Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A ta-dah moment if I may?

The very colourful thing is complete. And time is short so here we go, a reveal in one:

(The shoulders are even really, this is just a bad photo!)

This was a work and a half, I can tell you! The bodice was great, worked up really quickly in dc. The skirt.......well, what can I say? The original pattern called for much greater gathering than I did here. But then it was a pattern for a ruffled baby dress, and Heather is not really in the category of cutesie frilly baby. So I followed the pattern for a few rounds, realised it was far too ruffly for my liking and ripped back. Then I worked out how I could make it less ruffly, that took some thinking, crochet and knitting are far different in that I can tell you. And so I continued, group after group of little v-shaped clusters. 490 clusters in total, not that I was counting them down.......
But the end result - well what can I say? I love it. The big girls love it. Dad loves it. Well worth the time, and the effort, and the headache. 

So that's it, crochet and me are definitely an item now. Poor old needles, pushed out by a little tiny hook. But don't fret, there's knitting on them needles in a bag somewhere here.......

Technical details:

Hook size - 4mm
Yarn - Anchor Magicline 100% cotton DK thickness 7x50g. (in a sale at Abakhan 2 years ago!)
Pattern - here.
Inspiration - here.
Size - the largest size from the pattern 9-12m but using a larger hook and thicker yarn so fits a dainty 2 year old.

So what next? Knitting I think......... Or maybe another quick dishcloth.


Monday, 25 April 2011


I have been crafting - Honest.
Still working on the multi coloured "thing" I gave you a glimpse of recently. Hopefully I will be able to show you what that is within a few more days ;-)
The knitting has been laid to one side as it is just so warm here and the yarn is making my hands so clammy.
And I do have finished makes too - a couple of crochet dishcloths which I showed over on my other blog. I'm thinking about combining the two blogs actually, it's a bit time consuming posting to both of them. I do like the idea of having a separate blog just to record all my crafting but it's such a part of our everyday life that I can't always decide where to post. Like the dishcloths. OK so I created them which means they belong here, but then there a bit boring to justify a whole post of their own aren't they? And they are an essential part of where our family is at, with the whole downscaling, make your own, reduced waste philosophy so they equally belong over there.
I don't know, I guess I'll ponder a while longer.
So there you go - a bit of a non-post really ;-)

Oh still have the eyelash yarn. Thanks for the tips Laura but TBH I just don't like to handle it! The bag is in the process of being re-homed ( Daisie). And yes I found out about the scabies through my blog stats Dawn! It's a funny old world isn't it? Never thought I'd be sharing knitting tips with a mama  1000's of miles away, or seeing knitting getting re-used by a never met friend, or being a source of info for scabies!
Hurray for the worldwide web.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Excuse me?

OK, own up - who came across my blog after googling the term "scabies in my crochet yarn"?

As for the last post - doesn't anyone like eyelash yarn? Even when it's free? The dark green and the grey merino hat's are both rehomed, the knitted bag, cabled hat and the knitting booklets still sitting here. Keeping the fuzzy yarn company.......


Monday, 18 April 2011

The stash revealed. And stuff to give away.

This is my chunky box:

As you can see it contains that bargain priced Sirdar Click I mentioned in the previous post, all 20 balls of it. The other 6 balls are in the pink bag either knitted up into the cable cardi or waiting their turn. There is also 4x100g skeins of Wendy Serenity super chunky which is soft and cosy for which I am still awaiting the perfect snuggle up use. And then there is the 3x50g skeins of Mirasol Sulka which I bought because they were again supersoft and the last three on the shelf! And the last thing is that super, SUPER soft 100g skein of Araucania chunky which is absolutely gorgeous and loved in it's own right as the perfect skein of wool. I don't think I will ever actually use it, just enjoy it's softness now and then lol.
The chunky box lives right next to the sideboard which has one teeny drawer for pens/keys/new mail/notelets and that kind of non-essential bits and the rest of it is home to THE STASH. In the sideboard there are lots of boxes of now properly arranged yarns:

First, the thin yarns:

The 2 skeins of white Paton's cotton 4plywere found in the car boot sale. There were 4 skeins altogether along with a learn to crochet booklet, all contained in a cotton shopping bag for 50p. Oh was I a happy bargain hunter that day! Then there are 3 and a bit skeins of navy blue Paton's cotton 4ply which I spotted in the charity shop for 20p a skein and which I thought might create something stripey alongside the white. The 2 skeins of lilac are "Sirdar country style 4ply equivalent" apparently and are a wool/nylon/acrylic mix which I again found in the local charity shop for 20p for both, and there is around 85g in total. I bought it because I had also picked up 4 childrens books for 20p each and the shop assistant had no change for the £1 I offered but insisted I had to take something to cover the last 20p rather than accepting my offer to keep the change. Then there are the sock yarns, 1x100g Rico Superba Mexico, 2x50g Regia crazy colour, and the remains of a couple of Regia yarns (the purple and the blue) leftover from sock knitting previously. They are probably just big enough for Heather sized socks as long as I get to it fairly soon ;-) The three balls of crochet cotton in pink and white were from the car boot sale and were 20p for all three. No idea why I bought them, or whether I will ever use them. Matbe I'll knit something pretty and lacy one day? Finally in this box are 3x100g skeins of Araucania Lonco Multi. The colours of this 100% cotton are amazing, earthy and so my favourite. I bought it from a mama on the GP forum probably 18 months ago or more and I keep on putting off using it as I am awaiting the perfect project. I know when I use this I will want it to be for something I can show and enjoy all the time. Oh and nearly forgot - the yellow is a 3ply which also came from the charity shop. I have a collection of 1960's and 70's patterns and booklets and there was a lovely pattern in one which asked for 3ply. Have you tried to find 3ply in a nice bright colour? Hmmm, if you do then let me know but fortunately lemon is quite a pretty colour so I thought I would give it a go with this. Now if I could just find the pattern again..... (Adding here that there is also about 25g of green Paton's 4ply cotton which I discovered trying to pretend it was Twilleys's Freedom).

Next we have the "I don't think I'll use it but you never know" boxes:

On the left are the 100% acrylic, cheap and cheerful yarns, no idea where from or why I bought them, probably lurking in the random bags of knitty/crafty stuff I tend to accumulate in car boot sales, or rather, that DH tends to buy as a "surprise" for me. Yes, I know, it's the thought that counts. Well then the same obviously applies when I knit that XXL acrylic multi coloured jumper for christmas ;-) On the right is another collection of chunky wools, not as special as the ones in the big box but still useful for something or other. The hairy brown stuff on the left hand side is 100g of Sirdar Nova Super chunky and was part of a yarn bundle that came free with my Let's Knit subscription. The whites were all from the same source as the acrylics in the other box, as was the dark green tweedy yarn in the top right of the box. Actually that is quite a nice yarn and will probably become a pair of super warm gloves as it feels like wool. The multi coloured yarn is James C. Brett Marble chunky left over from this bag, which I just remembered still hasn't been lined. If anyone wants it then shout up, I HATE lining bags lol. The 4 dark green skeins on the left are Robin Rhythm 50g super chunky pure new wool and are the proper old fashioned "scratch yourself so badly people think you have scabies" wool. And I actually still bought it! It was in the charity shop though, the whole lot for 20p and I did think it might felt up into something or other. Maybe I was a bit And finally there are a couple of bits of leftover chunky, some Debbie Bliss and some Sirdar Click, both left over from other things but probably still enough for a couple of headbands. Oops almost forgot, the little bag in front of the boxes contains 5x50g of Twilley's Freedom wool which are now rehoused in with the special chunkys to avoid pesky 4ply squatters trying to imitate them. And they are rather lovely after all. Not so sure of the colour now but I think the dearest one might like a hat or scarf from  them and he has rather a boring colour tolerance.

The last box in that side of the sideboard is the aran box:

There are 10x50g balls of Rowan Classic wool tweed which I picked up from BlackSheepwools when the lovely husband decided to treat me to a day out just before christmas. A confession now - I had no idea I had that mustard colour Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran. However I do remember buying it from the LYS, I just put it away and simply forgot about it. The pink is also Debbie Bliss Rialto as is the brown. The brown is left over from knitting a hat, I bought two and went just into the second as you can see. The pink I bought for the same reason but I didn't use any of the second ball so the first must have been longer than it's brown counterpart. The blue yarn is Sirdar something or other aran and is left over from knitting this jumper for Owen. Cain still has the jumper now and wears it often.

This is my box of Merino wools:

I don't have as much as I thought actually and this is one of my favourite wools to knit with. Which is probably the reason I don't have much! There are 4x50g of wine and 1x50g of grey Stylecraft from the LYS. The grey is left from knitting gloves and a hat for John, the wine was to knit something for the baby when I was carrying Heather. Problem was she was born in the heat of summer and I already had a stck of clothes knitted up for her so never got round to using this.The 2x50g of lilac and 3x50g of green are James C. Brett merino and I used those colours to make a few things for Heather ready for her birth. I think I made soakers, shoes, a dress, and a hat IIRC. I must have got bored of the colourway and stashed it the rest away. The lemon, pale blue, aqua and steel grey are Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino and were bought to spur me on to learn crochet after seeing a pattern for a beautiful stripey dress when Heather was just born. As you can tell crochet challenged me for that bit longer and the dress never got made. In fact reading through the pattern recently I still have no idea what have of it means!

Are you getting browned off with this post yet? Eeek that was bad, but here you go - the brown box:

The yarn at the top is Hayfields Grousemoor . Apparently it "knits as chunky and produces a unique tweed fabric you'll love to wear". No idea if that's true as I haven't attempted to use it despite it being in the stash for over two years. It was another bargain buy from the charity shop at only £1 for all 7x50g balls. The three big balls of yarn are 100g each of Paton's wool blend aran. I bought this to make John a hat and scarf for christmas but if I had actually finished the scarf and he wore it he would have suspected I was trying to do him in, the knitted up fabric was just so scratchy. I only managed around 20cms of the scarf before I gave up put the yarn in the box. Actually I did persevere with the hat thinking that the itchiness wouldn't be noticeable on the head but it turned out a little bit big for John. I knew it was going to be big when I got halfway through but being stubborn I refused to believe it. So again, if anyone wants a large knitted cable hat and isn't overly sensitive skinned then let me know. On the right is some fluffy soft boucle stuff, Snowflake I think,  which I bought from the car boot sale for about £2. There was a bag stuffed with it. When I looked through it properly I found the back and two front pieces for a baby jacket and a sleeve half finished and still on the needles, along with the pattern the knitter had been using. There was also a little hat all knitted but not sewed up. I wondered at the reason the work was never finished so decided to complete it myself. I never did like it though so gave it to the charity shop with a load of other stuff. The rest of the boucle yarn I knitted up into blanket/throw/shawl thing for Jen, who likes to wrap herself up when on her PC. This last bit I'm holding onto as it also knits up into cute cuddly teddy bears, which I made two of to gift to a neighbour who had a baby a while ago.Under that yarn in the picture is 4x50g of Sirdar Escape. I started off knitting John a pair of chunky walking socks with it but I was using a 2-needle pattern from Simply knitting magazine and even though I had scaled down my tension to fit Johns size eight feet the socks were still coming out Yeti sized so I ripped back and put the yarn away. I think this will come out in the Autumn to knit a hat and/or scarf for one of the many males in the family. The last yarn in the picture is Nature's way Chunky, one 50g ball and a couple of scraps, probably just enough to knit a hat. In fact this yarn is left over from John and Cain's winter hats in 2009. The dusky pinky/browny yarn is another from the Let's Knit subscription gift I mentioned earlier.

Hey, nearly done now. This is my box of "other" yarns:

There are 10x50g balls of Paton's Holiday cotton DK which I accidentally won on eBay. I thought it was 100% cotton and as it was only going for £3 I bidded on thinking that I would dye it a nice bright colour. Only it wasn't 100% cotton, it was 50% cotton, 50% acrylic. But never mind, I might just turn it into a cool crochet sun top, when I find a simple enough pattern. The Next to that is 2x50g of Wendy Supreme 100% cotton DK and 1 partly used wine coloured of the same yarn. I bought this to make a suit for Heather last summer but they knit up quite heavy so I made a dress instead and put the rest of the yarn away. I think I might use this to make her a floppy sunhat for this year if I ever get around to it. The pink and blue is Sirdar Just bamboo and I bought it to make a shrug for Sophie but she changed her mind about liking pink after all. The blue was for the edging but I used it to practise crochet instead because someone told me tape yarns were easier to crochet with. They lied. The last 4 yarns are all Sirdar Baby Bamboo. I started a stripey top I was copying from a picture but there was so many loosed ends to weave in that I knew I would never finish it. I used the completed back piece as a washcloth and put the rest of the yarn away.

Then we have the wicker box:

The huge yarn on the left is Paton's Trentino 200g. I remember buying this on the visit to Blacksheepwools I mentioned earlier. No idea why though, I'm not even sure I like it any more. Helen likes the colour though so I might make something for her. The 4X50g and a bit are Paton's Diploma Gold DK and are what's left from a pack of 500g that I bought to knit a hoodie for Helen from a pattern she saw in one of my knitting magazines. I never did knit it though. Instead I used some of the yarn for a cardigan and a bolero thingy for Heather.  The pinky yarns are Paton's Fairytale colour 4 me DK pure wool and are left from a patchwork blanket I knitted for Heather for keeping her warm in the car. The white is a boucle snowflake type yarn and again was with part of the free gift from the magazine subscription.

This little bag lives in the wicker box too:

This is my lovely Mirasol. 6X50g of red, 4x50g of cerise and 1x50g of lime T'ika Pima cotton. I started crocheting granny squares with this yarn and got the little pile in the photo before getting fed up of them. I really need to get back to them and finish off the little project I had in mind. The multi coloured yarn is Hacho, 100% merino wool. I bought this just because I love the colour changes in Hacho and have no idea what to do with it now. There are 5x50g skeins in total so looking for ideas on this one.

And finally we have this little lot:

Yes, I know, icky, scary, hairy, fluffy stuff. The pink is left over from a cardigan and hat a neighbour asked me to make. The blue is from one of those knit a scarf kits that a child bought me for christmas one year. The multi coloured stuff is from a knit your own slippers kit a different child bought me. Thoughtful of them to understand mums love of knitting wasn't it? They now know the kind of yarns mum really likes! If on the other hand you actually like to use this stuff then just let me know and I will gladly  share. Actually I just realised there was something else hidden under that lot, 5x50g of Playtime microfibre yarn, left over from the original pack of ten that I bought.. That's not icky yarn. It's very, very soft to knit with and I crocheted Heather a top from it last summer. I'm just not that keen on the colour. Maybe Sophie might want something with it?.

Oh I fibbed. The and finally wasn't due. This is the real "and finally":

9X50g of Sirdar Fizz. The colour is lovely. The yarn is so soft and fluffy. The idea was cushion covers for the caravan, fun and cuddly for the littlies. The reality - I hate knitting it! It's just so boring and time consuming. So again, if you want it......

So that's that, the stash as it stands today. All neatly organised with lot's of new projects in mind. And now I don't have to search through boxes, I can just come back and read this post instead to remind myself of what I have.
Well that was a long one wasn't it? If you're still here then thank you.  And don't forget, any of the things I said I didn't want - I don't want. So if you can make use of them just let me know. Including any of this lot:

The cable hat mentioned before, a merino pull on beanie for an average to large man, and a Twilleys Freedom wool chunky rib hat in a medium ladies size. 

Or any of this lot too:

Happy crafting everyone.


Saturday, 16 April 2011


Isn't the most amazing colourway:

I bought this one ball of Regia sock yarn last year in Wales. We were having a stroll around Aberystwyth and of course I found a yarn shop, a very nice one with a lovely chatty ?owner/assistant. I liked this colour combination so much I had to buy it despite knowing it was going to have to travel back home with us. Once home it was tucked away with the stash until last weekend when I decided it was finally time to use it. I did like working with the yarn and the sock grew quickly as the lacy pattern gave interest whilst I worked. Well until I came to cast on the second sock.......Oh well I'll get back to it soon enough.

Also on the needles is this:

This will hopefully become a cabled cardi if I can stick to it. I'm working with Sirdar Click chunky which is also from the stash. I came across it in a sale early last year and rather rashly bought 26 balls, all that was available. I was thinking of a larger version of this blanket but when I started it I was reminded too much of the old scratchy swamp coloured blankets my father used to pile on our beds in the winter. Not that the yarn is scratchy mind, just that it was a bit, well, green! 

And this is a hooky W.I.P:

Actually this one is dominating at the moment as I am enjoying working out how to do the lacy pattern. I actually pulled back the lacy part twice before deciding I actually had it right at last so now I just want to see the end result. Again it's stash wool, discovered lurking under the Sirdar Click.

So a quick update and promise I'll be back soon with some finished projects. And maybe I'll share a photo of the rapidly diminishing stash too.


Monday, 4 April 2011

Back again.

After tidying the sewing corner I decided to sort out little Miss's drawers. A few vest were a big raggy and went into the scrap fabric recycling bag. A few more things set aside for handing on to friends. And one little white t-shirt with a red stain in the middle. It was only worn once too. So what to do?
Well something I haven't properly tried before. I cut some shapes from the fabric I used for the skirt and came up with this:

Actually the butterfly is  straighter in real life than in the photo but I can't get another photo as it's in the bedroom with a sleeping person right now. And that extra blue bit on the left upper wing is part of the fabric's pattern, honest, even though it looks as if I have gone way off with the stitching! Not the best example of appliqueing but I'm fairly happy with it. Heather is very pleased with it and would have worn it instantly but it's far too cold here today for skirts and t-shirts, it's blowing a gale and the house is full of draughts.
So there you go - two posts in one day, and no yarn in sight!
Off to try and get two small people to settle for an hour now and then on to some knitting I think.
Happy crafting.


From a picnic hamper to.......

You'll never guess!
So John brought a picnic hamper back from Emma's the other day. One of those romantic wicker ones with a couple of place settings, storage for wine, a cooler section and pretty napkins. Emma was given it by a friend and knew she would never use it so she asked John to find a use for it. Well of course you can never have too many plates, glasses or cutlery so out they came for the kitchen. The salt and pepper pots are now needle pots. The hamper itself is standing in the corner of the living room whilst I think of a use - hmmm, more wool storage?
And the chequered napkins? Well at first I thought of a quick and easy make - sew two together into a drawstring bag. Four napkins so a bag for each boy. But then I saw a pretty little skirt somewhere on the internet and came up with this:

What do you think?
I used two of the napkins for the top and bottom tiers and some fabric from the stash for the middle tier.Nice and summery and of course she'll blend well with the caravan if she wears it there - I just remembered the floral print is the one I used for the caravan curtains! Aaah well....... 

So a skirt for little miss at no cost at all. Well apart from one snapped sewing machine needle, I really need to remember to change the needle more often, Doh!
As for the yarn crafts, well I'm still knitting away. I blogged about the most recent makes over on the other blog as the post seemed more appropriate there but I am currently working on a project from the stash again. 
Still no yarn bought in 2011 - wonder how much longer I can last? Although I have barely dented the stash so I should be fine for several months yet.
So how you all doing on the stashbusting?
Hope you're doing well and avoiding temptation. And if not......then enjoy your yarn love.
See you soon.