Sunday, 10 December 2017

Christmas Carols

The Christmas tree lights in the Cathedral had their official turn on recently. The staff gather under the tree and the choristers sing a carol by candlelight.
This is a 2 minute video but the voices are so clear and magical I just had to share it with you. (Please excuse the people talking right at the start!) It's out of focus a lot I know but that doesn't affect the sound!

I took a photo afterwards,  trying to get in the whole tree. It wasn't til I looked at it later that I saw Father Christmas was there!!! He must have tiptoed in very quietly - but I think he's had some practise at that!!

On the crafting front I've nearly finished the knitted tunic for my great niece - just the sleeves to go. I'm not sure it's going to fit her mind...

And the 2 pairs of mittens have now had some shirring elastic added around the cuffs, so they have a better fit. I plan on getting plenty of wear out of them this winter. 

I bought a ball of the new variegated yarn cakes from James Brett this week and have started knitting a cowl. It's shaped so that as it gets longer you work decreases to give a better shape. This yarn is incredibly soft and should make a really cuddly cowl.
Isn't it a gorgeous colour?  It's shade number NL5. 

Well that's all I've got time for today.  Guess it must be a busy time of year...

See you again soon - and take care if you've had snow!   T  xx

Friday, 1 December 2017

More mittens!

So, following on from my pink mittens I made a red pair for my sister. I made them two stitches narrower across the palm than mine, and yet strangely, I still ran out of wool for both of them and had to buy another ball just to do the decrease and cast off row on each thumb. I'm not quite sure where I went wrong - although the red yarn wasn't quite as soft as the pink, even though it was the same brand so maybe that had something to do with it.  I made a little video so you can see the finger hole in action!

I dropped them off today and she just phoned - to say they're too big!!! They were just right on me... Lucky I was going to make myself another pair anyway! I'll have to measure her hands rather than assume they're the same as mine and make a third pair! Ah well, third time lucky maybe?!

That's all for today,  back again soon.  T xx

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Do you like mittens? They're one of those things that I like but at the same time they're a bit annoying because you don't have your fingers free. But on a day when you're walking, not shopping etc, I do rather like them. Especially on a really cold crisp day - there's  just something about them that says your fingers will be warmer than with gloves.
So yes, I like mittens - but I've never made my own before. I've yearned for a pair of hand knitted mittens for literally years. I'm perfectly capable of making them - I simply haven't.

But now I have!!! I found the most AWESOME baby alpaca from King Cole yarns for just £6 for 50g and I couldn't resist buying it.
I deliberated long and hard on what I could make with just one ball and decided to try the cowl that had been in last months Crochet Now magazine. It had a fabulous texture that reminded me of knitted double moss stitch that I really wanted to try on a cowl. Well, you know me - I had to adapt the pattern somewhat and when I got to the end of the ball of yarn I decided I just didn't like it as a cowl. Too soft, too floppy and the pattern made it want to curl over at the edge. So I had a rethink and decided to attempt the mittens I had always wanted.
I opted to combine a knitted cuff with a crocheted hand - and as ever, I made it up as I went along.... frogging the cowl as I went!

It took me a few goes to get a reasonable shape to the fingertip section but I did it - I even jotted down some very scrappy notes on the back of a ball band to remind me what to do on mitten number two!
I bought a second ball and made number two in one evening! I decided to leave a finger hole for my right index finger, so I can use my phone or camera without taking my mitten off. It looks a bit odd - almost like you've made a hole in your mitten, or like a buttonhole I suppose but it should do the job nicely.
(If you look closely you will see the tip of the thumb on the mitten with finger hole is a slightly different shade of pink. Yes, I lost at yarn chicken and had to cast off with a different length of yarn!)

I put a picture on Facebook when they were finished and one of my sisters immediately commented, saying could she buy a pair please! So I bought 2 more balls in a lovely dark red to make another pair.
I'll make them very slightly narrower though - firstly, so I don't run out of yarn again!  And secondly, because I think mine are going to need a little bit of shirring elastic around the cuff before too long. And I might even have a try at writing down the pattern properly. But don't hold your breath on that one!!

Want to see???

Tina's Allsorts, crochet mittens

Tina's Allsorts, crochet mittens

Tina'sAlllsorts, crochet mittens

Enjoy the rest of your week! T xx

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Shades of gold

The sky was the most perfect blue today but the wind! Boy, was the wind cold - blowing straight from the North Pole!! Brrrr!!!!

Driving home from the supermarket run I noticed the beech tree at the top of the hill was looking just STUNNING! We have a lot of beech trees in the neighbourhood - indeed, one of the school's I went to is called Beechwood School. We always have lots of local colour to enjoy at this time of year but with the wind doing its best to blow all the leaves off the trees,  I knew I had to go and snap a photo or two today - I won't see them in sunlight again until next Saturday and that may be too late.

So straight after lunch I walked back up the hill with my camera to try and capture the best of the colour.

I love to see the lush, vibrant green along with the shades of gold and copper. 
I carried on round the corner towards the infant school I went to Many years ago! I often played in the woods just outside the school as a child - you could then - and saw these trees.

They used to have bushes around them and we had a cosy den inside!  But the bushes are gone now and the trees are much bigger! 

Seeing these colours today makes me think about making a blanket in autumn colours. I've been pondering about it for a while and it turns out so has Lucy of Attic24 (I'm her greatest fan!). She's about to "release" an autumn colour yarn pack, which I think I might be ordering!!! But what pattern shall I do? There are so many I want to try! Maybe I'll do two at once again??

I hope you managed to enjoy some sunshine today,  wherever you are in the world. Till next time,  T  xXx

Monday, 6 November 2017

Blankety decisions

Remember my big beautiful Harmony Blanket? Well, I haven't done any work on it for ages, as I ran out of yarn and didn't want to join lots of scraps on each row. She is definitely big enough to use as a sofa blanket - and has been used for exactly that purpose even while I was hooking each row! - but she won't quite cut it as a bed blanket as she'd only just cover the width of a single bed.

I keep wondering whether to stop now and just use her as she is on the sofa, or to keep going but that would mean buying a lot more yarn - and a lot more time. And then I saw someone on Instagram who has started making her own stripey blanket using my Tooty Stripey Blanket pattern.
The colours she chose are beautiful rich autumn tones and it looks amazing and that made me think well, actually I'd quite like to start something new - so decision made, yesterday she went in the wash and then the tumble dryer!!

I will work a couple more rows to finish the pattern section I'd reached and I'll probably try and do some kind of edging along the short sides - just to finish it off,  you know. But apart from that she's big, she's beautiful, she's SOOO soft, and she's warm and snuggly.

If I'd thought of it,  I would have taken a load of close ups yesterday. But I didn't... so here's just one to be going on with.

Tina's Allsorts Tooty harmony blanket

The little dress/tunic that I'm making for my great niece is coming along rather more slowly than I would have liked. I think perhaps because I'm working in the round my knit rows have quite a tight tension, so it's coming out bit shorter than the tension on the pattern suggests - maybe I should have used a slightly bigger needle?
But it is lovely. The wool is beautiful, the colour is lovely, the pattern is lovely, I even like the little cable. So at the moment I'm still knitting. At this rate she might get it for Christmas!

Tina's Allsorts

That's all for today, see you again soon! T xx

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Zip top project bags

I keep seeing people using zip top project bags for their crochet WIP's on Instagram and felt the urge to join in and make my own. I bought this fabric several months ago with the intention of making a friend a "knitting bag" - you know the type that has a wooden frame, not just a bag?? Well, I hunted the internet for ages and just couldn't find anyone who sold just the frame and it seemed such a waste to buy a completed version and pull it apart just to use my own fabric - so that fabric never got used. Until now!

I still had the template from the zipped pouches I made a couple of years ago, so I just enlarged it a bit, then went through my stash to find a contrast fabric for the lower part and the lining. And would you believe, I also have a stash of zips...

Here's the first one I made, with a cowl I was working on at the time spilling out the top. (The yarn is lovely to work with and the stitch is crochet moss stitch. The cowl is finished but needs the ends stitching in...)

Tina's Allsorts,  Project bag

And here's a little photo shoot of the second one I made. I was going to keep the first one for me - it has lime green as the contrast and pink gingham for the lining. But once the second one started coming together with shades of greyish blue fabric, I think I might have changed my mind!!

I went back and looked at the tutorials I've bookmarked in the past for a quick refresher and how everything goes together, then I got busy getting everything cut to size and backed with iron on interfacing, so I could just crack on and sew.

If you'd like to make your own, then these are the best tutorials I found -




The first is the one I found most helpful,  especially with fitting the zip. The second shows how to make your own pattern,  and finally,  the third details how to make a pouch without a seam across the bottom.

Getting everything cut to size

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Adding a pin or two with the help of my pin dalek!
Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

A little detail for the inside
Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Tabs on the ends of the zip

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Zip installed!
Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Add an internal pocket - it's wide enough to lay a crochet hook in it and has a "fake" button to reduce the width of the opening

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Ok. Not a good photo!  It's supposed to show the side seams where they meet the zip

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Here's the corners stitched to make the flat base

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Forgot to leave an opening to turn it right side out, so had to unpick a few stitches!

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Turning through!
Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Nearly there
Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag


Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

Tina's Allsorts, Project Bag

I do like that blue. ... maybe I'll keep this one and list the green trimmed bag on Folksy? Or list both and see what sells first? ?

I'll take some better photos in the morning and get them listed.

I've been doing a spot of knitting this week too.

This is for my great niece - the recipient of the Tooty Fruity Blanket. I thought it might work up quicker if I made it in the round but boy, is it Slow Going! That waffle patten takes an absolute AGE! Almost wish I hadn't offered to make it...

I've started playing around with ideas for another baby blanket too. I thought a coloured centre ringed with cream, then join on round 3 with colour. But do I join with squares, or hexagons for a change??

I'll have to make some more samples, although I'm leaning towards hexagons - not made them for years.

And remember the crocheted project bag I showed you last time? Well, I have another on the go now as someone who saw it on instagram asked if I could make one for them! Woo Hoo!

Oh, and one of the harmony baby blankets has been delivered to a little cutie who arrived 5 weeks early. The grandparents  (my cousin) chose the one with all the colours.

See you again soon!  T  xXx

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Project bag Ta-Dah!

Just a quick hello today to show you my finished project bag. After the hiccups with the over stiff lining and the length,  it turned out rather well and I'm very pleased with it.

It's about 10.5 inches high now and I made crochet handles for it. The lining has a full length pocket one side and a small pocket the other side. Want to see?

Tina's Allsorts, project bag

Tina's Allsorts, project bag

Tina's Allsorts, project bag

Tina's Allsorts, project bag

I'm very pleased with it and,  as you can see,  I've filled it already!! 
Before I go, can I just thank you one and all for stopping by?  I'm very grateful and it lifts my heart to see how many people from all around the world pop in.

Til next time,  T  xx

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Project bag progress

Remember the project bag I mentioned last week?  Well, it's coming along reasonably okay.
I finished the sides, adding some stripes along the way and worked some half trebles around the top on a smaller hook to give a firmer edge.
Then I bought some fabric for the lining and half a metre of a sort of "padding" that I planned on using to give it a little body.
Oh yes, and I decided to make crochet handles, although I had considered using rope.
Here's everything laid out -

Tina's All sorts,  project bag

I didn't take a pic but I cut a piece of thick card the same shape as the oval bottom and wrapped a piece of the fabric over one side (with the help of some double sided tape), then glued an oval of the padding material to the other side. I also stitched an oval of the padding directly into the bottom of the bag.

Then I pinned the remaining padding fabric round the sides. And this happened -

Tina's Allsorts, project bag

A VERY upright bag suddenly appeared! I thought the padded fabric would just give it body but it actually made it quite upright. Not stiff stiff, just upright. Which is not what I wanted at all...

So I unpinned the padding  (glad I hadn't machine stitched it in!) and put it to one side.
I also decided it was too long - it was a good 12 inches but has now been frogged back so it's about 10 inches. 
I'll have another crack at it tomorrow and start on the fabric lining  (which will have pockets), so I might pop back in then.

For now though,  let me leave you with this screen shot from Attic24. Lucy wrote a post about preparing for Yarndale and included this screenshot of some of the creative hearts she's received for this year's community project for Mind. And you see that one in the middle? That's MINE!! Woo Hoo!!

I do like a good woo hoo, don't you?!

Til next time,  T  xx 

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Two Harmony Blanket Ta - Dah's

(Edit: I wrote this on Sunday but kept having internet issues and couldn't publish at the time - then forgot to try again later!!! But better late than never I suppose!)

I warn you,  this is a picture heavy post! Both my Harmony Baby Blankets are finished and I've taken a good number of photos to share. ☺

When I have time  I'll jot down the instructions on how to make the circles, make them into squares,  and work the two different borders. But for now, here is some lovely blanket spam!

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Harmony Baby Blanket

I must admit I am rather proud of both these blankets,  especially the one joined with all the colours. That worked better than I could ever have imagined and I'll be making another I'm sure.
Both are intended as gifts for babies due in a couple of months time - but just hpw do I decide which one to give to who???

The Tooty Harmony blanket (the BIG one!) where this colour journey began, is currently on the back burner as I have almost completely run out of yarn. I'll order another pack when I'm ready to do some more but I fancied a break from it to be honest. So it is doing a grand job of keeping me warm in the evenings while I hook something else!!

The first "something else" is a project bag to keep my current WIP's in. I'm using the gorgeous Sirdar Cotton yarn that I won in the tea cosies competition back in June/July. 

This is the base, although as I write I have already done 10 rows of the sides and even joined in a little colour. I'm using my preferred method of designing - making it up as I go along!!! I haven't decided how tall it will be, never mind an edging,  handles, lining, stiffening etc! When will I ever learn? ....
Till next time, T x