Joes Toes Slippers

Last month it was mums birthday. Each year it’s always a battle to find out what presents she would like as she always says she doesn’t want anything. This year I had a few ideas of some handmade presents I could give her. When I was at the handmade Christmas fair in November, I came across Joes Toes, who sell kits to make knitted slippers with felt soles. At the time they only sold them with a knitted pattern however recently they introduced a crocheted one and they looked perfect for a present for mum.

I ordered a kit in tones of blue (mums favourite colour). Unfortunately they sent me the pattern for the knitted version, however after an email exchange I had the crochet one and was ready to go.  The pattern itself was very straight forward and attaching the crochet to the sole was also fairly easy. I struggled however with the crossover of the flap at the front and I wasn’t quite happy with the end result

  
They look okay but I think if I was to make them again I know there would be bits I would do better. Needless to say mum loved them! I have a different colour of the chunky yarn left over from another project so I’m tempted to order some felt soles and make a pair for me!

Sarah x

Woolly-headed

It’s not often I get to combine work with my love of crafts, but this month I’ve managed to do it twice!

Most recently at our work away day as part of the wellbeing  afternoon we had the choice to do a craft workshop. It was run by a local company called French Knots craft studio who I have followed for some time on Twitter. We had a hour to make a fabric keyring, using lots of lovely fabrics and ribbons. It was a perfect way to switch off after the group work in the morning and enjoy a bit of crafting. I was quite pleased with the end result, although I’m not sure it would withstand being bashed around in my handbag!

  At the end of February a fellow work tweeter asked if anyone was able to make one of these, a brain hat

 

After a quick google I found I could crochet one rather than knit and there was a pattern I could buy from etsy, perfect! I bravely replied and was set the challenge to complete it within 4 weeks as it was needed for a conference mid March. 

Thankfuly the pattern was a simple double crochet, converted from the American single crochet. First the hat had to be made and then 2 lots of ‘noodles’ both roughly 12 feet long. This took much longer than I thought and I ended up being up gone midnight the 2 days before it needed to be finished. I would not be beaten and after attaching the noodle with some needle and thread in the best anatomical way I could manage it was completed.

  

It was well received at the conference and there were many photos of different people wearing it!  

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The noodle was a bit bigger than the one in the original picture and if I was to make one again (!!) I would make a few tweaks to the pattern. Overall not a bad job I don’t think!

Sarah x

Potty about Pottery

Yet again there has been a haitus in my postings and sewing has continued to take a back seat as I continue with my masters degree. My husband and I have also entered the Great Lakeland 3 day mountain marathon, so most weekends are taken up with practice walks in the mountains. I have however continued with my crafting, just in a slightly different format; next week will be my last week of a 9 week pottery class. It is something I have wanted to do for a while and when a space became available in the class my friend goes to, I was eager to give it a go. I’ve learnt lots along the way; different glazes and firing temperatures of the clay and different ways to develop my ideas into the finished item. I had a few ideas of things I wanted to make and have been able to experiment with the different glazes.

  
I will be sad to finish the class as I’ve still got lots of things I would like to try. My friend is doing an introduction to pottery course which I’m also tempted to do, watch this space!

Sarah x

The Christmas blanket

I may have been absent for time time, however in the background I have busily been trying to finish a crochet blanket for my mum for Christmas. The idea of doing the blanket probably started about a year  and a half ago when I saw Attic 24 post about her coast ripple blanket. My mum loves the sea and her favourite colour is blue so the colour way seemed perfect for her. When I first learnt to crochet I remember my mum saying to me to crochet as much as I could and not loose the skills I had learnt. I thought the blanket would therefore be a perfect gift for her for Christmas, however I never thought it would be Christmas 2015! Continue reading

Handmade Christmas Fair

Last weekend I started my Christmas activities early and popped along to the handmade Christmas fair in Manchester, organised by Kirsty Allsop. As part of the ticket price you were able to select 3 different workshops to go to. I went along with my friend Karen and after much debate we decided on doing some folk art, making some mini Christmas stockings and a demo on how to make Christmas Parkin.

The demo was first and we were delighted that Kirsty was there in person helping with the demo and doing some decorating of the Parkin

  
It was passed around for us to try and we managed to sample the one Kirsty had made, it was delicious!

 In between the demo and workshops we had plenty of time to browse the beautiful things that were there to buy. So many talented people were there and I managed to find a few unique Christmas gifts and treated myself to a few things too!

Next we did the folk art, run by Folk it! The proviso of getting Karen to do this with me was that she didn’t need to paint anything, it’s all done with dots. By the end of the 20 minute session we had both made a beautiful heart plaque that can be stuck onto a card. We were both stunned at how simple and effective it was!

  
Lastly we made some mini Christmas stockings. Simple to make yet still very satisfying. The highlight for me was meeting Deborah Simms who was on the Great British Sewing Bee and talking to her about dressmaking.

  
The whole day was fabulous, certainly value for money and a lovely way to kickstart the festivities. I’ll certainly be going back next year!

Sarah x

Stir up sunday

Each year I always see people talking about stir up Sunday on social media but I have never been prepared enough to join in. For those of you who don’t know, stir up Sunday is traditionally when people mix and steam Christmas pudding on the last Sunday before Advent (i’m a little unsure why it falls this year on the today 22nd, but I’ll go with it anyways!). This year i saw a recipe that didn’t require any complicated muslin or fancy steaming techniques, so I decided I would give it a go. On looking in the cupboards I was pleasantly surprised to find I had all the ingredients I needed, including the apples and lemon that had been unused in the fruit bowl for a bit too long and needed using up. Continue reading

Sew not buy project #8

So yet again I have been absent from my sewing as normal life takes over. I have questioned over the last few weeks as to whether I can carry out my sewing challenge to the end of the year. This has been due to several things and not just time, which has always been a challenge. This week I have started back at uni for my second year of my masters degree, I have also just started a crochet along, plus other commitments such as WI and other social events keep meaning I push my sewing to the back of the list of things to do. I have also realised that I’m not really enjoying the process as much as I had hoped. Continue reading

Great British Bake off – chocolate week

This week was chocolate week in the GBBO tent and with chocolate tarts and souffl├ęs to choose from, I was drooling at the thought of my challenge for this week. I decided I would keep it simple and go for a chocolate tart, however I used a recipe I had seen on Twitter rather than copying one from the show. Sew White does some amazing recipes and her chocolate ganache, strawberry and passion fruit tart seemed like the perfect choice. Continue reading

Spice of Life crochet along

So as if I didn’t have enough things to be doing (2nd year of my masters degree starts tomorrow) I decided to join Cherry Hearts Crochet along for making the Spice of life blanket. The pattern and colours are so lovely, a delicious mixture of bright colours and different stitches. I choose the style craft colour pack, with a lovely mixture of different colours such as plums, pinks and blues. Plus I love using this yarn as its So easy to work with. Continue reading

Great British Bake off – patisserie week

I waited to see what the bakers had to make for patisserie week before deciding what my challenge this week would be. I thought the cream horns seemed the easiest option and I quite fancied making my own puff pastry, something I’ve had on my list to try for sometime. I thought the flavours that the bakers chose all sounded lovely, however I went for something very straightforward – cherry bakewell flavour. Continue reading