I’m on cloud 9

The balaclava is done!

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Its been a while in the making but I did it.
Now I’ve just got to post it off.

Haven’t done much other knitting whilst I’ve been powering through this project so Miriam still lies unfinished. ..I WILL complete it this year.

I did however whip up a tension square to test some bamboo yarn and then turned it into this adorable bow!

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I love making use of my squares this way. I don’t know if other people keep theirs but I just note down the tension in my book. I got to test the yarns washability too as I dropped the bow into some melted butter whilst baking! Oops!
I hand washed it and let it dry naturally in the sun. The butter came out nicely and the bow holds its shape well now its been blocked. Haven’t decided whether its a hair clip or a brooch yet.

Sewing

The Great British Sewing Bee is nearly over. I’m totally loving this years contestants. My money is on Chinello, her freehand approach and creative flair is inspiring! I’ve been constantly in awe of her skills. I also loved Lynda, so sad to see her go!
Last weekend I made use of my small fabric stash and whipped up a four layer suffolk puff brooch. In the centre is my first attempt at a fabric covered button. I had a union jack heart leftover from my GB tea cosy project in 2012 which I’ve covered in blue gingham cotton.

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I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and I think my handsewing skills are improving.

I mentioned last time that I have fabric for cushion covers on standby. Well I took the plunge and made a cloud cushion from my Liberty sewing book.
Now I don’t have pattern paper nor could I be bothered going to the library to get the template printed and enlarged.
So I traced the small version from the book, taped 6 pieces of A4 together and enlarged the small clouds measurements by 400%. I cut out my cloud template and pinned it to my fabric.

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I cut out two cloud shapes, one in blue and one in white.
I decided to hand sew the cushion partly because I was scared of wrecking my fabric in the machine.
I need a bit more practice at machining, especially curves. So I used backstitch,which I am now proficient at!

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I had a bit of problem with the seams once the cushion was the right way round but a good press with the iron soon fixed that. Very important I’ve learned, press press press!
Et voila…
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Its the comfiest pillow ever.
I’m going to make a few more in different colours to pile up on the bed. So pleased!!

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March Musings

Its Spriiiiiiiing!

Last week we finally got some sunshine and blue skies after a grey rainy winter. The daffodils are in full bloom and the days feel that little bit warmer.  I’m already imagining all our summer ramblings!

Right now as per the last post I am still “finishing off” – the balaclava is the main thing right now. I’m loving being involved in the project and I’m highly impressed with all the gorgeous garments that have been produced. I believe I’m on the list for another small project for them but its not confirmed yet. There are a lot of members and only on or two wonderful ladies organizing which projects go to who and when they need to be completed. Its a big job and I don’t envy them.

I think a lack of confidence often stops me getting involved in ventures like this, I always worry I will let people down by not finishing on time or not being up to standard.

I do feel like all the knitters working on Tell Them of Us must think I’m super slow at this – its taken quite a while and I’m not finished one yet…there was talk of me doing two! Last years achievements helped to boost me, I can’t believe I did all that in a year! There’s no structured plan for 2014 but I have a few ideas…

Sewing

I’d like to become competent with my machine – last year I learned to thread it but haven’t been back since. The lack of a proper desk probably doesnt help but I bought two sewing books this weekend and I’m raring to make things.
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I’m going to start with cushion covers, I have some fabric and applique ready to make some standard square cushions. One of my new books has a fab pattern for cloud shaped cushions -OH has suggested making them in block colours rather than the florals in the book. There’s some new blue & white cotton for this one.
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Eventually I’d love to be good enough to make my own clothes and like GBSB’s Chinello…I’d love to whip up a dress for a night out instead of trawling the shops.
I’d also like to acquire some better sewing supplies, threads, a new tape measure, shears etc
Speaking of GBSB, how beautiful was Lyndas shawl this week?
Turns out it was made by her daughter from a pattern by Carina Spencer.
Here’s a blog post she did about it Lyndas GBSB Shawl

Crochet

I want to get into tunisian crochet. I’ve watched a tutorial and it seems easy enough. Its like a strange combination of crochet and knitting, its done with a long crochet hook (sometimes with a cable on the end) and unlike crochet the stitches stay on the hook as you work across. Then you go back the other way and work each stitch dropping it off the hook until you are back to just one. I probably havent explained it overly well so here’s a vid

Tunisian Crochet Tutorial

I found it when I was looking for inspiration for my blanket project – I want to make a big Nintendo themed blanket for my bed. Possibly just one image but possibly lots of panels. Tunisian Crochet stitches turn out square so they’re great for working from grid charts.
I was highly I inspired by this blanket from Gege Crochet
Nintendo Blanket
But a quick google image search reveals so many amazing pieces.

I’ll be needing a hook and a yarn that comes in a wide number of shades – I havent decided what kind of fibre yet. I could go for a light bamboo/cotton or a wool based yarn.  Its gonna be a long haul that one though, could go well into 2015.

Knitting

Knitting-wise I want to pick up speed. I’m trying to master continental style, I’ve got the knit stitch down but the purl is still giving me trouble.

I’m determined to have Miriam finished at least in time for Autumn (its only been 3 years or so!) I’m currently midway through picking up the neckband.

At some point I’ll be changing Paige as I really don’t like the fit, I may alter it or I may frog and reclaim the yarn. Its not a shaped sweater but I think thats the problem, its not really a style I normally wear.

I’m still midway through sock number 1 on my Zig Zag Rainbow Socks, the warming weather means I may not feel like going back to these for a bit although they are a great portable project so you never know.

After sorting out my stash I now want to start assigning yarn to projects -its a great way to de-stash as it quickly sorts out what stuff you’re never going to use. Plus it will give me an exciting queue of projects to work on instead of some random ideas floating around in my head!

Well thems the plans but we’ll see how many come to fruition, being creatively organised is not my forte.

I’m like a magpie with shiny things when it comes to new projec…OOH SHINY!

Happy Yarnings! x