Welcome

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet. I intend to use this blog as a showcase for my latest crafting endeavours and to provide detailed reviews of patterns, kits and accessories on the market along with details on where to find everything yourself, should I inspire you to try it out. Please feel free to comment on my posts, provide your own thoughts on the subject, answer questions and even suggest posts.

It has always been my goal to add a post every Wednesday, but due to current circumstances posts may be as scarce as once a month. Appologies and I hope to return to my weekly posting shortly.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Ziggys baby sampler



Before she was even conceived, I knew what birth sampler I was going to do for my daughter! I'd seen it years ago and even though it was a picture and not an actual sampler, I had known that it was the only thing that would do for my daughter! It was a Mirabilia design called "fairy Tales" that had been released back in 1996! I absolutely adored it and spent years tracking the pattern down only to find myself unable to start it once I actually found out that I was pregnant. I couldn't understand it, I had wanted to do this for my child for years! Still...I couldn't start it. I didn't know why and spent months trying to motivate myself to start, I still loved it! Finally, I realized why I couldn't start it.

At first I hadn't known my babys gender, then I was convinced that she was a boy and as much as I love the design...it is a girls design. Somehow, I have no idea how, we settled on a bear theme for the nursery and even though I found out that Ziggy would be a girl, the design had absolutely no place in that room. It would stick out like a sore thumb and I really wanted to put it in that room! As much as I loved the design, I had known from the start that it wouldn't work. Not for what I wanted. I was disappointed, but I still adore the piece, so I will simply have to stitch it for myself later, but that did leave me with a problem... what was I going to stitch for her room?


Clearly it had to mesh with the bear theme. It had to be cute enough to suit the room, but I didn't want it to be babyish and it had to be something that both my husband and I liked. Easier said than done! Bear related birth samplers are surprisingly not the most common theme, and the ones that are out there tend to be with other things too or else really small, really childish or just ugly. It took us forever to find any that we liked! Finally we got lucky and found this lovely bear sampler from Tobin home crafts. It was the only one we really liked, and even then I was still unsure about it. Something about it just wasn't quite right and I couldn't put my finger on it, still... it was either this or nothing, so I went ahead and ordered the kit.





Designer: Tobin Home Crafts
Pattern: Tobin Baby - T21711
Available from: Sew and so
Price: £21.99
The kit arrived on the 8th of May and once I held it in my hands I knew right away what it was that was bugging me about the design. All the bears were boys! That and the stupid green stars in the border just look odd! Both problems were easily fixed! I would change two of the bears into girls and get rid of those stupid green stars! I began working immediately!

I started on the little bear in the bottom left and was surprised to find I'd finished his entire head in only one day! The design was just so much fun to work up! Once I started on it, I could not put it down! I loved every stitch and had finished him in only four days!!! I enjoyed stitching him so much and he looked so cute that at some point during those four days we had started calling him Upsie, the butterfly and part of the rattle came next and my husband and I being as we are, we decided to name the butterfly Bird, the reference for that choice being Bambi.

Next it was Sweetpeas turn, that's the one with the blanket and you pronounce it sweepy, (No, I don't know why we named them all, but we did) and she had to be changed. She was going to be one of my girls, but obviously if I changed the colours using kit thread then I would not have enough to do the actual charted part in that colour, so I chose a similar set of pinks from my stash and changed her romper from blue to pink and her blanket trim from pink to blue. One little colour swap and it made such a huge change to the overall look and feel of the design! It no longer felt like a boys sampler, the pink lifted it and made it lighter, without making it girly. I loved the change and felt empowered by it because it had worked so well!

Nest up was Scoot Scoot, that's the bear in the top right with the bonnet and the nappy. The only bear without blocks, so we've also decided that the present contains a block. You can probably tell just how much fun I was having with this design by the fact that we made up so much background information on the bears! But that's when the heatwave hit and I got really ill, I actually had three trips to hospital in the space of one week! My progress slowed quite dramatically and there were days where I either couldn't do much or couldn't touch it at all! Still, I enjoyed the work and Scoot Scoot was eventually finished.

Last came Baby Hope, who was also the hardest to name and the second bear to be treated to a gender swapping colour change. Out went her blue T-shirt and it was replaced with the same pink treatment I had given Sweetpea. Once again I felt the change helped to life the piece and change the feel of it quite beautifully. I could put this in my little girls room with pride and confidence!

That said, I must confess that the border was irritating. The long lines of yellow were incredibly tedious to work, and I'm so glad I'd chosen to work them as I worked the main design because the thought of putting them in all at once is daunting to say the least! The horrible green stars were replaced with purple stars to match the rest of the design and although the stars and hearts were small and fiddly, I even enjoyed working those. Heck, I even enjoyed the single stitch of blue between the motifs once I'd figured out an invisible way to secure the tail of the thread.

I finished on the 4th of July having spent only 32 stitching days on it! I was still pregnant and the final section could not be completed for...I didn't know how long. It was a bittersweet moment as I packed it back into the bag as I really loved it, but was sad to have finished it so soon. Still...I'd be getting it out again within a month to add her final birthing details and this one...this one we're getting professionally laced and framed! The piece and my daughter both deserve it!

If you're looking for a birth sampler, I honestly cannot recommend this one enough. It's such a delight to work, well worth the money I paid and it fits all my criteria for a good design.

Ziggys rather long princess dress

August brought an end to my pregnancy and saw me blessed with the most perfect little girl! Not the big baby we had all been expecting, but a tiny miracle! At 7.14 she didn't sound all that small, but tiny baby/early baby clothing, which is meant for babies up to 6lb, hung off her tiny frame. The weight...all in her legs as at 4weeks she's actually longer than my torso! Needless to say virtually everything I made for her is way too big for her at the moment and store bought clothing doesn't have the length she needs without drowning her, so she's mostly been hanging around in vests.

I'm very lucky though because not only is my little girl absolutely beautiful, but she's perfectly healthy and ever so well behaved!This means I've had the opportunity to work up a dress that actually fits her, although it looks somewhat strange on the hanger. More like a gown than a dress because it's so long but...



Designer: Elana Nodel
Pattern: Maxi top/Dress for babies
Available from: Ravelry
Price: Free Download
I'm a little late getting this out there because I actually staarted and finished this project in August! I'd chosen it because it's completely seamless and since it's worked top down I could make sure that I got the length right, which is very important when your childs legs are in clothing made for 3month olds while tiny baby is still large on the chest. Folowing a pattern exactly is not an option!Fortunately the adaption for this design is literally "work in pattern until it fits"

The pattern is designed to use two yarns, although you could work it i just the one if you wanted to. I chose two King Cole yarns (Baby Glitz and Melody). I went for the solid, sparkly pink Glitz as a contrast yarn, which I actuallypicked first, and then went for the pink and white melody to compliment it as I think the bands of soft pink in the main colour tie the bolder contrast yarn in beautifully while the white softens the colours and just works fantastically!

The pattern itself was really simple and easy to follow, making it a perfect project to work on while nursing as I could pick it up and put it down without much thought. It's written as either a tunic or a dress with two hemming options, I opted for a dress with the second, more ruffled edge.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Forever Friends alphabet hanging

You'll notice that my stitching is keeping to a bear theme at the moment, I'm sure it will pass with time and I'll be back to stitching other themes in time, but until then...there are worse things than bears! Embrace the bears.
♥♠
Designer: Anchor
Pattern: Learn the Alphabet - FRc97
Available from:
Price:
So my latest stitching project is an educational one, I wanted to hang an alphabet in the nursery's reading corner, something pretty and interesting enough that my daughter would enjoy looking at it, but clear enough that she could use it as a learning aid. I didn't want anything boring, or too cluttered and again it had to fit with the room too, so I began to look for one and came up with this one and a similar one featuring tatty teddy. The tatty teddy one would have gone well with the other picture in that corner, while this one goes well with the border wallpaper that we used. We settled on this one as my husband liked it a bit better and I didn't want to have to face tatty teddys backstitch with a newborn around (I ordered it on the 5th of July, it arrived on the 7th and I was due to give birth on the 26th) since I figured that caring for a newborn would leave me with very small slots of stitching time, and tatty teddy needs long periods of concentration for that backstitch.

Anyway, it arrived on Teusday morning, my only piece of mail, naturally I had to start it right away! So I began making copies of the chart so I could mark off my progress as I worked and I have to say, the charts for this design are fantastic! Because of the size of the design, and the fact that the company has opted for a large enough print hat you can easily see the symbols, it's two A3 charts, but they're double sided with one side having the full chart while the other has the cross stitch symbols only, making it even easier to read as you don't have to try and struggle to make out the symbols beneath the backstitch. I wish more companies did charts like this! Sure, it's more paper, but it makes a world of difference when you're trying to follow the chart! Large symbols and a purely symbols chart...Well done Anchor! Thank you!

After I'd made my copies and loaded them onto my tablet/laptop I began work on the design right away. Starting in the middle I'm ashamed to say I didn't count properly and had to frog part of the letter out almost immediately, putting my center point slightly out (to the left by 1 stitch and about three stitches too high) fortunately there's a rather generous amount of fabric, and my mistake is small enough that it doesn't actually make much difference as there's enough room to center it properly when it comes to framing.


I'm not the only one making silly mistakes though, as I found out after completing the cross stitch on that first letter, when I attempted to separate the floss and begin the backstitch... the length of floss they had supplied me had been joined in the middle with a knot meaning it couldn't be separated, and when I untied the knot the two halves of the length were too small to be of any use at all! Needless to say I contacted Anchor immediately and expressed my dissatisfaction... and to their credit a woman named Claire got back to me within ten minutes with an apology and an offer to replace the thread. Not only that but the next day when my replacement thread arrives I notice that they've sent me a full 8m skein instead of just the one 1/2m length that I needed. Now THAT is customer service! Another well done to Anchor. I have to admit that I rarely buy Anchor kits since my stash is almost entirely DMC, but their customer service is impeccable! I will definitely be buying more anchor kits in the future! (Especially because DMC exclusives are nothing special these days.)

Day 4 Progress Picture - I had no more
white thread left after this.
That said, if you buy this kit, expect to run out of thread! I'm very grateful that they did send me the full 8m skien for the backstitch because the ammount supplied really would not have been enough! Not by a long shot! By the fourth day of stitching I had also run out of white. Now I can see what they've done and why the dicrepencies have occurred, or at least I think I've figured it out...

  • The backstitching calls for you to use the same colour both as 1 strand and as 2 strands. If you backstitch entirely in 1 strand there is enough to complete the design, however if you work the letters with two strands as the instructions state you will run out.
  • The white thread puzzled me quite a bit since the board with the letter O on it takes a full meter of white thread and....only 1 meter is supplied. To put that in perspective, there is a shade of pink only used in the cheeks and feet of the bears, they have supplied the same 1 meter length of thread for that as they have done for the white which is in every bear, the white board and every other letter. There is absolutely no way on earth they have supplied enough, but they have supplied ample ammounts of the very pale cream used in the bears, so I assume whoever worked out thread lengths counted some of the white as cream, since thei symbols are slightly similar? Who knows. But again, I contacted Anchor and they did supply an additional skien of white thread for me. So well done them.I actually only contacted them to point out the problem and got my husband to pick me a skien up from the shops, so it was a lovely surprise to find that they had sent me a skien too.
My last word of warning is to make sure that you have a sharp needle to hand for the backstitch. This design doesn't always keep to the established holes and you can find yourself going through the middle of a stitched block which is a bit difficult with a blunt needle... in fact my origional needle snapped the first time I attempted it. Thankfully I ave a great many needles in my stitching box so I carried on uninterupted. 

Despite all of this, the whole piece only took 19 days to stitch! I made it a little bit of a private race for myself, trying to see which project I would complete first, this or my baby... My due date was the 26th giving me roughly 19 days to complete both. Which would it be? Turns out, this piece took exactly 19 days to complete and beat the babys arrival by days. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

First...and last baby blanket

Designer: Nikol Lohr
Pattern: Hoodie baby blanket
Available from: Ravelry
Price: Free download
When we discovered that I was pregnant, my mother claimed all blanket making rights and set about her job right away. She made blankets for all three beds, car seat, pram, swaddling, playtime and even a tiny comforter. I've never felt the need to make any myself and I wouldn't waste the money on buying since she's supplied several of each type and hers are much nicer than the shops. I almost left the whole thing to my mother as I have no patience for working such things. They take so much time and there's so little of interest for me in them, but I needed a project for a knitting group and I thought I'd give a hooded swaddling blanket a go.


I'm glad I did have a go at it because now I can say that yes, I have made a blanket... and no, I probably won't ever make another one ever again! The whole thing was a lesson in tedium, and that's even after I changed the pattern. Initially it was a simple stocking stitch pattern with a simple garter stitch edging. I changed the main body to basket stitch and put a frilled edging on instead. It worked out wonderfully, and it looks and feels gorgeous! It's a winter blanket and I can't wait to wrap my baby up in it against the chill, but...I had very little interest in the thing as I worked it. It literally served as a way to keep my hands busy while I did other thngs such as read, watch tv and chat.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Midnight Garden Shawl

Brand: Sirdar
Item: Cotton 4ply
Available from: Deramores
Price: £5.89

Brand: Rico Design
Item: Fashion fantasy DK
Available from: Deramores
Price: £3.49

Designer: Angel Grimes
Pattern: Midnight Garden Party Shawl
Available from: Ravelry
Price: £3

After all the baby knitting I've been doing recently, I'm happy to bring you something a bit more grown up. This time it's one of my own designs and something I was asked to make for my mother who attended a garden party at the end of June. She bought a beautiful navy dress with pretty flowers and butterflies on it and wanted a shawl to go with it that was lacy enough to show off her dress, but would keep the chill off her arms. So I came up with this design.

I decided to use cotton yarns because they're a nice cool fibre for summer knitting and the main body had to be navy so it went well with her dress. For that reason I went with the Sirdar cotton 4ply as it comes in a beautiful range of colours with the usual expectation of value and quality. Naturally it was a delight to work with!

The second yarn I choose needed to be cotton, but I needed a dappled variation to it that would work well with the dress, the Sirdar and the pattern. Apparently this is a tall order and the only yarn I was able to find that fit the bill was Rico's Fashion Fantasy in DK. I spent a while umming and ahhing about it because it is twice as thick as the Sirdar, but in the end I decided to go with it for the following reasons:
  • It is cotton and so even though it's a thicker yarn and thus knits up to a different tension, it's not drastically noticeable.
  • The tension would be different anyway since this yarn is used for the contrasting bands and doesn't follow the same lace pattern of the main body.
As it happens, the two yarn work beautifully together and the contrasting thicknesses works incredibly well with the pattern as the main body is designed to be light and airy, while the contrasting sections are featured. I really liked both yarns and am so happy that I bought two balls of the Rico even though I only ended up using the one because it now means that I can make something for myself in it.

The pattern is currently being test knit and is due to go live at the end of the month, but since it's my pattern I can tell you that it is both simple and complex at the same time. The main body is worked in a very simple, easy to memorize lace pattern that works up very quickly, but the contrasting bands require a fair bit more effort and it is because of the lengthy instructions involved in them that the pattern has only been written and not charted.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

And a hat to match

Designer: tbc
Pattern: Czarina hat
Available from: Ravelry
Price: tbc
Now you remember last week how I still had a full ball of yarn left over from the Czarina dress pattern? Well I must have struck lucky because no sooner had I finished it than I was asked if I would like to test knit the matching hat! Of course I jumped at the chance! Now this hat can be worked in 4ply like the dress or worsted and is sized from newborn up to adult! I'm very happy about this as I LOVE the idea of matching hats for baby and mummy!

Anyway, I made it to match the dress, using my left over yarn, and it took me "2 days" to work up, but I cast on in the evening one day and was finished by noon the next, so there's no reason this can't actually be done in just the one day. It was really quick and really easy to work up! I loved making it!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Never too young for Mohair

Every so often I like to browse the test knitter requests on ravelry, usually nothing much takes my fancy, but it's nice to see what's coming up and where designers are going, but this time I found the sweetest little baby dress design. It's called Czarina, which means empress in russian (with some variants of the spelling from place to place) and I loved that it featured a princess skirt and had a princess name without it being too fussy or too obvious. I volunteered to work the size noted as 6months as by my reckoning that will make it a winter dress, which is highly appropriate for something with a Russian name. I then went and bought some gorgeous machine washable yarn with a 20% mohair content which should make this dress lovely and warm for winter even with the lace panels. I also decided to opt for the rather non baby colour of deep purple, once again to reflect the royal undertones without it being too obvious.


Designer: Taiga Hilliard
Pattern: Czarina
Available from: Ravelry
Price: tbc

Brand: Stylecraft
Item: Senses lace
Available from: Deramores
Price: £3.29

I couldn't wait to cast on for this project, so I didn't even attempt to. It was a nice day when I bought the yarn so I took advantage of the lovely underpass at the end of Ecclesall road in town. Not the best place to sit, but it's green, it's close to where my hubby works, it's out of the way and it was warm, with seats, so I sat down, got comfortable and cast on.

Now I can't tell you much about the pattern as at the time of writing this it was still being test knit and small changes will be made between my working it and the pattern actually going live. What I can tell you though is that it's an absolute joy to work up. I had to read some parts twice and they're going to be clarrified in the actual live pattern from what I can tell, but the design and the construction are so easy to work! It's the perfect mix of idle knitting and pretty lace. Just enough to keep me interested but simple enough to pick up and put down between decorating my nursery (which is when I knit this). I highly recommend the pattern.

The yarn, however, I am constantly talking about. I choose a deep, royal purple (it's actually called plum, but royal purple just seems to suit it so much better) to match the theme this dress has taken in my mind, rather than a more traditional baby colour, it's a winter dress so as well as working with the "theme" I figure it will work with the season as well. However, as the dress began to grow I started to second guess my choice. While it's a beautiful colour and has a wonderfully subtle gradiance to it, it did proove to work up a little darker than expected...in some lights it wound up looking almost black! So what could I do?

You will notice that there's a pretty lace panel between the skirt and the bodice? Well I had some of this yarn left over from an earlier project in a much lighter purple, lavender to be exact, and that lace panel looked like the perfect place to use it. Much as the lace panel breaks up the skirt and bodice without drawing attention away from either, the lighter colour would help break up the dark colour without detracting from it. Now here I must confess, in order to make the colour transition easier I did add an extra row or two just so the colours sit better next to each other, it doesn't alter the design of the dress at all! Thankfully, my little gamble payed off and brought the purples of the darker yarn out so that even in the lowest light it no longer appears black but purple as it should, and a much prettier, femenine colour than if I had left it as just the dark yarn on it's own.

Now I bought two balls of this yarn as the pattern called for 500 yards and each ball only had 273,, as it happened, I only used one ball of plum and the tiny bit of lilac for the waistband, at this point I'm not sure wether that's just my luck with the yarn or the yardage is a bit on the generous side, maybe a bit of both, but if you're coming up short on yardage for the design, it might be worth bearing in mind.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Coming home outfit

I had planned to make the Jolene set the outfit Ziggy would wear leaving the hospital, but while doing the grocery shopping with my mother, we got sidetracked by the baby clothes. It's very easily done, they're right by the door! So we had a look and I showed my mother this lovely babygrow with a little tree on it that says "Newest leaf on the family tree" and she naturally bought it, but not before telling me that we had to find a bigger size. I was a bit confused because I had a 0-3m size in my hands, turns out I was born right into a 3-6m and given that my husband was bigger than I was it's pretty obvious that we should expect a similarly big baby. I'm fine with this, but it does mean that the Jolene set will never fit. So we had to start over.

Using the babygrow as the foundation of the design I went and raided my yarn stash for some gender neutral options as we still had a week left to go until we found out the gender. I discovered a wonderful spring coloured acrylic DK amongst my grammas stash. Now I have no idea what yarn it was, and if any of you recognise it or have any idea I would be most grateful! I know only that she must have bought it somewhere locally and that it is acrylic. I don't know what happened to the photos I took of my finished objects, but the babygrow is a sort of cream and brown and the colour of the yarn is on the left, sort of a pink and green mottled effect. Fortunately the photographs just make everything darker and don't distort just how well they match each other. Sorry, I will try and get some better photographs.

So here's the run through of the patterns used

Designer: Sirdar
Pattern: #1439
Available from: Sirdar stockists
Price: Paper patterns always seem to vary depending on where you go, but usually somewhere around £3

I borrowed this pattern from a friend of mine who I used to work with, so I'm afraid that I can't be more specific about how to find it, but I can tell you one thing that will save you a small headache... When you come to work this design, you would do well to cast on and work both fronts and back pieces as one up to the shoulders. Seaming that lace was a nightmare! I loved the pattern, it was a delight to work and I think I need to make one in every size, but I won't be doing those side seams EVER again! Nope. No way. No how! You couldn't PAY me enough to do it! That's how fiddly they were. Just save yourself the heartache and cast on all three pieces at once and use a stitch marker where the seams go. The pattern is so easy to follow that you should have no problems with it.


Designer: Marjolein Loomans
Pattern: Little Princess Bonnet
Available from: Ravelry
Price: Free download

Now this pattern is origionally designed so the brim is in a second colour and turns up, there's also a flower embelishment to go with it. I excluded the flower and made the brim ribbed rather than turned simply because I want to be sure it stays on the head better.

Once again, this was a delightful pattern to work, but it has an error in it! The crown shaping does not add up. I made size 3-6m which stated that I needed 70 stitches on my needles, but the crown shaping somehow only had 68 before the decreases so I had to improvise a little bit, but not enough to detract from the joy of knitting this in one evening!


Designer: Me
Pattern: Yet to be named
Available from: comming soon on this blog
Price: free

I sat down one evening with my yarn and started knitting. These booties are what I came up with. They're knit in the round and can be done with one or two colours. I plan to work up a few more examples, but you will be able to find the pattern on my free patterns page shortly. It's up at the top of this blog or just click the link.



The last item in my going home outfit is another store bought one and one I don't have any photographs of. It's a simple pair of white tights to keep my little girls legs warm...that and it looks really odd to have all this knitting on and completely bare legs! So without the tights, which are still in their packaging, this is my going home outfit. I really hope you like it!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Ziggys picnic vest

Just a little update before this post starts... I've had my second anomoly scan and am happy to announce both that Ziggy continues to be a girl and that she has now been given a clean bill of health. Of course neither of these things are set in stone, she may have been hiding her parts and there may be something that just isn't detectable wrong, but for now we're all working on the probability of her being a healthy little girl.

Designer: Yarn-Madness
Pattern: Morpheus
Available from: Ravelry
Price: Free Download

I have to confess, this was a fun knit, even for my baby addled brain. I say baby addled because I actually struggled with some of the instructions, not because they were unclear, I just couldn't grasp the meaning. I have no idea what's wrong with me and the instructions themselves were really clear and when you follow them they make sense, but reading them...that was a whole different story! The good thing is though, if they're so self explainatory that you can follow them without understanding them properly, anyone can make this, and I strongly reccommend that you do! Sizes range from 3 months to two years and depending on how you work it can be fantastic for either gender!

I went for the 6months size, and given that large babies run in my family, I'm actually guessing that it will still be autumn when Ziggy starts wearing this size, which is my favourite time of year, so I chose to use a yarn that reflected that. It's Sirdar Montanna in "sweet grass" which I think has a very heathery look to it and makes me think that this should be worn on a picnic in the peak district. Also it reminds me of my aunty Anne who loves these colours, so it's deffinately got to be worn on a visit to see her!

Hubby chose the very pretty button.
That said, I wasn't sure how the colouring would work out as I never actually bothered to check, and I really wanted the ribbing edges to all be the same colour, so I decided to use a second yarn for that. I don't know what I used, it came over in a bag of remnants from my grandmothers house and feels like the same fibres as are in the main body, and the colour works really well with the Sirdar! In fact, when I finished the vest I was surprised at just how well it works!

Honestly, I love this design so much I think I might make another one with long sleeves to go with it because yes, this design has instructions for both the vest and a jumper. It also has instructions for using a secondary yarn for the ribbing or working in one solid colour. It works well with solids, stripes and varigated colours. It's so versitile this has quickly become a favourite of mine!

Now I used a different cast on and bind off than recommended so the ribbing is super stretchy because if Ziggy is anything like me, super stretchy is important! However, since there's a button for the neck it's not exactly required that your cast on have so much stretch as mine does and there is a bind off recommendation that does allow for some ease, although not as much as my preferred method so don't worry about that

After I completed the vest though, I still had quite a bit of yarn left over so...naturally I decided to accessorize. First we decided that Ziggy needs a hat and we chose a design I'd already done before, the baby leaves hat. Worked in the matching green yarn I'd used for the edging I really think it brings out the leaves! However, that hat is designed for new borns so I don't think it'd fit a 6 month old. As such I decided to add another pattern repeat to make it a bit bigger... although I think I made it just a little too big... Not to worry though, if it's too big I shall just have to thread some shirring elastic through the ribbing to shrink it a little bit and then let it out when Ziggy gets bigger. That way my mistake can be turned into a positive and this beautiful hat can be worn that bit longer.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Just a little update....

We've had our anomoly scan...well...one of them. Ziggy really is a little monket and would not hold still at all! At one point we were taking six different measurements and swapping between them as baby changed position every few seconds. Making things difficult for the sonographer as usual, so much so that we couldn't get any heart measurements. Lucky for me this means we need a second anomoly scan. Our sonographer was ever so appologetic about it, but I don't think they realize that while this is inconveinient for them, it's actually a delight for pretty much most new mothers! I get to see my baby again! Nothing is wrong, and I get a third scan! What's to appologize about? I don't think they get it!

So aside from getting a third scan and hearing that our baby looks perfectly healthy we just can't see everything, we did get one more bit of news, and this one came as a shock to me! We discovered that little Ziggy is actually a little girl!!!! I was absolutely convinced that I was having a boy, I just stared at the screen and started to cry. I was completely overwhealmed and shocked and delighted! I am so happy, I always wanted a girl. I loved the thought of a little boy growing inside of me, I really did, but a little girl is just...if I could have picked I would have picked a girl. I would love either, but a girl is just what every girly girl wants most I think. Someone to dress in pink and play dolls with again.

We went a little mad after that. My mum took me shopping and we bought some lovely dresses for her! And then I went shopping, unsupervised at a nearly new event and had to be collected in the car because I bought a pile of stuff for her that when put together was about the same size as I am. I'm 5'10"! But also, all those pretty lace cardigans and dresses that have been sat in my to do list, that I've been putting off because I was convinced Ziggy was a boy...well now I get to make them all! So beware, once we get through the posts I already have lined up, we're going to hit a whole bunch of very girly things. Not even a little sorry!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A hat for Jolene

Back in 2012 I came across the pattern Jolene and fell absolutely in love with it! It was so sweet and I had the perfect baby yarn for it in my stash already, so I decided to cast it on for my hope chest. It took me about a week to complete and naturally I had yarn left over, well of course I did, I had two balls of this yarn and the cardigan required only 80% of one ball, so naturally I left it in a WIP bag with the intention of adding a hat and maybe even making another cardigan and a pair of booties as well, but it's just sat there.

Fast forward to present day and pregnancy has been quite difficult for me and I developed pregnancy related sciatica during my first trimester and it blommomed from just hurting after a good walk to hurting all the time, even sitting still! I was in agony and so I was refferred for physiotherepy at the hospital. I don't know if you've ever been to Sheffield Hospitals but they're huge and so complex that even Theseus would struggle to find his way around! So naturally I would need to give myself an hour and half to find the room, which inevitably means I'll find it in two minutes, so I need to take a small, simple project with me.

That's when I remembered my Jolene cardigan and decided to create this hat to go with it


Designer: Heidi Sunday
Pattern: Baby leaves baby hat
Available from: Ravelry
Price: Free download



As it turns out, this was exactly the right project to take with me because as I'd predicted, I found the room in only a matter of minutes and had some serious time to kill! I tell you, nothing is a bigger test of a patterns simplicity as sitting in a hospital waiting room, trying to resist the urge to run from the building screaming in terror, working on thos uncomfortable chairs, with no room in serious pain and using your phone to read the pattern when it's auto hybernate keeps turning the screen off half way through the row!

That was me. That was my test for this pattern.

It passed and not only could I follow the pattern , I actually enjoyed it! This tiny little project quickly became my travel project which is both good and bad. It's good because I travel a fair bit now I'm back in Sheffield and am actually able to visit my family with some degree of frequency, and the appointments, but also bad because I love the pattern but cannot just sit and knit it from start to finish. It's very stop start.

The only thing I must say about it though is that the pattern page on ravelry says that the hat is for newborns right up to adult, but the actual pattern only gives you two sizes; stop after the lace or continue in ribbing for 14 rounds. I strongly suggest that you continue in ribbing for at least some of those extra rounds otherwise it's too short. There is nothing in the pattern about making any other sizes, so if you want to make this for an adult, or even a toddler, you're going to have to do the math for that yourself I'm afraid.

Once my hat was finished I went back and changed those purple buttons on the Jolene cardigan. I honestly don't know why I thought such deep coloured buttons worked with such a pale garment! So now I have just under the same ammount of yarn left over as it took to make both items.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Best project to date

I know my aim was to write this blog on a weekly basis, but that doesn't seem particularly feasible anymore, so for a while I'm going to have to cut down to a monthly blog post and try to bring myself slowly back up to weekly as things settle into a routine here. There have been some huge changes in my life and again, I know that I said I was going to try and keep this a strictly craft blog, but I feel I simply must share the reason for the change in frequency with you, it's too beautiful and big not to...

I'm finally expecting my first child! As this blog goes live I'll be in my second trimester, so you can imagine how slow my crafting has been recently. Between trying to get the new house in order, morning sickness, appointments and my wonderfully painful pregnancy related sciatica, I've just not been very productive, but I figure I'm producing a baby! That's hard work and it's taking a LOT out of me, so I won't be able to post my blog as often as previously planned. Not until I can actually get some of my energy back at least.

So anyway, this is little Ziggy. We don't know if he's a boy or a girl yet as this is our 12 week scan and that area isn't visible until at least 16 weeks, and that's always providing he lays in a way that we can see. He's not too co-operative with the sonographer and made this scan last quite a lot longer than it should have because she could not take any measurements off him. As you can tell though, I'm pretty convinced that he's a boy. I'm not sure if you can tell in his picture, but he's using me as a pillow with his legs in the air and his arms folded behind his head. We were so lucky that we had such a clear view of him. He was very active and alert, sucking his thumb and even waving at us! It was the most magical moment of my life!

So anyway, I hope you don't mind me neglecting this blog for a little bit, I will be back to posting craft related posts again shortly and hopefully I'll increase my posting from monthly very shortly.