Saturday, 26 October 2013

Maile Cardigan from "What to knit When your Expecting"

I would not call myself an accomplished knitter, but last week, after a not very productive day I got the “creative Itch” and just HAD to make something. I have just recently been “pinning” knitting patterns for baby blankets and cardigans and after conquering crochet I thought I ought to up my knitting skills! I found a lovely, not too complicated pattern for the Maile Cardigan from What to Knit When You Are Expecting ( a great blog on all things knitting (and no I’m not expecting!)) (It’s in a lovely pink on my Pinterest board). The most wool that I had was the remains of a bluebell blue wool, no label, and think it must be an acrylic blend to be honest that my mum had crocheted me a blanket from years ago. I also needed size US4 circular needles which works out to 3.5mm-in between a 9 and 10 in Uk sizes and Lo and behold, I miraculously found a pair of 3.75mm circular needles in my stash so I just used them. I also bought two stitch big stitch holders and some stick markers (in my have colours! coral and mint green! See below) The pattern itself is very easy to follow, however due to the difference between Uk and US stitch abbreviations I did have to rip it all out 4 times, as I just couldn’t get the initial vine pattern correct! To learn the abbreviations that I didn’t know I watched on a You-tube channel from Bernat Yarns and they taught me all that I now know! To be honest I am actually surprised at how easy it is to create the lace patterns when you just follow the pattern it just appears! I did have to cross of each stitch as I went so that I didn’t get confused, I’m rubbish at counting and so I also retyped out sections of the pattern to include the purl rows as I can never remember what number row I am on or have just done! I am really pleased with the finished outcome! I think if I was to do it again I would like to do it in a nicer wool, as the synthetic wool that I had will probably bobble over time. Also I think I made the sleeves a little too long, so in the photos you can see I have folded up the ends. Oh and I miscounted where to put the button holes, so ended up with one too many and in the slightly wrong place!  BUT for now, as it’s my first attempt at complex knitting I am pumped and can’t wait to knit something else! Let me know what you think!

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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Animal fabric roundup!

My town doesn't really have many option in terms of fabric buying (Market stall or John Lewis) and so I have been really struggling to find suitable fabrics for my projects. So this week I have been searching the web for UK based online fabric shops. To be honest I haven't really had that much luck in the past at finding anything worthwhile until now. After searching around and a recommendation from a friend my dedicated research has brought up some right beauties!! Literally had me drooling at the yummy fabrics available online! So with my dribble bibs in mind I was looking for some fun unisex animal fabrics and I have made my first round up of my favourite finds! See the shops listed below or click on the images to go to the shop page it's from, ENJOY!
1. The Village Haberdashery
2. Eternal Maker
3. Backstitch
4. Fabric Rehab
5. Modes4u
6. Plush Addict
7. Elephant in my Handbag
8. Modes4u
9. Plush Addict

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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Dribble bibs DIY

In the evenings I love doing little sewing projects using the scraps of fabric from my stash. Recently as you are aware I have been making loads of baby things, mostly because they don't require a lot of fabric or time, in fact i can usually knock something up in an hour or so. SO satisfying! I had already made several Baprons (funny word I know!) from Craftiness is not optional I downloaded the pattern and I have made mine using scraps of oil cloth to make them wipe clean. Then Dribble bibs caught my eye as they are SO simple, quick and make great presents, especially as the idea is the kid keeps them on throughout the day while teething to stop their clothes getting soggy and making their necks sore.  Ideally I think they would be best made from jersey cotton with some micro terry on the reverse for absorbency. I have looked EVERYWHERE online and no-where in the UK as far as I can see sells Micro terry (which is like normal Terry towelling but tiny loops of fibre). The market near me sells the normal white terry towelling for something like £6 a metre. I bought half and have made over 10 I reckon. I made the pattern from drawing round one bib I borrowed. Below are the photos and you will see the co-ordinating headbands we made too! You can download the PDF pattern HERE.
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Here you can see the different fastenings I used, the shop bought ones tend to have the press stud set up-simiar to those of baby grows. I only had the sew on one and I just used 3 parts, in stead of two pairs, in order to give different size settings. The blue one is fastened with Velrco which makes the sizing much more flexible, I made sure to put the scratchy side so it will always be facing up and wont eve touch the skin.

This is the shape of the bib when it is undone.

Here you can see the front and back of the bib. Ideally I would of used micro Terry as the Towelling I have used is quite bulky, but it wont really affect how the bib works, It would just look more professional with the smaller loops.

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Pretty headbands for newborn girl!

Making the stuff in this post was so much fun! My sister in law has been over from Australia, and she is currently pregnant with baby number three which is going to be a baby girl! (Yay!!) She said that she would like some headbands for the baby so that it is clear she is a girl and looks super cute.  This turned out to be the perfect excuse to get some crafting done! During school last year I had looked up several different tutorials for making flowers for some of my GCSE students and they were the perfect solution for these tiny headbands. I ordered some coloured elastic from e-bay, the sort with one slightly more velvety side, one for cuteness and two so that it was wider and softer on the babies head. Not having the baby there at the time, (lol!) I got the measurements from this website.  Measurements for a new born head were 12" (which is 30.5cms). I cut it 2cms longer to allow for seam allowance when joining the elastic. Behind each decoration we glued a circle of soft felt to prevent any stitching rubbing. Not usually a fan of fabric glue but the tacky glue I found worked great.  Below are the finished headbands, we were so pleased with them and I cant wait to see them on the babies head!! My favourite ones are the really frou frou pink and white pair. I will at some point in the future upload the tutorials on how to make each flower.

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