Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Knitting Post

OK so I mainly crochet but I learnt to knit first but I haven't done much of it. I saw on Etsy Gnome dome hats and decided I must knit one!  So I got some circular needles for the fist time and knit it! This is my first ever hat knitted in the round (and only my 2nd knitted hat ever). I really love it. For the top of the hat I switched to double pointed needles but I didn't have 9mm one so I used 5mm, hence it kinda goes small fast. But I have ordered 9mm DPNs and have more yarn to make a second one, I think I will also try and make one out of the left over Noro silk garden yarn. I'm also quite a tight knitter (my gauge was out) so I will practice knitting looser.

I've also been really wanting to knit the OWLs jumper by Kate Davis but I have pretty much no experience doing cable work. So I tested out my skills by making the Who? ipod cosy by Kayleen Grage. I used DK yarn and 3.25 mm DPNs and skipped a couple of things out in the pattern. Using DK yarn means that it fits my nano ipod :) I'm dead chuffed with how it turned out and its given me some confidence to actually undertake doing the jumper!

With the ipod in it.

I love the owl design, I think its so cute :D

I think I will post a blog on my spinning/dyeing and hopefully some crochet FOs in the next few days.
Til then x

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Prototype for woodland themed phone case

I think I have chosen a good design, albeit I need to go and buy some finer fabric (and one which doesn't fray so bad). The side with the button will have a tree on it :)

First attempt at spinning

I really enjoying crochet and decided to branch out from crochet to have more hobbies, so the next logical step seem to be to spin my own yarn, so its still linked to crochet. Sooner or later I guess I will have angora rabbits and maybe a few sheep, that will have to wait until I start earning though! I got a starter spinning kit from, It came with an ashford drop spindle, a bag of Merino wool (ready to tease out and spin), the ashford book of hand spinning, and two issues of the mag The wheel. A great starter set in my opinion and it wasn't very expensive either!

So I watched three videos from theartofmegan's channel, the three videos show you how to draft the yarn for spinning, actually spinning the yarn, and finishing and making a skein. Definitely a good watch if you have never spun before!

So the first bit of yarn I spun came out mega chunky but that's because I used a very thick piece of wool and didn't draft it very much. The turquoise thread in the picture is DK weight and is there to give you a scale.


The next lot I have spun is using half the thickness of the yarn I used in the first but it is still abit chunky.. maybe more aran weight.

I still have half the amount of yarn that cam in the kit left and my aim is the spin something more like the DK weight. Then its to dying and I will be dying them using dylon in turquoise and blue colours, which are my favourite colours.

I'll let you know how I get on! Any tips are welcome please, I want to tune this skill so I can justify getting rabbits and sheep in the future :P


Lets doodle on fabric!

A while back during my exams my parents were very kind and bought me two books that I really wanted, one of which was Twinkie Chans book and the other...

I think the designs in the book are really cute and it made embroidery actually appeal to me which it has never done before! So this after noon I dug out some scrap fabric (which I bought and used for a moth net) and my mum's embroidery threads. I drew onto the fabric in biro (not a good idea) so when my pen slipped I couldn't correct it so I had to stitch over it. However I think the patterns have come out not so bad!

Heres what I did this afternoon, I went for an under the sea theme!

And here is each motif one at a time....

This one is definitely my favourite, the octopus is just so cute :D I like the bubbles too.

I did use two different shades of aqua in this jellyfish but it doesn't show up very well... note to self use more contrasting threads!

Finally the star fish!

I really enjoyed doing this today and it was definitely a nice little break from all the crochet I have been doing!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Past, Present and Future

Wow its been quite a week, I got my degree (BSc Zoology (Hons) 2:1, with a 1st for my honours project :D) which I am really pleased with and it means I can do the MSc in Entomology at Imperial come October. Today I got a job interview as well :D really nervous but we will see how everything goes. 

So I haven't posted what I've been doing for a while and that's quite a bit considering I have lots of free time at the moment. So to start with my Mum's finished Star blanket. I LOVE making this blanket, I really really love making this blanket, which I never thought I would say because I didn't think I would like making something as big as a blanket. As I was making it Katie our schnauzer decided to lay on the blanket that I had made for myself so I covered her in the one that I was making and she looked so cute...

So after leaving the blanket for about a week to do other things I finally finished and felt very sad because I was enjoying it so much but here it is finished...

And like I said I REALLY enjoyed making it so I got more yarn for two more blankets hehe :D

I love red so I definitely wanted to make a red one

I chose these colours to look like sea and sand

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was going to make a scarf using Noro silk garden (chunky). I didn't copy the Rapunzel pattern (from inside crochet magazine) exactly as I only made one strip instead of three as I had used chunky yarn and felt that it was wide enough and tripling it would just be TOO much. I absolutely love the colour and would recommend this yarn (be warned though the thickness of the yarn varies) albeit a bit pricey.

I decided to teach myself to knit in the round as it was annoying that earlier in the year I had tried and failed. I shall not be beaten! So I tried and succeeded, maybe I failed last time because I had little patience due to exams hurtling towards me at a startling speed. The pattern I used was From the book Knit & Purl pets by Claire Garland  and it was the bird. I love the patterns in this book so it really pains me to say it but DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! I wonder if the publishers even checked it before they printed as half the bird pattern was repeated on two pages and the rest of the pattern was missing! I was so gutted when I turned the page to continue knitting and realised. I've also heard there are a few other errors in the book. I would say if there is another way to purchase the patterns do so.

Anyway here is the start of the bird anyway. I can't believe I knitted it in the round! :D

So since I appear to be able to successfully knit in the round I have started making a fingerless glove, you can find the pattern HERE. It's a simple glove which is perfect for me as I'm slowly getting used to knitting in the round.

I also thought I would share with you a book I love and definitely think every crocheter should own, Beyond the square Crochet motifs by Edie Eckman.

I got it for my 21st off Mum and Dad and its great, I haven't made many from it yet but the motifs are just beautiful!
Here is one I have made...

I have also made a small flower out of it which is attached to my crochet slippers, which I will blog about on a later date!

Finally I wanted to share I pattern that I like from the lion brand website called The tree of life. I think its fantastic and I started to crochet it. Sadly its about to be hibernated as there are other projects that I want to dig in to at the moment like the buttered toast scarf (which is gradually gaining slices of toast). But here is a picture of it so far anyway.

Anyway that's all for today. Oh and did I mention that I will have been crocheting for a whole year later this month! Time has certainly flown since then, I still feel like it was only yesterday that I first picked up the hook!


Hookin' Up Day 6: Donna's Decembers

I joined a project set up by Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence called Hookin' Up and its 'designed to allow crochet bloggers to connect with one another, do a little bit of “paying it forward” with crochet reviews and help everyone find more great blogs that talk about crochet'. Yesterday Art like bread did a great review of my blog (Thanks :D ) and today it is my turn to review the blog Donna's Decembers by Liz.

To start with Liz was very kind and agreed to do an interview with me so without further ado...

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hiya, my name is Liz. I began Donna's Decembers as a tribute to my grandmother, Donna, in 2010. I run a blog that reflects my day to day life, interests, and musings on crochet.

How and why did you start to crochet?

My grandmother, Donna, taught me to crochet when I was just 7 years old. I was staying at her house a lot in the summer time and always saw her crafting. She would always let me work on projects with her, but knew that if she taught me to crochet, I would probably stay out of her hair ;).

What inspired you to start a blog?

I have always wanted to be the girl that has a cupboard full of notebooks and journals. I have found that it is easier for me to sit down at the computer and record my thoughts or recent events. I love blogging so much! I have met some really incredible people through blogging (via internet and in real life).

What gave you the idea to start your etsy shop?

During the 2009 winter holiday season, I began crocheting earrings for my friends and family members. I gave every female in my English department a pair of earrings as a token of my appreciation for them. They loved them! A close friend of mine whom owns a handmade shop encouraged me to persue Etsy a little futher. So far, so good!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

A lot of my inspiration comes from fashion magazines and how people live in various conditions. I look through Vogue each month and imagine the trends and concepts in crochet. Sometimes the ideas work, sometimes they don't! As I travel or go for drives, I think about what accessories would support day-to-day lives in various climates and lifestyles. It's so fun imagining people in your crocheted goods and then actually bringing them to life!

What’s your favourite item in your shop and why?

I really love the necklaces I offer. They are so delicate and beautiful. It's such a modern twist to vintage crochet. I love it when designers take an old style and give it a new use!

(Both images above are of the beautiful necklaces Liz makes and sells in her etsy shop, 

What’s your favourite type of thing to crochet (accessories, clothes, toys, etc.)?

I truly love to crochet accessories. While I'm teaching, it's easy for me to keep up with those small projects. I do, however, crochet bigger peices in the summertime, though! Right now I'm working on a granny square coverlet for my new home!

Do you have a favourite type or brand of yarn to use?

I really, really love Lion Brand Yarns. They have a special collection of top notch yarns that are really beautiful. I honestly shop anywhere though. It is more important for me that the yarn be wearable, of good quality, and a good color than anything else!

Do you have a favourite crochet stitch?

I'm definitely going to go with any form of a bobble stitch. I love textured stitches. They can offer a lot of personality to the simplist of designs!

Do you have a crocheting role model?

Yikes. It's a tie between Linda Permann and Twinkie Chan! They design peices that are representative of their personaltiies and lifestyles.

Do you have any advice for a beginner? 

Yes! Take your time! It's better to perfect things as you go than rush and have to go back and re-learn stitches and movements. Also, take risks. Make sure you put your own personality into your work!
I strongly recommend any beginner to check out the following links:

Thank you Liz for taking the time to do the interview.
Now for me to tell you what I like about Donna's Decembers. Its great source of inspiration as she share images of things that inspire her.  Her blog journals her life with crochet weaved in throughout, this really makes you feel like you get to know her and her crochet. I would definitely recommend checking out her blog Donna's Decembers  as I am sure you will find inspiration for your own crochet there.

You can also find Liz at
twitter: @donnasdecembers

Now go check out her blog!