ScrapHappy # March 2019

I missed out on the ScrapHappy fun in February because of other things going on.  February saw the husband & myself redecorating the living room (all done).  Me with big plans of making sofa covers (started well, but I ran out of motivation) . . . and then catching up on housework before visitors in March.  Lindashee & Mr Lindashee flew over from England for a few days, and Eldest son & girlfriend drove up from the south of France.

House suddenly emptied on 11th, so after a day of stripping beds, and catching up with more housework, my thoughts turned to ScrapHappy and my sewing machine.

I originally sat down, with leftover fabrics (from 2 pairs of shortie PJs made in November) to make something summery for Baby Viking using pattern NewLook 6970.  Baby Viking will be 1 year old in August, and since babies always seem to be wearing the next size up, I decided to cut fabric for the 18-24 month size.  As it turns out, this pattern seems to size up very large . . . and I ended up with a little pinafore dress that fits Daisy, who is a 2-3 year size.

Not to worry . . . anyway, I’m linking up with Kate and Gun for our monthly ScrapHappy post.

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The idea was to make something with scraps/leftovers.  I achieved that.  And got more sewing practice along the way.

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It’s a good fit on the shoulders for Daisy, and looks lovely with the little bolero cardie I knitted for her.  I haven’t given up on the idea of making this pattern again, for Baby Viking, but one size smaller and not necessarily with scraps.

Other bloggers who take part in ScrapHappy fun.

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

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some sensible sewing (or “Dreamcatcher PJs)

I had something of a clear out in my wardrobe the other day . . . filling several bags with clothes to drop off at the Red Cross bin as I ruthlessly got rid of anything that no longer fits.  And when putting clothes back neatly, realised it was time to set to work and make a few clothes as there’s more going to the Red Cross than being put back in the wardrobe/drawers.

To get myself back into training (as I haven’t done any sewing since well before Christmas) I chose to make a few new pairs of PJ shorties.  The ones I made a few years ago are still going strong, but the shorts were all too tight (bum area being  where the extra weight has piled on).  Anyway, because I’m a bit of a skin-flint at times . . . I wanted to make this project  a “use what you have” one, bearing in mind that the only person who’s going to see me in my PJs is the husband.  Oh and maybe the postman, GLS delivery man and a couple of neighbours. I therefore delved first into my stash of bed sheets.  Yup, have quite a few brand new, never been used, 100% cotton bed sheets that I “inherited” from MIL.  By my way of thinking, if they’re good for sheets, they’re good for nightwear!  Only problem was . . . in a solid colour, all I have is a bright pink or a rather yucky brown.  So the choice was simple:  bright pink please!  Not that I’m a pink gal, but for PJs, I’ll make an exception.

I then had a rummage in my fabric stash, wanting something to contrast nicely with the pink, because I planned on using one of my old faithful patterns:  NewLook 6871.  It’s really for a proper day-wear summer tunic (of which I have made several) but it’s such a comfortable fit, I like it for my PJ tops too.

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I decided on one of my feather print fabrics and made two tunics.  Cut my own binding in pink bed sheet for the tunic with pink yoke and used white binding for the one with feather print yoke (although facing is in pink on both).

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I made 2 pairs of shorts in the pink, using Butterick B5432.  The advantage of using a double bed sheet for a sewing project is, there’s just so much fabric!!!!!  The other advantage: I know, from having used this brand of bed sheet before, that it’ll wash up nice & soft, and be really comfortable as shorts.

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And I just love my bright new PJs!  Can’t wait for bed time!

Next sewing project is going to be less fun.  Our sofas have been totally destroyed by cat claws.  I bought in reams & reams of a sage green denim last year, the plan being to make new covers for both sofas.  Sofas are looking even worse than they were, this time last year, so I’ve procrastinated for too long!  The month of February has seen the husband and myself stripping wallpaper in the living room.  Husband repainted all walls white, while I was up on high, cleaning our wooden beams and painting panels inbetween white.   Now that is done, the scraggy grey sofas really do let the side down.

I also intend to move out of my comfort zone where clothes making goes, after enjoying watching the new season of GBSB.  Up until now, my clothes making projects have been made using just 4 different patterns, which are all in the “easy” category.   I feel it’s time I became braver . . . so I’m gradually psyching myself up to attempting a pair of trousers with zip and a lady’s shirt with long sleeves, cuffs and buttons.  But first, I’ll be battling away with my pattern paper, trying to draft something that will look like a fitted sofa cover.

a monster happy dance

Back in January (on 9th to be precise) I showed you this photo of a crochet WIP.

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Pattern is “Little Ella in her monster suit” by Litlle Aqua Girl, and published in the Monster Amigurumi book. 

I actually started crocheting this a few days before Christmas, just as a small crochet project to keep my hands busy . . . and then it got put on hold (because I suddenly got carried away with knitting).  This month saw me hooking a few hours here and there . . . and after much fiddly sewing together, I am very pleased to share with you my monster happy dance.

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Here is “Little Ella in her monster suit”, posing beside a 1 litre bottle of milk, to give you an idea of scale.  I crocheted using a 4ply (I think) and with a 2mm hook, to keep her as small as possible.  That made for a lovely finished size, but didn’t help when it came to crocheting all the fiddly bits.  In fact, my little Ella isn’t quite the same as the pattern photo.  Monster horns didn’t work out identical sizes to start with (no idea how that happened) and I didn’t bother adding stripes to either horns or arms.  I also omitted a few pink spots, because by the time I got to those, all I wanted to do was get this project finished lol. 

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I think little Ella is rather cute, and definitely learned a few more crochet techniques along the way.  I love how she stands nicely, with the tail helping her to keep balance . . . and the fact her monster suit has a working hood. 

just loving knitting!

I’m rather a late bloomer in the field of knitting!  As I’ve told you before, I learned the basics as a child, having a mum and a gran who were both prolific knitters.  It wasn’t something I took to though, as I always felt a bit cack-handed trying to coordinate two needles and got discouraged when my knitting slid off the needle, not having a clue how to go about picking up stitches.  Anyway, after teaching myself to crochet, I decided if I could learn crochet from scratch, then I could certainly re-learn how to knit and follow a pattern.

You’ve seen my first attempts which have all been an interesting learning curve.  And I come to show you 2 more recent knitted projects, of which I am quite proud, because I think I’m slowly getting the hang of it!

I showed you a sneak peek the other day of something very bright for Baby Viking.  Today I can reveal all . . . not that Baby Viking has received grandma’s knitting gifts yet, but Mummy Viking has seen photos, so I feel it’s safe to share.  This is the “Cheri” pattern, designed by Martin Storey for Rowan, and is a free download.  This is the cover photo on pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my version, knitted, without the crocheted cherries, in a variagated Marriner DK and “Citron” Stylecraft Special DK.

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I’m calling this the “Candy Crush” cardigan, because of the bright colours, and because of the perfect buttons I bought to finish it off.

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Speaking of buttons . . . I ordered in quite a few, in lovely bright colours, and don’t they look like sweeties?

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After the bright rainbow and yellow version, I cast on to make a second “Cheri” cardie for Baby Viking . . . this time in “Aspen” Stylecraft Special DK for the stocking stitch and another variagated Marriner for the garter stitch bands.

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I’m not quite so happy with the way this one turned out.  It doesn’t have quite as much pizzazz as the “Candy Crush” version.

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So note to self:  it’s not just about learning to knit and follow a pattern.  It’s also about choosing colours.

another “Cheri” cardie–sneak peek only!

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I come to show only a sneak peek photo to you today, but I can tell you, I am having the most joyous happy dance – yay!    After the success of the “Cheri” pattern (by Martin Storey for Rowan) only a few days ago, I cast on to knit up a second version.  I chose a variagated Marriner Mermaid DK in pink and other vibrant colours, plus Stylecraft Special DK in “Citron” for the garter stitched bands.  I knitted in size 1-2 years, so it’s turned out really dinky.   It only used up 55g of the Marriner and 20g of Stylecraft.   And, aside from my colour combo, which I think is sunglasses worthy and rather “candy crush” . . . my sewing of bits together went wonderfully.   Here’s the front of right sleeve and part of the button band.

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And this is back view of right sleeve.  I can now proudly say “By Jove, I’ve got it!”  I totally understand what I did wrong with my first two knit projects (stripey sweater and pink cardie).  And, while I can’t say I loved the sewing together, it wasn’t too gruelling.  Probably because the last 2 projects have been tiny toddler size . . . I’ll no doubt be complaining about sewing together when I tackle an adult sized garment.  However, that won’t be this week!  I’ve already cast on in some more bright colours . . . to make a third “Cheri” cardigan.

Only problem with my new found love of knitting . . . I have a crocheted monster which has been sitting around since Christmas, awaiting spikes, teeth and sewing together.  Have a couple of other crochet projects on my “to do” list . . . and my sewing machine is gathering dust, because all I want to do it knit & purl.

“Cheri” by Martin Storey, for Rowan

After the relative success of my dusky pink cardigan, I decided I needed to get more practice learning to assemble knitted garment pieces before I took the plunge to tackle another adult sized cardie/sweater.  So, with that in mind, I rummaged through my computer files, where I save any free patterns that take my fancy.  And this is the one I chose to knit.

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The model “CHERI” designed by Martin Storey for Rowan yarns.  I immediately knew I wasn’t going to bother crocheting the cherries.  My crochet skills don’t need practice, and I honestly thought the dangling cherries were just a bit “too much”.   What attracted me to this pattern was the short sleeves, short bodice and very much a bolero style.  The idea being, to have a pattern which would knit up quickly, to give me the chance to try my hand at assembly. 

And here’s my very plain version of this pattern.

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I think you’ll agree there is definite improvement in my assembly skills.  I chose pattern size 2-3 years (Daisy measuring 92cm tall, so not quite a size 3 years).  I used leftovers of my dusky pink and knitted on 3.75mm and 4.5mm needles to get the correct gauge. 

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And had a good rummage in my button box, where I found some very discreet pale pink plastic buttons. 

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I am so pleased with how it turned out.  My confidence is soaring . . . but not quite ready to attempt the XL men’s sweater for the Husband just yet. 

What I have done though . . . is cast on to follow this pattern a second time.  My second version is going to be in a size 1-2 years, and for Baby Viking.  She is 5 months old now and sooooooooo cute lol.  Anyway, I thought this pattern style would be perfect and a 1-2 year size should be good for this autumn or next spring.  Here’s a sneak peek of yarns I’m working with.  I’m using Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” for the garter stitching, and a very zany Marriner Mermaid DK for the rest.

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That’s the 2 sleeves already made.  Now to put on my sunglasses and have more fun watching this Marriner Mermaid yarn change colour.  Viking parents have said I can go as bright as I like, so I’ve taken that literally!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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

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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.

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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!

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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.