Thursday, 12 August 2010

Friday, 18 June 2010

Random act of kindness...

Someone we barely know turned up with this furniture he made for our children!!!
He's a woodcutter by trade but even if making the furniture only took him 10min (which I doubt) he still spent 10min of his life making something for my kids and I'm really, really touched.
Do you know what else I thought was great? Instead of running off all embarassed like some people do when they do something kind, his face beamed with happiness when he gave us those gifts. He was just happy to be doing something nice.

If anyone does actually read this post I'd like to encourage you to find someway of doing something really nice for someone for no apparent reason. Things like this make the world a better place and can make such a huge difference to someone day/week/month.
I'm going to take up my own challenge and find a way of outrageously blessing someone unawares...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Killing a dress with a penguin is a good idea (AKA blocking acrylic)

So I'd heard both sides of the story: blocking acrylic...pointless or absolutely essential. I wasn't going to bother until I came across the concept of 'killing' acrylic. The idea is to deliberately over heat acrylic and the result is a project with gorgeous drape. Now 'killing' goes against my pacifist nature but then again so does dressing my baby in one of those 1980s over-fluffy acrylic garments (usually in garish colours and sold at fund-raising events by lovely but misguided older ladies). So I gave it a try figuring I didn't have much to lose as the technique had worked very well for a much more experienced crocheter than I.

So here is Little Miss's dress before blocking:


The results are great!!
I used my 'Penguin' steamer as they are nicknamed. It's not much use as a cleaning steamer but it's great for defrosting the freezer and as I now know, for blocking/killing acrylic.

And after being 'killed' by a penguin:

The drape is much better, the fibres are much more relaxed - they don't spring up in odd places - apparently it's good to be killed by a penguin if you're an acrylic dress ;-).

Killing an acrylic project with a penguin steamer is easy. Just look at Beadknitter's blog for a tutorial on killing acrylic. I didn't pin the dress in place before killing it. I simply held the steamer about 4 inches fromt he dress, steamed it section by section and smoothed it with my hand as soon as the section was cool enough that I wouldn't burn myself. When you steam in this way, you'll know when you've steamed enough as you can see the yarn change appearance. I wouldn't go beyond this point or the acrylic (which is a plastic) might melt too much. I'm guessing that killing acrylic is basically melting the plastic enough to make it relax but not so much that the garment becomes a puddle of melted plastic.

Oh and here's a picture of Little Miss modelling - somewhat reluctantly - her dress. I decided to add a crocheted trim after killing the dress - I'm sure more organized, sensible people would have done it the other way round but the trim was an after-thought.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 14 May 2010

Just checking

Nathan is yet again checking that Baby Sister still has 10 fingers.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

I am in shock!

I can't believe it!!! I've made some baby shoes!! Me, who fights with her sewing machine yet loves sewing. I can make curtains etc but a baboon could too. Anything that needs to fit half-decently has always been a complete disaster. Unlike my sister who can knock up fabulous garments, sofa covers etc as easily as she breathes (or so it seems to me), I cannot sew. Not proper sewing.

But thanks to this Soft baby shoe tutorial I have made some shoes for Elizabeth and what's more...THEY ACTUALLY FIT HER!!! For the next week anyway!

I did struggle a bit - I found sewing around the curves tricky. I did make a couple of mistakes too but some I could correct along the way and others aren't visible unless you go searching for them ;')
I love the result so much that I want to have another go. I have lots of patchwork fabric left over from previous projects (read: wonky patchwork quilts!) and well, Elizabeth is going to need more shoes, right?

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

On my To-Do List...

I have just come across some great free patterns.
Posting here for safe-keeping:

Elizabeth modelling her booties

I managed to take this photo just before she kicked the booties off!

Elizabeth's booties

A very easy pattern that taught me a lot:

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Granny square crochet hook holder

OK, this ain't gonna win any awards but I was fed up on having to search around for my hooks and I am too busy doing other things to crochet a hook I dug out this granny square that I got as part of a assortment of yarn odds and ends at a charity shop and stuck my hooks in. It works great!
The granny square is quite stiff and the hooks fit in snugly. I suppose if I had more of those granny squares I could stitch them together to make the holder bigger and perhaps put a flap on it too...

Friday, 30 April 2010

Knitted dress from my mum

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

I love my baby sister

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

She fits!! She fits!!!

With my new passion for crochet and the early arrival of my baby daughter I couldn't resist crocheting her a baby cocoon!
From 2010-04-20

It was a race against time as I only had a limited amount of that wool (and energy!) and she's growing so fast I really wasn't sure she'd fit in it. I'm sooo happy she does fit in!
BTW, the cocoon is a photo prop only - not something to leave baby in.

Eventually I'll use the cocoon to keep her nappy stuff in.

At first, she wasn't too keen:
From 2010-04-20

But she soon snuggled into it and chilled out:

From 2010-04-20

Sunday, 18 April 2010

And her name is...Elizabeth Jane

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 16 April 2010

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Our baby girl came this morning

She's 3 weeks early but very healthy at 8lb6oz. She was born very fast so much so that we haven't got a name yet!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A completely messed up dishcloth!

This really didn't go according to plan and has even more mistakes in it than my other 'creations'. Some bits are frillier than others....oh's a dishcloth after all.

Monday, 12 April 2010

I can now in into labour

As bizarre as it sounds i've been obsessed with finishing this hat for the baby before i go into labour (any time now). Having finished it, i now feel ready to have this baby. :)

Thursday, 8 April 2010

First adult hat

Here's my first crocheted adult hat. It's a very basic one done with extended sc and hdc stitches but i'm hoping i can make it versatile by attaching various embellishments. The photo doesn't really show how lovely the yarn is - it's Sirdar Wow and has a subtle sheen to it.
I followed a really good pattern created by someone on the Crochetville forums: Basic Hat Any Size

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Teddy coasters

I never thought i could make anything like this!
I followed the free crochet pattern on Crochetspot .

Monday, 29 March 2010

Third dishcloth

This is turning into an obsession!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

My hen needed a hat...

OK, I'll be honest.
The pattern was for a newborn cap.
But for some strange reason I forgot all about hook sizes and in my enthusiasm just grabbed the only hook size I own and happily got on with the job.
So I now have a hat for my papier mache hen.
But then again she needed a hat.
And I learnt some new techniques along the way too.


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Second dishcloth!

Monday, 22 March 2010

First crochet project

I've discovered crochet!
I always thought I would hate that type of thing as knitting is really not something I have ever enjoyed but crochet is sooooo much more enjoyable!
I have been teaching myself thanks to online videos over the past couple of days and although my only completed project is this dishcloth I have been practicing loads and loads of different stitches and have lots of little granny squares lying about.
I'm not one for decorative objects really so I chose to make useful items - like dishcloths! Plus there's something strangely satisfying to have homemade dishcloths in today's ultra fast-paced, industrialised world.
The dishcloth isn't as uneven as it looks - it's just that someone (ahem, me) didn't shape it properly before taking the picture - that and someone had already used it to mop up a spot of jam!