Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween

One thing I really miss about living at home in California, is Halloween.  Sure, it's acknowledged and sometimes even celebrated here...but not like it is in America.  That being said, our Halloween plans are still up in the air but I bought some candy just in case. Here it is hanging out on my coffee table. 

Oh...and I finished a doily from Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!  Lacy Crochet.  Have a fun and safe evening!

Friday, 28 October 2011

57 Days...

...Until Christmas!  Can you believe it?  This year has flown by so quickly that I swear it's still August  (especially because it's so nice out today).  Thanks to a 1/2 off toy sale at our local grocery store, my husband and I have pretty much finished shopping for our little guy.   While that's certainly a relief, there's still SO. MUCH. TO. DO.  I still need to finish the chevy blanket for my friend, Max, as well as make gifts for many of the lovely ladies in my family.  I have an idea of what to make for a couple of people but I'm otherwise totally stumped.  Luckily, my copy of Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!  Lacy Crochet arrived today and there are so many great projects in it.

While on the subject of Christmas, I can actually share one of the gifts I made because I've already given it.  Truth be told, I'm always pretty lousy at waiting to give people gifts (that is, when I'm not being lousy about even getting/making a gift at all) but this time I really had to.  When my cousin was here I showed her a picture of the scarf I made for my mom and she loved it (so much that she asked where to find the pattern so she could make some for friends).  Then, as we were talking about yarn, I showed her the various colors of King Cole Riot that I like to use and she pointed at the exact yarn that I used for her gift (I KNEW she'd like it since her favorite color is orange).  It was meant to be.

Ta-da!  Another Queen Anne's lace scarf!  I love making these. 

Anyway, I'm hoping to get another 6 or 8 rows done on the chevy blanket this weekend as well make a doily or two.  Maybe I'll even make another Christmas gift. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Forever a student

I recently found the most wonderful blog for people who want to learn how to crochet.  Dana of Craftyminx has so kindly been teaching Crochet School (for free!!) during the month of October and I love it.  She covers everything from the parts of a hook and types of yarn fiber to increasing/decreasing and working in the round. Even though I know how to make all the basic stitches, I'm following along and learning new things (or at least how to do some things the 'right' way).  If you've always wanted to learn how to crochet, you no longer have an excuse not to! 

Look...I've even included a button on my blog.  Check it out!

(p.s.  I don't know if you've noticed, but I've also added a Pinterest button.  Oh my gosh, is that website addictive!)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


Since learning how to crochet I've been all over the place in terms of what I want to make.  Hats (however sad they my be), scarves, blankets, mittens, toys, jewelry, handbags, doilies...I want to make it all!  Unfortunately, each project will have to wait its turn because I just can't do it all at once.  The one thing I was really itching to try though, were doilies.  So, on the way home from Stonehenge last week, we stopped at Hobbycraft and I picked up some crochet thread and teeny tiny hooks and gave it a go.

These truly are titchy stitches!

My first attempt was made from this super easy pattern.  It's a bit small (the pattern says to use sock yarn, not crochet thread) but I like how it turned out and I'm even making another one with some different thread.  The second (unfinished) doily came from here.  It's a little more complicated than the first so I haven't finished it yet...but I will. 

Next on my list is to get this little beauty (Just ordered it!) and find new uses for my crochet thread (and make more doilies).

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A week ago

Last week (when my cold was at its worst) I went on a day trip with my cousin to see Stonehenge.  It was my second time there (her first, hence the reason we went) but I still found it as magical as the first time. 

I'm sorry for the long absence.  Between not feeling well, toddler sleep issues and early mornings at work, I just couldn't persuade myself to sit down and write (or lounge on the sofa and write, like I am right now).  Hopefully all that has passed now (well...except the early mornings at work...those won't change) so I won't be taking anymore long breaks. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Man cold

I'm sorry it's been so quiet here over the last few days.  We've had visits from family which has kept me quite busy and on top of that, I have a cold.  Not just any cold....a man cold (it is totally possible for a woman to get a man cold, just ask my husband.).  I'll leave you with a funny little video and hopefully be back tomorrow.

Bring on the Lemsip!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Should have made a pillowcase

If you're like me and haven't sewn in a long time, take my advice and do NOT make a little doll your first project.  Make something like a pillowcase...or a tote bag.  Anything with lots of straight lines. The pattern I'm using is easy enough but the pieces are small...with curves!  I'm getting through it but not without many mistakes and do-overs.  Honestly, if I had just a little more experience I could have finished it in an evening.  Easily.

Here are a couple of my 'oops' moments (sorry about the horribly dark photos):


My stitches are all wrong in both pictures but I've worked everything out now...after some trial and error(s). 

I've also been working on a new blanket for my friend Max of Magic Belles.  I'm using the same yarn, hook and pattern that I used for the baby blanket I finished recently...except I chose not to work into the front and back stitches.  The result is that the stitches are spaced pretty far apart:

I'm liking it, though.  The colors are fun and bright and I think Max's daughter will like it too.

Finally, I'm not the only crafty one in the family.  Today my son made his first pasta picture at toddler group.

 I might have helped a little...

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Meet Fred...

...My new sewing machine.

Fred has lived in my house for a few weeks but we didn't start getting to know each other until today.  He's sturdy and easy to use so I think we might become good friends.  Honestly, I don't think I've used a sewing machine since I made a skirt when I was 17.  That's a long time ago.  Like, over 5 years! (Okay...maybe even more than that)  Luckily, when my mom bought Fred for me (thanks mom!!), she also bought a handy guide to help me relearn many things I've forgotten.

I'm definitely a beginner again!  Phrases beginning with, "What the..." and "Where the..." came out of my mouth a lot.  A LOT!  Anyway, during my son's nap today I cut out all the pattern pieces for the doll I'm making and I even sewed some arms and legs.  I would show them off here but, unfortunately, all my work is top secret for now.  Oh...and they weren't that good.  In fact, I'll be sewing the arms and legs again later.  It's nice to be sewing again, though!  Hooray!

Saturday, 8 October 2011


A few weeks ago, my friend Lydia wrote on my facebook wall in response to me expressing a desire to own this book.

"Bria, I have a proposal for you:
You make me some awesome kind of raggy doll thing, with typical Bria flare and creativity, and I will draw you a picture. We can swap gifts when I come see you in Nov :¬) xx"

Let's quickly go over a few facts:
  1. I have never (ever) made a doll.  Ever.
  2. I have not positioned myself in front of a sewing machine in years.
  3. Oh!  But I DO have a brand new sewing machine!

So all I have to say is...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


I did it!  Here is my first ever completed blanket!!  (I used Vicky Howell's Chevy Baby Blanket pattern).  I don't exactly know how long this took to make but I DO know that I did it very, very quickly.   When I started it I didn't even have plans to see the friend I made it for, but plans were made when I was only a few rows in so I had to work quickly.  In fact, I finished it within an hour of meeting with her.  WHEW!

Unfortunately, due to my haste, mistakes were made.  I spotted this one too late (I had already done another seven rows):


If I didn't have a deadline I probably would have gone back corrected my mistake but I just didn't have time.  But look...if I pull a little here and poke a little there, it's gone!

Like magic! (okay...not really)

 THIS is magic.  

(P.S.  The model in the first photo is a child's chair...not a full-sized chair)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Fit for a Queen

My mom finally received the gift I sent (only 3 days late...oops!) so I can finally share what I made for her.  I used the fabulous tutorial from Mrs. Micawber to make a Queen Anne's Lace scarf.  The pattern is really quite easy and making each shell is so addictive that this scarf can be made very quickly.

Anyway, my mom wanted a yellow scarf to add some color to her wardrobe this winter so I bought what I thought was mostly yellow yarn with a bit of purple.... yellow here!

I guess this is what happens when you buy stuff over the internet.  Luckily, I was still pleased with the colors and I think my mom is too.

I like it so much that I think I'll have to make one for myself as well (in black, perhaps).  A girl can never have to many scarves, right?

Yarn:  King Cole Riot (Hot)  30% wool, 70% acrylic -- I really like this yarn!
Hook:  5mm  -- I'm noticing a trend in my work...I like big stitches. 

Lastly, I'm going to finish the baby gift I've been working on.  JUST. IN. TIME!!  I'll share photos tomorrow.