Monday, 29 December 2014

A merry little Christmas

Hope yours was too!  We are still enjoying this christmas time... mornings spent in pyjamas, days spent building lego and playing, a muddy walk before coming back home to warm up and watch a film. Lovely.

There are a few makes to catch up with on here from before the festivities and also Christmas presents which have now all been unwrapped, but before christmas time is over I thought I would show some Christmassy bits.

Happy holidays!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Enjoying this first week of December...

It has been a nice gentle week, with a cosy feeling of preparing for the festivities. Gathering the bits for Patch's Christmas play costume, writing Christmas cards with the obligatory Christmas music... Mr R decided we should go to pretty Bury St Edmunds yesterday, so instead of finishing those Christmas cards we went and had a lovely day. A few presents bought and a festive coffee quietly reading a Christmas magazine. Most certainly feeling Christmassy.

There has also been the wrapping of twenty four Christmas stories
There are a few new additions this year as I felt P may not want to read Maisy's Christmas. Silly me... I still do, so why shouldn't P? So we have twenty four wrapped and a pile by the side of Maisy and Miffy. We have been having cosy cuddly times reading these after school, though the book to be unwrapped waits until bedtime.

A Christmas list has been thoughtfully written and amended over the past few weeks until it was time to write to Father Christmas 
Oh, and yes I made a Christmas pillowcase for P's bed... he was so excited to be going to bed on the first of December! Sweet. The quarter of a metre purchased wasn't quite enough for a pillowcase front so I dug around in the baskets and found the jolly spot. With some candy cane stripes for the back. I must get on and make the other Christmas pillowcase for when this one is in the wash... Ems, you will be so happy to hear - more Christmas gnomes! (Ems does not like gnomes). So just one more pic

Monday, 24 November 2014

An aviatrix hat for Baby Leo

Not sure when I came across this free pattern on Ravelry - Justine Turner's Aviatrix. It seems a little while ago, though not so long ago that I felt I could still get away with knitting one for P.  But happily I can knit one for Leo!  Not sure why I didn't use one of the baby bonnet patterns I've already used - both of which I loved - see here and here ,though in a way glad I didn't as I love this too.
Once I had worked out the layout of the pattern instructions, oh and how to successfully do short rows without gaping holes, this was a great knit. I used some dreamy Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply in teal  - hardly half a ball for this teeny newborn size, and a button from the never ending delight that is Great Gran's button tin. So sweet.

Friday, 21 November 2014

It was a spooky Halloween...

Is it a little late to be mentioning Halloween? Hmmm... but just in case you have the need to make a monster costume, I shall continue. Not that I made an entire monster costume, just the hands - so if you find yourself needing to make some monster hands, then do read on.

I found a bargain copy of  Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio's  book Felt-o-ween just before Halloween and bought it for the one project really, though I may do one more. Possibly. So not full of projects to put on my must-make-one-of-those-now list,  but as it was a bargain price it seemed ok to purchase just for the monster hands. Great fun!
 I think I have been spoilt by lovely books which include full scale patterns, which this book doesn't. Not that it was too tricky to enlarge the pattern for a pair of hands. The monster hands are stuffed and then strapped over the child's hands, rather than worn like a pair of gloves. Does that make sense? I decided to cut the wrist straps in half and add Velcro to close them for a better fit, as suggested in the book, which does help on these skinny wrists. Just the thing for some trick and treating fun.

And I could not resist the crochet ghost in Simply Crochet...

Here are those monster hands in action, rather proudly (attempting) to point at the pumpkin made with Daddy. It is difficult to point when wearing oversized monster hands

Friday, 14 November 2014

The as I've forgotten to take any photographs of the Halloween make you'll have to make do with this post

I really thought I had taken a photograph of P's Halloween make. Oh well, hopefully the sun shall come out sometime this weekend and I really will take that photograph. So in the absence of anything spooky, here is the reliable birthday present make for P's friends. Again. Though at the request of friend's Mummy, as when I enquired as to possible presents this is what she suggested as he still loves last years version. Obviously this made me happy as I don't really know how these handmade presents are truly received by the child!

Happy birthday, Henry! 

Today is oh so gloomy and full of rain - just perfect as the postman has delivered a parcel of wool! I am trying some Drops merino - has anyone used it? Hoping for some lovely soft wool in the parcel so I can make a start on Christmas makes. My parents are visiting my sister in Holland next week and the plan is that they take Christmas presents with them, so I really must just sit and knit. And we are off to the cinema this afternoon - what a treaty day! Mum and Dad are collecting P from school, Mr R     is finishing off his work for the week,  so we are going to see Pride - along with the grannies of Woodbridge, because who else goes to the cinema on a Friday afternoon? Perfect rainy Friday activities.

Monday, 20 October 2014

I made a t-shirt...

I really think this may have been my first attempt sewing with knits. And it was so satisfying! I've been tempted with made by Rae's flashback skinny tee for an age as I love that style of tee on Patch. As he has got older it has become more difficult to find fun yet cute prints on tees, and regular visits to the delightful kitschy coo tempted me even more with all those amazing prints!

Just before the summer holidays I saw this knightly print - perfect for P who was having fun exploring castles and fairy tales at school. By the time I saw this print there was just one metre available but I didn't let that deter me - these knit fabrics come in generous widths so I convinced myself I could squeeze a tee for a seven year old out of one meter. Finally I purchased the pattern for the flashback skinny tee (a digital download from backstitch)  and some navy organic ribbing and set to.

This tee was made entirely on my sewing machine with a stretch stitch and a needle suitable for jersey fabric and I was a little unsure how my machine - and I - would cope. Oh my! I was amazed by the this-looks-like-it-came-from-a-shop finish on the seams and neck and arm cuffs. And so with this confidence I decided to add a contrast row of stitching around the neckband, just like some of P's shop bought tees. I shouldn't have. Where I thought this would make the neck sit nice and flat as the stitches caught the seam of the neckband on the inside, it actually stretched the shape and made it look a bit more, well, like I had made it. And then I attempted to stitch a hem rather than have a rolled unfinished hem. It is possible - just - to squeeze a tee for a seven year old out of one meter of fabric but only with a teeny hem. I think a wider hem may have encouraged the knit fabric to lie flat, but as it is it eagerly flips and rolls up. So really I should have just left the bottom edge unfinished. And yet I'm still happy with this and shall no doubt be making some more. And P? He loves it!

Friday, 17 October 2014

A pebble vest for Baby Leo... and some sweet trousers too

My dear friend became Mama to Baby Leo a little earlier than expected, which meant that news of his arrival coincided with wool week. I needed no further encouragement. I found some of Patch's baby clothes to parcel up and wanted to send a little handknit too. The pebble vest ( a free pattern by the Thrifty Knitter - on Ravelry here) is perfect for premature babies as it is a fairly small knit, though it can easily be made larger by changing the wool and size needle used.

I had some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in the oh-so-full wool basket, which went nicely with the little pile of baby clothes, and so I cosied up for a few hours
A sweet brown vest. I then found at that Leo was too big for P's little clothes and so tried to find some  trousers to go with the already knitted top. The local choice of clothes for an early baby was limited to blues or pinks, a distinct lack of neutrals or anything to go nicely with the sweet brown vest. And then I remembered  I make things! I had seen the dear baby pants by purl bee and was waiting for a suitable excuse. The comments suggested that the smallest size was indeed small so they seemed ideal. It was now a Saturday eve, and so with no hope of a local fabric shop being open on a Sunday, I studied what I already had. I was hoping to find a cheery turquoise gingham (I know I have some somewhere...) and had in fact dashed into the amazing local button shop just before closing on Saturday and purchased these buttons in anticipation. But no, I have no idea where that piece of gingham is. I did find some brown mice fabric and a so soft flannel baby blanket of P's 
A sweet, so quick pair of baby trousers. Just waiting for a baby's bottom. Can you imagine? Baby Leo now has his vest and trousers and the back view of these trousers with a baby bottom in them is so adorable. And here's the front, not quite so exciting... Leo does appear to have mice dancing on their heads from the front view but I'm sure no-one will notice...

Monday, 13 October 2014

An autumnal roller skate dress

As soon as I saw this fabric it seemed just the right thing for an autumn version of oliver + s' roller skate dress... Well, actually, as soon as my friend saw it and wondered if she might sew something for herself, I knew it was just the thing. I do hope I didn't put her off with my excitement about sewing a dress for a two year old with it. The fabric is a daisy print on a gorgeous mustard by Cosmo and was purchased at fabric rehab
And I know last time I said that I would be making a wider bow for any future versions, but here I used some navy velvet ribbon which looks fine on this size 2 dress, though I  would still make it wider for the larger sizes.

The lining is a navy check - because I felt there wasn't enough print already. I like its busy-ness - I only hope Polly does too. Though at two I'm sure she has little opinion, so let us hope mummy Jo approves. The navy gingham poplin was also from fabric rehab.

Finished with a button from Great Gran's tin... Happy birthday, Polly!

Friday, 10 October 2014

String bags... for me!

I do love string bags and after making a few this summer as Patch's school thank yous I decided to carry on and make myself one too. Well, two, as I couldn't possibly decide which pattern I liked more.  These have been so well used as can clearly be seen in this photograph
It has grown. Or stretched.  And I think continues to do so with every use. It is another everything & anything crochet string bag from dottie angel's and ted & agnes' granny chic and again I changed the handles so they are wider and longer. And then I made them even longer than the first version and really I shouldn't. I used three balls of Rico design creative cotton aran in light green and it obviously has a lot more stretch to it than the rather sturdy rowan cotton I used first time.

One of its first outings was to the brompton world championships at Goodwood this summer - Mr R and dear Ems took part, and Patch had a lot of fun riding around the circuit too. Which meant that I could sit and wave enthusiastically and then happily read Mollie Makes. I haven't made many of the free kits that come with Mollie Makes but that day, sitting in the sun and glancing over to my already growing string bag, I decided that the cherry brooch would look rather fine dangling from it. I have since starched it in a hope that it will stay flat-ish

And the second string bag is the free pattern on the classic elite yarn site again - the Provence summer string bag. 
Another summery colour from Rico designs essentials cotton dk - this time banana. Yum. 

It has been a while since a granny square from Simply Crochet's granny a week has appeared here - they are making a pretty pile as I continue to crochet them. Granny Iris is causing problems. I did think her unsightly shape could be tamed with a severe blocking but no. Granny Iris is refusing to co-operate. As it is still wool week I may excuse myself from the rest of the afternoon and have another go. So hopefully you shall see a Granny here next week. Quite why I can't just skip this Granny and continue to show you some of the others I'm not sure... Happy weekend!

Monday, 6 October 2014

This is my favourite and best, Mummy... The Lego tee

Patch loves this t... I made it in April for a birthday Legoland treat and it has been worn so much since, and is still looking fine.  I drew the head shape onto the yellow fabric, painted the features on and then with the help of bondaweb stuck the head shape onto the t. I then simply edge stitched around the head, so over the months there has been a little fraying of the edges but not much at all. And really this t has been worn a lot!

It is a lovely autumnal day here today... a rainy and windy day, perfect for being inside snug with the heating on and some woolly make. Well it is wool week! And my dear friend has just become Mama to sweet baby Leo so I must knit... I'm off to curl up with Ethel and some wool

Friday, 3 October 2014

Another pocketed easy drawstring skirt

The pockets get mentioned first because they are what make these little, simple skirts into sweet little skirts
I used Melly Sews easy skirt tutorial with a few changes as last time ( see my first version here). Hmm, yes rather similar as the first skirt as I had more of this pink cord waiting to be used. I absolutely love this contrast fabric on the pockets - spring scrapbook from Cloud 9's shape of spring collection in petal pink - purchased on a fun pop to fabric rehab with a friend. I've ordered from fabric rehab many a time but hadn't made it to their shop. What a mistake as it's so close! Never let me moan about lack of exciting fabric shops near-ish by.

I picture this certainly as an autumnal and winter skirt, worn with grey wool cable tights, knitted jumper and a pair of snug boots. I think there are patterns I would rather use for a lighter weight skirt but I do like this one for cord.

Lovingly parcelled up with a Charlie and Lola book for a soon to be four year old. Happy birthday, Isabel!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Two more dreamy ponchos with not a hint of seventies fashion...

I still want to call these shawls. Ponchos bring to mind a rather different woollen garment than these two delights. These are pretty ponchos from Nicki Trench's crochet living. I like them so much I have now made three. Sadly only one has stayed with me. This is my well worn version,  made last summer
I used Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in gold for this one, with some vintage buttons purchased locally and chosen by P. Good choice Patch!

And then this summer I busied myself with
this time in the same delightful cashmerino aran in aqua. With more vintage buttons from the same local shop, in the loveliest mustard. Though they look rather unevenly placed in this photograph - I may have been watching tellie at the time. This one was made for my dear friend Lou's birthday. Please feel free to re-arrange those buttons! Why didn't I notice this? Oh well, hope you like your shawl Lou. For yes, I have decided, this is most certainly a shawl.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The last of the summery bucket hats

Another bucket hat from Oliver + S' little things to sew, this time for P

I made this one at the start of the summer so it has been well worn as P's school sunhat. Hence the creases. This one was made with some denim from the piles and a green kona cotton (sorry can't remember which colour) from a local fabric shop.

I may have mentioned before how much I like this pattern. I do. In fact if you need to make a child's sunhat then this really should be the one...

Monday, 22 September 2014

Feeling autumnal...

The first of the snug wooly makes! Made on a rather hot September day...
A half hour or so lost on Ravelry came up with Lion brand yarn's Yorkshire cowl. I was looking for a chunky cowl to crochet, that was a free pattern. Reading people's comments I decided this was the one as they said it came up small. Perfect as this was being made for one of P's newly eight year old friends.

Another half hour or so lost in the local wool shop didn't result in any chunky chunky wool I liked and so this is made with the chunky Wendy merino pure ultra soft wool held double. I used the 10mm hook recommended in the pattern and I think this has come out slightly chunkier than the original, so extra snug. And pretty... the delicious sounding rhubarb colour. And oh my this is a quick make!

Happy birthday, Sophie!

Friday, 19 September 2014

The easy drawstring skirt... with pockets

Because it is those pockets that make this skirt
I followed this  tutorial by Melly Sews - with a few additions. I cut the skirt as one piece so there was only one side seam to do - this is meant to be a quick skirt after all! - added some top stitching around the waistband and made a deeper hem which was finished with a double row of stitching. Oh, and in the spirit of speediness I replaced the made tie with some ribbon. This skirt is certainly as quick and simple as others I have made and is actually quite a different style as it is less full than the lazy day or market skirt which I think suits the heavier cord.

The cattitude fabric (by Lizzy house for andover fabrics) was a must buy as the little girl who I made the skirt for has just welcomed a new kitten into their home. I suppose ideally I should have chosen a smaller print for the pockets but once I had decided on a kit fabric this was the one! I had planned to use a grey stripe ribbon for the tie to co-ordinate with those pockets, but sadly it was out of stock. Both the ribbon and fabric came from the dreamy eternal maker. And the pink cord came from the pile.

Happy birthday Esme! And yes, here are those pockets again...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Monday, 15 September 2014

Blind and band

There really is no connection between these two random makes other than their initial letter...  but I am attempting to catch up with past makes and so am throwing these together.

The blind is of the roman sort and is looking rather pretty in the sitting room
I used a kit from John Lewis thinking it would be easier than purchasing all the separate pieces, though now I'm not so sure. Certainly the final threading of the cords was easier as the potentially confusing part at the top came ready threaded only leaving me to thread the ends through the blind tape. But the instructions were minimal which I think could lead to some hair tearing and wringing of hands and possibly tears for those expecting more guidance. Happily I managed to avoid these emotions and just decided it couldn't be that tricky. Luckily by the time I realised that you needed to cut each pice of blind tape so that the holes for the cords lined up mine did. And I just know there were other times I felt the instructions could be improved but now I can't remember. Any way the blind works smoothly and looks like a roman blind should so we are happy!

The kit comes with a clear plastic cleat which we replaced for a white metal version, and the wooden pine-look pull was given a totally unnecessary but looks much nicer for it coat of gentle blue paint.

Here's a better photograph of the colour of the fabric - a pretty Cath Kidston print bought for Sweet Pea Cottage, which we moved from nearly four years ago. Probably purchased a year or two earlier than that when we had no plans to move. Luckily it takes me an age to get around to making curtains and blinds so I never got around to making them for Sweet Pea Cottage!

And the headband... this is bobbles and baubles easy ten minute versatile headband made using a small bit of cotton from the basket
It really is a ten minute make! Parcelled up with some sewing bits for Anna's birthday
Happy birthday, Anna!

Friday, 12 September 2014

The rainforest explorer vest

Another make for P - they had an Amazon day at school and were asked to go dressed in something inspired by the Amazon. P decided he wanted to go as an explorer and I smiled as I knew just the thing - the explorer vest from oliver + s' little things to sew
Patch's input was that TRF must be written in red on the waistcoat under the top pocket - TRF for The Rainforest Foundation, the name of the class company. Other than that this Mummy could do as she liked! So off to the local fabric shop in the hope of some cheap cotton in suitable colours. No cheap cotton was to be found but they did have some cheap and rather horrible poly type twill. This fabric stretches and was no fun. But it was sort of the colours I went looking for.

I did have fun!
If you make this vest please do make it with bellow pockets. They make for a slightly more involved sew but are so very much worth it. They even make this one made out of the most horrible fabric possible look sweet on a little one. And that back pocket!

And every explorer needs a hat... the reversible bucket hat from the same book

Put with some linen shorts and green t P was ready to explore the Amazon! I do wish I had used a nicer fabric to make these as P wears them a lot. Oh well