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?