The one where life gets in the way of blogging

First world problem alert… my life gets in the way of blogging. Poor me! I saw a post by fellow blogger Mancunian Vintage (http://mancunianvintage.com/), who said she’d been neglecting her blog and thought, me too!

My day job is pretty full on at the best of times, with a two hour commute each day, but last week was just plain crazy.

This combined with the general ‘to do’ list of a homeowner, wife and mum of a 5 year old means blogging – and making for that matter – gets left by the wayside.

Well it felt like I’d had no time for making, until I had a quick flick through my iPhone. Then I could see why I’ve had no time to blog…

I have been plugging away at my Erika Knight cardi and have made it to the sleeves…only another 40cm or so to go before I start decreasing…

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I’ve been baking apple crumbles and cottage pies…

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I’ve snatched an hour here and there to perfect my boxy make up bags, corners and zips…

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I’ve carved a few pumpkins…

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I’ve been sorting out my craft room…

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I’ve been chocolate decorating at a team building day…

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National Wool Week

This week it’s National Wool Week so we’re having a break from The Weekly Glint  to celebrate.

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The Campaign For Real Wool has teamed up with the crafter’s favourite department store, John Lewis, to host a week’s worth of free (yes free!) knitting classes to celebrate the wonders of wool. The classes are free to attend, some are bookable, some drop in sessions and are based at the Oxford Street, London and Edinburgh stores. With a focus on fashion patterns and stylish knits, the classes are hosted by a variety of celebrated knitting experts;

  • Erika Knight brings her fashion industry background to the project and will teach guests how to knit a detachable collar and the art of plaid
  • Rowan Yarns will teach the art of the chunky winter snood using a limited edition pattern devised speciality for Wool Week
  • Knitting collective Wool And The Gang believe fashion can be fast and sustainable, they bring ‘Men Only’ knitting classes to John Lewis for the first time. They will be teaching beanie hats and chunky scarf knitting for men and children throughout their day
  • Christmas jumper maverick Sue Stratford will be teaching fair-isle jumper knitting for all levels
  • MillaMia and Arne & Carlos bring all the chic of Scandinavian knit design to their classes. For the mums – MillaMia will be teaching their popular ‘Ollie Baby Hat’ design
  • Norwegian designers Arne & Carlos will showcase double pointed needle knitting

To register or check class schedules visit http://www.campaignforwool.org or drop into the John Lewis Haberdashery Department in John Lewis Edinburgh and London Oxford Street.

Doing the bird…

This little bluebird is causing a bit of a stir over on my Pinterest page…http://www.pinterest.com/veritycash/boards/.

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I found this cute little bird a few weeks ago, whilst whiling away the hours on Pinterest and pinned it to my crafty Christmas board, thinking if I knitted this in red and stitched some white detailing, it would make a cut tree decoration. And that was that.

Until I checked back the next day when I saw quite a few people had pinned it. And the next day, when more people had pinned it. And now a week later over 100 people have pinned this pin!

I felt compelled to try to make this little critter. How hard could it be? The pattern is a free one from Ravelry by designer Sarah Elizabeth Kelner, you can find the pattern here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bluebird-of-happiness-2. It’s knitted in the round which, admittedly, isn’t top of my knitting skill set but I wanted to give it a go. Here’s my first attempt…

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Wahhhh! What’s happening? Why is it going wrong? I have the correct number of stitches on the needles but my purl section is showing as bumpy instead of smooth. I have cast on 18 stitches and split between the three needles, followed the pattern faithfully (I think). It’s knitted from the bottom up so this should be the little bird nether regions… Any pro knitters out there with any advice? Trust my Mum to be on holiday when I have a knitting emergency.

Craft around the world – Part 1 in an occasional series…

Firstly – some excuses. The summer sun has tempted me away from my blog. Oh and the first couple of weeks at a new job. And, we’ve been on a family holiday to Turkey, on the beautiful Aegean Sea. I decided to leave my little hexipuffs at home and have a couple of weeks away from craft….well of course that didn’t happen!

On our second day we took a stroll into the market town of Turgetries on the Bodrum Peninsula. Despite the searing heat, we decided it would be a good idea to have a look around the Saturday market, handily labelled ‘Fakes’ on our tourist map. Nestled in amongst the fake Gucci bags, Converse trainers and Hollister hoodies were amazing textiles, delicate crochet and locally made soft furnishings. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Little old ladies ( and some not quite so little or old) were crocheting with the teensiest, tiniest crochet hooks and threads, making some really beautiful, delicate work. Glasses holders, edging on hankies and headscarves, necklaces and more were on sale and being crafted whilst we watched.

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It looked incredibly tricky to work, the thread was no more than that – thread, as oppose to the old 4 ply or DK I’ve been crocheting with. I can’t imagine the hook was more than a number 1 either. I’ve been using a number 4 for all my projects. When I get home I’ll be digging out a tiny hook and using some embroidery floss to see how tricky this is.

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One lady was beading a black dress, the kind of chiffon dress you throw on over your swimming costume to mooch over to the bar, her hands were so quick you could barely see the needle picking up the beads as she sewed. Of course I couldn’t leave the market without buying a little something, so purchased a couple of metres of fabric to make into little bags when I get home.

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Just down the road, there was a beautiful food market. Quite touristy on the edge with spice and Turkish Delight traders but packed full of amazing looking fruit, veg and flowers.

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So, this is Part 1 in what I hope will be a little crafty tour around the world. With my new job, I’m going to be lucky enough to do some international travel to the Asia Pacific region –  I think I’m off to Singapore in November so will try to squeeze in a shopping day to track down anything crafty. I’ve seen lots on blogs and Pinterest recently about Japanese sewing books so this, combined with my holiday, has inspired me to see what I can find when I’m off on my travels.

Busy!

Apologies, I have neglected my blog for a while…I’ve been a bit busy!

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Still knitting a cardigan for Ava and started and a new giant granny square blanket for my new bedroom…

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Crocheting some bunting for Missy’s new bedroom and shopping for nick nacks at the local car boot sale…

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Collecting treasures on the beaches in North Devon, as we went for a lovely long weekend with friends. And packing. We STILL haven’t moved but hoping to get our completion date through next week.

Behold the sock!

Ta dah!

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One sock knitted!

I can’t believe I actually managed to finish this one! It remains go be seen whether I can complete the pair but I’m so chuffed with the result. Despite supposedly being a beginners pattern, I found this one really tricky – what with five double pointed needles and a tricky k2 p2 rib to start, once I got into the leg and then heel work it knitted surprisingly quickly. It was also my first experience knitting short rows, turning a heel and also using my ever increasing knitting knowledge to rip my work back and start again, solving problems as I went. In addition to two lessons and a pattern, I made lots of use of these Lion Brand You Tube videos which were really easy to follow http://youtu.be/rPum68tOMnM

So next up, the completed pair. Hopefully it won’t take me four weeks like the first one!