Tag Archives: Knitting

#CraftBlogClub – ‘You Complete Me’ Challenge Reveal…

craftblogclub badgeSo, I have a little confession to make before I get into trawling your wonderful makes!  I haven’t completed my project :(.  I feel like the worst host ever, but I was inadvertently left without a table on which to use my sewing machine for nearly three weeks, which has inevitably left me very little time to complete ANYTHING I need to.  I’m behind with my sewing projects already BUT, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Here’s my WIP so far…

The Scrappy Patchwork Chair

chair 1The purpose of ‘You Complete Me’, was to bring to light just how many WIPs us crafty lot have and really take the time to get ONE thing finished.  I blame external incidents for my unfortunate half-finished masterpiece, that and a particularly nasty delivery driver.  BUT, it has been fabulous to see so many of our #craftblogclub crew working so hard on projects they had near forgotten about, over the last few weeks – my Twitter feed has been littered with lovely WIP photos and posts and I can’t WAIT to see some finished projects.  So please, do link up below and share your work!

For my ‘You Complete Me’ challenge, I decided to challenge myself with some new crafting ideas and creating something of a statement in my lounge.  These old chairs were given to us me by some relatives who had no use for them anymore.  Though they were specifically ‘conservatory chairs’, at the time I really liked the shape of them and the comfort too – plus the footstool would be a great added extra for lazy knitting evenings sat in front of the TV.  They did, however, need a lot of TLC and I thought our ‘You Complete Me’ challenge would be the perfect time for me to get to grips with covering them.

patchwork close upAs I’m in the midst of painting and DIY-ing my house at the mo, I decided to try and make this chair a real statement in my lounge.  I had already painted a red accent wall and decided to trawl through my fabric and see how little I could spend patchworking the chair.  I had a lot of teals, turquoises and blues, which I felt would blend in really well with the red.  To finish, I decided to contrast the footstool by knitting a stripy cover using the same colour palette.  This would blend in with the blue hues on my sofa cushions and I even have a couple of knitted squares, ready for a sofa throw in the same palette too.  What could go wrong, thought I?  Well, to be honest, I’ve never patchworked a thing in my life.

Being the renegade crafter that I am, I thought starting off with big patches measured, ironed and sewn into place, couldn’t be too difficult – luckily I possess a lot of the ‘how hard can it be’ attitude, so the effect is already really starting to look great on the chair.  Being quite the sewing novice still, I decided to sew each of the top cushion sections and leave an open end on both.  I’m toying with the idea of hand-sewing press studs to secure the cover in place, but it does seem to fold and sit quite nicely without, footstoolwhich I’ll be thankful for when it comes to washing the covers!  I’ll get there, just not this month.  I did have to purchase a little more fabric, but the total spend on this project was just £11.98 – though I should replace the foam at a later date too.

I’m planning to get this baby finished as soon as I can, then I’ll post some finished photos and updates on my new lounge.  It has been a great way of working with patchwork and I do feel I’ve created something really unique for my home too.  I think it has a charm to it, the not-so-perfect patches, there is something quite fairytale-cottagey about it, which I think I quite like!  Just nod and smile.

So what about you guys?  What have you been up to and DID you manage to complete this project on time??  Stay tuned, I’ll be setting up a #CraftBlogClub makes board on Pinterest to showcase our wonderful work!

armchair 1Stay Peachy x

Come Join Us..



Frugally Mummy: Knitted Hanging Heart Tutorial & GIVEAWAY!

 

Hanging heart 3Mother’s Day has always been a wonderful excuse to do something special for my Mum.  We have never been a family who are all about the big spending and days like this are nice to mark with little gestures, to show my Mum how special she is!

This year is also my first Mother’s days as a Mum (D arrived 2 weeks late and Mother’s Day fell right bang inbetween her due date and birth date) – so it’s a very poignant one and I’m kinda sad I won’t be able to spend it with my own Mum!  So I thought I’d get to work knitting up something special to send her.  Check out this wonderful knitted hanging heart, a simple design made from basic stocking stitch and decorated with one of the many many daisy buttons I have lying around the house!  I popped mine in the post with a little box of cheeky chocolates for my Mum…but if you’ve yet to get a present or want to try something homemade for your Mum, why not give my tutorial a go?  You will need about 2-2/12 hours to complete and you can use ANY YARN AND ANY DECORATION!

However, if you’re sorted for presents, keep on scrolling, because I’ve decided to do another HANDMADE GIVEAWAY for you all – see below for details on how to win your own heart!

You Will Need:

1 Ball of DK yarn (I used some Supersoft DK in Cream that I had lying around)

4mm Knitting Needles

Toy Stuffing

1 piece red felt (you will need a small circle)

1 decorative button

Method:

Using 4mm needles, cast on 2 stitches

First Row: K one, P one

Row 2: Increase into each stitch (4 sts)

Row 3: Purl to end

Row 4: Increase first stitch, k to last stitch, increase last stitch (6 sts)

Row 5: Purl to end

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until you have 18 sts

Next Row: k 9 stitches, turn and purl to end.

Next Row: k2together, knit to last 2 stitches and k2together.

Next Row: Purl

Repeat these two rows until you have three stitches remaining.  Without following a purl row, cast off the three stitches.

Rejoin your yarn and repeat the second section on the other side to create your heart shape.

Once completed, repeat this process to make your second side.

Hanging heart 2To Join Together

Place the right sides of your heart together, on top of each other and stitch around.  When you reach the ‘v’ shape of your heart, Take a long piece of matching yarn and stitch into place in a loop – this will be the loop from which your heart hangs!

Be sure to leave a big enough hole and pull the heart shape through to face the ‘right way’.  Then stuff the heart shape with toy stuffing.  Stitch up hole.

Using a small circular template – such as a coin, cut out a small red piece of felt and place your decorative button on the top.  Using a small needle and thread, secure onto the heart through the button holes and stitch into place.

Package up as a lovely Mother’s Day gift!

Do you want to win your very own heart??  Well it couldn’t be more simple!  To be in with a chance of winning, simply follow these steps to have your name entered into the hat.  Each step counts as ONE ENTRY – so you have THREE opportunities to win!  I have decided to make up another 2 HEARTS to giveaway to 2 LUCKY readers!

1. Share this post on Twitter, be sure to tag me (@LivePeachy) and use the hashtag #peachyhangingheart.

2. Nip over to my Facebook page and give it a ‘Like’ – make sure you leave a comment on the picture of the heart, to make sure you are entered.

3. Comment at the bottom of this blog post to be entered!

The giveaway will run until Sunday 6th April and I shall announce the winners on Wednesday 9th April!  Well what are you waiting for?? There’s a heart waiting to hang in your house, courtesy of Frugally Peachy!!

Good Luck!  Love to the Mothers and BIG LOVE to mine! x

hanging heart 1

 

 

Frugally Ever After: Knitted Intarsia Heart Square

knitting bag

Having always been an avid knitter, I wanted my Frugally Fabulous Year challenge to push my creativity and learn new skills in the knitting department as well as sewing!

I’ve become fairly accomplished at knitting, through teaching myself how to read patterns and frequenting a knitting club, many years ago, in Bath.  Last Christmas, I had great success selling these handknitted gnomes (I’m taking orders all year round for them this year too – please drop me an email if you’re interested) and this year, I wanted to try some new knitting styles and really challenge my abilities, to create new and interesting bits and pieces for the home.

One knitting method I have never tried is Intarsia, a simple form of working with blocks of colours in knitting.  I love the idea of creating motifs and wanted to give it a try.  I came up with the idea of trying a simple knit square with a heart motif – another possible idea for a Frugally Ever After gift, this Valentine.  I think the idea of making a patchwork ‘memory throw’, starting with this heart as a central point, that charts special occasions and moments in our family life is a really special idea and a perfect crafty way to say ‘I Love You and I Love Us’.

So…..here is my first square!  I cast on 44 stitches and knitted 44 rows on 4mm needles.  I roughly sketched a heart design on graph paper and basically increased my row of red stitches by one on each side, to get the shape of the heart. intarsia heart finished I had this lovely blue yarn, stashed away at the bottom of the pile and a tiny red double knitting ball that I’d never used.  The colours go so vividly together.  The heart is far from perfect – indicative of my own, I’m sure; but I was really proud of my first attempt, that I decided to leave it as it was, ready to be stitched up to whatever else I may make in the coming year!  I plan to work with new textures and pattern ideas using simply Fairisle and Cable Knit methods, alongside other quirky Intarsia designs and mood colours.  I’m lucky that Mr J really appreciates handmade gifts and loves adding to our handmade home with some of my Frugally Fabulous ideas!  This Valentine’s Day…why not get your needles out give a loved one a little piece of you!

I’ve learnt the hard way that preparation is everything when it comes to Intarsia and making mini yarn balls is probably the way forward.  You know me – renegade crafter by name AND nature.  I was more concerned with remembering to twist the yarn in place and work from the right end of the yarn – not to mention engrossed in catching up with some of my TV faves; so I made sure to cut out a few yarn guiders from an old cereal box, ready for my next square.

intarsia heart closeI’m working on another knitted WIP at the moment, ready for a very special unveiling in March!  Trying out Intarsia has given me so many ideas for this one, I can’t wait to share it with you all.  I also can’t wait to update you on the Memory Throw as I make progress with it throughout the year.  Fingers crossed, by Christmas, we will have a colourful throw of haphazard designs and quirky memories, to snuggle under!

Stay Peachy x

 

 

Frugally Peachy Handmade Giveaway: Oscar The Owl!

oscar 3

Just before Christmas last year, my friend and I set each other a challenge of handmaking a present for each other.  I love giving and receiving handmade items, but wanted to try something a little different for my friend who was both, a proud new rent-er of her own place AND a huge fan of owls!  So, after trawling Pinterest, I thought I would try my hand at making a little owl mug-warmer…meet Oscar the Owl!  He may not be cutesy, but he’s lovely, moderately creepy and snuggly for your afternoon cuppa!

Made from brown and cream double knit yarn; I’ve taken a lot of inspiration for Oscar from some of the china owls my Nan used to collect.  My Nan was too cool for school – she had an owl obsession waaaaay before woodland animal interior themes became cool!  I knitted the main body using woven stitch, which really worked on some red cafetiere cosies I did the year before and I fixed two press studs to fasten the holder.  The eyes were made from a traditional flower knitting pattern and I had these wooden buttons lying around too.  The result was weirdly sweet, quirky and looks LOVELY in my friend’s home!

oscar 2

So…do you fancy making an Oscar the Owl yourself?  Why not follow this simple tutorial to make your own!  Now, be kind, this is the first knitting pattern I’ve technically written, I hope it makes enough sense!  I have designed the mug warmer to fit around a large round mug, so you may need to adjust stitches if you want to make a smaller one.

If, of course, you don’t fancy making your own Oscar, why not scroll to the bottom of the post – where there is a little surprise waiting!!

YOU WILL NEED

1 x ball of brown yarn – I used an old DK one.

1x ball of cream yarn – I used a Sirdar Aran Knit I had – but a cotton would also look really effective

2 large round buttons – wooden ones really work with the texture of the woven stitch

2 Press-Studs (you can also choose buttons).

1 Pair of 3mm Needles

1 Tapestry needle and 1 small sewing needle as well as matching thread for the yarn,

METHOD

Using 3mm needles, cast on 62 stitches and, beginning with a K row, work regular stocking stitch for 10 rows.

With the knitting facing the ‘right side’, complete the next row as follows;

k1, sl1 wyf, k1, sl1 wyf, repeat until last stitch, ending with a k1 (this seals the row)oscar 1

Next row: Purl

Repeat the last two rows for a further 14 rows, ending with a purl row.

Next 2 rows: Knit

Next row: Purl

Starting with a Knit row, stocking stitch a further 6 rows, ending with a purl.  Cast off.

FOR THE EYES (make two):

Using your cream yarn and 3 mm needles, Cast on 57 stitches

First row: Purl

Second Row: K2, *k1, Slip stitch back onto the left needle and carry over the next 8 stitches, of the needle, YON twice, knit the original stitch again, K2*. Repeat the starred section until end of row.

Third Row: K1, *p2 together, drop loop of 2 YON stitches and k1, p1*. Repeat until the last stitch, k1.

Cut a length of the working yarn and, using a tapestry needle, thread it back through the stitches and release.  Tie two yarn ends together to make a ‘flower’ shape and secure.

FOR THE BEAK:

Using your cream yarn again, cast on 12 stitches.

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3, Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning and end of the row

Row 4 Purl

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have 2 stitches remaining – thread yarn through stitches, break yarn and sew in end.

TO MAKE UP:

Sew all the ends of your main warmer-body in and, place two little brown yarn loops about 2 cm from an end.  Sew securely into place, using yarn.  Match up the two sides of your press studs and sew on each end of your main body.  I always find measuring by hand and eye much easier than using ACTUAL measurements! But then again I am a crafting renegade….

For the eyes, place your cream knitted shapes and large buttons in the middle of the body.  Using thread and needle  that will fit through your button holes, sew securely into place.  You can also tack a few discreet stitches through the cream shape too, to hold in place, before you attach the buttons.

Finally, place the large end of your cream beak in between and slightly underneath the eyes, stitch into place along the top line.

BUT WAIT! There is, in fact, more.  As a special thank you for tuning into my new venture and for the support my lovely readers have shown me since I started my new blog, I’ve handmade another Oscar The Owl to GIVE AWAY to one lucky Frugally Peachy reader!  So what are you waiting for?  Your tea is getting cold…..

How to enter….

There are a number of ways you can enter the giveaway – each way that you choose to enter will be counted as 1 entry, in other words, you do all three? You get three entries in the bag! The giveaway will run until Sunday 2nd February – and I will pick a winner using the age-old tradition of names in a hat! The winner will be announced on Monday 3rd February – so make sure you tune into my blog! Good Luck!

1. Please leave me a comment at the end of this post and your name will be entered into the giveaway.

2. Share this post on Twitter, tagging @LivePeachy and using the hashtag #OscarOwlGiveaway and your name will be entered into the giveaway.

3. Give my Facebook page a like and leave me a comment on my Oscar The Owl Picture and your name will be entered into the giveaway!

Good Luck everyone – Oscar’s waiting to meet you!

IMG_20140129_152618

De-Fusing The Yarn Bomb!

bootees 2At the start of the year, Mr J and I decided to have a huge clearout of our house, top to bottom.  New Year certainly has that effect on you – we are both so busy with work and projects, not to mention lovely Little D thrown into the mix; our home can sometimes become a whirlwind of clutter, paper and all sorts.

It was the most therapeutic thing I had done in a long time, I felt cleansed and ready to hit 2014 with a bang.  But, mostly, I was shocked at how much of a fabric and yarn hoarder I had secretly become.  My craft space – which doubles up as the front dining room, was overrun with colours and patterns, some of which I couldn’t even remember buying.

So I made it one of my ‘Frugal Resolutions’, to try use up the remnants of my yarn and fabric stash, where possible, before purchasing new bits and pieces to work with.  And what better way to welcome in a new year, than with welcoming in a new little person?

I have used knitting patterns from Val Pierce before, they are great for quick knitting projects and her book of Baby Knits, which a good friend sent me when I was pregnant, is full of gorgeous projects for little ones.  Knitting is my absolute favourite craft; my Nan taught me the basics when I was very young and, in the past few years, I’ve tried new stitches and patterns and actually managed to create some lovely little pieces.  So when the aforementioned friend gave birth herself in December, I couldn’t resist making these little keepsake bootees to celebrate the arrival of her son.

bootees 3bootees 1Having not knitted a bootee shape before – I was surprised at how easy the pattern was, working mostly with garter stitch and needle turns, to create a really sweet keepsake for my friend’s baby.  When I was expecting D, I didn’t have a lot of time to knit everything I wanted to for her, but I was so grateful for all the lovely handknitted cardigans and bootees we were given and I’ve kept them all!  These make great memories as anyone who has had a child will know, they really do grow up so fast!  And best of all……I used materials that I ALREADY HAD!  The Cream yarn was a lovely baby-soft knit I used to knit a blanket for Daisy, when she was born.  The ribbon was from a reel I found lurking at the bottom of one of my many bags and the little cat buttons were an impulse eBay purchase from several months ago. 

I packaged these up in a lovely box we were given, when I gave birth to D, made a little card for the recipients and sent them on their way to their new home.  Living in Nottingham now, and hailing from the South West – migrating through a little bit of mad London for a time – I have a whole heap of far-away friends who mean the world to me.  I just wish I could see them more.  Hopefully my little gift will be one that my friend will treasure and will remind her that she’s not far from my mind, but I can’t wait to meet the little man himself soon!

Stay Peachy x