Friday, 3 October 2014

Hiding in the shadows..

Hello out there! I am still here, bobbing around the internet, keeping up with the blog I follow on bloglovin.

In fact, I've actually got my "to-read" list down by quite a lot recently.. it's consistently below 50, which is marginally miraculous!

So I'm still here, but I'm also still crafting. I'm branching out as well, really.

My lovely in-laws (hi Emma, Sue and Mark.. if you're reading) bought me a sewing machine for my birthday (last weekend) and I've been attempting to get to grips with it!

Never one to take the easy route, I decided to make a bra for my first project... yes really.

I don't know what I was thinking.. there are no straight lines.. it's 3D, there is lots of zig zag sewing..

Then again.. I suppose it's easier than the suit Mark requested I make him!

For once, I'm actually being relaxed about the quality of what I do. As long as this thing is functional I'll forgive myself some wonky stitches, and that bit where the zig zag didn't quite catch both pieces of fabric...

Maybe I'll show you how I'm getting on soon :)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Selling for charity!

I haven't posted on here for a few months because there's been a lot going on.

I mentioned the Mad Hatter's Tea Party on here before, and said that my Mum and I were going to host a stall with all our proceeds going to charity (Cancer Research UK). 

My family and I went to Mad Hatter's on 8 June with a stall full of baby dresses, cardis, hats and blankets as well as earrings, bookmarks and a few kittens. We had an amazing day with lots of support and lots of money being raised.

(Photograph by Tigerfly Photography)

There is still some stock left over and I'd still like to sell it on for charity, so I've taken advantage of eBay's selling for charity feature, and listed some of the spare stock on there (I may not list it all this month, as I'd also like to take advantage of the 20 free listings per month).

Please, please, please take a look at what I'm selling on there, if it isn't appropriate for you, maybe you could share it with someone you know.

I'd really like to raise as much as possible for Cancer Research UK. It has always been a charity close to my heart as many people in my extended family have been affected by cancer. I think I've mentioned on here before about my Mum's struggle with the disease too.

Sadly Mum never made it to Mad Hatter's as she was taken from the world far too soon, on 6 June, aged just 43. So now, more than ever I want to keep fundraising for Cancer Research, so that no-one else has to struggle the way she did, and the way my family does!

With Race for Life happening around the country most weekends at the moment, let's all tell cancer to jog on!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Stall stock

Hello out there, I'm sorry I haven't written for a while. To be honest with you all, I haven't really had the motivation to sit down and type. Finally, it's sort of back, so I thought I'd take some time to show you some of the stock I've been building up ready for the charity stall I mentioned here.

I've been very lucky in that my nan-in-law told me that she would like to help out and make something for the stall. She asked what I would like her to make, but since we are doing it because we enjoy it, I said she could make whatever she wanted to.

My husband, my sister-in-law and I went up and stayed with her and her husband at the weekend and she gave me a couple of beautiful baby blankets, and a baby hat.

I can't believe she made them all in 2 weeks. I still haven't ever finished a blanket yet!

Does anyone else put off finishing a big project because smaller ones are so much quicker?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Charity makes

You may remember that I told you about my cupcake hat about a month ago (oops.. I've left it too long again!).

I'm now glad to say that it is with my mum's friend Jill (aka The Mad Hatter) and here is her picture from the day she wore it.

I also mentioned that Jill is going to auction off all the hats she's been wearing, and give all the money away for cancer research.
At the event with the auction, Jill is allowing people to set up stalls, for a fee of £5 (which will also be paid over to the charity) so that they can sell their items, and keep their own proceeds.

My Mum and I have decided that we would like to have a stall at the event, but instead of keeping our profits, we would like to give all our proceeds (not profit) over to the charity.

That means, that I now need to plan and make lots of lovely bits, so that the charity gets as much money as possible!

I have had a play around today with a lovely teddy bear granny square (the pattern can be found here). I'm thinking of turning these squares into nappy bags, or cushions, any other ideas are welcome though!

I would also appreciate any pointers to lovely free patterns that have permissions for sale of items created!

Thank you all in advance :)

Monday, 17 February 2014

The cupcake hat

Hello, I'm just popping over here to show you a super quick hat I made (2 days start to finish) and the reason behind me making it.

First things first, the pattern, I searched ravelry on Saturday to find a "novelty hat" pattern for this particular project, and settled on a cupcake hat.

The ravlery pattern redirected me to Crochet Geek's blog here.

I found the written pattern quite difficult to follow, however the video was quite clear (though perhaps not for beginners?).

Having (finally) taught myself how to hold my yarn "properly" (as I like to call it.. as opposed to my weird throwing method, which I will try not to return to) I found crocheting this hat to be much more comfortable and faster than anything I've crocheted before (yay!)

I haven't yet had a chance to take some proper blog photos for this project, as it is literally straight off my hook, so I apologise if you follow me on instagram as you will already have seen these pictures, but I just had the urge to write here.

This hat is for one of my mum's friends.

Her friend, like her, is undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the moment, and as a result has suffered from hair loss. As I understand it, she is using hats to cover her head, and is wearing a different hat every day. She wears them once, and then will sell them on for charity. So I thought I would contribute, and I seem to be seeing a theme with her photos on facebook... novelty hats!

This hat will be making its way to her, via my mum, very soon!

Monday, 3 February 2014

New socks!

I finished my first pair of socks!

I finished them Friday night, and then wore them all day Saturday. I have since decided that they should probably be inside socks (for keeping my feet warm in the evenings) as my feet got so warm wearing them all day.

I am pretty happy with these, but I'm looking forward to making some with a lighter weight yarn.
Speaking of which, I have ordered a beautiful new yarn (and the needles suitable for it) from Deramores.

I picked Red Heart Sports Sock Colour, in Funny Red.

I'll show you a pretty picture when it arrives, but it is a lovely variegated yarn with red, yellow and blue running through it!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sock questions..

I'm in the process of making my first ever pair of socks at the moment! So far I've finished one sock, and I'm part (2/3rds maybe?) of the way through the second.

I chose a DK sock pattern, as I had plenty of DK yarn in, and I already own 4mm DPNs, so it meant I didn't have to buy anything specific!

I'm wondering now though, whether I should move on to more traditional hand knit sock patterns.

I've been having a look at this, which is a sock kit which contains 2.5mm DPNs, some stitch markers, a pattern, and some yarn!

It is rather tempting..

Have any of you ever used Opal yarn? Or bought the kit with this pattern?

(My first sock... I'll do a proper post sometime soon!)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Circle of Friends and Hearts hat

Disaster struck whilst making my first colour work hat, which is why it's taken me a while to  update you all on my progress.

I made the mistake of leaving my part-knitted hat on the floor while I went to work. When I got home, I was horrified to find this:

A puddle of the stickiest sweet chilli sauce ever... on my hat!

As you can imagine, I wasn't very happy about the whole situation, and was a bit stuck with what to do.

I tried to google, but apparently there isn't a lot of information about what to do if you spill something on your hand knits mid project!

In the end, I mopped up as much of the sauce as I could, and then held the hat with kitchen roll while I continued to knit it.

After a while I was holding clean yarn, instead of kitchen roll over sticky yarn, and a couple of days later I finished the knitting.

I then cleaned the finished hat in lukewarm water to get rid of the stickiness and I was thankful that the sauce didn't stain or discolour the yarn.

The hat took a good few days to dry in our chilly house, but I've finally managed to get a few pictures of the finished item, and can now start wearing it!

I'll be making another from the same pattern, in different colours, at some point soon, which will be for my Mum.

And from now on... no more leaving my projects on the floor!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Baby pink unicorn

I have been sitting on this one for a while as I made it all the way back at the end of September/beginning of October but I didn't want to risk it being seen as it was a Christmas present!

If my memory serves me well, this was quite a quick make and I enjoyed making another little toy :)
It's even better making something when you don't have to buy anything specific, you just find a pattern and off you go! 
This little one was made entirely from supplies I already had in the house, which explain why it has buttons for eyes, instead of the safety eyes recommended in the pattern.

I particularly liked making the mane for this one. I wasn't sure how it was going to come out, as you crochet with 2 colours together, but it was great and created a really lovely effect. 

As I said above, this was a Christmas present. I made it for my little cousin, who was also the recipient of my stripy giraffe earlier in 2013. It was lovely watching her open this on Christmas day, she unwrapped it, and immediately gave it a big squeeze. She then proceed to bash it on the dining table yelling "rawr", but I think that means she liked it.. she was smiling anyway!

The pattern for the unicorn can (thankfully) be found with a quick google search of "pink unicorn crochet" since I completely forgot to make a note of it, in anticipation of this post. I will be nice to you though, and leave you a link here.

Have any of you made anything for small children recently? I'd love to see :)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Knitted scarf - plum

I knitted a scarf for my Nan for Christmas, it is only the second time I've finish a scarf. I took several pictures of the finished scarf, including pictures of the blocking process, and one of me wearing the scarf before I wrapped it. Unfortunately though, I seem to have lost the pictures I took, and I need to sort out my picture storage.

I do, however, have an in-progress picture.

The scarf used the basketweave knit stitch pattern. It was knit on 5mm needles (I think.. might have been 5.5mm) and I used stylecraft special DK in plum. It took just over 1 skein as I made it quite thick and it is long enough to wrap once around the neck, with the ends both forward.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Victorian festival of Christmas

This post really is a long time coming, as I went to this festival at Portsmouth Historic Docks right at the end of November (the festival ran from 29 Nov - 1 Dec).

I went with my Mum and we stayed in a Holiday Inn a little walk away from the dockyard.

The festival is run annually, and the website claims it is one of the biggest Christmas markets on the South coast. 

We went for the atmosphere, the exhibitions (all usual attractions - The Mary Rose, HMS Victory etc. are open as usual, and included in the tickets for the festival) and a little bit of Christmas shopping. 

When we got to the dockyard on the Saturday morning, we were greeted with lots of people dressed as Victorian characters, a choir which seemed to consist of workhouse children and fake snow! We wandered through the dockyard and made our way to the Mary Rose exhibition, which I had not been to since its renovation.

It was really interesting to see everything that has been discovered from the ship's wreckage, and everything on display is an original artefact. 

I loved seeing this bit of salvaged knitting, you can still make out every stitch that survived.

We spent the day with my Mum's sister and her family which was lovely as I've only met my Mum's sister twice before, and had never met her daughter and granddaughter. 

We all went on HMS Victory together where we discovered that most of us really do have the short gene, as only the youngest of us had to avoid hitting her head on the low beams of the ship (it was also discovered that I am the shortest...)

Throughout the day we looked at various different stalls which were all lovely but there were a lot of people so it was difficult to get close enough to the stalls to see things properly. 

Mum and I spent the day chasing clues, which were all to do with Sherlock Holmes. There were also actors dressed as Holmes and Watson, who were on stilts so you could spot them from a distance.

We attended a Victorian lesson, teaching the three Rs with Miss Bumberry. The experience was designed more for children, and judging by the reactions around us many seemed to love the experience.

We ended the day watching a procession of Victorian characters. It was a lovely day, but I won't be hurrying back. I enjoyed going, but it feels like something that I have done now, and don't really need to go again. That being said, it is a great place to spend time with people, so if invited to go with others I would go again.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New year craft resolutions

I have a few things in mind craft-wise that I would like to try or improve this year. Having read a few resolution posts from other bloggers I thought it would be a good idea to jot my own down here.
1. Try some colour work
I've actually already started with this one. I found a lovely pattern for a hat using stranding/fair isle on craftsy (click "pattern" to go there). I'll update you on my progress with that soon as I have some longer DPNs in the post to help me out!
2. Knit a cute hat so I can stop drooling over different ones in high street stores
3. Use my gorgeous new wooden knitting needles, possibly to complete...
4. Knit some sort of garment, even if it's baby clothing that will sit in a box until anyone I know can make use of it
1. Make something with my new Afghan hooks
2. Finish the as-we-go stripey blanket from last year (it's been in progress over 6 months.. it's probably about time I finished it!)
I hope you all have a happy and healthy new year!