Monday, 1 October 2012

Actual knitting FOs

I've been pretty busy the last couple of weeks, beavering away on several projects and actually finishing things.  I've finished sewing projects and spinning projects but today I'll just focus on the knitting.

First up is a cute little hooded cardi from a Debbie Bliss book my sister in law gave me last Christmas.

 I like it a lot, but there is no way I'll be knitting it again.  It's knit in loads of pieces and it's no secret that I hate sewing up.  Even the hood is made by casting off a load of stiches in the middle of a row, casting on a load more in the next row and then sewing it all up at the end.  Madness!

Next up, I just finished this:
And when I saw just finished I literally mean about 30 minutes ago.  I love it so much I could not wait to share.  The pattern is the Kittie Hat by kerli (pattern here) and is super super easy and so cute.  Also, it has magic powers, 5 minutes after putting it on Cassie finally cracked crawling.  With her magic cat hat on she put the wind up the actual cat who is not at all happy with this new found mobility.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


I started making Cassie another dress from Making Baby's Clothes last night. It's a really cute dungaree dress which I have lived since the first moment I saw it. I've just finished cutting out the pieces...all 26 of them. Yep, this really wants to be as cute as the picture when it's done!

Here's Cassie in the first dress I made from the book. It's quite big for her now but she doesn't mind and it'll last her for a while.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Reasons to love my postman 1

Lots of lovely stuff has been dropping through my door recently, mainly for sewing which seems to be my craft of choice for the moment.  A few days ago I opened an envelope to find this lovely package all wrapped up like a present.
A dress kit I ordered from Clothkits.  I was so looking forward to this arriving, I remember wearing their clothes as a child so the nostalgia factor is high.  The presentation when it all arrived was a total bonus though.  Even though I knew what was inside it was exciting to open it.  Another little parcel inside reminded me of pass the parcel and contained some super cute ribbon with deer on and some liberty print bias binding which I'll be saving for a special project.
I'm itching to sew up this dress, but it is age 1-2 and there are things in Cassie's current size that I want to make first.  Maybe the thought of getting to work on this will spur me on to get the other projects done quicker!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Wow, It's been a long time....

...but here I am.  Not that it came as a great surprise but looking after a baby is pretty time consuming!  However, now that Cassie is nearly 6 months old (how did that happen?) she is becoming more independent and I'm getting the odd minute to myself.  In the last week I've managed to get 4 sewing projects finished, so not only do I have the time to blog, I actually have made things to blog about.

So here's the little lady herself modelling some little corduroy trousers I made on Friday and one of a big pile of bibs I made from t-shirts a while back.  Hasn't she grown?
 The pattern for the trousers came from Rob Merrett's book Making Baby's Clothes, there are lots of lovely ideas in the book.  I've already made a pretty little dress and plan to make another very soon.
My next project a bit of a work in progress, I loosely followed this tutorial to make a highchair cover.  Made from skull and crossbones fabric ( because I bought far too much about 4 years ago) the highchair looks totally badass, but the bit that holds it on the back is too small so it keeps slipping off.
My plan is to add and extra bit at the back with a pocket for wipes which should weigh the whole thing down and hold it in place.

Finally I made this little taggy thingy to send away for a RAK.  Inside there is a layer of cellophane which makes that lovely crinkly sound that babies seem to love.  Cassie has two of them and spends ages scrunching them up and chewing the little ribbons, I hope the recipient loves hers as much.
I'll end with gratuitous baby pic, just because I think she's the cutest little person!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

FO: Wrap Cardi

Just before Cassie was born I finished her little blue wrap cardi but hadn't blogged about it because I needed to sew some poppers on it.  I still haven't sewn any poppers on, but it was the only thing I could find at short notice to dress her in yesterday so I stuck some stick on velcro on instead.  I'll still need to get some poppers but the velcro was fine for the short term.  Obviously I'm biased but she looks so cute in it! 

The pattern is the Baby Wrap Crossover Cardigan by Jigsawknits and the yarn is James C. Brett Kool Kotton.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Look what I made!

I've been a little busy recently and now I finally have time to catch my breath I can show off my latest FO.  I've been working on it for a while, but I finished it off in a 4 1/2 hour intensive session on 14th March, when it looked like this:

Yes, I am a mummy!  This is little Cassie Violet, who entered the world a couple of weeks early and in a major hurry.  I went to bed at midnight on the night in question, feeling perfectly fine and woke up 2 hours later in full blown labour.  After a trip in an ambulance I arrived at the Midwife Led Unit and was allowed to push and Cassie was born within an hour.  She is just wonderful!  She is very sweet tempered, sleeps well and has just enchanted everybody.  Here is a selection of my favourite pics of her so far.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

FO: Yarn.

The plying ball at the end of my last post?  Here it is now:
I will admit that I did not love spinning this, a blend of masham, merino, silk and sparkles, there was nothing wrong with it at all but it just never clicked.  However, this turns out to be an advantage because I love the finished yarn a lot.  Not only is it really pretty, but it is much bulkier than I am normally able to spin and has wonderful thick and fluffy bits.  I haven’t weighed it yet, but there is around 85m there.  Now to hunt for the perfect project for it.

I’m pottering away on a few other projects, but there’s not really much to report.  I’m just working my way down the back of the baby wrap cardigan and hope to have it done soon.  I’m halfway through sewing a foldable changing mat, but I’m currently unpicking that because I got all my layers in the wrong order and would have ended up with the batting on the outside, oops.  I’m blaming baby brain!  Thankfully I’m finally giving up work at the end of this week, so I will have plenty more time to get on with these things and all of the other projects I have on my mind.  I have to say that I do really enjoy my job, I work with some wonderful people who have been so interested in my pregnancy and so excited for me that it is strange to be leaving them all behind for the next 9 months.  That said, I’m now at the stage where even putting on my socks in the morning is a trial, so not having to get up and go to work each day will be such a relief.  Oh, and in about 5 weeks I get to be a mummy, how cool is that?

Monday, 13 February 2012

Teeny weeny things.

Aware I had been slacking a bit on the baby knits front, I finally knuckled down a bit and got on with it.  Turns out baby knitting is great and the near instant gratification is very satisfying.  So...
The Offset Wraplan is done.  It’s really cute and was quite easy, but there were stitches to be picked up, numerous ends to be sewn in and buttons to be sewn on.  None of these are my favourite things to do so I probably won’t knit it again.  As you can see I also whipped up a little matching hat (pattern here) which took me no time at all.  Both are made from Debbie Bliss Merino DK which has been in my stash for ages.
 Next I cast on for this in some James C Brett Kool Kotton I’ve also had hanging around for years.  I’m very aware that even though there is still snow on the ground here it could be quite warm by the time baby arrives so I’m trying to knit most things out of cotton.  I’ve made one and a half fronts and I’m really enjoying this knit so far.  I love the colour of the yarn and will probably use some bright pink ribbon for the ties, just for a bit of contrast.
And in other news, here is a nice big plying ball just waiting for its turn on the spinning wheel.  Hopefully next time I’ll have new yarn to share.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Oh no! Snow!

Dreaming of a bbq summer?
Yesterday it snowed.  This was not good.  Ordinarily I love snow, but I love it it in a way where I need to run around around in it and throw it and slide around on it in a sledge.  None of these things are practical for the 32 weeks pregnant lady.  Bummer.  So, instead I stayed indoors and looked at it a bit and then got one with some spinning instead.  My first wheel spun yarn is completed, plied, washed and dried.
It looks ok I think, a bit squiggly in places, but perfectly adequate.  It is 85g and around 243m, as usual I have no idea of the yarn weight, I'll work it out at some point.  The finished yarn is not the softest, but that is likely down to the fibre and it will probably be just fine for a hat or gloves.  Obviously having an empty wheel was not desirable, so I've moved on to spinning some merino I've been hanging onto for ages.  It started life like this (left).
I've tried spinning it a couple of times, but I was never really happy with the way all of the colours mixed together and went brown.  This time I have split the top into really thin strips and managed to preserve some of the brightness.  The plan is to make a 3ply, with two plies made of this and the third just plain black.  Hopefully this will be just the thing to lift my mood while I try to forget how much fun I could be having outside!

Sunday, 5 February 2012


When my spinning wheel arrived it came with a very nice £15 voucher for fibre from the Wingham Woolwork.  I in no way procrastinated about spending that right away and a few days later I have added 800 grams to the stash for the mere price of postage.  I mostly went for things I hadn't tried before and hopefully will add a couple of breeds to my love to spin list.
That said, one of these is 100g of BFL (right), I couldn't resist, I do love BFL. In the middle is 200g of grey falkland.  Looks like I got so excited I accidentally put this in my basket twice.  I don't mind though, I may dye 100g of it blue or green and make something stripy from the yarn. On the left is 100g Jacob.
 This is 100g of alpaca (I think there is a matching lot of pink on it's way too).  I have spun an alpaca silk blend before but I look forward to seeing if this spins any differently.  I plan to make two 3 ply yarns, one with 2 pink strands and 1 purple and vice versa to knit something with subtle stripes.
This is 100g each of Shetland (left) and Cheviot (right), the shetland I think I'll leave as is, maybe just adding some dyed firestar for subtle sparkle, but the cheviot I think I'll dye something bright as is a bit lighter than all the others. 

Hmm now, what to spin first?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sloppy blankie of apathy

 Today I finished a fleece blankie for baby and I’m rather pleased that the recipient won’t really give a monkeys about how it looks because it really doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.  It is what it needs to be, warm, soft and washable so we’ll pass over the little fudges I had to make all the way round because I didn’t cut the pieces exactly square and the fact that the ribbon doesn’t go round the corners properly.  All in all, it’s quite cosy and has tiny strawberries on it, I guess that’s enough for me.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Done. Finally.

 They have been nearly 3 years in the making, but I’ve finally done it, the alpaca socks are done, and it’s a good job too because all of a sudden it is fffreezing here.  These socks are completely indoor socks and have been doing a wonderful job keeping my feet toasty while I sit on the sofa and knit.  Also they are so soft and lovely, I can highly recommend the Artesano Inca Cloud, in fact I could quite happily just wrap myself up in the stuff and wait for this cold snap to pass.
I’m still having a lovely time getting to know my spinning wheel.  Despite having a couple of frustrating moments, I have completed my first bobbin and am now about halfway into my second.  The fibre is a British Breeds blend I got from Fondant Fibre a couple of weeks ago, split end to end to make a (hopefully) striping 2 ply.  With any luck it should be done by the end of the week, it certainly looks like having a wheel will be good for production!

Thursday, 26 January 2012


My sooper dooper treat to myself arrived yesterday, via the very nice man next door (thank you Don!)  Here is what was in the box
Can you tell what it is yet?  Stu took pity on me, grabbed his tool box and started assembling it for me.  He’s a good boy.
The strange shadow along the bottom is probably cat ears!
And here she is all finished. 
My very own Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel!  Purchased from Wingham Woolwork, who very kindly included a £15 voucher for fibre, which I will very much enjoy spending.  I didn’t have much chance to try it out last night, but I think we are going to be very good friends.  I was a bit worried that the transition from spindle to wheel would be very difficult, but the only real problem I have been having is in getting the right amount of twist in to the yarn and that really will just be a matter of practice..... and I intend to get a lot of practice.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Goodness gracious....

....great balls of fibre!  Yep, three little balls of singles can only mean one thing, it’s plying time.  These were originally this

which I spun up in the hope of getting a yarn which phased from green to purple to blue.  Unfortunately upon winding them into a plying ball one strand had completely run out before the third had even got to green.  My plan is to cable ply the remaining green from the leftovers and add it later so all is not lost.

Saturday, 21 January 2012


Lots more things for me in the post over the last few days.

First, 3 braids of fibre from Fondant Fibre, The pink and blue and the brown and pink are both cheviot and the green and pink is a British breeds blend.  I’m currently formulating a plan for spinning these to show off the colours nicely.  I may spin one of them up using one of my super new spindles....
 ..made from dowels and toy wheels I received a few days ago, these little spindles are actually lovely spinners.  I do love my fancy spindles, but now that we are really trying to save as much money as we can these little ones are as cheap as chips and perfectly good.

That being said, I have allowed myself one last splurge and the postman should be arriving with the spoils any day now.... I can’t wait to share what it is, but I’ll wait until it is here.

Also through the door was the latest issue of Burda Style.  Typically it has a section on maternity wear, there is some nice stuff there but with only 10 weeks left to go it doesn’t seem worth sewing anything up.  I guess I’ll tuck it away in case there is a next time.  I guess I should probably browse through all of my old issues to see if there are any nice baby patterns.  That sounds like a nice job for Sunday afternoon, with a cup of tea and some chocolate.  Mmmmm.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Here it is!

Firstly, panic over, the first of the spiral socks has been found and the second is well on its way to being finished.  They look a pretty pair don’t they?  Incidentally, the pattern is from Easy Knitted Socks by Jeanette Trotman.  My copy appears to have been to hell and back, it’s all crinkly and horrible and the entire back half appears to be stuck together.  Clearly during all the times I’ve been unable to find this book it has been off having adventures.

I finally got sewing last night, which was a relief as I have been itching to get going for  a while.  One thing after another held me back.  First there was nowhere to put the machine, then I couldn’t find any thread, then my ruler was missing and then I couldn’t find any pins.  Last night it all came together and I made this
It’s a lovely patchwork play mat, made by roughly following this tutorial. I love it!  I wasn't convinced it would end up being anything like square, but it is.  Even my topstitching looks fairly straight, I'm rather proud of myself.