8 February 2016

2016 Project no. 2: Knitted fingerless mitts

So project no. 2 for 2016 was a pair of mitts my sister asked for. I found the pattern for them from on Purl Soho's website but adapted them so a) I only used one colour and b) I didn't bother knitting the thumb part.

It's a lovely and easy pattern to follow and so I might try a few more variations of this - perhaps stripes?

I used Cascade fingering weight yarn for these mitts in Jet.


2 January 2016

2016 - Project 1: draught excluder

Jan 1.

I'm wasting no time to get cracking with projects, so my first one planned for this year is a draught excluder for our front door.

I bought the fabric in November during a trip to Paris. For those interested in a little de-tour in Paris while visiting Sacre Coeur, head to Marché St Pierre where you'll find all the fabrics you could want. There are lots of similar shops in the area where you could very easily spend an entire morning.... So go take a gander, you won't be disappointed!

The fabric I chose for this project is an upholstery fabric and it's reversible too so if I were making a cushion or a bag I could have used the grey/lighter side, but since it's going to sit on the floor then I thought the black side would work best.

I made the inner padding using old (clean) clothes - mainly socks, tights and t-shirts, sewn into a cotton tube I made. For the draught excluder cover, I inserted a zip using a tutorial I found on YouTube. And there you have it.... Project 1 complete.

If you have any silica gel sachets - the ones you find in new bags/products that have big sign on that say 'DO NOT EAT' - add a couple of those to the draught excluder to keep it dry.

1 January 2016

So that was 2015

My 2015 in photo grids....

What an amazing year that was. Let's do it all over again!

11 December 2015

Personalised baby blankets

Oh how I love making these blankets!

This is now my fourth personalised blankets... and my sixth blanket in this style.

The original pattern came from Debbie Bliss's How to Knit. I think this was actually my first proper knitting book and it's served me well.

Here's a picture of the pattern for the baby blanket in the book.

Isn't it cute?!

So, as you can see, I've added my own touches to the blanket.... 

Can you have too many hearts? :)

This particular blanket was ordered by my cousin for a friend's first baby in New Zealand. I really hope she likes it! I've certainly enjoyed knitting it and what's more, a £10 donation was made to Save the Children by my generous cuz. 

Do get in touch if you'd like a personalised blanket of you own. 

Thanks xx

6 December 2015

Emoticon coasters

So here's something a bit fun.... emoticon coasters.

The pattern below if for the emoticon for blowing a kiss but with a bit of imagination, some black yarn and an embroidery needle, I'm sure you can create.... maybe not the whole set, but definitely a fair few different ones.

You will need:
  • Some yellow cotton yarn (I used Rowan hand-knit cotton in Sunshine 354)
  • A 3.5 mm hook
  • A small amount of black yarn for the eyes and mouth
  • A small amount of red yarn for the heart
  • A yarn needle
  • Scissors

Notes: UK crochet instructions used

For the face:
  • Begin by making a magic loop and then chain 3, make 15  tr into the magic loop, join at the top of the first 3ch.
  • Next row: ch 3 (counts as tr), 1  tr into the same st, Continue round with 2 tr into each st. Complete row by sl st into the top of the first 3 ch.
  • Next row: ch 3 (counts as tr), 1  tr into the same st, 1 tr into the next st. Continue round as follows *2 tr into the next st, 1 tr in next st). Complete row by sl st into the top of the first 3 ch.
  • Next row: ch 3 (counts as tr), 1  tr into the same st, 2 tr into the next two sts. Continue round as follows *2 tr into the next st, 2 tr into the next two sts). Complete row by sl st into the top of the first 3 ch. Fasten off.

For the eye:
  • Ch 4 and slip-stitch into the first ch to make a ring. 5 htr into ring, join at the top of the first 5 htr and fasten off.

For the heart:
  • Ch4, slip stitch into the first ch to make a ring.
  • Next row, chain 2 (counts as the first dc), 8 dc into the ring. Slip stitch into the top of the first dc.
  • Next, 5 tr into the first stitch, 1 tr into the next stitch, 1 htr into the next stitch, 1 dc into the next stitch. Next, chain 3 and and picot into the next stitch, 1 dc into the next stitch, 1 htr into the next stitch, 1 tr into the next stitch and then 5 tr into the last stitch. Fasten off and tie in the ends.

To make-up
Sew the eye and heart to the face and using black yarn sew on eyebrows, the winking eye and the lips.

1 December 2015

November was....

....difficult, hard, emotional, sad, heart-breaking.... and many other words that were used to describe the events in Paris on and following the 13th. 

For me, having a sister and her partner that live in central Paris, it was exactly all of those things I mentioned. 

From when I realised they were all safe on the night of the 13th, the following days as they tried to make sense of it all, to return to some sort of normality in their lives in Paris.... to myself making a trip there over the weekend to light a candle, I've felt a lot of things.... often too afraid to say them out loud, fear of being overwhelmed by the emotion, the tears and too afraid of not finding the right words.

Anyone who has close family or friends living abroad will tell you will tell you how difficult it is. Needless to say that when events like the ones on the 13th so much harder.Even writing this now is difficult. 

But aside from the anguish, I saw a lot of positive things in November:
The love from friends, some who had never even met my sister, who sent messages to check everyone was OK.
The out pour of love among the French people who came out to pay their respects, light a candle, lay down flowers....
The strength and bravery of the French people who continued to dine out, to continue with their lifestyles,  to go back to work on the Monday.... 
The hope and optimism of the everyday people but also that I see clearly in my sister. There's no fear there when I look into eyes. And when we talk, it's about our dreams, it's about the future, it's about all the amazing and wonderful things we're going to do.

There is no fear. 

7 November 2015

My first international Secret Santa

The one thing I absolutely love about social media is the connections you make with like minded people from all around the world. Which is why I decided to take part in an international secret Santa (or Gift exchange) organised by Fat Mum Slim this year.

The premise is simple. You sign-up, you get paired up (secretly), you spend a few weeks finding out about your "giftee" on social media + by sending them anonymous questions and then you go shopping.

Full details of the one I'm taking part in can be found on Fat Mum Slim's webpage including information about the good cause it's for too (yes, it's not just about sending each other presents!).

From the lively discussions on the Facebook page, it would seem that some people are choosing to reveal their identity to their "giftee" when they send their parcels.... I've decided to try and stay an anonymous elf.... But I can't hide my excitement!! Here are my presents all wrapped up and ready to post! Really hope my "giftee" likes them. Eeeeeee!

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