Saturday, 26 May 2012

Weekly Update

Hi Everyone,

Well this week I have been a poorly Maggie with a grim sinus infection, but I am suitably drugged up now and and ready to rock. So ready to rock in fact that I have finally finished the bias blanket after our little set back a few weeks ago.
 So glad that it's done. Its going to be a present for a special someone and I'm thinking of making a patchwork bag to keep it/present it in.

I love the bias block pattern, it's so simple and versatile. The pattern is very easy (knitting) :
          Cast on 3 stitches
          Knit 2, increase 1, knit to end, repeat for every row until black/blanket is desired length
          Knit for 2 rows
          Knit 2, decrease 1, knit to end, repeat till you have 3 stitches left then cast off.

You can use this pattern to knit lots of little blocks and stitch them together or make one huge blanket. It's really easy to figure out how much yarn you'll need if you are doing a big blanket. Just get 2 skeins of yarn, work the pattern until the first skein is nearly done and knit the middle 2 knit rows then attach the 2nd skein for the decrease rows. This pattern is great for baby blankets as the edges are so stretchy there is no hard cast on or cast off edge that will rub on the baby.

 Works in Progress
So with the bias blanket done my attention has turned to getting some work done on the hexagon patchwork. This weekend I hope to get all of the flower shapes completed so I can start a plan of how they will look all together. I hope for next week to have some photos to show you of the planning process.

Crafty Web Stuff
This week the discussion on twitter has been about the Ravelympics. For those of you who are currently thinking "huh?" I shall explain. Every Olympic year ravelry hold the Ravelympics. Various groups on raverly become teams competing and yarn based crafty Events. I am competing in Team Cold Sheep, a group dedicated to stash busting and I am entering synchronised stash busting with my giant knitting needles. There are loads of events, all with witty names. I loved the sound of it last Olympic year and has to be a part of it this year.

I also wanted to have a bit of a gush about June Gilbank, she is my crochet hero and creator of Planet June. I look up to June as she is an incredibly hard working independent designer. She has many patterns and written a book called the complete idiots guide to amigurumi. She has made many amazing things, this is one of my favourites as I am a Terry Pratchett fan:
But the thing that I think is most awesome about June's work is her tutorials. Most recent of which is the invisible increase and my favourite the seamless join in amigurumi. Many people come into the world of craft but few innovate and share. Thank you June!

Well enough of my crafty girl crush. I've got work to do.

Happy Crafting My Lovelies

Saturday, 19 May 2012

A very tired and slightly hung-over Maggie writes this blog today. Yesterday was beloved's birthday and there was much drinking and silly dancing to be had. Among many other presents beloved did receive some knitted socks which went down very well.

During the week I have been doing a spot of hexipuffing and the collection is up to 10 now. Still not enough to make any kind of project from but it's keeping me amused. I have started begging friends for left over sock yarn now so that I can have more colours.

I finally got my new phone which means I can do nice pictures now and I whipped up a phone case to keep it nice and safe.

I know the fabric and the ribbon might not go together but I just wanted to put my favourites together.

While I was out walking on Thursday I spotted some yarn bombing by a woman I met called Wendy.
I am super impressed, this tree looks lovely and snuggely warm. Wendy did this in memory of a friend who passed away and she is currently busy planning knitting charity events with St Luke's Hospice. Very excited about what she's up to and looking forward to getting involved.

Works In Progress
I feel today might be the day to resume work on the bias blanket and get over the little tiff that we had. It will be nice to get it done and maybe move on to some stash busting with the extreme knitting needles.

Crafty Web Stuff
So less craft more cooking this week. I discovered a recipe on a friends pinterest board and I had to try it. It;s called Nutella Mug Cake and is so easy to make, just put all the ingredients in a mug and microwave.

This was my attempt, it was so yummy but I couldn't eat it all, very filling and had a heavy brownie texture to the sponge. I recommend giving it a go.

Well I'm off to find sewing patterns for eye masks so I can nap thought the day.
Ta ta

Saturday, 12 May 2012

It's All Been Kicking Off...

Afternoon Crafties!

So as the title suggests, it has certainly been kicking off in craft land. I woke up on Sunday morning to find the poop had finally hit the fan with All Craft Media. Just to fill you in, All Craft Media publish such magazines as Yarn Forward, Sew Hip and Inside Crochet, the latter I used to write patterns for. There had been mumbled complaints of people not getting paid for featured patterns for a while but it is all out in the open now. In a nut shell All Craft Media (formally Kal Media) have not been paying designers, ripping off sock and shawl club members and even selling patterns on to other magazines without giving the designers licence fees. This Ravelry Group has all the info of the current situation and help for designers and employees who have been scammed. All Craft Media have now gone into liquidation. Thankfully I did receive all of the money I was owed from Inside Crochet but there are still many people who have received nothing.If you want to read more there are many blog posts with peoples outrage like this Letter to All Craft Media.

The craft world is such a friendly and inclusive community, it makes me sad that someone has taken advantage of so many nice people.

Anyway, on to more cheery subjects:

Works In Progress
It has been  not a very productive week for the yarn based crafts, The slouchy hat remains untouched and so does the bias blanket. I did however join the trend of Hexipuffing.

Stephanie Dosen, the eccentric genius behind Tiny Owl Knits created The Beekeepers Quilt pattern, Basically you knit lost of tiny, squishy, puffy hexagons from your left over sock yarn, stuff them and stitch them together. It's very addictive. I fully recommend giving her site a roam as she has some amazing patterns, I love her Mr Fox Stole, it's so cute.

The hexagon patchwork is making good progress, not long and I will be stitching together the flower shapes. There is a craft shop/studio near me that I will be gatecrashing soon so that I can use the giant table to lay everything out. exciting!

Crafty Web Stuff
I had to share with you Rachel John's Extreme Textiles I saw her stall at the creative stitches event in Exeter last year. She sells GIANT knitting needles, crochet hooks, Tunisian crochet hooks and much more. I got a pair of 24mm needles and stash busted this rug. To give you some perspective the long edge is about a meter and a half long.
It is so much fun working with these needles as you feel like you are a borrower. I'm looking forward to casting on another stash busting rug soon and have desires for a giant crochet hook of my own.

Well that's me done for another week kids.
See you next Saturday :)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

I'm Back!

Greeting Friends,
Please let me start with an apology for my long absence from the world of blogging. I have truly neglected my responsibilities to this blog and I'm sorry. But I'm glad to say that I am back and plan to blog weekly from now on.

So in my absence from blogging I have been up to various crafty antics; I finally finished the long term projected I had been working on. A very cute preppy jacket from Debbie Stoller's, The Happy Hooker
Sorry for the poor image quality, getting a new phone next week which will mean better pictures :) Anyway, very pleased with the jacket, just need to block it and put the pocket lining in and it's wearable. I made it from a lovely teal merino yarn, so soft!

I also finished the marathon task of knitting 20 Hearts:
Again sorry, rubbish camera. I was given a giant sweater that was made for my partners granddad who sadly passed away, and asked what I could do with the yarn from it. Well after an intense sneezy session of frogging the sweater I found this lovely pattern on ravelry that you knit on 3 DPNs so you knit both sides at the same time (saves sewing lots of halves together) I made one heart for every woman in the family. I was so happy they loved them. I had loads of yarn left over so started knitting a bias blanket, but after a traumatic frogging incident this week I'm not ready to talk about that project yet, Sigh!

I also have been lucky enough to finally have a new sewing machine that I got in March so have been doing lots of odd sewing projects and loving it.

Works in Progress
I am the first to admit I have crafty ADHD so always have multiple projects on the go. I'm currently working on:

This knitted slouchy hat from ravelry I am knitting the hearts with noro silk to make a lovely colour change. It's slow progress as I'm not so great at knitting colour work.

The Bias Blanket, as I mentioned, I have fallen out with that project after the frogging incident.

I am also working on a hand sewn hexagon patchwork:
I found a giant box of unfinished patchwork in a vintage shop. Someone had already put loads of hexagons onto cardboard, ready to sew together but never finished it. So I am currently in the process sewing the centres into some of the unfinished flower shapes, then I will be sewing them all together, BY HAND! so glad I have gotten used to sewing with a thimble, my fingers couldn't take it any more! I'm very excited about this project as it is loads of retro fabrics and it's going to look amazing when it's all together.

I have just finished crocheting some bit's for the book and enjoying a renewed excitement for getting it done. Keeping the pictures under wraps at the moment ;)

Crafty Events
The lovely Ruth and Belinda from R&B interactive are working on a beautiful project which you are invited collaborate with.

 For The Recordconversations over knitting. Is a plan to created a wall of hand-knitting and knitter's thoughts; to record a 'made census’ of hand-knitters’ work, resulting in a knitted structure or recordThe bias blocks and tags will be presented as a living document of the knitter's voice. The little blocks will go to create a HUGE structure; as a touring art-piece.When the piece becomes tired of being transported around it will be broken down and the knitted pieces will be sent into the community.

Crafty Web Stuff
I am currently loving Pinterest, its a great way to keep all of those awesome things you love on the web in one place. I use it for keeping notes of crafty tutorial, recipes and products that I like and the great thing is you can see the pins of your friends and other people that Pinterest suggests you might like. It's full of inspiration, I love looking through the front page at what everybody has been pinning, lots of beautiful images to get the creative juices flowing.

I found this circular rug weaving tutorial on Pinterest that I had a go at. My first attempt was an epic fail! When I cut the rug from the hoop I discovered I have woven it to tight and it snapped into a bowl shape instead of a nice flat rug. Ah well, we live and we learn.

Well I hope you have enjoyed catching up with me and I'm looking forward to future posts on a more regular basis.

Much love my craft sweethearts!