Friday, 5 December 2014

Enjoying this first week of December...

It has been a nice gentle week, with a cosy feeling of preparing for the festivities. Gathering the bits for Patch's Christmas play costume, writing Christmas cards with the obligatory Christmas music... Mr R decided we should go to pretty Bury St Edmunds yesterday, so instead of finishing those Christmas cards we went and had a lovely day. A few presents bought and a festive coffee quietly reading a Christmas magazine. Most certainly feeling Christmassy.

There has also been the wrapping of twenty four Christmas stories
There are a few new additions this year as I felt P may not want to read Maisy's Christmas. Silly me... I still do, so why shouldn't P? So we have twenty four wrapped and a pile by the side of Maisy and Miffy. We have been having cosy cuddly times reading these after school, though the book to be unwrapped waits until bedtime.

A Christmas list has been thoughtfully written and amended over the past few weeks until it was time to write to Father Christmas 
Oh, and yes I made a Christmas pillowcase for P's bed... he was so excited to be going to bed on the first of December! Sweet. The quarter of a metre purchased wasn't quite enough for a pillowcase front so I dug around in the baskets and found the jolly spot. With some candy cane stripes for the back. I must get on and make the other Christmas pillowcase for when this one is in the wash... Ems, you will be so happy to hear - more Christmas gnomes! (Ems does not like gnomes). So just one more pic

Monday, 24 November 2014

An aviatrix hat for Baby Leo

Not sure when I came across this free pattern on Ravelry - Justine Turner's Aviatrix. It seems a little while ago, though not so long ago that I felt I could still get away with knitting one for P.  But happily I can knit one for Leo!  Not sure why I didn't use one of the baby bonnet patterns I've already used - both of which I loved - see here and here ,though in a way glad I didn't as I love this too.
Once I had worked out the layout of the pattern instructions, oh and how to successfully do short rows without gaping holes, this was a great knit. I used some dreamy Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply in teal  - hardly half a ball for this teeny newborn size, and a button from the never ending delight that is Great Gran's button tin. So sweet.

Friday, 21 November 2014

It was a spooky Halloween...

Is it a little late to be mentioning Halloween? Hmmm... but just in case you have the need to make a monster costume, I shall continue. Not that I made an entire monster costume, just the hands - so if you find yourself needing to make some monster hands, then do read on.

I found a bargain copy of  Kathy Sheldon and Amanda Carestio's  book Felt-o-ween just before Halloween and bought it for the one project really, though I may do one more. Possibly. So not full of projects to put on my must-make-one-of-those-now list,  but as it was a bargain price it seemed ok to purchase just for the monster hands. Great fun!
 I think I have been spoilt by lovely books which include full scale patterns, which this book doesn't. Not that it was too tricky to enlarge the pattern for a pair of hands. The monster hands are stuffed and then strapped over the child's hands, rather than worn like a pair of gloves. Does that make sense? I decided to cut the wrist straps in half and add Velcro to close them for a better fit, as suggested in the book, which does help on these skinny wrists. Just the thing for some trick and treating fun.

And I could not resist the crochet ghost in Simply Crochet...

Here are those monster hands in action, rather proudly (attempting) to point at the pumpkin made with Daddy. It is difficult to point when wearing oversized monster hands

Friday, 14 November 2014

The as I've forgotten to take any photographs of the Halloween make you'll have to make do with this post

I really thought I had taken a photograph of P's Halloween make. Oh well, hopefully the sun shall come out sometime this weekend and I really will take that photograph. So in the absence of anything spooky, here is the reliable birthday present make for P's friends. Again. Though at the request of friend's Mummy, as when I enquired as to possible presents this is what she suggested as he still loves last years version. Obviously this made me happy as I don't really know how these handmade presents are truly received by the child!

Happy birthday, Henry! 

Today is oh so gloomy and full of rain - just perfect as the postman has delivered a parcel of wool! I am trying some Drops merino - has anyone used it? Hoping for some lovely soft wool in the parcel so I can make a start on Christmas makes. My parents are visiting my sister in Holland next week and the plan is that they take Christmas presents with them, so I really must just sit and knit. And we are off to the cinema this afternoon - what a treaty day! Mum and Dad are collecting P from school, Mr R     is finishing off his work for the week,  so we are going to see Pride - along with the grannies of Woodbridge, because who else goes to the cinema on a Friday afternoon? Perfect rainy Friday activities.

Monday, 20 October 2014

I made a t-shirt...

I really think this may have been my first attempt sewing with knits. And it was so satisfying! I've been tempted with made by Rae's flashback skinny tee for an age as I love that style of tee on Patch. As he has got older it has become more difficult to find fun yet cute prints on tees, and regular visits to the delightful kitschy coo tempted me even more with all those amazing prints!

Just before the summer holidays I saw this knightly print - perfect for P who was having fun exploring castles and fairy tales at school. By the time I saw this print there was just one metre available but I didn't let that deter me - these knit fabrics come in generous widths so I convinced myself I could squeeze a tee for a seven year old out of one meter. Finally I purchased the pattern for the flashback skinny tee (a digital download from backstitch)  and some navy organic ribbing and set to.

This tee was made entirely on my sewing machine with a stretch stitch and a needle suitable for jersey fabric and I was a little unsure how my machine - and I - would cope. Oh my! I was amazed by the this-looks-like-it-came-from-a-shop finish on the seams and neck and arm cuffs. And so with this confidence I decided to add a contrast row of stitching around the neckband, just like some of P's shop bought tees. I shouldn't have. Where I thought this would make the neck sit nice and flat as the stitches caught the seam of the neckband on the inside, it actually stretched the shape and made it look a bit more, well, like I had made it. And then I attempted to stitch a hem rather than have a rolled unfinished hem. It is possible - just - to squeeze a tee for a seven year old out of one meter of fabric but only with a teeny hem. I think a wider hem may have encouraged the knit fabric to lie flat, but as it is it eagerly flips and rolls up. So really I should have just left the bottom edge unfinished. And yet I'm still happy with this and shall no doubt be making some more. And P? He loves it!

Friday, 17 October 2014

A pebble vest for Baby Leo... and some sweet trousers too

My dear friend became Mama to Baby Leo a little earlier than expected, which meant that news of his arrival coincided with wool week. I needed no further encouragement. I found some of Patch's baby clothes to parcel up and wanted to send a little handknit too. The pebble vest ( a free pattern by the Thrifty Knitter - on Ravelry here) is perfect for premature babies as it is a fairly small knit, though it can easily be made larger by changing the wool and size needle used.

I had some Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in the oh-so-full wool basket, which went nicely with the little pile of baby clothes, and so I cosied up for a few hours
A sweet brown vest. I then found at that Leo was too big for P's little clothes and so tried to find some  trousers to go with the already knitted top. The local choice of clothes for an early baby was limited to blues or pinks, a distinct lack of neutrals or anything to go nicely with the sweet brown vest. And then I remembered  I make things! I had seen the dear baby pants by purl bee and was waiting for a suitable excuse. The comments suggested that the smallest size was indeed small so they seemed ideal. It was now a Saturday eve, and so with no hope of a local fabric shop being open on a Sunday, I studied what I already had. I was hoping to find a cheery turquoise gingham (I know I have some somewhere...) and had in fact dashed into the amazing local button shop just before closing on Saturday and purchased these buttons in anticipation. But no, I have no idea where that piece of gingham is. I did find some brown mice fabric and a so soft flannel baby blanket of P's 
A sweet, so quick pair of baby trousers. Just waiting for a baby's bottom. Can you imagine? Baby Leo now has his vest and trousers and the back view of these trousers with a baby bottom in them is so adorable. And here's the front, not quite so exciting... Leo does appear to have mice dancing on their heads from the front view but I'm sure no-one will notice...

Monday, 13 October 2014

An autumnal roller skate dress

As soon as I saw this fabric it seemed just the right thing for an autumn version of oliver + s' roller skate dress... Well, actually, as soon as my friend saw it and wondered if she might sew something for herself, I knew it was just the thing. I do hope I didn't put her off with my excitement about sewing a dress for a two year old with it. The fabric is a daisy print on a gorgeous mustard by Cosmo and was purchased at fabric rehab
And I know last time I said that I would be making a wider bow for any future versions, but here I used some navy velvet ribbon which looks fine on this size 2 dress, though I  would still make it wider for the larger sizes.

The lining is a navy check - because I felt there wasn't enough print already. I like its busy-ness - I only hope Polly does too. Though at two I'm sure she has little opinion, so let us hope mummy Jo approves. The navy gingham poplin was also from fabric rehab.

Finished with a button from Great Gran's tin... Happy birthday, Polly!