Saturday, 12 December 2015

Think it must be December...

 Some early wrapping for P's advent books
And some festive gnomes have come out of the airing cupboard. A few newly purchased decorations are dotted around as far too lovely to put away, and then this afternoon after swimming is the time to decorate. Tree and boxes of decorations patiently waiting.

I've been gently making, and am hoping for some lovely cosy times with twinkly lights, candles, the smells of Christmas and some crochet or knitting over the next week or so. But before all that here are probably the easiest recent makes
Birthday tees for Sufyan and Oliver.

Right, off to have a peek at those Christmas decorations...

Monday, 23 November 2015

A crochet collar

Oh my, this little collar has been worn so much. The crochet collar, designed by Leanne Garrity, came as a kit with issue 35 of Mollie Makes. The simple instructions were easy to follow, and this really is a what shall I do with a tiny amount of crochet time that gives me a finished make. I used the button provided, but changed the squeaky wool for a softer bamboo wool from the basket.

The instructions are available here, so you too can make yourself a sweet collar...

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A halloween cat

P requested this Halloween cat while looking through a copy of Simply Crochet. I went on to forget this conversation, but P didn't, and when we later talked about Halloween P reminded me of this cat. So no Halloween costume this year - P was happy to wear his Harry Potter one again - as long as there was a cat.

The kit is Susan Yeates' Amigurumi cat from issue 36 of Simply Crochet. A lovely pattern as the body is made in one piece, so one less body part to sew on at the end. I used a part ball of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in charcoal, which seems a little decadent for a child's toy, but it has made a delightfully soft cat, and it was an already started ball from the basket. Halloween kit was made with a 4.5 mm hook, rather than the 3mm used in the pattern, which also uses a finer 4ply wool. The green button cat's eyes are from the button tin, so this was a make which was gathered together and made in an eve.

Hope you had some spooky fun!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

For when it is the weather for a fabric, rather than cosy wool, scarf...

Though a cosy wool cowl was worn on a walk to school this week... these mornings are chilly now! Anyway, for those days which are slightly warmer I fancied making some more fabric, wrap around neck many times type scarves. So far I have made just the one 
 The pattern is the Purl Bee's Long Pom Pom Cowl, though it is simply a quarter of a meter of full width, lightweight fabric, joined together at the selvedge edges. There is a little bit of fancy seaming going on though to enclose the trim, so it is well worth looking at the Purl Bee's how-to.

Fabric was a bolt end from the lovely Backstitch, and is a lovely soft fabric by Atelier Brunette called Abstract. Oh, and is still available here. Pom pom trim from Frumble
I love the bits of gold-mustard. And those mini pom-poms. Next time I may make a wider version, or maybe a triangular shaped shawl thing. With pom poms of course...

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

A baby's cardigan

I was asked to knit some cardigans for a soon to arrive babe, and from a list of suggested patterns, this was one of the ones selected. The pattern is Debbie Bliss' jacket with moss stitch bands from the book baby knits for beginners, and it's a pattern I have adored since Linda's kind Grandma knitted it for Patch before he was born. The most adorable teeny cardigan in a camel colour... Anyway, I was rather happy to have a reason to revisit this pattern.

The cardigan is made with the delicious Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, this time in an oh so pretty light pink. The 3-6 month size used three balls of wool. The buttons are from Great Gran's tin. And really nothing more to say about this sweet cardigan - it is great for beginners so anyone can have a go, it uses dreamy wool... and it includes some moss stitch. Love it

Friday, 25 September 2015

My view this week

 I have taken to my bed with a horrible cold. Thoroughly miserable. This was actually the view later on in the week as for a few days I couldn't even bring myself to knit or crochet. That poorly. All well now though, and knitting once more as you can see!

As I was lying there I realised I hadn't shown my new-old duvet. A dream of a duvet cover, a white linen type fabric that has been with us for an age but which had developed a hole. Hexagon patches were just the thing. And then I finally got around to sewing some different buttons along the bottom
All buttons from Great Gran's tin, and happily have survived spins in the washing machine. Simple makes, but they are making me smile!

Friday, 11 September 2015

A summertime wedding

The wedding of the two dearest friends... it was a delight. The most giggly wedding the registrar had ever attended we were told, and most lillyworthy. (A new word discovered during the wedding celebrations, a marker to measure one's successes in the hope of achieving the ultimate of being lillyworthy. Obviously now used to grade absolutely everything).

And so I had just the perfect reason for some makes. Which seemed to mean making enough bunting to decorate a tent - as dear friends camping in our garden - but ended in me making enough bunting to decorate the entire garden. Somehow after completing the ten meters of bias binding purchased for this makes I decided it looked nowhere near enough so unearthed another many metres of white bias binding from a drawer and continued. There just wasn't enough space in the tent to hang it all. And I got bunting injuries too - horrible blisters from the pinking shears. Totally worth it though to see it looking so pretty
Fabrics were mainly gathered from scraps including recent makes, a dress my Mum made me when I was little, leftovers from making a lampshade,  and a few new bits from a rummage in the scrap baskets at Fabric Rehab
I also made the happy couple some new pillowcases for their celebratory camp
Seen here with packages of rocky road, just like a smart hotel. We made a fruit basket for the tent too. Though I think possibly P ate most of both of these things when he went in to join Linda and Ems early the next morning.

It really was a dreamy wedding - flip flops, bubbles, the sweetest chief photographer and ring bearer (P!), yum wedding breakfast in a favourite cafe, a swim in the sea, cream tea in another favourite cafe and home for burgers and chips with champagne. With so much laughter and so many smiles. A truly happy day. Congratulations dearest Linda and Ems

Monday, 7 September 2015

Happy September

Do hope everyone has had happy holidays. I realised that the last time I was here was the beginning of the holidays, which now sounds like we have been desperately busy. Not at all, just enjoying the gentle days with a little busyness too... meeting friends, favouritist people getting married, a holiday to the Netherlands to spend time with my sister and her family, and then on to Denmark. It has been truly lovely. And time for some making too. Not that there are any photographs of things made, so please be patient for a little longer. I shall leave you with some photographs of our summer!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Summer holidays

Summer holidays seem a long time in coming this year, and yet they also caught me by surprise. All those things to be completed by the time the holidays began are now sitting, neglected, and shall most possibly remain so until September. Because I have more fun things to occupy my time... so far these have included treaty cake and coffee time with P (gosh we have actually managed a few of these, which is pretty impressive as we are still only in the first week of holidays) a sail on the river in a friend's boat, some quiet reading times, hexbug constructing, rainy and windswept walks, board game playing including a lengthy Monopoly, and film watching - we went with a friend to watch Inside Out this morn. Patch and friend said they enjoyed watching it, and certainly sat glued throughout. Often this type of film have bits dotted here and there for adult entertainment though this film possibly had a whole theme running throughout for adults to weep at and fondly reminisce, which I'm not sure Patch fully appreciciated. Anyway, a fun way to spend another rainy and windy morning. Reading how we have spent this first week seems more appropriate for an autumn half term rather than summer holiday activity. Oh well, it has done us good to have these gentle days.

One thing I did manage before the end of term was some end of term makes... this year it was more of the foldover clutches for all. Firstly more inspired by skirt as top's foldover doily clutch tutorial with you & mie's leatherette accent

 All fabrics from the piles - and this is the end of the leatherette so must find more. The barkcloth clutch is one for me, made from a treasured small piece of barkcloth. I decided to use coloured plastic zips on some rather than metal zips as the only jeans zips I could find locally came in navy. I do prefer the look of a metal zip...

And then a very simple foldover clutch, very much inspired by a pattern in issue 13 of love sewing magazine, named the foldover hexie clutch. Certainly want to make myself one with Liberty hexies, but for this one yet more fabric from the piles and a vintage mustard button. I liked the idea of yellow top stitching too, but so wish I had hidden those pesky extra stitches at the side. 
Which reminds me, I have a much used version of the one above which I made for me as an absolute necessity with a new bag. No photograph of that one yet, so I shall have to dedicate another post to yet another foldover clutch. And I found a piece of cannot resist barkcloth during a pop to fabric rehab this week, so there shall be even more. 

Oh, and not all the lovely staff in Patch's class received one of these - not sure Dan would appreciate a clutch so we made a huge pile of rocky road. Yum. Your delightful gift of veggie marshmallows have been put to delicious use, Linda and Ems. I may just have to make another pile for your next visit

Friday, 17 July 2015

A Purl Bee gathered skirt

I was so excited to sew this new pattern from Purl Bee... in fact the very day that I first saw the pattern I went and purchased intended fabric. Sadly that fabric has been added to the pile. Washed and ready, but not yet used. And possibly won't be for this skirt. This is the gathered skirt for all ages - so summery! Sensibly I made a test skirt first which is still unfinished as it is looking rather unflattering. Maybe something miraculous will happen in the finishing steps, but I'm not sure I have found my go-to easy adult skirt. Anyway, more of that another time (when you may, or may not, get to see the finished make) and this pattern is certainly a nice addition to the sweet girl's skirts list
 All that gathering... sweet for a girl, maybe not so for an adult. It is the construction of the pockets that make this skirt so lovely, though I think I prefer a simple elasticated waistband rather than the separate waistband in this pattern. Maybe next time I could combine a lazy days and these pockets - it would mean adding side panels to a simply gathered skirt but it could be done. Because it would be worth it for those pockets
Oh, and another thing is that Molly's Mummy mentioned that this skirt is a bit short, so it may be worth adding an inch or two if you too prefer your little girl in a longer style.

Pockets just had to be some of Lizzy House's cattitude (purchased from eternal maker last year, sadly no longer in stock) for the cat loving Molly, and happily for me using something from the pile. But of course nothing suitable to go with, so a trip to fabric rehab resulted in this gloriously ditsy fabric... which I can no longer remember the name of and it doesn't appear to be on their website... OK, stopped this laziness and have retrieved fabric from the threatening to topple pile, and I believe it is Sevenberry's ditsy on white.  Ditsy florals and kits... perfect. Happy birthday, Molly!

Friday, 10 July 2015

The second foldover clutch

 Just as the first one (see here) though this time not so nice fake leather purchased locally - I really do need to find a better supplier of this - and zipper tabs made from bias binding which was easier. Still satisfying to make, which is good as I have another one to show you and then four more planned for those teacher presents, which I really must make a start on...
A quick post today as still somehow catching up from the week spent tending a poorly P when nothing more than administering Mummy cuddles seemed to happen.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Some birthday tees

Simple makes to show this week... not that any of these were actually made this week. It has been that sort of a week. Monday started well with a happy-to-do unpacking following a lovely weekend in London and then a trip to watch The Minions after school - Mr R couldn't wait til this weekend. And Tuesday lovely - iced coffee in the sun with a friend catching up with her makes, and there was also some wool buying for what I hope will be a rather special present. And then the call from school to say could we come and collect P. He had been crying into his three bean curry at lunchtime and they knew something was amiss as that is one of the menu highlights. And so on the hottest days of the year P was poorly. And that has been my week.

The garden showed no compassion for those of us inside and so today is desperately in need of my attention. So a quick post today...

Happy birthday Dan, Elia, Fred and Digby! Right, off to attend those poor plants

Monday, 29 June 2015

The first foldover clutch of many

Any slightly treasured scrap of fabric is no longer safe if there is enough to be made into a foldover clutch bag. And I get to see the fabric rather than it be precariously balanced in one of the teetering piles!

I first saw a how-to for a delightful doily foldover clutch on skirt as top blog (and have been intending to make one for me for an age) and then the equally delightful addition of a faux leather accent on the equally delightful you and mie blog. Perfect present making!
 I remembered this fabric being somewhere in a pile and wanted to pair it with a colourful leatherette - difficult to find. This came from an Etsy seller TaimarsGlitter - if anyone knows of other places to buy leatherette please let me know! Oh gosh, just to add that I had no problems with this seller, in fact postage was rather speedy, but I would like a greater range of colours. And heavy weight jeans zips!

As the lining is made from a heavier weight mustard fabric I chose not to add interfacing, and I added some zipper tabs in the same mustard. Other than that I think I followed the tutorial.
So easy, so nice to use I may have already made three and am planning to make them as P's thank you  gifts for school this summer. You will be seeing many more...

Monday, 8 June 2015

A noodlehead trail tote

As soon as I saw this lovely pattern - noodleheads' trail tote - I have wanted to make it for lovely Linda. And yet I didn't... a pouch and some hankies were made instead, until this year I remembered those plans and finally made it. And oh what a pattern - the detail is amazing and results in a bag I am most certainly proud to say oh yes, why I did make that!
 The pattern is easy to follow yet with those great details... piping, internal and external pockets, adjustable strap and magnetic snapper. Oh, and this is the smaller of the two sixes available. And oh, did I mention that this pattern is free!
 I think the only change I made to the pattern was to use some strong webbing for the strap instead of fabric
Both of the fabrics were purchased from fabric rehab. The house fabric is a slightly heavier linen (still available here) and the modern neutrals' oval here
I seem to have been on a bit of a bag making frenzy at the moment. Well, maybe not a frenzy as five doesn't perhaps constitute a frenzy... and one of them is certainly more of a pouch and the others
 clutches, but that is what I have been spending some rainy times doing. Any sunny times have been spent persuading the garden that it really does want to look pretty and not be a field anymore, so my time for making has been a bit limited. Happy birthday dear Linda! We are so looking forward to seeing you and your bag rather soon!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Summery skirts for Molly

Molly was rather fond of  her anchor skirt made for last year's birthday ( see here) so when she found herself in need of some more skirts for this summer, her and her Mummy sweetly asked if I would make some more. Of course! And we got to go fabric shopping so Molly could select her own fabrics.  All fabrics are from fabric rehab and I think Molly found it tricky to select fabrics for just three skirts
 Molly's selection is fun and cheery... and not at all what I or her Mummy would have chosen. The contrast material for each skirt was also chosen by Molly.

The skirts were made just as the one last year, though this time using a half meter as that girl has grown. So half a meter of fabric and the full width to make it nice and gathered. The elastic length is Molly's waist measurement plus an inch for sewing together. The contrast band measures three or four inches and is finished as before, following oliver + s' lazy days skirt (free!) pattern
A third skirt was made - in these oh so summery flamingoes! - but the silly goose that I am forgot to take a photograph before giving it to a very eager Molly.  Enjoy the summer in your happy skirts, Molly!

Friday, 22 May 2015

A Chelsea Flower Show shawl

Though with not a floral motif in sight... This is my Chelsea Flower Show shawl as it was my sitting on a train crochet as we travelled for a delightful day at the Chelsea Flower Show. What a lucky duck. So it seemed right to be showing this shawl this week. Please don't think that I am a speedy crocheter - we went to Chelsea last year for my birthday treat from Mr R, so this shawl has taken me a year to finish. And I don't know why as it really is a gentle pattern
 My version of this shawl may look familiar - it is exactly the same as the one shown in Simply Crochet mag. Exactly... same wool, and in the same colour. Not at all original then. The pattern is Anniken Allis' Making Waves from Simply Crochet's issue 8. The wool used is Artesano 4ply Alpaca and it is a dream... oh so soft, and oh that colour (prettily named Anemone).

Whilst the pattern may have been easy, the finishing off had me flummoxed. According to the instructions, once the finished rectangle has been blocked it is simply folded in half and then starting from the outside, the two edges are crocheted together leaving an opening big enough for your head. So this together with the diagram seems to suggest that on one long edge both the right and left hand sides are crocheted together from the outside edge towards the middle, leaving a hole for a head. This I did but it resulted in the most peculiar pointy bits. I could not see what to do. Thank goodness for Mr R who took one look at the photograph in the mag - not the diagram - and said that what I needed to do was fold the rectangle in half and leave the head hole next to the folded edge and then crochet the edges together along the rest of the long edge. Um, is that any clearer I wonder? Well, I shall leave my garbled instructions just in case any one out there is thinking of making this and happens to read this, which then may make some sense to them. Unlikely, but it shall stay.

And here is a closer look at the pretty pattern and the delicious colour

Monday, 18 May 2015

Red Riding Hood cape in blue

I wanted to make a Red Riding Hood cape for a little one's spring birthday and somehow a red cape felt too wintry. Looking through the toppling piles I found a large gingham in blue, just the thing for the lining, though of course nothing suitable for the main. Madness. In all that fabric. So off to fabric rehab where I found a blue linen type fabric... sadly, I can't remember any more details for this fabric other than it is a lovely, heavy weight and lovely colour
 The pattern is the Red Riding Hood cape from oliver + s' little things to sew and is a delight. I made the larger size, for ages 5-10, and it happily fits an eight year old. I know that because P tried it on, and he was quite taken with it. But as last time (see my first, true to the original colour one here) the arm slits are positioned too low, so rather than reposition them I made them longer.

Other changes to the original pattern were to use bias binding for the button loop and I am oh so pleased with the addition of the same bias binding around the hood
I also added a row of top stitching around the edge of the whole cape. And I now want my own version.  Though I don't think this picture does this sweet cape justice... it looks far dreamier on
Happy birthday dear Chess!