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Wife, mother, student midwife, sewing/crochet/knitting enthusiast.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Lessons in yarn

There hasn't been much craftiness of late apart from my crochet blanket squares which get put down more times than they are picked up. However, I found a pattern ages ago on Ravelry (probably curtesy of Pinterest knowing me) for a lovely shrug which looked pretty straightforward so I finally gave in and ordered the yarn thinking I could finish it during my time off over the summer and wear it to Uni. Well let me tell you that leaving work till the last minute was my first failing (lesson learnt the hard way for next year)!! My second failing was the assumption that this pattern was easy! Don't get me wrong - it it easy but the issue is me and my inexperience at crocheting straight lines! I can only laugh at myself really. I am struggling on slowly ... 

(X-stitch Shrug pattern)

My other disaster was making a sweater and not quite ordering enough yarn. Now, when you order yarn from Turkey it's a good job to make sure you order enough. Especially if when you need to order more, it turns out to be out of stock. The wording on the website made it look as though that was the end of the stock but being patient (sort of!) paid off and I have now purchased two packets (of 4) to make another sweater with as the yarn is so lovely! Little inside secret here - Ice yarns. I purchased Zerda Alpaca which is alpaca and dralon - it knits up beautifully with a bit of lovely fluffiness for good measure. If I could get Bella to move I could take a better picture. Still, it's best you see the finished product so I'll give you a little glimpse (plus, this little beaut is so lovely I just have to show her off!)

Bye for now!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Knitted baby hats

Life has been very busy lately and although my crochet granny stripe blanket is coming on massively, I have had to take a break because of the pain in my wrists. I will give all due credit for the improvement in pain to the Lord above - it is getting better, but I think I should lay off for a bit. Stangely, knitting small things isnt so bad so I've ordered some (bargain) yummy wool from ebay. Its Iantha by Louisa Harding and I've bought 3 colours for baby hats. I made a practice one yesterday in Stylecraft yarn after searching YouTube for videos on how to knit in the round with double-pointed needles. It took a few attempts but it was definately worth it - absolutely love the seamless look. Plus I dont have to sew the ends together - win win situation!! I used the 'Welcome to the World Hat' pattern by NONA KNITS but I made the ribbing a little bit shorter and the overall length 4" not 4.5" before decreasing.

I had to try it on (doll) baby Annabell to see if it fits. Her head circumference is almost the same measurement as my daughter's was at birth and I'm sure she was about average at 7lb 12oz! I have a little idea brewing in my mind about baby hats; I would like to give one to each of the babies I deliver during my training. I dont know if they'll be appreciated or not, but I'm going to try it.
I heard it said that it was easy once you grasped knitting with 4 needles and I have to agree - plus there are no pearl rows. Yes thats right, you just knit knit knit!
Here's a sneaky peak of my crochet blanket too:
 Sewing in all those ends is going to be a lovely long task!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Crochet Days

My great grandma used to crochet when we were children, in fact in the years before she passed away she ended up making me 3 'granny' blankets for my 2 cats (which I still have 10 years on)!

After various failed attempts, I decided I was going to master crochet, however long it took. Two weeks in and I still hadn't accomplished anythig despite my many efforts following tutorials on YouTube. I took a book out from the library but that didnt help either. Another two weeks went by before I actually had accomplished enough to begin a project - but it was worth it. I still find it hard to hold the yarn 'properly' but I think I'm doing ok!

I'd like to recommend a lovely lady known by the name of 'GirlyBunches' on YouTube (her real name is Olivia, find her tutorials here). Her video tutorials are excellent and easy to follow and she is on Pinterest too (you can find her page here).

I have embarked on a few projects over the last few weeks but the blankets are still under construction (updates to follow):

 Tutorial from Alli Crafts HERE
Tutorial from Attic24 HERE
Tutorial from Attic24 HERE

My ripple blanket is hit-and-miss as I dont think there were enough mupliples of 14, but it was the 1st project I started (other than my practice circles). Bit ambitious for a 1st project but hey, this is me we're talking about! The stripey blanket is for a friend and her new baby, I'm sure she doesnt read this or I'm in trouble. She was very complementary about the hat photo on Instragram too so I shall be gifting it her way too. Note to self: Do not link this post to twitter ... !!

So, as you can see, I am trying to cram in as much craft as I can before Uni begins in only 6 weeks time. I image my spare time will be reduced to zero hours once we start!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Child's Dolly Carrier

I'd like to share with you what I've been working on for a while. I came across this wonderful picture on Flickr a while ago and absolutely loved the idea. I have an Ergo-style carrier for E and absolutely love it. I would recommend them 100% and IF I ever had another child I would definately go and buy another one (I have no plans so the baby carrier is up for sale!). So, I thought what a great thing to make for the girls to carry their teddies and dollies around in.

I contacted the lovely Kristie who told me that the pattern is going to be in the newest 'One Yard Wonders' book which is currently under construction but would I like to test the pattern? Would I? Of course I would!! I have too much fabric lying around to go out and buy more so I thought I'd use my my stash of needlecord and add some pretty pink (Clarke & Clarke) flowery fabric to it for the pocket. Here are the results. I will update later with S wearing it (she's at school and I've only just finished sewing it):

There are poppers on the head panel so it can go up or down.

The original pattern says to tie the waist straps or add a clip. I am going to add a clip, I just havent bought one yet!

I hope you like it, and if you do, you'll have to keep watching Amazon for the new book.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Checkered/Square Knitted Scarf Tutorial

I have tried crochet before and just not been able to grasp it but I learnt best when I do something myself rather than watch someone else do it but its also handy to have somebody watch over your shoulder and correct you when you're wrong. So for 3 days this week I tried various tutorials on youtube or pinterest and still didnt actually do a few rows until the last day! I was very pleased with myself - its the little things that do it these days!

In the absence of a pattern to follow (ok, I tried the broomstick crochet bracelet but it wasnt working for me), I went back to knitting instead to keep my hands busy. I found THIS pattern from Quince and Co. called 'scarf squared' and decided it wasnt all that hard to make up myself. So I decided to test it out by doing a child-sized version.

I havent finished it yet but wanted to share a tutorial with you. I havent used an expensive yarn - just a basic acrylic because I needed to use some up. It would look gorgeous in something with a sheen (may buy something special for mine!)

I have cast on 32 for my 6yr old daughter and this measures 13.5cm. If you want to make it wider then add multiples of 8 stitches so 40, 48 etc. This will give you more 'squares'. It is very easy once you get started but just keep track of your stitches. You are working in 8's (apart from the border).
Here's the tutorial for 32 stitches:


Cast on 32 stiches (I use the Long Tail Cast On because it gives a neater finish and doesnt shrink)
Rows 1-4
Garter stitch (this means just do a knit stich the whole way through the row)
Row 5
* Knit 4.
Pearl then knit alternatively for 8 stitches.
Knit 8.
Pearl then knit alternatively for 8 stitches.
Knit 4.
Repeat for another 7 rows (so 8 in total).
Row 13
Knit 12.
Pearl then knit alternatively for 8 stitches.
Knit 12.
Repeat for another 7 rows (so 8 in total).*
Repeat * to * until you reach desired length.
Garter stitch for 4 rows.
Cast off.

And you're done.
I hope this makes sense!
The Pearl/Knit is for 8 stitches. The 8th stitch is a knit so if you just count "one, two ... " etc in your head you wont confuse that 8th stitch with the next 8 afterwards. Try it out before you try and understand my ramblings ... !
Feedback appreciated! :-)

Friday, 1 June 2012

The Elle Apparel Maxi Skirt

I've had my eye on this skirt fom Elle Apparel for ages but what prompted me to make a test version was this fabric. Unfortunately I have no time to sew this weekend so I wont get to wear it for Jubilee but i'm still determined to make one in that fabric! I ordered a tonne of navy cotton jersey a while back as I wanted to make an Infinity Dress. The more I looked at the pictures of it though, the more I realised it's not going to look right over my pear-shaped hips! Jersey dresse are not so great when you want to hide certain areas of your body!

So, my test run worked out really well as I hope you agree. I totally know why Leanne said she wore this skirt for many days straight after she made it - it really is comfy (wish I'd found this tutorial when I was pregnant myself!)

I would like to share some pointers though:
  • Definately make the waistband panels 2" shorter than your waist measurement then ease it into the skirt section by gently stretching it to fit. I took the panel in once on each side after sewing the seams and it still hangs round my hips. I'm going to buy some thick elastic and insert that into the waistband to solve that issue on this particular skirt. Problem solved!
  • Also, the tutorial says use a Serger (Overlocker) or elastic thread when sewing the panel into the skirt but I just used a zigzag stitch and it stretches nicely when you put it on. That may be because its a bit big but that'll be solved with the elastic soon!


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Another little girl's dress

I made this dress again. Its New Look 6016 and its so very cute! I realised that most of little E's summer dresses (she's 3) are 18-24m size or age 2. They still fit though - generous sizes I image. Doesnt that get on your nerves how every shop size is different? I shall stop here before I get carried away with that one.

I have a large stash of fabric that is not being used - perfect for little girly dresses. S doesnt want any dresses, too grown up for mummy's sewing at the moment (nose in air, sniff sniff - kids huh?!)! I picked up some really cheap cotton today (£2.95 a metre!!) in the local store (which is usually very expensive). Its white with a thin orange stripe through it. Thats my next project.

Fabric is Forest Life by Michael Miller from the order I placed from the US. Would love to place another order soon, their prices are far better than here in the UK!