Saturday, 29 December 2012

A little Christmas Crafting

Well hello there! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. I spent a week at my parents house, eating far too much yummy food and doing far too little of anything else, which was lovely. I am now back at home and have over a week until I have to go back to work (yey!). I have many plans for the time off, including the obligatory pre-New Year tidying, and hopefully some sewing too. The time before Christmas passed by in such a blur of business that it is great to have some more sedate days coming up! My poor blog was a little neglected over December so I have lots to catch up on. First up - Christmas crafting!

I made the decision not to craft many presents this year, mainly due to lack of time. Most of my nearest and dearest received hand baked goodies, which I unfortunately forgot to photograph, but included fruity biscotti, orange and pistachio stollen, chocolate covered fudge, mango chutney and chilli jam. I managed to get most of the baking and making done in one rather manic afternoon, which worked well and took the pressure off a little. This meant I had plenty of time left to make the three stitched gifts I had in mind...

Apron for a small person


Simple lined bag for my Nana

I was lucky enough to receive some lovely crafty gifts myself, including a lovely package from the Sewist's Secret Santa that I organised. Before I forget, I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who took part and especially those who have sent me such lovely emails telling me how much they enjoyed shopping for their Santees. I can't believe how many people signed up - we had almost 30 in the end. It is great to see everyones gifts popping up all over the blogosphere - so many people did fantastically well with the £5 budget! I hope everyone has received their gift by now - if not please let me know and I will chase it up. So what did I get I hear you cry? This lovely knitting bundle...

I was really touched by the thought that had gone into my gift. My Santa included a note saying that she had been inspired by the polka dot lining on my minoru jacket to put together a little knitting bundle for me to make co-ordinating accessories. The kit included polka dot buttons, yarn and five patterns, one of which you can see in the picture above. I think this is the pattern I will start off with - although I keep changing my mind! So thank you Santa - I love my gift :) And what did I send?? Ah...that would be telling!
I also took part in another swap organised by Vicki from VickiKateMakes...more on this next time. Also I've been lucky enough to be nominated for some blog awards lately - thanks so much to those who nominated me - more on these also coming soon :)
Finally, if you are looking for some inspired new projects or want to be in with a chance to win yourself a late Christmas present, pop over to Mellie's Workroom where Mellie is starting her stash-busting resolution early by hosting a giveaway! There are three gorgeous lots on offer...I have my eye on at least one of them!
K xx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hello Everyone!

I may have been a bit quiet on the blog front recently, but I can assure you that behind the scenes I have been beavering away making Christmas goodies! More on that in soon, but this morning I am off to my parent's house for Christmas (the land of no laptop OR sewing machine....although I will be taking my knitting!) so this is just a quick post to wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

Hopefully most people who took part in the Sewist's Secret Santa should have received their gifts by now...I am so excited to open mine, and to see what everyone else got! Any problems please let me know.

Other than that - have a good one and see you on the other side!

K xx

Friday, 7 December 2012

Sewist's Secret Santa Update!

Hello Everyone!

Wow what a busy few weeks I have had. I have been on weekends away to Wales and Berlin, been ridiculously busy at work, and even managed to finish a few makes (more details coming soon!). It's been lovely, but I am looking forward to spending this weekend at home and getting stuck in to my Christmas shopping/gift making.

How are you all getting on buying your gifts for the Sewist's Secret Santa? Several people have emailed me to say they have posted theirs, which is fabulous. I do hope that gifts will soon start dropping on to doormats around the globe. It's all so exciting!

A few people have asked me whether their gifts can be handmade, thrifted or shopped from their stash. Absolutely! The only restriction is the £5 limit, but if you want to make gifts using stash items and count them as free, then that's fine too. I have also been asked if you can let your Sant-ee know who the gift came from. My answer is - I think it's more exciting to keep it secret, but if you are busting to tell, then go ahead.

I'm shopping for my Sant-ee tomorrow...I can't wait! Has anyone else got festive plans for the weekend?

K xx

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Owl Awesomness

Oh my goodness! I got home this evening after a yummy meal out for my boyfriend's birthday, to find the latest issue of Mollie Makes on my doorstep. I tore it open....and just LOOK what is on the front cover!


And look what there is inside....


It's as if Mollie Makes knew I was toying with the idea of cancelling my subscription and made an issue especially for me. I cannot wait to make these wrist warmers. I think I have enough wool in my stash, although sadly I lack the relevant dpns so I am going to have to be just a little bit patient.

Sorry for the poor quality iPhone photos in this post...I was just so excited to share my excitement.

If you have not yet sent me your details for the Sewist's Secret Santa but want to take part (and you are most welcome, it's not too late!), please could you do this ASAP (for a second I almost forgot I wasn't at work and wrote "at the earliest opportunity", which is what I mean, but in a slightly less formal way!). Especially if you are from outside the UK. I am off to Wales for a long weekend but I am conscious that the last date for posting internationally is creeping up on us, so if I have a chance I will try and draw some of the Santees (my new favourite non-word) which require international posting before I go, to give you two shopping weekends, because I'm nice like that :)

K xx

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday Crafty Musings

Hello Everyone!

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. I can't believe it's Sunday afternoon already. On the plus side, this week is a 4 day working week for me. It is my boyfriend's birthday this week and we are off to Wales for a long weekend. I'm thinking winter walks, pubs with roaring log fires and mulled wine. Perfect!

Today I was all ready to have an afternoon of making something and was geared up to start on a dress when I realised I still had to pre-wash my fabric. D'oh. Sadly I'm not one of those people who washes new fabric straight away - I wish I was this organised. However, I have now put a whole load of fabric in the wash so that should keep me going for...well, probably about a year the rate I'm going at the moment!

Instead I did a really quick project. I have spoken about my love of owls here before, and some time ago I picked up this awesome fabric, which I have been saving for the right project.

Some time ago a friend told me about someone who had made an iPhone case using a clear shell and a piece of fabric cut to the right shape. I think this is brilliant idea and look what I made today...

So cute. It literally took about 20 minutes to make (in fact it took me more time to decide which of the many different owls on the fabric to feature!) and I love the fact that there is the potential to change the fabric around any time I like. The clear case I ordered from ebay for a few pounds. In order to give it a bit of structure, and hopefully to minimise fraying, I glued it to a piece of paper cut to size. Simples :)

It other news, if you want to take part in the Sewist's Secret Santa, don't forget to send me your details this week (see here for the plan!). I have managed to find a Santa hat to draw the names from and it's already starting to fill up...exciting!!

Right, off for a Sunday evening of knitting, X Factor and Homeland. Happy days!

K xx

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sewist's Secret Santa - The Plan!

Wow! I can't believe how many people are keen to join in with the Sewist's Secret Santa. There are almost 30 of us so far - how exciting! If you haven't yet signed up but would like to join still have time. Just about. Soooooo, here's how it's going to work and what you need to do next:

1) Send me an email to kraftykatblog(at)gmail(dot)com by Friday 23rd November at the very latest with the following information - your name, a link to your blog (if you have one), your postal address and also whether you are happy to post internationally. Also, if you would like to provide a short snippet of information for me to send on to your Santa please do - for example, "I'm a sewist and a knitter, I love spots and lace and big prints". 

2) I will play Santa and pick everyone's Secret Santa out of a (probably metaphorical) hat. I decided it was easiest to do it this way, and it allows me to split between people happy to post internationally and those who would prefer not to. This will not be a straightforward pairwise swap, otherwise everyone will know who their Santa is, and that just defeats the object!

3) I will send everyone an email telling them who they will be buying for, along with their address/blog link/information.

4) Present buying! This bit is completely up to you, however please try and keep within the £5 limit (or equivalent internationally).

5) Pop your gift in the post. Don't forget this is supposed to be a Secret Santa, so it's most fun if you don't let on who the present is from. Please keep an eye on the last dates for posting before Christmas...check here for last Royal Mail posting dates.

6) Receive your present and pop it under the tree, or open immediately if you must, however please wait until after Christmas to share on your blog. And feel free to speculate about who your Santa might be....!!

I can't wait, this is going to be so much fun! I am aware that last postage dates are creeping up on us so I will try and get the emails sent out as soon as possible. Any problems/questions please let me know....happy present buying everyone :)

K xx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sewist's (and other crafters!) Secret Santa

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Mine has been a rare weekend at home, and I have relished the chance to lie in, catch up with friends and potter about the house. I actually feel like I have been quite productive, which is a great feeling.

It's that time of year when the C-word is all around. I saw this years John Lewis Christmas advert for the first time yesterday, and yet again it made me well up a bit! See it here if you haven't already. Not sure it tops last years, but it's definitely a good'un. Generally I try and resist getting sucked in until December, but this year I already have the uneasy feeling of being unprepared. There's nothing wrong with making plans, right? I am aware that this year I am likely to be busier than usual in the run up to the day itself, so anything to prevent last minute stress has to be a good thing.

So I got thinking! I love giving presents, and I love surprises. And of course I love sewing. And what better way to combine all these that a Secret Santa?! I will call this the "Sewist's Secret Santa" because I love alliteration, but it really is open to anyone...sewists, knitters, bakers, quilters...!I was thinking that anyone who wants to take part will be assigned another person to buy a sewing-related gift for, up to a maximum value of £5 (or the current equivalent for those outside the UK). This should be enough to buy a bit of fabric, or some cute notions or trimmings, or whatever you can find! Thanks to Sabs for the suggestion that everyone writes a little snippet about themselves to be passed on to their secret Santa to give them a few helpful hints - great idea! I will pop everyone's names in a hat to pick who they buy for, and in the tradition of a secret Santa we will keep it secret so that only I know who everyone's Santa is...although if you wish to take a guess afterwards that's up to you!

The plan is still in the early stages so any thoughts on the logistics please do let me know.

So who's in?! This is open to absolutely everyone who would like to take part, whether or not you have a blog and wherever you are based in the UK or internationally (we can sort out later who is happy to post internationally). Postage dates will vary depending on who joins in, but the earliest last posting date the Royal Mail gives me by airmail is 5th December, so we still have plenty of time. Pop me a comment below by Friday (16th November) if you would like to take part, and then we can start working out the logistics! Ooooh it's all so exciting, I can't wait to get shopping!

K xxx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Birmingham Blogger Bonanza

Guess what I did this weekend?! I went to Birmingham with a whole host of sewing bloggers and it was FABULOUS!

Marie and I were a little apprehensive about organising our first meet up, but this wonderful group of ladies made our job not only easy, but a pleasure. I am not going to go into too many details of the day, as there are already many many versions of the story around the blogosphere, for example at Marie's blog, or at any of the others who attended - a full list below - who were much quicker to post about the day in all it's glory!

Here are all the lovely ladies who attended, minus Marie, who too the picture, and Charlotte, who had already left by this point. Starting from the back left to right - (I had a few technical difficulties with the links, I think they are working now, apologies if not, I will keep checking!)

Roisin - Dolly Clackett

Alice - Moonbeam

Helen - Sew Stylish

Helen - Helen Made

Rachel - House of Pinheiro

Catherine - Catherine's Daze Blog

Amy - Almond Rock

Suzy - Suzy Sewing

Mellie - Mellie's Workroom

Claire - Sew, Incidentally...


Marie (who took the photo) - A Stitching Odyssey 

Charlotte (sadly not pictured as she'd left by this point) - Keeping track of things 

Here, in picture form, is the story of the day (starting from lunchtime as I was too busy purchasing before then to take any pictures!)...

So many bags the waiters had trouble getting around the table!
Smile Winnie!
Marie and Amy
Getting stuck in to the lovely food at Cafe Soya
I think I made Katie laugh here!
Fabric Heaven
Marie hidden behind all our bags on the way home
One of the most exciting parts of the day (there were many) was the now customary swap! And what a swap it was. There was so much stuff! Sewists really are a generous bunch. I did ridiculously well in the swap, coming away with a whole host of wonderful goodies...not really the stash busting exercise that I had planned but you see why I couldn't say no....(sorry about the sideways pictures, another technical hitch!)

Patterns from Claire, Winnie and Katie (I think!)
Top to bottom: Cotton print from Claire, double knit from
Catherine and cotton voile from Marie
Quilting cotton from Mellie, cotton print from Alice,
cotton something from Amy and yarn from Marie

Thank you so much everyone! I cannot wait to use the cotton print from Claire, there is absolutely stacks of this, I can't believe Claire is giving it away! I think it will have to be a dress. My original thought was circle skirt, but now I am gravitating towards a dress. We will see.

The more modest pile of fabrics below is what I bought on the day. I had a budget and I am very proud to say I stuck to it!

L-R: Tweed wool, double knit, cotton print and some kind of polyester!

The wool will be a skirt, the sparkly double knit/jersey will be either a top or a dress...possibly both...I think it would make a super Christmas party dress! The spotty fabric is destined to be a blouse, and who knows what I will make with the dinosaur print but I just couldn't resist!
So there we go, my haul. Didn't I do well! I am so excited to start sewing now, bring on the weekend!
Thanks again to everyone who came, I had an absolutely fantastic day and was genuinely sad to say goodbye to you all at the end of it. I've met some fantastic new people and discovered some brilliant new blogs. Bring on the next one!
K xx

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Sock Success!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. I have spent the day crafting away with Marie, in preparation for the Birmingham Blogger Meet Up next weekend! I'm so excited to see everyone, and of course hit those fabric stalls! If you expressed an interest in coming along you should have received an email from us by now....let me know if not.

Other crafting has been happening too...look! I made a sock!

I know it may seem like a long time since I first mentioned knitting a sock, way back in this post, but hey, these things take time! (And also I had a long break as I was terrified of the heel. However, I had a go and guess what...not as scary as expected!).

Obviously this is number one of two...I best get knitting!!!

In other news, the lovely Karen asked me to do a guest post on embroidery for her Apronalong. Of course I was delighted to oblige....see the post here :) 

Happy crafting!

K xx

Monday, 8 October 2012

100th Post Giveaway Winners!

Helllooooo Everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I am here at last with the winner of my 100th Post Pattern Giveaway! So without further ado....

The winner of pattern #1 is....


Rachel from House of Pinheiro!

The winner of pattern #2 is.....


Jane from Handmade Jane!

And last but not least, the winner of pattern #3 is..... 

Josephine! (Sorry Josephine but I can't find a link to your blog if you have one)

 Well done to the three winners and sorry that not everyone could win. If you three lovely ladies could drop me an email with your postal address, I'll get your patterns sent out to you! Can't wait to see these all made up.

K xx

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fancy a Birmingham Blogger Meet-Up??

Hello Everyone! Thanks to everyone who commented on my Minoru jacket - almost a week later of daily wear and I still love it :) Also, my giveaway has now closed, results coming very soon - but for now I have some even more exciting news!
Marie and I are organising a Midlands meet up! Who fancies joining us on a trip to Birmingham Rag Market on Saturday 3rd November? It will be the perfect opportunity to purchase awesome fabrics at bargainous prices, whether it's for winter sewing or (dare i mention the C-word in October?!) festive gift making!
I've never been to Birmingham Rag Market but I have heard lots about the fabulous fabrics on offer, so I for one am very excited. Marie assures me that it is just a short hop from Birmingham New Street station, so the travel shy have nothing to fear. Marie and I will organise all the logistics and there will be a more detailed post with THE PLAN nearer the time, but so that we can get an idea of numbers could you please leave a comment below if you would like to come along, with an email address if it's not obvious on your blog, so that we can add you to the list :)

If you need convincing further, pop on over to Marie's blog for pictures and details of the last fabulous Birmingham meet-up!
I hope to see lots of you again, and meet some more of you in real life, in November!! Wooop!!
K xxx

Thursday, 27 September 2012

FO: Little Red Riding Hood Minoru Jacket

Hello Everyone! Thank you so much for all your helpful tips about knitting socks in response to my last post….I feel much less overwhelmed now and my sock is growing nicely. Today I am finally able to announce that I have finished my Minoru jacket! Yes that’s right….I have finished. Whew it’s been a long time! My Minoru journey started way back at the end of last year in November when I was lucky enough to win the pattern in Vicki’s giveway. Since then this project has been on the go, but for various reasons it has always been on the backburner a bit. For almost an entire year!!! I had no idea it was that long until I checked the dates just now. Opps. Anyways, I posted about my muslin way back in February!! Other projects with pressing deadlines got in the way, I started a new job, then it was summer (sort of)….all kinds of excuses kept cropping up for me not to work on my jacket. At one point I wasn’t sure how much I loved this jacket, and my lack of enthusiasm combined with my lack of motivation meant the outlook was bleak for a while. But I persevered and now I can proudly reveal the finished object.
Sorry for the slightly gloomy pictures...the weather is so dark and dreary at the moment, there was nothing I could do. So do I love it? Oh yes I do. I don’t know why I ever had doubts! Look at the hood….the beautiful polka dot lining….the gathered waist….I am totally in love with this jacket. It is definitely the most practical garment I have ever made, and probably the one that will get the most wear. I think the only thing I am missing is pockets….there are pockets inside, which are the perfect size for a phone or MP3 player, but no outside pockets. I’m the kind of person who habitually stick their hands in their pockets, so I miss them! I am considering adding patch pockets, but I will dwell on this for a while. If I added them now the stitching would show inside, although since there is already stitching where the elastic waist is attached, and where the inner pockets are, I’m not sure if this would bother me. I will see how it goes! Originally I was going to wash the outer fabric in NicWax to waterproof it. I decided against this in the end, but I may see if I can get a spray to make it at least water-resistant.

Right then here are the details:
Pattern: Sewaholic Minoru jacket

Fabric: Cotton canvas bought online at about £8/metre (I think) for the main coat shell, Polka dot linking £6.95/metre and slippery lining fabric for the sleeves at about £3.50/metre.
Notions: A 22” zip for the main closure, a shorter one (about 16") for the hood pocket, a tiny bit of velcro to close the inner pockets

Any adjustments?: I like my coats to cover my bum, so I lengthened the coat by a few inches. In fact I think you can tell how much I added, because I think the zip is actually supposed to go right to the bottom - but no matter, it's fine as it is! I cut a size 12, as I usually do with Sewaholic patterns, but there was a lot of room around the front so I chopped a few inches off each front piece before adding the planket. I’m not sure I adjusted the other related pieces appropriately, but somehow I seemed to get away with it!

Would I make it again? I do like this pattern a lot, but I’m not really one to make loads of jackets, so I suppose the answer is yes, but probably not for a long time.

My favourite things about this jacket are the hood (how could you not love the hood! I feel like Little Red Riding Hood...hence the title of this post!) and the fact that the sleeves are long enough to come partway down my hands…being tall this is a rarity, and it makes me feel so much more snug!!
Phew...I'm so glad to have this jacket finished, and so glad it turned out alright :)
P.S - If you haven’t already entered my giveaway there is still time…pop over and have a look to be in with a chance of winning one of three lovely patterns!

K xx


Monday, 24 September 2012

Socks: How do you knit yours?

A few weeks ago, my current knitting project (a jumper, you can see a sneak peak here) reached the stage where it was too big to be carried around in the little bag I use to transport knitting when I am on the go. It was therefore relegated to "home knitting", a fate which inevitably, sadly, means that progress on this particular project will now be much slower. I was therefore left with the dilemma of which new project to replace this with. In my wisdom, I decided that it was time to have a go at knitting socks. I've knitted snoods before...surely a sock is basically just a miniature snood with some shaping round the foot, right? Simples.

Oh how wrong I was. First, I naively assumed that I could knit a sock with a single circular needle (a la a mini snood). Apparently, this is not the case. After a bit of research, I purchased some double pointed needles and merrily cast on for sock number one.

Oh the minefield of the unfamiliar!! There seems to be a multitude of different things that can go wrong when knitting a sock...and bear in mind that I am currently about 15 rows in, and haven't even attempted any form of shaping yet. The set up of the double pointed needles seems to resemble some kind of knitting torture device (something I'm sure the many people who swiftly rejected the empty seat next to me on the train this evening on noticing the strange contraption I was wielding will agree with!). After a few tens of rows I seem to be slowly getting the hang of it. However, fellow sock knitters out there, I need your help. I have questions!

1) Firstly, I seem to be knitting my sock inside out. That is, the wrong side is facing outwards. I turned it so that now the wrong side faces in and the knitted tube is growing towards me, but this feels wrong. Is this normal?! And if not, what on earth am I doing wrong?

2) Secondly, I seem to have very obvious gaps at the join of each needle of stitches. I have tried knitting the first stitch of each section as tight as possible, but I still seem to have a very obvious join. I've tried to show a picture of this below but it isn't as obvious in the photo! Will this disappear as the sock grows, or is there a way I can avoid this?

3) The heel....oh my goodness the heel. I am terrified of this even at the early stage, as the instructions seem to make no sense. Can anyone recommend any good tutorials that can demystify this process for me?!

Thanks in advance sock knitters!!! Any other hints and tips for a sock knitting novice are greatly appreciated. Other than these slight issues, I am quite enjoying the way my sock is knitting up. I am using self striping wool, so it is quite fun seeing the pattern emerge. I will conquer this sock!!!

If you haven't done so already, don't forget to enter my giveaway! Three lovely patterns are up for grabs...pop over and have a little look and pick your favourite!

K xx

Friday, 21 September 2012

100th Post Pattern Giveaway!

Hello hello hello! Brrr it's a bit chilly around here. It's making me think of knitting snuggly jumpers (although the speed I knit this would probably have to be for next winter) and scarfs and hats and all other wintery goodness. I must admit that my favourite seasons are the "in between" ones - autumn and spring. I am not a bit fan of being too hot or too cold, so these fit the bill perfectly! I do like autumn - the wonderful colours, the re-emergence of hot chocolate as a suitable drink in the middle of the day, and snuggling up under a blanket in the evening knowing it's a bit chilly outside. However, the soggy days and dark evenings are less appealing aspects....but forget those for a minute....I have a giveaway to brighten things up!

Believe it or not, this is my 100th post! So a celebration of this milestone is clearly in order. Over the past year especially, my pattern collection has grown rapidly (although I imagine it is still in it's youth compared to a lot of peoples!!). However, I am rather aware of the fact that I will not ever get around to making all of them (gasp). I know i know - the intention will be there, but there is just not enough time to make EVERY pattern ever. So my solution is to weed out those I know I am least likely to make - be it because they are the wrong size (and let's face it, the less fitting the better) or because I am unsure about the style - and pass them on to other deserving bloggers so that they can be loved and used elsewhere rather than just sitting on a shelf. So, what have I got for you today? Let's have a little look....

Vogue 4108, size 14 (34 bust)

Simplicity 5386, size 14 (34 bust)

Simplicity 5086, size 18 (38 bust)

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning any of these three lovely patterns, all you have to do is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment below saying which pattern or patterns you would like to win (let's call them 1, 2 and 3 for ease!) by midnight UK time on Sunday 30th September. I'll then pick the winner of each pattern with the help of a random number generator. Simples :) Oh and I am happy to post internationally so anyone can enter!

Have a great weekend - I plan to finish my minoru I've written it down it has to be done...!!

K xx

Monday, 10 September 2012

FO: Truffle Dress

Remember this plan, from ages ago?

Or more recently, this sneak peak?

Well today I can finally show you the finished item the Colette Patterns Truffle was all done just in time for my friend's wedding in Scotland.

I made a muslin of the bodice in order to check the fit, as Colette patterns tend to come up big on me around the shoulders. Despite this I still had to play with the fit a bit on the "real thing"...although I think this was my fault as I tried to lengthen and widen at the waist without thinking it through properly. However with much pinning and basting, and a little bit of adjusting, all was right. I am really pleased with the bodice fit in the end...I think it is spot on.
I also put in my very first invisible zip! I have been avoiding these for so long but I faced my fear and followed the excellent guidelines in the Colette Sewing Handbook, and it was nowhere near as scary as I expected. I might even go as far as to say that with time, this has the potential to become my favourite method of zip insertion....!
My dress "in the wild" at the wedding
Proof it was a bit sunny...and windy! Look at that twirl :)

Pattern: Truffle Dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook

Fabric: Shinyish green fabric probably intended to be lining, purchased from Walthamstow at the bloggers meet up earlier this year. I chose it because it was the exact colour I had in mind for this dress, and at £4 for 5 metres due to a slight imperfection at one edge, how could I possibly refuse? The bodice is lined with grey lining fabric from my stash. The skirt is not lined - I was originally going to make a net underskirt to wear with it but I ran out of time to get it right - and also I don't think this dress necessarily needs an underskirt.

Notions: 16" invisible zip

Verdict? I am very pleased with the fit of this dress and would definitely make it again as I love the pattern. It was very straightforward to make once I had the fit perfected, and as always the instructions were clear and easy to follow. However, I would probably not use this type of fabric again. For the cost I can't really complain (the whole dress must have cost less than £10 to make!) but I'm not sure I'm completely keen on how shiny it is, and also it creased REALLY was a total mess after an evening of Ceilidh dancing!

I tend to have this creasing problem with a lot of my makes, whatever the fabric...cotton, lining, whatever. I just can't figure it out. Is it just me, or does everyone else have this problem?! I would love to hear if you do and how you get round it (apart from repeated ironing!).

I'll just leave you with a few of my holiday snaps of beautiful (but soggy) Scotland! We travelled around the highlands and islands and it was just breathtaking. I was blown away by the scenery and how remote some parts are. Have a look for yourself...

Left to right: Tobermory on the Isle of Mull; Iona Abbey; Isle of Staffa
Left to right: Loch Lomond; Glen Nevis; Fingal's Cave

K xx

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Knitted Meerkats: Simples!

Now I’m back from my Scottish holiday I can finally share with you some finished projects I have been quietly working on for a while now. One of my favourite crafty birthday presents this year was this book, which is full of adorable knitted meerkats.

As soon as I saw this book, I just knew that I had to knit a little something for my crafty friend who got married last week in Scotland (the reason for our holiday). So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to the happy couple!
These little things kept me busy on my daily commute for a good month or two. They are a great project for knitting on the go, as there are many constituent parts so you can carry around a small ball of wool and knit bits up as and when. For example, I could easily knit up two meerkat arms on a 40 minute train journey. Simples!

The book suggests using a lightweight lace yarn doubled up to knit the body of the meerkats, but I used double knit with no problems. I also omitted a few of the accessories, such as the top hat for the groom (as I knew the real life groom would not be wearing one) and the veil for the bride, which I tried but ultimately did not like the look of. This is one of the great things about this book though, you can mix and math the clothing and accessories to make the finished articles exactly how you want them. I really like the construction of the animals – the author has obviously applied a logical approach to making the shapes, which I love, and you can really see what each bit is going to be as your meerkat comes to life. The trickiest part was sewing everything together, but even this was relatively painless. Although being the perfectionist that I am, I may have been making the final touches the morning of the wedding……!!

The human bride and groom were really pleased with their knitted characters, so much so that they are taking their meer-selves with them on their honeymoon to Cuba – I am looking forward to seeing lots of pictures of Mr & Mrs Meerkat lounging by the pool (although I really hope they stay away from the water!).

I have a feeling that there will be more meerkats to come….I have already had a request for a meer-scientist!

K xx


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