Friday, 15 February 2013

First Jumper!

I'm really excited because not only did I acquire a lot of new patterns this week, but I found a pattern for a really pretty jumper that I really like. I've been looking around in shops for jumpers for a while as no matter how many I buy I always seem to have a deficiency and after ages of finding things that weren't quite the right colour, shape, or style, I thought why not just make it myself? so that's what I'm doing. Despite the pattern being from the 1983 Womans Weekly Knitting Book, it's really simple and fairly elegant and just looks comfy really. I'm knitting it with a 50% wool 50% acryllic DK yarn I bought from Kemps (who are quickly becoming one of my favourite places to shop for yarn - so cheap! such fast delivery!)

This is the pattern, and I'm knitting it in dark purple yarn. The thing I love most about knitting is that it creates such a sense of accomplishment. I'm now at the stage of pretty much being able to do all the basic things on straight needles, but I have yet to overcome DPNs and circular needles. Early on I realised that if I only knit patterns where I could already do everything before I started, I'd be knitting scarves for the rest of my life, and so now I just find things I want to knit and figure the rest out as I go. So far I've managed to overcome every hurdle and when something is finished it just gives me a feeling of immense accomplishment that I don't really get from any other aspect of my life except being a parent. 

I have a problem with getting majorly overexcited about new projects and then they tend to snowball and get out of control and then after a while I move on to something else. I have noticed this problem becoming less as I get older (for example, my book blog which I started on a whim after moving across the country has now been going strong for over two years), and I'm hoping that crafting in general will survive the lulls! I would really like to start learning to crochet and to quilt this year, as I have a really nice sewing machine I have never used! 

Anyway, you can see that my thoughts go round in circles and I've got totally off topic already! I've nearly finished the front of the jumper and I love the fact that it's pretty much just knit in panels, so there's not too much complicated making up to deal with, which is perfect for me as my stitching is basic to say the least! The only thing which annoys me and my tangentional attention span slightly is that because it's by far the biggest project I've undertaken to date, I am focusing all my attention on it and haven't been able to start any other little projects. This makes me slightly antsy as my Etsy shop is still woefully understocked, and I'm working on a couple of patterns which are hovering at being about half finished at the moment. Ideally, I'd like to get this jumper finished as soon as possible so that I can get on with something else, but at the same time I don't want to rush it and ruin it! 

I'll keep updating as I go and hopefully it won't be too long before I have pictures of the finished article!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Starfish and Fish and Snakes, Oh My!

I've been concentrating on trying to stock up my brand new Etsy shop this week and I'm very excited about it. So far I'm focusing mostly on toys and items for baby nurseries, and my favourite thing I've made this week is this gorgeous little guy:

He's so colourful and cheeky and I have to admit to being really proud of him! Obviously I've been combining my love of books with my love of crafts this week and reading The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin. I have a little problem with book acquistion which is well documented over on my book blog, so I've committed myself to a year long book buying ban. This just means that I'm having to order all my books about selling crafts and making crafts and suchlike from the library, which I guess is kind of good in a way as it means I don't end up stockpiling huge numbers of books, but also bad because it means I'm taking notes like a crazy person as I know there's loads of the info I'll need at a later date!

Although I've been knitting randomly (gifts, stuff for my son Benji and suchlike) for a couple of years now, I find that having this Etsy shop has provided me with tons of motivation to come up with new ideas for patterns and things. I've actually never written a pattern before this week, but I'm currently working on something which will hopefully be all worked out and finished up in the next couple of weeks and I think it'll be brilliant!

I'm also casting on for my first adult sized jumper in the next few days. I've ordered my gorgeous yarn this morning and it should arrive in the next five days or so (in case you're interested, it's Mode DK in Grape) and I'm really excited about it. I bought a load of craft books from eBay (craft books don't count as part of the buying ban!), because somebody was having a clearout and there were a couple of knitting books among them which have some lovely patterns in there, and this is one of them. Isn't it great? I've also been round to my Grandma's this week as we're visiting family and had a rifle through some of her toy patterns.

I say 'some' but I think I've pretty much nicked most of the knitting ones! It brought back loads of memories, as in the folder I found the pattern for the Humpty Dumpties she used to make for me when I ran stalls for Charities Day at my primary school, patterns for Rupert Bear and Bill Badger which she made for my twin sisters, and loads of other stuff! Knitted toys were such a part of my childhood I can't imagine them not being part of Benji's!

I think there's probably too much going on in this post, but I have a lot to ramble about and I kind of feel like if I don't just get it out there this blog will never get its' feet off the ground!! More coherent posts will follow, I promise! 

Sunday, 3 February 2013


It's been so long since I started a blog that I've totally forgotten how to go about it! So, hello! I'm Bex, some of you may know me from my other blog, An Armchair by the Sea, where I've been talking about books and such related things for a couple of years now. I decided to start another blog for my crafts as I'm getting more ambitious and I feel like I need a place to talk about that!

I've also just opened an Etsy shop, the link to which you can find in the sidebar --> It's really brand new at the moment and there are a few major flaws with it, mainly that it doesn't yet have a banner and my photography skills need some definite improvement, but I'll get there!

My baby is just about to be four months old and I kind of feel like I need a bit of a reinvention in my life, as I'm enjoying being at home a huge amount more than I thought I would - I guess the domestic woman in me is finally coming out! Anyway, I feel like the craft community is going to be a great place to be, and I look forward to sharing my projects and experiences! :-)