Cosy Crafting

Last week I had a free weekend, but after waking and getting up at 7am I started to get a little stir-crazy in the afternoon. I wandered down to Tate Britain and then decided to jump on the bus to Fabrics Galore, with the intention of getting some fabric to make something for someone for Christmas (I can’t be more specific as I keep hassling my family to read my blog and I think they actually do now). I brushed past a pile of tartan brushed cottons and after lots of umm-ing and ahhh-ing I got some to make some cosy Christmas pjs (a new tradition I started last year). Yesterday I popped into work with the intention of getting a couple of metres of something to finish a something I started making for someone. I got a few bits of haberdashery and some other bits for other presents I’m going to make, but then something caught my eye.  Last time I popped into John Lewis I spotted this cosy knitted fabric but showed great restraint and left it alone. The weather has really got chilly over the past few days and the Christmas lights were twinkling, so last night I was feeling festive and gave in and purchased some to make a polo-neck jumper.

The other fabrics in the photo are all for Christmas presents. Half of the fabrics are cut out and the others are about to be chopped up and sewn up – today is perfect weather for Christmas crafting and watching films 🙂

CAL and Crafty Resolution: BREAKING NEWS

Attention loyal readers. I must interrupt your blog reading for an important announcement. It is so important I have switched my computer on to write a blog post after a day at work, so I hope you are ready on the edge of your seat…

A historical square has been crocheted today. It may not look like much, but this square…

…is my 100th blanket square!It is a Primrose Square (block #31 from the CAL) and works well in my pink and purple colour scheme. I have really enjoyed the last few blocks so here are some of my favourites. Clockwise from top left: Bobble Stripes (#29), Poppy (my own design on Remembrance Sunday), Shell Lace (#30) and Christmas Rose (#28).

If you have memorised my previous posts and can count, you will realise that I still have 20 blocks to go* before I get to the 120 needed for my snuggly double blanket. Yup, I am still a bit behind and have a lot of work to do before December 31st, but I have just got my first Love Film DVD** in the post today for watching while I crochet. And if that fails there is always commuting – it took over an hour today for my 30 minute journey due to people under trains and ill on trains, but that extra 30 minutes allowed me to do a whole square!

*Since there are only 20 blocks to go, I am going to skip a few of the blocks in the book/CAL. When I started the blanket I was mainly doing holey granny squares but since the CAL began I have been making more solid blocks. They are nice, but if I do too many more then the balance of the blanket might look weird. (and they take so much longer and aren’t as fun as the lacy designs!) I will do some but I want to make sure my last 20 blocks include some new skills and designs, and not just lots of double crochet. With that in mind, tomorrow I will be jumping past #32 and #33 straight to #34 – more bobbles!

** I have been considering doing a month free trial for ages, but I finally signed up so I could get Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 to catch up on before seeing the last film! My weekends are officially wasted now!

Super soft winter trousers

Since term started I have been living in my new wool trousers. I was waiting for the chance to get a good picture of them but the winter weather hasn’t been helping, so I hope you can bear the camera-phone shots after a day of wearing.

I used the same trouser pattern I have used before, but added a few special features…

2″ deep turn-ups and wide bands around the pockets.

I really like these extra details – who would know they are the same pattern as my black trousers? I’m sure you are thinking that design features like this must take hours of designing and drafting, but can I tell you a secret? Promise you won’t tell anyone?

Well, I was half-way through cutting up my lovely soft wool fabric when I realised I didn’t have enough fabric! Normally I over buy, but apparently not this once. And I had cut the back legs out so I couldn’t use it for a skirt. Uh oh! After a LOT of arranging my pattern pieces I decided I could just squeeze the front legs on to make cropped trousers. But would I want cropped trousers in a snuggly fabric? Nope, so I decided on adding scraps to get the length and covering the join with some deep turn-ups. Problem sorted! Errr, not quite. One leg fitted perfectly but, when I placed the pattern piece for the last leg, there was  a chunk missing! Hmm.. what to do? Cover up the missing whole with an applique/outer-facing, of course! I deliberately wanted to play with the direction of the herringbone stripes here, and the decision was nothing to do with squeezing pieces on the ever-shrinking left-over fabric I had.I lined the pockets and waistband with the fantastic hot pink lining from my Minoru. I found a trouser hook and bar in my sewing box (from my first ever sewing attempt as a teenager – a long corduroy skirt) and hand-sewed them on pretty carefully – so much easier than sewing tiny hooks.

The wool fabric was so so soft I didn’t line the trousers, but I did try my best to finish the seams. The 10p bias binding I got in the holidays was a great colour match and there was just enough to finish the seams of the pockets and fly plackets.

I’m definitely changing my sewing plans from quirky to classic – the amount of time spent making these doesn’t compare to the amount of time I have worn them so far. Definitely a productive use of my time! (Although there is still room for some quirkiness; I wore my bird skirt today and got compliments on it, and it is so fun to say it is from Ikea!)

 

Crochet update

I have been really focusing on my crochet this week and am now just a week or so behind. So far my favourite block was the colourful bobbles – I am thinking what I can use the technique for (christmas gift perhaps).

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I counted up all my squares and am 10 squares behind my target for my crafty resolution! That is a whole month I have somehow missed, uh oh! To give me some inspiration I placed together all the squares on my blanket.
From this…

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To this…

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One more round makes it look so much more blanket-like – it is now too big to lay it out on the floor so I had to use my bed.

I’m going to try to do 2 squares each day of the weekend to catch up some more, so I’d better get back to it!

P.s. my internet is down so apologies if this looks weird/poor photos as it is from my phone.