Friday, 26 October 2012

Knitted cowl

I'm not really a lover of long scarves.  
I like my neck to be warm in the cold weather, but I can't be doing with long bits dangling down because I tend to get them caught in things or they slide off me.  Plus they take a lot of room up in my bag if I've made the mistake of going shopping in one and have to take it off because the shops are too hot.

When I saw a knitted cowl that Alex had made on Daisie Days I thought it would be just right.  That was last winter and I never got round to knitting one, but when Alex showed another one recently and emailed me the instructions, I had to get cracking.
The pattern called for super chunky yarn and 10 or 12mm needles.
My biggest needles are 8mm, and as I wanted to get on with it, that's what I used and improvised with some purple and blue double knitting out of my stash, knitted together.

I cast on a few extra stitches to allow for the difference but figured it wasn't vital and you just keep knitting until you get the length you want.

Obviously mine isn't as chunky as it should be but I'm really pleased with the end result and I love the colours together

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Out of the fog

The fog and drizzle that's been hanging about for the last few days has cleared today and when I ventured out I noticed this big clump of toadstools growing on a tree stump in the garden

The miserable weather hasn't bothered me though because I've been playing about indoors.
A friend asked me to make her a patchwork denim bag.  She gave me an old pair of jeans and a denim shirt to work with, and asked me if I could make a feature of some of the embroidery on the shirt.  
On one side I put the two shirt pockets.  One pocket had a small ink stain at the bottom but that was easily covered with one of the silver buttons off the shirt, and I sewed on a few more to make it look deliberate

The other side incorporates part of the embroidered collar 

I've picked out the dark red colour on the embroidery for the lining and added a couple of pockets and a key fob.   I've lined the pockets in the denim which I really like against the red.  The zipped pocket has got another zipped pocket inside at the bottom, to keep important things safe  ;)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Forward slash t-shirt dot com

My husband gave me a couple of t-shirts which are quite thick so I thought I would make myself a long sleeved t-shirt for the colder days.

I laid a t-shirt of mine (with the sleeves tucked under) on top of the grey one, and cut around it, slightly larger to allow for seams.
I used the sleeve pattern I made for this and pieced together grey at the top, blue in the middle, and the original grey sleeves at the bottom.
For interest I sewed a strip of the blue diagonally across the front leaving the edges raw to curl naturally.  I wanted to cut through the blue to reveal the grey behind so drew straight lines of different lengths within the strip and sewed round them, and then cut along the lines.  I also sewed a couple of pieces of the blue on the inside above and below the strip and then cut through the grey to reveal the blue behind.

I did the same thing on the sleeves but with the grey showing through the blue.
After attaching the sleeves and sewing up the sides, I removed the ribbing on the neck and added a strip of blue, and another along the hem, allowing them to curl up, and this is how it ended up


And now dear reader be prepared to be amazed   (which is something I'm always saying to my family about my often quite insignificant achievements, but this is truly amazing! (well I think so))
Remember the challenge I set myself to run up a specific hill?         Wait -  no I haven't done that, so don't applaud yet!

No, what I have done, is....   (drum roll please)  .........

jogged for twenty minutes without stopping!!!

I know, I can't believe it either!

I thought the Couch-to-5K running plan must be wrong when it expected me to jog for 20 minutes non-stop when the session before was two eight minutes with a three minute walk in between, but I did it!    I've still got another four weeks of the plan until I can hopefully do 30 minutes non-stop, when I will attempt my hill run.

As good as this milestone feels though, I'm not enjoying it at all and once I've got fit enough to run up that hill, I'll probably go back to a brisk walk. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

All around the world

I've received a lovely parcel through the post from Claire at Sweet Birdy Love. She's been on holiday to New York City, and as well as seeing the sights,  she also did some crafting whilst she was there, and made some momentos of her holiday for two readers.  
I was lucky enough to have my name chosen out of the hat and this is what I received

How cute is this squirrel on the needlecase?
 and there's an acorn on the back

Whilst in NYC Claire went to the biggest trimmings shop I have ever seen,  and she sent me this gorgeous embroidered ribbon

There's also a handmade postcard (with real stitching round the edge, which I love) and two crocheted hearts.

Claire did some yarn bombing in NYC so I think I'll do some myself with these hearts.  It's good to think there'll be some of her handiwork all over the world  (Claire's from Australia)!

I'm sorry if I haven't commented on anyone's blog lately but I'm way behind with my blog reading and am trying to catch up at the moment.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

What a difference a dye makes

I've got a pink coat with a white flower pattern which I always loved until I saw someone else wearing the same coat!
One of the reasons I like to refashion clothing is because I don't want to be wearing the same as everyone else, so I decided to dye it.  
I'd also got a lemon coloured linen shift dress which I bought for 50p in a charity shop but it was too pale for me, so I thought a blue dye would do for both, producing a purple coat and green dress.  I bought a Dylon machine dye and also threw in a deep pink t-shirt and a white t-shirt of my son's which had a mud stain on the back which I have never been able to get out.

Here's a before picture

and after

I'm really pleased with how they've all turned out, some with unexpected results.
The lining of the coat and the buttonholes didn't dye, and I think the pink looks great with the purple and blue

The buttons are white so I'm going to change them for pink, purple or blue or maybe even paint them because would you believe out of all those buttons I've got, I haven't got any big enough?

The dress turned out blue, perhaps because it was such a pale yellow, but the embroidery around the bottom, which wasn't really noticeable before, didn't take the dye so now shows up yellow.

The stain on my son's t-shirt doesn't show now and the pink t-shirt is now purple with blue edging.

Another bonus of dyeing the coat is that the colour before was really Spring/Summer but as it's quite warm I can now wear it all year round.