Thursday, 27 October 2011

CNA Recycled Scarf

Over on the CNA forum we're having a crafty workshop extravaganza for half term. There's a variety of craft tutorials, some for adults, some for children and for all different abilities. I'm currently hosting a quilted placemat tutorial - why not head over and check it out?!

One of the ones that caught my eye though was the recycled scarf tutorial by the lovely Annie. Unfortunately I didn't have any old t-shirts to cut up but I admired the others that had been made. So I was over the moon why my husband got home and said he's ripped his top while writing on a whiteboard at work. He was perhaps less than impressed with my unsympathetic "Can I have it?" response.

So I chopped the ripped bit off the bottom and cut from armhole to armhole, leaving me with a big loop. I then cut thin strips partway up. I also cut the label out as it was a bit big. Then to add insult to injury I got my husband to model it for me cos I wasn't very well

I'm really pleased with how it turned out. No matter how many people previously made lovely ones, I did expect mine to look like I'd hacked at a t-shirt...rather like that zip corsage I made and donated to the children's toybox because I was convinced it looked like I'd just sewn a zip onto my clothes. This scarf I will definitely be proud to wear.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Christmas is Coming

Is it too early to talk about Christmas? I hope not because I love Christmas. I also hate how busy the shops get in the run up to it so I tend to do my shopping early. I've pretty much finished it this weekend, just have to get a few more stocking fillers for the kids. Oh and something for two families we're friends with, which I would have by now except the husband did that "What are you buying that for?" look so I didn't get them and typically they'd sold out today after he said later "That's a good idea". Never take the husband Christmas shopping is going in the diary for next year.

Last year I made a gingerbread house from an Ikea kit and decorated it and I just couldn't resist buying another one this year. I'll have to have a think about what to do to make it different this year though. Here's last years

Not bad for a first attempt, which is more than can be said for the wreath

but I was soooo busy trying to make the oranges dry out without burning that I didn't think too much about the wreath itself. Perhaps I should stick to fabric and yarn!

I'd like to say I'll be excited to put the advent calendar up

but it's still up from last year :-o

This year though I plan to actually quilt the Christmas panel I bought last year. I'd like to make a wallhanging or two as well and I really want some bunting. Maybe some crocheted bunting and some fabric. I also have some red and white fabric which I might make Christmas tree shapes from and turn into a quilted table runner or mat for the centre of the table.

Best laid plans and all that though, knowing me I'll get totally caught up with other stuff and not get round to making pretty things for myself

Friday, 21 October 2011

Granny Stripe Blanket

It's finished! Yay!

Yesterday I managed to finish the double bed sized granny stripe blanket. I started this on September 18th so it's taken me 32 days. Not bad considering I've got a toddler at home, a 4 year old at school and have had a 3 hour exam to revise for and sit. It's been a fantastic pattern for just picking up and doing a couple of stripes while my little one naps. I was getting low on yarn towards the end though and decided to slightly alter Lucy's border as I didn't think I had enough yarn for the two rounds of UK trebles so I switched the outer one for an extra round of UK doubles. The final round of edging was sooooo slow and I didn't think I was going to get it done before the school run but I finished it just in time. It was definitely worth it though as I adore it.

It's a terrible picture because there's not enough space to get in a good position to take pictures in our bedroom and the light isn't good either. Here's a close up of the blanket folded on the sofa for a better view of that gorgeous edging.

Like Lucy I did random stripes. I was planning on doing 80 but then realised the blanket was going to be far too wide(guesswork for the starting chain) so I did 60 and put it on the bed with the stripes running vertically. It was a good job too because I'd have needed to buy more yarn too. It's the Stylecraft Special DK that Lucy used (various places seem to be selling a Attic24 pack) and I couldn't resist the bright colours. It was lovely to work with too, which was a lovely surprise given it's price; even with postage it worked out about £1.50 per 100g.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Quick Granny Stripe Update

So, I forgot to do this earlier but here's an updated pic of the Granny Stripe blanket. It's now at 45 stripes. I think though that the weight is making it seem wider once it's on the bed and I think I've made it too wide. Current plan is to do another 15 stripes, then add the border and put it the other way on the bed so the stripes are vertical.

Christmas is Coming

I've already started the Christmas shopping. I always start it in October in the hope I won't have to trawl round the shops when they're packed in December. Of course, the reality is I get all shopping sorted, wrapped, labelled and then the relatives start phoning me "Can you get this thing for you kids cos I can't get it near me?". So I actually do my shopping in October so I can do everyone else's in December, LOL.

I'm always tempted to make all the gifts I send by hand but invariably I end up finding myself without the time to do so. This year though I have already made my aunty a scarf (well I need to weave the ends in but it's pretty much finished). I have enough yarn left to make another so I might do that, it was a fast knit once I got used to handling the loopy King Cole Krystal yarn.

I've also bought the yarn for my next blanket. I'm really enjoying making the Granny Stripe blanket and am planning to make a single bed sized Ripple blanket next. I've loved using the bright colours but decided not to use them again for the Ripple because I didn't want my enthusiasm to wain. So here is my selection of Jarol Heritage DK

Having done the Granny Stripe randomly I might decide to plan the colours out more with this one and repeat them. Still pondering though.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Fat Quarter Quickie

You remember my Halloween quilt top shown below, well, after sewing it together it was time to decide whether to put a border on and if so, what to choose. My original plan was to use the spare backing fabric for the border but then I realised it wasn't going to look right, the pattern was too much and too big. This is actually great news for me because it means I got to go fabric shopping.

I nipped over to The Skep. I really like this shop, it has a nice balance of fabric and yarn along with a few bits like magazines and buttons. So I had a plan to go and buy a meter of black fabric (wanted extra for my other Halloween project). I was going to be good. Only a meter of fabric....

Well, I came out with the black fabric I wanted, plus a long 1/4 of glow in the dark fabric to use on the corners of the border and a pack of 10 FQ's just because I liked them. Luckily my husband was sitting in the car with the children by this point so couldn't do the "more fabric" eye rolling. 

So, here's the finished Halloween quilt top

I'm really pleased with it. It's now awaiting quilting as I've been waiting for glow in the dark thread :-) which arrived this morning. Unfortunately my husband is working late so I doubt I'll have chance to play around with it until the weekend.

Close up of the glow in the dark skull fabric

The extra black fabric was used to do a wallhanging (which I think is from a Nancy Halvorsen pattern iirc), apologies for the terrible pictures

There's still a fair way to go on this so I doubt I'll have both the quilt and wallhanging done by Halloween.

As for those 10 FQ's I couldn't help but do something with them right away. I had a browse online for a pattern but struggled to find anything suitable. Everytime I found a pattern I loved it needed lots more FQ's so I decided to make my own. I cut my FQ's into 10 pieces, then swapped fabrics around so that there was 1 section in each colour and sewed them back together! Admittedly some of the combinations aren't what I'd have done if I'd had a bit more time but I'm pleased with the result. First attempt at laying it out I just put the blocks down as I'd made them in a 3x3 setting then moved them around to balance the colours out a bit. This was the result

but I wasn't convinced about it. I then decided maybe it would look better if I rotated some of the blocks and much preferred that look. I decided to stitch he blocks in each row together and then, since there were only two more lines of stitching to join the rows together, finished the quilt top the day after starting it. Here it is

But 3x3 is only 9 I hear you say! Yes there is a spare block, which I am planning to use on the back of the quilt. I'm thinking of using white fabric for the rest of the back and putting the spare block in to tie it in with the front.

I'm hoping to write up the pattern/tutorial for the quilt top soon so check back if you're interested!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Wednesday is approaching

Back in February I started a course with the Open University. The idea is that once both kids are at school full-time I will go back to work so I'm retraining to open up a few more possibilities. It's been great doing more study and I feel like I've done well but Wednesday is the dreaded exam day. Three hours of being quizzed on the finer details of the course and writing code by hand. BY HAND. Do you know how annoying that is? And the exam is in prime nap know that mid afternoon, my baby is sleeping and the only thing stopping me from being asleep is the fact I don't want to be late to pick my 4 year old up from school and so I'm lazing on the sofa in a half-dozing state time of day.

So you'd think, with this exam swiftly approaching I'd be sat with my head stuck in the 14 books I've been learning from. Except what I'm actually doing is looking at my backlog of sewing projects
wondering if perhaps it is time to rethread the overlocker to finish that top (the one that was discarded when the thread snapped and I didn't have the patience to rethread the machine that hates me!) or if I should finish the wallhanging I started over a year ago or take up my daughter's trousers that I bought before she started nursery (she's now in Reception).

And before you say that's a small's not even half of it. That would be the pile that never got hidden away in a bag somewhere and it's only from the sewing backlog. There's also a crochet backlog, a knitting backlog, felting backlog, jewellery making backlog, dyeing backlog. Yes the list goes on and on.

So what have I done today? Have I started on that backlog? No, of course not. I've ordered thread instead ;-)