Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Fluffy Sock Flock

I saw the cutest sheep on a site the other day and knew that I would just have to make them!

They are in the same concept as Sock Monkeys in that they're made out of socks - but these use those fluffy socks!  Literally one normal sock and one fluffy sock - so two fluffy sheep out of two pairs of socks!

So I raided Primark for their fluffy socks and bought some new plain white, and also plain black.  I've had the socks for a couple of weeks and to be honest haven't felt like making them.

However I have had a kind-of commission for a couple of dolls for a customer in The Emporium.  So I thought whilst I had the sewing machine out for the dolls I would make use of it and make my sheep as well. 

So firstly I had all this laid out ....

I've sewn round them and turned them the right way - I just want to pain their faces on now.  Oh and instead of just making two - I've gone for four!  Thought I'd have a little production line going!
Anyway, then the fun started with the fluffy Sock Flock ...
I've just made two to start with.  I thought I'd try the really fluffy sock - the pink one; and also the bobbly not so fluffy sock - the blue one to see what they came out like.

They both have different shaped faces which was entirely accidental but I do think it adds personality to them.  Just got to name them now .... hmmmm ... Larissa Lamb?  Larry Lamb?  What do you reckon?

Oh and here they are with their final touches - a nice ribbon and bell each.

And here's the original post http://www.craftpassion.com/2015/02/sew-sock-sheep.html.  Go and check it out and also all the other fab projects on there!
Now onto something entirely different - a little cardigan I've finished for my brother and his girlfriend.  They are expecting their first baby at the beginning of April. It is very exciting as we never thought we'd see the day when he became a dad - and here we are eagerly awaiting his baby!
This pattern is called "Beyond-Puerperium" 
(a hat to match!)
It is a beautiful pattern.  I've already made the Puerperium version which is newborn size.  I thought I'd make the next size up as I loved the pattern so much.  It is knitted from the neck down and has no sewing other than a tiny stitch under the arms and for the buttons.  Fantastic!  And it knits up ever so quickly.  I never knew I would knit so fast! 
Now the quandary is which buttons to choose ....

Which ones do you think look best?
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

February's Fibromyalgia Fog

February was not a particularly good month for me.

I have fibromyalgia and to the most part I have it under control.  I still get very tired and I know I have limits.  Usually I know how far I can push myself and if there is a possibility that I will suffer for what I'm doing.

Not a fantastic way to lead a life - but the way it has to be done.  I still live with pain almost every day - but now it's got to a sort of (if you can say it) bearable pain.

However February was not bearable at all.  For some reason the fibromyalgia took over with a vengeance.  The worst of the pains were my hands and wrists as this meant everything - and I mean everything - was so painful to do.  It also meant I had to rest up from crafting as the pain just made me want to cry.  This was the hardest part to take as if crafting goes then an enormous part of what makes me goes too. 

I admit I started looking very much on the black side of things and scared myself silly that this would be it from now on - and I'd lose that very vital part of ME.  It was really hard to deal with and to move beyond that mind set.

However I have managed it with love and care and slowly building myself up again - and with being medicated to the hilt with painkillers.  Thankfully now I'm just taking my regular drugs (that sounds bad, doesn't it?!!) and - touch wood - all seems under control again.

So - that explains my absence on here too.  I do have a few things to show you that I have made before and after the fibro episode - and will endeavour to post them on here very soon.

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Fish 'n' Fingers

"Fingers" as in in fingerless gloves!

I've made some fingerless gloves to go into The Crafty Phoenix Lady unit at The Emporium.

I was reliably informed by the lovely Anne from Another Little World (the beauty treatment centre within The Emporium) that fingerless gloves always sold well where she used to work.

These were the first pair I made - with yet more Sirdar's Montana range!  They went in the unit last week and have already sold!

Don't you just love the colour changes within this yarn?! 
I love working with it as it just keeps me guessing as to how they will look when they're finished
 - and obviously someone else liked them too as they bought them!

My next pair - above - in progress. 

These I made up myself.  I did four repeats of the lace panel with 2 x 2 ribbing at the cuff.

I worked on both hands at the same time.
 I wanted to see if I could get an almost matching pair by starting them off with two balls of yarn. 
Recognise this one?  It's Custer from the Montana range - I knitted one of my slouchy beanie hats with it.

And there you go ... they fit me!
And I thought it might be good to put a hand template in them to show what they are and also to keep them looking good for when they're in The Crafty Phoenix Lady unit.  What do you think?  Alexandra thinks I should draw the fingers in and put fingernails on!
The second pair below are using the same yarn as the other slouchy beanie hat.

For these I used a zig-zag pattern which involved decreasing and increasing stitches at certain points in the row. 

I thought they looked like waves. 
These knitted up a lot tighter than the previous pair - and make a lovely close fit on your hand.

Orange hand template this time!
And now for the Fishes ...
I wanted to make some patchwork fishes that hung!  I don't know why.  Sometimes these ideas fly into my head and I just HAVE to make them.  So fishes it was!

They are different both sides and filled with stuffing and my old favourite - lavender! 
 I didn't stuff all the way down (you should have seen the trouble I did have stuffing them as I hadn't accounted for the narrow bit before the tail).  That made it incredibly tough to get the stuffing in - lots of poking with a thin crochet hook was required!  I then decided that in order to give the tail the impression of being thin and have some movement I then stitched the two sides together over the tail - also giving the stuffing no chance of escaping the body!

I crocheted "lines" for them to hang from and used lovely shiny sparkly beads at intervals.
They are now hanging in The Crafty Phoenix Lady along with one of my Soap Fish - which I'll tell more about another day!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Mad Hatters

I've made a couple more hats!

This time I attempted my own without following a pattern and I feel pretty pleased with the results.

I wanted to make adult size hats as opposed to the kiddie sized ones I've been producing recently!

And they fit my head so I have succeeded there!

However I have taken photos with my boys wearing them - as you can probably see - they are a bit big for them! 

I think perhaps Adam has had enough of hat modelling - look at the mad expression on his face!  (Hence the title of this post too!)
Adam has us in stitches sometimes as he'll sit at the dinner table and suddenly burst into a really loud "mwahhhaahhaha"
that sounds absolutely manic and crazed
- and the expression on his face whilst he does it just adds to the laughter!

A little more sane here!  This one was knitted with the Custer colour-way of the Sirdar Montana double knitting range.  I used less than one 50g skein.  It's a joy to work with.  It is made of 30% wool and 70% acrylic, with gorgeous colour changes which keep me from becoming bored!

As you can see it's a bit big for Adam's head!

Luke wasn't so keep at leaving the X-Box to model but was perfectly happy with me plonking the hat on his head!  I wanted to put it on both their heads as Luke's is a bit bigger than Adam's at the moment.

See the dazed "I'm playing X-Box" look?

The concentration!  This one shows the slouchy-ness of the hat.
Both of these hats will be in The Emporium on Thursday in my unit.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Chocolate and Cream Yurt Hat

I like knitting hats as they are quick!  And I do like projects to be quick.  That was always my excuse in the past for sewing rather than knitting as sewing always produced the end project much faster!

However I am now finding that I can and do enjoy projects that take a bit more time.  Perhaps I'm slowing down in my old age ha ha!

I found this pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yurt-hat-with-ridge-detail and decided it would be an interesting but fairly simple hat to make.  It is by Hazel Donnelly and called Yurt Hat with Ridge Detail.  Pretty isn't it?


I chose some dk yarn - which on reading back - (can you see a pattern forming here ... I really do rush into these patterns without double checking yarn weight - although in my defence it didn't say chunky or dk - I just presumed on the size of the needles it was dk! Oh and that it came up in the search for dk knitted hats!)

The yarn I chose was from my stash and I believe it's a Stylecraft yarn but I can't find any photos or links to the shades I have.  I went for a dark brown and a cream - and they both had flecks of the other colour along with a lighter brown in.

Note to self - MUST read and understand pattern before commencing!

Another project I completed last week is for a swap where I had to send a Christmas Dishcloth to someone in America.  This is made with Sugar and Cream Cotton and is a lovely thick cotton to work with.

This is the pattern I found http://krisknits.blogspot.co.uk/2007/12/christmas-dishcloth-story.html

It is a lovely house with a big tree beside it - with a star and snow - and I really liked it.

Can you see it clearly?  I did enjoy making this as it didn't take that long and ta-dah - a super dishcloth to replace the one that didn't arrive. 


Monday, 5 January 2015

Silver Lace and a Mystery Mitts KAL

I've completed another project!

Dare I say that I'm on a roll?! 
I finished the red Snowboarder Hat and needed something else to work on.  So I browsed through the same Knit Red book and found this scarf ...
I had beside me half a ball of silver grey Stylecraft Aran which I'd used in the crochet waistcoat.  I thought I'd give it a go with that.  I thought perhaps it wouldn't make the full 50" circumference that the pattern was but was happy to go for a smaller cowl - I was just going to use the yarn up.

It made it to 38"!  Not bad, eh?! 
 I think that's quite a nice length for a cowl and it used that ball of wool up!
And - only because I hate to only have one project going on at a time - well more like umpteen projects - I have started a Mystery Mitts Knit-A-Long on Ravelry.
We get sent clues after we've finished the previous clue -
and have no idea what the mitts are going to look like! 
How exciting is that?!
I've completed clue one ...
Bet you're intrigued now, aren't you?!
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Friday, 2 January 2015

Take Two - Knit Red - Snowboarder Hat

Decided to have another go at this hat.  This time I thought I'd use chunkier yarn.  I did try knitting double but it felt way too thick to work with, so stuck with working with the yarn single.

I asked my youngest to try it on for me and as you can see it's still too small - it will fit a toddler! 
 I think in order to fit him it would have to be longer in the body. 

I think I may have another play around at a later date and try and make it fit!

Doesn't he look a picture?!!!

And - in his pajamas still! 
Now I'm working on another project in the Knit Red Book.  An infinity cowl.  Oh and guess what - I'm not sure if I'll have enough yarn to make it the length it is in the pattern
 - but hey ho - I do like to improvise!
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