Sunday, 28 July 2013

Green and Blue!

About 6 months ago my sister moved into a lovely new flat. Most of her furnishings for her living room are in blue. Since her new living room is smaller thant the last one she felt that there was just too much blue. So she painted a chair, a pair of side tables and some vases green. The colours went surprisingly well together.

Before she decided on adding in green I had promised to make her the blue campervan which is twin to the orange one I stitched for myself last year. Even though I have now stitched two of these I haven't gotten bored of the pattern. I am even considering another one in other colours.

Once again we had a 'make it' Easter and I decided to crochet a cushion to match her knew colour scheme. I found a pattern for a crochet flower to stitch into the centre. Found it easier than I thought and was proud of myself for managing to follow the pattern.

Unfortunately I made a mistake with the sizing of one of the crochet panels. The only way to fix it would have been to take it back to the beginning. So I decided to make the most of it and turned it into a medium sized throw.

I used Sirdar Snuggly double knitting wool. It's meant for baby wool but I love the way that it crochet's up. It has a softer feel to it and I love the colours. I added the fan edging to set it off.

I have plans for a few more items to make for my sister to bring the colours together. Will be a while before I will manage to get round to it though. Until then her new blanket and cushions decorate the corner of her living room she uses to work on her paintings.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Knitting Group Challenge!

A while ago now my knitting group held its annual challenge. The group had been running for five years and this challenge was set up as part of our celebrations. We basically had to make something using a method we had learned whilst at the group. Bonus points if the number five was included in there somewhere. Since I am known for my sock knitting and I learned that at the group it felt that it was only right that I once again submitted socks. This time I did five different pairs each using a technique that was new to me.

The first pair of socks completed was these ones. I can't remember their name but I think they were from one of the Around the World in socks books (I have a couple of those with differing titles but they come down to the same thing. It involved knitting the socks on the straight and then using the Kitchener stitch to bring them together. I quite liked the affect of them. However, having to use the Kitchener stitch along the side of the sock is a lot different from just the toe. Felt like I was never getting to the end. They also knitted up far too small for the average person. So these went to my sister with the tiny feet.

The second pair I knitted I hated with a passion. I just didn't enjoy crocheting socks. I didn't like the affect and I thought it wasted the beautiful sock yarn that I used for it. My sister liked them but they were far too big so I gave them away to charity. The pattern I got off ravelry. My dislike for it had nothing to do with the pattern. I just hated doing it. More challenging knitting them I think.

These socks were by far my favourite. They are mosaic socks and were from "Sock Club". I won't say too much about them as I have knitted more of them and no doubt they will get a post of their own. This particular pair I kept for myself although I have yet to wear them. Too pretty!

I also enjoyed knitting these. These are beaded socks which I tried for the first time. I liked the plain colour with the beading. It knitted up a little narrow but as I had intended them for my mum all along it worked out fine. I can see myself knitting more of them. The pattern is called Beaded Lattice and also came from "Sock Club".

The final pair were a sample pattern from a two at a time sock book that I bought a while ago and this was the perfect excuse to finally get around to trying it. The book starts by showing how the two at a time method with baby socks. I used two different colours to make it easier for myself. It was the most awkward sock I have ever attempted. I doubt I will be doing more from this book.

I didn't win anything but I had fun trying out these patterns and I have begun teaching a few people my favourite of the bunch. If you want to see who did win you can see it on the knitting group blog.

I am a little biased in that the blanket my mum did was my favourite. It had a Cath Kidston feel to it which was one of the reasons why I loved it. She also made a cushion to match. I am determined to sneak it away from her. See if she notices.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Homespun Vintage - Jane Crowfoot

A wise person said to me not that long ago that I shouldn't make nursing my life. Easy said and done if you are not on placement and don't have lots of assessments to do. Nevertheless, I am trying to get back to some of the things that I enjoy and this blog is one of them. I spent ages deciding what my first post should be as I have a few projects to share. In the end I decided on a book review.

I normally like to have done at least one project from a book before I review it. However, I fell in love with "Homespun Vintage" by Jane Crowfoot before it even arrived at my door. It's one of the few times I have taken advantage of a magazine offer. It's a beautiful book and is exactly what it says on the tin. Filled with gorgeous projects inspired by different eras from all parts of the world.

The majority of the projects are cushion covers. The one blanket in the book is probably my favourite. It is certainly my mum's favourite and I think she may borrow the book. I love any adaptation of the granny square and the colours in these hexagons go perfectly together. This is inspired by the Russain doll. The larger of the Russain dolls is called Babouchka hence the name of the pattern. Babouchka also means old lady or grandmother which I think fits the design perfectly.

The projects aren't just inspired by Country or era but by designer. There is a whole series of projects inspired by Coco Chanel. Each of the projects are in her signature black and white and have a delicacy to them. This cushion includes beading and out of all the Chanel inspired designs this is the one I would love to try.

There are a few crochet cushions in there too in bright colours if that's your thing. Normally I would love that but I seem to love the more muted tones in the book. This cushion is another favourite. Again it uses beading to set it off and yet looks very simple and elegant.

I can't really comment on the instructions too much since I haven't worked on anything yet. From having looked through them though they seem fairly easy to follow. I think some of the simpler cushion may be suitable for beginners. The more complex would be more suitable to experienced knitters.

This has fast become my favourite craft book on my shelf. It will take a lot to replace it I think. Filled with lots of lovely images, I could spend all day just looking through it.