Friday, 30 September 2011

FO Friday: Crochet clothing Ta-dahs! (Yes, more than one!!!)

Today's Finished Objects come to you with much excitement as these are my first two crochet garments and I really enjoyed the process - compared to knitting they were so QUICK and easy to make. I have a feeling there will be many more crochet clothes to follow.

I used the same pattern for both of them - the Easy No Sew Summer Baby Doll Top by Sandra Lynn, which is available as a free download from Ravelry. The first has already been posted to a friend for her little girl, although it certainly isn't perfect. I think it will look cute over a long sleeved t-shirt and some leggings. 
Ravelry project notes here 

I'm not a lover of 100% acrylic but it was no problem to use and is quite soft, plus my recent disasters with accidental felting give me the confidence that, as a gift to a busy home with three children, it was the right choice!  

Second time around I changed to a thicker yarn and larger hook and made some changes to the pattern for the bottom section (I had planned to make it into a jacket/cardigan, but the colour changes would have left the fronts unequal so I couldn't do it) The changes are detailed in my Ravelry project notes (link below). 
Ravelry project notes here 


This yarn does contain wool, but I really couldn't resist it - the colours are perfect for Little Miss's wardrobe... and for my eyes - they are my favourites :)  

As usual, I have an unwilling model - and it's over a summer top which is not the "look" I was hoping for, but it fits her! I'm so pleased with it. 

You can see more FOs over at Tami's Amis

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! 
xxxxx
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

WIP Wednesday (28/09/11): Happy things.

Now that the lurgy is lifting, the long list of 'makes' is calling again and I've been busy for the last few evenings. 

After yesterday's realisation that I really would never have enough time or patience (or yarn!) to make a Beekeeper's QUILT, and all the helpful comments, I tried the hexipuffs out as a Beekeeper's Benchpad and think this could be a very good option for them. Especially as it's the first thing one sees on entering - so the hours of work would at least be seen.  

(It's much lighter there when the door is opened!)

Only one problem -  our hallway is shades of green, cream and dark wood. No pink or purple in sight. And in case you didn't already know this about me, everything must be matchy-matchy.... so the next step will be to get some more yarn and make up some new 'puffs for this purpose and as it'll be used to sit on rather than snuggled under, I may use more 4 ply wool as the puffs are that bit sturdier and fatter.


And then to use the pinks and purples I've already made for (an)other small project(s) .... maybe a cushion for Little Miss as was suggested by Stocki. Having come to this decision I'll admit to feeling quite excited that this could be a FO in a matter of weeks or months, rather than another year or so. 

You may recall that last Wednesday I was debating what to do about the jumper I'd cast on. Well thanks to all your words of wisdom I decided to follow my instinct and frog it. Another decision I feel very happy with. 

And so onto the third and forth WIPs and a first for me - crochet garments! So far it's been blankets, cushions and flowers but no crochet clothing so I was delighted to find a suitably easy pattern to give it a whirl. I started with some Marble DK (discovered in the cupboard - I didn't know I had and don't know where it came from!?!) in case it didn't work out, but I like it! 




It should be finished imminently and will then be heading off to a friend. 


Of course Little Miss placed an order for a bigger one, so when she was in bed this one was started and I am in LOVE with these colours which remind me of our first ever woven (babywearing) wrap - Didymos Eva. It's amazing how quickly this is working up.





I can't wait to finish it! It's just a shame that we're having an Indian Summer this week and it'll be far too hot to wear... until next month's predicted snow (what's happening to the weather?) If you pop back on Friday you'll be able to see it finished :) 


 Enjoy your Wednesday, and remember there'll be more WIPs at Tami's throughout the day. 
xxxx

One a Day - Week 4 update: Shocking discoveries

with Gingerbread Girl

For today's picture I thought I'd try laying my 'puffs on the bed in the guest room. 

My first shock was the discovery of a GIGANTIC spider laying on the bed *shudder*
The second was when I realised a bed-sized quilt WOULD ACTUALLY TAKE FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Seriously, it would take much longer than a year - even though I've managed 14 this week, and I don't think I have the patience for that. So it's highly unlikely my 'puffs will adorn a bed - at least not a Kingsize one. I'm now looking around the house for other things that may look nice covered in smooshy puffy goodness. So far the hallway bench is looking a good candidate, as is the back of the Cwtch sofa.


I also think some paler 'puffs are needed as there are a lot of dark colours -  the hunt for suitable yarns will take place at the Knitting & Stitching Show 2011 in a couple of weeks time (anyone else going?)


WEEK 4 TALLY: 66 Hexipuffs
YARNS: Various sock yarns inc Nimu Torva, 
Knitting Goddess Mini-skeins, Noro Kureyon and Regia
and some Patons Dreamtime 4ply 

I'll be back tomorrow to show you my first ever crochet garment work in progress *squee* xxxx
Monday, 26 September 2011

Autumn lurgy!

The weather was interesting last week. Chilly starts awaited us for the school-run each morning, yet by the afternoon it was bright and very sunny - perfect t-shirt weather.  While we are apparently heading for an "Indian Summer" this week, the leaves are changing to yellow and brown and it's decidedly CRUNCHY underfoot on acorn-strewn footpaths. 
I was feeling VERY Autumnal on Friday and planned lots of seasonal crafts and things to do over the weekend, but these cold-to-hot days seem to be good bug-breeding weather and we have all been struck down with some horrid lurgy, so we didn't get to make them. To top it all,  I haven't felt up to knitting or crocheting either. 

On Saturday the lad was really not well so Little Miss went to a friend's birthday party without him. She's not quite 2.5 but was so grown up and excited to be going on her own, and had a lovely time.
Between My Boy recovering and Little Miss and I getting ill, I took them for a trip to Winkworth with their Grandma. It was surprisingly still very green there, although there were some signs of change.

The littlies were delighted to discover this new bench...
.
.....which they particularly loved as Owl Babies is a favourite book in our house.
They named the babies Sarah, Percy and Bill after the characters in the book.

Last week we collected conkers* and pine cones. I wasn't sure what to do with them but after reading that conkers MAY possibly contain arachnid-repellent properties (the giant spiders at the moment - oh my!) decided that some should certainly live in the sitting room.  Their dark shiny skins are just perfect with candle-light ... although surprisingly difficult to capture on camera. 
You can see more of the things we had intended to make (including some lovely lanterns and a felt leaf garland) by visiting my latest Pinterest board ...



Each time I open my yarn drawer I spot that perfect Autumn yarn (King Cole Riot) do you recognise it? It's my nemesis ...... I'm not sure if I'm ready to tackle it yet, but it would seem a great time to try. So maybe a day of cuddles and Ravelry-broswing for me!
I hope you are well, sniffle-free and enjoying your Monday.
I'll be back tomorrow with my One a Day Tally.
xxxx
*International readers: 'conkers' is the name given to Horse Chestnuts here in the UK and at the moment there are bazillions of them falling to the ground in spiky-cradled glory!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

WIP Wednesday (21/09/11): Fiddly Little Things

Hello there. I've been fiddling about with a few things this week, so there are actually some WIPs to show you! 

First up, from my Year of Projects list, the start of a Birdy - it's based on this pattern from Attic 24. Having already made a (Mutant chicken) variation of this with too many increases - in error the first time around - I decided that I actually like the shape of the body with those increases and replicated it for this smaller more colourful version. There are also some more Tiny Bunnies in the making. 



I updated on my Beekeeper's Quilt progress yesterday and a few people asked how many 'puffs I'm planning to make. The answer is I don't really have a planned number,  I'll just keep making them until I feel done with it so it could end up for a single bed, a kingsize bed, or if I tire of it quickly (unlikely) as a cushion pad for a window-seat! At this point I just don't know. 

For that reason I also don't know how many other colours will be included or what shape it'll be or anything else, and so won't be joining it up until it's "done". It's really nice to be working on something that's for the pleasure of making each constituent part, rather than thinking about how far through a pattern I am or when it will be done. It's quite liberating. One thing is for sure, it won't be snuggling anyone this winter - but at some point in the next year it will be finished. 

One comment yesterday from Shona Easton (of the lovely Easton bags I have mentioned before) was that I must have lots of patience to make these - this was a complete shocker as in everyday life, this is the one quality I do not possess at all. I've written about the meditative power of knitting before, perhaps it's also patience-giving :) 

Finally, I've been wanting a short sleeve sweater for this chilly-but-not-cold autumn weather and chose this lovely pattern last week. For some (crazy) reason I decided an inexpensive washable yarn would be a good option and had a 400g ball of Aran wool in an acrylic/wool mix in the cupboard. I cast on immediately, but stopped after a few rows. I really don't think I can knit with it - it just doesn't feel very nice. 


Not sure whether it's worth knitting a bit more to see if I change my mind or not....? What would you do? 

At the moment I have LOADS of ideas of things I want to make, I just need to add about 4 or 5 more hours to each day or stop needing sleep, and then I'll be fine! 

Well that's it from me for today, but there are lots more WIPs at Tami's.

xxxxx

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

One a Day: Week 3 update

As it's Tuesday, here's my "One a Day" update. 

Since last week I seem to have had very little time for knitting but HAVE somehow managed to knit at least one new hexipuff every day. Some lighter colours have made their way into the pile this week and as this is the first time I've pulled them all out since last Tuesday I'm actually quite pleased with how it's coming along. 


WEEK 3 TALLY: 52 Hexipuffs
YARNS: Various sock yarns inc Nimu Torva, 
Knitting Goddess Mini-skeins, Noro Kureyon and Regia

(Click image to view this week's links at Gingerbread Girl)
I'll be back tomorrow with a "Work in Progress" update of the other bits and pieces that have been keeping me amused (including the Tiny Bunnies), but in the meantime I have hungry children to feed.... again (they are CONSTANTLY hungry!). 
xxxxxx
Monday, 19 September 2011

The Tiny Bunnies Movement & a miniature ta-dah!

Toddlerwearing in the
Autumn sunshine
Hello all. It's a super sunny Monday here, absolutely glorious outside - especially as I'm looking "out there" from in here, where I'm cosy and warm with a cup of Nettle & Fennel Tea and Little Miss is sleeping. 

I was planning to keep this post until Friday as it contains a little 'Finished Object', but I can't - I'll just have to make some more before then! 

You may have already spotted a link on my Facebook page to the Tiny Bunnies Movement (Ravelry group) which I came across on a blog post last week. If you didn't see it, The Tiny Bunnies Movement is devoted to encouraging knitters to brighten strangers’ days by knitting up miniature bunnies and leaving them with notes for people to find in random places. Isn't that just an awesome idea?! It's yarn-bombing on  a tiny scale. And I figured even someone with not much time for ANOTHER thing to knit would be able to give it a go. 

So last night, after my daily hexipuff was done, I found a bit of scrap alpaca (bunnies have to be fluffy, right?) left over from a headwrap and got to work using this free pattern - there are others to choose from including a few crochet options too, and they are all listed on the TBM group page. 

Within about 15 minutes I had made this little fluffy ball...

... which a short while later become the first little bunny! 


I made a couple of modifications to the way I finished him off including the addition of a sewn nose (I'll make the next one smaller) but I think he's rather cute. As for leaving him to be found somewhere, well I'll need to make more for that as Little Miss has claimed this one as her pet and has been stroking him and feeding him all afternoon. 

I am not completely immune to his charms myself! 


Oh and I've just discovered they fit perfectly in the plastic eggs you get in Kinder Surprise, which could be a good way to deposit them safely somewhere with a little note inside - and also a great excuse to eat some chocolate :) 

xxxxxx

Friday, 16 September 2011

FO Friday: A Chirpy Ta-Dah!


Yarn: unspecified aran weight scrap (maybe alpaca?) 
Needles: 3.25mm DPNs

He seems to have made a little nest (out of bright red yarn) above our Nature Table, but every time I try to get a better closeup he flies away. I'll keep trying.



It's a very beautiful sunny September day so I'm off into the garden with Little Miss - looking forward to checking out the other Finished Objects at Tami's later. 
(Her FO is a teeny tiny elephant - go take a look!) 

Have a wonderful Friday 
xxxxxxxx




Wednesday, 14 September 2011

WIP Wednesday (14/09/11): A little update

Some of my favourite new 'puffs!
Hello and how do you do today? Firstly I should confess that whilst this is technically a "work in progress" post, the reality is another Wednesday has come around with only a load more hexipuffs to show, and I already updated on those yesterday. I am really hoping to get fed up with them soon, as there is far too much other 'stuff' I should be doing, things that need making for Christmas and a whole load of Year of Projects items to tackle (according to D, some more housework would be good too *sigh*) but there is no sign of stopping just yet! 

If you caught my post on Sunday, you'll have seen the start of a Chubby Chirp - a very sweet free pattern by Rebecca Danger which is perfect for using up scraps. It's almost finished - I just need to sew it up so I'll keep the reveal for Friday as I really do like to have a Friday Ta-dah, you know. 

Last night I came across the announcement of the Autumn/Fall 2011 Kids' Clothes Week Challenge which will be running from October 10th. If you haven't heard about this before the premise is very simple - "work on making clothes for kids one hour each day for a week". If that's sounds too straightforward, you can read more at the Elsie Marley blog.

I took part in the Spring challenge and really enjoyed it, but this time I'm trying to be a little more organised and will attempt to have patterns and materials ready in advance (in May I ended up thrifting and begging for supplies  at the last minute). 


I've set up a little inspiration board on Pinterest although there isn't much there at the moment, so this will be something to think about during the next few weeks. Anyone else fancy joining in? 

Before I sign off today I would like to take the opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has been following the blog, commenting so generously (and also connecting via Facebook and Twitter as a result). The last few months of blogging have been fantastic and today I was quite shocked to notice that there have been almost 1,300 comments and over 30,000 page views!!!! I really didn't expect anyone (except perhaps my mum) to read this when I started it earlier in the year and I feel so lucky to have "met" so many lovely people here and through the weekly blog-hops. 

On that note, I'm going to hop over to Tami's Amis to see what everyone else is working on! 
Tuesday, 13 September 2011

One a Day: Hexipuff update

So on Wednesday I banned myself from further hexipuffing until I'd made some baby booties. There's nothing like a bit of motivation ...... 

Needles: 3mm

This is a very nice pattern - it's really easy and quick - but I would prefer to have made something in the round with this yarn - I don't really like seams in variegated yarn, in fact, I don't like seams at all.
Edited: Thanks go to Christine for sending me this link - for the alternative version of the pattern (knitted in the round!) 

Unfortunately, they also came out tiny! I'm sure that no full-term baby would fit into these so I'm going to have to make another pair. These will have to wait a few months until Kiki is finished (the kit arrived earlier in the week so the head should be in progress over the weekend but I will need to wait for 2 more magazine issues until I get to her feet!) and if they won't fit her, they may be frogged to become little smooshy geometric shapes *grin*

Talking of which, the mini-skeins arrived from The Knitting Goddess and they are GORGEOUS!  Even My Boy was quite taken by them ("wow - are they knitted dreadlocks for ME?") There will certainly be more of these coming our way. 



After spotting some fab knits yesterday I'm feeling inspired to get working on something other than the Beekeeper's Quilt. The White Stuff have some gorgeous ladies' knits in-store and Mini-Boden has some fab kids' woollies as well as an entire section of the catalogue shot amidst shelves of yarn! So this weekend I'll also be back to pattern-searching and pinning things on Pinterest







 

Little Miss is looking incredibly cute today, so I'm off to kiss her now. 

 The usual Finished Objects at Tami's Amis seems to have been delayed by a powercut.  
Please remember to enter my craft book giveaway over the weekend 
as the winner will be selected on Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend! 
xxxxx 
Monday, 12 September 2011

And the winner is....

 

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Ghoulish Craft Book Giveaway! It was so great hearing from new readers and those who have been following for a while but hadn't commented before. I especially loved being able to link back to your blogs - many of which I've started following too :) 

Using Random.Org to select the winner from the comments on the original post (linked above), I'm delighted to announce the both books will be going to.........
.... Toni from  Unconventional Us !

Congratulations Toni, as soon as I get your address I'll get them in the post. 
(Please let us see what you make from them!!!)
xxxxx 
Sunday, 11 September 2011

A 'cheep' attempt at a Year Of Projects post!

Hello. Hope you all had a good weekend and those suffering from bad weather, power-cuts or hurricanes are safely in one piece! 

I'd planned to start this post with some colourful pictures from the Wisborough Green Balloon Festival, but sadly it was cancelled due to a forecast of severe weather - such a shame as it was very calm and bright this afternoon when I took the little ones to a birthday party at Holmbush Farm.  (You may have noticed we spend a lot of time at farms - I should probably explain that we live in a rural area, and aside from knitting or visiting farms there's not really a great deal to do!!!!)

So we got back from the party, D finished up his work for the day and put a joint of beef in the oven and it dawned on me that another Sunday was here without any Year of Projects progress (again!) *EEK!* 

I set about remedying it immediately....


.... and managed to knit MOST of my first Chubby Chirp before our roast dinner was ready. Unfortunately that was as far as I got as I then consumed half a bottle of Merlot and now want to curl up on the sofa with some hexipuffs and some trashy TV.  I shall finish it this week *crosses heart* 

The great news is that I am LOVING double pointed needles. Having learned to use circulars and the Magic Loop method as soon as I started knitting I hadn't attempted DPNs until I used three for the Beekeeper's Quilt and having used four of them for the chick body I can confirm that I love them! I'll be getting more. 

So that's it for today, but before I go one final call for my craft book giveaway - the winner will be randomly selected tomorrow. Head on over to the giveaway post for all the details and a review of the books on offer! 
xxxxxxxx
Friday, 9 September 2011

FO Friday: Something VERY small

So on Wednesday I banned myself from further hexipuffing until I'd made some baby booties. There's nothing like a bit of motivation ...... 

Needles: 3mm

This is a very nice pattern - it's really easy and quick - but I would prefer to have made something in the round with this yarn - I don't really like seams in variegated yarn, in fact, I don't like seams at all.
Edited: Thanks go to Christine for sending me this link - for the alternative version of the pattern (knitted in the round!) 

Unfortunately, they also came out tiny! I'm sure that no full-term baby would fit into these so I'm going to have to make another pair. These will have to wait a few months until Kiki is finished (the kit arrived earlier in the week so the head should be in progress over the weekend but I will need to wait for 2 more magazine issues until I get to her feet!) and if they won't fit her, they may be frogged to become little smooshy geometric shapes *grin*

Talking of which, the mini-skeins arrived from The Knitting Goddess and they are GORGEOUS!  Even My Boy was quite taken by them ("wow - are they knitted dreadlocks for ME?") There will certainly be more of these coming our way. 



After spotting some fab knits yesterday I'm feeling inspired to get working on something other than the Beekeeper's Quilt. The White Stuff have some gorgeous ladies' knits in-store and Mini-Boden has some fab kids' woollies as well as an entire section of the catalogue shot amidst shelves of yarn! So this weekend I'll also be back to pattern-searching and pinning things on Pinterest







 

Little Miss is looking incredibly cute today, so I'm off to kiss her now. 

 The usual Finished Objects at Tami's Amis seems to have been delayed by a powercut.  
Please remember to enter my craft book giveaway over the weekend 
as the winner will be selected on Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

xxxxx 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

WIP Wednesday (07/09/11): More plans than progress


Following yesterday's hexipuff update, I have little to show you in the way of actual progress with my Beekeeper's Quilt (I completed only 2 more last night and haven't had any knitting time today) but I have several things planned for the next few days so this update is a statement of intent. Once it is "out there", I may actually be motivated to stop knitting those addictive little 'puffs and actually cast on something of more immediate use. So here goes, in order of priority: 

To be cast on ASAP: A new baby girl is expected in the next day or so and I am sure that her mum would love a pair of Saartje's (knitted) Bootees. I'm actually going to use some of my hexipuff stash for these as this soft yarn (Fairytale Dreamtime 4ply Pure Wool) is going to be the perfect for someone who has spent the last 6 years buying clothes for little boys.
Then: If you follow my Twitter feed you'll have seen than ANOTHER of Little Miss' knitted cardigans mysteriously appeared in the tumble dryer *sob* It was too big when I made it and she only just started to wear it so I'm sad (and wondering if it may fit a newborn as it's now a tiny felted jacket) and I need to make her a replacement. I haven't decided on a pattern yet but here is the yarn - King Cole Riot Chunky.
And finally: I have another ball of Regia Extra Twist Merino for hexipuffs - I have already made several in this yarn in a different colourway and it's just so soft and gorgeous I couldn't stop at one colour. Looking forward to trying this out and seeing how it knits up.... but I'm going to attempt to be strong and wait until I have made those booties at least! 
Loads to do and no time to get started - I have an attention-seeking girl today! 

You can check out the other Works in Progress at Tami's blog
oh and don't forget to enter my Ghoulish craft book Giveaway - 
the winner will be selected on Monday!  
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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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