Styna, Munchkin and Bones!

Styna, Munchkin and Bones!
Mischief Managed!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Stray Sock Sewing - Daniel Ta

A while back I was looking for interesting things to make with the crafters at Bradford Uni and I stumbled upon this book and I thought, 'here we go!', the idea being we could grab a few pairs of socks, some beads and buttons and some stuffing and have a fun and fairly straightforward workshop. Well, so we did, but it got a little bit out of hand... the sock dolls were so much fun to make (and so cute) that we all came away with loads of the little monsters. In fact, PhoenixShaman like them so much she started making her own army of evil sock dolls (they're just misunderstood), which live here. I was particularly impressed with JaffaCakeLover's Doom Bunny, since he'd not really lifted needle and thread before :)
I'd definitely recommend the book to anyone wanting to try something new and fun. The book itself is well laid out, instructions are clear and concise and there's plenty of encouragement to try your own style. I will say that not all the sock dolls have intructions, but that just makes it more fun :) Having tried a few without instructions I also realised that failing to copy a shape exactly was not necessarily a bad thing and generally led to an intriguing new kind of sock doll.

Here are a few of ours :) The two white patterned 'bunnies' and Mr Piggy were made by me, but the blue 'dog' was made by my Mr, Erador.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Star Blanket - Guest Post

I asked my friend Krystyna to fill us in on the awesome star blanket she's been crocheting, so I'll hand over to her:

Towards the end of last year we found out that my Sister-in-Law was pregnant, pretty big deal, lots of happiness and, of course a request for a baby blanket. I had been after a new project after finishing a throw blanket for my Mama ( ) and liked the look of the Star-ghans I had seen lurking about the interwebs and this seemed the perfect opportunity to try one out.

Now most people appeared to have been making “Beth's Little Star Afghan” ( ) which is a very nice, easy pattern, highly suitable for beginners, no complex or modified stitches, straightforward. However I didn’t like the look of it for a baby blanket, those gaps/holes in the middle and at each corner are far too easy for little toes and fingers to get caught in. Some browsing around eventually led me to Crochet Pattern Central ( ) and the baby items section offered up the Chromium Star Afghan ( ) a slightly more advanced pattern which offers a star-shaped blanket without the gaps.

The pattern starts with a magic ring, so no holes in the middle, or one small one at most and two modified stitches to do away with the holes in the corners. The modified stitches could be a little confusing but they are clearly described and easy to pick up and the difference to the finished article is huge. My only complaint about the pattern is the amount it says you’ll need. When I reached the point where I’d used the amount of yarn described in the pattern I thought it was still rather small and I’m fairly sure it can’t all be down to a difference in tension. The pattern ends on row 27 but is easily extendable past that by simply following the formula. For the border I simply did one round of half height stitches to give a finished look.

Overall I’d give the Chromium Star Pattern a 9/10 and simply recommend that you use a chunky yarn and lots of it, or any yarn you like, but lots of it.
Beth’s Little Star as a pattern for a baby blanket I’d give an 8/10, it’s easier but maybe not so suitable for a little one.


Friday, 4 March 2011

Spring Scarf

So, I ventured into the wool shop one day with my Mum who wanted to get a pattern and some wool to do a project with when I saw this wool. 100% Bamboo and in various shades. And so the idea of doing a scarf was born! I've never done something so simple and so quick in my life. Honest!

After about 4 days I had this. It's about 82 inches long and only 4 inches wide (when unrolled).

So what do you need? Well this!

Three 50g balls of Wendy Pure 100% Bamboo (or whatever you fancy using)
5 . 5mm knitting needles

Step 1. Start by casting on 20 stitches.

Step 2. Knit your first row.

Step 3. Knit the first two stitches, then purl until the last two stitches, knit last two stitches.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have the desired length! Simple!

Two and a bit balls of the Wendy's wool makes the scarf up to be 82 inches, which on my 5' 7" frame is to my belt. It also means I can wind the scarf once or twice depending on my mood. But really you could make this shorter, wider, different colours, whatever you feel like really!

I had this lilac colour wool which is Sirdar Just Bamboo already, and I've decided to do a similar thing here. With this I'm also doing a thin scarf, but becuase it is a block colour (not colour changing like the Wendy) I'm doing a 3x3 rib to gice it a bit of texture.

For this, simply cast on 21 stitches then work in a knit 3, purl 3 pattern for your first row, and purl 3, knit 3 for your second row, repeating until the desired length is required.

Just remember - whatever yarn you use, whether it's colour changing or a block colour, check that the dye lot numbers are the same!

Kindle Cover

So, I was casting around for ideas for Mum's birthday this year and I came up with this! She's always been an avid reader (it's genetic, I tell you) and my Uncle got her a Kindle for christmas; I was looking at the covers on t'internet and there was just no way I could afford one. Well, with my motto being 'I bet I could make that,' what did you expect to happen?

Luckily, I already had a ton of faux leather fabric left over from something or other, so after a brief foray to the local craft cave I got stuck in... since I thought it turned out pretty well, I decided to post the how-to on here.

You will need:

Faux leather fabric (or something suitably tough on the outside and soft on the inside... which reminds me of that old Dime bar advert: 'AAAArmadillo!' Ahem.)
c. 11 inches of ribbon for trim
Needles, thread and so on

Since I had access to a Kindle, I just laid it on the fabric and drew around it - it came out as a rectangle roughly 11inches by nine inches.

Step One:
After measuring and cutting the faux leather, I gave myself about half an inch on each edge of the fabric and drew this on with tailor's chalk.

Step Two:
Hemming the top edge of the fabric - this will give you a professional looking top, so remember to be careful to keep a straight line when you sew. I folded over (wrong side up, so the fold is on the inside) about half an inch of fabric and sewed, in straight stitch, right along the edge of this fold.
Note - don't do what I did and entirely forget this step until after step three :) made life tricky.

Step Three:
Mark the position of the trim ribbon (just put it where you think it looks good) and pin it in place (fabric and ribbon right side up, this time). Try to make sure that it's going to line up on the other side of the cover when you've finished the side seams and adjust accordingly. Sew in place - again, I used straight stitch.

Step Four:
Fold the cover in half so that the ribbon lines up on both sides (right sides together) and pin along the side seam; again, I gave myself about half an inch grace. Sew seam twice for strength, if you want - I found straight stitch held pretty well as it was.

Step Five:
Pin and sew the bottom seam - pretty much the same as the previous step.

Step Six:
Tidy threads and trim hems. When I turned the cover rightside out again it was pretty tube-like, so I put it between two heavy books to flatten it (irons and faux leather not getting on).

And that's it, a chic looking Kindle cover in less than an hour! Well, I was impressed with myself, anyway :)

People might think we are... Up To Something

There was once a time where days blurred into each other, where paid work was hard to unearth and where two girls found themselves plagued with knitting patterns, jewellery making kits and pink fluffy bunny slippers attacking fictional characters... and out these doldrums there emerged many a spun yarn, felted cap and embittered post-grad; verily the girls did decide that Something Must Be Done.
Herein begins the inaugural post for Lazy Days, wherein can be discovered all manner of strange and wondrous things... at least until we get a proper job.
The first of the girls is a red-head, somewhat sweet, somewhat snarky; a girl who loves to bake, is distracted by pretty sparkling jewellery, is discovering knitting patterns, hates crochet (because she cannot do it) and adores writing. Her student hood ended with a year of examining bones, and hence she became known as... Bones.

The second distressing damsel is a bouncy, babbling blonde; she has a penchant for knitting and crochet, food (any kind), writing fiction, poetry and fan fiction... has recently become embroiled in embroidery too. She has her own allotment, but that's a story for another blog... when asked can't tell why she is called Munchkin, but is most emphatic that she is NOT a bean!
Oh, and we both love archaeology, which is, incidentally, how we met.
Join us as we explore the kingdoms of craft, good writing, appalling jokes and common courtesy...

... and we solemnly swear that we are up to no good!