Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Knitpro needles

This post wasn't meant to end up being a review but I got a little carried away! Who know, this might be useful to someone :) I haven't mentioned (I don't think!) the awesome knitting needles I got for Christmas. I say "got for Christmas", really I got them for myself, let my little brother wrap them up and give them back to me... They are flipping brilliant!

Knit-Picks circular needles

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a colourful person and I've managed to replace most of my old grey needles and hooks with lovely colourful ones :)

Hooks & Needles

I've wanted interchangeable Knitpro circular needles ever since I saw then on Crochet with Raymond and I nearly got the pink set but then by complete chance (and because I was trying to avoid buying from Amazon, tax dodging cheats) I came across a rainbow set. Swoooooon!

Knit Picks needles

Mine are the Trendz set which come with four cables (60cm/24', 2 x 80cm/32' & 100cm/40') end tags so you can take the needles off but keep the knitting on the cable, 8 needles (my 4.5mm are being used right now!) and a case for them all which is quite handy. You can find loads of different types on their website.

Knitpro circular needles

The size markings look like the might be rubbing off which isn't great but I think I can manage to work out which is which. Alternatively my dad has one of those little drill things that you can etch with so I might try doing that... Might!

Knitpro circular needles

I was a bit worried about the needles coming loose from the cable but once screwed on (and there's a little tool for tightening) they're great! I've been knitting up a snood and haven't had any problems so far, yay!

Knit-Picks circular needles

This is the case with added Ham sticker :p I cut out the size guide from the packaging so I know what's what. I wish the needles were metal like my regular needles and hooks, sometimes I find acrylic needles a bit sticky, but once I've started to knit I've noticed they smooth up so it's not a big problem. Just hoping being plastic and quite thin that they don't end up snapping one day :o

Knitpro circular needles

I was going to share with you the first project I made with them but I've written so much about the needles themselves I've sort of run out of steam now! I'll get back to a proper post about knitty things very soon, and I may even share my new bike. Oooooooooooh!!!

x x x x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Paper

I've re-written the start of this post about 12 times, I don't know what's wrong with my brain!  What it's trying to say through the medium of blogging is I went to the Manchester Art Gallery on Sunday with J.  He's not really into art and I'm also not interested in portraits or pottery or anything like that, but they had a very nice (free) exhibition on called The First Cut, which is a collection of work from artists who use paper as their medium, not painting or drawing on paper, but actually using the paper as the piece itself.

The First Cut

Some of the hand cut pieces are simply incredible, they must have taken hours upon hours upon hours to finish which is one of the reasons they are by far my favourite pieces, there's always something new to spot with all the detail involved.

The First Cut

I thought this was very clever, a map of the world according to the currency they use.  Nothing political or religious about it, just straightforward fact.  You also get a sense of quite how massive Russia actually is, in case you'd forgotten!

The First Cut

There were some nice trees you could wander about in, and some paper wreaths - ok not actually wreaths, but would look very cool on my door!

The First Cut

Some more cut birds, shoddily photographed on my phone.

The First Cut

And then this cool little thing with bunting!  I really love the little pencils and tulips, I notice something new every time I have a look.

So while I don't have the time or patients to be quite as creative as these clever people, telling you about our trip does lead nicely into showing you some of the paper crafting I did over Christmas :)

Paper bunting

Now alas I have quite bad pictures, but I can't seem to get them any better so you'll have to bear with...  My mum & dad got me a big book of scrap booking type paper when we were over in New York so I made some tiny bunting that now adorns the shelves.

Notice the empty picture frame, I got that as a present last last Christmas......

Paper bunting

It was nice to have something to put up after Christmas, probably why I haven't felt so dull or glum this January! 

They're pretty easy to make, it's a folded piece of paper so there's no back so to speak.  My mums got these weird little punch things; you roll it across the paper (with a foam board underneath) and it punches holes in different patterns.  Amazing!  I opted for a simple line so I could do running stitch, I've since discovered she's got one that makes holes for blanket stitch...

Paper  origami lanterns

I also dug out one of my mums crafting books and found an origami tutorial to make lanterns.  Unfortunately they didn't work with my paper (and it meant cutting it into squares) so I had to drag everyone to Hobbycraft, which was a real shame.

Paper  origami lanterns

Origami paper in hand, I made lanterns. Ta-dah!

Paper  origami lanterns

I have more to make, and then they'll go on some battery fairy lights o brighten the place because that's what we need J, more stuff!!

I've made some decent progress on my Nan's chair throw but still need to photograph that, and I've started a new snood for a friends mum, so lots of things to come soon hopefully, and to show you the needles I got for Christmas :o  They are to die for!!!

Thanks for stopping by, as always your reading, comments or whatever you do gives me that nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Much love from me

x x x x

P.S I was right last time, we did end up at the LFS...  Meet Bandit!

Bandit

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Crochet & Cross Stitch

Good morning campers :)  Well, still no snow - apart from a thin dusting - so disappointing!  The news is *really* getting on my nerves about it though - 'the big freeze' indeed!  I'm sure we had much worse weather last Feb.  Grrrr!

Enough of that, lets share some crochet goodness :)  While I wasn't knitting J's snood I had to find something else to do, and although I had a few projects on the go (surprise huh!?) I stumbled across this pattern on Easy! Makes me happy & I was quite literally hooked!

Cross stitch crochet hat


I've tried about a million times to get some decent photos but it's been impossible so I hope you can tell it's a crochet hat with some cross stitch on it :)  It's surprisingly warm despite being quite thin & the best thing is it fits under my bike helmet so I can keep my ears warm, yesssss :)

Crochet cross stitch hat

Looking a bit serious :p  probably annoyed I'd taken a million photos.

embroidery_01

Cross stitch is dead easy, the pattern shows you at the end how to do your stitches, I followed the flower pattern using some left over Stylecraft from other projects.

I've looked all over for the yarn label but I can't find it - you'll have to be content that it was a cheap cheap cheap aran yarn from my LYS, nothing special :)

I've since made another for our little nephew but maybe I'll wait til he's wearing it to get a photo, he's bound to be a much cuter model!

I've just watched J spend 15 minutes trying to catch a fish, he keeps tropical fish and one of them was looking pretty grim.  I have a feeling we'll be off soon to his LFS - I have yarn, he has fish!

x x x x


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Cables!

I've been waiting patiently for it to snow but so far not a flake. It's freezing & I think we should have some!

Now that Christmas is over I can finally share the project I'd been knitting for J :)

Cable Snood

I've always wanted to knit something for him, being as he puts up with my obsession more than anyone else, so when I found this aran yarn in my stash I knew it would be perfect for a snood, and for some reason I decided on cables. Oh and all this was less than 2 weeks before Christmas...

Cable snood

I spent every lunch break knitting and used every spare minute when I was home and J wasn't to try and finish it on time, pretending I was working on some other hat / scarf / monster thing!

The funniest thing is most of the time it sat in almost plain view, proof that J really *does* try to ignore my knitting :D

Cable snood

Then I ran out of yarn and it was way too small for a snood or a scarf! The worst part was it was exactly as week before Christmas and the shop I bought it from is down in London... Thank god for the magic of ebay!

Cable snood

I still had the yarn label so managed to order another ball and it arrived on the very last day possible! Saturday while J was working (and I was meant to be packing so we could go to my family on Sunday). I spent ALL day knitting until my hands ached - I physically couldn't do anymore, but it was ok, the snood was finally the perfect length. Hurrah!

Cable Snood collage

The pattern is super basic, but I will share because we knitters love the details don't we?

You'll need:

Yarn - Cygnet kiddies Couture aran in grass green

4mm needles
A cable needle
A yarn needle for weaving in

Pattern:

Thumb cast on 39 stitches

Row 1: *P3, K6* P3
Row 2: K3 *P6, K6*
Row 3: *P3, K6* P3
Row 4: K3 *P6, K6*
Row 5: *P3, CB6* P3
Row 6: K3 *P6, K6*
Row 7: *P3, K6* P3
Row 8: K3 *P6, K6*

Repeat the above 8 rows until your scarf or snood is long enough and cast off.

I've taken lots more pictures to share but my brain's too frazzled to write anymore so I'm going to have to love and leave you till I can properly function!

x x x x

Friday, 4 January 2013

Hello Twenty Thirteen

Happy New Year my lovelies :D It's good to be back but I can't tell you how much I wish it were still the holidays, even though I know it wouldn't be as special if it lasted forever. We spent a very long week down at my folks in London, although a week didn't seem long enough in the end!


Christmas Day was very chilled out and merry. I was up early to see my brother before he had to work (!!) which meant opening presents, followed by more presents when J got up (fair-isle slippers!), followed by party food for lunch, mulled wine, dinner making, a nap, plying my parents with alcohol while they were being busy, my brother coming home still in good spirits, more presents, Christmas Dinner, Christmas Crackers, Trivial Pursuit (my Dad lost) Christmas Pudding and then bed.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, or if that's not your thing a peaceful end to the year :)

I can't quite believe where the year has gone but looking back at my projects for the year sort of puts things into an order I can make sense of! I really enjoyed making little mosaics at the beginning of last year so I've done the same now, only this time I've discovered Pic Monkey which is a brilliant website for making collages, mosaics and editing photos - a huge time saver.

There are four projects from last year that I've finished which was one of my 2012 resolutions, but I've also started this year with more unfinished WIPs. Oh well!

2012 collage
1. Hexagon blanket - completed :)
2. A stockinette stitch cushion cover. I've cast on too many stitches for the cushion inner I have so I may start this again...
3. Spring Garden Granny Squares. These haven't worked out so well when joined, I'm wondering whether to make more squares in different colours and make a small lap blanket...!

4. Nanny throw. I don't think this is a project I've blogged about yet so more about this later!
5. Bubble Gum Ripple Blanket
6. Pomegrante snood.

7. Little Woolie Inspired Cushion. I should finish this soon, I've only got a few more rows to do!
8. Ribbed Phone Cover
9. Stripy Snood

2012 collage

1. Crochet hook handle, made from Fimo
2. Moss Stitch Scarf
3. Crochet owl

4. Crochet Father Christmas
5. Knitted bunting
6. Knitted cable hat

7. Bunting
8. Knitted cat mouse hat
9. Polka dot skirt

2012 collage

1. First pomegranate snood
2. Turquoise cable hat
3. Lingonberry biscuits :)

4. Winter striped scarf
5. Snowflake Christmas card
6. Chunky mustard snood

7. Pink fluffy scarf
8. Grass cable snood
9. Giveaway cactus

I've got loadssss of other things to show you that I started over the holidays too, lets cross our fingers for some good weather this weekend and I'll try to get some half decent photos to share :)

x x x x