Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two-needle convertible fingerless mitts

Been busy with more knitting, although I really need to stop knitting pretty things for myself and get on with the Christmas presents I need to make. Hmmmmm easier said than done though!

These I made this week for the drive to and from work now it's getting colder. I need my fingers free to steer, but I wanted some cover for when I'm not driving. I had again spied something similar on the high street and wanted to make my own, but couldn't find a free pattern. So I made up my own and here it is. And even better, these babies are knit on two needles then sewn up, so the pattern is ideal for beginners or those who just find knitting in the round too fiddly. I have shared it on so if you use it please go share your photos, I'd love to see it in other colours :)

Two-needle convertible fingerless mitts

DK weight yarn

Needle size 4mm / US 6

Main mitt section

Cast on 40 stitches

Rows 1 to 5 - work in K2, P2 ribbing.

Continue in stockinette stitch until your work reaches the desired length (keep checking by placing it on your hand. My finished mitts are 9 inches, which I find covers my wrists right up to my knuckles.)

Then work the final 7 rows in K2, P2 ribbing.

Cast off.

Stitch the sides together using matress stitch, leaving a 2-3 inch gap for your thumb (again check the size and location as you go)

Thumb section

Cast on 17 stitches

Work in stockinette stitch for about 20 rows or 3 inches (a couple less if you have a shorter thumb or a couple more if you have a long thumb).

Break the yarn leaving a good tail and use a needle to pull the yarn through the live stitches, pull tight and secure. Then stitch the sides together.

Stitch the thumb section to the mitt section.

Mitt flap section

Cast on 42 stitches.

Work in stockinette stitch for about 3 inches, a little less for shorter fingers, a little more for longer fingers.

Then decrease as follows:

* K5, K2tog, repeat from * to end of row. Purl one row, knit one row, purl one row.
* K4, K2tog, repeat from * to end of row. Purl one row, knit one row, purl one row.
* K3, K2tog, repeat from * to end of row. Purl one row.
* K2, K2tog, repeat from * to end of row. Purl one row.
* K2tog, repeat from * to end of row. Purl one row.

Cast off leaving a long tail, sew a small loop at the tip for the button and sew down the sides. Then with one of the mitts on your hand, work out the position of the flap and sew to the mitt. Finally sew on a button in the right position and do it all again to make a second one.

Enjoy :)

Natalie x

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Easy, chunky high street beret

I made up this knitted beret pattern after lusting after so many lush chunky wool hats in high street shops this autumn - but of course buying one wouldn't have been as much fun would it?

It's seriously warm, and so thick it actually slightly reduces your hearing while wearing it!

This is only my first pattern, so if you notice any mistakes or improvements, please let me know and I'll happily amend it.

US Size 13 (9mm) circular needles with 16" cable
US Size 11 (8mm) circular needles with 16" cable

I used about one-and-a-quarter balls of Cygnet Seriously Chunky yarn, but any super chunky weight yarn would suit.

Please note, beret is knit inside out, so if you're joining yarn, make sure the knots/tails stay on the outside as you'll turn it inside out once finished.

Using size 11 (8mm) needles, CO 44PM, join in the round
Row 1-5: * Knit 2, Purl 2, repeat from * to the end

Row 6: * kf&b, repeat from * to the end (88 stitches)

Row 7: Change to size 13 (9mm) needles. *Knit 9, Purl 1, repeat from * to the end

Row 8-19: Repeat row 7

Row 20: *knit 4, k2tog, knit 3, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 21: *knit 3, k2tog, knit 3, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 22: *knit 2, k2tog, knit 3, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 23: *knit 2, k2tog, knit 2, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 24: *knit 1, k2tog, knit 2, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 25: *knit 1, k2tog, knit 1, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 26: *knit 1, k2tog, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 27: *k2tog, purl 1, repeat from * to the end
Row 28: *p2tog, repeat from * to the end

Repeat row 28 until about 6 stitches remain. Cut the yarn and using a large needle thread the tail through, pull tight, weave in the ends and you’re finished!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Noooooo, really?!

My last update was in June?! How did that happen?! Sorry peeps!

Well I have now been back at work for a couple of months, and am now finding a little time and enthusiasm to scrap. I seem to get really into scrapbooking for a bit, and then get back into knitting, and then the other gets temporarily neglected.

So, what's new with me? Hmmmm, not much really. My biggest news this week is that Alex has taken his first steps at just 10 months and is already able to walk across the floor and between the furniture, yikes! I knew this would happen sooner rather than later, and although I'm thrilled he's doing so well I'm also sad as I know his days as a baby are numbered now and very soon we'll be into toddlerhood. Double yikes!

And Harry, my other baby, is definitely no longer a baby now as he started school this month! Sob!

So scrapbooking is even more important to me right now, Alex is growing and changing so fast it's the only way of documenting this.

Here's my latest work:

(Scraplift from Sept/Oct Scrapbook Trends magazine)

(Finally used those lovely papers my mum brought me back from Florida earlier this year!)

(Layout using my lovely Whitebox photos from my last blog post - although I now have even more to scrap!)

(Scraplift of a truly gorgeous and inspirational layout by SJ Dowsett, published in Scrapbook Inspirations magazine earlier this year). This one is of Harry, and uses probably the only half decent photo we have of him as a newborn - because it wasn't taken by us LOL!

Right, that's me updated for now, but I promise I'll be back soon as I have so many layouts and projects on the go and lined up, plus some time to finish them this week (including a mini crop date with my lovely friend Rachel/reward - helloooooo!)
So catch you soon (I do really mean that this time!)
Natalie x x x

Monday, June 22, 2009

Photo heaven!

I have died and gone to photo heaven! Not only have I received my stunning boudoir pictures by the fantastic, lovely and talented Cheryl Johnson at Feel Good Photos, but on Sunday we went for a family photo session with Amanda of Whitebox Photography. These beauties cost us only £30 for more than 100 copyright-free images on a CD (anyone in Leeds and free on Saturday, get yourself there!) Those above are some of my faves, and there are more here:

I have already started work on a hand-made mini album to showcase my boudoir pictures, as well as ordering some enlargements for my bedroom wall (Photobox has a BOGOF offer on right now, all photos 7x5" or larger are included, go check it out!). So I'll show you just one tame photo and the rest you can see once I have finished LOL!

I have also ordered some family prints - although I'm not quite sure where they are going yet! I have finally started printing, framing and hanging my favourite photos and they look great on the wall together - much better than being hidden away on the pc anyway.

Back soon with some layouts!

Natalie x

Friday, June 19, 2009

And in other news...

Well it has been a busy kinda week, so I haven't seen much scrapping action I'm afraid. I do have my excuses though! For one I have been busy making a nappy cake and card for my neighbour, who had a little girl on Monday. I so can't wait to meet her.

I don't normally make cards, because it takes me too long to find inspiration (I seriously lack it with cardmaking), choose the elements and put it all together. But seeing as Harry had lost the one I'd bought I had no choice in the matter! But I'm really pleased to say I literally just pulled out a few bits and pieces, stuck it all down, and 20 minutes later I had this pretty card (which looks better in real life than in my poor photo by the way!). I also got to use one of the pretty new punches my lovely mum brought me back from Florida, along with lots of yummy Scrapbook Boutique goodies. I must get started on those.

I have also been finalising my back-to-work plans and today I've had confirmation that my flexible working request has been accepted, so I'm really pleased about that. I have seven more weeks left at home and then it's back to work, which I'm not really looking forward to, but thankfully my revised hours will allow me to earn a decent living to give the kids a good lifestyle while also being around to give them their dinner, bath and bedtime story and watch them grow up. I'm still going to miss them so much, especially little Alex, and I just hope he gets on ok with our childminder and without me.

Right, hopefully the next time I update I'll have a layout to show you - I'll try my best anyway!

Natalie x

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's a Nod!

And another...!

Harry was drawing his little monster friends yesterday, and created a lovely, friendly-looking monster, which apparently is called 'a nod'. I have no idea what that is - can anyone shed any light?! Anyway, of course I had to grab the camera and a little doodle of his for this layout, finally using these cute Crate Paper Orbit papers. I'm not sure the colours show very well (the pitfall of taking photos at night with only artificial light) but you get the idea. I'll retake and replace it hopefully tomorrow.
This layout, and the fact we have just been to visit Harry's school for the first time before he starts in September, remind me that he really is growing up so fast, Alex too. I can't believe he's about to start school already, sob!
Natalie x

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Inspiration still flowing

Still feeling inspired by all the fantastic talent that surrounded me at the weekend, as well as being pleased with my own work, I'm feeling really motivated to scrap more again. I have so many lovely photos and milestones I need to record, and of course I'm enjoying doing it too.


So tonight I sat down and scrapped these summery photos of the boys splashing about in the garden during last month's mini heat wave. It took me an hour to decide on a background paper (seriously) and whether it matched. I nearly didn't buy splash paper, as I wasn't keen on the background colour, but a little hand cutting later and it looks lots better. I also finally used some ribbon I picked up for a dollar in Florida a couple of years ago - it just happens to match Harry's shorts (which I also bought a couple of years ago, but being the skinny minnie he is they only just fit him!).
I already have the next layout in mind, another one of Harry, bless him. So watch this space, I will be back.
Natalie x

Monday, June 08, 2009

GoGo Got Lots Done!

I'm so pleased with my finished projects and layouts, both from the GoGoGetaway classes, workshop and challenges, but also those I did during crop time.

Just Hanging by Mary Anne:

Stickers? Fascinating by Fiona Beckman:

Get Framed make and take challenge by SJ:

There's No-one Quite Like Grandma:

Watch the Birdie:

Nature's Beauty (scraplift from Scrapbook Trends):


Little Sprout (Page Maps sketch):

I can't believe it's all over for another year, well, 9 months as next year's event is in March - less time to wait, hurrah!
And hopefully I might manage a few more layouts in my own time soon, I might even complete Jane and Shimelle's class projects if I get moving!
Natalie x

GoGo Gone!

Well that's it for another year, but what another fabulous weekend at GoGoGetaway! I had a great time enjoying the classes, workshops, challenges, lovely food, meeting old and new friends, taking pictures and even posing for some beautiful boudoir photos with the fantastic Cheryl (Feel Good Photography), ooh-er missus!

Here are some of my favourite photos:

Will be back shortly to upload photos of my layouts and projects from the weekend. :)
Natalie x

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't stop me now!

Now I've got scrapping again there's just no stopping me lol! Even though I have umpteen other projects on the go (including knitting and sewing - I just completed a mei tai, otherwise known as a baby carrier/sling) I keep coming back to my lovely photos and patterned paper. I'm loving taking such sweet photos of Alex. He's such a happy smiley baby and always willing to pose for the camera - unlike Harry, who at four years old just isn't interested in co-operating any more!

The photos on the layout above were taken this Friday evening when we gave Alex some potato wedges as a finger food meal, and he demolished most of them like he had been doing it forever. He does love his food!

I'm almost ashamed to say it, but in three years of scrapping this is my first Christmas-themed layout. The typical red and green coloured papers just never took my fancy, or my hurried photos of Christmas morning just never got my inspiration flowing when it came to sitting down and turning them into a LO. These photos are of course different and finally, with help from a Page Map (and Rachel for lending me her tools, thanks hun!) I have scrapped them. It's a simple layout, because I wanted to keep the attention on the photos of Harry and Alex in their Christmas outfits. I'm also pleased with the fact it's a double layout, which is very rare from me.

There are now less than 3 weeks until the great GoGoGetaway and I really can't wait to find out what's in store - the sneak preview of the classes look fab. Just need to get printing lots more photos now!
Natalie x

Monday, May 11, 2009

Should I have done that?!

In preparation for the great GoGoGetaway in less than 4 weeks time (OMG, eek I'm so excited!) I have been printing off my favourite photos, matching cardstock, patterned papers, alphabets and embellies and putting together some kits ready to scrap into LOs while I'm there.

I was doing really well and had made several kits, and then today I was itching to do some scrapping. So with the boys in bed early I sat down and completed one. Ooops. Never mind. I still have time to replace it and more, and in the meantime I have the above LO to add to Alex's first album.

The pictures were taken early last month, just after Alex had mastered sitting unaided at not even five months (my clever boy!). It was a lovely afternoon so out we went into the garden and I snapped these of him sitting on the lawn. The t-shirt he was wearing (a gift when he was born) matches the vibrant Sassafrass Lass papers, and as soon as I saw them I thought of this photo. And although I was a bit nervous scrapping such bright colours, and although it took forever to position all my pieces in a way I was happy with, I'm really happy with the finished result. I *whispers* feel like I might even have found my mojo again, hurrah!
Natalie x

Monday, May 04, 2009

Second gear, gaining speed steadily!

Alex is almost six months old and is finally starting to go to bed earlier on an evening, which means I finally have a little more time to myself and, of course, to scrap. Hurrah!

So I now have a few layouts to share, scrapped over the last month or so (I told you I'm only getting there, lol!).

The above layout is of a favourite photo of my husband and baby son, scrapped using some lovely embellies my mum brought me back from Florida, with matching papers. I just need to finish it with a little machine stitching around the border (must do that soon!)

This next layout I did a few weeks back, and then misplaced. I looked everywhere for it, but couldn't trace it, then today it mysteriously turned up in the place I left it and had looked a thousand times. Very strange. Lots of cutting, stitching and glittering on this one. :)

This was completed at a crop last month. It was a scraplift but I'm not too sure it works here. Ho hum.

I scrapped this layout last week after admiring the cartoon hen on the front of a book my son got with a chocolate Easter egg and copying it using patterned paper. I finally used up some old stash too (well I didn't have much choice seeing as I haven't bought anything new in about six months now, gasp!)

And finally, this was scrapped with my good friend Rachel's help (thank you hun!) for the Scrapagogo GoGoGetaway challenge to scrap a layout about yourself. The required colours (green, orange and yellow) are not my favourites at all, and I was dreading using them, but actually I kinda like it. :)

So that's me, back on the scrabooking wagon at last - long may that last! Now all I need to do is find time to blog, and I'm laughing!

Natalie x x x

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Slowly but surely...

... I am returning to scrapping, hurrah!

Since the birth of Alex almost three months ago (yes, three months, I know, where has the time gone?!) I haven't had a minute to myself, so scrapping has been off the menu. Until now. Thanks to a fab afternoon and evening spent with my lovely friends Erika and Rachel (hello!), and a not-too-fussy Alex being happy to sit and play, I managed to get not one but two layouts done. Ok, so the second still needs a little machine stitching around the edges and across the pleated paper, but I'll get there eventually!

Baby toes:

Getting into the sling of things:

Alex is doing great, he loves to feed, hates to sleep, but is generally a happy and content baby. And his constant smiling, giggling and gurgling is so infectious. He is piling on weight too, having gone from 6lb 3oz at birth up to 11lb 8oz at 8 weeks, and he is climbing up the charts and outgrowing all his clothes far too fast. Who wants to guess what he will weigh this week at 12 weeks?

Here are a couple of photos to get all broody over!

Sadly scrapping is now temporarily off the menu again as I have 150 funeral Order of Services to make in the next 48 hours for the funeral of my husband's lovely grandmother (any volunteers?!) and then I need to make a bundle of christening invitations for Alex's baptism in April (why do I take these things on by myself?!). But then I'll be back as I have so many lovely pictures of my boys that I want to scrap - and soon.

Natalie x