Friday, 10 February 2017

Wintertime candles

 Photographs found. Oh my, making these candles was so much fun. I first came across a how-to on the beautiful apartment apothecary - I had no idea candle making could be so simple. I gathered supplies (soya wax flakes, pre-waxed wicks from LiveMoor, essential oils from mystic moments) and a collection of old tea cups from local charity shops and then oh so simply made candles.
I selected what I hoped would be wintery scents - sweet orange, cinnamon and clove - and they smelt delightful as I mixed and poured. But I wasn't generous enough with the oils and they have just the faintest whiff of scent as they are burning, something to remember for next time
Happily for me I enthusiastically gathered tea cups and old jars which meant I made more than needed, so we are still burning them now on these grey days. Looking forward to experimenting with some floral scents next.

It is a day for cosying at home with scented candles and some knitting. I am joining in with the Snowmelt shawl MKAL - there are some beautiful shawls being knitted. And some dreamy yarns that are tempting me. My snowmelt is being knitted in seasonally appropriate colours and matches the skies of Suffolk perfectly... a light and mid grey just like these foggy morns with a cold, bright blue for the glimpses of sky when it does peek out from behind the blanket of cloud. So I shall make a pot of coffee and back to my knitting. Bliss

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Hand warmers to keep little and not-so-little hands warm this wintertime

 For Christmas presents each year I seem to find one thing to make which I then gift to everyone - there have been scarves, tea cosies, egg cosies, hot water bottle covers, hats - and I enjoy choosing just the right fabric or wool for each one. This year was the year of the hand warmer (and candles, but more of that another time when I have found the photographs). Some of these have also been made as birthday presents and were bundled up with a mug and hot choc, or a flask...
These are all filled with cherry stones, which I found at brow farm. Simple to heat in the microwave (though be warned, one overly enthusiastic nephew has managed to set fire to his hand warmers. The microwave still smells, sorry Weens. Know the power of your microwave, and keep to the heating times given!) though they also work by popping them on a warm radiator. Ours are keeping hands toasty on these wintery walks to school...

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Either rather late or rather early...

For a Christmas jumper that is. I had hoped to take these photographs at least in January - well I suppose they were taken in January as that was only yesterday. January has worn me out this year. Horrible take-to-my-bed type cold after Christmas lingered in a bone aching manner until a few weeks into the new year and last week another cold has taken hold. Yuck.

Does anyone still want to even see a Christmas jumper? Maybe someone far more organised than me may be inspired for the festive season this year. And hopefully, unlike me, not forget about it again
 Fairly gentle for a Christmas jumper. I found the pattern in Simply Crochet issue 51, Esme Cricks's we heart it. Although I made a wreath instead of the heart shape, used slightly heavier wool from the basket, and sequins rather than pearl beads as that is what I had. Just add a creased jumper
The position of the mistletoe leaves isn't quite as I imagined but now they are sewn on I think they will be staying put. I'm off to see what other makes I have to catch up with - hopefully they will be appropriately wintery rather than so obviously festive...

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

All is calm all is bright

Oh this is so late... I had planned words to go with these festive photographs but a horrible cold has been here all Christmas (well, with me). Still feeling rotten, in fact this is the first activity I've managed in days. Not even knitting or crochet. Hoping to make it to the sofa tomorrow with some wool. And then hopefully over the next few days I'll catch up with some Christmas makes.

Hope you are having a merry Christmas time

Friday, 2 December 2016

Winter time

I do love December... the excitement of the month, gathering with friends, preparing presents, making and writing Christmas cards, walks in chilly sunny weather. The mornings this week on the walk to school have been so frosty and pretty. I've enjoyed selecting a cosy scarf from my ever growing collection.

The first festive search in the attic for advent bits has been made, and a few favourites may have also come down too, though there has been no concerted Christmas decorating. That will wait for a few weekends yet, when the tree has been chosen and Christmas music will be playing, and the box of Celebrations opened. And the first viewing of the season of Prep and Landing. So much cosiness and festive fun to squeeze into this month.
The arrival of the advent calendars is the beginning of all the excitement. I think I enjoy being reacquainted with these as much as P.  Favourites from past years are being rediscovered, together with a new calendar this year requested by P. Have Match Attax arrived in your home? These cards are so popular with P and his friends with lots of deals being made during the school day. So this year, P was hopeful for a Match Attax calendar. I only discovered yesterday that there is a ready made version to buy, but being so very far from the price I want to pay for an advent calendar I decided to make one. And even though P is now aware of the ready made version he has rather loyally declared that his is better. Sweet boy
I spent a happy time wrapping up twenty four Christmas stories for P's book advent and getting out the first of the Christmas pillows 

Before the beginnings of all this festive fun, other makes had been completed, including a birthday  tee, lovingly parcelled for a newly turned two year old. Hope you had a fun birthday, Leo! 

Monday, 28 November 2016

A denim and favourite yellow bag

Gosh, it's been a while... a combination of being rather busy or waiting for some sun to catch up with photographing some makes. Well, it's still a bit murky and grey but then it will probably remain so for months yet so today I finally got out the camera.

It would appear that every summer (I really do have some catching up to do) I feel the need to make a new bag - a bag that I'm happy to get sandy at the beach, and that's a good size to take on holiday or days out and about. This past summer I made the gorgeous and roomy Merchant and Mills' Orton bag, an oh-so-stylish oversize beach bag (see my version here)  but I also wanted a more everyday size, goes with most things bag. I remembered a pattern I had kept from the first issue of love sewing mag - the slouchy boho tote - which looked just the thing
A denim bag seemed like a good goes with everything, and this denim was sitting in my pile, as was the gorgeous four corners weave cross. Purchased from fabric rehab earlier in the year, my local-ish fabric shop which has so, so sadly closed.

The finished bag is similar to the original... When I first saw the pattern I liked the curved boxed base and thought that the pieces were curved, though it was difficult to see much detail as the bag had been made in a busy paisley print. It was only when I came to make the bag that I discovered that the base was boxed and then other pleats added to somehow produce the curved shape. This all seemed a bit fussy for what I hoped to be a fairly plain bag, so I simply boxed the base. I also decided to only do two rows of stitching at the top, to stitch the facings, though the original has a few rows of stitching.

Another plan for my bag was leather straps, these lovely tan straps are the leather and buckle set from Merchant and Mills. I have the lovely Anna (of delightful noodle-head) to thank for my leather bag handle obsession, and have plans to make many more bags - mainly from Anna's book! And while I really do like this bag, and have been using it well into the autumn, I think I will continue my bag making with other patterns. I may have some navy waxed canvas and dreamy Rifle Paper Co sitting ready...

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The search for the perfect summery cotton pattern continued...

This is so very nearly that tee. Lovely pattern, a far more stylish version of the cotton 80's knitted tee I spent many hours this spring looking for... but there is a but!

The but though has nothing to do with the pattern - the amazingly free cap sleeve lattice top by purl soho - rather my choice of yarn. I wasn't yet ready to forget the idea of the 80's cotton tee and so stubbornly ordered more cotton and cast on once more, convinced that this time I would end up with the breezy top of my dreams rather than something resembling chain mail. (My first attempt has since been washed and has shrunk a little so has been saved from immediate unravelling, though we shall see what its long term fate holds when I wear it again next summer).

And this top does fit better than that first attempt... just not as well as it would have done if I had used the suggested wool yarn. Cotton has made it much wider than the original pattern but it is a wideness I think I can forgive as this cotton drapes well, so while it looks fairly boxy in these photographs, it does look much better on. (Something I am unable to show you as there is nobody about to take photographs of me wearing my summery tee on this chilly November day, but unless I get on and waffle about this today it will be another month before I pay any attention to this sadly neglected blog)
This 100%  organic cotton is  BC Garn's Alba, and is lovely to knit with. Ordered from the always speedy love knitting, in colours grey (EB 14) and cream (EB 16)
I do want to knit another of these tops, this time heeding the advice of those talented people at purl soho and knitting in a wool, but I think that will have to wait for next spring. Oh, and anyone have any recommendations for a cotton tea-bag type t?

On to some seasonally appropriate knitting... the beginnings of a make accompanying me to the swimming pool a few weeks ago now. A cosy, speedy knit that took just a few of P's training sessions to complete. More photographs soon...

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