Monday, 5 September 2011

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Another long break away but I can promise I haven't been idle. I have been working on a baby shower gift. I also made the decision to stop my socks a month challenge. I decided to go back to University to do a second degree and I am sure I won't be able to keep it up. I am also giving up the knitting for my folksy store. It's looking a little empty just now. If anyone wants to commission me I am happy to do it but I just won't be knitting for the store. With that decision made I am in two minds whether or not to keep this blog up. For now I will but I have a feeling there will be fewer and fewer posts during term time. Having said that I have a few crafts up my sleeve that I hope to get to work on soon.

A friend of mine from my knitting group is expecting her first baby. As we always like to do we threw her a baby shower and we all did some knitting or sewing for her. I fell in love with these trainer style baby bootees that I knitted in the past so I had to make them again. Unfortunately I was a little behind so she got these ones a week late.

I did manage to finish something though. The soon to be mum LOVES stripes and I thought the socks I knit would be ideal. I knitted up a few sets in cotton (surprise). I found a simple hat pattern on ravelry (love that place) and I knitted up a couple to match.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Sister's Sewing Skills

Saturday I was over at my sisters for a craft day which didn't really happen. I was supposed to help her with her sewing machine but there is something wrong with it and my limited skills can't help. Not to worry super gran has been called upon who can literary fix ANYTHING. It hasn't stopped my sister from hand sewing and I thought I would show off some of her skills. She is now obsessed with bags thanks to the lesson I gave her a few weeks ago. She has made a few more and has embellished them with buttons.

She then made some draw string bags which I have to admit look amazing. Would make lovely gift bags. I especially love the buttons round the rim. My favourite is the orange and blue but sis prefers the red.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Blind Leading the Blind!

A few months ago my sister asked me to give her lessons on how to use her sewing machine. Even with my own lesson a few weeks ago I wasn't entirely confident teaching someone else. I am just a beginner too but decided what they hey, I'll give it a go. I gave her the choice of learning to make a simple pin cushion or the Japanese folded bag. She of course chose the most difficult of the two. It is actually simple to make but keep in mind I have had one lesson and made one myself. Thankfully I needn't have worried. Lorraine isn't just arty she is also crafty herself and so picked it up despite my poor teaching ability. You can see her finished bag above. She has since made several and has embellished a few with buttons. I promise to take photo's of them when I see them.

In terms of the sewing machine itself I was actually able to give her some handy hints. Not bad considering!

This is the one I made when teaching my sister. It's significantly bigger than the last one I made although still not big enough to hold socks (which is my goal). Back to the drawing board on that one. Yes, most of my fabric involves black, red and white.

Lorraine isn't actually a stranger to sewing. She has made me many lovely things all hand stitched. Generally I am the guinea pig for these projects which she uses in work. Just now she has been hand stitching birds and promised to make me one. I even got to chose the fabric. This little bird is called Brigitta.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Little Bit Purple!

Remember this? I gave a sneak peak into something I was working on a while back. It was something that I had been taught to do by Donna at Gartmore using the granny square stitch.

Well it's finished. It's a granny triangle or half granny square shawl. I used cotton in two different shades of purple. It was fun and fairly easy to do (thanks to Donna's lessons). I will probably use it as a scarf come winter.

I also finished this months socks. It's been a very purpley month. I used Zauberball sock yarn in the shade blackberry. I had planned on using a pattern rather than doing a basic sock. However, I had started knitting with it a long time ago, forgot where I was and unravelled it. It got a little bobbly which made it difficult to knit a pattern with. So whilst this is a lovely yarn to knit with I don't recommend it if you think you might have a lot of frogging to do.

I can't take credit for these. Remember the sock classes I gave? One of the girls finished her first pair. I can't take much credit for the lesson either. She had been taught to knit socks the year before. I just started her off again. She pretty much followed the pattern herself. Looks good though.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Learning Something New!

I had a fun day yesterday with my Knitting group. We decided to get together for the day at the weekend in order to learn some new things. Not of it knitting related this time. We had a quilting demo which I plan to have a go at eventually. We were also taught how to make draw string bags. My sewing machine and I are not the best of friends so it was nice to learn to make something with it. Isobel who was teaching us even brought along some pre-cut material and I made the bag above. It's so pretty I don't know what to use it for.

We even got our very own pin cushion made by Isobel.

We also got a demonstration on how to stitch Japanese folded bags. I didn't have a go that time but took notes. I made this one today. It's great to use as little gift bags. One friend even suggested using them instead of an advent calendar. Mine is on the small side so plan to make a larger one in the future.

Monday, 27 June 2011


Still quiet here. If I am honest I am being very lazy with my crafting. I have been reading more than I have been knitting. I did manage to finish this months socks though. It's just a basic sock pattern as I was using it to teach two friends how to knit socks (and they have almost finished their first one). I used Happy sock yarn by Wendy. They have some new colours out and I couldn't resist this green and blue. Plus I love how soft this yarn feels.

In between I am still working on my crochet project although it was set aside to finish these socks. I have also started work on the next baby shower project. I promise photo's when both of these are done.

My folksy shop got a mention on another blog. See if you can spot me on Finally Made It.
Last but not least my knitting group has had its five minutes of fame. At the start of the year I did an interview talking about it and it was published in this months edition of Knit Today.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

National Knitting Day!

My knitting group are going to be at Hobbycraft Glasgow on Saturday from 12-3. They will be giving knitting demonstrations to celebrate National Knitting Day. Sadly I won't be there but if you are free or are thinking of joining a group then come along and say hello. They are a friendly bunch.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Baby Shower

The baby shower I have been knitting for was on Tuesday night and as always was good fun. I love knitting for baby showers. I always have fun picking out patterns. As you can see I did my usual and knitted a blanket and a pair of trainers.

The trainers were the first things I knitted. I was going through some old copies of Lets Knit magazine and reorganising them. When I saw these I knew instantly that I had to knit them. The pattern suggested pink and white or blue and white. As Annee doesn't want to know the sex of the baby until he/she is born I chose orange and white. I used Calico yarn by Sirdar which is a lovely cotton. The pattern was fairly easy to follow and knit up despite the dreaded colour changes.

The reversible baby blanket was done with an aron yarn which had a purple fleck through it. I got the pattern from one of those knit-a-day calendars from a few years ago. This is the second time I have knitted a blanket from one of these calendars and this time there were no mistakes in it (the last time the pattern missed out a line). I love the effect of the double moss stitch.

I have another baby shower to knit for in August. I think I might start that next week as I already have planned what I am doing.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Wee Weekend Away

My weekend away with my knitting group seems so long ago now and it's only been just over a week. Sadly we didn't get the weather for it so there was no long walks to go visit the cows (too muddy). We did venture out when the sun came out and I managed to snap a photo of one of the many bunnies that run around the grounds.

As I said it was lots of fun. I did teach one of the classes. Elaine and Dawn both wanted to learn adult sized socks. I think it went okay although I did seem to drive poor Dawn to madness.

On Tuesday there I managed to take a photo of Elaine's progress. She's now started on the heel. I'll post more photo's as they progress.

I sat in on a class too. Donna taught a granny square class last year. It proved so popular that we asked her to do another. She decided to mix it up a little and had several different patterns we could choose from. I decided to have a go at a granny hexagon (it's not supposed to be out of shape, honest) and the granny stripes. I love the effect of the granny stripe and have plans to do something with that pattern. It's certainly given me more confidence in following crochet patterns. Something that has felt like double dutch to me.

I also tried another pattern Donna brought along but I am only showing you a small section of it. Will show you the final thing when I have finished it.

I also finished a present for a baby shower which I will be able to show after tomorrow. This months socks are being used to help teach Dawn and Elaine so they are going to be basic ones. I love the yarn though which you will see when finished. And I am working on a blanket for myself. Just one or two projects then.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Lucky Me!

I will post something about Gartmore soon but wanted to give a quick update. My good friend Helen has recently taken up quilting. If you follow my knitting group blog you'll already know this. The quilted book bag cover is a particular favourite and has been much admired by the rest of us. In fact one or two people have been giving her commissions for them. Over the last month or so I have been loaning her books and as a thank you she made me one of my very own. You have no idea how excited I was about this. She even decorated it with some of the sewing machines fancier stitches.

My particular favourite though is the 'Read Me' stitched on the back. Can't wait to use it!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Weekend Is Here!

This is where I am going today with my knitting group. I am extremely excited and can't believe the day is here already. Yesterday I went out and bought the sock yarn I needed for my class. Of course I forgot yarn for the crochet class my friend Donna is giving (learning to crochet Hexagons this year). This meant a trip up to Hobbycraft (what a shame). No doubt I will have lots of photo's for you next week.

If I get bored of knitting and chatting I can always visit with some friends we made last year.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Still Alive

I knew it had been a few weeks since my last update but I didn't actually realise it had been almost a month. I have been crafting away but mainly on a baby shower project. It's all finished but I can't show it as yet. It will be another two weeks before I can do that.

In the last month I have also given up on a pair of socks for the first time ever. I had decided that this months socks was going to be my first every toe-up in adult size. I wasn't really loving the pattern but that's not why I gave up. If it was just that I would have persevered with it. The yarn broke on me for the fifth and last time which resulted in a small hissy fit (tossing of knitting across the room). I was using the Regia Hand Dye effect. I've used it before and it's a little annoying to knit with. First off you have to rewind the yarn to prevent it from tangling. It also splits very easily. This didn't put me off as the colours made up for it. This one though split about five times. I have two other colours there and I am now reluctant to use it. Anyone else have this problem or do you think it's just a one off?

Anyway, as I said this will be the first time I haven't finished a pair of socks. A little disappointing. It also means that there will be no socks this month! As a friend pointed out though, I am a pair ahead in my challenge so I haven't given up on that.

This weekend I am away with my knitting group. Very excited about that and also nervous. I'm nervous because I am taking one of the classes. I am taking over the sock knitting class from my friend who can't make it. I've taught baby socks before but this time it's adult socks. Fingers crossed it all goes well.

I have had other projects on the go too. I finished the boy baby socks which are now posted on my folksy shop. I am now working on another set. After taking the huff with my socks I decided to start something different and so I'm knitting a blanket for myself.
Lastly, I have to show this off. My mum did this for my Christmas two years ago. I love the Lavender Lace designs plus I love my fairy tales which is why she did this one. I am ashamed to admit that this was me just hanging it up today.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

This Week!

I have been keeping out of trouble this week with all my crafting. I have been baking too. I baked two lots of my peanut butter cookies. The first was for my knitting group who celebrated running for three years this week (we even have our own blog which you can see here). The second lot was for my sister coming over. I was also commissioned to knit some baby socks for my friend Dawn. She requested green and white, non stripey. She ended up buying the mint and white stripey too.

My friend Roberta then asked me to knit a set of stripey socks in pink and white.

I also knitted another set. This time in lemon and white. I just fancied knitting a set in colours I hadn't used before.

I have also updated my Folksy store, Karensi. I have been meaning to do this for some time now. Decided that since I was knitting all these baby socks now was the time to do it. All of the sets in the above photo are on there. I have reduced the prices slightly and there are more images of the socks.

No definite boy colours at the moment as they all sold. Will fix that soon. Seems everyone is having boys just now.

Other than that I have been working on baby shower gifts and started work on socks #6.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter everyone! Every year my sister and I always go mad with chocolate presents for each other. This year we decided that instead we would make something. This is what I came up with. As you can see I still managed to get some chocolate in there. The bag is just a basic drawstring bag with some big red buttons up the side.

Cross stitch book mark backed onto red and white spotty fabric. I made this extra long as my sister is more likely to read large art books.

She's also been sewing a lot recently, mainly for work. So thought she could do with a pin cushion. The cross stitch bunny was a free kit from Cross Stitch Cards.

The socks I did quiet a while ago and I already posted on them. Had to show them off again though.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Craft Purchases and socks #5

So rude of me not to show what I bought at the craft fair. I picked up these lovely, fairy sun catchers from Fairy Glass Scotland. They make lots of lovely fairy and witch sun catchers. I was also enamoured by their fairy doors. You can see them on facebook and on the web. Definitely go have a look.

I just finished April's socks (I know there is only one in the photo but I did do both, honest). My knitting group had it's Spring challenge recently and I decided to use my socks for this month. I picked a pattern called Hexagon Socks from Think Outside the Sox. I actually bought the book just for this pattern alone. It's certainly a very different way of knitting socks. Made up entirely of hexagons (including the heel). It was also challenging. The hexagons are knitted on the round and once you start with them they are fairly straight forward. Turning the heel was the difficult part. The photo chart in the book was a lot of help but when I thought about it too much that was when I tended to get stuck. Basically I would make it more complicated than it was. Anyway I am pleased with the end result but I doubt I will do another pair. There are two things I love about knitting socks; no sewing and very few loose ends to tie in. Not so with these ones. There were about a zillion of them (or so it felt).

The book is fantastic. It's filled up with patterns from a knitting magazine contest. There are some weird and wonderful designs in there. I could easily knit the rest of the years challenge using this book alone (I won't though). In fact, in a few months I will be doing another from this book. My sister insisted she wanted to pick one. So look out for that. If you are a sock knitter and would love to try something a little bit different then definitely pick this book up. I wouldn't if you are a beginner though.