Hello everyone,

I’ve feel that I’ve not done a vast amount of crafts since my last post but I think I have. I’ve tried out a new craft, washed some fleeces and done a fair bit of crochet.

This is a large hand made loom I made. I simply made this from the wooden frame of an old picture I found in the charity shop for £1. I marked where to put the nails in and then spent a good while putting them all in. (Took waaay longer than I thought!) I’m amazed it didn’t split the wood whilst I was putting them in. For added strength I added some brackets underneath the frame. As I make my second blanket I can see how the nails are buckling in already. I imagine if I didn’t have the brackets underneath it would have snapped already.

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Making these blankets is not tricky, but it requires patience – a LOT of patience! At each point where the strings cross you double tie a knot, really tight. When that is done you cut the strings at each side of the ties, but only half way done the strings that are there, e.g. if the squares are twenty strings across you cut only ten. Then fluff up the cut strings into mini pom poms. I wasn’t a fan of the pom pom side, I thought it looked quite scruffy and not the nice, neat pom poms I have seen on peoples FB posts.

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To be honest, it reminds me of a bath mat…

I much, MUCH prefer this side, the back!

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It looks really neat and tidy and the tassles at the side look nice too. What do you think? I think the ribbon sets it off nicely too, although you can use any colour. I have another blanket on the loom already, a simple white one. I’ve done 20 odd ties, but it is such a looong process!

I’ve washed my fawn North Ronaldsay – aren’t the colours lovely?

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I also ordered a black North Ronaldsay. It was more a very dark brown, with light brown tips, but it’s perfect for what I need. Both are now washed and fully dried, waiting to be carded. I had left the North Ronaldsay for a couple of days in cold water and I was worried I had ruined it. I found that it seemed to help the process and the fleece was less greasy that the other North Ronaldsay.

My fleece washing process –

1 – Hot wash with shampoo.

2 – Hot wash with conditioner. (If it works for our hair!)

3 – Hot rinse.

4 – Hot rinse. (If needed).

5 – Spin in the washing machine.

6 – Hang out to dry in a laundry bag on the washing line. The windier it is, the quicker it dries.

I might start putting a cold rinse for a couple of days though, see if that works. I’ll try it with an old Zwartbles fleece.

I’ve also been working on a CAL (CrochetALong) called the Groovyghan. I’m really enjoying it. I joined late, but I’m catching up quite quickly. I’ve left out the long pieces that go across the blanket but I’m making sure I do all the squares neeeded.

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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Part 6, 8, 9 and 10.

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I love the colours! It is all from my acrylic stash and I’m running dangerously low, haha.

Want to hear a funny story? Well, not funny at the time!

Miko, one of Andrews naughty cats, went missing whilst I was looking after Andrew’s house. My Dad had come over for a cup of tea and we were about to go back to my house. I said that I had to go check on the cats before we left. I found Aya straight away and for some reason, I couldn’t find Miko. I thought she would be upstairs, so that’s where I went next. I was starting to get worried that she might have gotten outside. (They are house cats). Up and down the house I went, calling out her name. Dad joined in the search too. We upturned chairs and the sofa, stripping the bed, checking cupboards. Panic mde fully activated! It had been at least fifteen minutes of searching the house (with not that much stuff inside, he had not long moved in) to no avail. I went into the kitchen and for some stupid reason though ‘I have opened the fridge in that time, could she have possible jumped in there??’ (Stupid thoughts go through your head when you get worried!). I looked up just above the fridge…. and what did I see?

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I was pretty damn angry at that point so didn’t have much sympathy knowing she was stuck up there. Mean, I know! But I’m a panicker, so she had me seriously worried. Dad got her down and she hasn’t managed to get up there since, phew!

Ooh, something wonderful happened on the 1st July! They say pictures say 1000 words, so here is mine –

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My gorgeous fiance graduated with a 2:1 BA (HON) degree in Film-making and screen writing. I am so proud of him! I made the graduation with only ten minutes to spare as the trains had very odd times. So glad I made it, what a lovely day.

Anyway, I think I must go now, have written quite a bit!

Aretha says ‘byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!’ Gorgeous girl ❤

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xXx Love Kais xXx

 

 

I thought that I might do a quick blog post looking at the sorts of fleece I have been prepping over the several years I have had this blog. I just love fleece!

Seeing all this fleece makes me want to just dive in and start sorting. I know I was complaining about how hot the weather was before but I’m now sorry for doing that and wanting it to be hot again! I could get soo much lovely fleece washed and dried.

What is your favourite fleece?

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello again,

Woolfest is only a day away, I am so excited! Right now it is Wednesday and it is held on the Friday and Saturday. I don’t think I need to tell people who have read this blog before about how excited I get about going to this once-in-a-year-opportunity. My Mum and Dad are coming too, my Mum usually does, but I’ve badgered my Dad into going too, so I’m happy, happy, happy! I don’t get to visit other wool shows (bar the ICHF show in Glasgow, but that is more sewing – something else I adore) so Woolfest is pretty much my once a year buying opportunity for fleece and other related products. I haven’t bought a fleece online in a few years bar an alpaca seconds I got last year. I have been spinning some of it though so at least it is being used. Being seconds it takes a lot of time to prep. It took a while to sort out the decent stuff, then wash it, then sort out the decent stuff once again.

I finally got round to using up my North Ronaldsay wool that I spun up last year. I love this but it infuriated me no end that I had spun it up entirely and not actually done anything with it. My Dad suggested a shawl might be a good idea and I agreed with him. It was too rough and scratchy to go against the skin so a good shawl for poor weather or cold would be great over the shoulders. I decided using the pattern ‘Margarets’ Prayer Shawl’ on Ravelry as a start-off, using a 6mm hook. Instead of changing the last two rows at the end, I simply repeated the same row over and over, using a 3dc stitch per gap.

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As you can see, the shawl is pretty tiny. I am going to see if I can buy a nice brown North Ronaldsay fleece to continue it. A nice, two tone shawl in the same fleece breed. I don’t think it will need much blocking as the wool is holding its shape really nicely. But I do need to wash it as the wool is still slightly greasy and a bit itchy.

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What a lovely sight!

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I had a bit of a spinning binge and managed to spin up quite a few of the batts I had previously prepared. Using the unknown brown fleece I knitted my Dad a thick, warm hat for Winter. I had changed the pattern slightly because I did not like the way the ribbing looked when turned up for the headband. I ribbed as normal, and then when it came to the main part of the hat in st-st, I simply knitted the other way, making the ribbing look ‘right’ when it was turned back up. (Sorry if that makes absolutely no sense at all!).

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I also spun up some of the black shearling Hebridean fleece. Why have I not done this before?! It wasn’t very nice to prep, but oh my, what a joy to spin! I got three small skeins of wool and the colour is lustrous. I think the wool would look very nice in a fair-isle type pattern but nothing has caught my eye yet. The Gotland fleece was quite nice to spin too and the different colours were interesting when spun up. I plan on using some of this fleece to make some pin loom squares. I might get some Gotland when I go to Woolfest. (Did I mention I was going to Woolfest?!)

Yes, I quite fancy making another pin loom blanket, this time using natural coloured fleeces, all prepared from raw fleece by me. This will probably be an ongoing project throughout the year, rather than something I sit and work on. I really like the idea of another pin loom blanket. I wonder if I can ask Dad to help me make some more pin loom squares, but a bit bigger. My one is 8”. Maybe a 12” one might be nice.

My brother gave me some interesting sack fleece fabric yesterday when I visited him. (Happy Birthday, Franz! Eldest little brother is 25 now!). I had been thinking for a couple of days how nice it might be to try rug-making. (I can hear my family groaning now – ANOTHER hobby?!) I know a vintage stall at Woolfest sells rug making tools so I’ll have a look and see how much they are. Maybe a nice rug for in front of the TV – as long as A’s cats don’t destroy it.

My list for Woolfest –

North Ronaldsay fleece x 2, hopefully a brown one.

A small, white fleece.

A few interesting coloured fleeces, hopefully a fairly short staple.

Some ‘grab bags’ of fleece from the breeders stalls, maybe some more Hebridean and I would like to try Valais Blacknose. I’ve heard it is really coarse though.

A drop spindle from Spin City. Her spindles are beautiful.

A rug tool or two.

Some wool tops from Wingham Wools.

Silk Hankies from Wingham Wools. (IF they have any! Haven’t had them for a couple of years now).

Cheap magazines.

Alpaca from Wingham Wools.

LOTS of photos! (My Mum is the photographer of the family, she will enjoy doing this!)

Oh, I also designed a tote bag to take to Woolfest. I’m really proud of it. What do you think of it? Finally got around to using those dyed locks!

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Sewing the locks onto the penciled drawing.

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Backstitching the face of the sheep. I really love the nose. It wasn’t meant to be there, it was a slip of the needle, but it really works!

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Have a great day everyone!

xXx Love Kais xXx

It’s certainly been a while since I lasted posted. The longest gap yet I think. I have had a few reasons for this though. First is that I was in Germany for a month. Gosh… that doesn’t seem real really. It was only a few weeks ago I came back and it hardly feels like I was there at all. I miss it so much, but I know I will be back there one day. Maybe next year, if I am lucky.

Here are a couple of my favourite photos.

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Koln am Rhein. This bridge was very long – the Hohenzelle Brucke. Absolutely stunning. If you lean over the side you can see the ships and boats going underneath. The first few times that I saw it, the bridge was pretty empty except for a few tourists. The next time I went it was so busy I could barely move! I love the idea of the locks on the bridge. You put the name of your lover or loved ones on the bridge. You lock the padlocks (which are engraved or written on) and then throw the keys into the water below. This symbolises ever lasting love. (Apparently, if you split up, you have to dive into the water to retrieve the keys). I, of course, had to join in this beatiful tradition.

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Me and my boyfriend, my parents, my beautiful, beautiful dogs, and above, my wonderful family 🙂 I took a photo of the surrounding area and the number above the bridge so I can hopefully find them the next time.

Here is a quick picture of me on the way back home (after a 24 hour bus journey!!) I was almost home… I look so tired.

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If you would like to see some more photos of the Cologne trip you can view them here –

https://adventuresincologne.wordpress.com/

I created a little blog so I could show the photos to my family whilst I was away. I was there for a month but have only sixteen days worth of photos up. I need to get around doing the rest later.

I saw some beautiful craft shops in Germany, and the craft book section in Mayersche book store was beautiful. They sold sewing patterns too.

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I loved this sign on a clothes shop window!

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Knit Club!

I bought a fantastic crochet book from Mayersche shop. It is a pattern book for a really cute set of dolls with an entire wardrobe.

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It was E12,99, which is kind of expensive. Ah, who am I kidding, it IS expensive. I worked out though, it was the same price if I had bought it online at home. I think it works out to about £9/10. The illustrations are so pretty. As soon as I got home I found out my favourite Patons Smoothie yarn and started. (After I had translated several of the instructions). It didn’t take me too long to create the basic doll.

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After that I created some mini pants (whilst watching The Apprentice. Anybody been watching the UK Apprentice show? Last one was horrendous, was so annoyed with it) and then a little jacket.

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I haven’t done any features on the face apart from a teeny yarn nose. I think she is cute. And it gives me a great excuse to buy some more Patons Smoothie. I cannot rate that yarn highly enough!

Mum had bought back my jumper knitting project from my Nans house and it was waiting for me in my room when I got back. It didn’t take me too long to finish the sleeve and sew it up. It was a little too tight the first sleeve I sewed, so I unpicked it and sewed it as loose as possible. Still a bit tight but wearable. I love it.

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I had planned on knitting some socks when I was away but never got around to doing them. I started them a week ago and have them finished. I’m wearing them right now actually.

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I used Sirdar Crofter yarn that I had been given ages ago. I used Silvers Sock Class tutorial to make these.

http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/

Absolutely fantastic tutorial for anyone who would like to learn how to knit socks, either on four needles, two at a time toe up or one sock at a time on circular needles. I think I can remember how to do it without a tutorial now which is really helpful. This is my second two at a time toe up socks on circular needles. Invaluable. I don’t think I would like to knit socks singly anymore, haha.

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I added a bit of cabling and a picot edge bind off. The cabling was my own design. Not fantastic, but I like it. It might have worked better on non stripy yarn.

I bought some mini Christmas decorations back from Aldi in Germany. They were E2,99 and you could make six little people from it. It had an awful lot in the pack!

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I love the little knitted hats. I did a bit of one and Mum did the rest. They look so cute! She put our initials on each of the angels.

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They are hanging on a little tree in our hallway at the moment. They look so pretty. I need to get a photo of that.

The following pictures are of the little project I finished today. I fell in love with it when I saw the pattern online. It did not take too long to make and I want to make loads!

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I then put it on Christina doll.

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Haha, I love it. The pom pom took aggges. I haven’t made one in such a long time!

Anyway, I’d better go. Here are a few pictures of my babies… I was so happy to see them again. I couldn’t believe how much I missed them. It’s Alfies birthday today too, exactly one year old! Happy Birthday Alfie!

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Alfie fell asleep like this…

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Gorgeous boys together. Love you Freddy and Alfie.

Have a great night everyone,

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone. 

I’ve just spent the last few days going over my room and giving it a massive clear out. I have so much craft stuff it’s overflowing! I managed to sort out all of my new bits and pieces into plastic boxes which makes it so much easier to see what I have! 

I’ve really gotten into my sewing, which I adore! I bought some simple lunch box type plastic tubs a week ago – 5 for £4. I bought some more yesterday too as they are so useful. I did have all of my sewing stuff on the table and in boxes and bits, all jumbled up. Not helpful when you want to lay your hands on something quickly. I’ve got a couple of extra tubs too. 

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Excuse the socks and cups! 

Bottom up first column. 

1 – Lace, ric rac and ribbons. 

2. Scraps and fat quarters. 

3. Paper pattern pieces. 

4. The essentials – needles, rotary cutter, scissors, tape measure, chalk, etc. 

5. Elastic reel, alphabet buttons, large beads and teddy bear items. 

6. The little dress and shoes I am working on now. (Pictures further down). 

Bottom up back column. 

7. Christmas patches ready to sew. 

8. Teddy bear pieces. 

9. WIP little hat. 

10. Bias binding and velcro. 

11. Mini rabbit pattern pieces all ready to sew. (Been months now!) 

12. Tub of elastics. 

13. (Behind) Bra and skirt fastening type things, press studs, etc. 

You can see next to all the tubs a spice rack. I’ve had this for a long time and instead of spices I use them for other little bits, like needles, buttons, rose pieces, pins, etc. It’s really useful. I’ve also sorted out some of my fabrics to fit nicely under the table.

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It took me ages to find wadding anywhere at a decent price. I know I can’t get everything for cheap, cheap, cheap, but some places take the mickey. I went to HobbyCraft (about 10-12 miles away) but the wadding was £6+ a metre! Nooo thanks! I’d need several metres and there was no way I was going to spend £12 on two metres of wadding. When I was next in Glasgow I went to an amazing place called ‘Remnant Kings.’ It sells the remnants of fabric on rolls as well as other pieces. Ribbons, bias bindings, buttons, etc. Some pieces are very expensive obviously, but others not so much. There are some beautiful cotton prints there. I wonder if they do half metres…? Anyway, I found the wadding and it was £3.50 a metre for the thick stuff. Perfect. I only got one metre and I’m regretting it now…. why did I only get one metre?! No matter, next time I’m there I’ll get 2/3 metres more. It’s just storing it that is the problem. Maybe a vaccuum bag would be a great purchase. 

I’ve worked on the next little dress for a week or so, on and off. I’ve made the nappy cover to match, and made it without sleeves. I think sleeves would not have looked right on it. What do you think? 

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I didn’t buy fabric like that – I was at a car boot sale a good few months ago and they were selling packs of fabric for a pound. There was a piece the size of a bath sheet in there of all these squares someone had sewn together. I imagine someone had been trying to make a quilt. Well, I didn’t want it as a quilt so I thought it would be really sweet fabric to make a little girls dress/top out of. I found some bias binding that matched it perfectly (from my trip to the Sew and Sew!) I sewed the majority of this by hand on the train and at A’s house. (I am sooo (sew :p) going to get a sewing machine at his house. I have turned the bias binding up at the bottom and at the sleeves so it is not so sticking out. I’ll need to get a photo for you. I’m really pleased with it. (Please excuse the tissues at the side – did NOT notice that when taking the photo, grrr). 

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As I mentioned before, my local haberdashery is closing down and when I last went in it was 60% off. I was very good and only picked up these two items. I was charged £1.40 for the lot! One whole metre of cotton in red and white stripes that will make a nice romper suit and some gorgeous black and white cotton flower fabric which I have used before. I used it to line a knitting cable pencil case. I don’t know what to make with it yet.  

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When I was in Blackpool I bought some fabric panels and fabric books to make up. Each panel was £2.50! EACH! Usually they’re about £8+ so I got a real bargain. Two books which look sooo cute! The rest are all going to be baby quilts. 

I started on one the other night. The only thing is, I had to pin down the sides quite a bit because the wadding was just too small. It would not fold in half so I ended it being fairly thin wadding, but it can be a thin cover blanket. I got some old childrens curtains from a charity shop yesterday and the back of them had the most perfect backing for this new quilt. 

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I really like it. I haven’t sewn up one side as I needed to turn it inside out. I’ve seen some amazing quilts where they have been sewn around different patterns on the quilt itself. It made a nice effect on the back of the quilt. I’ve tried doing it with the machine and by hand but it just isn’t working for me. It looks good on the front – 

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– But not on the back… I’m going to unpick it and see what else I can do. I’ve found a large cross stitch hoop which will stretch the fabric out at the back so it does not bunch up as it is currently doing. Either that or I’m going to take the back off again, sew around the different pieces (adding a thin piece of cotton on the back so I’m not sewing up the wadding as it will muck up my machine) and then sew the backing back on. We shall see. 

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For anyone who is interested, here is the book I’ve been using to do my baby tops. I got the pants tutorial from online – 

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-the-perfect-diaper-cover.html

Here are some more examples of my WIPs. 

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I’m still, STILL working on this blanket! I love it though. A is getting a flat in a few days (Thursdayy!!!!!!) and I promised him that one day this blanket will go on our bed. I doubt very, very much that this will be finished by Thursday but I will try my best. I’ve added two inches since this photo was taken. I plan on creating another half metre or less, then a border of sc’s, hdc’s, two granny stitches, and then a wavy border. Excited! I’m so excited for him getting this new flat. I won’t be living there but I’ll be going over there lots and lots! He is going to Uni to do film and media and it’s like ten minutes from his flat. I haven’t seen it yet, but A says it’s amazing and will be perfect for us…. we shall see on Thursday. I shall cast my eye over it and see the possibilities 😀 

I bought the best ever pillow cases at a car boot sale today – soooo true! 

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A while ago I mentioned on one of my posts that I had bought a reborn doll kit. I realised that although I finished it a good while ago I’ve not put any photos up of it at all. I know a lot of people don’t like them but I’ve had fun doing this one, and would do it again. Just a shame at the £100 + price for the kits! 

Well, her she is – I’ve called her Christina. 

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You can’t really see any of the paint on her face which is a shame. I’ve coloured her cheeks and lips and where her eyes are so it looks shaded and blushed. She has little veins too. I was using my phone camera to take photos so there isn’t any decent close up unfortunately. 

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I love her little hands. The feet are cute too. The dress she is wearing is a knitting and crocheted dress I made a long, long time ago – when I was in my post tonsil pain! Made with King Cole Riot yarn. Beautiful stuff! The doll is weighted so it feels like a real baby. Hmm, well, I think she is a little too heavy – everyone says she is very heavy for a baby doll. The head is weighted so it flops back, as are the bottom, the arms and legs. 

I can’t wait until I have kids! Don’t worry, I’m not one of these strange people who treat it like a baby. It’s a doll. A doll for trying on the baby clothes I knit to see how they look, and then it goes back in the cupboard! 

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This is the finished doll. The next photo shows the rooting of the hair. This took a good, long while and I ran out of hair and needles! I did find a few of my own felting needles but they were far too big for the dolls head and rooted like ten hairs at a time, which did make a big difference. The poor doll looks baldy at the back! 

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Grr, this photos shows none of the colouring! It looks like how I got it out of the box. How annoying, oh well. 

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Found this old WIP languishing in some bags of wool earlier. I don’t like the yarn I’m using. I think it’s a linen blend and it’s very soft but I just don’t like the floppy way it knits up. The cardigan looks good, so I should finish it really. Only the sleeves and the button band at the front. This the main part I dislike – 

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This is where you have to do a YO to create the sleeves. Oh well. 

Right, I’d better go now. Find something to do! I might do some more sewing. I sit in front of my bedroom window looking outside whilst I sew. It’s a beautiful view over a river at the back. You can see England from my window right at the back. 

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Have a great night everyone! 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

Wow, such a long time since I have posted. Over two months. It’s been a whirlwind of a couple of months. And I have to say I have loved so, so, so much of it. I’ve been working as a TEFL teacher at a summer camp in Worcester, UK. It was almost five weeks of very hard work, planning, fun and amazing experiences. I did things I never thought I would do and you know what, I’m so proud of myself. 

I didn’t even think I’d do something like this. I was at home one evening, pretty bored, still sad at the fact my teaching job would be finishing at the end of June. I randomly typed in ‘summer teaching jobs.’ The one I applied to was the first one on the list. It seemed perfect. Great pay rates, it was twenty minutes from a relatives house and it was in beautiful countryside. It also did not need a full CELTA or TRINITY English as an Foreign Language Certificate and allowed online ones as I also had a teaching degree. I got an interview for the following Wednesday. I was on the phone for an hour and a half, just chatting away. They said that they would get back to me very soon but that I should have no worries. Fifteen minutes later I got an email asking me to take the position. WOW. Terrifying but so amazing. I was a little upset at the fact I wouldn’t see my family for so long but it turned out to be completely fine. I didn’t have the chance to miss anyone I was so busy! I won’t say much more about the time I had – it’s all in my head. Here are a few photos – 

 

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A view on my bedroom wall. 

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Holding beautiful Peaches the snake. 

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My first time EVER wall-climbing. I fell off shortly after this… 

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Meeting the irresistable, beautiful, amazing Bruce. I miss the bird so much already. He would take food from my hand and wait outside for me to feed him. I never got to stroke him, but we did go for a walk together. He sort of led me to where he had left loads of feathers. I must have taken about 16 home with me. I miss him very much. 

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Beautiful, huh? 

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This is the car that picked me up when I had to leave. My last few minutes at the Hall in this photo. Beautiful open top sports car belonging to my Uncle. It’s not cold in an open sports car and the wind doesn’t blast you in your face like I thought. Perfect end to a perfect summer. 

I was with Nanny a few days and we visited my Uncles house (the one with the car!) Here are just two of their beautiful dogs. Look at the size of them! 

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My Nanny is only small, but these dogs are HUGE. Gina is on the left and Brad is on the right. There are another two dogs in the house, but only smaller ones. They also have some chickens and a cock too. The next photo makes me smile so much. This was the first time I ever met Gina. Doesn’t she have a gorgeous smile and such a happy face? 🙂 

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When I got home I had a few days of rest before going straight to Blackpool for a week. It was A’s birthday so we had a mini buffet tea. (It was me, my Mum, my youngest brother and A that had gone). We did the usual, up the tower (WOW), Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and the beautiful, beautiful ballroom. 

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An amazing view. 

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We also went to the Tower Circus and it was great fun. I met the two main stars, Mooky and Mr Boo. They were lovely and their show was very funny. It’s the second one of theirs I’ve seen and worth every minute. The acrobatics were amazing and certainly exciting. 

I spent another week at home before going to A’s house. It’s been two months since I’d been there. When I got back it was like I’d never left. I love being with him. We spent quite a bit of time looking for flats near his University. He is going to be living closer and I’ll be able to stay with him sometimes. I can’t wait 😀 We are going to look at some more tomorrow. We viewed one yesterday and it was beautiful. The only thing that was wrong with it was that there was a load of kids bikes and pushchairs outside the door opposite ours. The sound of kids screaming, young kids screaming and playing really puts me off. Ah well, we shall see what happens! 

So, where has the time been for me to get some crafting done?? It’s been hard but not too bad. I’ve managed to get some fleece carded as I had washed one as soon as I got back and had washed a couple before I left. 

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Some Jacobs, some Badger Faced one and a Woodland one I think. That’s it, I’m not sure. I did some dyeing before I left too. Some Shetland fleece I think, dyed in batts and clean uncarded fleece, with kool-aid. Here is my other little helper 🙂   

 

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Here I am sorting out some alpaca that I had bought from Woolfest. I didn’t have any boxes and didn’t want to sort it on the floor. I found a roll of plain wallpaper lining and made some quick boxes from it. It worked really well. It is now sorted into 40g bags ready for use. 

I have found a new hobby! Ok, I know that I’ve tried it before but this time I really got into it. On the last day of Blackpool I found a great book called Sewing For Baby – Clothes for 0-3 year olds. I found some scraps of material and some old pillowcases left over from my quilting projects. I really wanted to try sewing clothes properly. This was my first attempt. 

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It was plain at first and then I added on the bias binding. I think it really makes the different colours stand out. I’m really, really pleased with it. I tried it again with another fabric and this time added some little pants to match. 

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Please give me your thoughts, what do you think?? Would you dress a little girl in this? I know the elastic is not up to much on the pants, but hey, first attempt! Not a fan of the way the sleeves are set but it looks good so I’m fine with that. I then had a look again at this little set and thought, hmm, what is missing? Shoes! 

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This was the third time of trying to make shoes! The first two I wanted to make did not work out. I tried the other two with stiff fusible interfacing. It made it hard to turn inside out. The second one did not sew like it should have and looked dreadful. Then I found another pattern and it worked! I was so pleased. Want to see the entire outfit together? 

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😀 So happy! I plan on putting some teeny velcro strips on the sides of the shoes so that they stick down. 

Our local haberdashery is closing down and had 50% off everything. I can’t wait to go get some more stuff later. I spent quite a bit a few days ago and bought some great bits and pieces. 

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Lovely, lovely sight! 

I had another go at making some pants, or diaper/nappy covers. These are 0-3 month old sizes and I love them, they are so cute! I made one pair and then another straight after! 

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I think one thing I would like to work on would be neatening the inside of my sewn items. With the shoes I plan on making fusible interfacing soles to slip inside to cover up the mess. 

Anyway! I think I’m going to go and do some knitting, I haven’t done any in quite a while now. I’ve done a teeny bit on my crochet blanket. I probably should work on that actually, I am desperate to get it finished in time for A moving into his new flat. I promised it would go on our bed one day. And if that day is in two weeks then jeez, hurry, hurry! It means adding another half metre onto the size already, and then several rows all around the blanket to create a border. Fun fun! 

Have a great evening everyone. 

xXx Love Kais xXx 

 

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post and I don’t have much of an excuse for not doing so. I feel quite demotivated at the moment which hinders my writing. Anyway, I’ve managed to gather up all my photos for a pretty long post, so here goes.

Sarah-Jane

I’m very sad to say that my beautiful girl Sarah-Jane died on Saturday 12th April. She had been absolutely fine in the morning when I went to shut them in the run as we were going to town for a few hours. I had been in a great mood when I got back and I did what I always do. I let the dogs out and I went to hop over the mesh to let the chickens out the run and I saw her.

I truly believe she had had a heart attack, but the most upsetting thing was that I found her in the water bowl. (Their water bowl is a rectangular tub). I think she had died on the spot and fallen in, but in my shock I was thinking she had drowned so I was very, very distressed about it. Her top layer of feathers was dry so she didn’t struggle, she looked like she had just fallen asleep in the water, so I’m hoping she didn’t know anything about it. The other chickens had left her alone so I’m glad about that. We buried her at the bottom of the garden with the other animals. It’s a nice spot and in the grass where she loved being. We had a very happy eight or nine months together and I’m very glad that we were able to give her the loving home she was denied at such a young age. The fact that battery chickens are still allowed disgusts me and I would love to get them all banned.

I love the above picture of Sarah-Jane. She looks very peaceful and beautiful with all her feathers. When she first came she had no back or tail feathers or front feathers to speak of.

We still have our beautiful girls Donna and Rose.

Chickens

I love my girls to bits, I really do. I think some people can’t understand how much they mean to me. Since Sarah-Jane has passed we are going to rehome another two hens. We are undecided on their names yet, but I think they will be Grace and Martha. (More Dr Who companions!) I’m excited to get some more girls. We will be getting them perhaps a day or two after they have been taken from the farms, so the poor girls will be pretty traumatised. I hope my two show them that there is nothing to be afraid of and that they will love their forever home. They will certainly be spoiled! Donna and Rose were happy when I bring them out cooled baked potatoes. I always pop an extra one or two in the oven for the girls.

We have been thinking about making a new chicken run at the bottom of the garden. Their run is great for them just now, but it hasn’t got any grass patches. I’ll show you what I mean.

Chicken Run

They have quite a big yard to be in and the whole of the side of the shed. (It’s pretty big!) They can scratch and dig around for things in the dirt and stones which they love. There is an old ladder in there and they love jumping up onto the rungs (the ladder is on its side). I enjoy watching them have dirt baths because they look so content. I’d love for them to have some grassy areas to play in and I do take them down the garden occasionally. We are thinking of turning this area into a run –

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We have a door frame already made up from when we had a chicken house years ago. I am thinking of making a squarish run with mesh all around it and on the roof. Ideally I would love to make two or three little pyramid ‘arks’ to put in the run so we could leave the chickens there all day. They would have these arks in the run so they could lie down in them, lay an egg, rest in the shade, etc. And they would have the whole of the run to play in during the day. (And it would mean I could possibly have another couple of chickens!) It’s certainly a big project! I’d even make the arks too, I’d love to do that. I’m really enjoying the whole idea of self sufficiency. (Though I couldn’t live without TV or Internet, so I don’t think TOTAL self sufficiency is my thing just yet, haha). We have a huge garden so even a large run wouldn’t take up too much room. I think it would be lovely to sit there in the summer and listen to them softly clucking away.

So, the first week of the half term holidays A and I went to Blackpool! It was our first ever holiday away together and we loved it! We bought a Big Ticket and got into six attractions for £45 each. Expensive, yes, but if we had gone into them individually it would have cost £90 each! We went to Blackpool Circus (no animals, just very clever humans!!), Blackpool Tower (wowww! I even walked on the glass floor!), Blackpool Dungeons (scary but fun!), Madame Tussauds (a wax works exhibition), Blackpool Tower Ballroom (just beautiful, I’d love to get married in here!), and the Sea Life Centre ( I could stay in here all day). We stayed at the usual Guest House my family stay in, a wonderful place. The hosts are so accommodating and lovely, and it’s like meeting old friends when we see them.

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We were pretty lucky the weather was nice and bright during our stay. Look at the wonderful clean beach and the views! And yes, you may have noticed I’m standing on the edges of the glass floor and not the floor itself :p I did eventually walk across it though and do have photos as proof! The views were amazing. (Gosh, my feet are STILL tingling looking at those pictures!)  The top picture is in Madame Tussauds next to the figures of The Two Ronnies.

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Isn’t the ballroom just beautiful? There is always an organ playing whenever you go in. The guy plays lots and lots of music and it’s beautiful to listen to when having scones and cream and jam! I love that place.

There is A sitting in front of the figures of Andy and Lou from ‘Little Britain.’ Ever seen that? Hilarious 😀 Lou looks very upset that A dares to sit in front of his chair!

We mostly spent our time wandering in the town, around the arcades and on the pier. Oh… and that meal. We wanted to go out for a meal to finish off our holiday. Instead of rewriting about it, I’ll copy and paste the tripadvisor review. I was not a happy bunny.

My boyfriend and I wanted to go for a nice meal to round off what had been a lovely holiday in Blackpool. I had wanted to go to this place for ages. We chose what we wanted on the menu (myself – steak and ale pie with chips, peas and gravy, bf – hotdog and chips with coleslaw, mustard and sauce). We were told that there were no peas with the meal. Disappointing but ok. I would have thought they would have offered something else in place, e.g. carrots or whatever, but no. It took a very long time to arrive and when it finally did (even though there were perhaps two families in the entire place) it was luke warm at most. I literally had a handful of chips and a piece of pie on the plate and that was it. We had to go and ask for the gravy which arrived cold. My bfs meal was just as boring and came without the coleslaw! I don’t understand how such a simple meal order was not followed through. We ended up leaving most of the meal because it was awful. We will not be returning there again. 
We thought this place was like a Wetherspoons with the cheap prices, but clearly not. Wetherspoons give good, filling, HOT meals whereas this place gives the opposite. Terrible.

Ah well, the rest of the holiday was great! There is a wonderful wool shop just around the corner from the guesthouse and I always make sure its one of the first shops we go into. The first time I went in it with A he got bored VERY quickly so I just had a quick look and went back on my own later. Here is what I bought.

Purchases

I bought the stuff in the top right corner. Just some sewing bits and pieces. I also bought some teddy bear eyes and limb socket thingies. I want to try them out the next time I make a teddy. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else and they were really cheap from this place. Urgh, why can’t this shop have a website?! No matter, I’ll stock up again later!

All the wool on the left hand side was part of a bulk deal someone was doing on FB. 50 balls of wool for £40 delivered. It did take a long time to arrive (due to lack of organisation on their side I think – but they did have A LOT of orders) but I was thrilled when I got it. The colours are better in real life. I’ve already started making an entrelac blanket with a few of the colours (one thing to tick off on my New Years list!)

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It’s a lot easier than I though. I’ve started a blue on it now, and then will be going onto dark grey. I’ll put photos up later. The middle right picture shows some very pretty fat quarters I bought from a charity shop for £1 each! Beautiful colours. I’ve no plan for them just yet but the fact they were £1 I had to buy them. And the bottom right shows the fun fur fabric I bought to make some bunny rabbits. I bought a lovely sewing pattern book from a charity shop in Blackpool and am determined to work my way through them. The pictures are beautiful. Last night I copied out the patterns onto grease proof paper, cut them out and am waiting until later to pin them together and sew them. I just need to finish making the skirt pieces for the clothes.

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I’m making the bunny on the bottom right. She is so pretty!

Ahhh… something I am very proud to show you next!

Dress

I made my first ever dress! I spent a long time trying to find some nice (cheap!) material to make a lovely McCalls pattern with. I found some in the local town and bought everything I needed. It took me a long time to pin out the patterns as I’m used to working with far smaller pieces. I made them seam allowance smaller (and I’m glad I did) and I made the zip bold red to match the top part of the dress. I have got buttons to go down the side of the dress but I’m not sure if I will put them on or not. I need to hem the bottom too. What do you think? Ok for a first attempt? It’s a size 12 and fits perfectly. I was so glad because I would have cried after all that work and it didn’t fit!

Fleece

I decided to get the last full fleece out from under the stairs and start working on it. It was a hot day so it was perfect. Look at the siz of the thing! I managed to get it sorted into four bags – best, middle, rough and bin. I wonder why it took me so long…

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The fleece was really yellow in some places but after a good hot wash it came out fluffy white. I haven’t needed to card it or anything which I’m really glad about. It just means I can start spinning straight away. I’ve spun almost a full bobbin. As I have that much I’m just spinning until two bobbins are full and then ply them together. The bobbin on the right is my attempt at spinning in the grease. It was … ok, but not something I’d particularly want to do again. I much prefer working with washed fleece.

Luxury wool

I gathered up all of my handspun wool and took a photo of it for a blog post I did for Woolmakers. If you want to read it, the link is here –

http://www.woolmakers.com/blogs/almost-year-bliss/

The last to skeins I spun are on the left. One is a silk and llama mix I THINK, and the other one is superfine camel. I hated doing the silk mix but quite enjoyed the camel one. Overall I think I much prefer working with wool than any other fibre. But I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t found the ‘right’ luxury fibre for me? But no matter because I LOVE WOOL! 😀

Ah well, I think I’ve pretty much finished the blog post for now. Just a few pictures left to round it off. 🙂

My beautiful boys. Isn’t Alfie getting bigger so quickly!

Boys

A quick picture of my gorgeous Patsy.

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She was enjoying time out of her cage in the hamster run. I put an old T-Shirt in there and she spent ages burrowing round in it. Fred was most puzzled seeing this old T-Shirt move!

And I know I usually finish with a picture of my baby Freddy but today I thought I would end with this. I don’t think it needs much explaining but here goes. This picture was taken in Blackpool in one of those photo machines. I’ve never done this before and it was something I always wanted to try. We got a set of two, so I took one and A took one. I love how happy we look in the photos and I always want to remember that moment. I want this photo to be something I look back on when we are both together and have grown old. I want this photo to be something our children one day see. It might sound soppy and silly but it’s just a little something special 🙂

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Anyway, I must go now. I have letters of application to write for various jobs I’m applying to. Wish me luck, I think I need it!

xXx Love Kais xXx