Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Summer's here!

Once again I've been a bit of a rubbish blogger for the past week. Partly bacause I have absolutely nothing to show you. I've knitted half of the back of a baby cardigan, the first project I've done with more than one colour, and it's going quite slowly because I keep stopping to admire how beautifully the cotton yarn knits up and how lovely and stripy the stripes are!

I participated in my first craft swap through Craftster recently, the theme was sewing accessories and both me and my partner have sent and are eagerly awaiting our goodies. Pics of what I sent and received will be up as soon as both packages have arrived.

The other reason I haven't blogged for over a week is that summer is finally here, we've had glorious sunshine since the back end of last week and I'm trying to make the most of it since English summers are so unreliable with the weather! Fingers crossed it stays nice until Sunday so me and Ben can go for a picnic.

I've got lots of lovely crafty ideas floating around in my head, so hopefully I'll have some pretty things to show off soon :)

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I'm back!

I had a lovely weekend with my Grandparents; Grandma loved her quilt and said my knitting was very good – great praise from someone who’s knitted for the past 70 years. I finished the baby hat, it’s this pattern here if you want one for your baby, or yourself as there are instructions for an adult sized one! There's even enough yarn left over for teeny tiny mittens. I haven’t blocked it or added the face yet, it reminds me of an aardvark rather than Totoro at the moment:

 On the way there I knitted and ended up having a long conversation with a nice lady as a result of it, she was amazed at the 5 DPNs I was using and asked me lots of knitting-related questions.  On the way back I cast on for a baby cardigan on the first train. Then had to frog it because when I added the second colour I accidentally knitted a whole row with the tail end of the yarn. Then I cast it on again on the second train, and had to frog it because 4 rows in I realised I’d cast on the wrong number of stitches. The third attempt seems to be going ok so far though.

Monday, 14 May 2012

A crafty weekend

This weekend I’ve finally finished this blanket:

It was originally intended as my Grandma’s christmas present for last christmas, but lack of time and lack of working sewing machine delayed me a bit. Since I’m going to visit my Grandparents this week I thought I should probably finish it off and take it with me. It’s patchwork made from a bundle of fat 8ths I bought a couple of years ago, with some pink and beige plain fabrics. There weren’t quite enough squares of any colours so I just laid them all out on the floor till it looked like all the colours were evenly spread and then sewed them together. It’s not quilted, there’s no wadding but it is backed with some lovely soft fleece.

I like the appearance tying quilts gives so I thought I’d do tying with a twist – instead of one tiny stitch and tying on the front, I’ve done cross stitches and tied on the back. I love the appearance of the cross stitches and they hide the places where my amateur patchwork skills meant that I didn’t quite match the corners up!

I’ve also been dying some cotton canvas black to make Ben a bag, and I finally figured out that horrible hat pattern and the hat is now officially a Work In Progress.  It’s my first attempt at using DPNs so I’ll have to wait and see if it turns out ok. I’m so glad right now that babies have small heads so it’ll be a fairly quick knit! It does look very small so far though, how big are babies heads anyway? I hope it'll fit!

Since I’m going away for a few days I need a knitting project or 2 to take with me. I’ll have 3 ½ hours each way on the train, and 2 days sat around at my Grandparent’s house since Grandma can't get out and about any more. So This week I went to my local yarn store and stocked up:

The blue is a lovely soft 100% cotton which will be a stripy baby cardigan, and if there’s any left over there will be matching bootees. The purple and grey are merino wool and will be made into a jumper for me, or rather it will be if I can get the right size circular needles - it appears that nowhere in the entire city of York has and 3.75mm 60cm circs in stock. Grr!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Toasty toes

I finished my first proper knitting project yesterday, this pair of slippers from the Purl Bee’s pattern available on her blog here.
I say first ‘proper’ pattern because nearly everyone starts with a scarf, which is just knitting back and forth until you run out of yarn. These slippers were the first time I’ve had to follow a pattern and were a huge learning curve, it involves at least 7 different things that I’ve never done before and I’m so pleased with how they turned out – there are no glaringly obvious mistakes, only a few tiny one stitch mistakes that only I would notice since I made them, and they are a little tight as I knitted a little tighter than I should, but even though they look tiny they stretch beautifully to fit my feet:


They were relatively quick to make and certainly would be quick for a more experienced knitter, I may have to make some more as presents at some point in the future. I’m going to try and make them non-slip by putting something on the bottom to make them more grippy, puff fabric paint has been suggested so I might try that.

My current project on the go is a Totoro baby bonnet requested by a good friend for her baby who is due in October. And it’s a good job that I have until October, and that she’s a good friend because I’m cursing her for wanting that particular hat out of all the baby hat patterns which exist on the internet, and cursing the pattern as well. Still, I think I’ve figured out how to get round the problems I’m having now and it’s been put away for me to try again another day.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Bits and bobs box bag

I’ve had a chance to play with my new sewing machine now, the amount of stitches to choose between blows my mind, it does leaves and snowflakes and pretty swirly patterns. I also made this little box bag using some fat quarters that have been sat in my sewing box for months.   

It’s the perfect size to hold all the knitting bits and bobs that I can never find when I need them:

I used this tutorial. It’s not perfect but not a bad first attempt at sewing in a zip either. I also discovered that the sewing machine has a button that you can press that sews a locking stitch, and a button that cuts the thread, it’s pure luxury having a machine that does all the work for me. Now if only it dealt with all the ends left over from sewing something together! 

I’ll have another finished object (or two if you count them separately) to show you in a couple of days when I finish knitting my new slippers.