Sunday, 23 January 2011

Wool pocket handbag

Hello Everyone,

Here is my most recent project- Just finished. I made this bag as another present using a pattern in Ruth Singer's Sew it Up.

 The outer fabric is a woven wool from Cloth House in Soho. The book says you need 1 meter of fabric, but I couldn't imagine it would take that much fabric so I got 60cm which was more than enough, in fact I probably have enough to make another bag. The lining is a synthetic in a bright orange also from Cloth House, as recommended I bought 50cm, which is the right width but I still have enough for another bag. The fabric were a wide width so maybe that is the reason I have so much left over.

The patter was very clear and I made this bag in about 2-3 hours, despite working slowly to get as professional a finish as possible. First you attach the egg shaped pockets on to the front and the bag and the handles. The next step is to insert the zip which
 joins the two side of the bag together.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Knit in the News 12.01.2011


My post on the the Macmillian INFI-KNIT project (see here), has been the most popular so I decided to do a regular round up of knitting/sewing stories from around the world where knitting is making a difference. Can knitting change the world? Knit is the news will also feature stories on sewing and crochet and any other textile stories I thin you might find interesting.

UK wool on the up
The first story is from the BBC news website (10.01.2011), showing how our knitting is helping to support the British wool industry and exports increase as we shun synthetics in favour of more natural fabrics- so let's keep it up!

Knitting Women Help Children in Africa
Another story to inspire. According to, women in North Wales have been feverishly knitting to provide jumpers for children in Africa, 8 women knitting 100 jumpers!

Can I sew and be green?
This article in the UK Guardian asks a question I think will interest many people who make there own textiles ans it definitely feels more holistic and green and seems to fit with the "make do and mend" attitude.
More knitting in the news soon

Investment in wool research
I guess wool is more complicated than I thought. New Zealanders seem to think so anyway.$17-point-25-million-in-wool-research


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Giant bean bag and footstool

Hello Everyone,

Here is another sewing project which was pretty quick and fun to make and has make a very welcome addition to my home.  I made the bean bag for my boyfriend who has wanted one for years. I was spurred on by Kirstie's homemade home which showed you how to make a very simple bean bag and I made a miniature version as a footstool.

I wanted the finished bean bag to be a meter across so I used a bit of maths to work out the circumference (diameter x pie) 100cm x pie=314cm. The bean bag is made out of 4 pear shaped pieces so I divided the circumference by four (314/4=78.5), which I rounded up to 80cms. I then drew a miniature version of the pattern 8cms across and it worked out at the right shape at about 14cm tall. So the final patter worked out as 4 pear shaped pieces of fabric 80cms across and 140cms tall (see picture below).

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Silk envelope clutch bag


This is a project that I just love and really enjoyed making. It was another gift but I also made myself one too so I don't have to covet selfishly- this time.

I had in mind what I wanted and went looking for fabric on Berwick street in Soho. I wanted to go and have a rummage at the fabric stores there as I had never been before and this was a good excuse. I have since been back to get specialist silk fabric for the tie I made, see previous post here. I found the fabric in the Silk Society, which is a specialist silk supplier and has some really beautiful fabrics, like beaded and textured silks for bridal wear which are amazing and nice just to look at.

Chritmas cable knit hat

Hello everyone,

Another Christmas present. I adapted this pattern from the hat I showed in my previous post with a double rib trim and and a simple garter stitch body. This hat was knit on 10mm needles with Rowan big wool. I had some wool left over so started and when I ran out bought a new ball online in the closest colour I could find as I forgot what the original ball was. The new ball was in blue velvet and you can see the difference in the two sections but I didn't mind as I think hats look good in a couple of colours.

I did a double rib (k2p2) for a couple of inches and then switched to k2p6 repeated six times across each row and cabled the purl stitches every eighth row twice before decreasing the crown. I wish I had done a shorter rib so I could have fitted in another cable twist or just cabled the entire hat as I think they look really attractive, especially in a chunky wool- again I want one for myself now.  Here is a picture in progress:

I did knit another hat the same for my brother but it wasn't big enough to fir over his hair so I plan to make another rasta style hat when I get another ball of the blue velvet that gets wider after the rim before narrowing towards the crown so I think that will be a be a simple garter stitch, unless I do cables far apart and only increase in the intervening panels. I will think about it and let you know when I make up my mind- ideas welcome.


Kim hargreaves- Flourish scarf

Hi everyone,

here as promised is the first of the Christmas presents I made, which is another Kim Hargreaves patterns from the Darkhouse collection. This flourish scarf is crochet in Rowan Kidsilk haze in meadow, holding two strands as one, using a 9mm crochet hook. This is the first thing I have ever crocheted and I was persuaded to have a go after seeing this pattern and falling in love.

 The yarn is a mixture of mohair and silk so it is incredibly soft and fuzzy/fluffy and the mohair should make it warm even though it is holey. This scarf was quick to knit up and I plan to make another for myself is a bright colour. The only thing I would say is that this scarf uses four calls of the Kidsilk Haze and at £8 a ball is quite expensive for a scarf- but it is a luxury I guess. I was wary of running out of wool as I have read on other blogs has happened to others and think I started to crochet tighter as I went but I had just enough.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Macmillan INFI-KNIT- knitting for a good cause


I thought I would share this knitting relevant post as it is a good cause. Macmillian cancer are asking people what keeps them warm in support of cancer patients who struggle to afford heating. Tell them what keeps you warm and you automatically add a section to a scarf which will be given to the government as a petition- Longer the better- check out the link below.

I've knitted my bit of Macmillan's woolly scarf petition to make sure people with cancer can keep warm without the worry. You can get knitting too.
My knit

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Patterned book bag

Hello Everyone,

I am going to do some posts on all the presents I made for Christmas over the next couple of days. But first here is a bag I made a couple of months back for a friends birthday. The week before her birthday I went to the knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace in North London. I didn't buy much, but I did spend ages on the stand for the Button Company which had a really wide selection of cotton fabrics in loads of beautiful prints and I wanted most of them, but limited myself to two to make this really pretty bag. The outer fabric is slightly heavier cotton a bit like thick linen and the lining is typical lightweight cotton

The idea for the book bag came from a book I bought when I first decided to start sewing more called Sew it Up by Ruth Singer, which includes this book bag project. And when I saw this bird patterned fabric I knew my friend would love it and bought a contrasting cotton for the lining.

I was really pleased how the bag turned out and plan to make a similar bag for myself as they are so handy and I didn't really want to give this bag away- A common problem for me!