Sunday, December 16, 2012


Just a few Christmas cards. I had bought 'papers' in Lidl a while back.  Only thing was it wasn't papers it was card,  so my original idea/plan went out the window.  I had made a few toppers and tags months ago and had put them away and forgotten about them.
I was looking for something else a couple of weeks ago and came across them again, so thought it was about time that I finished what I started.

Also I was reminded that a friend is having their milestone birthday this month. Just so happened that she had a newspaper article 20 years back in the national paper, which I stumbled upon last year at the bottom of my Christmas box.  
The fun starts when you have to scan it on to the computer in 4 parts - it was a 2 page spread.  Getting all as straight as possible, which is no easy task. Then stitching them together to match so that the writing and pictures are perfectly aligned..... this took quite a few attempts and rescans of certain areas before I managed.  Usually I only work with 2 pictures, which is relatively simple to join, but getting four together required patience which I was running out of.  Some things you just need to take a break and get some sleep before it all comes together.  
With that done I printed it out along with a recent photo, mounted the photo onto card with foam pads, did the same with the happy birthday.  Cut a frame out of some pretty card to mount the article onto the card. Here is the end result.
 For those of you who are curious, yes the clothes are made using paper, crepe paper backed with interfacing, hand painted, glittered, cut, stitched and sequined.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Emergency chocolate!

I found this idea on pinterest so all credit goes to the original person on this.  However I found out it wasn't so straight forward as it looked.  First I got a cheap frame from the Euro store, hunted down a slim bar of chocolate, since the frame wasn't one of those deep ones.  
I printed out the message and cut to fit.  Then I glued the chocolate to the paper with pritt stick to hold it in place. 

Now for the back you can't simply use the one that was on it because it's too small, so you have to have some backing, either sketchpad or the stuff you get on furniture backs, or some thin wood.  I had a bigger back which I had saved, so I cut that to size, drilled 2 holes for string to hang it.  
Now the metal bits that you bend to hold the back on, you have to reuse these so carefully pull them out and reposition them where your new back is going to sit, and there you have it........ one emergency bar of chocolate novelty gift ;)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Knitted Christmas gifts

OK I managed 2 whole days with out knitting........ aaargh I can't take it anymore!!  Actually I was trying to rest up a bit, cos I have what I call knitters elbow ( if there is such a thing), yes yes I know it's usually in the wrists or fingers, and normally that's what I get.  Just lately my elbow is bothering me.  I should really find a crochet project for a 'rest'.  ;o)

Anyway I've been knitting like a woman possessed lately, with 3 things on the go. 1st was the Cardigan which I've already posted, by the way I redid the button band in moss stitch, looks and fits much better.
2nd was the Baby Bunting bag. Which I had problems getting stitches per inch so had to basically do some math and kinda rewrite the pattern but keeping the design, it's all done now and ready for my friends baby due in a few weeks.  A lot of people seem to have had the same issue.

3rd was another aran cardigan for the mister, I had to write my own pattern to get the right size as again my gauge was out (becoming the norm of late!) Anyway it was this pattern that set me off. It looks exactly like it, although it was my first attempt at a shawl collar and I had more of a hood than a shawl at 1st try, but round two was much better.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cabled Cardi for her

 I've completed the vogue patterned cardi with quite a few modifications, mainly added cables to the back and sleeve, only added lower pockets and made it longer, as well as adding shape to the body and working stocking stitch.

I've put buttons on it for now, but  think I will try and find a raspberry coloured zipper for it.

Like I said previously my gauge was way off, but I knitted the smallest size which made a UK 16, so I was lucky that way at least.

I've also been knitting a baby bunting alongside this, which is half done..... and yes my gauge was out on that too..... seems to be common place for me lately so have to mod all the patterns.

I've started another cabled aran cardigan for himself, looks ok so far and I'm hoping it turns out like this one here.  I may have to take a break from knitting as my hand is quite achy ~ not surprising after that last one!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recycle your Yarn

I've taken to ripping back my knitwear recently.... only the worn out stuff!  Sometimes you can knit aran up as dk or aran the second time round.  Anyway I had this very old, very oversized aran coat that I made about 9 years ago.  I decided to deconstruct it and make something new out of it and since there was 800g of it first time round I wouldn't have any shortage.

I found this great pattern in Vogue from 2004, but I'm not keen on the rib throughout the cardi..... but that's just me.  I also decided I wanted some shape to it so am modding the body part that way and making it a bit longer.  I also wanted the cables on the back like some of the others so have done that too, just because you don't see the back doesn't mean it has to be blank!

My gauge is off ...... no change there then.  So I'm making the smallest size on 4.5mm needle and it appears to be working out at the same measurements as the next size up so I'm pleased about that.

I do believe I will have painful hands before I finish these cables, but they'll be worth it........I hope!  ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Card Stock

I am toying with the idea of bring out a new line of cards.  I made 3 the other day as I had a family birthday coming up next month.  Thinking I had plenty time, only to be told that the said family is off on holiday next week for 3 weeks........... arrggghh.  so I was a bit rushed ~~ not part of the plan at all!

Anyway, a while back I had bought a little fabric craft pack, at the time I knew what I was going to use it for but being me I put it in the cupboard and forgot all about it until 2 days ago.  I also keep all 'bits' that might be useful, so this was the outcome of my hoarding.
The butterfly one has gone off in the post now and hopefully will reach before they go on holidays!  I think I'll make a few more and see if they sell.  These are my own designs and you may not copy they without my permission.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Knits

I remember knitting this very sweater for my daughter about 18 years ago so it was a little wierd to get the book and knit it again just to use up the stray balls of yarn that were hiding at the bottom of the stash.
I think that the yarn is trying very hard not get be all used up!!

I found some horrible green yarn too, the colour is nice but the fiber content is dreadful.  it has polythene in it......... so I thought since I'm just knitting for the heck of it why not try a dog sweater.

I found the pattern on the Drops website, so I knitted up the smallest size and slightly dented the ball, so now I'm making the next size up and hopefully that will be an end of the yarn.

Kinda makes me want to get a small dog :)  The other half is a cat person though, me I would have any animal!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pocket change

Considering I do most of my shopping online I am pretty annoyed that I have on just discovered Fatcheese which give you cash-back on goods ordered at certain sites through their website.  Would have been good when I was booking my travels!!
I really wish I'd known about it sooner, it would have been a nice wee bonus to spend on something I wouldn't normally be able to get.
I've also sent my daughter to the uk site since she's a student and orders a lot, including her food shop online.  Lets face it students need every penny they can get!!

I've seen a few similar sites that offer you rewards but to be honest they have never amounted to anything with me.  Of course that and the fact that I'm always wary of this sort of thing.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oddball Scraps to Charity Bits

I really hate having these tiny balls of yarn leftovers.  Normally I just throw them out, but this time there were too many hoarded to do that. I started of with some hats, but then got fed up with knitting the same thing over and over.  So I found a Monkey pattern and adapted it a little, I'm currently working on another one in burgundy.  There will be enough yarn to make another hat I think.  I'm hoping that will use up all those leftovers, but I will have to check the bottom of the stash bag first.
The colourful toy kinda reminds me of Mr Blobby!! Well hopefully the charity shop will find a new home for all of it.

I'm also wanting to downsize on the fabric scraps.... That'll be a job and a half, trying to figure what to do with it all. Anyway just to warm up I made a few hearts, 2 with a ribbon hoop for hanging and the other with a face,, just for fun.

I just have a urge to do a belated spring clean at the moment...... might have something to do with lack of storage space and things just piling into disorganization!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

That Lund sweater

Ever since watching The Killing (the proper version). I've wanted to make that sweater, well I wasn't going to buy it @ €280  I have better things to do with it.  I started of here and used the chart as a guide, since I was using aran which I reclaimed from the Yukon (it was too big). I beefed up the chart a bit.

So you can take any sweater pattern that fits you well and incorporate the pattern in, however the amount of stitches should be divisible by 24, On the sleeves I manipulated the chart down to 22 stitches by removing one stitch between the different motifs in the second row of repeat.

I used 4 mm and 4.5 mm needles dpns and circular.  Gauge  16 sts 20 rows to 10 cm  Approx yardage 1000.  size 42 chest close fit  this was my yolk sweater pattern.  See notes at end for tweaks.

NOTES: I worked 14 rows rib and then continued until it measured 11cm then added the pattern which was 8cm when complete. Followed by 23 rows plain knit then pattern repeat then 4 plain rows. Measures approx 38.5 cm at armpit. then to the sleeves.
SLEEVES; Cast on 36 worked 15 rows rib. Increase to 48 sts work pattern.  Increasing as stated in original pattern. work 23 rows plain, 17 rows 22 st  pattern, 23 rows plain, 17 rows 24st pattern, 4 rows to armpit ending 3sts before marker like pattern.
  *~~~~ I have long arms, if you need shorter sleeves. It will be roughly 46cm less one pattern to cuff
  *~~~~ I had increased my sleeve to 72sts as I thought it might be too tight,  so I placed markers where the sleeves joined and decreased on both sides of the markers (reducing 8sts per row every 4th row) until I had 264sts 11 pattern repeats, for the yoke.
I worked the final pattern band before the first decreasing round in the pattern, the 2nd 8 rows later then followed pattern Worked 8 rows neck rib cast off.

This is a rough guide how to make it.  When laid flat. Armpit to hem 39cm, armpit to cuff 50cm. 65cm shoulder to hem, body width 45cm, bust 53cm

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

This was their first European Tour in 20 years (probably my first proper gig in 20 years too).  I certainly didn't think that would happen in my lifetime.... and I nearly didn't get to go!!   I had a total meltdown on Wednesday night as it really looked like it wasn't going to happen for me.  My tickets didn't arrive until 12.45pm the day of the gig, big thanks to the UPS man for delivering them before lunch so I could go, all I had to do was jump in the car and drive 3 hours to Cork.

Johnathon Wilson Band opened up the evening at the Marquee, I hadn't a clue who they were, but the managed to get my foot tapping and belted out a couple beauties! We arrived there at 7.30pm (ish) and things were already in full flow.......... like many others we missed the announcement that the show was starting a half hour earlier.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers took to the stage and rocked the tent, we have been a small crowd but we were mighty! The sing-a-longs at one point drowned him out and I think he was happy to let us ;o). It's true what they say about them, that they are a Live band first. It really was a night to be remembered........ in the years to come I can say that for my pre-40th bash I saw Tom Petty Live in Cork! We all sang Learning to Fly, my OH held me in his arms as we rocked and Tom Petty came right over to our side of the stage and something/one made him laugh..........priceless!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crochet Waistcoat

Finally it's complete. There is no pattern for this it was just made up as I went along using cotton DK and I think a 3mm hook.

 I worked the top parts first using a fan stitch, working towards the shoulder shaping as I went.
Then working downwards with the same fan stitch, the first row creates a circle,  continued until desired length. Sew back and front together.

I used a pineapple style hem, chart which I found here, yes it was for a bag but works good as a hem too!
Finally single crochet 4 rounds, creating a button hole on round 3.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Short Sleeve Cardi

Another one from Drops knit in the round.   Not bad for 1 big ball of Aran from Aldi.  The pattern can be found here.  I quite like knitting in the round, so much so I've just ordered to sets of circular needles.   They can't come quick enough, as I've the next one lined up already, it's going to be the Sarah Lund sweater from the TV drama The Killing.

Just a close up of these fab buttons that were gifted to me a while back.  I'd thought that it would be black buttons initially, but then I came across these and that was it.  I did have nice grey marl ones but only had 5 and I needed 6....... that's so typical!

I've nearly finished my crochet waistcoat too...... just the buttons to get and since we're going into town tomorrow, I'm hopefull that I'll find ones I like, if not it will be Ebay all the way.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Aztec Cardigan

 Well here it is the finished article, This is going to be my House cardigan.  The chart I made up myself using the Superdry Buffalo one as a guide, but the pattern first caught my eye in Harry Potter when Hermione wore a cardi with the design.
It was a good way to use oddments of aran, rather than hats or socks.

I used approximately 400g Grey, 100g Purple, 200g Cream, 100g Smokey blue. 
Of course when I tried it on, I realised the the button band (duh) was back to front for me, so I had to redo it or choose years of struggling to close the buttons!!

the charts.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Winter Knit

Okay, I know we're supposed to be more into summer, but it's not quite here yet.  I do have a summer top on the crochet hook, it's a DIY project/pattern, i also have one on my knitting needles at the moment.
Back to the point, I'm not quite sure why I picked this but I probably liked the pattern.  It's knit in the round and I just used 5mm needle, The bottom part is quite misleading as I thought I was going to have the right size, but it turned out larger on the patterned top part than anticipated.  Still it'll be warm next winter and I can unravel my old oversized out of shape aran and make something new from it.

It's a lot of work and I made some changes by omitting the cuff and bottom sections of the original pattern which can be found Here

I never made the cowl either, I wanted the yarn for my current project which I had hoped to make in Chunky, but having never used it before didn't know the quantities and never got a reply from online suppliers to help me out.  I'll post photos of it later.

Birthday Card


I made a Birthday card, the dress topper was made from a template found on Google images, the girl was a drawing I picked up a while ago, I just changed it a bit and painted it, for the writing I copied one of my fonts lightly in pencil then went over it in pen.  The verse was also found online and slightly modified.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mouse Skirt

Having suffered from multiple types of dermatitis for the past couple of decades, with no signs of improvement and finding new things I can't touch or eat I getting pretty fed up with it.  I know the mouse mat is a trigger and maybe even the mouse, so I thought I'd have a bash at making a cover for it.  I've tried wearing cotton gloves, but they just make my hand sweat, which in turn aggravates my skin and itches like crazy.  I've had more cream than I can count and none work, the only temporary relief I got is when I bought an antihistamine cream for the itch.

Anyway back to the cover, used some fabric wrong side round and pinned the corners and curves, stitched in place, add applique for the left and right clicks, made two wide button holes to access the scrolls.  I also left a long bit at the back  aka the skirt to protect my wrist from contact with the mat.

I not gonna hold my breath, but I hope this will give me some respite from my affliction.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sewing cards

I stumbled across an article ages ago where you sew fabric shapes onto card.  It popped back to the forefront of my mind this afternoon and I thought I'd do a dummy run.  I was thinking of doing a birthday card this way, but for this tester I decided on an Easter theme.  I fused interfacing onto fabric then cut out the shapes, then sewed the wing on first, after which I stitched the bird onto the card.  I just glued the eggs on as they were to fiddle to do on the machine.  Added a few blades of grass and the legs and of course the message.
I'm thinking this is something you should do with tri-fold cards to hide the stitching, in this case I cut and glued paper to the inside.

I have to say I rather like it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crafty bits

Just received my goody bag of craft bits today, can't wait to use them.  although I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with them yet, still no harm in having a stash.

Have also recently discovered an intolerance to caffiene. Yet another to add to the list! I've still a box of green tea which I only just discovered and was rather fond of.  I thought it might be a good idea to gift bag the tea bags, they can be sent with letters cards or notes and come to think of it, could be handy for me to take out with me in case I fancy a cuppa with my own teabags ;)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


With Mother's day nearly sneaking up on me again, I've been making a few cards of some variety.
The thank you note was made re-using the toppers from one I received, The mini card was leftover card and the heart design was from last months calendar image.

The Mother's day card was from free paper stock available online from various places, quite possibly for digital scrapbooking.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sewing Saturday

I was really lucky to pick up some shabby chic fabric (aka duvet cover) in the charity shop this week. Trust me this is a rare find, I guess the only reason it was still there was because it was torn.
I've been itching to sew for months now, probably the nice weather and the arrival of Spring.  But haven't found the 'right' fabric until now.  I had planned on making a half apron, but I couldn't find the picture of the one I wanted to make and then again maybe I'm better with a full apron.  I drew up a sketch of what I wanted and went from there, this is the result. 
I really adore the retro shabby chic feel/look.
Got a few more things planned for the leftover load of fabric

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vintage Crochet

I'm trying to use up the scraps of yarn that I have, these 2 were heavy on the wool as they used 2 strands at a time. The scarf is from Lion Brand but I just made a neck wrap from the pattern, using a button at the back to secure in place.   The original pattern looks great, but to be honest I wouldn't know how to wear it!  I didn't have anywhere near enough yarn to do it either.

The Cloche is using DK yarn I bulked it up by using 2 strands again for that super chunky look, I did have to mod the pattern because of this.  It has an uneven brim so is lower on the flower side and I stitched it in place so I wouldn't have to faff about with it every time it is put on

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I went for 2 rows of edging on the sleeves and added a tie string to the front, otherwise I think it would  gently slip off.  I'm happy with the end result, despite it taking a lot of wrong turns and adjustments.  The square is from here although the pattern is in French the square is in chart form.  The edging is from the previous shrug I made, but seems to suit everything.    Now all I need is summer

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crochet Bolero

I've been working on this for 2 weeks now, it should really be finished, but it's a design as you go project.  It turned out to be too wide in the back, so I had to remove a panel, to save my sanity I just cut the panel out and sewed it back together.  The squares are joined as you go so this was the easy option!
Only the sleeves to do now...... think it will just be an edging, as 3 previous attempts to make cap sleeves have turned out awful.
Still it'll be a nice cover-up over the sleeveless dresses. My OOAK (One of a kind) wearable! Well until someone makes one like it anyway.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Another Leg cosy

I don't know what some have against legwarmers, but I find them practical. I suppose it's just a matter of taste and not everyone can wear them. I vaguely remember having a pair back in the 80s sometime, the days before the internet, and fashion was dictated to you by local shops and if you were lucky Marshall Ward home shopping catalogue.  Anyway I had a little scrap of aran left and wondered what to do with it, oh how I really wanted to make long socks, however there wasn't enough yarn.  I barely manged to finish them as it was. I used the same drops pattern again, I'm just a cable-holic what can I say, these were to go over my leggins in my boots with the cables showing above the top of the boot like long socks.......just in time for the frosty spell!

I got some of the cotton yarn in Lidl today, I have the pattern(s) already, only hitch is one is in French the other in Portuguese and I speak neither, hopefully I'll figure it out from the crochet charts, of course I have no idea how to join motifs neatly either, yet another challenge.