Top 5 pins I love this September

If you’re a regular reader you’ll be familiar with the series I started at the beginning of the year on my top 5 crochet pins from each month.

Well, I only made it to March and then our little boy came along. So I’ve been focusing my attention on him ever since. I’ve not really been pinning that much and unfortunately the series doesn’t work very well without those!

I’d like to get it the series back up and running now that I’ve got a bit more time again. I’ll still post monthly but what I’ve learnt so far is that I like to pin inspiration and projects on all sorts of crafty subjects. So instead of just focusing on Crochet pins, I’m going to post about whatever I happen to love pinning at the time. I hope that’s OK with you?!

Here goes…

What is shutter speed? I’ve picked up my dusty dSLR camera again now that I have a wriggling, giggling little boy to take pictures of! It’s been fun but he moves so fast I’ve had to brush up on my photography knowledge. Pins like these are so handy to reference when baby brain hits and I can’t remember which setting to choose.

Anything to made gardening easier sounds good to me! With limited time right now we are always looking for an opportunity to optimise tasks. Mowing our lawn is a relatively quick job as we don’t have a huge garden but edging it seems to take forever. I like this idea to use some decorative edging that can be mowed over with the lawnmower.

We decorated our bedroom and had fitted wardrobes built in when we moved into our house nearly 4 years ago. Since then the wall over the bed has looks quite bare. I’ve been meaning to put some pictures on it but haven’t found anything I liked. I just can’t find anything I want to look at for years and years. So instead we’ve added an Ikea RIBBA picture ledge to the wall and I’m going to put some photo frames on it. I like this layout so I think I’ll do something like this.

Artisan bread? Sounds fancy. Our bread maker hasn’t been used for a while. I can’t blame our little boy for this one, I’ve just been lazy. It’s so nice baking bread, even in the bread maker when most of the work is done for you! This pin has inspired me to bake a fresh loaf. It’s not a bread maker recipe but it’s supposed to be much quicker than the traditional method.

Did you have these perler beads as a kid? I did. We got them when we visited the US, before they had made it to the UK. I remember making lots of coasters! This is a fun and different way to use them.

Cute crochet amigurumi elephant

Hello! I didn’t abandon you, promise! Our family increased by one in April and we’ve been taking some time to get to know our little baby bundle. Normality is slowly resuming and I’m getting small chunks of free time here and there again. I’m looking forward to getting back to my crafty projects and posting about them here on the blog.

One of the projects I finished shortly before baby came along is this super cute crochet amigurumi elephant. I’ve wanted to share him with you for a while now. I love this pattern and I’m really pleased with how he turned out.

Back of crochet amigurumi elephant
I originally intended to make much smaller versions of this elephant for a mobile for the nursery, but when I made a tester elephant I realised that they were going to crochet up too big. So I decided to make this supersize elephant instead.

Front of crochet amigurumi elephant
I used a chunky weight yarn and crocheted some black and white eyes instead plastic toy eyes.

Isn’t he great?! This is such a fun pattern and the construction is very clever too. You crochet the body first then re-join the yarn to make the trunk, legs and belly. Only the ears and tail have to be made separately and attached.

The original pattern was designed by Japanese artist Chisachi Kushima and the English translation can be found at All About Ami.

What have you been making recently?

Top 3 crochet projects I love this march

I’ve pinned lots of really great Crochet projects in March but there are just 3 that I really love…

Having just finished my first amigurumi project, I’m definitely going to make more. I really like that they are quick little projects with enough technical detail in the pattern to keep things interesting. It looks like most of the beginner projects at least start out with one or more of these basic crochet shapes so this tutorial from Moogly is going to come in handy.

There might be a kiddies blanket with strawberry stitch edging in my future! It’s nice to see something different. See the full tutorial and PDF download by http://crochet-rockstar.blogspot.co.uk

There are so many great Japanese patterns out there. Sunflowers are probably my favourite flower so it’s no surprise I love this one!

This post is part of a series. Every month I’ll be posting my top 5 crochet pins from the month past.

Are there any Crochet projects you’ve pinned this March that you’d nominate for the last two? Let me know!

New baby projects

I started maternity leave last week. Its strange knowing I won’t be going back to work for a whole year! I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, I still feel like I’ll be back at my desk again soon. I’m full term with a sizeable bump now so it’s been nice to slow down and rest more.

I’m making the most of the time before baby comes to get some knitting and crochet in. The crochet elephant I’ve been working on for the nursery is finished. The final bit, his ears, were sewn on the other night and he looks great. I’ll take some pictures and post them soon.

Yesterday my mum and I visited the local yarn shop and whilst this baby does not need any more clothes, we have a few more projects on the to do list!

We bought the first Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino book and there are quite a few projects in there we’d like to make. Mum is going to make the lovely bear cardigan and I’ve just started the super cute cardigan with fairisle yoke. We don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl so I went for a neutral light green yarn in Eco Baby. It has the same tension as the Baby Cashmerino yarn the pattern book is designed for so it’s a good alternative. The pattern calls for 5 different colours for the yoke design which was going to work out quite expensive for such as small amount of yarn used so I went for a coordinating Eco Baby Prints multi colour instead.

I like how it’s knitting up so far.

Cardigan with Fairisle Yoke Progress

What are you working on at the moment, baby project or otherwise?!

7 handy seam finishing techniques

My mum has been a keen sewer for many years and a few Christmas’s ago she bought me a sewing machine so that I could learn and enjoy it too.

I’ve taught myself the basics since then and I’m happy I can set it up and sew a reasonably straight line once I get going but there are loads of great projects out there I want to try that need a bit more sewing skill and knowledge. So I took a seam finishing class recently and it was great fun.

Here are the 7 seam finishes we learnt during the class. It took a while to get used to using a different sewing machine and my stitching is shocking but hopefully you get the idea. I’ve linked to some online tutorials that are good reminders of the techniques as well.

Topstitching


Twenty Top Tips for Topstitching from Yes I Like That

Zig Zag Stitch

Zig Zag Edge
Finishing Seams: Zig Zag Stitch from Tilly and the Buttons

Turned and Stitched Seam

Turned and Stitched Seam
Seam Finishes: Turned and Stitched from Sewaholic

French Seam


How to Sew French Seams from Craftsy

Flat Fell Seam

Flat Fell Seam
How to Sew a Flat Fell Seam from Craftsy

Hem

Hem Front
 
Hem Back
Tips and Techniques for Hems from Sew Mama Sew

Bias Binding

Bias Binding Armhole
 
Bias Binding Seam
How to Sew on Bias Binding from The Haby Goddess

I took the Professional Finishing Techniques class at RockingStitch. It was great to learn these techniques with someone to guide you along the way. I feel much more confident to try out some patterns that use them now. Now to pick one!

What are you sewing at the moment? Are there any techniques you’d like to learn?