Monday, 24 May 2010

Plans for the summer

Goodness, another long gap, apologies. I've got my last exam on Friday, then I'm away on placement for 3 weeks, then I promise I'll get back to blogging regularly!

I have lots of plans for this summer, I'm not going anywhere because I have an exam to study for in August, so I'm planning lots of nice crafty things to keep myself from going mental. I'm trying not to get bummed out about everyone else going off on holiday while I'm stuck in the library...

So, here's a list of everything I plan to do craft-related this summer, we'll see in September whether I manage to stick to it or not!

♥ Start the Official Sorting of the Wardrobe. This is a plan I've had for so long, every since I started realising that my wardrobe is full of rubbish that I bought because it was cheap in charity shops rather than because I like it/it fits/it suits me. It's inspired by the Sew Weekly, Fashion on the Ration and my newest blog (introduced to me by Jessica ) New Dress a Day. Basically the plan is to empty my wardobe, sort through it and make a list of everything I need to make to get the most out of my clothes. For example, perhaps if I made myself a blue cardigan, I could get 3 new outfits out of clothes I already had but don't wear because I've got nothing that goes with them. Does that make sense? Once I've made The Master List, I can start sewing and knitting the clothes I need to have a put-together, organised wardrobe full of things I love and wear, rather than the shambolic, charity-shop-bin-bag wardobe I have at the moment where I wear around 20% of the clothes I own.
♥ Make another purse for MJ
♥ Make a bag for Jess
♥ Make Helen and Callum's wedding quilt
♥ Attend more craft group meetings
♥ Make more items for my Etsy shop. This includes tote bags, plastic bag holders, bath mats, purses, knitted mittens and vinyl noticeboards.
♥ Buy more vintage items for my Etsy shop. These are the best sellers but I haven't bought anything new for ages now.

I think that'll do me for the moment, I'm sure I'll soon think of new things to add to the list!

Saturday, 15 May 2010


OK, I suck at blogging this week. I had an exam on Friday (which went well I think, touch wood) so I haven't really been concentrating on crafting. Well, that's a lie, I've obviously been crafting (it's like my equivalent of rumination. Andrew always says he knows when I'm really sick, when I don't want to knit. It's like when a cow gets sick it stops ruminating) but I haven't been organised enough to take photos.

So, until I get my act together again, I would like to promote another completely awesome site I'm now officially addicted to. For those who know about it, you know of what I speak. For those who don't, prepare for vast swathes of your time to disappear into browsing this amazing knitting and crochet community.

In the beginning there was the word. And the word was Ravelry.


There are thousands of patterns on there. Some are free, like my chunky cardigan. Some are a few dollars and is it scarily easy to buy patterns.

It's super easy to upload photos straight from your computer or photo site, you can link to blog posts, read other people's comments on patterns so you can make your own modifications or ask for help on the super friendly forums.

All in all, if I fail my summer exams, it'll be because of this website. Oh, friend me! My user name is SecondFiddle.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Chunky cardigan!

It's finally finished! The WIP becomes the Finished Item and I am so pleased with it!

It's a pattern off Ravelry and buttons from Etsy (you can see the links to the pattern, button shop and Ravelry on my WIP post) and if I did it again I don't think I would change very much. I would maybe make the sleeves about an inch longer and the body about 2 inches longer, just because I like a longer style of jumper, but that's only because I'm an old lady who doesn't like exposing her back when I bend down.

Definitely going to knit myself more clothes in the future, it's so satisfying!





Oh, and if anyone's interested, the wool was from Great British Yarns (who let you pay with paypal) and it's Rowan Scottish Tweed in Olive, which is discontinued but amazing.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Sew Weekly

I have so many things to take photos of to show you all, but I'm in the depths of studying for my summer exams at the moment and so never remember to take photos until it's too dark. I need to show you how my cardigan is getting along (almost finished, just waiting on the buttons arriving in the post!), how Windowsill Farm is doing now the warm weather is finally here, my first attempt at making essential oil with homegrown herbs (using a recipe from The Virgin Gardener, a completely marvelous book) and my next knitting project (just ordered the needles off Ebay, so excited to start!).

In the meantime though, here's a blog I've recently got pretty into. It's called The Sew Weekly and is all about the lovely Mena, sewing herself one dress a week in an attempt to have a fully homemade wardrobe by the end of 2010. It's a really inspiring blog if you're into sewing and clothes making, reading it is really encouraging me to continue learning to make my own clothes. So far I only have 2 dresses to my name, but I've got a whole load of projects lined up in my head to keep me busy over the summer.


In the 'About' section, Mena talks about the slow clothes movement, her love of vintage styles and the pride that comes with wearing something you made with your own two hands. Your clothes are ultimately the first thing that people see and judge you with, rightly or wrongly, so I really like the idea that my clothes stand for more than just who I am, but say something about my principles as well. I don't mean t-shirts with 'Ban the Bomb' emblazoned across the front (although obviously there's a place for them as well), I mean clothes that make a statement in a much more subtle way. Clothes that say 'I disagree with sweatshops', 'I am keeping traditional skills alive', 'I disagree with consumerism and the way we treat our planet' and 'I want clothes that look good on ME, not just size 0 models'.

And obviously I want to look good doing it!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Oranges and Apples 500th post giveaway!

Well, it's nearly the end of the week and I didn't manage to post every day :-( I'm pretty pleased though, I've only missed 2 days which is much better than my normal blog posting of once a week!

I'm pretty excited, I'm taking part in my first ever blog giveaway! It's being run by Franca over at Oranges and Apples, she blogs about fashion and crafting and takes lovely photos. She's nearing her 500th blog post so she's having a giveaway to celebrate. I've donated this vintage hand printed silk floral scarf so I'm excited to see who wins it!


I really enjoyed the giveaway I did when I got 50 Etsy hearts, so I'm excited to do another one when the time comes. I wasn't that happy with the purse I made for the winner, Mary Jane of Invited to Attend, I rushed it and the photos I took were rubbish. It definitely needed something extra but I ran out of time and just had to send it off as it was, which isn't the best as a prize for a giveaway! Luckily I know MJ in real life so she didn't mind and seemed pleased with it (even if it was to my face!) but for my next giveaway I'll definitely have to make more effort.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Andrew's Christmas present

So, I know it's 4 months late, but here's Andrew's Christmas present! The idea came about because I have a trunk full of clothes that I plan on altering or cutting up and a lot of them were wool jumpers. I also discovered an amazing charity shop in Musselburgh that sells clothes 3 for £2.50 and so Little Ugly Blanket's Bigger Brother was born (must show you guys photos of Little Ugly Blanket as well, my first ever attempt at crocheting a blanket!).

The backing is fake fur and it is so snuggly and warm! It's a really heavy blanket as well, which Andrew loves because he likes to sleep under a weight of blankets, even in summer (weirdo).




It's not the prettiest blanket I've ever made, but it is practical and cosy and so I love it!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Some works in progress that are keeping me busy and off the streets.

1. Work in Progress 1: Cable Knit Scarf II.

This is a sequel to Cable Knit Scarf, which sadly was left in a pub on Christmas Eve. Well, they say left, I say someone stole it but the good people at the Fighting Cocks wouldn't take me seriously. Possibly because I was a teeeeeensy bit drunky-drunk. I was bereft for a good few weeks, it feels like leaving a baby behind. Almost.

Anyway, I saw this wool in Exeter over Easter and had to have it. It's so chunky and soft and I love the colour, it'll go with almost everything in my wardrobe. I bought 5 balls because my last scarf was super long and I loved that, but I'm not even finished my first ball and I can already wrap it completely round my neck. I'm planning a matching hat and gloves set to use the rest.



2. Work in Progress 2: BOB (button on blanket) cardigan.

I got the pattern off Ravelry (my name is SecondFiddle by the way in case anyone wants to friend me!), you can check out the pattern for yourself over here. This is my first attempt at making a proper item of clothing, I've so far done the body and 1 and a half sleeves. It's coming together really quickly, given that I'm only knitting for an hour or so in the evenings. I just bought some chunky handmade wooden toggles for it off The Hickory Tree on Etsy, so I'm impatient to finish now!




Monday, 3 May 2010

I'm addicted to cushions...

Hi, I'm Amy and I'm an addict.

I'm officially addicted to cushions.

I can't help myself, they're so easy to make and so pretty. This one I've had in my stash for years, I made the squares years ago and stitched them together with a vague idea that it might be the start of a blanket. Then I recently made Andrew a blanket for Christmas out of felted wool jumpers (photos to follow!) and some of the felt suited the red in the cushion perfectly so it seemed like the perfect time to make the crochet squares into a cushion cover.


Isn't he cute?!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Frances' wedding: The Finale

Well, after all that anticipation, preparation and excitement, 10th of April 2010 came and went and it was all over in a flash.

Frances' wedding was lovely, the weather was glorious and it was great to catch up with old friends. Several people complimented me on my dress, which was nice, though I stupidly didn't get a photo of myself wearing it with the wrap and shoes. Here's one of the dress in action, it's the best I could find by stealing off people on facebook (oops...) Ah well, I guess I'll have to get all dressed up again to show you the complete outfit, what a pity...

I'm the one on the far right, in the blue dress. I chose the blue because it was one of Frances' wedding colours and I'm pretty pleased with it, it almost perfectly matches the blue in the roses the Maid of Honour, Vicky, is wearing (on the right of the bride).


As for the wedding present, the long awaited crochet blanket was finally finished the week beforehand. I'm really pleased with it, it's perfect size for snuggling with on the couch or it just covers a double bed. It was a great stash buster, though I had to buy some extra balls to finish it off. Finished just in time to start another one for the next wedding in Easter 2011!



Saturday, 1 May 2010

Back to school

Well, it's been a while but I'm back! Easter holidays were lovely, I was down south for Frances' wedding for a week which was amazing, it's so nice to be involved in someone's wedding. Then I was up to the opposite end of the country, Inverness, for 2 weeks on placement with an equine vet. I loved every minute of that, I can't wait to go back next summer, it's just exactly what I want to do when I graduate!

In the last month though I've collected 3 new items for my Etsy shop. The first is this pair of fingerless gloves I knitted while I was away, I'm really pleased with how they've turned out, though I need to redo one of the photos which came out slightly blurry.


I found this glasses case while I was in Inverness and I love the colours and material. If they don't sell then I'll definitely be keeping them for myself, the only reason I haven't kept them is because I like a hard case for my glasses. They almost match my wallet though so the temptation may be too much!



I've had this vintage school jumper for a while, I love the style of it but never seem to wear it. I'm being somewhat fascist with my wardrobe at the moment, I've got rid of loads of stuff to charity and ebay recently and it's an ongoing process, I'm really bad for hoarding things because I like them, rather than because I wear them or they fit me or suit me. I'm also really bad for buying things because they're cheap in charity shops or given to me by friends, meaning I have a whole wardrobe full of clothes that don't flatter me at all. So, they're all gradually being cleared out and replaced. This jumper is super sweet though so hopefully someone will give it a good home!


This is officially the start of my new resolution to try and post in my blog every day. I'm terrible for leaving large gaps in between posting so I'm going to try and attempt to post every day this week. I feel like that's a manageable goal so watch this space!