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Unfinished objects

All crafters have unfinished objects – those projects that you started with great enthusiasm, but for some reason it’s been abandoned, tucked away in the back of a cupboard and forgotten. I’ve got my fair share of these, usually projects that I start when I’m in between paid commissions -and then I get a commission that I need to focus on instead!

So recently when I was in between commissions and wondering what to do with my impatient hands, I realised that delving into my unfinished objects or UFO bag might result in a quick-finish project. Why have I never realised this before??

Braving the crochet UFO bag (there’s a whole separate one for sewing UFOs!), I found a couple of heads from abandoned toys, some pretty shell shapes that I made far too big, and an orange circle. I think maybe this circle was the start of a summer hat that I realised was just going to attract wasps! So I sat down to think about what I could turn it into…

I could have used it as a coaster, or continued it into a bowl or some sort of cosy. There were two shades of orange so I wanted to find a way to make something out of that feature. And then I folded it in half and realised it looked like a slice of orange! Ooh a fruity purse would be a lovely gift for someone, I thought.

With a quick dig around in my stash, I found a brown zip the right length – not the ideal colour but it’s ok. I was all ready and raring to go, and then I remembered that I had agreed to work a volunteer shift at my local charity shop. So I gathered everything up into my project bag and took it with me. The afternoon at the shop was quite quiet so in between serving customers, I adding segment lines and then sewed the zip in place. People seemed quite intrigued by what I was doing!

Orange purse finished

He’s a surprisingly roomy little purse and when he was finished and I was packing everything away, I realised it might be big enough for all my crochet notions…

Crochet notions inside

When I got home, I found that it did fit all my notions inside and all these bits and bobs helped to pad out the purse and make it look more like a piece of orange – win!

Not bad for an afternoon – UFO complete and a new little notions purse to brighten up my crafting. And yes, I’m keeping this orange guy all to myself – if only to remind me about the creative potential of all my other UFOs!

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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Crochet, Sewing

 

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Granny square day

Apparently there was granny square day last week! How could I not know about it?? My family are always joking that I’m late to everything so it seems sort of fitting to be late to this party!

I love making granny squares and a while ago made this rainbow blanket:

I’ve shared the pattern for it in my Ravelry shop at www.ravelry.com/stores/becky-skuse-designs or in my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MakeMeDo.

If you’ve never made a granny square before then you can follow my free guide to make this square here:

Granny square light pink © Becky Skuse

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in Crochet, Uncategorized

 

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Review & resolutions

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year for Make Me Do. Some posts have been surprisingly popular while others have flown under the radar somewhat. I didn’t quite manage my posting once-a-week aim, but 37 posts out of 52 is pretty good.

Since I posted a review of 2013 at the start of last year, I felt like I should stick with tradition and review 2014. From a strictly numbers-based perspective, my most popular posts have been for my peaked baker boy hat patterns, whether that’s sewn like this one

Denim hat © Becky Skuse

Denim hat © Becky Skuse

Or knitted, like this one

Baker boy hat

Baker boy hat

I love the shape and style of these hats and I like the idea that there could be people walking around wearing a hat made from one of my patterns! You can buy both patterns here. I’d really like to make a crochet version of the hat so I think I’ll make that my first crafty resolution of 2015.

One of my favourite makes, personally, in 2014 was this laundry bag, which makes me smile every morning when I wake up…

Laundry bag

Laundry bag

I have the pattern for this bag on my ‘to post’ list so I think I’ll make that my next resolution for 2015, alongwith plenty of other patterns I’ve got ready to post.

Another popular post has been my Doggy doorstop and you can now buy the pattern here

Doggy doorstop

Doggy doorstop

Talking of cute crafty makes, I loved making this crochet amigirumi bear, which I called ‘Cookie’…

Cookie bear waving

Cookie bear waving

Cookie happily sits on a shelf next to me when I’m sat on the sofa in the evenings – he’s no trouble and always has a smile on his face.

Back to the numbers and apparently, the most popular day on my blog in 2014 was in May, when I posted the step-by-step on hairpin crochet

Hairpin Step 11

Hairpin crochet

So in 2015, I’ll try to do a few more technical guides. Any requests?

I think three resolutions is a good start, so here goes for 2015…

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2015 in Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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More bedroom crafts

Having finished our shiny new bedroom through our DIY efforts, my attention has turned to crafty pursuits to personalise our new space.

We made our own headboard, using a piece of MDF, a spare duvet, a staple gun and a piece of faux suede fabric in dusky green. We’d never done anything like it before, but we figured it out and it looks great – and it’s v comfy for leaning against.

Bedroom headboard

Bedroom headboard

I used some of the fabric off-cuts and spare ribbon to make some thin strips to hang from the new wardrobe’s pull-out hook device (thanks Ikea!) – I’m now using the strips to hang up my earrings and brooches, which makes deciding what to wear much more fun!

Bedroom earrings store

Bedroom earrings store

Bedroom earrings store close-up

Bedroom earrings store close-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are still a few things left for me/us to craft though. I need to make mats for everything on our windowsill, to prevent my beautiful new paintwork from being ruined. For now, I’m improvising with whatever I can find around the house – yes, this is an oven mitt…

Bedroom temporary plant mat

Bedroom temporary plant mat

I also need to buy or craft a lamp for my bedside table – we used to have some fairylights strung up above the bed, but they’re not really compatible with the new headboard. So for now I’ve made a make-shift lamp using the fairylights and a spare vase. It’s not terrible, but it’s not quite right either…

Bedroom lamp

Bedroom lamp

Some of these little extras might not be finished yet, but my favourite ‘extra’ is finished and is taking pride of place on the bed – yes, it’s my soft, colourful, gorgeous rainbow granny blanket… now all I need is some cold weather!

You can buy the pattern for this blanket, either on Ravelry here or on Etsy here.

Bedroom granny blanket

Bedroom granny blanket

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2014 in Crochet, Other Crafts, Sewing

 

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Bedroom crafting

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve not been sat doing nothing. Far from it.
I’ve been very busy, with my other half, redecorating our bedroom. For the past month, we’ve had very little time to do anything else but DIY and go to work.

So I’ve been pondering the question, does DIY count as crafting?

One of our main jobs was filling holes and surprisingly to me, I’ve discovered a hidden talent for doing this!
I also found that I’m pretty good at painting the fiddly edges – endless patience, a steady hand and good eyesight seemed to be the key (all important attributes for crafting as well).

Bedroom_skirtingSo here’s a shot of my three favourite features of the room – the walls painted with ‘Mango Melody 4’ (it only took 4 tester pots before we found the perfect orangey-pinky shade); the matt white skirting boards (something we’ve not had in the bedroom since we moved in 10 years ago!); and the deep, luxurious, mushroom-coloured carpet on a floor that no longer creaks (because we screwed down all the floorboards to within an inch of their lives!).

We also ‘crafted’ a whole new wardrobe, full of shelves, drawers and rails, as well as sliding doors featuring mirrors and oak-effect panels…

Bedroom_wardrobePutting together flat-pack Ikea furniture doesn’t seem like a creative craft, but it did involve following instructions (like a pattern), using tools (screwdrivers instead of knitting needles), and planning where to place individual characteristics (shelves rather than stitches) to achieve a pleasing end result.

So DIY does seem to share some similarities to crafting, but I know which one I enjoy more, even though I am sleeping better now…

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Other Crafts

 

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Laundry set

Some of my favourite makes are ones that make it that little bit more enjoyable to do household chores: a crocheted dishcloth for doing the washing up (like this one), a handmade apron for cooking, a DIY chalkboard for writing your shopping list, a knitted hairband for when you’re gardening (like this one).

Doing laundry is one of my least-favourite chores, and I’ve already made this linen basket liner to help ease that pain. I recently made another set of laundry goodies, hopefully to help make laundry day fun for everyone!

On sale this Friday, 21st March, the April issue of Sewing World magazine includes the pattern and instructions for making my laundry bag:

Laundry bag

Laundry bag

And also the pattern and instructions for making this peg bag (it’s made just like this one I made before):

New peg bag

New peg bag

The lovely fabric is Makower UK The Henley Studio Retro Bake 1215/1 and Makower UK The Henley Studio, Retro Bake Spaced 1214/B.

I’ve just had them sent back from the magazine, so now I can start using them. Hopefully, this little pair will make our clean (and dirty) clothes a bit more fun to play with!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Sewing

 

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Review of 2013

A lot of people find January quite depressing, but I love the New Year. It’s a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again. A time for reviewing the situation (in a slightly different way to Fagin!), making changes and improving everyday life.

As part of that, I’ve been looking back at my crafty 2013 and the resolutions I made at the start of 2013. I’m surprised how many of them I have achieved and also how much I’ve actually made!

I think crochet has been the biggest winner of 2013 – I’ve made a lot of crochet projects, although knitting and sewing have also played their part. I’ve even started blogging about baking! If this was an award ceremony for Make Me Do Crafts of 2013, my baking posts would win the award for Best Newcomer. Let’s see what other projects would win awards…

I think the project that would win the award for Surprise Success of 2013 is these sweet little dishcloths – the photo has been really rather popular on Pinterest, making me quite proud:

Crochet dishcloths

Crochet dishcloths

The award for Best Fashionable Make of 2013 would have to be my flower neckwarmer, which I still love wearing:

Flower scarf © Becky Skuse

Flower scarf © Becky Skuse

The Most Difficult Yet Rewarding Project award would go to this fiddly little bridal garter, which was totally worth the effort because it’s soo pretty and the recipient loved it:

Bridal garter

Bridal garter

Best Toy or Most Adorable Make of 2013 would be won by this cute orange cat, called Ffion Ffon. My 2-year-old niece just adores this little lady and still gets hugely excited that she can hold this knitted creature while watching her namesake on the TV at the same time:

Fiona cat – she's waving!

Fiona cat – she’s waving!

The judges may well fight over the winner for the award of Best New Skill Learnt in 2013. I loved crafting with wire and crocheting over it to make a pink heart. But for sheer practicality and creative potential, the winner would have to be super-size crochet – I loved creating my own massive yarn out of odd balls of yarn and making this basket:

Bowl

Super-size crochet basket

And finally… drum roll please… the top award for Best Post would go to… my granny square blanket. I’m afraid this is still a work in progress, but hopefully it’ll be finished in 2014:

Granny square ring © Becky Skuse

Granny square ring © Becky Skuse

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Baking, Crochet, Knitting, Sewing

 

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