the “things were going so well” cardigan

I come to share photos of my second ever finished knitted garment – yay!

It’s far from perfect, believe me, and when you scroll down, you’ll see some very ugly seams.   I had such fun knitting this  though and my confidence had come along in leaps & bounds as I knitted up all my pieces.  I even quite enjoyed learning to knit buttons bands, and making my first ever button holes.  The not such fun part began when I came to the sewing everything together.  And that’s when the “things were going so well” cardie almost ended up in the bin.  Even the husband took one look at it and commented on what a mess I’d made of sewing on the sleeves.  Seeing my glum face, he tried to back track with a “it’s a shame because your knitting is nice and regular”.  Oh well.   I won’t learn if I don’t try, and believe me, I do try.

pink cardie 01

Anyway, here it is.  I used a cheap acrylic yarn bought years ago in a “discount” shop.  Pattern was a free download and is called RUE designed by Martin Storey for Rowan.

pink cardie 02

It looks okay(ish) lying flat, although in first photo you can see sleeves aren’t lying quite right. That’s not an optical illusion, it’s my sewing that leaves much to be desired and plenty of room for improvement.

pink cardie 03

And because I feel it’s important not just to show things from the best angle . . . this is the messy/ugly part (on both shoulders)


Anyway, the big question is, of course: does it fit?  Well it does, and it doesn’t.

pink cardie 04

It looks more or less like the photo on the pattern (true colour being in first 3 photos). Sleeves are the correct length.  Buttons are all placed at even intervals.  And I can button it up or leave it open.

pink cardie 05

It feels a bit too snug around the arms for my liking though.   In fact, the sleeves were so snug at first, they felt like a second skin, but have loosened up a bit after wearing.  I don’t think the snugness is  anything to do with my knitting, simply the style of the sleeves.   I suppose one of the other things I need to learn is how to choose a pattern and avoid slim sleeves in future!

pink cardie 06

When I first tried it on, in its finished state, all I could see were the messy shoulders.  I felt very frustrated that a knitting project which has taken me months to complete was let down in the final stages because of messy assembly.  However, since it was finished, I decided I might as well wear it indoors or under a coat, when walking the dog or chatting to my hens.  And, as long as I don’t catch sight of myself in a mirror, I can forget about what it looks like and simply be pleased that I managed to knit my first ever cardigan!

I had had great plans of moving on to an even more challenging project after this.  The husband picked out a men’s Stylecraft pattern and DK yarn that took his fancy, so “the plan”, once I finished the cardie, was to start work on that!  However, the husband agrees I still need a little more practice with my seams, and since I won’t get much practice if I keep on knitting adult sized items . . . my next project is going to be a small cardigan for one of my dolls.


ScrapHappy # January 2019

It’s 15th of the month . . . time to link up with Kate and Gun who organise a monthly ScrapHappy post, to encourage fellow crafters to use up those scraps!

My, very quick, project this month is really only half a scrappy project I’m afraid.  Not even sure if I’m not bending the rules a little, but hey, rules are there to be bent, aren’t they?   I found myself in need of a few cards at the start of this year.  And, since I needed to get them posted asap, I didn’t have time to do anything very elaborate.  I therefore delved into my dwindling supply of pre-cut aperture cards (that’s where I’ve bent the rules somewhat) and then had a quick rummage in my scrap fabric bags for some pretty prints.

Double sided sticky tape, wadding (from scrap bag) and a very short time later . . .

scrap cards 01

My favourites are these

scrap cards 02

I’m now going to visit other Scrappers to see what they’ve been up to.

Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Karen,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne,Jon,Hayley and Dawn

what Claire made for Christmas #5

This is the last post with photos of the secret crafting which kept me busy for Christmas 2018.  And this time, it’s a sewing project.


For the husband.  He had asked for various tools (for metal engraving, wood chequering etc) so family clubbed together to buy the various tools, hammer, book etc . . . plenty of things to keep him happy.   Tools in this photo are the metal engraving ones.   I was rather worried, when I saw the sharp ends on these, and decided to make a) a little fabric tray to keep them all together on his work bench.  And b) a tool roll, so that the husband has somewhere to keep them all.


I chose a very manly William Morris print for the outer fabric.


and fabric from the same collection for the inside.  Pockets are made with leather and I added a felt flap, so that tools won’t slip out.



I’m not sure whether leather pockets was such a good idea . . . time will tell if it stands up to the pointy ends.  If not, I’ll make a second one, using denim which will probably be more hard-wearing.

what Claire made for Christmas #4

Yet more crochet projects that I can boast about . . . the fruits of many hours of secret crocheting, with my feet up, in the run-up to Christmas.

First . . . a very simple white hat, made with Stylecraft Aran, which I made and sent to a French blogging friend, Lilubelle.  I didn’t follow any specific pattern for this.  Just started making a basic hat, and then added some inspiration from MyntKat’s Viking hat pattern to give some texture to the brim.



Next a little mouse following a pattern in the “Animal Heads” book by Vanessa Mooncie.



That was made for Eldest Son, who had said he “needed a new mouse” for Christmas lol.  Obviously, he meant a new PC mouse, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to misunderstand.  Don’t worry, he did also find a new PC mouse under the tree too.

And a slightly larger project . . .

xmas Avis 02

This foxy little chap, for Avis.  I added white to the face as my husband thought the original design looked more like a kangaroo than a fox.

xmas Avis 06

Pattern, by Pii_ Chii, published in “Zoomigurumi 2”.

xma Avis 04

xmas Avis 03

Only one more post to come, to show the remaining gifts I made . . . and after that, I’ll show you pics of a few of the gifts I received!

what Claire made for Christmas #3

I made quite a few crochet gifts this Christmas, finding that crochet was the easiest needlecraft to do while resting with both feet up after foot ops.

I had heaps of fun, crocheting up some hats !  First, for Daddy and Baby Viking, I bought a pattern by MyntKat Creations (available on etsy or Ravelry) which really grabbed my attention.  The pattern was excellent!  Everything explained, with colour photos to help every step of the way, and sizing from newborns all the way through to XL adult.

adult Viking 01

I bought in some Stylecraft Aran in “graphite”, “copper” and “parchment”.  Here is the XL adult version, with really big horns.

adult Viking 04

aldut Viking 03

And with the much smaller version (I followed the 9-12 month sizing for Baby Viking).

viking hats x2 01

viking hats x2 02

These are both lovely fits, but I’m afraid I have to respect privacy, and the only photo I’m allowed to show is of Daddy Viking, from the back.


Yep that’s all his own hair – a gorgeous mane – you’ll just have to imagine what he looks like from the front, with full beard & moustache!

I then set to work hooking with some white Stylecraft Aran, following a free Caron pattern, found on-line.

And made a Mummy & Baby “Snowy Owl” hat

owl hats x2 02

owl hats x2 01

All hats were lots of fun to make, but I’ll admit to having especially enjoyed making the Viking hats, and imagining the reaction on opening presents.

what Claire made for Christmas #2

More photos to share with you, of things made for this Christmas, and then lovingly wrapped and posted.

cat mats 01

This wasn’t strictly a Christmas present.  Our daughter (aka Lindashee) and partner have recently taken the plunge and joined the ranks of mortgage payers – yay!  Yep, they’ve bought their first house and moved in late November.  New house = house-warming gift so I made a set of 4 place mats (I hope colours match their colour scheme). 

cat mats

These were made with scraps (you saw a sneak peek a while ago) and using up the last of a lovely cat print fabric.  Now they have their own home, they’re planning on adopting a cat!


Second project to show you today is a crochet project I made for Lindashee.  Knowing they would be in their new house, with a spare bedroom that is going to be turned into their hobby room . . . this means that Lindashee is going to be able to set up her sewing machine and, hopefully, find somewhere to stand the Crafter Granny I made for her.

xmas granny

The husband also helped with this project, and became an optician for the day.

granny glasses

Here she is, complete with glasses, and standing next to the Crafter Granny I made for myself earlier in the year.  I made a few changes:  crocheted body about 10 rows shorter, made her a fabric apron with pocket, and I think I actually managed to get the hair right the second time around.

This is from a free pattern by Zhaya Designs, and very easy to make.  I added a vinyl glove filled with fine glass pellets when stuffing the body, to give a bit of weight, so granny doesn’t fall over.

xmas granny 02

what Claire made for Christmas #1

Like many of you crafters, I was very busy in the months before Christmas, either sewing or hooking, to make a few original gifts for family and friends.  I’ll be writing several posts, to show you what I made, otherwise there will be just too many photos for one post.  The first 2 gifts I’ll show off, were for my two French nieces. 

Some sewing for one, and some crochet for the other. 

PJs 01

For the youngest niece, who is almost 15 years old, I decided to make something practical.  Bought in a pretty floral fabric and a plain turquoise . . . set to work with one of my favourite NewLook patterns and made 2 tunics

PJs 02

and 2 pairs of shorts, using another pattern, so niece has 2 pairs of PJ shorties, which she can mix and match.

PJs 04

For her older sister, who is a student, in her first year of higher education, I decided to just have fun with my hook, and make a little mascott to sit by her computer in her little bed-sit and keep her company while studying hard.


This is my version of the Monty the Moose pattern, by Little Aqua Girl, and published in “Zoomigurumi 7”.   I made him using Stylecraft DK (colours: sherbert, mushroom, cream and sage) and a 2.5mm hook to keep things nice and tight.  I’ll let my niece find a name for him, but while crafting, in my head, I christened him “Sherbet”. 


I gave him purple eyes, which you can see better in this WIP photo . . . awww, doesn’t he look cute?