Sunday, 27 April 2014

Bean Bags

I've seen sewing machines on American blogs which are aimed at kids size-wise but still operate much the same as an adult's machine and have looked for something similar in the UK over the last couple of years with no success.  A few months ago however, I came across this at a newly opened John Lewis store not far from where we live:

It was just what I've been looking for for Pinky and Perky and at £49.99 was something we could get them as a special shared present :-)
It comes in various colours - I've seen red, pink and purple in the store but other colours online as well.  I chose the white one as I found the other colours in the store quite dark and as it doesn't have a built in light, I wanted it to reflect as much light as possible onto the fabric.  It has a variety of stitches and 9 needle thread tensions, two needle positions and a reverse.
Very generously I was given a £10 Waitrose voucher by my mum a while back and as that can be used in John Lewis too, it brought the price down yet further, so without another thought, a sewing machine was purchased instead of Easter eggs and it was opened with much gusto last Sunday.  It will far outlast any chocolate!
As the forecast for today was rain, rain and more rain I decided this was the day to have a go with the sewing machine, so Pinky and Perky took it out of its box and they chose some fabric which had been very generously given to them by my sister-in-law, and to her in turn by her mother-in-law (I can see a bit of a generational thing coming on here!).  We looked at the instructions a lot and set it up without too many problems and then they made beanbags!  Pinky in particular was absolutely thrilled with what she had achieved.  And I was pleased we'd kept the out of date beans over the past years which I always knew would come in handy one day!
Cutting out templates.

The new machine ready for action!

Cutting fabric - child hands+adult scissors=hard work!

Placing the template on the fabric.

Ready to go!

Hand sewing the hole after turning right side out and filling with beans.

Perky showing side 1.

Perky showing side 2.

And here is Perky's beanbag ...

... in all its technicolour glory!

Pinky with side 1.

Pinky with side 2.

And a happy pink version ...

... for a very happy little girl!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Long Term Work-In-Progress (The Knitting One!)

Like any crafter, I have some works-in-progress!  Off the top of my head I can count 3, but there are probably more!  One of my goals for 2014 is to finish these 3 works-in-progress.  Realistically I may finish 2 - one is a sewing (machine) project and the other is a knitting one.  The one I am not likely to finish is a hand-sewn quilt ... say no more!
The knitting project is a throw made up of squares and is called Garden Plot Squares Throw.

I have knitted 9 cream squares, 8 red ones, and 10 blue ones - there are still 3 cream ones, 4 red ones and 2 blue ones left to go, plus a border.  In many ways, this is a great project as I can easily carry around one square at a time and it has been mostly knitted whilst sitting at the sidelines of swimming lessons, tennis lessons, gymnastics lessons and trampolining lessons.  
The pattern comes from The Knitting and Crochet Bible by Claire Crompton and Sue Whiting.
God willing, I'll be posting this on Ginny's Yarn Along later today.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Social Knitwork Scarf - What Happened?

At the beginning of 2012 I started a Sky Scarf and this is how it turned out.  At the beginning of 2013 I started a Social Knitwork Scarf but it wasn't quite as successful.  It was harder than I had expected to get people to choose colours, and I resorted to rolling a dice for quite a bit of it! In the end I decided the scarf was long enough after about 8 months I think and I sewed the two ends together which has worked really well - no more dangly scarf ends to try and control!  More recently I made a hat to match my scarf using a pattern in Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Knitting.  Hopefully there will be some matching gloves at some point too!

God willing, I'll be linking this to the Yarn Along on Small Things tomorrow!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Longer Knitted Bunting

My first knitted bunting was done as 12 pennants on 2m lengths for quite small spaces.  I've recently finished another one, where I spaced 12 pennants over a 4m length.  It will shortly be posted to my niece who is moving house.  I've no idea if she'll like it or even use it!  It is the same pattern as I used before, from The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jane Brocket.

God willing, I will post this on the Yarn Along at Small Things tomorrow!