13 February 2013

A Chunky Crochet Yarn Bowl

This is a yarn basket I made from some bulky felting wool from Wash+Filz It.  
I decided not to felt it in the end as I liked the texture the way it was.  The pattern is available to buy from here.  The yarn can also be brought from Laughing Hens here.  I used the colour 'sea'.  I used one 200g ball to make the basket and because it's so chunky it took no time at all to put together.

Homemade Pasta

Several years ago I picked up a pasta machine in a charity shop for £5.  It was a genuine Italian Imperia machine so I could not bring myself to leave the shop without it.  It then spent several years sat on the kitchen counter looking professional but achieving nothing.  Best laid plans and all I somehow never got around to putting it to use. 

On a damp Sunday afternoon a with time on my hands a couple of months ago I decided it was high time I put the machine to good use.  I used this recipe for vegan pasta, coloured a beautiful yellow colour by the addition of turmeric.  

It was rather time consuming so it's not something I would recommend for a week day but it's definitely a relaxing and fun way to spend a quiet afternoon.  Indeed it took me back to my youth and playing with Play-Doh Fun Factory:
I never actually owned this myself but remember being very envious of it while at friends' houses.  I had the Mop Top Hair Shop which was of course equally entertaining but my love of food always put the fun factory slightly ahead of that for me. 
For me homemade pasta was therefore Play-Doh for grown ups with the added bonus of being able to eat it at the end (lets ignore the Play-Doh sampling that took place in my childhood - it smelled so good, I had to taste it too...).  I served the pasta with this sauce.  It was truly delicious and writing about it here is making me think I must make pasta again soon.  

Baby Cardigan

I made this glittery little cardigan from Peter Pan Moondust double knit baby yarn.  The pattern is from Smiley Stripes by Sirdar and can be purchased from here.  As you can see it fitted brilliantly (I used the smallest size for a new born).  The second picture also shows the pretty sparkles in the yarn.

Baby Grow-Bag

I made this baby grow-bag as a gift for an expectant friend.  The pattern was taken from the book Baby Bloom by Erika Knight.  It's a very simple pattern put the piece of fabric to knit was rather larger than I had anticipated so the whole piece did take me several months to finish.  I was very pleased I persevered though as I was very happy with the end result.  

To make the bag all the more soft and snuggle I lined it with a piece of fleece fabric.  My friend and her new baby were very grateful for it and said it was perfect to keep baby warm and cozy when out in the pram. 
I had plenty of yarn left over so I also made a cute coordinating hat.  I improvised the pattern and did not write it down but there are plenty similar on Ravelry if you'd like to make one :)

Yarn Bombing

Well I'm back.  I'm not going to go into this too much but I've been away from blogging for a while, well getting on for a year actually.  I really do not know where the time has gone but I'm back and thought it was about time I updated you with some of the things I've been making and creating.  My productivity has definitely dwindled, owing in part to a very (un)helpful kitty who thinks me attempting to make anything with yarn is all a big game.  Therefore rendering knitting time not as a relaxing end of day wind-down but more of a constant battle to be left alone for a minute.  But Hamish is now nearly one year old and slowly but surely starting to quiet down a little thus giving me a bit more knitting time.  

Anyway, I'll start off with a post about some yarn bombing I took part in last May.  A group of knitters/crocheters decided to decorate part of our city to tie in with the local Festival of the Arts.  It was well received although sadly some of the pieces did disappear after not too long.  I wont bore you all with the detail but will leave you with some photos of our handiwork.  My own creation was the lion mane of cones as you will see further down. 

Here's the work in progress pictures of the crochet cones which I spent many long hours producing.

12 May 2012

40s Inspired Jumper with Lace Collar

Here’s something else that I’ve had hanging around for ages and have really needed to finish off.  All that needed doing was for me to block the collar as it was rather curly but it had been laying on my table awaiting action for at least a month.  Having got back into my blogging a bit more over the past week or two I’ve finally felt motivated to get it finished. 
The jumper and collar combo has been put together myself using two separate patterns from a book I bought quite recently called Knitting Vintage, by Claire Montgomerie.  This is a lovely book of vintage inspired styles but the patterns have been helpfully designed to work with modern yarns.  This is great as there are a lot of lovely 40s patterns around that I’ve looked at for short sleeved jumpers but they often work with 4 ply and sometimes even 3 ply yarns, which not only would take me almost forever to knit into a jumper, it’s pretty hard to come by these days.   The book is divided into sections by decade, starting with the twenties and going right through to the eighties with patterns for various items of women's clothing and accessories.  I got the book for the bargain price of £4.99 and there are several patterns I'd like to try so all in all it was a great buy. 

The jumper pattern I used was suitable for any double knit yarn and I have used Paton’s Smoothie in a teal blue colour.  The original pattern has a textured yoke around the top of the jumper but because I wanted to add the lace collar I worked up the whole piece in stocking stitch to keep it plain.  Fortunately this doesn't seem to have had any negative outcome on the final shape of the piece.  The book also has a pattern for a coordinating cardigan as it was designed as a twinset which is also rather lovely.  For my pullover I added an extra inch in length to the ribbed section at the bottom as I didn’t want it showing off my midriff as quite a lot of jumpers seem to do.  Actually if I were to make it again I would add an extra two or three inches because it’s still a little shorter than I would prefer but with a high waisted skirt it will look great. 
For the collar I followed the pattern in the book and once again used Paton’s Smoothie yarn in cream.  I’ve used a pearl button to complete the look.  The collar itself has the appearance of crochet but it’s actually knitted on straight needles.  This was a new technique to me but was a lot simpler than I initially thought it would be.  

I hope I get lots of wear out of my new jumper and I'm feeling pleased with myself that I've finally managed to finish it off and get it to a wearable stage.  I think I'm finally starting to feel back to my usual crafty self after being a bit out of sorts for a few weeks.  I've started another piece of woolly wall art today and have had my oil paints out which has been good fun.  Annoyingly I now have to wait for that to dry before I can start the next phase so I shall just have to start on something else in the meantime. 

8 May 2012

Jungle Snake Giraffe Excluder

Here is a little project I've had kicking around for a while now.  It's based on the Jungle Snake pattern  from this site: knitvana, and although I'd completed the knitting several weeks ago, it's been sitting idle as there were lots of ends to sew in as well as a long seam to sew up so I'd been putting it off.  This was in part because the original pattern uses self-striping yarn but I didn't have any so I improvised making my own stripes of green, grey and brown, thus creating lots of loose ends that needed weaving in. 
Anyway, in a moment of calm over the weekend (rare while I have an energetic kitten to keep entertained and out of trouble) I had a few minutes to myself as Hamish was asleep so I managed to get the snake finished off, sewn up and stuffed, eyes embroidered on and a felt tongue sewn in.  I have very unimaginatively named him Snake.
He turned out to be the perfect length for sitting along the bottom of a draughty gap under a sub-door to scare away those pesky giraffes.  He is a little skinny for this purpose but just about wide enough to block out the cool air.  Not something one would really expect to need as we're heading rapidly towards summer but anything that can help keep my heating bills down as much as possible is fine by me.  Thanks Snake.