Oct 27, 2014

Knitty And Crochetty Halloween

Have you ever had any knitting cravings (and before you ask, no I'm not pregnant!)?

Yesterday I was taken by an urge to knit one of these cute Halloween Pumpkins (free knitting and crochet pattern available from Hannah Maier on Ravelry):

I'll be visiting my sister for the Halloween week-end so I thought I would make one for her so she can have one piece of Halloween decor for her flat.

I also had to make one for our own house, this one will probably look a bit out of place among our tacky Halloween decorations (I'm too lazy to decorate so I more or less gave my kids a free hand for our Halloween decor, I had to stop them before having the walls covered in fake blood - creative kids can be a curse sometimes!)

I knitted both pumpkins using the same pattern and wool but using a different needle size (3.75 mm for the big one and 3.00 mm for the small one), which explains the difference in sizes.

My eldest wants to dress up as a black cat this year so she asked me to crochet her a cat ears hairband for which she found a free pattern online from Stitch11. Of course doing this in black means my eyesight has been blurry since (should be better by the time I have to drive to Dublin). She started making herself a cat tail without a pattern which I had to finish for her as she has crafty ADHD too.

The plan this year is to leave the Trick or Trick responsibility to their Dad and his girlfriend (I'm no good at doing fun stuff) while my sister and I head to the Knitting and Stitching Show (yes it's that time of year again:)

Hopefully the little one doesn't decide that she needs a full Halloween outfit crocheted for her 5 minutes before going to Dublin!

Happy Halloween!

***Follow me on Twitter and Like Sophie's Knit Stuff on Facebook for more updates***

Oct 22, 2014


I present you my new toy:

I've been toying with the idea of getting a sewing machine for a long time: it all started when my daughters started school and the hems of their expensive school uniforms systematically came off. I know there are iron-on hem strips available on the market, and believe me I've tried using them but they seem to only last a few washes or maybe I've been doing it wrong; I've never been a fan of ironing anyway!

Then last year my youngest daughter was taught the basics of hand sewing in school, and she seemed very interested in it, she even bought herself some fabrics squares to practice at home!

Last summer when we went to stay with my parents for an annual French holiday, my Dad let her try her hand at his sewing machine - funny how I never even thought of asking him if I could try it as a child. I guess I was happy enough back then with my knitting skills and the outfits my Dad used to make in his spare time for my mum and my sister (I was too much of a tom boy to want pretty dresses) did seem very complicated to me: all that measuring, cutting and ironing before he even got to open the sewing machine... I must say my Dad is a perfectionist in everything he does, and whether it's DIY or sewing, once a job is done, it's solid and lasts longer than if it had been professionally made!

So when I talk about my new toy, it's more OUR new toy, as I (jokingly) told both my daughters that I wouldn't be be buying any more clothes and that from now on, we'll all be making our own.

Joking aside, I'm not ready to make clothes yet, if ever, but there's an oven glove I've been meaning to replace and I remember making one back in school for my "Travaux Manuels" class - I guess the equivalent of Home Economics in Ireland - I don't think I was ready for sewing machines back then as my oven glove looked nothing like one, so hopefully the next will be better.

I would also like to try making some nice phone cosies, small bags, pencil cases... Nothing too complicated or time consuming as there's still a lot of knitting and crochet to be done.

Talking about knitting and crochet, here are a few things I've made (I should have shared these sooner but I kept on forgetting to take pictures):

First is a crochet Christmas elf made using the pattern and yarn from Let's Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet, issue 64. Sadly the pattern hasn't been uploaded to their website but there are nice free patterns available from them here:

Then 2 knitted teddies I made for my 2 daughters that still need a nose (the teddies, not my daughters;), pattern for the Huggable Teddy Bear among other amazing toy patterns so lovely that it's a real struggle to choose from, available to buy from the more than talented Huggable Bears designer:

I hope my daughters and I will have more time to play with our new toy next week, as it's the Halloween break, and I've planned to go to the Knitting and Stitching show next week-end in Dublin; with my new sewing hobby, I hope my purse will behave itself this time!

***Follow me on Twitter and Like Sophie's Knit Stuff on Facebook for more updates***

Oct 4, 2014

A Bunch Of Crochet Beanie Hats

I've decided to try and knit or crochet at least 2 winter accessories per week between now and the end of November.

Crochet beanie hats are the quickest and apart from the 2 hats I've crocheted for myself and my daughter, here's one that I made earlier (sounds like a cooking show, doesn't it?):
Brown-Orangey beanie hat, plain and sweet for a casual everyday look

I used the Cade Cap crochet pattern from The Velvet Acorn to make a funky hipster hat for my daughter, it's a slightly slouchy beanie with an interesting but easy stitch and it looks much better on my daughter than on my dummy - I'm still waiting for her to get her nose away from her phone thus creating an opportunity for her to model it for me - You know what pre-teens are like!

I hope to make a few of these for my shop when I get around to it. This shape is perfect for a teen or a young woman, I love it on my daughter but unfortunately it looks ridiculous on me, and so do berets as I found out when trying on what was supposed to become a winter beret for me that I had to quickly rip after one look in the mirror - oh the pain of getting older (or becoming a mature woman as I'd like to politely call it!).

Cade Cap modeled by my always available but not so good-looking dummy
 I decided to alter the Cade Cap pattern slightly to give it a more classic shape and this is when my own hat was born: my winter beanie is made using some of my birthday wool given to me by my sister: I also made a crochet cowl using the same colours and I may make myself a headband or a pair of mittens with what's left of these 2 colours. The wool is a limited edition by Drops and a dream to work with: so soft and squishy!

This one's mine: crocheted using my soft and squishy birthday wool
I like this crochet hat so much that I decided I'd make a few more in different colours for my Etsy shop, here is the first one, which I made slightly shorter than mine (I think mine is just a tad bit too long but I can live with it.

The first in my new line of crochet hats
The plan fornow is to work on a few Cade caps listings (I made another grey and an off white one last week), and hopefully manage to knit winter scarves to match these (I think I'll use my brioche stitch pattern in a longer version), and them make a few more beanie caps and matching crochet infinity scarves to match, if I can only try checking my timeline on Facebook a bit less (what was it I was saying about my daughter again?)

***Follow me on Twitter and Like Sophie's Knit Stuff on Facebook for more updates***