14.10.13

Clean, sort, tidy, clean, sort, tidy......

*sigh*.....there's not a lot of hooky been happening round these parts of late. Sad times. I have withdrawal. I've taken to trawling pinterest just to get a yarn/hooky fix.
Work has been crazy busy. Last inspection happened today...YAY!!!! I've had a rotten cold. I'm sick of snots. I'm sick of sneezing. My cats are sick of me sneezing as I seem to scare the life out of them every time I sneeze.

I've also been Spring Autumn cleaning. Like the whole house from top to bottom. Including the dreaded cupboard under the stairs. Nope I haven't gone mad! I just figured it was about time my little domain had a spruce up. Well that and my lovely friend from Holland is visiting on Friday for a girly week of fun and gossip. She has duly been instructed to oooh and aaah at the tidy home. And if she doesn't I shall not take her to the yummy local yarn shop as promised. Mean aren't I????

So remember the room of doom all those weeks ago? It now has a bed and has been prettied up. Oh it looks beautiful!

I chose a simple wooden bed. I was originally going to get a day bed but decided against it. I'm pleased I did. This bed is gorgeous and so so comfy. Good old Argos. AND it was on special offer. Even better!


Naturally a new bed requires new bed linen. Gorgeous organic cotton in crisp white. See how beautifully it was packaged? Wrapped in tissue paper and tied with ribbon. 

We did have a little disaster whilst building the bed. Clumsy madam that I am. Somehow I managed to knock the rather ancient lampshade with the new mattress. It shattered into pieces! Such a shame as I really liked that plastic funky retro shade. Anyway it was a great excuse to order a replacement. Fingers crossed it will arrive in time!

So aside from the cleaning and snotting and sneezing....I've been trying desperately to finish off a blanket that has been in progress for about....oh....3 years?
If I'm honest I've been delaying finishing this blanket as it's made from Stylecraft Acrylic yarn. I was pretty much a learner hooker when I started it so the cost was a real bonus, but boy!, I've developed such an aversion to the texture! It literally sets my teeth on edge! But, having said that, it'll make a fantastic picnic blanket. 


It's very large and also very bright! Ziggy loves it! In fact I'm struggling to keep him of it. He clearly doesn't have an issue with the texture.


I'm now sewing in a zillion ends. It's driving me mad! So glad I weave in ends as I go now.
I'm planning to add a pretty simple border. Shades of blue to try and calm down the colour explosion! One things for sure...I won't lose this picnic blanket in a hurry!

Til next time
Maria x

8.10.13

That Felty Feeling Part 2

Now...where were we? Ah yes! I was about to throw the bag into the washing machine!!!
Well despite my misgivings I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. So into a laundry bag went the bag, I added a towel to the washing machine to get some agitation going, machine set to 40 degrees medium wash and then the nail biting began!

I swear to god that was the longest wait ever!!! I tried to distract myself by keeping busy but I couldn't resist peeking nervously into the machine a few times! Couldn't see a thing haha!!!

And then the time came......


Ah yes....just the right amount of fuzziness!


Stitch definition still present! Whoop Whoop!!!!
One very happy Maria :-)


Next came the task of choosing a lining for my bag. I opted for for a polka dot pattern in a linen/cotton mix. A perfect weight for a bag lining. Now I'm not a great sewer so the next bit was pretty scary stuff! I placed the bag on top of the lining and cut around it leaving a 1 inch seam allowance. I decided to double line the bag (won't do that again!!!). So basically I made a lining that looked the same on both sides. Miraculously it actually fitted snuggly inside the bag. I attached the lining by hand sewing. Having come this far, I really didn't trust my machine sewing skills! 


I even stitched in my very own label!


So this is the finished bag. I'm very pleased with it! I added some handles that are just the right length so the bag snuggles very comfortably under my arm.


A little peek of the lining. Oh I do love polka dots!!!!!

So now I'm no longer a felting virgin, I plan to do another felty project. Next time real fuzzy felt! Not a sign of a crochet stitch in sight. Ah I'm itching to get started already!

Before I go, can I suggest you pop over to my good friend Anita's blog. Yours truly is a guest blogger over there today :-)

Til next time!
Maria x

7.10.13

Getting a feel for felting part one!

Arghhh!!!!! Where does the time go? It honestly feels like 4 days since I last posted rather than a couple of weeks. But, to be fair, they've been crazy crazy busy weeks. There was a birthday to celebrate (obviously I'm 21 again!!!), 2 major inspections at work and a guest room to finish (remember the room of doom???). So I'm in catch up mode again. But's getting there. Oh it's all starting to feel calmer. Much calmer!

In the whirlwind of hustle and bustle over the last few weeks I've haven't had much hooky time. Sad times! However I did manage to finish my felted bag. Being a complete and utter Virgo I like things to be perfect. I'm obsessive about neat finishes, so the thought of willingly chucking a finished and very pretty crochet item in the washer when it clearly states on the yarn label HANDWASH ONLY!!!! kind of goes against the grain! However I really wanted to try out this felting malarkey.

So in true Virgo form I did a test felted square. I used Icelandic lace weight wool.


Beautiful colours all neatly caked (guess who treated herself to a yarn winder???) with a dark grey for the edges. I chose the Maybelle flower pattern with this edging technique. Very simple but effective.


I loved how the dark grey just seemed to make the coloured flowers pop! Now yes I wanted a felted finish to this bag but I still wanted to see some stitch definition. So next came some experimental washing of a sample square! I tried a 40 degree quick wash. When I took it out of the machine I thought it needed more felting so back in it went! 


Yup, 2 washes gave just the right look I wanted! Happy with that I went on to hook up enough squares to make a nice sized bag.


I joined them using that gorgeous bright green and a double crochet stitch. At this point I seriously was having second thoughts about flinging it in the washer! I mean doesn't it look lovely? 

Check back tomorrow to see whether or not I was brave enough!!!
Til then...
Maria x