Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Pins I Love - Sewing Bee!

I have been enamoured by home sewing projects since watching The Great British Sewing Bee. I would love to have a go but my sewing skills are fairly basic. Time is also a factor. I have enough projects to be doing without adding to them. However, it doesn't stop me from looking. One day I WILL develop my sewing skills along with all the other crafty projects I want to try.

Until that time I have created a sewing bee board on pinterest (not to be confused with my stitch it board). On going through some sewing projects I spotted this cute dress. There isn't really a pattern for it (not from what I can see). It looks like a sewing page that takes dresses seen in high street stores and stitches them up with a similar fabric. I have to admit I was mainly attracted by the polka dots. If you are interested in the page click on the image above and it will take you straight to it.

I love this dress. It can be dressed up for all sorts of situations. Smart, dressy or every day. I do like a versatile dress. Plus it looks like quite a simple but effective design. It was stitched by a blogger who also knits socks. Always like to see another sock knitter. Think I will have to look into this blog later on. The link to the dress itself is the image above. However, the blog is called Little Home by Hand.

I like this dress too. It's a nice summer dress plus it's floaty. Who doesn't like a floaty dress? What I like about all these sewing patterns (got this from watching the Great British Sewing Bee) that just using a completely different fabric pattern can make an outfit look completely different. This pattern is by etsy seller Queen Bee Fabrics. She sells lots of lovely fabrics as well as sewing patterns.

I like this too although I think you might need to have the models physique to get away with it. Plus it might be a little bit more than a beginner's pattern. It looks good though. It comes from a website called craftsy. It is quite good for online sewing classes and sometimes has free patterns. Worth checking out if you are wanting to try something new.

I do like a pleated skirt (although maybe not with quite so many pleats). I enjoyed watching the contestants stitching up pleats on the programme although I am sure they found it frustrating. The image above links to a tutorial on how to stitch pleats. I can't say how good it is since I am a complete novice but it looks good. The website is by Julia Bobbin and she seems to have quite a few tutorials on there.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Not Much.

I said I would tell you what I've been up to and the truth is nothing much (other than thinking about my essay). Since finishing placement I have been flitting between projects. I work best to deadlines and can't seem to settle when I don't have them. I also can't show you most of what I have working on as they are potential gifts. I have been working on socks though. No surprises there. Remember this sock? I wrote about it back in February. Well I ripped it all out. I wasn't happy with it. Specifically where the needles joined. It created a solid ridge along the sock. Which isn't what you want, especially down the centre of a pattern. So it had to go.

I wasn't giving up on colour work though and especially not that pattern. So I treated myself to some circular needles and decided I would learn to knit that way. It's a popular choice and I know many people prefer it. In fact one of the ladies I was teaching to knit socks automatically changed to circs and go on faster. I also ordered myself a second set of 2.75mm needles so that I don't have to wait to cast on another sock. Not sure that was a good idea.

It would seem though that I don't like knitting with circs. At least I don't like knitting socks with them. I watched some YouTube videos and worked out the mechanics of it. It's just so much slower than my DPN's. So the colour work sock got ripped out again. I cast it back on the DPN's but separated the stitches for heel and front from the start (rather than even number of stitches on each needle). The cuff isn't so neat but I put that down to the beating the yarn took. I am happier with the way it is knitting up otherwise. I have actually gotten on much further than this and so far no ridges.

I used the new set of DPN's to cast on the unwanted Easter yarn. My sister actually likes it after all and so she is getting another pair of socks (I insisted that she have them as I had her in mind when I bought the yarn in the first place). Again I went for the simple spiral pattern. I quite like the colour variations. It's knitting up bigger than the Easter socks because it's a slightly thicker yarn (the Easter socks were done in King Cole). I will still remember to add an extra repeat to the foot though.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Socks.

As I mentioned yesterday I managed to get my sister's Easter socks finished after all. All the other things I had planned didn't get done but she at least ended up with two pairs of socks. If you think these socks look awfully tiny it's because they are. I am sure I have said before that my sister has tiny feet. I think these are a little too small although my sister says they fit fine. I personally think they could have been doing with another round of the pattern before I started on the toe.

It's the spiral pattern again. I wanted a pattern but something quick as I really didn't have the time for anything complicated. You would think after knitting everyone sock in this pattern a few Christmas's ago I would bored with it. I still quite like it though. I love even more that I don't need to think about it. At least until I got to the second sock. It was like it knew that I have a deadline. Almost every repeat of the pattern I managed to make a mistake. As a result I was still knitting them the night before I was to hand them over.

This was the yarn I was originally going to knit her socks in. It's called tropical fish in the crazy zauberball range. I thought the colours were crazy enough to suit her. However, I was showing her another pattern for someone else. The socks were knitted up in a fainter version of this and she said she liked the pattern but not the colours. So I used the purples and pinks instead.

I did think the colours were rather familiar as I knitted it up. It's a different brand entirely but does look very similar to the socks I knitted in regia for myself. Clearly I like this colour combination. Sister likes it too which is the main thing.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Happy Easter Weekend!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Easter weekend. After a week of planning (but not doing) blog posts, essay writing and finishing up placement I enjoyed a quiet weekend. I spent it with my sister. As the sun is shining in Glasgow we took advantage and went for a walk. We did some second hand book shopping and then relaxed in Queen's park before heading to a beer garden.

We then stopped by a local coffee shop for tea where I discovered a new favourite. Green tea with vanilla and cherry marigold. Very light but tasty. I will now be on the hunt for this.

Yep, I had planned lots of blog posts last week (or two) and did none of them. There was to be an Easter pinterest post as well as an update on what I have been up to crafting wise. As you can see that didn't happen. You will get an update but it's a little late for the Easter pinterest.

For now though I thought I would show off my Easter gifts. You will be wondering if I managed my sister's Easter present. I managed the socks only but you'll see that tomorrow. Instead here is an image of a mug my sister decorated for me. When I first walked into the room she had everything displayed on the table. I actually thought this mug was bought. I think it will be my new favourite. You may remember from my Mother's day post I suggested decorating mugs with sharpies as a possible gift idea. Unless you are me who can't write or draw on that type of surface. Well, my talented sister can and if I am ever in need I will bribe her with wine, coffee or chocolate.

My mum has also made a few goodies for Easter. She stitched us both cards. Normally she finds it difficult to stitch these things with me around. As I have rarely been in the house it would explain why I haven't noticed her hiding things away. Same goes for the cute little hen who is hiding a creme egg in it's bum.

The sun is still shining but I am back to the essay writing and only my washing has been taking advantage of the weather. I will be back though with the Easter socks and a few updates. I hope you have had a relaxing weekend too.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Non-Surprise Socks.

The socks I needed to finish in two weeks I finished in a few days. I forgot how tiny my sister's feet are and how quick it is to knit her socks (it helped that the first sock was already finished). This pattern is so easy too. Another help towards getting them finished. There was also no grafting of the toe. The yarn is Regia hand-dye effect. I am sure that I have complained about it before. Finally, though I have learned. It doesn't like grafting and snaps so that you have to rip it back re-attach the yarn and then graft the toe. It's annoying and I fail to remember this every time I use it. Until now. I did the swirl toe (not sure if that's the right name for it) and it likes that.

The pattern is the easy lace pattern you have also seen before. It looks narrow but when on it stretches out so that you can see the lacey effect. I love it and might have to knit a pair like this for myself. As for the so called hideousness of the yarn. I still think it's pretty. The sun coming through the window is making it look more purple than it actually is but I still think it's nice.

I did see some truly hideous yarn today. Also by regia but contained an assortment of colours that clash. Not only do they clash but they are also luminous! I am a firm believer that luminous colours should be used solely for high vis jackets and highlighter pens.  I would have taken a pic to show just how horrible it was but it's not the sort of shop that would allow a lunatic to photograph their yarn. I want to be able to go back there. So your just going to have to take my word for it (Helen, my sister would draw the line at these colours).

Having finished these socks I have cast on my sister's actual Easter socks. I have to say that nothing I am making for her is very eastery. I'm afraid you won't be seeing any images until they are in my sister's hands. Let's just hope I get them finished on time.

Every time I open up the Big Book of Socks it opens up to these lovely cabled socks. I think it's a sign that I should knit them. I had planned to knit it with some sock yarn that was originally intended for something else. It has significant colour changes in it but they are so broad I think it would still show off the delicacy of the pattern. However, on reading I discovered that it would be too thick. Then I remembered this lovely yarn that Helen bought me a few years ago. I have been waiting for the perfect pattern for it and I think this is it. I haven't wound the yarn or cast it on yet though. I am trying to remember that I have actual deadlines I might not meet as it is.

I also meant to show this in my last post. Last week I went to the library and dragged my mum along (the promise of coffee and books meant not much dragging was required). After we had picked out our books and went to the coffee shop. I noticed that all the handles were covered in knitting. I love a yarn bomb and this is the first I've seen locally.

I probably won't be doing a pinterest post this week. Maybe next week. Just the way my days off have worked out and the fact that I have too much to do just now.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

One Very Green Blanket


I finished my sister's throw! I say throw, it's too big to be a throw. It's big enough for a double bed or a table clothe (not that I would use it as a table clothe. I only mention it because it's almost as big as the table). Remember the preemie blankets? They were 20 rounds each with the fan edging. This is 55 rounds with the fan edging. My sister is tiny so she can have it over the back of her sofa and pull it down to snuggle under. This took just under 900g of yarn all in.

It's not perfect though. I have made a mistake here and there when I wasn't paying attention. It's also slightly wonky in one area. I think though that blocking would take care of that. I love blocking but this blanket is huge and life is too short. Sister of mine will have this washed within an inch of its life (hence the acrylic) so I am sure it will right itself. If you are wondering which image accurately shows the green it would be neither. It's very much a lime green. It fits in perfectly with the green hints in my sister's predominantly blue living room.

Just now I am moving time is different inside my head than it is in reality. Basically I have convinced myself that Easter is ages away and not two weeks away. I have basically given myself two weeks to finish each of the handmade gifts for my sister (our Easter tradition). See, this is why starting lots of projects is not a good idea! I have come to the realisation that I can't do it all. I might get some of it done. Which means that the socks that I had planned to knit for her Easter she will get at a later date. Instead she will get the pair I started with yarn my friend Helen gave me with the words "Here is some hideous wool your sister will like". The first sock is already done (and on completing the lovely Helen changed her mind about just how hideous it is. I personally think it's quite pretty).

I wasn't actually going to post this photo as, you know, it's supposed to be a present. Then I remembered that my sister was with me while I knitted the first sock. So it's hardly going to be a surprise. I promise the pair I had originally planned will be.

In between all that I have two weeks of placement to do and an essay to finish. There is nothing quite like putting the pressure on. Tonight though, I plan to take some time out. I have some magazines to read. I WILL NOT start a new project. Who is betting that I will start the free kit?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Pins I Love - Knitty Goodness

So this week I bring you some knitty goodness from pinterest. This time there are no knitty socks or mittens at all. I had difficulty leaving them out but since they have each had a post to themselves I felt that it would be too greedy of them.

I had planned on doing a knitty post. I just hadn't decided when. I then saw this beautiful Trellis scarf on facebook and knew I had to go direct to the site and pin it. I also had to share it and so doing a knitty post was a must. It comes from the Purl Bee blog. I am positive I have discussed this blog before but I can't find it. Maybe I imagined it. I love this blog for it's patterns. Very occasionally they aren't to my taste but only very occasionally. I love them for their simple use of colour. They tend to use neutral colours with maybe one stripe of bright colour to make it pop. They also use simple stitches which looks so beautiful and effective.

This scarf is a prime example of their use of neutral colour (no pops in there mind you). I love it for that. If you click on the image it will take you direct to the pattern. This one is knitted in 6ply cashmere but I imagine it's a pattern that can easily be adapted. It also looks easier to do that the image suggests. Simply stunning! I can imagine that it would fit all colours but if I was to do it I would have to do it in ivory the same as the image.

I am a little bit in love with Brooklyn Tweed. The patterns always look so beautifully done. I doubt I could do it justice. I did do a baby blanket once and while I liked it it wasn't a patch on the original. I have even attended a class by founder Jared Flood. It was for his Garisole pattern. I loved the class but have yet to knit it as I have yet to find that perfect yarn for the pattern. I will one day.

Anyway, this is a circular shawl which reminds me a little of the Garisole. You can buy it from the Brooklyn Tweed website (just click on the image). Can I just say I hate brown. Almost as much as I hate orange. Two colours I would never consider knitting with EVER. Yet, an image of a Brooklyn Tweed garment knitted in brown would have me considering it. That's the power it has over me. Like the Purl Bee blog I mentioned I love these patterns not just for their beauty but for the use of natural colours. In my mind it highlights the beauty and complexity of them.

I should also be congratulated for my will power here. With no self control this knitty post would be entirely Brooklyn Tweed. Well done me (I am not ruling out doing that in the future though).

This one reminds me of Brooklyn Tweed. It's the use of grey as well as the beautifully knitted cables. In actual fact it is a pattern called Flavia by Beth King. It's not free but you can purchase it from Ravelry.

This one is more complicated. The pattern is called Shaelyn by Leila Raabe and you can purchase it from Ravelry. The original pattern is knitted up in one colour. Crafty Tails has added her own touch to it. A bright colour striped in with grey. I love it. I think the lace could have become lost in the grey but the bright green really brings it out. You can click on the image and it will take you to her blog post about the garment.

This pattern is free on Ravelry and is called the Honeycomb Stroller blanket. I love it because it is so versatile. It's one of those patterns which will look different as each person uses their own colour scheme. This is highlighted by the image I have chosen. The rainbow blanket was knitted by another ravelry user called Duschinka. I am trying to not think of all those ends that would have to be threaded in. However, if this was what you ended up with it would be safe to say that it was worth it.