Wednesday, 30 April 2014

preparing for MCM Manchester Comic Con

Today is payday which means I went and spent most of my salary on cosplay for the Manchester Comic Con!

Me and friend B decided way back in February we were going to a Comic Con this year and that we were going to cosplay on both days, and I am happy to say that B also jumped at the chance and we bought our weekend tickets there and then!

The convention isn't until the weekend of 19-20 July (taking place at Manchester Central - details can be found on their website) but with almost all cosplay 'stuff' being sourced from countries like China we thought it best to order as early as possible to give plenty of time for mistakes, returns, confusion and so on without the drama!

I'm going for one day as Belle from Beauty and the Beast, wearing a costume I made myself for an American Theme leaving party for D & E who left to live in San Francisco earlier this year - so sad to see them go but me and all the girls got to dress up as Disney Princesses which was a wonderful way to say goodbye!
Here I am in my costume along with E who is Aerial from the The Little Mermaid - we were being rather hipster in this picture but I LOVE it as I love her (and miss her dearly!!) I'm planning on improving the outfit slightly to make the skirt fit better before July but at least it is made already!
expect a better picture when we go to comic con!

On the other day I am very excited to be dressing up as Lightning Farron from Final Fantasy XIII - one of my favourite games of all time - after Kingdom Hearts/2/Birth By Sleep of course where my heart truly lies (but I don't like Kairi at all and would never dress up as her).

Lightning is one of my favourite game characters
I have just ordered this costume from Ebay and the price is a little steep but I really want to cosplay properly and have budgeted for the cost (phew).

I have also ordered (what I hope will be) a beautiful pink wig to do the job 100%! Luckily I already have some tall brown boots and don't need to buy those! I can't wait to practice my hair and make-up and show you guys!

B is going as Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII - but you already knew that, right?!) one day and 'Hollywood Hulk Hogan' for the other - we decided to wear costumes we already have for one of the days to cut down on costs - but we are going to look awesome all weekend!

Friend B is going as Rapunzel from Tangled the same day I go as Belle, and as Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones for the other day - she is going to look beautiful and I am sure she will let me show you pictures come July!

Are any of you going to a Comic Con? Or have you cosplayed before? This is my first time and I am so excited! Any hints do throw them my way!!!

Monday, 28 April 2014

i've set up an etsy shop!

yippee!
I've finally set up an Etsy shop! Yippee! Check it out - prettycolumn

Thanks to S at work for the push to do this - so far only Spiderman is on there but I plan to make lots more and also post up the other things I've made but don't know how to photograph just yet!

One more thing ticked off my list - now to continue updating my blog (pages, layout, links), now updating my Etsy shop, set up a prettycolumn Facebook page, and type up the Spiderman pattern!
I've decided to do all these things in smaller steps rather than one big session to break it up a bit so blogging keeps the fun that I've discovered and so that it doesn't start to feel too much like homework!

On this high though I'm signing off my laptop for the evening - all I want to do is get my jim-jams on and play some serious Ni-No-Kuni!!!

Have a look at my shop and let me know what you think would you? You're a star!
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/prettycolumn

Thursday, 24 April 2014

throwback thursday #1 - totoro

I have to admit I'm not keen on the phrase/hashtag Throwback Thursday - no particular reason I've just never rated it. However having only begun this blog just over a month ago and having been knitting and crafting for years before that, there are a lot of projects I have worked on and completed in the past and (unfortunately for me) a 'Throwback Thursday' post every now and then is the best way to structure sharing these creations with you!

And so let me introduce you to a snippet of my Totoro soft craft creations! For those of you who don't know My Neighbour Totoro (1988) is a Studio Ghibli animated film that is amazing and easily my favourite Ghibli film. Totoro's are friendly, cuddly, good-natured creatures of the forest and just have such a wonderful look that is easily transferred to crochet and knitting.


 Pictured above and to the right (albeit it slightly poorly) are a pair of crochet slippers which I adorned with my very own free-hand crochet motifs of the iconic grey Totoro, the blue Totoro carrying his sack of acorns, and the little white Totoro. The pattern for the slippers came from Zoom Yummy.



The above two Totoro's are patterns from the brilliant designer Lucy Ravenscar and can be downloaded for free from her Ravelry page, Grey Totoro is my favourite Totoro creation and I made him because I desperately wanted a plushie Totoro but couldn't justifying buying one online - crocheting one was much cheaper and more rewarding! Perfect cuddle sizes.

Finally this cushion case was actually a jumper I had knitted for myself a year ago but I have discovered I am awful at knitting jumpers (I have completed 3 and none fit! I keep persevering though) and instead of wasting the work I created this cover and adorned it with stitched leaves and acorns. I made the chart by uploading the image I wanted to a chart creator online - can't remember which one it is now but once I have written some more patterns I will share the chart with you on my patterns page :)

Do you like Studio Ghibli or Totoro? Please say you like Totoro...

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

ongoing projects 4; spiderman crochet pattern

So this Easter Sunday I devoted to writing a pattern for my crochet Spiderman (pictured above) that I made off the cuff last year for a Valentine's Day present for B. It was my first ever go at making something without a pattern and I was so pleased with it that I actually went ahead and made a Rogue from X-Men too! I haven't included a picture of Rogue this time round as this is all about Spidey, but you will get to meet her in time.

Once I made Spiderman and was pleased with him I was inspired to write patterns for as many Marvel superheroes and villains as I could with the intention of selling the patterns as sets - that was a year ago...needless to say I was very successful at putting that particular plan off for a long time!

Then I started this blog and I was inspired to look at my hobbies in whole new ways - namely ways I can share with others and what better thing to share than that which I wanted to a year ago! And so I took Spidey back from B and began to remake him writing notes as I went.

I found writing the pattern a lot easier than I anticipated and I have tested the pattern out on the black version of Spiderman  (it was going to be Venom but he isn't large enough) and it seems successful. I think once you have been crocheting and following patterns for so long you start to just know what the increases need to be in rounds to get a certain shape - that is at least how I feel, what do you think?


And so I have made Spiderman and here he is! He looks SO much better than the one I made last year which is such a pleasure to see the leaps and bounds my crochet skills have made. I have also in note form the pattern to make him and the version for the black Spiderman (who of course won't require the colour work you see on the body and limbs above).
see the improvement?
I will test the pattern one more time on a second Spiderman and then will type up and publish! I am very excited that I have finally achieved this (long awaited) goal and can't wait to get started on other patterns for Marvel characters - I will be doing Rogue or Storm next I think so watch this space!

Any thoughts on Spiderman and on who I should crochet next?

Monday, 21 April 2014

sunday round-up


In the last 10 minutes of Sunday (I am seriously pushing the title of this post!) I really really wanted to quickly share with you what I have been doing this bank holiday weekend while B has been away at camp in the Lake District and I needed to distract myself with muchos crafting!

1 -  I completed my #DICraftSwap project, much sooner than I meant to as I was an eager beaver and have even made a quick little extra - holding off posting it for a little while to make such I've done the best job I can!

2 - I finally started knitting hexipuffs for my very own beekeeper's quilt at the pub yesterday while having a girly afternoon - done 3 so far, only 380 to go.. :)

3 -  I painted Kilner jars following a blog tutorial from la petite pie - one for a birthday present, one for my sister, and one for myself and I am thoroughly pleased with the result! Absolutely gorgeous and so quick to do, and the paint was barely touched so I even repainted my mirror frame and I have plenty left over for future jars. I seriously recommend doing this project.
 
perfect for make-up brushes, though now I have made it into yet another pen pot!
4 - I spotted a tutorial for quick no fuss gift bags from AnjiKrafts, had a go, and could not be happier with the result, absolutely splendid and literally took 5 minutes

5 - I watched The Black Cauldron and Song of the South having never seen them before further to pub discussions yesterday, and I will never watch them again - all I can take from the experiences is at least now I know why Song of the South is so politically incorrect/racist that it hurts (which is why I watched it - to understand for myself why it is so wrong, and I understand)

6 - I began writing up my Spiderman crochet pattern I AM SO EXCITED (dare I say it is going easier than I thought) but I'm planning a more in depth post in the future, and with any luck will set-up my Etsy store tomorrow and the pattern will follow in a week or two!


7 - I gave my blog a little redesign, not how I envisioned it but I feel it is a promising start - what do you think?
I haven't taken a cheeky selfie in aaages

8 - I didn't work on my sky scarf - oops

PHEW thanks for reading that if you didn't get bored! What have you been up to this bank holiday weekend?
And now at 5 minutes past midnight I'd best hit publish before we realise it's no longer Sunday....oh and Happy Easter

Friday, 18 April 2014

today i will be mostly..

... developing my blog and image (and technically over the Easter bank holidays).Well hopefully - I haven't done any design work since my graphic design GSCE in oh, I dunno, 2009? Ok not that long ago, but I only ever took it to GSCE level after all! (I am pleased to announce I did get an A* though so hopefully that will stand me in good stead)

First things first - I will be attempting a logo today, choosing from the above fonts and then colours, possibly hand draw an image to go alongside too or scour the Internet for images legally available for use. Once that is done it will be time to re-format this blog to match the logo/look more professional. I plan to get some pages up and work out how to link my new email address to it all! Will also need to learn some code language today I imagine...

Finally I will be using this all as a springboard to finally launch my own Etsy shop - I am really very excited and will be using a book I bought yesterday - Marvel: Year by Year, A Visual Chronicle (DK: 2008) - £14.99 from The Works ( I LOVE THE WORKS - down from £35) to seriously get designing my Marvel crochet characters! I already did Spiderman and Rogue (X-Men) but want to create patterns to go with them - expect pictures in the next few days! This will hopefully have happened by Monday morning if I can focus enough over the next couple of days - B is away at camp (grr) so I should be able to focus, even with the pub trips I am making with friends and family tonight and tomorrow ;p


Have you got any hints and tips for me when it comes to the image of my blog? Links to templates? I would really appreciate any help and tips more experienced bloggers have to offer!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

game review #1 - symphony of the origin

image not my own - see Kemco Games (picture taken from http://indierpgs.com)
This week I have been working away at my first ever craft swap - being my first I'm nervous at not making a good impression so I'm putting in a lot of effort - and loving it! However I've run out of the correct colour of yarn (ack) and so in the meantime I thought I had best get my first game review up on here!

Symphony of the Origin (Kemco Games) is a turn-based RPG made exclusively for android devices, marketed on the Google Play Store as for smartphones. However for Christmas I received a Lenovo Android tablet and desperately wanted to get some games on it, and for £3.99 and good reviews it was a safe bet!
The story follows Ryle and companions (elves, humans, dwarfs, and more) as they travel the world in true RPG style battling monsters and completing quests, with the ultimate aim of defeating the Evils and Dark Elves.

turn based RPGs are my favourite! I really do enjoy battles in this game
 I love a classic turn-based RPG and this game does not disappoint. It boasts classic game graphics that remind one of early Final Fantasy games but with the sharpness and speed we come to expect with 21st century game play. The battle system is easy enough to follow, though explanation and implementation of the special attacks using stamina leaves a little to be desired - having played the game for almost 4 hours I only just realised which bar reflects the special attacks, and looking to the in game instructions it wasn't cleared up greatly. However I'm happy to supposedly have unlimited stamina to use special attacks!

I like the traditional, pixelated graphics, but with the expected sharpness from a 21st century game
I've now played the game for 6 hours and it looks like there are plenty more hours of game play to get through yet, which gives the price-tag of £3.99 good stead. I may be changing my tune once it comes to the end of the game however (who knows it could be within an hour of game play!) but right now I am quite content.

One problem I do have with playing on my tablet though is the placement of the joy stick (see the bottom left of the picture above) - it could do with being just a little bit closer to the edge of the screen so my thumb doesn't have to stretch quite so far for hours at a time!

When I play games I play almost exclusively for story, I love stories in RPGs (and unlike a lot of Final Fantasy fans I know, I have loved that Square Enix gave us 3 brilliant games focusing on the story of FFXIII - but that is another story...) and I am in two minds about this one. It is quite straight forward - misunderstood, clearly attractive male protagonist, beautiful love interest of a different race, and quirky characters that misunderstand everything, all battling a clear baddie.
However I think this is to be expected of a game created solely for smart phones and although there isn't a great deal of depth (so far) in the story, I don't find it wanting and I am interested in completing the next area and defeating the next boss to find out where the story is going.

Area layouts and boss battles are quite predictable in this game, but that is all part of the charm I think of an easy to play RPG that doesn't require 100% of your attention when you play - I bought this with the hope of having a game to play when there is no Internet to hand or if I'm watching TV that I am not that interested in, and I've got it!

Ryle is so misunderstood...

I'll give this game a resounding 4 out of 5 - sometimes the dialogue is just too cheesy/poorly laid out, and the story could have better promise, but as basics go I am thoroughly impressed with this game and hope I will be all the way to the end!

What games are you playing at the moment?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

ongoing projects 3; pokemon cross stitch

forgive the creases - it has been a while!
This ongoing project is, truth be told, more of a project I started a year a go...and then left...and am hoping to pick up again! I used to cross stitch A LOT when I was younger - in fact it was the first craft I ever got my teeth stuck into and my mum was more than happy to oblige and buy me patterns, aida, thread etc...she and my brother did it as well and I wanted to join in! However as time passed I found it to be very time-consuming and it didn't hold my attention the same way that knitting and crocheting does, even though the finished projects are quite frankly beautiful.

I picked it up again last year (or wanted to at least!) when I saw patterns for almost every Pokemon on this deviant art site. Looking through other peoples craft blogs I am seeing a lot of cross stitching going on and I think over this long Easter weekend I will have another good go at at least finishing the Pokemon I started (pictured Samurrot)
cross stitch has such wonderful textures and a beautiful finish
The patterns are absolutely brilliant, and mum had a wonderful thread DMC Colour Card which I have now taken for myself and it is invaluable to choosing the colours I need for the Pokemon from my (massive) thread stash without having to go and buy more! If you are into cross stitch I can't stress enough the need of a good colour card as it allows you to buy cheaper thread rather than the always recommended DMC/Anchor brands (I will post a picture in due course of the card).
patterns not my own - see http://makibird-stitching.deviantart.com/gallery/25700136
I must dash now - B has made what looks like a GORGEOUS home made chicken and mushroom pie and it is almost ready to eat mmmm - I'm so lucky to have such a culinary minded fella!

Do you cross stitch? What projects are you currently working on - it would be brilliant to share pictures!

Monday, 14 April 2014

yarn tidy up

I'm sure every knitter and crocheter reading this will appreciate that no matter how often you sort your yarn, or how carefully you tidy up after each project, inevitably another tidy up is always required! I've been putting a big one off just because I barely have any space in my room to move it all! I've been very envious however of reading about fellow crafters 'craft-spaces' on their blogs as I don't have a designated space, so I finally decided to thoroughly treat myself and tidy up the space I do have with a bit of colour!

I had seen at The Works a few weeks ago that they were selling adorable but ideally sized storage boxes at two for £10 (or £6.99 each) and once I saw the Beatrix Potter box I was sold! I love reading children's stories (Peter Pan and Treasure Island and Winnie the Pooh easily being my favourites) and this was the perfect box to fit in my room and to store my (mountains of) yarn. And who didn't grow up with The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

As you can see above my previous yarn storage system was beginning to leave much to be desired! I had initially when I began knitting stored all my yarn in the drawer underneath my bed in colour groups. However as my stash grew I had to move out of the drawer (filling it instead with fabric for other crafts) and began to fill whatever I had!

I had a lot of fun emptying all my yarn onto the floor and organising it by colour again - nothing it quite so satisfying as just taking stock of your stash and seeing what you have/what you can make!
I then filled the two boxes with colour groups so now in future it should be a lot easier to locate the yarns I need for different projects.

Of course the two boxes weren't enough and I had to fill my Cath Kidston storage bag with the remaining bundles of white, black, grey and brown yarns. But as you can see in the image above it has made for a very effective, tidy and pleasing way to store my yarn, and so much easier to look through than open baskets and bags!


And the major plus is that now it all fits very snugly at the bottom of my bed!


Have you had a big tidy up of your stash recently? I always love seeing cheeky pictures of peoples stashes if they have them! I'm only sorry I don't have more shelf space in my room so that I can store my yarn on the shelves and have a permanent rainbow in my room...

Saturday, 12 April 2014

geek alert! #1 new games

Ni No Kuni The Wrath of the White Witch - image sourced from www.edge-online.com

So I can't believe in starting this blog that I neglected to mention that I love gaming! I love all sorts of geek activities, and one of those is computer gaming - last year I gave my uni house-mates much mirth when I counted how many new games consoles I had bought that year alone (in case you were wondering, a Nintendo 3DS, a PlayStation 3, a new Xbox 360 for my boy, and a Wii - already owning an Xbox 360 myself, and a PSP, and a GBA...) and this week having bought 2 new games I thought why can't I include this on my blog - and so here I am!

This is simply an introductory post to let you know I will (hopefully) be geeking out on this blog as well as crafting my life away, and with any luck look out for some reviews and general giddiness about the 2 games I got this week - Symphony of the Origins for my Android tablet (a Japanese imported Kemco RPG, a light easy game for £3.99 on the android store to help me pass the time when I have no internet) and Ni No Kuni : The Wrath of the White Witch for the PS3 (a Studio Ghibli - eee - game stylised just like any of their perfect movies [incidentally I LOVE STUDIO GHIBLI] currently on sale on the PlayStation store for £5.50, down from £17.99 - I am so happy I've been waiting for a decent sale on this game for months). 

I did just recently complete Final Fantasy : Lightning Returns for the PS3 (£34.99 from Game) and I loved this as I knew I would having pre-ordered it, and I plan to dress up as Lightning Farron for the Manchester Comic Con in July as she appears in Final Fantasy XIII  - expect many pictures when that happens!


Do you play any games/love Studio Ghibli as much as I? Do lets geek out!

craft swap

inspiration may come from anywhere - including my yarn stash!
This morning I received an email from @DaintyandIvory (blog can be found here) confirming my inclusion in the #DICraftswap and I am so excited! I have my partner's information and I have a month to make her something according to her likes - which I am so happy to say are similar to my own - and to buy a small gift to accompany it. My mum used to do craft swap's all the time and so I am very happy to be able to take part in one (and hopefully more) and I am sure she would be proud of me taking such a passionate interest in the sort of thing she loved to do :)

I must admit when I first saw the craft swap on Hannah's blog after following her after my first #CraftBlogClub I was a little apprehensive - felt like a big step to throw myself out there a little bit and to offer to send my creations to a stranger, but now I am so excited to see what I can do, to see what I receive and to see what others do too! I'm also keeping my partner a secret for now to see how well I can interpret her likes from trawling through her blog :) keep an eye out for updates on the swap!!


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

getting to grips with blogging

I'm barely 2 weeks into this blogging malarkey and I love it! Ideas are literally tumbling out of my head like they never have done before, I'm talking to other bloggers, I just signed up to a craft swap (eeee!) and it is all I can do to grab scraps of paper and make notes to do in the future! The picture above is just the ever growing pile of bits I am collecting and sorting and going through for my blog with the intention to get everything into one book and folder and to take it from there.

It almost feels like I have too much to do...but only almost! I think I'm just more frustrated I don't have the time to just sit down and make a whopping list and get through lots of things! Trying to get my priorities straight now, so I think I'd like to get a list together and perhaps even share it with you if I may? My first big thing I'd like to achieve though is to make my own logo and really develop a brand for prettycolumn as early as I can.

If you have any hints or tips on how to organise blogging in the early stages, or developing a craft brand, I would love to have your advice! Trying to do all this while still knitting and watching Game of Thrones...brilliantly hectic!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

#craftblogclub & GBSB



Sewing Bee contestants 2014 - image not my own
This week I joined in with the #craftblogclub - a weekly twitter conversation every Tuesday from 7-8.30 for craft bloggers, hosted by @CraftBlogClub @LivePeachy - what a grand idea! I was a little shy this week as having only begun blogging over a week ago, but I quickly joined in for 20 minutes before the Sewing Bee final and followed some new people, gained some new followers, and already been introduced to some lovely blogs and had some great words from strangers - who hopefully over time will become a network I'm a part of and can share blogging tips together! Here's to next week!

Following this of course it was the final of the Great British Sewing Bee - congratulations Heather! Though in my heart of hearts I really wanted Chinelo to win as she has been consistantly strong throughout the series and always had such flair and creativity! But as Patrick so rightly put it, Heather has been quietly putting in the work - if only Chinelo had got that tie right! Commiserations too to Tamara - always enjoyed her creations so much as well!

Hopefully now I will be able to join in #craftblogclub more readily (particularly with no more GBSB to watch *weeps*) and look forward to speaking with you other bloggers soon! If you've networked successfully via #craftblogclub I would love to hear your thoughts on what is clearly a grand idea!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

ongoing projects 2; wedding bunting



white flags cut out, lace to decorate and cream ribbon to eventually hang
As you may know I'm engaged to my best friend and the love of my life. B and I have been together 7 years come October and he proposed to me before I went to university in Leicester almost 5 years ago. Now that I've graduated I find not really a day goes by that I don't spare some thought to our wedding! B is studying at university in Leeds at the moment and has another year to go, so we haven't set a date and it doesn't look like we will for at least another year, but we both talk about it and look forward to is so it doesn't matter. Having said that I am insanely excited to get married and would like to make the day as special and unique for us as I can, and what better way than putting my own crafty touch to it.

This is all in a way to introduce another of my ongoing projects - wedding bunting. This is a pattern that I am making up as I go along, but I have made (lots of) bunting before so I like to think/hope I know what I'm doing! I decided to stick with ivory flags as this far in advance I don't have colour schemes decided, and then it will make a timeless heirloom. To add some detail S gave me some ivory lace that belonged to her grandmother and told me to put it to good use, so I am sewing the lace to the top of each flag through the seams. And because we don't have a date set yet I can do this in numerous sittings. So last week I sewed 16 flags with a good 20 or more left cut out ready to sew in a future sitting. Once all the flags are sewn and pressed I will attach them to the ribbon to finish the bunting ready for the big day.
my little pink box with for wedding crafts

some completed flags for wedding bunting
Once completed I intend to share the instructions as a pattern for anyone who might want to give it a go as well, and fabric can be changed to just make everyday bunting! I hope you agree with me that this should add a lovely, homemade, British touch to the wedding! And once finished I can't wait to get to work on something else for the wedding.

ongoing projects 1; sky scarf

sky scarf: january-april sky so far, pattern courtesy of leafcutterdesigns.com
I, like any other crafter, have several ongoing projects that I work on a little bit here, and a little bit there with no rush to neccesarily finish them. One of those projects is my sky scarf. It does exactly what it says on the tin; everyday for a year you simply knit the colour of the sky, giving you a beautifully gently coloured 5-foot long scarf at the end of the year. I started this scarf at the end of January when I was looking at my yarn stash and thinking to myself I could really do with using some of this up - what shall I do? A friend had shown me the project a few months ago (unfortunately I can't remember who so I can't thank them!) and so I looked it up and decided to give it a go!

It is very easy to fall behind on a project that requires you to wait til every new day to carry on knitting and sometimes life and other projects just get in the way and I forget to carry on. However I avoid this by every morning while I eat breakfast before work by writing a quick note of what the colour of the morning sky is on that date, so then I can come home and knit that same day, or even leave it for a few days and then I have a unique pattern to work from to catch the scarf up (and I will end up with a sort of sky diary for the year, which is interesting in a light sort of way). I wouldn't recommend leaving this longer than a week though as just knitting greys and whites (as is to be expected with Northern English weather) can get a little boring.

Every scarf will turn out differently and I am very excited to see how mine develops over the year (1 foot knitted, only 4 to go!) and compare it if I can to other people's scarves across the globe. You can find the free pattern from LeafcutterDesigns.com on Ravelry and even buy the complete kit from their website. I have such a huge stash of yarn myself that I didn't need to buy the kit, however the Alpaca lace yarn they provide looks absolutley gorgous and so soft, I may have to treat myself in a few months to another of their creative patttern kits, the mood scarf, so I can get the feel of using good quality yarn, as a lot of my stash is a little old and rough! Nothing a wash with softener can't handle once the scarf is complete, just got to wait 10 more months now...

If anyone else is currently knitting a sky scarf - let's compare! Or hopefully I've inspired you to give it a go; the pattern is straightforward, elegant and effective, ideal for beginners looking to take on a project, or for any skill level of knitter who want to make a truly unique scarf for themselves.

Friday, 4 April 2014

game of thrones addict?

So while I was living in Naperville, Illinois, for 9 months of study in an American university, I took it upon myself to investigate the hype that was, and remains, A Song of Ice and Fire - or as most everyone refers to it now, Game of Thrones. 
I read the first two books while I was abroad, and then the next 4 books/parts when I returned home - but I must ashamedly admit that I was underwhelmed by the books and also by the series (of which I watched only the first) and so did not bring myself to read the last published book. For almost two years then I wondered what I was missing and feared that the hype had left the story unable to live up to any expectation...

Not so much now! I started reading the series again about a month or so ago and I cannot get enough - I am addicted! You know when a book is so good that you forget you are reading and you think you are watching it instead? The imagery so vivid and the story so compelling that you want to eat and breathe it? That's where I am right now - I have just started reading A Feast for Crows (4th book) and I have almost finished watching series 2 of the HBO series and I am totally immersed in Westeros again and I cannot even begin to believe there was a point where I wasn't that keen on George Martin's creation ( I only hope I'm not too far behind when series 4 begins on 7th April - only series 3 to go for me!)

Truth be told I just really wanted to get out there how much I have fallen in love with this complex and brilliantly crafted story, and all the layers that are there but unspoken, the theories and the characters ... I digress - I would also like to share this blog post from the love knitting blog which in fairness gave me the excuse to just rant and rave about how amazing Game of Thrones is. They have collected the 'best Game of Thrones knitting patterns' the web has to offer. I have a feeling they have only unearthed the tip of the ice berg, but I am particularly eager to try these crochet dragons or perhaps even the lady catelyn cardigan if I want to take on a slightly larger project than I'm used to.

As soon as I crochet a dragon you will be the first to know (well, second in all honesty, my best friends who love Game of Thrones and knitting/crochet may well get an excited text or Facebook message ahead of time). Perhaps I will even take it upon myself to try my hand at my own pattern..a direwolf would be amazing....

Has anyone reading this tried their hand on some Game of Thrones knitting? Or would anyone else like to just express their love for Westoros? 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

steve the stegosaurus


dinosaur -steve the stegosaurus
As promised on Sunday, here is the dinosaur that I knitted! Named by my Dad, please say hello to Steve the Stegosaurus!

The pattern came from a book that B bought me for Christmas - The Craft Library Knitted Toys by Zoe Mellor (2011), an adorable collection of 25 patterns for knitted toys. I really love knitting and crocheting toys, they are very satisfying to complete, have a real rustic/homemade look to them, and it is also very easy to hide mistakes in the knitting if you are prone to small errors (as most knitters are) - you can always make it look like it was meant to be there! Until I can perfect my jumper knitting skills I will be knitting many a toy - I don't have anyone to give these as gifts, and I think B would like it if I stopped hoarding toys in my room...I may decide to sell this little fella when I get stuck into craft fairs properly.

I would say this pattern is ideal for beginners looking to perfect working with smaller needles - it is worked on 3.75mm straight needles (I used 3.5 as I don't seem to have 3.75 handy...) and uses simple increases and decreases with stockinette stich, while the spines are worked in the less used but effective moss stich. You can buy the book from Waterstones - couldn't find it on Amazon - for £8.99.

steve with the book
In other news B brought over the SLR that we bought a couple of years ago, so with any luck and some practice I will start posting much better quality photo's of the things I make! This week I have set myself the challenge to work out a pattern for some mini X-Men/Marvel comic characters I have crocheted free hand in the past, and to type up some headband patterns I wrote over the last few months. Keep an eye out for some patterns from me soon, or maybe perhaps just some more idle ramblings while I get stuck in to this blogging milarky!

J