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

Crocheted Chicken Jacket

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I designed this small chicken jacket after looking at my three beautiful chickens. One of them, Grace, is currently losing a lot of feathers and I’m worried about her warmth in Winter. I did a bit of research online and saw that some people have made little jackets for their girls.

I know that some people do not like them and think they are a waste of time. I, however, think that they are a good idea. Many an ex-battery hen would be glad of the warmth of one of these jackets when they are finally set free. I’m not going to say much about battery hens but the way they are treated is despicable. I’m willing to do everything I can to make life a little bit easier and warmer for these brave, beautiful girls.

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Here is (top left) Martha, (top right) Donna, (bottom left) Rose and (bottom right) Grace. Donna is no longer with us, but she was a fine example of a happy, contented, bossy, cheeky, happy chicken.

Anyway, this is my version of a crochted jacket. I have taken ideas from other patterns, but modified them quite heavily.

You will need – 

5mm crochet hook (US 8)

Chunky yarn. I’ve not measured it exactly, but I would say a 100g ball would manage two jackets,

DC stitch (Wrap yarn over hook, insert into next stitch, wrap yarn over hook, pull hook through, yarn over, pull through two stitches, yarn over, pull through last two stitches).

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Pattern – Suitable for medium breed chickens. 

Chain 31.

Row 1 – DC into third stitch from end. DC all the way across. Chain 2.

Rows 2 – 7 – DC across, chain 2.

Row 7 – DC 6, chain 12, (skip 12 stitches) DC rest of the way across, chain 2.

Row 8 – DC across.

Row 9 – DC across to the last three. DC 2 in third from end, DC 2 in second from end, DC 1 in last stitch. Chain 2.

Row 10 – DC 1, DC2 in next two stitches, DC to end.

Row 11 – DC across to final 5 stitches. DC2tog in stitch 5 and 4, DC2tog in stitch 3 and 2, DC in last. Chain 2.

Row 12 – DC1, DC2tog in next two, DC2tog in next two, DC across to end. Chain 2.

Row 13 – DC across, chain 2.

Row 14 – DC in next 12 stitches, chain 12, (skip 12 stitches), DC 6, chain 2.

Row 15 – 21 – DC across, chain 2.

Fasten Off.

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If you look carefully at the picture, you can see the wing holes are closer to the right hand side. This is where you will attach the yarn to at the bottom.

1 – DC 12 across, chain 2.

2 – DC 12 across.

Put right sides of jacket together and using the crochet hook, sc the short piece to 12 stitches on the other side. This creates the wide neck opening. Turn the right way again.

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Sew in all the ends tightly so the chickens cannot peck at them or pull them.

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This is what the jacket will look like when complete.

It can be a bit strange for the chickens wearing this for the first time, but they get used to it super quickly. Be gentle and it will fit them nicely. Just ensure that their wings are completely free and they can flap and fold them properly.

This can be adapted by making the wing holes longer and more or fewer rows in the body.

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I am not affiliated with, but I absolutely love and will highly recommend ‘Homes for Hens.’

Homes for Hens

They rehome hens all over Dumfriesshire and the borders. If you are around here and have room for a few hens, give them a call. You won’t regret it 🙂 When I get a house and garden of my own, my fiance and I will have lots of rescue chickens.

You can find hen rescue centres all over the UK, and I imagine you can find them in other countries too.

If you make any, I would love to see some photos. Any questions? Just ask.

Martha posing for the camera 😀

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Good (c)luck!

xXx Love Kais, Martha, Rose and Grace xXx

Ok, so this is it. The end of 2014. Can’t believe that it is the end of the second year of my blog! Last year I wrote about things I feel I have achieved and things that I wanted to achieve.

What I have achieved this year

  • I have been horse riding.
  • I have wall climbed! (I am immensely proud of this one).
  • I have been to the top of Blackpool Tower – TWICE!
  • I finally went to Germany!
  • I am now a high A2, low B1 language level in German.
  • I have been abroad on my own – full independence!
  • I have a new teaching job.
  • I got a summer job teaching English.
  • I finally went to a pub gig and did some dancing.
  • I rescued some more chickens.
  • My boyfriend and I got a flat.
  • I learnt how to sew.

Looking back over that list I am very proud of myself.

This is last years list. I will cross out what I feel I have achieved.

Things I would like to try/ achieve in 2014.

  • Learn long draw
  • Dye using proper dyes
  • Learn entrelac
  • Crochet a baby garment
  • Knit another pair of socks
  • Get as many of my kits done as possible
  • Finish CAL blanket
  • Do something with Tunisian crochet
  • Sew up my dpn holder
  • Sew the Christmas advent calendar
  • Create my own knitting pattern
  • Make some felt kits
  • Get lots of more sheep fleece prepped

Yeah, looking good! I kept meaning to sew the Christmas Advent Calendar but never got around to doing it which is a shame. Me and Mum will sew it for next year. I tried having a go at Tunisian Crochet again but I don’t think it is for me. I used the fabric for the dpn holder for making baby pants, haha. Knitting pattern, hmm, thinking about I think I did sort of adapt a knitting pattern so that is kinda my own pattern, right? As for getting kits done… urgh! Hardly any done. I really, really need to.

Ok, this is what I would like to achieve by the end of 2015!

  • Have at least ten baby items sewn, aging from newborn to age 2/3.
  • At least ten baby items knitted, aging from newborn to 2/3.
  • At least ten baby items crocheted, aging from newborn to 2/3. (Can you see the links here??)
  • To get every single fleece in the shed and porch washed and carded into gorgeous, soft, fluffy batts.
  • To spin up ten batts/tops/rovings that I have in my spinning box.
  • To spin up an entire fleece.
  • To knit/crochet/weave something using the handspun yarn under my bed.
  • To learn to weave on my weaving loom.
  • To weave on a pin loom and create a blanket from the squares using my handspun wool.
  • To not buy any yarn/wool until I have used up as much as possible from the cabinet. (See how long this one lasts!)
  • To lose at least two stone.
  • To reborn at least three reborn doll kits.
  • To go back to Germany at least once.
  • To have something I have wanted since I was little.
  • To make a baby blanket.

I think that is enough for now! I am looking forward to the end of next year to see if I have achieved any of these! I really, REALLY want to lose two stone so will be doing (after the New Year dinner) the dreaded diet and exercise… if possible! I would like to do some more reborn doll kits but will just sell them when finished. I already have two, it’s just the crafting that I love. And sooooooooo much wool craft – it makes me so happy to think of all that lovely wool!

Now, to see some photos of what I have achieved this year. Sadly, not nearly as much as last year but I have been working an awful lot. 🙂

January

JANUARY

February

FEBRUARY 1 FEBRUARY2

March

MARCH

April

APRIL

July

JULY

September

SEPTEMBER1 SEPTEMBER2 SEPTEMBER3 SEPTEMBER4

SEPTEMBER5

October

OCTOBER1 OCTOBER2

December 

DECEMBER1 DECEMBER2 DECEMBER3 DECEMBER4

Ok everybody. I hate this bit… it always feels so sad knowing that this is the end of a long year. I hope that everyone has a very, very Happy New Year.

Make sure you do all that you want to do. Love deeply, be happy and don’t regret anything.

Happy New Year!

xXx Love Kais xXx