Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Posts tagged ‘OUAT’

On my needles right now…

I currently have 4 things on-going, all of which involve needles in some way.

Firstly, my scrappy blanket. I’ve added about another row now (I’m averaging about 1 square each evening which my mum and I watch various TV things from about 4pm to bedtime with a break for dinner), and it’s coming along well. I’ve nearly finished my bag of scraps and will then move onto the new bag.

Yes, this is the same pic as last time. I haven’t quite finished the next row and trying to take a photo of it is even worse than this pic. Better pics to come when it’s cool enough to work on this again!I’m not prepared to sit under a blanket with this temperature!

I also got around to starting a new cardigan. I’m making a v-neck thing in pieces and seaming it. Except the sleeves. They’re still getting done in the round.

This is just the first sleeve πŸ™‚

The whole body of the cardigan would be done like that but the row count on gauge is different so I’ll have to seam it. Lucky me… BUT- it’s rainbows and sparkly!!!!! Very exciting. This seems to be knitting itself, which is good because I also just started a new cross stitch project…*whistles innocently* But this has now become my evening knitting, so it hasn’t stopped altogether πŸ™‚

So yes, the third project is a large cross stitch piece. It’s a cross stitch HAED(charted for 14-count rather than 25-count), which hasonly just been started. I put the fabric on the cross bars (so much hassle, I dislike doing that by hand…), and I’ve worked out where to start, and acknowledged the fact that I put the fabric on sideways (by accident, but it’s also too wide to go on ‘properly’, so I’m calling that a win). Although this looks like the top left corner, it’s actually the top right. And yes, that does make it rather interesting to stitch! Every time I want a new colour I have to check carefully against the key!

And finally, some Christmas cards. Readers who’ve been here for a while will recall the form-a-lines cards I made a while ago for a Christmas present. Well, this year I’m making them to give as Christmas cards. So far the first 6 cards have been pierced (except for a little bit I seem to have missed), and one design (2 cards)has been completely finished, including gluing a ribbon bow on it. I haven’t stuck the tri-fold-y bit down yet- I’ll do that when all 6 are done. These don’t get worked on all that much- they’re up in my bedroom and I feel kinda awkward staying there during the day in case my mum thinks I’m being anti-social, so usually they get done if I wake up unreasonably early!

There are also two projects which are finished, but not finished-finished. I completed this elephant stamped emboidery in 2 days for my aunt’s birthday in July. All that I need to do now is glue the fabric to the hoop and then some felt over the back to hide all the knots and things. I just forgot to get the felt when I was in town yesterday… oops!

The other is the OUAT monthly SAL. Anyone here remember this?

I still haven’t gotten around to doing anything with it *lesigh*. I guess that’s what happens when you stitch something because it’s fun, rather than because you want it on your wall. I don’t really know what to do with it…my mum says I should get it framed, but even then, I don’t really have anywhere to put it *lesigh*. I also have this vague plan to sew the individual months as birthday cards, but I have far too many plans for the time I have…what a wonderful problem to have!

Then I suppose there are all the other projects (stained glass, socks, scrappy sock yarn pillow cover…), but they’re not really getting worked on at the moment, so they don’t really count in my mind. At some point I should create a folder or something of all my abandoned projects so I can go back and work on them when I want something but don’t want to start anything new! I would love to finished stained glass, now I’ve remembered I have it…oops!

Hello 2015!

Well, clearly my ‘standard’ schedule of posting on a Saturday is well and truly out of the window! I go back to Uni next Saturday, so after that I’ll probably go back to posting on Saturdays :).

So, my latest finishes: the one everyone has been waiting for, the OUAT sal. First of all, December’s block, which was Hansel and Gretel:


And the whole thing in all it’s glory. I’ve got plans to turn this into a hanging, so there’ll be another picture when that happens.


So, that was my last finish of 2014. I had this grand plan to finish 12 pairs of socks this year, and only managed 10. I’m very happy with 10, and am looking forward to knitting more this year as well πŸ™‚

Then, in 2015 my mum very kindly introduced me to the basics of dress-making, and I’ve made a skirt. No progress pics of this, but here it is all finished.

skirt1It’s a bit blurry, but you get the point πŸ™‚ The skirt itself is covered in butterflies in different colours which I think is wonderful πŸ™‚


I’ve started making a pair of pyjamas as well, in some gorgeously soft fleecy material :).

What I learnt from my first attempt at dress-making:

  • Stick pins in so they’re facing the edge of the material. Then the head is out of the way for stitching and the foot will simply glide over the pins themselves. Very obvious when told!
  • Measure yourself! Just because all your jeans are size 8, doesn’t mean that patterns follow the same sizing guide! Lesson learnt the hard way.
  • Mums are somehow magic. When mine ironed straight onto interfacing, it’s fine. If I try…oops!
  • If you baste/sew for the gathers inside the seam allowance, you don’t need to remove them when sewing the whole thing together! Genius!
  • Gathers don’t need to be perfect. Actually, nothing needs to be perfect. Seam allowances can hide a multitude of sins.
  • It’s very easy to lose track of time when doing the whole machine-iron-table-machine thing. Pay attention and take breaks to sit down and have a drink. Otherwise you hurt afterwards!
  • While dress-making is fun (and I would love to have quite a few items in my wardrobe) I’m not head-over-heels in love with it. Which is probably a good thing, seeing as how I only have a few weeks a year to use my mum’s, as I’m away in York so much!

It’s alright to fail!

So, after the 12 hours I spent on a train on Monday and Tuesday, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on the sock situation (remember that I need to knit 2 pairs this month to make 12 pairs this year…), and then realised that I still have an entire pair of socks, and half of my current pair to knit. So, I guess that’s doable, after all there will probably be many hours sitting around watching tv over Christmas (and my last pair will probably be vanilla…no need to tempt fate, eh?). Anyway, here is my foot modelling the finished sock.


At the same time, I’d quite like to finish my OUAT sampler this year. This is almost certainly not going to happen…I’m catching the train to Salisbury on Thursday morning, and I need to clean the house and pack before I go, so I’m not sure how long I’ll have to stitch on Wednesday. I have, however, finished November’s block (Little Red Riding Hood, if anyone has forgotten!), and all the border, so all that is left is December’s block.

OUAT24And the title and year, but they’re so small they don’t seem to count, somehow… I know, logically, that this is not going to be finished before I go home, which means it’s not going to be finished until next year. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is ok, that I don’t need to finish it before I go home. That this self-imposed deadline is not important, and getting a decent nights sleep before I go home is! Does anyone else ever get like this? Any ideas for reminding myself that it really isn’t important?

What I’ve learned from my sweater

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But there are definitely things to remember for my next attempt (or rather, the one after that as I’ve already started my next one…)

  • Look at the finished sweater size, not just how big it’s supposed to be. Mine feels very tight, particularly under the arms. I think it’s because my colourwork basically has no give whatsoever, and so I should’ve gone up an(other) needle size for it.
  • Think about all the different techniques in the jumper. Just because my stocking stitch one colour gauge is telling me one thing, I certainly shouldn’t take it as gospel for the whole sweater! Particularly colour-work, I *need* to go up at least one needle size. At some pointβ„’ I’m going to check whether one needle size does it, or I should do a standard 2 needles now…
  • Stocking stitch (particularly in the round) is boring. It still needs doing. My jumper is (quite) a bit on the short side, so looks a bit strange when paired with a long top. I may get around to frogging the ribbing, and adding some length, but it’ll take a while to get around to it.
  • I need to get better at darning in ends. I’ve had a couple of ends come loose on me, and one of them was a ridiculously short thing I had to tie (shock horror!) It might have split from somewhere (we are talking about galaxy after all!) but still… Next time darn in for longer. Much longer!

I think that’s everything! Not bad really, I think. Does anyone else have any words of wisdom about sweater making to share?

So, on to what else I’ve been up to. I mentioned last week that I want to knit lots of socks this month, and therefore I needed to go yarn shopping. Well, that was a resounding success! I have an extra 6 pairs of socks worth of yarn, and I can’t wait to get started πŸ™‚

We have:




I’ve also made a start on actually knitting socks. I had a pair on the needles (back from September) which I have now finished, so here they are

Cardiff2And, naturally, I have cast on my next pair of socks. I got this yarn back in August(!) when I was at Loncon, and I’m only now getting around to knitting it πŸ™‚

Because this yarn has such awesome stitch definition, the obvious choice is something with cables (or rather, mock cables, this is a sock after all!) so I’m doing this pattern (ravelry link)

IMGP0116There isn’t really anything much to see so far, there are only a couple of rows after the toe…

And finally, we’re now in December, and therefore the latest (and last!) block for the OUAT SAL has come out. So, for the last time, have some clues for what is going on (I’ll probably wrap this up earlier than usual, so I can figure out who gets the giveaway stuff and sort all that out while I’m in Salisbury and can raid the much better shops there!)

So, December’s fairy tale

It’s a Brother’s Grim story (and yes, it is just dark and depressing… it includes cannibalism…), and has also been converted into an opera and a stop-motion film.

As ever, the wicked step-mother is intent on being, well, wicked, despite her husband’s wishes to not abandon his family.

Let’s see how you get on with that…

Oh oh oh, I nearly forgot… Polo got nominated for the One Lovely Blogger Award (totally justified, everyone should go over there and check out the blog πŸ™‚ )

And then they nominated me! I was totally floored by this, I just generally see these as excuses to look up other blogs I might find interesting, so when I absent-mindedly clicked on the links, I was rather surprised to see my own blog… that’ll teach me to read links before clicking on them! But anyway, I am so incredibly grateful for this (thanks ever so much, Polo)!

So here are the rules of the One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
  2. List the rules and display the award
  3. Include seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate around 10-15 other bloggers and let them know about the award (their About page is a good place!)
  5. Follow the blogger who nominated you, if not already. (Optional!)

So here’s the award picture:


Hmm, 7 facts about myself

  1. I dislike fuss being made over me, particularly for my birthday. In fact, I regularly tell people that it’s on the 31st June, and laugh insanely until they realise that June only has 30 days (it’s ridiculously funny!)
  2. Whenever I read a book, my mind gets inundated with crafty things I want to make inspired by that book. I really want to figure out how to live on less sleep, so that I actually have a chance to do half of them!
  3. I’m studying for a PhD in mathematics. This frequently leads to arguments between my maths side and my crafty side, about which one is more important (hint: it’s the one that’s going to provide me with a paycheck…the maths). My crafty side responds by insisting I get on with something (usually socks).
  4. I love knitting socks. I’ve currently got 11 pairs I regularly wear, and clearly this isn’t enough (you may have noticed all that sock yarn I’ve just bought…)
  5. Next year I’ll be moving out of my current student house and into a flat with just one other student. I’m *really* looking forward to this, as although I’ll only have a tiny bedroom, it’s fine because the sitting room is masquerading as my office, and I’ll have a chest of drawers just for my crafty things. This is a step up from crates under my bed. It’s almost like having my own crafty room!
  6. I also like knitted hand warmers. I’ve got 3 pairs on my table next to me, in case my hands get cold (not likely, this jumper of mine is WARM!)
  7. I regularly bite off more than I can (or really should) chew! I’m doing another 2 pairs of socks this month, and I’ve got my OUAT sampler to finish, and my Stained Glass to catch up on, and, and, and… I love it πŸ™‚ It’s definitely better to be busy than bored! However, I do wish that I could finish more! (Probably a common problem…and really, I’ve finished my jumper, and a pair of socks in pretty much a week, I can’t complain!)


I’m not going to nominate any other bloggers- I realised the other day that these are basically a pyramid scheme, and that meant I don’t feel too guilty about it, and right now I’m up to my eyeballs in work (end of term has just hit) and I can’t spend the time (unfortunately) to really think about my choices so I’m just not going to try (the blog has to be the first thing to suffer when life gets busy!)

So, on that rather disappointing end, I’m off to cook a turkey!




November is almost over…

… so how is everyone getting on with various challenges? My sweater is nearly finished, so I’m sure that tomorrow it’ll be finished and ends sewn in and all that jazz! It’s finally getting to the point that I’m getting rather excited about the fact that I’ve actually knitted a sweater!!!!

Here is is now (all that is left is 1(yes, you read that right, one!!!) row of colourwork then the cuffs! So excited!)


(Please excuse the cramped photo, I had to put my socks on to dry this morning after realising that I’ve only got 2 clean pairs (and one’s on me!)). I’ve got a plan for December which involves quite a lot of sock yarn…

I realised the other day that I’ve finished 9 (and 3/4) pairs of socks so far this year. It was on track forΒ  a round dozen, but then I had to knit this sweater, so… But anyway, I think that I can knit 2 (and a bit) pairs of socks in a month, especially since Uni is about to break up, thereby giving me about 6 extra hours a week. (I’m glossing over the cross stitch I need to do…, that’ll get done as well, honest!)

But that means that I need more sock yarn, since the sock yarn I’ve got has all been ear-marked for quite complicated socks, and I *do* know better than to think I can knit 2 pairs of complicated socks in a month! So, yarn shopping I must go! (And it’s totally allowed since I just got paid!)

So, next week there will be stash photos, and a finished jumper, and clues for December’s cross stitch block (and you may get it on Friday evening, as I need to cook a massive dinner on Saturday)! Lucky you guys! Makes up for these rather boring posts this month while I plug away at my sweater!

And that reminds me- November’s block. Well done to everyone who guessed Little Red Riding Hood. I’m still rather confused about the snow, but there we go!

See you all in December!


Just a quick post today…

because I’ve got a load of work to do, and I really want to get back to my sweater!

But first of all, November’s block. Clearly the hints given last week weren’t enough, so here’s a photo of what I did last weekend (before I decided that December was plenty big enough to do the rest of November’s block, as well as December’s and finishing the border.

So here’s what has been done so far

OUAT23I’m not really quite sure why there’s snow. I mean, I know that it’s November’s block, and therefore Winter, and therefore snow makes sense, but the story is set in the Summer, because there are flowers. And in the Winter, I can’t see any family being happy with an elderly lady in ill health living by herself ages away! And yes, those are the clues for this week! Let’s see what you make of them, and next week I’ll give some more if people still aren’t getting it.

Most of my spare crafty time has gone into my sweater, and I think it’s looking pretty good so far. This is almost as far as I’ve got so far

11.04Since this pic was taken, I’ve split for the sleeves and done half of the band of stars. I need to get my arse into gear if I want to finish this in November, but with so much stuff happening at Uni it’s difficult to find the time to really get into it! Hopefully I’ll be able to spend lots of time on it tomorrow!

Right, that’s everything crafty from me I think. I’ll see you all next week when hopefully I’ve churned out lots more on my sweater!

Hello November!

So, this morning I received the next part of the OUAT sampler, so that’s what I’ll be working on this weekend!

After giving out too many clues last month, this month I’m going to be a lot stingier! Don’t worry, it’s a well known fairy tale!

It was written by a French man, and it was included in the Grimn brothers fairy tale collection (not surprising given the level of violence in it!).

Over the years it has been re-written, and watered down many times. The most notable ‘sanitising’ changes the fate and behaviour of the main bad guy.Β  In the original version, he ate the main character, and was later cut open (thereby releasing the main character) and stuffed full of rocks, which killed him (but y’know, the cutting open? Totally fine!), but later versions has him merely lock the main character in a wardrobe or some such thing, and then get chased off by a supporting character!

Let’s see what you make of that, and next week hopefully I’ll have finished the cross stitching which will probably give the game away a little!

The other day I was in town, and I found this absolute gem of a book. I had to look online at when it was published (1947!). It’s a general book on embroidery, knitting, crochet, dress making and home upholstery! It’s lovely to look through, especially when it says things like ‘Tweezers […] Buy the ordinary small toilet kind from the sixpenny stores.’!

IMGP0071I’ve also done a couple of lines of stitching on my juggling balls- not very much, but there’s no rush!

juggle2So now I can sew these bits together, and I’ll have half a juggling ball! Which is probably going to have to wait until December, because of the jumper! I might have slightly cheated and started it yesterday… but who really minds? I’m not going to be working on it this weekend because of OUAT, so it all works out :).

Speaking of which, I want to get started on that! See you all next week

Oh… hello SAturday!

So, I completely forgot hat it’s Saturday today, which means another update as to what I’ve been doing

Firstly, I finished October’s block- it feels very strange that I’m onto the bottom row now!

OUAT22And… that is unfortunately pretty much it :/ I’ve been busy working this week, and that’s going to keep stealing all my time until Christmas. On the other hand, I’m now teaching again, so yay for that!

I have joined a couple of clubs here, so hopefully I’ll still get some knitting done on a Friday when knitsoc meets up (as long as I remember my cabling needle…doh!). I also joined jugglesoc, and am planning on making my own set of juggling balls, which should be fun πŸ™‚ So far I’ve outlined my shapes, and so hopefully I’ll get around to ironing and cutting them out this weekend, when I’ve had enough of Stained Glass!

juggle1I’m going to have three balls, made with 8 ‘triangles’ each, I’m going to alternate this stripy fabric(this is the reverse) and the plain red you can just see on the left πŸ™‚ I’ll make some more when I start needing more balls, and then I’ll be able to mix and match πŸ™‚ Can never have too many balls πŸ™‚

Hmm, I wonder if I can finished the page of Stained Glass this weekend… better get my speedy needle out!

October’s Block and nearly finished Christmas presents

So, October’s Block. It’s another ‘classic’ fairy tale, published by the Grimm brothers, and one that I think will be obvious by just a few clues. so…

It starts with a lovely man marrying again, and his new wife and her two daughters bullying his rather more lovely daughter(the main character). She (the main character) meets the prince for a few hours, and leaves an item of clothing behind which prompts a massive search of the entire city to find her again, because naturally in a few hours you can fall totally in love with someone…gotta love those fairy tales!

I think that’s enough information to be getting on with, if it really is more obscure than that I’ll give out some more hints next week (or maybe a pic of the finished thing!) It’s quite awkward to know how much information to give from the side of knowing what the fairly tale is!

So, onto the other half of this post, yes, the Christmas presents are nearly finished! I finished all the coasters! Here’re the ones you didn’t see last time

christmasaunt5 christmasaunt6

I just love that tit in the bird bath!

So that makes two of the three Christmas presents I’m hand-making finished! And I even made a start on the last one- a set of form-a-line cards.

You make these by punching holes in the middle of a tri-fold card (so you can cover the back, which gets a bit messy with selotape!)

christmasdorothy1There are patterns you print off and tape over the card, then you use a pin to punch the hole (into a block of foam!). It gets a little painful after a while, that’s a lot of holes, especially when you decide to be completely insane and punch 10 cards in one day! They’re not all of this pattern, there are three patterns in total, and I did 3-3-4.

Then you follow the instructions for how to sew them, and get something like this

christmasdorothy2They really are loads of fun to do (when you’re finger stops hurting from sticking a pin through card so many times!)

First Christmas Presents of the year sorted

Woo hoo, I finished (decided I had enough) of cross stitching on plastic canvas for my mum’s Christmas present.

Here is it before cutting them all out


and then yesterday I cut them out and stuck on some magnetic strip. I’m not sure how well they’ll stick on, but it’s the best idea I’ve got really…

christmasmum8I am so glad that these things are finally done! Although I haven’t finished with the plastic canvas, as I’ve signed up for my first ever exchange- a Christmas tree decoration cross stitched one πŸ™‚ So that’ll have to be kept under wraps for now πŸ™‚ But if you fancy signing up, it’s being hosted by hookedonstitches.

I did manage to finish the OUAT square last weekend, and even did a bit more on the border.


After last week’s clue, which I think makes it rather obvious, I’m not giving out any more clues this week (reminder to anyone who joined after I first mentioned it, but everyone who takes part will be entered into a draw to win some goodies after Christmas. See my post at the end of July for all the (incredibly technical, I know πŸ˜‰ ) information. Next week I will be telling you all which fairy tale this is based off, so last chance to guess πŸ™‚

Then I stopped working on this (I finished both the purple/red thread and the yellow/orange thread that I was using, so it seemed like a good place to stop, rather than start new thread) and carried on working on the Stained Glass thing I’m doing

pic6Looking at the picture, I’ve nearly reached the side of the piece, so I’m hoping to finish stitching it this weekend, as next weekend I’ve got a friend coming so I won’t get much done on this (but my first Cardiff sock might get finished).

So, going back to the Christmas presents: I now have to stitch a set of cards for a friend, and cross stitch some birds for a set of coasters for my aunt, who enjoys bird-watching.Β  I’m estimating that each of these will take a month to complete, so that’s October and November dealt with, and then I have December free, to do what I want πŸ™‚ Provided, of course, that I finish the Christmas tree decoration next week! It feels very nice (but a bit strange!) the idea that I’ll have finished Christmas presents *early*! Very unusual state of affairs!



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