Hats, glorious hats

I have finished a couple of hats, both of which I have been meaning to get round to for ages.

Slouchy HatI love slouchy hats and lost my favourite one last year.  So before the weather gets any colder I wanted to make another one.  I already had the perfect yarn.  It is the beautiful pale grey Lana Gatto Class.  It is 80% extra fine merino wool and 20% angora.  Wow.  Honestly, I have never used such a soft yarn.  The bonus is that even though it is fluffy it is fairly easy to unravel if you make a mistake (like I repeatedly did!).  The pattern is the slouchy hat by Jan Wise from Ravelry.

The second hat is the R2D2 hat.  The pattern was from a Star Wars craft book.  I used 100% acrylic yarn so that it will be ‘roughy toughy’ enough for kids to use.  The pattern is for an adult size hat, but I used dk wool (American=Sport Weight) and a 3.75mm hook and it came out just right for my 9 year old.

r2d2Next hat project is the Hat Most Likely to Succeed for my husband.  I have to wait to see if I get new circular needles for Christmas, though, before I start that project.  Fingers crossed!

If anyone wants to keep up with any of my projects and work in progress you can find me on ravelry.

Kx

Crochet Coat Hangers

I haven’t written anything on the blog for so long (since February!) that I feel the same as when I sat down to write my first blog entry.  It is hard to know where to start.  I finally decided to go with crochet coat hangers.

crochet coat hangers

Here is the poster for this year’s workshops. If you live in West Wales why don’t you come along?

The coat hangers have been one of my most popular workshops so far.  We have all loved them from start to finish.  There is a lot of inspiration online and in books so I combined my favourite aspects of all of them.  I simplified the patterns so that they would be suitable for all skill levels.  I tweaked, frogged, re-stitched, and finally came up with the perfect patterns for the workshops.  I used Smoothie yarn, by Patons, as it is cheap and cheerful, has a great range of colours and looks fantastic – smooth with a nice sheen.  It is 100% acrylic, but feels more like cotton.

One of the participants loved them so much she made ten of them in a week – that’s her Christmas presents sorted for this year!

Llinos hangersHope you all enjoyed your summer, and look forward to seeing everyone soon,

Kx

 

Double Pointed Knitting Needles

Since becoming addicted to sock knitting I have acquired a complete set of bamboo double pointed needles.  Everything my little heart could desire.  Now I can make a pair of socks in whatever wool takes my fancy.  What could be better than a complete set of dpns?  A complete set of dpns in a cute jar!!

First I found a lovely jar that was lurking around the house.  I was going to use it for a pen pot, but it was too tall.  It was much too nice for throwing out so I kept hold of it for the perfect project.

Now for yarn.  I had a small amount of dusky pink lace weight Rowan left over from a scarf, and I teamed this with a tiny bit of silver coloured Triskelion baby suri alpaca.

Then I looked for the perfect crochet border to use as a collar.  With inspiration from the ‘Around the Corner Crochet Borders’ book (by Edie Eckman) I decided on ringlets.  I haven’t made any spirals for ages and I thought they would suit the jar.  Like a little ra-ra skirt!  Finished off with a simple mother of pearl button.

I was pretty pleased with the results.

dpn ringlet jar collarWhat do you think?

Kx

 

Successful Socks

The sock knitting workshops have been and gone.  We all really enjoyed them – what a laugh from beginning to end.

We started the sessions with a couple of tai chi exercises to warm up our wrists and hands.  It looked like we were praying to the God of Knitting to help us!

Prayers to the God of Knitting

Then we made a start.  Only a couple of mild tantrums (Lisa!) and we were on our way …

Off to a good start

Off to a good start

By week three everyone was getting into the swing of it.  We were sad the workshops were over, but so happy with the results.

look what we made

look what we made

Knitting socks is such good fun.  I have more workshops later in the year.  Why don’t you give it a go?

Sock knitting is addictiveKasturi x

 

 

Socks, glorious socks

It is cold, rainy and windy outside.  Basically a bit bleuh.  But inside my house the story is different…  I have been cosied up on the sofa finishing off my samples for the sock knitting workshops next month.  I LOVE knitting socks.  Here are some photos of the samples I will be using on the workshop

Regia 4 ply knitted socks Aran yarn hand knitted socks double knit Regia Adventure ColorI can’t wait for the workshop now.  I want to get everyone else hooked on sock knitting too.

Kx

Organised for 2014

Fresh New Year.  I am going to be more organised this year.  There it is in black and white, so it must be true.  The metamorphosis has already begun…  Here is the overhaul so far …

My acrylic yarn stash – thanks to my mum for giving me a yarn winder for Christmas!

messy wool

Before…

neat balls of wool

After…

My sewing threads and bobbins – I found a great sewing box in Oxfam today.  It fitted all my sewing things in.

My new concertina sewing box

My new concertina sewing box

I am so excited – I can see all my things in one glance.  Hmm, that means I have to start on my mending pile though, no excuses now.

All my sewing bits and bobs - neat and tidy

All my sewing bits and bobs – neat and tidy

I am going to pimp it up (notice the missing handle) but have started by simply sticking a magnetic strip to the inside to attach my metal bobbins to.

Notice the bobbins stuck onto the magnetic strip on the side of the box

Notice the bobbins stuck onto the magnetic strip on the side of the box

My computder desktop – I spent hours and hours sorting out last year’s photos over the Christmas break and have diligently filed them away for easy access in the future.  I chose a calm, plain background for my neat new look.  Loving it.

screen shotI am feeling proud of myself and slightly liberated already, and it is only 10 January.  I wonder how I will feel later in the year when I have put ‘organisation’ into my daily life.  I have rediscovered the happyhousewife blog posts – organized-in-365 – and am determined to do one thing a day towards being uber-organised.

Do you remember The Shiny Show?  I feel like I should give myself a shiny!

shiny-silver-necklaceHave you got any new year resolutions?  Kx

2013, the year of crafts and crochet

community crochet
I am so lucky to have such an amazing group of fellow fanatics to join in with my crazy love of all things crochet.  We yarnbombed the Small World Theatre in Cardigan, when they held their Woolly Day in September.  It was so much fun, we definitely have to do more yarnbombing in 2014. We also made daisy chains, poppies, mistletoe and snowflakes together, as well as starting our crochet along blanket.

Community Crochet CollageThe highlight of the year though was our crochet nativity scene.  It was a challenge (for some more than others!) but we made it in the end.

Crochet Nativity Scenekids crafts
The kids craft sessions at the Coach House, St Dogmaels, went from strength to strength last year. Halloween craft sessions were fully booked and we received great feedback from the kids.  The craft tables at the Christmas Fair were jam packed with kids of all ages for the whole day.

Christmas kids craftssocial events
We had a fantastic summer picnic at Glaspant Manor.  A great buffet by the ‘plake’ (pond/lake!) followed by a swap of our unwanted craft materials meant we all went home happy.  It is nearly time for our winter get together at the Coach House.  Mmm, can’t wait for my hommity pie!

summer picnic at Glaspant Manorcrochet
I can’t believe how the crochet classes have grown this year.  Lots of new people and also new classes.  I now have five regular classes with the most amazing, funny, enthusiastic students ever!  We learn together and have fun together.  How lucky am I?

Crochet group sep13-2crafternoons
New for 2013 was the introduction of ‘Crafternoons’ at the Coach House in St Dogmaels.  It was a great opportunity to try out new crafts, so we had an introduction to papercrafts, macrame, soap making and giftwrapping.

Macrame Hanging Jam Jarsmake it and take it
Glaspant Manor in Capel Iwan was the beautiful setting for our Make it and Take it days this year.  Creative crafting, wonderful company and a beautiful venue made these days to remember.

stamp handsmy own stuff
I also had a little bit of time to work on my own projects…

my stuffgranny buntingWhat’s in store for 2014?  You’ll have to come and join us to find out …

My garden – 2013

Despite being completely neglected this year, the garden was still beautiful.  It was the warmest year since we moved to Wales and it was nice to have a long dry spell.

sunny gardenAs usual the perennials did the best.  I never seem to have the time to plant all the annual seeds that I intend to – all that transplanting seems like too much effort to me!  It is difficult here without a greenhouse or polytunnel as it is usually so cold and damp that the growing season never seems quite long enough.  Anyway, growing herbs has always been my favourite, so I will stick with that.

my garden this morningI decided to be self-sufficient in something this year, so I chose fennel seeds.  I had about 20 plants – they grew so massive they became a fennel jungle.  Unfortunately I didn’t make it into the garden in the Autumn to pick them and so I think the birds had a feast and I missed out.  Oh well, there’s always next year!

collage fennel

Although we haven’t had many flowers in the garden this year I have really enjoyed the texture, especially the frothy fennel and the bold and beautiful rhubarb.

collage textureWe did manage a few flowers though without too much effort.  The marigolds, nasturtiums and primroses came up by themselves.

collage yellowA few from a paler palette also popped up to say hello.

collage sereneI hope you have enjoyed taking a peek around my garden. What’s next? My goals for 2014 are to tackle the bank along the side of the garden and to grow more flowers.  Let’s see if I manage it, keep your fingers crossed for me x

Getting Crafty at the Crafters Cwtch

I hope you had a lovely festive few days with family and friends.  I had the best Christmas ever.  Lots of amazing gifts (thanks so much everyone!) and nice and mellow – just the way I like it.

The Crafters Cwtch is a shop on Cardigan High Street dedicated to handmade items.   It is a great place to pick up gifts or to treat yourself to an extra something special.  Each item is unique and stock changes weekly.  During January to March the back room of the Crafters Cwtch will be used for craft workshops and classes.  Over 20 crafters will be sharing their skills, so it is a great chance to learn something new.  Please check out their facebook page to keep up to date with what is happening.

I will be repeating some of my Crafternoons from last year, so if you missed any it is your opportunity to catch up. On January 15th we will be papercrafting.  This includes paper gift bags, origami bookmarks and heart garlands.  January 29th will be all about string.  I will teach you the basics of macrame and you will make your own decorative hanging jam jar vase.

Use maps, vintage paper, or beautiful scrapbooking paper to create these quick and simple hearts

Use maps, vintage paper, or beautiful scrapbooking paper to create these quick and simple hearts

Macrame Hanging Jam Jars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookings for these workshops are with Ann at the Crafters Cwtch – pop into the shop, or via the facebook page.

Kx