Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas Yarn Baubles

Like every good crafter, each year I vow to make my own Christmas decorations and each year I fail. Miserably. 

Not this year though! Even though I one day want to make cute fairisle baubles, these were quick and easy; and with no bias at all, pretty cute!

I made these at a recent WI meet up (Women's Institute for those not from the UK). Once a month we have a crafty night, separate from the main monthly meeting and try and cover different topics. Last month was Papercraft, the month before Pumpkin Carving and before that I led a Crochet Granny Square evening. This month was all about baubles. There were different methods such as layering felt to make a acorn looking one, a patchwork one or yarn. Obviously I was going to do the yarn one (mainly because I didn't have any material or felt for the first two types!). 

It was easy. Pin the yarn into a polystyrene ball (easily available from eBay or a craft shop like HobbyCraft). Wrap the yarn around the ball until
You can't see the polystyrene anymore and then pin the yarn again! Super easy! If you need a quick fix for some missing yarn on the tree then this is so handy. I doubled up the yarn to make multicoloured ones. Some in cream/red, some in cream/gold. 

Next year I'm definitely going to have some fairisle ones! (Don't hold your breath though!)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Wippity Wips

A bit slow on the update front, but I'm making a mid-year resolution to write more!

At the moment I have two WIP's on the go: a baby blanket and my beloved Santorini by Rowan!

Baby Blanket

This is going pretty well.  I have FOUR friends all expecting before the end of the year and so I've been busy planning and hoarding for gifts for them all!  For this current blanket, the recipient isn't finding out the sex of the baby, I decided to go for unisex baby colours to make a crochet ripple blanket.  I showed my family when they were round for dinner; obviously my parents were all like "wow, that's so good, well done!"  My brother on the other hand who is very hard to impress turned to look at it, and no lie, his exact words were "Oh my God, that's amazing, that's really really good! I wasn't even going to look at it when you said you were going to show us, that's amazing!"  I do love my brother!


Oh. Em. Gee.  I had to knit the biggest piece of stockinette that I've ever had to do in my life! (Other than my rug, but that really doesn't count as the stitches were huge so didn't come to that much).  For the back piece of this sweater, I had 120 stitches in a DK yarn squeezed onto a pair of straight needles!  After 3 weeks of hard graft I finally finished it!  I'm currently on the first sleeve.  Only one more sleeve and the front piece left to do.  Sounds simple other than that 12 colour bit of intarsia that I'll have to do!

That's it for now!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Baby Cardigan & Trousers

I made this little outfit for a friend of mine who recently had a bubba (well, obviously, would be weird if she didn't have one or wasn't even expecting!).  She'd seen some pics on FB of some other knitting and crochet items and asked if I could make an outfit for her little boy.

I set about researching outfits on the best site ever, Ravelry!  I tried out a few search terms before realising it was better looking for a cardigan and bottoms separately and picking ones that matched.  By coincidence, the two I settled on were both by Drops!  I picked the cardigan as I wanted to practice my colourwork - I've only ever done swatches of fairisle before so thought I'd try my hand at an actual item.  As for the trousers, they were the simplest looking ones that I liked, and I especially adored the ribbing detail on the side of the legs.

The yarn I decided on Rico Design Baby Cotton Soft DK, a cotton/acrylic mix.  I chose this for two reasons: 1. the material mix and 2. because it had the colours that I wanted to use!  It is a gorgeously soft yarn, however it probably wasn't the best choice for this project.  Hard to describe, but it didn't leave a nice fluffy texture like I wanted it to.  But still, it had a lovely sheen and was wonderful to work with.  It would be perfect for any summer clothing as it's quite light, would definitely use it again for a better suited project.

It started of pretty well...

The first mistake was not keeping track of the button holes!! These were worked in at the same time as going up the body - if you look closely the gap between the second and third button is huge!  It took me AGES to figure out this was a bottom up pattern as I'm such an idiot!  Then the panic set in, how on EARTH was I going to do the sleeves.  I decided to read the pattern more carefully - knit them separately and then attach them.  Knit, separately, attach.  Oh.

The sleeves themselves went pretty well.  I used the wrong increase though, but after consulting my lovely Instagram followers, they all loved the symmetry and extra detail so I decided to stick to using the K1fb increase :)

It took about 3-4 attempts to get the sleeves onto the body.  I googled it and asked for advice from one of my Instagram ladies who was also doing a bottom up - but all of the advice was for attaching to knit row, I had to attach to a purl row :/  The first couple times, no matter how much I tried to plan, I always attached them upside down!  I eventually got it right however, phew!

Then came the fairisle! I have to say, it was a lot easier than attaching the sleeves to the body, in fact it was pretty fun!

Then the bottoms - I was looking forward to making these, only because I never thought I'd ever make knitted bottoms.  These were pretty straightforward and actually uneventful!

I had a great time with this project and I loved making these!  I got to practice fairisle knitting and make little knitted trousers! :)  I'd definitely put these patterns in the 'to make again' pile!

Pattern links:

Yarn Details:  Rico Design Baby Cotton Soft DK
Cardigan - Light Blue (Main Colour), Jeans, Beige, Silver.
Trousers/Pants - Jeans.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Knitted Headband

It was a work colleague's birthday last week and I didn't have any time the weekend before to go shopping to get her anything, I felt so awful!  But then I had a complete lightbulb moment - make something!  It's no secret that I love yarn and hoard great amounts of it.  I like to think that one day I'll have so much stash yarn that I could store it all in a big disused water tank and swim around in it all.  Like Scrooge McDuck from Duck Tales swimming around in his money.  Well, back to the story, I knew exactly which yarn I wanted to use, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, it's definitely one of my favourite yarns!  I didn't have to look too hard to find a ball of aran weight and in a gorgeous red colour!

Anyway, my lovely work colleague loves knitted headbands, so making one for her would be perfect!  For inspiration, I went to my usual source, Ravelry.  I stumbled upon a pattern called Hot Mess Headband which was a really simple but gorgeous pattern; 1x1 rib with a cable in the centre.  Took me all of two evenings to complete, so super quick!  

Knitting skills save the day! And thankfully, my work colleague loved it :D

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Baby Hat & Booties

It's been AGES since I last posted!  Life's been a bit crazy since my boy moved back to the UK.  For those of you who don't know, he's been living in LA since 2010 so it' crazy exciting that he's back!! It's just all starting to settle down now which means I have more time for crafting...woohoo!

To no surprise, another one of my friends had a baby last month and I went to see them on Monday.  I didn't have time to go shopping, so I had to frantically buy some yarn online hoping it would be supersoft and thankfully it was!  I ended up choosing Red Heart Soft Baby Steps which is 100% acrylic and aran weight. It is really soft and has a lovely sheen to it.

I searched for patterns on Ravelry for booties and a hat using aran/worsted weight yarn.  I decided on the Basic Beanie by Busy Mom Designs.  It looked like it needed a little something so I made a flower for it that I found through another pattern (click here for pattern).  It was super easy to make; I decided to use a 6mm/G hook so it crocheted up a little smaller with tighter stitches.

Next...the booties!  Having made the flower for the hat, I knew I had to put some on the booties too so they were all cute and matching!  The pattern I used for the booties were Cute Baby Boots Crochet Pattern by Teri Crews.  The flower I made up with a pretty simple design:

ch5, join with slip stitch.
*sc, ch1, 3dc, ch1, sc* in each stitch.

That's it!  I was really pleased with how these turned out.  I haven't made anything for a 0-3 month baby in such a long time that I forgot how teeny tiny they were!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Not Your Boyfriend's Sweater

I'm so excited about's my first jumper that I can wear in public!  My first jumper was appalling, embarrassing even - the style of jumper I made was separate front and back panels and sleeves to be sewn together.  Some how I managed to knit the back panel SO loosely, but the tension for the other 3 pieces was fine.  When it came to sewing it all together it was so uneven that I gave up!

Undeterred, I set about knitting a second jumper.  This time I decided to do the raglan style, so completely seamless and no sewing together, hence less room for error!  I also found the straight stockinette in one colour of the first jumper soooo boring.  Instead of incorporating colour to jazz it up I decided to add detail in.

Now, I already had in mind what I wanted to do.  I'd seen a pattern yonks ago on Ravelry that has been saved in my favourites forever.  The pattern was called "Not Your Boyfriend's Sweater" and can also be found on the Cascade Yarns site.  It has the usual ribbed neckline and cuffs, but it has gorgeous lace details on the front and the back.  I had never tried knitting a lace pattern before so I thought I'd give it a go - it couldn't have turned out any worse than my first jumper attempt!

The yarn I decided to use was Calmer by Rowan.  It's a sumptuous cotton and acrylic mix yarn which I had bought from John Lewis as it was on sale (can someone say 'yarn addict'?!).  Then I found out it was on sale because it had been discontinued, such a shame as it's such a lovely yarn to work with.  It was also the same weight as the required yarn in the pattern which was extremely handy :)

The incorporation of the lace pattern made knitting this so fun, so much better than the monotony of a plain stockinette.  I did a practice swatch of the lace repeats before I got to that part in the pattern and I have to say it was definitely not as scary as I thought; in fact it made me happy making something quite pretty :)

Overall the jumper took a little over two months to make.  "But that's AGES!" you're probably thinking, and yes, you'd be correct.  However, this was done in the little spare time that in between working, flat hunting. packing, moving, extreme knitting a rug and my boy coming to visit for 2 weeks...I think if I didn't have that much on it wouldn't have taken that long at all.  Using worsted weight with 5mm needles meant that it knitted up fairly quickly.


I did also make an annoying mistake which I've left in there to remind me to be extra careful knitting whilst under the influence!  Fruity flavoured Swedish cider is so deceiving :(

I am so pleased with how this jumper came out!  I highly recommend this pattern to anyone new to knitting jumpers and wants something a bit fancier.  I would say you do need to have practiced or have experience with circular needles and DPN's (double pointed needles) - and if you do, great, you'll love making this!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

WIP Update

Just realised it's been over a month since I last posted!!  It's been such a mad few months that I've not had that much time to knit or crochet.  Since August, I've moved into an unfurnished flat that I'm still buying furniture for, had my 30th birthday, my boy came over for a 2 week visit and now we're planning for his big move back to the UK!

I've been working on this sweater since the end of August...progress has been slow but I'm almost there, just a sleeve and the neckline ribbing to go!

I am planning to make some cute little Christmas decorations once the jumper is finished.  Things have calmed down a bit now so hopefully I'll have more time for crafting and blogging! :)