Category Archives: Life

Weekend In Progress….

Sew…can I sew? Well I won’t say I’m an experienced seamstress. I mean, I can sew a little, have made duvet covers and pillow cases. I once got full grades at school for making a simple dress with pockets, that I sewed on the front and through the back and couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t slip over my head. A simple tote bag and some curtains but nothing as advanced at this.

I fell in love with this bag back in 2008. I HAD to make it no matter what. I even thought about commissioning someone to make for me. I was excited. I was desperate. Brought the pattern and thought woohooo…..here I go! Who was I kidding, ME….make that? No way. That idea was forgotten. This year, after clearing out some things, the pattern reappears and I make a rash decision to rehome the pattern to someone who may be able to make it. No sooner the pattern leaves my hand, a sense of regret and my heart longs for the bag and I fall in love with it all over again and repurchase the pattern, stupid yeah. This time, I WILL attempt to make it, you watch me.

Yet again, it never fails, always happens to me. A cat fight with two other ladies for the fabric. I saw it walking away, clutched under the arms of a lady. Then another lady has her eye on it. Why me?? But I did get the final cut and enough to make two bags.

Clarke & Clarke Celeste Home Decor Weight 100% Cotton

Right…..cut the chat, time to reveal what all the fuss is all about.

My Amy Butler Weekend Bag

I really cannot believe I did it. I worked on it everyday, every spare minute. I had to pinch myself and rub my eyes, hold it at arms length. I am so proud of myself. Even Mr Snobs is speechless. He had faith in me, he knew I could do it and I love him for that.

I didn’t think my old Singer sewing machine could handle the thickness of the piping, several layers of fabric and Timtex but it did. Good old sewing machine! Pinning was hard, my fingertips were so sore and tender and I hated those pin pricks but whatever the pain, it was well worth it.

Piping and Front Pocket

Side Pocket

Front Panel, temorary attached but you get the idea

Wasn’t too happy about the instructions on attaching the zip, so I did it my way.

I knew these funky bulldog clips would come in useful one day! I still have the inner lining to sew and attach.

My tips for a successful Weekend Bag:

  • Read several times the insructions before you start and pin up the instructions sheet
  • Take time to position and cut your pieces
  • Take into consideration how you position your pattern pieces, ie pattern repeats etc
  • Buy extra fabric so you can cut pieces so they are symmetrical on each side
  • Pin and baste (tack) pieces
  • Be patient, don’t rush, encourage yourself, YOU CAN DO IT
  • Buy extra sewing needles if required
  • Bulldog clips are essential as pinning will be hard on the fingers when assembling the bag
  • Purchase bag feet, this will keep your bag off the floor
  • Choose your fabric carefully, especially the weight of the fabric. Home decor weight gives a much sturdy bag and retains the shape well
  • Buy Timtex, it’s a much thicker stabilizer
  • Research on other methods of joining piping, I preferred End to End piping (a great tutorial on preparing and sewing piping)
  • Sew and press, give a more professional finish
  • And last but not least enjoy every minute of it, the end result will be amazing

…..and if you’re lucky, your DH may reward you with a beast! I mean my new Serger, or Overlocker, whatever you call it, together with all the accessories and feet, 12 cones of thread, a set of scissors and a carry case.

It’s a monster! Threading that is, but once you got it, you’re away!


No Caffeine…..

Seriously, does a day without a regular caffeine fix do this to you? I wonder….

Local department store has our regular January sales every year, you know, if you read back to a previous post, how I turned from a friendly, considerate, kind and generous woman to an absolutely mental, evil, demon of a stalker, who watched every move this woman made, who had this yarn that I HAD to have. who wouldn’t put it down, who wondered around and asked the sales rep what she could knit with it, who flipped through pattern books and all the time, me, watching every move from the corner of my eye, who had a partner in crime watch her too…..remember? As soon as she put it back, hands, several hands, mine and my accomplice grabbed it before anyone else did. I’m happy to say, this years sale was different. Maybe it was without the caffeine fix. I was calm, very calm, very unusual for me and so not me.

There before my eyes, lay a full bag of this purple yarn, in fact two bags. Yup…purple. OK I love purple, alot, to admire and ooh and ahhhh, but to wear? It’s totally out of my colour palette. But this purple was different, it wasn’t too bright, too in your face, it was calm, warm and oozing with yumminess.  This purple yarn was calling me…..Yarnsnob, I’m yours…..take me home. Was this yarn actually talking to me?  Has yarn ever talked to you? For brief moment, I thought I was going crazy!

So under my arm it went and without a moment hesitation or a fight with anyone else, went to the cashier, handed over my credit card and so home it came with me.

I had a project in mind for it but strangely and totally out of the ordinary, I SWATCHED. I NEVER SWATCH, seriously, I do not swatch for anything. I consider myself a very very naughty knitter, so please do not, I repeat do not follow my in my footsteps. To make this more out of the ordinary, I blocked the swatch and waited for it to dry and to make it even more out of the ordinary, I counted the stitches one by one over and over again! Now I do believe something was totally wrong with me that day.

The purple yarn, or should I say Aubergine became this…..

Alexandria Cardigan a pattern I’ve longed to knit. It required an icord at the front…never attempted before, short rows for the sleeves, done once and messed up with my Arwen cardigan, picking up stitches from 3 rows down and BO together to create a kind of rolled edge effect for the sleeves and neckline, which I did for the sleeves but did and icord bind off for the neckline.

So, a little about this yarn. Rowan had a batch of previously discontinued undyed Organic Merino DK and as one off special, dyed colours exclusively for the John Lewis chain of stores throughout UK for the 2010 January sales.

Changes made to the pattern?

Neckline: icord BO

Sleeves: 11 inches before start of eyelet

Dec: ssk ( slipped 1 knitwise, slipped 1 purlwise, ktog) (nice and ne

Inc: picked up st from row below from the back and knit (almost invisible inc)

Omit the first row of cluster pattern so the front panels lay flat

Add button for closure.

Maybe I should stay off the caffeine?  It certainly had a very weird effect on me, I must say!


Really, I’m Not Hiding……

Hello 2011 and Hello to you all. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful new year. It’s been almost a year since I lasted posted on the blog, I’m sorry. Life got in the way, it’s no excuse so I hope I am forgiven.

To be honest, I lost interest in blogging. There were days when I just didn’t know what to write about, days when I’d write up a post, then have second thoughts about publishing it. I do feel bad, I know there were many of you posting comments and hoping and wishing I’d write up a next one. My readers deserve better, much better,
sorry.

So…..it’s 2011, a new year a new start, where shall I begin? Knitting, of course. I do have lots to show you….lots, oh yes.

Vinterblomster………………One Became Two


This is probably my longest wip. I casted on in January 2010 and finally finished them in December 2010.  We had the coldest winter for years, with heavy heavy snow and ice. It was the bitter bitter cold mornings that slapped me in the face, a wake up call to finish these mittens and I am so happy I did. They were a pleasure to knit, watching the mitten form, row after row, the pattern, the flowers, the petals. I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long!

I couldn’t resist these cute knitted dolls. I started one and I ended up making 6!! Gifted 2 to friends and one, Miles is waiting for his eyes and cheeks so he’s not in the photos.

Dolls are from Huggable Friends 2 booklet a collections of knitted dolls which include: Ella, Finn, Abbey, Kate, Mike and Miles. A delight to knit, a delight to stuff and a delight to hug!

I wanted to knit Rosamund for a while now, ever since the pattern came out back in 2009.

I love the braided cables on the edging of the cardigan how they then twist and twine onto the funnel shaped collar. I wear it opened under a long sleeved t shirt, only because I can’t find those buttons…….which I placed on top for the photoshoot!

A feast for your eyes but there is more to be revealed…….later my friends 🙂


One……

One mitten……Vinterblomster

One word……

Play…..

Your Cell Phone? BLACKBERRY 

Your Hair? MESS

Your Mother? LOVE

Your Father? DOMINATING

Your Favorite Food? JAPANESE

Your Dream Last Night? DISTURBING

Your Favorite Drink? JASMINE

Your Dream/Goal? WEALTH

What Room Are You In? STUDIO

Your Hobby? KNITTING

Your Fear? POVERTY

Where Do You See Yourself In 6 Years? RETIRED 

Where Were You Last Night? BED

Something That You Aren’t? SELFISH

Muffins? BLUEBERRY

Wish List Item? PROPERTIES

Where Did You Grow Up? BRITAIN

Last Thing You Did? KNIT

What Are You Wearing? FLEECY

Your TV? SONY

Your Pets? HEAVEN

Friends? WONDERFUL

Your Life? CRAZY

Your Mood? TEARFUL

Missing Someone? IMMENSLEY

Vehicle? HONDA

Something You Aren’t Wearing? SLIPPERS

Your Favourite Store? GUCCI

Your Favourite Colour? BURGUNDY

When Was The Last Time You Laughed? MONDAY

Last Time You Cried? OCTOBER

Your Best Friend? HUSBAND

One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? ROME

Facebook? MAYBE

Favourite Place To Eat? ST SUSHI

ENJOY!



Strut My Stuff…..

Christmas and New Year came and went, friends stayed over, confrontations, agruments, hissy fits and tantrums, nothing to do with us by the way…..and so they left a few days early and all was quiet, just me and Mr Snobs and some time to ourselves. Food, plenty, too much actually, enough to feed the neighbourhood. Don’t know quite how I came about making 15 dishes to feed 9. Next year, I swear I’m eating out.

Despite the events of the festive season, I did get a lot of knitting done . What happened? Seven, yes seven projects, completed, two were gifted but they count , don’t they?

I buried my head into my knitting since my last post, it’s been a marathon of knitting, non stop, one after another. It felt like a race, I was competing with someone, but who? Myself.  No sooner I cast off one projects it’s on with another. I blame the weather, dull, miserable, wintery, freezing temperatures. I feel miserable this time of year, dark mornings and gloomy days, so it was head down into what I love most. I guess I wanted to take my mind off things, you know.

Ok…lets get down to some business then, enough of being a miserable old fart. I’m going to strut my stuff….you all ready now, sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

First……

Burberry Inspired Cowl Knitted with less than 2 skeins of Rowan Cocoon.  6mm needle.

Very warm, very stylish and at a fraction of the price of the original Burberry Cowl. Requires a knowledge of kitchener stitch, something I’d forgotton how to do, you either love it or hate it.

I took it for it’s catwalk debut just before Christmas and it was literally whipped of my neck. My girlfriends wanted to try it on, it was passed around, it came off my neck several times, did a walkabout somewhere, and I wasn’t happy. Not because my lovely cowl disappeared, I did get it back eventually but because it was on my neck, then off my neck, my bloody hair became static!! YES STATIC! It had a mind of its own and it was everywhere! I could’t control it. So that now became the focal point amongst my girlfriends….bitches!

Anyway, I made another two of these for my girlfriends both using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, one purple and one black 5mm needles. Each knitted up in just over 5 hours, a quickie project.

By this time, kitchener stitch became a doddle. it got neater and less visible. I think it’s payback time with their hair 🙂

Next up…is another Cabled Cowl. This one’s for me, me, me, me.

Not quite so please with this little number. Rowan Kid Classic 3.3 skeins 5.5mm needle.

Mods:
Cast on 168st (42st repeat) The extra 4 stitches at the checkered pattern section.
13 rows of rib instead of 9 rows, top and bottom.
Blocked measurements: 16” height 41” circumference.

I’m not convinced I love this as much as I do with the first one. Wrong choice of yarn, don’t get me wrong, the yarn is lovely to knit with but maybe not for this project. Maybe the halo effect is not suited, maybe the weight of yarn, maybe the colour. Maybe I need to knit another using Rowan Pure Aran, maybe……..

Eternity Scarf a cute little number, very in season, they are everywhere.

If you haven’t added something like this to your wardrobe, then take my advice, do so. Eternity style scarves are HOT!

Madelinetosh Worsted Oxblood 5.5mm needle. Only did  14 rows instead of 20 for the stockinette stitch. I love how it curls. I’ve been wearing this doubled up but can be worn in a loop hanging down, ribbed side up or curled side up, whichever takes your fancy!

And Finally…..16 Sixteen Cable Hat or Fez Head as I call it.

Very similar to my Cabled Beret with less slouch. Knitted size 2 with no slouch. Love this hat, love the yarn too. The pattern even has tips for avoiding the holes that you get when you knit cables.

Debbie Bliss Fez  1.8 skeins 4 mm & 5.mm needle (a blend of Merino and Camel) and oh so lovely. I’m very impressed with this yarn. No knots in either balls and I had used this yarn to cast on and rip back a project about 5 times, and still, it didn’t felt or fuzz up. Stitch and cable definitions are really impressive too. Another quickie project to add to your list.

Well…lovely readers, I hope you have all enjoyed this catwalk show of all my latest knits and hope you have gathered some inspiration from them too and thank you for taking your time in reading, think it’s time for a cuppa and to get those needles out again 🙂 xx


Cracking Christmas!

I’d like to take this wonderful moment and thank everyone for their support. This year has been filled with happiness and sadness and without your kind words of comfort, your inspirations, your comments and just for being there, reading my blog………has helped me tremendously.

May I wish you all a Merry, merry Christmas that’s filled with joy, laughter and love (and knitting , of course!)  and a Wonderful New Year! Xxx


R.I.P Holly……

I am finding this post extremely difficult to write. My life is totally shattered, my heart is broken, it aches terribly, I’m crying out for you every minute of the day.

My life without you by my side is really unbearable, I must be strong.

holly 1

1993 – 15. 10. 2009

You will always be in my heart, forever. I miss you so so much, it hurts, really hurts. I am trying to accept you are gone, I am trying very hard.

hols 5

Rest now, sleep well my baby. There is a special place in my heart….always and forever.

I Love You Xxx