Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Just Create June: What I've Been Making

I have been a bit absent from this space for the last few weeks! I have been doing quite a bit of making, and my "To Do" list seems to be growing daily! I am the classic procrastinator where by I always find something new today instead of finishing what I started and seeing it through to completion.
At the end of last month I read this post on Sugar Crumbs blog, which was a bit of a challenge to create as much as you can during the month of June. For me, I decided I would like to crochet and knit through  my "To Do" list. 

Marie's Crafty To Do List:

1. Crochet Baby Granny Blanket (already finished-- see here)
2. Hat & Booties set
3. Striped Colour block scarf (see pattern by Poppy and Bliss here)
4. Chevron Ripple Blanket (see pattern here)
5. T-Shirt Yarn mats 
6. Scarf for my son
7. Crochet booties
8. Crochet nesting bowls
9. Crochet ear warmer (see pattern by Maybe Matilda here)

So far I have completed 1, 2 and 8. But I have also made two hats which aren't on the list, (and have plans to make booties to match one of the hats), AND I made a cardigan for my nephew! The other challenge I have set myself is to try and make and learn new techniques so I can make things other than scarves, hats and booties!

 The booties are from a free pattern on the Things For Boys blog here. I really like the pattern as its worked in one piece so you don't have to weave in lots of ends once you're finished. I had been searching for a bootie pattern that "matched" the hats I make. The other bootie patterns I've used (here and here) work the booties in garter stitch and my favourite hat pattern is mainly stockinette. My only criticism is that I think the garter cuff on this pattern makes the top quite chunky against the softer stockinette foot. I had originally planned to make the cuff and the foot in different colours but as the weight of the orange was heavier than the blue colour for the foot, it looked very odd together! Also my foot looks a bit different to the original! I'm hoping that once a baby foot is inside it will look normal??!! I also added a crochet hem to the cuff and the buttons. 

This hat is the first hat I've made knitting "in-the-round". I had been feeling a little intimidated by circular needles but I knew if I got the hang of it I would be able to make really neat hats and also expand my skills to making other items too. I found the joining a little tricky and as I was doing stripes, I thought I could carry both colour yarns up without a problem. As you can see in the picture, the back of the hat has an odd section where I was knitting with both colours together and it's created a dappled effect! Nevermind, you live and learn! The other thing I learned while make this hat was using double pointed needles for the decreases in the crown. I found that a bit tricky, so need a bit more practice. This hat is meant to match the booties above as they are knitted in the same colour. 

For ages I've been wanting to make some type of crochet basket or bowl. I've had several tries and failed each time. I've seen a lot of patterns for nesting bowls, and some very pretty rainbow coloured ones. I started with this pattern but once I made the first one I sort of just improvised for the others. Once I made three I thought they looked quite cute together so stopped. I'd definitely like to make some more and different colours would look great too. The yarn I used was quite bulky so it's helped to make the baskets quite stiff and keep their shape. I think they'd make a great gift! 

I started this hat to be a gift for a friend, but once I finished it I didn't like it as much as I imagined it in my head! It's a newborn hat and the bobbly thing at the top is meant to be a crochet rosebud. I think the scale is a bit off so it looks sort of weird, BUT the challenge was making the flower which I succeeded in doing. I also did some odd freehand embroidery next to the flower which is supposed to be a leaf, but it's hard to tell! Next...

This is my favourite finished project so far, and it's also been the most challenging. It's called the Baby Sophisticate Cardigan. (You can find the FREE pattern on Ravelry here)  I've had to learn new stitches and really get to grips with double pointed needles. I wondered if it was meant to be when I started and made the same mistake at least 6 times in a row when casting on, and then had my circular needle BREAK while I was halfway through the first section. I managed to salvage all the dropped stitches- a complete miracle! 

I'd really like to give this pattern another go as it's actually not that hard if you are a confident knitter, and it's knitted as one piece, so no sewing bits together. I made the decision to have different coloured cuffs, hem and collar, and I'm surprised how well it's come out. I do have to say that the pattern knits up pretty small, perhaps related to the type of wool I used, and this is mentioned in the notes on the pattern also. I doubt this will fit anything other than a preemie or a large doll or teddy bear! Anyway, it looks super cute so I'll still be gifting it to my brother and sister-in-law for their impending arrival. 

So that's pretty much been me the last 3 weeks or so! I've also been whipping up batches of this yummy brownie over at The Bubbalino Kitchen. I can't stop making it and I've adapted it slightly to my own taste. I've also just finished another hat and will make matching boots, but they are to be gifted this weekend so can't share yet!

In other news....An amazing thing also happened to me this week. I think I may have already mentioned that I haven't got much of a yarn stash and I usually just buy as I go. Which is great, but when I want to make something on a whim or quickly whip up a hat as a gift, I have to go and buy yarn, as opposed to using my stash. On Sunday I did one of my regular trips to Spotlight to buy yarn for a gift, and I entered a competition to win some yarn. It was a huge bucket of yarn and you had to guess the number of balls. I took an absolute stab in the dark and guessed 45 balls. Then on Monday they called me to say I had won, and yes, the answer was 45! I couldn't believe. I'm not a particularly lucky person and I do enter a lot of competitions. So needless to say, my yarn stash has grown by 45 balls! Some of the yarn is very odd, like this furry ball:

I have no idea what I can make with this!!! Ideas gratefully received! My son thought this yarn was alive, and he was a bit afraid! 

Thank you Spotlight!

And some of it is unusual colours (bright neon) and textures (furry, eyelash and pom-pom) that I wouldn't normally work with. But I am hoping that I can finish off some of the projects on my list, now that I have a decent stash. 

I think "Just Create June" will spill over into "Just Create July"! Now I have to make something out of my new stash ;-)

What's on your to do list? I'd love to hear! 

And pleased to be linking up with Show & Tell again! Be sure to visit Leonie at Sunshinex3 this week as she has a SUPER cute craft!

 Show & Tell Thursday's

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