Friday, 24 March 2017

Knitting Needle Roll

This post was suppose to be written on Tuesday but we ended up watching the new beauty and the beast and after eating my weight in popcorn I was fit for no purpose other than having a long bath!

Then I said I'd write it on Wednesday but Lil man had a pretty awful cough and ended up having the day off school after he coughed himself sick all over our bed. Funnily enough he was a lot better after his sick so we think it got a lot of the snot off his chest and I even felt comfortable enough to take Rikkis Nan to Abakhans to buy some fabric for some skirts shes making [Yes I brought fabric too but I was very restrained, and it was my "treat" for doing good housework recently!]

Anyway I thought I might write it after we'd been fabric shopping BUT then my phone beeped to tell me a dear friend had marked himself as safe on Facebook and I was like "safe from what?" and then we turned on the news.

There's not much I can say about the attack in London. I have no idea what would prompt somebody to do something so awful but my heart is with the victims and the people affected by this tragedy.

But onto the crafting because as a Brit I like nothing better than marching forward without fear!


Okay so as you might know already Prym sent me a big ol box of knitting goodies to try out because they have brought out new ergonomic knitting needles [You can read my review here]


Anyway I'm ashamed to say that box spent the next week or so on my living room floor. Mainly so I could show anyone who walked in my knew goodies whether they wanted to see them or not! But also tripping us up and generally being an eyesore. So I made myself a knitting roll! Well I saying knitting roll it also has spaces for crochet hooks! 


I used some fat quarters my lovely sister sent me ages ago! She sent them in the post and they happened to come on a day when I was feeling pretty grimm so they cheered me right up! They are Paris themed! They are also by the craft cotton company

Now mine was very spur of the moment but I think I'm going to write this up as a tutorial at some point because it was pretty simple!! 


First of all I worked out what I wanted in it. I knew I needed slots for knitting needles, crochet hooks and DPNs [which I'm hoping Rikkis Nan will give me a lesson in how to use!] But I also knew I wanted a loop to store my stitch holders on, a large pocket for bits, a place to put my needle gauge and somewhere or my sewing needles [the botanical print I used for my needle holder is by craft yourself silly! They do custom fabric printing and this is a sample they were kind enough to give me! Well its a small part of a sample they gave me!]


As it goes the length of my longest needles just corresponded with the width of the fat quarter. If that's not luck I don't know what is!

And I think I managed to cram everything in! It feels very neat and tidy and I love that I have a special place for my "Posh" Knitting needles! Even lil man has twigged these are new and posh needles! He loves clipping and un-clipping them!

It also closes with ties so you can make it nice and compact without damaging your needles or you can lie them out flat!


So yeah I grand success in my opinion! 

Much Love 

Frankie

xx

Monday, 20 March 2017

Sew Style Essentials, Jersey Dress

I'm all about comfort at the moment. Seriously I brought 2 sensible bras and a two packs of sensible pants last week [You know the kind, the ones that don't give you panty lines and are basically seamless]. So yeah I am all about comfort and this dress pretty much sums up my style five days of the week. You see I'm not a morning person, so when I get up with lil man for school some days I struggle to dress myself. 

This is the perfect dress for me though because all I need is underwear, tights and a belt and I am good to go!


So lets get down to the knitty gritty. The pattern came from Sew Style Essential magazine and was one of those "enlarge by 200%" monstrosities. Now I normally ignore these because LOL I have zero idea how to enlarge anything using my printer! But luckily for me it also came with a download version which you can find here. Now don't panic I know its got every single pattern from the magazine in it BUT there is a magical way just to print the pages you need. I mean I don't know how to do it, but I have a husband who does..... [It prints on 16 sheets of paper btw!] 


Anyway Its a stupidly simple pattern designed for jersey fabrics, Its three pattern pieces and I did most of it on my over-locker in about an hour [Including cutting out] The only thing I had trouble with was that my pattern only printed one size? But that could be my printer, as you may have grasped I'm pretty printer illiterate. I measured the pieces and took a punt that it might fit me. To put it into perspective I'm a RTW size 12 on the bottom and either a 10/12 on the top depending on whether I'm having a good boob day. The only part that's tight is on the arms, so I've marked that pattern piece to use a smaller seam allowance. 


My fabric is a jersey from FC Fabric Studios, It has two way stretch and washes like a dream! I've had this through the wash umpteen times and so far no issues. Its a lightweight jersey, sort of like a t-shirt fabric but its not primark t-shirt fabric thin! Sadly I can't find it on the website now but they have some other cool prints. I'm already coveting this and this for two more comfy dresses!


Okay so all in all , I love it. I mean its not the sort of make that's going to set the world on fire but I love how the clean lines really showcase what to be honest could be a bit of a difficult print. Anything too fussy and this fabric would have drowned it but I think the dress keeps things simple and chic. I even like the higher neckline, typically I tend to prefer to show a bit more chest [flaunt what yo momma gave ya] but I think this combination of a high neck and not too much leg looks very classy. In fact it kind of makes me gutted that I don't work in an office because then I could wear these everyday.  


In other news I've nearly finished my knitted blanket! Yay!

And I've started a cross stitch , the less said on that the better!

I didn't really do a huge amount over the weekend. Lil man had football practise on Saturday morning so spent Sunday morning in bed watching films and eating brioche! And then Mummy did some knitting whilst lil man watched the football! 

I think its nice to have a lazy day especially seen as we had to be up and dressed so early on the Saturday. And it was the first time I stayed and watched and it was fairly entertaining and I became quite the source of amusement to the coaches , mainly because I flinch whenever the ball comes near me! 

Much Love

Hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Frankie 

xxx

Disclaimer - Whilst FC fabric studios sent me this fabric for free all comfy/jersey dress love is my own!


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Prym Ergonomics Knitting Needles

The future of knitting is here! I'm not even joking that's the tag line for Prym's new ergonomic knitting needles. Now I first heard about these needles at the CHSI show in Birmingham and being stubborn I saw them and was like "Yeah well that's not going to take off at all *scoffs*" and then the lady gave me a pair to try on the stand and I firmly had to eat my words!

Fast forward to a week after the show and the lovely people at Prym said they'd send me a pair to try! What they actually sent me was a HUGE box full of knitting and crochet goodies that made me cry [just a little bit, okay more than a bit but it was just so nice of them! If you check out my Instagram you'll see what I mean , and if you don't have Instagram you'll have to wait until I blog the knitting roll I've made to store them all in!] 


Naturally I wanted to give them a thorough test drive so I got every single scrap of wool I had in a blue/black/grey/white/green/purple colour way and cast on a diagonal garter stitch blanket using size 5.00mm needles in the 40cm length! 

And luckily for me they came the week the new Nintendo Switch came out so I had a lot of time to knit whilst the boys enjoyed their new toy.


So.........

LIKES!

The hook tip - Basically normal knitting needles have a tapered end but these have a little nubbin on the end. [they call it a Hook Tip]. Now this is actually there to stop your stitches coming off the needle as you knit and to make it easier to hook them. But I also found that it stopped me getting an ache in my finger as I pushed the needle down [the way I knit means I used one of my fingers to push the needle down as I make a stitch.....Yeah I know my Nan thinks its weird too!] 

The clip ends - This is a complete "HOW DID I NOT THINK OF THAT!" moment for me. I mean the ends clip to the needles so you don't loose your stitches! It seems so obviously! And they really do keep them clipped in! In the interest of testing I gave my five year old the needles with some stitches cast on and asked him to try and get the stitches off and he couldn't, he did however work out how to unclip them but they should be safe with anything under the age of 3!!

The triangle shape - It fits really nicely in the hand. 

Lightweight - Okay so since the Nintendo switch came out I've basically been abandoned by the two men in my life for the last week. That means a lot of knitting. In fact I clocked myself doing an hour of straight knitting one day, no breaks, no stopping and more importantly no arm ache. Its a miracle people!  


DISLIKES

Okay so there are less of these but there are still a few things that niggle me a lil!

The colour - Okay so they are a nice clean modern looking white colour, but I kind of wish they came in fun colours too? I think they might appeal to kids a bit better that way, for example my first pair of knitting needles were pink.

The thinness - Okay so this was something that really bothered me in the beginning. The smaller sizes of needles feel a bit floppy. Now when I first saw them I was like ew I do not like that. But after knitting with them it doesn't really bother me. So its not really a complaint is it? More a warning to persevere because it grows on you!

The ends - whilst I like the hook tips I wish the whole end was a bit smoother. They seem to be made from a slightly difference type of plastic to whats on the end of the new ergonomic crochet hooks. And the crochet hooks seem to be a lot smoother. It doesn't effect the way they knit but if you try the crochet hook as well then you can definitely see/feel the difference. 


So yeah that's it! my review of the new Prym ergonomic knitting needles and if yo want to see me un-boxing them and my initial thoughts then there's a little video!

  

And that's a really attractive still of my face!

Also if you want to get your mitts on your very own pair you can buy them from Minerva Crafts!  And hopefully my blanket will be finished soon and ready to show you!

Much Love 

Frankie

xx

Disclaimer - whilst Prym sent me the box of goodies for free all knitty love is my own!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Denim Prima Wrap Skirt

Hey guys! I'm gonna start by saying I put makeup on just so I could take these pictures........ Thats how dedicated I am. 

Anyhoos this is one of my make nine projects for this year! I was sent this prima pattern by my lovely pen friend Jeanette [you can find her on instagram as pin_n_tonic but be warned she binds a lot of the inside seams of her clothes and it will make you feel like an underachiever!] 

Anyway nobody really blogs about Prima patterns which I thinks a huge shame, yes they build loads of ease in and sometimes you have to trace the patterns off but they have some really great simple styles like this awesome wrap skirt. [Plus chances are your Nan/Mum's got a subscription anyway so you can just snaffle the patterns from her!] 


Right so naturally being me I went completely off piste and threw the instructions out the window! For starters I added 4 inches to the shortest skirt length, BUT because I decided I wanted to use the raw hem this ended up being far to long and I think I hacked at least three inches off so that was pretty pointless!

Next I omitted the back zip purely so I could just have a button front. Now I finished my button holes by hand which is a new thing I'm loving because it gives a really awesome finish! but because of spacing there are also two press studs holding the under skirt in place.

The buttons are recycled from an old coat I had before I had Lil man! Funnily enough as soon as I was pregnant with him a lady a hospital told me what a lovely MATERNITY coat it was and I never wore it again because I was convinced it was the coat making me look pregnant and not you know the baby I was growing! Hormones eh? 


I also top stitched all of my seam allowances down to give it a flat felled sort of feel. I was going to do flat felled seams but I had to do some major taking in on the side seams and back seam so this way seemed easier.

I also skipped the facings and just used bias binding to finish it. I think I;d rather have a bias bond finish than a facing because there's less flapping around. And its already hard enough to keep the under and over skirt at the front from getting rucked up on each other. 


That said I do love the wrap front, and I love it in this denim because it has such a contemporary feel to it. Rikki even said this make is "quite nice" which is high praise indeed! The skirt is pretty simple and only has three pattern pieces [Realistically you could create something similar using a standard skirt pattern] this has 3 pattern pieces the back [which you cut two of] the under front [which you cut on the fold] and the overlap which you cut in a single layer. The overlap is also shaped so that it hangs slightly lower and is angled.


The denim was sent to me for free by the craft cotton company to have a play around with.  and its a really nice sort of lighter weight denim. And the best part is it washed so much better than the last lot of denim I had! 

I have been distressing it slightly though using a cheese grater and by leaving all of the edges raw. I just like the grungy feel it gives. Although I am now picturing a nice version in a classy fabric for going out and stuff [ I say and stuff because I genuinely can't remember the last time I went anyway classier than a wacky warehouse or a McDonalds to eat] 


All in all I LOVE it , even if I do keep finding stray denim threads hanging off things! And its really nice to make separates that will go with everything in my wardrobe!

In other news I feel like I should kind of address how my blog has changed over the years. Basically when I started blogging it was because I was a lonely stay at home mum who felt like she'd lost her entire identity because a baby had popped out. That was roughly four years ago and now I'm a stay at home mum/blogger who loves writing about sewing and spending time with her kid which leads me to my next point. You may have noticed I've been doing a lot more reviews and basically getting free stuff than I did in the beginning. 
I just wanted to be straight with you and say yes I do get gifted items and yes sometimes they do ask me to post about them and add links to their sites. But I am always honest because I respect you guys far to much to lie just so I can have something. I also always disclose where things have come from.
I do it because 1. Momma didn't raise no fool and 2. because If I wasn't gifted things I wouldn't be able to review some of the great things that are in the sewing world. Realistically we are a young family and my sewing budget is basically whatever money I might get given for Christmas and birthdays! So I wouldn't be able to afford them.
But please rest assured that it will always be me blogging here and you will always get to here about sewing, general mumming, knitting and whatever other random stories!

I hope that's okay!

Much Love

Frankie

xxx

Disclaimer - this fabric was a gift from the craft cotton company but all denim wrap skirt love is my own! 
    

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Leather Key Ring - Tandy Leather

Okay so I know its not sewing or knitting but I just had to show you! I made this at the CHSI stitches show that I went to in February. Basically they had a stall completely dedicated to leather craft byt Tandy Leather and the first time I went to it I had a good peruse but the man was busy talking to someone else *insert sad face* Anyway the next time I walked past he mentioned he'd seen me hovering around and offered to let me give it a go!


Guys I made a key ring!!!! 

Well me and the man made it together, he held the stamper thing and I held the hammer! It was his idea to put the owl on after reading my blog name on my press pass. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. You basically get a piece of leather [this was already a key ring shape] then he sprayed it and then we used a metal stamp to hammer an indentation onto it. The whole thing couldn't have taken longer than five minutes. And that's including me making him promise not to sue me if I accidentally hit his hand with the hammer. Then the man put the rivet and the hoop on!


It was really nice to try something new and the guys were so lovely. They even showed me some more leather techniques and let me have a good look at all the examples they had brought with them! They were some of the nicest people I met that day and they definitely got me thinking about leather crafting! Might have to put a starter set on my Christmas List! [FYI if you do want to start leather crafting they have a whole load of support videos on their you tube channel! its a great resource for those wanting to learn!]

Anyway now I'm going to go and pop this back onto my keys where it takes pride of place next to the Mcdonalds Furby Lil man gave me! 

Much Love

Frankie

x

Disclaimer - Whilst I did make this for free I did not say I would review it or my experience and I am in no way affiliated with them. I just thought you guys might be interested!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Tape Measure Print Skirt

I'm so behind with posting my makes! I actually made this skirt about two weeks ago after a bout of feeling fed up and miserable about my sewing. This project was a quick fix to try and get me out of my funk.


The fabric was what was left over from my Tape measure Lilou dress and came from abakhans.

As far as quick fixes go I think it turned out pretty cute [its a bit long in these pictures but I have since re hemmed it to make it a bit shorter] I didn't use a pattern I just cut a waistband and then gathered my piece of fabric. Its not as full as my usual skirts but it doesn't bother me too much. 


It was a nice and easy project because its cotton so all of the pressing and stitching went in perfectly first time! Even the invisible zip went in okay. I mean its not perfectly lined up at the waistband I think its about 3mm off but I've been wearing it with a waspie belt anyway so you cant even see the waistband! Plus as I said I wasn't about to get my seam ripper out for a quick fix.

That said I did take the time to hand stitch the inside of my waistband but that's only because stitching in the ditch brings me out in a cold sweat. 

The skirt was sort of inspired by the novelty print skirts that were so popular in the 1950's and because I am really trying to incorporate more separates into my wardrobe.

In other news, I have been furiously knitting whilst wearing my double trouble jumper! OMG its so warm! Although Rikki has made a few jokes about me looking as though I've been tangoed.

And this morning I manged to survive another one of Lil mans school assemblies [BTW his school have open assemblies, its not like he was in the assemblies you can just go and watch either the head teacher or the vicar speak] Anyway I survived and I actually spoke to one of the other mums afterwards. So if someone wants to give me some grownup social skill points that would be awesome!

In general I'm feeling a bit more perky!

Much Love

Frankie

x

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Wool and the Gang - #doubletroublejumper

Okay so I've reached the point where I think its impossible to hate something you've spent HOURS knitting. I mean after putting all that effort in only to decide something is hideous seems a bit like sacrilege really doesn't it?

That's the journey I had with this jumper. My problems started when the Hayfield Bonus chunky I ordered from Hobbycraft was a bit more orange than I was expecting. The name Paprika should have given it away but in my defence it did look red on the website.

 

The pattern I chose was the double trouble jumper by wool and the gang. Its a free pattern which to be honest is pretty much how I like my knitting patterns to be! [BTW they actually have quite a few free patterns on their site so its definitely worth a look] I didn't use their recommended wool "wool me tender" because I had a voucher for hobbycraft so it made sense to use the equivalent weight from their.  


I started it on valentines day and finished it in bed last week when I was feeling poorly. Because of the chunky wool and the size 8mm needles the whole thing knits up pretty quick which is very satisfying.

Knitting up wise it was an absolute breeze, there was no complicated instructions and the only trouble I ran into was when I went to cast on the sleeves. They tell you to cast on 25 stitches and knit the rib pattern but I kept getting moss stitch, In the end I just cast on 26 stitches and decided I;d fix any problems with the stitch count afterwards. 


The other issue I had was that after I'd shaped the sleeves it says to knit another 50/60 [I can;t quite remember] rows and well that just seemed like a lot! I think I did about 15 and then cast off and well as you can see the sleeves are pretty long! I'm not sure if this is a pattern error or just because I didn't use the recommended wool but either way if you do make it its worth taking a look at your sleeve length as you go.  


The same applies to the fit as you can see its pretty slouchy on me [More room for cake] and I knit the smallest size so I'm not sure if its because of my wool choice. Naturally I didn't do a swatch test!


This is the best part of the pattern, whilst its simple in the front it is PARTY in the back! I love this detail! Although I would recommend wearing a crop top or a bralette underneath because when you bend forward it does gape quite a lot.

I can see it being the perfect jumper to fly with though because the open back means its really really easy to get on and off meaning you won't disturb your possibly sleeping neighbours too much!


The other thing I did differently was to crochet the collar and not knit it by picking up stitches. Picking up stitches it a pet hate of mine and I'm lazy so I just crocheted one.

All in all I kind of like it? At first I hated the collar and the whole thing just hung so stiff but after I popped it in the wash it softened up got a great slouchy vibe. I'm definitely going to make myself another one in a cream colour or a grey because its super duper warm and cosy!!! And surprisingly I actually really enjoyed knitting it! 

In other news me and Rikki went on a date to Alton towers water park yesterday. It was so nice to spend a day just the two of us and as we are both big kids we really enjoyed it!!

Much Love

Frankie 

xxx