Sunday, 30 October 2011

Something new! (A Year of Projects post)

I didn't start knitting until the beginning of this year so as the new season's catalogues are hitting the doormat filled with winter woollies, it's a whole new and exciting experience - I'm no longer looking for things to BUY, but for inspiration for the project queue! When I put together my Year of Projects list in June, I'd planned to make these Fingerless Mittens so I could try knitting cables, but The White Company catalogue arrived on Friday featuring these little beauties and I seem to have changed my mind!  

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest
This evening I found a cable needle in my knitting 'kit' and had a go. In no time at all had made my first simple cable based on this coffee sleeve

There are several patterns that I like including One Cable Mitts and Slouchy Cable Sleeves (and so many more on Ravelry), but I may just try making it up myself. I'm quite excited about it and am now deciding which yarn to order - I really like the idea of pale grey - maybe an alpaca/merino yarn would be suitably yummy.

Not much progress on the other YoP items, but I'll tell you more about that next Sunday. Hope you all have a great week! 

Links to the other YoP blogs can be found here
Friday, 28 October 2011

FO Friday: Some little things (and a little rant)

Yay - it's Friday! That means we have made it to the end of Half Term with my sanity (somewhat) intact. My nerves were incredibly frayed yesterday, but the weekend is now looming and I'm looking forward to a couple of hours ALONE tomorrow. It probably sounds awful - especially if you've never have little kids and therefore may not appreciate the simple things you can do each day - like visiting the loo without an audience, or drinking a whole cup of tea while it's hot, eating a meal without needing to wipe a bottom...etc. 

Since my mum went home on Tuesday, the week has just been incredibly exhausting as I've been solo referee, entertainer, cook, bottom-wiper, 'kiss-better-er', laundry service, taxi, puzzle-helper, general dogsbody/slave. It's hard work and these children TALK ALL DAY - seriously, they never stop - and much of the talking is squabbling. Of course now that they are just getting used to being with each other 24/7 again, the 'holiday' is almost up.

As a result there has been no progress on my larger projects since I posted on Wednesday.... but I did cheer myself with a few little things after the arrival of the latest Mollie Makes (issue 7). Firstly this little mug cosy for D (he likes orange, and it felt appropriately autumnal) which took just a little less than one run-through of Fireman Sam, Let it Snow DVD. I'm still not sure about these as I personally wouldn't like a mouthful of yarn, so I've left a decent "lip-space" in the hope that it may actually be used.

And yesterday, even with lots of interruptions, this little jar cosy was done before Rapunzel saw the lanterns in Tangled, so I got another quick FO fix! 
There was no need to use the pattern, as they are very basic and straightforward - you may recall I'd already shown my sister how to make one of these last week after seeing a picture on Pinterest, but having the magazine there spurred me to actually do it. I didn't read the details as the picture said it all, but I'm sure an absolute beginner would find it a good starting project (as I did with the apple jacket in the first issue). 

While I'm on the subject of Mollie Makes, I am a little bewildered/disappointed that there is a whole section of this month's issue regurgitating the current Toast catalogue. (I already get the catalogue - it IS lovely and it's FREE! - I don't really want to pay to see it again, thank you.)  On the plus side, there are at least some different things to make this time - a knitted option for the cosies being one "new" thing -  but the jury is well and truly out at the moment. I liked the early issues because they were a bit...different. Sadly each issue is now much the same as the others, although the Toast 'padding' may just be a step too far for me to continue to subscribe beyond the end of the year. 

The Mollie Makes blog does sometimes have links to nice things, however, and the Knitted Pumpkin Pattern from 'This Cosy Life' is something I would like to make for our nature table... but I just used up the orange yarn! 

Well that's enough complaining, don't you think? I'll leave you with one more little thing before I head off. Something that really made me smile. 
(The girl is one of my very best WIPs but the costume was from Tesco

Don't forget to have a look at the other FOs at Tami's later today. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, 
(with plenty of quiet time for those who need it!!!) 
Wednesday, 26 October 2011

WIP Wednesday 26/10/11

Happy Wednesday! So yesterday I posted my One a Day Hexipuff tally from the park, and then when I got home and tidied some of Little Miss' bags away, I found a couple of the missing 'puffs from a few weeks ago so I'm pleased to report that on this rainy grey half-term day, there are now... 

Knitting at least one a day is working really well for this project and I'm delighted to have broken the 100-barrier, which feels like a significant milestone.

Over the weekend, I also managed a little bit of work on the Sitting Room Circles Throw which doesn't actually look much bigger than last week, and is now probably about 1/8 of the necessary size. 

That's it from me, but I've just received my latest subscription of Mollie Makes where there are some cute little knitted and crocheted mug cosies so I feel a quick fix FO coming on!!!!

(Spot the "helper"!) 
Don't forget to check out the other WIPs via Tami's Amis.
Sunday, 23 October 2011

It's a Sibling Thing

My sister visited this weekend. Perfect timing as the little ones have been filled with cheekiness and devilment for the last few days and were driving me to distraction. My sister is the perfect antidote as she's so calm, laid-back (horizontal) and relaxed.  

Yesterday I showed her a few basic crochet stitches, and in no time at all she made a perfect (flat, evenly-tensioned) circle for inclusion in my Sitting Room Throw *grin*. More on that later in the week. 

Today we took the little devils darlings to the Adventure Farm Park. I'm not sure who had the most fun! 

Having sent her to the train with hook and yarn, she's almost finished crocheting her first item - a mug cosy based on this one I had pinned to my Crochet board. The girl's a natural! 
Wednesday, 19 October 2011

WIP Wednesday: Sitting Room Circles

Hello! A quick Work In Progress update with Tami's Amis while I can get online as I already updated on my Beekeeper's Quilt progress yesterday.  

I introduced these little circles on Sunday in my Year of Projects post,  and since then I've started experimenting with joining them together. At first I tried a border around them (joining with the border) but I didn't like it. It's the simplicity of these that appeals, so I just started sewing some together and it's the effect I was hoping for so I'm sticking with it. 

The first few joins were "hidden" but I quite like the look of the stitches so I'm not trying to make them quite so inconspicuous now and I'm satisfied with the back too.

These are all from one ball of yarn so I think this will probably take about 5 or 6 more. I'm hoping the wool content may be sufficient to be able to block this a little as it looks so much nicer when 'opened up'. 
(If not, what? Maybe a very light iron? Need to experiment!)

At the moment, I'm really only working on these two projects, but I suspect I'll want to get a "quick fix" with something else soon, so I'm wondering what to make with these....

Have you seen all the lovely Hoopla colours?  Hmmm... decisions decisions! 

Thanks for popping in today!
Tuesday, 18 October 2011

One a Day... getting there slowly

It's a beautifully blustery bright and cold day here - absolutely perfect for kicking around in leaves. I just love Autumn days like this - wonderful!

Do you remember the Mollie Makes Apple Jacket which was my first crochet project? The pattern has been published online today in advance of Apple Day on October 21st. If you'd like to make one of these ridiculously cute (or 'rediculous BUT cute') little items, and didn't get the magazine, you can now get it here! It's a great little project, even for total beginners - plus it doesn't take long or use much yarn! 

25 'puffs  in "hallway" colours
And so it's time to face the music on  the Hexipuffs. Last week, due to the theft of an unknown quantity, I refused to count them. So after making at least one a day this week my Tuesday tally tells me they are still not up to the magic century...


....BUT it seems I'm almost 1/3 of the way to having enough greens and neutrals for my mini project of a bench seatpad!  
If it hadn't been for the distraction of the sitting room circles, I'd have made much more progress this week (I'll update on that tomorrow). 

I've still not decided whether the rest will become a little quilt, a throw, cushion pads or something else entirely and a pink, purple and a red (red!) have been knitted this week too .... I think the not knowing is part of the fun, and they are just so tactile and lovely as they are - even a few non-knitting friends appreciate delving into the basket for a fondle - so there really isn't a hurry to commit them to anything in particular. 

Before I go, just a little note to the other One a Day'ers (and the other bloggers I follow who may be reading): Our broadband is being eaten up by D's work at the moment so I'm struggling to comment but I'm reading your posts on my phone via a Reader and I am in awe of some of your amazing projects. So much inspiration and more lovely blogs to follow - I'm planning to compile a list of my current favourites when I can get online "properly"! 

You can see the other One a Day projects via the link at Carole's blog.

Hope to see you tomorrow for WIP Wednesday and a peek at those circles!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Year of Projects: Around and around we go!

One of the YoP items that we really actually NEED is a little throw for the back of the sofa (I'll go into the reason for this need when I have finished and post a ta-dah) so I decided that it was about time I cracked on with this instead of searching for other things to make. 

On Friday I picked up a hook and the yarn that matches my sitting room (because everything has to be matchy-matchy!) and started making circles. The artwork and curtains (pictured too brightly here) have circles on them so it just seemed like the right thing to do. The colours are a great match to the cushions and rug and I am hoping it'll all work out as well as it does in my head. 

I absolutely love the way this yarn is looking and it's so nice to crochet with. I used the chunky version in another colourway for Little Miss' recent tunic and will be using it again for sure. It's King Cole Riot DK in "Ace" which is a wool/acrylic mix and feels quite 'woolly' but with a silky sheen so it glides beautifully and doesn't split at all and makes for fast easy crochet.  The pictures don't do it justice at all, but you can tell, I'm a big fan. 

I have some ideas about how the circles will be joined, but no definite plan yet as I'm just improvising - it'll be fun to experiment....and I'll post an update next Sunday - wish me luck :) 
Click here to visit the Ravelry group for other updates
Thursday, 13 October 2011

I used to be a warewolf.....

(.....but I'm alright nooooooOOOOWWWWW! )

Hello lovely people. I hope this post find you well and unscathed this week. What a week it's turned into around here. Between exercise classes at the gym (ouch!), my 'crochet morning' for some local mums, co-ordinating the International Babywearing Week posts over at Natural Mamas Blog, Little Miss keeping me on my toes all day/every day, laundry, cooking, school runs.... I barely know which day it is and I even missed WIP Wednesday yesterday! 

I blame it on the full moon. No, don't laugh, I'm completely serious. I can identify this part of the lunar cycle by the state of My Boy's moods and Little Miss' sleep patterns (she gets incredibly restless and wakes as regularly as a newborn). When these things happen and I lose the smidgen of patience I otherwise have, it is guaranteed that the full moon is about 2 days away - this month was no exception. When I mention this, I am usually met with raised eyebrows and disbelieving looks, but it is absolutely true. I'm not sure if there is some significance that it has been the Hunter's Moon but this week there has been so much upset, tragedy and loss amongst my circle of friends and acquaintances, it seems like there is something powerful at work in nature.

I'm hoping things can just get back to normal now, particularly as a close and much loved family member is awaiting some potentially scary surgery in the next couple of weeks *crosses fingers/ toes/ anything else 'crossable'*

With all this "stuff" going on it's probably little surprise that the Kids Clothes Week Challenge and my other crafty endeavours have been put aside for the last few days (although I can officially report that I'm back to 86 'puffs in the basket - though the others have still not surfaced). 

Since the weekend - when failed to buy the yarn I needed for various projects - I've been trying to figure out what to start next. I'm feeling a NEED for a juicy colourful crochet project. And I also need something bigger than hexipuffs on the needles. The question is..... what? I guess that's me on Pinterest (SO many amazing things on there at the moment!) and Ravelry this evening.

I hope to be back with something colourful and cheery very soon :) 
Take care,

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

One a Day Disappointment :(

After last week's tally (86 hexipuffs) I was SO happy - I set about making at least 2 more each day so I could get to the magic century before this week's post. 


On Wednesday I found a load of them in amongst Little Miss' toys - actually they were stuffed in various handbags and baskets - and put them back in their rightful place. I didn't think any more of it..... until Thursday (or Friday?) when I decided to count them..... and there were only 82!!! Unfortunately my little hexinapper refuses to tell me the location of the missing 'puffs and so I am not counting them this week *stamps foot* I will merely show you the new basket I bought for them at the Knitting & Stitching Show. Maybe she won't feel the need to re-home them now? 

There were some amazing things in progress last week so I'm hopping over to Gingerbread Girl's place to see more. Care to join me? 
Monday, 10 October 2011

'Knitting & Stitching' and some sewing

On Saturday morning, Mum and I met two of my local yarny friends (you may already know them from Ravelry - Christine and Danielle) and we took the train to London for the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. It took us about 2.5 hours to get there and by the time we arrived my face was aching from laughing (pity the poor people on the train, I can only imagine what a night out with these 3 would be like!).

I tried to take some nice pictures, I really did, but my darling mother decided that it would be fun to jump - literally - into the back of EVERY picture. Not just mine, ANYONE'S. If you know someone who went along, ask them to check the background of their pics, it would be fun to find more of them, for she tried to be in as many as she could - a bit like Where's Wally/Waldo.  

There were some great stalls and exhibits there. My favourite stall by far was Rowan /Coats crafts where stunning Amy Butler and Kaffe Fasset fabrics and designs were on display along with some of the lovely knitted items from Love Wool Week (the yudu catalogue is worth a browse!)

As things were spread out so much and many different crafts were represented, it was difficult to find what we wanted - yarn and related items. There didn't seem to be a single stitch marker in the entire place either!! By mid afternoon it was complete chaos - thousands of people trawling hundreds of stands at a snail's pace, narrow aisles, pushchairs and motorised mobility scooters, elderly ladies walking three-abreast in a stop-start manner. None of this was helped by the fact that Danielle and I had purchased some HUGE knitting needles, crochet hooks and blanket scraps to use with them almost as soon as we arrived and had to carry those as well as other purchases around when there really wasn't sufficient space to get through empty-handed *sigh* It meant I left with only half of the things on my list, which you can see here minus a set of 5 different DPNs (... I WILL try knitting socks!) 

Never-the-less it was a lovely "girls" day out and I think we all enjoyed ourselves. I'm glad I went.... although I won't be rushing back to that show on a weekend again. In my opinion, Unravel is FAR better for yarny people, much more civilised and relaxing plus undiluted by lots of other random things (like one stall buying and selling second hand gold, and others selling shoes and blatant copies of Cath Kidston bags!?!). Unravel will certainly be another "day out" and I'm saving my pennies already :) 

So it took all of yesterday to recover ready for the start of Kids Clothes Week Challenge today. If you've missed this, it's hosted over at the Elsie Marley blog and involves spending an hour each day this week to make children's clothing (ETA: you can make them using any method you like, but I'm sewing - kinda!). It's not too late to join in if you fancy it. 

You know, I have such grand plans for sewing - loads of ideas and designs in my head... but sadly I am a useless seamstress and the reality never matches the intention. I *could* learn to sew properly, but I don't intend to do enough of it to make that worthwhile, yet I still felt frustrated when I spent a little over my allotted hour today and am nowhere near to completing my first item. Here is my progress so far - a partially tacked / pinned tunic made from a vintage pillow case. 

Hopefully I'll get to finish it tomorrow. 

So what have you been up to? What are you making this week? 


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Year of Projects update (and some reminders)

After a very busy and fun-filled weekend, I have loads to share from the Knitting & Stitching Show  but that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now I'm just popping in with a very overdue Year of Projects update and a few reminders :) 

It's been about a month since my last YoP post, mainly because I've been incredibly sidetracked with other things and haven't actually made much progress with the list. I did complete one more item - a Chubby Chirp - a few weeks ago and I started a little bird decoration too (that's still an unfinished object awaiting the addition of wings and eyes), but that's about it for now. Of course I blame the hexipuffs!

This week I'm going to be busy sewing (see below) and also have some school mums coming over to learn how to make granny squares, so it's unlikely I'll get to start anything else at the moment. However I felt I should post if for no other reason than to say I am still "in" - there is plenty of time left yet and it's not too late to get started either. Really looking forward to catching up on everyone else's progress over the next couple of days - the links can be found on Ravelry (here). 

 Before I shoot off (to bed!) here's a reminder that Kids Clothes Week Challenge starts tomorrow. 

If you fancy joining in, you can find all the details here at the Elsie Marley Blog 
and if you're not sure what to make, there is a ton of inspiration here

International Babywearing Week also starts tomorrow. 
I'll be hosting daily posts on the Natural Mamas blog to mark the occasion.

Night night

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

WIPs, a book and a TINY ta-dah!

Happy Wednesday (again!), everyone. I have much to share today so I'll dive straight in! 

Two of the most stunning yarns arrived from Nimu last week to use for the Stripe Study Shawl. I got as far as knitting the first contrast stripe but I'm going to rip it out and will probably get something else for the main colour at the Knitting & Stitching show this weekend as it's far too busy. It needs a plain solid colour - maybe grey? I'm not sold on the red (I don't really 'do' red) and also not wholly convinced about garter stitch - it looks like it's the wrong way around. 
So it may yet become something else entirely! Either way, I'm in love with Isel (Iridium) - the bluey one. 

See yesterday's post for
more on the 'puff progress
My detailed hexipuff update was posted yesterday - they are coming along very nicely and I managed a few more last night. This is my One a Day project but I'm trying to get more than that done while I'm not knitting anything else.

I have some crochet plans afoot and have made a few little trial blocks this week, but nothing to post about those yet because I'm being side-tracked yet again. After making those tiny little bunnies and deciding small can be incredibly satisfying as well as cute, I was delighted get a review copy of a really lovely book featuring 25 miniature projects. The projects have been compiled from a number of contributors using various media and include boats made from nutshells, fabric buttons,  spool dolls, felt monster babies and tiny little greeting cards.  

I want to make so many of them and I wasn't sure what to start with, but last night  decided to have a go at something. After rifling through my scraps I came up with this little guy (such a great use of a few inches of felt!) although I didn't have all of the supplies to hand, so he's far from perfect and has 'Sharpied' eyes rather than seed beads or embroidery. Look how tiny he is next to a standard cotton reel. 

There is a matchbox bed and knitted blanket for him in the book but I decided to make him a little no-sew sleeping bag instead, using DPNs. Then I hid him inside D's bag with a note - I wonder whether he'll find it today at work... and what he'll make of it if he does! 
This little dog and accessories may be next on the list! Isn't he cute?

The book is called Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share and would make a lovely gift for someone crafty, or just for yourself! It is hardcover and has beautiful pages - I've found it is quite nice to just flick through (which everyone visiting the Cwtch has been doing too) as well as containing some incredibly cute projects. 
I'm having trouble with my collage, so I'll leave you with this link to take a virtual tour of the book and hope that it works! 

Little Miss is asleep so now is my chance to take a look at the other WIPs at Tami's blog
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day 
Tuesday, 4 October 2011

One a Day: Hulki-puffs!

with Gingerbread Girl
If you visited last Wednesday you'll have seen I decided to make a bench seat-pad for the hallway and that the existing colour scheme was all wrong. 

So this week I've been making Hexipuffs in greens, teals and beige.  

With these new additions, the contents of my project bucket now look like this: 

WEEK 4 TALLY: 86 Hexipuffs

Wow - that means I've made 20 this week! I didn't realise that. 

Each one takes between 40 mins and an hour depending on whether I have to pick-up-and-put-down, which I usually do if the children are here/awake. The aim is to get one done as soon as possible each day and then to cast on another which can be picked up whenever I get the chance (mealtimes are good as the kids can take an hour to eat and I sit knitting and chatting to them) but I must have made quite a few in the evenings too

 And look at this parcel which just arrived from the The Knitting Goddess mini-skein club. 
Aren't they just perfect colours *does a little dance* I can't wait to get started on them. Sadly, Little Miss and a Gruffalo have run off with them, so it looks like I'll have to wait. 

I'm going to pop the kettle on and have a quick catch up with the other One-a-Day posts while she's occupied, but while I have lots of crochet people visiting I wonder if would anyone be able to tell me if they recognise this motif and where I might be able to find it? I can't find any info on the flickr page it comes from. Your help would be appreciated.  

That's it from me for today, pop back tomorrow if you want to see what else I've been working on. 

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