waiting for buttons

I’m having an almost happy dance here – yay!  It took lots of cursing, swearing, and more watching of youtube videos, but I managed to pick up stitches and get my neckband and  button bands knitted.

Once all seams were sewn and loose ends woven in, I decided that cardigan needing blocking properly to keep those button bands from trying to curl . . . so I bunged the buttonless cardigan in the washing machine on a delicate cycle, and left it to dry flat on the clothes airer.  The final touch, being a cardigan, is to add the “perfect” buttons, which is why I’m not having a full-flung happy dance, modelling my purple cardigan just yet.

Originally it started out as a stash-busting project (pattern & yarn from stash) and I planned on using buttons from stash too.  However, I need 10 buttons for this project, have decided on 20mm size, and the only ones I have in my stash (in sufficient number) are “gold” (well, plastic painted gold).

And I’m not 100% sure about either.

I’ve therefore pressed the pause button on my happy dancing . . . and ordered in 2 different types of metal buttons in silver/antique silver.  They should be arriving some time this week, so I’ll be able to decide once I can compare.  In the meantime, I’m itching to cast on a new knitting project.

purple knitting

On 10th of this month, I showed you a knitting project, actually begun on 29th September of a long plain cardigan I’m making for myself.  It’s a stash-busting project, using some acrylic yarn I’ve had in my stash for a number of years and a Sirdar Hayfield pattern bought a couple of years ago.

Since my last update, I knitted both fronts, and both sleeves, remaining consistent with my raglan decreases.  And, after watching a couple of videos on youtube, to remind myself on how to assemble my pieces . . . I’ve sewn the 4 raglan seams – yay!

Here’s a photo of the first one.  I’m so pleased with how it turned out!  This photo shows you the true colour of the yarn.

Anyway . . . next job will be to knit the neckband and button bands.  I put back & sleeve stitches onto stitch holders, rather than doing the cast off as pattern suggested.  Will just need to increase evenly by a few stitches on those parts, when also picking up on the 2 fronts at neck line.  Am very optimistic that I’ll have a finished cardigan to keep me snug, by the end of the month!

SAL “together we are magic” #9

It’s time for the 3-weekly link-up with other SAL members.

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunny,

MeganDeborahReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJCathieLindaHelen

who have all been busily stitching (I hope!) on their currents projects.  Mine is a kit by Letitstitch, and last time I had just begun on page 2 (of 4) of the chart.

Since then, I allowed myself to get distracted by other projects, so sadly, I didn’t get much done.

Still having to juggle with lots of different blues for the background, but I did also add some beige which is the beginnings of an ear.

We’ll be back in 3 weeks time, on 7th November.

knitting & stash busting

After a couple of crochet projects to help with my yarn stash busting I picked out a knitting pattern (from my stash) that would be suitable for using some DK yarn I bought at least 6 years ago.

The yarn, bought before I really knew much about knitting, was sold in bags of 10 x 50g balls.  Label gives tension as DK equivalent, and the bags stated that 500g would be enough to knit something in a size 42 (EU sizing).  Therefore, at the time, I bought TWO bags lol.

I also had this pattern, bought a couple of years ago, but never knitted . . . of a very ordinary looking long cardigan/jacket in stocking stitch.  Pattern model made using a self-striping yarn. I  bought this pattern because it’s so simple, and is something I would wear in the colder months.  So, with colder months not far away, I finally got around to casting on

Pattern is Sirdar Hayfield #8159.  It’s all 2×2 ribbing and stocking stitch.  Nothing very exciting but, with the raglan sleeve style, after over 22″ of rib & straight stocking stitch, I finally got some practice with my decreasing over 60 rows.

So far, after many many hours of knitting, due to the fact I’m knitting this in a very large size, I have a back – yay!  And, after racking Avis’ brains, plus lots of watching of videos on youtube on how to decrease neatly, when the pattern just says “dec 1 stitch at each end on every row”  or “dec 1 stitch at each end of next and foll alt rows”, without specifying which decrease method to use . . . I opted to not just do the K2tog or P2tog at both ends, but to try the SSK and the SSP where appropriate to work on getting my stitches sloping inwards.

Not sure if I’ve done it properly, but it looks neat enough to me.  And big sigh of relief when that back part was done because it’s huge and was getting quite heavy on my needles.

monster crochet stash-busting

After making the bright pink crochet dragon, I had a tidy up in my “discount store” yarn drawer. Very happy to see that, whereas once upon a time it was overflowing and difficult to close, now there’s plenty of room in there.

I had lots of bright neon colours in there, just crying out to crocheted.   So, a quick flick through my pile of crochet books looking for a pattern to make something in another bright colour.

And this is what I made.

Pattern from the book “Amigurumi Monsters”.

Design by YOUnique crafts:  Toby the triclops.  My Toby turned out at 6″ tall (that’s the measurement to his middle eye).  I love his feet, with 4 toes each, and he has a thumb on each hand.  He was a nice, relaxing, easy project to make.

SAL “together we are magic” #8

It’s the 3-weekly meet-up with other SAL members, organised by Avis, to show photos of the projects we’re stitching.  We’re an international group, all working on different projects, with the SAL being our way of motivating each other.

Full list of members.

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunny,

MeganDeborahReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJCathieLindaHelen

Last time I had managed to complete page 1 (of 4) of the chart of my project: “Together we are magic”, a kit by Letitstitch.

For this time, I began work on page 2.

Next update on 17th October.

Dazzle the dragon

I’m having a very bright crochet happy dance here – yay!  The other day I showed you this photo of a new crochet project in progress.

A pink head, and beginnings of body parts which could have been just about anything in the making.  Well, now I can tell you it’s a dragon.

who started to look more like a dragon as soon as I added snout, nostrils, eyelids and a belly plate.  This was a pattern of many pieces . . .

The wings were a lot of work, making 12 membrane panels, assembling them into groups of three, and then sewing 2 pieces back to back to make a lovely pair of very sturdy dragon wings.

 

I’ve named this little dragon Dazzle, because it’s a little girl dragon and she’s very bright.  She finished up 7″ high, because I didn’t use the same yarn as suggested in pattern. The pattern is by Janine Holmes, also known as Moji Moji Design.

Her dragon is a boy dragon called Drake, in green & yellow.  This pattern is one of the 14 patterns in the book “Unicorns, dragons and more fantasy amigurumi” published by Meteoor Books, but you can also buy the pattern in pdf format.  You’ll find links to Janine’s Ravelry & etsy shops on her blog Moji Moji.

This pattern is skill level **** (expert).  I would say this is because of the number of very small pieces that need to be made & sewn together.  The wings and spikes required a fair amount of patience.  And pieces like nostrils, eyelids & ears need to be sewn on taking care to follow pattern instructions with plenty of pinning to keep things symmetrical.

When I first began making this dragon, I was imagining an entire family in different colours, but I have to say, now Dazzle is finished, I don’t think I have the patience to go through it all again.

 

 

a bit of this, that & the other (sept)

My time is often spent flitting from one crafting project to another, simply because I can.  So today, a little mish mash of photos of what’s taking shape.

A dolphin cross stitch design, kit by Royal Paris.  I don’t pick this up very often therefore progress is slow, but there’s no hurry.

A new crochet project.  I was going to jump in and start hooking a third doll, but after a rummage in my yarn stash, I came across a couple of sunglass-worthy coloured yarn that I’d bought in a local discount store a couple of years ago.  A quick flick through my big pile of crochet books and I found a pattern that tickled my fancy.  I’m not going to tell you what I’m making just yet . . . it will become more obvious the more body parts I make.  Let’s just say that shocking pink isn’t the colour one would expect, but I reckon the finished design will be very cute!

I’ve begun a new diamond painting project.  Working in various shades of blues & teals . . . overall picture will look like this.

Again, there’s no rush to have this finished.  It’s just a new hobby I discovered recently, and I enjoy putting in a few hours from time to time.

For those of you wondering how the husband is getting on with the mirror . . .

He has begun cleaning up the back (while still debating about how to repair the stucco on the mirror side).  Took out these short planks and discovered

This, stamped on the back of the mirror.  So, his original guess of approx 1870 was out.  Stamp reads 1897, 31st March, Paris.  Renovation work continues.

another hooking happy dance (crocheted doll – Nancy)

In August, I bought two patterns on etsy by Chikchikhandmade.  I set to work straight away to make the first doll, Mila, which I have already shown on my blog.  She was a very girlie doll, with light blond hair and a pretty frilly dress.  The second pattern I bought was to make Nancy.

Nancy has a different hair style, and there were several other differences in that she had socks and knickers crocheted as part of her legs & body.

I decided to make my Nancy more of a redhead, using Stylecraft DK in “gold”.  The pattern called for mohair yarn for the hair.  I didn’t have any mohair, so got around that by separating each strand of DK yarn into 3 strands (which made them slightly curly) and then hooking those 3 thinner strands into each loop as I went round the wigcap.

I still need to even up ends a little, and make her hair neater, but for the moment I’ve kept it long.

I crocheted Nancy in Stylecraft Special DK colour “toy” for the skin tone.  And used “sage for the dungarees, “teal” for the shoes, “white” for socks & knickers, and a different brand in pale teal for her Tshirt.

Whereas the Mila pattern came with a ladybird bag to crochet as an accessory, the Nancy pattern came with instructions to make a pet goose.  This was fun to make, although legs were a bit fiddly (having to crochet only 8 stitches in the round) and I made legs more rigid by cutting two earbuds in half and sticking those inside legs so this little goose can stand on its own.  I also attached wings so little goose can do this

a double goosey “high five” lol.

And in case you missed Mila . . .

Here are Mila and Nancy side by side.  I kept facial detail to a minimum again: just eyes, eyebrows and some cheek colouring.