Mum’s Handbag

A while ago my mum asked me to make her a handbag like the one I had made for myself. Today, I dusted off my sewing machine and set to work.

I designed this particular bag for myself about two years ago. I wanted something with plenty of space for my stuff, yet compact enough that nothing rattled around and got lost. I achieved this by making the top band of the bag very tall and adding a small pleated section to the bottom to add extra space. I also included two interior pockets to prevent small things getting lost. Read more

Cabled hat and headband with flower

I have been doing loads of knitting lately, but because I have so many projects on the needles it’s been a while since I finished anything. Two things have now been cast off and finished up, so I thought I’d share/show them off.

The hat was knit from the snowtracks cap pattern in king craig aran tweed merino and cashmere and can be found on ravelery. I enjoyed the cable pattern, and while the yarn was a bit weird to knit with, I like the finished hat a lot.

The headband was knit from the knit ear warmer with crochet flower pattern in texere monaco cotton and can also be found on ravelry. The headband stretches a lot when I wear it, I wish I had made it smaller. Perhaps throwing it in the washing machine will tighten it up a bit. Read more

Andalutheean Knitted Dishcloth

This morning I picked up my needles to whip up something quick and easy while I was waiting for lunch time to roll around.

I went for the Andalutheean dishcloth. It was a very quick knit, and the simple stitch pattern was very easy to remember whilst knitting, but looks a bit fancier than plain stocking stitch.

I have been talking about making my own household items for a long time, and finally have my first dish cloth. Yey!

View this project on ravelry.

Sewing machines

I have owned three sewing machines during my life. The first was an old hand wound Singer that my grandma gave me. I didn’t know a lot about sewing back then. I attempted to make myself a pair of trousers with a wrap-around-skirt-style tie closure instead of learning how to insert a zip. I made a wonky patchwork curtain out of scraps of denim, which I sewed together haphazardly, following the edges of the roughly cut fabric instead of making straight lines. I’ve grown up since then and learnt a lot about sewing properly. Read more

Ringo cowl

I thought it was about time I made something for myself so I looked through my list of bookmarked patterns and chose this cowl and some chunky wool yarn. It whipped up really quickly on a 6.5mm crochet hook and used less than a ball of each of the 4 colours.

I used Freedom Wool by Twilleys of Stamford in three shades of brown and a grey, and followed this pattern: Ringo cowl. Unlike the pattern, I also joined my last ring into the first ring, making a continuous loop rather than a strip of circles. I’m pleased with the result 🙂 Read more

My first attempt at a handmade christmas

This christmas I wanted my gifts to be a bit special as well as inexpensive, so I chose to hand make a lot of the things that I gave.

As usual, I envisaged all sorts of beautiful things, and with six weeks to go I figured I had plenty of time to sort everything out and get it all finished in time. Of course I would…

I spent the last few days before christmas frantically knitting, crocheting and sewing. In the end, everyone got their gifts and seemed to like them, so I guess finishing things off at 2am on christmas eve night was worth it. It didn’t feel like it at the time though! Read more

Strawberry Moonbeam

I have been knitting, crocheting and sewing for years, and in the past I have ventured into selling my creations with some success. Since we moved back to the UK two years ago I have intended to start up again, but for one reason or another it has been put on the back burner. Last spring I decided I really wanted to give it another go, but the store engine I tried to use kept having problems so I lost heart once again. My wonderful other half, Ric, came to my rescue, and slowly (oh so slowly) started to build me a custom store. Read more

Making pages

I recently developed a small obsession with grimoires and old books, and decided to have a go at making my own. I have collected the relevant supplies and made a start on preparing the pages.

I wanted to give my book an olde worlde feel, so I am tearing the edges of all the pages and staining them with tea. The stack of pages in the picture are the ones I have torn so far, and the top sheet has been tea stained to see how it turned out. I was happy with the result. The colour is just what I was hoping for and the paper dried with a crispy, brittle feel to it, which I think helps it seem older. Read more

Hand Spinning

This afternoon I picked up my long neglected spindle to have another go at spinning yarn.

I have tried spinning before without much success. I used poor quality wool and didn’t really know what I was doing. It came out very uneven, lumpy and quite ugly.

I thought I would give it another go, you don’t get better without trying right? So I grabbed some welsh mountain wool that’s been on my shelf forever, and my spindle.

Today’s effort was a little bit better than my previous attempts. I managed to get a relatively smooth yarn, although it was still a bit uneven. I struggle to get the spindle to actually spin for more than a second at a time, so it spends most of it’s time clamped between my knees while I try and get the wool to do what I want it to. Read more