It’s Been All Go Round Ere Today

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You know when you have one of those days that seem really productive, you’ve been really busy, got loads done and your extremely satisfied with the world, despite knowing you’re probably going to literally fall into bed?  Well it’s been a bit like that here today.

To be fair I live in a truly beautiful spot, especially when the sun is in the sky, but the amount of work it takes to keep the house and yard in order can be truly overwhelming and there’s always so much to do.

Today and for the next couple of days the boys (my hubby and our sons Durahn and Kye) are on operation prepare for winter.  It’s a necessary evil of living in a damp old farm house 😦

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A major part of Operation Winter involves chopping trees up into logs for the stove

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Then there’s the kindling.  I knew it was worth all the shelving from the shop stock rooms.

There wasn’t any need for me to get involved, despite my love of power tools 😁  So I walked the dogs, cleaned, washed up (several times), cooked and got loads of other general ‘needs doing’ stuff done.

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I also found the time to make some lemonade, to use up the glut of cheap lemons and limes I’d bought last week, fully intending to make lemon curd, but forgot to buy some wax coated discs for.

2015-08-18 17.33.06I’ve also made another Wiksten Tank for myself.  Although, I still have to finish binding the sleeves, but that won’t take too long.

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The boys managed to get 10 crates of kindling cut up, but there are still more shelves to get through 🙈

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My 💪 hubby 💪 has cut all the trees up into rings and is now, even as I type (it’s nearly 9.45pm), splitting them into logs.  I managed to get this photo before the sun went down.

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If that wasn’t enough, my socks are drying on the line.  They even look pretty when they’re inside out 💗

Time to put clean sheets on the beds and get a spot of knitting in now before bed, me thinks.

Happy Knitting!

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I’ve Been Unfaithful

Untitled design (1)

It’s true I’m afraid, I’ve been having an affair…

Tempestuous, tumultuous, impassioned and at the same time harmonious, equable and calm, all the things you want from a great romance.  Don’t be mistaken though, I shan’t be running away any time soon and shifting my allegiance, it’s just a 💕 dalliance💕  I’m sure

My husband?  No we’re fine, never better actually.

Thanks for asking.

So what am I referring to?

Why, knitting of course 😊

I’ve been neglecting it a little you see, becoming slightly enamoured with my sewing again, as myself and my sewing machine become reacquainted.

top

I’d spotted this top/dress on Instagram from someone who was posting daily photos for #MadeinMay.  (The idea being that for every day of May, you’d try to wear something you’ve made yourself.)

So…. I went off in search of the pattern – as you do 😉

wikstein

The top is called the Wiksten Tank designed by Jenny Gordy and is available as a downloadable pdf via the Wiksten website here It costs $10 so it was a bit of a gamble, but as I had the material already, it wasn’t going to be too bad.  Mind you, I did use to make clothes for Dina and Durahn when they were smaller and I was forever ‘upcycling’ jumble sale and charity shop finds.  It wasn’t really upcycling, just what you do when your disposable income doesn’t stretch as far as you’d like it too, or your short with big boobs.

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The sewing machine and I aren’t firm friends yet, it wouldn’t behave as well as I would have liked, but I did manage to make my Wiksten Tank and I’m so very  ♥happy♥ with it, that I’ve already bought some material to make another one.  I’ve gone for somewhere between top and dress length, so I can wear it more like a tunic over a tee-shirt and jeans.  The fit is good and whilst I could tweak it with the odd dart here and there and maybe nip it in a bit under the arms, but why bother when it’s fully serviceable as it is 🙂

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In the meantime I guess I should get on with some of my many ongoing projects.

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Whilst unpacking all my project bags from my lager knitting bag, I discovered that I’ve left the crochet blanket I’ve been working on too,  at home in the living room.  I realised we have loads of duvets at home, but very few blankets.  Something I can at least, start to work on rectifying.  This is proving to be a little addictive though, my mantra has become ‘just one more round’, fine when it was smaller, but now i could loose an hour or so.

Whilst typing this post, it occurs to me that it presents an ideal opportunity to also tell you about Zebrino, the latest offering from Adriafil.

zebrino

Zebrino is a self patterning yarn with 125 metres/136.70 yards approximately  to each 50 gram ball.  It’s made from  a blend of 53% wool 47% acrylic and is a worsted/aran weight.

zebrino2

For now I’ve only gone with 4 of the above shades just to see what the yarn is like.  The colours in stock are shades 61, 62, 64 and 67 and I’m itching to have a go at knitting with it, but as the pile of projects in the photo above shows, I should probably control the urge for a while longer.  I’m thinking a big, oversized jumper though and maybe a scarf or two as Christmas presents.

Happy Knitting!

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Look What Durahn Made For Me

 

Top 64

As some of you know my son Durahn, has developed a love of sewing, he even saved and bought his own machine this year rather than continuing to use mine.  (note to self, maybe he’s broken it)

He has already made me a couple of things including my fabulous grey, pinstriped apron and my lovely and very useful Sew Together Bag, which goes everywhere my knitting bag goes.  I’m not even sure how I managed before without it.

I knew he was planning on making me a top for Christmas because we had to take measurements and then discuss why my back is a size 12 but my boobs are a size 16 😳

When I opened my pressie on Christmas morning I was blown away by his choice of pattern and fabric.  The pattern was from Merchant & Mills and is called Top 64.  Totally me, I’m already planning the material for my next one 😜

Tweed

He made it using beautiful Donegal Tweed, 100% herringbone wool from Donegal.  The shade is described as being ‘like a biscuit dipped in honey’ on the Merchant & Mills website.

I’ve interrogated him about making the top but, he’s not too well at the moment so the words are few….

Pattern was nice and clear, material was good to work with and the trickiest part was putting the yoke in.  Think he means on the reverse?

Apparently, he thinks it will be ideal for work as there’s a pocket for my tape measure and one for my phone – he’s deluded if he hasn’t realised by now that I’ll have to have both items spring loaded so they’re returned to the afore mentioned pockets, rather than left somewhere 😱

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I love it!

I hope he doesn’t object to making me a load of them in different materials and different colours now 😇

Happy Knitting!

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New Magazine – Prima Makes

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I spied this little number smiling at me from the shelves of Eason in Dungarvan yesterday and was won over instantly.  Containing a hefty 162 pages of things to make, knit, sew, crochet and bake what’s not to like?

Like many of the other ‘lifestyle’ magazines that are available at the moment it is a very photography heavy publication, leading you to aspire to all things quirky, vintage and floral.  In addition to the numerous projects there are ‘Ideas & Inspirations’ and  ‘Spring into Shopping’ sections.  There’s also a great feature on craft courses and workshops and if that wasn’t enough the good people at Prima Makes have also thrown in a couple of sheets of fancy printed paper.

So I imagine you’d like to have a little look at some of my favourite little projects?

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These 3 beauties are called High Flyers, Heaven Scent and Time for Tea.  Soooooo pretty.

2014-02-17 12.20.04The very appropriately hat a Picture is so fantastic I’d actually like one please.  The funky, patchwork laptop case ould make a great gift and Kitchen Stichin’ is for those of us that like a bit of crochet.

2014-02-17 12.16.05The pretty Tunic Top knitted in cotton has sizes from 6-12 months to 5 years and it would be hard to resist the little pairs of Baby’s First Shoes.  Bobtail Bunny is a pocket sized pal worked in 4ply crochet.

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Still more …..

For the bakers amongst us my 3 favourites are the Coconut Doughnuts, Shortbread Flowers and the Peppermint Marshmallows, yummy.

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It shouldn’t come as any surprise to those of you that know me but Daisy Chain is my absolute favourite, isn’t it beautiful?  I hope my crochet is up to it.

If you’re still in need of a little convincing, then the icing on the cake has to be that the magazine comes complete a free kit to make this little mousey pincushion.

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Happy Knitting! (maybe that should be crafting?)

Wow, How Hot is It?

It seems like ages since I managed to get on here and post up a little snippet of life in the shop.

For the past 2 weeks we’ve been so busy with the blankets that it feels like we’ve done little else.  Given the time restraints for the collection (3rd August) it’s very difficult not to get absorbed with knitting & sewing squares.  I have managed to get a pair of socks knitted and think I could become obsessed.  They’re the first pair I’ve made using the two circular needle method as championed by Cat Bordhi.  If you’re interested in seeing this method check out her video on youtube.com http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&p=cat+bordhi+socks

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If you were on Ardmore Beach this week you could have possibly spotted me trying to get ahead with my Autumn/Winter Samples.

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If that wasn’t enough the Innocent Smoothie/Age Action Campaign is back again, more about that another time.  I’m off to knit or sew, or both if that’s possible.

Happy Knitting!

New Magazine – Reloved

New Magazine
New Magazine

It seems we’ve finally got a hold of ourselves and tightened our belts (not sure mine was ever loose), we’ve seen the error of our ways and realised that everything isn’t disposable.  There’s a whole upsurge in people learning how to remake, reupholster, upcycle and transform.

Change the sleeves on your dress
Change the sleeves on your dress

Hopefully there were very few of us that simply threw away a blouse if the buttons had fallen off but how many of us have given a dress away because we no longer like the style? Perhaps you cast away a piece of furniture because it didn’t fit in with your new contemporary styled living room?  Can you see the charm in everyday objects from charity shops and house clearance stores if given a little love?

Reloved is a new quarterly magazine dedicated to restyling, transforming and revamping your world.  In the first issue ‘Spring 2013’ there are 26 projects covering everything from transforming your clothes to upcycling your furniture.  There is a masterclass on reupholstering a drop in seat pad chair and quick makes to create in an evening.  There are several features including one on the original ‘Make Do & Mend’ series from the wartime upcyclers.  Last but not least, there’s a guide to upcycling and knitting (ahem… of course).

The magazine welcomes you to a shabby chic lifestyle, full of colour and a renewed love for all things eclectic, mismatched and homely.  Of all the projects some of my favourites are Changing Sleeves (above) and the Lacy Doily Lampshade which are really cool.  In my house they’d have to be stained or painted though as the dust would turn them grey in a matter of minutes.

Lacy Doily Lampshade
Lacy Doily Lampshade

On page 16 and 17 there’s how to create the Vintage Cake Stand, all the rage at the moment and much cheaper than some of those to buy in the shops.  I think they’d look really good made out of old mismatched plates and full of naughty teatime treats.

Vintage Cake Stand
Vintage Cake Stand

Loving all things knitted it goes without saying that the knitted Vase Covers on page 32 – 35 get my creative juices flowing and there’s also a lovely knitted footstool in the magazine.  It’s cream and would again be a dirt magnet here, better to be done with it and make it in a tweedy grey for my home.

Vase Covers
Vase Covers

Last but not least and my absolute favourite item in this issue is the ‘All Wrapped Up Chair’ which has actually been taken from the book Granny Chic.  If I ever get the time expect to see very similar looking chairs in the shop one day.

All Wrapped Up Chair
All Wrapped Up Chair

The magazine has been extremely popular and you may find it difficult to get hold of a copy however the digital edition will be available soon on Apple Newsstand, Google Play and Pocketmags.com.  You can get further information on the Reloved website http://www.relovedmag.co.uk/

Happy Knitting!

(or should that be creating?)

Review: Petite Purls Knitting Magazine

petit

http://petitepurls.com/index.html

Petite Purls is a fantastic online magazine that specialises in knitting patterns for babies, toddlers and older children.  Having said that, there are crochet patterns and sewing patterns too, all for little ones.

The magazine is published four times a year in January, April, July and October and is packed full of ideas.  All of the patterns are free, for personal use only. Although not available to download as PDFs, it takes no time to copy and paste into a Word document to print off.

The magazine was first published in Summer 2009 and was the result of an online friendship between Allegra Wermuth and Brandy Fortune.  Joan Bebe joined the creative duo as Technical Editor and Petite Purls was born.

Petite Purls concentrates on independent pattern designers; they will never publish a pattern from a company or a pattern publisher, although sometimes they may publish from a book.  There are such lovely patterns available for free, you’ll be spoiled for choice.  One of my favourite sections is the ‘Basics’. Here you’ll discover beautiful, basic patterns, which are great for beginners but also ideal for encouraging your creativity by changing stitches or using colourwork.

Garter Bottom Cardi
Garter Bottom Cardi

The latest addition to this ever-growing section is the Garter Bottom cardigan – it’s a lovely design by Amy Grace and is available in sizes 12 months, 2, 3 and 4 years. It is made in Spud & Chloe’s Sweater yarn, which is an aran weight.

All of the patterns are graded by ability, and under the name of the pattern and the designer there is a scale from young girl to older woman.  The younger the lass, the easier the pattern.

Issue 14 is the current edition and as per usual there are several patterns I’ve already queued.  Who could resist Belle & Beau by Megan Grewal?

Belle & Beau
Belle & Beau

It’s knitted in aran weight yarn and has sizes from 3 months to 8 years.  Whilst I do adore the tree or the flowers on the bottom cardi, it’s the multicoloured yoke that I love.

Entropy Vest
Entropy Vest

My other favourite is the Entropy Vest by Anjali M available in sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 years.  The little argyle detail is cute and quirky but the tank top would look just as good plain.

When the latest issue is released the patterns do go up on Ravelry so some of them could look familiar.  The site also has an archive of its back issues – all worth a look.

Be sure to check out White Caps by Daniela Nii from the Spring 2100 issue http://petitepurls.com/Spring11/spring2011_p_white.html

and Little Letterman by Danielle Reiner in the Fall 2010 issue

http://petitepurls.com/Fall2010/fall2010_p_littleletterman.html

If you’re still not convinced, I defy you all not to love Capuchon by Tagil Parlmutter in the Fall 2011 edition.

Capuchon
Capuchon

Don’t you just love it?

Happy Knitting!