Join me in my adventures with knitting, crochet, sewing and thrifting with a bit of day to day life thrown in too!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I was on my way out last Sunday morning on an urgent knitting related quest (more details on next post).  It was a glorious sunny morning so I decided to detour to the Car Boot Sale.  I frequent charity shops on a regular basis, but have slowly found myself being priced out.  See this post by Kat Got The Cream and several by A Thrifty Mrs who both write about it much more eloquently.  It's a subject close to my thrifty heart at the moment.  The Charity Shop love is definitely slipping.  I will still be enjoying my regular jaunts round the charity shop circuit, but maybe with a slightly heavier and cynical heart.  I need to find a charity shop alternative and it seems Car Boot Sales may be it.  I do go to CBS, but not on a regular basis.  They have not been part of my habits, so i often simply forget.  Plus they have (in my eyes) a couple of downfalls.  They are very weather dependant, and in Britain that can rule out quite a few days.  They are harder work, people don't often lay out or hang up the clothes, and often just have a big pile or various boxes full of clothes, and as much as I enjoy routing around stuff, I have to be very much in the mood for it.  But having been on Sunday, it's shown me that I should put in the effort on a more regular basis, especially if Charity Shops are going to be taken off the cards as general thrift supplier.  I picked up several items of winter clothing for BellaBee including Joules and Animal items, which are both a BIG love of mine, for a grand 50p each, plus a pile of Oxford Reading Tree books, perfect for summer reading, for £1.  Of course I didn't neglect myself, and found a flamingo print bag, which I wouldn't have thought would be to my taste, but I love it and it's a perfect knitting bag, and has already proudly accompanied me and my latest knitting project on several park visits.

So, as a whole, the CBS was a winner and has encouraged me to make them one of my habits in the future.  We don't need no charity shop!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Brown Nose? Me? Noooo!

As you must all know, it is the end of term and the end of the school year.  Bella bee has had the most fantastic teacher.  It's not much for all her hard work, but I wanted to get something to say thankyou and show my appreciation.  I wanted to get her something original, rather than the normal chocolates and flowers, but it's tricky to get a gift for someone who you don't know personally and don't know their taste.  I've made a couple of cushions lately, as gifts, so thought that would be ideal.  The cushion cover itself is made from a fleece blanket.  The motif is taken from this book.  The lettering is Times New Roman.  All appliques are ironed on with bonda-web, then hand stitched around the edge with very small slip stitches.  It takes much longer than machine stitching, but I much prefer the result.

I wonder if she would grade me?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Time For A Trim

I'd like to introduce you to two, of the many girls (girls rule, boys smell), that make up our family.


This is Katy and Anna.  Anna is the gorgeous ginger lovely, Katy is the one with considerably more hair, she looks like the Cousin It of the guinea pig world!  As you can probably guess from the title and from the picture, it is definately time for a trim.  Even with brushing, it drags in the bedding and gets matted, and it must be hot in this warm weather, plus it can't be easy to see through all that hair.  Today was the day I decided to tackle this mountain of hair, which does conceal a guinea pig.  She's in there some where, I promise.  I say tackle, as it is not an easy job.  As with many a young lady with long hair, she definately does not like hair cuts.  It's one of those jobs that I need an extra hand, or two, for.  She's a wriggler at the best of times, so I'm always very cautious when the scissors come out.  I popped to the pet shop the other day and while eyeing up some battery powered trimmers, received a very simple but handy tip from the sales assistant.  One of those tips that makes you think, how obvious, why didn't I think of that!  Put one hand under the front end and hold up slightly and use the other hand to snip snip snip.  It definately stoppped her moving round as much, but it was a bit more of a job cutting as I didn't have the second hand to hold a section of hair while I cut it. Anyway, I got the job done! I was covered in hair and extremely itchy, but whenever I give Katy a hair cut it always makes me giggle as she looks so tufty.  Want to see the big makeover reveal?

Ta-dah!  Ah, that's better!  She looks half the size, and must be so much cooler. 

Time for a treat, for both of us!

They love the tops, I love the rest.

Next battle...manicures.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A Very Proud First Ta-Dah

This is a momentous occasion.  Not only is it my very first Ta-Dah, it is also my very first knitted garment.  I have very limited knitting experience.  Said experience consists solely of a couple of very basic cushions and a hot water bottle cover.  I wanted to tackle something bigger, an item of clothing to be exact.  It seemed beyond me when I thought about it, but I knew I just had to knuckle down, get the pattern, start knitting and worry about the bits I can't do when I come across them.  

So off I trotted to my new LYS that I'd popped into once briefly, and wanted to browse more thoroughly.  I want to support local, independent businesses, especially ones filled with delicious yarn, even if I can't afford it, so I thought a pattern would be an ideal, and affordable purchase.  After deciding that Bella Bee would be the recipient of finished item (much quicker and more managable child size) and receiving a little advice I settled on this pattern, with this yarn, but in another colourway.  It's a very cheap yarn available from Wilkinsons, for approx £1.30/50g. I had one ball already at home that I wasn't sure what to do with, so picked up another three, as four are suggested for the short sleeved version of the cardigan that I was going to do.  In an ideal world I would of used the yarn suggested, but budget would not allow, and being a first attempt I was realistic enough to know it could possibly go horribly wrong, and if so didn't want the extra guilt of wasting good money and yarn.  

Knitting up the separate pieces went very well.  Better than expected.  I wasn't sure about the colours, but Bella Bee seemed very pleased, so on I went.  I was very pensive about adding the border to the two front sections and thought it might be above my ability, but I sat and I persevered and eventually conquered!  A very proud moment!  Then came the very tedious (in my opinion) of sewing all the sections together.  I get very easily distracted when doing something I don't really want to do so it can take much longer to complete said task, which then also frustrates me.  I knew I'd be pleased I'd be when it was finally finished so I made myself sit and finish it off over the last couple of days. 

And finally, today, It Was Done.  Bella Bee loves it, and hasn't taken it off since the moment it was finished.  It's a great feeling to see she likes something I've put so much work into, and helps encourage and motivate me to continue, and improve my knitting prowess.

Yarn used: Yarnfair Stripes, Shade 02
Approx Cost: 125g (only used 2.5 balls!) @ £1.30/50g = £3.25! Bargain!
Plus a whole lot of knitting confidence! Priceless!
The Sirdar Easy Knit pattern is very detailed and very easy to follow, and walks you through step by step, which is great for beginners.

Have yet to see how it survives a wash and will be changing the ribbon for knitted ties, as they keep coming undone.  I didn't bother to match the stripes and colours up in the different sections, as didn't want to be fussing around with it, so the colours don't match up where the sections join.  But overall a good result I'd say!  I'm not too modest to say I'm really rather proud of myself and have a little smile to myself whenever I think about what I've accomplished.

Even if you think something is beyond your ability, give it a go, you can only get better by trying something you previously couldn't do.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Hello! And Welcome To The Beginning!

Well, I'm an extremely late starter aren't I!  I only discovered the wonderful world of blogging 7 months ago (I know! How could I have missed that!) and have been kicking myself at what I've missed out on for so long.  My journey started when I'd finally resolved to tackle crochet, and the simple granny square had been whispering my name.  I'm more of an old fashioned 'look in a book' girl when it comes to things like this, but I threw caution to the wind and tappity tapped away and found myself in Attic24 with the lovely Lucy showing me the delights of the Summer Garden Granny Square.  Now, I went away and did a traditional granny square, a lovely white and pink one which was very naively and unintentionally done in a mix of DK and 4 ply yarn (oh how young and foolish I was back then) but I had done it and was ever so proud!  But as soon as it was done I went back and poured over that lovely blog, wowed at the colours, read the kind words, vowed to make all the projects and quite frankly became a little obsessed.  Now I'm sure Lucy will be very relieved to hear that I soon broadened my horizons and ventured to the Blogs I love list, trying not to feel too disloyal, and found a whole welcoming, lovely, inspiring, wonderful community full of like minded people. It's a community I want to be part of.  So here I am.

Is it a little wrong that I framed that first attempt?