Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Crochet Gloves - with Fingers!

I mentioned in a previous post that I was trying to make gloves for a guy at work who struggles to buy gloves that fit as he has short wide hands.

It was a tricky project as everywhere there are patterns for fingerless gloves, wristwarmers, etc - but there are a lot less for 'proper' fingered-gloves (so to speak!).  In the end I found this one and used it as a very vague guide in so much as I crocheted from the top down - the fingers first.  But I used dc (tr UK) stitch and after looking at it for the initial idea, I mostly just made it up as I went along to try to fit it to his hands - made to measure!

Well, I finished them on Sunday night and handed them over yesterday at work - just in the nick of time as the temperature has plummeted!  He seems very pleased, reporting today that they are nice and warm.

If the baby finger on one glove looks smaller than the other - it is.  He damaged one of them playing rugby, so it's a bit crooked and didn't need as long a glove-finger on that hand.  See?  Bespoke!  (And during this process I discovered I seem to be the only person who calls it a 'baby' finger - but hey, I'm calling it that anyway!)

As I finished them in the evening and handed them over at work the next day, I didn't have much time to get any decent photos in daylight.  The above picture was in the morning before work, whilst it was still pretty dark and dingy.  The rest were in the office in artificial light, so excuse the quality...

These were worn by a female friend at work, who was helping me try to get an ok picture.  They don't fit her properly - you can see they're too big - but this gives you an idea.

As grateful as the recipient was, he is a bloke and they do not enjoy women fussing around them, trying to get them to hand-pose for pictures!!  (Especially when they're at work trying to do their job, which I should also have been doing - this is a place of work, not a craft club!)  This is the best I could get...ha!...

They do fit him very well (like... well, a glove - hilarious!)  I really am quite pleased.  When I spotted him putting them on to leave the office at the end of the day yesterday, I admit I felt a little proud!

So, there you have it - my first completed make of 2016.  I hope for lots more!

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

To Make or To Buy?

If you are a bit of a crafter and a maker, you might find yourself seeing things in the shops and thinking 'I could make that myself'.  This happens to me all the time - so much so that I often don't buy the item, or actually feel a bit guilty if I do.  

For ages I'd been thinking of making myself a lovely soft grey cowl.  Then I spotted the above cowl in the Cologne Christmas markets, on a trip with my family at the end of November.  It is made from such soft snuggly alpaca yarn that I really couldn't resist it, despite thinking I should instead find some wool of equal scrumptiousness and make one myself.  It's not like it would be difficult, it's just a long strip sewn into a circle...

But, there would be the challenge of finding the ideal yarn and then the hours I would need to spend making it, and would I ever actually get round to it?  (So many craft ideas, so little time!)  Sometimes, when the perfect item presents itself to you, ready made and just waiting to be used and enjoyed... it's hard to say no.

I have made cowls in the past - a knitted one and a crocheted one - but they were small ones designed to go once around my neck.  I can choose to have this new one wrapped once, twice or three times around and it is so warm and cosy!

What do you think?  Do you ever have this dilemma and the guilt of buying something you know you could make yourself?  Surely, just because we CAN make it, doesn't mean we HAVE to..?  I say we should cut ourselves a little slack!

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Thursday, 7 January 2016

Crochet Glove WIP

A guy at work has asked me to crochet him some gloves.  This is because he struggles to find gloves in the shops that fit him due to the fact, as he puts it, he has "short wide-ass hands".

I'll be honest, I didn't really want to make them as I had no idea what I was doing and didn't find the idea particularly inspiring.  But... I felt bad for him and his poor cold hands, so I got guilted into starting!  I made no promises it would work out, but I thought I'd give it a go...

This has been ongoing since around October - I started a finger, ripped it back, started again, and had some to-ing and fro-ing bringing them into work to check they fit ok.  (Of course there was the big gap when I was working on the advent calendar and couldn't possibly focus on anything else!)

Before Christmas I got to the point above where I think for the first time the poor guy thought he may just end up with a pair of gloves after all!

I think it's time I got back to the hook to see if I can actually do this and produce gloves that fit him.  I guess he's just lucky it's been a mild winter!  But it would still be helpful if I manage to finish them before summer...

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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Creation Consolidation - 2015!

Happy New Year!

(And I have FINALLY responded to the comments on my last few posts - so if you have been waiting for a reply - there was a question on colours used in some crochet back in October - it should now be there!)

I wasn't actually going to bother with a round-up of last year's creations, as it was a bit of a strange year for me.  I started the year in a long-term relationship, which ended in June.  He moved out and since then I've nabbed myself another victim boyfriend.  All the life changes meant I haven't really been very creative at all during the year.  To be honest, I wasn't feeling very positive about this new year either.  During the last few days of 2015 and the first few days of 2016, I felt less than optimistic about the year ahead.  I guess 2015 really didn't go how I thought it would, and it left me wondering what unhappy things might await me this year - how's that for cheery?!

However... I perked up yesterday!  Oddly enough coinciding with going back to work after the Christmas break - who'd have thunk it?  So, time to be more positive and upbeat and have a little look at what I did manage to make... click on the titles to go to the original posts...

(Not a make, but some tips and motivation for actually printing some of those digital pictures hidden away on our computers)

(Actually made end of 2014 but blogged in 2015)

And there you have it.  Not a lot at all, and some very quick makes amongst them.  There were a few decent items, though, that it's good to look back on.  I think it does help to see them all in one place on these round-up posts, as I made more than I thought.  I hope that 2016 will be far more creative and productive, though!

In case you're interested, here are my yearly round-up posts for:

I didn't do a round-up for previous years, but you can see all my finished projects at the below links:

Fingers crossed for a good year in 2016 for us all!

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Monday, 28 December 2015

Book Reviews - August

Yes, you read that right... August!  I've finally got round to writing this post on the one book I finished in August, which also happens to be the last book I finished.  My reading has really slowed down - time has really passed in a blur these last few months!

I wanted to get this in quickly before the end of the year, so that my reviews are complete for 2015.  I've decided not to continue with book reviews on the blog, as I don't really enjoy writing them and I'm not sure they're that interesting as I don't want to risk giving any spoilers!  But it was worth a go.

Gone Girl
- Gillian Flynn

This book was really good!  I've mentioned previously that I watched the film for this first, which was excellent.  It then inspired me to read all the books by Gillian Flynn, and I've reviewed her other two here already.  (Sharp Objects and Dark Places.)

This is her third book and it was so good.  I think it would have been better if I'd not already seen the film, as I knew what was going to happen.  I still enjoyed it, though, and would most definitely recommend it.  It is dark, intense and very intriguing, keeping you wondering and questioning (well, it would have done if I hadn't seen the film!)  A great book, which leaves you thinking about it after you've finished reading.  Read it!

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* Links to the books I've read are Amazon affiliate links

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Fabric Advent Calendar

I mentioned earlier this year that I broke up with my ex back in June.  Since then I've started going out with someone new (ooh, exciting!) and decided to make him an advent calendar.  (No, he's not 7 years old - I just thought it would be fun and thoughtful... and he is a bit of a big kid at heart!)

What I didn't anticipate was quite how difficult it was going to be.  There are so many easier ideas for advent calendars - if you feel like doing one, I recommend the easy route!  But I got this vision in my head, and just had to try to make it.  It took a long time as I was trying to figure out how to do it as I went along.  (Check out my Advent Calendar Pinterest board for other ideas.)

I can't even begin to work out how many hours I put into it, and how often I cursed myself and my stupid ideas... but when it was done I was glad I'd made the effort!

It's a big old thing too - about 55cm x 111cm.  And when it's full of gifts it's pretty heavy!!

It's quite difficult to photograph, due to its size and the terrible light this time of year - the colours in the first picture are the most accurate.  It's just laid on the carpet at the moment, for these pictures, but I will be hanging it on the wall with command hooks.  (I hear good things about them, and hope they'll do the trick without ruining my paintwork!)

A bonus of the project was that it cost me nothing to make (not including the presents of course) - I used red upholstery fabric I'd been given as someone no longer needed it.  For the pocket borders I used fabric I already had which had been awaiting a Christmassy project since last year.  I already had the white felt which I used for the numbers.  Each of those was cut out by hand and hand-sewn on!  I found the hand sewing the only relaxing part of the project actually - whereas I thought it would drive me mad having to stitch on so many numbers!

I think I'm going to be more excited than him when it comes to the present openings...

What do you think - was it worth the effort, or should I have just bought a standard chocolate one from the shops and saved myself all that time?!

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Monday, 5 October 2015

Happy Scrappy Progress Report

In my last post, I showed you the start of my happy scrappy scarf (organised by Pink Milk here).  I thought it was time I showed you the progress so far!

Oh, I am loving it!

Those colours!

So glad I decided to join in with this... can't wait to have it wrapped around my neck - a nice bit of pretty colour to combat any gloomy grey days!

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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Happy Scrappy Scarf

Have you heard of Pink Milk's Happy Scrappy Scarf-Along?

Well, I'd been watching on quietly... until I gazed upon this basket of pretty pastel cotton yarn...

I'd taken the bold bright colours out to make my Japanese Flower coasters - so just the pastels were left.  I thought they really would make a pretty happy scrappy scarf!

As I have a deep-rooted fear of random, I knew I had to have a plan.  Fortunately, I'd created an excel colour plan for the stripy blanket I've been making (for the past two years, eek) which also has five colours and looks random, but has a convoluted method behind it!  So I replaced each blanket colour with one of the scarf colours, to get the plan below...

And very excited that made me too!  Time to get to work... I decided to use half-double crochet (half-treble UK)...

I got this far and realised that I wanted to double up the rows I'd decided to do.  I was going to do bands of 1, 2 and 3 rows, but I wasn't happy with how it looked.  I decided to rip it back and start again, with bands of 2, 4 and 6 rows.

I'm much happier with it now, it looks less flimsy if that makes sense (and half the amount of ends to sew in is no bad thing!)...

Loving those colours.  It's pretty addictive, because I keep wanting to finish each colour to see how the next one looks!

Thanks to Heather for organising this, and the great inspiration!  I will be back with progress!

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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Japanese Flower Crochet Coasters

As promised, I'm back with the completed set of Japanese flower crochet coasters!

You can find out more about the yarn and pattern in this post.  I went on to make six in total so that I had every colour combination with these three bright cheerful colours.

I am so pleased with them - the colours are just so happy!

I was a bit tempted to make more and turn them into a scarf or shawl or something - but I think I've lost my momentum now... so will keep them as coasters.

Such a satisfying make!

Think that's it with the photos now... got a bit carried away!  Now... what to make next...

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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Washi Tape Picture

Thanks for the lovely comments on my crochet coaster (I've been continuing to reply to your comments on the blog posts) - I have now made six of them, and will be back soon to show you the lot!

In the meantime, I completed an extremely quick project.  I've had the below photo frame for a year or two...

All this time it has been like this, without a photo in it!  I suddenly decided that I had to put something in it - but a washi tape design, instead of a photo...

Dinki Dots Craft: Washi Tape Picture

I simply took out the card that was in the frame, stuck the washi tape to it in stripes, then put it back into the frame.  Very simple and very quick.

I'm not sure whether it looks good or ridiculous, if I'm honest!

Dinki Dots Craft: Washi Tape Picture

Well, surely it's better than it was before!!

I hope to be back later this week with pictures of my completed set of coasters... so check back soon!

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Thursday, 10 September 2015

Japanese Flower Coaster

Yes, I have made something at last!

Dinki Dots: Japanese Flower Crochet Coaster

Using those lovely bright Bamboo Cotton colours from my last post, I have made a Japanese Flower coaster.  I love it!

The pattern was found and sent to me in a document by my friend Anna over four years ago after I first saw this and fell in love and showed it to Anna!  It's taken me all this time to finally make one flower, so I think a few coasters are a bit more manageable than a whole throw or shawl!  If you'd like the pattern, you can search on Pinterest for 'Japanese Flower Crochet' and there seem to be patterns more easily available these days.

Dinki Dots: Japanese Flower Crochet Coaster

There will be more to come, but I thought I'd show you the first one, as it's been so long since I've finished something!

Dinki Dots: Japanese Flower Crochet Coaster

Hope to be back soon with more of these!

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Friday, 4 September 2015

Oh, So Bright and Cheery!

Finally!  I've made a crafty purchase - it's been a long time!

I couldn't resist this zesty green King Cole Bamboo Cotton...

I thought it would add a real zing when used with these bright colours I already had (also King Cole Bamboo Cotton)...

Oh, I just love those colours together!  What shall I make?  I was thinking maybe some colourful crochet coasters?!

I think the green also adds a bit of something when put with a medley of pinks...

So... even though I was stood in my craft room the other day thinking that I really must use up some of these supplies... well, I feel that this addition might just open things up a bit!!  Yes, I'll justify it that way!

Now, I just have to pull my finger out and start making!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Book Reviews - July

I didn't finish any books in June, so there were no book reviews for that month.  My reading (along with my crafting!) has been pretty slow-going lately.

I did finish one book in July, though.  I started it in May, so it took a while, due to other things going on in my life.

- Mark Billingham

I don't think I got fully into this book, due to how long it took me to read and what with everything else going on.  But that's no fault of the book!

The story revolves around a young woman who has been attacked and left in a coma, unable to move or communicate.  However, she can still see, hear, think and feel.  Other women have been attacked in a similar way, but have been killed.  DI Tom Thorne is on the case to find the person responsible, and communicating with the girl in the coma could be the key to cracking the case.

I do think it was a good book, but perhaps didn't enjoy it as much as a few I had read previously.  I'm not sure I quite warmed to the characters.  I think it's worth a read, but didn't leave me that excited.  Although, again, it might be due to my lack of focus when reading it.

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* Links to the books I've read are Amazon affiliate links

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