Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Asymmetrical top

 I've just finished this little top, it is so cute, in pink lustre yarn it has a lovely sheen to it.
The pattern comes in a variety of sizes and I decided to go for the 3-6 month but having faithfully following the instructions it's turned out to be yet another preemie sized one. It measures a little over 12 inches round the chest.
 It's unusual and just a bit different as the buttons are set slightly off-centre to make room for the pattern panel on the right front. There is a narrow twisted rib on the edges of the waist, neck and sleeves. The 4 small deeper pink buttons show my bit for recycling, they are from the t-shirt top I threw out a few weeks back, perfect size for this though.


Monday, 10 March 2014

Whisky, Whiskey or Wysgi?

Whiskey is from Ireland or America, Whisky is from Scotland and the rest of the world while Wysgi is from Wales.
On saturday we attended a masterclass at the Penderyn Distillery at the foot of the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
My husband celebrated a milestone birthday last week and one of his presents was this Masterclass. I couldn't let him go on his own and even though i'm not particularly keen on whisky bought into it for myself.

Penderyn distillery is the only one in Wales and our guide Alan shared his knowledge and passion for this award winning drink with us in the 3 hours or so that we were with him. 
We were taught about the history of whisky in Wales and how Penderyn differs, how the whisky is made and how the flavours come about.
We were handed small bottles to try to identify different aromas - massive fail there on our part. 
I was a bit wary when we were handed tiny glasses of neat whisky to nose and taste but quite honestly it was a very smooth, delicious drink.
After a tour of the distillery and more insight into the barrels used etc. we headed back upstairs for a tasting session, again very informative and most interesting.
Finally back downstairs to the bar area where the drink flowed freely. Here we sampled each of the spirits produced. Our daughter and fiance joined us but we couldn't persuade them that the drinks were palatable. Just as well really as they had provided the transport for us.
A giftbag containing goodies signalled the end of the class, but as everyone else left I mentioned to Alan that this was a birthday treat for my husband and as we got talking he was given an extra tot to enjoy.


Each bottle carries the distinctive gold flash, signifying Welsh gold.

All in all a very enjoyable 3 hours, well worth the journey, only around 40 minutes from Cardiff and worth the money we spent. The visitors centre and shop are open daily, if anyone is in the area we can recommend it.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Friendly bacteria

Following on from my last post here are a couple more microbes, this time friendly ones. I decided to be a bit silly and give them eyes and a smile. Not sure about the pink one though, it looks a bit grim :-)


Anyway now that i've done 6 they will be in the post tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Knitted Microbes!

A friend sent me a link on facebook with this challenge

Glasgow City of Science is working with all primary schools in Glasgow on a hand hygiene project in spring 2014 and part of this involves an introduction to microbes. We thought that a good way to introduce this is through small fluffy microbes. Can you help us?

I've got lots of small balls of yarn that i'd been using to knit tiny hats so thought i'd have a change and give these patterns a go. So far i've knit 2 Tuberculosis microbes, 1 Cholera and 1 Salmonella. 

I actually started out by knitting them all the same then added flagella in a different colour to make them into cholera and salmonella. The TB are left plain. salmonella have several flagella all over and cholera has just one on the end. 
I reckon I can get a few more done before I send them off next week. 

Follow this link to find out more and maybe join in and do some knitting yourself. They are all quick and easy to do, the patterns are available free on ravelry through links provided and all can be done on 2 needles or 4. 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Change of shift

My husband has been working a day shift, monday to friday, for the past 13 weeks but this week started back on his usual shift pattern of 2 days then 2 nights. Last night was the first time i'd been on my own in the evening for what seems like ages. I don't watch a lot of television so decided to keep myself occupied by knitting some tiny hats for prem babies.
These are very quick and easy to do and use up those little leftover balls of yarn.

These are little tea-cosy vent hats, they need sewing up and then have a crochet cord threaded through the row of holes at the top. I'll get some more done today, hopefully using some of this large bag of yarn oddments sitting on the table beside me. 
If anyone wants to find out more about Preemies UK, the group I send these little items to nip over to their page on facebook. You don't need to be able to knit to help out as they do all sorts of recycling as well to raise money to enable them to send out parcels each week to hospitals all over the UK. You can find them (HERE)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Is it just me?

Is it just me who gets tiny holes near the hem of t shirts and tops?

I've just thrown another top away which has got a group of little holes in it.  I think i've discovered the reason for them and when i'm wearing a decent top try to take precautions not to let it happen. 
When i'm standing at the sink washing up my jeans button is on a level with the edge of the worktop and as I move things from the sink to the draining board the button is rubbing through the fabric of my top. Most annoying! 
If I remember I try to turn my top up so it's not covering the button but then I get a cold tummy. ;-)
Good things do come out of this though as the top i've just thrown away had 7 small pink buttons which I can now use for my knitting.

Had to look for the one on the label. 











Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Extra Christmas present

I've no crafting to show at the moment as the next knitted project i'm working on is taking quite a bit longer than the little preemie tops. Same pattern just for a 9-12 month old. Add to that the fact i've not been sleeping at all well and therefore not able to settle to much during the day, I think it will be the end of the week before i've anything to show.
However.......
the week before Christmas I received  a lovely delivery of carnations through the post, sent by a family member from a well known supplier in Jersey. I've had them before and the blooms look lovely and usually last well over the Christmas period. This year though 2 of them stayed in bud and rotted away rather than opening out. 
I noticed the supplier had a fb page so I contacted them to thank them for the delivery and commented about the 2 failures.
A week later I had a message from them apologising and explaining they would like to make amends. After a few details were sorted I was told I would be sent another delivery and the person who sent them would be getting a voucher. 
This was very unexpected and not the reason I had contacted them but hey i'm not going to say no to free flowers. :-)
These arrived this morning in perfect condition, they are beautiful.
The 2 which are more open at the bottom of the pic and the large leaf greenery are survivors of a bouquet bought on Christmas eve. I can't believe they have lasted so well.


Monday, 13 January 2014

Preemie knits

I found a cute free pattern on a recent trawl through some websites for a simple but very pretty little preemie sized top. It's knit from the top down which means no sewing up - always a bonus.
I've finished 3 of them in total and am now working on one in the larger size.

This is the first one and the one I struggled with as I realised the pattern gave instructions for the buttonhole on the wrong side. I'd already knit up to the 2nd one when I found out and had to undo almost back to the beginning. 
This pretty purple one was very straightforward as I knew to correct the error.
 On this last one I did the ribbed version but also knit ribbed button and buttonhole bands instead of the garter stitch as instructed.
I used James Brett Magi-Knit and am pleased with the way the yarn has worked with the design of the tops.
 The pattern can be found on Marianna's lazy daisy days blog (here) Have a look through the blog if you visit as there are lots of other designs to be used, all them them kindly given free.

Further into the blog there are instructions given for a larger size, this is what i'm working on at the moment. It's going to take a little longer to finish than these little ones and I hope i've got enough of the purple yarn left to complete it. I've done the patterned yoke in white so should be ok.

Again thanks for looking. Most of the items i've shown are available to buy on my fb page Swardy's Knitted Creations - pop on over if you've not been before, new likers are always welcome.




Saturday, 11 January 2014

Sock monkey.

My daughter has been making sock monkeys for a while now, since her friend bought her a book showing how to do them. 
My nephew saw one she had made and requested a football/masculine themed one. We've looked all over but couldn't find socks in the right colour or with the right pattern so it never got done. I finally found a pack in 'sort of' suitable colours and decided to borrow her book and make it for his Christmas present. 
I did a trial one first and sent it to a friend as a get well pressie, she was rather a bright lime green, but I think she looks cute with her little bow, smiley mouth and orange coloured eyes. :-)


I chose orange stripes for my nephew and added a little initial button to his chest. Here is is just hangin' around - typical teenager. My nephew is 15 by the way so a very apt photo.

I have a few more pairs of the striped socks so may well end up making some more of these. I was surprised at how much stuffing they actually need, especially the legs they seem to go on forever. 


Friday, 10 January 2014

New year, new start

It's been an absolute age since I was on here so i'm not sure if anyone is still taking an interest.  Happy New Year if you are reading this, if not then I guess i'm talking to myself - won't be anything unusual there. ;-)

In the past this has mainly been about my cardmaking, I still make cards but not nearly so many as I did and usually write and seal them before realising i've not taken a pic. More than likely i'm now to be found now with knitting needles and yarn in my hand rather than scissors and paper.

My daughter's friend had a baby on the first of the month and over Christmas I knit a couple of hats for him. I also did a pink one just because I liked the design. I intend to do more blue though as our neighbour is expecting a little boy next month.
The design is very easy to knit and has a nice textured pattern which makes it look and feel quite cosy.
 At the moment i'm knitting little preemie sized cardigans in pink and purple fair isle type yarns. 
Check back as I always take pics of my knitting and fully intend to make more regular use of my blog in the future. Thanks for looking.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Chunky braid


Close on the heels of my first kumihimo braid bracelet comes this 2nd one.
I couldn't sleep at all on friday night and after just an hour in bed decided to get up and go into my craft room. The discs were still out so I had another go with the thicker cords and got on with them much better.

This is the result .......
It looks tiny but that's only because the cords are so thick, the end caps are 6mm as opposed to 3mm on the other one. The findings came with the ring for an embellishment so I used this silver toned teardrop which is recycled from broken jewellery given to me. I love the colours of this and the cord and resulting braid is very soft and pliable with a lovely sheen to it.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Kumihimo braid

I went up to tidy my craft room this morning and as most crafters will identify with as soon as the desk space was clear I had to sit down and make something.
While tidying I came across the bag which still held the cords and Kumihimo disc that I bought way back in May. I'd chosen the pink and charcoal grey cords to make something for myself for my holiday which is coming ever closer.
I'd been advised by the person selling and demonstrating the disc to use the full length of cord and bind and cut the braid where it was needed rather than work in small pieces as it inevitably saves on cord as you are not wasting it to knot each time.

The cords I had chosen were very thin and I found it a very long, tedious task but eventually used it up and bound one end before cutting off the knot and gluing on a cap and lobster clasp. Once this was dry I measured it to fit my wrist then bound in 2 places close together and cut between the binds before gluing on the 2nd end cap and extender chain.



 I found a couple of gem encrusted charms recycled from an old piece and a couple of leaf charms and attached these to the braid with silver plated jump rings, they will move freely along the bracelet when worn.





I've already sat tonight and done a 2nd using the already braided cord with gold coloured end caps and a ring and toggle fastening. The glue on this is still drying, i'm not sure if i've anything suitable to hang from it so may leave it plain.
I'm going to persevere now with the cord I bought with the original disc and see if I can make another bracelet. These cords are much thicker and softer, I tried using them before but found the colours - white, ivory, grey & pale blue to similar to distinguish between so gave up.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Coming along nicely

Well this was to be my 'dark night' project to keep me occupied while hubby is working nights but I can't leave it alone for long.
I'm continuing with my blues and purples as planned. I had thought the white was a little too bright but it's blended in ok and now I think the 'Cadbury' purple may be a bit too dark but I suppose that will change as other shades are added.
I'm finding it easier to work on now, as the piece gets larger it somehow gets easier to handle. Not sure at what size it will become harder to manage.

Just have to include a photo of the orchid i've been nursing along for the past year. It was bought for me for Christmas 2011 and produced lots of lovely flowers but they died off gradually and for the last 15 months or so i've just had leaves. I bought some drip feeders for it in May and it produced a stem at last and now I have 5 beautiful flowers and several more buds. 
Not a very good pic i'm afraid.



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I think i've done it!

I taught myself how to crochet a basic granny square earlier in the year and have completed a couple of blankets by just carrying on until the square was large enough for my needs.
Last week though after seeing pics other people had posted on Facebook of blankets I decided to try a straight granny. This is where the rows go back and forth rather than round so meant finding out how to start the foundation row and turn around at the end of it.
Good old Youtube came to the rescue as usual and this is my first attempt. 
I know it's nowhere near perfect but it gave me the practice I needed before moving on.

This is my next try with something like 160 chains to begin my foundation row. It took a lot of concentration and checking back with the tutorials but I finally got there and managed to turn the work and add in new colours.
I've managed to find a few more shades of blue and purple and am going to try to work them randomly until the piece is near enough square or I use it all up, then add a border. I find random quite difficult to do as i'm always looking for a pattern in things, I think children do random far better but as i've got none here it's got to be my choice.
At the moment i've added a couple more pale purples, a blue and white and it's looking a bit brighter than these few rows would suggest.

Rather than sell this when it's finished i've decided to keep it for myself as I rather like the colours. :-)
 This will be an ongoing project for me to pick up and do a row whenever the fancy takes me so i've made a note in my book of the hook size and will add any other notes as I work. I've lost count of how many times i've come to finish a garment and couldn't remember the size i'd worked to be able to do neckbands etc.