12.29.2008

December Giveaway!

The December Giveaway is a little late - just getting it in! The run-up to Christmas was pretty busy, trying to organise everything.

It was a good Christmas though. C proposed on Christmas Eve which was quite unexpected, I sang rather well at mass on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day we went down to Wexford and had a lovely day with my family.

Good all round!

Any how, leave a message by Janaury 1st and I will pick three winners that morning to win a pdf knitting pattern for Bobble, Squeek and Pierre.


Bobble

Pierre


Bobble

12.23.2008

My First Treasury


This morning I got a message that my Fairy Godmother knitting pattern is featured in one of the Treasuries on Etsy. So exciting as it's my first on. Woo Hoo!

It was put together by Artwolf.

12.22.2008

My Christmas Present for Me!

Well, our carol service didn't go too bad. I started off a bit shaky as I was very nervous but I think I got better as I went on.

The highlight of the show was the Fillipino choir. They were actually a children's choir and ranged from very young to early teens. They were very cute, had actions and very confident. I was so jealous!


This is my present to myself for Christmas. I found the pattern for free through Ravelry. Its available through the Little Turtle Knits website. It was super fast to knit and looks so nice on. Its inspired by the hat Kirsten Dunst wore in ElizabethTown.

12.21.2008

Smem's Stocking

Blogging has fallen by the wayside this week as I have been so busy. I had two christmas parties - one on Tuesday night with the knitting group, and one on Thursday with the church folk choir. On Thursday myself and Smem had to go to the dump and we also went shopping and to her grandparents in Dublin. On Friday we had to go into the city centre, and yesterday we all went out for a family lunch.

I haven't been so busy outside the house in ages. And it doesn't stop today. My parents and sister are visiting, then I have a carol service to sing at at 5pm and mass to sing at a 7pm. Lord, my days are full.

I have managed to do a bit of crafting though. On Wednesday I realised that Smem had no stocking. I had bought dpns last time I was in Wexford so I decided to give a sock a go. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination! I only found one pattern that I half liked but it was far too long so I had to doctor it to make it the right size.

I also made a red hat for myself last night. I think I needed a present for me!

12.17.2008

Christmas Stockings

I finally got around to knitting the christmas stockings from Little Cotton Rabbit. They are so cute and so quick to make. It's taking me less than 2 hours to make one, even with the fairisle design. We are going to a family dinner the day after Stephen's Day so these little socks will be presents for the kids. I just have another two to make.


I also got my god-daughter's present finished - finally! I think it turned out really cute in the end. I hope she likes it. And more importantly - I hope it fits!


12.15.2008

Blanket Bear

This is a new pattern I've been working on this week - Blanket Bear. It started off being something else but I think he turned out quite nice. He's ever so cute.

He's just 19cm/7inch tall and can sit up himself - thanks to his little tail.


The pattern will be for sale in my Etsy shop.

12.13.2008

Funky Christmas Cards

I have pretty much spent most of this week making and writing christmas cards. I was inspired by a card in Crafts Beautiful (a crafting magazine) of a chopped up christmas tree. Theirs was much more colour co-ordinated than mine but I like them. I had various green, red, purple, blue, black and white papers and just jumbled them all up. I had plenty of plain green and red cards left over from a few years ago so I just used them. All in all, I think I made around 50 cards.

Writing the damn things takes the most time though. Plus time to go to the post office and get stamps and then more time to go actually post them. And the weather has been freezing this week so that hasn't been pleasant.

In Smem news, she has a cold this week. Her nickname is now Snotser. The poor chicken! She does seem to be getting a little better now though so hopefully she is over the worst of it.

In other crafting news, I am working on a new knitting pattern - a teddy. I've a body made so he needs arms and legs now. I am also nearly finished my god-daughters christmas present - I just need to hem the dress.

Now I just need to start wrapping presents and figure out what I am going to buy for the remaining few as I haven't had time to make presents for everyone this year as I had planned (I was scuppered by the quilt I had to make for Irish Quilting, which it turns out may not now be used in the second issue but which may be kept for the third, so I maybe could have taken my time. Darn it!)

12.10.2008

Christmas Wreath

Another no-sew project.

Firstly I cut the fat quarter into 2.5inch strips. These I wrapped tightly around a polystyrene ring, taking care to catch the end of one while starting the next. When I got to the end I secured the last one with a pin.

Then I wrapped the skinny ribbon over the fabric and secured the end over the start with a pin.

Out of the fat ribbon I made a bow and pinned it to the front of the wreath.

Viola! A pretty christmas wreath that only takes about 20 mins to make.

12.09.2008

Lots of lovely post

Between yesterday and today I have got some lovely post. The final three ornaments from the EtsyFAM swap arrived and they're all rather pretty.

First is from Mia's Bows:

Second is from Hullabaloo Boutique:

And third is from Original Cyn Studios:
I put up my (fake) christmas tree this morning so they are all residing happily there.

12.08.2008

Almost No-Sew Christmas Garland

So finally here is the no-sew garland. Myself and Smem have been out and about every day this weekend so I've barely got to the computer.

Materials:
Red, green and white felt
Glue
Some red thread
Paper to make templates

Instructions:

First I made templates of 2 triangles, one bigger than the other. The large triangle is 6 inches wide at the top and 8.5 inches long.

Next cut out 17 large triangles from the red felt and 17 green triangles from the green felt.

To make the lettering, draw the mirror images of the letters 'merry christmas' on to the back of the white felt. I have an alphabet stencil so I just copied the letters backwards.

Cut out the lettering.

Next stick the green triangles to the red using the glue.

When they are dry, stick the lettering on. There will be 3 triangles with no lettering, as they go before, after and between the words.

Sew all the triangles together, in the right order! To do this I ran them all through my sewing machine one after the other.

Viola! You have a quick and easy garland.


12.05.2008

Travels through Blogland

I discovered this blog - Tuesday To Do - while on blogland travels during the week. There are some really cool tutorials to make christmas-y stuff. I am definitely going to try the bird ornament.

Check it out!

Coming up will be instructions for how to make an almost no-sew christmas garland. I have all the pieces made and just have to put them together, which will hopefully happen tomorrow morning.

In crafting news, I have been working away on bib designs for issue 3 of Irish Quilting, my own garland design, a cardigan for my god-daughter for christmas and a mock-up for the birthday atc swap that was organised by Kate (see her blog in the list of blogs on the right).

I would also like to make Smem some clothes for christmas - I have lots of red and cream wool - including a jumper, a cardie and cute shoes. She really needs something for her feet that will stay on as she is quite expert at getting her socks off. Although she did manage to keep them on today when we went christmas shopping in Blanchardstown!

12.02.2008

Free Pattern - Bow Bag


Seen as the holiday spirit is on me, I thought I would share my latest pattern - the lovely Bow Bag. I made this one using chunky wool and 4.5mm needles so the knitting is really tight. Gauge doesn't really matter, just have nice tight knitting.

Materials:
About 150g of chunky wool. (I used a marble chunky but this would look equally nice in a solid colour)
4.5mm circular needles, 80cm long.
Darning needle.

Main Bag:
Cast on 88 sts.
Knit straight as though knitting on straight needles, i.e. do not join in the round.
G-st 5 rows.
Next Row: (K1, Inc into next st) to end
Join the knitting into the round.
Continue to knit g-st in the round (so that it looks like st-st) until the piece measures 20cm/8in.
Next Row: (K1, K2tog) to end - 88 sts.
From this point stop knitting in the round.
G-st 12 rows.
Cast off loosely.

To make up, join the rows ends of g-st at the top and bottom of the bag. Oversew across cast on sts.

Handles:
Make 2.
Mark where you want the handles to be positioned.
Pick up 9 sts from the cast off sts where you want the handle to start.
First Row: K to end
Second Row: K1, P to last st, K1.
Repeat these two rows until piece measures 41cm/16in.
Cast off.

Sew cast off edge of handle to the top of the bag. Repeat for the second handle.

Bow:
Cast on 15 sts.
St-st 5 rows, working the first and last st in g-st.
Next Row: Inc into every st - 30 sts.
Work in st-st, working the first two and last two sts in g-st, until it measures 13cm/5in from the increase row.
Next Row: (K2tog) to end - 15 sts.
St-st 8 rows, working the first and last st in g-st.
Next Row: Inc into every st - 30 sts.
Work in st-st, working the first two and last two sts in g-st, until it measures 13cm/5in from the second increase row.
Next Row: (K2tog) to end - 15 sts.
St-st 5 rows, working the first and last st in g-st.
Cast off.

Join cast on and cast off edges. Fold piece in half to create the bow.
Centre of Bow:
Cast on 8 sts.
Work in st-st, working the first and last st in g-st until piece measures 20cm/8in.
Cast off.

Place around centre of bow and join cast on and cast off sts.
Place bow on front of bag and sew in place.

Little Cotton Rabbit

I know I was going to post a free pattern for a bag this morning but I came across this blog while reading my usuals and I just had to pass it on.

Little Cotton Rabbit Check it out for the most beautiful knitted toys. And there are free patterns too which are absolutely adorable. My favourite are some mini stockings for the christmas tree with lovely fairisle designs - and they're knitted on straight needles. My hero!

12.01.2008

November Winners

The randomly picked winners for November are:

Shelly
Debhi
Teddy's Mom

Shelly - I have sent you the pattern via email.
Debhi - I've convo'd you on Ravelry. Send on your email and I'll send on the pattern.
Teddy's Mom - Please send me on your email so I can send the pattern to you.

Thank you to everybody for participating.

Stay tuned 'cause tomorrow I will post a free pattern for a bag.

11.28.2008

November Giveaway - Fred the Squirrel

The November giveaway is now open. Up for grabs is a pdf knitting pattern for Fred the Squirrel:
He's about 7.5 inches tall, including his ears, and sports a jaunty scarf.


Leave a comment by Sunday night and three will be picked at random on Monday morning.

Good Luck

11.27.2008

Let it snow

The first ornament from the EtsyFam (Fabulous Artistic Mams) swap arrived in the post today. It's really cute. It doesn't show so well in the photo but the blue bit is sparkly. I can't wait to get the tree up.

It was made by Melanie. Her shop is Whimsical Creations. Check it out!

11.26.2008

Green

I was getting tired of the pink so the blog has changed to nice fresh green.

Lovely!

I feel so clean!

When we moved in to our house here in Celbridge we discovered that although the shower worked, the pressure in it was ridiculously light. There just wasn't a hope of washing yourself. It kinda felt like someone was drooling on you. Awful!

So the bathroom was added to the long list of jobs to be done. Given that it involved tiling, among other things, C put this job off and off. But last weekend he finally got finished and just had to give the plumber a call to come and install the new shiny shower.

He rang Roy on Monday and was in the house within two hours - he is a keeper, for sure.

So now we have a fully working shower. I tried it out this morning. It is so long since my hair has been this clean. Rinsing it using a jug while you're in the bath is not the best - so old-school!

In crafting news, I am still working on the quilt (Will it ever be done?). I've got over half of it quilted now so I'm on the home stretch. It needs to be done by next Monday and after that I'm taking it easy. I need a life with no deadlines at the moment.

Next Monday will also be the first of December so I can legitimately start playing my Christmas music. I LOVE Christmas! Woo Hoo!

11.23.2008

Meet Mr. Squirrel


This is Mr. Squirrel so far. He needs some clothes - a scarf or something. The tail took a few goes to work out but is quite good in the end. He will definitly be finished by the middle of the week so November's giveaway will be next weekend, for anyone who would like a chance to get a free pattern.

In quilting news, I've finally got to start quilting my quilt. Its taking longer than I thought. It took about 3 hours just to baste it all together. And now I've figured out that I need to pin each square before I quilt it. So its slow. But I managed to get a bit done today. At least now that I've started it half the battle is won.

On my blog reading today I saw a lovely post by Melissa at Day to Day
She's posted a little art video from Utube. Check it out 'cause its super cute!

11.20.2008

Party-time!

Smem and myself went down to Wexford for my god-daughter's birthday (the one in the red). Smem enjoyed being around lots of other kids. And it was fancy-dress so she got to showcase her fairy princess costume again.


We got back on Tuesday so I could go to knitting. Priorities!

Yesterday we all took a family day to the zoo - me, Smem and C. Smem couldn't see over most of the fences and didn't bother to look at most of the animals that we pointed out. Me and C enjoyed it though.

Here is one of the baby elephants.


In serious trouble at the moment trying to get my quilt done. Smem is taking up so much of my time. Still, I have until the end of next week so it should be okay.

I'm also trying to get another knitting pattern out for this month for another giveaway this month. It will be a squirrel, possibly wearing a hat, so stay tuned to be in with a chance to win.

11.15.2008

Jemima-Jane

Since I last posted I have done major work on my quilt. All the embroidery and applique are done. Now I just have to sew on the border and quilt and bind it all. No problem!

But it will have to wait a few days. It was my beautiful god-daughters 'happy birthday' this week and there is to be a fantastic party tomorrow down in Wexford. Its fancy dress to Smem will get to wear her fairy princess outfit again. Yeah!

I had knit Jemima-Jane over the summer in anticipation. However her hair wasn't quite right and I hadn't done her hat so I spent yesterday evening and today at that.

I think she looks quite pretty now.

11.13.2008

Double Oh Oh!

Yesterday was busy as we had another panel meeting for Irish Quilting. Turns out my quilt is to go in issue 2 , not issue 3, so I need to have it finished by the end of November.

Woops!

I might not be making so many handmade presents for Christmas so! I did take the time yesterday evening to finish off the cardigan I was making for Smem, as most of the ones she has are getting a bit small.

Still need to prep her for a photo-shoot.

11.11.2008

Oh oh!

Trouble is a brewing. Today my laptop has decided to let me know that it is starting to die. I can turn it on and the mouse works but the keyboard won't work anymore.

Boo hoo.

Its served me well though. I didn't pay too much for it and have it about 2 years.

Plus the BF says that I can use his personal laptop (he has 2 cause he has a work one also, and an apple computer!).

Just need to take off all the files I want to keep now. I've transferred my patterns and photos of Smem so the important things have been moved. Just need to figure out what else I need to take off it before it finals bites the bullet.

Goodbye old friend.

11.10.2008

Only 6 weeks.....

Only 6 weeks to Christmas now so I am busy, busy, busy trying to get some presents made. Can't believe the time has gone so quickly.

Plus, somebody is not sleeping great these nights so I'm quite tired during the day and not in the mood to get anything done.

Poor housework!

I have been working away on my quilt for Irish Quilting. I'm happy with it so far, just need to find the time to do it. The deadline isn't til the end of January so I may give it a break until after Christmas. I also finished knitting a present for my BFF so can't show a picture of that either - just in case!

What I can show is the first finished ornament for the FAM Etsy ornament swap. I stuffed it a little to pad it out. Hopefully they will be liked - once I have them all complete.


Great way to use up all the Christmas stuff I bought last year at the Knitting and Stitching show and never got round to using - being heavily pregnant and all!

11.06.2008

Felt Ornaments

I joined Etsy FAM (Fabulous Artistic Mothers) this week. One of their events is an ornament swap before Christmas.

I had already seen a brilliant tutorial by Laura at Bugs and Fishes for some lovely felt ornaments. This is my version of her heart ornament. She also has easy to follow tutorials for sequineed baubles and mini christmas puds.


Inspired by all that I tried this star. Its not finished yet as it is just pinned together,




And I also tried this bauble-type thing. I think I will go with this one for the ornament swap.


11.03.2008

Knitting & Stitching Show 2008

Went to the Knitting and Stitching show yesterday. It was brilliant. So much lovely stuff and some really cool exhibitions too! Only problem is there's nearly too much so its hard to take it all in.

Here is my stash:
Didn't go as crazy as last year (a) the cash machine was out of money and not all of the stalls take credit card, and (b) i can't really afford to be spending loads now, what with not having a job and all.

And besides, I still have loads of fabrics left over from last year!

The biggest news of the show was the launch of the new quilting magazine from Ireland, Irish Quilting. Sherry seems to be doing really well with it and has had a really good uptake so far.

Here is me and all the other ladies. I hate my picture, but sure nothing new there!






11.01.2008

An Unexpected Thank You

Found this picture on my camera and realised I had forgotten to mention it.

Last Friday week I received this lovely thank you note from Innocent for sending in my knitted hats.


A lovely surprise that warmed my heart!

10.30.2008

Two Summer Sundress

No pictures to show today as I am almost finished a project I have been working on all week - a halloween costume for Smem (had to take a break from my quilt - bold!).

I've made a Two Summer Sundress, wings, a wand and a hat - she will be a pretty pretty fairy.

Should get it finished tonight and hopefully she will be in good form for a photoshoot tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!

10.27.2008

And the Winners are...!

The random number generator picked the following winners for October:

Cynthiacc
Misscreknits
Lynn

Knitting patterns will be on their cyber way to you today!

10.24.2008

October Giveaway - Mini Christmas Tree Trims


The Christmas Tree Trims pattern is now for sale in my Etsy shop.
Leave a comment on my blog this weekend and be in with the chance to win a copy. Three winners will be chosen at random on Monday morning and the pattern emailed to them.
Good Luck!

10.21.2008

Threads of Green

Don't think I mentioned it yet, but one of my quilt designs have been chosen for Irish Quilting. It will be in the third issue which will be out around March/April, i think.

So on Friday, on my way down to Wexford, I called in to the shop that is to sponsor the fabrics for the quilt - Threads of Green in Kilkenny. Its a shop in an IDA park on the outskirts of Kilkenny and was a virtual Aladin's Cave for me. So hard not to spend all my money!

I can't give away the design but below are the fabrics I got.


On the knitting front, I am working away on designs for Christmas. Hopefully I will have a leaflet for sale by the end of October with a few designs on it.

No christmas tree up yet so the mug tree has been called into action!

10.20.2008

Wexford Opera Festival and Big Knit Hats

I have been away from blogland for a little bit. Went down to Wexford with Smem to visit the grandparents. And luckily the Wexford Opera Festival started last week also, so we got to go around a few of the exhibitions. In the short time that we were down there we managed to hit Johnstown Castle, Greenacres, Whites Hotel, The Arts Centre and Whitford Hotel, all of which had art exhibitions.

The Whitford had the best as Breda was exhibiting. She does gorgeous textile pieces of irish landscapes and flowers and hedgerows. Beautiful and completely different to anything else you see. She had sold three before the exhibition had been officially opened - one of them to Mam!

All my little hats! Had to take a photo of them today as they are to be sent off in the post.


I can't remember how many I counted. Either 44 or 54. Not too shabby. I made loads initially but it tailed off quite a bit to the end.


10.13.2008

Chaz Hat - Mark II

Finished the second Chaz Hat. This one was the right size. Just cast on 124 sts, 2X2 rib for 8 rows, then alternated the colours until it was long enough. Decreased by (K9, K2tog) to last 3 sts, k; then (K8, K2tog) to last 3 sts; and so on until, (K1, K2tog) to end, then (K2tog to end). Very simple but it turned out nice.


And here is a picture of Smem in her blue dress. I think she likes it!


10.09.2008

Return to Crafting

Smem is in fantastic form again. Woo Hoo! And rather than having three little naps during the day she has moved to two longer naps of an hour or more, each. Oh the bliss! Gotta love getting her on to proper solids. She's had chicken and salmon this week.

This morning got to finish the dress I started making for her over a week ago. I doctored a plain A-line top pattern that I bought on sale. It is now empire line, with elastic under the arms to facilitate easy put-on.



It's not too bad. Messed up the inside a bit as I sewed it together in the wrong order. But I know for future. And its only a little bit messy in one part.

After watching me knit tiny hats for the past two weeks, C asked for a hat for himself. So I made one.

Was kinda guessing on the size though so its a little tight around the head and he said he would like it a bit taller. So now I have to make another. I loved doing the coloured stripes. Thoughts of cool cardies and jumpers for Smem were coming to mind as I was knitting it.

Wish I could knit faster!