Thursday, May 30, 2013

Conquering Crochet Friday - Winter Slippers

This week one morning, my little girl ran out of bed towards me, telling me she was "sooo cold!"  Her little bare feet on the cold floor was not helping.... I felt a smidge of guilt as I looked down at my warm felted slippers.....then it occurred to me that I could crochet a pair for her!

I had a really good look for an easy to follow pattern and one that was size adjustable.

I settled on the Minni slippers pattern from the Tuuma&Toimi blog as it's construction was nice and starts with a adjustable ring and works in the round, then back and forth till you get the length of the foot.
Then I added this bow to each, which made my little girly girl smile.
She's smitten and now like the bunnies from last week, I have a list of orders from the boys...minus the bows.

And guess what? Remember the gorgeous Cape from my wish list last week....Louanna from NZ Green Buttons had already made one for her daughter last year, and she kindly sent the pattern to me this week ( along with some gorgeous postcards of hers ) 
I think I might need to make that Skeinz order....
or maybe I'll win it here?

And since winter has well and truly hit, here are some other slippers you could make to keep your own tootsies warm..

 Aren't they cute?? and a bit of fun! and they also come in toddler and big kids sizes

And if that's not you're thing how about these...

Both patterns are by the same lady, infact check out all of her patterns here.....they're all just as lovely

Or you may like a pair of Mary Jane's

And maybe if you're feeling generous.....
a pair of loafers for your man

And because I just can't resist 
here's a cute pair of baby loafers too :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Selfish Knitting - Snapdragon Tam

After sewing knitting and crocheting for everyone else, I thought it was about time I did some selfish creating for myself again....

And as this was not for a deadline, I just picked it up whenever their was a spare moment, or I felt like it.

I've quite enjoyed mixing it up lately between knitting and crocheting.....I have enjoyed the crocheting projects for quick crafting satisfaction, where as this has taken it's time....especially with all those cables.

Those cables have been painfully slow and at sometimes I have just had to walk away from it because of the frustration of juggling 3 needles.....but at the end, once it was blocked and finished....I'm estatic that I have something snuggly and gorgeous to wear.....
( infact thinking about it there's a lesson in there about life especially after reading Debs post here and I know it a random thought... but it's relevant for me)

This is the second time I've knitted this, the first time I knitted this hat was for a friends mum who was undergoing chemotherapy....I loved it so much it was hard to let it go.  
As always Ysolda's patterns are a delight to knit, well written and the end product never fails my expectations....can't recommend her enough!

Gorgeous bouncy Merino.....beautiful colour.....though I noticed when I washed the hat that the colour bled I would be worried using it in a striped project such as red and white stripe....but otherwise I know from experience this wool lasts and wears beautifully.

Linking in with Leonie at Show and Tell

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thankful for my Neighbours

Last week I found myself in a dilema 
One of our sheep had separated itself from the flock and on closer inspection it appeared to have something hanging from its mouth......but sheep being skittish as they are, there was no way I would be able to catch it!

Now normally I'd tell Mike and he would solve it and spend the next few hours trying to catch it ( gotta get a dog )
But Mikes away again and as usual these things always seem to happen when he's not here.
A day passed and all the while this big black cloud was hanging over me....what was I going to do!

That's where my neighbours come to my rescue and boy have they been truly amazing in this past year and a half.

When I thought there was an old creepy man coughing outside my kitchen window a year ago
I rang my neighbours infront of me.....they said no problem, and 'J' hopped on his bicycle and cycled up the long drive to look for the peeping tom.....or should I say a roaming sheep with a cold!
 ( now I know they sound like old men )

Then when I had my car accident and I was distraught, frightened and stranded at night with four panicking kids.....the same neighbours again came to my aid.

There was the time we had an escapee piglet......neighbours "L and M" helped...and suffered a few cuts and bruises in the process

The grass got too long for me to cut with my ride on..... so neighbours "J and G" got the tractor out.
( And "G" regulary mows the main drive for all of us )

There was the night I left the gate open and again it was the pigs, which went roaming towards my vege patch......neighbours "J and J" again helped me out.
I got stuck in traffic and too late to meet the boys of the bus "J and J" took care of it.

And theres so much more! 
I am so grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful group of neighbours...some of which have yet to move in 
permanently to our little community. 
But yet we still keep up to date with each others lives, give gifts, share plants and produce and help in times of need....
which I've taken my fair share off lately.

Which brings me back to the sheep....I called on the services of my newly moved in neighbours who have sheep dogs to give me a at 5 at night while the kids were instructed to "stay inside!" My neighbour "L" and I and his two dogs, mangaged to, after a few attempts, finally got hold of the sheep.....turns out she had wool stuck around her teeth and was suffering from flystrike! Dealing to that was not pleasant so I'll save you the details.... 
I felt so guilty and embarrassed, but he was so humble about it, when I asked him what he liked to drink ( so that could thank him ) he answered "water"....then told me 
"Laura, this is what neighbours do, we rally around each other when we're in times of need.....
next time I need help I'll give you a call" 

I am so blessed x

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Conquering Crochet Friday - The Addiction of Crochet Bunnies

Hello Friday, it's that time again
 to show you what crochet creation I've made this week

Last week I was quite taken with the little bunny that Leonie made so last weekend the knitting was dropped, and I picked up my hook to make these cute critters. 

I started with the bunny first as that is true to the Easter Bunnies pattern from the Green Dragon Fly Blog, and quite quickly I could see how addictive these are to make...

And how fun it is to have one of your own......soon there were requests for a Hamster, Polar Bear, Platypus, Dog, Pig and Lion
(I've whittled that list down to three )
As you can see I started with the Lion first

Though he does look more like a hamster with a weird hairdo than a Lion! I used this tutorial to create the hair and this time I stitched on felt for the eyes with a little white stitch 
for his eyes to come alive.

Also a great technique that was used throughout the pattern was the magic loop, that replaces the chain 4 or 6 circle to crochet into.
It creates a nice tight circle without a hole in the centre, which is perfect when you're making toys like these.
Louanna from NZ Green Buttons has a great tutorial to show you how you do this.....its worth checking out as it makes such a difference to your end result.

And as my confidence grows, and I learn how to increase and decrease I'm dreaming about bigger Ravelry favourites list is getting bigger by the day, as I start evening the amount of knitting patterns with crocheted loveliness!

Here's just a few that have caught my eye this week.....

A bit of sewing and crochet combined with this sweet little purse

And with winter around the corner, I'm thinking of warm woolies 
like this cute tunic/ would be perfect layering over long sleeved tees and leggings for Lil Miss

And lastly there's this...

Isn't that adorable!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Show and Tell - My Lil Honey

There's a few of you that have been watching this grow on Instagram as I've slowly plodded along 
with this cardigan for Lil Miss...look at that little tummy!

Just in time I've finished, just as the rainy and cold weather have started to settle in.

A bit of lacework to make it interesting enough to knit, and alot of 
plain st st, so it was an ideal project to rug up on the couch with.

Good instructions, seamless and a sweet shape, but what I didn't like were some of the increases stitches that she suggested. 

I'm disappointed that I've already had to de-pill this wool after a couple of days wear ( I use ladies razors ), and although I like to support my local haberdashery down the road, I think I need to make another order with Skeinz, as I have'nt had that issue with theirs.

And in the background is another Project on the go....
My white shelves! I've painted two thirds so far....the last section I'll tackle when I'm in the mood's just one of those things for me!

It's made a huge difference to my living room, now that the previous, dark brown stain is nearly gone, and I reckon it makes my fabric pop too! So pretty....ahhhh!

And to end with a little something's MY Lil Honey

Or what I normally to call her.... "my cheeky monkey"

Linking in with Leonie at Show and Tell

Friday, May 17, 2013

Conquering Crochet Friday - On a Saturday

We've all been rugged up on the couch in the last couple of days with some random virus, so really its a Saturday Conquering Crochet this week....

This morning feeling a bit better, I managed to get a few snaps of my latest Crochet project, some nice and easy Hair bows.

which ever you like to call it...
yes the dreaded US versus UK term for crochet stitches, another thing I've learnt that's important to check on a pattern before you get started.  Here's a good crochet stitch conversion Chart
And then there is also checking you know how to do a stitch, probably before you moan to experienced crocheters how difficult a half treble is to do!.....that will be why the orange bow in the middle looks smaller than the blue and red ones.....
apparently I had made up a stitch!  Ooops :)
But now I know the correct way, these little bows have been alot quicker and easier to whip up, and again pretty cute!

And it looks like they're also fun to use for dressing up your toys

What drew me to the little bows is this cute hat 

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Being ambitious, I wouldn't mind giving this a would look pretty cute on Lil Miss this winter. 
But I thought for now, the little clips were a wiser option.....maybe instead, for now I could try my hand at the bobble stitch and make this bow?  Though probably not as big as this. - Chunky Bobble Bow

Oh and before I forget, I've also crocheted some Crochet Bunting Love a couple of weeks ago which you can see here 

Show and Tell - Some Sneaking gift Giving

As I said a few posts ago, I've been busy creating some sneaky gifts.
There's been alot of Crochet Bunting love going on at Debs house,
And I loved being part of that

Not only did I get to give, which always feels great, I also challenged myself with this little heart decoration.
I had to make it a few times before I finally got the hang of it, but it turned out pretty cute once I did. 

The pattern was from the Simply Crochet Magazine that Leonie gifted me when I was in Christchurch ( so generous : )  And when I saw via instagram that Deb wanted to learn more than just a chain stitch, I popped in the magazine too :)  Also I just read that Make Cafe are starting to stock that I need to get my hands on another one!

Here's the other little gift that I can show you now, 
it's a cute wee vest called a Milo.

I love Tikki Knits patterns, but this is my first Milo.  It's such a cute and quick little vest to knit up.  

I took alot of knitting projects with me to Christchurch, but I found the patterns I'd chosen were not conducive to knitting while chatting, and I kept making a heap of Deb passed me this pattern, and a big ball of wool.....and the first thing that sprang to my mind, was lovely Max and her gorgeous little boy Findlay...

I was even lucky enough to give him some cuddles while I was precious, and the first time I've held a little baby boy for a long brought back a lot of lovely memories.

And because owls have a special meaning in our family I decided to leave my mark on this little vest too....

The little owl is one of the cable options on the pattern

Also, so I didn't leave out Findlays big sister, I included this little headband I made last week....

Max tells me its not been taken off since she received it, and she also found another use for it as a pirate flower power patch! Cute :)

Joining in with Leonie at Sunshine x 3

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Conquering Crochet Friday

Welcome to Conquering crochet Friday

What is it all about?
Well ever since I was introduced to crochet by my 
Mother in law (granny square royalty!),
 I have yearned to learn the art of Crochet.
Being a lefty, I struggled with it, trying to learn from my MIL as a righty, just wasn't I gave up in disgust.
Instead I admired it from a far, wishing one day I'd get over my cack handedness ( yip! made up a word ) and conquer the world of all things crochet!

Fast forward several years, and a growing wish list of 
crochet projects later, 
I've finally developed my own way.....apparently I hold the hook like a knife ( very back to front ) and slowly but surely I'm getting the hang of this hookin.

But apparently I'm not the only one....I see there's alot of you out there, picking up your hooks and giving it go like me.....
so that's where " Conquering Crochet Friday " comes into play.

Every Week I will be writing a post, about my latest crochet project, tips I've learnt, and projects I'm coveting to complete one day!!
Maybe I could even rope in our local Crochet gurus to give up their trade secrets??? I loved to know what you think.....

Until then, here for the first week is a headband or three I made

Cute isn't it!
To be honest, I've made a bunch of these flowers before, a couple years back when I first started conquering took a number of attempts though, before I got the hand of it, and like riding a bike I haven't forgotten.

You too, can find the pattern from Rose Hip Blog here, I made this with just the two repeats of petals, unlike the three on the pattern.

And for the headband itself...
I started with three equal lengths of chain stitch plaited together to form the band....which you can see below on my first headband 

It was okay, but I wanted to improve on this so I made another, this time chaining 61 chains, and single crocheting into each chain....starting with the second chain from the hook.
When I got to the end I chained 1, and single crocheted another row, same as the previous.  
And yes it looked nice.......but I had trouble making it using a crochet technique I learnt last week where on the first row you crochet into the bumps/back bar on the back of the chain st, which in turn creates a nice chain edge to the band.  See the below video for a explanation

So I tried again, this time using a 5mm hook to do my foundation chain and a 4mm to do the single crochet...this was so much easier and I only needed to do one row! And here's my third and final headband


For now atleast......I can see this being my go to girl present when I'm in the need of something cute in a hurry..
 Below you can see how I made the headband stretchy

I used a 1/4 inch elastic, tied it into a loop and then tied that loop in half again to stabilise it.....then I sewed the headband loops over the elastic ends.....attached the flower, and voila.... one cute headband!
So the question is who want's to join me on my quest?? 
Do you?

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