Christmas is coming!

Not long to go now until Christmas! (88 days apparently) I was supposed to start on the cards in July, but life took over. Anyway, better late than never I always say.

So I’ve started on some Christmas stocking decorations (or I might add them to keyrings I’m really not sure yet).

It’s a really simple pattern.

Cast on 24 stitches, knit 12 rows.
Cast off 4 stitiches at start of next 2 rows
Knit 16 rows (16 stitches).
Cast off
Fold over and oversew row ends to make a stocking.

I have adapted this by using different yarns, needle sizes, using stocking stitch and adding stripes. I have also added some hand tied bows to some of the stockings and I may add some buttons and sequins later.

I think my favourites are the black boots, they really make me think of Christmas.

Love to know what you think.

Happy Crafting
xx

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New Range of Scarves


As Autumn has arrived with avengeance, I thought what better time to launch my range of scarves.

All hand knitted with textured yarns and ideal to brighten up the dullest, most miserable day.








They can be worn with a jumper throughout the day, if you just beed something to warm your neck – ideal if you have air conditioning in the office that cannot be turned down. Or wear out and about with a coat. They can even be worn on a night out for some snuggly luxury. They make a great gift too. Just ask my friends and family!

Priced at £7.50 each, choose your colour and off you go.

Colour options: black silky; black/grey bobbly; stone bobbly;
brown silky; orange/white silky

E-mail me at kath@handmadebykatherine to place an order.

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Twitter

I’ve joined the Twitterati! Follow me on @crafty_kath, I’d love to hear from you and I’ll follow back.

Thanks and happy tweeting xx

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The Big Knit 2

After last weekend’s break, I have knuckled down this week to getting my hats finished for the Innocent Smoothie Big Knit.

I started with a root through my enormous bag of yarns and dug out some lovely oddments of different textures and colours – cottons, double knit, baby 4-ply and some beautiful baby fluffy stuff.  Using the starter patterns on the Innocent website I thought I’d have a go at all three levels – hence the plain stocking stitch hats, stripes and then the bunch of grapes!  I was quite impressed with that one, although a bit fiddly and not as quick a knit as the others.

After the initial three hats, I thought I’d try some adaptations.  There’s a green dk hat in rib; a couple of hats with a picot edge and a tassle instead of a pompom, both made using dk yarn; I also tried a cotton mix yarn with a picot edge and a pompom, which my husband reckons looks like a bell.  My final hat, to make my donation this year to 10, was a stocking stitch pixie type hat in a mutli-coloured dk baby yarn, I tapered the top and added 3 finger-knitted strands for fun!

I shall be sending them off to Innocent next week as the deadline for this years campaign in the end of September.  For more information, see the Innocent website. There is still time to get a few hats sent off to raise funds for Age UK.

Happy crafting

xx

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A break from crafting

Having a bit of a crafting break this weekend, and went out to Skyride Bolton with the family.  A chance to blow the cobwebs away and see some of the local area without the stresses of cars on the roads.

Plus Jason Kenny – Double Olympic gold medal cyclist!

A bit of a trip down memory lane, riding passed School and Queen’s Park.  A great day out inspite of the weather.

It was great fun and has reinvigorated me to finish off all the hats for the Innocent Smoothie Big knit.

Happy crafting (or cycling)

xx

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Creative Craft Show

Last weekend (Aug30 – Sep1) saw the Creative Craft Show back at Manchester Central (formally GMex). This was great news to me as travelling over to Event City at the Trafford Centre was a real hassle. Anyway, with a day free on August 30th, I dragged Alice to the show for the day.

We had a lovely trip over to Manchester. Making a day of it, we went on the bus and tram, saving the pain of parking in the city centre. Fortunately the weather held and we had a fairly warm and dry journey.

As I hadn’t been able to book in adviance, we queued up for tickets, and a very nice lady in front of me gave me a £1 off voucher from the Manchester Evening News! Bit of a bonus. Crafters really are very generous and friendly people you know. The vouchers had obviously been in the paper for a few nights and this lady had brought them all with her to give out to people – how lovely!

Inside the exhibition area there seemed to be a few more stands than there has been in recent years. There were plenty of crafts represented – knitting, sewing, cross-stitch, cardmaking, papercraft and pergamano to name a few. The extreme knitting stand was a particular favourite with Alice – watching someone knitting with enormous needles and 10 balls of wool at the same time is quite hypnotic! Bury Craft Club even had a stand showcasng all their crafts – they have a very long waiting list to join! There was plenty of break-out space too ready for perusing crafty purchases over a well earned cuppa.

I had a good look round all the stands before committing to purchases – it’s not easy browsing with Alice at your heals. I managed to find a few things I needed, an X-Cut guillotine, bowmaker and steel ruler, along with a great deal on some Papermania papers from their black and white collection that I’d been looking for. We also found some fabulous Craft Planet kits for kids. Alice chose the Rudolph and Santa Christmas decoration kit.







There were lots of demonstrations on the stands as well as workshops available for pre-booking. Unfortunately I was unable to try any of the workshops as Alice was not in the mood to sit still! However, we did watch a few of the demonstrations – Rachel John extreme knitting a rug was fun and very friendly, the lady there entertained Alice brilliantly; metallic mesh ribbon bows and accessories from Ribbonbox was amazing to watch, the demonstrator gave Alice a ribbon flower to takeaway.

The organisers had also put a competition in the programme to keep the children amused. Alice spent at least an hour hunting for bits of ‘granny’s knitting’ around the show stands. As all under 16s had free entry when accompanied by a paying adult, it’s quite a good day out! We did eventually finish the competition and Alice headed over to the organisers office to hand in her entry and was given a lolly in reward – a very happy 3 year old.

After 5 hours at the show, Alice (and I) were a little jaded so we headed off home on the tram and bus, for a relaxing feet up and cuppa. Alice immediately opened her Christmas decorations kit and proceeded to make most of the decorations. She only needed my help in putting the cradboard backings on! I was very impressed. She has all her Christms gifts for family made already – I wish I was that organised!

Even though we had a fun day out, the show itself was, for me, a little disappointing. There were plenty of stands and crafts represented, but I was hoping I think for more manufacturers, rather then retailers. It felt like the retailers on site were ones that sell specifically at craft shows or on-line. I would like to have seen some bigger name brands there – HunkyDory, Kanban, Create and Craft etc. It would have been nice to see some of the crafting ‘stars’ giving demos and running workshops. The last time I went to a show at GMex I attended a Debbie Moore workshop, but there was no sign of her this time. With so many of the crafting manufacturers and experts in the region, I find it disappointing that the only major craft show in Greater Manchester, hasn’t attracted the big names. Maybe this can be worked on for future events?

Happy crafting
xx

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Birthday baking

It was my Husband’s birthday last week and I set about doing some making and baking with Alice again. She loves scribbling on cards and I’ve put together a big crafty stash for her – some card blanks, pencils, papers with different textures and patterns, and loads of embellishments – her particular favourites at the moment are googly eyes and racing cars!!

To add to the lovely card Alice made and her expertly chosen present (a lego policeman on a motorbike), we did some baking. Well, you can’t have a birthday without some cake now can you?!

As usual I ended up doing all the weighing and mixing, whilst Alice decorated rich tea biscuits and gingerbread men.









I used a Delia Smith all-in-one sponge method and added some ‘extras’ from the baking cupboard. There were some vanilla sponge cakes with added walnuts and rasins, and some chocolate sponge cakes with some chewy chocolatey bits. They only took 15 minutes in the oven at 170. I was very impressed with the simplicity of these cakes. I topped the chocolate ones with chocolate spread and then Alice added some chocolate finishing touches.

It was a Happy Birthday all round!!

Happy crafting xx




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Bake-athon

Yesterday was the local Summer Fair, raising funds for our community group – Friends of Walmersley Village. I volunteered to stock up the home-baking stall, so spent the vast the majority of Friday baking scones, cakes and biscuits.

I had to add some last minute ginger biscuits to the selection on offer! I made too much vanilla butercream, so I thought, why not try some ginger biscuit / buttercream sandwiches!








If I do say so myself, that combination really works well. So my final inventory was: Vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, ginger biscuits, ginger biscuit/buttercream sandwiches, chocolate chip scones, cheese scones, Easter biscuits, chocolate sticks and cereal bars (actually my husband made those)! Phew.

We went over to the fair to set up on Saturday afternoon.






It was a lovely day. Even the sun made a very welcome appearance! Shame that we couldn’t really do the Teddy Bears picnic because the grass was just too wet. Over £1000 raised too, so a great result all round.

The day was brought to an amazing close, with a fly past by the Red Arrows! WOW!!

Here’s to the next one!

Happy crafting
xx

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