Monthly Archives: April 2012

April showers

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Ever since a drought was announced we’ve had a whole lot of rain. It has been properly gloomy some days and not at all nice to go out in, but perfect weather for staying in and getting creative! And it seems like I’ve had a pretty productive month.

In April I have…

… finished a baby blanket (including sewing in all those pesky ends)

… ordered more wool and started 2 more blankets

… been creative with tea towels

… celebrated Easter

… covered 100 buttons

… finally put the finishing touches to a stripy bag

… announced a giveaway

… played with buttons, books and pin boards

… made clothes for a special Bunny

… whipped up a baby hat and some tiny little slippers.

Phew, I think I need a cup of tea and a sit down after all that.

Edit: At some point soon I’ll link all these things to the original posts, but right now I need to get on with dinner because I’m out tonight teaching knitting to some friends!

A family weekend

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This weekend has been full of family. My Grandad’s brother and sister in law live in Florida and only make a visit every few years, so it’s always special when they visit. Usually their visits are marked with a family get together and this time was no exception. We had a great time together, eating great food, playing football with the kids (they were much better than me, but I loved it anyway!) and generally catching up with everyone. A big topic of discussion was how we were all related to each other – Grandad and his brother were part of a group of 7 cousins, some of whom were there yesterday along with various offspring. So working out cousins (and second cousins and third cousins, and cousins once or twice removed) was a little complicated. Thankfully we had a family tree to help us figure it out. We also had several family photo albums dating back a few generations which were alotof fun to look at!

As I wasn’t driving I managed to get a few rows of my stripy blanket done in the car. I also took it in with me and worked on it while we were chatting. Which prompted two of my aunts to get their work out too! We had a chunky knit jumper and some crochet being worked on. We had a little crochet lesson part way through the afternoon, discussing the ins and outs of starting from a foundation chain and working rows of half trebles – just as I’m doing for my blanket.

The blanket is a great portable project – it doesn’t take up too much space in my bag (at the moment) and doesn’t require a pattern. This weekend it’s been to the family gathering, to my friend’s house while we watched dvds and ate pizza, and to Granny’s house to be worked on after a big roast. The only downside to getting to work on it so often is that I’m running low on some of the colours! Anyway, here it is so far…

I have to say, I wasn’t entirely convinced about the colours when I started, but the more I work on it the more I love it!

After seeing a whole lot of people this weekend I’m now home alone and loving it 🙂 And becuase I have the space to concentrate I’ve got round to finishing the slippers I started the other day. They’re bigger than the ones in the original pattern, and would probably fit a toddler (but I need to try this out, so don’t take my word for it!)

These ones measure approx. 12cm long (the green cotton pair are about 8cm) and are made from Stylecraft Special DK.

I also made a teeny tiny flower to go on the side. Cute, huh?!

My next challenge is to work out how to make them big enough for my feet 🙂

Cotton slippers

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Last week I bought a couple of bins. Not for rubbish, but to keep all my yarns in! They had got to the stage of just being everywhere, strewn about the room or in various carrier bags. I really should have got 3 bins, but I have managed to (just about) squeeze most of my stash into 2 – as long as a I have a selection in my stripy work bag it’s all fine. Until I go shopping again.

Anyway, as I was sorting through everything I came across my lovely cottons. I have had some of these for absolutely ages, and get them out to look at every now and again, but usually put them back without doing anything with them. But this time I was determined to actually make something. So I had a little browse through Ravelry.

So many beautiful patterns! I had a look for baby patterns, as I only have small amounts of my cotton yarns, and came across a pattern for a crocheted hat and sock monkey! The link is here, but I’m not sure if you’ll be able to view the page without signing in. If you can’t see the page, sign in to Ravelry and search ‘Sock monkey and baby hat’. I decided to make the hat without ears and added a little flower. Cute!

It looks a slightly odd shape here, but it looks better in real life – honest!

Anyway, after the hat I found some gorgeous patterns for baby slippers. Again, the link is here but if you can’t view the page search ‘Dainty Mary Janes’. They are just beautiful!

 

I’m not sure if I didn’t follow the pattern or something, but as I was taking pictures (and had them next to each other for the first time) I realised that the straps are in different places! So I’m hoping that I’ll have enough yarn to make another ‘pair’ to match up with the 2 I’ve already made. They’re really very tiny – only about 8cm long. Here is one on my hand to give you an idea of the size…

The flowers are actually in place of buttons. The strap has a loop on the end as a button hole.

I wanted to see if I could make similar but bigger, so I’m playing around with different yarns and numbers of stitches in an attempt to see if I can make it work. I’ll hopefully show you the results soon 🙂

Birthdays

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It seems like a lot of people were born on 25th April. I can think of at least 6 people without even trying. But of all those, only 2 got presents from me. I have just popped round to my friend’s house to drop off Bun Bun for Little Girl. And I think she liked it (although she’s pretty overtired, and her brothers are completely hyped up!) – the first thing she did was start playing with the buttons and poppers. Mum and Grandma loved it too – I may have to make bunnies for them too!

The other person to get a present is my lovely friend Helen. She has fairly recently bought a brand new house, so I decided to make something pretty and practical – a pin board!

Her favourite colour is blue, and her kitchen is full of blue and white spotty things, so the white/cream buttons seemed like a good idea. The board will take pride of place in her kitchen next to the sink, just right for pinning up all those odd bits of paper that need to be put somewhere.

It is a completely wet and windy kind of day, but Helen and I decided to brave the weather and go to the beach. We headed to Lyme Regis, where it was surprisingly sunnyish (for an hour at least). Sadly I forgot to take my camera – there were some truly spectacular waves breaking over the cobb. We weren’t brave enough to actually walk along it, but as we saw some people get very wet I think that was probably a good thing!

We also found a lovely little cafe called Aroma which has amazing gluten free cakes – they were completely yummy! We also had a little potter around the shops. There are so many pretty shops in Lyme – it was complete bliss. I was fairly self controlled though, and only came back with a skirt – a bargain find in a charity shop. It’s fairly thin cotton, but beautiful patterns and will make a very nice cushion cover. I’ll line it with plain cotton to make it stronger and probably add ribbon or lace in places too. And there will probably be enough over to make a few other pretty bits and pieces. I can see it very clearly in my mind, but whether or not it turns out like that is anyone’s guess. Anyway, have a look…

And some close ups…

I especially like this panel with the writing. 

Pretty isn’t it? Hopefully I’ll manage to actually make the cushion cover, rather than just plan it in my head!

Oh, and on the subject of birthdays, don’t miss your chance to enter the Big 30 Giveaway in celebration of my 30th – you still have a couple of weeks 🙂

Another bag of stripes

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I did it! I actually finished something! In the end it really took no time at all, so I have no idea why I didn’t just get on with it before. So here it is, my completely finished bag of stripes, now with 2 straps and a handful of flowers.

Isn’t it pretty? Just perfect for brightening up a gloomy day. And I’m loving the cheery flowers. I used Lucy’s patterns for crochet flowers and teeny tiny flowers. I think they just finish it off nicely (and hide some of the ugly stitching where I sewed the handles on!).

I also remembered as I woke up this morning that I’d promised you a look at the crochet cardigan I made for Bun Bun. Yesterday was really far too gloomy and dark for taking good photos, but I managed to catch a spot of sun this morning. Here she is…

Not bad considering I’ve not crocheted any clothes before and had no idea what I was doing! It may not be completely as I pictured it (although the pictures in my head were rather vague and woolly anyway) but it’s not too bad and I think Little Girl will like it. I finished it off with a little button which should (hopefully) be quite easy for Little Girl to do up herself. It’s her birthday tomorrow, so I’ll let you know what she thinks of it 🙂

A wet and windy day

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Good afternoon! How are you today? We’re having a pretty wet, gloomy day today – it’s been raining non-stop since way before I woke up so everything’s feeling pretty dark and wintery today. So it seemed like a good day to stay in and catch up on all the bits and pieces that need doing. So far it’s been a productive day – I’ve sorted through and decluttered 4 Sunday school boxes, planned my lessons for tomorrow and sorted things for our Bible study group this week. In the end I did go out (well wrapped up against the elements and for as short a time as possible) to get some more wool – I was running low on some of the colours I need for my stripy blanket.

Here it is so far…

Not my usual colour palette, but I’m knida liking it just because it’s different. And it’s much more of a boy blanket than a girl blanket isn’t it?

But before I do that I thought I’d give you a whole lot of info about my baby blanket. I’ve seen other bloggers do this and even though I’m sure a lot of people won’t be interested I quite like the geekiness of stats like this!

So here goes:
Weight: 290 g
Measurements: 27.5 x 34 in (approx. 70.5 x 87 cm)
Time taken: approx. 17 hours (although that doesn’t include planning time or ripping it out and starting again time!)
Yarn: 100% acrylic, mostly Stylecraft Special DK (with one or two odds and ends thrown in for good measure!)
Stylecraft colours: Sherbert, Aspen, Turquoise, Denim, Silver, Grey, Candyfloss, Fondant, Pomegranate, Lipstick, Saffron, Violet, Emperor, Cream
Other yarn colours: Pale yellow, pale blue, pale purple, white
18 colours in total 

Ok, geekiness done! Moving on…

Yesterday as I was looking back at previous posts trying to find the beginning of the baby blanket I realised just how many things I’ve started and not finished! I know I’m a starter more than a finisher, but it was really quite shocking. The snood, the Granny Stripe cushion cover (now completely abandoned!),  the re-working of the not quite right slippers, a pair of gloves (which actually got unravelled and reused as something else), the cushion cover with a jumper back. The unfinished journal cover I discovered is still unfinished. The runner I made for my dressing table still only has a crochet edge down one side, and I didn’t even finish the blanket stitch – the needle’s still in it too. The bag that only needed a strap and some flowers is still in exactly the same state. Do you get the idea?!

So, with all my jobs done and out of the way for today, I’m going to be good and actually finish something! The bag with the missing strap is next to me and waiting patiently for attention. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you the finished article tomorrow. If I don’t, you’ll know I’ve been distracted by something else. Again.

Granny square baby blanket

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At long last it is finished. Although I only actually started this a month ago it feels like it’s been hanging over my head for a while waiting for me to just Get On With It. The baby blanket that started life as a little bunch of colourful squares has now been completely, properly, absolutely finished. Hurrah!

The blocking process actually took longer than I planned – because I forgot it was there! Pinned to the spare room floor it was out of sight and out of mind. So it stayed there for 3 days instead of just 24 hours. And here it is…

Let’s have a proper look, shall we?

No unsightly ends poking out any more, just a wonderful, colourful, snuggly blanket. And I’m really quite pleased with it. Not bad for a first attempt I think. At some point I’ll give you all the details of size, weight, time it took, etc. But I’m off out in a minute so trying to rapidly get down all that I want to show you!

In my spare moments this week I also whipped up a little crochet cardigan for Bun Bun. I took a photo of her looking all snug and cosy, then realised that one of the presents I made yesterday was right behind her! So I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until tomorrow before you see it. Sorry! Enjoy the rest of your day, and hopefully my next post will be a little less rushed and have a bit more to it 🙂