Archive for the 'Christmas' Category

Crafty New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year by Meddy Garnet, via Flickr

I’m not really one for new year’s resolutions these days,  I just know I cannot keep them!  Craft-based new year’s resolutions, however, are a different thing entirely.  They are actually fun to keep.

So here goes…

  1. Knit socks – lots of them. I have joined the Socktopus Knit Love Club so I will be supplied with gorgeous sock yarn throughout the year.  I’d better get learning how to knit the things pretty quickly…
  2. Knit lace. I have cast on Ishbel and joined an Ishbel knit-along on Ravelry for this one.
  3. Learn to knit colourwork. No idea where to start here!
  4. More tutorials on the blog. I started these towards the end of last year and really hope to offer some more up.
  5. Spread the word about the iMake podcast.
  6. Use my (shiny, new) sewing machine regularly.
  7. Make fewer handmade Christmas gifts! See my recent posts on my handmade Christmas challenge.
  8. Organise knit-alongs with my Stitch n’ Bitch group. The first is planned for this month (a sock!)

Let’s see how I get on.

Has anyone else made crafty resolutions?


Time to Celebrate!

At last…  Cerus Scarf is complete.  I finished it last night.  It probably wasn’t was wide as it could have been, and I managed to cast it off pretty badly (I was so desperate to get it off my needles!)  I should have cast off in pattern but didn’t – rookie mistake.  Nevertheless the finished article really is quite beautiful. Here is a slideshow of images:

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Now I can focus on my sock, which is getting longer and my sock yarn shawl.  I cannot wait.  I suspect I will spend all of Christmas day knitting…

All that remains to be said is Happy Christmas to all my readers that celebrate the big day.  I’ll wish ‘Happy Holidays’ to those who don’t.  I think that, regardless of faith, this is quite an exciting time of year – the end of the old one and the start of the new.  I certainly look at it as a time for new challenges and that excites me a great deal.

I won’t get a chance to blog tomorrow but hopefully I’ll have a little time to post before the new year hits.  Thank you to all my blog readers and podcast listeners for their continued support, it is really appreciated.

Sock Knitting Adventure

Watch me now try and justify the fact that I have cast on my first sock today (very exciting) and have not yet finished my final Christmas project…

It’s not as bad as it sounds, honestly. Today I spent the day with a dear knitter friend, Kate, and we decided it was time to try a sock. So armed with pointy sticks and some excellent You Tube videos, we managed a toe each!

My toe:

Kate’s toe:

We were extremely excited about this progress.

The problem is now that I need to finish my final Christmas knitting project tonight but all I want to do is knit my sock!  I am going to be good though – I really only have another inch to put on the scarf, and then it will be cast off.  So tonight is the night – I will finish Cerus scarf (despite claiming on Twitter a few nights back that I was going to stay up knitting it all night if I had too…)  Then I can knit socks to my heart’s content.   Watch this space for photographic evidence.

Roasted Chestnuts and Sock Yarn Swapping

An unlikely combination, but a good one!

I have this afternoon to myself.  I am off work (love my job) and hubby is out on a Christmas lunch.  So I have stuck a chick flick on the TV (500 Days of Summer), roasted some chestnuts and I am in the process of bagging up my sock yarn donations.  To top it all off I have the iMake Christmas Stitch n’ Bitch tonight – can’t wait.

I had no idea it was so easy to make delicious roasted chestnuts actually.  Just grab a handful of chestnuts, wipe them, cut a cross in the shell of each chestnut with a sharp knife and roast in the oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes.  Simple and yummy…

As for the sock yarn, people have been so generous in donating their scraps.  I have received 3 parcels already – one from Ceri in London, one from Jesse in New Zealand and one from Barbara in Philadelphia.  I know there are more on the way too – people are so generous.  Because Jesse is also making a sock yarn blanket I have bagged up my donations in such a way that I can let Jesse have some of the yarn that other people are donating to me.  It also means that if anyone else wants to do ‘swaps’ I can make sure that they do not end up getting their own yarn back.  Something of a ‘sock yarn swap’ system.  It’s all terribly organised!

Here are photos of the yarn I have received so far.  Thanks ladies.  I am so desperate to start using it but MUST finish the Christmas knitting…

From Ceri:

From Jesse:

From Barbara:


Handmade Tea Cup Candles

I have had a lovely day experimenting with candle making. This morning I had a mooch around the charity shops and found some gorgeous vintage cups.  I then came home and had my first attempt at making scented container candles.  I had no idea about measurements or anything, I just experimented.  These candles are scented with ginger, cinnamon and mandarin, so really festive smelling.

Here is a slide show of the candle making process:

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Here are the finished candles.  Enjoy:

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Beeswax Candle Tutorial

As promised, here is how to make rolled beeswax candles.

You will need:

  • A sheet of beeswax per candle
  • Wick string
  • Scissors
  • A surface to roll the candle on (I used my kitchen work top but it was a bit of a pain to clean up so I suggest you find some cardboard or an old placemat to roll on!)

1) Lay out your wax and trim your wick string so it is at least a centimetre longer than the width of the wax at each end (I always allow a bit extra and trim it later).  Lay the string on the wax, as I have done in this picture:

2) Begin rolling by folding up the edge of the wax to trap the string.  Roll away from you until the string is secure.  Then tuck one end of the string in and continue to roll the candle away from you, as tightly as possible.

3) Keep rolling until the candle is finished.  Press the edge of the wax with your thumbs to secure it, and trim the wick if needed.

4) I have wrapped my candles in greaseproof paper and string…

Episode 11 – So this is Christmas

Welcome to episode 11 of the iMake podcast.  In this episode I talk about my recent creative exploits, the Christmas making is nearly done… phew!  I also talk about things you can make with wax (beeswax mainly, not ear wax).  The Guernsey section of the show is dedicated to the German Occupation of Guernsey in the Second World War.  This section was inspired by the best-selling novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

This will be my last podcast of 2010 so I hope you enjoy it.  I’ll be back, fully energised, in early 2011.

So without further ado, here is the show: Episode 11 – So this is Christmas

Show Notes

These websites were mentioned in today’s show:

Cerus Scarf

Making Magazine handmade candle tutorial

The Soap Kitchen

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Official Website)

Articles on the German Occupation

This is Guernsey


BBC Website

Finally it is lovely to hear from listeners, feel free to email me on or click on any of the social networking icons on the right hand side of this blog.

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Who is iMake?

Guernsey girl, maker of stuff, teacher, knitter, blogger, podcaster, tweeter, lover of stationery, geek, crocheter, jewellery maker, domestic goddess (sort of), paper crafter, g&t drinker, artist, singer and reluctant sports person.


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