Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Lurgie :(

Just a quick post to let you know I've not been posting as we've all been hit with the dreaded winter cold & flu for Christmas. F & I missed going to all the toddler parties and until today neither of us have been remotely fit enough to leave the house since our trip to the doctors on the 17th December.  F fortunately was prescribed some anti-biotics which really made a difference but I wasn't so lucky due to being pregnant and it's taken until today for me to feel a glimmer of my normal self.  Paul eventually succumbed to the germs yesterday and has been in bed since with a temperature of over 100. All this illness has seriously hampered my scarf progress but I must be feeling a bit better now as i'm starting to get twitchy hands again! I hope you all had a great Christmas & I wish you a wonderful New Year/Hogmanay if I don't make it on again before then. Fi xxx

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scarf progress :)

I'm off to a good start with the scarf. The Elenya yarn is delightful to use and the pattern is easy to remember. I'm working alternate stripes of each colour and they're blending very nicely.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Three Irish Girls Elenya

My Three Irish Girls Stash of Elenya 50%Alpaca/50%Merino. When I saw the Multi-colourway was called Fiona I just had to have it :)

I also ordered a matching cerise and pumpkin orange.

My plan was to use it for a felted project... but it's absolutely perfect for the Feather & Fan scarf I'm trying out from the Beautiful Knits for Heads, Hands & Toes book... my December book review.

So now I've 3 projects on the go... Haggis the highland cow, Finn's Christmas stocking & the Feather & Fan scarf. The scarf is knitted... which is something I've not done in years!

I've always been an extremely slow knitter so it will be interesting to see if I'm any faster these days. I'll post my review at the end of the month with photos of how far I've got... as somehow I don't think it will be finished in 3 wks :)

Felted stocking

Felted stocking

Originally uploaded by fiona-kelly
Eek! Slightly more of a colour run when it felted than I expected. The red isn't so Christmassy and the cream... well it's now more of a definite pink... even the snowman is the same shade (i'm not even going to bother photographing that). On the plus side the fringing felted extremely well and if this was done in a single colour it could work. But this wasn't exactly the overall look I was going for so I think this time it'll have to be a non felted pattern.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stocking snowman

This is the snowman so far for our F's stocking. It's also in the machine and I'll add the rest of his details when I sew him into place.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

F's stocking almost finished!

Just a bit more to do. I re-did the toe section and I'm now doing some fringing around the top plus a little snowman decoration next before felting..

Sunday, December 7, 2008

F's Christmas Stocking progress...

 I'm making fast progress with F's Christmas Stocking now... Just a bit more to do height wise, then the fringed top and I think the toe section is a bit short so I need to re-do that part. 

I just have to untangle my ball of cream merino DK that he got hold of before I realized.... it's amazing how a toddler can turn a simple doughnut of yarn into a tangled heap in minutes. I should have guessed as soon as he got very quiet! Anyway I've not long to go at all & I might even have it in the machine to felt by Wednesday. Looks like F is into Snowmen at the moment so that's what I'm going to decorate it with... more updates to come :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

F's 1st Christmas Stocking... a WIP

After starting and unravelling a quite a few attempts already... I've eventually got the start of the look I was endeavouring to achieve YAY! In the end I decided to go with starting at the heel, work my way along to the toe and then rejoin the yarn & head up the body of the stocking. I wanted to make the stocking  in rounds with very little in the way of visable seams/joins etc. The shaping has been a bit tricky so far but I think I've got the worst bit worked out...

I'm being good and using up some of my stash too... some lovely bright red Jaeger Merino DK wool. I have some cream & black Jaeger merino too so I might do a fancy fringed top? My plan was to felt this afterwards but It's looking so nice as it is I'm now not sure... the fringing will definitely be better felted so maybe i'll have to take the plunge and just give it a go! If it doesn't work I can always crochet another and leave it be as I don't think the finished stocking will be using very much yarn :)

I'll keep you updated on my progress & I've just got to decide what to decorate it with apart from his name... a santa, a reindeer, an Xmas tree... what do you think I should put on it?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weekend crochet for babies by Sue Whiting

About 3 weeks ago a Lauren from New Holland Publishers sent me an email wondering if I might be interested in doing any reviews for them. As you may know New Holland publish a wide range of crochet, craft & knitting titles. I emailed Lauren to say I'd be delighted to have a go a reviewing them & shortly after a lovely parcel arrived by post. Inside was a great surprise... not just one hardback book but 3! It turns out they had 3 new titles coming out....

Weekend Crochet for Babies by Sue Whiting, Beautiful Knits for Heads, Hands & Toes by Alison Dupernex & Beautiful Crochet for Heads, Hands & Toes by Melody Griffiths.

To be honest I've never written a book review before so my first thought was how would I go about it. After looking through all 3 books and seeing quite a few irresistible projects, I quickly decided my best way forward was to try out a project from each of the books and let you know how I got on following the patterns. 

With Christmas fast approaching I started with Weekend Crochet for Babies as the title suggested to me that the projects would be fairly quick and easy to do. I needed a Christmas present for my friends little girl 'Nia' who was 1yr in October and I'd spotted this really cute hat, scarf & bag set made using Colinette Jitterbug 4ply in the book. 

Unfortunately I don't have any jitterbug yarn but I do have plenty of Kauni & Evilla 4ply pure wools from astrids dutch obsessions in my stash to choose from so my 1st project was speedily underway with a lovely cream, pink & biscuit Kauni colourway.


 In recent years I am more used to writing my own patterns than following someone elses and I was delighted to find the project patterns were very easy and clear to follow. 
I started with the hat and by the end of my 1st evening it was already finished... I'm not a speedy crocheter so this was indeed a very quick item to do as i'd made the largest size 12-18 months! The main body of the hat is worked in rounds of trebles (UK terminology) and finished with a lovely double shell like edging which gives it a gentle fluted brim.

The next evening I started the scarf and again found the pattern very easy. When I'd got into the rythm of the design I only had to refer to the pattern when starting the next round as it is made using trebles and the same edging from the hat. It took me a bit longer to do than the hat... just over 2 evenings altogether as there are a fair amount of stitches involved working around the length of the scarf. The finished piece is charming though and well worth it. I just love the way the fluted edging spirals around the scarf as it drapes... It even rolls around itself into a lovely looking flower shape which will be an ideal method to present it in the Christmas wrapping paper!

The last item in the project was the bag... again in the now very familiar treble fabric with shell edgings. It took me about the same time to complete as the scarf and this was mainly due to the hand stitching needed to attach the handle at the final stage. I had to re-read a few parts of the pattern carefully towards the end when you are making the frill part, as when I'd initially read the pattern through before starting... those parts had seemed a bit unclear. When I actually got to crocheting that stage in the bag it then made total sense and it was very easy to see what to do next to make sure the frill lay the right way down the bag. The handle is easy & made of a spiraling tube of double crochet (UK terminology) and stitched securely to the top edge of the bag opening.

So within a matter of some evenings all the items were now finished and looking great. The book definitely followed what I was expecting from it and with no brain draining tricky things to wear you out in the process :) If you are looking for some quick & cute projects for sweaters, jackets, hats & toys to rattle up for presents then look no further... you'll not be disappointed. Or if you know an avid crocheter who is always looking for new projects to do for babies this book will be right up their street.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Free blanket square pattern - songbird

To make this 15cm blanket square you will need

1 x 4mm (USA 'g') crochet hook & 1 x embroidery needle

1 x 50g Debbie Bliss cotton DK in shades Ecru / Cream shade 02 (or similar)

A small amount of soft brown cotton DK for the bird itself, an oddment of orange for the beak & a small amount of green cotton DK for the musical notes

The pattern for this square is written using UK crochet terms

The cream 15cm x 15cm dc base square

Foundation row    24ch, 1dc into 2nd ch from hook, dc to end, turn. (23sts)
Rows 1 - 24          1ch, dc to end, turn. (23 sts)
Row 25                 1ch, dc to end, fasten off. (23sts)

NB. If your finished square is not 15cm square you can adjust the size by using either a hook size up or down depending on whether your square is too small or large.

Click here to download my free PDF pattern.

The songbird - worked in rounds & then embroidered

Foundation ring    Using your soft brown cotton DK make a magic adjustable ring, 6dc into ring, pull tail of ring tight, do not turn, place stitch marker if wanted. (6sts)
1st round             2dc in each of the 6 dc's of previous round, move stitch marker, do not turn. (12sts)
Final round           [1dc,3tr,1dc] into 1st stitch of this round, 4dc, [1dc,4ch,5dtr,4ch,1dc] into next stitch, 9dc, [1dc,3htr,1dc] into next stitch, 1dc, slip stitch across next 4dc's, then to form a wing shape... slip stitch into the previous rounds dc's with another 7 or so slip stitches curving firstly downwards and then back across to the right, finishing just below and to the right of your magic adjustable ring, pull last loop through to back of work, fasten off.

Use a single strand of your brown DK & small stitches to stitch the lower/outer loops of your completed bird shape to the bottom left hand corner of the cream square. Then using a single strand of the brown DK embroider 2 birds legs in back stitch, start at the birds body... work few stitches downwards and then work the last stitch across horizontally to form a foot at the end of each leg. Using a single strand of cream work a french knot for the birds eye. Lastly using a single strand of bright orange DK work a tiny triangular shaped satin stitch area for the birds beak.

The musical notes

Using a single strand of green DK work each musical note one at a time. Start each musical note with a bullion stitch circle wrapping the yarn around the needle 12 times before pulling the needle through and pulling it tight. Finally work the vertical stem of each note with 2 x chain stitches. Do as many musical notes around the square as you like!

NB. The pattern for this square is written in UK crochet terms ie.

1 DC= 1 x UK double crochet/USA Single crochet (SC)

1HTR= 1 x UK Half treble/USA half double crochet (HDC)

1 TR= 1 x UK Treble/USA double crochet (DC)

1 DTR= 1 x UK double treble/USA triple crochet (TRC)

Have fun & if you have any queries just let me know :)

This pattern has been featured on
Free Crochet Afghan Patterns - Free Crochet Afghan Patterns and More from

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

1st of Free blanket square patterns... flower square

Flower Square

To make all 4 of the 15cm blanket squares as shown in my previous post I used...
1 each x 50g Debbie Bliss cotton DK in shades Ecru / Cream shade 02 & Bright Orange shade 42
1 x 100g Katia 100% cotton DK in Jamaica (multi col... red, green, yellow & soft brown).
( I still have a small amount of each yarn left to use up too)
1 x 4mm crochet hook.

This square is a modified version of the one found in the Harmony Guide '300 crochet stitches' book and uses UK crochet abbreviations..  eg.
a UK double crochet (dc) is a USA single crochet (sc),
a UK treble (tr) is a USA Double crochet (dc)

If you are using the Katia Multi colour cotton DK... find the start of the red colour in the ball and make 8ch, join with a sl st to form a ring.

1st round    1ch, 18dc into ring, sl st to first dc, (18sts).

2nd round   1ch, beginning into same st as 1ch (1dc, 3ch, miss 2 sts) x 6, sl st in first dc.

3rd round    1ch, work a petal of (1dc, 3ch, 5tr, 3ch, 1dc) into each of the next 6 3ch arches, sl st to first dc.

4th round    1ch, (1dc between 2dc, 5ch behind petal of 3rd round) x 6, change to the green part of the Katia ball and sl st to first dc.

5th round    1ch, work a petal of (1dc, 3ch, 7tr, 3ch, 1dc) into each of next 6 5ch arches, sl st to first dc. Fasten off.

6th round    Using the cream/ecru join yarn between 2dc, 1ch, (1dc between 2dc, 6ch behind green petal) x 6, sl st to first dc.

7th round    Sl st into next ch, 3ch (count as 1tr), *(4tr, 2ch, 1tr) all into same arch, 6tr into next arch, (2tr, 2ch, 4tr) all into next arch**, 1tr into next arch, repeat from * to **, sl st to top of 3ch.

8th round    3ch (count as 1tr), 1tr into each tr of previous round & work (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) into each 2ch space, change to green of katia ball again & sl st to top of 3ch.

9th round   3ch (count as 1tr), 1tr into each tr of previous round & work (3tr, 1ch, 3tr) into each 2ch space, sl st to top of 3ch, fasten off.

Have fun & if you have any queries just let me know :)
As featured on

Free Crochet Afghan Patterns - Free Crochet Afghan Patterns and More from

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 4 squares together

The 4 squares together

Originally uploaded by fiona-kelly

I managed to rattle off a couple more squares in addition to finishing the songbird one. I'll write up the patterns longhand tonight as they're going off in the post tomorrow.

As soon as I can I'll pop patterns for all 4 in the free patterns page so you can have a go at them too if you want :) They're all 15cms square and made with 100% Cotton DK... so nice and quick!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blanket squares

I'm taking a short holiday from Haggis the Highland cow... with a few blanket squares for a joint blanket with some fellow ravelers. This is my songbird square... just a few musical notes are needed, which I should get done tonight & I'll post a photo of the finished square.

My tangerine dreams square turned out more like multi-colour dreams, i've been deliberating whether to add more orange embellishment? I haven't quite decided on that one... what do you think?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm still here... baby #2 on the way

You may have been wondering where I've been for the last 2 months! Well there are a variety of reasons for my absence but it's time for me to fess up! The main one can be seen in the pictures below :)

For the last 2 months I have been suffering really badly with morning sickness or my version of it which is basically 24hrs a day nausea. I was like this when I was pregnant with F. Even wearing travel sickness acupressure bands haven't stopped it completely, but they have made enough of a difference for me to cope with the nausea and keep F going to his usual activities. By the time it's got to the evening I've been totally shattered and have been in bed shortly after F to snuggle under the duvet for the majority of nights!

As of today I'm 12wks and 3days and supposed to be heading into the time when all pregnant women get that glow... no sign of that with me yet though! If this pregnancy goes like F's I've only got about 2wks of nausea to go... fingers crossed.

One of the things that have been different this time are my cravings. Last time I went chocoholic and tomato soup mad... which was very strange as I loathe tomato soup and i'm not usually that fussed about chocolate. I also went off fish and avocados which I normally love. This time my cravings have been for apples, avocados, egg mayonaise sandwiches, potatoes & mature cheddar cheese... and i've gone off meats like chicken/beef/turkey etc unless they're hidden in casseroles and soups! Weird :)

I had to fish out my maternity clothes at 9wks as my tummy decided to expand very quickly... I think when you've done it before it always shows quicker. At least I didn't go through a stage of looking like I'd been eating too many cream cakes...  thankfully just straight from looking not pregnant to she's definitely pregnant. We told a few people early as there was no way I could hide it. So there's still a long time to go but i'm sure it'll be may 15th before we know it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Guess my new theme

Guess my new theme

Originally uploaded by fiona-kelly

I'm still taking my Ravelry project photographs... but thought I'd upload a job lot in one go for a change!

Can you guess what my new theme is?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Glass photos 22, 23 & 24/365

Bet you thought I'd forgotten to do my 365 project?! Well it's getting hard to think of more glass shots but still have a few ideas left... I've just not had a chance to upload for the last few days...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stained glass 21/365

Finn was back to our church play group today.. a lovely place to go for a fun packed morning and great cups of tea for me... apologies it's a bit blurry :)

My beloved Bernina 1260QPE..

We drove down to Taunton last Saturday to collect it from Bredons as it was ready from being serviced... so the time had come to get all it's accessories together and list it on ebay. When F was playing with daddy sunday afternoon & while the light was still good I managed to take lots of pictures... although I realized the next day I'd forgotten to photograph a whole lot of assorted feet I had that don't fit in the standard tool box! Oh well :)

It took the best part of sunday evening to crop the photos, upload them to ebay and write the blurb about it. Who would have thought explaining what the bernina 1260QPE does and what mine has with it would take so long! Click here If you want to see my finished blurb.

I'm still having palpatations at the thought of it actually selling... there are no bids just yet but a few watchers. Unfortunately I really have no choice as since Finn took over what was our dining room and his old small room has become our new dining room our storage capabilities have been severly reduced. Those of you who know me know how much crafting and sewing stuff I have... in addition to the collection of machines and there is no way we can physically fit it all in the small room. Even if the Bernina 1260QPE sells I will still have my other Bernina (the Artista200E) with embroidery attachment & my Babylock eclipse overlocker so I can't really complain.

During the clear out I have recycled some old incomplete dressmaking patterns, given away my patchwork fabric stash, sent my unused non-feltable stashed yarns to a fellow Raveller in need in the USA with the postage paid by another Raveller as a gift.

Even with all this sorting and clearing I've been doing I've still got more to sort through.... but for this week I'll call it a halt & hope my special Bernina baby finds a loving good home.... sigh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Old Glass Mirror 20/365

Old Glass Mirror 20/365

Originally uploaded by fiona-kelly

I have to admit I'm starting to find it difficult to think of more glass themed shots :) I have a few more ideas left and then I'l really be struggling!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Condensation on glass 19/365

Condensation on glass

Originally uploaded by fiona-kelly

Today was the first day I found loads of condensation on our windows when we opened the shutters.... looks like autumn is fast approaching :)

I'm a bit late posting this as I've been busy listing my beloved Bernina 1260QPE on ebay. I never guessed writing about what it can do & accessories included of would take so long!

I've also decided to sell some of my Bernina Artista design CD's... one of which is signed by the author/creator Louisa Meyer

I'm still having palpatations at the thought of them actually selling but It's all in a good cause as our little boy loves his larger bedroom and I just don't have the space to keep everything anymore!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ice cold 15/365

I no longer drink it... so bad for my teeth. But it's still my favourite glass to fill with loads of ice & water... & anything else.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Old Glass beads 13/365

There was a brief appearance of the sun today while I was sorting out my jewellery box and these caught my eye....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Something sweet 12/365

I've just discovered the panoramic feature on the omnia. It's very clever... you take the 1st photograph and then slowly pan across left to right, the omnia then takes another 7 photos & joins them altogether. Took me a few goes to get the hang of it but whoo hoo I got it in the end! So here's my first panoramic....
Sweet filled glass globes.. just 20p a time..

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bottles 9/365

It's been a hard week with mum going into hospital.. but I'd still rather have a hot cup of tea :)

Now they've figured out she has collitis they can hopefully work out a treatment...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stained Glass

Glass from our stairwell.. we live in an old victorian building. I like that the buildings behind affect the colour of the glass :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sparkle reflections 7b/365

It was so hard to choose just one picture.. so today there has to be 2! Which do you prefer?

Sparkle 7a/365

My lucky dip theme for the next week is glass.. so I'm on the lookout for anything with glass. So while the sun is out nothing sparkles like crystal... except maybe diamonds but they're not glass :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yum 6/365

There's something about eating fresh peas straight from the pod. These are from Sainsbury's as we've eaten all of our home grown!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bristol blue

Bristol blue glass... I just love the colour it's so deep & rich.

I only have 2 pieces .. if funds allowed I'd have loads!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

With the ongoing sort through & clear out of my seldom used hobby stuff I decided to get rid of my remaining patchwork fabrics stash.

A few weeks ago I listed it all on ravelry... whoever replied first could have it all if they paid the postage to get it to them.

I had lots of replies but unfortunately the postage for such a large quantity of fabrics to ship to the USA was more than the fabric could be bought for there...

The next lady in the queue from the Netherlands only wanted the blues and whites... so off they went and arrived quite quick too. So now i'm left with all of the above... aren't they delicious! I could take it to the charity shop but I've decided to carry on the give-away here first!

So if anyone fancies this selection of 100% cotton patchwork fabrics... some are totally unused fat quarters and some part used. Just under 1.4kilos of fabrics that are originally from a quilt project that I never quite got round to finishing. Just leave a comment with your location so I can quote you for postage :)

If no one wants them by the 30th September off to the charity shop they go!

Close up of the fabrics is below....

P.S. I've just checked and postage to anywhere in the uk by first class recorded is under £6!


It's a beautifully sunny day today... may be even sunny enough to wear my hat! So as soon as F wakes from his nap we're going to make the most of the rays... while they're here.

Friday, August 29, 2008