Secret Valentine Exchange 2018 - #2018SVE

I just wanted to do a quick post today about the 2018 Secret Valentine Exchange (aka #2018sve) that has been going on over on Instagram. I'm sure many of you are more than aware of this, and have even participated. This project stemmed from Sanae Ishida and Ute who started it off a few years ago and it seems to have grown immensely! I think they said there were 576 participants from all over the world this year!

The idea is that everyone wishing to take part signs up and gives a few details about themselves. You are then assigned your exchange person (its not partners, everyone gets someone else, like Secret Santa) and can go on a bit of an Instagram stalk to see what you think they might like. The only thing is that you are making them a gift, handmade with love.

My swap partner was a lovely lady from Oregon who seemed to like the outdoors, knitting and I even spied she had a tortoise!!! I made here a little drawstring bag so she could use it for craft projects, or whatever really! Of course some goodies got popped in there as well...

(All the goodies had a personal meaning - my late mum used to post me Freddo bars when I lived abroad, they are the epitome of pure love.) The weirdest thing ever was that my partner recognized the goodies as her mother was from Leeds in the UK - so we had tortoises and Northern-ness in common purely by chance!

Made with the Mnikins Jet set bag sewing pattern by Sew Sweetness
I do want to share the lovely gift I received in the mail as it is incredible. The sender is a Spanish chap who has just started sewing, but made the most incredible porridge spoon from scratch! There was so much effort in this I could see. Calligraphy letter, a little bag holder and a hand carved and treated spoon in the shape of a tortoise!!

This project was utterly wonderful, what a great way of bringing some connectedness and love to the crafty community. The generosity of strangers was really remarkable. I will definitely be joining in again next year. Hobbies are good for the soul :)

 Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and Bloglovin too :-) xx

A Very Toasty Toaster

Once again, a little late to this Toaster party but what a party it is...

I can see why the ol' t'interweb is alight with love for this Sew House Seven beauty of a pattern. Being the fussy creature of comfort I am, I'm not such a fan of high neck jumpers as they just tend to irritate me - however enter Simplicity 8529 - the perfect Toaster Sweater collaboration!

Just to point out - that's not a cross around my neck, its a robot.

Once again it was Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’ that brought this one to my attention (I swear I read other blogs too) when she did a whole week of this pattern.

I opted for View C of the Simplicity version – falling for its split hem, long line length and wider lower neckline.

Still being freezing cold here I thought this would be a perfect use of the cable knit fabric I bought from Higgs and Higgs at Christmas time. I went a bit nuts and got so many colours however I have always fancied a white cable knit jumper.

I cut between a size Medium on top and Large at the hips which seemed to work quite well. I also lengthened the hems by a few inches for extra coverage and lowered the starting point of the side slit so it didn't come quite so high up the body.

The pattern is wonderfully easy to cut and sews up very well indeed, taking only a few hours! When I first tried it on before hemming I wasn't too sure of the style - it seemed too big and too shapeless. However, after finishing the cuffs and hems it mystically appeared to change before my eyes into a pretty cool sweater.

I enjoyed the fact that the fabric lent itself well to making the neckband decorative for a slightly 'fisherman' vibe!

 It's already been worn out a couple of time - of course me + white jumper = immediate tea stain however I'm hoping that will wash out. I'm so pleased I've made another wearable piece, and there's already another version in navy waiting to be sewn up! A friend at Norwich Sewcials made a pea green version which is just amazing. A finer knit for spring may also be a good option for later one. Ahhhh the possibilities again :)

Just one more thing....say hello to the latest member of the herd, baby Esther!

 Feel free to comment and come and say hello on InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and Bloglovin too :-) xx