Saturday, 12 March 2016

Finding Inspiration :: Desk Accessories ::

Since moving house I haven't really had a chance to set up a work space properly, I'm currently working at a hastily set up desk in the corner of the living room. Ideally I'd like a workroom all of my own, but to be honest that seems unlikely, for the time being anyways. So in the meantime I shall dream of a room of one's own and browse etsy for all the things I will adorn my desk with once I'm no longer living on a building site!

Here are some of my favourites all from UK based etsy sellers ::

7. Pencils from Papio Press

For more inspiration for desk attire from etsy sellers take a look at my pinterest board and the Etsy 'dress your desk' collection.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

World Book Day :: and the tale of the Ron Weasley Sweater ::

Those of you with children will probably know that last Thursday was World Book Day. A day where parents across the world find themselves frantically trying to cobble together a book themed costume for their little ones. The majority of our previous outfits have been thrown together the night before with mild panic and crafty skills. Unsurprisingly for anyone who knows Milo, last year he was Harry Potter. The year before that he was Charlie Bucket and I think the year before that he was a pirate from Captain Hook's ship.

This year he initially declared he wanted to be Hermione Granger. I have no issue with Milo choosing to be a girl for the day (for Halloween he was Bellatrix Lestange - do you sense a theme here?) but my main objection was spending money on a new wig. His Bellatrix wig soon found itself in a horrific mess of knots and tangles. Once he was informed I would not be purchasing a wig, it turned out that having 'nice hair' was his main reasoning for his costume choice and he quickly started to come up with other suggestions.

Deciding to use his already existing freckles to his advantage he thought he would like to be a Weasley twin, but after much indecision on which twin to be, I suggested he might prefer to be Ron, turns out he didn't realise Ron also had freckles. So Ron was chosen. To which he quickly requested 'a Molly Weasley jumper with a R on it please Mum'. I cannot resist the request of knitting from Milo, I was thrilled when he asked for a school jumper over the summer, however my initial response of 'oh yes of course I'd love to Milo! What colours shall we do?' was met with thoughts of 'how realistic it is to knit a jumper in a week?'!

But do you know what, if you love someone that much, you can knit them a sweater in a week. Even when you run out of yarn and have to spend 3 of those 7 days waiting for more to arrive and especially if you don't mind staying up until 2.30 the morning of World Book Day to get it done!

I didn't use a pattern (though in retrospect that would probably have been easier) I didn't even swatch. I just took a couple of Milo's measurements, took the ball band's suggested gauge as read and cast on. I did a really simple bottom up raglan, with ribbing on the bottom, cuffs and neckline. I decided to use duplicate stitch for the R, figuring that would be easier than attempting to learn intarsia, plus if for some reason he decides he doesn't want an R emblazoned across his chest I can remove it easily and the sweater can still get some use.

I used Drops Alaska in dark red for the main body of the sweater and the mustard yellow for the R as it was nice a chunky, perfect Gryfindor colours and I already had some left over from the crochet blanket I made over the summer.

It was totally worth a couple of late nights to see the look of awe on his face on Thursday morning, plus he looked amazing! We added a wand, some orange hair chalk, Scabbers the rat and even a dirty mark on his nose.

Lots have people have asked me for the pattern. I'm afraid I don't plan on writing it up at the moment, that's not to say I never will, but not in the foreseeable future. However if you found yourself a nice simple sweater pattern it really would be simple enough to add an initial to the front of it.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Hello ::

I'm sorry, I'm afraid that once again I fell off the blogging wagon, I didn't mean to, it just happened as Christmas approached and the house moving date loomed and time just started to slip away from me at an alarming rate.

If you've been following me on Instagram you'll probably know we've moved into the new house now, though we are far from being finished with the renovation! Life is still kind of crazy whilst we live out of boxes attempting to finish decorating with a house full of possessions and two little ones 'helping' out. I'm gradually getting back into a sort of routine which doesn't involve daily consultations with tradesmen, sanding floors and attempting to paint walls with a baby strapped to my back (these things are still happening just not daily!).

I'm super excited to be getting back to work, crocheting flat out on my sock collection and sending new submissions to magazines left, right and centre.

Effie becomes more demanding by the day in an 'almost two' kind of a way. She's still as wonderfully delicious as ever, parenting her just needs a little more patience as she grows fiercely independent and frustrated at her inability to tell you what she needs. She's settled in at nursery now and is loving it, which gives me two mornings a week to get on with work, which is bliss.

I have lots to share here I just don't always find the time to actually put words and pictures to the page. At the beginning of the year I chose a word to guide me through 2016, I've done this for a few years now, inspired by Susannah Conway and her Unravelling the Year workbook. This year I choose ASPIRE, I want to aspire to be better at all the things in my life, to be less flaky and more organised, more successful and generally a better business owner, but I think it's relevant here too. With that said, I aspire to be a better blogger!

Look out for a catch up on the house renovation, I've kept weekly handwritten logs of our progress, so I hope to share those here in the coming weeks. I also plan to blog lots about crochet techniques and crochet socks as The Crochet Sock Collection nears it's intended publication date and of course I'm sure there will be many posts on family life and a few crafty tutorials.


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.

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