Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Japanese Flower Scarf

At long last this scarf of beauty is finished! Started I don't know when and put aside many, many times in favour of the project of the moment.

This may be a blast from the past for many long time crochet blog followers as this pattern, with the same yarn in different colours, was made by Lovely Lucy in her Attic. I fell totally in love with her creation, I'd never seen anything so lovely before! And Sandra too, had made such a pretty coloured one, I was completely smitten! A while later I purchased the book with the chart (Motif Book vol 4), and you know how much I love crochet charts, and then set about finding the yarn. I really wanted to own a scarf like this, and in the pretty colours I had seen it made in. Finding the yarn to buy was the problem though. I wasn't aware of any actual shops near me that stocked this Debbie Bliss Andes yarn so I turn to online shops. No site had all the colours. All the colours I wanted weren't available. I ended up buying colours that I could get hold of from here, there and everywhere.

And this is what I ended up with, and the reason I kept putting this project down, because it all felt a mish-mash of colours, not planned out or considered, just what was left. I went with it as I love the yarn itself, it's a blend of alpaca and mulberry silk - how luxurious! It indeed is soft and beautiful and lovely to work with, and the yarn I bought was most often reduced in price, which is a definite benefit. But colour wise, does it work? Or is it obvious I made it up with my fingers crossed and hoped for the best?

Well, now it's finished my final opinion is that of love. Yes, I adore this scarf! It is bright, and it is colourful but I like it like that. I know if I had been able I would've copied the exact colours of Lucy and Sandra's version, but in the end I'm glad I've got one that is a bit different.
I've loved wearing my scarf and I don't mind the flowers scrunching up round my neck, it feels nice and special - I've had lots of compliments on it too.

A happy ending :o)

'till next time...

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Fiddle Diddle and Deer Baby Blanket

I'm having one of those days when everything is getting on my nerves.
It's probably because, instead of cracking on with all the daily chores that need doing everyday (washing that needs washing, washing that needs putting away, contender for the worlds mankiest bathroom needing cleaning, stairs needing vacuuming etc, etc) I instead started to play around with some crafty bits first thing this morning, only for everything to go wrong.

First up is this thimble blossoms mini quilt by Camille Roskelley. Very pretty indeed but I don't think I quite realised just how mini it would be when I downloaded the PDF. It is quite a fiddle diddle, and to get the seams to match is a challenge that I only sometimes achieved. Worse than that though is that the triangles are so tiny that in the floral fabric I used for the pin wheel at 9 o'clock, one of them ended up in a plain bit and so didn't show any print and actually looked like a different fabric to the other triangles in that pin wheel (the one my quick un-pick is pointing to) 
I noticed it whilst sewing that little block together but couldn't be bothered to un-pick at that stage, but it just annoyed me so much that after I finished the mini quilt top I just had to take it out and replace with a more patterned triangle piece.

Much better now, but it would've been a lot easier to change it when I first noticed, rather than leave it to the end when it was more of a fiddle diddle to re-do.
As far as the unmatching seams are concerned, it will have to exist with all those imperfections, or not exist at all!
I now have to think about how I'm going to quilt it. Not sure whether to do it by hand or machine so I'll have a think on that one.

Then, still trying to avoid my chores, I turned to this Deer Little Blanket

This is the mess I got into after having to pull out about 10 rows of the blanket. Again, a very cute pattern that involves colour change in rows to create the sweet little deer. The pattern says to leave loose strands at the back of the work, and it is then lined with fabric at the end to hide it all. I thought it was such a good idea to crochet around the strands as I went along, even if this does mean a bit of show through of the other colour, because it makes it a whole lot neater.
And indeed that seems fine on the legs but when I came to the white tummy and chest, the blue and the brown wool I was crocheting over to carry along for when it's needed later in the row really showed through and it looked dreadful. I continued though, telling myself it would be fine but after a while and particularly when I was adding in the white speckles on the deers back, and knew it just wasn't good enough. So I admitted defeat and pulled it back to the start of the white tummy / chest bit.

I managed to untangle all the yarn and have started that section again, but this time leaving the strands loose at the back, as the pattern states. I'm going to see if I can find some cute deer print fabric, for the back lining, on a fabric / yarn shopping jolly I have planned this coming week.

I feel calmer now that I've done the said chores. There are sheets on the Bed and Bath setting in the washer, the downstairs loo and bathroom are cleaned (bathroom still manky, but not so bad as before) and the washing has been folded neatly and put away. Lunch is over so I will now quickly tidy the kitchen, put kettle on and sit down to do a few more rows before Daddy brings our little one back from the park. 

Tidy house (well tidier) and tidyish work.

...and relax...

...'till next time!

Pattern info: round and round quilt pattern here.
                     deer little blanket pattern here.

PS thanks you guys for your lovely comments on my craft corridor post. It's just great to share with you!!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Craft Corridor Sort Out

Hello there my friends, it's been nearly a fortnight since I last came and said hello. Sorry about that, been rather busy!

Lots of family stuff, or really kids stuff! School consultation evenings for all of them, and even at the nursery for my 2year old :o) and then extra school information events as my middle daughter is choosing her options and my son will be doing his sats in May. As well as that my eldest has 'starred' in a couple of drama productions, at school and through her Saturday drama group so I have been able to go and watch her perform, and drive her to all the rehearsals etc. Lets not mention the usual ballet classes and drum lessons and toilet training my youngest and my head spins with it all. If I moan about it my husband just says one word: 'choices'. Yes alright, I know it was our choice to have a big family but boy it can be hard work! I really don't know how the 17 kids and counting family cope!

On the plus side it's good to know the children are all doing well, and I do feel it's important to have lots of communication with their teachers (who in my eyes are doing a grand job), even if it does mean my evenings crafting away are limited :o)

Talking of crafting, because that's what this blog is mostly about after all, I'll show you bits and pieces of what I've been up to, when I've had a minute!

I'm in the process of trying to get a few WIP finished, and this new dress for my patchwork sewing machine is one of them.

These fun sewing print fabrics are perfect for the new dress, I love all the little cute pictures of haberdashery bits and bobs. I'm very pleased with the 'fit', I like how neat it looks and I added the front pocket, with a nod to my love of crochet with the pink trim, mainly to keep the machine instruction manual in, as I could never find it when I needed it!

The cute pincushion is from Jessie's (Messyjessecrafts) pattern featured in issue 17 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I've tried to do fussy cutting for the diamond shapes, which is harder than it looks, to show the little sewing icons well. And I do think I need to perfect my whip stitching technique :o)

I've also been trying to get more organised in my Craft Corridor, sorting fabrics by colour, and building CD units to hold it in.

It is really quite difficult getting a photo of this small area, I have to stand in the cupboard under the stairs to get far enough away. And that is not that far at all.

Since taking the above photo there has been 2 new editions to this area:

A new padded seat cover for the stool I sit on when sewing on ol' dusty (this industrial machine has been with me years and is ugly, oily and dusty but sews really well, especially on thicker fabrics) I made a cross stitch rose pattern, which is a technique I've wanted to try out for ages, to pretty the pad up and from a distance at least I think it looks fab.

And then I found a frameless cork board in Tescos for £3.50 which I covered in this fun print fabric. I liked Sandra's idea of her pretty framed board, and this is my simple version. I used my hot glue gun to attach the fabric at the back.

Oh how I love my bijoux crafting corridor! It's a bit cluttered and compact, and I will certainly move to a bigger space if the opportunity arises in the future. But for now I'm content in this little space that I can keep my equipment and stash stored, and I spread out to the rest of the house to actually work in. 

BTW, because the ceiling is glass here, if the sun is quite strong and glaring I do have the problem of it bleaching any fabrics I have out, but I do like them out on display. I'm on the lookout for some clearish sticky film type thing that I can stick to the inside of the glass that will reduce the UV rays, but not block out too much light. So if you know of any such thing I'd appreciate any info!

I've really enjoyed showing you around my craft corridor, and my few little makes that I've managed to get finished. I have another couple of finished WIP's that are lined up for some posts, so I will be back with them soon!

Fabric info: Fabric used for the sewing machine dress I bought from here (they are Makeower prints), and the granny square fabric I covered the cork board in is from here.

Have a happy crafty week my friends,
'till next time...

Friday, 6 February 2015

Little Knitting

Out of my four children, my youngest looks the most like me. Well, she's blond with blue eyes and I've always had brown hair and hazel eyes - but the other features are very similar.

It's only fair as even from birth, my son has looked strikingly like his father, with many, many people commenting on this over time. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say.

When my little girl was born I said to my older brother that I felt like I'd seen her before. He said I had. In the faces of all her relatives that I'd already met. It made a lot of sense to me.
(My big brother is very wise and comes out with these classic gold nuggets often. I'm looking forward to seeing him and his family at Easter, hopefully)

The hat and mitts were made from Stylecraft special dk in colours Aspen and Fondant and were my attempt at different knitting skills that I hadn't tried before. The small shaping of the thumb on the mitts was something I'd feared but found easier than I anticipated, and making the icord to thread through the sleeves was just amazing as I initially considered just making a crochet chain because I assumed the icord would be much too fiddly.

The hat was worked on the round. I have used circular needles to knit on before, but only for straight knitting. I prefer circular needles as I don't really like the way straight ones stick out at my sides, and get caught in my sleeves. The circular ones are more compact. This was the first time I'd joined my work into a continuous circle though, and it seemed to work out just fine! (yes I am in wonder that I've done this - anyone would think I just completed a majorly difficult task, rather than fairly basic knitting :o)
The only short circular needles I had were a size 3.25mm and this means the hat has come out a bit on the small side. It's ok when first put on but it slowly rides up her head and then sits balance on the top Dappy style. Still cute though.

Pattern for hat can be found here.
Tute for icord I used is here.
And the mitts pattern was from a Dorling Kindersley book entitled "Baby & Toddler Knits Made Easy" you can get from The Book People here.
Coat models own.

'till next time...

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Snow Dipper Winner!

Hello my lovely lovelies, and thank you for all the fab comments on my snow dipped giveaway post :o)

I have just made myself a cuppa and have enjoyed reading through all your snowy comments, it's been fun to know how you all feel and the general consensus is that most of you love the snow if you don't have to go out in it and you get a day off work! pretty much my vibe about it as well!

As a coincidence this past week since I put up the post it has snowed for the first time this winter here in betsyland! There were some big flakes come down yesterday and the children were all ready to go out and play in it when it just turned into rain and melted away! Oh well, what a shame :o(

So just to remind you of the prize, here is the set that one of you will win:

The set includes the slouchy hat, the scarf and the mitts and is made in Stylecraft special dk, so this washes at a gentle 40ยบ machine wash.

So without any further ado (as one says in situations like these) the winner of my snow dipped set is...


I like your comment Cara as I think it's a good thing to be childish from time to time, live in the moment and have fun! I also believe that if you can be like that on occasions then it's really good for your children too.

Congratualtions Cara! I have sent you an email and will send out your prize once I have your postal address.

Thanks again everyone for all your brilliant comments,

'till next time...