Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

Did I show you this last year?



It's Laura's Christmas stocking! I forgot to put anything in the photo for scale, but it isn't hugely big - maybe about eight inches by ten (but maybe not, I'm not very good at estimating sizes).

And this year of course Emily needed one too:




They're both made in the same way - I cut out the coloured fabric and appliqued on the design and the name, then sewed it into a bag, sewed another bag sliiiightly smaller out of white fabric, and sewed that inside the coloured one. I can't explain exactly how I made the drawstring work so I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader. But it wasn't too difficult.

I made the letters by printing them out the size I wanted, and using that as a template. The designs I did freehand but they're quite simple shapes.

And now both stockings are ready and waiting for Father Christmas, along with a mince pie for him and a carrot for the reindeer! Growing up we always used to leave a glass of sherry as well, but we don't have any, so he'll have to manage without at our house. Sorry Father Christmas!

So I wish you all a very happy Christmas with your families. Have a good one!

Anna x

Monday, 13 December 2010

Knitting!

Laura has a new cardigan! But she doesn't want to stand still and have her photo taken.




She needs to run!




Round and round!





Funny little bug.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Fun With Folksy

So here's what I've been up to! I finally got round to setting up a shop on Folksy.

beepbeep on Folksy

I've been meaning to do this for ages and probably a month or so ago would have been a much better time but it's there now! Only a few things up yet but I'm adding more all the time. So far we have:

Three red/orange/purple crochet bowls



One blue/white crochet bowl with a pretty beaded heart



And an orange flower button bookmark



Don't worry, I won't bang on here every time I add something (although if you want to know, you could Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter). And I have plenty of other things to talk about as well. But that's what I've been up to over the last week. Let me know what you think!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Cold cold cold brrr

I started working from home in January 2006, and I've been at home with babies since August 2008, and it's only this week that I finally remembered to ask Mark to change the settings on the central heating so that the heating will be on all day during the week (he knows how to do it, and I could probably figure it out, but I've been meaning to ask him because it'll be quicker. Hmm). For nearly five years I've had a warm house in the morning, then by lunchtime the heating has been off for a couple of hours and it gets pretty cold, so I turn it on manually, then it takes an hour or two to warm up again. Yesterday the house was warm ALL DAY LONG. It was amazing.

The other day, quite by coincidence, I had to do three sewing/mending jobs. A button came off my coat, and a pair of my hand-knitted socks sprang a hole so I darned them, and the zip seam on the armchair cushion had come away a bit. I like to think of these things as being more like DIY than anything else. I also patched a pair of Laura's jeans (with dark pink hearts) and they turned out pretty cute, maybe at some point I will remember to take a picture. Or more likely not.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Baking with Laura



Laura and I made some fairy cakes (which I realise now I completely neglected to take a photo of - next time). Laura chose red icing and after putting on some of that, we decorated them with dolly mixtures - and I clearly have a fantastically well-behaved child, because after being told the sweeties were for the cakes and not to eat, she didn't try to sneak even one! Or maybe she was ramming them in her mouth every time I turned my back. But I don't think so.

I followed my friend Sarah's tip for baking with small children - when you measure out the ingredients, put a quarter or so in a separate bowl, and let the child have at that while you mix up the rest properly. Then even if they do dump theirs all over the floor (or sneeze in it) you know there'll still be cake. On this occasion I was able to mix all of Laura's mixture in with mine, but it felt good to have the contingency plan.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Button Bookmarks - now knittable!

I finally got off my bum and worked out how to knit my crochet button bookmarks. Then I lost the pattern, then I found it again, then I asked my mother to look at it and she polished it up to a beautiful shine, and then it was finally ready for public consumption.



Like the crochet pattern, it uses small amounts of 4-ply/fingering-weight yarn (leftover sock yarn is ideal) and is designed to button securely round the spine of the book so you don't lose your place.



The pattern is currently available both in my Etsy shop ($2.50) and on Ravelry (£1.50).

Friday, 12 November 2010

Hats!



I don't know what was over there, either, but if getting one child to sit still for a photo is difficult then getting them both to do it was nearly impossible. Maybe I will share the outtakes later.

I had some chunky wool (the blue left over from the Laura's owlet jumper, the pink was some leftovers my mother-in-law gave me) and my darlings needed hats for the winter. I made up the pattern as I went along but I jotted it down so here it is. No idea on gauge, sorry, but I used chunky wool and 6.5mm needles.

Easy Ribbed Bug Hats

K = knit
P = purl
P2tog = purl two together
K2tog = knit two together

Cast on 48 (baby) or 60 (toddler) stitches and join to work in the round.
Work in K2P2 rib for 6"/15cm (baby) or 7.5"/19cm (toddler).

Work crown as follows:
1. K2, P2tog round
2. K2, P1 round
3. K2tog, P1 round
4. K1, P1 round until one stitch remains
5. K2tog round, 12 (baby)/15 (toddler) stitches on needle

Cut yarn leaving a short length, draw it through the stitches using a darning needle, pull tight and sew in firmly. Sew in other end.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Owlet Jumper

While I was away from the blog I made many a thing, and I intend to share as many of them as I can remember. But here's a fairly recent one - I made the Owlet (Ravelry link) jumper for Laura. It's a knit jumper with a yoke of cabled owls, with button eyes. I used James C. Brett Marble Chunky in blue and it came out very cute and very snuggly. And then I had the Toddler Photograph Difficulty.













But I think you can get the idea.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Remember, Remember etc

My father was a Lewes man and while I was growing up, every 5th of November we would go there for the Bonfire Night celebrations, which are the largest in the world. I haven't been able to make it the last few years, since I live further away now and have babies and things, but at least I can still make bonfire toffee to mark the occasion.

Bonfire Toffee

4oz butter
8oz sugar
8oz golden syrup

Put it all in a saucepan



and boil for about ten minutes.



Test by dropping a bit into a cup of cold water - when it sets hard, it's done. Pour into a lined tin and leave to set



then break up into mouth-sized pieces and share with friends, family, people you wish would stop talking, etc.



(be careful as the mixture does get VERY hot - and don't get it on a ceramic hob as I understand Bad Things will happen)

Another introduction

Emily Megan, born on the 26th July 2010...



...and already a little smiler like her big sister!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Pip's Blanket

(Pip is the new baby's inside name)

So here's my new big project (other than the baby, of course) - a lovely blanket for said baby. I think the blanket I made for Laura is one of the nicest things I've ever made, so it was a bit of challenge to find another pattern that I liked as much. I contemplated designing my own, but I don't think I'm really good enough, and it's such a big project that I want something I know will 'work' from the start.

So I spent some time on Ravelry and finally chose the Twining Vine Afghan (Ravelry link). The pattern is for an adult-sized blanket, so I'm going to work significantly fewer repeats, in order to hopefully end up with a cot-sized blanket.

I bought the wool last week - Wendy Mode DK, same as before. I loved this wool for Laura's blanket. It's 50% merino which makes it soft and warm and cosy, and 50% acrylic which makes it washable and hard-wearing. It also has lovely stitch definition and is very reasonably priced. Not sure what else I could want, really! And now I have just a bit less than six months. Which will be fine, though it depends on how distracted I get. :)

Monday, 8 February 2010

Knitted Belt - French Translation

Just a quick note - Casa has translated my knitted belt pattern into French! It's on her blog here.

Friday, 5 February 2010

What's new with me



Number two will be with us sometime around mid-August. :)

I was ill in December (winter vomiting bug thing, not fun at all), then I was pregnant and tired all the time so I cut down on non-essential activities like blogging. Then after Christmas it seemed weird to blog without mentioning the new baby, but pre-scan it was still a secret. And for the last week I have no excuse except laziness. But here we are!

More info on crafty things etc soon, for now just a little photo of my first (eek) baby, whom I suppose I should now call a toddler:



She took all the blocks out of the trolley and then sat in it. No idea why.