Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Busy Busy Busy Busy Week

OMG! I meant to post something every night for the past week..where oh where did all those days go you may ask!
Well I worked everyday this past week and by the time I got home all I wanted to do was sleep! And sleep I did, from about 8:30 right through til the alarm next morning. I was exhausted! Where did my youthful energy go, where did that girl who went out late every night, all those crazy late night bars clubs and all night parties, how often did she see the dawn, shoes in hand...she's 33 now and...asleep by 8:30, just awake long enough to watch Masterchef on the telly...Even on Friday night I did'nt even make the end of Masterchef Masterclass! Asleep on the lounge, crochet in hand! ...boy oh boy how we change through life. is what I finished this week...I can't remember what day it was...but it was a day ending in y.
For the 12 in 12 challenge, Mays item was something with an enclosed zip.
Taadaa! the KF Everything Wallet completed!
I changed it a bit in order to line the inside of the zipper pocket.
If I were to make it again, I would make it with the correct sized zip, instead of just the smaller one I had in the draw...
I know it's not made for an iPhone, but if I made it again... I'd make it wider and adjust the velcro bit so it would close properly once full of all my cards and my iPhone, and money...
And I'm an idiot, I spent hours choosing the positions of each pocket on the fabric to cut out cool bits of patterns on the fabric to show on the edge of each card pocket...and then promptly realised once finished, that you see none of them beneath the cards..hehehehe.
Still, I love it and it's cute...and the lovely Coles checkout operator made lovely comments about it - Usecase user testing successful:)
Also at some point I think last week even, I finished off my husbands scarf, but I'm not sure If I told anyone or showed it once it was actually finished! So, here it is...modelled by a reluctant, don't-talk-about-me-on-your-blog-husband. ;)
I had to finish this one hat I started about 15 times, unpulled, changed a bit, unpulled, made a mistake, threw it in a bag, found a much better pattern...unpulled and re-used the unpulled yarn, but finally I got it right and finished it! And it was really really simple as it turns out!  I used the Art of crochet, Teresas pattern Little Darling Toddler-Youth Crochet Shell cap. I could only get one ball of this yarn, I really loved it, I wanted it for me, but I can't really make anything much for me out of one ball, I really liked it and couldn't leave it in the shop, my niece loved it because it has pink in it ;) So now she has a crochet shell cap.
Last night I started crocheting a beanie during a run of 24 episodes we were trying to catch up on, I didn't really know what I was doing with it when I started it, and really I should have been finishing off all the other projects I have on the go...but I finished it so quickly I made another one patterns just a crochet hook (4mm) and pink and white and pale pink and pink left over bits of wool. I experimented with them a lot, I made them ear-flappy hats, like I had as a kid. they should fit the twins nicely, if my sister isn't too embarrassed to put them on them! I think they are cute, but I understand that not everyone likes what I like and I'm ok with that. I just say to her each time, if she can't use it give it to someone who can.
On the first one I made the pom-pom old style using two disks of cardboard, seriously painful and annoying when it fell apart while tying it up, second one I made this morning using a Spotlight pom-pom maker, a much easier process not involving cutting out cardboard:) Pom Pom makers:
I also got to use my new Birch split ring stitch markers, I know, not gorgeous beaded glittery jewelled lovelies that I've seen around the net, but they do the job and they don't get heavy or snag the wool:)
And now, to talk about the new crochet project I am starting...
These lovelies came from Bendigo Wool :
And I'm trying hard to make lil hexies...I love love love the little hexies from Attic24's lovely hexagon-howto.
Here are some of the practice ones I did, full of mistakes and perhaps I shouldn't put the two browns next to each other, but none-the-less, once I get the technique down, they will look great and I hope will make a lovely warm blankie for our brown, brown lounge.
I havent yet started anything for my May ornament for the FOSAL...oops.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Place & Yours

Although I have lurkingly checked out everyones blogs for the My Place & Yours game in the past, (you can read about it over there at Hello Owl), this is the first time I have decided to participate! This weeks theme is YELLOW.
I began this week eating a YELLOW cake. (I didn't know yellow was a theme at the time!)
Today however, I decided to really clean up the house before I photographed anything, however, YELLOW has been finding/following me everywhere.
First YELLOW was there in the kitchen when I needed to mop...
Then in the laundry when I needed to wash with YELLOW...
Then the deliveryman arrived at the door with a package of YELLOW Ebay'd goodness...
Then YELLOW watched me from high on top of the pantry while I began to make lunch...
Finally YELLOW Jaime (Oliver) and other assorted YELLOW sat here on my desk, next to me while I blogged about YELLOW...
But I got YELLOW back, I washed and hung YELLOW out to the YELLOW sunshine.

You too can look at more YELLOW and maybe participate in the  My Place & Yours game over there at Hello Owl

Psst P.S. hehehehe YELLOW disclaimers:
Actually my Mother in law is coming to visit soon, so as much as the curtains are washed today because they are YELLOW, it's really just because today's my day off and the house needs to be uber-clean before her arrival. Oh, and I may have allegedly chosen to omit the other pegs and knitting needles, that weren't YELLOW but I'm not admitting to anything ;)  Have a Lovely YELLOW rest of the week everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Baby it's cold outside! I've been singing this song in my head in a never ending loop all weekend. I have no idea why, I think it's a good lifetime ago when I last even actually heard that song. And thanks to you tube I found out it's not actually sung by who I thought it was all this time!

Baby It's Cold Outside

Christine | MySpace Video

Anyway, we stayed inside all weekend near a heater and I sang that in my head! Husband is feeling sniffly after a week of putting up with me feeling sniffly so I baked a cake for my husband (I had to have a chance to bake wearing my new apron!) and because he almost never gets cakes or biscuits in our house, he really loved the idea.
Please note that in order to eat the cake we had to also have tea, proper tea apparently, in a pot. Which we did! and it was lovely, but by this stage getting later and later after dinner, I rushed to ice it. However, I maybe should have allowed the cake to cool for just a bit longer, as you clearly see the cakes top layer sliding off and hurtling towards my Home economics assignment from year 7. (1989) Yes my friends, cross stitch and flower embroidery on gingham. And just to prove the usefulness over the years of cross stitch on gingham, my mum uncovered this deep within her cupboards complete with a piece of school book paper pinned and stapled to the corner and written in pencil, my name, yr 7, 1989 assignment 1. With a big red A in a circle and the teachers signature, on the back once unfolded, some maths homework ripped out of my book.  I was apparently much better at cross stitching gingham than I was at maths as I am now horrified and embarrassed by my lack of yr 7 algebra skills found on the other side written like a dogs breakfast and would now like to humbly apologise to all my teachers.
The important thing to remember is, I made a great cake! It was a lemon delicious sponge type cake with lemon and coconut icing. And we all consumed enough sugar to give us all diabetes and keep us awake for hours!
Sunday was also suitably lovely, we began the day with my husband making pancakes!
Maybe I should bake him a cake more often if I get pancakes in return!

As for sewing, I ventured into the sewing room for a few hours over the weekend, just long enough to cut out all the pieces for the my next project, the KF everything Wallet.
It has an enclosed zip in it for my May item for the 12 in 12 sewing challenge. I'm using the leftover pieces of fabric from the Apron I made for Fabiola at Little Cooties for the The Great Apron Swap.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My lovelies!

It's been a Busy and productive week all around really!
I forgot to tell you about the night I jumped up and down a lot because my lovelies arrived from Spin Blessings. I am in love with these beauties and they have already been amazing in forming many stitches.
They are Susan Bates wonderfully coloured aluminium hooks in a range of sizes. I've popped some Foohy Gooshy Grips into them to cover the grip bit with the writing, which irritates my finger after hooking for a while. For the bigger hooks, the Gooshy grips fit right on the hooks, the smaller hooks the Gooshy grips slide off or rattle around inside. Instead, I've used some bluetac wrapped around them and rolled the gooshy grips over the bluetac. A great idea! Not my idea, Teresa the queen of crochet did a wonderful YouTube video about this:)
I've used mostly, the biggest, size 11 hook to make a scarf for my husband, for all those outdoor recess and lunch duties over winter to come. It makes lovely stitches and they slide on and off wonderfully! I'm in love!
It's made with alternating Single crochet and treble crochet across the width then chaining up. It's a great quick pattern that I can mindlessly do while hanging out on the lounge watching TV at night. It uses two strands of yarn together. I have no idea why the variegated yarn has ended up forming bands of distinctly different sections, it's all along the scarf so far in 10 cm or so chunks then changes for about 10 cm it's like the variegations all line up for 10 rows, then they don't, then they do again..weird...chunks...almost like I made stripes. We'll just say it's meant to be like that?'s the design. ;)

My apron swap partner Fab sent me this wonderful apron that I have not stopped wearing since it arrived!
It's Gorgeous and fun and yellow delicious!

Now I can show you the one I made, as she has received it, and has blogged about it herself over at Little Cooties.
The fabric is a Tribal range of poplin, 100% Cotton from spotlight. The apron took 1 metre of both fabrics, so 2 metres in total.
I used every ounce of patience to stitch around the scallop edge:)
I used my Bernina Ruffler to gather the top of the apron skirt on a setting of Stitch length 2 and the ruffler set to 6. (creates a gathered fold every 6 stitches). It reduced the 1 metre width down to almost half.
It's fully reversible, mostly to make the scallop edgy bits easier, but also so you get 2 aprons in one;)
The pockets are "tulip" shaped pockets. I unpicked these several times before I realised, like an idiot that I shouldn't try to stitch through both layers together and beg the pockets to be aligned perfectly, I should stitch 1 pocket to 1 fabric layer instead and the other pocket to the other layer of fabric. DUH!
So, theres my apron:) I love it and I think Fab loves it too.
This week I absolutely HAD to finish one more UFO before I am allowed to begin my new project. (12 in 12 challenge for May)
The UFO I chose was a warm winter tartan dress my mum had begun sewing for me when I was a little kid. She gave up on it for 25 odd years and then gave it to me to finish off for my niece who was staying with us at the time, I said I would, then took one look at it and never got back to doing it, because, "zips are too hard" and there were bits missing (the neck facing) and some of the stitching was a little on the weird side..I think my mum may have gone a little nuts on it.
It looks almost done I said on Monday...hmmm looks are so deceiving! I thought, I'll knock this one off pretty quick and get onto my new project...hmmm...nope, wrong again.
The shoulders had been sewn together on the outside, instead of the inside, and then tucked into another seam to hide it, and then there was the stitching around the waist...
And this was one of the neater sections, some were triple zigzagged, triple straight stitched and a gathering stitch and felt lumpy, thick and solid...The fabric was fraying, and I decided to unpick everything and stitch it up again.
3 days of unpicking the entire dress later...
I finally got to overlocking and re-assembling, including the lovely lace on the front, in two rows, which had been tucked and folded over (a bit lumpy) instead of ending in the seams. I unpicked the zigzag and straight stitched it back on in the same curves it had been on, because it was pretty:)
Then I cut a neck facing out of the belt pieces that was supposed to go with it but mum had forgotten to sew into the side seams. I felt it was more important to have a facing to neaten up the neck.
And then...onto the part I had been dreading and avoiding all week, and again, avoiding all day today.
Today I watched tutorials, read new blogs, sipped tea, googled, did everything other than the zip today! I don't know what I was thinking avoiding it. Tonight I sewed in the zip...It wasn't that scary. I did it in a few add breaks during Masterchef. I did remember an old trick my mum showed me of tying a ribbon onto the zipper pull to help move the zip around the foot of your machine in order to keep your stitch straight. Score one for mum, it worked a treat, even if I did forget to use the zipper foot on the correct sides...whoops...still good still good!
And here it is...all overlocked and stitched and finished! Another UFO done!!! Hooray! And thanks again to Karin at MadebyK whose New project plan is the only reason I can force myself to finish 2 UFO's before I can start any new project. Thankfully crafty bloggy sharing people like her are injecting some sanity into my crazy ADHD-like - attention span for starting loads of projects and not finishing! Oh look bright shiny thing!
And now onto the important task of sleep...night all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gorgeously buttery delicious apron to bake in

I've been participating in the Great Apron swap over at Red Gingham:

In the post this afternoon, arrived the package I knew, once opened, would make me squeal with delight!
And it did!
Thankyou Thankyou! Fabiola! A gorgeously buttery delicious apron to bake in, I LOVE it! and it makes me think of the smell of vanilla and baking and cupcakes with gorgeous icing. I put it on and swished around the lounge room for a while giggling.

I've made an apron for the fabulous Fabiola over at Little Cooties. She gave me a lovely choice of fabric and showed a sneak preview of the finished apron on her blog. Now that the apron I made for her is finished and in the mail on it's way to her, I'll post a little pic sneak-preview teaser. I hope you LOVE it Fabiola and that the apron gets to you soon.
Once Fabiola gets it I will post full photos of the apron I made for her.

And now, onto my Unfinished Objects. I finished one UFO today from my list of UFO's following the project plan I'm following, set out by MadebyK. Theres nothing special about these trackie dacks, Mum gave me the fabric and I cut them out while he was here in January and then they just sat there in the UFO basket. Today, I contemplated cutting out some contrasting print and making sections or patches, pockets and the elastic casing out of the print, but then I remembered why they were sitting there all this time...and why they are UFO's. I didn't make them fancy pants or cool they are just blue and fluffy warm for my nephew to play in over winter and they are finished.
Tonight or Tomorrow I need to finish another UFO in order to begin my next project, (I need to finish two UFO's first before I take on any new project)
My next project is the May item for the 12 in 12 sewing challenge, an enclosed zip. I want to make the KF everything Wallet which has a zip in it. I'm quite scared about making this correctly, so I want to get it started this week to give me plenty of time to work it out when it goes horribly wrong. ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Why you don't take husbands to Spotlight

Wow 10th of May already!
Just a quick post as we adults stayed up late...on a school night;) to see Webber win the Spanish GP, and now it's time to get to bed!
I got called into work most of last week and didn't get much done, but I did manage to finish my apron for the Great Apron Swap!!! It was so much fun to sew, I really loved it and enjoyed working on it.
I wont show pics until she has received it, but it will be in the post tomorrow and on it's way to my apron swap partner, the wonderful Fabiola over at Little Cooties .
I did start to finish off a few crochet UFO's, nothing completed yet.
Husband wandered through spotlight and found this today while I was looking at wool and patterns. Because he was being so silly with the sheep bags (I can't explain how publicly embarrassing and funny it was)....I just had to have them. There are two, a black and white fleecy one we named Shaun (from Wallace and Gromit) and this one...We named her Shirley (curly Shirley):
For some reason Shaun and Shirley were made from different materials, but by the same manufacturers. Shaun is fleecy like an old tracksuit and shirley is curly.
Shaun and Shirley are full of my currently not being used yarn and have been posed into all sorts of poses some of them not fit for family viewing...don't leave the room, when you come back they are different...husband humour! but heres a nice clean one of Shaun and Shirley:)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April came and went!

Well April disappeared last night, but I did get quite a lot done this week!

On Wednesday I finished my April challenge, for the 12 months 12 Sewing challenges challenge.
Aprils challenge was something lined! Lined...Lined I said..and weeped..and had flashbacks to High school, when we were to make a lined bag for sunglasses...I sewed through my finger on the sewing machine, thread all the way through the nail and out the other side of the finger, along with the needle. We had to unscrew the needle from the machine, cut the thread and then have it removed from my finger. Then...when it all got turned out the right way, I realised the lining was sewed on the wrong way and the seams were visible instead of hidden. I fixed it up, after more tears and unpicking, and the teacher passed my job anyway, I think only because of the physical injury involved! LOL
This time around for the Challenge, I did not trust myself, and instead...I followed about 3 different tutorials for lined bags on the internet...they were pretty dreadful. They all seemed promising at the start, got halfway through and the train left the tracks. I didn't realise they left visible unfinished seams on the insides of the me that isn't lined, not properly anyway.
This was the outer fabric...I LOVED this fabric for years, I saw it in my mums cupboard and eyed it off every time we were working on something else, and then she gave me a bag full of scrap fabric one day, and in it was this! She had at one stage cut a jacket from it, but I never saw her wear it, and I don't know where it went! The left over fabric she gave me had the jacket pieces shapes cut out of it, hehehe.

Anyway, back to the Challenge...So after the 3 previous disaster bags, (I wont show you them, it's too traumatic) ;) I began yet another search for a tutorial and found Robyn's blog over at Additional Jesus. Finally, and I say finally, because I then had to re-cut the bag again (for the 4th time) luckily I had enough left over fabric or I would have been weeping!!
At this point I will show you my progress photos, more progress than I ever made with all the other tutorials...THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Additional Jesus!
I know, I know, it looks like the bag version of Frankensteins monster doesn't it!?
And then it got stuck and I got scared.
But then it just popped on out and at this point I got so excited that it worked - that I squealed!
And then I squealed some more!
It even has a handle!
And now my knitting has a lovely home:) And I am in bag LOOOOOVE.

I started and finished my April FOSAL entry last night:
I finished it just after midnight, so technically it didn't get finished until May 1st, was still April somewhere in the world right!?