Monthly Archives: February 2012

Once every four years

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Happy leap day everyone! I don’t know about you, but today hasn’t been that different to any other really, but it kinda feels like it needs mentioning simply because it doesn’t happen that often.

So today hasn’t been particularly special, just pretty crazy. And the day isn’t over yet and I still have a long to do list. So instead of getting on with it I thought I’d write about it instead! Don’t you just love procrastination?!

Anyway, what with having a kinda crazy week, I’ve not felt like crafting much. I come home exhausted and still have things to do for the following day, so I get on and do them as quickly as I can so I can fall into bed as soon as possible. How rock and roll am I?! Hopefully next week will be calmer and I’ll be able to get back into the crafting groove.

But for now, here is a little selection of what I’ve been up to this month. A nice lot of colour to liven up a pretty gloomy month 🙂

A Churchy Weekend

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I have spent this weekend with a wonderful group of people from church. We have had so much fun, some great teaching and fabulous weather. When we arrived it was really quite wintery – cold, grey and just a bit gloomy. But by the time we left today it’d done a complete turnaround. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, daffodils were blooming and it was even quite warm – spring is on it’s way!

Yesterday afternoon was a time for walking (for those who chose to) or relaxing in the sun. I chose the latter. I had my large, stripy crochet bag stuffed to the brim with wool and many plans for what to do. Unfortunately plans don’t always work out. For one thing, I had planned to have another go at those slipper boots which hadn’t turned out quite how I wanted. But halfway through my journey on Friday I realised I’d left the pattern at home.

But it was ok – there was another pattern I wanted to try out, I’d do that instead. However, that pattern was scribbled down on the back of the slipper boots pattern.

Never mind. I had a book with several patterns that I wanted to try out. I selected a hat pattern – it looked fairly simple which meant that I could chat away to Emma (who was sitting next to me crocheting the most adorable little baby boots) at the same time. So I merrily chained 90 stitches, then did a few rounds of doubles before thinking that perhaps I should check the size. It was too small.

By this time I was already feeling quite frustrated, so rather than figure out how to adapt the pattern I unravelled it all and started making a pair of gloves instead.

I was merrily working away when the walkers came back. Most of the families had been out, so in traipsed a stream of children, all chattering away about what they’d seen and done. Then little Mouse, the cutest 4 year old you can imagine, hopped up on to my lap asking “Can I help you?”

Of course, I couldn’t resist, so away went the glove and out came the pinkest wool we could find in my bag. We sat there happily chatting and chaining until I had to go elsewhere. The resulting chain was only about 5 or 6 stitches long and was rather uneven and wonky, but Mouse and I had a lot of fun making it 🙂

 

A finished slipper

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I have just finished the first slipper from the pattern I mentioned in my last post. I was feeling very pleased with them – because they were worked on a big hook they grew really fast, and they were looking very much like in the pattern – fab! Yes, it was a little wonky, but that’s what makes things unique!

But then I tried it on. And it just didn’t feel right. I think I was expecting it to feel a little more like a pair of slipper socks I have, and it was nothing like it. Because of the big hook, and the fact that it was worked with a double thickness of aran wool they ended up feeling quite inflexible. And it was too baggy around my leg. It just was not right.

So, I’m now trying to decide what to do next. I was tempted to take it all apart and start again, but wondered if perhaps I should just try working it in a different way?

I think I’ll try working it in a single thickness of wool, and perhaps a size smaller too. I’m going away with  my church family this weekend, and hoping for lots of time for crochet and chatting! So maybe by Sunday afternoon I’ll have a pair of slippers I’m happy with. Or maybe I’ll have given up and started something new – who knows 🙂

A sad lack of crochet

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The last few days have been pretty hectic – I’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind of planning, teaching and collapsing in a heap at the end of the day! I don’t like early mornings at the best of times, but they come as a particularly big shock right after a holiday. So I’ve had energy for the bare minimum of activity and absolutely nothing more. Not even crochet.

However, I do have a (sort of) day off tomorrow, as in I’m not teaching, but do have several other things to do. One of the things on my to do list is to start a new pair of slippers! I found the pattern on Etsy and just fell in love with it. However, it’s my first ‘grown up’ pattern, as in it doesn’t have step by step instructions and is overwhelmingly full of numbers and abreviations!

I also found that I don’t have a big enough hook, and I may also need to buy more wool (always a hardship). So I can feel a little trip to the craft shop coming on – after I’ve done all the important things, obviously.

Sorry there are no pretty pictures today, but hopefully there will be some on the way soon 🙂

African flower scarf giveaway

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After just a few more hours work the scarf is finished! It took me a while to decide on the order I wanted the flowers to be in, but had fun shuffling them all around on the floor.

I then worked a round of treble stitches (US doubles) around each flower in dark purple, joining them as I went along.

After they were all attached I worked two rows of double stitches (US singles) around the whole lot to strengthen them.

At this stage it was nearly finished, but was quite curly! A bit like a sandwich a few days old. It kinda looked ok, but not quite.

 

 

So then came the blocking process. I’ve not done this before, but it seemed to work quite well. I stretched the scarf out across a couple of towels, the pinned each point to hold it in place. I then spritzed it with a nice fine mist of water and left it to dry for 24 hours.

This afternoon I removed all the pins (which was a lot quicker than putting them all in) and ta-dah! Had my properly finished scarf 🙂

And here it is:

If you would like a chance to win this scarf, just post a comment on this post. I will draw a winner either on 12th March, or when I get 20 followers. So get commenting!

On another note, I was having a little browse at some lovely blogs yesterday, and came across Stocki, where I read about a truly great idea! Jill is making a Beautiful Blogger Blanket, made up from squares sent in by people from all around the world. (Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page if you want to be involved yourself, but be quick about it as the closing date is next week!) I couldn’t resist and whipped up a couple of Granny Squares to be part of it.

The one on the left is based on a pattern found here at Rose Hip – just lovely. And the one on the right is a plain old Granny Square, as taught to me by my very own Granny!

A Granny and a Giveaway

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I know after yesterday’s cliffhanger you’re all on the edge of your seats just waiting to find out what I’ve been making.

But you’ll have to wait just a few more minutes while I show you my completely, properly, absolutely finished cushion.

It measures just over 14 inches across (that’s about 36cm). The cushion I tried it out with is a 14 inch, but I think it would look a lot better (just generally plumper and more cosy) with a 15 or 16 inch. But I didn’t have one of those, so the 14 inch had to do. You can see that it’s slightly squished on the bottom left corner – that wouldn’t happen with a fatter cushion. You may also have noticed that I didn’t take off the other cushion cover, which is why you can see a few black lines underneath – oops!

But what a wonderfully large Granny Square. Yum!

Anyway, here’s the front (or the back, depending on whether or not you like to look at the buttons or not. I personally think that the buttons are a key feature, but if you see them only as a functional aspect for closing you may prefer to keep them hidden. That is entirely up to you.)

And just one close up of one of the buttons, handsewn and tied with pink embroidery thread. I took pictures of all five, so be grateful I didn’t force all of them on you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, my new project.  You may remember that last week I had a go at making African flowers (see my first attempts here). Well, I’ve come back to them and made loads! I took this picture early this evening. Five lovely little flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

Mere hours later they have increased. I now have seventeen flowers that are ready to be edged and made into a scarf! I apologise for the quality of the photo, but it’s really quite gloomy in here at the moment, and it’s hard to find somewhere with better light.

But you get an idea of the colours anyway.

The main reason I’m so excited about this particular scarf is that it will be my very first giveaway!

I have to say that I got the idea from Katie over at Booty-licious (now one of my new favourite blogs) who did a giveaway to celebrate 20 followers.

I thought I’d do things a little differently – I will make up the scarf and probably get it finished over the next day or so. If you would like to win it all you have to do is leave a comment under this post. I will then put your name in a hat (ever so sophisticated, I know). I will draw a name from the hat either on March 12th (to celebrate the two month birthday of my blog) or when I get 20 followers – whichever happens first. So it’s really up to you how soon I draw a name! (If you want to follow just click the button at the top on the right, the one that says ‘follow the creativity’.)

This is open across the world, so even if you don’t live in the UK feel free to enter.

And by the way, thank you to the people who are already following me – you make me feel very special 🙂

Nearly there

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Just looking back at yesterday’s post I can’t believe how much I’ve got done since then! I guess I did spend most of yesterday afternoon crocheting away. And a fair amount of time today (mostly whilst chatting away to my lovely Granny, Uncle, Cousin and Mum!)

Yesterday I had one side of my cushion cover finished. Earlier this evening I had got this far:

Slightly curly at the corners, but two pieces ready to be stitched together.

So, with a little more time (and a quick break when I started to go cross-eyed) I got to this stage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, there are a few ends that need to be sewn in , and I need to add buttons to the back so it can be closed, but it’s nearly there! How exciting!

And I have something else up my sleeve for my next project…

But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what!

A splash of colour

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Sitting having my breakfast this morning the sun was streaming through the window, shining right on to my colourful mess of crochet where I left it last night. By the time I got my camera out the sun was starting to hide away. But the colours still looked lovely, and thought they were worthy of a photo.

By the time I’ve got my computer up and running (only about 15 mins after taking the photo – I tend to faff around a bit) it’s looking decidedly grey and gloomy outside. Just in time for me to go out. Fantastic.

Anyway, a quick progress report. My Granny Stripes stopped halfway. My reason? I started making something else! But it’s all connected: I decided that the stripes would be great for the back of a cushion, so thought I’d make two panels that would overlap to make the back.

That was because I wanted to put this on the front:

A giant Granny Square!

And I’m really happy with the front, especially as it reminds me of a blanket I had on my bed as a child.

But I’m now less happy with the back – it doesn’t really fit properly with the Granny Square, and having two different things going on on the same cushion makes my eyes water a little.

So, after thinking it through (and looking around for inspiration) I think I’m going to turn my stripes into a full sized cushion front, and back it with a jumper, a la Lucy.

And my Granny Square will have a matching one to make up the other side, but with an extra bit worked on to one side to make a flap for closing (I don’t like cushions from which you can not remove the covers – I’m quite messy and spill things easily, so things need to be washable!)

I’ve made a start on my second Granny Square, but it only has two rounds so far. Let’s hope for some good stuff on TV to keep me entertained as I work through it!

Spot the difference…

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I thought I’d give you a little update on my Granny Stripe cushion cover. Here it is so far…

Anyone spot any differences?

Yep, it’s completely different. About 5 minutes after my last post I looked at it and decided that I just wasn’t happy with it. I didn’t like the colour combination – all the colours were fine, but just not in that order. And I decided that I only wanted one row of each colour, not two. And my foundation chain was too tight, so even within the few rows I’d worked it was wavy and all over the place.

So I pulled it apart and started again! I made a much shorter foundation chain (60 stitches instead of 90) and used a 4.00 mm hook so it wouldn’t be so tight (I switched to a 3.50 mm hook to work the main part).

And I’m much happier with it this time round! I like the colours in this order, and much prefer just one row of each colour. And even better, it’s working up much more quickly due to the shorter rows – bonus!

 

 

 

 

 

I’m also working in some of my brand new wool! The colours aren’t quite the same in the picture, but are pretty close. From left to right they are:

Pomegranate, Aspen, Lipstick and Turquoise, all in Stylecraft Special DK.

Lovely!

As well as having a chilled out afternoon watching trashy TV and working on my Granny Stripes, I’ve been doing a little more pottering around on the internet and come across a whole host of gorgeous blogs! My most favourite can be found on the menu either at the top of the page, or in the right hand column. I’d recommend having a look – so many pretty and inspiring things! Enjoy!

A little light activity

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After an enjoyable but hectic morning with the kids in Sunday school, it’s lovely to shut myself away an just have an afternoon of gentle pottering. My pottering this afternoon didn’t involve leaving my chair (surely the best kind of pottering?).

Instead, I pottered around the internet. Along with the obligatory checking of Facebook and emails, I indulged in a little link hopping. I started off with another WordPress blog, Creative Pixie, and had a little browse of her lovely projects. Then I scrolled to her blogroll, partly just to be nosy (as I’m a pretty nosy kind of person) and partly to see if there was any inspiration lurking.

And there was! I came across Bunny Mummy and Diary of a Quilter, both of which are just gorgeous. And yesterday I came across MemeRose as I was browsing through the blogroll over at Attic 24.  It’s amazing what you can find when you spend a little time being nosy! These have all been added to my ‘Beautiful Blogs’ menu, which can be found to the right. (They also appear along the top, although I’m not quite sure why – haven’t been able to figure it out yet!) I’ll be adding more to the menu as I come across more treasures.

In amongst the nosiness, I also started a new project. My wool, spilling out of my beautiful crocheted bag, was right next to me, just begging to be used.

I liked the idea of making a crochet cushion cover, and decided on Granny stripes as the basis. I followed Lucy’s pattern, which can be found here. However, it’s already a whole lot longer than I anticipated at the beginning. Oops! So instead of going back and starting again (which I just hate doing!) I’ve decided I’ll just make it work. Somehow. I havent figured out all the details yet, but I’m sure it’ll be fine! It’s only a few rows long so far, but have got lots of lovely colours to work with, and am planning to treat myself to another couple of colours tomorrow. Yes, I know I have a huge bag full already, but you can never have too many colours! And I’m using Stylecraft DK, which is really quite cheap (can you hear me talking myself into it?!)

Will keep you updated on the progress, but here it is so far, elegantly modelled on my laptop 🙂