Sunday, 29 June 2014

Mini Highland fashion show :-)

Hello there!
There seemed to be a distinct "clothing" theme going on here last month which I want to share with you today (hence the title of this post). About the middle of May I finally finished my basic sweater which I started back here when we went to the Lake District. It turned out pretty much as I had envisioned it, and it has survived a couple of trips through the washing machine just fine! :-) I'm kinda hoping it won't get worn so much now we're into summer but this is Scotland so who knows!
I've now started knitting a simple ribbed jumper for Little H which should go much quicker as there are the same number of stitches across the back of his jumper as there were in the sleeves of my one!
A speedier project last month involved this plain shirt which I bought at Asda...
I just love this style of shirt but, as I mainly live in jeans, the all over denim look can be a bit much. I decided it needed a bit of color other than blue so found some little embroidery designs on Pinterest and picked this one to embroider above the pockets. I hit a slight problem as the shirt material was too thick to clearly see the pattern through & my blue washable pen predictably didn't show up... Google to the rescue! I traced the design onto tissue paper, pinned it onto the shirt, & sewed right through the two layers. When I was done I carefully picked all the remaining bits of tissue paper off, tweezers helped with some of the widgy bits. It worked a treat!
I added three little red beads in the flower centers and voila! 
The color looks a bit washed out in these last pictures because we have had some sunny days - so much more light in the house, I'm certainly not complaining! ;-)
The last project took a bit longer than the shirt, but really at the heart of it, it is a simple little pattern. I absolutely love watching The Great British Sewing Bee in the springtime & this year I decided I would buy the book to accompany the series. Many years ago I used to do a lot of dressmaking & I figured a book that was aimed at beginners would be a good refresher course for me. I saw it on a bargain deal & snapped it up (last one on the shelf!) feeling as proud as punch until I actually tried to start making the Easy Sew Short Skirt. A quick look on Google revealed many other unhappy customers complaining of lots of errors in the book :( So what was meant to be a simple happy afternoon turned into a stress filled few days as I tried to work out exactly what was right & what was wrong in the instructions. All the way through I was second & third guessing myself! In the end I found five mistakes in this pattern including cutting out instructions being wrong (which meant I ended up with about half a metre of leftover fabric), and the elastic listed in the materials list being too wide to fit in the completed waistband (which meant I had to go buy narrower elastic)!!! I made a note of all the corrections I made to the pattern as I went along so it should be a quick, stress free project to make another time! This has really put me off the other patterns in the book, which is slightly problematic as my daughter & I already chose & bought fabric for another skirt! In all she had picked six different patterns from the book she wanted me to make for her but I don't think that will be happening now! I will tackle the skirt we have the fabric for sometime soon, maybe I'll wait until my mother visits and we can do it together as she also did a lot of dress making back in the day...
Anyways back to this skirt... Now it's finished my daughter is happy with it & has worn it several times now which is the main thing. The fabric she chose for this is a light, floaty cotton & it drapes & moves really nicely when worn (maybe there's enough left over for a strappy top?). We took a few pics in the garden to show you...

Well I hope you have been also enjoying some sunny days outside recently, thank you for visiting here today, I hope to be back soon with some new creatures to share with you!






Friday, 13 June 2014

A very special someone ;-)

Hello there!
Today I would like to I introduce you to a very special someone - Porkie Pig...
He may not be the cutest pig in the world, and his neck is very floppy these days, but he is irreplaceable to me. As you can see he has been with me for quite a while...
One of my great aunts knitted him for me & I have no idea exactly when he came to live with me, just as far back as I can remember he has always been around. One of my younger cousins also has fond memories of Porkie - so much so that we looked him out in the loft on one of her recent visits & introduced him to her daughter ;-) Although our great aunt knitted other things for my cousins I was the only one to get a Porkie, despite requests!
So why am I telling you this now? Well a little while ago while browsing knitting patterns on ebay what did I see? Right there in the middle of my screen was Porkie!!!! My Porkie!!! Someone was selling the original pattern cut from the 1970's magazine, so of course I had to buy it (total no brainer right?!). Then I messaged my cousin to tell her that I will try to follow this old pattern as best I can to make her her own Porkie. Finally. She sounded rather happy ;-)
First off I went back into the loft to retrieve Porkie & then he accompanied me on a couple of shopping trips to find the right colors of yarn (I think it's important to make the new one match my old one as closely as possible). Once I had my four colors it was time to make a start...
So far I have a body with legs & arms... 
two little trotters...
and have started on his head...
Once again I'm reminded that knitted toy patterns like this that are made up of flat pieces really are very different to work up from the crocheted amigurumi I am used to making! Maybe one day I will get used to this, but for now I still overwhelmingly prefer the amis which work up in the round. You can see the shape appearing as you work, you can see when you're on track & what you have at the end of the night, and at the end of it all there is far less seaming to do! Right now I have three knitted pieces which apparently form his head, but at the moment resemble nothing except three oddly shaped bits of knitting... I am not convinced! If you make knitted or crocheted toys which method do you prefer? Working in the round or in the flat? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Well for this weekend I am hoping to get a bit more of this pig together, I hope you have a lovely time whatever you are up to :-)







Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Birthday goodies!

Hello there!
How's your week going?? It has been a very busy few weeks here!
This is Jerry Giraffe who I made from a free pattern found here
for my grandson's birthday. Did you know giraffes like climbing trees? 
Well this one does! He's an adventurous sort, which is just as well as he has been accompanying Little H on his travels since he met his new pal last week. He even came back to Gran & Grampa's house for tea the other night! I can't quite believe how quickly time has flown since Little H was born - he's the first one to tell us he's not a baby, he's a big boy now! His daddy has introduced him to some favorite characters from his childhood & it really came as no surprise to us that Spiderman & Batman seem to be topping the chart right now. There are plans afoot to make him a superheroes bedroom over the summer so when I came across this blanket pattern I went straight out for the yarn & got cracking! I finished it five days before Little H's birthday :-)
This pattern has been around on the web (sorry couldn't resist ;-)) for a while now, in fact over 700 folks have posted their versions on Ravelry alone! It was whilst browsing these that I came across the pattern for adding Spidey's face to the middle (you can find it here if you want to make your own). I was pretty pleased with how it came out...

Here's the blanket all spread out - it's roughly 56" from point to point so it should keep a little boy warm as he grows for quite a while!
The week of Little H's birthday also contains three other birthdays that we celebrate (why do birthdays come in bunches like that?!). One of them is my good friend Lori over at Hippywitch Crafts and I decided to make her a little needlebook. I used Amy's pattern from here but decided to embroider both the front & back with motives I saw on Pinterest (free patterns here.) 
Here's a close up of the front...
The colors haven't come out very well in these photos & by the time I realised this it was already in the mail! The back cover is a lilac polka dot fabric so I used a lilac & a red felt to make the leaves inside...
Since making my owl needlebook last year I had forgotten just how much fun these are to make! I think I need to make a few more over the summer for some other folks, after all a girl can never have too many needlebooks can she? :-)
Thank you for visiting me here today, I hope you are having a happy, creative week and I will be back soon to share some other projects with you!