Sunday, 26 March 2017


As we packed for the move last year, I had a good clear out too.  I've found many forgotten things including a couple of bags I made years ago.

 This first one was made from a couple of skirts which I didn't want any more (one I had melted a little with an iron!).  I loved the colour combination and deliberately wanted to show the blue lining on the seams.

I used the material you normally find in the top part of curtains to keep them from drooping to give the handle some stability.  Its not a bad bag, but I'd rather have a strap of some sort so I can keep my hands free.

The second was made from a pair of jeans bought cheap in a charity shop (the girl serving gave me a funny look buying size 8 jeans which I obviously couldn't fit in).  The lining from my mums material stash.

A very simple bag to make, I just wish I'd made the handles a bit thicker as they don't feel substantial enough for the rest of the bag. 

A little ladybird button just finishes it off - a bug in all those flowers.  
I do love making my own things like this.  Then you know you are getting what you want - I can never find things I want if I go looking in the shops.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Crochet Granny Square Blanket

My first attempt at a patter didn't work
In 2015 I learnt how to crochet. (I honestly thought it was longer before I started writing this post.)  Once I had learnt the basics I went back to learn how to make granny squares.  Of course once you've got a bunch of squares you have to decide what to do with them.

Still  not quite right
I decided to keep going and make a blanket.  What I really like about this project is that I could come back to it at any point and make a couple more squares, for instance after a long knitting project, before going off and doing something else again.

Nailed it!
After last Christmas (2016) I had quite a collection of squares and a friend suggested that I might want to start connecting them as it can be a bit of a tedious job.  However my first attempt at this was a complete fail!  I'd not joined any crochet together before and used a single crochet stitch rather than a slip stitch so it had lumpy bits between each square.  And the pattern just didn't work either.

I was rather glad to undo it all and start again.  Drawing out my pattern helped a lot and I ended up with a pattern I liked and was happy with.  I then started connecting the squares again, this time using a slip stitch.

I'd found a flower detail square in a friends book and used that as my center point.  Then added squares round it until it looked right to me.

Then to finish it off I added a border.  This was just a single stitch of each colour all the way round and I think it finishes it off really well.  I used BabyBonus extra value DK wool which is really soft and makes it a good blanket for a child.

 If I hadn't made the Frida Flower Blanket I would never have known to use a slip stitch to join squares together or thought to add a border, and yet it is these little details which really make the difference.  This has been a really long project and I am glad to see it done.  I'm really please with it and the practice it has given me for my new skills.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A laptop sock

At Christmas my sister asked me if I could knit her a 'bag' for her laptop.  It didn't need to protect it from falls or big bumps, more from scratches in her bag as she travels to and from work.

We took measurements but I wasn't really sure where to start.  Then I found this lovely King Cole Glitz Chunky in platinum.  It has silver threads running through it.  Its also super soft.  

Still being very unsure of sizes I made a tension square to see how big my rib would come up.  From this we worked out how wide it would need to be.  Too tight and she wouldn't be able to get the laptop in it and too loose and it would just fall off.

But as you can see it worked perfectly.  Tight enough to get a good grip of the laptop and give it a good hug so it shouldn't come off in her bag.  I think she was pretty pleased with it too.  It was a nice little project to work on as the chunky knitted up quickly and was lovely and soft to work with.

Friday, 3 March 2017

The Knitting and Stitching Show 2017

Last year I attended the Knitting and Stitching Show which is where A mohair bear called Cyril and the Frida's Flower blanket came from.  They were my 2 favourite projects of the year, so you can imagine I was pretty excited to be going again this year.

Woven Star Galaxy by Isobel Currie
There was a good mix of things I saw last year and new things which meant I had a lovely day walking round and looking, but I didn't really see any new projects to excite me.

The Brit and the Great Bear by Paddy Killer
But as I went with a list of stuff I wanted (a must when there is that much stuff to look at - you just get totally overwhelmed) I still found lots of treasure for my massive list of project. Which means I think I'll manage to keep myself busy over the coming year.

There were some amazing prints
Cork material!

Love the detailing on this dress

Part of the Embroiderer's Guild Game of Thrones display

Sunday, 26 February 2017

The finished trousers

With a little bit of work finishing them off this weekend my trousers are now finished! I've added a button, and belt loops and hemmed the bottoms with a little turn up.

 A little looser than some of my trousers this is no bad thing and very easy to amend for future attempts of this pattern.

I am really pleased with how they have come out and have already worn them out in public!  I really enjoyed the 6 week course, what a great birthday present.  Thanks 'im outdoors.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Making a pair of trousers - part 6

This weeks session was my last.  6 weeks has gone so fast and I have learnt so much.  I knew I wouldn't finish my trousers this week, but I got a lot closer than I thought I would.  It helped that over the weekend I sewed up my side seams.  This meant I could also try them on for the first time, which put my mind at rest - they are a great fit.

This week was all about the waist band for me.  I had to sew my lining to my trouser material, then sew the whole thing to my trousers.  To make fitting easier this pattern leaves the back seam to the very end, meaning I could try them on and have it fitted to me.  This bit will be harder in the future!

With the back seam sewn up and the waist band finished it was just a case of finishing off.  In this case adding a button hole - which once again my sewing machine surprised me with how easy it is to make one, and then hemming them.  Adding a button and finishing off the hems is all that is left to do.

I have really enjoyed this course.  Alison our tutor was so kind and knowledgeable, always ready to answer my beginner questions.  I can hardly believe that I have made a pair of trousers!  I will finish them off this weekend and post photos of the finished item.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Making a pair of trousers - part 5

I can't believe this is week 5 already!  Knowing that time is starting to run out I did a little bit of homework before the class this week.  This included adding some darts and preparing for the back pockets.

In the end I only added one back pocket during the class, as I wanted to get the fly done too.  I still have the option to add the second back pocket over the weekend if I want to.  With the inside seam done and the two legs attached to each other, they are really looking like a pair of trousers now!

I also had two brand new experiences this week.  I used the scary overlocker and I used the zipper foot on my sewing machine!  
The overlocker is used on the raw edge of material to stop it fraying. It has a cutting tool which cuts as you sew and then something like 4 needles to do the sewing.  Its a pretty scary machine, but the end results are really good.

The overlocker

What the overlocker does

I love my sewing machine.  It does everything I want.  When I bought it I deliberately bought one with a zipper foot, but as it didn't come with instructions and I've never needed it I had no idea how to use it.  To swap the foot I was expecting a screw or something, but no!  Its just a little button and the foot just drops off, it was sooooo easy! 

So now I have a nearly pair of trousers with two front pockets, a back pocket and a fly.  All that is left to do is add another back pocket if desired, sew up the outside legs, add the waist bands and hem the bottom of the legs.  Easy!
I think I will need to do a little bit more homework this weekend if I want to finish them at next weeks class.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Frensham Cushion Cover

The new house has a lovely big bay window with a seat.  But the seat is a little deep and for it to be really comfy it needs some cushions.  So I had a look for some patterns online.

The first I liked was the Frensham cushion cover.  It's inspired by the Frensham ponds which are quite close to where we live which adds to the appeal.  The original design uses yellow rather than green, which represents the sun glittering on the ponds, but I couldn't find yellow so went with green instead.

This is my first project using super chunky wool, which took a bit of getting used to.  I used Wendy Serenity super chunky from the wool shop in the village.  My 10mm needles finally got a work-out!
The lovely buttons are from The Button Shack.  30mm wood.

I'm very pleased with how it came out, and it definitely makes sitting in the bay window more comfortable.  I've already got a couple more patterns so it should have some friends soon.