Saturday, 6 October 2012

3 Belle Elles


Come and see the new blog I'm involved in :) Its called 3 Belle Elles, because its about me, and two Lauras (get it.. get...!!!).

I will still be blogging here, but probably not as much. Its much more fun to blog with friends about our crafting adventures :D


Monday, 17 September 2012

Making Monday - Meet Madeline

Here is Madeline. My new sewing machine! I know I've only had my previous sewing machine for a year, but I love sewing and we didn't get along. Lorelei is a very basic machine, with one speed setting - I'm going to sew fast! I need a machine thats easier to control, and Madeline has 3 speed settings! I'm working very well with the medium setting.

Ok, so she is a Brother, Innov-Is 10-A, which is an Anniversary edition. My LYS is also a Brother delear you see, so I was able to pick a new machine based on what I needed! She has lots of cool functions like when you stop sewing the needle will end down in the fabric rather than just anywhere it wants to stop (great for when you need to turn a corner!), the sewing backwards happens by itself - just a press of a button! A top loading bobbin which is just the coolest thing ever for me, apparently it will thread the needle by itself but I was too excited to read how to do that... and and and you can drop the feed dogs (funny names!) for free hand embroidery! And the usual load of stitches and a little computer screen to change to length and width of the stitches! Fun fun fun.

Anyway, as I now work at my LYS, we decided we needed a "uniform" of sorts, so people will know when we are working and when we are just hanging out in the store. Enter Operation Apron!

We're all making a half apron to represent us! And so I googled for a tutorial and found this one. I knew I wanted a frilly edge, and pockets and I wanted it slightly rounded.

In my head it was sort of French Maid with a touch of Goth. And I had to use the skull and cross bone ribbon from work - it was a must!

So here it is before pockets:

I think we can agree it is slightly French Maid right?! When following the tutorial I actually didn't add the 6.5" on to the waist, I didn't want the apron to meet at the back, I wanted the ruffles around me!!!

And I inserted ribbon through the waist band. It doesn't move as I sewed it down on the openings, but you can see faint skull and crossbones through the fabric, and it makes me happy :D I was intending to sew the ribbon on top of the waist band, but I couldn't be bothered :P

I did my pocket differently too. Mostly because I was getting tired and misread the instructions :P My pockets have little coverings so if I put something in them I can hide them!

Look, a pocket!

More cute little skull and crossbones!

And here is the finished article in all its glory!

Yup, there are two pockets, and pleats and ruffles! I've always fought with ruffles before, but my new machine made them a dream to make!

So yes I am in love with my Madeline... and I can't wait to go to work on Thursday eeee!


Monday, 27 August 2012

Making Monday - Strip Skirt

I've been on a sewing kick! Its fun to make your own clothes to wear :D

Anyway, about 4 months ago I decided I wanted to make a skirt out of strips of fabric, thinking if it worked then I could use up lots of my leftovers in many more skirts!

I found a tutorial which, of course, I can no longer find, but it told me how to make my template and measure where I wanted the skirt to sit and then how many strips of fabric to cut out (with seam allowance and stuff).

So I did all that, made my calculations and cut out 32 strips of fabric/

Plain black, skull and cross bones, dinosaur bones and bats. Totally me!

Because I then moved flats, and my sewing machine then had  wobble after the last skirt, it was a good few months on before I started sewing everything together.

Here are all the strips together, before the yoke:

And since I then couldn't find the pattern again, I used the yoke pattern from another skirt, had some issues making the zip fit (I need some more practice and help with zips I think!), but it finally came together.

I decided that if I hemmed the skirt correctly I would lose length and then it would be too short, so I used bias binding instead. It worked quite well I think!

Unfortunately (or fortunately since I needed it!) between the initial calculations and finishing, I had put a bit of weight on, which means its a little snug on the hips, but it still fits ok! I think any more skirts like this will need one extra strip in them.

I have fabric to make another 3 proper skirts, and then I'll see what is left over and if maybe I can make a few more strip skirts.

Inspired by my sewing tutor telling me that for the whole year she isn't buying new clothing (apart from underwear if its needed), only from charity shops and what she makes herself, I'm going to try it too! I don't often buy new clothing anyway, but if I can learn to fix what I do have, and make more clothing tailored to me, then I think that will be fabulous.

So starting from September, thats what I will be doing for the year!



PS: Four jobs is now back to three jobs, as the fourth job offered me more hours so I took them. I am pretty much full time working now! EEEE!

Monday, 30 July 2012


Hello! I haven't run away... I went and got myself another job! Oh yes... for those who are counting that is now 4 jobs I work! Number 1: running my own business Miss Elle Knits. Number 2: working in Jumble Jelly my LYS. Number 3: The surf and ski shop. Number 4: A health food and sustainable stuff shop. Phew. So I've been a completely busy bee and bed beckons before 9pm every night these days!

But I have made stuff. First up is a skirt I made on a workshop at Jumble Jelly with the gorgeous Alexa as tutor. She is a fantastic tutor, and went I had a slight meltdown because my sewing machine broke a little bit... she made me feel better. It wasn't my fault that the zip wouldn't sew in, my machine was misbehaving!

Anyway, here is the finished project:
I have more fabric to make another of this style skirt now. I love it!

Second is a cardigan I knit! YAY!

This is Tempest from Knitty. I used Knit Picks Palette yarn which I bought from Great British Yarns. Its used less than the 200g I bought, so this yarn has fantastic yardage. I even made the sleeves longer than the pattern said (8 stripes instead of 4). I love the narrow stripes around the waist to make me look even smaller!

I only made one button hole as I like swingy cardigans, and even on cardies I have with loads of buttons on I only ever do up the top couple.

And so thats all for now. At least you know I'm still alive!


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Best days ever!!!!

I've had a very beautiful week so far! On Tuesday I met up with a long-time internet friend Robert and we went for a walk along the river in Bradford-On-Avon. There was a convenient bench opposite a field of sheep, which we must have sat on for about an hour! Making up all sorts of nonsense stories about these sheep and what they were doing. Those two at the back... well, they were stuck together and only counted as one animal! Madness.

And then yesterday I got to play with a duckling! But not on a farm.... oh no... in my local yarn store!!!! The owner of Jumble Jelly's husband runs a company called Woodland Adventurers, and has all sorts of fun and games and animals up at their wood for children. I think its a fabulous idea and want to go and play with the sheep and pigs and chickens (and now ducks!) myself.

Anyway... Chris had just got some baby ducks, and bought them in to show off. I was soooo happy I thought I could die right then! Ducklings are one of the cutest things on the planet for me.

Let the photos of me, Abi and ducklings commence!

4 baby ducks!!! 2 weeks old!!!
For a girl she was very interested in my bewb!
This is my "It's so fluffy I'm going to die!!!" face
I'm soooo happy!!!
My "awwwwww" face as the duckling settled
I don't wanna let go!!!
One day I will live in a little cottage with a small holding. There will be a couple of sheep, a couple of alpaca, and a duck pond. And a huge polytunnel to grow my own veggies in.

This is the dream, and I will make it happen!


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sock Saturday - Mystery KAL!

Like all good mystery sock KALs it started with a cuff... ok, all the good top-down mystery sock KALs will start here!

Unfortunately I was moving during the process of this KAL... and may not have had all the instructions... and so when I got to this point:

And realised that actually there were two different toe charts as the second sock was supposed to have the "arrows" going the opposite direction... yeah. Well, I tweeted the designer (the awesome Rock and Purl Girl) and she said as long as I was happy with the result, what did it matter?!

And I am happy! I love these socks. They are my transition socks from a horrid cold flat to a beautiful large cheaper warmer flat! Happy rainbow socks!

The yarn is KnitPicks Felici in colourway "Rainbow". I love the Felici yarn, its so soft. But wears really well!

The pattern is the Rock+Purl Mystery Sock KAL (Ravelry link) and is charted and written I think. I just followed the charts!

Extremely well written, I definitely want to try more of Ruth's patterns now!


Friday, 15 June 2012

Fibre Friday - My New Baby!

ARGH! Theres a ladybug on a box!!!

Meet my new baby:

This is Clarabelle. As many of you will know (especially if you listen to the podcast Miss Elle Knits) I have been lusting after this wheel since I tried one out at Unravel in February. Then my gorgeous friend Victoria got one last Friday, and enabled me to purchase my own.

You can faintly see where my ladybug is on the wheel, on the left hand leg under the handle. Here is a close up:

I've named her Annie. Do other people name their bugs too? I know people name their wheels...

So yes... I have Annie and Clarabelle! Now I need a little something to hang on my wheel called Thomas... geddit?!?! (And yes I know its actually spelt Clarabel, but my spelling is prettier!).

So after putting her together (I used tools by myself thanks to Debbie at Jumble Jelly for lending me screwdrivers!!!), I text my friend Laura and said "Let's not start pilates tonite, I want to play with my new wheel!". She agreed, and I settled down for what became a 4 hour marathon spinning session.

We had a little issue getting started, but thats because I'm so used to the tension on my Ashford Joy, and Clarabelle is a little more fierce. I oiled her up, took some deep breaths, and started on some gorgeous superwash merino from Krafty Koala.

Gorgeous purples! I'm using the medium sized whorl, on the smallest bit, in an effort to spin a little thicker, but its not working! I'm unable to spin thick! 

Clarabelle is a dream to spin, I love her oh so very much! Joyce is my travel wheel now, and since I'm only a minute walk from my LYS, she can come out to play more often :)

Here are my babies together:

Don't they look happy?! Apologies for the light, it was about 10pm and I only had my little light on coz I was too lazy to turn the big light on!



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