I started this scarf last year and finished it on Sunday.
Last year I was going great guns on this scarf. I knitted on it most of last winter. I put it aside to work on other projects and managed to loose the pattern therefore couldn’t finish it. For months I have searched for the pattern and it is hiding somewhere. It was published in a Bettter Homes and Gardens bonus knitting special from memory. I know I also wrote the pattern down as it was only a 2 pattern repeat so I could take it with me on the go but I can’t find both items. I had actually packed it away in the cupboard as a naughty UFP until I could finish it as I was only going to knit it until I used up the 2 balls of wool I had remaining. On Sunday I had the urge to take it out and try it around my neck and it seemed long enough in fact it is over 2 metres long yes is long enough. The yarn is used Stylecraft Aran. It is very soft and squishy and very light even though it is so long. If the colours look familiar it is because earlier this year I actually used the remaining balls I had left to make the Pink Pepperment blanket for my nieces. Since I have cast this off now I do have an almost full ball left of each colour which will go into my scrap stash.
So what have I learnt from doing this project? Always check your knitting pattern is with your work or that you know where you can easily lay your hands on it online. I searched online and this pattern wasn’t anywhere. I was actually going to take it to Knitting Guild next time to see if anyone could read the scarf and tell me the pattern. It actually feels good to get this off my needles. Now I can start another scarf and this time not lose the pattern!
I will be completely honest and say over the last few months I have
Over the 4-5 months I have been doing a lot of knitting and crochet. I don’t think it is to do with the winter months I think it is because I have been avoiding sewing. I have done some sewing in that time. I’ve done a few toys and I am happy with them but not happy enough to get that sewing spark back. You know when you start sewing and you don’t want to stop so as soon as you finish one project you dive in to the next or in fact you have half finished the next project whilst still on the last stages of the first and you don’t break between them. I’m missing that spark or drive.
I have had a few projects that haven’t gone to plan or I have just lost interest in them. I have 2 skirts half done, one is the cutest knitting needle fabric in a skirt in a pattern I have made many times before. It is all cut out but I just don’t feel like sewing it. I have a dressing gown which I got half way through then I couldn’t work out a section in the pattern so it has been put on halt. I’m actually going to take it with me to my sewing guild meeting next month and ask the other members for help in the hope I can finish it and get motivated to then make another one.
Have you ever lost your sewjo? What did you do to get it back? I have tried looking through my stash for new patterns (toys and clothing) I have looked at all my notions and supplies and nothing is saying play with me, create with me. I’m now starting to worry about the my Christmas gifts. I have started sewing a heap of fairy wings for some kids and I have a heap of mermaid tails I cut out earlier this year but I just don’t feel like sewing them.
I think tomorrow I am just going to have to bite the bullet and get on my sewing machine for a few hours. Find a simple pattern that I have made before that isn’t a toy or clothing and just go from there. Maybe all I need to do is “A little less conversation a little more action please” and just start sewing
The built in wardrobe where I store the majority of my dress fabric and yarn has been bugging me for a while, it had gotten way out of control. I’d get something new and just dump it in there. At times I’d move one thing and everything would fall out. I had some non craft stuff hanging in there and the big white box is my finished gift box. At times this had so much stuff on it I wouldn’t even bother trying to get in it I would just put the next finished gift on top… I know what is the point of having the box then if I can’t get to it.
The middle blue tub is where I stored all my wool I use in WIRES pouches so I was forever going to it to grab another ball. That was a nightmare to get into as I would have to try to open it without toppling the pile of things that surrounded it. Just by the weight of everything the lid had broken and I was almost cutting my hand as I was pulling the yarn out. I may of even pulled yarn out through the crack in the top which wasn’t good but it worked kinda…
Something had to be done as it was making going into the cupboard not fun. Recently in a facebook yarn group someone showed a picture of some new storage boxes that Kmart has that are stackable and flip open at the side so you don’t have to remove the lids to access the contents. Yesterday I measured my space after checking out the dimensions online and today I picked up 3 containers. I cleared out everything from the side space and the containers fit perfect. The bottom one has all my cottons that I use for dishcloths. The middle one has WIRES yarns as they are all 100% wool. The top one is my everything else yarn. There are half a dozen cottons in there but they will be made into a scarf. I’m currently venturing into new different types of yarns so they are all in there. If I run out of space in there I can’t buy more yarn so an incentive to start knitting and crocheting!
As I moving my fabrics about I was looking at each one and thinking if realistically I would use it or not. I culled a lot of fabric from my stash. In October Sydney Spoolette’s are having our Spring Fabric Swap day and this lot will taken to that. Some of it is offcuts that I know I won’t use again. Some of it is fabric I purchased new but it isn’t screaming make me into something. Some of it I have brought second hand or gotten at previous swap days. There is no point of it sitting in my wardrobe when it might be perfect for someone else.
I noticed as I was sorting through was I had a lot of things in plastic bags. I only have one thing in a bag now and that is a set to make a tank top everything else I took out of the bags. These bags will now be sent back to my local supermarket tonight for recycling. I think I am less likely to use it if it still in the bag. Another thing I have to remind myself just because it is blue doesn’t mean it has to come home with me. I have both some yarn and fabric that I don’t really need and I know the only reason I’d gotten it was due to the colour.
The wardrobe is better now. I culled some other non craft stuff from it. I’ll be honest and say it is not ideal but for the time it will do. I basically have the fabric stacked in the open container that used to have the WIRES wool in it. On the other side of the room I do have some fabrics in containers but I don’t really want to put the fabrics in containers in here as I know I will never bother to go into them. The fabrics I do have in containers are really specific like fleece or felt. All the stuff in here is dress fabrics – some knits, some wovens, some heavier fabrics. If I am going to make clothing this is the pile I am going to head too. I can still access it all in here. Maybe I might look to see at some point if I can fit some narrow shelving or something in there but for the time being this will work.
Now I just need to get my sewjo back and start sewing again!
When One Thimble Issue 15 was released I knew I would make Hipster Teddy at some point, it was one of those patterns which really spoke to me. I kept seeing all these wonderful versions of it in such different fabrics that it went on my to sew list. The fabrics I used were some leftover pieces in my stash from other projects I have been working on this year. By chance I had enough entire pieces that I could get the stripes all going the one direction. The fabric has a feint paisley print on it that isn’t at first noticeable but when you get up close you can see it. I only have a small amount of this fabric left which is sad because I really like it and have no idea where I got it from.
My favourite part of Hipster is her face. I used scraps of wool felt which I hand stitched on. I altered the nose to be a heart because why shouldn’t teddy have a ♥ nose. Normally I would add pupils to the eyes but this toy doesn’t look scary without them, some toys give a vacant stare if you don’t. I will be honest and say I didn’t follow the pattern instructions only because this wasn’t a complicated toy to make so you can stitch it anyway you feel comfortable if you have made toys before. I added a layer of pellon to the back of each piece of the ear just to give it a bit more squishiness and texture, the ears aren’t stuffed with hobby fill so otherwise they would just be flat.
I just want to make everyone a Hipster Teddy now.
Ahead of making miss 5 a gift this year I asked her mum what she liked at the moment and the answer was Rainbows so this is the gift I have come up with.
The theme rainbows could take any direction, if you do a google search the ideas are endless. Sometimes too much choice can be overwhelming so I started to think about the patterns I already had in my stash and remembered the Kawaii Felt Purses pattern from One Thimble Issue 13 had a rainbow version of the bag so that is what I went with. The rainbow panel is done in applique, the hardest part was deciding what colours to use, yes I was singing “I can see a rainbow” as I making this.
With the exception of the handles which are made from cotton drill the bag is made from 100% wool felt. Wool felt is stronger than acrylic felt and so I thought for a bag it was a must. I followed the pattern to make this bag but put a twist on it. I turned the front rainbow panel into a pocket on the outside of the bag. When I attached my layers to together I stitched the rainbow panel into the bottom seam and part way up each side. I did hand stitching on the arc part way on each side to attach it to the main section of the bag. As a result you can see a small amount of hand stitching on the inside of the bag but I am not worried about that.
For my handles I used some drill I had in my stash. The pattern didn’t have these types of handles in it so I made it up. I folded the width of the fabric in half and cut a 3″ strip across it. I then trimmed down this 3″ strip until it looked about long enough for a small handle, as it was folded I ended up with 2 handles. I folded each strip into quarters to enclose the raw edges and finished off the short ends (must write a tutorial on how to do these) I only did a single row of top stitching on each handle but they are narrow so you don’t really need more. I stitched the handles to the outside of each bag because I thought it helped the bag sit better.
I cut all my pieces out from sheets of wool felt. To give my gusset piece a nice neat finish where I joined two strips to make the length I opened the seam flat then top stitched around it. Now you hardly even notice it. All my machine stitching was done in mono poly thread so it less visible.
I am really happy with how this bag turned out. It ticks the rainbow box. I enjoyed making this bag. I hadn’t sewn for some weeks and it was a great project to start back on.
I recently visited a new yarn shop The Wool Inn and purchased yet another skein of Noro Tokonatsu as well as some other items.
Shade 8 is a like a jade / deep turquoise colour. It is a very rich colour. As soon as I got home I started valiant cowl number 4 and knitted all afternoon until I got to about repeat 7 or 8 and then all of a sudden I stopped enjoying it. I don’t know if I just got tired or what but it just stopped being fun so I put it down for a week. The following Saturday I picked it back up and finished it off. I am not going to knit or do any craft if it isn’t fun so that is why I put it down. If I am going to wear something I need to enjoy the process of making it otherwise it will always have a negative vibe about it and never get worn. I think it also time to retire this pattern for the year at least.
Something interesting I did notice with this cowl is that I didn’t as many pattern repeats from it as I did with my other 3 cowls. This cowls feels thicker than the others so I am wondering if the ply is more dense and therefore I got less length in my 50g ball. It is still very much wearable just not as long as the others.
I haven’t worn this one yet but I am hoping to next week.
Earlier this year Bendigo Woollen Mills released a limited edition range Cotton Crush and it was love at first sight for me.
9 limited editions colours were in the range
- Bubble Gum
Within minutes of seeing them online I was ringing the store to place an order of every colour. Thinking about it a day later I went online to order another ball of each just so I would have enough for a blanket. These colours were very popular and sold out within days and from memory I think they did another dye lot. The colours are more brighter than the regular shades of cottons Bendigo normally has and I think that is why they were so popular. I’m hoping that this year they decide to add these colours to their regular range.
As soon I saw them I thought of a cotton blanket for summer. In my mind I kept tossing up the idea between crocheted and knitted. Maybe it just the way my washing machine works and the fact I don’t hang things outside on a washing line to dry and get softened in the breeze but cotton has a tendency to become stiff once I wash it and I didn’t want an oversized dishcloth after the first wash.
In the end I thought about the knitted cotton shawl I made back in 2013. It still lovely and soft and has been washed several times. It was made using the same 8ply cotton as these cotton crush cottons. So a knitted blanket was my final decision. After my success with knitting the beanies continental style I decided I would knit the blanket that way. I did a test piece on some other Bendigo 8ply cotton I had in my stash to see what my tension would be using 4mm needles. I was happy with how it was knitting up. It is isn’t super loose or super tight. I am using circular needles on a 150cm cable.
I couldn’t really find how many stitches to cast on for a basic rectangle blanket so I went with 222 just because I like the number 2. I roughly laid it across the bed and it seems wide enough but I will be totally honest and say I don’t know. I have a feeling it won’t be wide enough but I don’t care I will still use it in some capacity. I selected an order to do the stripes, I was fussy and didn’t want some colours next to each other (my blanket I make the rules) It is all knitted in garter stitch and I am slipping the first stitch of ever row perl wise. Each stripe is 10 rows wide. I am keep the rows an even width so it doesn’t look like a scrap blanket. I have no idea how large it will be, at this stage I am just knitting colour band after colour band until I use up both balls of each colour. I do have an extra 2 balls of the blue which may or may not get used on this, I will decide later on. At the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to do a crochet blanket so brought an extra ball of blue both times to be sure I had enough.
So why the name Bubble Bum? When Bendigo first put these for sale on their website there was a typo in Bubble Gum and it was written as Bubble Bum. When I rang and placed my order I read the name off the computer screen and ordered 2 balls of Bubble Bum as I honestly thought that was the colour name. The name has stuck and no matter what blanket I ended up making I was going to always call it Bubble Bum Crush.