Saturday, 27 October 2012

Halloween Fun

Last night we took the kids to a Halloween party. They had loads of fun, each getting a chocolate & sprinkle covered apple (there were toffee apples too but they both went for the sprinkle option) and playing games like musical bumps.

Orla had lots of fun danicng. She was really confident and wanted to be at the front of the dancefloor near the lights.

Today we headed off to Farmer Copleys for the Pumpkin Festival. It was pretty busy so we had a browse round the shop before getting a table to have some lunch. Erin was quite impressed that the chips came in a pail.

Yes, that is facepaint that wouldn't wash off

After lunch we headed out to the field to wait for the tractor to take us up to the pumpkin patch. The kids loved the bumpy trailer ride. Then they spent ages wandering round the field trying to pick their favourite pumpkin. Erin was looking for a big pumpkin that she could carry herself and it had to be clean; not easy for something that grows in a field. Orla just wanted a little pumpkin that she could carry but seemed to think it was a bit of a hot potato game. Every time she found another little pumpkin she would put the first one down and pick the 'new' one up.

There was the option of carving them while you were there but we didn't do that as I'm hoping that they'll last until our party next weekend. I said the kids can decorate theirs with some glue and glitter if I get chance to pick up some more glitter this week.

Friday, 26 October 2012

WIP: Blanket 2 & More Bunting

Sorry for the late WIP post this week. I've not managed to get anything finished this week so there's no FO Friday post. Still, I hope you enjoy seeing what I'm working on. First up is the second kid's blanket. I still haven't decided which child is getting which blanket. At the moment I'm thinking of wrapping each of them in a gift bag and letting Alan write the name on the bag so it's a surprise on Christmas Day.

I'm now up to 60 stripes. another 10 to go and then a border to go on.

60 Stripes done, 10 to go!
I'm really loving the Halloween bunting I made and decided that really I should have some bunting in the same place when it's not Halloween. I had a little search around in my fabric stash and was sooooo happy when the little scrap pack of 4 fabrics I bought at the Festival of Quilts were big enough to get two front pieces from. That was enough for the 8 flags and I just backed them in some leftover off-white I had from another project.

I bought these fabrics with the idea of making 'something' for the kitchen but I didn't know what. I think they're perfect for bunting. It's just one line of sewing left to do (to join them to the binding) and it'll be finished but it's such a small job that I've not managed to convince myself to drag the sewing machine out for that one line!

Also this week I treated myself to two new craft books as I got a £20 Amazon voucher.

First up is this crochet book I've had my eye on for a while: Around The Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman. I make a lot of crochet blankets so I'm looking forward to trying out a few more borders for them.

Secondly, Country Cottage Quilting by Lynette Anderson. There's a lovely little purse and needlebook if you look through the preview that I'm looking forward to making.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed they arrive early next week so that I can add a different border to the granny stripe blanket above. My other two granny stripes use the border that Lucy used on hers.

Friday, 19 October 2012

FO Friday: Blanket 1

I'm now over halfway on the second of the kids' blankets and I have finished the first one. It's been a bit hectic this last week because I had a 3 hour exam on Wednesday afternoon so had LOADS of revision to do. I was massively behind with the reading for this ran from the end of January so hit two half-term holidays, the Easter holidays and the big 6 week summer holidays. I also had toothache and tonsillitus and, in case that wasn't enough, Orla pretty much dropped her afternoon nap. All that meant I lost many planned hours of studying. The books were also very 'wordy' so required hours of quiet concentration unlike my previous courses which could be read in 5 minute chunks when the kids were playing nicely.

My plan after the exam was to spend yesterday just sitting and relaxing but it didn't quite happen! I did a bit of tidying/cleaning the kitchen and a bit of laundry, then wrapped some Christmas presents but I did find sme time to sit and crochet. I've now done 4 of the 7 colour repeats on the second blanket (so about halfway as there'll be a border to go on).

On the first blanket I sewed the ends in and started to add a border but I decided it didn't really look right so pulled it back out again and have left it without a border.

You'll have to imagine it's finished as I forgot to take another pic!
I've wrapped it ready for Xmas. Unfortunately I asked the kids which blanket they liked best and they BOTH said the other one. I was quite surprised tbh as I think this is much brighter and more interesting.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

FO: Halloween Bunting

I was expecting this to be a WIP post but I managed to get it finished!

My 5 year old has had a little obsession with bunting since the Jubilee. She likes to point it out whenever she sees it, while the 3 year old points out the Union Jack. I've been planning to make some for ages but just never got round to it, probably because it's a fairly easy, quick make so I've not bothered doing it at sewing group and then I haven't had time at home. Anyway I was spurred on by the Halloween fabric remnants I have and the finished wallhanging. I'm planning to make some everyday bunting to hang in the same place so this was a good experiment with sizing too.

My 3 year old goes to nursery on a Wednesday afternoon and so I had chance to choose the fabrics, cut them out and sew them together. All that was left for this evening was ironing the binding and the last long line of stitching!

Here's the finished item

And some close up pictures:

Glow in the dark skulls on the left

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

FO: Blanket & Halloween Wallhanging

I was really lucky to receive the cream yarn I needed to finish a blanket for the WoollyHugs project very quickly. As I was also waiting on yarn for most of my other projects I cracked on with the little blanket. I did a couple fo rounds of cream and then did a pretty border. This was based on one from the Attic24 blog (click here for Lucy's tutorial) but I used more stitches per chain 5 space. Basically into each chain 5 space I did (US terms!) sc, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sc. I also didn't do the slip stitch.

Here's the finished blanket:

Close up of edging: 

On Saturday morning my husband took the kids to gymnastics and gave me chance to get on with sewing. I've been getting a little stressed about how many projects I have on the go and really wanted to get on and finish something. It seemed obvious to finish the one that had the earliest "deadline" so I started working on the Halloween wallhanging. I say "deadline" because it doesn't really matter if it's not done until next year, after all, I started it before last Halloween!

Anyway after a bit of frustration finding suitable beads/buttons etc. and discovering the binding I had wasn't quite long enough (honestly it would have been about half an inch short!), I finally managed to get it finished. In the end I decided to stitch it right sides together and turn it through rather than bind it.

I just love the owl peeking on one of the hanging loops

Here's a close up of each of the pictures:





Wednesday, 3 October 2012

WIP Weds: Yarn FAIL

When I first started making granny squares with my leftover Stylecraft Special I hadn't quite decided what I was going to do with them. Then I decided I'd edge them all with white and join them. The original plan was to make two blankets from the leftovers so I only bought one ball of white to see how it looked. Anyway, I changed my mind about doing two blankets from them as I found I didn't have enough bright, colourful leftovers to give a reasonable balance in both blankets. I decided on a granny stripe for the other as my Aunty's Xmas present had worked up pretty quickly and thought that by alternating every colour with white it would tie in a bit with the granny square blanket (the kids share a room). This meant I used up the white much quicker than expected, so I picked up another ball on Saturday. Well, I did in fact use that one up by Sunday evening. So I picked up another ball while at sewing class on Monday evening thinking it would be enough to finish the granny square blanket and then I could do a batch order for the granny stripe as I'm going to need some of the other colours too.

It wasn't enough. I've run out on the final horizontal join and still have the vertical joins to do. So here it is after I ran out a little after midnight - I was trying to get the squares joined so that I didn't end up joining them in the wrong place!

I might head over to Knit & Natter on Friday and pick up another ball of white while I'm there, though I should be revising really.

Until then I shall have to get on with sewing instead. I have plenty of sewing projects on the go and first up is a Halloween project I started last year. Not a lot left to do on it but it's the fiddly bits that are left.

I've gone round most of the edges and mainly have the features to add (eyes & hair). Hopefully I'll have it finished before this Halloween!!!

More WIP post at Tami's blog and at Frontier Dreams.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Grannies Galore!

First of all an apology for missing FO Friday last week. I'd planned to write my blog post after picking the kids up from school but my 3 year old decided she was really tired yet didn't want to sleep. That meant I didn't get a chance to write my post. Then I was a little silly at the weekend and managed to wrap the Mario coaster I made before I got a photo of it, so I guess you'll all have to wait until Xmas!!!

I have finished a few other things this week. First up is a "Giant" granny square blanket. I use the term giant quite loosely as it's for seriously ill children/babies and is only 18" square. As I was changing colour every rounds I turned my work too to prevent getting a wonky centre.

This is made from (donated) Stylecraft Special DK in Plum, Cream and Cloud Blue. As there was loads left I started a slightly larger simple blanket, made using US dc, as a little break from granny square production! I didn't count the number of stitches when I started it, but it was slightly under 80 I think. I have used each colour in turn and done stripes of 3, 2, 1 and 1 rows. hope that makes sense to you! Basically 3 rows of colour A, then 2 of B, then 1 one C, then 1 of A, then 3 of B, then 2 of C, then 1 of A and 1 of B and so on.

It looks a little out of shape here cos it's been sat folded up!
 I then decided I might have enough for another Giant Granny Square.

 Well, as you can see I didn't have enough. I had to raid my stash and the only colour I ahd that would go was a pale grey. Unfortunately I also ran out of that!!! I'm now awaiting some cream for the final two rounds. See the centre is getting a little wonky? That's why I turned my work on the first one.

With the little scraps I had left I made a 6" granny square. Hopefully this will go with squares other people have made to make a blanket.

Hoping to post these out tomorrow and will send the unfinished one in the next batch.

I have also managed to finish the granny squares for one of the kids' Xmas present blankets. I still haven't deicided which child is getting which blanket but here's the 84 finished squares.

They just need joined together. My plan is to lay them out on the living room floor one evening when the kdis have gone to bed and play around with them until I have a layout I like, then join them all together - might be a late night :-/

If that wasn't enough I've also done a little work on the granny stripe (the other Xmas blanket)