Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Two scarves and lots of socks

I now have a lovely big pile of cheap yarn, courtesy of Kemps online wool shop, decorating my sewing area.

I have Patons Reef in Spinnaker and Wendy Moiselle in Dragonfruit - both gorgeous and hopefully enough for a scarf made out of each. Also some Regia sock yarn - two lots in the Galaxy design and two lots of the Kaffe Fassett colourways. This is 'self-patterning yarn', which means that if the number of cast-on stitches and the gauge is correct, it should result in the intended pattern. I also have some Patons Vintage in the 'Faded' shade, which is not exactly what I was expecting texture-wise, so I still have to decide what to do with that (I was expecting to make thick, fluffy socks with it, but it's not 'fluffy' yarn).

Monday, 21 December 2009

Vintage Needle Roll

I originally bought this bedsheet in a charity shop for 99p to use as template material for a bigger project I have in mind. I couldn't bring myself to use it for that though - it seemed like such a waste of the cute vintage print.

As an experiment I tried using my Folk Art Craft acrylics to see if they would work as fabric paint. While they dry a little stiff, they didn't seem to fade, which is what I'd read could happen.

What every knitter needs is a needle roll, and I thought it would also be handy to have pockets for the other things I tend to hunt out while knitting - scissors, a tape measure, yarn needles, pegs for holding books open, as well as the usual knitting needles, crochet hooks and my new dpns! Also, I wanted room to grow.

As you can see, my supplies are delightfully mismatched, since I've been picking up knitting needles from charity shops for about 20p a pair, and my dpns I got as part of someone's clearout on ebay ready to start my adventures in sock knitting.

I pretty much made this up as I went along and I love how it's turned out (click for bigger pictures).



Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Softly Ribbed Scarf

I'm just past the halfway point now on this scarf that I'm knitting for Mr Jelliebeans. He wants it long, and this should end up about 3m, so he has his wish!

The stitch pattern is from a user on Ravelry, and the stripes are my own pattern. The yarn used is 'King Cole Premier Value' DK - about £1 for a 100g ball.

I love the stitch pattern - though it is curling in at the edges a lot, despite it having a garter stitch border. I have never blocked before, but I'm planning to do it with this when it's finished in the hope that it will remedy the curling. The pictures show it flattened out.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Books, Books and More Books

DH and I sorted through all our books this week. We do this a few times a year since we have a finite amount of shelf-space and I am quite capable of doubling the amount of insulation we have with the amount of books I bring into the house.

My weakness is second-hand books, and since I have eclectic reading tastes (check out my librarything widget) I can find something interesting in pretty much any collection.

As it stands, I have about 32 books in my TBR (To Be Read) pile. Since I aim to read 50 books a year, I'm not going to run out for a good few months.

But of course that doesn't stop me. Not when I pass a market stand with '4 books for £1' written on it. How can I possibly walk past that?

So now added to my TBR pile are:

The Resurrectionist by James Bradley  - body snatchers in Victorian London.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - a very promising ghost chiller

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory - most of  the world has now read this, but I haven't

Life Support by Tess Gerritsen - Tess Gerritsen has become one of my favourite authors recently. Dean Koontz used to be my 'fail-safe' when I was having trouble finding something to grab me, but since he has gone so spectacularly downhill (I couldn't even finish that one with the killer clowns), Tess Gerritsen has taken over his place.

Because I'm a member of Bookmooch, I have a great local library and there are so many places to find cheap books where I live I very rarely buy new books. When I saw Soulless by Gail Carriger mentioned on a Librarything thread I got quite excited about it. Vampires, werewolves, a steampunk mystery in Victorian London, with a humourous touch? Ticks so many of my boxes I ordered it new and so far it hasn't disappointed.

Happy Days

I have fallen in love with two things this week.

The first is this kitten:

The second is this little fellow:

DH wasn't too keen on some socks I bought him, so instead of getting rid of them, I thought SOCK MONKEY!

I used this tutorial http://www.craftbits.com/project/sock-monkey since this was my first time. Having seen these guys popping up all over the internet I couldn't wait to make my own.

He looked a little bare, so I made him a scarf, and now DH has christened him 'Snowy' since he is so white and wintery.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Blue Hot Water Bottle Cover

The nights are getting distinctly chilly. I dug out our hot water bottles and realised that now I've had my sewing machine for a little over a year there's no excuse for still having to wrap our hot water bottles up in old towels.

So, continuing with the blue theme I seem to have going on here, this is the first hot water bottle cover I made with some leftover fabric and batting.  I'm still quite new at the whole free-motion quilting thing - I think this is only the third thing I've quilted that way.

This was made up as I went along, and it actually turned out alright. It has a push-fastener, but the flap sticks up a bit so I may stitch some velcro to it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Blue Beanie Hat

I started this beanie done in crochet with my leftover Rowan Damask after I found a great tutorial on Youtube.
I'm not sure if it's going to end up big enough or if I would even wear this colour as a hat, but it's practice anyway! It makes up quite quickly and Teresa's instructions are really clear for a total beginner. This is my first crochet project. The Rowan Damask splits a lot so I keep having to back up a few stitches when my hook goes between the threads of the yarn, but I find this much easier (and far less scary) to do with crochet than with knitting.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Rowan Damask Ribbed Scarf

I got the idea into my head that I'd like to have a go at knitting. I had some needles tucked away in my craft drawer since I gave it a go about five years ago but never got any further than learning the basic stitches.

I managed to find 6 balls of Rowan Damask yarn in a charity shop for £1.50 (for all 6! - I didn't realise at the time what a bargain this was). Four weeks later I have a scarf!

It's done in a basic ribbed stitch - 2 knit, 2 purl.

I may have caught the bug - I've joined Ravelry (username jelliebeans), started crocheting a beanie hat with the leftover Rowan Damask, and have bought some acrylic yarn to make another scarf. As if I didn't have enough hobbies already . . .