Friday, 28 November 2014

Ebb and Flow Dishcloths

Well I have been crocheting dishcloths again. Actually I've never really stopped. I just try not to show you them constantly!

That said I tried a new pattern this week. It's one of the free downloads from knit picks called Ebb and Flow Dishcloth.




I love the simplicity of this cloth while it looks really fancy, it's very easy to do and you quickly don't have to think about the repeats.

That said I found a number of issues with this pattern. They really haven't done a good job of editing their free patterns and if you aren't confident with what you're doing it's easy to misread their patterns and mess up.

1. It's in US crochet terms so make sure you're aware of that. 

2. One thing they don't mention that is useful to know is that you want to have 40 stitches across as you stitch and it is good to keep an eye on it. I found the when you came up to the SC rows it's really important to watch because it's easy to lose track of the pattern.

3. The other part that can be tricky until you work out what you're doing is the crossed double crochet stitch. I've got some pictures below. They are easy, you skip the first stitch and do a double crochet. Then you do the next double crochet in the skipped stitch. It feels weird but the more you do it the better you get.



The other tricky bit with this part is when you start the row with the crossed double crochet you need to skip the first stitch because you've made a 3 chain and then you skip the second stitch and do a double crochet in the third stitch from the beginning.  This is because you have to come back and do the crossed double crochet.



You can see that you have two stitches that are crossed over and they do look a little weird at first but you get used to it.



The other thing I found with this pattern is that they recommend cutting off the yarn after each colour. That is stupid. What I changed was to carry the yarns up the side and at the end I add a border around the finished cloth. I think this just makes it look neater and there are only a couple of ends to tie in instead of 30!



4. For the border I went round with a row of single crochets and then went around with a border of reverse single crochet. 

5. Where it says to repeat rows 1-8 you actually want to repeat rows 3-10 as you don't need to have double blue rows. They have labelled two sets of rows as 1 and 2.

I hope you do enjoy working on this cloth and that this has helped you work through the pattern.

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

WIP Wednesday 26/11

Well I haven't really done much this week... I had a craft day and half made a card for my cousin's party on Saturday.

I'm having so much fun with my stamps. They are so pretty and happy :D I need to finish up the inside and then it's ready to give.

I do have some crochet but I will give you some information about it on Friday, as I want to help you make it. So today is a small post and look forward for more later.


Happy stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 24 November 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I received a lovely invite to join the around the world blog hop last week from the lovely Rhona over at Tangled Threads. I was really excited to answer the questions as I've been seeing them appearing more and more on other blogs. So here goes.

1. What am I working on?
It's more a matter of what I'm not working on. I love working on Ink Circles Baroque at the moment. It looks pretty amazing. I love all the sparkles.

 
 I've also been doing some crochet and having lots of fun making dishcloths.




2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

To me the big difference is how many crafts I seem to do. I'm comfortable picking up a hook or needle. I just enjoy tackling many different tasks and making whatever I can. 

I love teaching others and passing on my knowledge and sharing what I do.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?

 Because I have to make stuff. Simple as that and I need to share what I do and what I love. I can't not make things. I've tried that and it's never worked for me.
4. How does my writing/creating process work?

I just write. I'm not very good at planning things out so I just write what comes out of my head. This is sometimes a good thing sometimes not.

 Now keep an eye out for next week. On the 1st of Dec I've got two lovely bloggers joining in. I tried to get a third person but it kept falling through. 

I have shebafudge joining me I love her cross stitch and I always enjoy reading about what is happening with her. 

Also joining me is Charbella stitching she has some amazing work on her HAED designs and also finds time to knit for her daughter's barbie dolls. 

So happy stitching everyone and thank you for visiting. 
Caitlin.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

WIP Wednesday 19/11 on a Thursday

Ohk I could give all sorts of excuses for not posting yesterday but the main reason is I went to Movie World yesterday with my sister, cousin and his girlfriend as my cousin was visiting from out of town.

 Here I am in front of the Bat Car. I was slightly excited.

 We got to see an awesome stunt show. Thankfully the storm stayed away long enough for us to watch it.

This is the Arkham Asylum... used to be the lethal weapon. I just watched my sister and cousin on this one as I'd just been on the super man ride twice and my motion sickness was playing up.

Now since it is WIP Wednesday a day late, I do actually have some stitching to show everyone. Not the best photo ever but we haven't had much solid sun in the last couple of days it's been very cloudy.

That said if you follow me on instagram you'd have an idea about what I'm about to show you.


I finished the second motif of Baroque! I was really excited but I've been waiting for some good light to photograph it but that wasn't going to happen. The heat wave is gone replaced by stormy weather. It's still hot but we're getting storms most evenings.


I love how the colours look on the sparkly fabric.

I've already started the next motif. I like the green I'm now using.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin



Friday, 14 November 2014

Cross Stitch Bookmark

I wasn't sure what I was going to post today but then I managed to have a finish so I decided to show you how I like to finish my cross stitch bookmarks. I finally completed the tiki bookmark that I bought in New Zealand when I was there in July. It was very close and when I grabbed it out of my bag it didn't take long to complete.



Doesn't it look gorgeous all finished with the back stitch and for once I finished the stitching today and managed to finish the piece today as well. That has to be a record for me too actually finishing finishing something the day it is finished!

Step 1

 

Gather all your supplies together. 
You will need: 
  • Your finished bookmark
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Felt
  • Fabric Glue (I really like the glue pictured above)
Step 2

Cut out the felt starting by making it bigger than the bookmark then slowly making slightly thinner than the sides. You want it longer than your cross stitch to start with and you will cut it down later.

See the picture below:


Step 3
 Trim down the ends of the bookmark so only about 1cm or so is left at each end. Fold one end up and make sure it is glued up before placing glue along the bottom and then halfway up the sides.

 Step 4
 Carefully place the felt on so that it lines up slightly above the bottom of the bookmark. Make sure it is even on both sides then press it onto the glue.

Now you can fold down the top of the bookmark and glue it down.

Step 5

Before you glue the rest of the felt trim the top, of the felt, so that it sits just below the edge of the bookmark.

You can see below what it should look like.


Then glue the felt down like you did for the rest of the bookmark.

Step 6

 Show off your finished piece!

This shouldn't take you long to do. It only took me about 5 minutes to cut and glue it. The longest part was having to go to spotlight to get some more glue because mine had dried up at the worst possible time! I use this glue all the time and it seems to hold really well ... until I leave it with the lid slightly undone.

Hope this helps you to make your own bookmark in time for christmas. It could make quite a lovely gift for the book lover in your family.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

ETA:
I had a question about the tiki pattern. It was a kit I bought at a souvenir shop in Wellington. It's manufactured by CraftCo Limited. It's called 'Tiki' by Lyn Manning.
I hope that is enough information for you to find it.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

WIP Wednesday 12/11

I will start by saying that not much has been achieved since last week but that is mainly because I haven't really had much time. It's been a CRAZY busy weekend and between my assignment (which is finally finished and successful) and life in general stitching/knitting/crochet isn't happening very much.

That said I did visit spotlight yesterday and got myself some more cross stitch needles plus a couple of other goodies.


I've become obsessed with alphabet stamps since Monday when I went out and bought the pack on the left from riot and then yesterday I went to spotlight and got the set of acrylic ones. I've been having all sorts of fun with them today making up different words and making them look pretty.

 I made this small journal all the way back in April and I had to put a title on it today. It was a great way to use my stamps. I used instructions to make this from A Beautiful Mess. My post about it can be found here. But it's still a WIP because I need to use the hole punch on the inside paper then tie it all up with a pretty ribbon.


I have been knitting a little I decided to have some fun with a basket weave pattern. It is really simple to do and I had to mix it up a little by throwing in some different colours. It looks so pretty.

I have also finished my cloth from Friday but I haven't finish finished it. Sewing in those ends just takes WAY too long! Or maybe it's just sewing in threads always takes way longer than the task should.




Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 7 November 2014

Almost Lost Washcloth

This is Friday and I promised something special that I want to start doing on a Friday. I found last month that I was posting some sort of tutorial on a Friday. Sometimes it was a recipe like a hand cream, and sometimes it was a technique. But it seemed that I kept wanting to share something that I learnt or tried and Friday always seemed to be a good day.

So I'm going to make it more of a weekly event. On Fridays I will share something that I have learnt or tried and some of the tips and tricks I picked up as I gave it a go.

Today I will continue with my current wash cloth obsession. It is becoming a bit of obsession but coming up to Christmas I need to have a pile made. So I found this pattern it's called The Almost Lost Washcloth it's such a simple pattern and I found it easy to understand but reading through the comments I found that lots of people couldn't understand the pattern and ended up with a shape that didn't work. So today I want to see if I can help clear it up and make it easier for someone else to follow the pattern as well.


I love the way this cloth knits up.


I started the teal one with a normal cast on but for the yellow one I started with a provisional cast on I learnt how to do one of those when I was making my gloves.

I love this VIDEO it explains really well how to do a provisional cast on and how to do a three needle cast off. This is a cheat way to get around sewing the ends together but you will still need to pull the middle in close. But a normal cast on/off will work just as well.



The trick with making this work is to work from the outside in. Each new instruction starts from the outside.
So when it says to Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 2 stitches and knit back You always start from the outside edge and knit to the middle.
When it says to leave 2 stitches you don't stitch the last two stitches you stop, leaving them on the left needle, then turn your work and knit back to the edge.

You then start the next instruction. Again working from the outside in. As you can see the last two stitches don't get knitted in the first row.


I find the knitting is so simple for this cloth as long as you make sure you work through the pattern and always start the new rows from the outside.

Hope this helps if anyone is going to give this pattern a go. It's such a cute little design.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WIP Wednesday 5/1

well not much has been on the go this week. Between my assignment and my concert on Saturday I haven't done much.


That said I have been making some stuff with my new beautiful cotton yarn. It is gorgeous to work with.




It's so soft to knit I love working with the yarn. I should have a finish on this one very very soon!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

October Wrap Up - What's coming for November

It's now a couple of days into November but I still want to wrap up my goals and motivations for October and see how I have gone. In mid September I wrote a post about what motivates me to craft I find that a big motivator for me is being around people who craft and joining in with activities and events that others do.

Here were the goals I decided on for the end of October

1. Start and Finish another unit of my course in 3 weeks like I am meant to.
2. Do another 2 colour rotations on my blanket. So this is at least 24 colours. This is doable by the end of October.
3. Finish the square on Baroque that I'm currently working on.
4. Start the Christmas gifts. I think I know what I'm making this year and I need to get them started or else no one is getting anything!
5. Post every Wednesday at least with a summary of my on the go projects. 

So how did I do? 
1. Well I didn't finish the unit BUT I am working on it and currently having a mini break to write this post before diving back into the assignment. It's actually moving forward!
2. I did get one colour rotation done but didn't start the second this is for a couple of reasons... one is my lovely purple diamond top it is highly distracting and it's not helped by the fact its starting to get quite hot here and it isn't pleasant to work on during the heat of the day.
3. Sorry didn't do well with this either ... had issues with needles breaking and I need to go buy a whole more cross stitch needles and simply put I'm slightly obsessed with dishcloths at the moment!
4. Started and having a ball :D I'm making the face cloths/dishcloths for Christmas this year... guys and girls they're all getting cloths.
5. This one I managed to do. I have been enjoying posting each week and finding that I want to do something to post. It is great to post more often.

Looking back at my goals I didn't achieve all I wanted to BUT because I started a couple more projects I kinda threw some of my goals out the window and enjoyed every moment of it!



I'm not going to write up goals for November I'm going to write up goals to achieve by Christmas... this is all stuff that will be worked on until Christmas and then I will work out what's happening for the new year.

1. Keep going and finish at least one unit and start another. I should be able to finish two units before Christmas the one I'm working on and a new one.

2. Keep posting EVERY Wednesday, I've been liking the weekly WIP Wednesdays but coming up to Christmas there may be a lot more little finishes appearing I hope.

3. I want to add another weekly posting day something on a Friday and maybe another day but I just have to work out what it is before Friday... I have lots of ideas going through my head and I think you'll enjoy it.

4. This one is really important in the run up to Christmas I am having a MAJOR blog overhaul! I will be re designing my logo and then everything to match it. I will also be going through and fiddling with everything to hopefully make it a much smoother experience to visit my blog. I will be talking more about this as the month goes on and I figure out what exactly I'm going to do.

You can see here there are no particular goals with completing any one project. With Christmas coming up my goal is to get all the projects done that need to be completed before Christmas done. This means many dishcloths but also some cross stitch thrown in there. It will be a wonderful Christmas!

So stay tuned and ready for something special on Friday and I will keep you updated about the changes as they happen.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin



Monday, 3 November 2014

Finished Dog

This project took WAY to long to get to a finish and I can't blame anyone but myself!

Technically I haven't even managed to complete it fully but I will get there. I do have ONE finished dog out of the two that I was sewing. The only reason I even have one finished is I had to get it done by the weekend. The second one WILL be finished but probably not until December ready for the Christmas concert where I will need another raffle prize.

 Of course since I rushed through the sewing up at about 6 on Thursday night before I had to hand it in and I forgot to take a photo until Saturday at the concert.

Such a little Kutie
Caitlin

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