Wednesday, 27 August 2014

All sewn up ... just a very long border to go!

Following on from this post I have now sewn together all the knitted squares and am amazed at the difference this has made - this is by far the most enormous thing I have ever knitted and I'm pleased with the visual impact - so far!  As the days are getting cooler and the evenings are drawing in, it feels like the right time to be completing this (many years long) project, so I have started on the border (again - first time in the cream colour, then changed my mind so re-started in blue!).  This is the first time I have ever knitted a border - it always seemed a bit frivolous when I was a slow knitter, but now I have picked up a bit of speed and the pattern is quite easy to memorise (and quite easy to make mistakes in too!) I feel it is justified.  At some point I am going to have to block this border while it's still on the needle so I can work out how much I need to knit - not entirely sure how successful that will be, but I'll give it a try!

God willing, I'll be linking this into Ginny's Yarn Along ...!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Late Night Tablecloth

Last year ... or was it the year before ... we were blessed with being at the receiving end of a very long garden table  through freecycle.  We initially took one of the sections out as it really was too long for our patio, but after some building work this summer the table now fits on comfortably in its entirety :-)  However, the nice new patio made the table look a bit dull so I decided to make it a tablecloth.  This was fairly straightforward as I'd need the whole width of the fabric (so no need to hem the 3.55m length of it!) and just needed to hem the much shorter ends :-)  Of course, outdoor tablecloths tend to flap around in the wind, so using some leftover lining material I made 10 pockets in which we will place some weighty things - penny coins, rocks, nuts and bolts have been suggested so far!  I finished at gone midnight - not surprising really when I started at gone 9pm!  It was very satisfying to buy fabric at about 3.30pm and have the finished article less than 9 hours later :-)

Starting off with 4metres of fabric proved a bit of a handful!

Hems pressed (unusual for me!) and pinned ...

... in the right direction for once!

A quick template for the pockets.

Pocket ready to be sewn.

Front and ...

... back!

One of the 10 pockets pinned into place.

Now sewn into place.

I almost lost the machine amongst all the fabric a couple of times!

Naked table!
Beautifully dressed table, complete with child :-)

Two of the finished ...

... pockets :-)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Hama Beads and a Felt Bird

Pinky wanted to make a gift for a friend's birthday so after pursuing a variety of ideas in just as wide a variety of materials we settled for an old favourite which always comes up trumps: Hama beads :-)

We got the pattern free from here and adapted it slightly so that she could thread a ribbon through it.  I also noticed that she changed the mouth to red - can't think who she takes after, wanting to put her own stamp on things ;-)

Last year Pinky made the same child this lovely felt bird:

And if you're wondering if there's a reason she has made her friend things to hang up both last year and this, the answer is yes!  Pinky's friend shares her bedroom with a toddler so she has tried to make things which can be hung up out of the toddler's reach so the toddler doesn't break them, or more importantly swallow a part of them and choke!

1 T-Shirt = 1 Bag + 4 Rags

Some time ago I turned hoodies into bags and little bags so I figured it wasn't such a great leap to turn a t-shirt into a bag as well!  Perky had outgrown a t-shirt which I had decorated for her; I didn't think it would sell in a charity shop as it is too personalised (a bit like the hoodies!) so decided to have a go at making it into a bag for her.  This really was a quick job with very little thought and virtually no planning - yikes!

The t-shirt before I began!

I turned it inside out ...

... and cut off...

... the sleeves.

Not looking brilliant at this stage!

What was left of the t-shirt plus 2 new rags :-)

I used a ruler to help me find how low I wanted the bag handles to go and marked it with a pencil dot.

Then I used a pencil to mark where I would cut to make the handles.

This part was a bit scary as I was either going to get it right or completely ruin it!

Now I had 4 new rags :-) ... 

... and something which still looked more like a vest than a bag!

I pinned the bottom together.

As usual, I put the pins in the wrong way, making it awkward to remove them as I sewed!

Almost at the end ... t-shirt material is a bit tricky to work with and keeps bubbling up as you can see.

I decided to do a second line of stitching to give it a bit of strength.

Then I needed to do something about the raw edges around the handles ... I was going to overlock (zigzag) them but at the last moment found another option in my sewing machine instruction manual but can't remember what it was called now.  Anyway, it involved no tricky folding of curved edges and it will be sufficient for the purposes of this bag :-)

And here is the bag - already carrying its new cargo - Hama beads :-)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Wedding Gift Part 2

The wedding gift, started below, is now ready to be wrapped.  I had originally wanted a gold coloured frame, but couldn't find one (obviously not fashionable right now!) so chose this black one instead.  I decided that the cross stitch needed a bit more presence once I'd found the frame so that the frame didn't dominate, so I stitched another border of crosses.  I then started a second one which will be a 50th birthday present and will be delivered the day after the wedding!