Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Yoga Socks!

So I haven't quite plucked up enough courage to have a go at knitting 'full' socks yet, but I did find this pattern for yoga socks on Ravelry, which I thought would be  a good place to start!  They do not have a heel or toes, (which I guess is the hardest part  the bit that scares me the most!) and knitted up on double pointed needles.  I knitted them up for my best friend's birthday.

I chose some lovely soft wool in cream and began to knit - the pattern, although looks complicated was fairly simple once I'd got the hang of it. I only had to unpick a few rows once!! Hurrah - making progress - usually there is two or three complete unravelling with a new knit.  There was one point when my friend was only going to be getting one sock - having accomplished one, it took a bit to find the motivation to knit the second - always the way with pairs of knitted things :)

Although I'm rather impressed with them - in terms of my knitting accomplishment - I'm not sure how practical they will actually be, or if there is a need for socks to do yoga in??

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Shark and the Crab

This shark hat started out as a Christmas present for my brother; however, things got very busy over Christmas, partly due to the huge amounts of baking that I competed, so the hat stayed half compete in my knitting bag. My brother and his girlfriend moved out to Canada a month ago, so I wanted to give them something homemade as a going away present.  Time to compete the shark and find an equally bonkers hat for his girlfriend - thankfully I'd spied the crab cloche in issue 20 of Mollie Makes, which I thought would be perfect.

The shark hat was a free pattern on Ravelry and I did have a few issues with knitting it up - I ran out of wool at the very end and also got a bit confused with the pattern. So the mouth finishing was my interpretation of the instructions and I left out the ear flaps as I decided that I didn't need them.  The hat is huge and I may have added some extra rows somehow! Nevertheless my brother liked it and it suited him rather well!

The crab cloche pattern was easier to follow and knitted up very quickly. I steam blocked the hat before I added the claws to stop it rolling at the edges.  The claws were added slightly forward of the centre, as I thought this was the best look - spent ages in front of the mirror pinning the claws on before I was happy! I found some 'eye' buttons in my local House of Fraser that were perfectly sized. As a bonus I only used half the ball of wool, so I can make another one - or maybe I should turn it into a tea cosy . . .

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

International Craft Swap

 photo swaplogo_zpsce231688.jpg

About this time last year I took part in my first ever swap, organised by Rachel at House of Pinheiro and Charlotte at Sew Far Sew Good. It was a pin cushion swap and you can read about it here.  This years theme was 'nautical' and a given colour scheme of red white and blue.  I was paired up with Daisy who runs Flo & Co Cakes a rather scrummy looking cupcakery in Bath. After swapping emails and telling each other a bit more about ourselves, in order for us to have some inspiration of what to make, I made my decision - a tea cosy.

I made a simple blue and white stripe tea cosy (with lining!) - although starting knitting on needles that were really far too big - so it was a very generous two pint size! Then I purused Ravelry for a lobster knitting pattern and found this great free one here. I knitted it up and although had a few difficulties working out the construction of the tail, I was rather pleased with the end result. To bring a bit more red into the tea cosy design I cut out some red fishes and stitched them swimming around the base of the cosy. I've called this tea cosy 'Francois and the little fishes'.

For my first designing and knitting of my own tea cosy, I was rather pleased with the finished result.  I wrapped it up with a packet of posh biscuits and some loose leaf jasmine tea. After careful packaging, to make sure that it would be within the new 'small' package of Royal Mail price hikes, it didn't cost a fortune to send either.  From the resulting emails I received from Daisy, I think I can safely say that it was a hit!

My return package was just as lovely, although silly postman delivered it to next door by accident! Made from some lovely nautical inspired fabric I had two hanging hearts, that immediately went up in the alcoves on my fireplace. My little extra present was spotty paper chains - perfect accessory to my Tea Party Box (yes, I actually have a box full of teapots, cake stands, crockery, paper doilies etc) just now need an excuse to throw a tea party!

A big thank you to Rachel at House of Pinheiro for organising such a fab swap!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Instagram Swap

A few months back I installed the instagram app on my iPhone - and so a new addiction started! After a while I stumbled across the lovely Jackie who was advertising two Spring and Easter themed swaps - I decided to join in.  Jackie's swaps are different from swaps I had done before as they were set up as a huge circle, I was given an address of the person I had to send my gift to, but it would be a different person sending me a gift - a rather fun way of doing it and meant than you felt part of a bigger picture.  There were two swaps 'Some Bunny Loves You' and 'Spring Makes Me Sing' - as I couldn't decide which to do, I signed up for both!

Some Bunny Loves You Swap

All wrapped and ready to go!

I'd been given the details of Nicola of Sewing Tails to put a parcel of Bunny goodies together for.  After having a look through her instagram photos and blog, I saw that a teapot cosy would go down rather well.  I used my Lindsay Mudd design as inspiration and knitted a bunny themed tea cosy.  I also found some cute creme egg cosies that I had to try - although the first creme eggs were 'tested' so I had to replace my eggs! I also spent an enjoyable evening sketching and sewing a little bunny brooch :) The other goodies I included were some kinder Easter chocolate and some fab carrot buttons.

The goodies inside (minus the teapot!)

lots of parcels to open!
My parcel of Bunny goodies came from Katy over at 'What Katy Did Next' - some beautiful Easter decorations that were put up the moment I opened them, some chocolate eggs (they didn't last long!) and a lovely crochet pot holder.  The pot holder is the perfect size for my vase to sit on and makes it look rather pretty - I am going to have to accomplish crocheting soon, as I really want to be able to make a granny square blanket (can't seem to find knitted ones that look as good!).  Thanks Katy :)

Spring Makes Me Sing Swap

Such lovely wrapping paper - must go and get some more!
For the Spring swap I'd been been given the details of April from Little April Showers Jewellery. After knitting a chick creme egg cosy and then finally knitting something from my '100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet' - a poppy to turn into a brooch, I decided to get the sewing machine out.  Knowing that a foldable shopping bag is always using, I set about drafting a pattern - using my fab bird material from ikea with a red spotty lining.  I was rather pleased with the result and will have to make one for myself at some point!

Spring themed goodies

Very pretty wrapping!
My Spring swap came from Louise from Gaze of Dolls design. A fab bundle of goodies, which also contained a bag - very useful as we were in Wales for Easter weekend and you have to pay for bags over there! There was also some pins and pin cushion, I have already used whilst knitting up my latest tea cosy.  The whale was christened 'Plip Plop' and now lives at the flat in Wales, he wanted to be near the sea!  The chocolate flowers look to pretty to eat and have so far survived.  Thanks Louise :)

Doing these swaps was lots of fun and made the Easter weekend feel like my birthday with the numerous parcels to open!  I shall be keeping my eyes peeled for other swaps to take part in :) certainly keeps me out of mischief.