Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Its a wet and wild Hogmanay here in Glasgow, and I'm sneaking on here on the final day of the year to have a brief round up of my 2012.

There's been three blankets...a ripple pram blanket in baby cashmerino, a ripple lap blanket for husband, and a solid square blanket for my friend's baby. 

There's been a feathery scarf and a chunky cowl...

Two hats...

The girl moves fast

And mittens of all sizes...

Its been a whole year since I received my sewing machine for christmas, though it remained in its packaging until I took sewing lessons in May. So in the last 6 months there hasn't been a huge amount of sewing productivity.

But there has been some pretty awesome bunting...

And my first attempt at dressmaking.

It would be really lovely to end the year by finishing off and hemming this skirt. Its been lying disregarded for the last few months while I concentrate on festive gifts (sshh the gifts are still not finished. We got lovely festive bugs this year which has meant we've not been able to travel to see family so there's not been the panicky push to get the gifts done). Its that vogue pattern with the two pockets that everyone has sewn. There's a small issue with a hole in the back where the zip was put in but I'm quite happy with the fit for a first attempt.

So thats been my 2012. I'm really happy with how my crocheting has come on and would like to build on my skills and make more wearable items. There is some dark green Artesano superwash DK in the bag waiting to be converted into a cardigan, once I get those pesky gifts finished. I've been flirting with knitting which I aim to expand into, as many clothing items look better knitted in my mind.

I have so many sewing plans that I need to get in order. I've built up quite a wonderful stash of fabric and patterns which is at risk of becoming a burden, both in terms of physical and mental space. I could be accused of hoarding just now, not wanting to cut into lovely material for risk of wasting it. I'm sure many beginner and not so beginner sewists can relate to that. But my aim is not to buy any item that I could attempt to make so its time to take the plunge.

So in 2013, I will make my lists and plans as I work better that way. But above all I will get on and do!

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all xxxxxxx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Crochet Crush part 2

It was only once I reached my 30s that I began to think about trying crocheting. Its hard to remember how I filled my time before it! There's not many days that go by now that I don't pick up a hook and some wool. My Mum learnt when she was young but it wasn't/isn't something she dedicates much time to. I don't ever remember seeing her crochet when I was growing up, I only found out that she could long after I left home. But when I first mentioned that I fancied learning she produced the brilliant booklet she first learned with, Of Course you can Crochet!

This sweet retro guide includes the basic steps and stiches you need to make a beloved granny square.  And beyond...I reckon I need some granny square slippers in my life, a bed jacket not so much. However, I'm particularly fond of the idea that the booklet was intended to teach a daughter her first lessons and if age doesn't disintegrate these pages I will hope to use them to teach my own little lady.

To most people, me included, the granny square typifies crochet. But with my tentative steps into hooking, it became quickly apparent that colour changing in crochet kind of gets on my wick. I'm not ruling out ever making a granny square blanket, in fact I have, a solid square version for my friend's son, but as with most things in life I like my crochet easy.

And so from Ravelry I discovered the wonderful blog and the perfect for beginner tutorials on Attic24.
Plans for a blanket of my own became superseded by blanket plans for a small person. I decided on the Granny Stripe, the essence of granny squares but with lovely long lines avoiding colour change, except at the end of the row. This was to be my baby's first blanket which I spent most of my pregnancy making.

Ooh how I loved making this. Lovely squishy Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Gorgeous yarn that I've used for 3 blankets in total. I'm a little more restrained with my yarn choices these days, well for big projects like this anyhow, but if you hunt around its usually possible to find Baby Cashmerino on sale on line. And little Reet Petite will love this forever, once she's old enough to have clean hands at all times, oh and can wrestle it away from her mother, ho hum.

I was aiming for gender neutral. Sure, there's a pretty distracting overshadowing coral pink in the mix but its balanced by an aqua blue in the edging right? My friend had it on the money when she saw it in the making by asking if I was pretty sure I was having a girl then. Which ironically I wasn't, I was utterly convinced I'd get a blue one. Just a very laidback cool with pink, blue one.

In the last two years, there's been a further five blankets, the latest completed this week.

This blanket was made for husband as an anniversary gift. It is a lap blanket, as requested to keep him warm whilst at work during the winter months. The poor fella has a job where he can work from home most days, so no his grandad like tendencies will not be revealed to the wider public in an office. When consulting on favoured colours, I was pointed in the direction of a picture that hangs in our kitchen:

Bounce by Gabrielle Reith
The picture was an engagement gift from husband's folks and is by Gabi, a very talented multimedia artist.  Husband has known Gabi and her husband for some time, they being fellow north-easters.

The colours I used were a bit on the darker side, but hey they're manly! I decided on a ripple as a) its a very relaxing pattern to use and b) the blue/green colours reminded me of the sea which is also quite fitting as husband grew up near the sea, the less than tropical north sea. I used Wendy Mode Chunky, a 50% merino wool 50% acrylic yarn. Its no baby cashmerino, but it is cosy and warm and will hopefully survive use by another creature of our household:

Just keeping it warm

And here is the intended recipient:

Happy Anniversary husband! May you be warm and toasty at your work x

Friday, 23 November 2012

Crochet Crush

Though the needle of the title is a reference to my new love sewing, it is the hook that I took to first.

(It is very tricky to find a hooking related blog title that does not encourage unwanted traffic.)

Yes hookery. It has been a mere two years since I've been Hooked (ok yes I did consider that one). There were unfortunate beginnings...frustrated diagram interpretation, a headache-inducing back of a car teaching session from my dear Mum (we do not do well as a teacher-pupil combo).

But then joy of joys, a friend of a friend began running intimate crochet courses in a cafe round the corner. Enticed not least by the funky name Michelle chose for herself, Get yer balls out (a tricky one to google), my hooky adventure began in ernest. My initial lessons were followed by a mini cafe crochet group on a monday morning which just happened to be my day off. They were mighty fine those winter mornings of 2010.

The initial allure was the not so humble granny square blanket. I wanted for myself a black and neon multicoloured comfort blanket (you'll see inspiration from Lafayette of True Blood).

My first crochet inspiration

But as soon as Michelle handed out tiny prespun balls of Louisa Harding gorgeousness, my head was turned firmly in the direction of good quality yarn. The neon colours were soon forgotten, replaced by soft scrummy finance draining merino wool beauties.

Michelle landed a job in Edinburgh, so she being the glue of the cafe group, my monday morning meetups faded away. That same winter of 2010 I also began brewing up a bean that became the 16 month dynamo we have in our midst today. She is my Reet Petite, the finest girl I ever want to meet.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Blog 1

Ah, my own blog.

Tis been on my mind of late to get involved.

The title has been lurking at the head of my blogger for some time, instructing me to post, post, so here we have it.

I'd like to share my makes, be it crochet, be it sewing, be it whatever new interest crops up. This is a place to keep my newly found creative loves together.

Plans, passions, production, pictures...I do love a bit of alliteration.

This is what I want to share.