Thursday, 28 July 2011

Year of Projects Week 3

Not much to post this week, as I said earlier, but I didn't want to miss an update
This is as much as I've done this week. It's the start of the first sleeve. I'm hoping to get a lot more done on it this week, so hopefully it'll be finished for the next update!

L is for... Lauren

Apologies for the lack of posts. I've just started a new job, and I don't know if it's just me, but the change of routine always really affects what I do during the day. I don't have time to even knit at the moment! But I'm settling in, so I'll soon be catching up

Anyway Lauren is my cousin and soon to be God-daughter (August 7th!) and she's gorgeous. She's 1 1/2 and is the intended recipient of the hoodie I'm currently knitting

Only problem was, she wouldn't stay still long enough for photos!

We visited her and her big brother Daniel on Sunday. He's 3

We took them to the park, did some painting, played mini golf (my first time playing golf and I got 2 hole in ones!) and played on the trampoline.
Indulge in cute photos of babies! =P

For more ABCs look here

ETA: I fogot to add that I got her christening present!
 It's a charm bracelet. I've only got one charm so far
I thought this was baby themed whilst also being something she could wear when she's older. I'm planning to get her a charm for every birthday so by the time she's 18, she has 18 charms. They're on clips, so she can change them as much as she wants.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Year of Projects Week 2

It's update number 2 for the year of projects blog-a-long, and my cabled baby hoodie is coming along really well
Since I took this picture, I've finished both the fronts and the back.
I've done my best to match up the stripes, and it's gone pretty well. I'm not entirely sure why they stop matching at the top, but I'm not sure there's anything I can do about that...

I did have to reknit the top of the left side 3 times. I really have no idea what went wrong there...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

K is for... Knitting

Well it couldn't really be anything else could it?

I thought I'd do the story of how I got started knitting, and show you my amazing first creations.

My gran used to knit, although I never remember her knitting. There are, however, lots of pictures of knitted jumpers which I am assured she knit for me, and she did teach me to knit when I was about 6

This is the amazing garter stitch scarf I created between the ages of 6 and 7. I was really impressed when I fished it out at how even my gauge is, and that there are no yarn overs or holes anywhere!

And here is the grateful recipient (yes I still have him) Bongo the monkey, and one of my favourite toys when I was little.

And after successfully finishing that wonderfully loud piece of knitting, I put it aside for the next 9 years. At 15, our GCSE textiles group took a trip to the Harrogate knitting and stitch show, which had a section teaching people how to knit. We got a free set of needles, a free ball of yarn, and a few minutes of teaching, then we just sat around and chatted and knit for about an hour. It was great fun and so I finished up my ball of yarn, then ran out. I wasn't given the ball band, so the knitting went into a bag at the back of my wardrobe, and there it stayed.
Until I discovered MochiMochi Land. I have talked about it before, and I have no idea how I stumbled upon it, but the toys there really took my fancy, and I discovered amigurumi. After a lot of amigurumi pattern trawling (and I didn't even know about Ravelry at this point), I decided that I really had to make one of my own! So I headed up to a local yarn store I had spotted up the road from where I was living, to buy some lovely cheap acrylic yarn to make the toys. Then I spotted something on one of the dark shelves behind the counter. It was my yarn! I could finish my scarf!

And knowing nothing about dye lots or anything, I bought 2 ball of the lovely James C. Brett Rio and started knitting. But the indeterminable stockinette stitch got so dull, and I put it down again to make my cute toys (which also never got finished)...

Then, I picked it up again recently. It's hideous! It's so bright, far too wide, holey and gets wider as it goes on. Also, it suffers horribly from the stockinette stitch curl, as well as being pretty darn itchy and uncomfortable. I'm trying to force myself to frog it and soften up the yarn, so I can actually enjoy it.

I'm thinking I might make it into either Honka or one of these because I think if it's paired with black it'll tone down the colour somewhat, and make it into something I will wear.

As soon as my gran found out I was knitting again, she gave me all her old yarn and needles, as well as some needles that belonged to her grandmother. There wasn't much yarn left, but it's all very appreciated!

And that is how I got started knitting. I always like to know how people got started so share your stories!

For more K posts, check out here

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Cath Kidston

I love Cath Kidston, I think she does amazingly cute patterns, and I love how crafty she is.

Anyway, for christmas last year I got these:
The top picture is a sewing box shaped like a house, and the bottom is the matching needle book
And a pair of dressmakers scissors and a matching tape measure.

Then, whilst I was in town last week, there was a sale on in the Cath Kidston shop, and I got this:
It's the matching pin cushion to my house set, and since I was really needing a pin cushion, I don't feel guilty buying it.

What I do feel guilty for is this:
It's a needle case, complete with 8 pairs of bamboo needles, which matches the other things I got for Christmas. I'm making myself feel better by the fact that it only cost £10 for 8 pairs of needles, since it was half price.

After that indulgence, here's some cute pictures of my doggies:
Jessie, looking longsuffering
And Siouxsie looking stupid...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Year of Projects Week 1

Well, I've finished my first project for the year of projects, a pattern test for Switchcleo on ravelry. She's been designing some beautiful blackwork crosses, and here's mine:

It's a really fun, quick and simple stitch, which can be done in a couple of hours, but still looks lovely when finished. She will be releasing them soon in her Etsy shop
and I would really recommend that people check them out.

I've also swatched for my god-daughter's jumper
I got gauge on the recommended needles, so I'm going to start knitting the jumper this week.

J is for... Job

This is very short post this week

I had my sort of induction for my job today (I have my real induction later this week). It's exactly what I expected, going round stores at lunchtime and restocking coca-cola products (which actually are a lot more things that I realised 'til I started researching.) I did get a bit of a baptism of fire, because the woman I was shadowing came to one store to find two of her bosses, who wanted to do an entire stock check, as the store had said that they were consistently running out of stock. Anyway, I did my best to be helpful, and didn't get lost once, which is a a big plus for me! It doesn't look hard and I'm looking forward to starting. My start date was put back to a week on Wednesday, so I've got a bit of time to sit round the house and knit before then.

The boy is working for my mum, painting the outside of the house since we now have new windows. Her logic was that she would have to pay someone else if he wasn't there, and she knows he'll do a good job. He also has work experience with a lawyers office sometime soon. I just wish that the University would sort out his resits, as what they are currently asking him to do isn't fair. He ended up doing resits as he was mugged and stabbed last Christmas, so he was taking a lot of painkillers during the January exams. He explained this to them at the time, but they've been so awful at sorting out that he didn't get what he was entitled to for his resits. I wouldn't usually do this, but if people can hope and pray that they sort this out he and I would be so grateful, or he won't manage to graduate next year, and he can't afford to do another year.

I really hope they get this sorted.

Friday, 8 July 2011

FO Friday - cross stitch cards

I actually have a FO to share with you all this week. I made sure I got it done in time for this Friday, since I haven't had one for ages.
I made these as thank you cards for some of my family, to say thank you for my birthday presents. They came as free kit with with this month's World of Cross Stitching magazine. I wasn't keen on the heavily patterned cards that they came with, as it all seemed a bit much when they were put together, so I made my own plain white cards to display the flowers in.

I'm pretty pleased, as I've never made cards before, and they came out really well

To check out more FOs look here

Thursday, 7 July 2011

I is for... Imagination

We all need a bit of imagination in our life, otherwise it would be far too mundane and boring. Even if it's just imagining yourself on that holiday you've been planning for years during a boring day at work. Imagination makes what we do worthwhile, as without imagination there would be no ambition. If we could not imagine what it would be like to have that degree, or get that promotion, there would be no point trying to achieve it.

Of course, we must have imagination to read a book and visualise the characters and events, or it would take all enjoyment out of it. All it would be is simply words on a page, there would be no story.

In crafting, imagination pervades everything that we do, from the mind of the designer, imagining the object they wish to create, down to the person making the design, imagining what it will look like made up in their particular yarn or fabric.

We all need a bit of imagination in our lives, and we don't nurture it enough. Instead of watching TV, read a book, or even better, imagine yourself in the world of your favourite book, interacting with the characters. What would happen? Write your own story in your head and enjoy living in your imagination for a while.

Imagination is the source of everything we have, for without imagination we would still be living in caves. We should give it the credit it deserves.

For more ABC posts, check out here

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

H is for... Hello Kitty

I have mentioned before that I am slightly obsessed with Hello Kitty, but until I started this post, I didn't actually know the scale of my collection, and what's even more surprising, I've only bought 4 of these things myself.
These are my clothes: 2 t-shirts, 2 pairs of socks and some pants (you know you wanted to see them, but they had to be included for completeness' sake). The pink t-shirt started the entire collection, when I bought it several years ago! I also bought the other t-shirt and the pants...
DS case and game cases, phone case, buttons, key chains, stickers and a gift label
My well worn and much loved wallet and purse, plus another purse, mirror, necklace and earrings
DVD (yes that was a joke!), colouring book (umm... it was a joke, I promise *shifty eyes*) and folder (the only other thing I bought apart from clothes!)
Picture, picture frame, mug, doorstop, and a selection of cards. I've had many more cards, stickers and wrapping paper in my time!
Umbrella! In my favourite colours too.
Build-a-bear hello kitty, wearing hello kitty dress and slippers, ty hello kitty toy and keyring, four pez dispensers: two classic hello kitty, one of hello kitty's friends U*SA*HA*NA (great name there!) and one soft toy pez dispenser. the boy buys me a hello kitty pez dispenser at every celebration, mainly because it's an excuse to buy pez sweets, which he loves!
This is a washbag, pencil case and a bag. The bag is the reason why this post took so long. I got it out to take a picture and it was disgusting! I scrubbed it twice with a vanish bar (stain remover) and washed it at 95 degrees twice, which made it really clean, but the hello kitty patch on the front had stretched and had big wrinkles in it. So I ripped it off with my stitch unpicker, ironed and repositioned it, and sewed it back on. Now, instead of looking old and ratty, the bag looks cute and vintage, so it was an evening well spent!

I'm not sure if that's of interest to anyone but me, but I was impressed to see just how much stuff I have accumulated over the years of collecting.

In other news, I got a job! It's working with Coca-Cola, and when I went to the interview, the advert for the job I'd actually applied to had been wrong, it had said 3 months temporary post whilst the post actually lasted for 1 year. However, they had a two month job that had just been created, and they offered me that job the next day. I'm so happy, especially as my car and insurance were cheaper than I thought they would be, so I might actually make that American road trip next summer...

To check out more H posts click here

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Come Blog-A-Long - Year of Projects

Well I've decided this is just the push I need to get all my planned projects completed and give myself a bit of motivation. I'm a little late to the game here, but I wouldn't have gotten any crafting done in the last 5 days anyway, so I think it's ok.

The premise of this meme is to list all the projects you want to get finished in a 12 month period, then blog about how they're going every Sunday. So here goes with my list:

Cabled Jacket with Hood for the God-daughter's christening present
Finish the boy's scarf
Finish Rainycloud
Finish Betty the blob
Tubby by Anna Hrachovec
Finish Central Park Hoodie
Arielle by Kim Hargreaves
Frog my purple scarf and knit a better one
2 dishcloths for H and V's Christmas presents
V's birthday socks
Textured Cushion by Amy Butler for the boy
Finish the build-a-bear clothes

Finish Tatty Teddy bookmark
Popcorn bookmark for H's birthday
Gran's birthday embroidery
Cross stitch for the boy
Lickle Ted - Lickle Bit Shy
Map of Yorkshire
Blackwork test stitch

I'm not sure if I'm being a little ambitious here but here goes! Wish me luck!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Well what a week...

DISCLAIMER: This is a very long post with a lot of pictures. I don't feel like I've stopped this week! I've been running around like a mad thing!

Thursday last week
Finished my preemie hats for Nerd Wars, and handed them in to the Student Volunteer Centre to be sent to the local NICU.
I made 8 of this Basic Baby Hat in different sizes and colours for both boys and girls
Then went for something a bit more complicated with this Hugs and Kisses Hat. I decided to only do 4 repeats of the pattern and separate out the cables a bit more, so the individual hugs and kisses were obvious

 Then finally I made a set of Ventilator bonnets, as apparently our local NICU is in desperate need of them. I was so surprised that this pattern wasn't on Ravelry! I wasn't keen on the self striping on the first 2 bonnets, so I cut the stripes on the second 2 so that they were either pink or blue. 

On my trip to John Lewis to get the (adorable) duck buttons for the bonnets, I found there was a sale on. I got 8 balls of Rowan fine milk cotton for about half price
This is destined to be made into Arielle by Kim Hargreaves

9-4 Cleaned, scrubbed, washed, polished and packed up my house from top to bottom 

I have never seen it so clean and empty. We had so much to do that one of our friends, H, ended up coming round to help out. I really enjoyed removing the mouldy bread that was dripping black goo from my housemates cupboard...

4-5:45 House inspection. We passed! Well my housemate didn't but if she doesn't clean her room she loses her money. At least we should get our deposit back

5:45 - 11:30 Travelling home. It took two taxis and a train, and involved me and the boy carrying 13 bags between 2 of us. I have no idea how we had so much stuff, see as we "emptied" the house earlier in the week, and sent the rest home with my Dad... Even with 13 bags, H had to take a pair of my boots back to her house.

Anyway, when I got home there was a very nice surprise waiting for me in the post! I had 2 parcels. The first I had ordered and expected.
The Joan Elliot Ultimate Cross Stitch Collection, which is an amazing book, and I can't wait to start stitching

The second was a surprise, but only because I'd forgotten about it
It was a prize I'd won from Lynda Grace's giveaway over at Lynda Grace an Hour Away. The magazine is from 1989, which is 2 years before I was born! It's a really interesting read though, and there are several things I'm looking forward to stitching. I'm very grateful to her for such a lovely gift.

Saturday to Tuesday
It was back up again at 6:30, to take a taxi and 2 trains to Whitby arriving at 12:15, to meet my parents for a couple of days for a short holiday in Sands End, which is a couple of miles down the coast
Whitby is a higgledy piggledy little town build around a harbour up the sides of two cliffs. All the buildings feel like they're built on top of each other and it's a bit of a maze. It is famous for two reasons, Dracula and Captain Cook, and it hosts a twice yearly goth weekend and has many gothic and alternative shops.

 This is the cottage we stayed in
And this is the view out of the front door
And the view just round the corner. It was such a beautiful little village and so relaxing. We spent our days walking
Playing on the beach
Seeing the sights. That is the boy standing in the middle of the famous whale bone arch on one side of the cliff, with the abbey in the background of the other.
And generally relaxing. I love the colour of this! We also went shopping round Whitby, and there is an amazing yarn market, which sells the patterns for the traditional fisherman's ganseys for all the fishing villages round the area, as well as a craft shop with a huge variety of cross stitch kits. I could have spent hundreds.
I did get a nice new handbag though, which matches a clutch and shoes that I already have.

I also took the boy to Whitby museum, which he's never been to. We saw the weather forecaster with the petrified leeches and the hand of glory (warning: slightly disgusting) as well as a huge collection of taxidermy. There were also some much nicer things though, like a jet chessboard with ammonites inside it, some old bone knitting needles and crochet hooks, and a fantastic collection of samplers. It is a very eclectic collection of stuff though! More like a junk shop than a museum.
This is the only crafting I got done though. It's the free kit from this month's World of Cross Stitching magazine, and I'm making it into thank you cards for my some of my aunts and uncles. It was so nice to get away for a bit though!

Not only did I have to unpack and find a place for the entire contents of mine and the boy's house, I also had to move everything away from the windows and cover anything I didn't want to get dusty, as we were having every window in the house replaced. I did FINALLY get the last package I was waiting for though
Now I can make my God-daughter's christening present. I am really unimpressed with this company, Togs and Toggles. I ordered this yarn well over a month ago, and paid for postage in 6-8 days, and it has only just turned up now. It was very cheap, but I won't be using them again.

Thursday to Saturday
Massive upheaval as ever window and outside door in the house was removed and replaced. 

Sunday (today)
I bought a car! But more on that when I actually get it...

So that was my very busy week. Well done if you got this far! Stay tuned tomorrow for not one but two ABC posts! And wish me luck for my job interview, which is also tomorrow?