Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tuesdays Tallies: three

One a Day Banner

Hello :-)

Allotment

I had some fab comments to my last post, how about using a tea pot as a yarn holder?! Sounds hilarious but it's brilliant :D

My pretty panniers arrived but alas... They really were a case of style over substance :( Obviously intended to stay on your bike (which might be ok if you live in a lovely village and not Manchester) and no handles / strap to carry off the bike. They were also so long my heels kicked them every time I pedalled! Needless to say I had to return them :( I got a bargain pair of black bags (exactly what I didn't want!) but they're much easier to fit and have a very good handle system - so ends le pannier saga :)
Basil katarina pannier bag

I've been furiously crocheting while watching the Olympics and I've finished round three! I'm actually a little further on than that now but I thought I'd spread out my progress :)
Hexagon round three

Round three might well be my favourite...
Hexagon round three

Fab :D
Hexagon round three
My yarn arrived from deramores so I've caught up on all the rounds I couldn't complete too.

Aside from panniers and crocheting we visited J's parents allotment and I spotted these beautiful flowers - no idea what they are but the colours were stunning!
Allotment

The weird mix of rain / sun / rain / sun has done wonders for my plants too. I'll have to get some new photos of them soon. Right, back to watching the swimming finals now!
J

x x x x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Tuedays Tallies : two

One a Day Banner

Hello, welcome back to my Tuesdays Tallies :) If you click the banner above you can visit Caroles blog and find out more about other people taking part. I'm really thrilled about how much progress I've been making after such a long break. The irony is the sun's come out & it's way too hot for a blanket!

Truck 15th Anniversary

I spent the weekend away at Truck Festival in the absence of Glastonbury this year and it was brilliant! I even bumped into someone I know from work which was really really weird. I got very sunburnt too so I'm taking it nice and easy at the minute!! I did miss crocheting though...

Hexagon round two

Last week I concentrated on making my middles (my least favourite of the process) so THIS week I had the lovely job of doing round two, which is much more exciting because I've been using more colours!

Hexagon round two

Doing round two is super quick and there's really not much to it; just some clusters of trebles.

Hexagon round two

I've realised I'm running low on Saffron, Clematis, Aspen and I'm all out of Turquoise! Luckily Deramores has all of these in stock AND 15% off all yarns :D WIN :)

Hexagon round two


So now I cannot wait to start round three... I know this really is more than "one a day" but hey ho :) I'm going to bend the rules a little and say my effort is "give it a go once a day" :p
Hexagon round two


x x x x

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tuesdays Tallies: I'm back!!

One a Day Banner

I am really excited about re-joining the One a Day project run by Carol at Gingerbread Girl because I really think I'm going to finish my hexagon blanket soon :)
Week 9

My last Tueday's Tallies post was back in November but I just got so busy with Christmas and other crochet / knitting projects I decided to stop for a bit. I just didn't mean for so long!

I decided before re-joining to have a target for my blanket and having measured it out I think I may only need another 58 hexagons, possibly an extra row after that and then the border.

Hexagon middles

I also decided instead of making one hexagon at a time I'd start a mini production line...

Hexagon middles

So I very quickly hooked up all the middles I'll need!

Hexagon middles

And now I'm about to start on round two... It feels good to be getting to the end of this :)

x x x x

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Me and my bike - part two

So I said my next step would be to attach a shoulder strap to my pannier. I am so glad I did (you'll see why...)

Quite a while back I thought I might make a Cath Kidston-esque bag and in the end I decided not to (the market has them for £10!!) but I'd bought all the buckles, fastenings and a leather belt to cut up, everything I needed really to make the strap.

It was a bit dark to photograph it in the making so I'll just show you the finished thing :)

Pannier bag strap
FYI: Leather is not nice to sew through! I broke two needles and myself doing this part
Pannier bag strap
Super strong stitching!
Pannier bag strap

I was still having a bit of trouble with the bungees being too stretchy and a couple of time's I've had to stop to re-adjust etc...

Then yesterday after work it decided to pour; no bother, I was going to carry on as normal. I think I'd ridden a few yards out of the car park when disaster struck!! The bag and it's buttons got caught in the spokes and ripped clean off! :o

Broken pannier :(

Fortunately I wasn't on the road so I could gather them up and put the bag over my shoulder - SEE now why I was so pleased :) Sadly bag now looks a bit battered!

Broken pannier :(

I'm not too deterred, the holes can be patched and buttons sewn back on, but I think I'll be removing the chopping board and using it as a shoulder bag instead. I just don't want my things to fly off into the road under someone’s car, or worse get something stuck in the wheel which catapults me off instead haha!

Instead I've decided to invest in some proper panniers but this hasn't been easy! My main requirement has been to get a bag that's as practical off the bike as on. Basil make some really lovely ladies pannier bags and the shoulder bags in particular seemed ideal; they've got a zip pouch on the bag that conceals two hooks to clip onto your rack. The only downside is they're a little on the small side.


The double pannier bags however are much larger and only cost a bit more for the two. The downside to these is they're permanently attached meaning you can't use just one, reviews suggest they're a little fiddly to attach to the bike (but my pannier rack has a spring loaded section which I think could slide over the bag fixings) and they don't come with a shoulder strap and even if they did I think they'd be clumsy to carry.


That said, I've bought a double pannier bag anyway! Amazon had them for about £56 but Evans Cycles have a £10 voucher off a £50 spend so I have them for about £52 (and I might get some cashback through these guys at Top Cash Back so I'm just going to see how they attach and carry about; if they're no good I can return them to the shop for free.

What a drama eh? As soon as I can collect I'll be taking some more photos and hoping that they're everything I ever wished for :)

x x x x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Me and my bike

This right here is my bicycle. It may not look anything special and it's certainly not as beautiful as this, this or this, but I've had this bike since I was in Primary school and I'm now 26...

DIY pannier bag

I do quite enjoy telling people that! My Dad decided if he was going to buy me a bike he'd make sure I could grow into it... Well how I ever rode around the streets at home when I was 10 I'll never know because I've only just raised the seat and handlebars!

Anyway, I digress. My bike has made a come back! From being used as a kid and left in our garage for years-and-years-and-years it finally made its way up to Manchester where it's lived on our balcony a little neglected until finally my bike found it's purpose!

I've started riding to work as most of the time I'm in town and it's not very far. I've even started to go further afield and now I pretty much cycle everywhere! My bike's got new road tyres, lights, a bell, mudguards and more recently a pannier rack for bags - but alas I had no bags and to be honest, most pannier bags I've seen are either pretty ugly or pretty but expensive.

I decided to make my own bag and eventually settled on a Haversack from an Army Surplus shop; there are loads on ebay and mine was only about £10. Agreed it's not floral and pretty but it's quite practical and should be durable. It's only going to get wet and muddy anyway!

DIY pannier bag

The original rucksack strap loops have made an excellent place to attach bungees instead of putting proper hooks onto the bag.

DIY pannier bag

And to make the bag more rigid I cut up a new chopping board (J was not pleased about this part!!) and that's attached through the bag with buttons. Not so pretty on the inside, but much prettier on the outside!

DIY pannier bag

DIY pannier bag

It was while looking for suitable buttons in my stash that I came across these little flowers I bought ages ago. I had planned to maybe embroider something on the bag but these have saved me a lot of effort and trouble; I love them!

DIY pannier bag

And now I have one almost-finished pannier bag. I think I need two! Seriously, it is so much nicer to ride without a rucksack and this bag is a little tardis!

My next step is to sew on a shoulder strap for normal carrying, this was after all my original reason (excluding money) for making a bag as most I've seen are great easy to carry when you've finished riding.

Ta dah :)
DIY pannier bag

What do you think? Should I add any more embellishments, buttons, ribbons, some crochet perhaps?

Thank you to everyone who liked the knitted bunting (and that it wasn't clutter *J* !!) especially to Hawthorn who emailed twice - the second time to say she was going on to Ravelry to get the pattern and start stash busting - yay!

I've told myself off for not being a good blogger and replying to my lovely commenters - the only people I can't email are "no reply" bloggers so if you haven't had a "hi! hello!" from me that's why :) Thank you's sent and karma restored, time to click "publish" on this post :)

x x x x

Monday, 2 July 2012

Mini bunting ta-dah!

What?! What's this! Another ta-dah post? Something must be seriously wrong with me...

Mini knitted bunting

If that's sounding a little too smug or conceited then fear not, I'm about as surprised as anyone that I've actually been finishing stuff off this year. And to add a touch of reality to this post I thought I'd let you know I just got soaked on the way home from work (on my bike) because I'm on two wheels until my car is fixed - in a nutshell it won't start.

Mini knitted bunting

But enough about things on wheels! Knitting / crochet / yarn is where we're at...

Mini knitted bunting

Here's the all important details:
Pattern: Knitted Bunting Party Flags by Audrey Wilson
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK (see end of post for colours!)

And now for the good bit!

Mini knitted bunting
^^^^^
Done!


I've joined the flags together with two rows of double crochet (that's single for you US folk!) and I've left a long tail for now until I decide where to hang it. Ooooh more clutter for my flat :-)

x x x x