Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Time flies

Time flies when you're having fun... or have a lot on. Time certainly seems to have gone quickly here over the last few months. I've been busy making things for the Sprite Stitch Swaps (one of which hasn't been received yet by the recipient so I can't post pictures) and life in general.

But what did I make? This year I did both the mega swap and the mini swap. Here's the stuff I made for the mega swap:

There was a Yoshi magnet, a shall with Pokemon charms, a knitting needle case, a towel with a quote from the Dresden Files, some wrist warmers and a beaded Triforce bag. Working with all of those yellow beads was an absolute nightmare! Especially if you spill them everywhere like I somehow managed to do...

As I mentioned earlier, my mini swap gift hasn't arrived with the recipient yet - can't wait to show photos of it though! It was a tough gift to make, but I think it turned out ok in the end.

The good news is that since my last post I've finished the 12 squares for the GAL blanket - now all I need to do is join them together... I've also had a new sewing machine, so expect to see some new sewn items soon! I've also cast on a hot water bottle cover that came in a kit my partner bought me last Christmas. It's starting to get a bit cooler now and it seems to be fairly simple to make. I'm hoping to get it finished over the Christmas break. Speaking of which - I'd better go and finish off all of the little things I need to get done before it's Christmas day!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Hillarys Craft Competition 2015

Remember the blog last year about the Hillarys craft competition? Well, they ran another competition this year and kindly send me some more beautiful fabric to play with!

All the details, including the brief can be found :here

I've had an idea in my mind for a little while now, involving a new cushion cover. I wanted something stripey, but with a variety of stripe sizes rather than just being a plain, consistent stripe if that makes sense. When I saw the Hatti Raspberry fabric in the Hilary's collection I knew that was the fabric I wanted.

Hatti Raspberry - isn't it beautiful?

My plan was to make a new cushion cover, and include an image on it, the the stripes at a 90 degree angle to the stripes on the cushion.But what image to choose? My decision was made when I was driving my sleepy boyfriend to the airport for a business trip. I jokingly asked how upset he'd be if I got a cat to keep me company while he was away, and he said I could go out and get a cat if I wanted. Oh boy, was I tempted! Having refrained from getting a cat and making this while he was away, I decided to go with a cat silhouette. One Google image search later and I was sorted. I used my lovely water dissolving pen to draw out (ahem, trace) my cat silhouette onto my fabric and started cutting into the beautiful fabric.

Playing about with the fabric I realised that the effect wasn't quite what I was after, and decided to back the stripey cat onto an old piece of denim that I had lying about (the denim used to be a pair of jeans that then became a bag). And thus the cat was born!


Now all I had to do was make the cushion part. Being a busy person (y'know, exams, beer festival organising, work etc etc) I didn't really want to fight with a zip or buttons. But a cushion without these things should be easy to do, right?


I took a long rectangle of the fabric (roughly measured using a cushion from the couch to make sure I had enough length a width - just wrap the cushion and ensure there's an overlap) and folded over the two small ends, pinning into place. Stripey fabric makes it easy to fold at the right place as I used the stripes as a guide.

The two ends were then sewn, and laid the rectangle flat, right side up.

I bought in the two ends towards the centre (although if you want the cushion 'hole' to be higher or lower on your cushion then fold the ends as desired) so that the right side of the fabric was on the inside.

Sew together the two open ends.... and you should have something similar to this! (I've opened up the centre a bit to show clearly)

Turn the cushion inside out, so that the right side is on the right side. I used knitting needles to open up the corners - but be careful! I once jabbed the needles so hard into the corners of a different project and ened up going through the fabric. (Yes, I was indeed that silly once upon a time. A time not all that long ago. Ahem).

And voila! The cushion is made. Now, if you wanted to be REALLY clever, you'd have the cushion sizes all planned out, and have already attached your silhouette to your cushion before you sew the ends of it. This would be really sensible, otherwise you have to do what I did - attach the silhouette to the cushion with you hand inside the cushion, taking great care not to sew the middle of the cushion together (which I managed to do).

I played about with the placement of the cat. Front and centre, or in the corner?

Then I got silly, and added an eye to the cat. Doesn't he look a bit like a squirrel holding a nut now?

The eye was too much, and I preferred the cat in the bottom corner. Here's the finished piece, complete with creases, yeah! In my defense, I didn't spend as much time on this as I perhaps should have done - I blame exams and beer festivals. Apparently, they don't organise themselves, and revision must be done. It also doesn't help that I'm in desperate need of a new iron...

The other fabrics Hillarys had are really nice as well - why not check them out on Pinterest, and see the other lovely things people made?

Many thanks to Hillarys for sending me the fabric and letting me play!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Empty promises

Howdy all! I know in my last post I promised lots of pictures... but I'm afraid that's not to be at the moment. I've just changed phones and I'm struggling to get the pictures from the phone memory onto the computer (yes, I'm technically challenged. As soon as that's done, you'll get pictures, I promise!

I'm a bit annoyed I can't get pics onto the blog, as I'd love to share with you my first attempt at lace knitting - a lovely pattern called Take it or leaf it from Ravely. I used my sparkly purple Louisa Harding Orielle yarn, which was incredibly soft and touchable. Mmmm alpaca. I was chuffed with how it came out - and even more impressed when it fit over my head! I had worried that it wouldn't when I started the pattern. And yes, I'm aware that the weather has gotten nicer so I'll probably have to wait a few months before I can start using it. Something that I'm certainly not complaining about!

Since the last post, I've also been shopping for some fabric for the back of my first quilt and have signed up to a dressmaking course which starts soon. Add college work to that, a couple of business trips with work and a beer festival... I think blog posts will be sporadic at best, but will do what I can. I've also completely finished the 2nd page of the Epic Pokémon Gen1 pattern, meaning there's only 28 pages to go, yay!

Plenty to do, and so little time to do it. Hopefully I can get my phone working properly soon and start adding more photos.

Friday, 27 February 2015

All quiet on the blogging front...

Sorry I've been quiet! I've had an exam today and so most free time has been spent revising. I've another exam next month so I suspect I'll be a little bit quiet then as well.

After all my hard work, I've decided that a large chunk of this weekend will be devoted to the Epic Pokémon cross stitch. I'm full of a cold at the moment so don't think I'll be up to much else! Hoping to have pictures up early next week before going revision mad again. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to post a pic from pottery painting that I did last week, just waiting for the finished piece to be re-fired and sent back to me.

More pics next time, promise!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Hello Old Friend...

We had a lot of snow last week, and I decided to spend the weekend at home, all nice and cosy, doing some knitting. Silly me forgot to print out the pattern for my latest blanket square however, so that plan failed. Determined not to start another new knitting project until I have at least one more square done, I turned to M'aiq. Who, is looking rather good! I spent a fair while working on him, but soon got bored of all of the confetti stitches. So, what to do... I decided to resurrect this project - after putting it to one side to work on something else for a bit (2 years ago, ooops!) I wanted to get some more done. Plus I keep getting mithered about when I'm actually going to work on it so it isn't just constantly taking up space...

Here he was at the start of the weekend:

And after!

Ok, so it doesn't look like all that much has been done - it is a huge project! Plus I did quite a bit of filling in small gaps. Really happy with how it's coming along. I've done a tiny bit more since then, but not very much.

And for anyone wondering how the c25k is going... I've done week2 run 1. Trying to fit running in around work (which is crazy at the moment) and college (exams are looming once again, end Feb and end March) and my latest fitness craze (which I may mention next time) is proving tricksy. Ah well, a quiet life would be boring, right?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Longer than planned hiatus...

I had planned to update much earlier than this. Sadly, my computer had other plans. In fact, I've tried a couple of entries, but have had technical issues and they've been lost, I've been annoyed and then given up! So, here we go - trying again!

I've done another blanket square, which brings me up to a total of 7 so far! Pics to come soon.

Over Christmas I managed to start a cardigan for my friends baby, and got in finished in less than 3 weeks. It's one I've made before, but in a different colour, this time in brown and cream, Sirdar Fresco.

It's a lovely bobbly yarn, nice and soft and perfect for a little one. It was a lovely simple knit but the only problem was sewing it up, as the bobbly yarn was a pain!

Yep, I've baked lots. The most delicious thing I've made in a long time has to be a salted caramel tart. I found this on Pinterest and the link led to here. I forgot to put the salt on top, but it didn't matter - it all got scoffed. I'm a little bit ashamed to say that most of it was eaten by me and my boyfriend, as it was too tasty to share with anyone! (we did give his mum a tiny piece)

Lovely and gooey, the caramel was delicious. The base was perhaps a bit too thick and overcooked, but held together well. The chocolate ganache on top? Beautiful. Definitely my new go-to dessert to impress folk. The tart isn't too sweet and is a tiny bit more-ish. Not healthy at all, but so so tasty. Did I mention it tasted amazing? I could go on about how beautiful it was all day...

But I won't. I also made some Christmas cupcakes, using some toppers and cases I was given from a Secret Santa (I figured they'd be ok for cakes on New Year's Eve - it was either that or wait a whole year to use them)

And finally...

I've signed up for a colour run in July this year. It's a 5k run/walk for all abilities while getting covered in eco-friendly paint. It sounds like great fun and we're planning to raise funds for a cancer charity. While it is an open event and not a race, the people I've signed up with and I have agreed that we're going to do our best to run it. So, the couch to 5k training starts once again - hopefully I'll stick to it this time! Wish me luck