Thursday, 23 May 2013

Stop Press: holiday

We are all off on holiday for a week or so to Dorset in the UK. Beachcombing, eating cake in cafes, visiting National Trust houses, soaking up some history, geocaching and generally laying
down some memories. 
See you all soon Jo xx
I know, what is the person in the front doing? More to the point, what do the girls think is happening!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Hooray! Pink cardigan

Here is the Bubble Gum Pink cardigan I had on a slow roast in the background. Now it is finished I can give my retinas a rest.

I started it here. The yarn is Sirdar calico  chosen by Little M and I used 150g. I used a 3.5 hook so I did bits at a time because the crochet hook was small to hold and made my forearm ache if I did it for a long time.

It was one of those patterns where the crochet tells you what to do rather than having to keep checking the pattern all the time and I liked it when it kept talking to me. "Mind yourself there Jo, you have done 4 trebles in a row instead of 3 because there should be that little space remember!" You know, that sort of thing that happens in my head. You too? good, then I am not cracking up.

It is too big for Little M but I am keeping it in a drawer for her until she can wear it. The pattern is by Kay Jones on Ravelry but I can't seem to find the specific link. It is called Babies cardigan (93) I bought it and it is great to follow.
Right I am off to pack bags for a UK holiday. Any ideas what I should throw in? A bikini, wellies, sunglasses and a fleece should do it... See you soon Jo x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Old School

My friend often roots out old patterns for me. I love the pictures and the style of language in them. I mean " You still have enough time to knit that swimsuit and bolero for your 8 year old and one for yourself too" Actually I don't but it just makes me laugh out loud.

She dropped this off for me today and I saw a little baby jacket that looked just like my cardigan.

There were patterns in it that would still be useful today with modern yarns, twists and added elements. What about this for projects on the move?
This pattern was particularly beautiful but it called for a 'Millward Disc crochet hook' and then the instructions said to hold the disc button face down in your left hand and wind around in circles. I searched the internet but can't find one. Anyone know what it might be or might look like?

The technique with this 'disc' makes the most dainty daisy flowers. I am thinking blanket, ladies wrap or pretty summer top.
Do you collect old patterns? Do you just look at them or do you actually make them up? Would love to hear from you?
Jo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 20 May 2013

Summer wardrobe #2

I have been sewing away since Saturday afternoon on this skirt. It is the intermediate version of the other one I made from Sew Serendipity.

This bright number has the addition of pockets which are the right way round, frilled edges on the pockets and a degree of pattern jiggery pokery to get the swirl pattern in the centre of the skirt.

The waistline on this A-line skirt is slightly dropped and I thought I wouldn't like it but it feels a comfortable place for it to sit.

My top-stitching is improving and gives it a really neat finish.
We are going away on holiday next week so this can go on the holiday pile - with a red t-shirt I think. Jo x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Summer wardrobe

Today is glorious and sunny. Today is the day I  have swapped over my drawers for summer clothes. They are not that much different but short sleeved t-shirts instead of long-sleeved, a nice surf print dress, a pair of shorts and some white trousers will punctuate my normal wardrobe for a few months.

I made this little summer cardigan over the winter but as I have never worn it, I thought it deserved a mention.

Bloke took the photo, hence a football in the corner! but it has three quarter length sleeves, and is made up of trebles. The motif on the back is the start of a Rowan summer top that I started in this yarn but the gauge was all wrong so I popped it on the back of here.

Is that another football?? Anyway... the yarn is Louisa Harding it has a slight silver shimmer and was easy to work with.(I used the left overs on my jar tutorial.)I think you know me well enough by now to know that I did not pay full price for it, it was in a sale.

The front is held together with a ribbon but it could have been a button. The pattern is free from Ravelry here. Mine does not have a collar because I was playing 'wool roulette' risking the amount I had to finish an item. I do that all the time - it gives my knitting and crochet projects and edgy excitement!

Hope you get some sunshine today. Jo x

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Big weekend project

Our trailer tent has a bit of a retro vibe going on! Bit brown and orange, it is called the Dandy 3. Family friends of ours gave it to us (I know, I just keep collecting stuff) and we have only used it once when I was pregnant with Little M because I didn't want to crash on a sofa after a party!
Inside it has a bit of potential.


The double beds are each end with a little stackable kitchen thing with two gas rings and a sink. The girls thought it was great and Big Sis didn't remember it at all so it all felt exciting and new.

I am totally inspired by this on Fox Lane. Just click and swoon.

I am on the lookout for fabric to do the curtains, cushion covers and a big curtain to draw across the one bed end for them. We probably won't have week long holidays in it but for weekends at the beach it is perfect. Do you have holiday wheels? Jo xx

Friday, 17 May 2013

More colour

Few more...I can really see where this is going.

A bit more experimenting for the next run of crochet classes. This triangle was quite tricky to follow so I am going to make it a bit easier for my enthusiasts by not having to treble in the double crochet below.

It is the triangle motif from here, a scarf I saw in Mollie Makes. I need to simplify it and write up a photo tutorial of my version.
Happy weekend! Jo x

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Granny choices

A day or two before my wool haul yesterday I had been playing round with some blanket squares. I had a good range of colours which I had bought on Ebay and it has been a while since I have had a variety of colours to play with so I got hooking.

1)The first square is from Cherry Heart and I liked it but I think I did dtr in the corners and tr in the sides so I ended up with a wonky square. It used lots of treble clusters which used up lots of wool and at the time, the stash above, was all I was working with.
2)So then I designed my own square with a lime centre which was good (I did scribble it down for future reference) but I have already made a blanket out of squares so I carried on my search.
3) Next I went to Attic 24 for a hexagon tutorial. I did one in a single colour to see if I liked the shape. I found it easy to follow and fun to make.
4) Finally I did the multi coloured hexagon and was pleased with it. It weighed in at 8g so with the stash above I worked out I could make 30 - a pram blanket, a knee blanket, would I be scrimping with the border?
5)I also want to try the Granny rose one from Apple blossom Dreams but again, at the time I knew I needed more yarn.
Now of course I have a whole new 51 balls to go at which is the same yarn so the blanket can grow as I want it to.
Hooked up a few more colours...
Then a few more...

I am now officially in love with hexagons. Jo x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Whhoa! wool

Today someone gave me their entire wool stash! I am not joking. Bags and bags and bags. Most was from the 1980's - you know that colour red that does not exist in nature.

There was a good range of DK colours all from the Sirdar Country Style range, looking very like a ripple blanket for the man in my life to me.

Then I opened another one and there were 51 balls of yarn from magazines! I have been buying these off Ebay just recently but not in quantities like this. Little M enjoyed sorting them into piles. 'Did you get my strawberry shoes in the picture?' she said. They are blanket heaven. They are acrylic but have a slight sheen to them. I have used them to make the flowers before.


There were some mixture balls but these are prefect for my crochet classes if I use my Knitmaster to wind them into 30g balls. What is a knitmaster I hear you ask?...

I was given it by my very good friend who moved into a house and found it in a cupboard. We both wondered what it was and she said if I could find out what it was for I could have it. It is the best wool winder ever, the children love helping and winding the handle. I took it to knit and natter one night when my shoulder was bad a few weeks ago and they all went bananas for it. They have booked it in for the next meeting so that they can do some skein to ball winding whilst drinking wine. I have become very popular!


I delved deeper and found fabric for patchwork, and large pieces of felt which will be great for lining.

I am exhausted thinking about what I can do with it. It is making my head explode! Jo xx


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Boohoo! last crochet lesson

Today was the last session of my five week crochet course. I didn't even know if I could teach people or not but Tuesday has been the best day of my week for the last month or so.

Nine ladies who did not know how to hold a hook can chain, double crochet and treble. They have made a jam jar cover, brought along their little makes, managed to get straight edges on a square and made friends along the way.

Today was their last hour long session and they wanted to make a granny square so the focus was to follow a picture tutorial as much as they could with little shouts of 'Jo!' when things went a bit wrong.

They all want to carry on having hour sessions on Tuesdays because they have become addicted to crochet (or maybe it's the cake)and to fulfil the creative ideas they have swimming round in their heads.
I love Tuesdays. Jo x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Chain flower tutorial

I made these simple flowers to help my week 1 crochet beginners go home with something in their hands even though they could only chain at that point. This post is for them to find the tutorial. They are quite sweet and really easy to do.

Make a slip knot to start.

Ch4 and slip stitch into the first ch to make a circle

Ch6 this is your first petal

Slip stitch this into the circle.

Continue to add petals by chaining 6 and slip stitching
it into the centre. You can do 5 or 6.

Finish off but pulling yarn through the last stitch and ensuring it sits between the petals.

 Here is one with 5 petals. Do as many as you like, make the petals longer and add more for a daisy effect, do one on a larger hook and layer them up. The world is your oyster. Have a go. Jo xx

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Hooray! purple dress

It was so miserable here yesterday, cold, rain, hail, rain, sun, rain, you get the idea and Big Sis had a little siesta which she likes on a Saturday to catch up from a busy week at school then she got all of her scrapbooking stuff out in her room so I embarked on dress number 2 with Little M. Yes, I actually tried to do it with a three year old. Crazy or what!

I tried to distract her with some paper pattern drafting.

But she wanted a go on the real thing. So she drew around the fabric to mark out the lining - I am lying of course because I did not follow those lines I cut around the fabric but she thought she was doing great "me and you are doing a good job aren't we?" she kept saying.

Next she did 'pin-doing'. She is a lefty so it all looked a bit strange to me but she popped them in and some even popped up out the other side.

She did some 'hotting' with the iron and she was very careful. After a busy day 'doing jobs' it was time to go to bed.

Are you aware of the story 'The elves and the Shoemaker'? well in  the morning the dress was finished by elves!

Even though those pesky elves sewed button holes to the wrong side of the placket and had to do a bit of emergency unpicking and produce the placket on the outside instead of the inside, it still looked OK. I shall have a word with them later...

Cheesy grins and puffed out chests all round. Jo xx