Night Fever

This evening, I was more than a bit excited to spot that one of my knitting projects had been featured on the fantastic Craftzine blog! I’ve subscribed to the blog for *years*, and it is hands-down my top source for crafting inspiration, so to say that I was gobsmacked would be a slight understatement! Given the extra traffic my Flickr photostream will now be receiving I thought I should hastily cobble together a blog post to explain how the project came about!

It has to be said, the Bee Gees are probably not the most obvious subject for a knitting project! However, one of my friends is a massive fan of the 1970’s, with the Bee Gees featuring prominently in his record collection- so, I wanted them to form the basis of a crafty Birthday gift. I hoped that someone might have tackled knitting the Brothers Gibb previously, and I found pictures of Bee Gees dolls crafted by Woollyrocker, but unfortunately there was no associated pattern (and I can’t even seem to track down the pics now!). So, I decided to purchase the delightfully silly Knitted Icons, and set to work on creating some Bee Gees yarn-a-likes. I used the basic doll pattern as a basis, and fashioned Seventies garbs from felt using the Beatles ‘Mop Top’ outfits as a starting point. The wigs and chest hair are where I gave myself real creative license 🙂 The hair was painstakingly applied thread by (embroidery) thread during a rather protracted bout of tonsillitis! It was very exciting to see the Brothers take shape. I was chuffed to bit’s with Barry’s beard, but then came Maurice’s locks, and finally Robin’s teeth, and by the time I was done I couldn’t pick a favourite!

The namecheck on Craftzine came as a lovely surprise, but nothing tops the reaction of my friend after the Big Reveal- “BEE GEE-SUS! It’s the Holy Trinity!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Crafting is my bag

I’m not sure that this project is exciting enough to warrant a blog post, but he ho- I’ve been a neglectful blogger of late. The following project came about as a result of my frustration with having to constantly lug my laundry basket up and down stairs. Invariably it ends up dumped in my tiny kitchen, where I would have to shift it around constantly in order to negotiate my way about the room. Given that I am notoriously slow when it comes to fixing problems, I have persevered with my awkward laundry basket for a good 5 years! It only dawned on me recently, that an easily transportable laundry bag would be the answer to my wash day prayers.

The thought of traipsing around the shops in search of the laundry bag of my dreams didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm. So I decided instead to raid my fabric stash, and a quick search of the web  led me to a lovely free pattern for a draw string bag on the Selvedge website-  perfect!

It was really easy to construct, and I was done in a couple of hours, if that. I purchased some lovely sturdy cotton cord to act as a drawstring, and hey presto- one pretty and functional laundry bag! Bring on wash day.

Last Summer (my how time flies!) I blogged about my first foray into the world of Clothkits. Since then, I’ve tackled another two projects, both in the form of A-line needlecord skirts. First up was ‘Hold Me‘ designed by Rob Ryan, in a pewter shade. It was a pretty straightforward sew, and thankfully the fabric wasn’t nearly as tricky to handle as I’d found it whilst making the purse.  The second skirt features the Jane Foster design (‘Big Birdie‘) to match my bag and purse- but don’t worry, you won’t catch me sporting all 3 at once :-). I absolutely love both of the designs, and they have had a lot of wear, which is always a good indicator of the success of a project! Here they are floating in the Huddersfield breeze (can you spot Castle Hill?):

Elephant brooch

This Elephant brooch is the second of my ‘Sew Hip‘ projects. Coincidentally, I purchased one of these brooches from the designer (Kiss Prudence) at the Christmas Craft Candy fair in Sheffield. So, when I spotted the pattern in Sew Hip I couldn’t resist making it. I struggle to find decent felt in the shops locally, so I treated myself to a bundle of brightly coloured pieces from Lupin Handmade who I’ve previously bought felt brooches from. This felt is 30% wool, although I must say it’s nowhere near the quality of that used in my Kiss Prudence original. Given that the felt wasn’t quite as thick as I could have hoped, I compensated by using 3 layers of interfacing as opposed to the suggested 1. Eagle-eyed readers might recognise the ear fabric as one of those I purchased at the Knit and Stitch Show! Elephant is a belated birthday pressie for a friend, so I hope he is well received 🙂 I think he would make any lapel look most fashionable!

Mr Bear

Issue 29 of Sew Hip magazine contained a bunch of projects that appealed to me, including a couple by local designers. Having recently inherited some fun fur which had been languishing in my Mum’s fabric stash since the 1980’s, the Plush bear toy by Sian Wheatcroft (aka Strawberry Kitten) was an immediate draw. I’m really pleased with how he turned out- probably the favourite toy I’ve made so far (fun fur makes for a much cuddlier toy than wool). The only problem I had with the pattern was attaching the paws. I don’t know if it’s that I incorporated too much of a seam allowance into the arms (there was no indication on the pattern), but I just couldn’t get the paws to fit their corresponding holes. I got round this by simply trimming them down to an appropriate size, and I’m happy with the result. I guess my only slight niggle with the design is the raw edges of fabric around Mr Bear’s snout- but my poor little brain struggled to find a solution to this. After heading over to Strawberry Kitten’s Flickr site for inspiration, I decided Mr Bear would look even more dashing in a little scarf. Here he is challenging gender stereotypes in a fetching pink number:

Handmade holidays

I had ample warning this year that I would be hosting Christmas at my house. Ample warning, yes. But did I get my Christmas crafting butt into gear in good time? Of course not! To be honest, hours of trawling the net for inspiration had left me feeling a bit cold. Then, I happened to spot an advert in a friend’s craft mag for festive tea towels at Gossypium. Aforementioned advert suggested using tea towel to create fabric tree decorations. Feeling immediately inspired I ordered the tea towel, and purchased some co-ordinating red checked gingham to back the heart shapes depicting the 12 days of Christmas. They were a bit faffy, and involved a fair bit of pinning, tacking, and hand-sewing but it was worth it in the end. I now have a lovely set of tree decorations which I hope will last a lifetime 🙂

Having never decorated my house previously I hadn’t exactly acquired a wealth of decorations over the years but certain Eagle Eyed Crafty Friends might be able to spot their handiwork below, along with a few gifts I was treated to following the recent Craft Candy Christmas fayre down in Sheffield (c/0 Kiss Prudence, Strawberry Kitten, and Molly’s Mum).

Merry Christmas

Okay, so I’ve been gone a while. If I get blogging again now, then technically I don’t need to make it a New Year’s resolution come Saturday, right? I’ve also had a bit of a kick up the bum from my readership (you know who you are!). It’s not like I’ve taken a break from crafting- as you will see in the following posts I hope. My excuse back in September was that the light had become too poor for taking pics of completed projects. Well, given that we’re in the depths of winter, it hasn’t improved- but excuses, excuses eh? So, let’s hope the descriptions can make up for the not-so-clear photography…

This Christmas, I’ve been hosting. Which was good, as it kept me busy (apparently it has been a ‘gourmet’ experience (!)- I went to town in the kitchen), encouraged me to decorate my house for the first time, and meant my craft projects were close by to keep me from boredom once the folks had fallen asleep every night (on average, 8pm, and 2 minutes into whatever we had chosen to watch on tv that evening!). I’ve completed one project so far this holiday, and that is the smaller version of Ishbel, which I purchased aaaages ago. My first attempt was at the larger version (yes, I know!), but in the time which has passed since that less than successful attempt, I’ve had a lot more practice at lace knitting. The yarn which I used was artesano 100% 4 ply alpaca purchased on the opening day of the lovely Spun in Huddersfield this Autumn. Super soft, and there’s some left over. Hmmmm, what to make?