Sunday 17 November 2013

Pimp my cardi

Before I begin, I have replied to everyone who was so kind to have taken the time to comment on my last two posts. If you've not heard from me then it is likely that you haven't entered your email dress into your blog settings and are a "No-reply Comment" blogger. This means that when I get an email alerting me of your comment, if I reply via that email it just spins off into space and never reaches you. I must have sent thousands of replies into the ether over the years. It's not so bad if I notice you're a no reply commenter and you have a blog because I could find you that way but if you haven't a blog then I can't get in touch.

See more of this here

Me and cardigans, we're good mates. I like most cardigans. I've not met very many that I don't like. My preference is for a soft cotton cardigan that costs very little so that I don't feel bad when I attack it with ribbon, embroidery, scissors, buttons.... I'd feel a bit of a cowbag if I did my meddling with a Brora cashmere cardi.

It wasn't possible to get a good pic of this black cardigan. I don't wear this one very often as these days I rarely wear black. It shows up too much boy bogey. Mini Cuckoo likes to rub his snout on me a few times a day. Oh the glamour.

Like the blue cardi above I used a Cath Kidston pattern from her "Make" book. I enjoyed stitching these cardigans. It was like colouring in with thread. Something I spent hours and hours doing as an only child.

I have a swillion ideas for pimped up cardi's and I have about 5 New Look/H&M cardigans ready for attacking waiting in the wings.

This one was a little cheapy cotton cardi from H&M. It was sweet just as it was but after an addition of a velvet and lace trim it is sweeter still. At least I think so and a few other people have complimented it too.

It only took about an hour to hand stitch it on. Quite a satisfying thing to do when the kids are in bed and the husbando is watching some crubbish on TV like Ice Pilots or that gold digging one with the Hoffmans (who have wonderful architectural facial hair) who are always looking for a glory hole *snigger.

This cardi is pimped up Marie Antoinette style by snipping a hole in the middle of a doily and sewing it on to the inside of the cuffs. This too took very little time. I used doilies with cotton fabric centres and cotton crochet edges. I snipped the hole with pinking shears and zig zag stitched them to the cardi. I reckon this took me just half an hour. I love a quick craft.

This is the same cardigan as above but with a removable crochet collar. I wear this collar pinned to a number of cardigans, jumpers, dresses and even my denim jacket (though it is quite a bleeder to pin on to my denim jacket). I have two of these collars, one small and one large, they are very versatile. I wear the large one backwards sometimes. If you want to make one then go here.

I have noticed I like to end my posts with a ps or something funny. So here we go:

ps. My youngest son is a very gorgeous child. At least I think so. He is quite a placid little chap and has a sweet funny nature. We all adore him and thank our lucky stars that we were blessed to have him.

However he is two and a half years old and has his moments........





So ugly! It is just too funny!!!!

But really he is a cutie....

That was a really lovely lipstick. Humpf

er...maybe not!

Nah, truly he is.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

The blanket that should have been my first knitting ta dah

Remember way back when I started knitting? (There's a whole post about it here) I built my stitch repertoire and skills up by following the monthly instalments from The Art Of Knitting mag. Each month there was a pattern for a new square for the patchwork woollen blanket. The mag came with revolting yarn and I decided early on to use gorgeous yarn so I could enjoy every moment. Well, when I say I 'enjoy', that isn't what really happened. I'll admit to crying over my knitting as I was learning. I found it frustrating. 

I wasn't naturally good at it to begin with. I couldn't pick up a dropped stitch and had to unravel so much I wondered if I may as well stick to crochet. But I rarely give up with anything. I'm a stubborn bird. To my detriment sometimes but often, like with knitting, to my benefit. I'd say my stubborness (is that even a word?) is a good thing on the whole. Actually, as I think of it, stubborness with a little laziness maybe the perfect combo. You fight for the important and let the trivial slide. Yes knitting is important to me! I love

I couldn't say if I prefer knitting over crochet though. They each have their attractions. There are few crochet garments I would wear aside from mittens, scarfs etc... I've not found a cardi pattern I'm dying to hook up. Where as I have hundreds of knitted cardi's, jumpers and even skirts ear marked in my ravelry account. 

I don't love knitted patchwork blankets like I love crochet patchwork blankets. I do have deep fondness for this blanket for all it taught me but the back of it looks a right mess to me. The seams aren't neat even though I mattress stitched them. A crochet blanket tends to look good from all angles. Of course a solid knitted blanket would look nice from both sides. 

I will always be both a crocheter and a knitter for I like them for different reasons. If I'm watching a programme on TV that needs a bit of attention then I would always opt for some simple knitting so that I could keep my eyes on the TV, I can feel where the needle needs to go whereas with a hook I have to look. 

I'll never abandon my hook, not least because it makes me feel connected to my Great Grandmother who I never met. Nanny Laura. She was my Mum's Mum's Mum. There's a mouthful. I was very close to my Mum's Mum, Nanny Dot. She gave me my nickname Cuckoo. I loved her dearly and miss her fiercely. My heart can't reconcile that I've not seen her for eight and a half years. I digress, my Nanny Dot used to talk about her mother a lot. From all accounts Nanny Laura was an amazing woman. My own Mum loved and misses her grandmother the same as I miss mine. 

My Mum saw a spiritualist/medium chap a few years ago. Now, you may or may not believe in these things but sometimes they aren't vague and they truly know facts that they could not pick out from body language alone. I'm not going to go into a debate about authenticity here, sometimes I want to believe because it comforts me, other times the scientist in me whistles through her teeth. Anyway this spiritualist described my Great Grandmother and gave a few other personal facts for verification. He told my Mum that Nanny Laura had been watching members of our family waiting for someone to show an interest in the things she was good at in life (I know this sounds stupid) and she had decided that she would give her skills to that person. The medium told my Mum that Nanny Laura had chosen me. Funnily enough when I sat with a book to teach myself properly how to crochet (my Mum had shown me in the past but I couldn't retain it) I had the most enormous sense of de ja vue. It was like I suddenly knew what to do. I never struggled to hold the yarn and control it. My hook felt like an extension of my hand. My tension was fine immediately. I felt a sense of contentment in those early days that I'd not felt in that precise way before. I could almost smell a new smell. I'm sure I'll lose some followers for saying all this and I know I sound barmy but I speak the truth. This is how it was. I seemed to instinctively know what I was doing all of a sudden. Shame I wasn't given the gift of knitting. That was blood sweat and tears!

And now for a little silliness. Those of you who read my blog and know me in real life will know Mr C and will find this pic of the poor man hilarious. 

Yes he was in pain.....because his Father was removing a plaster from his leg. The wuss!!!!!!


Sunday 3 November 2013

Peg bags are stupid...usually

Now there's a statement. Borderline inflammatory talk. But they are stooooopid. They are never quite where you want them when hanging out the washing. It doesn't matter if you have a rotary drier or a long traditional line dryer. You have to keep moving the wretched thing. I don't know why this annoys me so.

Little hearts all in a row...I know they are there

Don't get me wrong I like how a peg bag looks. I adore the cute fabric ones, I'm dotty over ones made from old childens clothes and I own a rather fetching enamel bucket peg bag. Yet I still think they are stupid. Cor, I am a feisty one!

My mate Princess has got it sussed. She has always used a long across the body bag from India. That was until it fell to bits and she mused out loud that she should make herself one using Jane's bag pattern as featured in Mollie Makes mag issue 10. She had made her eldest son a school bag and said it was a doddle to make.... so I jumped on the bandwagon (as I always do, when will I have an idea of my own?) and made one hell of a clever fancy pants peg bag.

It's genius. It gets slung across my body and travels around the washing line with me. The pegs are constantly in the most convenient place and it hangs happily off the corner of my rotary drier till I get the washing in. 

I hate pegging out. It's a bore. I like the look of white washing on the line but a dark wash disgruntles me. I like outside dried washing smell but I flipping loathe that there is always a spec of bird crap on something. Gah. 

Using my Fancy Pants Peg Bag does make up for these grumps, a bit.

Erin gave me this button

But if I am frank, the thing I like about it best is it looks nice hanging on the utility room door. 

Just in case there was any question over it's handmade status

I love it. I just do. I'm not sorry. I'm happy to gloat over it. I show everyone who comes to my house my cLeVeR peg bag. Yeah, scratch my BIG head. Or rather, scratch Princess' head for the idea and Jane's talented head for the pattern. That Jane is a clever devil.

Whilst I was stitching my middle boy, Little Cuckoo (though he is hoooooge now), said he wanted to sew a blanket.

He chose some felt and some embroidery thread and started to sew.

He was totally absorbed in his task.

So much so he stitched his lovely blanket to his pyjama bottoms.

He thought that was hysterical and laughed plenty. That blanket is as cherished as any crocheted blanket I have ever slaved over. It is adorable.