12.29.2009

Back in Blogland

Back at the computer after a few days holidays. We had a lovely Christmas (apart from falling on the ice on the way to mass on Christmas Eve - sucked!)

We went to Wexford, to my parents, on Christmas day which was lovely as my sister and brother were home too. I love it when everyone is around.

But glad to get back to normal life now, and my knitting!

12.25.2009

MC

Merry Christmas one and all. Hope everyone has a lovely holiday!

12.24.2009

The night before Christmas

What a rush this Christmas has been. Today I was still finishing off presents. And I went to the shop to get more wrapping paper, as I'd run out, and some supplies to bake cookies but forgot a vital ingredient - butter.

Although it was never going to be a great day. Smem decided she didn't want to sleep last night around 1am. I hadn't gotten to sleep at that stage and didn't get her back into to bed until after 2am so I was a bit tired this morning!

Looks like some parts of Ireland with have a white Christmas this year. Not here though I'd say. The weather has been unusually cold here the last few days and our road was like glass this morning. Myself and Smem had a very treacherous walk to the shop this morning.

But enough of the talking, some photos. I had wanted to post photos during the week but my camera had run out of battery and I kept forgetting to charge it.

Firstly, the textured shawl I finished a few weeks ago. Finally pressed it this morning before wrapping it. Hopefully my friend will like it.

Next the finished Asphodel scarf, finally pressed also before wrapping.

And lastly, a group of bugs all ready to go to little kidlets this Christmas.

12.20.2009

Bugs, bugs, bugs

I took a little break from knitting this week (I'm not happy with the pattern I'm writing at the moment) to make some little plushies.

I sketched a little pattern for a bug and cut the pattern from that. They're about 6-7inches tall and are super quick to make.

Here's my first try:
And a little christmas angel bug that I absolutely adore!
My only concern would be that I've inadvertently copied someone else. I read so many blogs and love what so many other designers do. But hopefully I haven't. Might make some to sell in my Etsy shop.

12.19.2009

Free Pattern - Quilted Angel Stocking

I knitted a horrible misshapen stocking for Smem last year so I thought I'd better make her a nicer one this year. And as I've been doing so much knitting recently I decided to take a break from that and make her a quilted stocking.

I think it turned out quite cute so I though I'd share the pattern.

Materials: cream cotton for stocking, wadding, cream fleece for inside of sock, some green gingham (or other fabric of your choice) for angel's dress and top of sock, gold fabric for the wings, peachy felt for the head, some 4-ply yarn for the hair, embroidery floss in gold, pink and blue, sewing needle and white thread, some scraps of trims and beads for embellishment, some fabric stars to sew on.

1. First off print off the pattern pieces. I haven't learnt yet how to attach files to my blog so I've just uploaded jpgs of the pattern pieces. Print them out to cover an A4 page each. Cut out all the parts, and join the top and lower halves of the stocking together.

Page 1:



Page 2:


2. Cut out the stocking shape in cream cotton, the wadding and the cream fleece. Put the fleece to one side for the time being. Match together the cream cotton and wadding shapes and pin or baste together to hold in place.

3. Cut a border for the top of the stocking from the green gingham. About 3 inches wide is fine but you could make it thinner or wider as you wish. Turn under one long edge and slip stitch the border to the top of the stocking so that the raw edge meets the top edge of the stocking. Do for both the front and back.

4. Cut out two sets of the wings pattern from gold fabric. With right sides together, sew around the edge with a 5mm seam, leaving an opening in the bottom flat part to turn right side out. Position the wings on the stocking and baste centre of wings in place.

5. Next, cut the dress pattern from green gingham. Press a 5mm edging back under the fabric all the way round. Position the dress over the wings so that the top of the dress meets the top of the centre part of the wings. Slip stitch in place.

6. Cut the head from peach felt and sew in place. Cut two little small hand shapes and sew to either side of the body, using the photo for reference. Embroider two small blue eyes and a little round 'singing' pink mouth on the face. Cut 4 lengths of yarn, fold each in half, and sew to the top of the head, two on either side. Catch the yarn to the side of the head about half way down to help hold it in position.

7. Decorate the angel's dress with bits of lace, ribbon or beads as you see fit. The one is the picture has a lace edging on her dress which is decorated with beads, and there are bead 'buttons' on the top of her dress under her chin.

8. Use gold embroidery floss to stitch a small flat circle over the angel's head for a halo.

9. Position a few glittery fabric stars on the stocking around the angel and sew in position.

10. Shadow quilt around the angel and the stars, working stitches about 5mm from the edges to help make them all pop out.

11. Quilt some wavy lines down the stocking for some added interest. Quilt the back of the stocking with wavy lines.

12. Place front of stocking with right side facing to the matching piece of fleece. Sew together along the top line of the stocking with a 1cm seam. Repeat for the back.

13. Place the front and back of the stocking together with right sides facing and sew together, with a 1 cm seam, leaving a hole for turning in the toe of the inside fleece part.

14. Turn right side out. Attach a loop of ribbon to the top of the stocking so that it can be hung up.

Any questions, just email me!

12.18.2009

Free Pattern - Twisted Rib Hat

A simple little rib pattern for an adult sized hat. It has a small twist in it to add a bit of interest.
I've added it to the Ravelry database, and hopefully the link below works for non-Ravelry member.

download now

12.17.2009

12.16.2009

Petite Purls Pattern is Online!!

Woo Hoo! So exciting to see my pattern published in a real magazine. Can't wait to see what other people's projects look like on Ravelry (or if anyone knits it!).




Here's the link

12.15.2009

Christmas - Knitted Star Ornament

Another project from last year - the knitted star, which seems to be a reasonable hit on Ravlery.

12.13.2009

Tutorial - Plaited Wreath

A picture heavy post today, but its all for good reason. I made this cute little wreath for my front door and thought I'd share how I made as it was really simple and really quick. You'd whip it up in a few hours.

You'll need fabric in red, green and white (or whatever combination you choose. Different golds would be nice, or blue and white...... or any number of possibilities!); some polyester stuffing; some thin white ribbon and some wider green ribbon; sewing needle and thread.

Cut a length of fabric in each colour 3.5 inches by 42 inches. You may need to sew pieces together to get the length. I used fat quarters of red and green so I cut two strips from the long side and sewed them together.

Fold each strip in half lengthways and sew all along the edge, about 1/4 inch from the edge.

Turn all the strips right side out and stuff well. A pencil or knitting needle is a handy tool to help with this.

When they are stuffed catch one end of all the strips together and work a few basting stitches to hold them in place.
Then start to plait the strips.

When you get to the end hold the end in place with a pin. Connect the ends of each colour strip and hold in place with pins, keeping the plait sequence correct. Turn in the ends of each strip and slip-stitch closed, adding in some more stuffing if needed.
Now the wreath is complete.
Use a length of thin white ribbon for the hanging loop. Fold in half and knot about halfway down the length. Tie the ends of the ribbon around the wreath (around the section where you joined the plait together to hide the join) and push the ends of the ribbon into the wreath to hide them.

Slip the green ribbon under the ribbon from the hanging loop. Tie into a bow.
Hang up your wreath and admire!

12.12.2009

My Living Room has been invaded!

By the Christmas card-making fairy!

And here is the final card. Kinda simple, but it needs to be as I have to make around 70 or so.

12.10.2009

A little sketch

What do you blog about when you're working on projects that you can't blog about? Tough, I know.

So here's a little sketch I did the other day while drawing with Smem. I couldn't finish colouring it in as my markers are very old and not very good, but Smem did her best to try help out.

Love toadstools. Think this could make a nice applique for a quilt?

12.08.2009

Baby Balaclava

Since Saturday night I've been knitting like a mad woman to get two of these balaclavas done. DH is out to dinner tonight with two friends who had babies during the summer and we hadn't given them any gift yet.

This pattern is from Drops Design - Bonnet in rib in Alpaca. It was easier to follow than some other Drops patterns I've knit. And was easy to knit and, more importantly, quick to knit!

I knit the 6-9 month size but I still managed to squeeze it onto Smem's head for a photo!

12.06.2009

Christmas has started!

And I think Smem may think she's in a nativity play.


12.04.2009

We are go!!

If I thought I was in a bad mood yesterday, I knew nothing. Ended up in tears this morning on the couch. This motherhood lark is hard. Think I just need a break. Or a sleep in!!

But the lovely messages have spurred me on (that and some biscuit cake that my parents gave me yesterday. yummy!). So the knitting has started, although it will be while before there will be any book. Maybe just an ebook to start with. But there's plenty of time to research that.

But it does mean there will not be a new pattern in the shop this month, so no giveaway. There will however be a free pattern on the PetitePurls website at some stage though.

And I'll definitely let everyone know when that comes out. Whoop whoop! Any day now.

(On a completely different matter, check out the new doll sewing patterns for sale through Wee Wonderfuls.Beyond gorgeous. I just love her work)

12.03.2009

A Quandry!

Okay, so bad blogging again this week. Just can't seem to get any routine. I was out Tuesday night for our knitting group and then out Wednesday for choir practice (which has ramped up in the run-up to Christmas!).

Wasn't going to blog tonight as I've no photos to show. But I've been thinking about job related stuff and needed to vent/ask for advice.

Being a stay-at-home mam is great in the greater scheme of things. But I do find it a bit hard. Its just me and Smem most days, even at the weekend as DH usually has stuff on at the weekends or disappears into his office to write and record music.

So just me and Smem can be a bit much. I love her to bits but she's very strong-willed and its hard to keep fighting with her all the time.

So talk of going back to work has been bandied around. I have applied for quite a few jobs over the last few months but haven't got any interviews. Things are a little crappy in Ireland at the moment (to put it mildly). And DH doesn't want me to work 5 days a week as he doesn't want Smem to be looked after by someone else for so long. Part-time would be fine.

And it would be good for her to get time with other people. And to play with other children. To gain her own independence (not that that's in short supply!).

But no jobs are forthcoming. So last night DH said I should make a good go of my crafting/knitting. He suggested writing a knitting book.

It seems kind of daunting, and I'm a bit of a pessimist when it comes to following my dreams. I never think it will happen for me.

So this evening I've been doing some light research on Ravelry. Seeing what other designers have done. Ebooks seem to be a good route to take to start out. You can sell a few patterns for a discounted price and there are no printing costs or distribution worries.

Its just making that leap of faith.

Although when I have no job or job prospect anyway then its not so much of a leap. Maybe!

11.30.2009

Some christmas knitting

The Flower Scarf by Robyn Diliberto. Super cute little neck-cowl. However the flower was an absolute pain to knit. Looks nice when done though.
And the Asphodel scarf that I finished a week or two ago. Just hadn't taken any photos til today.

11.28.2009

Some knitting WIPs

Lots of christmas knitting being done at the moment.

I found an amazing pattern, or sort of instructions, called 'Textured Shawl' on Ravelry. I used gorgeous wool that I bought in Stockholm. Unfortunately I ran out of wool so I'll have to find something complementary to finish it off.

It's a great pattern though and super fast, so I think I'll be making one in future for myself!

I started knitting 'Swing' (Rowan pattern) last night for another present. Its really quick, worked on 10mm needles. Just need to sew up and make pompoms now.
I checked the long swing bits before starting the hat part to make sure they were the same size. But now they're different lengths. Not sure how I'll fix that. Maybe some serious blocking!

11.24.2009

Mabel Cardigan

A pattern from Sublime Yarns - the Mabel Cardigan. A quick knit (love knitting little people clothes) and simple instructions to follow. I just adore the cable around the yoke - it was what made me decide to knit that particular cardie.

Made from Smem, but she's not too keen on wearing it yet!

(21:45 24/09/09 Update: She actually wore it today. Only because she fell in the mud yesterday and her coat was in the wash! It had to be taken off as soon as we got home.)

11.23.2009

And the Winner is .....

The random number generator picked out no.1 so the winner is:

Mama2KBR

Congratulations!!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

11.19.2009

November Giveaway - Wedding Toppers

The November Giveaway is now open. Up for grabs is a pdf knitting pattern for the Wedding Toppers.

This cute pair would look lovely on any knitters cake, and can be customised with colours to match your event.

Leave a comment (including contact details). A winner will be chosen at random on Monday 23rd November 2009.

Good Luck!

11.18.2009

Waldorf Dolls

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I feel like I've been really busy, but what have I been doing?? Every day just seemed to pass so quickly.

My pattern for this month is finished so this month's giveaway will be on this weekend. Watch for the post!

So the pic for this post is from a book I got in Stockholm about making Waldorf dolls. Its all in Swedish so I've a bit of a problem with that, but it's got really good diagrams.

I ordered supplies from an online shop in Belgium (shipping from the US is far too high!) so I just need to find the time to make one now.

After I've made a start on my christmas presents!


11.15.2009

Wexford Weekend

Myself and Smem were down in Wexford this weekend for my god-daughter's birthday. We had great fun.

Smem wore her new dress to the party. And loved the star-wand she got in her goodie bag when she left!

And she had great fun walking along Wexford quay with her grand-parents.

11.12.2009

Toddler Fingerless Gloves

Its so cold these days and I feel terrible when Smem is walking around outside with no gloves and no hat on - not my choice, she just won't wear them!

So I thought maybe fingerless gloves might interest her. And of course Ravelry obliged:

Small fry fingerless gloves

I knit these on 3.5mm dpns as Smem is only 1 1/2, not 4 yet.

Whether she'll wear them is another thing!

11.11.2009

Jeans Dress

This week has been a lot better than last week (Zombie Week!). I've actually managed to get lots of housework done, such as washing, hoovering, building shelving units, etc during the day and, shock, horror! I've also managed to get some sewing done!!!!!!!!!

I started this dress last week but it didn't get off to a quick start. I've had the knees go in two different pairs of jeans recently, which is very annoying. One of the pairs I had only bought since Smem was born so I cut the legs off below the knees to use for a dress for her.

The top part of the bodice is made from some quilter's cotton from a fat quarter that Smem has had going around with her recently. I figured she liked it so why not make into something she could wear.

The inside is lined with dark green cotton, which has a light green ruffle at the bottom. The bottom of the jeans has a ruffle in navy mesh.

I think it will make a nice party dress. Just need to sew on buttons now.

11.10.2009

Finally Done!

Eloise finally got her dog and bag. Just in time, it's my god-daughter's birthday on Saturday.

11.09.2009

Bobble Hat and Scarf

Hat and scarf knit with novelty yarn for my god-child for Christmas.

11.07.2009

Zombie Week

This week has been really tough. Sunday night Smem barely slept and she's still not sleeping right. We were nice to her at the start of the week and stayed in the room with her when she was upset but we've had to move to 'controlled crying' as we were both getting too tired. And its too cold to be out of bed for half the night!

I think she's making us pay for leaving her!

I have managed to get a bit of crafting done, although it hasn't felt like it. There have been two nights this week where I've just watched telly in the evening and not done any knitting - shock, horror!

Its my god-daughters birthday next Friday so I'm getting around to finishing her present.
I made her Eloise a while ago so I made a little dog (from Jean Greenhowe's Little Village Men) and am now making a little bag for the dog to go in - hopefully with a hole for his head to stick out.
So this is my attempt at really simple hand quilting. I just stitched little stars over all the snowflakes, just using felt as a backing. Its turned out quite nice.
Just need to sew together the lining and finish it off.