Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Christmas and wrapping up

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas or festive season this year


It's not been so nice out there recently...  The grey gloom reminds me that January is almost here and all the twinkly decorations will soon be gone, my least favourite thing.


Without a doubt staying indoors is the best plan but we're going to have to venture out later, although we'll be spending it in someone elses indoors so that's ok.

Christmas Cactus

We spent Christmas down at my parents this year.  I treated myself to a Christmas Cactus and inevitably it flowered while we were away, but it still looks lovely!  I made a fairly nice table setting although as usual forgot to take any photos of us!


Some of my favourite decorations came down from the loft.  I love unboxing them and remembering the things put away from years ago which I'd forgotten about




And some new!


Last year I made this for my mum but completely forgot to take any photographs of it.  I can't remember where I first saw it but I've been able to trace the design back to this blog and discovered she has loads more adorable embroidered hoops!  I'll definitely be making some of these for the house...


I think there's just time for one last cup of tea before getting ready to face the cold and New Years Eve! Stay safe & keep warm!


x x x x

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Not bad for a morning!

I'm definitely not what one would call a morning person, but since having the cats I've forced myself out of bed at least once a weekend to feed them, resisting the temptation to lie in.  I even fed them last Saturday while nursing a nice hangover!  If I get up, I usually stay up, so this morning between 8.30 and 10am I got down to some knitting...

Knitted mitts

They're knitted up from a lovely simple pattern on a blog called Flowerpot. I've made them in the 3 and 3-6 month sizes but I wanted something in between so I cast on 20 stitches and improvised the decreases.  The yarn is Cygnet Kiddies Couture Aran.

These were for Nephew#3 but I've made two sizes for one of my best friends babies and as they're super quick to knit I can see more on the horizon...

I've finished my Christmas wrapping, apart from one thing that I'm still waiting to arrive.  Hmmm.

One of my presents to a friend is the Death Star, in all it's crochet glory!  Kinda appropriate as there's a trailer out for a new film.

The Death Star

My friend asked for one but I don't think he thinks I've made it (confused?) so I'm hoping it's a bit of a surprise.

The Death Star

I just have to say that I'm laughing at I type this, I've been feeding Moggie her favourite Dreamies and she's licking my fingers clean. And then she typed this to you all (I think it means hello)

C47 X9000DFR

She also has the last laugh as J dressed her brother up like this...


Merry Christmas if I don't post before Thursday! 

x x x x

Sunday, 14 December 2014

All of what's been going on

I feel a bit like I've lost my blogging-mojo and I want to find it.  I've been really busy when it comes to making things but when I look at my photos I'm not feeling inspired...  I'm just going to give it a go.

I've finished my Solstice cardigan but I haven't managed to take any photos of it yet, although it's been in almost constant wear since casting off.  I think these were the last photos I took but it shows you something I guess...

Solstice cardigan

I had to do the sleeve again because my needles were a size smaller than the pattern said so it was too tight, but I'm really glad I did and I'm very happy with the fit.

Solstice cardigan

I made some rather cute baby mittens for a friend and I forgot to photograph them.  I'm one hand into making some mittens of my own and I've only got a WIP photo to post ,but lets have it anyway

Aran mittens #knitting

Lets see...  Oh yeah, my Uncle wanted a rag-doll style Dr Who so this is something else I've been hooking

Dr Who work in progress

He is meant to be the Eleventh Dr Who, although obviously he shouldn't be bald and hopefully at some point he'll have a mouth and a fez.

Christmas decorating began in earnest on the 1st, I've heard a lot of people say the start of December is still too early to think about Christmas but I want to make the most of it, so there


I also wanted to see whether the cats would destroy the tree so for the first week I only put a few Ikea baubles on, but low and behold we have ANOTHER cat success story and that is they're not remotely interesting in destroying my tree.  Huzzah!

I've even managed to bake some mince pies (and I remember to do them in cases instead of straight into the tin...)

Mince pies

And I've been enjoying hot chocolate in my varying festive mugs.

Hot chocolate #manchestermarkets2011

And as with most years since discovering them I've been enjoying the Christmas Markets in town, made even better by the fact that I only work down the road now...



And a couple of weeks ago I got reaquainted with my sewing machine and made a cushion from an lovely off cut of fabric I found in John Lewis.



I realise that's a bit of an info overload but I think I needed it!

x x x x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Woodside arm warmers

One of my recent knitty projects are these arm warmers.  I had a pair in khaki green when I was at University, but someone stole my coat at a party and they were lost forever!  My mum called them my Fagin gloves.  Well Fagin wouldn't have been wearing a pair like these now would he.

Knitted arm warmers

They're loosely based on a Lion Brand pattern called Constellation although I realised my yarn was a different side so I did some customising and decreased to my wrists and played around with the increases to make it fit perfectly.

Knitted arm warmers

They're incredibly cosy and I've been wearing them at work although it hasn't been exactly necessary, but winter is coming and I'll be able to knit in these too!

Knitted arm warmers

I love the stripes the yarn has produced and that the main colour's the deep purple which is lovely.

Knitted arm warmers

The yarn isLoops & Threads Impeccable Ombre and the colour is Folklore; I bought it a few years ago when I went to New York, from Michaels.  I still have most of the ball left and two more, so I'll have to see what to do with those.  I'd quite like to knit more monsters...

Purchases from Michaels :)

I reckon I'm getting the hang of using DPNs too, which is good because I need to use them for the sleeves of my cardigan.  I don't like casting on because I've twisted my stitches several times, and I don't like starting out with a few stitches and having to decrease, but these weren't so bad.

Knitted arm warmers

Moggie decided she wanted to be part of my photography shoot too.  It's a shame she's not in focus but she was very curious about what was going on!


I made up three cushions today and I've almost finished some painting (only a door frame) so I feel pretty accomplished.  I just wish it wasn't Sunday and I wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow!

I had a go at making short bread, using the recipe that Lucy posted on Attic 24, although I ended up adding quite a bit more flour because it was too sticky to roll out.  I had good fun cutting out my shapes and make little stars to stick on top!


Right, dinner time for all of us.  Have you had a nice weekend with any craftiness?

x x x x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Finished retrobaby blanket

Diz and Mogs thank you for their warm welcome into blogland  Admittedly not much crochet or knitting is planned by either of them, but regular attempts to thwart mine will no doubt continue...

I finally finished knitting nephew #3's baby blanket and I really want to make another for me but it would have to be bigger and this one took forever so it's probably not going to happen, oh well.  Want to see?

Retrobaby blanket

Ta dah!!!!

The pattern didn't call for a border but I wanted one because I don't think they look quite finished without, do you know what I mean?

Retrobaby blanket

I crocheted a cream border and used the pattern from Attic 24 for ripples, although it hindsight I wish I'd knitted the first and last rows in cream because the crochet ripples weren't the same,

Retrobaby blanket

There is something really lovely about knitting which you don't quite get from crochet, and you know I LOVE garter stitch!

Retrobaby blanket

The pattern is called Rocky which I bought from Ravelry.  It's only a couple of good English pounds and once I got the hang of the pattern it was very easy and very satisfying, apart from the time I tried to change colour mid-row and nearly ruined the whole thing but dropping stitches and confusing myself a lot.

Retrobaby blanket

As usual I've used Stylecraft special DK, apart from the blue and orange but I think Spice would work and there's probably as similar blue, maybe Cornflower.  The others were PlumLavender, 'Meadow' Cream and Camel.

Happy crafting!

x x x x

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Meow meow?

I knew it had been a while since I last sat down to blog, but I didn't realise it had been quite so long.  I haven't felt like writing really but I've been content with knitting, crocheting and reading instead. Projects definitely need photographing but all in good time.

We welcomed some new additions to our house a few weeks ago...  One who is fairly intent on stopping me from working


And the other loves sleeping on our bed and waiting for her favourite hooman (J) to come home


It hasn't been plain sailing and I won't pretend that it has, but they've both settled in really well now and we're making great progress.  Obviously you never know where they've come from, what their owner was like, what they ate, so it's a big learning curve for us all.  Right now Moggie is snoozing on the sofa and Dizzy is lounging near the kitchen, hoping we might feed him.

Will be back soon hopefully, with less tails of cats and more tales of knitting!

x x x x

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Finished #2; seaside baby blanket!

I am on fire people!  Well, I maybe just have certain due dates to meet, but this is my second baby blanket finished this month, woo!

Seaside baby blanket

I managed to get my edges straight in the end but I still need to figure out the best way to do it.  If I counted I'm sure I'd be fine but I think it was something like 120-140 stitches, ain't no body got the patience for that...  Plus I normally watching something while I crochet.

Seaside baby blanket

My camera hasn't picked up the orange very well, it seems to treat it like red but it's definitely orange!

Seaside baby blanket

I opted for quite a simple border because I think it will suit my friends taste more than something a bit fancier, but there will be more blankets to have fun with.  It's a round of double crochet (single if you're in the US) then another round of half trebles in the same colour (Stylecraft Special DK Cloud Blue) and finally another round of half trebles in Aster.  The corners are 2 chains, a bit like a granny square.

Seaside baby blanket

Obligatory swiss roll shot

Seaside baby blanket

What I liked about this blanket the most was how quick it was!  I've used half treble stitches as they're taller than doubles, so it takes less time, but less 'crochety' looking than trebles...  I've no idea if that makes sense, but in my head it does, I think it makes each stripe more solid?  I don't think my friends are particular into crochet'd things but I'm hoping that for a baby blanket it's ok!

I've been enjoying knitting so much that I forgot how lovely it is to crochet.  My Muriel blanket (well received by the way) took a lot longer because it was only double stitches.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

I spent a lovely weekend in Wales with friends, we even went to the beach and a waterfall!  There's something you don't get where I live.  Absolutely perfect

x x x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Finished baby blanket

I'm so glad that Tatton Park wasn't this weekend...  Today has been absolutely horrid!  I've been wrapped up inside in blankets with tea and cake, watching the rain lash down outside.  At least the waterbutt's filled, the plants are watered and the sight of this is brightening my day


I've finished my Muriel blanket, just in time to visit my very pregnant friend next weekend who I've not seen in nearly a year.  Can't wait! x


I followed Lucys tutorial for a picot border (a tutorial here
after a wonderful suggestion from Chrissie, although I think that might have been for another blanket I'm working on, but it was perfect for this.

The best bit about this blanket is all the destashing.  I've run out of the pink completely and a few of the other colours are now running out.  


And do you remember the problem I had with it going all trapezoid like?  Blocking and a border really sort that out!



I'm rather pleased with it.  I'd now say something like "I hope they like it" but I stupidly uploaded it to Facebook without hiding it from them so I already know that they do haha!
So that's one down.  My retrobaby blanket is coming along nicely too.  We now have 21 & ¾ rows!

Retro baby

I've been getting a little side tracked though because I started another baby blanket last Saturday...

Seaside stripes

This will be for a friend and his wife who moved to New York!  They're having a baby in a few months so hopefully this will keep him toasty over there because it gets cold!

I had a bit of a problem with keeping the edge straight (again) on the right hand side but I think I've roughly worked out what I'm doing, and I'm also quite happy to block and border it again to hide my mistakes hehe

Seaside stripes

I thought granny squares would take me too long but I love this blanket by Heather at Little Tin Bird so I've used similar colours which I knew would work really well together without going through the pain of trying to decide what works!  Her post about colour choosing is really interesting and proves it's not always easy!

A bit worried I'm running out!  The blues are all Stylecraft Special DK, from the top; Aster, Cloud Blue and Turquoise.  Heather used Spice which is a lovely shade of orange although mine, despite looking red, is the remains of my fox cushion, which I'm also using on Retro Baby and is just an ordinary acrylic.

Maybe when these are all done I'll have time to finish one of own blankets or cardigans  

x x x x