Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Important Announcement - my blog is moving!

Hi everyone,
I'm changing to a new blog!
I'm shortly going to open a second Etsy shop selling sewing patterns, and as I know I will never find the time to write two blogs everything is going to be in the same blog for both knitting and sewing.
This is where you will find me from now on

I do hope you will join me over there. I have zero followers at the moment - I look a real Billy No Mates!!!.
I promise to still post about knitting pattern related things. I shall also be having some give-aways, so make sure that you "Follow Me" so that you don't miss out.
See you on Mack and Mabel!!


Friday, 27 April 2012

Tegan - Baby Hat with Top Knot Pattern

A few weeks ago, (well probably a couple of months ago by now!!) a customer asked me for a top-knot beanie pattern. I've eventually got round to it. I've made it very simple and knit in the round, and I'm offering it for free on Craftsy and also on Ravelry

It's knit in double knit/8 ply yarn and the pattern has photos of all the stages, so it's ideal for anyone who is quite new to knitting in the round. There are instructions for 5 sizes from premature (4 - 6lbs) to 2years
Like all my patterns, you can use it to make items for sale - but please don't copy the pattern and pass it off as your own - if you want to share it, be friendly and post a link to it either on Craftsy, Ravelry or here - thank you so much :)

If you have a go at knitting it, let me know what you think

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Blue squares, Brown squares

Like many crafters I know, I can never just work on one project at a time..... that would just be far too logical, and down right boring, but I must have been in a "blue/brown squares" sort of mood when I started these two projects.

The quilt is a queen size nine patch made from a jelly roll from the Sweetwater Pure collection. I bought it at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK  last August and pieced most of the top last year, but then I wanted some more fabric from the same range for a border, and as often happens with Moda fabrics, it was hard to get. Luckily SewLux on Etsy came up were able to help me out, and within a few days I was able to finish the top. Then as so often happens I flitted onto something else, but now is the time to finish this quilt! I can only do so much at a time as getting all that quilt into the throat of my machine and keeping it supported is hard work on the hands and arms, but it is staying on my desk until it is finished!

The second project I'm working on also happens to be blue and brown squares! Its a crocheted granny square throw for the spare bed - well Ruby (one of my cats) would tell me it was her bed, if she could! As the number of squares laid out on the bed increases, she has had to sleep further and further up the bed! She's a sensible cat... she knows she'll get thrown off if she dares to sleep on anything I'm in the middle of making. The reason for making this was that I have a lot of oddments of organic cotton yarn left over from other projects, none of the dye lots match, and its the perfect "on the go" item to carry around with me to do in odd moments or whilst (hopefully!) sitting in the sun with a cup of tea this Easter. I would say that I will post the finished pictures soon, but I know myself better than that! I've still got to crochet them all together.... and that is going to be a long. boring job!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Super Model for Jaden Boots

I thought I would share this picture that Jessica from River CityKnits sent me of the Jaden Boots she has knitted.
The Super Model is under one day old!!!! so there is plenty of room for growing, but she is showing the boots off nicely and seems quite happy in front of the camera.
If you want to knit these boots I have the pattern for sale on Etsy or Ravelry or Craftsy
They use double knit yarn and come in three sizes from newborn to 12 months. As Jessica is on her fourth pair I think I can safely say they are quick to knit!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Dresses for Malawi

Wow! It's been a busy week!
I had initially intended to make a couple of dresses for dress a girl around the world . There is a UK co-ordinator ( sewscrumptious)  that the dresses are sent to and they go to Malawi, Haiti, Uganda.... wherever there is a need.
I had just cut out the first one when I received an email from a friend asking people to donate items to a container that was shortly to go to Malawi. They needed stationary, computer items and of course... clothing! How timely, I thought, my dresses can now go direct, and I'll know exactly where they are going. But I only had two weeks!
I have cut and sewn like mad all week and now have a grand total of 10 dresses ready to send. Phew!
I have to confess, although I know the pillowcase dress is ideal - it uses minimum fabric, minimum sewing techniques and will fit a variety of sizes for a long time, I am heartliy sick of this pattern - so much so that the last - the white one, had to be different.
They are all packed up ready to go, and I think the sewing machine can have a well earned rest for a few days.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Cushions for Kids Company

I have spent many spare moments over the past few weeks sewing....... sewing a total of 12 cushions for for some very deserving children supported by Kids Company.
Nicki in Switzerland who co-ordinates the making of these cushions asked me just before Christmas if I could help as she had a long list of cushions that needed to be made. I of course agreed. She sent me the completed cross stitch pictures, a list of names and the colours the children had requested.
I was amazed by the intricacy of the stitched pictures, and hence the amount of time that many people had put into creating these designs. My job, by comparison was simple!
I made the cross stitch designs into a pocket on the front of the cushion,
and appliqued their name on the back.The children, who have few belongings, treasure the fact that they have somewhere special to keep their favourite items, whilst they cuddle up to their colourful cushion - a cushion that has been made especially for them.

I had a great deal of fun, using up the brightest and boldest fabrics in my stash and edging the designs with oddments of ribbon that I had been hoarding for years. I found the applique relaxing and I smiled as I tried to imagine the little girl or boy it was destined for. And the bit I liked least? ... putting in all those zips of course!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Jaden Boots

 A short while ago, a lovely lady called Debbie (rughookergirl) bought my Jaden boots pattern, and after asking a couple of questions about the pattern, sent me a picture of the first finished boot.

I love talking to my customers, and getting feedback from them, so I was delighted to receive the picture. This interaction is one of the most rewarding things for crafters of the internet age. Some years ago I used to take a regular stand at the NEC Hobbycrafts shows, which are held twice yearly in Birmingham, UK. Customers would talk a little whilst visiting the stand, and tell me what they had made, but ultimately they were pressed for time, wanting to see the rest of the show. Apart from a few rare occasions, I only heard about their creations, rather than seeing them.
It is lovely to see other people's interpretation of a pattern, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when a few hours later when Debbie sent me two more photos. She had decided to crochet a trim around the cuff, in the same boucle yarn as she used for the sole edging!

 Doesn't it look wonderful! The boot is totally transformed into a snowboot - I simply adore this version, and the natural wood buttons set it off wonderfully.

I spend my life with half baked ideas for patterns floating around in my head, and have for some time been thinking about a pieced "Ugg" style boot. I have been wary of mixing crochet with knitting, thinking the crochet would put off those who only knit, but I'm now going to launch right in and design that "Ugg" style boot - and its going to have a crochet trim!!
Thank you so much for your pictures Debbie..... and please keep them coming, folks!!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Folded Paper Posy

Its time to take the festive decorations down, and the house can look stark at first, so i've made a folded paper posy to fill the void, and will share the instructions with you here:
Cut 72 squares of paper. Mine were 3" square and were made from scrapbook paper. You can make them any size, but I wouldn't go any smaller unless you were using a more flexible paper.
You could use pages from an old book, vellum or cartridge paper.
(Having now tried for 2 whole days to get the individual stage by stage pictures of the tutorial to go where I want them to, I've given up and made a block of pics in Photoshop - how I can use Photoshop just fine, but tear my hair out with frustration with Blogger, I'll never know!)

1. Fold the squares in half
2. Fold the two outside corners to meet at the centre one.
3. Flatten the two outside triangles into kite shapes - this is a standar "tea bag folding" shape
4. Fold down the sections that protude
5. Fold each kite shape in half
6. Put glue on the outer edge of the folded square
7. Fold into a cone shape and hold with a paper clip until the glue is dry.
8. Glue shapes together in pairs.
9. When glue is dry glue 3 pairs together to form a flower.

Finally glue 6 flowers together to make a semi circular dome, holding them all in place with paper clips until the glue is dry - make two of these. Glue the two together, placing a loop of ribbon in between them so you have something to hang it by.

Hope you like it - mine is certainly cheering up the empty space left by the Christmas decorations!