Sunday, 23 February 2014

Crafting slump

February has flown by in a haze of night shifts, long work days and very little time to relax and craft.  All in all, I won't be sorry to see the back of this month.  It's been cold, dark, wet and miserable.  Made worse by what little time I've had to craft being spoiled by CONSTANT MISTAKES.  I honestly didn't think it was possible to make this many mistakes all in one go.  I guess it's probably a reflection of how tired and stressed I've been when I've had a moment to knit.  I haven't even attempted to make up with my sewing machine yet, there's really no point in this frustrated head space.


I'm knitting a pair of Gamer Gauntlets for a friend of Andrew (who is very kindly paying me for my time), except this is currently the state of affairs, after the third time of frogging.  I know they say you can't make money by hand knitting but that it most definitely true when you have to rip everything out multiple times.  Very frustrating.


I'm also attempting to knit a Swedish themed baby jumper for a friend having a baby in May.  You see it here in it's fourth incarnation - I cannot get these damn Dala horses right.  The first two sweaters had mishapen horses, some with fatter heads or thinner legs than others.  The third I carried the red thread all the way through the back whilst knitting the horses, leading to the colourwork section being overly tight and little bits of red yarn poking through the white.  This is the fourth version and as you can see, the white is too loose where it meets each horse.  I've tried ( in the left hand horse) to fix this by darning the holes closed from the back but it just distorts the colours and looks very unprofessional.  I don't really know what to do now, the hopeful side of me thinks with some clever sewing of loose ends I can close the holes and blocking will help bring out the shape of the horses, whilst the despondent side of me just want to throw the bloody thing in the bin and start afresh with a more simple colourwork pattern.  I thought I was up to this challenge but maybe I'm not.  I might move onto a simpler project for a while and come back to this one in the future, I've got until May to finish it after all. 

For the moment, I might just give up and go back to bed.  I hate crafting sometimes.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stash busting crochet cushion cover

Embarassingly, this is the last of the Christmas presents from 2013.  I finished this about a week ago and only just posted it to my cousin, who always buys me the loveliest and most thoughtful presents.  I'm a terrible person to be related to.


To make things even worse, I'm super skint right now.  After Christmas presents, my car breaking down and the general festivities associated with December, I was limping along to January payday.  Which, just to add insult to injury, was an extra week away this year.  So, I turned to my stash in a panic and whipped up this little beauty, even if I do say so myself.  Sometimes necessity is the mother of craftiness...or something along those lines.


This is a simple granny square combo, using the Blooming Granny sqaure by Melinda Miller.  I crocheted up the front panels using stash yarn (so satisfying!), then backed them with some black cord I had in my fabric stash (double whammy satisfying!).  I then backed the whole thing with more of the black cord.  My aim was for something pretty but hard wearing as my cousin has a dog and 2 cats so this baby is going to get worn.


The little 'Second Fiddle' label adds a professional element I always think.  Though I really must get some new ones made, I've just got so many left from my old Etsy shop and it seems a shame to waste them!


I just sewed these together as I would any other cushion, though I used zigzag stitch to make sure I caught enough of the crocheted stitches that it would hold together.  It was my first time using single chain crochet to stitch granny squares together and I like how it looks, I chose to go with the ridge on the outside but the inside has really neat, flat joins between the squares, it looks very smart.


I chose not to make it into a cushion cover, in that you can't remove the cover using buttons or a zip.  I figured it would be difficult to properly wash this since it's a mix of fabric and crochet, so you'd have to handwash either way.  Not ideal with animals really, oops.  Instead I just sewed up all 4 sides, leaving an opening to turn inside out, stuffed, then slip stitched shut.  I like how nice and plump it is, I often struggle to get cushion covers with pre-made innards to stuff as nicely as this one.  Got to make one for me now!