Craft Challenge – January

So, some of you may have noticed that when it comes to my crafts, especially my knitting, I’m a little bit ‘quirky’ and if I can’t find a pattern for what I want I’ll just make one up. This has led to a few interesting creations, and some eye-catching ones, to the point where at least once a month somebody that has seen one of my creations says those magic words to me “Can you make . . . ?”For example; my sister-in-law sees a hat she likes in a magazine, she sends me the picture with that magic question . . .

“Can you make one of these?”1424360_738667856162720_1562443955_n1459811_738667876162718_1824423503_nand after some experimenting the answer is “yes!

. . . and some gloves to match!”

 

 

 

So I thought I’d make a feature out of it, it might also keep me on the blog a bit more regularly. So welcome to my first ‘Craft Challenge’

This months one was a little different to start of with as a work colleague asked me “Can you crochet?” I’m always a little hesitant to answer this question as technically I can crochet but being a late bloomer I only really know the basics, and half of that I make up as I go along!

You see, I was knitting from a young age as I was taught to knit by my grandmother, my mother was the crocheter of the family but she was left handed so it was tricky to follow her when she showed me. Then in 2008 I went to a festival where a lady in a tent was showing people how to crochet and I picked up a few basic stitches, but never went any further with it as crochet patterns confused me a little and besides, I had my mother to crochet stuff. Then in 2012 my mother passed away, and I wanted to honour her by crocheting a little baby outfit she had wanted to make for my brothers new arrival. Again I found myself absolutely baffled by the instructions and terms and without anyone to show me what to do (I tried googling, but I learn a lot better by watching than reading), and the pattern just got shoved to the back of the craft cupboard, and I carried on getting by on just basics which suited me well, as I was able to incorporate a few crochet bits into my knitting (as you can see from the hat above) and even made a whole crocheted tea cosy, by just making it all up as I went along . . .1466254_10152357251456901_8438894568209531443_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So when I was asked “Can you crochet?” after a little hesitation I answered “Yes, but mostly basic stuff” the next question  was “Can you crochet a giraffe?” never one to shy away from a challenge I said I’d give it a go, and waited in abject fear for her to send the link for the pattern to me, this is what she wanted ‘Crochet Giraffe’ and I was more than a little daunted but thought, hey why not!

Now I didn’t do the stripe effect as I didn’t want to over complicate myself first time out so just stuck with variegated yarn, with the idea of making an ‘experimental’ one before making one in the colours my colleague wanted, and you know what? It was bloody easy!!

I’m so chuffed with my crochet giraffes, and even showed my colleague both of them so she could pick for herself as even the experimental one didn’t turn out as funny looking as I thought it would, what do you think?

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So now when asked “Can you crochet?” with a little more confidence I can say “yes” which is good because I have a feeling I’ve got a challenge coming from my brother!

 

 

 

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Tartan cross-over top/mini-dress

So seeing as I’m effectively housebound until my hospital appointment I’ve had a lot of  ‘craft time’ so was able to make a few things for my sisters birthday. I posted about the knitted Skeleton Jumper yesterday and this is the tartan top I made for her.

About a month ago I made a maxi dress following a pattern that i’d purchased from another blog https://haberydashery.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/summery-sewing-project/ after making the dress I did start to think about all the different kind of adaptations that could be made, and one of the ideas i had was a sort of mini-dress/Top that could be worn with trousers.

The Mini-dress was really easy to do, as I’d already used the pattern once for the maxi dress and it was effectively the same just a shorter skirt. It only took a couple of days to make, the more time consuming parts being the shirring and the pinning of the seams.

Because of the shortness of the skirt I only needed a yard of fabric. So I ordered some tartan fabric (my sister’s a punk and she’s very much into her tartan styles) from ebay (only £3.99 a yard) and for the contrasting waistband and bias tape I bought a pair of black trousers (99p from a charity shop)

There were a few differences with this project, the shirring was still a nightmare and this time on the contrasting waistband it didn’t bunch as much as it did with my original work. Luckily enough the pattern came with a good tip for this and after soaking the waistband and leaving it to dry the shirring bunched up quite nicely. Another thing was that when doing the skirt hem and sleeve edges because they were so small I pressed them first in the hope they might stay down and make machine stitching easier. Unfortunately this still went a bit wrong, so am wondering whether hand-stitching might be a bit more precise.

Anyway, the top/mini-dress turned out quite well

A New Era

I’ve made many attempts over the years to start a blog but they’ve all come to nothing, mostly through a sheer lack of time and motivation.

So what makes me think this one will be any different? Well that has one simple answer . . my mum!

We lost my mum to cancer about four weeks ago, and although I feel like I made my peace with the prospect of losing her many times over the last year, still a big part of my life has gone. So this is why I’m here, for someone to talk to, to tell the world what an amazing person my mum was, and to record all the things I wish to do in honour of her memory.

So what about me? I’m the wife to an adoring husband and we live in a lovely little house in Ipswich. It’s just the two of us at the moment, although we are trying for a little one. In fact we’ve been trying for nearly two years but recently found out that I have fertility issues due to my weight (248lbs or 113kgs, even though I’m imperial I prefer the Kgs they sound less) So I’m currently on an eat right and get fit kick in the hopes that my system will sort itself out.

            I joined the Gym a few weeks ago for two reasons, working out at home had been going so well thought that stepping up my game a bit and working out at the gym would make things go even better (and they are!) Reason two was I really wanted to actively do something about my fertility issues, as my sister-in-law is 6 months pregnant with my first little niece/nephew and it really hurts that my mum didn’t get to see her grandchild.

Ok, so that’s part of my story for now, look forward to sharing more.

J x