So yet again it’s been a while, I was ashamed when I realised how long it is since I last posted! Our little girl is 9 and a half months old now and is crawling and exploring, so finding the time during the day to craft has been very hard. I have however finished a project which is a present, so I will share that with you when it has been received.
One of my aims when I started my maternity leave was to do some daytime workshops, a little time for me and an opportunity to try some new things. Many of my friends have caught the sock bug and have been showing me many hand knitted socks, saying I should give it a go. When I saw a 3 week daytime sock making course advertised at Black Sheep Wools with the very lovely Christine (Aka Winwick Mum), I decided to give it a go. I have to point out here that I have never knitted anything before. Although I had learnt the basic stitches many years ago, I knew I had to relearn everything to be able to do the course.
The first week was getting to grips with tension squares (eek!) and choosing the yarn and appropriate needles. We then set about casting on and began to knit and purl. Instantly I started to struggle and Christine had to step in to help me. I already regretted signing up, I felt way out of my comfort zone and thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew. However I persevered and got my stitches onto the circular needle, however they were very loose and towards the end of the workshop I decided the best option was to start again. I thought I’d be okay as I now had a much better idea of what I needed to do.
I got home and lost count of how many times I casted on and started the first row of stitches, it just didn’t look right. I googled and looked at you tube videos, but still couldn’t figure it out. In the end, after long messages via Facebook with Christine, I managed to meet with my friend and she guided me through it. Instantly I could see where I had gone wrong and I was set!
This weeks workshop covers making the heel. I am extremely nervous as I think this is going to confuse me, but I am determined to stick with it!
So you might have noticed I’ve not posted for a while, life and baby things have kind of gotten in the way a little, however I have still been trying to keep up with the CAL even if I am a few weeks behind!
Most people are now onto the border where I am still completing the cross stitch of the last few panels
The main centre panel is now complete. There are quite a few errors however I’m trying not to let them bother me as it makes it completely unique to me 😏
Here it is so far
I have almost finished the second to last bit of crochet. My backing fabric has been ordered and I am looking forward to getting back doing some crochet for the last bit of bobbles and border. Hopefully the next few weeks will see it finished!
I’m a little late this week, however the bonus is the baby now sleeps from 7.30/8ish in the evening which gives me more time to catch up on my crochet.
This week was another separator and more cross stitch. I like the colours of the cross stitch, seemed to take forever to do though!
Week 5 is another separator followed by 57 rod of double crochet. Hopefully this will be much easier to just pick up and do the odd bit.
So far so good! I am only a day behind and that was mainly due to a busy diary and not the baby! This weeks pattern was another separator then more cross stitch.
My second separator doesn’t match the first one, but I really don’t mind. When I took the photo for this blog post I also realised it’s slightly shorter than the first one, never mind!
The colours are growing on me and the brightness of it doesn’t seem quite so bad now. I am really enjoying having a set piece of work to do each week. If I had bought the kit to do by myself without the CAL it would still be sat in the box. We have finally got round to booking our summer holiday to France and we are going the last week in June. I think the shawl might come in handy for the cooler evenings sat on the terrace sipping my wine!
Now to tackle this weeks separator and cross stitch!
This weeks pattern consisted of some surface crochet and some cross stitch. It took me a while to get the hang of the surface crochet and I ended up with many more diamonds than the pattern suggested. However I’m not too bothered as it makes it unique and that’s what handmade is all about.
I managed to finish this weeks pattern 2 days early, not quite sure how that was possible as baby Lucy has certainly been keeping me busy!
Looking forward to the next pattern release later on today 😊
I’ve been quiet for a while, I’m sure you can guess why! Our little girl is now 10 weeks old, where has that time gone?! The first few weeks weren’t easy and I really struggled to adjust. It’s only now I am starting to feel more like me and get back to some sort of normality. At the start I was frustrated that I didn’t have any motivation to do any of the things I enjoyed previously. I saw on Facebook that a CAL (crochet along) was starting on the 15th February and I thought it would be ideal to give me something to focus on each week. The project itself is a beautiful shawl, with the theme of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah), a Danish word meaning a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special.
There were several different colour ways to choose from and the appealing thing for me was that it involves doing some embroidery onto the crochet itself, something I’d never thought of doing.
The first week was creating a bobble stitch in all the different colours, which was fairly straightforward, however I’ve miscounted and have ended up with a wonky side and some odd number of bobbles. It took me all of the week to get it finished as the baby kept distracting me each time I sat down to do it, so I’ve decided to just go with it, at least it will be unique!
I’m looking forward to seeing the pattern for this weeks work and hoping I can keep on track each week. I’ll keep you posted each week as to where I am up to, another incentive to keep me going!
In order to make room for the baby, we have had to do quite a lot of rearranging of the house. This meant that some wooden crates I had bought a few years ago that we’d been using as bookshelves had to be replaced by a larger and more permanent bookcase built by my dad. I really didn’t want to get rid of the crates and managed to use 2 on the landing to stores some of our books. The last one was relegated to the lounge and was deemed to be used as storage, most probably for the baby’s toys!
Chatting to my husband one night I said it’d be nice to have a footstool as it
would make the cosy nights on the sofa with the baby a little more comfortable. I later found inspiration on Pinterest with lots of ideas on how to add a padded top to the crate that could still be used as storage but double up as a stool.
I chatted to my dad who said making a wooden top would be easy. I bought some fabric and some high density foam and using a staple gun attached the fabric to the wooden top. Dad put on some wooden locator bars to stop the top from sliding around.
I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The fabric was extremely cheap (£6.80 for a metre) and that shows in the quality. We also realised that the map is actually in German! However it would be easy enough to recover at a later date.
In total, if you include the price of the crate, it probably cost around £35 for materials etc, they sell for upwards of £100 on Etsy! Trouble is that we both want to use it now so I can see I’ll be making another one fairly soon!!
The second part of my Christmas makes had to wait till after Christmas as I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for the recipients. The first gift was for my husband, who has asked several times if I could crochet him a hat, but I’d never found the right pattern. By chance I came across a company called My Boshi who sell a range of yarn plus lots of different crochet patterns for beanie style hats. I chose the colours based on what he wanted, I really would never have put the combination of colours together, but I was surprised with how good it turned out!
I added on the Pom Pom as I knew he’d prefer it with one and I think it finishes it off nicely!
My second make was for my friend. I always like giving handmade gifts at Christmas as it’s something a bit more special. I chose a pattern by Little Doolaly, who did the pattern for the hello deer baby blanket I made. It was the mossy scarf pattern that I used but I chose a different coloured yarn that I thought was a bit brighter.
I’m pleased I managed to still make some Christmas gifts, even with the baby arriving! Now to find the time to make some things for myself!
I’ve finally completed the list of things I wanted to make before the baby arrives. I’ve already started a list of the things I want to make once we know if it’s a boy or a girl! With the imminent arrival (my due date was a few days ago) it was touch and go as to whether I’d finish this project. I was determined it wouldn’t be a WIP never to see the light of day!
As a child I had a cardboard hungry caterpillar book. Mum tells the story that I loved the book so much that I ate it..I’m not sure if I ate all of it but quite a lot of it was very chewn! Recently the hungry caterpillar has made a comeback and there are all sorts of things you can buy (most of which I now have!) and I saw a quilt kit that I knew I had to make. At this point I had forgotten I’d only ever made one small quilt before, the pattern looked fairly straightforward and used a big panel which made the design quite eye catching but still easy to make
I have to say the instructions were pretty basic and relied a lot on people having prior knowledge of quilting. I think with the pressure of completing it I certainly rushed some bits and it isn’t quite as perfect as I hoped.
However I’m really pleased I finished it. It’s much bigger than I thought it would be, but it’ll be perfect as a tummy time blanket. It might just be hard to spot the baby when it’s dressed in its hungry caterpillar outfit, playing with its hungry caterpillar toys 😏
I mentioned in an earlier post that I went camping with the WI at the end of September. There were lots of different workshops to sign up for and one in particular caught my eye – decoupage. I’ve always wanted to give it a go but have been put off not knowing what glue, varnish etc to use. The workshop was a perfect introduction and I decorated a little elephant which I wanted to give to my mum for Christmas.
Since the workshop I bought a few other things to decorate and give as Christmas presents to different people
The tin at the back was one that I had from making some marmalade (pre prepared oranges in a tin from Lakeland) and it seemed ideal to attack with decoupage papers! I think I’ll use it as a plant pot in the kitchen.
I love how easy it is to decorate things, plus you can stick the papers on more or less anything! I used Modge Podge which also has a varnish on it, therefore a lot less effort!
I thought I’d also share with you the marmelade I made. I bought the tin as a trial to see how effective it would be. The oranges are all prepared, so all you have to do is add the sugar. It was suprisingly easy to do and makes six big jars. I decided to wrap up some of them to give as gifts as 3 is more than enough to keep us going for a while!
They also do a lemon marmalade and strawberry conserve which I’m tempted to try.