirsten Kapur pattern - Ben's Blue Devil Hat for it
... ordered some blocking wires (the shawl I finished is awaiting these)
... ordered the 200 Crochet Blocks book to plan the "sitting room throw"
... continued the hunt for some nice yarn for Chele and the search has led  to lots of other lovely projects for the ever-expanding queue, but no yarn has caught my eye yet.  

Having lots of simple little projects on the go is fine, it's fun finishing things quickly, but I'm starting to yearn for something more challenging. Once school is back, each day is not quite so exhausting, I'll be ready to start on one of the bigger projects or something that will require a new skill. I began knitting in January and this is the first Summer I've actually been looking forward to long winter evenings and cooler weather :) 

Have a great week! 
xxxx
Friday, 12 August 2011

FO Friday 12/08/11: A few ta-dahs!

Happy Friday, everyone! A couple of little things to share with you today so I'll get straight to it. 

Firstly the 24 hour beret is finished and Little Miss loves it. Despite it being the middle of summer she's been running around the house in it (hence the terrible pictures!) 

I'll definitely be making more of these - I'm fancying one for myself and maybe even a few as gifts as it's so quick, easy and satisfying. 



I had to learn a new way to cast off to get it sufficiently stretchy and used this miraculous elastic bind off tutorial which was also very easy to follow. So all in all a great little project - and another of my Year of Projects items completed :) 




And finally the little baby gift that is en route to it's new home. (I hope they are too busy to be reading craft blogs as I doubt it will arrive until tomorrow). It's called Sunset Meadow - one of the recipient's middle names is Meadow. 


I used the pattern from the Baby Eyelet Cardi which I have made before (here) and made only the first eyelet row as this yarn - Patons Smoothie DK -  really didn't need anything more than stocking stitch. It's also a bit longer than the pattern and has some cufflink-style closures to make it adjustable - yes, these KEEP popping up in my knitting!




This is another great quick knit - or it would have been if I hadn't run out of yarn before finishing the sleeves which caused a delay. 

I have so much more I'm planning at the moment and we're about to head out for a few hours so no time to stay here chatting but don't forget to check out what everyone else has finished at Tami's Amis. xxxx
Wednesday, 10 August 2011

WIP Wednesday 10/08/11: A bit of progress

After my sorrowful post on Sunday (I do apologise for sounding so utterly gloomy) I kicked myself into action yesterday to find out if the One Day Beret 'recipe' from my Year of Projects list would live up to it's name using one skein of Araucania Aysen (colourway 802).


Anyone following my CftC Facebook page will have seen there was an initial tangle with 8 stitches in the round together with 8 little markers all on a long circular needle, but once the first few rows were set it it was plain sailing. The 'recipe' suggests this may not be a great option for anyone new to knitting hats, but I wouldn't agree. This is the first hat pattern I've followed and it it very simple and straight forward.

I started it yesterday morning and despite everything else (a few loads of laundry, the preparation of numerous meals/snacks, bottom-wiping, tidying the whole of the ground floor of our house AND taking the kids out for a few hours in the afternoon) it is only a couple of rows away from completion! It would actually have been finished if I could have measured Little Miss' head properly before she went to bed last night as I have just the ribbing section to finish off (I did it once but need to make a few adjustments to make it better for a toddler). It'll be done tonight :) 

If you've been visiting for a while you may recall the Blessingway I attended a couple of months ago. Well a healthy baby girl was born into her dad's arms at home last week so I've also finished a simple little gift for her but I'll save the ta-dah until Friday.

I'm going to get back to that Noro scarf - I won't bore you with more pictures of that as there has been little progress on it, but if you missed last week's WIP you can see it here.

If you haven't already, don't forget to check out the other Works in Progress at Tami's blog. Oh and I've written the first in a series of blog posts called Thoughts on Motherhood over at Natural Mamas today if you're interested.

Happy Wednesday! 
xxxx
Sunday, 7 August 2011

A 'Year of Projects' update & a half-hearted ta-dah


So another week has passed and while I've been busy knitting the Noro scarf I showed on Wednesday and  another (as yet undisclosed) baby gift, neither of those are on my YoP list and I find myself disappointed that I have nothing new to share with you :( 

I also had a momentary dilema about whether I should add some of the projects I am now planning to make  but I won't be doing that as I published the list as THE List - which I purposely left quite sparse so I'd have time to do lots of other things and I left a few of the items with the pattern undecided to give myself flexibility. (Maybe this says something about my personality?) Still, I wish I had more to show you. 

As it stands, all I have is the No Fuss (No Frog) Shawl that I finished on holiday and couldn't upload last Sunday... and that is still not even blocked. The photos aren't great either...

The bottom left is the most accurate colour - I'll post other 
pictures when it's blocked and there is better light. 

I am pleased to have finally finished something with this Easy Knits Twinkle - it seems 'third time lucky' might be true. The yarn is really nice to knit - even after being frogged twice - and I would use it again in another colourway - not sure which one though, as they are all so pretty.

As for the pattern, only a couple of deviations - there was the error in the final ridge row that I left and I also added some extra stocking stitch rows before the moss stitch border (the bit you can't see because it's all curled up in the pictures *sigh*) and I'm glad I did as it has shown the yarn off much more than the patterned sections. 

Hope you've all had more progress this week - I'll be checking out the other blog posts tomorrow. 

Night night! 
xxxx
Saturday, 6 August 2011

All sorts of good things

Well hello there. Are you having a good weekend? 

I haven't been around much in the last few days - the school holidays are hurtling by and we've been keeping busy - at the Farm in the rain on Thursday ...




... and yesterday we went paddling in a lake in bright sunshine with some of My Boy's school friends. Yes, the weather is very changeable at the moment! You have to love the unpredictability of the British summer - it's necessary to carry a raincoat AND sun lotion. 


I've almost finished a little newborn something that I started a couple of nights ago, but no pictures until it's been gifted. It should really have been finished today as D took the children to Grandma's and I had a WHOLE afternoon to myself and lots of plans to fill it with blocking one FO, finishing another and making a start on a third. Unfortunately a couple of things happened to prevent anything constructive taking place. 

1 -  the arrival of my Amazon Kindle. Despite my initial proclamations that I would never EVER read books on an eReader, and that nothing would compare to holding bound printed paper in my hands, I've been using the Kindle App on my iPad and iPhone a lot, so I have finally succumbed. Part of me hates to admit how much I like reading this way, and have at least a dozen books already queued - it got me thinking about all the "proper holidays" (pre-children!) which required a holdall stuffed to the top with paperbacks and only room for a few clothes. I just need to learn to knit/crochet and read simultaneously and I'll be sorted.

2 - my achilles heel. It seems that unless my hands are busy, I am unable to sit still for longer than 2 minutes without falling asleep. I crashed out as soon as I sat down with a cuppa and woke only 5 minutes before the chaos kids returned. So NOTHING got  done. On the plus side, I must have needed the sleep.

Are you using Pinterest yet? This evening I've found some more gorgeous things to pin on my Crochet board.


Now I just need the discipline to stop browsing and pinning more things and actually start making some of them!

So you see, all sorts of good things here, and you know the best thing? Watching this amazing sibling relationship develop as the little pickles spend so much time together. Until they are tired and it turns to squabbling, which is exhausting.

Snuggling up before he went to sleep tonight My Boy said "You're stuck with us forever, Mum.  It's you, me, Dad and my sister. (Then he held my hands in his, really tight) How about we glue our hands together?"

You know, I think that actually sounds like a pretty good, if impractical, idea.

I hope you are having a love-filled weekend too.
xxxxxx
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Welcome to CftC! You'll find lots of knitting, spinning, crochet, books and snippets of family life amongst the archives and you may like to start with my most popular tips & tutorials, or the patterns. You can read more about me on the 'Hello' page and if you like it here, you may also like to visit the CftC pages on Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy. I hope you enjoy your visit! Sarah

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