Saturday, 31 March 2012

Cath Kidston Granny Square Cushion

I bought the Cath Kidston crochet tin a while back and it contained the yarn and instructions on how to make this cushion. The 9 squares I finished months ago but the back piece took a little longer because there wasn't enough yarn in the kit to finish it. I got about half way when I ran out of two main colours and new I didn't have enough of the rest to substitute it. In fact I was sure I was going to run out of another two before I was done.

I had no way of matching it up without buying another tin. It wasn't that expensive but out of principle I refused to do that. So instead I tried to match up two of the colours and start again with the back. I picked red and blue because I love those colours together. I've seen so many craft projects on pintrest with them together. Unfortunately I had to go with the closest match so the red is a little too deep and the blue a little too pale. I like the way it turned out though and love the big red buttons I picked out to match.

It then sat for about or month or so because I couldn't get a cushion pad the right size. I decided to make my own but then had problems getting stuffing. On Thursday I finally got some, made the pad and stitched the together. When I read the instructions for the edging I was a little wary as to how it was going to turn out. There had already been a mistake earlier and I wondered if this was going to be another one. It didn't make sense to me to skip stitches. Since I am far from a crochet expert though I just went with and love how it turned out. I have fallen a little in love with this edging and I will definitely be using it again.

So this is the Crochet tin and everything that came with it. For the first time ever I am extremely disappointed with Cath Kidston. As I said there wasn't enough yarn to finish it. It was also of very poor quality. It split easily and didn't crochet well. The pattern along with it also contained a mistake (although these things do happen). The booklet was very basic and cheaply made. The only good thing about it was that it suggested to put colours together I wouldn't have the courage to otherwise. That and of course learning a knew edging. It wasn't that expensive though. In the end what you are really paying for is the pretty tin. If you are experienced at crochet I don't recommend it. You could probably do it yourself just by looking at the image. I would say it is okay for beginners but keep in mind that the yarn will split and might look messy.

I should point out that I have several Cath Kidston books which came with projects and I have never been disappointed with those.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Thank You Helen!

I don't think I ever mentioned it here but after Christmas I had a ruthless clear out of all my craft supplies. I basically got rid of everything that I knew I wasn't going to use but somehow I was hanging on to it. I created a large bag of supplies for my sister who I knew would use it in work. I created another large bag for the knitting group swap night. My mum got a few bits and pieces too. My scrapbook supplies went to my friend Helen though. Again I knew she would use them and some of them have been used to teach another friend to scrapbook. As a thank you Helen made me this lovely card. This is getting saved along with other hand made cards I've collected. For now though it has pride of place on my shelf. Thank you Helen.

Helen is one of the members of my knitting group and you can see her other talents (along with other members) here.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

What I learned and What I'm Up To!

On Saturday my knitting group held one of it's craft days and as usual we had various lessons lined up. I think that last time I only took part in one class. This time it was two. The first one was on Sashiko quilting (pronounced Sashko). This is traditionally done with white stitching on blue fabric. The stitch used is just your basic running stitch and you follow the pattern round in a way that you have as little binding off of the thread as possible. Obviously we weren't going to learn quilting in one day but I was able to make a coaster.  The one above was the one I made which then went to my mum since she couldn't be there that day.

We also got to take kits home and I picked out this blue one. I did this after I got home on Saturday night whilst I taught my mum how to do it. There is something therapeutic about stitching these. Once the pattern is drawn out (thankfully that part was done for me) the stitching is relatively simple. You can do it in front of the TV without having to really think about it. Since my sisters living room is blue this one is going to her as part of her hand made Easter.

I also learned how to make a doily using a 2mm crochet hook and some crochet cotton. I actually found this a lot easier to do than I thought I would. The pattern was in the form of a chart which I think helped since I'm used to those from knitting socks. Plus the stitches were just your basic chain, doubles and trebles. I might have a shot at something more complicated next.

Having learned all that I also taught myself something new (I can thank pinterest for that). I have been wondering what to do with all my spare cotton since I no longer sell baby socks. I decided to make the circular granny squares and they will eventually become part of my sisters hand made Easter.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

Can you guess the theme I went with for this Mothers Day? I decided to go with my mum's favourite colour. There is something handmade in there. I just managed to finish a pair of socks knitted for my mum.

The yarn used is by Schollers Stahl and is called Fortissima Color. I thought it was German but having read the label it actually says made in Italy. I just picked it out because of the reds that run through it. It was lovely to knit with. No splitting or tangling and is made 75% of pure wool. It's also machine washable which is always a bonus.

The pattern I got from the book I mentioned last time, Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. This particular pattern is called Whitby and, funnily enough, is inspired by Whitby in England. The pattern is based on a pattern found on a sailor's gansy. I picked it though because of the cables. I love cables but always seem to pick lace patterns. Knitting this was a nice change. It was also relatively easy to follow. So simple I actually got carried away and the foot is a little long for my mum who has tiny feet. The legs look narrow because of the rib pattern.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Easter Chicks!

So this last week everything else has been put aside to knit these chicks. A friend from my knitting group sent me the pattern and I have been hooked since.

The yarn used is called sprinkles by King Cole. To make the chicks hold their shape you have to use 3 1/4mm needles. The band around the yarn recommends knitting it with 6mm. As a result it made for some very tight knitting and some very sore fingers. Worth it though. On average you can get four chicks out of one ball. I managed five but I think I am quite a tight knitter. I also gave them larger beaks than I was supposed to. I think it gives them more character. The chick at the top has been given away already. One is for my sister and I haven't yet decided where the other three are going.

Oh, and the best part? They hold chocolate.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Socks....Just Because.

Months and months ago I promised a friend a pair of hand-knitted socks. Then another friend gave me some sock yarn that she didn't want and I knew straight away that the friend in need of socks would like it. I have to confess that they had been on the pins for months and I just finished them at the weekend. My excuse is that birthday gifts got in the way.

Anyways, because of the pattern of the yarn I used just the basic sock pattern. I felt that it would show off the fair isle effect better which it did. Plus I started them when I had little time and needed a project that required little thinking. Sadly I don't know what the yarn is as I got it without the band. I can tell you though that it is extremely soft. Perfect for feet. I love the colours too. The bright blues and greens really stood out against the darker shades. Made it lovely to watch it knit up. I'm almost sad that I finished them. My friend was delighted with them and didn't even give me a hard time for it taking so long.

Oh, and another photo just to prove that I do knit more than one sock.