Monday, 16 September 2013

Baby Boy Card

Made this tonight for a friends recent new arrival.

The blue card is from a craft magazine gift and the sentiment, green paper & the grey backing card are from random eBay sellers. The stamped image is a Bumble Bear stamp, also from a magazine issue - I forget which. I used to buy loads 4-5 years ago when I first moved to Reading. 

I used (yet another) folding template to score around the image rather than cutting it. I've lost my paper guillotine somewhere in the transition between Reading & Swansea and I'm awful at cutting straight lines! This makes it look slightly more intentional where it wobbles a little! I think it also makes it stand out & gives a slight 3D effect. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fabric Sorting

Decided to dig out my fabric collection this afternoon. I'm going to sew some giant letters & numbers, then stuff them for two little ones I have the pleasure of knowing. I found the idea here, which also has a downloadable file for the letters & numbers. One will be for a girl & the other for a boy.

I meant to make the male set first for Noah's first birthday in a fortnight but having collected my fabric I've realised I own mainly feminine colours so I'll have a bit of shopping to do first! So I'll make Olivia a set for Christmas first, while I shop for 'manly' fabrics!

After digging it all out, I thought it was only right to keep it together neatly. This box was holding my Jewellery supplies but I think this works better. So for now, I have my fat quarters & other lengths in here, along with my pincushion and my fabric scrap squares. I will make a quilt some day...!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Knitting Goddess

I properly love The Knitting Goddess. The colours are just fantastic, I can always pick out skeins of hers. I treated myself to two mini skein packs on Tuesday as a birthday present to myself.

This is the May mini skein club pack, which has 7 skeins in lovely soft, light & summery colours. My blanket has a tendency to get darker in some areas, so I'm hoping these will help balance it out.

Last but not least is this 7 skein pack of 'charcoal rainbow' which predictably is the colours of the rainbow with dark grey & charcoal running through it. I can't wait to ball these up & knit them into my sock yarn blanket over the next few days.

(It's a crap photo but I've noticed all of a sudden that my blanket is actually noticeably bigger & has grown now. It's a nice feeling but it's already taken two years to get to this stage and I'm not even 20% of the way there!)

I think these are maybe my 4 or 5th packs from The Knitting Goddess. I have several 'full size' 100g sock skeins, plus lots & lots of mini skeins. You can buy the mini skeins in packs like above, or individually for £1.50. I'd recommend trying some, the colours are just beautiful. (I'm not affiliated in any way with The Knitting Goddess, just a fan of several years!)

Monday, 20 May 2013

Zipper issues

In a bizarre way, I've lost the zip I originally bought for my skirt. I ripped my shoddy seams from my first attempt at sewing it in & placed it with my skirt. Then we had the mouse episode - which sadly killed off sourdough cultures Ted & Sophie as there was faeces around the slightly ajar jars & I wasn't willing to risk it.

Then somepoint between moving everything to try & catch the mouse, then tidiying everything afterwards, I lost the zip. I bought another from Shaw's on Friday but its sticking a bit once fully zipped up. Its the only one I have in that colour but I have another in a larger size I may use if soaping the zip doesn't work.

I pinned in a 6inch zipper replacement on Friday evening. I've tried to place it as a concealed zip but since seeing a tutorial on lapped zippers not too long ago (link when I'm on my lappy & not in bed on my phone!) I think I might try a lapped zip instead.

Bring on my birthday!! I asked Craig for a sewing book which will be very much appreciated!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Heeling Synesthesia

Awful picture, but just a quick snap of a freshly turned heel. Yellow colour is from the strip light in my placement accommodation. See previous post for the true colours!

I'm really enjoying knitting this :-)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Ladies Night


Just a quick post. My friends & I are doing a moonlit walk around Cardiff on Saturday to raise money for Tenovus. I was walking past a charity shop months ago & decided it would be a cool thing to do. If anyone is willing to spare some change, I'd be incredibly grateful as would those who directly benefit from the good work the charity does in cancer research.

Even £1 would be a big help.

Thank you,


Monday, 6 May 2013

Synesthesia Socks

Synesthesia - an interesting neurological condition where the senses become a little mixed up. For example, someone might hear music and see colours. I noticed a free pattern called Synesthesia on Ravelry in 2010 and saved it. It's been languishing in my favourites list ever since.

However since rediscovering a skein of Sugar Hippo from a month or so back, the beautiful colours & sheen were playing on my mind so I wanted to use it as my next project after I finished my exams. I happily (& successfully!) completed my CT practical assessment on Friday, so I spent the weekend relaxing and am feeling much happier about starting a new project now. I know from years of experience, I start projects as distractions and procrastination devices.

I proudly present synesthesia:

The sheen is just gorgeous. It's a 75% merino & 25% silk blend so I'll have to be careful when washing it. I don't want this to ever felt. 

I'm really enjoying knitting with it so far and the pattern is easy to memorise. It'll become 'mindless' after a few more rounds I think. Perfect for lunchtime knitting! I love the colours of the yarn as well, especially as each round of knitting is producing differently coloured stitches - makes counting rows a breeze!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

More pretties

I'm dangerous on eBay.  I forget which ones I have & how much money I've already pledged (& spent on other winning bids).

Still, I have some pretties and I've done two weeks of overtime to pay for them. I've also finished my exams and essays, so I can relax for the first time in ages!

I really like the shape of this 1976 Style 1510 pattern. I can't find anything online for this pattern, so I'm going to assume it's not a popular one! I quite like view 1 with the sleeveless dress & collar combo, view 2 is the same except is has a purchased belt & two front pockets.

The illustrations from the 1989 Simplicity 9514 pattern are quite amusing, but I fancy trying view 1 with short sleeves and in two colours for the top & skirt. The notions state that shoulder pads are optional!

The 1977 Simplicity 7952 pattern on the left could be quite nice made up with view 1's shorter sleeve length. The 1975 Style 1128 is a nice length & I'm interested in views 2 & 3.

Definitely spotting a theme with my patterns, I'm a bit obsessed with dresses! Especially ones with collars...

The 1971 Simplicity 9205 pattern has a pair of trousers at least, just to shake things up a little! I prefer view 2 with the cute bow just under the collar. I actually really love view 2 for this 1972 Style 3842 pattern too, I have long blonde(ish) hair & I've always found the hippy/70s look works quite well on me! Not sure about the puffed sleeves though.

Last but not least, I picked up this undated Vogue 6654 blouse pattern. It just looks so elegant! I can't find it on Vintage Wikia though, so I have no clue as to how old it is.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


I'm loving view number 2: the skirt with pocket detail, plus the casual short sleeves of the top. Plus the models look so cheerful!

Picked this undated, complete New Look Maudella pattern up off eBay. Can't find it in the Vintage Patterns wikia, or anything online so I have no idea how old it is. A quick search found a post on Yes I Like That which says that Maudella turned into New Look, which is now owned by Simplicity. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My first zip

So here's how NOT to do a zip. (Or hem linings)

I didn't think about the fact the zip didn't meet the top, for some reason I still had it in my head that the waistband would cover it. It really doesn't!!

Ah well. It gives me a chance to rip out my shoddy seaming attempt & try again. Having read a lot of blog tutorials I think I might even be able to conceal it!

The bottom of the zip is awful. I literally went down one side, across and then back up on the other side. I understand how to do them now though!

I made this pattern harder for myself as I wanted to line the skirt (which wasn't in the original pattern). I struggled with getting the lining in, but I was lying in bed last night and something just clicked in my head for how to do it more simply. So as soon as these exams are over (eg, Friday afternoon/Saturday morning), I want to be sat at my desk sewing in the zip again.

Then I'll just need some decent weather & the courage to break out my bare legs!

Black socks

I'm not sure I'll ever quite understand Craig's reasons for putting these in dye remover along with some pink coloured clothes.

But I'm pretty sure these will always make me laugh!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present my "refashioned" leopard style black socks! Hehehehe!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sewing Patterns

I had some 'new' sewing patterns arrive in the post this morning, courtesy of eBay.

After having read a lot of blogs this week, I've realised that one of the important considerations is the type of clothes I'll be making. I mainly wanted to make skirts & dresses as I'm a pear shape with smaller boobs & a bigger pair of hips (and a bit of a belly!) that I'm quite self-conscious of and it often puts me off buying clothes if that area doesn't fit nicely. However from browsing blogs I've realised that I'd also really like to have tops & blouses that fit me!

So I picked up these for £5 on ebay (including P&P) which I didn't think was too bad as they are cut but complete. I'm a mixture of sizes, 34 bust, 28.5 waist, 39 hips so I went up a size for something that would cover all. Hopefully taking them in around the bust area won't be too hard? I'm thinking I'd like to make views 1 & 3 from the 1968 Simplicity 7734 pattern and views 1, 2, 3 & 5 from the 1974 Style 4745 pattern. 

These are the sewing patterns I already own. I bought these last summer when I decided to start sewing properly (ha!). 

The top two are modern patterns, one from a magazine (Simplicity K2146) & the other an unenveloped apron pattern (Simplicity 1992) I picked up in the fabric shop down the road for £1.50. I've been thinking of sewing the apron as a birthday gift for a friend using some vintage repurposed fabric remnant I had off eBay.

The bottom ones are my vintage patterns.

I found the fabric for my skirt in a bargain bin and decided it would make a fab skirt. I then bought these two off eBay as I had no idea how to sew! I ended up using the undated Butterick 5644 pattern, which is currently languishing in the front room/office waiting for me to rip out & reinsert the zip. I'm still interested in view 3 from the Simplicity 6695 pattern (dated 1966).

This is the only dress pattern I have as of right now (have some bids in the pipe line). It's a McCall's 2597 pattern from 1970. I quite fancy view A but in a darker or patterned fabric.

I have some others lined up on eBay, so there may well be another post in the near future!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Picperfic's fantastic blog & giveaway

Just a quick heads up to ask you to pop over & visit Picperfic's superb blog. Marianne is a very talented lady who dyes fibres in fantastic colours & also sews bags & needle cases which are for sale in her shop, Fluff-n-Stuff.

Marianne's currently hosting a giveaway which you can enter to win 350g of her Seduce blend of fibres in a colour of your choice, or one of her sewn bags. I'm entering & have my fingers crossed that I'm picked - her quilted baskets are beautiful and would be brilliant for my sock yarn blanket as it grows ever larger! If I had interchangeable needles I'd be lusting after her interchangeable needle tip organisers too!

Go pay her a visit :)

(PS.I love how this post combines my love for yarn & my newfound interest in sewing!!)

Sewing Again!?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just a quick post, which adds this blog to Bloglovin's roll call. I found it through Tilly & The Button's blog which Tilly's been using since Google Reader is being retired.

I'm all for recommendations!

I'm currently obsessed with sewing. After months & months of not wanting to do anything crafty, this last two weeks I've been sorting out all my craft wants! I sorted through my Ravelry stash & patterns list so that I now have  patterns printed & yarns picked out for each.

Then I watched the Great British Sewing Bee as I started sewing on & off 2 years back but have found it difficult without anyone to refer to. I was super lucky with finding great knitting support groups it seems! Anyway, I dug out the A-line skirt I started in August last year with Aunty Lynne while I was on placement. I've been dying to crack on with it but I have exams next week & I'm not quite that daft to abandon my revision & spend a fortnight purely sewing! Much as I'd like to...

So in the meantime, I've been watching lots of sewing programmes & reading a hell of a lot of blogs. Which then made me realise my zip (which I was so proud of!) isn't in the right place so I'm tackling ripping it back out using a few minutes each day....

I will finish the skirt by the end of June. I must!

Monday, 8 April 2013

"Valentine" cookies

A week or so before Valentine's Day, I picked up a sugar cookie mix box in Lidl. It was a quid and I'm a student. Plus it came with a heart cookie cutter, which I didn't have any of. So for that alone I figured it'd be worth it.

I never actually got round to making them for Valentine's day. So a few weeks I cooked them up. With great difficulty - I've never made sugar cookies before & this mix wanted me to add 6mls of water and nothing else of liquid consistency! I was tempted to bin it. 

Added more liquid & eventually got the dough to combine. I followed the rest of the instructions & let them cool before using the tube of raspberry flavoured gel icing.

Made up the bag of strawberry flavoured icing (yuck!) & smoothed it carefully on.

Well, I tried to smooth it carefully on, fill in the gaps & not have any spillages. I didn't quite manage it.

And then I decorated them. For giggles.

I'm bloody awful at decorating cookies!! It was easier than piping, admittedly, but still a loooooong way to go before I want to actually give someone a hand decorated cookie of mine!

Craig doesn't count, he's a bit like a hoover & I know he'll eat almost anything. Including chicken hearts & reindeer, while on his travels. 

In the end though, the cookies were okay. And some were almost pretty. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Speedy Leeks

Last week, I posted about having planted some leek seeds & hoping they'd germinate soon. I think it's fair to say that they have. These appeared in the space of 3 days.

This one even looks like a scythe!!

They started off little, and looked like this I last checked & watered on Saturday. We went to Reading over the Easter weekend, and I checked & watered them again today:

Ta dah!!

Not bad for 4 days growth eh? So long as they don't get spindly & weak. I'll repot them into bigger pots in a week or two, before I leave for placement. Then it'll be Craig's responsibility to get them planted outdoors. I should probably let him know...

They be tall!!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Stash Diving

I'd like to say that with it being 'spring' and a bank holiday I was inspired to have a good clearing, sorting & tidying session. As it was, I went into my tower drawer storage yesterday and found two skeins of yarn I realised I didn't have catalogued on Ravelry. Obviously that's not on, so....

Please meet skein No. 1 - a gorgeous, squishy, pale yellow, semi-solid skein from the fantastic Knitting Goddess. (I love, love, love her yarns, and if anyone's stuck on what to get me for my birthday in June, they have a sock yarn club!) This one was gifted to me by Makan on Ravelry, also known as Leah :)

I also found this one, which I cannot remember buying :s May have had a slightly yarn buying addiction a few years back! I did go a bit nuts buying yarn to make up for the fact I wouldn't be able to for 3 years while in Uni. (Or so the theory went, please ignore the last yarn porn post!)

Unfortunately Sugar Hippo Creations seems to be out of stock or stopped trading maybe. What a bloody shame, look at that skein! The colours are gorgeous and it's unbelievably soft too.

I found those two on Thursday, so yesterday morning (Friday) I grabbed my camera and Craig's ipad and went stash diving. When I was leaving Reading, I packed two massive cardboard boxes full of wool. They were boxes for IDEXX pots we used to use in work, which came lined with a plastic bag so I thought they'd do well in protecting the yarn from any nasties that might want to eat them. However because the first thing I packed was yarn (I was spending more time drinking & partying than knitting, how life changes...) I couldn't remember what was in them. I went home in January & brought the biggest box up to Cardiff as I realised I was seriously skint and would saddly have to start selling some of my lovelies.

So it was a box full of yarn I couldn't remember, and I wasn't sure if everything was catalogued. Turns out, they weren't!

Meet Teksrena. I bought these two Lithuanian skeins off Ebay back in December or January 2011 sometime. It's 100% wool so I'm a bit scared of using it yet (it'll felt!!) but the colours are gorgeous! I seriously want to try a pair of matching socks, or maybe a bright scarf. The yarn's a little rough & rustic, but there are some good reviews on Ravelry from other users. ('Users' makes us sound like druggies!). Here's another link to purchase some, they do all kinds of gorgeous colours!

I also found this skein of King Cole's Zig Zag which might have been another gift from Leah. I seem to remember she bought it from eBay, but I know we both independently bought a skein of something without checking with each other during our phase of going nuts buying all the cheap yarn we could find on eBay for our sock yarn blankets. I think she tried to gift me a skein I already had split for us? Not sure on that one. 

These are two skeins of Abstract Cat Crafts 'Pout' in superwash 100% merino sock yarn. I had this Christmas 2010, I asked Mam if she'd buy me some lovely yarn & gave her a few links. She ended up asking me to buy it instead & giving me the money for it as she hadn't knitted in so long she was unsure of what type of yarns would be best for me. Laura was the first indie dyer I came across & fell in love with (her yarns!).

I went through a phase at the start, of feeling the need to buy two skeins to make a pair of socks. Pretty ridiculous looking back. My first sock took 53g however, so I bought another & from then kept buying sock yarn in pairs. Now I barely use 70% of a skein when I knit socks for myself. So I think I might hang onto this pair & see what else I can make with them. It's lovely & soft yarn. 

I also found this skein of Black Cat Fibres dreaminess. I have NO recollection of buying it! Unfortunately my etsy purchase history doesn't list it either, maybe it was too long ago? I'd love to find out the name of the colourway (I'm a bit OCD like that), but will have to settle for knowing the yarn content instead. 

It's lovely & huggable, and I adore Ruth's work. She once custom dyed a skein for me after accidentally sending me the wrong skein in the post. Can't get better service! Unfortunately Ruth's health has prevented her from dyeing recently, but I'll link anyway. I really hope she recovers soon. 

I also found my second skein of Blue Sky from The Knitting Goddess. Yep, another skein from her!

This is another skein that I started knitting socks with, panicked I wouldn't have enough and bought another. Originally these were intended to make socks for my ex, but I ended up using them to start knitting Wraparound Gloves. I found the first half of a glove in a bag stashed in my storage tower (which takes us back to a full circle) and dug them out to work on during placement. I'm still deliberating making some socks for myself, the yarn is seriously nice to work with!

All of these have now been appropriately catalogued & stashed on Ravelry. I still have another big box at home, which I'll go through this summer. It's been an eye-opener to see just how much yarn I actually have, especially considering I bought most of it within the first year of beginning knitting! I have a lot of patterns lined up and no excuse not to go stash busting & make them!