Friday, 29 July 2011

It's my First....

FO FRIDAY!!! I have taken part in a few WIP Wednesdays but this is the first time I have been able to show anything finished. As I have explained before I was a chronic un-finisher. But not only that I have two projects to show you. I have borrowed my mom's camera which is pretty old but it's better than no pics at all. Or trying to describe it.That would be tricky!

The first is a cushion I made for my friend from knitting group. She has recently bought a most excellent camper van (jealous, much?!) and she has been very kind to me in the past and driven me to Wonderwool twice and Fibre Flurry too, so I thought some crochet love for her new van was in order. Her upholstery is all done in blue so I picked out some colours from my stash of Patons Diploma Gold DK and Jarol Heritage DK.

The pattern is based on Granny Cushion by Andie Hanley, though the pattern has since become unavailable, apparently due to an issue with the pattern being copied by someone else. I saw it when it was first blogged and put it in my queue so decided to try and make it anyway by using the pictures. I couldn't tell you how close to the original it is but it's fairly close. I wanted a solid back on it and experimented with using rounds but I think they look much better when done in more than one colour. In the end I found a spiral hotpad pattern and used that instead and carried on the increases for 19 rounds. Because this leaves you with a 12 sided shape (what are they called anyway? A twelveagon?) I needed to round it off to make it the same stitch count as the front for joining. I increased every 8 tr then closed off the spiral with a htr, and 2 dc's and a slip stitch.

I joined the cushion and left half open and divided up the remaining space for the 10 buttons I had. I wish I had put them closer together and left a smaller gap as the cushion would have still fitted in.

As the cushion pad is white it didn't look right showing through so I sewed a cushion cover, and less said about that the better really! I made it 3 times and each time made a silly mistake. The first was too small and made the cushion spherical, the second was a sort of lozenge shape and the 3rd was the right size but didn't meet properly at the back. As the back is solid I just went with that one and hoped for the best.

Then it was an epic job of sewing in all those ends! I think it took me longer than the cushion itself! I was still sewing in at knit group on Wednesday and finished just in time to hand it over.

TA-DAHHH! I could get used to this finishing things business.

My second FO for today is the Little Sister Dress. It's a hugely popular pattern and has been made 2396 times to date on Ravelry so I thought it would be fairly foolproof with sizing. I made it for a friend's daughter who had her first birthday last week. I had originally bought the PDF of Little Momo to make but after a couple of cast ons I really didn't like the way the cables looked in the yarn I was using so that one is a pattern for another day and another yarn. The yarn I have had in stash for a while, it's Regia Extra Twist Merino Colour in the colourway Espirit, which seems to be the only girly coloured one they do. It's from Black Sheep Wools at a good price at the moment at 2.99 a ball. The pictures show a bit of pooling but I think the white bits show up more in pictures and it isn't as visible in person. I hate pooling!

I cast on the 18m size and it measured how it should and I made it to the length in the pattern but it really could have done with being a little bit longer. It fits the recipient at the moment but I wanted it to have a bit more growing room for over the winter. It can still be worn with leggings though but I am a bit disappointed. As it was for a gift I wanted it to be just right. Width-ways it is very stretchy and the stockinette ribs are really satisfying to knit.

The buttons were from Wonderwool Wales last year, I think they look great with this project. I will have to go back next year so I can top up my stash of them again.

I can see lots of sock wool baby/child projects in my future, I really enjoyed this one. I ordered some fixed metal KnitPro circulars from P2tog and they arrived the next day. The postage is pretty reasonable too at only 1 pound per order.

The throw in the background is also a bit of a FO, I've been doing some machine dyeing. I needed some sofa throws as I have cream sofas (they were a bargain) but they show up every bit of dirt so I needed something big and cheap to cover them. I found some throws in Ikea but they were such wishy-washy pastel colours. I had a stash of machine dye left from when I was dyeing cot bedding for my kids. I don't do pastels, ever! As they were so big it would need 2 packs so I did one in ocean blue but didn't have 2 packs the same of anything else so I used one of fuchsia on a beige throw and it came out as retirement home pink! It swiftly went back in the machine with a pack of cherry red and came out a much better colour.

For more FO's in blogland head on over to Tami's Amis.

I have to scoot off now and do some tidying. My kids are coming home from their holiday with their Auntie tomorrow . We have got my eldest a new (second hand) bike as he has outgrown his other one and was feeling a bit left out with the other kids in the street all whizzing around without him. I can't wait to show it to him, I'm hoping he likes it. Mr J had his treadmill test at the hospital yesterday and they had to shave yet more chest hair off him (evil cackle) Nothing untoward showed up so they have put him in for some different tests instead at a later date. At least the hospital sandwich place is nice!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Hellloooo! I have so missed being here. I do hope everyone hasn't deserted me. I've been blighted by a succession of problems that have completely prevented me from blogging.

  • I have lost my camera. I have the memory card and the reader which would indicate that it was left somewhere near my laptop as I wouldn't be able to use it without a card, but house has been turned upside-down and shaken and nothing! I have a FO and an almost-FO to show as well. I have managed to borrow a camera from my mom so I will try and get some pics taken.
  • My laptop went a bit wrong. It was taking an age to open any pages so I got a bit overwhelmed with my blog reader, which in turn wasn't knocking read blogs off the list and I ended up with hundreds of posts where I couldn't find the new ones! I have since switched to a different one and it seems to be ok now. Mr J has also done something to make the laptop faster as well.
In other news we had our wedding anniversary and Mr J turned 40. His body decided to mark the milestone by being a complete pain in the bum and landing him in hospital last week. We don't know what the problem is yet but he is going in for more tests on Thursday. It's either something heart-y or liver-y. Whichever way it is going to involve a bit of a change in diet and trying to find a way of fitting in some excercise. I also managed to make things worse by reversing into his car as I'm so not used to him being home when I leave the house and I knew his car was there, I just forgot for a second. I'm really cross!

We've also had a few house-of-horror troubles as well. The front porch canopy has had to come down as it was causing rainwater to go into our neighbour's electric meter box. Their builder came and yelled at me about it. I mean, if there is a problem I will try and sort it but to be spoken to like that from the outset wasn't very nice. My dad went and told him off, porch canopy is down and builder now not speaking to us at all. In doing this we have found that the remaining porch roof is being held on with bathroom sealant!

It's not my birthday yet, but I have been bought yarn. I saw some Rowan Pure Wool DK in the sale and my mom got me enough to make a garment of some description. I'm totally in love with the colour. It's the same as the one used in this project here (Rav link) which swayed me into getting that colour, I think the cables look fab in it. I am not sure what i will make yet but I also have the new Ysolda Book so it will probably be something from that.

I have also managed to perfect my flapjack recipe. We went out with family for our anniversary and my sister in law had a flapjack that was soooo bad she couldn't finish it. I tried some and it was almost pure sugar with a tiny bit of oats. I decided to try and make her some but I have always had problems with them being too crumbly or too solid or too greasy but now I think it's just right. The recipe started out as this one but when I made it as it is written there was a lot of excess butter sitting on the bottom. I found that adding wholemeal flour instead of white helped with that and I also replaced the coconut with more oats as I'm the only one who likes coconut here and also reduced the amount of sugar. I made some for my friend who kindly took a few photos for me so I can post the recipe. I don't feel right posting without a picture. Also I'm not sure if flapjacks are supposed to have flour in them or be completely oats. Either way they are very nice.


120g wholemeal flour
200g sugar (I use granulated, it's cheaper than caster and I have yet to notice a difference)
185g porridge oats
125g butter
2tbsp golden syrup
1tsp bicarbonate of soda mixed with 2tbsp boiling water.

Mix the flour, sugar and oats together in a large bowl.
Melt the butter and golden syrup. I put it in the microwave on half power
Add the bicarbonate of soda to the butter mixture
Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well
Press into a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper or foil. I use a swiss roll tin which is 29 x 19 x 2cm
Bake at 170c/Gas 3 for 15-18 minutes
Leave to cool in the tin and turn out and cut into squares.

I had better go and get some tidying done. My eldest two are on holiday in France with their auntie and I'm missing them very much, as is my youngest. He doesn't understand where they have gone. I'm taking the chance to tidy their rooms a bit and get rid of a few outgrown toys without them hindering me.

See you soon, I hope!
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