September 2008


I’m a bit red faced because I missed the deadline for the Autumn Challenge at Loving Hands. I have a pile of items that just need finishing off but I didn’t get around to it before Sunday. The results of the targets haven’t been announced but i know I will feel guilty if we didn’t achieve them.

On the plus side I have a head start on the Winter challenge which will be up on the website soon. I can send Innocent smoothie hats direct – right up until 17th October. I also need to get started on Christmas presents – I’ve still not mastered socks! Oh and I still have lots of ideas of things to make for my Esty shop.

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… for the Bliss/Knitting Institute Preemie set design competition … and I didn’t win.

The Winner!

The Winner!

The winning set is very cute and by Teresa Channell. I love the little button and strap detail on the booties and the cardigan looks as though it is knitted in one piece.

 

The blurb in the magazine states that they had a very long shortlist and there was a picture of the judges looking at the entries – I spied my set in the bottom right hand corner (the green one with the mistake in – eek). I’ve tried to take a photo (below) but it isn’t very clear. The top 3 entries are going to be put on the Bliss website as patterns for people to use when making premature baby sets for hospitals.

My entry?
My entry?

If you’ve had a go at my pattern please let me know how it worked out – it was my first attempt so I am eager to learn more.

I’ve started an Etsy shop. And while I don’t profess to have the skill of some of the other people on there I hope that you will stop by and have a look at my wares.

Many of the items that I talk about in my blog will eventually appear there (once they have been perfected). At the moment there are some bags and some hair clips similar to the one’s featured in my posts about wedding dilemmas.

The shop can be found by visiting RhodesAnnalsDesigns
http://RhodesAnnalsDesigns.etsy.com (Rhodes is my maiden name and I should hopefully be selling some of my sister’s fantastic cards and jewellery in the future).

Even if you don’t like my stuff you are bound to find something you like in the many stores on Etsy – don’t be put of by the fact it is in US$ – many sellers are from the UK.

Any suggestions or requests are most welcome.

What do you do when you have to give a reading at your brother-in-law’s wedding, you have a 4 year old to entertain in the run up to the wedding, you are the greeter at the groom’s house when all the people and paraphernalia arrive and you need to keep the best man sober? Well one thing you don’t do is join your mother-in-law and sister-in-law for a morning at the hairdressers.

I am cursed blessed with naturally curly hair which frizzes at the first sign of moisture – did I mention the torrential rain on the day? Fortunately I remembered that some time ago my sister had made some beautiful slides (she has the same curse blessing as me) but I could only find one, and it was the wrong colour.

So after several failed attempts I managed to copy her design and make my own:

slide

slide

The picture’s not good quality but it was the closest I could get to show the detail – there is a gem in the middle with pearl effect beads at the tip of each petal. I was up at 6am for a wedding at 2pm and washing my hair and clipping it back to let it dry naturally worked and meant I was able to fulfil my duties throughout the day instead of spending the morning in a salon with hairspray and hot rollers.

Oh and the ‘practice’ flowers came in useful to put on the Wedding Tote that I posted about yesterday.

In the preparations for my brother-in-law’s wedding it dawned on me that my little black handbag just wouldn’t do. With lots of ‘distractions’ to take along to keep our 4 year old busy I needed to come up with something else or lug his Thomas the Tank Engine roller case up the aisle.

So the Wedding Tote was born:

Wedding tote bag

Wedding tote bag

 

it’s not perfect – I kind of worked out how to do the corners as I went – but there was plenty of room to put all of my son’s colouring books and magazines in, his game machine and earphones and all of the ‘bits’ we acquired throughout the day. The straps were long enough to carry easily over my shoulder (along with the video camera and the still camera – I am a unglorified cart horse).

I crocheted the flowers to match the flowers on my dress so the bag didn’t stand out in the wedding crowd – well not as much as a Thomas the Tank Engine trolley case would.

A friend of mine has a pre-schooler AND twin toddlers. Which means she has a lot of stuff to carry around. During the summer we went on a visit to a local park and I fell in love with her bag. It was a big bag with a generous wide strap and a tie closure. I asked where she got it and she said a friend had made it for her.

Having just had success with my ‘Swag bag’ I thought – yes you guessed it – ‘I could do that’. I tried to sketch the bag from memory. There was no join at the top of the bag to the straps as they were all cut out of one piece of fabric with a hole in the middle for the shoulder and arm – so only the back and the front were sewn together in one continuous seam. However I wanted the bag to be lined and so had joins at the straps for the lining – stitched into the main bag for strength – and the rest was one piece. In the end the lining was slightly too big for the bag so the stitching is very obvious but hopefully I will learn from that.

inside bag

inside bag

big bag

big bag

Rather than a tie fastening I thought that the material I chose would suit a button fastening much better and I’m quite proud of the result. My one problem is that I didn’t put a pocket in so I will need to add a purse type pocket to put all those essentials – like my phone and my lip gloss – in so they don’t get lost in the bag. It is great for carrying a change of clothes for my son (and some fruit, and a drink, and his cars, and a book, and another drink …).

I didn’t have the foresight to make a ‘pattern’ so I will need to attempt another one soon whilst I can still remember how I did it.

Like many knitters I justify my stash by knitting for others or for charity. We’re selfless, kind hearted folk who do it for the love of the feel of the wool between our fingers, the sound of the clicking of our needles and the idea that we are making something with love for the recipient.

But what do we knit for ourselves?

Back in July I had a birthday and my mum presented me with a bag overflowing with wool. In it was some Rowan Kidsilk Haze – gorgeously soft and fluffy. It was crying out to be made into something luxurious.

Around the same time I’d found the perfect dress for my brother-in-law’s wedding – except the wedding was at the beginning of September and the dress was held up by small straps. I do posses a jacket but I was enchanted by the idea of a shawl.

Weddng shawl

Wedding shawl

shawl

shawl

The pattern was featured in Knitting Magazine (issue 51, June 2008) and is ‘Sumptuous’ by Alison Dupernex. It was quite simple once you got the hang of it and produced a beautiful honeycomb effect.  I stitched tiny beads into it (to reflect the light rather than stand out – you can just about make them out in the picture below). The only problem was that the mohair content brushed off onto my husband and son’s suits. 

close up

close up

As it turned out – despite the fantastic weather on the preceding days – the wedding day was one of torrential rain and the shawl was very welcome and warm – I can’t wait to have an excuse to wear it again!

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