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My Sewing Machines

Today I thought I'd share my sewing machines with you!
My original machine is a John Lewis JL125 that I got for my birthday from my mum and dad quite a few years ago.

Until just before I started this blog, it hadn't really been used that much. I'd used it to whip up a huge collection of drawstring bags and that was about it. However since I started sewing seriously, it has pretty much been in constant use. In fact I think it is about time I got it serviced.
It's a fairly basic model but covers everything I needed at the time. Unfortunately you can no longer buy this model from John Lewis but they have similar models in the same price range. John Lewis machines are made by Janome so I would recommend them. You can get the JL110 which is a great value beginner's machine.
It has a range of stitches, and came with a a zig-zag foot and 4 step buttonhole foot which is a bit tricky to use I will be honest. I have so far bought a rolled hem foot, invisible zipper foot, a …
Recent posts

200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans - A Book Review

Today I am reviewing "200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans" by Jan Eaton. This is one of my favourite crochet books and I thoroughly recommend it for anyone wanting to create their own unique crocheted blanket.

The book has 200 different crochet squares that you can mix and match. They range from simple blocks to much more complicated blocks. The blocks are graded one hook, two hook and three hook which gives you an idea straight away how difficult each one might be. One hook is described as suitable for beginners, 2 hooks as some experience required and 3 hooks as challenging.

The book is divided into 3 sections: Mix and Match, Block Directory and Techniques.
The mix and match section is designed to help you through the process of creating your own blanket using these blocks.

The block directory contains instructions for 200 different blocks, some of which are traditional and some of which are brand new designs. Some of the blocks are worked in stripes an…

Simple Tote Bag from Learn to Sew with Lauren

Finally some sewing! This is the Simple Tote Bag from "Learn to Sew with Lauren" by Lauren Guthrie that I previously reviewed here.

I was in need of a new bag for my knitting projects so though I would knock one up.
The tote is a very simple make and would make a great first project for someone learning to sew. 

It is a simple design with a front pocket but there is also an option to add trim and to divide the pocket into two sections.

If you were a beginner and you made this bag you would learn how to sew straight seams and to make a buttonhole, which can be very scary if your machine is playing up!

I made my tote bag from some scraps of cotton linen mix that I had left over and the front pocket is made from a fat quarter. The button is from my stash too.

So all in all a great stashbusting project!
Catherine x
NB This post contains an affiliate link. If you chose to purchase this book, I will receive a small commission and you are helping support this blog. I only recommen…

Puppy blanket buddy!

Today I am sharing a finished object with you.

Isn't he cute!

The puppy is taken from a pattern collection called Animal Lovies by Yolanda Soto-Lopez

It's a collection of 10 different security blankets that can be knitted up quickly and given as a gift. 


My particular favourites are the kitten...

panda...

and rabbit.

I used the recommended yarn, Lion Brand Vanya's Choice which is a medium weight yarn. It's a 100 percent acrylic so is a good choice for a child's toy. However if I was to make this again, I might chose a different yarn as not only is it quite expensive it is not a soft as I'd hoped for.
The blanket is knitted on 5.5 mm needles so it is a quick make. The blanket is knitted on straight needles but some parts are knitted in the round, so a bit fiddly as there are not many stitches on your needles.
The toy is very straight forward make though and the instructions were clear and easy to understand. The only difficulty I had was with the ears as it …

Life happens

Hello lovely readers

Due to some personal problems, I have recently had to reduce my hours at work, so crafting funds are going to be limited for the foreseeable future... I would like to spend some more time posting on this little old blog though. 
So I thought it would be a good idea to start a new series of posts on my efforts to stashbust.

While my stash is not too huge by some standards, I do have a mountain of knitting yarn and some fabric stockpiled too. Not to mention all the WIPs that I need to get finished....
I also have a very large collection of crafting and sewing books that I have purchased over the years.  If anyone is interested, I plan to go through these and write some reviews, share my favourites and also try some of the projects out... 
Maybe I might even try my hand at vlogging? You never know! 
If you have got any great ideas for stashbusting or crafting on a budget, I'd love to hear from you so please leave me a little comment below. 


Popping by to say hello

Just popping by to say hello after the long gap!

Not a lot of crafting has been going on here as life has got in the way.

Plus the family has a new addition, Loki, the cockapoo, so all crafting materials have had to be put away from prying puppy paws. He's 4 months old now and full of beans.


I have however been doing the odd bit of knitting and I even managed to crochet a whole blanket, so I will have some things to share with you soon. The blanket pattern is called "A Spicier Life" and it is designed by the lovely Sandra Paul of Cherryheart. It's a free download from Ravelry so if you want to have a go at crochet, I thoroughly recommend this pattern.


As you can see Oscar is rather taken with the blanket! I'm currently making number 2.

Catherine x

Mini Polar Bear

Have you started your Christmas knitting? I've made this adorable mini polar bear.  



You can find out more at my new blog, Knits and Stitches.

Catherine x