Saturday, 28 February 2009

a bag from jeans

Naomi turned her hand to design and used the sewing machine for the first time. She decided to recycle soe old jeans.
the bag being made

and here it is finished with a very happy Naomi, she's going to use it for her ballet and tap shoes :-)

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Angel's bag

Just had to show off this little bag that Angel made for me when she was still at school, I had forgotten about it and came across it again the other day. Its the perfect size for my mobile phone, and is very funky I reckon!

time for craft?

Something that has been occupying my thoughts of late is how do you make time for craft? I really enjoy (enjoyed) the craft I do but since the kids were born I seem to have less and less time to do it. They don't go to sleep very well so evenings are out and during the day other things (including the kids! LOL) clamour for my attention. Lately an impromptu crafting sesion has kind of happened at a friend of mine's house, where my older 2 (aged 7 and 10) do drama with their friends for an hour while the mums chat. I started taking my knitting, but unfortunately my littlest aged 4 just won't let me get on with it, demanding my attention so much that I have to put my knitting away with a sad sigh.

I know that if I want to start doing something the answer is just to start as I mean to go on, but there are so many demands on my time that I can't see how I can fit it in without my eternal friend 'guilt' peering over my shoulder and muttering in my ear about spending my time more productively. My ds runs a mile from anything remotely arty or crafty, my dd2 (7yr old) is showing some interest but needs a lot of input from me and my dd3 is a bit too little to do it independently, so I might get some craft going but not mine iyswim.

I'd rather not pay a life coach to help me sort this, so thought I'd come straight to the experts ie home ed mums who are already doing it.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Funny bunny

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hippy chick-en?

Continental Knitting

I am currently working on a beautiful, but simple hat for R. So I thought I would take this opportunity to try to master Continental Knitting.
Here is a YouTube video I am finding extremely helpful.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Just saw this...


hey and seeing as I am knitting squares for my quilt this took my eye
knit a square and keep a child warm :-) dawny x

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Have a heart....

Ladies although I was really up for the granny square challenge I don't think I'll have the time to complete it, life is getting in the way....soooo would it be o.k if just sent out 17 hearts to Eleanor to pass on to everyone?


Thursday, 12 February 2009


Nana is ever so into making book marks at the moment. This little lot were packed up today to be sent to my sister in Canada who is an artist. She is taking on small business premises and Nana hopes little crafty things might sell well as not everyone can afford an original painting.

Thinking about it this is probably a handy sort of thing to make for when you feel a birthday card just isn't quite enough but a gift might be too much - just a litle something to put in the card if you know what I mean...

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Tie ends in and change colours

hey that's cool , I thought I was going to have to ake a video myself because I couldn't find anyone who does ends like I do ends but then TaDa a nice fellow was hiding away there on you tube :-)
If you look at the beginning and watch what he does with his straggly ends, tails. Then as he cahnges colour you see he holds the tails along the work so they get covered. That's how I've always done it and it's always been ok. How he fastens it off at the end is good too :-)

This next one isn't in a typical granny square it's in rows of double crochet (english treble) but she is sooooo good at doing weaving ends in and colour changing , very worth a watch.

Anyway I hope that helps a bit and will mean you don't have to sew the ends in, it also means you can carry colours up to use on another round rather than having to cut it off and start again.
Have fun :-)


I made a pair of pj bottoms for Miles last week and he refused to wear them saying they were 'horrid'. Well, he eventually came round and has had them on ever since. I eventually got them off him this morning as they were scruffy, but he refused to put any other trousers on saying he will only wear trousers I have made.

So, I have run up this pair this morning but sadly we are back in the 'they're horrid' phase. Hopefully he'll learn to love these too :-) I think they're rather cute and took all of about half an hour to do from start to finish.
I think I could get into sewing clothes for the kids. Can anyone recommend where to get good basic patterns cheap?

By George

she's got it.
Well, nearly.
I need a bit more practice, just to get the turning right, and I don't like changing colours cos you have all the ends to sew in, lol.
Inspired by Dawniy's pink and turquoise, and the happy hooker relocated thanks to K, here's my almost proper squares.
(I'll still exchange knitted ones, but maybe some crocheted as well if I can get them a bit better)

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Neapolitan Ice Cream Scarf

I've crocheted this scarf from a recycled charity shop jumper, which was cream, pink and dark brown stripes, hence the 'Neapolitan Ice Cream' effect - vanilla, strawberry and chocolate!
It's really long, and goes around the neck twice (so it's lovely and warm!) with plenty left to hang nicely down the front. All done in US double crochet (I don't know what the UK term is for it - the book I learned from is American!) I was really tempted to keep it, but I made to sell, so sell it I will. I crocheted it length-wise, which was a really great way to do it, and it was really quick to do, all done and dusted in a couple of days. :)

Now that I've finally learned it, I much prefer crocheting to knitting. I love the way you move along with the work, like a spider making a web, and I also love how easy it is to unravel and find where you were etc if you make a mistake. And creating something like this scarf is a breeze as you can do it length-wise, which would be tricky if knitting. :)

Friday, 6 February 2009

Well I never

I was admiring Dawniy's squares, commented on them, and then idly glanced down the blogroll at the side. K's squares caught my eye, so I went off to look at them, and got sidetracked reading her blog, lovely tales. Then suddenly what did she mention but the Happy Hooker? I had completely forgotten I have this book. It was still in a packing case, since last June, but I have unearthed it now, and I might yet manage a crochet granny square. Or even a bikini.

Here are some more squares:

And some matchbooks - these are quite small, about 5 cms wide, but I've made bigger ones, with photos on the tags inside. I have a template if anyone fancies making one.

Granny Squares

some granny squares , I've done about 8 now :)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

from Eleanor's blog

I happened to find this on E's blog so I thought I'd post it for her - I must get to grips with my own camera and put my own on too :)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Granny Squares

I've got a size problem with my sqaures. Apologies for just linking but I'm tired ;-(

How is everyoe esle getting on with their squares?

Monday, 2 February 2009

Cardi at last

Well I know it's taken me ages and you lot have knitted and crocheted and sewed your way through many it is, the completed cardigan. Not photographed very well but Im a bit proud of it. Might even wear it tomorrow. To celebrate I have begun to knit a pair of gloves from a very old pattern of my late Granny's. I might have finished them by the summer but they will be ready in time for next winter!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Making your own cloth pads

I've never done an online tutorial before so stick with me and let me know if I make it as clear as mud! I was going to try to scan patterns and things but I know some of you guys are really keen to get started - and really they are very simple so here goes.

Choose your fabric. Personally I like a brushed cotton. I think brushed cotton is more absorbent than flat cotton, but isn't as bulky as fleece. Some fleeces are fine but others can leave you feeling a bit like John Wayne if you know what I mean. You don't want people to be asking you where you've left your horse! Some people use fleece or corduroy bottom layer to help it stick to your underwear. I'm not keen on this and prefer poppers but it's something you might want to try.

Wash your fabrics at least once before you start. During the manufacturing process many fabrics have things added to them which interferes with absorbency.

Pretty pastel pads look great - for a month or two. Unless you are a stain removing master I'd suggest you stick with bold and dark colours. Patterns are good for disguising any staining you may get too. If you're using what you have lying around anyway then go for it - but if you are making a special purchase I do suggest bold colours and patterns.

The most popular kinds of pads are the all-in-ones (just one piece) and pads with inserts (a sort of envelope that you put inserts in). Some people like the insert type because you can boost them to depend upon your flow - you have control over how thick you make them. Some people think they are good because they dry quicker than an all-in-one too because you separate them out to dry. Personally I'm not as keen. I find that the inserts can move which can result in leaks - or worse still they may somehow 'drop out,' but thankfully I've never had this happen to me, or heard of it happening to anyone else.

Here's an insert style pad.

Here's an all-in-one.

I was going to try to upload a pattern but since pads, like women, come in all different shapes and sizes I thought perhaps it would be better if you drew around a disposable that you feel comfortable with. Make sure you allow plenty of space for hems and wings.

When I first saw a night time cloth pad I couldn't believe how big it was but I now feel fine about them. Here is a red night time pad, a disposable I have for emergencies and a standard day time cloth pad.

Some people including myself put a waterproof breathable layer in their pad. You can buy this stuff online (it's the second one down called naprap that you would need). If you know anyone who makes cloth nappies they should be able to tell you where to get it too. I've always paid between £7 and £8 per metre and a metre makes a heck of a lot of pads! You could get half a metre if this was possible or still go for the metre and make a handy carrying purse to carry your pads in - one for clean and one for in case you need to carry home a changed pad.

Okay, so you have your outer fabric, you have your PUL layer if you want it and you have drawn around your favourite pad leaving lots of space for hems and wings. Now you need something for your inner core. I always use old flannelet sheets and things like that. Anything past it's best but still very absorbent.

Cut out a long rectangle the full length and width of your pad for your inner core (the cream coloured bit above). It won't be seen if you're making an all-in-one so colour doesn't matter here. Depending upon the thickness of my fabric I usually make this three or four layers thick. Sew the layers together around the outer edge.

Cut out a top and bottom layer in your chosen outer fabric. Cut out a layer in PUL if you're using this.

Put your top layer on the table with the pattern facing down over and place the inner core on top of it where it should go in the centre. Sew the core to the underside of the top layer. Go around the edges first and then up and down the middle two or three times. This helps to stop the core from rucking up. If you look carefully at the made up blue checked one above you will see the sewing lines going up and down.

Place your bottom layer on the table with the pattern facing the table. Then place the PUL layer on top of that. Put the top layer and inner core on top of that and then sew around the outside edge only - so you have the inner core attached firmly to the top layer and then the top, PUL and bottom layers are all firmly sewn together around the very outer edge of the pad. The core is not attached to the PUL or bottom layer.

If you have an overlocker that's great. I don't but know a couple of people who do and have used theirs. If I make some at home I tend to fold a cotton edging binding around the outer edge and sew it on. For lots of people just ordinary stitching around the outer edge would be fine. Give it a try before putting cotton edging on. If the edges feel uncomfortable you can always add an edging then to conceal the stitches afterwards.

Now you just need your fastenings. I hand sew mine on. Some have just one popper, some have two. Some are side by side for added strength and some have two so that you can adjust the gusset width. Some people use velcro but I've not tried this yet. Buy decent sized press studs. Little ones can un pop under the strain!

I have never actually made one of the insert ones although I do have a few and some of those are handmade. I suspect if you've made it this far you will be able to adapt the above. The only thing I have noticed with them is that some have an envelope opening the full length of the pad like this

whereas some have a line stitched an inch or two from each end to make the opening smaller. Smaller openings make them trickier to boost the layers but once in the core pads feel more secure.

I have pads which have been used on an almost monthly basis for the best part of eight years and there is still lots of life in them. As well as all the environmental factors you can save yourself a lot of money too. You're also a lot less likely to get thrush using cloth too.

I hope this all makes sense. Just shout up with any questions.