Thursday 30 October 2014

WTF Knits

WTF Knits; Weird adventures in wool by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet
Published by Transworld Books
23rd October 2014
Hardback Edition
Forget scarves and bobble hats. Here are the results of some nutty knitting that will really blow your mind...

For the last four years, Gabrielle Grillo has been scouring the web for the most bizarre knitted items she can find. In this hysterically funny book, she has collected the very best of her finds. From a knitted Christmas turkey cosy to woolly vomit, from burgers to a sperm fertilizing an egg - they have to be seen to be believed.

This is a photographic book of fun - full of weird, wonderful and extremely messed-up knitting and crochet creations from around the globe. As you flick through, there'll be a smile on your face and one question on your lips: 'WTF were they thinking?'
Seriously this book has to be seen to be believed.  There are some bonkers knits in here, and for most of the time I was left thinking 'but why?!' The need for some of these knits is baffling, but it's a hugely amusing book for those of us who love a bit of wool.  I won't share too many photos, or it will defeat the point of buying the book, but here are some images of what there are to look forward to
Now I have a tortoise, but I have never thought of doing this to him:
Image from F***ed Up Knitting


Do you see what I mean?! And these aren't the craziest ideas either!  Gabrielle has a website dedicated to the world of what she terms F***ed up Knitting, and there is a Facebook page for WTF Knits too! 
But as the book says "But while you're laughing, it's important to remember that although these pictures of boob cushions or crocheted turds are funny, someone, somewhere, worked hard to craft them - whether it was for fun, or to make a work of art.  These pieces might be baffling, but they're original and they're made with love."
There is a more serious side to the book though, and that is that it all began with one image, this one
Image from F***ed up Knitting
Gabrielle saw this via twitter and it started what has become F***ed up Knitting, and ultimately, this book.  However the poster of this first image @filleauxcraies, a girl named Claire, was a sufferer of cystic fibrosis, and has sadly since died, so any royalties from this book will go to a charity to help research the disease. 

So with C*****mas approaching, go grab a copy for the wool addict in your life - you'd be helping a good cause too!

I'll leave you with this image! WTF?!

G x

Sunday 26 October 2014

Cath Kidston makeover

It's true, how is it possible to do a makeover on a Cath Kidston product?  However, as I decided to order myself a new dress as a treat for securing a morning of supply work, I had to get the total to £50 in order to get free delivery (I know, it's a hard life but someone has to do it!) so I had to order other items!

My new clock frock

I decided to treat the hubby to a new mug as he loves giraffes!

And then I decided to order this pack of teatowels.  I figured they would make great cushions, for lovely as the ones in the Cath Kidston catalogue are, that even reduced to £16.00 , I figured that was a tad expensive in my opinion.
Now as the teatowels are reduced to £8 for the pair I figured I could turn them into my own cushions instead.  I made one up yesterday, but am waiting for some more pads to come before making up the second.  I won't patronise you by offering a tutorial on this, but if you haven't made a cushion cover before, and fancy doing so, the head on over here for a step-by-step tutorial on making an envelope backed cushion cover.    

I decided to use the grey teatowel for my first cushion and some plain mustardy-yellow fabric for the backing with a 16" pad inside.

Finished front
Finished back
Finished cushion

So for about £5.50 including the pad, I have a new cushion and it's unique to me.  One happy bunny here!
G x

Thursday 23 October 2014

Pamper Your Pooch

Pamper Your Pooch by Rachelle Blondel
Published by Kyle Books
25th September 2014
Hardback Edition
They say that dog is a man's (and woman's!) best friend - so show your pooch how much you care by making any one of the 30 lovingly handcrafted projects in this book. Divided into four chapters - Eat, Nest, Play, Wear - the ideas are practical as well as cute and include everything, from the Rest A Weary Head Bed, Plaited Fetch Toy and Travelling Dog Bed to the Jaunty Neckerchief and Bow Tie for Boys, and allow you to pamper your pet without spending a fortune. There is even a Bath Day Towel and Muddy Paw Towel, as well as a Dog Coat for the fashionable four-legged friend and recipes for Bitesize Biscuits and the ultimate Doggie Birthday Cake!
Yes people, you did read that correctly - Rachelle Blondel, co-writer of Granny Chic with Tif Fussell, has written a second book, and this time it's for dog lovers everywhere!  Pamper Your Pooch is exactly that - 30 ideas to make your dog, and ultimately you, happy.  There are recipes for doggy treats, clothing ideas and toys to make for the four-legged companion in your life (and if you don't have a dog, you can treat your cat too I'm sure)!  There are lots of photos to accompany each project, taken by Kate Whittaker, including Rachelle's own dog Stanley getting in on the action!
Stanley modelling his dandy dog coat
My girls loved this book - from the first page they were saying 'oh make this mummy' 'or this' - basically I think they selected the whole book to be recreated for our two dogs here!
My first task I think though is to bling up our dog leads as they are looking a touch shabby! I think a new crocheted lead will be just the ticket!  Add it to your Christmas list, quick!
G x

Thursday 16 October 2014

The Varifocal Challenge

Yes, I, at almost 41 years of age (when did I get that old?!) have had to accept the varifocal challenge! Man, that makes me feel positively ancient - but I have to say, the chap that fitted my new glasses yesterday had varifocals and he was probably only half my age!!!!

Yes, after an appointment last week, when I confessed that I could no longer use my current specs for both tv watching and sewing/knitting/crochet work that the optician suggested the varifocal option! It was either that, or go for reading glasses, and as I didn't think I could really handle having to swop from one pair to the other constantly, I decided that I'd give this a go.

Choosing the blooming things was the hardest part.  No kidding, I think I must have tried on nearly every pair in the shop.  The girl who helped me really liked one particular pair which I wasn't 100% keen on, so we kept trying until I found these ones.  Thankfully everyone else seems to like them too!

I have to say, Specsavers were brilliant at both my appointments, and I have 30 days to change my mind if I don't like my choice.  I was apprehensive about trying the new lenses, more apprehensive than when the optician said I have a freckle on the back of my eye and I have to go to the hospital to have it checked out, and a sleepless night occurred where I worried myself stupid about having made the right choice - daft eh?!

I have to say when I tried them on yesterday I was amazed that I could see! My prescription has been reduced a little but you wouldn't notice.  The only thing I have to remember is where to hold my head to look at things but I wore them all afternoon yesterday, and felt confident enough to use them for driving too and had no problems.  I had a small headache by the end of the day but nothing to worry about. 

It's day 2 today and it felt a little odd putting them on first thing but it's certainly not as a big a worry as I had anticipated it to be.  So are they a keeper....?  We'll see!

G x

Thursday 9 October 2014

My Rag Doll

My Rag Doll by Corinne Crasbercu
Published by David and Charles
14th May 2014
Paperback Edition

This is the ultimate rag doll sewing book. Learn to sew cute rag dolls and their gorgeous clothes to make the perfect present for little girls. There are 11 adorable dolls to choose from, each with their own charming outfits. Each doll has her own name and personality and will delight children and adults alike. 
The step by step sewing instructions are suitable for intermediate to experienced sewists, as well as very enthusiastic beginners! The basic doll pattern can be used to sew all the dolls and then altered according to hair and eye colour and hair style. Includes full-sized templates for the doll, clothes and accessories.
The dolls come with a variety of hair colours and styles and their own individual outfits. Choose from Fleur who has pigtails and her own doll sized knitting bag; Jean who likes the outdoors with her red boots and dungarees; and Red who has gorgeous red hair and a fabulous red cloak to match.
There is a summer time doll with cute espadrilles and straw bonnet, a ballerina doll with a tutu and tiara, a wedding doll with a beautiful dress and veil and a bedtime dolly with her own nightdress and matching teddy. And don't forget the delightful school girl doll with her own very special school satchel.
There is no doubting, visually, this is a beautiful book.  I could have included all the photos right here because they are all so gorgeous! I first saw it advertised in Love Sewing magazine and requested a copy from the publishers.  Initially there was a problem in that the book came with the patterns needing to be enlarged by a further 40% but now they are available to download for free online.  How easy it is going to be to actually make the dolls and their beautiful outfits is another question entirely but if they look like the contents of this book, I'd have two very happy girlies!
The patterns contain full written instructions, but they aren't accompanied by photographs detailing each stage, which if you are a visual learner, like me, makes it a bit harder, but then I just like to be spoon-fed instructions!  I'm thinking if I started now, I might have a doll made for Christmas?!
G x

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Woodland stitching

Last week was a busy one - the sewing machine worked her socks off for me, and by Friday I was shattered!  It was the little one's birthday, and she has decided that for her new bedroom (that won't be ready til next year!) that her presents should be for her room which is to have a woodland theme!  She didn't want any toys or games or books - and she's only 6!  I got her some clothes but then decided that I'd make some bits for her new bedroom.
I found this bedding in Asda and she was happy with that so at least we had a starting point!

Then I decided to make some cushions for her room.  I searched that wonderful place Pinterest for some inspiration and decided that I would make two cushions - one with toadstools on it, and the other being a fox design. 

She loved them thankfully.  Then came the challenge.  I'd seen a toadstool cushion to go onto an Ikea stool that I thought would be perfect for her room - only prob was that when hubby went to Ikea, they had sold out of the stool I wanted.  We did a bit of searching but couldn't find one that was suitable.  Then, the day before her birthday, hubby had a brainwave - we'd make the stool, the whole kit and caboodle by ourselves! 

He found a stump from the garden, cut and nailed some mdf to it, and then left me to do the rest.  This is the result:

When she was asked in assembly what she had for her birthday, she replied 'a toadstool'.  I don't know if anyone believed her though!

Then it was just a case of making 32 toadstool cupcakes for her class to eat on her birthday - easy peasy really!

By Thursday I was ready for a rest, only I had to make 5 tutus for the now 6 year olds' ballet class as they were performing in a parade on Saturday as ballerina fairies.  Four metres of stitching netting is a little trying but thankfully all were finished and the girls looked fabulous on the day.

I'm off for a lie-down!

G x