For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb
Psalm 139:13

Monday, 19 January 2015

Christmas makes (what I've been doing this whole time)

You know when you spend ages making something as a gift, finish it just in time and then don't manage to get any great pictures of it? Well, sorry folks, this post is a whole lot of that. 

I was a busy little bee over Christmas, with both hook and needles getting a fair workout. For the first time ever, I started really early and didn't attempt more projects than I could achieve. Definitely recommend this approach! And here are the fruits of my labour. 

The chunky herringbone snood (AKA The Big Purple One) was made for my mum. Parting with it was a real struggle, I can tell you. So snuggly and I love love love that neat herringbone texture. It was my own invention (the design, not the stitch pattern) and I think I'm going to do a dedicated post to share how I did it. SPOILER ALERT: soooo easy to make. Once you get the hang of the stitch pattern, it's pretty much just a straight line. 

Check out that festive nail gem. *I'm so fancy...*

The lacy crochet mitts were made with a fantastic free pattern by Crejjtion. Again, I really wanted to keep these so that's gotta be a job well done.  I've just had a peek and there's now also a version of this pattern complete with thumbs! I'd definitely make these again. 

Not recommended for oven use. 
And these guys. Knitted flat and with a crochet seam, these mittens were right up my street. I made two pairs for some super ladies and think you could have so much fun playing with colour combinations for them. I love the simplicity of the pattern and the clever construction. Again, it's a free one. Thanks, Martha Stewart. I totally fell in love with Rooster Almerino in the making of the red pair, it's so lovely to knit with. Consider yourself warned. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Hello 2015

2015 has fallen, clean like a fresh covering of snow or a swimming pool before the first dip of the first toe. The start of a new year is a good time to take stock of the last. 2014, you're worth remembering. 

Firsts: anniversary, swing dance class, shawl, mittens, package holiday, supergroup gig, commute, sailing class, migraine, using airplane bathroom, run on the beach, interview, punt, eye test, dry cleaning, moussaka, sleepwalking, liking Taylor Swift, emergency passport.

There were weddings, baptisms, prayers, a funeral, job changes, laughter, sadness, silly dancing, sage cupcakes, train journeys, tears, new adventures, old routines, bad habits, favourite books, no haircuts and an unspeakable amount of peppermint tea. My highlights were celebrating a first anniversary with Mr P, exploring new places with my best girlies and feeding a baby alpaca. 

I've had a look back at what I wrote this time last year and it seems I did in fact meet a couple of my goals for 2014. I did start running again and I did crochet a blanket (it just needs joining. That still totally counts, right?). I'm still working on becoming a morning person. This year I want to pray harder, love deeper, be grateful, be kinder to my body, knit a pair of socks and write something that means something. That's enough to be getting on with, isn't it? 

Do you have goals for 2015? 

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Embroidering again!

Hey folks, hope you've had or are still enjoying a blessed and peaceful Christmas period with your loved ones. We've been catching up with family, eating roughly our own weight in cheese and marvelling at the unseasonable sunshine (no snow to be seen in the South West as yet!) 

But just before Christmas I excitedly attended the beautiful wedding of a dear friend. And of course a wedding means Becca gets crafty. Only this time the needle I reached for wasn't a knitting needle, oh no. I stretched some polka dots over a hoop and set about stitching a sweet monogram embroidery hoop for the happy couple. 

Since finishing my textiles degree two years ago (crikey, that long ago already?), I hadn't so much as threaded a needle. I'm definitely more of a yarn gal these days, but making this hoop reminded me how much I love hand embroidery. I like the slow, stitch by stitch pace and how it really is just like drawing. My precious pal Letty is a dab hand at these sort of things and recommended that I draw out my design onto tissue paper, trap it in the hoop over the fabric and stitch through it. Let me tell you, it worked a treat. I was able to place the design exactly where I wanted it and avoided the inaccuracy and pitfalls of trying to draw directly on the fabric (I'm so not ready for that). Plus, I could tear away the tissue paper with a triumphant flourish at the end, like removing a dome from a silver platter. 

The final hoop is a lot simpler than the initial design I had in my head, but a cute heart-shaped button and a scalloped crochet edge (took absolutely ages but was totally worth it) made it pretty enough. I was glad I had made something special for a special day. I think I'll be embroidering again soon. 


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

DIY: peg and ribbon Christmas wreath

Hey champs. I've seen a few similar peg/clothespin wreaths hanging around the magical world of Pinterest, but was so chuffed with how mine turned out I thought I'd share a cheeky tutorial! This wreath is hanging proudly on our door, waaay before we've even given thought to a tree. 
Here's how to make one (spoiler: it's embarrassingly easy).

You'll need: PVA glue (or similar), scissors, ribbon, baker's twine, cardboard (I used a glamorous cereal box), 21 wooden pegs.

Cut out two circles from the cardboard (I drew around a DVD for roundness!). Cut out the centre of each circle leaving a ring of a couple of inches. 

Cut a strip of ribbon for each peg. Glue them on.

Place the two rings together. Once the pegs are dry, peg them on!

Add a bit of baker's twine for hanging, some sort of conveniently matching decoration and you're done! I love what a simple make this is and how you could change it up by using paint or washi tape instead of ribbon. Love love. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Christmas craft roundup

It's that time. 
Now we're into November I can no longer deny that Christmas is sooon. As such, aside from indulging in small amounts of I'm-not-ready panic, I've trawled through the Knit Happens archives (so you don't have to) and found some fun and easy craft ideas for Christmas. Bring forth the links, projects, patterns, recipes and ideas...

To hang about the place for festive cheer. Here's when I made these. 
This tutorial is pretty good.  

Remember the Crafty Christmas Club? There are still a load of great creative projects on there. Here's my guide to budget gift wrapping

This is by far one of my favourite festive makes. A wee bit fiddly but totally worth it. 
Find all the links and stuff you need here

This is super-tasty and doesn't require any time to mature. 
I've been saving jam jars all year for my Winter 2014 batch! 

Baker's twine, garden wire, cream yarn and some knitting needles. I-cord is go!

This is so quick to whip up and yes, it fits an iphone. 

I've also been really inspired by Kate's Christmas craft roundup at Greedy for Colour. As you'd imagine, there are lots of brilliant tutorials for colourful yarny treats and washi tape ideas. The confetti pompoms and cute hot air balloons are high on my list!

What are you making for Christmas? 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday

A host of handmade poppies at St Bart's in Bath. Each one carefully knitted, sewn or crocheted. 
A beautiful act of remembrance. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

off the hook: crochet ring pillow

Hey folks! Would you believe it? Another FO! 
I made this crochet ring pillow for a very special couple whose wedding we happily attended in September. (September weddings are the coolest, don't you know?)

The beautiful bride gave me a heads up about their colour scheme, then I gathered some yarns and got hooking. The cream is the same vintage cotton I made our ring pillow with, the burgundy is Rowan and the navy blue is the gorgeous Namolio linen I picked up at Unwind Brighton.  Add a big mother-of-pearl button and job's a good 'un. 

I love how the three colours work together and how sweet and squiggly the picots look in the linen thread! It was an honour to make this and a real thrill to see it used on such a special day. Ooh, I do love a wedding. 

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