25 January 2015

Another little project . . .

Now that I've finished knitting both of the scarves I've got a new project on the go, this time for the house. 

We've been on the look out for a sign for the bar for a while, and had been looking at the illuminated light bulb letters that are everywhere at the moment, but they're so expensive, and as we're on a bit of a budget I came up with an alternative. . . an embroidered sign. It was originally meant to be a Valentine's present for Jason, but it's taking a little longer than expected so I've taught him the basics and enlisted some help in an effort to get it finished (hopefully by the end of February)!

I'd seen on a recent shopping trip some plastic canvases that you use for tapestry or cross stitch, and I've been wanting to use them on a project for a while. I got some Anchor tapestry wool in some shades to match different bits in the lounge, and used these to embroider the letters.

I bought the patterns for the letters from Little House Bliss on Etsy and so far its all going well. This was progress after a few days . . .

and this is progress as of day . . .

I'm hoping to have the majority of the first part of the sign complete by the end of the month. I've still got the 'bar' bit of the sign to put together, so make sure to check back for an update . . .

Weekend Adventures

As it was such a beautiful day yesterday, we decided to head down to the beach at Hengistbury Head, it's one of my favourite places to visit, particularly at sunset, it's just beautiful! 

Our shadows on the sand, looking across to Mudeford.

It was a lovely clear day and you could see right across to the Needles on the Isle of Wight.

22 January 2015

Knitting Update . . .

I have finally finished knitting my snood and scarf, and just in time too, as it's been quite cold down in Bournemouth the past week or so, I've been wearing the snood non-stop! 

To knit both items I used the a pattern by Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee.

I knitted the snood in the same type of wool as Jason's Mum's scarf, but I decided to go for a different shade, medium grey mix.

I also knitted a scarf. I wish I'd got one more ball just to make it another twenty or so centimetres longer, as it only just wraps around twice, but it's still nice and cosy!

I made some fluffy poms from some Rowan wool I had leftover from another project to add onto each end of the scarf. I wasn't quite sure at first how I was going to attach the poms, but decided to gather both ends of the scarf using a running stitch along where I had cast both on and off, and then pulled both ends together and tied into a knot to gather it all together. I then used the tail thread from the pom to secure it with a few hidden stitches at either end.

5 January 2015

Knitted Santa Hat

The last of my Christmas makes . . .  this one was a bit last minute, with me sitting knitting it whilst Skyping my Mum the Sunday before Christmas.

I've been itching to knit something for Jason for a while and after both a scarf and hat were shot down I remembered seeing this pattern for a Santa hat in aid of Text Santa. 

For the hat I used WI Soft and Chunky yarn in red for the main body I doubled up a cream yarn I already had but there is a cream  colour in the WI Soft and Chunky and range that would work just as well for the pom pom and the headband section.

Here's Jason wearing his hat, I was a little bit concerned I may have to make it a bit bigger, but it fitted him perfectly! He was super pleased with it too.

2 January 2015

Golf Club Socks . . .

Another Christmas make . . . this time I tried my hand at knitting Jason's Dad a gold club sock. He is a keen golfer and an avid supporter of Portsmouth FC so I thought I would combine the two, by knitting the sock in the Portsmouth town colours.

I had intended to knit two socks, with one being stripey the whole way up, but unfortunately ran out of time (maybe a Father's Day or Birthday present of the future). But I'm so pleased with the finished outcome, and so was Jason's Dad more importantly.

I found it quite tricky finding a pattern for two needles (I've not quite worked up the courage yet to using double ended or circular needles!), after a bit of searching I found this pattern by Lion Brand. To make up the sock I used a cream yarn from the WI premium acrylic range and then a Hayfield Bonus yarn in Denim.

To make the pom pom I used the green Clover pom maker, my most used maker of the lot! I used both of the yarns in the pom by wrapping both strands around the maker at the same time.

1 January 2015

Christms Hampers

Every Christmas we like to make something for everyone and this year we decided to make up hampers for everyone. We picked up some lovely linen lined hampers from Hobbycraft which we then filled with raffia and an abundance of homemade sweet treats.

I raided my craft room for twine and hessian to wrap everything up in. Each hamper was made up of a mixture of the following -

* Mini Christmas pudding
* Chocolate slabs (various scrummy flavours)
* Cranberry and orange shortbread
* Plain shortbread, 
* Flap jack
* Chocolate brownie
* White chocolate fudge
* Gingerbread

In total we made five full-size hampers and then three smaller ones. It all came together a lot better than expected considering it was mostly done in the final week running up to Christmas. Everyone who received the hampers (whether they be the big or small versions), loved them! I was so thrilled with how they looked all packaged up.

This is Jason's parents hamper before I wrapped it up in cellophane (clockwise from top left  batch of cranberry shortbread, underneath is white chocolate fudge, flap jack, mini Christmas pudding and three chocolate slabs).

The hamper wrapped in the spotted cellophane. I used raffia which came on a spool to tie around the hamper, and then made pom poms from some yarn that I had leftover from a knitting project, and finished it all off with a snowflake laser cut tag.

I used hessian to wrap the Christmas puddings up, and wrapped red twine around to make sure it was nice and secure. I then stuck a holy felt topper to make it look like a real Christmas pudding (Minus the berries!).

This hamper was for Jason's sister and brother-in-law, we swapped out the Christmas pudding for some chocolate brownie and also made some heart chocolates.

I had loads of wooden stars left over from when I made our Christmas wreath, so I decided to cover these in gold glitter and use them on the packaging for the chocolate brownie.

I love poms poms and couldn't not use them on all of the hampers! I think I've finally cracked how to make the perfect pom pom . . . use lots of yarn!

This hamper was for Jason's grandparents we swapped out the fudge for a batch of gingerbread as this is one of their favourite sweet treats.

To wrap the edible items in the hamper I used cellophane bags by Wilton, they were such a great find, I used them for all of the hampers. I just used tape on the back to seal everything in and then used twine to decorate.

We also made up some mini versions of the hampers for our friends, I used similar things on these that I had in the larger hampers. This reindeer is one of my favourites!

In each hamper there were a selectio of chocolate 'slabs' I made slightly smaller versions to fit in the smaller hampers for our friends, but they were still tasty nonetheless! (from top to bottom: white chocolate and strawberry, milk chocolate fruit and nut, dark chocolate with macadamia nuts and cranberry).

I think we'll most definitely be doing some form of hampers again . . . maybe for Easter this time, as I've just found some brown kraft bags that are screaming out for a pom or two!

A Little Bank Holiday Project . . .

My craft room has been in various states of disarray since the beginning of December, so I decided that today was as good a day as any to have a spring clean and have a good old tidy up.

I never realised quite how much I had, I am a self confessed hoarder of all things glittery and any pretty paper that could potentially be used on a card or for scrapbooking. In a bid to use up some of my supplies (in no way procrastinating at all!) I decided to make some glittery push pins for my inspiration board.

How to Make Your Own Sparkly Push Pins . . .

To make these tacks you'll need . . .

* Wooden stars
* Glitter
* Thumb tacks
* PVA glue
* Hairspray
* Paintbrush

Step one - cover the wooden stars in a layer of PVA using a paint brush.
Step two - sprinkle the glitter on top of the star and leave for a few moments, and then tap of the excess. Leave to dry.
Step three - Once dry spray with a thin mist of hairspray and leave to dry for five minutes.
Step four - place a generous blob of glue from the glue gun onto the head of the push pin and apply to the back of the star. Hold in place for a few seconds and leave to dry. Your push pin is then ready to use!


Buttons, buttons and more buttons!!!

I also made some push pins using some pastel buttons. They're made in a similar way to the star ones above but without having to apply the glitter. All you need to do is follow step four.

31 December 2014

Chunky Knit Scarf

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!? It has been quite a busy few weeks. We spent this Christmas at our house in the morning and then traveled across a beautifully sunny New Forest to Jason's parents for a few days of festive cheer, and then made the traffic laden journey up to my parents in Suffolk and then back down to Bournemouth on New Years eve. 

I feel like now I can finally catch my breath and write about all of the bits and pieces that I made for friends and family. 

After a brief moment of thinking all I had to do this Christmas was the cake, it soon turned into quite a busy making period in the few weeks running up to the big day, with quite a few new requests coming in for things to be made.

My favourite make was this scarf that I knitted for Jason's Mum. I had some lovely yarn that I'd been wanting to use on a project for ages, it's so soft and snugly (65% wool, 35% alpaca); perfect for a scarf or snood. The yarn for the scarf is from the Andes range by Drops, and I used three balls of the light grey mix for this scarf in total.

I initially did a lot of research browsing through patterns on the internet, and decided to go for something that wasn't too complicated (given the tight turnaround needed), and stumbled upon this design by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

My yarn was slightly chunkier than that stated in the pattern so I used 8mm needles to knit the scarf on, however I stuck to the pattern and cast on 26 stitches.

Since finishing the scarf I have decided to make one for myself, as well as a snood which I can use when we go skiing in a few months time. So make sure to stay tuned for a progress update . . .