Monthly Archives: January 2013

Vertical garland

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When I saw these gorgeous little crochet balls back before Christmas I immediately loved them. But with all things Christmassy I didn’t have time to actually make any. Thankfully things have slowed right down this month, so I’ve had time to indulge in all sorts of creativity just for the fun of it.

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My original plan was to make a garland for another shelf on my bookcase (the 3 sets of bunting and garland of stars and buttons just aren’t enough!). And as I held it up against the shelf I was quite pleased with it, but it seemed like it needed something else. Whilst doing a little googling I came across this pattern for a crochet heart. It looked pretty cute so I gave it a go.

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All went well until the decreasing stage. Suddenly I ended up with gaping holes that didn’t look like they should be there. And I also wanted the heart to be a little longer. So I pulled out the bottom half and made it up as I went along! I think (although I didn’t write it down, so I can’t be sure) that I did a round of alternate dc and dc2tog, followed by a round of dc (although the pattern is written in US terms, so all the dcs are scs), followed by another round of alternate dc and dc2tog.

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Anyway, it ended up looking quite cute, although possibly a bit lumpy in places! And with a heart on one end it went from being a horizontal to a vertical garland. It’s now hanging on the end of my bookcase and looking ever so lovely.

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Edit to add: I have just entered my gorgeous garland into this month’s Made It! challenge over at Woolhogs 🙂

New goodies

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Last Friday I spent the day in absolute bliss – I visied a craft fair in Exeter with two friends. It was such a good day! So many pretty things everywhere you turned. I often found that I’d picked something up, but was immediately distracted by the thing right next to it! Needless to say, a fair amount of money was spent. So here are some of my exciting new goodies…

These don’t look particularly pretty, but will be ever so useful.

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These don’t look pretty yet, but have great potential for beauty.

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Some papers with which to make the above look more beautiful.

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Some gorgeous new fabrics and ribbons.

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I especially love this one. I have plans for a journal cover (it fits well with my thankfulness list).

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Some yummy crochet cotton in ice cream shades.

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Lovely lacy edging.

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Five lengths of giant ric rac.

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Some wonderfully soft and snuggly yarns. The Rowan is more purple than the picture shows and is beautiful to work with.

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A gorgeous, vibrant bundle of threads. Again, I have no plans for them, but I couldn’t walk past without buying them! I’m sure they’ll be useful for something.

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A new handbag and purse. I’ve been looking for a new purse for a while (my old one was too small for all the things I keep in it and it would never shut!) and you can never have too many handbags 🙂

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A new obsession – tapestry. This is my first kit and I’m already loving it! My friend talked me into getting it (and in turn I persuaded her to get a kit too!) and I’m so glad she did.

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I’ve actually done a lot more than this now – I’ve finished the pink bit between the top prongs of the H, completed four blue hearts and some of the cream around them.

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And of course – buttons!

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These are just gorgeous and are now living in three pretty jars on my windowsill.

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I’m very much looking forward to using my new goodies – I’m sure several of them will be popping up in posts in the near future 🙂

 

Things to do with a dozen doilies

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Since posting about my doilies I’ve had several people ask what I’m going to do with them. Tricky question. All I’d really thought about was expanding my crochet skills and not what to do with the end product.

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At the moment my delicious doilies are all just hidden away in a box to keep them flat. Bur they really need to be used, not shut away. In search of inspiration I googled ‘repurposing lace doilies’. The first link I clicked on took me to the most amazing place. Dishfunctional Designs has a whole host of ideas for doilies! This is one of my favourites…

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Isn’t it just beautiful?! And I love this idea too…

In fact, I pretty much love most of the ideas on the page! My brain is buzzing with lacy and doilyish ideas – it’s going to be really tough getting back to maths planning now.

A deluge of doilies

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Since the first doily turned out so successfully (with only one or two small mistakes) I have been in a bit of a doily frenzy! I ended up making four more over the weekend, churning them out one after the other.

This is doily #2, the Petit Pineapple Doily.

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This is the biggest and laciest doily. It was quite ripply after I finished, so I pinned it and sprayed it with starch. The edges are not quite as rounded as in the pattern picture – any tips on how to pin rounded edges without ending up with pointy bits?!

This is doily #3, the Hearts Desire Doily.

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This is quite a tiny, dainty one. The colour hasn’t come out very well in the picture – the cotton I used is a fair bit darker. This was a lovely, quick pattern to use and I can see me making more.

This is doily #4, the Five Point Star Doily.

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Again, a super quick make and a similar size to the heart doily. I’m glad I didn’t start with this one – most of the instructions are clear enough, but rounds 5 and 6 are a bit vague. Because it was a similar technique to the heart doily I could figure out what needed to be done, but I think it would have a little frustrating if it had been my first attempt at a doily.

#5 is the Daisy Doily.

There is no link to this one as I sort of made it up as I went along! It’s based on one that Mum has…

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Mum said it was a family heirloom – meaning it’s old and well used! So well used it’s starting to fall apart in places.

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I like the flower pattern in it and thought I’d have a go at making my own. I made less outer rounds than the original, choosing to finish only a couple of rounds after the flower part was finished. On the whole it’s not too bad – some of the chain bits are longer than they should be, and one of the last rounds was a bit tight (meaning that the edge curled up – oops!) but nothing that a bit of blocking and spray starching couldn’t fix.

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And of course I didn’t write the pattern down as I went along, so if I attempt another one it’ll all be guess work again!

Flowery phone case

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Last week my friend got a fancy new phone. It’s a touchscreen and she was worried about keeping it scratch-free in her handbag. She has four children and therefore carries about a million things in her bag! So I decided to make her a little case to keep it safe.

The photos aren’t great quality. I only finished it last night, and my friend was with me so I gave it to her straight away – no chance to wait for good natural light! But this is what it looks like…

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I had to guess at the size. It turns out that it’s a little bigger than the phone, but not bad for a guess! I started with a chain of 15, then worked in rounds of half trebles until it got to what I thought would be the right length. I then attached the pink and worked a row of trebles to make the strap, before edging around the top and strap in doubles. I added the flower (pattern from Attic 24) and then all it needed was a few buttons and it was finished!

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I used Stylecraft DK for the whole lot. The main colour is Sherbert, the strap is Fondant and it’s edged in Pomegranate. The flower is (from the inside out) Candyfloss, Fondant, Pomegranate, Lipstick. I was really pleased with how it turned out – although you can’t tell the full effect from the pictures, the colours work really well together.

The best part was that I was working on the case as my friend came to visit. She commented on how much she liked it, and the look on her face when I said it was for her was just brilliant! I love surprising people 🙂

Doily #1

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For Christmas I got an amazing present. A whole set of crochet hooks ranging from 0.5mm – 6.5mm. I’ve only ever used big yarn for crochet (i.e. DK or bigger), so the small hooks presented me with a challenge. I ordered some crochet cotton which arrived a few days ago, then searched around for a pattern. I came across the Starfish Pineapple Doily pattern and thought I’d give it a go. It actually turned out pretty well!

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I found it a little tricky to start with. The cotton and hook being so tiny took a while to get used to. I started following the pattern on the screen, but as each row is fairly similar I soon got lost! Printing it out so I could cross off each round as I went helped a lot. I also managed to miss a couple of stitches in a couple of places, which I didn’t realised until a couple of rounds later. Not being a perfectionist (and not wanting to unravel all my stitches!) I just worked around the mistakes. That seemed to work out fine, and I’m really quite pleased with my first attempt.

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So pleased in fact, that I’ve already started my second one!

A walk in the snow

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 It snowed – hurrah! I love how pretty snow makes everything. Mum and I decided to go for a little walk and this is what we saw…

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For some reason I especially love snowy gates. Here were some I saw this morning…

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And here are some lovely snowy trees…

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And there’s nothing better than coming back in out of the cold and snuggling up under a fluffy blanket with a cup of hot chai tea. Bliss!

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