Thursday, 22 August 2019

Our Beautiful Daughter

Sorry for the silence... I've been a bit busy with our new baby daughter, Emily, who was born in May!


Above is a picture of her at 2 days old, while we were still in hospital.  I was in labour for 49 hours before the decision was made to perform a caesarean, so it wasn't an easy birth!  Completely worth it, though!

Here I am with Emily a few days ago, at 3 months old...


My husband and I couldn't be more happy with our little angel!

I have managed to start some crafting... so I hope to be back with some crafty posts soon!  Check over on Instagram for the odd in-progress craft shot.




Sunday, 12 May 2019

Lime Crochet Coasters

Yep, me again.  I can't seem to produce a baby (1 week late today), so I'm producing crafty makes instead!

We've got a games room / office.  It's mainly my husband's domain (especially now I'm on maternity leave so don't need to work from home) and we've tried to be a bit different with the decoration in that room.  We've not actually finished it but we've painted a lime green feature wall that works really well.

We bought a nice desk for the room, but it's needed coasters for a while.  I finally got onto that...

Make these quick and easy crochet coasters

I'm really pleased with this design as it's quite plain, but still has a bit of interest.  I didn't want anything too frilly or "girly" as we want the room to be a bit funky/cool.

The pattern I used is this one.  But instead of using fingering weight yarn, I used King Cole Bamboo Cotton in DK (in 533 green, which I already had) and a 5mm hook.

After making one, I thought they were a bit big, and was tempted to remove a round.  However, I like that it means the outside decorative edge design still shows when it has a mug on it, so I stuck with that size.

Make these quick and easy crochet coasters

It's hard to capture the lime green correctly on camera - the first picture is probably the most accurate and the wall is more limey than it looks here.

It was fun to work on something quick and easy, after making a couple of blankets etc.  It took hardly any time to whip these three up - most enjoyable!



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Friday, 10 May 2019

Geometric Knitted Baby Blanket

I've finished another project!  The beauty of maternity leave - I am actually getting chance to craft, without work getting in the way.

Although, the baby is five days overdue... so now I'm getting impatient!

I cast this blanket on right after finishing my crochet heart baby blanket because, as my husband says, this house doesn't have enough blankets.  (Yes, he's being sarcastic!)

Check out this cute and easy geometric knitted baby blanket

Before I went on maternity leave, a colleague came into work with their new baby.  While everyone ooohed and aaahhed over the baby - I spotted a lovely blanket!  It was knitted by her mum or mother-in-law.  I just loved the texture of it and really wanted to make one.

I did some Google and Pinterest searches for various things and managed to find a pattern that seemed to be the same (or similar).  However, it used 2 strands held together of aran yarn, which seemed a bit thick for a baby blanket for this time of year.  I just used the stitch pattern, but made it with one ball of DK yarn - I only wanted it to be a small car-seat sized blanket.  Also time was running out - I only finished it today, and I'm five days overdue, as I said!

Check out this cute and easy geometric knitted baby blanket

I am covered for bigger blankets anyway, so a little one gives a bit of variation.  A blanket for every situation!

Check out this cute and easy geometric knitted baby blanket


The variations I made to the pattern are:


  • Cast on 86 stitches, rather than 106, to make one less pattern repeat and a smaller width blanket.
  • Completed four and a half pattern repeats rather than nine, to make a shorter blanket.
  • Did not finish with rows 10 and 11, as the pattern doesn't ask you to start with them, so I think it would make it uneven.  In fact, I see rows 10 and 11 as below:
    • Row 10 (aka Row 21) - end of pattern repeat
    • Row 11 (aka Row 22) - start of pattern repeat
  • Therefore if I made this again, I would complete Row 11 before starting with Row 1.  Then when ending the blanket I would complete Row 10 only, before the 6 rows of garter stitch.

I used 5.5mm needles, as I wanted a quick, loose, drapey knit.  The yarn was King Cole Cottonsoft DK in Sky (714) - just one ball.  It was one I already had, so I didn't need to buy anything for this on-a-whim blanket!

Check out this cute and easy geometric knitted baby blanket

Maybe now this little blanket is finished, the baby might come??  Please!




Check out my completed knitted projects here.


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Monday, 6 May 2019

YouTube Video / Podcast Four

I've finally got round to recording my fourth YouTube video!  You can find it embedded below...



Or view on YouTube here.


Show Notes

Post on embroidery hoop is here.


Post on knitted socks is here.


Post on knitted baby hat is here.


Post on crochet baby blanket is here.


The crocheted baby gifts were from my friend Anna - find her blog here.



Pattern for the knitted mini baby blanket I'm working on can be found here.



I hope you enjoy the episode!


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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Cross Stitch Hoop

Hello!  I come to you today, on my due date!  Still no sign of the baby... but I have finished another longstanding WIP!

I finished those socks on Friday, and yesterday I finished an embroidery I'd start last summer - maybe June or July.

Baby name cross-stitch in an embroidery hoop

This is a present for a friend who has a baby called Ella.  At the time I started Ella was only a few months old... now she's over a year!

There wasn't any reason for the present - I just felt the need to make this.  You know how it is, when inspiration strikes!  However, the inspiration left me for some time... hence this languishing in the unfinished pile.

Baby name cross-stitch in an embroidery hoop

I found a cross-stitch alphabet online that I liked, and used that to make the name.  The flowers were part of a bigger cross-stitch picture, that I also spotted online.  I used just one flower extracted from the picture, and flipped it over to make the second.

I planned it out in excel, and used embroidery threads I already had.  In fact, I had the threads, the aida, the hoop and the ribbon already - it was a "free" project, if you don't count my time!  (And the fact I bought all the supplies at some point - just not then!)

Baby name cross-stitch in an embroidery hoop

I had actually managed to finish the embroidery off by the end of last year - it was just the backing I had left to do.  That's what I completed yesterday, and the addition of the hanging loop and bow.

Baby name cross-stitch in an embroidery hoop

I used running stitch to draw the aida together and covered it all with a circle of felt sewn on.  The aida was a bit stiff and hard to keep down, so the felt backing looks a bit padded.  I think it's fine, though.

All in all, I'm pleased with this and looking forward to giving it to my friend.  Not sure when I'll see her now, however, with the pending birth!!!  But at least it's ready.  I'm finding it very satisfying finishing off these longstanding projects... maybe it's a creative form of nesting!



Check out my sewing projects here.


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Friday, 3 May 2019

Hand-Knitted Socks

Me again!  You can tell I'm on maternity leave now - what a difference not having to go to work makes!  (I'd better make the most of the free time, before the baby gets here!)

I have finally finished my first hand-knitted pair of socks that I start back in August last year!  I made the first sock quickly, but ended up leaving the second sock partly done for ages.  I finished it off by the end of the year, all bar kitchener stitching the toe together - which really doesn't take long.  I finally did that today!

Hand knitted socks

The pattern matching across socks has come out pretty well!

The sock blockers are from The Knitting Shed and were a Christmas present, the Christmas before last.

Hand knitted socks

They fit well in general, but I think they should probably be a bit longer in the foot.  I can make them fit, but maybe a little longer would have been better.  I just didn't want to end up with baggy socks!

They are certainly wearable though, and once I've got them on they feel perfectly comfortable.  I've not worn them for long periods of time or in shoes yet (I've not long finished them!) but hopefully they'll be ok.

Hand knitted socks

How many pictures of my feet do you need to see?!

Here's another one...

Hand knitted socks

Ok, now onto all the details:

DETAILS

Yarn
Stylecraft Head over Heels in colourway Eiger.

Needles
3mm 25cm circular needles
3mm DPNs

Pattern
Winwick Mum Sockalong Basic Sock

My Specifications
56 stitches
Rib - 16 rows
Leg - 44 rows
Heel Flap - 27 rows
Turn - Left with 16 stitches
Gusset - Pick up 14 stitches on each side of heel flap
Foot - 37 rows (of 56 stitches)
Toe - Decrease to 28 stitches

When/if I make another pair of socks, I might do things differently - but this is just so I know what I did this time!



Check out my completed knitted projects here.


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Sunday, 28 April 2019

Crochet Baby Gifts

My dear friend Anna has been busy crocheting me some lovely gifts for the baby - which I received at my baby shower a few weeks ago...

Crochet baby gifts

Just look at that cute elephant!!!

Crochet baby gifts

Don't you just love the eyelashes?!  My favourite bit!

For over ten years, when Anna crocheted the cutest baby blanket for her daughter, I have been hankering after one of her beautiful blanket creations... and finally the time came!

Crochet baby gifts

I'm a big aqua fan - so she picked my favourite colour!  It's got such lovely soft drape too - gorgeous!

Crochet baby gifts

Thank you so much Anna, I'm so grateful!  What a lucky little girl she is, and she's not even here yet!

Crochet baby gifts



Thursday, 25 April 2019

Filet Heart Crochet Baby Blanket

With 10 days until my due date, I have finished the crochet blanket I've been making for the baby!


Cute heart crochet baby blanket

I'm so pleased with it!

Cute heart crochet baby blanket

PATTERNS

I have amalgamated two patterns to make this.

Heart Squares
The pattern for the heart squares is the Christmas Cheer Heart on Ravelry.

Amendments:
I started each square with a chainless foundation row of dc (US)/tr (UK) instead of a chain row and then the first row of dc/tr.

Instead of the white round in the pattern, I have finished each square with a round of sc (US)/dc (UK) in the same colour as the square.


Cute heart crochet baby blanket

Joining
I used the Continuous Flat-Braid Join by The Patchwork Heart.  I love the effect this join gives!  I could either do the join straight into the squares, or border each square with a round of sc (US)/dc (UK) in the joining colour (white).  I chose to do that as it gave the look I wanted.  Although, unfortunately it meant I needed to sew in 2 extra ends per square - that was 70 ends!!  Worth it in the end, though!


Cute heart crochet baby blanket

Once the squares were joined, I simply went round the whole blanket with hdc (US)/htr (UK).  I worked two into each loop around the edge.  Then when it came to the joins between squares, I worked dc (US)/tr (UK) as they were slightly lower than the rest of the loops - to bring them up to the same height.  I also worked five stitches into those joining sections - two into each loop and one into the middle over the crossing of the loops.  (This will make more sense if you have crocheted this flat-braid join and have it in front of you!)

I contemplated doing more with the border, but decided I was happy as it was.  I think it's a simple edging that finishes the blanket off nicely.


Cute heart crochet baby blanket

YARN
The yarn I used is King Cole Cottonsoft DK in the below colours:

712 Rose
1600 Buttercup
713 Lilac (I think this is discontinued, but I found it on ebay)
715 Mint
716 Candy (I think this is discontinued but I found it on ebay)
710 White

HOOK
I used a 5mm hook, as that is my standard for DK yarn, as I'm a tight crocheter.


Cute heart crochet baby blanket

MEASUREMENTS

It measures approximately 83cm x 115cm.


What do you think?  I love it!




Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Thursday, 18 April 2019

Knitted Baby Hat

I'm just popping in to show you my latest make.  Nothing else has been finished lately, hence the lack of posts.

I should have been getting on with the baby blanket, which is coming along nicely.  However, I was hit with a sudden desire to knit a baby hat!  I started and finished it yesterday - although did barely anything else all day, and didn't finish until nearly midnight.  Probably not the best idea this late in the pregnancy - I need my rest!

Years ago (about five years!), I won some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a giveaway run by Susan of Mary Jane's Tearoom.  I'd been saving it for a special occasion - and I figured my own baby was special enough!  I've never used this make of yarn before, and it was SO soft to work with - I'll definitely be using it again.  The little hat feels so lovely and soft.

Cute and easy knitted baby hat

The pattern I used was this one from Mack and Mabel.  (Thank you for a great pattern!)  I didn't have any circular needles with the right length cable, so attempted DPNs.  However, I seemed to get in such a muddle with them for some unknown reason.  I've used them before, but my brain was not computing yesterday!  I considered the magic loop method, but after wasting so much time on the DPNs, I decided it was not the day to attempt something new.  Conclusion, I knitted it flat and sewed the seam with mattress stitch.  (The pattern includes knitting in the round instructions, and knitting flat, which is handy!)

Cute and easy knitted baby hat

I'm really pleased with how it came out!  The seaming was a nightmare, though - I lost count of how many times I pulled it back and started again.  It was my first attempt at mattress stitch and it was late in the evening... eventually I cracked it and it looks pretty neat.  (I forgot to take a picture of the back with the seam, and I can't be bothered to heft my massive bump up and do it now, so you'll have to take my word for it!)

If I were to make another one, I think I would try to do it in the round on circular needles with the right cable length.  I think it would be easier that way and there would be no seam to sew.

Cute and easy knitted baby hat

I think it looks very cute, although I'm not sure whether it will fit the baby or not!  I have no idea what sized head she is going to have.  We'll just have to wait and see!

THE DETAILS

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Baby Pink.

Needles:  3.5mm for the garter edge, 4.5mm for the rest.  This is bigger than the needle size called for, but I have a tight tension and was also knitting the preemie size so wanted it to come out a little bigger, but not as big as the 0 - 3 months size.  (Although, again, I have no idea what size my baby is!!)  And I didn't swatch - naughty!

Pattern:  Preemie size, knit flat instructions from here.



Check out my (very few) completed knitted projects here.


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Thursday, 7 February 2019

Baby Blanket Beginnings

I planned to post more frequently, but time has got away with me.  We have been trying to get our new house in order before the baby gets here, and everything takes much longer than you think and costs more than you anticipate!

The nursery is finally getting there, though - not too much more to go and we should hopefully have one lovely finished room amongst the rest of the chaos!  (Which also means we will be able to put some of the baby stuff in there, rather than it being scattered willy-nilly around the rest of the house!)

When I get chance, amongst all the DIY, I have been working on a pretty little baby blanket for our expected new arrival...

Pretty filet crochet heart baby blanket

It's going to be made up of these pretty filet crochet heart squares, all crocheted together.

Pretty filet crochet heart baby blanket

Above are the five colours I'm using.  I've got a back-up sixth colour, depending on how many squares I get out of each ball of yarn I'm using!

PATTERN
The pattern is the Christmas Cheer Heart on Ravelry.  I have changed it slightly by starting with a chainless foundation row of dc (US)/tr (UK) instead of a chain row and then the first row of dc/tr.  Instead of the white round, I have finished each square with a round of sc (US)/dc (UK) in the same colour as the square.  I may add another row of white sc/dc as part of the joining, as I plan to join in white... but we'll see when I get there!

Pretty filet crochet heart baby blanket

YARN
The yarn I'm using is King Cole Cottonsoft DK in the below colours:

712 Rose
1600 Buttercup
713 Lilac (I think this is discontinued, but I found it on ebay)
715 Mint
716 Candy (I think this is discontinued but I found it on ebay)

HOOK
I am using a 5mm hook, as that is my standard for DK yarn, as I'm a tight crocheter.

Pretty filet crochet heart baby blanket

I have made 22 squares so far, with my current aim being 35 squares.  I've also nearly sewn all the ends in - there are just four squares hidden amongst these with ends awaiting!

I'll be back to show you any further progress I make on this... hopefully I'll get it done before the baby arrives!


Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Sunday, 6 January 2019

Creation Consolidation - 2018!

Hello!  Happy New Year and here I am again with another of these posts rounding up my makes for the year.

2018 was a crazy one!

We got married...


...we got pregnant...


...and we moved house!  


So, I've not done as much creating as I would like.  But, let's have a look at what I have done - this is just items that I finished in 2018, there are a few nearly finished things I need to get a move on with!  Click on the titles or the pictures to be taken to the blog posts with more information.

Knitted Shawl


Tilda Mini Drawstring Bags


Confetti Cones


Peek-a-Boo Crochet Baby Blanket


Paper Peonies


Wedding Reserved Signs


Colour Block Crochet Blanket


Wedding Tic Tac Label


Crate Table Plan


Wedding Place Names and Menus



Wedding Signs, Sweetie Bags and Decorative Tree


Stripy Crochet Blanket


Origami Paper Baubles




Felt Star Christmas Tree Decoration



There was actually a lot more than I thought!  A lot of it a bit different to usual, as there were wedding makes in there.  But I did finish a baby blanket and two full-sized blankets too!



If you are interested, here are my consolidation posts from previous years:

I didn't do a round-up for years before that, but you can see other finished items at the below links:


Here's to a great 2019 for us all!  It's going to be a different year for me, with our baby due in May!



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