Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Knit Red - Snowboarder Hat

Had the urge to knit a hat.

So had a look through some of my books and decided on this one in the Knit Red book. 

I made the large one, although I confess I didn’t read the pattern properly and didn’t knit the yarn double - so it’s come out baby/toddler size! Note to self - must read pattern properly first in future!
However, I am still really pleased with it as if no-one else wants it my little nephew to be will have it next Christmas!!

I also added in about five or six rows to the earflaps once I’d done all the increasing as I felt they needed to be a bit bigger and they looked like they had more rows in the photo.

I love the colour-way. I think the Gemini in me likes the variegated yarn!  It is the gorgeous Montana by Sirdar in the Savannah colourway 0214.  It is 70% Acrylic and 30% Wool.  And is absolutely lovely to work with. 

Surprised myself and managed to knit it in an evening!

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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!!!!

Hope you are all having a very Merry Christmas!

I wanted to share with you a beautiful present that I have received from my bestest friend.

A few years ago I taught her and another friend to knit.  Quite funny as at the time although I knew how to knit I didn't do so very often.  This was a great starting point for not only my friends as they learnt a new skill, but for me too as it ignited my love of knitting and I've not stopped since!

Two days ago I received the most brilliant present from my friend Lucie. 

She has knitted me the most wonderful cream cowl.  I honesty felt like crying!  It felt so good to know that I'd taught her AND she is so good at it!  It is one of those proud moments that I can't express in words.  I just want to say Lucie - thank you so much for being one of the best friends a girl could have.  I miss you loads and wish you weren't so far away.  xxx

Our tree last night when all was quiet (and there probably were some mice being noisy with their hobnail boots in our attic!)

And this is a waistcoat that I was asked to make for a lady that works down the road from The Emporium.  I wanted a record of what it was like before I gave it to her. 

Excuse the "model"!

She loved it!  Put it on straight away and was gushing over the colours and how her mum would want one.  I got numerous hugs and thank you's!  It is nice to have a happy customer!

That's it for now.  Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and if I don't write before a very Happy and Loving New Year!

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Mini Christmas Stockings ....

I have now hung these on my display tree in my unit at The Emporium.

They are looking really cute.  Although stupidly I forgot to take a photo of them in situ.

I seem to be doing quite well in the Christmas Shopping period.  I have sold some knitted hats, and remember my Christmas House, Christmas Cottage and the Cinnamon Stick Trees ....

...I've sold both properties (!) and two of the trees.  So I have several more to pop in there hopefully before Saturday!


It is so rewarding when your creations are bought - it always gives me a warm feeling and satisfaction that I've made something that someone wants to buy!

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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Kool Dyeing

I hated chemistry when I was at school, the only bit I enjoyed was the experiments with the test-tubes and Bunsen burners.  I think I still like that part of it as I've been dyeing again!

It is extremely addictive and fascinating.  I love seeing what different shades I can create - I guess that's the artist in me.  I love colour and to create it is magical!

Today I wanted to create Christmassy reds and greens as I've been making little stockings for Christmas decorations.

These are from the pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jennifers-mini-sock-recipe by Jennifer Tocker.  They are tiny - to give you an idea of size - here's one I made for a swap against a 5pence ...
Aren't they diddy?!
by Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits http://littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk/. This pattern is lovely as it can incorporate intarsia - and boy does that open creativity!
Two so far, and one more on the way ....
The yarn I've been using is from http://www.theknittinggoddess.co.uk/.  I belong to a mini-skein club where I am sent seven mini-skeins a month.  They are all lusciously dyed in gorgeous colours and the yarn is to die for - it is beautiful to use.  I have been using the mini-skeins in two projects so far - http://tinyowlknits.wordpress.com/the-beekeepers-quilt/ which is like this - although this one isn't mine - mine is still in little hexis (I'll show you them another day!)

If you fancy having a go at this pattern you can buy it here ...
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/78846028/the-beekeepers-quilt-knitting-pattern.  However it should come with a huge warning - saying VERY ADDICTIVE!
The other pattern I am using the mini-skeins for is http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sock-yarn-blanket  - again this is not my blanket - this is to show you what I mean - again mine are all in squares at the moment and will be completely different as I am using the ends of the mini-skeins that are too short to make a hexi out of .  One day I'll show you them too - hopefully finished!
Anyway, I decided that I needed some more Christmassy shades and thought I could dye my own.  I have also bought some undyed mini-skeins from The Knitting Goddess.  I dye them using Kool Aid - a drink sachet from the USA.  It is absolutely fantastic at dyeing!  The yarn just soaks up the colour and it is such fun to create different effects and shades. 

I used Cherry and Strawberry for the reds and for the greens I used Apple, and also Lemon and Lime, one of them I added some Blue Raspberry to give a darker green (more the shade I associate with Christmas) and then I tried out some Ghoul Aid which is blackberry and comes out almost black.  I mixed some of that with one the green mixes too to give a more fir tree green.  And as a by product I made some almost teal like shade dip dyed effect and then two pale one using the very last of the Kool Aid green shades (I don't like to waste a thing!)
I can't stress how much fun I had!  Oh and you should smell the kitchen - it definitely got a fruity smell in there!
So - job done - wait for them to dry and then I can knit up some more stockings!
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas is coming ....

It has now reached the time of year when there are lots of Craft Fairs and Fetes, after all Christmas is coming!

I love creating little items for Christmas.  I like to make things that are suitable for presents and I also like to make the specifically Christmassy items.  I have my old favourites - little patchwork balls that I have made for years and years - in fact since I was at school; fabric crackers.. and so on.

Then I also like to try out different things - which I have done so this past week or so. 

I have made little houses before.  In fact they are on a previous post on here.  This time I thought I'd make some that were Christmassy houses in Christmas fabric or at least Christmas colours.  I am rather pleased with the result ...

I particularly like this more cottagey style one.  On the other one the roof is a bit lost.

Then I saw some trees on Pinterest.  Oh they were lovely - just triangles with cinnamon stick trunks.  Aha ... time to use some of my Christmassy fabric scraps up and make patchwork trees.  I love the idea of using cinnamon sticks as the trunks as that's a really Christmassy scent.  Most of the time I stuff lavender into my creations as that's really my favourite scent.  However - I am also a big fan of spicy Christmassy smells and cinnamon definitely ticks the box there!

Sadly I am unable to go to one of the Craft Fairs I am booked in for.  I had a fall on Wednesday morning and have been in a bit of pain since with my left knee and my right ankle.  I thought I'd better get them checked out and it turns out I have successfully torn ligaments in both and need to rest up.

The Craft Fair I was booked to do tomorrow is in Bradworthy, near to where I used to live.  I do this one every year as firstly I lived that way and then because it gave me a great excuse (as if I need one) to go and stay the night before with my best friend who lives down there.  We get to catch up.  I do miss her.  She used to pop in at least once a week for a cup of tea and a good old chin-wag.

So these goodies will have to wait for next weekend.  I'll be making more for the other craft fairs and for The Crafty Phoenix Lady unit at The Emporium too.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Froggy Friend (and friends that were)

I thought perhaps that Witch Hazel may be lonely so I made her a Froggy Friend.


I once had a friend who was frog mad.  So everytime I see anything froggy I think of her.  I even bought loads of froggy fabric in anticipation of her having babies as I wanted to make her a frog-themed baby quilt.

Alas that was not to be as when my ex and I split up she sadly sided with my ex as her husband was his best mate.  Why is it that divorce and break-ups cause friends to have to chose?  I spent months, years, mourning over the loss of that friend.  I think I have finally come to terms with it.  I've had to accept that in order for her life to be easier then she had to side with her husband.  Although sometimes it does smart to think of the version of events that they were told.

Another friend I lost through the divorce was someone who I thought would understand fully what I was going through as she'd already been through a divorce herself.  However, at a wedding reception my ex and I attended just before the split was made, he got talking with her at the bar.  She then proceeded to march me into the ladies' toilets and lecture me about how wonderful he was and how I had to stay with him, blah blah blah.  I was gobsmacked.  I decided to put that down to the drink talking and let it go. 

When I did call her up on it and try to tell her what had been going on, she proceeded to tell me that I was completely different to the person she thought I was - and I definitely wasn't the nice little quiet mouse in the corner office.  Again I was amazed - I had no idea that was what she'd thought of me.  She obviously didn't know me at all.

My apologies for ranting on a bit.  I just felt that it kind or - loosely - linked in with the Froggy I've made.  I guess too that sometimes I feel I need to get what I think "out there". 

I do believe I am a much better person now.  I am now in a relationship with a wonderful man who is my best friend as well as my partner.  He accepts me for what I am and loves me for it.  This is the first relationship that I have ever felt secure in and able to be ME!

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Witch Hazel

Introducing Witch Hazel....

Isn't she sweet!

I've had such fun ("such fun" as Miranda's mum says!) making her.

She has mad witchy hair made from eyelash yarn.

A pretty black pinafore with tiny pale yellow and mustard flowers all over,
and an embroidered ribbon edging at the hem.
A matching hat.

Gold bloomers and blouse with faint stars on
 (you probably can't see them very well in the photos - but it's lovely fabric!) 

And tiny little yellow buttons

Ooo and don't forget her stripey tights with black felt boots.
I think she's getting ready for Hallowe'en, what do you think .....?

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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Fashion Show

It's a fashion show - but the kind that my younger self would have loved (although there still is a bit of that little girl in me as I love "playing"!

When I was little it was Sindy and Barbie dolls. 
I think there was a kind of doll war going on between them as to which was the most popular. 
 For me it was Sindy all the way!

Nowadays it seems that Barbie has won the doll war
as I don't think I've seen a Sindy for a few years now. 
Although Barbie had better watch out as Monster High seems to be the place to be ...

I used to spend hours playing with my Sindy dolls - and I had a few - including two of my mum's!
They all had names and their own personalities. 
I loved dressing them and making up stories! 
I remember one year my dad made me a big wooden wardrobe and painted it pink
 - and it was much bigger than the ones you could buy. 
My Nanny must have spent hours at the sewing machine
as she had made me absolutely loads of clothes to go in my new wardrobe - my idea of Sindy heaven!

So when my own little girl got into dolls - and by then Barbie had the edge - I was in my element! 
I spent so many evenings leading up to one Christmas with my knitting needles
knitting a whole load of clothes - I had so much fun!
Sadly I don't know where all of her dolls and clothes went. 
 Mine I remember giving to a God-daughter
when I was in my early twenties (I saved them for that long!). 
 Actually I feel awful saying that I regret giving them away -
 I should have kept them - perhaps for Alexandra
- or perhaps for me to have a sneaky regression back to my childhood!

So, I thought I'd give knitting a few a go to see if there are any little girls around now
 that love their dolls as much as I did.

I'd made a couple a while back - of which one set went at a Craft Fair
and then the other has been in The Crafty Phoenix Lady unit at The Emporium. 
 At the end of the summer holidays a young lady and her mum came in to buy it. 
They said they'd seen it the day before and loved it - and that they'd taken my card. 
I said that I was thinking of making a few more ...
 and the young lady's eyes lit up and her mum was nodding saying "oh that would be great"
 ... so out came the knitting needles!

So here is my Autumn fashion range so far!

I thought it would look better with photos of them being worn - what do you think?

I must admit - I've had fun!
All outfits knitted so far have been from the website www.stickatillbarbie.se - there are tons and tons and tons of lovely patterns there!
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On another matter - completely different - I've crocheted a pair of these

In some lovely soft grey speckled yarn
as I've recently heard some very exciting news!  Can't say anymore right now as it's not been publicised that much yet ... but just to say ... I am so EXCITED!!!!!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Seasalt Inspired

I have finished the Seasalt inspired blanket and it is now in The Crafty Phoenix Lady unit at The Emporium in Yeovil.

Do you remember how I was dithering over colour choices and combinations?  And then suddenly hit on the idea of using my Seasalt bag colours as inspiration ...

I did a simple granny square style border in alternating colours with the parchment background.  Unfortunately didn't have enough mauve to use that in the border but I do think the other three look good, and a border always finishes it off well, doesn't it?

When I measured it I realised I'd made this one square!  I hadn't planned to, but isn't it funny how your work turns out sometimes!

I took it into The Crafty Phoenix Lady unit yesterday and it's looks pretty good - albeit I say that myself!

I've loved working with this colour combination too - it's been refreshing to use colours that perhaps I wouldn't usually chose.  I do feel that the more I work with yarn and fabric - the more I enjoy experimenting with different palettes.  It's nice to have a play around!