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Bean bags

I have a 3 year old daughter who now just wants to throw everything. So I needed something that was safe to throw in the house.

The fabric was some I originally brought to make her a mask. But then the advice came out that wasn’t safe for kids that young. I then got given about 6 bags of bean bag beans off a local freebie group I’m part of.

This was then the perfect stashbuster to make throwing bean bags. I made 10 and it only took a few nights.

Really happy with how they have turned out. Would definitely make them again. Promised some to my mum to have to keep my daughter amused!

The plan is also to use some spare fabric from my laundry basket make. I have 2 nice squares left that will be perfect for little drawstring bags!

Happy seeing all!

MrsKirstyHoll

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Felting – Blue Tit

In July my Grandfather on my mum’s side passed away. He was a great lover of small birds. He’d watch them for hours out of the window by his seat in the lounge.

So when I spotted this felting kit in Hobbycraft, I felt inspired.

The kit was really easy to do. It didn’t take a lot of time to put together. It’s also a really easy one for anyone who’s not done any felting before. The only slight problem was the beak as that as really stiff. Other that that it was fun.

Anyone else had a chance have a go at felting before?

Happy crafting!

MrsKirstyHoll

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Face masks

So as with everywhere else, as of tomorrow, in the UK we have to wear facemasks in every shop we go into. I brought my first facemask a few months ago (who saw that as being a 2020 must have?).

It was £4 and one of those rectangular pleated ones that go around my ears. It did the job while I didn’t have time to make one. But it didn’t feel particularly comfortable on my face. Then my husband paid £16 for a slightly more fitted one that has a better tie around the back of his head.

I saw that and figured I could make one.

What I wanted:

– something that covered my face from my chin to above my nose

– something comfortable

– something that’s personalised (it’s covering half of my face and I want it to represent me)

– ideally 3 layers as that seems to be the recommendation in some areas.

– something that ties behind my head and won’t fall of or need adjustment during use.

1st go

My first design involved cutting on the 2 layers and then shaping. This would be a small triangle cut out at the nose and chin. Then appling the third layer. I then used bra straps for the elastic.

That was good. But the shape wasn’t that comfortable and the fit wasn’t tight around my nose. The elastic didn’t let me adjust easily once it was on.

2nd go

This time I cut the 3 layers out. Then seamed it and then added darts for shaping. This made a much better seal around my nose. I also used thin straping and small toggles to make the mask adjustable.

This one fitted better and had a better finish. But I found it a bit high and it kept poking me in the eye while I was wearing it shopping today! Will make it slight shorter I think.

3rd go

Going to have a 3rd go soon as I have a lot more fabric left.

Going to make the mask slightly short to avoid eye poking.

Currently using 2 toggles. If I run the strapping through a fabric tube it will only need 1.

I will also make the seams slightly wider as I think that will be more comfy.

Have you been making and wearing masks? What is you design and material preferences?

Happy crafting!

MrsKirstyHoll

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Sewn Patchwork Quilt – 4 years in stitching

I needed a distraction tonight. I’ve been told I’m waiting on some sad news. So I wanted to fill you in on one of the makes I finished before I picked up blogging again.

Back in 2016 – you remember that strange time when things were normal? – I started hand sewing a patchwork quilt. I got the original inspiration for the crosses from a post in Pinterest. For a beginner, it was easier to stitck with squares!

I picked up most of the fabric from a local fabric store. I didn’t need much of each – so the scrap bucket was a cheap way of getting the pieces together. From there, I planned the arrangement and then slowly started hand sewing the pieces together.

This was a project that I slowly picked up every so often over the course of a few years. It was boxed up and moved from my grandparent’s house (my husband and I lived with them while we saved for a deposit).

It then travelled to our first house and spent most of our time there in a box under the bed. I think a few squares might have been sewn together…? The box then got packed up and taken on our second move in April 2019.

In our new house I have a conservatory that I can fill it with crafting goodies. So this time the box with the quilt was easy to find. At the beginning of the year, I made it my mission to get this project finally finished.

  1. Got all the squares sewn together.
  2. I then sewed the squishy quilting fabric onto the squares by tacking the corners.
  3. The white cotton backing was then stitched along all the verticles and horizontals, then around the edge.
  4. To finished off, I then sewed bias binding around the edge to hold everything together.

I managed to get a large amount of this work done over a couple of weekends. It took being focused on this project and setting aside other WIPs. So that was a useful lesson for when I need a WIP clear out!

Above is the finished quilt. It’s a double size an I’m really pleased with the finished piece.

In the back of the image is my headboard. I made that out of some jersey fabric, MDF board, thick quilt and spray adhesive. Then finished off the look with some large buttons. Total cost was about £50 – instead of the £200 for an equivalent in a shop. Don’t buy an headboard!

Keep crafting peeps!

x

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All sewn up in red and green

This week I’ve been working on my Hobbycraft Christmas wreath kit. It’s been a busy week with work and childcare. So it’s been a relief to have something to focus on that wasn’t on a screen.

On the flip side, I’m struggling to write this post while glued to Hamillton on Disney+. Especially with the lack of live performances it lockdown, it’s a welcome change. The songs are amazing and the plot is gripping. If you’re looking for something to watch with a SIMPLE project then it’s perfect. If you’re kitting lace with repeats you’re not familiar with than I highly recommend not watching it….

Thankfully, the final blanket stitches in the wreath were fairly simple. I’d done the construction of the decorations during the week. All the pieces had been measured and cut. I had to sew together – which was a simple concept for the flower and the holly. The mistletoe was a slightly more fiddly as it needed suffing adding. The end of a small crochet hook prooved a helpful poking stick.

It’s not a large decoration, but I’m pleased. In the execution I slightly differed from the instuctions. It was suggested I glued the decorations to the ring. However, I realised there was more thread than I needed, so I decided to sew on the pom poms and the decorations to the wreath before I sewed the rings together. I’m really pleased with that decision and I would recommed that option. I also very firmly stuffed the ring and needed to delve into my own supply to finish it. It meant I’ve finished with a solid ring base and it gives more volume to the decorative elements.

This week hasn’t just been sewing, it’s also involved taking the opportunity to see parents. In England we have the slight loosening of lockdown rules allowing us to meet in outdoor gardens. My daughter has particularly enjoyed being able to see grandparents again. For a 3 year old, I am really proud with how well she’s coped with this process. She’s been staying with grandparents on both sides while I was at work since she was 3 months old. To suddenly not being able to see them was really tough on her.

On the flip side, the working from home has allowed both my husband and myself to spend more quality 1:1 time with her. I’ve particulaly enjoyed dragging her out on walks, having time to watch bees and look at what’s going on around us. We’ve chased bubbles, paddled in streams, had picnics and today we dug a hole at the beach despite the fact it was windy and we quickly got covered in sand. That’s time I wouldn’t have had without the pandemic. With all the rushing around I am not sure I would have made the time. Equally, there has also been times where all I wanted to do was nap – she made it her life’s work to keep me awake because it wasn’t nighttime and therefore I was not allowed to sleep. I discovered that if I turned to face the back of the sofa she couldn’t poke me in the eye. So she built a fairy out of her megablocks. That made me smile when I woke from my powernap.

It’s strange times are these. I’m planning to cast on something new this weekend. I will fill you in on my next blog post. Hint: Think large scale.

Happy crafting

x

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Christmas in June

So this afternoon I was tired and trying to avoid napping (otherwise I won’t sleep tonight).

I fancied an easy project, so went hunting in my project pack box. Pulled out this Hobbycraft Christmas wreath sewing kit. I picked it up half price in their boxing day sales. If you’re in England then highly recommend checking out their sales when they come up!

Hobbycraft Felt Wreath Sewing kit

Made a start on the sewing. Pretty simple to put together. But a fantastic chill out project.

Making a start

I do enjoy the Hobbycraft craft kits. Great for when you don’t want to buy lots of materials. Also saves lots of the fiddly bits – ideal if you fancy something a bit different.

This week I’ve also made some progress on my ten stitch blanket. But most of my spare time has gone to reorganising my lounge/ daughter’s playroom. It looks much tidier now 😃

Night all and happy knitting (or sewing)

X

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Stash busting – I cannot store any more yarn

So, cunning plan, use up the yarn I currently own so I can buy more yarn.

I spent most of Saturday sorting through the 8 cube boxes and 2 large boxes of yarn. Found some gems I had forgotten about.

Snapshot of the yarn

During the sort out I pulled out the small scrap balls of yarn. Some of the collection has been stolen by my 3 year old, the remaining has been stored in a bag. The remaining has been bagged up to use in ‘The ten stitch blanket’ by Frankie Brown. The pattern originally came to my attention on one of the Facegroup knitting groups. A perfect on going stashbuster.

Made a start on the blanklet and figured out how to do the corners without instructions.

10 stitch blanket

Once I’ve made my way through the stash bag I can cast the next exciting project.

Scraps for the stash

Happy knitting all

Xxx

Knitting · My Finished Objects (F.O) · Uncategorized

Finished Object – Terribly Simple Shawl

Hi all 🙂

Had a busy week – so made sure I found some knitting time carved out to keep my head calm. A positive perk of this was I managed to get this stash buster shawl finished!

For those of you that missed it – here’s the original post…

via WIP – Terribly Simple Shawl

It now looks like this:

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I’m using a broach I had floating around to secure it.

Changes I made to the pattern:

– swapped to increasing in the middle about half way (see small holes in middle).

– stopped increasing about midway through the blue. Think it help give a really nice point.

So this stash buster has finished off:

– all textured white yarn

– the sparkly teal ball

– the remaing sparkly pink from my stash.

Feeling pretty pleased with this… making room for any finds from knitting and stitching show in March. Need to have a sort through for any other hidden gems!

My next cast on?

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Cast this beautiful hooded toddler cardigon for Lily. Had this in the todo with the yarn for about a year! Go me 🙂

Knitting up well. So will let you know when it’s done!

Love to you all and happy knitting

MrsKirstyHoll

X

 

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Puzzled about Happiness

So yesterday I listened to a podcast about Happiness from The Minimalists. I love the content these guys produce because it really resonates with the type of lifestyle that I want to achieve.

What is happiness? I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with balance. If it’s not carefully balanced then you over burn yourself.

We’re constantly being told through marketing that we need X or Y to be happy, that we need to weigh A or look like C or have this amazing fantastic job that pays loads of money for a big beautiful house.

Personally, what makes me happy is when I spend time with my husband, daughter, family or close friends. I find my job actually makes me happy as it allows me to give back to the world around me and help support local organisations. It also challenges me – which is something that keeps my mind really positively stimulated. Anything yarn related makes me happy as it forces me to concentrate on the now – meaning I don’t have my hands free for social media or my phone. It helps me focus on being still and relaxed.

But in contrast, to much work makes me to exhausted to be able to be able to do anything else. Not having time to knit means that I don’t have the chance to unwind. Not enough time on my own means I don’t have the presence of mind to be able to connect with others when I want to be enjoying their company.

It’s funny that I’m 26 and I’m still figuring out what sort of life I need for me to be happy. I want to gain a better understanding so that I can figure out how to teach my daughter how to not get to overwhelmed and help her figure things out. Happiness is a pretty puzzling concept.
via Daily Prompt: Puzzled

Crochet · Knitting · My Finished Objects (F.O) · Uncategorized

Finished Make- Summer Breeze Baby Jumper and Blanket

So. Long time no see.

All good here. Been busy with yarn/sorting out yarn stash/sorting out patterns/making space for new yarn. A real focus on the moment on trying to use up what’s currently in my stash. I would like to make some room for new yarn that I plan on buying at the knitting and stitching show in March (mum and I have tickets!).

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So this knit was actually on the ‘to-make list’ – so a complete win for me!!! This yarn reduced yarn in my stash – although it had been brought with the intention of this jumper – but still a definite win.

The Hayfield bonus DK and King Cole Glitz were really nice to knit with and look fab knitted up. This jumpers also now been washed a few times and appears to be holding it’s shape well :).

While the jumper was a pretty quick knit, it was more difficult to get Lily to stay still for a picture – she’s recently figured out walking and so would much rather be pulling toys out of various boxes.

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The plan – if I get some time – is to sew through some thin white ribbon into the back of the jumper. Ideally in some lace up corset style. Alternately I have some small buttons I might add with a small hoop. But she won’t notice if that doesn’t happen soon – I’m not a fan of things than involve a sewing needle.

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But apart from that, I’m really pleased with the fit. A perk of living with the recipient is that I was able to extend the body and the arms. I ended up having to extend the body at the shoulders. Ideally, I would actually knit this jumper in a top down fashion to make it easier to knit the body to the length required. Personally, I like long bodied jumpers as I find them more comfortable – so that does influence the final design of what I knit.

I did end up with a lot of spare yarn from this project – to be honest I could have knitted another jumper….

So I dug out my set of hooks and started free handing a Crochet blanket. I started from the center and worked outwards. It was actually a rather therapeutic make as I didn’t have any sort of pattern to follow. Found this was also a great lesson in crochet for me as  I got more of an understanding of the shaping and just generally more confidence.

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I free attempted the squaring out of the blanket as I went. So my square is not going to be the most regular one you’ll see today. But I found it a really fun challenge to attempt. It’s been gifted to Lily as a lighter weight blanket for warmer evenings.

So these were my makes for January – glittery is the theme. Which is something you need once all the glitter of Christmas has disappeared! In January I also managed to get another couple of chapters finished on my book – helped by my Grandad who has become my editor. We’re working on a final draft this year.

That’s all from me today 🙂 Wanted to keep you updated on what I’ve been making 🙂

Love to you all and Happy Knitting

Mrs Kirsty Holl

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