Monday, 31 January 2011


Lovely buttons. 

There is a serious shortage of buttons in my craft drawers. I looked on the internet but couldn't decide. So off we went to Abakhan and I bought 2 jars of buttons for just under a fiver each. Packed with buttons. Several hundreds of them.

But that's not the reason for this post. It's more about what else I bought. Or rather didn't buy. I bought a length of elastic. And a couple of wooden buttons. And that's it! Nothing else at all. Not one single scrap of wool. I have to admit it was hard work not to go for a peek at the yarn section. But I knew that if I peeked I would have to touch. And that if I touched I would start to imagine what it could become. And then I would end up popping it in my basket. So I stayed away. And left the shop with only my buttons and elastic. How good was I?

And so with renewed determination I tipped up the scrap bag last night. I looked for a while. And moved bits around. And then an idea came. I selected a few scraps and the needles and set to work. I ripped back a few times before I was happy with the progress. But I see my idea taking shape. So I'll share a little peek:

Very subdued don't you think?
After the pale pretty lemoniness of the last make I thought a bit more colour would be good. A lot more colour in fact. Oh yes, it's coming along just like the little vision in my mind. Now I wonder if I will have enough yarn? Because this one can't be added to as I go along. The randomness is intentional, you see.

And a quick link over here. Sharon is joining in the scrapbusting mission and has created a beautiful dress. And a lovely technique for making use of hard to use yarn too. Anyone else ready to share some scrapbusting inspiration?
Well back off to my rainbow bright knit. And hopefully I'll reveal more soon.

PS - see the gift makes list? Still empty!!

Happy crafting everyone.


Sunday, 30 January 2011

Terrible photo's of a cutie cardi.......

Running out of titles now!
So I finished knitting with the yellow fluff yarn for now:

What do you think?

Yes I know, the photo's are awful, but have you seen the time? Maybe I'll get an outdoor shot of it being modelled tomorrow and you can see the true colour then. This started out as a simple make, I thought it would take no time at all. And it didn't. The body took only a couple of hours spaced over the last two days. And then I came to the edging tonight! Aaarrgh is the only word I can think of to describe how I felt about that edging. Fine fluffy wool, 2.5mm straight needles, 275st pick up around curved edges.........Ok you get it. My fingertips are paying the price right now.
Still I'm happy with how it's turned out. Much prettier than the photo's suggest, although as I already mentioned it's not what I usually tend to choose for Heather to wear. But I think it will go well over sundresses or vests in the summer. As long as it fits!

I guess I'd better start on the gift makes about now. Did I say two per month? Better get the skates on then!


Saturday, 29 January 2011

No work and all play......

Can you tell it's the end of the working year soon? And so all annual leave has to be used or lost? How else would I manage to get so much crafting done :-)
A new project on the needles, because back to the needles it is.
What can you make with just short of 100g of lemon, fluffy, 4ply?
Well socks were the obvious choice - isn't that the best use for 4ply if you don't have a tiny baby to knit for? Or if you don't want to cast on hundreds of stitches to compensate for the delicacy of the yarn? 

But no, socks are not the work in progress here. Again it's something for the littlest person in the family, something that will hopefully see her through the summer months. Mind you I'm not certain on the sizing just yet, it might be coming up a little small.....eek!

See how fluffy the yarn is? That's why I haven't bothered to rip back and re-size. The fibres are so fluffy that they are knitting together and making it impossible to undo even a couple of stitches without damaging the yarn. It's looking kind of cute in a pastel, traditional girlie sort of way. Not my usual choice of colours (it's actually a very pale lemon although you can't tell!) or yarn but I said I was going to use all the scraps so this has got to be used. I have no idea how I ended up with this yarn, I certainly didn't buy it with a plan in mind. Must have been a charity shop/car boot sale find. In fact it isn't even a scrap really is it? It's pretty much a full 100g as I said. 

So back to the needles and getting this finished. And making the most of the next few days off before I am back in work and only squeezing in the odd few rows here and there.
See you all soon with what should be the latest reveal.
Happy crafting everyone.


Thursday, 27 January 2011

And there's more.....

More scrap yarnbusting!

As I already mentioned there's been a switch in methods, this time the crochet hook has come out of hiding. Lots of stripes of DC meant a faster growing piece than knitting usually allows:

I'm not a big fan of pastels but I think the fuchsia really lifts these colours and makes them far less boring:

I didn't have a pattern or even a plan when I started on this, I just let the colours carry me on and decided as I went along. I was thinking of a fully striped top so I worked the two pieces for front and back consecutively to make sure I wasn't going to run out of yarn. I soon realised that sleeves were not an option and settled for a good old tank top. (You can tell I'm a child of the 70's - I never hear the phrase "tank top" any more!). Rather than just make a standard vest shape I thought it might be a bit more interesting to add fasten-up shoulders instead.
The buttons aren't the final ones, I just stitched them on to assess for size. I really need to replenish my button stock as I have nothing that fits this top.

And finally a little photo of the girlie herself modelling her new top:

Technical details:
Approximately 30g each of lemon, mint, baby blue and fuchsia DK from the scrap yarn bag.
Worked on 4mm crochet hook.
I wouldn't dream of suggesting the  pattern as I know I'm not great at crochet. I'm sure you could improve on it and of course all hints and tips are appreciated so as I can bear them in mind for future projects. Oh and a question - I'm thinking that the side I'm showing is the wrong side of the work? Only because the stripes on the reverse are much more defined and so I thought more likely to be the side that should usually be on show? Having said that I liked this view much better and used it as the right side, just because I kind of like how the stripes have that little spikey effect. Only wondering for future reference really as i'm making up this crochet stuff as I go along!

So that's what I've been up to whilst the laptop has been in the shop getting repaired. Off to have a scramble through the scrap bag and think about the next project later. Oh and I might even cast on for one of the two christmas gifts I have promised myself I will make each month of this year. Or I might even combine the two and create a gift from the scrap bag - how thrifty would that make me ;-)

Happy crafting everyone.


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Next up........

A new pair of socks for Owen in colours chosen by the boy himself - Ogre socks apparently.
Knitted from what was approximately 80g of black and 80g of aqua DK, probably an acrylic mix, found in the scrap stash. I still have around 40g of each left so might make another pair for Cain...........or I might not. Half the fun of scrap stashbusting is thinking of new uses for previously unwanted yarn.
The pattern for the socks came from the book mentioned in the previous post, a broken garter stitch rib for which the pattern suggests a variegated yarn but I think the stripes look much more fun for little feet.

Next project from the scrap bag is a different craft - crochet. Taking a step outside my comfort zone now and no idea whether the yarn I'm using is going to be sufficient for the work in progress. I do know that crochet seems to gobble up the yarn much quicker than knitting but on the plus side it's far easier to work several pieces at once to ensure that I can blend in a new colour if necessary to complete the work.
Well I don't know about seeing spots, but stripes are definitely becoming a bit of a theme around here just lately!
Back soon with another catch-up.
Don't forget to let me know what scrap yarn busting ideas you have been working on lately.


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

This is it!

This is the scrap bag I'm trying to work my way through:

Doesn't look so much does it? 
But thinking of things to make from 2kg of yarn split into approximately 30+shades, half a dozen plies, a multitude of textures and varying from 10 - just under 100g individual weights means some serious planning going on in my sleep denied head.
Good job I have this wonderful little book to inspire me:

Very Americanized in it's wording but some oh-so-lovely designs to be knit and crocheted from under 50g of yarn of all types.

And so onto the next project:

Oh yes, stripes again, I know now why my nana's handknits always featured heavily on stripes ;-) Waste not, want. Although my striping will probably get more random the more I work through the scraps. This project though is just a little one and I'm certain I have far more than I need to complete this make, especially as I'm using 2 of the biggest scraps for a teensy little make......
Well less chat and more knitting if I want to get through that lot.
Catch up with you all again later when I might just be able to reveal what's on the DPN's......


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Shades ready?

I finished the tank top. Oh yes, a scrap yarn extravaganza! About 50g of blue DK, and less of yellow, pink and white. All left over from other projects, mine or other peoples. The blue left over from knitting a scarf and mitts for one of Jen's friends, the pink from Jen's scarf and mitts, the yellow from some long ago Easter knitting and the white from a bag of white oddments found at a car boot sale.
SO the tank top went well, knitting up pretty quickly on 4mm DPN's, a nice ridged pattern forming around the staggered stripes where the colours changed. Well to be honest the ridges weren't intentional and I was going to block them out but I kind of like them now. I did get fed up with stopping to untangle the yarns every few rows so when I opened up the round to form the front and back I decided to use blocks of colour to continue. Not enough yarn in the contrast colours to knit the back and front the same so I chose to use pink for the back and yellow for the front. 
Heather definitely likes it:

The colours are much brighter in true light:

An exercise in brightness and thrift, what do you think?
So continuing with the scrap yarn busting, what next? This lovely blog is inspiring me to go for an all out scrap yarn colourfest crochet blanket but not sure I have the patience for such a big crochet project. Any other colourful WIP's you'd care to share?


Sewing machine love at last!

OK knitting is obvious, I've been doing it for 30 years on and off.
Crochet - fairly new skill but if there's a pattern to follow it's kind of like knitting I suppose.
But sewing...........right!
Great for curtains, pillowcases, slings etc, anything that needs a hemmed rectangle. But actually making stuff from fabric that is wearable, now there's another thing altogether. But after the breakthrough with the leggings the other day I was itching to find time to get back and have another go. This time I cut the fabric carefully, followed the instructions to pin the dress together.........and then got all confused when adding the yoke and kind of bluffed my way through! Still turned out pretty well and fits just right. Now as long as she doesn't have a major growth spurt before the summer as this dress looked pretty neat over leggings but will be perfect for summer days.

I know - it's not a great photo, but I just wanted to share my first "proper" wearable make, with a pattern and interfacing and buttonholes and everything!
Right, back to the yarnbusting, and back tomorrow with the finished tank top. Bring your sunglasses with you, you're going to need them!


Monday, 17 January 2011

Scrap yarn projects.

I don't generally do resolutions - too much like setting yourself up to fail. But when it comes to crafting I spend each new year sorting out my wool stash and resolving not to buy any more yarn until I have seriously dented the amount I already own. And so with this in mind I turned first to the scrap bag. You know the one, you all have one - right? The bag where you throw all the half used balls of yarn, sample balls, and ripped back tangles.
So I weighed the bag (yes, I'm sad, I know) and I have a total of approx 2000g of yarns of varying textures, ply's (or is it plies?), colours and lengths. So what to do with it all?
Well first up is this:

It will eventually be a tank top thingy for Heather. Worked in the round on 4mm DPN's, I really need to get a 40cm wire for my Knitpro's, it will hopefully be finished this evening. As long as I don't run out of the bright pink I am going to use for the bodice. The problem, and of course the fun too, with using yarn scraps, is that you never know if you will have enough to finish the project, and always having to have a back up plan in mind. And then there's all that untangling of yarn as you go along.......
Phew, who knew knitting could be so exciting?

So anyone else joining in the challenge? Share your links to your yarn scrap projects. 
I need the inspiration!


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New year, new burst of craftiness!

Less Internet = time to craft. (I would love to have said MORE time to craft but crafting time was pretty non-existent up until the past few days with all the other stuff that goes on around here).

New leggings for Heather. 

The first time I have ever sewed with a proper pattern rather than making it up as I went along. Pretty pleased with them and now I know why the pattern says to do it as it did. Definitely going to make a few more of these for under her dresses, might even have a go at the dress that came in the pattern pack, but first I need to get my head round interfacing......... now I've worked out what it is!

A sleep easy heart sachet for Jen, filled with Lavender to ease her into sweet dreams:

A nappy for Heather's dolly:

A camera case from the sleeve of a jumper I knitted (and later felted) for Cain:

And that's about all for now.
Knitting on the needles, crochet on the hooks, more sewing plans in mind.
Back soon with more I hope.
Happy crafting everyone.