Monday, October 31, 2011

Socktoberfest Progress

And so we reach the end of another month and my second monthly challenge. October's challenge was to knit a pair of socks. Unfortunately I didn't get as much done as I hoped.

I guess I thought that being on maternity leave would give me plenty of time for knitting, but the days go by so quickly and I have so many things on the go it's difficult to fit it all in.

I did nearly finish one sock. This is my progress:

I really don't have much left to do and I am disappointed I didn't finish at least one. But I did enjoy knitting it and (depending on how the finished item fits) I can see the appeal of sock knitting. It is quick, is something I would wear and has plenty of sock for experiementing. I do still want to finish the pair and hope to do so before Christmas. Keep an eye out for future FO Friday posts.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Starting my adventure in scrapbooking

I finally got some time today to start my scrapbook for Evie. I'll try to blog my progress - partly as a record for myself, partly for anyone else interested in scrapbooking - a bit of a getting started guide I suppose. I'll share links and resources, my mistakes and triumphs as I create my photo album.

As much as I am keen to get started, I am a bit of a perfectionist and it will get on my nerves if it's not done properly. As I have a few weeks to catch up on I am taking the time to plan my pages.

My first job was to paint the wooden letters I want to put on the cover of my book.

Painted letters

I want this to be more than just a photo album. Including notes, artefacts (for want of a better word) and any other little mementos such as, song lyrics, swatches from clothes, labels, cards, even tweets & facebook comments.

My second job was to decide on mini stories or pages to start my book. The first page will be mainly text with Evie's name, date and time of birth and weight, though I haven't decided how I want to lay this out yet. Then I want a mini family tree showing Evie's grandparents and immediate family. Then I'll do a timeline of my pregnancy, showing my bump growing and including scan photos, over maybe 4 or 6 pages.

I've then stuck in photos using blu tak so I can see roughly how much space I'll need. One thing this has shown me is that I do need to have everything that I want to inlude in one section or page ready to hand. So for the pregnancy section, for example, I need to have the photos, scans, comments, ready to stick in. I know this probably seems obvious, but I was hoping I could stick a few bits down and work the rest around it.

I haven't really chosen an overall colour scheme or theme for this book because it will be spanning quite a long time and I don't want to feel restricted. I'm assuming my own 'style' will shine through, but I am also looking forward to seeing how my skills develop as the book grows too.

I'll try to post un update every Sunday to show you how I am getting on. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scrapbook for Evie

I love photos. I would happily look through anyones photos, whether I know the people in them or not but it really isn't the same looking at pictures on the computer. You really can't beat opening a photo album or leafing through a pile of photos, and as technology advances so quickly I wonder what Evie will think of my photographs. How will she capture her memories in 15 years time? Will she look back at our digital photos and think 'ah, how did they manage?' in the same way as I look back and wonder how we coped with having 35 shots on a film and not being able to see the photo until it was developed.

In the 'old days' when we did still print photos I would put them into albums with notes and any little trinkets that added something. The date from a calendar, a ticket stub, whatever. And I still enjoy looking through them now. My early dabbling in scrapbooking, I guess.

For some reason this stopped around the time me and my husband got together nearly 8 years ago. Now all my photos are saved in folders on my computer and a few years back I started printing them out and putting them in albums, but didn't really get very far.

I used to love photography and would always have my camera with me, and this is another thing that has changed. With mobile phones able to take pretty good quality photos we tend to settle for those rather than making the effort to get the camera out. When I found out I was pregnant we bought a digital SLR camera and I want to start taking more, good quality, photos of Evie. I also want to print them out and preserve them for her.

So I am going to start a scrapbook for her. I have bought an A3 book from Paperchase, got some photos printed, bought a few scrapbooking supplies, and scoured the house for potential scrapbooking tools.

Scrapbooking Supplies
I can't wait to get started - I have 8 weeks to catch up on!

Friday, October 21, 2011

FO Friday #5: Evie's Cardigan

Pattern: Debbie Bliss' Classic Cardigan, size 0-3 months
Yarn: DK yarn from stash (don't tell Debbie!)
Started: Sometime while I was pregnant
Finished: 12th October 2011

This should have been posted last week, but better late than never, right? I was also hoping to have another FO to show off but baby & life have got in the way of knitting/crafting stuff. 
I'm pretty happy with the cardigan, it was a lovely pattern to knit and I got to practice my making up skills, which I think are improving. I just wish I had made it with a better wool. (Sorry, Debbie, I definitely won't do it again!) 

I'm now heading off to Tami's Blog to see what everyone else has done.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Craft Update

Kids Clothes Week Challenge Fall 2011

Well, I didn't do as well as I'd hoped. What with visitors and having to sort out my spare room so they had somewhere to stay and looking after Evie I didn't have a chance for much making. So the only thing I did get round to 'making' was the cardigan - which was practically done anyway! I do plan to sign up for the Spring 2012 one though, which gives me some time to practice and Evie will be around 6 months old.

On the plus side, my craft room is a lot tidier and I have space to make stuff!

October Challenge: Socktoberfest

I have nearly finished my first sock.

It's looking good, though not quite sure how I'm going to get the second one to match colours. Still not quite sure how I feel about sock knitting - I can already feel 'second sock syndrome' setting in! And I chose some pretty expensive yarn. I am looking forward to wearing the socks, have found some lovely patterns and they (so far) haven't been as complicated as I thought they would have been. I'm not sure I'll become a sock addict, but I will knit more pairs. Providing the second one goes as well as the first....

Sleeping Bag Commission

I am also knitting a sleeping bag I have been commissioned to make. My first commission! It's going well, the yarn is lovely and soft and the colours remind me of a beach scene.

Crochet Blanket

I haven't made much progress with the blanket as I've been working on the two projects above, but I did find some random crochet squares I may be able to add in.

Evie's Duffle Coat

I still haven't cast on the duffle coat for Evie, as I feel I should finish at least one project before starting a new one.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

KCWC Fall 2011 : Days 2 & 3

One thing I didn't factor in to this challenge is the fact that my 'craft' room is in need of a sort out & with a little one I don't really have the time to be searching through everything to find what I need. So yesterday (Day 2) was a planning rather than a doing day. Today (Day 3) started out as a buying day, but I did manage to find some time to do some making too.

Today I went to Knitters & Sewers World to see knitting designer and maker of beautiful yarn, Debbie Bliss. Who is also the author of one of my favourite knitting books - The Ultimate Book of Baby Knits. I spent yesterday going over and over the book trying to decide which patterns to knit next & what yarn I needed to purchase today.

I decided on the Duffle Coat, which I plan to do in red for a bit of a 'Red Riding Hood' thing.

As far as my making goes for today I did sew on the buttons to my cardigan - actually completing it! I'll take photos tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

KCWC Fall 2011 : Day 1

So today is Day One of Elsie Marley's Kids Clothes Week Challenge Fall 2011, and I am pleased to say that I did spend over an hour working on a cardigan for Evie. It's one that I knitted while I was pregnant and was meant to sew up as part of my September challenge.

It has now been sewn together I now need to add buttons and was wondering about some decoration - maybe beads or embroidery. What do you think?

I plan to finish it by Friday ready for a great FO Friday post.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

Tomorrow sees the start of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge Fall 2011, where the aim is to spend 1 hour a day for a week making clothes for kids. My sewing and clothes making skills are definitely at the beginner end of the spectrum, so I am hoping to spend this time learning and trying new things.

In preparation for this challenge I wanted plan what I would do rather than waste time during the week looking for something to do and ending up with nothing to show for it. Evie is only 6 weeks old, so I'm not planning any outfits for her yet, and if you have any suggestions for newborn makes I'd love to here them.

Anyway, here are some of my ideas.

1. Finish making up the cardigan I knitted for Evie.
2. Sew a bib & add some embroidery.
3. Make a hairband - either sewn, knitted or crochet.
4. Wraparound skirt - to go over babygro & leggings (maybe).
5. Trousers
6. Little dress
7. Poncho

And here are somelinks I want to remember:

On another note, on Wednesday I am hoping to meet knitting designer Debbie Bliss at Knitters & Sewers World in Swansea. Can't wait!

Friday, October 07, 2011

FO Friday #4: My Living Room

Alright so this FO is a bit of a cheat, but this week we finally finished re-decorating our living room.

We started it nearly 2 years ago and on Wednesday put our new carpet down & sorted all of the cupboards out. (It's taken all week to sort, move everything around & clean, so there hasn't been much crafting going on - hence the cheating post!) It's lovely, so clean & tidy & cosy....I just wonder how long it will stay that way.
Check out some other (proper) FOs on Tami's blog.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The 'right' parenting decisions

I've only been a Mum for 5 weeks, but have really had my eyes opened to the ways of parenting. There are so much choices, and everyone has their own opinion on what is 'right' and how it 'should' be done. Three examples that seem to have very split opinions are:
  1. Breast V Bottle Feeding
  2. Co-Sleeping
  3. Babywearing
Apparently you should breast feed as long as you can to enhance the bond and closeness between mum and child, but then you shouldn't co-sleep or babywear too much as they'll get used to being held or close to you.

I know I am new to this but if my baby is happy then so am I! If this means she wants to sleep in bed with me (and will sleep well rather than being restless in her moses basket) then that's fine with me.

I have tried breastfeeding and we couldn't get on with it, so I am expressing and bottle feeding and looking for ways to get our closeness somewhere else. For me, babywearing is great. Our pram is lovely, but it is bulky and a bit of a faff to if I want to pop to the shop or go to Tesco, or just get stuff done in the house.

Babywearing with my new Moby wrap
I am still learning about the pros and cons of my decisions and the options available, but so far it's working for me.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

October Challenge: knit a pair of socks

I can't believe October is here. September went so quickly & little Evie is over a month old. Though as everyone told me I can't imagine life without her, nor remember what I used to do with my time.

September's Challenge was to finish off some UFOS. I managed 2 of them - the sleeping bag & green booties, and have made my excuses for the blanket. I have no excuses for the cardigan - but I do plan to finish it. Maybe this weekend....

So, on to the challenge for October. I have 2. The first is to knit a pair of socks - or at least have one complete by the end of the month - as part of Socktoberfest. I have attempted socks before but didn't get very far and would like to see what all the fuss is about! I have bought my yarn ready & just need to find a pattern.

Pretty sock yarn
The second challenge takes place between the 10th & 17th October - the Kids Clothes Week Challenge. The aim being to spend 1 hour a day for a week making clothes for kids. There aren't really any rules. Clothes can be sewn, knitted or crocheted, upcycled - as long as you are doing something every day. I have no idea what I am going to do. I'm hoping to be inspired by everyone else once the challenge gets started, but I will have a look around this week to see if I can get some ideas so I can order or find the supplies I need. (Though this may be a great opportunity to try being thifty.)

I will also be working on my crochet blanket and have been commissioned to knit another sleeping bag. I guess I should probably look at finding ways to knit faster too....

If you are involved in Socktoberfest or KCWC11 let me know so I can see what you're up to.