Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Works in Progress :: Another Hitchhiker ::

I'm a huge fan of Martina Behm, I'd been familiar with her patterns for some time (who on ravlery isn't?!) but it was the Knitmore Girls and their #behmalong that got me knitting her patterns.

So far I've got two Hitchhikers, two Brickless', one Be My Angel and one Brickless/Hitchhiker mash up under my belt! The last of which was very sadly left on a train during a, many train, journey to Norfolk at the beginning of the year and never recovered. I'm still very much mourning that loss.

This Hitchhiker was cast on on the train to Manchester a couple of weeks ago, when I really just needed some mindless travel knitting and I imagine it will just sit in my bag from now until it's done. I have no particular recipient in mind. I just love knitting this pattern.

The yarn was a gift from Johnny and Milo last Christmas and is Tiger's sock yarn. I'm really liking the colour changes and it's a pretty good yarn given it was no doubt a bargain purchase.

I've started adding a bit of a lace panel, so it will become another mixture of the Hitchhiker and the Brickless I think. Though I'm just sort of making it up as I go along!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Crafting 365 :: 15-21 ::

Week 3 of crafting 365 challenge ::

This week I finally finished Milo's Arlo Cardigan from Brooklyn Tweed. I may change the buttons yet, these were the ones that he chose but they're a little too small for the buttonholes. Overall I'm reasonably happy. It's coming up a little snug, but he seems happy with it which is all that matters. I made the size up from his current size, in the hope that it would last a couple of winters, but I'm not sure it will.

We begun getting festive after the crates of clementines arrived in Lidl, we dug out our mini star cutter and got to cutting shapes out of the peel. I pinched this idea from circle of pine trees a couple of years ago and can see it becoming a yearly tradition for us. Once we have enough stars (in varying states of drying) we strung them up on some cotton, using a needle and voila, a beautiful citrus garland.

I worked some more on secret projects for Design Wars.

I did some work on the super cute doll I started at The Handmade Christmas Fair, she's a mini version of Kirsty Hartley's Funky Little Doll kits. I'm thinking she'll be a Christmas gift for Effie.

If you want to join in, please do, it's been lovely seeing everyone else's projects this week. There's no official start date, just jump on in whenever you like (though I would recommend numbering your photos so you can keep track of where you are in the 365 days), simply craft, capture, share, use the hashtag #crafting365.

Friday, 27 November 2015

House Renovation :: Week 6 ::

This week has been super productive. On Sunday we ripped up the last carpet. We'd left this one as there was a storage heater in the way. So we took this apart and pulled out all the stones (these things are ridiculously heavy) we revealed yet more beautifully kept floorboards and a scrap of gorgeous lino.

 The plumbers started and took no time to start ripping out all the old unwanted things. On Monday they removed both water tanks, the entire bathroom suite, including the bath, not only did the bath go, it had to be broken in 2 in order to get it out! I'm sure replacing the bath will turn out to be the best decision, but I can't help feeling a little sad. I am happy though that a scrapman knocked the door on Wedsnesday and asked if he could take it, along with some other scrap metal. I'm pleased it lined his pockets a little and will be recycled.

When I arrived on Tuesday morning all the radiators were in place and by Wednesday the boiler was on the wall.

I've started painting in order to get the radiator walls done before the radiators are permanently in place. I've also finished getting all the tiles off the bathroom walls along with the tile adhesive. I used a screwdriver and hammer to pop the tiles off and my trusty steamer and scraper on the adhesive. It was messy work but easier than I expected.

I also tried my hand at plastering to try and fix a big hole on the bathroom wall. It wasn't perfect but I think it's going to be OK after a bit of sanding. YouTube is a dangerous thing and I'm also convinced I can tile the whole room myself now! I headed to Fired Earth in the week to pick up some tiles, these are just to help us with decision making, we're still very much deciding how things are going to go, but I'm fairly sure these are the tiles we're going with.

We have however chosen our entire bathroom suite after a couple of painful evenings where Johnny and I attempted to find items we both liked!
Next week the electricians start and the gas meter goes in and I'm hoping the bathroom will be done (minus the tiling).

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Crafting 356 :: 8-14 ::

Week 2 of my crafting 365 and I'm doing pretty well. The biggest problem I have is that most of my crafting takes place in the evening, when the light is rubbish and my phone battery is most likely to be exhausted for the day. What I've been trying to do to catch up is photograph my work the following day, so at least I can share what I did if not the actual crafting at the time it takes place.
This week I worked on ::
Arlo Cardigan for Milo, this is so close to finished now, it really should have been on his back this week! Only the seaming left to do and a little bit of blocking on the collar, next week hopefully.

A secret project for the Design Wars Challenge.

Another secret(ish) project, which I hope will be a crochet pattern for the blog.

Some giant polymer clay beads, which will become a blog tutorial soon.

I sewed up a felt lollipop at the Handmade Christmas Fair at the weekend.

Cast on another Hitchhiker Shawl, just because I wanted some train knitting.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Finding Inspiration :: Gifts for Harry Potter Fans ::

So as Milo and I are drawing towards the end of the Harry Potter series (remember how I wasn't sure if we would read past the third book originally!) and I'm starting to think about his Christmas gifts, I can't help but drawn into anything Harry Potter related. He is pretty obsessed at the moment and I know he would love nothing more than a stocking full of Harry Potter goodies. So here are a few of my favourite finds from UK etsy sellers ::

For more inspiration for gifts from UK etsy sellers take a look at my pinterest board and the Etsy gift guide series

Friday, 20 November 2015

Works in Progress :: Arlo Cardigan ::

I started knitting this cardigan way back in the summer after Milo declared, in the midst school uniform shopping, 'you can knit me a school jumper if you like'. I was thrilled to say the least. I never imagined I would be finished in time for school to start but didn't think it would take quite as long as it has either. Mostly I think the delay can be apportioned to lots of work commitments, I've so wanted to get it finished for him, but I must say I think that knitting a garment in pieces just isn't really my thing. I know there are lots of reasons why it can achieve better results, but I just prefer to knit without seams!

However I am getting there, all the main pieces are knitted up and blocked. All that's left to do now is seam and knit on the collar/button band, which I just started this morning. I'm hopeful he'll be wearing it soon, partly so I don't have to keep answering 'soon' to his regular, 'when's my jumper going to be ready?' questioning.

Pattern is Arlo by Michelle Wang from the Brooklyn Tweed Kids Collection.
Yarn is Patons Extrafine Merino DK (held double) in wine.

House Renovation :: Week 5 ::

This week has been quite exciting, over the weekend the plumber came to measure up for the radiators and we finished stripping the wallpaper from the ceiling in the living room (apart from 2 missed patches and a bit at the highest point on the landing we're pretty much done with that all consuming task now), we also cleared (nearly) all of the leaves from the front garden.
On Monday the gas was connected. It's not connected to anything yet, but it's there.
I started lifting the lino in the kitchen to reveal the gorgeous quarry tiles underneath. This is not an easy task, but it's so rewarding. I've just been using the steamer and the wallpaper scraper and so far this seems to be working really well.

I've also started removing the tiles from the bathroom ready for the plumber, this is much easier than I anticipated, I've just been using a hammer and a screwdriver and they're just popping right off the wall. I've also taken on the task of cleaning the original bathtub. We were just going to replace it with a new one, but the more I thought about it the more I decided I wanted to keep it, if it was repairable. It's an enamel cast iron tub and was filthy and badly limescaled. I read about a product you can use to resurface tubs, but at £75 it seemed that it would probably make more sense just to replace it. But then I decided to give it a scrub. I used bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and oh my gosh what a difference it made. The majority of the bath scrubbed up beautifully, though some limescale remained and it certainly didn't need resurfacing. I've since applied some limescale remover and even given it a sand with some fine sandpaper. The sandpaper was the best tool, the limescale has completely gone and the bath is now glowing. Now it's all clean I'm going to give it a thorough bleach and then see if I can convince Johnny to keep it. I have no real attachment to the tub, I just hate the thought of sending something so big to the tip when it's still got some life in it. There is one problem however, the source of the limescale seems to come from a little well just before the plughole, meaning that the water pools here rather than draining away. I'm going to see if the plumber can lift the other end just a little bit so that the water will drain easier. We'll see, Johnny's not really onboard with the idea, so it may end up at the tip yet, but at least I've tried!

In other exciting news, we've taken deliver of the bathroom floor and the sink this week. I'm fairly sure that once the heating is in and the bathroom is done, it will really start to feel like we are getting somewhere. A lot of this week it has felt like a never ending task.
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