Wednesday, 22 March 2017

-3 Photo Shoot

Who would have thought I could write 1000 words about a sewing pattern but I have, especially this brilliant pattern: Simplicity 1332A. It is a pattern review for Sewing World magazine.


The girls chose it from the Minerva website. What a brilliant choice! It encompasses an entire wardrobe in just one pattern. I made the whole shebang over Christmas just so that I could test it all out.

I learnt a new technique for applying net to the hem of the skirt so it is not too scratchy on little legs.

This printed chambray is from Minerva, not too stiff and great for all year round wear. I always make a double casing when I make elasticated skirts for the girls, so much more comfortable for them.

Now don't judge me but it was -3 degrees when I asked them to remove their coats, hats and gloves to get photos for the magazine. This was way back in December. They dutifully posed and then I togged them back up and poured hot chocolate from a pre-prepared flask. I did get some funny looks from other National Trust visitors though.

I really recommend this pattern if you are sewing for girls. It takes you from an easy skirt, to beginners jersey sewing with the T-shirts and leggings, on to the more time consuming gathered cardigan. It has a large size range in the one packet too so I will be dipping in and out of this pattern for a while. 

A real corker!

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxx

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Knitting Prowess

My knitting prowess is developing. Stranded knitting is so addictive. This took one whole week of evening knitting. 

These fifty-six rows were knitted following a chart from my new favourite book. In February half term on the day of storm Doris we went to a garden centre for an hour or so (our riding day out was cancelled) I bought a knitting book full of images of stormy seas and blowing hair. I thought it would help me use up some odd balls of stash for my pledge this year.

I was so distracted by the awesome photography and designs (and the fact it sounded like the roof was going to blow off) that I did not notice most of the projects were for 4ply yarn. Mmmm, never mind, I can use DK and Aran for the cowls and scarves where size is not crucial. It was a bargain at £4.99 and I immediately shared my book with my friend Mary over at Yurt Furtling and Yarn Tangling. She ordered one too and we kept picking it up and cooing at the pictures over coffee while our brace of girls played together.

I am starting with the wave circle scarf which requires a new technique for me - a provisional cast on. Go Youtube! You cast on, in a strange way, to put your stitches on a spare piece of wool so that they remain live. Then, when you have finished your scarf, you graft them together to make an infinity scarf.

The book has still lived up to its mighty task by encouraging me to use up some donated Beehive 4ply alongside a ball of Drops delight.

The colour runs are a bit long in Drops Delight so I have taken some out of each run to use later in the gloves that go with the scarf. It also means that over 56 rows I get a bit of every colour.

The instructions say follow the 56 rows on the chart and then repeat it seven times!! That's it. But I have to put it down for a while now. This one is a slow burner and I want to continue to enjoy it.

Thanks for dropping by. Jo x

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Making - An ochre cardigan

Cooking - All the fruit up out of the freezer in crumbles

Drinking - Berry tea

Reading - The Complete Gardener by Monty Don

Wanting - Warm weather to stay

Deciding - What seeds to purchase

Enjoying - Life

Loving - My girls developing a sense of humour

Wondering - If I painted our bathroom wall the wrong colour.

Considering - What it would be like to have a family dog

Buying - New Fly London Boots in the Sale for 30 pounds

Disliking - The news at the moment

Watching - The spring bulbs emerge

Wearing - My Aftur nordic jumper

Admiring - My mum

Getting - The itch to go outside

Thinking - About time

Eating - Lime tray bake

Feeling - The change of season

Jo xx

I loved the style of this post and now I feel terrible because I can't remember which blog I saw it on to credit them. If it is you or you know who it is, please let me know. I stole it, I love it and now I can't share it.

Monday, 13 March 2017

All done #15 Scrappy Jumper

Today's post is running under the theme of 'All done', my posts on using up all of a particular material or resource until it has all gone. This is my 15th such story!

The picture below shows all the bits, plus two full grey balls, left over from my Aftur Fair Isle sweater, which I have barely taken off since it was finished. I really don't want to shove them straight into the craft cupboard to get lost for a year or so therefore I am knitting a childs jumper. I am not sure which child yet until I see how big it is at the end!

I made the front in stripes of five rows of each colour then one green row. I used mostly green in my sweater so I had less of that to spread around. I did not use a pattern as such, I made it up by measuring against a girls jumper while loosely using some bits from a boys jumper pattern. It was thoroughly creative fun.

It did look a bit like a boys jumper (whatever I mean by that??) so I started to jazz it up a bit with a crochet design. Delving into the stash cupboard, I found large holed buttons and some crochet thread. This first round is 4 trebles, 3 chains repeated to make 8 petal holes.

Round two is made with 1dc, 2htr, 2tr, 2htr, 1dc in each hole to make little petals. They were attached on the top of a back stitch stem.

Revealing the overall sweater...

And its new owner...

The yarn is Drops Nepal aran which comprises wool and alpaca so it is super soft. Isn't it funny how two sweaters can look so different with the same colours of wool?

Our Saturday-hair selfie!

And the last few bits were used to work in crochet rounds for a simple beanie hat for my new boy model...


and in situ on Sunday at a Vintage ploughing match watching Grandad but being allowed to have a sit too.

 Drops Nepal All done #15. Thanks for popping in. You like?
Love Jo xxx

I am linking up with Julie over at Sum of their stories for her  Handmade Monday link up. I always find inspirational crafty stuff over there.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Can you guess what it is?

I made this, can you guess what it is for?

It is for a man.

It rolls up.

It covers the tops.

There are twelve of them.

Here they all are, now in a nice safe place.

I bought the book and whittling tools for my Bloke this Christmas because he likes woodcraft but once the tool packet was open they kept falling out of the plastic moulding. They are too sharp to have lying around with small crafting children who might be tempted to have a go on a bar of soap or an apple or something!

He has started an envelope opener which now needs to be sanded.
This weekend we will mostly be whittling, knitting, doing homework and painting the girl's bedroom.

Have a good weekend. What are you up to?
 Jo XX

The fabric is from They print bespoke designs digitally straight onto cotton. You can even choose your own design!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Knitting for boys

The stash busting is going well so far but there was a huge donation at the Education Centre where I work last month and it was way too much for our manager to even store so staff were encouraged to take some if we were knitters or crocheters - are you kidding? 
I am both. 

I used up one ball of Aran I had left over from this cardigan and mixed it with some grey I thrifted from work in early February to start a little bit of boy knitting. I have a friend of a friend who loves a bit of hand-knitwear for her little boy.

In fact I had quite a haul. Oh dear! this cupboard emptying is so difficult but I have to remember I have not bought anything - promise - so my 2017 pledge still stands. This isn't even all of it!

It turned out jolly nice and I enjoyed the colour change and the cables. The pattern is from Sirdar. I am looking at yarn books in a whole new light. I usually skim over the boys stuff and go straight to the girls patterns so I am discovering many new designs to try.

This was a really enjoyable knit.

These little boy knits are perfect at the moment as my shoulder injury is easing up and I do not want to overdo it on the knit or crochet front so small projects are the way to go. They take about one whole week of evening knitting each.

The little boy needs a larger head gap so I have made this three button shoulder modification for him to get it on and off  comfortably.

Thanks for modelling little fella! 


In conclusion, 4 balls gone but 24 back in the cupboard!!! 
(Witch-like cackling noise ensues) 
Jo x

I am linking up with Thistlebear this week to show my winter knitting projects.