Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday book review

"Tasty Crochet" by Rose Langlitz
ISBN: 978-1600613128

US crochet terms

Doesn't this book look so yummy - just look at that juicy apple and those adorable apple slices, even though I don't particularly like apples myself I'm still itching to get the crochet supplies out and have a go at making some myself. The patterns inside are all just as yummy as promised on the cover each beautifully photographed and with some you have to look twice to work out what is crochet and what is proper food.

I also love the layout of this book. The patterns are divided into four sections, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with each pattern including a 'ingredients' sidebar listing everything you'll need to make the item. The patterns are all well written with clear instructions and minimal abbreviations making them very easy to read and follow. In fact these patterns are so easy to follow that during the last two weeks of crocheting I've managed to make 9 of the projects and all of them I'm pleased as punch with!

This is certainly a book that I would highly recommend and perfect for making a really good range of play food for little ones or perhaps even yourself... I'm now off to try and make those cute little slices of apple, perhaps have a go at making a slice of pizza and if there is time then maybe I'll give the pattern for the pita pocket with falafel a go too!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Piggy pair

Crochet seems to be taking over my craft time a little at the moment, there are just so many different projects that I want to make (my Ravelry queue is now up to a shocking 43 items - when will I ever find the time?) So please forgive me if my blog seems to be a little over full of crochet items at the moment, I am planning to do some more sewing very soon.

These two little pigs are from a lovely pattern by June Gilbank who writes the fantastic blog PlanetJune which is well worth checking if you too love all things crochet. I was lucky enough to get a discount on one of her fantastic patterns and so I choose to buy the pigs - these are the most realistic crochet pigs that I think I have ever seen and the pattern also included instructions for how to change colours so that you could also make the Saddleback pig  (black and pink).

You may have noticed that I have made a few piggies in the past (little pig & felt pig), my Mum is a big pig fan so whenever I see a pattern for a new pig I rush to get it so I can have a go at making it up for her. These two pigs will also be heading off to her as part of her Christmas present but until then they will have to try and get comfortable in the slightly crowded Christmas box.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Too old for dressing up?

I'm pretty sure that when you pass 30 you shouldn't really be found wandering around the house wearing a feather headdress. Unless it is Halloween or perhaps even your Birthday, but as neither of these applied to me the other day I'll have to come up with a better excuse.

Oh, I remember now - I was testing it out.


This little feathery headdress is in fact meant to be a present for a soon to be 4 year old that I know who loves dressing up. Last year I made her a little pink crown and as that seemed to be well received I decided to try my luck again, this time with the help of feathers.

This simple headdress has been made with the remains of an old pair of jeans (already much cut up to make a robot plushie) a few bright feathers that I've had kicking around for ages and some blue furry ribbon stuff. I cheated a little and glued the feathers in place before sewing the front and back pieces of the band together. Then to finish off I hand sewed the blue zig zag to the front and attached some ribbon to the back for ties.

The only thing I in fact forgot to do was to double check the size. This turned out to be quite an error as I have found that it is more suited to a 30+ head and not a little 4 year old. Never mind - I'm sure with the help of a safety pin it will stay on the Birthday girl's head and there will be plenty of growing room :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday magazine review

"Sew Hip" issue 20
September 2010

Earlier in the month a copy of this magazine popped its way through my letterbox, along with a special subscriber gift (but more on that later). I'm still a little cautious when it comes to getting out my sewing machine and trying to make anything with it so my way of trying to beat that is to read a magazine about all the fantastic things I could be making if only I was brave enough to try. So this is where the Sew Hip magazine comes in...

The cover project really draws you in - that lovely dress looks so summery, and after reading through the instructions I'm startled to find that I think even I may be able to make it. In fact there are a large number of beginner projects in this issue, and on reading through a few of them carefully the instructions look clear, well written and easy to follow with clear diagrams for any of the trickier steps. But before having a go at trying to put together my first handmade garment I decided to tackle something a little bit more approachable, the lovely kit from clothkits which was my subscriber gift.

The kit was great, the pattern pieces and all the guidelines for folding were actually printed directly on to the canvas so no need to fiddle with cutting round a template - what a fantastic idea! The instructions were clear and helpful and I found myself working my way through them with very little difficulty. The only real problem I encountered was due solely to my not understanding my sewing machine... this was the first time I had every sewn on a zipper and working out how to change the normal foot to the sewing foot took quite a bit of puzzling out.

So now I have a rather lovely new wash bag to add to the increasingly crowded Christmas box. I'm so proud of myself for managing to make something that I think is good enough to give as a gift and I hope that this new found confidence means you'll be seeing more sewing projects here soon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer time = scarves?!

The weather here in the UK recently has been really lovely and warm with lots of sunshine and only the occasional downpour. This is probably why I've been getting some very odd looks when I've been out and about crocheting scarves...

My quest to fill the Christmas box has lead me to making scarves as for some reason I thought that these would be simple and quick projects that would make great gifts. Somehow though I have managed to turn making a simple single crochet rectangle into a bit of a faff... not quite sure how, possibly starting with the wrong hook size didn't help.

After a good deal of frogging and re-working I now have two chunky and snuggly scarves which are long enough to wind well round your neck for maximum Winter comfort. I used 3 balls of the rather lovely Sirdar Crofter DK yarn and a 5mm hook and kept crocheting until I ran out of yarn.

As I'm still of the mind that scarves make lovely Christmas presents I've also started a Branching leaves scarf to use up some of my left over Sirdar Calico yarn - however there is no way that this is going to be a 'quick' project!