I’ve pretty much always worked in old buildings or in buildings where on occasion (perhaps every winter) the central heating system stops working. Beautiful buildings with gorgeous tiled floors, massive marble fireplaces and wood panelling… and single glazed windows that can’t be replaced due to the cost of updating a listed building. I have found that over the years, a pair of fingerless mittens have become invaluable – a way of keeping warm while still being able to work at a computer. It was with the problem in mind that I decided to make a quick pair of wristwarmers for a friend and colleague who often finds herself cold and frustrated when the decrepid office boiler breaks down again and the wait for an engineer will be another three days while they order a new part – you get the picture!
I knew she was a fan of green so went for a bright MyBoshi chunky yarn. The fact that there’s some wool in the make up means that the mittens were warm and the stitch definition was good. MyBoshi is also very squashy which makes me happy! The design was adapted from the owl mittens that I made for myself a few years back although minus the owls. The finished products were functional with a bit of fun (thanks lime green yarn!)
Yarn Used: DMC MyBoshi in Lime (shade 121)
I fell in love with Sirdar’s Beachcomber yarn as soon as I saw it. Something about this shade (called Catch the Sun) with its subtle greys and pops of luminous yellow really appeals to me. So when I found it on offer at Hobbycraft for half price, I snapped up 4 balls. I’ve felt like I’ve had a few crafting commitments over the last couple of months so I’ve decided to start this project for myself. I have a pattern for a capelet which, as usual, I’ve adapted to make slightly wider. This means that it will sit slightly off the shoulder rather than up round my neck. The pattern isn’t as pronounced as it could be because of the slubbed yarn but it’s already looking quite beautiful. 14 rows of 234 done – I may have it finished in time for the summer!
I gave myself a May deadline for this project and managed to get it done in April. The design is very simple, the texture is a bit like a waffle pattern created by a p3, k1 sort of sequence. In the pattern, the button was sewn into place through both layers of the capelet but I chose to put in a popper / press stud before sewing the button on for a bit more flexibility. I love the button, it’s made of bamboo and works well with the yarn colours – a chance find during a mooch around the haberdashery section of John Lewis (possibly one of my favourite places!). This is one of the first actual pieces of clothing that I’ve made for myself other than gloves and scarves and yes it is only one step up from a scarf but I’m pretty pleased with it and I wear it all the time!
Yarn: Sirdar Beachcomber DK in Catch the Sun (shade 260)
Pattern: Mollie Makes Issue 44
Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts recently. My laptop finally called it a day after many years of faithful service and unfortunately all of my photos were saved on it. They are backed up but I haven’t got a replacement laptop yet so I’m having to use my work computer to post as and when I can. Also it’s school holidays so childcare commitments mean that I don’t have quite as much time as usual to craft or blog. Normal service will resume soon I promise but you may have to bear with me (and my ridiculous sideways pictures) for a couple more weeks!
2016 crafting continues apace. I made a new hat for my Son using a tiny baby hat pattern. I made the largest size and used chunky wool instead of DK. I made a similar one for my daughter maybe 3 years ago which kind of still fits! This hat is on the large side at the moment but is bright and colourful so should last him a while. It was fun and quick to knit and I’m pleased with the result. I shortened the recommended turn back bit which makes it mushroom out a little. I also added a bobble (using my trusty bobble maker!) It’s possibly an unconventional fashion choice but when you’re 2, anything goes!
The hat took almost the whole ball of yarn but with the remainder, I made a string of rainbow bobble baubles – gotta love a bit of rainbow action!
Yarn: James C. Brett Party Time Chunky in shade 4
Pattern: James C. Brett JB011
Following a (possibly drunken) late night conversation with a friend at a wedding, we came up with a sketchy plan to book a craft stall as an incentive to make (and sell) some of the pretty things we always seem to be working on. My making list was filled with things like the plarn crochet baskets and possibly some embroidered brooches and I wanted to have a go at re-working the little aliens that went inside the pockets of the Super Chunky cushion that I made for my daughter a while back.
I bought some variegated sock wool so I would end up with stripy creatures. A few modifications to the original design – I’m going to use stocking stitch throughout and am hoping to add felt embroidered faces and tummies.
First little guy done and I’m OK about it but not quite happy. I’m going to try another one with a wider head and shorter body. I like the felt tummy though and my daughter has adopted him as her own – at least someone likes my efforts!
Yarn: Schachenmayr My First Regia in Levin (shade 01893)
As an update to this, now writing in June 2016, my friend and I never did get our craft stall! She went on to bigger things and developed a fab knitting subscription box called Sonic Knits (www.sonicknits.com) whereas I took on the Cliff Richard Craft Challenge! I haven’t made any more aliens but did develop the pattern – details of what it became in a later blog post.
My Mum came to visit in May 2014 around the time my son was born, she’d forgotten her knitting bag so started a project for me. I bought some Baby Crofter yarn in a shade called Georgie a while back and found a free pattern for a little bolero for my daughter Georgia. Life and other bits of crafting got in the way so I didn’t pick it up again until February 2015. Having completed the back and front sections, another project sidelined the cardigan once again!
I’m still working on the sleeves but have temporarily put the cardi to one side for two other projects. I’m decorating my daughter’s bedroom. It’s pink on 3 walls so far, against all my hopes and dreams but chosen by my daughter. I have yet to wallpaper the final wall but am (roughly and perhaps wildly optimistically) on track to finish in time for the big reveal 7 sleeps from now. I’m also knitting a little fairisle heart motif for Valentine’s Day and at some point I have to make and write a birthday card, bake and ice a birthday cake and try to get some sleep!
So it’s 1:00am on my daughter’s birthday and I’ve just finished the final touches to the new bedroom. All the painting and wallpapering is done. The bed is freshly made and the birthday presents are arranged on top. The furniture is built and in place. The drawers have yet to be filled and there are a few things still to do but all in all I’m very pleased with my accomplishments. I did also finish my Valentine’s card and although I have baked the cake, I’m leaving the icing until tomorrow. I’m good but I’m not that good! This has all been achieved in spite of a chickenpox filled baby so I feel now it is time to try and achieve the most important objective of all – SLEEP!
Fast forward to May 2015 – I made a decision a few weeks ago to properly stop and finish the cardigan before I start anything else. The sleeve that I started had to be unpicked and redone but I’ve actually finally finished the whole thing! I have to confess that I have been distracted by no less than 12 other projects in the meantime. I think my Baby Crofter / Crofter obsession may also be over – there are so many Crofter things in my home now. Now, I can finally move on to my next projects free from unfinished item guilt!
Yarn Used: WI Soft and Silky 4ply Yarn in shades Blue Mix and White for the Valentines Card. Sirdar Baby Crofter in shade 148 (Georgie) for the cardigan.
Pattern: Bolero by Peter Pan (free dowload from http://www.deramores.com – no longer available)
So pretty much back to the start of this whole craft adventure and another bespoke bauble for another baby. Relatively straightforward although got a bit cocky with the decrease and did it all SSK rather than some bog-standard k2tog so had a bit of unpicking to do but all worked out in the end. It’s not as festive as Georgia’s but it’s pretty. I also did a wave one in the same colours – they looked great on the tree (and in the baby’s mouth) and have now been safely packed away for next Christmas.
Yarn Used: DMC Natura Just Cotton in shade N09 (Gris Argent)
Pattern: Making magazine – December 2012
Several exciting things to report, my beautiful By My Baby pattern from Wool and the Gang has arrived. I now just need to decide on the yarn. It’s unfortunate that I can’t afford the proper yarn but £90 for something that I have to make myself is a little unjustifyably excessive.
I’ve also bought some gorgeous Debbie Bliss Winter Garden yarn to make a snood. The pattern I want to use is for a man so I’m hoping by doing it in chunky rather than super chunky yarn it should fit.
I finished the Winter Garden snood. I amended the pattern slightly to make it narrower but it fits well and it’s very soft. I used the whole skein so the amendments worked well. Had fun and games with the skein – thought I could go against years of undisputed wisdom and not roll it into a ball – several hours of untangling and bad language later, I managed to sort it out!
Yarn Used: Debbie Bliss Winter Garden in shade 05 (Silver Birch)
Pattern: Mollie Makes Issue 44
Design for the blanket is now complete. I’m doing three different patterned squares all using combinations of knit and purl stitches. I’m three rows in to the four row moss stitch border. The yarn is really pretty and should make a bright and colourful blanket. Just hope the baby stays put long enough for me to finish it!
Much to my extreme frustration, there are (I have made) two mistakes in the first section. It’s too difficult to unpick it successfully to the correct place so it’s a full unpick I’m afraid but I’m going to take the opportunity to reduce the number of squares across from 9 to 7. Here we go again and much more concentrating this time!
Over half way through the blanket now. Feeling pretty positive and liking the way it looks. It is a bit (traditionally) girly but my son will have his raspberry blanket. Hoping to get it finished on time. Officially one week and 2 days to go unless he comes on the 18th May as I’ve predicted all along!
OK, so Edward Alexander Crawford is nearly 6 weeks old and the blanket still isn’t finished but as my wise mother pointed out, it’s summer and he doesn’t need it yet.
The blanket is finally done! All ends sewn in and I’ve photographed it draped over my surprisingly sleeping son, who is now three months old. I’m very pleased with it but have once again decided that I’ve had enough of blankets for at least another year!
Yarn: Sirdar Baby Crofter shade 173 Maypole
Not that I’m scared of starting the blanket project lest it defeat me, I currently waiting for a set of crochet hooks to be delivered (from Hong Kong I think) so in the meantime I’ve started a little something. That little something being the ballerina cardigan pattern I bought a few weeks ago. In an attempt at frugality I haven’t bought any new yarn, I’m using a ball of Baby Crofter in Florrie and a ball of cream coloured Snuggly to make a stripy cardi in 4 row stripes. I’m about half way through the back. I love this Crofter shade – have been getting great stripes, subtle heathers and pinks then bold aqua and mint – it should be great and who knows, may even be finished for the great Californian adventure.
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Back done – some strangeness with the row counter that completely confused me but it all worked out perfectly in the end. The final rows were a coloured stripe ready to do the edging in cream
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Halfway through the first side – it’s knitting fairly quickly which I suppose is a good thing since my hooks arrived this week. They are very pretty but I’m still quite daunted by the prospect of my new project. I think I’ll be doing quite a lot of practise runs before I get started on the real thing (and I’m sure I’ll find a little pocket of time to do a little needle felting). This cardi should be my last actual knitting project for a while so I’m makng the most of it. Should also probably mention that I bought a t-shirt for my daughter last week because it has the same colour stripes as the cardi – I don’t want to think about how ridiculous that is!
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Just about to start making up the cardi. Everything seems to have worked OK so I jusy have to get on with my least favourite bit of any project. Hope to have it finished by tomorrow night so here goes… After spending a despair filled Sunday night counting and re-counting patterns and rows to work out why the sleeves appeared to be far too small for the armholes, sewing up was abandoned in favour of a quick needle felting experiment. I returned to the sewing up two days later with fresh eyes and after a couple of false starts managed to attach and sew up a sleeve and complete one side seam. An incredibly instructive YouTube video, complete with a bizarre sailboat themed intro showed me how to sew up a seam properly – rather than making it up as I went along, so for the first time in my crafting career, I have done a seam I’m almost completely proud of. I finished the second seam this evening so all that’s left to do is add the popper and buy some ribbon. My own ribbon tin was sadly lacking – too many fancy ones when I actually need a plain 6mm width. It’s been another challenging project but it’s achieved the aim of stretching my ability, particularly at following patterns.
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Suitable ribbon purchased, hemmed and sewn into place. Popper attached and final ends woven in. And that, as they say, is that! Not perfect but not bad. And the finished article fits well and is super cute – the finishing off took exactly a week longer than planned but I got there in the end!
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter shade 158 Florrie, Sirdar Snuggly DK shade 303 Cream
Pattern: Sirdar Snuggly Baby Crofter DK Pattern Number 1931