Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Retro Cassette Bag

I have decided to try to make a retro style cassette case for my phone. It'll give me a chance to test out my pattern making, chart designing, fair isle and finishing - all in one project.

This is my chart so far:


And this is sample number 1. It's 160mm x 65mm:


It's not quite the dimension I wanted, so I have added a few more rows to the chart to bulk it out a bit ready to try again. More fair isle practice I suppose...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wardrobe Refashion 2009 - The Pledge


I MiniRhi pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recylcled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings!

Signed MINIRHI.

Visit the Wardrobe Refashion Blog

Wardrobe Refashion 2009

You may recall that in 2007 I took the Wardrobe Refashion Pledge.

I failed miserably!

I plan to do much better this time, and pledge to do so for 6 months!!! Wish me luck!

On another note, I bought India Knight's The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less. I haven't finished the introduction yet and am already inspired....it's what made me think of the Wardrobe Refashion again.

I am a bit of a chronic spender. If I have money I WILL spend it. I have recently got into the habit of recycling and have been known to make pickles, chutneys and jams to use up fruit. So I am hoping that this book will help me better manage my money and curb my spending.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Flickr Photostream

I have finally set up a Flickr account AND aded photos! Check out my photostream on flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33785888@N02/

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve. I have half a day left in work then final preparations as we're having Christmas dinner at home this year, with my parents and sister.

I have already started thinking about my new years resolutions - and I think they'll be the same as last year...and the year before...and the one before that! :) Although this year I don't have a wedding to plan and can concentrate on my crafty side - this now includes knitting, cross stitch, baking, cake decorating and cooking in general. My sister is a jewellery designer, just coming to the end of her degree in London, and is looking to come back to Wales to set up for herself. Would be great to make a go of it, and with my marketing background I can help her get sorted. My mum was always interested in fashion, knitting, surface pattern so I reckon this could be the year we launch our fashion house! Watch this space!!! Work has been a bit crappy lately, so it would be really nice to spend time (and maybe earn some money) doing something we all enjoy together.

Anyway - Merry Christmas all!! I am in work next week, and will be able to post photos of the christmas presents we have made. Just hope they turn out ok!!!! :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Decorations

I came across this post today, the Quickest Christmas Knit. Genius!! I have been struggling to find christmas baubles that match in with my orange & black theme this christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Organised? Me?

I was just going back through this blog to find out when I started 'seriously blogging' this year. It was August when I decided I would set up a little studio...ummm. No.

I still have no studio, I still have my crap strewn throughout the house (just ask hubby) but I have kept up my blog and I have done more crafty stuff. I am now on cross stitch. Unfortunately I can't blog about it much because it's all for Christmas presents, but come back in the new year and I'll post all I have done.

I am looking forward to Christmas! Hoping to pop out after work tonight to pick up the final bits and pieces...or at least the major final bits. Wrapping paper, cards, etc. Anything else will just be added extras. I hope.

Few other updates -
My yarn STILL hasn't come from Angel Yarns. I ordered in in SEPTEMBER and I had an email on 28th November to say they were waiting for delivery.

My shop still isn't finished - maybe for next Christmas....

I haven't done anywhere near as much knitting for Bobath as I wanted. :( Can't believe the time has gone so fast.

50th Birthday Cake


I was asked to make a cake for my friend's mum's 50th Birthday party. This was the result. It's a plain sponge cake, with jam and buttercream filling and covered in ready to roll icing. The top is covered in '50' and the little silver hearts are edible decorations.
In hind sight I should have done a bit of piping around the bottoms of the bottom and middle tiers to tidy up the edges, but all in all, pretty pleased with it. I really fancy doing a cake decorating course now though, as the icing wasn't very smooth and i kept making little marks on it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dartboard Cake


I made this cake for my husband's 31st birthday as he is a big fan of darts and plays regularly.
I should have made the cake a bit bigger to make it easier to put together and needed to measure the pieces so they'd fit together better. The numbers were done using number cutters I bought. I whimped out on doing the wire as well, after all the fiddly cutting out I don't think my hands were steady enough. It gave the right impression, but definitely room for improvement...there's always next year! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas Decorations for Bobath



Just a quick post to keep you updated on my Bobath knitting progress. Haven't done as much as I hoped but here's a few!


Friday, November 07, 2008

Corporate Cup Cakes & an Allotment Birthday Cake

I've been doing a lot of baking lately. To celebrate BSS becoming a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner I thought I'd make some cup cakes using my new edible blue glitter and letters.










For a friend's birthday I made a cake to reflect his gardening habit - his garden, including shed and wormery!




Monday, November 03, 2008

Christmas Decorations

I began my Bobath Christmas knitting on the weekend and managed to get a Snowman, a Christmas Tree and a Santa done. Just need a bit of embellishement and a thread so they can be hung on the tree. Will post photos tomorrow. Hoping to get a fairy done tonight...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Knit for Bobath

Knitting has been a bit on the slow side lately, what with having to look after Hobbes etc, but have been spurred into action today, with an email from Bobath. Children's Therapy Centre Wales.

Bobath helps Children in Wales with Cerebral Palsy via a number of therapy treatments, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, and the email I recieved today asks that we "Join the Flock. Knit for Bobath!" So that is what I shall do.

There are Christmas patterns available on their website for you to knit and sell to your friends, or you can donate them to the centre and they will send them for you. http://www.bobathwales.org/downloads/Christmas%20Knitting%20Patterns.pdf

So I am going to have a go on the weekend and see how many I cam make....anyone fancy a challenge? Ready. Set. GO!!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas Presents

I am currently trying to plan all of my Christmas presents, so there's not much i can really publish on this blog, just in case! Which is a bit rubbish as I don't see me getting the chance to get in much personal knitting between now and then. So it'll just have to be my baking...

This weekend I will be hopefully starting on Christmas cakes, probably 3. I have also been asked to make a cake for a friends birthday, so I think I'm going to go for a garden cake, with shed, fence, patio and vegetables. quite lookign forward to it. Will post a photo when it's done.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Busy times

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted! The thing is I have been very busy - and not in a good way. I have to start a new web company (long story, maybe I'll tell it one day!), my cat has broken his leg and has had to have it pinned, and I have been trying to get my online shop set up. It's very close, just a few final tweaks. Hoping to get it ready for Christmas.

I have started my Christmas knitting, will post details after Christmas just in case. And I am still waiting for my Baby Alpaca Yarn from Angel Yarns so I can start Camden. I am getting a little annoyed - the service is usually great, and I ordered at the end of September. I wanted to get the jumper done before Christmas. :(

We're not sure what happened with Hobbes (kitten) he just came in one day limping, with his leg at a funny angle, and now needs a minimum of 7 weeks cage rest, could be up to 12 weeks. He's currently in a rabbit run in the kitchen so he has room to spread out and all his ameneties, but he has to wear a collar to stop from licking his stitches and cries all the time. Poor bugger. I feel so sorry for him, but it's for the best. We do get him out when we can and take the collar off, but he's very fast and doesn't understand that he's not allowed to jump!

So busy, busy....

Monday, October 06, 2008

Going with the flow

I managed to get a bit of knitting done this weekend. I don't want to start anything huge because I'm waiting for my yarn to come so I can knit Camden. Maybe today....

Anyway, I knit this corsage on Saturday morning before going to the rugby. It's my favourite so far.

And this one I knit on Sunday among making pea soup, washing and tidying. The flower shapes are actually one piece. I knitted the petals separately and kept them on a spare needle then joined them all by knitting across then decreasing til they form a circle. I had no pattern nor idea, and this is what happened. A bit of a knitting epiphany for me. Was quite proud of myself! :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Learning the Techniques

I have taken a bit of a step back (until the yarn arrives for my jumper) and am going back to "basics" and learning some techniques to find out how to create patterns and textures. So here are a few of my swatches from last night.

Knitting with beads. I consulted a few websites and books and produced a mini swatch.

A mini cable swatch, trying to get to grips with how and why the cables go the way they do. I don't think I was any more informed when I finished. Will need to do more experiementing.

A stitch pattern called 'The tree of life' from a knitting sticthes book my mum used to use. Reminds me of a Christmas Tree.... Looking at how purl and knit stitches can make a subtle pattern.

Another stitch pattern, called Inverted Hearts (although here it is upside down). Looking at how to make lace patterns and holes in my work.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Inspired to Knit

Yay! My Inspired to Knit book has come today. Can't wait to sit down and look through it, although am meeting a friend after work tonight so will need to wait until I get back before I can read it.

Ooooh - exciting times!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Knitting Plans

This week has been pretty busy in work, with hiring a sales man and I have been exhausted coming home so have done very little knitting - I did manage to bake another carrot cake on Thursday though. I experimented with a cream cheese frosting but I think it needed a little more sugar. It was very well recieved in work!

And I have decided I am going to knit a jumper. For myself.
I have chosen Camden from Knitty http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall08/PATTcamden.html as I love the bobbles and the fact the sleeves come off - looks good and is functional. I have even purchased the yarn and am very much looking forward to it arriving so I can get started. If it all goes to plan there may even be a post on substituting yarn soon as I wasn't able to get the Knit Picks Andean Treasure the pattern asks for, so I have gone for Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK. It has very similar 'stats' to the Andean Treasure but I guess a swatch will tell! :)

I have also started a knitting sketchbook and have purcased 'Inspired to Knit' by Michele Rose Orne. Can't wait!

Monday, September 22, 2008

My first Carrot Cake

On Saturday our friends came round to watch our weding DVD and for some nibbles. I got a little bit carried away and ended up spending all of Saturday cooking - which I thoroughly enjoyed. The menu included:

3 kinds of Sushi
Thai style pork meatballs with sweet chilli dip & BBQ Chicken Bites


Stuffed eggs & Smoked salmon and cream cheese rolls

Carrot cake

Mini vanilla cupcakes


And even if I do say so myself - it was pretty good! :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

What to knit...

My felting sample has been through the wash twice and still isn't properly felted, so it'll have to go through again tomorrow. Will post a photo when it's done. So far it looks as if it's pulling a little bit and I'm not sure how it will look when done...only one way to find out I guess!

In the meantime I don't know what to knit next. There are a few jumpers I want to knit, but I'll need to buy yarn and it'll be about £30 per jumper so need to wait until payday I think...I just want something quick I can knit as a background task but there are so many choices I can't choose. :( Wondering about starting knitting squares for a baby blanket as I am going to be an auntie March next year. Or I can start Christmas presents - but still have to decide what I am going to knit. I have lots of yarn in my stash just can't decide. Maybe it's just that Friday evening feeling and I'll be inspired in the morning. It's nice to have all weekend with nothing but knitting (and a night in with the girls) planned. Hopefully I'll get something started tomorrow, or I'll end up buying yarn for a jumper. Although I am making canapes tomorrow for our night in... we shall see. G'night all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Designing & Planning

I am in work early all week, so have plenty of time in the evenings to do some knitting. Last night I started designing my Phone Cozie based on some doodles I have done.

Following my doodles I drew out a pattern on graph paper I made myself. It is not made up of squares as more often than not knitting stitches are not square, but rectagular. This way you should get a better image when knitted.



To test the pattern I got some standard double knit yarn I had lying round the house and 4mm needles and knit myself a sample. I am not great at fair isle knitting, it all gets a bit tight, but as I plan to felt the final piece and it doesn't need to be particularly stretchy, I know I can get away with it!



It actually worked better than I thought and while i know I need to make a few adjustments to the pattern - make the dots more round, tidy up the smaller flowers a little bit, move the big flower over a bit.... I was quite happy with it. I have started my felting swatch with Wool yarn from Knitting4Fun and hope to finish this off tonight. I can then felt this swatch and check guage, sizes and how the pattern turns out - maybe the dots will round themselves out in the wash!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Experimental Knitting

Still determined to design something I have knitted myself - but with no idea where to start I picked up the needles last night to knit some beads from Domiknitrix.





They need a bit of finessing, and were a little bit fiddly. Definitely not a project to be knitted with a glass of wine! All in all, quite pleased with them though.

Below was something a bit simpler practicing my decreasing and seeing how much difference a 2 stitch garter border would make - quite a bit!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My very first designed knitted piece

I have designed and knitted my own corsage! Having looked at current fashions, I have noticed a lot of bows and wanted to knit an alternative to flowers. So took this as an opportunity to design my own knit. I know bows aren't the most complex to knit. They are after all made of one long strip of fabric. But I decided I wanted pointed edges and chose moss stitch so the fabric is the same on both sides and doesn't curl like stocking stitch does. So I planned the increasing and decreasing - in moss stitch and have finished my very own design!


However, it is a little on the large site, it is about 9cm tall. The middle bit is a strip of garter stitch to hold it together.

So I went for something a little smaller in garter stitch. This one is about 4cm top to bottom. The middle is tied together with some leftver yarn.

A small victory, I know, but still something I am quite proud of. It does make me realise that I can design and knit an object. It's getting the inspiration I struggle with. Baby steps...

More flowers

I think this is one of my favourites:
I am not sure what to do with this one....it needs something else, but I'm not sure what. Ideas on a postcard....
All of the flowers knitted here are variations on a pattern from Fun & Funky Knitting by Emma King.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Multicoloured Petals


Petals I have knit for my flower corsage. Just really like this photo.
Considering a piece of knitted art maybe...these would look fab in my bedroom!

Inspiration

My Let's Knit magazine has arrived today. I alsways get so excited and inspired by it - I would happily give up my day job and knit all of the time. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm that good yet!

There's also the Knitting and Stitching Show in London in October - which I really fancy going to.

SO much knitting, so little time....

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Crafty Shop

I haven't been neglecting you, but planning my online knitting empire! :)

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: I am going to try selling my knitting, and hopefully patterns, online. Starting with my corsages and mini accessories and going from there. I have started designing the shop, just need to sort out the transfer of my domain and get the shop set up. Then get knitting to build up my supplies and get designing so I have some patterns to sell. Hopefully I'll get it up in time for Christmas...but you know how these things go.

Watch this space....

Monday, September 01, 2008

Cupcakes

I won't get my camera back until tomorrow, so you'll have to wait to see the fabulous wrist warmers. :(

On another note, I made the nicest vanilla cupcakes for my friends birthday on the weekend. We were bought a KitchenAid mixer for our wedding, and it's the best invention ever!! You just chuck in all the cakey ingrediencts and let it go. But the end of the mixing the mixtire was so light and airy, like mousse and this made FANTASTIC cupcakes. Even the rugby boys agreed. My top tip (well 2 actually) for today is...

1. Substitute half caster sugar for vanilla sugar for a light but delicious vanilla flavour, somehow more subtle than using vanilla extract.

2. When baking your cupcakes half-fill in any empty holes with water, somehow this helps the cakes make more evenly. Can't remember where I heard this, but it works!!! :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've finished my wristies

Woo hoo. Have finished my wrist warmers!!

Hubby has borrowed my camera though, so will post a photo tomorrow.

I shall wear them ALL DAY!!!!!



UPDATE:

Photo of my wristies.



Friday, August 29, 2008

One wristie down....

Yup - ahead of schedule I finished one wristie last night. :) Will add a photo later. I have even started the next one (which is already about as far along as the one in the last photo I added). It is all very exciting. Bring on the cold weather!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Updated Template

Just a quick note - I have updated my template and need to do a little bit of tidying up. Bear with me will work on it tonight.

tastespotting.com

I am currently in the process of traveling through the social media world in another project (http://rhidaniel.blogspot.com) and when Stumbling through the web (using www.stumbleupon.com) I came across www.tastespotting.com a website about food, drink and some stunning photos. made me want to get straight into the kitchen and make something wonderful. I have been on early starts all this week (in by 7:15am) and was planning to do lots of cooking and baking after work as I've been finishing at 4pm. However housework and knitting and cookign for dinner has had a higher priority. Hopefully I'll spend sometime maybe tonight or tomorrow in the kitchen and will have something to submit to tastespotting soon...

(My wrist warmers are about 6 inches long now! Will need to do some serious knitting to get them done this week...plus I want to knit a corsage for my friends birthday...there goes my cooking time again!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tea Cosy

Just found this photo of a tea cosy I knitted for my sister who drinks a lot of tea. Pattern is from Let's Knit magazine (can't remember issue number), using Chunky Pure Wool from www.knitting4fun.com in Royal Blue and Chocolate Brown. It is knit in 2 parts and sewn together then felted. From what I hear it does a very good job. Planning to make one for myself...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Warm Wristies

Isn't it just typical? As soon as I start to knit something to keep me warm in all this crap rain we've been having the sun comes out! Anyway - quick progress shot of my wrist warmers....




And a quick sock update....

Experimental Stitches

I have been playing with yarn to get different textures. By this I mean i found an old knitting book of my mum's and have started doing some of the patterns so my scarves will be a bit more interesting this christmas. My favourites so far are these two (can't remember what they're called, will update you.)




(Just please excuse the insipid pink DK yarn I use for experimental purposes!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Socks & Wristwarmers

My socks are making progress, but I need to be very awake and sober to knit them and work has been so manic I have started looking towards something a bit easier. So I have also started a pair of wristwarmers - knitted in the round on double pointed needles, so I am practising for my socks - but in k2, p2 rib for 17cm. Some no thinking knitting for evenings with a glass of wine in front of the tv.

Haven't done any more corsages because I plan to go through my wardrobe soon and sort out what I need to do with all of my clothes. I am also reading Victoria Beckham's 'The Extra Half Inch' which will hopefully help me decide what I am actually never going to wear again. Plus what I need to make to help me make the most of my wardrobe. Planning to start tonight....wish me luck!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Post of Firsts

Yesterday I managed to take a few photos of my most recent knitting and sewing firsts.

1. My first Aplique

This is actually the front of a needle case I made to test the sewing machine I borrowed from my mum. There are a few issues, as my Dad likes to say "Measure twice, cut once" which I need to work on, but generally am pretty happy with it.

2. First time knitting with Wire


Trickier than I thought, but in time i reckon I can get it tidier and have some plans for wire, bottle tops and beads.....

3. First Proper Sock Knitting

I have knit one sock before (didn't even manage a pair!) on straight needles that ended up about 3 times the size it should have been. I found this yarn and free pattern and got the right size needles free with Let's Knit magazine so figured it was fate! Will see how we get on.


4. First Time seeing Pixie in my Yarn Basket

I don't know how long she's been sneaking off for a quiet moment in amongst my yarn, but she looked so comfortable...and at least the kitten couldn't find her in there!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More flowers

Last night I finished off another corsage as a present for a friend in work as she seemed to really like them. It only took about 1.5 hours from cast on to make up. (Apologies for the dark shdow on the photo, I will try better, but was in a bit of a rush.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Flowers and a trip to Ikea

Yesterday I went to Ikea to buy lots of lovely storage boxes, tins, drawers and hanging baskets to store all my yarn, needles, and bits n bobs. Unfortunately, hubby has gone to darts tonight so I went get the drawers built or hooks in the celing til tomorrow. :( But still, very excited..... photos soon.



On the knitting front, I wanted some instant knit gratification. So on Friday night I got a glass of wine, stuck a DVD on and started knitting a flower corsage.



I enjoyed so much I woke up early on Saturday to knit another one:



I then had to go out for lunch and shopping, and spend Sunday in Ikea. However I wore both corsages on my bag to the pub Sunday evening and had a lot of people asking where I got them and showing a bit of interest, so there may be something in it. Will need to design my own though... I'm thinking of an orchid....watch this space.