Sunday, 28 April 2013

4KCBWDAY7 - Looking Forward

So, here we are, the last day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. Sorry I was a bit quiet yesterday, I spent most of the day outside in the rain, hail and wind running a stall to make money for my toddler group. I got home at 5pm and didn't warm up fully until 8pm when I got into a hot bath. Brrr!

Today's post topic is as follows One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?


I don't tend to think of my crafting targets in years exactly. I know I want to continue to develop my crochet skills, learning how to do new stitches and different types of designs. I'd like to have another blanket done by next year, I've got the yarn for it and a style in mind, I just need to finish off the scrappy one I'm working on first before I start. I'd love to have a go at the African Flower Bear I linked to earlier this week for day 2's post.

Knitting-wise, I'd like to continue to make myself more cardigans and jumpers and work through my queue a bit more. I definitely want to make some more socks as I've only got one knitted pair at the moment because I frogged my second ones due to their fit. I'm planning on re-knitting them soon.


I definitely want to make some more beaded shawls:


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I wear these every day during the Winter and on cooler days when I want a bit more colour with my outfit


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I'd like to work through some of the beautiful yarns I've got in my stash. I know I will sooner or later but I'd rather it was sooner! Perhaps I'll have some stash busting projects in my future?


I'm not very good at planning my crafting, I tend to go for what I feel inspired by at the time. Unfortunately for me there are so many inspiring people in the blogging world and on Ravelry that I'm finding myself far more inspired than I have time to make! Maybe less time on the Internet and more time crafting would be an idea lol.


I've so enjoyed this week and finding new blogs to read. I hope to keep up with more of you over the next year so I can continue to be inspired by you :-)


So, for the last time, if you want to read more of today's posts then put "4KCBWDAY7" into your favourite search engine. I hope you'll keep dropping by to visit my blog :-) If you leave me a comment I'll definitely pop over to yours. Take care!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

4KCBWDAY6 - A Tool To Covet

Instead of recommending a tool I thought I would write about a tool I would like. I thought this would be quite easy at first, I'd choose a spinning wheel obviously. Being able to create my own handspun yarns would be so much fun and there are so many beautiful creations out there I'd love to have a go at:

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So what's the problem? Well it's really a matter of space (and time!). At the moment we live in a 3-4 bedroom house. I say 3-4, the fourth bedroom is barely big enough for a cot bed and a wardrobe! I have no where to safely keep a spinning wheel. I'd have to pack it away constantly when I'm not using it or I'd spend all my time trying to keep the children away from it. Not fun at all. Well I thought some more and decided that the "tool" I covet is actually more of a "space".

I would love to have my own room for crafting. It would be bright and airy with walls of yarn shelves

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It will be filled with bright colours, cushions, blankets and inspiring artwork



There will be lamps, comfortable chairs, a laptop for browsing ravelry and most importantly a lock on the door to keep the little darlings out ;-)

Basically a space for me. Somewhere I can enjoy being creative and inspired. And yes maybe somewhere where I can have a spinning wheel too

For more Knitting and Crochet Blog Week posts for today put this code into your favourite search engine :-) "KCBWDAY6"

See you again tomorrow for the final post looking forward to next year :-)

Friday, 26 April 2013

4KCBWDAY5 - Something a Bit Different

The prompt for today was as follows:

"It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post or write in verse. You've already stretched your wings with an infographic, now it's time to freestyle. You can post on any topic you like, but be sure to post in a style different from your usual blog presentation"

So, I thought today I'd share with you one of my favourite recipes. It's for a batch of rock cakes which are according to wiki "a small fruit cake with a rough surface resembling a rock". The smell of these when they are cooking is amazing and as they are best eaten on the day they are baked, they don't tend to last long in our house!

Ingredients
225g/ 8 oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
150g/ 5 oz butter (or margarine)
75g/ 3 oz demerara sugar 
150g/ 5 oz mixed dried fruit
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk

Pre-heat oven to 190°C, 375°F, gas mark 5 

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Sift flour and spices into a bowl

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Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Or cheat and use a food mixer ;-)

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Add sugar (I've used dark brown sugar because it was what I had in the cupboard and I prefer the taste)

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Mix in milk and egg to make a fairly stiff mixture. Yes I've got an extra egg in mine, I tend to make extra mixture because cakes get eaten so quickly in my house!

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Add dried fruit, I used sultanas, raisins, the remaining 3 glacé cherries in the pot and some crystalised ginger because I didn't have any mixed peel. Basically what ever you fancy or what ever you've got in your cupboards! I believe technically it's supposed to be currants, raisins and candied orange peel.

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Put some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and put spoonful amounts of the mixture on there. Don't worry about making them look neat, just make sure you give enough space for them to spread out when they're cooking. The recipe claims to make around 8 cakes, I managed 13 from my increased mixture so had to use an extra tray.

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Bake for about 20 minutes and then cool on a wire baking rack.

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Best eaten on the same day as baking...

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Yummy!


Thanks for dropping by, for more Knitting and Crochet Blog Week posts you can stick the following code into your favourite search engine "4KCBWDAY5". If you're already joining in then please drop me a comment and I'll come over to your blog for a read :-)

Finally I leave you with this dreadfully written ditty...


There was a lady from Brit'in
Who felt her bum was for sittin'
So she picked up some sticks
And learned a few tricks
And was proud to have taught herself knittin'

*cringe*

Thursday, 25 April 2013

4KCBWDAY4 - Colour Review

I've quite enjoyed today's post, I found it rather eye-opening. After seeing several blog posts using this infographic maker yesterday I thought I'd give it a go too. The first chart is the way I think I use colour. As you can see my favourite yarn to use is one that's multicoloured, I love hand dyed yarns to colour-changing acrylics and anything in between. I love watching the colours change as I'm knitting.

After that I assumed my next most used colours would be pink, blue, green and purple. Purple is my favourite colour and I've nearly always got a purple somewhere in my outfit. At the moment I've got a purple and black skirt, purple cardigan, purple eye-liner on and slightly purple hair (it's faded now so not quite as purple as it was before!). Purple is good lol and pink, blue and green often go well with it so I assumed I would tend to knit those types of colours.



What I actually found was that the colour I most frequently use is blue! It varies from pale blues through to bright turquoise and on to navy but blue definitely seems to be something I reach for. This was rather surprising to me actually! The other surprise was that purple was beaten back to just third place and multicoloured yarns were what I used more. I wonder if perhaps this is because my purple yarn projects are often bigger like a jumper, lace shawl, cardigan whereas multicoloured projects are things for my children, socks, mittens etc. Smaller volume and less time spent on them.

From the point of view of my Monkey house, I'm quite pleased that I use a bigger range of colours than I thought. I'm quite tempted to have a go at expanding the number of white/grey/black yarns I use. They aren't necessarily colours that I'm drawn to but finding the right project could be an interesting challenge. Time to try to love the different colours a bit more equally :-)

Thank you for dropping by, for more Knitting and Crochet Blog Week posts you can put "4KCBWDAY4" into your favourite search engine, or you can just click here to find more of today's posts from other bloggers :-)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

4KCBWDAY3 - Infographic

Today's theme for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week was as follows: "Make your own infogaphic (no fancy imaging software needed, you can draw it on paper and photograph it if you want) to convey any element of your craft(s). It can be just for fun or a thoroughly researched presentation of an idea/finding."

I'll be honest, my first thought was eeek! Bit of a daunting idea and what on earth can I do an infographic about? I'm not entirely convinced I know what an infographic actually is! Well, I sat down, had a think and came up with an idea. This won't be the prettiest or most accurate infographic in the world but here goes!

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I often like to imagine knitting as having "levels", probably as a result of playing quite a few computer games in my youth (says the aged 27 year old me!). When I learn a new skill I imagine a little star being added to my knitting abilities, perhaps with a celebratory music jingle. "Evelyn has unlocked level 2 lace knitting, ka-ching!"

I don't know if I'll ever make "Master Knitter" but I enjoy improving my skills and learning new techniques. Something to aim for perhaps :-)

Thanks for dropping by :-) Remember if you want to read more Day 3 posts from Knitting and Crochet Blog Week you can search for "4KCBWDAY3" or just click here

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

4KCBWDAY2 - A project for my mascot

Kniting and crochet blog week house of monkey

So, my house is the House of Monkey which is described as "intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting".

Now I had a think about what kind of challenge I want to do next. I'm still a fairly new crocheter so it made sense to me to try to expand my skills in this craft. So far I've done a few relatively simple patterns but they were all in DK/worsted or aran weight yarn. I decided to take advantage of ravelry's search function and find some patterns that use fingering or lace weight yarn for crocheting. I put the "difficulty" to 4-5, so more of an intermediate level and some beautiful patterns came up


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I was initially very drawn to the shawls, particularly Piquant and Gathering Leaves, they both looked like such fun to create and would definitely push me out of my comfort zone with crochet! However, the pattern which really grabbed me was Lollo the African Flower bear. I think she's absolutely beautiful!

I've never made a toy before, knitted or crocheted and the way this one seems to be constructed looks very interesting. I think it would be a good challenge and one that I am genuinely planning on having a go at some time

I am also tempted by the designer's latest pattern which is a similar style but this time instead of a teddy bear you make a HIPPO! Oooo! How much do I want to make a hippo! Doesn't she look wonderful? I definitely see one of these designs in my future. Perhaps the teddy first and then the hippo?

Remember, if you want to read more posts for Day 2 of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week then you can do a search for "4KCBWDAY2" here


Monday, 22 April 2013

KCBW - Choosing a house

 


Hi guys! I'm joining in with the Knitting and Crochet blog week this year. Basically it's a week of blogging every day based on certain questions/ideas. The first post is choosing your house based on
what kind of crafter you are. The houses are as follows:

The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.

The House of Manatee: Manatees are gentle, calm and cuddly. Relaxed and unflashy they represent the comfort and soft side of knitting and crochet.

The House of Monkey: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting.

The House of Peacock: Peacocks take something good and make it brilliant. Buttons, embellishments and a bit of sparkle prove that perfection lies in the details – like a Peacock's Tail.

I struggled a little to work out which one of these I felt most connected to. In the end I decided to pick the House of Monkey. I really enjoy knitting and crochet for their own sakes and I like making beautiful and functional things. But I enjoy pushing myself and learning new skills as well. I've been enjoying developing my skills at lace knitting, and taking on the challenge of knitting adult sized garments. Crochet is still quite a new craft for me so I feel like I'm constantly learning with it. As a SAHM there isn't always a lot of opportunity for learning new skills, the day to day tasks tend to get repetitive. Having the chance to be creative, to challenge myself and to feel proud of my accomplishments is something I really enjoy. It allows me to do something for me, but it's useful at the same time ;-)




Today's tag is "4KCBWDAY1", if you click here you can do a google search using this tag to find other bloggers joining in :-)

Tomorrow the next post is about finding a project that suits my house, should be an interesting challenge!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

WIP Wednesday

This week is feeling very busy at the moment. I think it's getting back to doing the school run having forgotten quite how much of the day it takes up. I have to do 3 trips in all, half an hour each door to door plus associated time getting the children ready and then out of the coats and shoes when we get home. Whilst that doesn't sound too bad, when you've got used to not doing it, suddenly it feels like a lot of extra effort. Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things soon.

 I've still not done anything more with my granny blanket. I need to make a few new squares and for whatever reason I haven't felt inspired to do so yet. Instead I've been concentrating on my cardigan. I've finished the side panels that give it it's shape and I've picked up stitches and knitted the garter stitch band on the front. Now I'm working on the edging at the bottom, also in garter stitch

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The construction of this cardigan is rather interesting. I find with these style of patterns it's easier just to read the instructions for that section, follow them to the letter and trust they will work out in the end! Seems to be going ok at the moment lol

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After the hem I've just got the two sleeves to do and weaving in the ends. Should be some straight forward and relaxing knitting, bliss :-)

The other WIP I want to show you today isn't actually mine. My eldest son (nearly 6 years old) came home from school yesterday and very proudly showed me his sewing. I think it's supposed to be a bookmark but who knows! He begged to do some more sewing at home so as I'm always keep to indulge creativity (ok, maybe not always keen...!) I let him pick out some yarn and get sewing. The blue yarn has been knotted in on the back and he's going to weave it in and out of the yellow stitches. Not entirely sure if this technique was taught to him or not but it looks quite nice I think.

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Yay for creativity lol :-) For more creative posts please visit Tami's Amis. I'm probably not going to be finishing this cardigan for Friday so not sure when I'll be posting again. I'm very tempted to join in Knitting and Crochet blog week this year after being reminded about it by Sarah at Craft from the Cwtch. Depends how much free time I get to plan things at the weekend :-) Fingers crossed though, by for now!

Monday, 15 April 2013

5 Things About Me

This meme is going around at the moment and I've been tagged by Kepanie at Knitspiring Odyssey

1. I started running our local Toddler group back in October, in the past 7 months we've doubled the number of people that come. I don't get paid for it but I'm enjoying the challenge, even if I do moan about it occasionally to Mr Soaring Sheep!

2. Speaking of Mr Soaring Sheep, I've known him since I was 11 years old. He was in the year above me at school and I had a big crush on him. We'll have been together for 10 years next month and I still fancy him :-)

3. My mother was a professional illustrator working in London. She doesn't take many commissions now and prefers to create artwork that she's inspired by. She also sews, crochets, does paper maché and occasionally knits a scarf. I definitely got my love of crafting from her. I can't draw at all though!

4. My eldest daughter seems to be following in the crafty genes. She's always drawing or making things. She can knit although doesn't have the patience for big projects yet (she's only 7) and cross stitch and she keeps pestering me to teach her to crochet. I love the way she combines colours together whether it's a hama bead design or the outfit she's wearing that day. She's got such a good eye for colour.

5. I would love to own our own home. Mr Soaring Sheep and I have been saving for a home together for about 8 years now. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of spare money at the moment so our little ISA is growing very slowly. I hope one day we will get there and be able to buy a house that we can decorate and garden in to our hearts content. In the mean time I'm trying to make our rented house feel as homely as possibly :-)


I'm not going to tag anyone but if you want to join in then please leave me a comment and I'll go have a look at your blog :-)


Hope everyone had a good weekend. We enjoyed finally getting a bit of sunshine yesterday and having a picnic and a walk. Today is the last day of the Easter holidays so we'll probably have quite a calm and relaxed day getting everything ready for school tomorrow. I'm going to miss the children tomorrow, the house always feels a little empty when they're gone. At least I'll be able to tidy up a little bit before they have a chance to mess it up ;-)

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

WIP Wednesday

Morning crafters or craft lovers! I'm still working away on my Capricious cardigan at the moment. I've completed the back panel and am now working on the right front. The back stitches are still live on a spare cable as they will be finished off later

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This row of picked up stitches caused me a bit of grief. I picked them up in a hurry and half way along the row I started picking them up half a stitch in from the original line. It was a tiny mistake, no one except me would probably ever notice it but it was irritating me.

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So I dropped each stitch individually and then wove them back up coming from the correct place using a crochet hook. Very useful technique to learn, I originally read about it in my "Stitch and Bitch" book but it's one I've used many times over the years! It's a bit trickier with stitch patterns instead of plain stockinette but nearly always worth giving a go rather than frogging back several rows.

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Of course the best idea is not to make any mistakes in the first place ;-) Sometimes little helpers can make that a bit harder though!

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Linking up with other WIPW posts on Tami's Amis :-) Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sunny Wednesday WIP

I don't want to tempt fate but there might just be some blue in the sky today and possibly slightly less of a chill in the air. Could Spring finally be here? Oh I do hope so!

It's the Easter holidays for my children at the moment so I'm not getting much crafting time. I find it takes them a few days to settle in to being at home together and learning how to play together again. I *think* we might be there now, they are currently playing with a new farm set my parents brought round when they visited Easter Monday. I found this version yesterday afternoon but from the sound of things today's has a few more cars and helicopters...!

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My cardigan is slowly growing. I've separated the sleeve stitches now, done some decreases on the back and now I'm just adding some length before the interesting bit starts. The safety pins on the sleeve are to remind me where the start of the cable repeat is

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I've added just 13 squares to my blanket although I've planned out the remaining 3 for that side and then the squares for the other at 90 degrees so the finished blanket will be 11 x 9 instead of 10 x 8 as I was originally aiming for. Once I've done those, woven in the ends and added a border it will be the perfect size for a certain little monkey's bed.

"Little monkey?" you say? Surely not. Well actually yes she is. You see this innocent little face?

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Well look what she did!

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Pulled off my new cushion >:-S

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Took us a while to find where she'd hidden them all, the last ones were in the bin. Should be fixable so not the end of the world. She was not very popular this morning though! Little monkey indeed!

Linking in with Tami's Amis for more WIP Wednesday posts

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