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

Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial – Part 1

Hello everyone,

I have seen some lovely patterns for baby toys as I was getting a little bored with constantly knitting and crocheting clothes. I thought maybe it would be nice to make some toys? I had a quick glance through patterns on Ravelry and Google, but settled on a mix of things I had seen. This rattle is easy to make and hopefully the instructions are easy to follow.

You need –

A round ring of some sort, roughly 3″ by 3″. I used these kind of links. They are a bit wonky but you see how they work out later. I bought these from an ASDA store (I’m in the UK) but as you can see, these can be bought in the US too.

Crochet hook size 4mm. 

DK yarn x 2 colours. I’m just using acrylic, but I’m sure anything will work.

Strips of wadding, about an inch thick.

Strips of cotton or fleece, about an inch thick.

Needle and thread. I use invisible thread.

Wool or tapestry needle. 

A rattling noise! I use craft bells to make a nice tinkly rattling sound, but you can use anything.

Stuffing. 

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Here is an example of what you need first. As you can see the fleece and wadding are just scrappy bits, but they work well.

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Start wrapping the wadding around the link. This make it soft and squeezy, rather than hard. It does not matter if the ends are lifting up slightly, this will get covered by the fleece.

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And this is what it will look like when finished.

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Start the same again using the cotton. Wrap it all the way round making sure to cover up all the wadding.

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There we go! Looks like a doughnut. Use your needle and thread to sew down the last flap of cotton. This should only need a few stitches, it’s just to hold it down.

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Using your crochet hook you are going to make the cover for the rattle. Remember you may need to use a few more or few less stitches than me according to how big your link is.

Make a chain of 15 stitches.

Turn and SC(US)/DC(UK) back down the line. – 14 stitches. 

Continue going back and forth alternating the colours every four rows. Keep checking against your loop to make sure it is long enough. It should be able to go all the way round the link and meet in the middle too.

I did ten colour changes. Make sure to do the last colour different from your first!

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Right, now we are ready! I would advise that you sew in the ends of the piece first as they tend to get in the way.

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Use a wool needle to start to slowly sew the crochet piece onto the ring. It’s fairly straightforward at the start but as you continue it gets a bit tricky! I didn’t sew up the pieces to meet right until the end. I sewed the piece in the middle as much as possible to try and keep the stitches hidden.

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And voila! One starter rattle handle. I’m really pleased with it.

The next part will be showing the top of the rattle and how to put the noise maker (or whatever you have chosen) into it. I will try and put that up today.

Here is the link to the next part – Crochet Baby Rattle Tutorial – Part 2

Happy Rattle Making!

xXx Love Kais xXx

Hello everyone,

It’s been a lovely holiday so far, shame it’s nearly at the end. Two more days and then back to work! I’ve realised how much I’ve been able to do when I haven’t been working. The first week I was at A’s flat, well, our flat. We gave it a huge spring clean and changed furniture around. It looks really nice and it’s very homely. It also feels like it has a lot more room too.

The first week I managed to get quite a bit of knitting and stuff done. Also got quite a bit done on the train up too, instead of working. Bliss! I had to come up on the Friday as A was filming on the Saturday and needed my help. He is currently at University studying media and editing. Part of his course this year is creating a short film (20 mins or so) and he has chosen his based on an Indie game. The actors and actresses he got were very nice and it seemed a good laugh all round.

So… photos!

I FINALLY got this finished!

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I thought the best colour to go border it would be purple. It is pretty hard trying to get the correct amount of stitches up the side so it co-ordinates.

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This photo is upside down but it shows the full effect. I do like it. I have sewn all the ends in now though.

I have knitted a newborn hat, mittens and booties set. I really like them and they knitted up quickly. I chose to knit these on dpns, rather than the straights the pattern called for so it would be easier than sewing up at the end. I did have to use straights for the booties though.

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I started on some baby bibs when I was there too. I saw some basic ones on Ravelry and then decided to make them up myself. I had ordered some cotton online a few days beforehand and have really enjoyed working with it. Such vibrant colours.

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I went around each bib with a white cotton border and finished each bib with a red apple button. I plan on using the same red button for each bib I make. I did see some with a green leaf on though, which I might change to instead. I’ve put them onto the baby doll and they fit really well. Being cotton they are easy to clean and wipe up, then stick in the washer. I’ve designed them so that they fit over the shoulders nicely rather than the plain circle. As you can see in the picture, I’ve not done terribly well, but practice makes perfect! I’m wondering whether to put some writing on it or not, such as the days of the week, or ABC.

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I made this little jacket at the flat too, and finished off the buttons from my brothers house. (He has a gorgeous big glass bowl of buttons in his house). I am not a fan of the pattern and as such, probably won’t knit this again. I forgot to do a button hole at the bottom right hand corner but the button squeezes through anyway. It was knit on 5.5mm needles (size 9 US I think). I didn’t have my 5.5mm dpns for the sleeve so went round all the charity shops in the area to see if I could find any. None at all! Only two had any needles but not the size, and other charity shops refused to sell them! Dangerous apparently! That made me very angry. What nonsense! How is a knitting needle dangerous enough to refuse to sell? I’ve seen them sell knife sets, and tools. A sharpened pencil can do some damage, and a fork! Grrr…. Anyway, I checked out the proper yarn shops and the first one didn’t have any in that size so suggested the other shop. She was very helpful. The second shop was small and on my way back. The owner was talking to some customer for five minutes, and then when the customer was browsing I thought she would ask me if I needed help as she was not doing anything. I was looking through all the needles, back and forth, but no, nothing. Didn’t get a hello, nothing. Makes me mad too. I often find that since I am a younger knitter, people don’t bother with me in their shops. I was in the same shop two days previously buying cotton yarn from her! Grr… again!

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I found this pile of squares in another charity shop and thought I might be able to do something with them. They are not great colours but I thought they would work for a simple quilt that I could take to the beach or use outside. The squares were roughly 5″ by 5″. I sewed in columns and then rows. I then backed it with wadding and yellow fleece fabric. The fabric is so smooth!

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I also changed the squares so they were opposite sides to each other, e.g. the straight up and down blue, and the across blue.

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Lovely and soft and warm! Mum has been testing it out in the kitchen and she says it is very warm! ❤

Whilst at the flat A showed me his shirt and asked if I had a needle and thread so he could mend his shirt. I was impressed that he wanted to do it himself! I didn’t at the time (I did, I found some later in my bag!) so I bought him a mini sewing kit from the pound shop. I showed him how to start and stop handstitching and how to do a simple mending stitch. I’m very impressed with the good job he did.

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Be prepared for absolute cuteness in the next photo! This gorgeous little lady is Livvy, my brother and his partners puppy. She is a Collie dog and is adorable. How can you not fall in love with that little face?? We had a bit of a panic with her at first. The day after he got her she started having fits which is obviously really scary. I think she had eight in five days. When they took her to the vet they had blood tests and so on and had to wait a week for the results. During that time she didn’t have anymore. We thought perhaps she was epileptic but the results showed she has no problems whatsoever! Turns out she had had a bad reaction to the worming tablets she was given by the previous owner. But now that it has worked out of her system she is a happy, healthy, chatty dog who loves company. ❤

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I had a good look through all the baby stuff I’ve made over the past few years. I’m pretty impressed with it all. Can you guess how many cardigans and jumpers I’ve made altogether? 23!! So happy with them all. The only thing I found was that I’ve been pretty lazy and not sewn in the ends on quite a few items, so that needs done. I’ve put all the items that that needs doing to in a biggish box in the cupboard, right at the front. When I have a spare hour I’m going to pull out that box and try and get them all done in one go. Fun….not!

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And what am I going to make next?

I’m working on making some crocheted baby rattles. I’ve actually made a tutorial for the first part as I work through it, bit by bit. It’s a little late to be doing that now (half past midnight) so I’ll try and get it up tomorrow.

Have a great evening!

xXx Love Kais xXx