Sunday, 3 November 2013

30 Days Of Christmas. Day 2: Knitted baubles

I know I  was going to sew today. But it looks like I'm not in the mood for sewing, all I can think about is knitted baubles. Yes, exactly! Especially after a lot of inspiration found online this morning.

It all started with this picture found on Flickr:

After meditating on that picture for a couple of minutes I went to Google and started searching for some more info hoping actually to find any free patterns. And I found them! Here is a little list of what I found:

1. Three free designs by Marry Ann Stephens (all three in one PDF file):
http://twostrands.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/christmas-balls.pdf













2. One more bauble by Marry Ann
http://twostrands.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/two-strands-christmas-ball.pdf













3. Some really easy baubles by I Like Lemons:











4. Two patterns by Lion Brand:












 http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0286AD.html
http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0226AD.html

5. Chevron baubles with pattern and tutorial by Bunny Bosworth










Plus there is a great book by Arne and Carlos "55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Colourful Festive Ornaments" and lots of inspirational pictures online.

I'm going to grab a set of double pointed needles and some yarn bits from my oddments basket and try. Looks like the ones from I Like Lemons are the easiest version. But I really like the chevron ones too...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

30 days of Christmas. Day 1: little crocheted heart

So, today I started a little project. Or is it better to call it a journey? A journey through one of the most unpleasant months of the year to a beautiful Christmas tree... I like how it sounds.




First of all I found a box at home. It even looked like a Christmas box which is ideal. Hopefully in 30 days this box will be full and I will be really proud of myself. Then I searched for some patterns and inspiration. I decided that I won't be supertraditional and really anything as long as I like it and it has appropriate size can be a Christmas decoration. It can be bunnies or any other animals, snowmen, little houses, hearts, apples, angels or any other dolls, balls, trees and so far. The best places to search for inspiration are Pinterest (look at my "Christmas decoration ideas" board there), Google images, any craft magazines like Mollie Makes... There are lots of great ideas in the Internet using all kinds of materials and any skill levels, the most important part here is the creativity.



Now shall we start with the first Christmas tree ornament I made. Today the weather was awful, cold windy and rainy and I could sit in my living room and hear that rain and wind outside. Probably that's why I wanted a bit of romance and choose a little crocheted heart by Taube Skywalker as a first project.
I had that "pattern" for a while and never had a moment to try it out. The way it's written may seem a bit confusing especially for beginners, bud don't worry - I will explain :)


Ok, that is how I did it (not totally followed the instructions, but who cares after all). First of all you need some DK yarn (about 200 m in 100g), a bit of stuffing and a 3mm crochet hook. When I made the solid colour heart I was crocheting in spiral, so no slipstitches in the end of each round were needed, but when I made the stripy heart I was working by rows and each row started with ch1 (I didn't count it as a first dc), dc into the same space, and ended with slipstitch.


We start with two heart "tops":
Round 1: Make a magic ring and make 5 dc into the ring
Round 2: 2 dc into each dc of the previous round = 10 dc
Round 3: 2 dc into every second dc of the previous round = 15 dc
Round 4-5: dc into each dc of the previous round = 15 dc
First top done! Cut the yarn leaving a tail and make the second top using the same instructions, just don't cut the yarn in the end. Now we'll need to join these tops together.
Round 6: dc into each dc of the previous round of the first top, then dc into each dc of the second top = 30 dc
Round 7: dc into each dc of the previous round = 30 dc
Round 8: *crochet 8 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 27 dc
Round 9: *crochet 7 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 24 dc
Round 10: *crochet 6 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 21 dc
Round 11: *crochet 5 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 18 dc
Round 12: *crochet 4 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 15 dc
Round 13: *crochet 3 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 12 dc (start stuffing your heart after this round)
Round 14: *crochet 2 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 9 dc
Round 15: *crochet 1 dc, crochet 2 dc together*, repeat from * to * 2 more times = 6 dc
Round 16: crochet every two dc of the previous round together = 3 dc (I found this round most annoying and difficult as it is not actually that easy to pull the hook through the last two dc).
Now cut the yarn leaving an end, hide that end using either your crochet hook or a tapestry needle and you're done!

Hopefully my explanation is ok :) In fact I enjoyed making that little hearts and I'm now thinking of making some more one day. But for tomorrow we need a new project and I'm thinking about birds perhaps... About something like this one:
 
And I should make normal daylight pictures of the hearts tomorrow.

My big Christmas adventure. Making handmade Christmas tree decorations.

Last year somewhere in December right before Christmas I actually understood that I really want to make all the Christmas tree decorations myself. Well to be honest I tried but made only four or five... And in the end they all disappeared from our Christmas tree as The Little Man loved them so much that he decided they should live with his toys, especially the crocheted little owls. So this year I had the same idea again, but I had it yesterday.
I know it's only the 2nd of November, but all that knitting, crochet, sewing takes time so I might need the whole month to make my little dream real. Plus I must confess - I hate November. I have no idea how can you really like this:
or this:

I know there is some kind of beauty in all of that and I was honestly trying to find it while me and My Little Man went for a walk today. It was cold, dark (at midday), and windy outside, but we still went as we both need some fresh air and a bit of physical activity. So we found some goose and a swan... But even they looked depressed.

 
Little Man was quite happy touching the mud, finding dirty stones and running away from me towards the cold dark water (see pic above), so it all was quite stressful and in that circumstances I wasn't able to find any beauty or romance in November really.


In fact the only two things that make November bearable for me are My Little Man's birthday and Christmas decorations that are starting to appear on the streets and in shops windows somewhere around this time.

So I had an idea - why not stretch all of that Christmas spirit for me? What if I would make at least one little Christmas tree decoration each day during all November and then put them all on our Christmas tree in the beginning of December? And it sounded just right!

So starting from today I will start posting the handmade Christmas tree decorations with the links to free pattern, or the pattern itself if it will be my own, and my own explanations and tips. I'm going to crochet, knit, sew them using all the stash I will be able to find in my stash - felt, cotton, beads, lace and ribbons, any kinds of yarn, may be even paper.

Anyone is welcome to join my Christmas adventure - just post the pictures of your handmade Christmas tree decorations in comments. If you have any links to great free patterns or tutorials it would be great if you could share them too!
And now I will leave you and use a bit of free time while Little Man is having a nap to make the first ornament. Will post the picture as soon as it's finished :)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Gooseberries

Well, Little Man is getting better and can play in the yard (still no contacts with other children until this weekend). So he has a lot of fun in his sandpit - sitting there with a big smile and covering himself with the sand. After that all this sand ends up on our living room carpet, but at least Little Man is happy and not screaming :)
Today he had some fun with his dad picking the gooseberries from our little gooseberry bush.


 You can notice that Little Man still has that chickenpox spot marks, but they are disappearing slowly.



We bought it last year and now it looks twice bigger than it was, and there were much more berries than last year, of course.


Sadly they are not sweet at all. May be it was not enough sun for them... So now I'm thinking that I should probably bake a pie with them.
Oh, we have a raspberry bush too! With one raspberry on it:


And I treated myself a little bit and made a little bag for my new phone.


Still not sure if I like it or not as I wanted something feminine and this one looks too girlish for me. Or may be it's not girlish and looks fine. Really can't decide.

Hope you are all doing great and having a lovely time!
xx

Sunday, 28 July 2013

I miss nature...


Little Man has chickenpox. Apparently, what he had before was something else. Poor kid! He is all covered with red spots and the first three days were really awful for all of us as he could not sleep and was constantly crying. The picture above was taken a day before all that red spots showed up. But yesterday he already started eating (good sign!) and slept till 6am. Today he even went to a midday nap, so he is asleep now and I have some time for my blog.

Understood today, that I really miss the nature. Well, we do have a backyard with a couple of berry bushes, nut I mean something totally different. I mean forest, I mean empty beach where the only sounds is a sound of waves and your footsteps, I mean fields far away from big roads and cities... I newer was a huge fun of countryside, to be honest, I could not live there all the time, but sometimes, when I need to escape from everything this feels like the right place to go. Probably now I feel like that because I've been at home most of the time for the last three weeks and I really need to go somewhere to find my lost peace, inner harmony and inspiration.

So when I saw this book an Amazon today it really felt like MY book, something I need, something I would really like at this moment:
 
Have a look inside and you will understand why. All of that nature inspired stamps feel so real and calm, like the nature itself.

That is why, if I would need to make a wish list today, it would look like these:
1. Making an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps book
2. Lino Cutting Handle and cutting nibs
3. Super soft Lino Double Sided Block Sheets

The other thing that inspired me today was this crochet flowers from Mollie Makes:

 
 
(By the way, this issue with flowers was really good). I'm not going to make a garland, but have an idea of making something nice with this flowers as an embellishment.
While I was searching for the picture of this Mollie Makes issue cover I found a nice knitted heart shaped coasters tutorial there:



I really might need some of those as little gifts for my relatives in Latvia. At least it really looks like a quick and easy project.

Well, after talking about nature and looking at beautiful pictures at Mollie Makes I feel a bit better and can be ready for being a mum of a sick child again. (Yes, I needed this little break!) So I'll go make myself a cup of tea and wait till Little Man wakes up.



Hope Little Man gets well soon and we could go to the forest or Robin Hoods bay which I really like.
 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Crazy chickenpox attack

I'm going through quite difficult times here. Both my boys - The Little Man and my husband, have chickenpox and I'm the only healthy person at home so I'm really busy right now. The Little Man needs mammy a lot, plus now he likes to scream at night until I get to him, hug him and sit with him on my knee until he gets back to sleep. During the day he is into screaming too, witch would be ok if I would not need to keep him quiet to give my husband a chance to sleep... For my husband things are much more serious - he is all covered with that chickenpox spots, could not sleep for a couple of nights as that spots were too itchy, could not work (obviously), and finally had to have some pills from the doctor. Now he is better, at least sleeping.
But I feel really tired. All of that making tea hundred times a day, treating them both as nicely as I can despite their bad mood, cooking (usually I don't cook anything except porridge at home), washing, cleaning the house... I could not do any knitting for a couple of days. I just was to tired for that in the evening.
I just wish it would all go back to normal soon.
And now I'm going to grab my Kindle and go to bed. Reading is the only hobby I still can do at the moment. Which reminds me that I need to knit (or crochet?) a case for my lovely little kindle friend when he travels with me and The little Man to Latvia this august. I really want it in bright colours so it could make me smile for no reason any time I see it :)
Like this:
 
Hope you all are really enjoying your weekend!
Stay safe, feel good and smile! And so will I :)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Coming back

I know I kept silence for quite a long time. That time was difficult for me. Probably that super long winter we had and that cold spring influenced my feelings, but it wasn't the main thing. I think more important was that I just felt lost. Not that I had no idea what to write about or I had no new projects. I was busy with something all the time. I just needed to understand what exactly do I want from my blog, how I want to see it. When I started I wanted to share all that little precious moments I had each day, but I ended up writing posts about what happened a week ago often forgetting to mention what was happening NOW. Now is more important for me and that is exactly what I want - may be just posting a picture with a short note "look what I'm doing right now" and that picture would say much more of what I really want to say.
So that's how it's going to be now.

At the moment I've got a couple of little free patterns to share and that will be the first goal in the next couple of weeks. After that I want to make a post about my new love - spinning. I started spinning recently with no one near me who could help, so I had to search the Internet and books. Yes, there is a lot of information for beginners, but not always it was enough. Like I really was confused about the different wool types you can use. When you are going to order some wool online for the first time all of that sheep breed names will probably mean nothing to you as they did to me. So I tried different types and now can share my experience and personal feelings about it. Hope it will be useful for someone.

And now I'm going to finish one little bunny I want to share with you next time. He needs some eyes and nose. Little Man already approved him even without a face, so I hope you'll like him too. :)

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Just some squares

Yesturday I mentioned that I wasn't really in the mood during the last couple of days. It was not only about blogging, it was about everything including my craft work. So I stopped working on my current projects. They just didn't bring me the joy they used to... But I just can't sit on a sofa not doing anything, I need to be busy, otherwise I start to feel worried, annoyed, bored and so on and so far. That is why I grabbed some yarn leftowers for my charity crochet, found an easy pattern online and here I am - crocheting granny squares for two days allready.

charity grannies

The pattern is Bullseye Squares from Little Tin Bird. It is really easy and I like working on it.

IMG_3728

This squares will be sent to the ladies in Russia who make charity blankets for orphanages. I mentioned them before in my blog and allready sent them a parcel with tiny knitted socks, crocheted hats and booties and a couple of bunnies.
IMG_3731

Made 12 squares so far. Not shure if I will make the whole blanket or just send the squares, but that is how they look all together:

charity grannies - 12 so far

Not bad, yes?
Probably I would need about 80 squares to make the whole blanket, but this amount of work just scares me at the moment... So I will just continue crocheting the squares till i get complitely bored with them without thinking too much about the future.

How are you all doing? Hope your weekend is great :)
xx

Friday, 15 February 2013

52 Weeks of Happy (2/52)

I know, I'm a bit late this week, but I just wasn't in the mood for blogging. Or may be I just wasn't in the mood in generall that's why it was hard for me to pick the positive moments of the last week. But, as I've started this 52 week long project I decided that I still must concentrate and remember that good things. It helped, actually.
So here are this little happy things:

1. First was a big parcel from Latvia that my mum and dad sent us with lots of gifts. And there was a pile of yarn for me. I hope to turn it all into something beautiful :)

some new yarn!

2. Second was a project bag/basket I made for myself. I was using some scraps of chunky yarn I had in my stash and finished it in two evenings.

my project bag/basket

Before I kept my project-on-the-go in a usual TESCO plastic bag, so now it's much better in a basket.
I will share the pattern of my basket here in a couple of days.

3. The third was Little Man's new game - he takes a flannel sheet and wraps into it with looks really cute and funny.

Little Man likes flannel

4. And the last thing was the little bonsai tree I got for Valentine's day.

my bonsai tree

I recieved plants as gifts before and they didn't last long. But this time I really feel responsible for this little one. Hope I cant treat him nice and he will live with us for years.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

I love charity shops!

I really do. I would even write it like these: I LOVE LOVE charity shops. And not those ones that look nice and tidy, almost like normal shops, but those, where it's all a bit dusty, some things are hidden in the boxes under another ones and you need to search and dig to find the treasure. As those are the places where you can really find some treasures. Like once I found a little embroidery book from 1920-1930s, and then a knitting magazine from 1955 with our city view on the front cover.
This Saturday, as soon as my husband left to work I decided to treat myself with a new visit to my favourite charity shop, took Little Man and after a 20 minute walk we were there. And I'm sooo glad we came!
First of all I found two baby and toddler hat pattern brochures:

patterns from a charity shop

There are 3 designs in one and six in the other in different sizes. Perfect for my charity projects! And I just love old knitting, crochet and embroidery brochures, they feel retro. Guess how much did I pay for them? 20p each!

My next found treasure was an embroidery.

embroidery from a charity shop

My mum and grandma do cross stitch and I know how much time does it take. Plus the money for all the materials. So when I saw the 50p price on this one I felt sad. Even the blank piece of canvas would cost more than that. So a person who put that price didn't evaluate someones hard work put into this embroidery. I just could not leave it there and had to take it home with us. I guess it could become a centre of a cushion cover for Little Man's room.

Then I found a book about different kinds of embroidery. Probably I will try something from it this year as one of my plans for 2013 was to make some embroidery.

And the last but the most awesome thing I found:

yarn from a charity shop

a huge bag of different yarns! It really is big! And can you see the price on the photo? It's £3! I was sooooo happy when I found this! So much yarn for my charity projects for babies!

Now you see why do I love charity shops so much. Sometimes they can make you happy for almost nothing.
So if you never tried them you should definitely do! Hope you'll find some awesome things for yourself!

xx

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Infinity scarfs

After making a couple of infinity scarfs as gifts using a super easy video I accidently found on YouTube (you can find it here) I thought that I would like one for myself too, but as I've already made three scarfs using one and the same pattern I wanted something new. Well, you just get bored when using one and the same pattern again and again. So I made a little research on the Web to find some more interesting patterns. Sadly, there are not so many of them. Most infinity scarfs I found were just made using trebles in a round. But I wanted something more interesting, something really special and free. And finaly I found three free patterns I liked. Here they are:

1. Chunky circle scarf:














2. Blue infinity scarf:
















3. Edie infinity scarf:
















Now I only need to decide which one I like most. I allready have the yarn - James C. Brett Marble Chunky in shade 14, which is red and changes the colour a bit. Not shure which of this tree scafs would look better with this yarn...

Do you have any new projects in your mind?
Hope you do as it's allways fun and exciting to start something new.

Have a nice evening and see you all soon :)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

52 Weeks of Happy (1/52)

If you haven't heard of 52 Weeks of Happy you can find more info here but basically the main idea is to post four pictures of the things that made you happy every week. I thought it's a good idea and something that really suits me as sometimes I feel depressed or sad for no reason and by making pictures of some happy moments I will be able to look back at this pictures and remember that there is no reason for being depressed.

Ok, let's start.

 Things that made me happy over the last week:

1. a pot holder and dish cloth that came to me long way from USA from my swap partner (I've participated in a pot holder swap on swap-bot.com)

the pot holder from my swap partner

2. Little Man started playing with a ring stacker.

look what Little Man did!

He made this and brought it to show me. I was so proud and happy at that moment!

3. My narcissus. When my husband brought them I thought it's green onions ore something like that, as they were completely closed. Now they are opened to show me how beautiful they are - like little yellow suns on my window.

first narcissuses this year

4. Some lovely crochet I was working on.

baby blanket in process

This had to be a baby blanket for a baby shower. Unfortunately I had to unravel almost all of it yesterday as I understood that I don't have enough yarn. But I still enjoyed the process, the colours and this picture. I will tell you a bit more about this blanket later as I going to put some rows of white between this colours and some white border.

Hope you had a great week too!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Little booties and some news about my patterns

You know, I'm really happy today. Despite the fact that the winter is back and a nice sunny day suddenly turned into a snow storm I'm sitting here and smiling. And I've got several reasons for that.
First of all, yesterday for the first time in my life I've posted a pattern to Ravelry. My tiny newborn socks. And today I've discovered that 47 complete strangers added it as a favourite and one lady already knitted a pair! Wow!
Then yesterday in the evening while Little Man was having a nap I translated the same pattern into Russian for the lovely ladies in Russia who knit and crochet charity blankets and clothes for children in Russian orphanages. Send it to one of them and she posted it into her blog so ladies could use the pattern for their charity projects. And again - almost 40 complete strangers re-posted it to their blogs.
Someone would say that 40 is not much and even 80 (if I would count all of them together) is not much too, but for me it means a lot. Really a lot. And first of all it is so important to me because I don't know this people and they don't know me, so they liked my pattern not because they like me and want to be nice and polite, but because they all like what I did. And it makes me feel happy and proud of myself.
The other thing that made me smile was a response from the lady from Canada who received my pot holder, that I crocheted for her participating in a Pot Holder Swap on swap-bot.com She loves it and it was nice to read how talented I am and how perfect the work and the colours are.

Today I finally packed everything for my charity package to Russia. Hoped to send it today, but had to stay at home because of the snow. Anyway, I promised to show you the booties I was making for orphanage babies. Here they are:

baby booties

The yellow ones were made using a pattern found here which actually is not a pattern but a Japanese crochet chart (the chart itself can be found here ). It might look a bit confusing but after you figure out what they mean in the chart the booties turn out to be quite easy. I used 3mm crochet hook and some DK yarn and the finished size is about 3-6 months.

yellow baby booties

The blue ones are actually my favourite. For them I used a pattern I found on Pinterest but I had to modify it a bit as I just could not understand the pattern in the end. Little crocheted star pattern can be found here and I used 2mm crochet hook and a bit of 4ply for them.  For the booties I used 3.5 mm crochet hook, not 4.25 as in the pattern as I just didn't have one, and DK yarn leftovers. The size I was making was 6-9 months, but I ended up with a really tiny pair, 0-3 or even newborn size... Was it my crochet hook that changed the size so much?
But I still love them

blue star baby booties

Hope are doing great too :)
Have a nice evening!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Just chilling

My quiet cup of coffee

Little Man is asleep, husband gone to work and I have some time to just quietly enjoy my coffee and reading.

Coffee and reading

I have a great book and an issue of Mollie Makes with me and I sit here in my quiet living room, chilling and slowly realizing how good this week actually was.

This week I've sent away quite a lot of packages for my swap partners as I joined Swap-bot and participated in a cotton square swap and a pot holder swap too. Plus I've sent some gifts to Latvia - for my granddad and my aunties on their Birthdays, and the infinity scarf I was showing you before is gone to Denmark to my sister.

I really need to get to the Post Office

When this huge pile was finally gone I felt much more relaxed. And in the same time I recieved two cotton square packs from my swap partners!

cotton squares

Well, that's a lot of squares! And there are three more packs to come, wich is great. What am I going to do with them?
From all the blue, green and purple squares I want to sew a Scottie Dog for Little Man's room. And I could make a bag for myself from all the red ones. Mmmm, sounds great.
I did some crochet for charity and need to send all of it next week to Russia. But I really enjoued the way of doing it - no rush, just relaxing with a crochet hook and some lovely yarn, enjoying every row I made. It's great in a comparrison with the last year when I was allways in a rush and knitting or crocheting not because I wanted, but because I needed to finish the projects.
Yesturday I had coffee with a good friend of mine and then finally, after a long time, went to the knitting club. So I was happy about my social life this week too.

How was your week? Hope you enjoyed it!