Sunday, 14 June 2015

Rowan Spring crochet along - weeks 4 to 7.

The Rowan CAL is nearing an end, the making up instructions have been published, so now I need to put together my hexagons.

Following on from Week’s 1 – 3, we have had week’s 4 – 7 with a new hexagon for each week. Some have been challenging, but as they are part of the pattern it is more of an incentive to work them out.

I have found that the first hexagon of each design has taken me a couple of hours to figure out and then the following ones have been much quicker.

I loved the appearance of the swirl hexagon and the texture of the stitches. I also liked the lacy flower version as it was so delicate and pretty.
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Week 4
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Week 5
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Week 6
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Week 7
Rather than put them together into a hexagon shaped cushion I will be using a rectangle cushion I already have as it will be more practical for the room I am going to put this into.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Ripple blanket

Ripple blanket is complete!

I finally finished my ripple blanket last week and it is huge and very snuggly.

To recap, my sister bought me the yarn for my birthday in November and I started making it in January, so it has taken me about 6 months to complete. It was a kit for the blanket project and there is quite a bit of yarn left over, except for the Lavender which was used for the boarder, I have about a metre of that left!
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Leftovers from the Attic24 Cottage blanket kit

I did find the starting chain and first 3 rows very difficult and frustrating and was about to give up on my 4th attempt! Luckily this attempt worked and I carried on.

Once I got past the starting chain I found this an enjoyable and relaxing project to complete as it is the same stitch pattern throughout so I only needed to check the pattern for the next colour to use.  I loved watching the colour changes and how well they all worked together.

This lived in a basket next to the sofa and visited knit night twice, but then it got too big to transport, so it became my TV project, I think I got through a series each of Person of Interest, Elementary, Castle and Game of Thrones while making this.
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Towards the end I did start to wonder how long the blanket was going to be when it was finished as it is huge.
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It is made from Stylecraft Special DK and I would defiantly use this again as it is a good price and feels good to use. Also the finished blanket is very warm which some people may not expect from an acrylic blanket.

As you can see from the photos below, my biggest blanket fan was Bob the cat who was curled up on it catnapping at every chance he could get.
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Cat snuggles and snoozes

I am now ready to make some very small projects and have some cute things lined up to make soon.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Rowan CAL update

We have had weeks one and two of the CAL and week 3 was released yesterday. So far it has been an interesting learning curve. This is my first crochet project involving making pieces to be put together later. 
The cotton itself is very enjoyable to work with, it is thinner than what I usually use, however it is lovely and soft, and it also does not untwist too much either. I am making the cushion version which requires four of each design and due to the way the designer has planned the colour changes each piece looks completely different and is creating a variety of patterns.

Week 1 & 2 - Rowan CAL
The first week’s design came together quite well and I quickly started to use the invisible join method, weaving in the ends of the threads and rotating the start of each round when joining a new colour. 

Week two was more challenging and required more focus to understand the instructions. I rewrote the instructions in a format which makes more sense to me and then I was able to complete the week 2 pieces a lot quicker.

My biggest mistake so far was on finishing my fourth piece for week 2 and feeling pleased that I have finished this two days early I realised that it was a pentagon rather than hexagon! Learning from this I need to double check the middle round is correct before carrying on.

Not quite a hexagon

I am now going to attempt week three, however it looks a bit complicated, I am wondering if I should have stuck with knitting!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Rowan Spring CAL

Today was the day that the first clue of the Rowan Spring  CAL (crochet along) was released.

I have to admit I was a bit last minute buying my yarn as I couldn't decide on a colour scheme. I made up my mind eventually and bought mine from Spins and Needles. I chose duck egg, blushes, high tide and periwinkle as I wanted something quite fresh and bright.

The first clue is made up of double and treble stitches. I made my first attempt using some Style craft yarn as I wanted to practise the colour changes. My finished hexagon is below, there are a couple of mistakes but that is why it is the practise one!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Making presents

Over the last few weeks I have been busy making a few gifts. It was my boyfriend’s birthday recently and I made him some pyjama bottoms and a cushion. My friend bought the fabric back from America for me and it is also good quality and feels nice.
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Now we have a cushion each on the sofa, mine is my patchwork liberty cushion and he has the Avengers on his.

The pyjamas were a success; I am pleased with my stitching on them, especially the top stitching on the waistband. The fit seems to be good, so I may make another pair in the other fabric I got from America.

As it was Mother’s Day this weekend I have been busy making my mum’s present.

We were at a craft fair a few weeks ago and there was a company selling family trees with family member’s names in them carved in wood.

I then decided to make a family tree using the papercut method. I have seen examples of papercuts before and thought they looked very beautiful and detailed; however I have not made one before.

I started by drawing out my design, and then copied it onto the back of the card I was going to use. Next I cut out the design with a scalpel and put it on a piece of pearlescent card, to match the decoration of mum and dad’s dining room. I enjoyed making this as it was relaxing to do the drawing stage and then cutting out the design and gradually seeing it appear.

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Monday, 16 February 2015

Keeping the family warm

This winter I have made two knitted items as presents for family members and one for myself.

First up is my second ever pair of socks, the rather cute owl socks made from West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley in Pennyroyal.
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Looking back these were possibly a bit complex for my second pair of socks as the wool is the thinnest I have worked with and the pattern uses cables therefore at times I was negotiating 6 needles. I did enjoy making these and loved seeing the little owl patterns develop. I made some adjustments to the toe and cast off, if you would like to see the details visit my project on Ravelry. These were a Christmas present for my sister.

Next was a birthday present for my Dad, a cabled cowl to keep him warm while cycling. This is made with Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, Hawthorn and was fun to knit up.
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This has also come out lovely and soft, the style means that it can sit over your shoulders to ensure there are no gaps for draughts to get in.
To see more details you can view my Ravelry project

Lastly was an item for me. I have been working on this since November and it was a simple pattern to use. It is made with James C Brett Marble dk.
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This was a good yarn to use and the patterning is lovely. I took my time on the seaming and I am pleased with the results, the seams look neat and feel strong. The jumper is a tiny bit short and next time I will take body measurements as I like my jumpers to be a bit longer in the body. My Ravelry project page has more information about the process of making this.

Have you knitted any gifts over the winter period?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Wednesday WIP - 5

Hi All,

Today's post is a bit late in the day because I have been doing quite a few projects today.
The crochet blanket is progressing well, I'm a third of the way through now, it is very relaxing to do and watching the stripe pattern develop.

A project I was working on today was a bread bag as I needed something better to keep bread in as it was going stale. This didn't take long to do and I just love the pattern on the fabric.

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I started a new knitting project aswell, which is a scarf using some merino wool I bought in New Zealand. So far, so good, I am using 3.25mm needles which is a bit of a change from the 5mm I was using last week.

 That's all for today :)


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

January review


Looking back on January it has felt like a long month, which I think is the same for a lot of people, after the busy-ness, preparations and socialising over the Christmas period. It is usually a time for reflection and setting aims and goals for the rest of the year.
On this note, I have noticed quite a few bloggers have taken this time to reorganise or create new crafting spaces.

I have spent the month of January slowly doing the same. I realised that I had a lot of craft supplies resulting in too much stuff and being unable to find what I was looking for, or to have the space for new necessary supplies.

Therefore I have had an overhaul of my supplies and am now feeling ready to sew and create using all of the fabrics and trimmings I forgot that I had.

I did not really need to buy anything new in the end, except for storage boxes for my desk as I had everything I needed already. Also rather than going out and buying lots of new boxes to 'get organised' I took my time to really think about what I didn't like about my current arrangement and what I wanted as I was using it.

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The tidying commences
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Some fabric

My issues were that;

I had great boxes to store my fabric in, however as they were deep boxes this meant that when I was looking for a fat quarter I would have to pull out a whole pile from the box, or always needed the one in middle, resulting in my carefully organised towers falling over.

As my boyfriend was having a sort out at the same time, he had some boxes his models come in which I realised would make great trays for my fabric. Therefore the fabric was folded and organised by sizes and put in the trays. I could fit 3 trays deep in each box, now I can pull out each tray to find what I am looking for.

I have a large long drawer in my desk which is very useful, however again it was difficult to organise it. I bought some plastic trays from Lakeland (they were in the sale and no longer available) and now I could sort items to keep in the drawer, it has made a real difference and I have been able to find things a lot quicker. If you do not want to buy something, you could cut up cereal boxes and create interlocking sections custom fitted to your space. IKEA and Lakeland are also good for storage inspiration.

I was always misplacing my scissors, or needing one stitch marker which is stored away with my other supplies. Yesterday I bought 3 seam rippers, and 2 pairs of scissors. I now have a little bag in each crafting place with scissors, seam ripper, tape measure, stitch markers and pins. 

I also refolded and categorised all of my fabric, which was tedious at times, but has resulted in a much better arrangement and I have a more realistic idea of how much fabric I have in each size. My knitting supplies have been uploaded to Ravelry and I have also found a few things I don’t want anymore which were taking up valuable space.

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  • Don't buy lots of boxes on a whim because they look pretty or good together. Measure your spaces to see how many you can fit into your space in the most useful way.
  • Don’t limit yourself to office supplies, consider bathroom and kitchen storage items, if it works for you and has the appearance you want, then use it.
  • Spend a few weeks using your space as normal and note down what frustrates you about it, is the extension lead too short, are your bobbins getting knotted up, are your boxes of pins and scissors in various places you can never find when you need them? Do you have lots of scrap fabric you don't know what to do with? Can you not remember what types of knitting yarn you have? Do you have piles of unfinished projects? Then tackle these issues one at a time.
  • Think about what you need to have at hand, if you do a lot of embellishments, you will probably want ribbons and buttons stored on your desk or next to it, if like me you don't use them a lot, then in a box under your desk, which is easy to locate for the rare occasion you do need to find a specific piece of ribbon and don't have to resort to rummaging.
  • Make up useful kits for tools you use a lot. If you craft at your desk, sometimes in your living room or out and about, make sure you have everything you need at hand.
  • Put together kits for your WIPs, get together the pattern or instructions, the project and the fabric, wool, and notions you will need. Have these in a sealable bag, or box for tidiness. Then when you have the time or feel like a change you can pick up where you left off.
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I hope you find this useful; do you have any tips that helped you sort out your crafting space?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wednesday WIP - 4

Well I don't know about where you are, but the weather here is horrible!
As a result my attempts to take a photo of my finished blue shades jumper did not go well. I am hoping to take better photos in a few days to upload.

In the meantime I have two projects I have been working on at the moment.
The first is my ripple blanket. The yarn and pattern were a birthday present from my sister and I started this a few weeks ago. It is soothing and relaxing to work on as it is a simple repeat pattern, which I'm sure you will agree is very effective. If you like the look of this, check out Attic24 who designed this and put the beautiful colours together.

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My other project is a cable cowl which is a gift so I'm not going to say too much about this one at the moment. I am enjoying this as it is my first project in the round on circular needles. This is being stored in my project bag when I am not working on it. (The blanket is way too big for a bank, hence it's own basket at the moment)

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What projects are you working on at the moment?