Bank Holiday Project Monday: ‘Reyna’ Knitted Shawl

What did you do this Bank Holiday?

This time last year, a Bank Holiday meant another day at work for a little bit more pay. Now I’m  working and studying, they are a welcome reprise in an otherwise busy life. I have been looking forward to this for several weeks, literally counting down the days until it came along – since I spent my Easter bank holidays travelling to and from my parents!

Taking full advantage of this rest day, I spent my morning deep cleaning my flat – something that has needed to be done for quite some time! I then took Roxy for a little walk and got some work done, before diving back into one of my craft projects that has been pushed to the side for a while.

I’ve been working on this shawl since before Christmas, hoping that it would be done for the cold winter – and obviously failed! The pattern is by Noora Laivola and I found it over on Ravelry. (If you’re not familiar with Ravelry but love knitting and/or crochet, you need to check it out!) I’m using some gorgeous yarn from Sirdar (Sylvan, Broadleaf Colourway) that I fell in love with when I saw it. However, I failed to take into account the texture of this yarn’s impact on the outcome. As the yarn varies in width, some holes have come out bigger than others, and it’s looking a bit weird. I really love the colours though, so I’m willing to overlook the problems with it. It’s definitely taught me a lesson to remember in the future though.

How about you? How did you spend your bank holiday? Or for those across the seas, what would you do if you had a day off work right now? Join the conversation below!

Project Monday: The Secret Project

AKA. Finally, A Wedding Present

When you’re invited to the wedding of two special people, you need a special wedding present. Traditionally, this is given, you know, at the wedding, But when you decide it needs to be handmade, even though you have zero time, sometimes the timeline…slips a little. Still, that makes it more of a surprise! After many months of work, I finally sent off a wedding present to my dear friends Emma and Jonny last week, and that means I can finally share it with you all!

Project Details

When I started on this project, I wasn’t sure who or what it was going to be for. As I flicked through CrossStitcher I came across the pattern and immediately fell in love. Then, just after I started working on it I found out that Jonny was planning to propose to Emma. Emma is one of the best bakers I’ve ever met, so the sentiment seemed perfect.

Who knows? If they’re really lucky, I might manage the matching cake band one day! Think I might need to tackle a few other works in progress first though.

Project Monday: Weasley Jumpers

I have just returned from the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for a third time, and it remains a truly magical experience (pardon the pun.) I would go and look at the paper props everyday if I could. Sneaking in just after the end of 2016, it was the perfect end to my most Harry Potter filled year since the release of the last film. There was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which excited me mostly because of the new details revealed about the Wizarding World, and there’s nothing I love more than world building. However, the biggest Harry Potter event of my year took place a month prior, and it was one we’d been waiting for for 366 days.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

Yup, last October was finally our time to see Harry Potter’s first (official) outing on stage. (No spoilers here, I promise.) Working in theatre means it’s obviously a huge passion of mine. I’ve seen quite a few plays, good and bad, over the years. Cursed Child definitely landed on the  good side, despite the plot being lacking. It was redeemed by some outstanding staging and technical effects. The whole performance was perfectly choreographed to an amazing soundtrack (when will we be able to listen to this at home?) Most of all, it wasn’t just a play, it was an experience that took over the entire theatre.

Of course, a huge part of the Harry Potter experience has always been the fans, and they did not disappoint this time around either. I have never been in an audience which collectively, audibly gasped before. Best of all, a majority of the audience was dressed up, including my family.

The Mission: 6 Weasley Jumpers in 366 Days

“366 days to make six Weasley Jumpers, that’s totally doable, right?”

Needless to say, it wasn’t completely doable. The Weasley Jumpers took a who family effort, right up to the beginning of the show. It was a little crazy, but we were glad to have achieved something together. It isn’t perfect as it’s my first handmade jumper, but I love it more than anything, and the feeling of accomplishment cannot be replaced. We’re talking telling everyone around me that I knitted it myself level here. You’ve got to make your pride known!

If you want to have a go at making your own, I used this pattern from Canadian Living; super simple, including different sizes. I used Hayfield Bonus Aran Yarn in Green Heather, and some standard felt for the letter.

Now I have achieved this, I can’t wait to branch out and try a more difficult jumper!

Project Monday: Hobbit Doors

When I was very young, I was gifted with a copy of The Hobbit by my grandmother. I read it immediately, and then again, and fell in love with Middle Earth and it’s lore. Even though an amount of it went over my head at the tender age of ten, I still sat entranced watching the original trilogy of movies. As times gone on, my passion has only grown.

But I digress. This is not a post about my love affair with Middle Earth, but rather an introduction to a product I’ve loved creating.

My sister’s university housemate (and close friend) is getting married this summer. Shortly after I bought my Big Shot Plus, I got a request to make something for the wedding. “We’re not sure what yet, but something.” Time passed, and they came back with a request.

New address cards, that would suit the ‘Hobbitness’ of their new address.

Well, how could I refuse a request like that?

So, for the past month my mind has been buzzing with ideas for these new address cards. When given a theme you love and almost free reign it’s amazing what you can come up with. I experimented with embossing, combining different dies, using new card shapes.

Hobbit Door C
Here’s just a select sample of my early designs. I don’t want to show all of them as it may spoil the surprise! I made the cards with a mix of white and coloured card, mainly so I could show colour ideas without spending too much money on card stock just for samples. The samples and my notes went off to the Bride-to-Be, and I’m off to Cardiff this week to settle the final design to start making.

I imagine not all bespoke requests are this fun, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts!

Project Monday: Adventures with Big Shot Plus

I’ve been aware of die cutting for a while now – it would be difficult to make so many trips to Hobbycraft and not see the rows of dies on display. But I never really understood the appeal. Apart from my on and off again relationship with ‘Project Life’ and the occasional greetings care, my crafting interests lay far away from paper craft.

Fast forward to 2016. It’s not been the best year so far, with a lot of time spent off work. Lazing in bed for hours on end lead me to the discovery of my latest addiction – Create and Craft TV. Despite my joint loves of spending money and crafting gear, I’ve yet to fall into the teleshopping trap. But, anyone who has seen the channel will know it’s full of die cutting. The more I watched, the more I wanted one of those machines. And so, in a moment of weakness and stood in Hobbycraft, I picked up the Sizzix Big Shot Plus Starter Kit.

Thanks to work, I hadn’t had a chance to experiment with my latest purchase before my next trip to Hobbycraft (Cardiff.) I got chatting to a lovely member of staff there called Alison, who knew everything you need to know about die cutting, and pointed me in the right direction. Armed with a bagful of goodies, I headed home and unpacked my kit.

After many hours watching Create and Craft, I was pretty confident with what I was doing, but if it wasn’t it still would have been easy to get started thanks to the instructions printed on each of the platforms. I started with a couple of little shapes, but then got on with I’d been planning since I bought the kit. The kit comes with a number of dies, including a box die. And since unpacking the box, my house has steadily been taken over by decorated gift boxes.

 


I’m sure I’ll talk about the Big Shot Plus more in the future, but right now I’m just excited to keep experimenting! There may also be more dies on the way after payday.

Project Monday: Kitten & Puppy Bookmark

Introducing Project Monday

Project Monday is the very exciting name I have given my posts about current projects. When do you get them? You guessed it, Mondays.

I have been experimenting with a range of crafts, from card making to cross stitch, which means there will hopefully be something for everyone in this segment! Soon, I’ll be announcing the craft challenges I have set myself, so you can have a go at them at home! If you want to get a sneak peak at what I’m working on, I post to my Instagram fairly regularly (check out the cat photos too!) Now, on to today’s post:

Puppy and Kitten Bookmarks

This week, we’re starting off with a very overdue birthday present for my two youngest sisters. Like me, they both love animals; Amy is studying to be a vet and Jessie is studying animal behaviour. They’re also avid readers, so when I spotted this pair of cross stitch bookmarks on holiday in Brugges, it seemed like perfect presents for them! I swapped out the colours of the paw prints on the pattern for their favourite colours to make them a little bit more personal.

A sephia tone puppy cross stitch bookmark posted as part of my Project Monday
Puppy getting started
A nearly finished puppy cross stitch bookmark in sephia tones
And the Puppy nearly finished

The kit has taken a little bit longer than expected – work always gets in the way! I’m hoping to get the second one finished today, before backing them in felt and giving them to my sisters.

A partly finished cross stitch kitten in sephia tones
Kitten Bookmark in Progress
A partly finished kitten bookmark posted as part of my Project Monday series
And the kitty again – nearly finished!

 

The kit is made by Vervaco. It proved a little difficult to find online, but I finally tracked it down for sale here.