Hello again!

One of my New Years resolutions was to do more on this blog. Well… better late than never, right? (Last post was in September, eeek!)

Well, my little one is over a year old now, I can’t believe it, how on Earth did that happen so fast? I adore her so much. I also have another teaching job which is good fun most of the time.

But what of the crafts?!

I haven’t really knitted a lot recently. Just nothing seems to have caught my eye. Crochet, however, has been quite popular the last couple of months. I found my Attic24 Log Cabin kit under the bed where it had been languishing for quite some time and pulled it out. I think I had done five squares. I’ve now completed eleven out of sixteen. It’s a slow project, but easy going. I cannot wait to sew it all up together.

I also started making my own graph blanket from the popular radio series ‘Old Harrys Game.’ It’s a comedy series based in Hell from the demons and the devils point of view. Very funny. I won’t put that up until I’ve got it a bit more done though. I’ve got two out of nine squares done.

For a while I haven’t really been into my spinning. I’ve found time-wise it a bit difficult, but I went to Woolfest on Saturday and my interest just sort of exploded again! I bought a beautiful Jacobs fleece (you just can’t beat a nice Jacobs!), a Berrichon fleece and a North Ronaldsay fleece. As well as all the other bits and pieces, including seven issues of Yarnmaker for a grand total of £3.50! I have only been thinking the other day that I really could do with looking for back issues of the magazine. It’s a fascinating read.

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This fleece was absolutely massive, it would have carpeted the whole of the upstairs! I was ruthless on all my fleeces. I uhmed and ahed at times but then thought ‘nope, no use working on bits that aren’t the best.’ It just wastes time trying to card out yucky bits or wash out the really dirty areas. There is still a huge black bag full of fleece. The Berrichon was lovely too. I really was unsure about it but thought I would give it a chance. It came in a cotton pillowcase (just how I store mine in the shed) and was pretty clean, with a short staple. When I lay it on the ground there was loads of great, useable fleece, even with the ruthless skirting. I took maybe a quarter away to wash using three buckets. It got a three rinse bath using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. It smelt lovely afterwards!

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I think this is it after its first wash. Look how clean it is!

I then set about dyeing it. I had been given a great jam pan by my mother in law, which I thought was perfect for dyeing. I set it up with warm water and added in some magenta easy fix all in one dyes.

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I think I put in 5ml of the dye. I actually used it to dye some white wool I bought at Woolfest. I did the yarns one at a time, adding a shade mixer after each yarn to make them lighter, but matching, if you see what I mean. I love these colours. Eliza will hopefully be getting a Fair Isle hat from these.

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I used the final dye to dye my raw fleece. I decided to just dye it straight away whilst it was still wet, which motivates me more than having a load of white fleece and no clue what to do with it. I wanted to make a lovely purple fleece so added in some turquoise, which made a lovely purple.

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It’s a shame it didn’t stay this way!

After rinsing, this was the result.

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On the left is wool from the dye after twenty minutes, and on the right it’s wool after being left in the dye for 24 hours. Both pretty much the same. Because the dye had the added shade stuff in it, I think it prevented much dyeing to be done and maybe also because the blue just wasn’t holding as much as the pale pink was? It’s all a learning curve for me as I don’t dye that much with easyfix dyes. I usually use kool-aid!

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I put the fleece into net bags and hung it on the line outside to dry. It’s been super hot these past few days, and I mean SUPER hot. It’s been between 27-30 degrees centigrade which is almost unheard of around here. Once dry, and filling a washing up bowl nicely, I decided to card some. I cleaned out my carder of all the old colours and bits of old fleece and started going. It’s very theraputic sorting out the fleece and fluffing it up, turning the handle and watching all the fibres align nicely. I managed to get two small batts done on my Classic Carder before dinner time. Not much done, but little and often is my motto at the moment. The pink looks very pale in that photo but it isn’t that pale really.

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It hardly looks like anything has been taken from the tub! Tomorrow, after visiting the local town to see some dolls house furniture in the new recycling charity centre, I plan on having a few hours to myself in the shade outside, sorting fleece, washing it, and then carding the rest of this loveliness up. I have a gorgeous blue fleece outside washing too. It should match this nicely as it is quite a pale blue. I need to give myself confidence in using more of the dye, I can always buy more if it runs out! The batts in this photo need running through the carder again. I usually card it all once, and then once all of them are made, card them again. I love making batts and seeing them all on the table afterwards. Argh, I’m wanting to do some more now!

But, it is getting late and little one is asleep now and I don’t want to leave her. I love just being beside her, watching her sleep. I just keep looking at her and thinking, ‘wow.’ She truly is everything I ever wanted.

Have a good night everyone, and happy spinning/ knitting/ crocheting/ crafting, etc!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello,

Here are a few more sewing projects I have been getting on with, bit by bit, slowly, slowly.

Anyone ever made a jelly roll quilt? I saw a YouTube video of someone using one to make a quilt top and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew Moda fabrics sold them but I can’t afford or want to pay the crazy prices that their fabrics go for. I found a nice rainbow cotton set of 44 strips on eBay and I loved it! SOoooo bright and cheerful.

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I can see teeny tiny baby feet in the corner!

The cotton was nice and smooth and felt good, not cheap nasty cotton you can sometimes get. To make a jelly roll quilt you sew all the strips together end to end. Then fold them in half and sew them together down the long edge. It is a bit complicated to explain but it’s the easiest way to make a quilt, ever! But it is pretty tedious.

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I really like the effect when done though. This is going to be a quilt for my youngest brother. I gave a quilt to my Dad in March this year and a MASSIVE blanket to my Mother at last Christmas, so it is his turn now. We shall see what blanket I make for my other brother next!

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It’s pretty big. I am going to put in 4oz wadding. Well, we shall see. It is about six inches too small at the side. I can of course just sew some more wadding onto it but I don’t want any bumps left. I have bought a single duvet in the sale for £3 and I’m hoping that it will serve well as wadding… if it fits! There were no doubles or I would have bought one of those instead. I have a duvet that I bought for fabric a year or so ago. It has tiny rainbow dots on the back of it, which I thought would be perfect for this! I’ll be folding the edges over to make the binding instead of attaching separate bias binding. I shall have to give this blanket a really good iron first though!

I made Eliza a dress using a McCalls pattern. It is far too big for her which is perfect, she has dresses for when she is bigger! This is the smallest size in the pattern which means I have a few more years of use out of the pattern, so good value for money. The fabric was 99p a metre from Oh Sew Crafty in Kidderminster. The lining is from pillowcases. I really took my time on this and am so pleased with the result. I hand-sewed in the zip, like I do with all zips.

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I added the lace on the bottom to give it a bit extra, rather than completely red.

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The zip is almost invisible, yay!

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She wasn’t too pleased with this, she was a bit tired and cranky! As you can see, it is far too big for her, so plenty of room to grow into it!

The last thing I have made recently is something you either love the idea of, are on the fence, or are completely ‘urgh, no way!’ I make my own sanitary cloth pads. It is no joke when I say that since using these my periods are lighter, less painful and over quicker. The pads I make have no chemicals inside them and do not rub me in ways that disposables do.

I use scraps of cotton for the tops, jersey for the bottoms and either towels or nappy inserts in the middle as the core.

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I am addicted to the Luna Wolf pattern which you can find on Google. It is so simple and effective and best of all, FREE! I sewed around the cores (on the right) to make them sit inside neatly and to keep the cores all in one place, rather than sliding all over the place.

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These are the best I’ve made so far. And really, they only use scraps so I have a good use for the bits of fabric I have left lying around. And they are not bulky so cannot be seen. Here is eight of them, one on top of the other.

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I think I have about twenty reusable pads now. To wash them, simply rinse and then put in the wash along with the normal washing load, and dry the same way as the clothes. No different to reusable nappies. But each to their own!

Right, must go now, it’s time for little ones bedtime!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello again!

This is just a quick post to show what I have been making in the world of yarn! Having a little one who enjoys grabbing my crochet hook makes crochet a little slow at the moment, haha. But it makes me laugh and I enjoy every single second.

I haven’t had a lot of time for crochet lately, not just because of Baby, but because I’ve been sewing quite a bit in my few spare moments.

A friend gave me this black and orange yarn which I have been desperate to use for something Halloween themed. I had in my head a little dress with straps with orange and black netting at the bottom like a tutu. I had a good go this week and it looks pretty much how I imagined it to look.

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I used a 4.5mm hook and made a chain of 60 stitches along the bottom. I then did SC along and then changed to HDC. It isn’t long enough so I added a panel at the back and put buttonholes in it. I have these gorgeous pumpkin buttons I want to put on there, but can I find them?!

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‘Stop Mummy, give me attention!’ I wonder if she will be a crocheter like me in the future?

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Look at that face. She makes me go all gooey inside when she smiles. The dress looks so cute on her! I have had the orange and black netting for ages so I’m glad it is getting used. I have to hide this dress from the cats though as they seem to enjoy chewing net fabric and ribbons. I’m going to add more net and tulle though, making the dress fluff out like a ballerina dress. She will wear a plain whit long sleeved vest underneath and tights. I wonder if you can buy orange baby tights? I’ll look in Primark. If not, I’ll buy her a pair of cheap white ones and dye them orange using kool-aid. Kool-aid is so great for dyeing! I dyed about six inches of my hair on the 22nd July this year. It is STILL in. It’s semi-permanent! I love the red in it though, first time I ever dyed my hair. I’m thinking blue ends of hair next.

The only other knitted thing to show you, besides all the lovely cardigans she has, both by me and lots of other people, is this romper I made a few months ago. It is from a book ’60 Quick Baby Things to Knit’ or something like that. I changed the elephants to have two rows as I hate plain stocking stitch. I also changed the straps as they were just not working for me for some reason. I sewed on tiny elephant buttons at the straps and added kam snaps at the crotch. She looks so cute in it, so small and dainty! This will keep her warm for sure! 0-3 month size I think, in Drops Karisma from Wool Warehouse.

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Anyway, must go now!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone,

What have I been up to? Besides very much enjoying motherhood, I’ve been really getting into my sewing. I found an AMAZING website called Brindille and Twig and they have the best sewing patterns… EVER. When I bought a walking foot for my sewing machine I had the whole new option of using stretch fabrics. I never thought I’d be able to make t-shirts, etc. But now I can, it’s so cool! Anyway, I digress. When I was looking for patterns to use with my stretch fabric someone on ‘Sewing in the UK‘ Facebook page suggested the aforementioned B and T.

I started off with their free patterns, I mean, who wouldn’t? They were written out so simply and easily. Most of the patterns call for either a serger or a zig-zag stitch on the machine. I only have zig-zag stitch available and its worked fantastically.

The first free pattern I tried was the Ringer Tee. I thought, I’ll try the easiest looking on there, ease myself into stretch fabrics. And afterwards, I was hooked!

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I bought fabric from Birmingham rag market. A fantastic place if you ever go there. So many places sell fabric at £1 a meter. I got a meter each of these fabrics. I still have plenty of the polka dot purple one left. After making this I wished I had bought so much more fabric!!

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Fits my gorgeous little model well. It was easy to get on and off and the seams didn’t bother her. I think this is 3-6 month size. I’m going to start making bigger ones soon.

Well, after the t-shirt trial I thought I would try the Hooded Raglan Sweatshirt, or as I call it, a hoody. So easy again! I was super worried about the hood but it came out great. Only thing I would have changed would be to put the polka dot purple inside the hood as a lining, rather than the same purple as the rest of the hoody.

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The cuffs were a little bit tricky to sew around as they are so small. But with a bit of patience they worked out well, as long as I remembered to stretch them to fit the sleeve edges.

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She likes it really!

I am so, so, so proud of this next hoody! I struggle to get decent fabric at a price I want to pay so I am always on the look out for cheap clothing at car boot sales and charity shops that I can cut up and reuse. I found this Primark jumper for 50p a few weeks ago, brand new.

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I think it is a size 18. I’ve since looked for other jumpers like this in Primark but I’ve been unable to spot any.

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I love close up shots like this – and I LOVE my Wonder Clips!

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For the ribbing on the sleeve cuffs and waistband, I just used what was on the jumper itself. But I am so proud of this, it looks like it came straight out of a shop. I tried hard with keeping the seams neat and tidy and the fabric stretched at equal measures.

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She was very cosy wearing it! Here she is in the Dr’s waiting for her second set of injections. Needless to say, she wasn’t asleep long!

After doing these great patterns I looked at the paid for ones and decided I just had to have the cuff pants pattern. All patterns I’ve made so far are in sizes 3-6 months. They are all good sizings I think, true to age.

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The stripey fabric is from a piece at the car boot I found and the purple bits are left over from the hoody and t-shirt. These look so comfy I want a pair for myself!

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She isn’t complaining anyway!

I got two womens t-shirts from a local charity shop at 50p each and I had a metre of fabric from the rag market which had cost me £1 or £2. I wanted to make her some pajamas.

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To this day I’m totally amazed that the legs match up! I have NO idea how that happened. I really love this little set, it’s so cute. The jumper is the ringer tee with long sleeves. The cuffs are from a dress I bought at a car boot for £1.

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Again, a super fit. (And no, she isn’t always this smiley when trying on clothes, she must get so fed up with me sometimes!)

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This set is made from the two womens t-shirts. There seem to be not many t-shirts for adults that are fully patterned like the blue one. The blue was a bit tricky to sew as it wasn’t as stretchy as the pink fabric. It worked out ok though.

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She is so adorable in this!

Then I spotted the T-Shirt Dress pattern. I just had to have it. I mean, look at it! I forgot to mention, all of these patterns are PDF form and you have to print them off and stick the pieces together. OPened up a whole new world for me doing this! (Now I just need to buy a printer and stop going round to my parents and using theirs!)

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Fabric is from the nearest city and I bought half a meter. There is a third left at least. Maybe I could make cuff pants with contrasting cuffs? Oooh, or ribbons for her hair to match when it is long enough? But then again, I’ll need to make a bigger dress!

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Isn’t she cute? Starting to sit up by herself now too, clever girl.

I found this Pokemon t-shirt in Primark on sale at £3 and thought, yeah, I can do something with that. Her Dad LOVES Pokemon and stuff to do with that so I thought I would surprise him by making her a dress to match. This is an XXL sized t-shirt. I didn’t realise until I’d cut out all the pieces how little stretch it actually had. Most Primark stuff is like that by the seems of it. I made some alterations and they worked great!

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I wonder how much this would cost per metre in a fabric store??

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The twin stitching at the sleeves was already on the t-shirt. I double stitched the bottom too to make it match. I did better with this one than the purple as I didn’t fold the bottom hem up enough so it rolled before. This one doesn’t roll.

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I added in a hand-sewn zip as it clearly didn’t fit over her neck when it was done. I cut a slit in the back, pinned the zip and sewed it up. Bulbasaur still looks great! I then inserted a tiny button and loop at the top to stop it hanging open.

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And here she is, posing with her Pokeball! (I crocheted this using a free pattern from Ravelry). It fits well with the zip. I’m planning on making some cotton versions of this dress, going the next size up and adding zips in, rather than using stretchy fabric. I have A LOT of cotton and polycotton fabric to use up! (Again, from the trip to the rag market and Oh Sew Crafty in Kidderminster. Let me tell you, it’s a good thing I don’t live near them!) You can make the t-shirt dress in short AND long sleeves.

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Here is the Ringer Tee I tried making in the left over fabric. It didn’t turn out great. Fabric is upside down at the fron and the waistband was far too tight. I made the cuffs bigger but they look dreadful! In the end I ended up unpicking the cuffs and waistband and just hemming them both, which looked a lot neater and really improved the general look of the garment. The only picture I have of her wearing it is very dark so it probably wouldn’t be easy to see on screen.

Well, that’s my Brindille and Twig adventure for now. They have so many beautiful romper patterns which are very popular. I’m not sure I have the courage to attempt one just yet, but never say never. I’m next looking at the Leggings as Eliza wears a lot of leggings under her tops and dresses and handmade stuff. And the best thing? They have adult patterns too!!!! I’ve printed out the adult leggings but haven’t got long enough fabric to cut them out with yet.

Anyway, I will stop there for now, it’s getting way past my bedtime.

Nighty night!

xXx Love Kais xXx

English Paper Piecing – a tutorial

Hello everyone, As most of you who read my blog know, I’m mainly into my wool crafts. But recently, I’ve really been getting into something called English Paper Piecing, or EPP for short. It basically involves putting fabric over paper … Continue reading

Good evening everyone!

Well, I know I say this after I haven’t blogged in a week or so, but it really has been a while! Almost nine months I would say.

There is a reason for that. I was busy working on my own special make, the most precious thing I have ever ‘made.’

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Please meet my gorgeous little girl, Eliza. ❤

She was born on the 3rd June at 00.45am, after a 25 hour labour. She missed her due date by 45 minutes! It was quite an intense and involved labour which involved being induced and having lots of intervention but I’d do it all again, easily. Me and her Dad are so in love with her, as is the rest of the family.

She is now 35 days old and I just adore her! Of course, she is always wearing handknits and hand made clothes. It just wouldn’t  be right if she wasn’t, haha.

Here she is in the dress I sewed her yesterday.

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It was perhaps a little tight, but looked so cute on her. If I were to make it again I would put snaps on the back and not sew them on. It made putting it on her a little difficult! This was made using up two fat quarters. One for the front and the rest of one for the straps. I also used an old pillow case to line it inside. And I finally got to use up some lace I had lying around for ages.

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The baby version of the Baa-ble hat. I love it! So quick to knit up. I think this would be pretty easy to size up to make a bigger version.

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I made this using a pattern from a mini book from The Works that was in part of a kit. It didn’t go quite right in the pattern so I made up quite a bit as I went along. Made using Drops yarn. (You can see my big pregnant belly at the bottom of the photo!)

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I was so pleased with the make below. I’d always wanted to make a romper. It’s still too big for Eliza to wear yet which is fine. I like her looking so gorgeously dainty and tiny! Again, the pattern didn’t seem quite right in some parts so I made it up as I went along for the top parts. Also, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough of the main yarn colour so I did the elephant pattern twice, simply reversing it at the top. Turns out I had plenty left! I used Drops Karisma and the pattern was from 60 More Quick Baby Knits.

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Some of the baby clothes hanging out on the line a month before having her. It just made me smile so much seeing these. I sewed the little dress shirts at the front. They are made from pillow cases! I also sewed all the little nappy covers too. She hasn’t really worn any yet. When the weather is warmer and she does not need to wear leggings she will have a pair of these on.

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A lot of hand knits from over the years all on the line airing out! They had been stored in a case for a while and smelled a little musty. Rather than hand wash them all which wasn’t really neccessary and would take too long, I simply hung them out on a breezy day and they came back in smelling lovely. She looked adorable wearing the dress in the middle, next to the orange cardigan.

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Lots of little nappy covers! I love the piggy ones. I need to start making some bigger sizes.

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Does anyone remember this? I started on these squares a couple of years ago and I did manage to sew them together. I got fed up of seeing them just lying there so decided to get something done about it. I made the white bigger at the top to give it a little more length and then started going round it. I was just going to use the glittery red but everyone kept saying to use glittery green too. I’m glad I did. I crocheted a simple picot edging which I think finishes it off nicely. It’s now tucked away in the cupboard ready for Elizas first Christmas. The gingerbread man was the first C2C square I ever did. I am in love with C2C! (Corner to corner crochet).

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Can you tell I like making blankets? I bought a pack of Laura Ashley vintage fabric squares at a car boot and pondered for a while what to do with them. I decided on a little cot quilt. I simply pinned and sewed them together and then backed them using an old sheet from a charity shop. I then folded the corners and edges over to do the binding. I LOVE this way of binding a quilt. You will be hard pushed to persuade me to do it a different way now! I might do a tutorial for that actually, it’s made my quilting life so much easier.

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I really love the way this looks in her cot. (The bunny in the corner is Bunny Girl. She was given to me when I was born so I thought it only fitting my little girl gets to have her from the day she was born too. I love Bunny Girl and I hope Eliza finds her just as much a comfort as I did growing up and as an adult).

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I started this hexagon quilt in 2015, June or July, I think. It was my first time ever trying out English Paper Piecing. I was hooked! I now absolutely adore paper piecing. This quilt was always going to be for my baby. I cut out (and Mum helped with this too) so many hexagons, basted the fabric onto them, and then sewed them together. Sixteen flower shapes all joined together with patches of blue. All of the hexagons were hand sewn together. It was a labour of love! The only time it was not sewn was at the very end when it was being quilted. I did the same quilting method I described above. I was kind of sad when this project was over as it was always there to go back to, if you know what I mean. Now I have started another EPP piece, not quite knowing where I am going with it yet. I just love the way it is there, in the little case, waiting to be sewn together when I have a spare moment or two.

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I am currently sitting in bed typing this, whilst my little girl sleeps in the cot next to me. It is no secret of mine that I always wanted a baby and it was a long, often very emotional, process getting there. But now my dream is here and I am so, so, SO happy.

I wonder if she will enjoy crafts like me? I intend on letting her try as many things out as she likes, seeing what will be her calling in craft.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Have a lovely night.

xXx Love Kais xXx

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