Sunday, 25 January 2015

Booky goodness

Reading Mariannes post yesterday about crochet books got me really inspired, I had to wait until this morning to take photographs and I'm so glad it's another sunny day.  Warning; this is book photo heavy!

I couldn't think of my absolute favourite book, I suppose they all have something I love, which makes them different from the rest.  I definitely prefer books over magazines, in my (limited) experience of buying magazines I just get annoyed by all the advertising and lack of actual content!  Maybe I've yet to find the right ones.

Crochet

Crochet Books

I don't have too many crochet books, which is surprising as I started to crochet properly well before getting into knitting.

Super Cute Amigurumi

Super Cute Amigurumi is exactly what it says on the tin.  Ridiculously cute little animals!

Super Cute Amigurumi


Cute & Easy Crochet

I know this book is very popular in blog land and when I bought it I knew why!  It's beautifully photographed and the projects are all really calming and peaceful.  Does that make sense?  They remind me of blogs like Lady Bird Diaries, Sew Sweet Violet, Cherry Heart and Coco Rose Diaries

Cute & Easy Crochet


150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet

A friend bought me this really cool book fore helping her at work, which is silly because it's my job & I'm paid to help, but it was lovely that she appreciated this much!  It's got so many different patterns from stars and snowflakes to leaves and triangles, and it shows you how to tesselate them and make blankets.

150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet

Knitting

Knitting Books

Bumper Book of Knitting

This book was a Christmas present from J so it's very new.  I have to say I've been really impressed with his book buying choices (you'll see more later).  Along with your essential knitting instructions there's some more advanced techniques, some I've never seen before which is nice.

Bumper Book of Knitting

I really want to make these welly socks and this shawl/scarf/snood looks beautiful.  One day when I don't have a zillion WIPs on the go...

Bumper Book of Knitting


Knitted Animal Hats

You'll know this book is a favourite if you've visited my blog for a while.  I've make this hat twice and a couple of others.  I might be nearly 30, but I love animal hats.

Knitted Animal Hats





Knitted Toy Tales

Knitted Toy Tales was recommended to me by Alice at Crochet with Raymond who sadly no longer blogs.  Her monsters which are some of my absolute favourite things ever are adaptations of patterns in this book.

I started the owl below but it's probably been a couple of years since I pick it up.  It looks much bigger than I expected so I think I'm going to frog it and start again on smaller needles.  I also know how to do intarsia better now so that will help.

Knitted Toy Tales


Purs of Wisdom

This book is just really well written and very witty.  It's got great drawn instructions and a couple of lovely projects, but it's more about "how to" than giving you things to make.

Purls of Wisdom


Knitted Cats & Kittens

This books just simply ridiculous and I love it.  It was a present from Js parents because we're 'cat people' now.  I do like some of them (others are mad!)

Knitted Cats & Kittens

I think I'm going to make Js mum this doorstop.

Knitted Cats & Kittens

Sewing

Sewing Books

These were also bought by J for Christmas and my Birthday 2 weeks ago.  See what I mean about impressive?  He didn't know I follow Tillys blog either so I think he was rather pleased!  I can't wait to get cracking now my dress makers dummy has arrived.

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own


Tillys book really gets into the detail of making things which is where I often struggle when making clothes so this should really help.

Love at First Stitch

Love at First Stitch

Love love love this dress x

Love at First Stitch

Well if you've made it to the end then well done!  I hope you've enjoyed, maybe been inspired?  Maybe you can recommend me some magazines?  Maybe you have some of these books and have already made some lovely things and want to share?  I'd love to hear! 

x x x x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Knock knock, Who's there?

Thank you all for you lovely comments on my Bright Stripes, I'm still very much loving this project and I'm really happy with the colours, even if I've been leaning towards blues.  The blanket itself is still leaning but hey ho it's fine.

I'm very excited to share with you the finally finished Dr Who!  Don't get me wrong because I'm definitely a fan of science fiction but I'm really not into Dr Who.  I do feel like a bit of an expert on Matt Smiths hair now however!

Dr Who

I actually quite enjoyed making him but I probably won't be doing another any time soon.  My Uncle is pretty knit worthy (yeah, I know it's crocheted, it just doesn't work!) so I was happy to oblige his rather random and specific request for a "raggy doll Dr Who, the one played by Matt Smith"

Dr Who

He was rather fiddly being made of different pieces sewn together, which isn't something I particularly enjoy, and I did the legs so many times!  One set were ridiculously long, the other were different lengths, in fact these aren't quite right which is why he's wonky!

Dr Who

His little jacket is detachable and so is the Fez but it probably needs sewing on, I think my Aunt is going to sort that out.

Dr Who

Now lets talk about his hair...  I LOVED this part

Dr Who

I am blubberingly proud of the fact that his hair actually looks like hair.  His head's a bit tilted back so it doesn't look quite right but it's not bad.  You start out with a sort of wig (just a brown crochet circle really) and then sew the hair into place.  Dr Who number eleven has a side parting which is fine when you look at him from the front, but what on earth does the back look like? 

Dr Who

 Awesome!!  I realised J also has a side parting so he became my muse, and now thinks this looks like him.  Erm... yes.

The pattern was $6 from  Allison Hoffman on Ravelry which only worked out at a couple of pounds, for the detail I think it's quite good value really.

Here he is atop a camel, because all Uncles have living rooms full of camels right? 

Dr Who

The drive to see my Uncle and Aunt was as spectacular as ever, it usually is but I think it looks even better with snow, even just a little bit.  I remember my first drive over the Snake Pass being really magic.  I'd set off early in the morning to avoid the inevitable traffic in Glossop.  It was cold and frosty and mist was coming off the lake (reservoir?) and light was beaming through the pine trees.  I just remember thinking 'this is amazing!' 

The Snake Pass

This weekends journey wasn't quite as magical but it was still nice, and we nearly got caught in a blizzard on the way home, which was exciting but perhaps not so nice.

The Snake Pass

It snowed the tiniest amount here on Sunday and didn't settle so I was really disappointed.  It says it might snow tonight but I'm in a hump with the weather and I don't believe it.  If it's cold I want my monies worth and I want snow.

Snow!

Much love

x x x x

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Bright Stripes

I'm really excited about this new project.  Our friends are having a baby soon so I've started a new blanket.  I'd planned to start in January anyway but I hadn't realised they're due a little sooner than I thought!  I didn't really have a design in mind and wanted some inspiration so I looked through my favourite blogs and hit upon Heather's pram blanket for Tiny Tin Bird on her blog Little Tin Bird, it's just lovely!

I headed into the City to buy the same Debbie Bliss colours she used, because why reinvent the wheel when I loved everything about it, but alas Abakhans don't stock it!  I'm not sure why I thought they did.

I tried to remember what shade each colour was and tried to substitute with Sirdar Snuggly DK. They didn't have a yellow I wanted in that range so the one I bought it from their Country Style range instead.  As it happens Heathers yellow was much paler but I quite like the brightness of the one I bought.  There also wasn't a green that I liked, although I found some Merino later in the sale section

Snuggly DK


Snuggly DK

When I got started I decided the darker red, which I'd intended as a sort of pink to off balance all the blue, didn't work and the dark blue was too dark.  I found a tiny amount of some pink Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which isn't going to go very far but it might just help.

Snuggly DK

I started by chaining 100 using a 3.5mm (E) hook on Saturday, following Heathers method of not turning the work because I also like the "front" of the stitches.  It really hasn't taken long at all to get this far at all.  I hope it looks fairly neutral, although there's a lot of blue in there I'm hoping it's not too blue.

Bright stripes blanket

Now lets talk about not turning.  I already know from making my Muriel blanket that if you don't turn your work everything ends up leaning to one side (the right if you crochet from right to left), and that's exactly what Heather says happened with hers, although you couldn't tell once she'd added a border.

I thought I'd try and be clever and every so many rows I'd join the next colour slightly to the left and then increase at the end of the row, but it hasn't really helped.  After trialing a border on the stitches I have I'm not too worried because it really didn't look as bad, but I had to rip the border back because I'm no where near ready for that.  At least I know what I plan to do!

Bright stripes blanket


Not even sure what shape this is trying to be, and urgh to all those ends to sew...

Bright stripes blanket

As usual I had some assistance...  They really love this piece of cardboard!  For some reason it was left by the previous owners of our house but it's really handy for taking photos, but here you can see the reality of my livingroom; handbags on the floor, instruction manuals waiting for a home...  Real life stuff

Snuggly DKMoggie

Time for another cup of tea before getting on with more stripes.  Have you started any new projects this year?

x x x x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Little vinyl bags

I was going to start off by linking in with a very old project (2010 old to be precise) but it looks like I never blogged about it, so why not now?  Once upon a time I found a lovely tutorial on a blog called Three Bears which you can find here.

I loved it and with some vinyl fabric, which I think I bought from John Lewis, I made my very own Little Box Pouch!

Little Boxy Pouch

It's one of those projects which has been in near constant use as it holds my darning needles, stitch markers, measuring tape..  Basically it is crammed with little things!  I'm surprised and very happy that after 4 years it's still as good as new


Little Boxy Pouch

I haven't quite perfected matching the zip with the seam but I think this was quite an early sewing project, and because the vinyl was sticky it stuck to the sewing machine.  I ended up putting kitchen roll paper between the vinyl & the machine and had to pick it out of the stitches after.  Not my favourite thing.

For Christmas I wanted to make something for my Mum, who is a big appreciater of craftiness.  She also wanted a wash bag to leave at our house for her collection of lotions and potions.  I Googled "Diy Wash Bag" and literally the first link which came up was perfect.  So back out comes the fabric.

Little wash bag

It was actually a tutorial on Mollie Makes and very easy to follow, but when the instructions say that "top stitch is optional they lie, it's not optional!  They said it might be tricky, so I thought "Nah" I'll skip it then if it's optional.

Little wash bag

When I finished the zip wanted to be all on show, "look at meeeee, I'm supposed to be inside" so that's why I went back and did a row of top stitch but only across the middle (because I couldn't actually get to the edge of the bag!!)

Little wash bag

It's fine though, I mean who really minds, it's a wash bag!  My mum certainly didn't notice but for some reason I told her anyway.  I wrapped up a few presents to put inside and stuffed it with tissue paper.

Little wash bag

And that's it, the last thing to come off my sewing machine in 2014.  I think I'd quite like to make a pencil case with the left overs for my silly collection of Sharpie marker pens.   I don't know why I love them so much!

Little wash bag

Happy New Year all!
x x x x