Liz Corke Knit Design

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October 5, 2012

I almost forgot to post today, and I have something for you at last! First though, my ChiaoGoo circular needle arrived yesterday, and I really love it so far! I’ll have a proper review for you next week.

At the craft shop a couple of weeks ago, I found a gorgeous colourful pack of fat quarters – and remembered to get matching thread for a change and more bobbins for my sewing machine, so I’m pretty well equipped for a change! The result is another project bag. I love making these. They’re so quick and easy to make and so useful too! This time I combined a plain pink fabric with stripy green and I could have a proper “feature panel” this time. I really love the contrast of the pink pocket on the green stripes in the middle of the pink.

This time I sewed it up along the bottom so that the panel is in the center rather than the side like my last one. I also couldn’t find my elastic, so the pockets are just have flaps until it turns up somewhere. I did something clever this time though – when it came to sewing up the top of the bag, I used the green thread in the needle of thesewing machine, and the pink on the bobbin underneath, so on either side the thread matches the colour of the fabric! I’m pretty pleased with how it came out, although of course it didn’t work on the panels and I couldn’t be bothered swapping threads all the time.

I had some help showing off my bag this week, as you can see. Holly decided she wanted to come and say hello again, and help to “model” it. I may have to keep her and make another monster, because I’m getting pretty fond of her. This week, I need to make more of an effort to get on with the rest of the monsters, or they’ll never be ready in time for Christmas.

Check out Tami’s and see what everyone else has been up to!

August 10, 2012

I took so many pictures of this one that I might have to fit some in at the end! I got my sewing machine out again this week and finally made those double sided bags I talked about ages ago. I really love how the first one has turned out, and I have plenty of fabric to make at least three more. I did come across many challenges when I was making these. First off was not using a pattern, and not touching a measuring tape. I really should learn to measure when I’m sewing and not just go by instinct! Secondly, the fabric I have is more “fat quarters” and these ones, no matter how I folded them, were not the right shape for a bag – I could have had a hugely deep bag with a (comparatively) tiny opening, or I could have had a really really wide bag that was only a few inches deep.

Clearly neither of these options was great, so I had to come up with another solution. I was a bit concerned about having stripes go both ways, but now that it’s finished, I really like how the horizontal stripes have come out. They were also perfect for putting the pockets on, because vertical stripes on top of vertical stripes were doing some very strange things to my eyes when I laid them out. The pockets are the perfect size which was pretty lucky considering they were made from the off cuts of the horizontal panel! I managed to use up the whole of each piece of fabric on this bag. The pockets can easily fit all the bits and pieces I might need while working on a project – stitch markers, crochet hooks, spare needles and all the rest of it!

I did make one annoying mistake – each time I did the button flap I forgot to attach the elastic and had to sew it on afterwards. The first time wasn’t so bad, but the second was silly! I made two pouches then put one inside the other wrong side to wrong side, tucked in a hem, and then I stitched it up around the outside, then did another go around a bit further to make a pocket for the drawstring. Once I’d done all that I ripped out one of my seams between the two lines of stitching. It was much easier than trying to leave a gap for it when I was sewing the rest up.

I reallylove how the bag turned out and it’s coming away with me on holiday this week. I did have a problem when my sewing machine jammed. I think a piece of thread broke off and got tangled inside. It was really frustrating but I did eventually get it sorted out. I’m going to make a couple more of these bags I think, and train myself to keep my projects in them. Pink and light green and red and dark green are the other colours I have to use. This one is my Irn Bru bag in orange and blue. If you haven’t tried Irn Bru you really should, it’s our second national drink and according to wikipedia “can usually be purchased where there is a significant community of people from Scotland”.

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

July 20, 2012

It’s Friday at last and I’m really looking forward to my lie-in tomorrow! Before we get on to todays FO, I just want to let you know that I tried on my lacey tunic again last week, and it was still a perfect fit! So I don’t have to worry about washing it any more. This weeks FO is a small thing that I’ve been meaning to make for ages – a needle book. My sewing needles always seem to be wondering off somewhere, and I’m sure they’re never where I left them, so hopefully this will help – or I’ll lose it and all my needles together! I’m not going to do a tutorial or anything, but here’s a rough guide to how I made mine.

I had some scraps left over from making my needle case and project bag that were just big enough to turn into my needle book. I cut the fabric to about 7″ by 5″. I put iron on interfacing on each piece of fabric and put the right sides together along with a piece of quite thick sew in interfacing and stitched around three and a bit sides – I wanted to make sure all the corners were sewn nicely. Then I clipped the corners and turned it the rightway round. I tucked the fabric in to the hole nicely and slipped the elastic into the hole, then I stitched around the whole thing again.

At this point I realised that it might have been better to sew the felt pages to the inside piece of fabric before I started puting it together, but it was really too late at that point – I wasn’t undoing everything I’d already done! My felt cutting skills are also a little wobbly so I’ll work on that in future. I stitched the pages in stright through the middle of the fabric, and found a cute button for the front. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. The interfacing has made it nice and semi-stiff and it should be able to stand up to a good amount of abuse.

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

April 6, 2012

Easter is almost here at last! I haven’t got an easter egg yet – the one I really want is the new Eton Mess one from Thornton’s but it’s £15! So I’m hoping they’ll go on sale next week, lol. I’m still at work today, although most of the country is on holiday. We get our bank holidays as part of our annual leave entitlement so I prefer to save them for other times. Most of my office seems to feel the same way though so at least it’s still fairly busy here.

Another FO Friday has rolled around but I’m working on so many big projects this year that I feel like I never finish anything knitted anymore! It’s apparently been about three weeks since I finished Henslowe and nothing else is close to being finished. I have made something this week though – a drawstring project bag. I’m pretty happy with it and it was ridiculously easy. I normally keep my projects in plastic food bags when I’m travelling or just dropped into my knitting bag, but I wanted to be a bit more organised, plus it’s really easy to make a hole in the plastic bags, and trying to squeeze the air out before I seal them is annoying *laughs*

This was super simple to make. This is the fourth fat quarter that came in the pack I used for my needle case. I hadn’t used it at all, so I figured this would be a good way to use it. I just folded the top over to make the space for the cord and seamed that, them seamed the sides together, decided how deep I wanted it seamed the bottom, cut off the spare material at the bottom and turned it the right way around. All in all it probably took me about half an hour. It’s good to make something quick and easy sometimes! I also think my seams are getting straighter so I’ll have to keep practicing.

I’m definately going to make some more of these. For future ones, I think I might line them and put a pocket in for a crochet hook or spare needles if it needs two needle sizes or spare stitchmarkers and things along those lines. My husband also suggested making a see through pocket on the outside so I can put a label in to see what in each bag, which seems like a pretty good idea to me! I was also thinking these would make bretty good bags for the girls gifts for Christmas because I love giving them packaging they can reuse. First though I’ll have to get some more fabric! Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

March 23, 2012

A very late post from me today! We’re away at my mother-in-law’s and we’ve had a very busy day of sleeping late and walking dogs. The weather’s been great so we have to take advantage of it, because being on the west coast it’s normally raining here when we come down. I have two things to show off today, first up is Henslowe which you might have seen on Monday in my Year of Projects post.

I really love this pattern. I do have a hard line around the body, and I think next time I’d do what a lot of people  suggested and do double yarn overs at the start of every row. The yarn is fantastic. It’s Stash Addict yarn and it’s gorgeous. It’s really smooth and the colours are great. I love the shades in it and I will definitely be getting more. I’m also really tempted to make a second slightly bigger Henslowe later.

Next up, I finished the case for my interchangeable needles. I’m really happy with how this turned out. I love the fabrics, which were part of the City Girl fat quarters bundle on The Fat Quarters. I made a couple of mistakes with the pattern, but I can live with them. I found the straight stitch setting this time, and I think I’m getting better at doing straight lines.

The little zip purse on the side is great for holding all the little things I keep losing, like my stitch markers and my tape measure. There’s plenty of space for more knitting needles too, so I have room to expand my set – or maybe that’s just an excuse! The purse is stitched into  the side seam of the case so there’s no chance of losing it.

The strap fits quite nicely although I’ve left a little slack in it so that it should be a good fit when the case is full of needles. I found it a lot simpler to make than I expected. I found the straight stitch setting, and I think my straight lines are getting better. As I said on Wednesday, the case is one I reverse engineered after seeing madbird’s cases. I couldn’t wait six weeks to get one, and I like to make things for myself and so I made my own.

Check out Tami’s for some awesome FO Fridays!

March 21, 2012

Another Wednesday has whipped around really quickly! I don’t know where the time’s gone, but it’s spring already. I’ve been busily working away and reading lots over the last week. I’m finished Pegasus, Beauty and a lot of short stories, as well as the more than 20 samples I have still to read. Henslowe is finished and blocked and I’ve got new projects on the go. So lets get started shall we?

First up is Tubey. So far there isn’t much to see. I’ve got a few inches done on the first sleeve and I like how it’s going so far. I plan on making a few changes to the pattern. I don’t like baggy sleeves so after I’ve got past the elbow I’m going to start working 3×1 rib so hopefully it’ll be nice and tight and not look odd. I only have three colours for my sweater, red, cream and black, and I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to do the stipes yet. I think I’m going to do several stripes of varying thickness in the cream and one thicker stripe of black. I’m pretty sure this sweater will take a while to do, but it’s nice easy knitting, and once I’ve got the sleeves and back done and the body started it should be just a lot of 3×1 rib. I’ve also started reading and knitting at the same time on the sleeve, and I’m finding it pretty easy so far. The Kindle definitely helps because I don’t have to try and prop pages open or turn the page.

Next up is a needle case for my interchangable needles. I’ve been meaning to make one of these for ages, and since I couldn’t find any knitting patterns I liked, and inspired by getting my sewing machine out last week I decided to sew one. I’m not using a pattern for this one either, but I was inspired by these ones made by madbird. Since they’d be coming all the way from America and take at least 6 weeks to get here, I couldn’t wait that long! I shoud get this finished tonight, and I’m pleased to say I’ve found how to change my sewing mackine to do straight stitch, although I couldn’t work out which foot I was supposed to use for the zipper.

This week I’m reading Murder at Mansfield Park. So far I’m having trouble getting into the book. I spotted it last week when it was one of the daily deals. It’s based on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, but a lot of the characters have been changed around. For example, Edmund is Mrs Norris’s stepson and is intended to marry Fanny. William is now the Bertram’s second son, although he’s been sent off to see just the same. The Prices have both been killed off and Fanny, now an only child, is a heiress. Fanny is also now the oldest and acts more like Maria in the original. Mary Crawford has had a complete personality reversal and Rushworth actually seems to have some brains. Henry Crawford is of course still there, but is now a lawyer and a professional “improver” and is at Mansfield Park to landscape it and Julia Bertram is now acting more like the original Fanny Price and is looked down on by her Aunt Norris. At the moment I’m mostly trying to get my head around the new roles and relationships between all the characters and wondering which of them will be the victim of the coming murder. I’m only on Chapter 5 so far, so hopefully it will pick up soon.

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Ginny’s for more Yarn Alongs!

March 16, 2012

Today’s FO Friday isn’t yarn, and doesn’t actually have much to do with knitting at all. Well, it has a tiny bit to do with knitting – I’ve put my current knitting patterns on my Kindle which is pretty handy. This week I had to make my Kindle a cover. Since it’s coming to work with me everyday, it needed something to protect it in my handbag. The pattern is a free tutorial from 100billionstars and it’s pretty easy to follow – the fact that I got confused is mostly down to the fact I didn’t read the pattern properly!

I made the pocket on mine a little shorter and the flap isn’t quite so long either, but I really like how it turned out. It’s a bit squint and the stitching isn’t as neat or as straight as it could be, but I’m pleased with it and it’s serving it’s purpose well. It’s the first real thing I’ve made with my sewing machine, other than some hemming, and I couldn’t find the instruction book or work out how to do straight stitches so I used the zigzag one!

The fabric is from a pack of fat quarters I got from Hobbycraft at the weekend and I knew this was the perfect project for it. I love the big cheerful flowers and I think the case shows them off nicely. At some point I think I’ll make some more of these cases, in different fabrics, and I’m sure with more practice I’ll get much better with my sewing machine.

Tonight I’m lookng forward to getting Henslowe finished and ready to block tomorrow so it shold be ready to show off next week – which will be nice because I don’t think I’ve finished anything yarny for ages! Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!