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!