Saturday, 6 August 2011

FO Friday (on a Saturday...)

Shhhhhhhhh, I know it's a day late, but I didn't finish one of the projects till last night and didn't have time to blog. As always, Finished Object Friday is hosted By Tami, and you can check out what other people have been doing on her blog

First up, a crocheted penis. Made as a joke gift for a hen night party. Excuse the quality of the picture as I forgot to take one myself and someone had to send it to me after the party. The pattern is here if you're interested, I ran out of time to make the testicles so I just stuffed it and sewed up the end. The hen just couldn't guess who made it, mwah ha ha ha. ;)

I also finished the granny blanket for my nephew, and have exchanged it for one of his old ones to see if I can repair it as he uses them for security objects (he's very nearly 2).

The munchkin hat is also done, and was fun to make, although I currently have no access to a newborn to see if the size is right. I'll have to wait till January. It was also a first attempt at a pompom, and I got really bored wrapping the yarn and gave up a bit to soon, so it could have been fluffier. I would definitely make this pattern again, but first I have to find someone quirky enough to want one as a gift for their newborn.

And last but not least, this is what I finished last night. My first sewing machine project! I've wanted a roll for my crochet hooks for a while, and since I finally figured out the basics on the machine (like go and stop!) I thought this would be a good first project. 

I couldn't find one pattern that matched what I wanted, so I combined elements of this one at Planet June and this one at Today We Made and drew up my own pattern. 

It's a little wonky in places, and not all the stitching is perfect, but it has space for new hooks I don't own yet. ;) If I get brave I'll post my version of the pattern another day.

I'll be able to blog my wedding photo's soon, I've had to wipe and reinstall my laptop but now it's all tidy again I have room to put the photo's on the hard drive for uploading.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I'm back! and WIP weds...

I'm back! And I'm now a married woman, with any luck I'll post some pics and tell you about it tomorrow, as we're hoping to collect the official photos tomorrow at some point...

And it just so happens to be Wednesday today, which means it's Work In Progress Wednesday as hosted by Tami.

I've got a few things on the go at the moment, I'm still "working" on the crayon blanket, the hooded jacket and the cushion cover, by which I mean I'm looking at them occasionally and not doing a lot else. They'll get finished eventually.

I've got a couple of new projects to go with them. The first is a replacement granny square crochet blanket to swap for the two that my nephew uses as security blankets. He likes to stick his fingers and toes through the holes and wriggle them, unfortunately the yarn wasn't strong enough for that and both his blankets now need heavy repairs. It's the acrylic DK I had left over from the celtic scarf I made.

The second project is my very first bit of knitting! I got a crash course from an auntie, (not the one that taught me crochet, a different auntie!), in casting on, ribbing, stockinette stitch, and casting off. Not sure how much I can remember now, but youtube vids are good reminders when I get stuck. For my first knitting project I've gone for something flat that isn't going to need any stitching up at the end, and that actually only really uses the knit stitch. It's the diagonal comfort blanket from Lion brand yarn. I'm making this in the aran yarn leftover from the convertible hat.

Oh, and I should probably tell you who the knitted blanket is for, as they're also the reason I've not felt up to blogging much...

My final work in progress for today is:

A tiny human I'm growing, pictured here at 12 weeks and 1 day ish, this was taken last Friday and we're very excited to meet him or her in January!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

This time next month......

This time next month I'll be married and partying away at our reception! 

Just thought I'd pop by and share, I know I'm neglecting things here a bit...

Still need to buy my ring, give out the last invites (!), have the dress fittings, book balloons, have a hair trial, decide on make-up, find another photographer (!), buy the buffet food..... and probably other things I can't remember right now.

Oh well, exciting times!

(not me!)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Hen night part one

Saturday night we went out in the city centre for part one of my hen night. 

My friend thought it compulsory to dress me up in all the hen night stuff she could find, knowing she isn't intending to get married so I won't be able to get her back!

I had a great night, and didn't get home till 3 apparently.

Part two will be a sit down meal in June, I just wanted to get the drinking part out of the way early.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I'm still here

Hello everyone. I'm still here, just got carried away with things and neglected my blog a little too long. 

Spring has most definitely sprung where I am. In the pattern of the last few years it seems like April showers don't exist any more as we've had a lot of sunshine so far. I've already been wearing my sun cream as I'm pretty much a vampire and I go crispy surprisingly fast. The dogs overheat quickly too, and I'm able to get some lovely dopey photos of them in the sun:

This is a photo of the lawn:

It looks a lot more like a desert at the moment. The dogs have killed most of the grass and it's been so dry it's all cracked. Sam is quite happy with it now, as he absolutely hates mowing, but I'm thinking of sowing some grass seeds and trying to keep the dogs (and the birds!) off it for a while.

I've been busy making wedding plans so I'm behind on planting this year. I've planted some seeds today, tomatoes, broad beans, peas, mixed salad, basil, and beetroot. I need to get some potatoes ready too. I don't know how many will germinate as the seeds are all pretty old now, but I'd rather use them up before I buy new ones.

What have you got growing at the moment?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cushion cover ~ WIP Weds

I've had four cushions from ikea sitting around naked for far too long. I've made a half hearted attempt to look for covers, but most of the shops sell cushions and covers together. Which is not very helpful. 

I decided to have a go at making a cushion cover from crochet. I tried this circle in a square one but for some reason just couldn't get the right number of stitches going. So I gave up that idea for now and went back to trusty granny squares. Just two rounds then a double crochet edging in black. I would have used white or cream for the edging but I don't have any in, so I used black. This may end up being the fugly cushion of the four.

I did a bunch of squares till it looked the right size, then crocheted them together without sewing in the ends because that's boring so why not put it off? That's all I have left to do now for this side.

I'm thinking just a big granny square for the back, quicker and less ends! Then I'll try and master my sewing machine and make an insert out of an old sheet so you can't see the cushion through the holes.

P.s. If you want to take a look at what other crafty bloggers have been doing this week why not head over to Tami's blog and take a look at the pool?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Pancake pictures

Following on from this mornings post:

The dogs got half of one each:

I found some black and some green food colouring in the cupboard, so naturally I split the batter into 3 batches and tinted two of them.

The black ones came out blue grey:

But the green ones were pretty cool:

Enjoy the rest of your pancake day!

Vegan Pancakes

Today is pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday if you are a Christian. 

I was raised loosely Christian, but it's always been about the pancakes and not the religious undertones in this house, so as a Pagan I have no trouble celebrating pancake day. Well, that would be a lie, a lot of the time I'm oblivious to which day of the week I'm currently on, so it's quite common for our household to have Pancake Wednesday instead.

Last year I tried out two different recipes. One from good old Delia Smith, and a vegan recipe passed on by a friend via Facebook. I have to say the Delia ones were very greasy, while the vegan ones were lovely and light, and you didn't feel like you were missing out on anything at all.

I'm not vegan, but I was looking for a recipe that used soya milk, as I don't drink animal milk.

Here's the vegan recipe:

  • 150g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2tbsp veg oil (I used olive oil)
  • 5tbsp water
  • 300ml soya milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp maple syrup (I didn't have any, so missed this out)
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, add the wet ingredients and beat into a batter. I use a whisk at this stage. Heat a frying pan and spoon or ladle small amounts of the mixture. You'll have to experiment to find the right amount for your pan. The fun part is trying to flip it over perfectly!

Once your pancake is cooked, top with anything you like, roll, and scoff the lot!

I usually choose from a combination of sugar, honey, lemon juice, or golden syrup.

What's your favourite topping?

P.s. Today is also International Women's Day, James Bond and Moneypenny have a message for you: 

Monday, 7 March 2011

Who needs men anyway?

I'm just taking a break, and a well deserved cup of tea, as I write this. 

I live in a fairly basic two up two down house, we have a front bedroom and a back bedroom. The front room used to be my mum's and the back one has mostly been mine since I was little. After mum passed away I didn't particularly want to change rooms, and as we've moved things around in the house inevitably stuff has been moved into the front room "out of the way" and then abandoned. 

I've finally decided I'm ready to move into the "grown-up" bedroom at the front of the house, and over the weekend I carted the 20 million bags and boxes out of the front room and into the back one, and got the bed set up in there. My boyfriend would have helped of course, but he was struck down with suspected food poisoning just in time to avoid it all. He's fine now, and has been out on a maths course today, so naturally I decided to drag the wardrobe into the front room while he was out. 

This is the wardrobe, solid wood. It can be taken apart but since I built the damn thing 3 or 4 years ago I really didn't want to do that all over again.

I found I could get it to move if I moved it side to side and pulled. So I got it as far as the door pulling it and found the metal carpet grip across the door was too tall to pull it over. So I pushed it back a bit, squeezed through the gap to get behind it and managed to get it over the lip with a combination of pushing and rocking it back on one edge. 

Now I had to push it across the landing from inside the back room, which went fine till it hit the bookcase and got stuck. At this point I was wishing I'd bought my mobile phone with me, as I was now trapped in the bedroom. I couldn't get it any further forward, and I couldn't pull it back enough to get out without pulling it fully back in the room. Then inspiration struck, I pulled it back in enough to open the doors on either side, climbed inside the wardrobe and got out on the landing. I was slightly disappointed not to find Narnia.

From the landing I wiggled it and pulled it till I got the wardrobe past the bookcase. I had to stand in the bathroom doorway to push it through the front bedroom door. Again fighting with a metal carpet grip, and getting stuck. But finally I got the wardrobe to it's new home. 

I'm just glad I measured everything before I started!

Of course, the back room now looks like this.....

Baby steps, people, baby steps......

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Jacket progress

Whoops, where did February go? I seem to have blinked and missed it. On top of that I was convinced today was Tuesday up until about 12 o'clock...... 

Anyway, hello again. Apparently planning a wedding takes up more time than you'd think, and quickly leads to neglecting your blog. I think I've seen every purple dress currently on sale in the UK and I still haven't been able to find one suitable for my bridesmaids.

I've managed to work on the hooded jacket but haven't got as far as I'd like. Some people in the Ravelry group have already finished or are getting very close.

I've done the first 6 inches and I'm now working on the left front piece. Once you get past the first section it does feel like it's going faster.

Since it is Wednesday I've added this post to Tami's WIP pool, why don't you head over there and take a look at what other crafty things people are currently working on?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Exciting news...

Hello everyone. Have those of you doing the crochet along started yet? I'm behind already, but I do have a good excuse. 

I've booked the date for my wedding!

I've been with my partner for 7 years this month, and we've been engaged for almost 6 of those years! With one thing after another we just haven't got around to having a wedding yet, so we've decided to go for it this year and just over a week ago we booked a date for June. Apparently by wedding standards this leaves me at least 6 months behind in the planning department, but never fear, it will get done! 

I've gone for a registry office as I don't see the point of pretending to be a Christian just to book a pretty church. I have picked a dress today, and now we just need a reception venue, bridesmaid dresses, groom and best man suits, buffet plan, decorations, invites, photographer...etc....... 

We'll manage somehow.

By the way, >this< is the best wedding cake I've seen so far. Sadly doesn't fit in with our wedding, but what an awesome cake! If you don't recognise it have a look here.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Juicy weigh in

It's the final day of my juice week. Technically if you follow the plan in the 7lbs in 7 days book, you should juice on day 7 and have your first meal in the evening on day 8, but I'm cheating and having my first meal tonight on day 7. 

I've done the plan for the full 7 days twice before so it's not that I can't last that long, in fact I haven't been hungry once this week. The thing I've missed most is the act of cooking something. It's my excuse to have the kitchen to myself and have music blaring out of the ipod. So as soon as I've posted this and organised my playlist, I'm heading into the kitchen to cook up a storm. (Not that I'll be able to eat much, I always find the juice week seriously shrinks your appetite).

The worst part of the week is always the first 2 or 3 days when your body is going through a withdrawal of all the chemicals/sugar/caffeine in your normal diet. I went to bed early on day 1 with a massive headache and slept for 15 hours!

And now the weigh in. This should have been tomorrow morning too but I always like to see what weight I am before I start eating again. In the past I've found that as long as you are eating healthily you continue to lose weight during the week after the detox.

Please bear in mind I'm holding the camera while on the scales (it adds 10 pounds right? Ok, maybe not that much...).

Day 1: Friday 14th Jan:

12 stone 9 lbs

Day 7: Thursday 20th Jan:

11 stone 12 ½ lbs

Total lost: 10 ½ lbs

And as a reward this morning look what the postman bought:

It's the yarn for the crochet along!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Yarn choice - HJCAL

I've finally ordered my yarn for the hooded jacket.

I decided on an aran weight, and wanted an acrylic/wool mix similar to the discontinued yarn the pattern calls for. I had a trawl through various online shops to see which manufacturers made the kind I wanted in the price range I wanted, then went direct to their websites to see all the colours available.

I couldn't picture the colours together very easily so I saved the pictures to my computer and used GIMP to play with the different combinations and patterns. I saved a swatch with my final colour choice and a few versions of the combos (yes, I do have some OCD tendencies thank you):

I ended up ordering it all from one seller on ebay as I struggled to find one shop that stocked all 4 colours and the postage prices were pretty ridiculous. I could buy another ball with what they ask for postage! 

How about you? Have you bought yarn especially for the jacket or are you using it as a stash buster? I don't have a stash big enough to bust yet, but I'm working on it!

P.s. it's day 4 of my juice detox, the end is in sight, all downhill from here!  I'm hoping I do the 7 days as planned but as Thursday is both food shop day and my final day I might have my first evening meal on Thursday instead of waiting till Friday.  Hmmmmmm decisions.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

That time of year again...

It's that time of year again. When I've eaten loads of rubbish, my "get up and go" is AWOL, I'm overweight and I feel generally down and pathetic. Time for a juicy detox.

For the next 7 days I'll only be having fruit and veg juices and smoothies, water and herbal teas. I've bought all my fruit and veg ready for starting tomorrow. Two bowls:

And a fridge full:

I'm using Jason ("The Juicemaster") Vale's recipes again, but this time I'm not following a specific book. I'm using the main idea from the 7lbs in 7 days book and the main smoothie, but I've picked recipes from all his other books and made up my own 7 day plan. It's easier this way as I know from experience that I won't drink any of the juices that use ginger or any smoothies with banana in. *bleurgh!*

This was my shopping list:

Starting weigh in will be tonight/tomorrow morning and another on January 21st. Wish me luck!

(Last year's juice week is here and here.)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Plan of action - HJCAL

First post of 2011, so Happy New Year!  I would have posted sooner but I've been feeling a bit down and generally blah so I wasn't in the right frame of mind for blogging.

I'm happy that quite a few of you want to join me in the Hooded Jacket Crochet Along. So I figured we need a plan of action. 

We're aiming at being ready to begin by February 1st. That gives everyone about 3 more weeks to buy yarn and make sure they've got the right hooks.

If you've not already grabbed the pattern go to Jolly Plum's blog post and read the text under the picture, the link to the pattern is there. I've printed a copy off because I don't tend to crochet with my laptop turned on. One thing to watch out for in the pattern is the fourth colour has 1 more ball than the others, that is for the separate hat (the "cap") which is at the very end. If you don't intend to make that there's no need to buy a larger amount of the fourth colour.

The original yarn recommended by the pattern was discontinued. From googling it seems to have been about 55% wool, 45% acrylic. The pattern uses 2 strands of "sport" weight yarn. In UK terms that's DK or a little lighter. So you could try it with 2 strands of DK or 1 strand of aran or worsted weight. If you decide to use the heavier yarn, like I am, you can halve the amount required for the pattern.

Not being strict about this as everyone has varying levels of commitments and free time. I'd say aim for at least  2 or 3 rows a week on the long stretches and more on the shorter parts.
I suggest we share our progress each week to keep each other motivated. So I'll be blogging it here every Saturday after the 1st, hopefully with a Mr. Linky so those with blogs can link up. Those on Ravelry can join the "Hooded Jacket Crochet Along" group where we'll each have a progress thread. 

Places you can get involved. 
Here each Saturday with Mr. Linky, join the Ravelry group, or add your shots to the Flickr pool.

Bloggers grab a badge:

Please let me know if you have any suggestions about anything. This is my first attempt at organising a crochet along!