Monday 27 February 2017

Monday Moments

I have enjoyed a week off work alongside being at home with the girls for a half term holiday so there has been a mix of crafty action and getting out of the house. I made a whole host of things in between being very much needed and very much told to go away by my girlies.

Needed for threading a loom, but told to go away once it was up and running.

Needed to find out how oil paints work, but told to go away once painting had started.

We enjoyed some lovely mild weather at the beginning of the week but then had to change our horse riding plans on the day of storm Doris.


There was playing with friends outside ,

with sorting and organising inside.

I made this notions case to sort out my knotted up knitting bag.

I also cracked on with a bit of stripy knitting with my latest stash busting project.

I hope you all have a fruitful week. 
What is seasonally happening by you?
Jo xx

Friday 24 February 2017

Multi-tasking Trousers

Oh the irony of making trousers to make trousers in. I plan to wear this set whilst sewing clothes so that I can keep trying on a garment easily without being caught out answering the door in my pyjamas! My Minerva make this month is a very useful one. 

Technically, I believe they are called lounge pants however I have always resisted the whole pyjama-all-day-long thing. It never really did anything for me. I like to get dressed and get out there!

But... when I get in from work after wearing tights all day I just want to put on some comfy trousers to sit and do an evening yarn project. This month Minerva sent me this fabulous heavy Ponte Roma knit fabric which is cosy but has a slight stretch. It comes in 22 colours! They are so much more than pyjama bottoms and now that I own a pair I can think of a gazillion different uses for them. This is the tried and tested list so far:

1. to knit or crochet in at night time 
2. to take the girls swimming when I swim too
3. to do my physio exercises in
4. to wear to belly dance practise when it is too cold to have my midriff out in the draughty village hall
5. to pop to the shops at 8pm at night because we have no milk
6. Once used to drop the children off at school giving the impression that I was off to some yoga class afterwards, which I wasn't.
7. to put on when we get back all muddy from the farm or a walk
8. to have a really good go at tidying and cleaning the house to the point of exercise
9. Nipping next door to 'borrow' an onion

Honestly, the possibilities are endless. 

The pattern is McCall's M7331. It is styled as much smarter wear than I am using them for. I made the bottoms into a straighter leg. The waistband is deep and comfortable when sitting down. The bottoms have been washed twice because I made those first and the fabric does not bobble at all.

Here is a little optical illusion for you to try. If you can use a twin needle on your machine, thread one spool in a darker thread and use that as the outside colour. It gives the illusion of a shadow where you have attached the neck binding BUT you haven't attached anything, you have just turned it over once. 

Can you tell I love my comfy trousers? Jennifer at Thistlebear said she loved wearing 'ponte pants' (great phrase!) and I can totally see where she is coming from.

Happy lounging or any other activity you think you 
could complete successfully in these comfy trousers.

Jo xxx

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Looking Ahead to a #Belle View

I visited the Flojo stand at the trade show on Monday and it is heartening to see how UK craft business' have developed in just one year. They used to have one line - a vintage knicker kit - but now they have many patterns and kits for sale. 

There was much excitement on Monday as their new pattern had just arrived from the printers, the Belle swimsuit. I was more than happy to accept a gratuit copy of the pattern in view of the fact I had just booked a holiday to the South of France and I knew I had swimwear fabric languishing in my stash cupboard. 

The pattern has gathered sides for a flattering tummy, with a front skirt that is not too long. There is a gather at the bust centre. The straps are perfectly angled which are comfortable.

The back is not too low so the front does not pull down. The bust is lined and elasticated for support. The pattern is graded in double sizes from 6-20 and printed clearly on tracing paper. 

You can make the whole thing on a regular sewing machine following the instructions in the pattern pack but I did use my overlocker for the legs and skirt front because ... well... I could but it would have been fine with a zig zag or twin needle sewing.

When I make it again I will make the bust band a little bigger because the seam sat a little high across my bust rather than under it but all breasts are different so I guess each and every maker will have their own mods to make. I would also add a couple of foam pads to help the bust shaping. I was going to do it then realised I couldn't get inside once it was complete Doh!

Just carpet pictures today, February in the UK is not a time to be modelling swimwear!

Thanks Flojo, I love your new pattern. Jo xxx

Monday 20 February 2017

Craft Day Out

Currently, I am lying flat out on the sofa after a mammoth day of crafty chit chat. I attended the CHSI Trade Show which is held at the NEC in Birmingham. It is a trade fair for craft suppliers to buy and sell to craft retailers and although I do not buy or sell, I was invited as a blogger to investigate new girls would have loved these new sewing kits for children.

I had some train trouble so I missed a DMC workshop but caught up with them at their trade stand where I picked up some new products to try over the next few months. I did miss to see some of my blog friends which was frustrating but that is the rail service for you!

I met Frankie from Knitwits owls and we shared a cuppa. I chatted to Joanne from Tilly and the Buttons about my latest Bettine dress whilst wearing a Coco! Arne and Carlos showed me a purl stitch Norweigean or continental style for sock knitting. I called in on Flojo to take a peek at their new pattern release, exciting, show you soon. Finally I sat and made a fabric flower brooch while talking to Jenniffer Taylor about her up and coming new book release. So much to see and so many people to chat to.

Of course it would be a shame to show you all my wares in one go so I shall enjoy sampling up some new projects to show you over the next few months. 


Have a good week.
Jo x

Thursday 16 February 2017

Crochet Hair Clips

I came across two spring hair clips in my cupboard. I don't even remember buying them, maybe someone gave them to me, who knows? Anyway, I am trying to use things up so making them into useful clips was my little craft project today.

I glued the clips on with the glue gun.

Ta dah! They work really well. Little M's hair is too fine for them but Big Sis bagged this make where they looked lovely in her thicker hair.

Quick one today! 

Jo x

Thursday 9 February 2017

Stranded Knitting

I am continuing to hone my fair isle knitting skills. I am building up to a garment, maybe next year.My shoulder is getting better each month. This is the setesdal nordic pattern which I used on my hat but it is just a mash up of left over stash for practise really. It reminds me of a jumper my brother had in the 1970's!

I don't know about you, but I like my practise pieces to actually be something. I remember using my first ever crochet square with wobbly edges as a windscreen cloth in my car just so that it had a purpose. That was 10 years ago.

And so this story begins when my mum asked me to help her set up ravelry and her WI link on her new ipad. Apprehensively, she came round with her new bit of technology. I smiled because she still had it protected with the foam/polystrene envelope that it came in so I decided to make the ipad case from my Nordic knit book for her.

It is lined with a piece of self made felt from a shrunk jumper. I have quite a collection of these behind the sofa! I probably have enough to make a fleecy patch blanket - oooh now there's an idea...

anyway a fully-lined 70's inspired bit of intarsia knitting in exchange for this beauty:

An Aftur jumper which my mum has made for me. 
I LOVE, love, love this jumper :)

It is made from this FREE pattern here. Using Drops Nepal in these colours:

Thanks mum and happy knitting and learning on your new ipad. 
Jo x

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Crochet Heart

Using up a few leftovers and gifting to a friend. Nothing purchased all found in the house: keyring, stuffing, string, yarn and a hook

A nice little project to fiddle with in the evening, maybe just in time for Valentines day. 
The pattern can be found here.

Still not bought any craft items in 2017. Whoop!
Thanks for popping by. Jo x

Monday 6 February 2017

Crochet On The Go

I love a portable crochet project. This little bag gets emptied and filled with all sorts of crochet projects which get taken with me to a variety of places. Monday is laundry day so it always comes with me for half an hour while I dry a weeks worth of washing. 

I sometimes throw it in my work bag for a little quiet crochet at lunchtime which doubles up as always being in the car if I get to school a bit early to pick up the children.

This yarn is Stylecraft Stars which is left over from a jumper my mum made for Heidi this Christmas. Ironically, it is perfect for making crocheted stars as Christmas decorations. The pattern is from Attic 24. I starched and blocked each one to stop the points curling at the edges.

Ta dah! These are going in my present box for friends and family.

Thanks for stopping by. I never did see the levi guy!

Friday 3 February 2017

Beaded Sedge Stitch Crochet Cowl

Here we are again busting through some more of my stash this week. It has taken me about two weeks to make a crochet cowl. It is made in sedge stitch and finished with a random selection of buttons and broken necklace collections. 

It is made in one continuous piece and twisted twice on wearing. The yarn is Katia Tupa which is 50& Merino and 50% silk, perfect for neckwear. I had 2 skeins left over from my crochet tunic I made last year. 

Sedge stitch is worked over three stitches. You do one double crochet, one half treble and one treble all in the same stitch then repeat after skipping two stitches. You can see a picture tutorial here.

The last teeny bit made a little brooch to go with it.

Now, if you are wondering where to find the pattern I am afraid I made it up as I went along. I chained 198 (a multiple of three) and just did the sedge stitch until the wool nearly ran out. Then made a chain border to add the buttons and beads. The flower is the first two petal rounds of my flower tutorial on the right hand sidebar.

Used 2 skeins of wool
66 odd white buttons
66 odd beads
1 brooch pin
1 flower centre button

Bought nothing, gained a gift. I'm entering my second month without buying craft stuff. This one is going in my present box.

Thanks for dropping by. Jo xx

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Quick Make Oven Gloves

My girl is a keen cook. Her victoria sponge is to die for. She follows instructions meticulously. She hates it when I cook and add or change things. If it said, "wear your hair in plaits before opening the oven door," she would do it! I have made her some oven mitts to stay safe and feel confident.

She is allowed to put things in and out of the oven when I am there and she likes that. She is nine.

I used up the rest of the fat quarters which I won in a competition. I used the dark green for the palm side and the white for the top. I could see no other use for mallard duck printed fabric. 
It has all gone now. Phew!

The pattern is from Gingercake here. They are lined and padded. 
That is what I made today. Jo x

PS: After school baking - peanut cookies with Christmas sweets pushed in the centre while they were still warm.  Yes, we still have chocolate leftover on the 1st February!