Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I don't do 'relaxing'

While my blog may be a little quiet lately, I, and my business certainly are not.  I had expected the beginning of the New Year to be nice and quiet, to break back in gently after the frenzy of Christmas...but no, it seems all you lovely crafters out there are desperate to give your crochet hooks, knitting needles and WIPs gorgeous handmade homes. 

Just a few of the orders from the first week of January!
To see a few of these items in  more detail, just have a look on the 'shop' tab at the top of my blog. 

So, while I sew, sew, sew all day, you'd think I'd just enjoy doing nothing in the evenings...but no, I find it so hard to sit and do nothing... hence all the crochet recently! (Which you can read about in my previous posts here and here). 

And while those have been fairly small and quick projects, I decided I needed something to keep me occupied for a little longer, so I decided it was high time I crocheted myself a blanket! 

I ordered a lovely selection of pastel yarn and chained a maaaaaaaaaasive 250 foundation chain and started a blanket of half treble stripes - nice and easy, nothing to have tho think about or count.  I've kept the width of my stripes totally random and stop and change colour whenever I feel the time is right.

It wasn't long before my 'blanket' grew......

And now as I crochet, it keeps me warm as I go!  I can't believe the warmth I get out of it already, and it was clear from early on that I may have possible chained a tad too many for my foundation row!  I was hoping to add a couple of rows of border to it once finished and a pretty scalloped edge...however I'm now thinking that will make the finished blanket absolutely huge!  We'll see!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Leg warmers!

Fact:  I always have cold feet.

Fact:  I always wear socks and cosy slippers around the house, and thick cosy socks under my boots when I go out.

I really liked the idea of having some leg warmers for wearing with leggings and/or under my boots. I'd seen loads of tutorials for them on Pinterest so I pinned a few and a little while ago I found some chunky wool that I knew would be perfect. 

This wool is super soft and sooooo cosy!  The pattern I used was from here - yes, they're baby legwarmers...I just added to all the sizes as I really only needed a pattern for guidance.  They worked up really quickly.  Unfortunately, I tend to move on from craft to craft and stopped a few months ago after only having made 1 leg warmer!  Last week, however, I really thought I ought to get the other one finished, so in just an evening, I made up the other one and had a pair of gorgeously soft and chunky leg warmers!

These were so quick to make and I really fancy trying out some different colours, perhaps with a thinner wool for a more slouchy look.

They even look great when worn with my boots :)

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Crochet granny stripe cowl

Not one to linger over any craft in particular, I have suddenly had the desire to move from my recent embroidery and pick up my crochet hooks again. 

It's been a wee while since I've crocheted, but I did get quite a buzz at the start of winter from being able to wear some of the crochet items that I made.  As the weather got cooler, it was great to get out my cowl and wrist warmers.   But suddenly, via the power of Instagram, there was a new 'must have' cowl on the block.  The 'Granny Stripe Cowl' (tutorial by Kath on her blog Inverleith) was this seasons latest fashion item! 

I'd seen a few made by Lisa (Kandipandi) - you can see a glimpse of it here, and Heather at The Patchwork Heart here and decided I'd like to make one for myself.

So, I ordered some wool online and got started as soon as it arrived! 

As you can see, I chose a dark denim blue, a dark plum purple and a deep pink.  It crocheted up really quickly, this was my first go at granny stripes and I was pleased at how easy they were!  This used up almost all 3 balls of the wool I bought (Rico baby cotton soft DK), and I felt it needed to be just a little wider, so I used a cream cotton that I already had and added a border edge. 

It didn't take long before I was finished.  The cowl was worked in rows so I just used a double crochet to join up the ends.  And ta-da! Here it is -

I'm really pleased with it.  I also got some lovely pastel shades to try another one, I haven't started that yet though as I ended up finishing a WIP (more of that in my next post) and starting a new (big) project!

 Here's a little pic of me modelling my cowl on it's first outing :)

Friday, 4 January 2013

Crafty goodies

Firstly, I just wanted to show you the amazing crochet 'stocking' my mum made for Joshua - how cute is that? 

Now, onto some of the fab crafty Christmas gifts I received :)

Probably my favourite gift and one that has kept me quiet for many an evening (and afternoon!) is the Sew Laugh Love embroidery kit by Leanne Beasley.

I have been coveting a copy of this pattern for a while now and have snippets pinned on my Pinterest boards. I'm pretty new to embroidery so I'm enjoying working away on this, improving my skills and confidence as I go. 

I also received the book 'Stitch and Sew Home' by Eline Pellinkhof.  This is full of gorgeous projects, many involving cross stitch and/or pretty patchwork and little bits of crochet here and there.  If you like Cath Kidston and Tilda then you'll like this book!

It's not a crafty gift, but my OH also got me a lovely red floral bag, it's not Cath Kidston but it's very similar and I love it :)

Perhaps the best gift of all is that we are re-working our study meaning I will soon have lots of storage shelves and a desk in there!!  Cue lots of visits to IKEA over the Christmas break. (Lots of pics coming up once I've had a good tidy of my craft stuff!!)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Handmade gifts

I can now show you all of the gifts I made for gifts this Christmas.  For once I actually remembered to start early and started a good few months back! 

The first thing I made was a crochet scarf for my Uncle, I used a lovely dark denim blue wool and trimmed it with a charcoal wool.  I used a ribbed effect (by using the back loop to do each stitch) and I love the way it turned out! 

I rolled it up and tied with a Merry Christmas ribbon, to make it a little prettier!

Another 'manly' gift I made was a take-away coffee cup sleeve for my coffee obsessed other half!  It's a bit of a running joke that whenever we go out his radar manages to find the nearest Starbucks ;)

Typically, when I was taking these photos I didn't actually have a full size coffee cup to model it on so I had to make do with one of those ready made Starbucks drinks you get at the supermarket.  You get the idea though.  Oh, and do you see my super-cute new buttons??!

I made quite a few little gifts for my mum this year, this little Robin hanger kit was free with an issue of Cross Stitcher Magazine a few months ago...she loves obviously I had to make it for her!

I made another little cross stitch hanger with a house and '2012' on it, this is my mum and dad's first Christmas in their new house so I thought it was quite fitting.  I added some stuffing to the inside of this one and a little Christmas scent.

My mum also has a collection of Delft pottery so as soon as I saw a little Dutch girl and boy embroidery in the book A Rainbow of Stitches I knew I had to sew them!

More embroidery...and this time a beautiful swirly Christmas tree adorned with sparkly sequins. 

I added a patchwork border and some quilting.  I had originally planned that this would be a table mat, but it actually works better as a wall hanging so I'll leave it up to my mum to decide how to display it. 

Obviously there was Joshua's quilt as well, which you can see in my previous post.  As some little stocking filler type gifts, I couldn't resist these little cross stitched Christmas jumpers from a recent issue of Cross Stitcher Magazine -

I stitched them on plastic canvas using wool, backed them with felt and added a little hanging loop so they could go on the recipients Christmas trees. 

So now that's Christmas over for another year I guess it's almost time to start planning the makes for next Christmas!