Sunday, June 10, 2018

Papa Bear

I bought some luxury faux fur, gosh that stuff is pricey.  But oh my goodness it's so soft and cuddly!!  I spent way too much time stroking it...hahahaa
On a more serious note, you do not want to drop a stitch when knitting with this stuff.  I can vouch that this is a nightmare if it happens.   Now I've wanted to knit a teddy bear for ages..... really I have.  I started one in primary school and never finished it, of course that is well over 3 decades ago now, but still I want to say I knitted a bear and a nice one too.

May I present Papa Bear!  So he's a bit lopsided looking, but oh you could hug him forever, he's so soft.  I used safety eyes, toy stuffing and made a cute bow tie which has little pandas on it.  so he's a little dapper guy.  The nose is from spare DK yarn I had in my stash.

I've put him up in my Etsy store for now, not sure anyone will buy him as he was quite expensive to make.

I was going to make a purple one too, but changed my mind and am keeping it.  I may use it with Harris Tweed as I have 2 shades of purple fabric to use up.  Maybe some fur trimmed bags?

Sock it to me.

I'm having a crazy sock knitting run at the moment.  Yes I should have done this before the winter, because that's when most people need to keep the feet toastie.  Well my feet get cold easily all year around.

I picked up yarn in Lidl, it's a cotton blend 4 ply yarn. Perfect to start with and I've a sensitivity to pure wool.  I also wanted to do them toe up and with a short row heel, so two new things to practice, as I have always knit top down and done a flap heel.

So here is my first attempt, not too bad at all.  Although the tops could have been cast off looser.  So in the second pair I increased a couple of stitches in the rib and cast of looser and they fit perfectly.  I should add, they didn't change after the first wash like the other pair.
I should add though that with my sensitive feet, I found them a little rough on the soles, like I could feel the stitches.  Odd I know.  But after washing they softened, fluffed up and sort of felted a little (most likely from the tumble dryer) - I know there is a term for that, I'm just not familiar with it.  I also knitted up a second pair that didn't shrink in the wash and fit perfectly, the first pair shrank again even though they were washed in the same way.

As you can see they shrunk to fit perfectly and are so soft and warm too.  I just wanted to make more and more and more....... so I ordered some Stylecraft in Ben Nevis and King Cole Zigzag in Strata.

These are the Ben Nevis socks, my new total favourites. The yarn seems quite thin and was 75% superwash wool and didn't irritate my skin...... woohoo!
I'm onto the Zig Zag and it's like a whacky fair isle as it knits up.  Also very bright and retro looking.

I have to say it's whacky yarn and knits up crazy bright.  Gives me a bit of the retro feels too.  There was a join in the yarn on the second sock - not impressed.  Just glad that I was able to figure out where to join the colour, so that they matched in the colour strips at least.  I've finished them up and added them to my Etsy store for now. (I'm having a rethink over it, due to postal hikes here).

Monday, April 16, 2018

Dog basket upgrade

So I got this dog basket ages ago and he's never been keen on it. It came with a 2 inch thick pad - if you can call it that.   I had changed it to a foam cushion from our old couch, but that was still too firm for him, although it was handy for the midget to look out the window!

I had old pillows to use up rather than bin, so after washing and battering to get fluffed up and sort of even again, I found that it fits as is.  So that made life very easy.  With the fabric scraps from my stash I made a pillow slip, handy that the twill bit was already cut to size.  I used the left over fleece for the top part, because it's soft and cosy and he loves fleecy blankets.

Ten minutes later we have a comfy bed, that he actually likes to jump into.......... oh he doesn't sleep there, he's such a cling-on and lives the good life on the sofa/bed

50th Birthday Invitations

So my sister in law is having her big one this year.  Apparently she's getting ahead of herself and getting everything organised now for the event in September.  The number dwindled from her original order and I'm left with a load of 80% complete cards. (long story and the reason I'm not keen on custom orders).

So this is what my kitchen table looked like for a few days, getting all the bits ready to assemble.  Not that my desk was much better after, but we need to eat at the table sometimes.  Bearing in mind that I could only sit at the desk for up to half an hour before the pain kicked in, then had to take meds and forget about cards, or they'd turn out funny and maybe glue myself to them in the process.

I really like how they turned out in the end.  I had all the party details printed out on inserts. On the Front was her picture with ribbons, jute, tags and a Tibetan silver charm.

Frame upcycling

So I picked this up today for €1 in the charity shop and it's full of beans/peas/lentil.  However it is just what I need for my DIY project.  Currently it has zero appeal to me, although I can imagine it in somebodys kitchen.

So with all my beach walks with the dog, I'm forever picking up bits, shells, pebbles, seaweeds that catch my eye.  Not like there's a load of it on the sand, except kelp after a storm.

I gave it a blue card background and chose a selection of stones and shells that I had.  I glued them all into place in the end - I tried that double sided sticky foam, but they just fell off eventually.
I left it like that until Aldi got chalk paint in, which happened to be about 2 week after.  So then I had a mad frame painting session.  I had 4 frames from almost 2 decades ago, you know, when the brown ones with a gold inside edge was all the rage. 

So five frames to get a revamp, I finished them off with some lavender furniture wax that I have in.  Nice to see it finally came in useful.

Sorry it's a bit hazy, but it goes well in the bathroom with the puffins and the Kingfisher.  Both from

Puffin hats

So after an eager wait for the Drops yarn to arrive, it was time to pattern draft.  I had made up the charts, but now had to put it all together for an earflap hat.  I wish I had the sense to write out the patterns as I go, but I just pop it onto the needles and off I go, always hoping for the best.

I wanted some waves around the bottom and had planned on some green grass too, but that couldn't fit into the design as it was, maybe I could have shrunk the puffins more.

I Swiss darned Puffin motifs, rather than try and carry all that yarn around the inside. Then lined with a lightweight fleece for added warmth and finished with multi coloured tassels.

Beautifully soft 4 ply yarn with a blend of 45% Alpaca, 30% Polyamide and 25% Wool.  I have plenty left over and can't decide whether to horde it or make socks.

These are currently listed in my Esty store, however I am planning a revamp later, the postal charges have risen yet again and it's not viable to run my store in the current format.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Look what Dropped in

My creative brain is in overdrive, so therefore I have to get some of it out before I have a

So many ideas but no yarn to create.  Time to go yarn hunting then.  Apparently I was in time for Drops Alpaca party yarn sale..... yay!  I bought their NORD yarn as it was the only one with the colours required.   At the same time I stumbled upon Drops interchangeable needles on sale.  I've been wanting interchangeable knitting needles for ages now to replace the cheap rubbish circular needles I got off ebay years ago.  

This time I used the Wool Warehouse in the UK for my order (might as well make the most of it before Brexit).  They have a great range of yarns and good prices to match. (compared to Ireland).  No doubt I'll be popping back again as the wish list is growing again.

So what are these colours for?  Well I'm going to make some earflap hats with Puffins on them.  With the yarn being so thin (sock yarn) I'm going to put a fleece lining in there too.  Maybe this time I will actually write the pattern as I knit it for a change.

Of course now that I've charted puffins, my mind is going onto other designs...........