My Jungle-Themed Baby Quilt

The last three months have been a bit up and down in terms of my energy levels.  I thought the second trimester mums-to-be were meant to have lots of energy again, however this little one still takes it out of me some days!  He’s getting quite wriggly and obviously having growing spurts. My friends keep commenting on how much my tummy seems to be  growing!

We’ve set up the nursery with a jungle theme, largely inspired by the Makower Baby Jungle quilt panel and fabric, which we got in the shop earlier this year.

A few weeks ago I spent an hour making a lampshade for the nursery in the Jungle Scenic fabric. Previously we had a lampshade which made the room quite dark, but this new one makes such a difference.

 

nursery lampshade

And finally, this week I found some time and energy to make up one of these panels into a quilt for our little one.

I simply added a couple of borders in co-ordinating fabric and backed it with the scenic fabric again to tie in with the lampshade. Instead of a traditional binding, I did the inside-out method (at least this is my name for it!). I put the front and back pieces right sides together with wadding underneath, sewed almost all the way around and turned inside out. I then quilted it and stitched up the gap for turning.

jungle theme baby quilt

I’m so pleased with it!

My 10th Blog Anniversary

10th-birthday-balloons-11-inch-latex-ball1359_th2Wow! It dawned on me today that yesterday was my blog anniversary but I hadn’t twigged until just now that it is the 10th anniversary of starting this blog, and therefore 10 years ago when I started knitting in earnest as a keen newbie. I almost wasn’t going to write a blog post as my crafting mojo has been very up and down this past year or two. I still love knitting and sewing but what with renovating a house for 18 months and finally moving into it in the summer and running your own business, I just get in from work and don’t have the energy to do anything.

The past three months though, I’ve had a good excuse for feeling extra tired… we’re expecting a baby in July! In fact today, on my last day of the Christmas holiday break, I went shopping in Exeter to try and buy some maternity trousers. All my jeans and trousers are getting a bit tight now.There is a distinct lack of maternity wear around in the shops. What are women meant to do? I did get a pair of maternity jeans in JojoMamanBebe. They are way too long though and the waist is a bit high, but they’ll do and I can take up the length. I get the feeling they are catering for taller women.

I’m not going to bother to do a list of what I achieved last year and my aims for this year. With a baby on the way, who knows what I’ll have time to do.

I have however started some baby knitting – a plain white cotton cardigan. We won’t know if we’re having a boy or girl for another 6 weeks but I was dying to knit something, so plain white it had to be.

My Armchair Sewing Caddy

I have finally finished this arm chair sewing caddy.  My husband hates it when I drop my needle or scissors down the side of the sofa whilst sewing and so having this caddy beside me will hopefully stop me doing this.

sewing-caddy

I looked on Pinterest for ideas of what style to make and I used some fat quarters I bought from Joann many years ago on holiday in Florida. I’m pretty pleased with it. I think I will make a thread catcher to go with it, which will perhaps attach to the front of it.

I started a very exciting small sewing project this week, which I will probably get finished tomorrow, so I should be posting again very soon!

Love Crafting!

On Saturday, Mum and I, together with the 11 year old daughter of a friend of mine, went to the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycraft Show at Westpoint, Exeter. Mum and I have been most years but it was delightful to take my friend’s daughter too, because I got to see the show through fresh eyes. She’s been coming to us for sewing lessons after school and loves crafting and as we walked in, a huge smile came across her face!

There wasn’t much in the way of yarn and fabric at this show – there never usually is to be honest – it’s more of a paper and bead crafts show, but there was still a lot I could have spent my money on.

There were a lot of kits at the Pinflair stand which I could have bought, but I did limit myself to the Christmas Tree Surprise Kit.

I’m particularly excited about the needle felting kit though. I’ve never done needlefelting before so Mum and I thought we’d have a go. She bought a couple of different kits: one is a picture and the other two bunnies.

I’m all excited to get on with some crafting now… but I just don’t know where to begin!

FO: Baby Blossom Cardi

We have a new yarn in the shop for this coming Autumn from Sirdar. It’s called Baby Blossom Chunky and it arrived just a few weeks ago.

It’s a really clever self-patterning yarn, which gives the appearance of an ombre effect in one colour and then a field of flowers!

I decided to knit a v-neck cardigan from one of the accompanying pattern leaflets to see if this would work for me… And it did!

baby-blossom-cardi

I did actually knit 3 front pieces, because when I did the second, no blossom pattern appeared. It was just about to start at the point I finished the front. So I reknit it, and used the yarn from the “spare” front for a sleeve, because I didn’t mind if that wasn’t patterned.

Cathedral Window Pincushion

I had an urge to dig into my stash this weekend and do a spot of sewing. I’ve never made one of these cathedral window pincushions, which are very popular, so I thought I’d have a go.

The fabrics were fat quarters that I bought in JoAnn‘s many, many years ago on a holiday to Florida. It was nice to finally use a little bit of them.

I have to say I did find it a little tricky. The inserts under the curves kept slipping, but I got there in the end and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

Ingenue Sweater

I feel like my crafty mojo is returning. 🙂

It’s been quite a while since I’ve enjoyed knitting something. I’ve had several knitting projects on the go for some time, which I’ve not finished because I wasn’t enjoying it for one reason or another.

I have a couple of lacy patterns that I’m doing – a cardigan in Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply and a beaded scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze. They’ve stalled because of the concentration needed to follow the patterns. I can’t take them to Knit ‘n’ Stitch nights because I will go wrong and then in the evenings at home I’m too tired to concentrate on anything difficult.

I’ve even stalled on knitting a teddy bear jumper because I’m making up the pattern as I go to fit the teddy.

Then there was the sweater in Sublime’s Evie, which started out well but then I wasn’t happy that the neckline suited me, so I tried to alter it and I stalled on that for months until a couple of weeks ago, I decided to scrap the alterations, knit it as written and be done with it.

All the extra thinking involved in either following or making up the pattern was putting me off doing any knitting at all.

So I decided I needed to find a project that would inspire me again. Something that I can knit without thinking too much about it, but not so boring that it becomes tedious.

That project has been the Ingenue sweater which I started in July.

A few years ago I was given a copy of Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard but I’d never tried any of the patterns, even though several appealed.

This book is very much about giving you a pattern and also suggestions for making it suit your body shape better. Looking on Ravelry there were some lovely variations of the Ingenue sweater and so I thought I would try something similar.

My version has a lower ribbed neck and 3/4 length sleeves rather than bell shaped sleeves. I’m knitting it in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and it will have some coral coloured stripes at the ends of the sleeves and below the waist.

It is also knitted top-down, which is great. I love being able to try it on as I go.

File 26-07-2016, 10 57 20.jpeg

I have a slight fear that I’ve made the neck ribbing too wide and as that’s the cast on edge, it won’t be easy to fix, but it is possible from what I’ve been reading. So I’ll wait until the end and see how it feels when it’s finished.

It’s nice to be enjoying knitting again though!