Temperature Afghan – January

So to my next challenge update, Temperature Afghan.

I’m actually having quite a bit of fun with this, watching it develop. If you remember these were the colours I chose for my afghan.tempafg

Well, as you can imagine there hasn’t been much temperature variation during January, it’s either been cold or VERY cold.

I’ve decided to do my afghan in straight rows, I had originally intended to do it in treble crochet (Double Crochet in US) as I was worried that any temperature changes that only last for a day wouldn’t show up very w2017-01-13_15-00-21_639ell. Unfortunately after a few days I began to realise that the resulting afghan would be huge! So I frogged the whole thing and started again with Double Crochet (Single crochet US)

 

 

 

 

Which is working out a whole lot better, and is looking quite interesting already.

I’ve also become a little obsessed with the weather, looking out for any significant temperature changes and getting excited when the temperature high for the day drops close to 0°C as I think that’s going to be a rare event and it’s such a nice colour on the chart. Oh well, Winter is not over yet, let’s see what February brings.

 

 

Craft Challenge – February

This months ‘Craft Challenge’ has a bit of uniqueness about it, as it’s one of my few craft items that I’ve actually made for myself. It’s also some thing I made a couple of months ago, as I haven’t had much time for the project I intended for my February Craft Challenge and it’s now going to be my March one.

Last year I got a Fitbit Charge , for those of you unfamiliar with it I’ll explain. Fitbit Charge is essentially a digital pedometer, which is also a watch, and a gadget geeks dream!. It also (once you’ve set up your profile and inputted your data) tells you how many calories you’ve burnt that day, including whilst resting, how many miles you’ve walked and how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed. It tracks your sleep pattern and has a silent alarm which wakes you up with gentle vibrations. Basically, for me, it’s the perfect watch full of geeky technology and an inoffensive wake up system.

I do actually really love my Fitbit, which is why when the strap started to peel off I was slightly alarmed, but not too worried as a friend of mine had a Fitbit flex which she had a number of different bands for, so I knew I could just buy a replacement band when it came to it.IMG_0559 It wasn’t until about a month later when the band actually came apart I found out that Fitbit don’t actually do replacement bands for the charge. So after about a week of walking around with a watch held together with sellotape I did what any self respecting crafter would do . . . . and made my own band!

*Note, these aren’t actually instructions on ‘How To Make a Fitbit band’ but just illustrated steps on how I did it. If anyone is interested, I’m planning on making this into a ‘How To . . ‘ and posting it at a later date.

I basically used the same concept as a hair scrunchie, so measured my wrist, and added about a third of the length (for the ‘schrunching’ bit) then cut a bit of fabric that length, and because I was only using thin cotton and this band would be taking some pressure I needed to re-inforce the thickness of the fabric, so cut it with a width four times that of the Fitbit. The main difference between this and a scrunchie would be that the elastic wouldn’t be going all the way around, as the actual Fitbit itself is a couple of inches in length the elastic would just be covering the bit of my wrist that the Fitbit didn’t, so I measured that, pulled the elastic a little taut (but not too much, just a little to be comfortable enough when it pulls back) and cut it that length. So I now had the bits I needed to start creating.

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(Note the poor Fitbit held together with Sellotape)

Then joining the two ends together I stitched around only half, leaving the other half open creating a gap that I could slip my Fitbit into.

and voilà . . .

It may just be me, but I actually prefer this style of band. It’s much more snug, and can come in whichever design you wish. Maybe I need to have a little chat with Fitbit!
As mentioned earlier, these aren’t designed to be instructions, just to give you an idea of how I made mine, but I will be making them into instructions and posting them soon.

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!

 

 

 

Summery Sewing Project

Due to a holiday mix up I’ve just had the weekend off with no specific plans, so finding myself at a loose end I thought I’d try out a project I saw on http://projectsbyjess.blogspot.co.uk/

It’s been a while since I’ve used my sewing machine for anything more than hemming or repairs. So with summer supposedly just around the corner I thought I’d dust off some of my sewing skills and have a go at making a maxi dress.

The project i was attempting was here http://projectsbyjess.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/maxi-sheet-dress-sewing-pattern.html a quite simple maxi dress made out of a vintage sheet! Well knowing my penchant for wandering around charity shops looking for nice looking duvet covers to use for spare material, I thought this would be ideal. 

I bought the pattern for about £2-£3 and set to work with mild trepidation as i wasn’t sure just how rusty i was, and the pattern involved ‘shirring’ which i’ve never actually done before. Well I ended up having quite a lot of fun actually. It’s always nice to see a project coming together, and with a sewing machine it comes together even quicker. I spent Thursday night cutting out the pattern and pinning to the fabric, then Friday was when the magic happened! Over the next couple of days the dress gradually began to take shape and barring a few hiccups (like attaching the sleeves inside out, and a few threading issues with the machine during the shirring) it turned out really well. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit me as i’m a little top heavier than the pattern allows for, so no live model photos i’m afraid.

Here’s the finished article.

Quite impressed with how it turned out, and have now had the idea of adapting the pattern for a shorter version (to be worn with leggings/trousers) in Royal Stewart Tartan for my sister.

Progress Report 13/05

Bit of a delay with this weeks progress report, it’s been a busy weekend. Also quite a productive couple of weeks, well in the world of crafts at least, unfortunately in the world of weight loss I seem to still be suffering the side effects of the ‘down time’ I had during my cold.

Weight loss: Woohoo, lost a pound! Ok so it’s the same pound I put on whilst I was ill but progress is progress. Speaking of progress I’ve come to a bit of an impasse at the gym I’m afraid. I’m getting absolutely nowhere with this running malarky (yes I know, it’s a treadmill that’s why I’m not getting anywhere, ha-ha. My darling husband has already tried that one on me). Every now and again I feel like I AM getting somewhere and then for the next few gym sessions I’m not even reaching my usual standard, and trying to wipes me out for the rest of the day. After this realisation, I’ve reluctantly come to a conclusion that I’m just not one of natures runners, so I’ve admitted defeat in that respect. Well not so much admitted defeat but more accepted my limits, so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will mostly be walking rather than running ‘Race for Life’ and have taken to brisk ‘cross country’ walking instead.  I know this will probably affect my calorie burning quite a bit, so I’ve upped my level on the bicycle hoping to balance some of it out.  Let’s see what the next two weeks bring.

MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

Knitting project:  This one is really giving me a bit of a headache, I don’t mind intarsia but this one has ended up quite complicated, and I’ve had to make a few changes to the chart in places to make things a bit easier. The design itself has turned out fantastically, after 28 hours on the needles it looks really good. However behind the scenes is a whole different issue, too many different blocks of colour, too many cross-over yarns, the back of the piece needs a lot of tidying up. Then when I measured the piece up it’s at least an inch shorter than it’s supposed to be *sigh*.

 

So here’s hoping that once I do the back of the garment it’ll all start measuring up a lot better. If not . . . . I hope short skinny-jumpers come back in style.