Category Archives: Crochet

The end of an era… and the beginning of something new

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Hello friends, how have you been?

It’s been almost a year since my last post (this feels like deja vu… I’m sure I’ve said that before after some very long absences.)

Anyway, I’m just back here briefly, one last time, to let you know that I’ve decided to bring Cute as a Button to an end.

When I started this little blog nearly five years ago (how on earth is it that long already?!) I had no idea that I would find blogging so much fun or that I would meet so many wonderful people! I simply wanted a place to record some of the things I made and had no idea that other people would actually want to join me on my crafty journey too. It amazes me that even though I haven’t posted anything new for so very long, there are still visitors stopping by to look at past posts. I would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the trouble to visit, comment on posts, follow links and just spend time here.

When I started blogging I was working part time as a teacher and found plenty of time to craft and blog. When I switched to full time work, I found it much harder to get a good work/life balance and even though the crafting still went on in the background I didn’t really have the time or energy to share it with you all. Earlier this year I got to the point I was signed off work with stress. I decided at that point that I needed to get out of teaching, at least for a while, and left the school where I had been working for five years. It was really sad to say goodbye to the place where I had spent the majority of my teaching career, but it was totally the right decision.

I wasn’t working for a couple of months and during that time I started to dream. I’ve always wanted to have a little craft shop – in my mind it’s a light, spacious place, walls lined with shelves of wool and fabric, a huge table in the middle of the room for crafting groups, cosy armchairs with piles of magazines to browse through for inspiration… Sadly, I can’t actually afford a bricks and mortar shop, but I have decided to take the plunge and open up an online shop instead – eek!

But as I started to think about all sorts of shop related things, I grew more and more dissatisfied with the name Cute as a Button. I think it did the job just fine at the beginning, but I feel like I’ve outgrown it somewhat. It sounds a bit twee and I wanted something that was more unique. I spent a lot of time toying with different ideas until I finally came up with something I loved. And because you’ve made it this far through a very long post (thanks for sticking with it!) I want you to be the first to know my new name! Are you ready? I will now be known as…

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I have tentatively begun a new blog already. It’s in the very early stages, but if you want to pop over and have a look you can find me at goslingandplumb.co.uk. I’m still getting to grips with a slightly different way of blogging, so please bear with me while I work it all out. But I’d love to see you, so feel free to pop by any time! The shop isn’t in existence yet, but I’ll keep you posted on progress…

Before I leave, let’s have a little look back at some crafty goodness! I’ve loved sharing so many different projects with you all. Some of my favourites include:

  • Timmy and Tamara Turtle

Apr 2013 turtle tales

I loved making these little guys – almost as much as I enjoyed making up stories about them! You can read the beginning of their tale here.

May 20131 riverbed blanket

I made this for a friend’s birthday, and I love the fact that she still has it in her living room!

  • Paper cutting

I’ve not done this for a while now, but remember being really pleased with how these Easter/spring pictures turned out.

I still enjoy wearing mine and am looking forward to the colder weather so I can dig it out again!

  • A multitude of cushion covers

You can read about the cushion jumper here, the cable cushion here, the granny square cushion here, but unfortunately I can’t find the post about the recycled skirt cushion cover. It must be out there somewhere…

Which are your favourites?

So that’s about it. I’m slightly sad to be saying farewell to Cute as a Button, but so very excited about Gosling & Plumb! I really hope you’ll come with me on the next part of my journey, I’m sure we have a whole lot more fun in store.

By the way, I mentioned starting to knit a pair of socks in my very first post. I still haven’t finished them.

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Half term challenge

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Since going back to school after the Easter holidays I’ve been counting down the days until half term! However, despite the fact that I’ve been desperate for a holiday, I’ve made no plans at all for this week. So, in order to avoid just frittering my week away on Facebook, I’ve decided to set myself a challenge – I’m going to make (another) blanket.

I’ve been drooling over several gorgeous patterns on Pinterest and have decided to have a go at making a blanket using these blocks…
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The first five rounds are the Willow block from Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks book (a birthday present from my parents).
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I then experimented with the outer rounds (in grey) – the one on the top is a slight adaptation of this pattern found over at Annie’s Place. It was actually her solid willow block blanket that inspired me in the first place. The one on the bottom follows the rest of the original Willow pattern. After some dithering I decided to go with the more solid block, although I really like the other one too.

I think this may be a slightly ambitious project for just a week, but it’s always good to try to do impossible things!! And after all, I have already completed the middles of eight blocks – how hard can this be?!
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And yes, I know I could finish one of the five unfinished blankets I’ve got lying around the house, but that would be the sensible, grown up thing to do, and therefore sounds like no fun at all!

I’ll keep you updated on the progress. And pop over to my Facebook page for more pics. Have a lovely week!

Growing granny blanket

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More than a year ago I came across a blanket my auntie had made for my cousin.

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It was made of knitted squares and backed with fleece.

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It was pretty weighty and hugely cosy. It’s kinda stayed in my mind since and I loved the idea of making a crochet version. In fact, I even had plans to turn a CAL blanket into something similar.

But the CAL blanket it still unfinished (along with so many other things!) and I obviously forgot about my original plans. But the idea for a chunky blanket stuck with me. So back in May last year I ordered some Stylecraft Chunky. As soon as it arrived I crocheted a very long chain and got to work on my granny stripe blanket. (I followed Lucy’s Granny Stripe tutorial to make sure that I didn’t end up with wonky edges!)

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Well, it got off to a good start and I fairly rapidly made my way through 3 or 4 balls of wool. But then I did my usual thing of putting it down and leaving it – for about 7 months!

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I only found it again as I was packing to move. Last weekend I went away with some friends and wanted something easy to take with me, something I could work on and still be sociable. The blanket seemed like the perfect option.

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So I ordered some more wool (I hadn’t ordered nearly enough the first time!) and have more than doubled the amount of rows in the last week.

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It’s going to take a while to finish. Each row takes about 15 minutes, so it’s not a quick project! But I’m hoping that my current momentum will last a while…

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…although I can sense the momentum will slow when I get to darning in the ends!

I’ll keep you updated 🙂

Today I have…

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…enjoyed working on my chunky granny blanket.

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…unpacked two more boxes of books…

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(…but it’ll still be a while before the room is properly sorted out!)

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…found two friends hiding in boxes.

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…enjoyed my favourite flowers in colourful vases.

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…curled up with a good book.

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What have you done today?

Happy flower at home

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A couple of years ago I made a beautifully happy flower, following instructions from the Lovely Lucy over at Attic24. (Read about it here and here.)

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I loved the bright colours and the pretty beads – but after I’d finished making it I had no idea what to do with it. It ended up on my notice board ‘for the time being’…and stayed there for the next 16 months! In fact, it only moved because I had to pack it up to move house.

Now, my packing process was rather haphazard – I kinda had my own sorta system, but it was mostly based on me packing my most favourite things into boxes first, then just throwing in everything else in a last minute rush!

So I came across a lot of lovely surprises as I unpacked. And the happy flower came to light at just the right time. As I undecorated after Christmas I hated how bare everything looked and decided to redecorate as I went along. The star on my front door was replaced with the happy flower.

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Please excuse the bad picture – I’m rarely home during daylight hours at the moment, so have to rely on flash which isn’t the best! Anyway, I also really like how the happy flower looks from the outside, all lit up from behind.

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So here it will stay…for the time being! I like to change my decorations through the year so it will probably be replaced at some point. But I’m glad it has a better home than my notice board now 🙂

DSCN2323P.S. It’s 3 years since I registered with WordPress – hurrah!

A new pattern revealed and help needed!

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My lovely friend’s birthday is in the week between Christmas and New Year. I always feel sorry for people who have a birthday near Christmas as they seem to end up with less presents! So I always try to make sure I give her separate presents for Christmas and her birthday.

This year I was inspired to make her a shawl. I used the Ying Hua pattern that I found on Ravelry.

I used Senses Lace by Stylecraft in two Lavender (the main colour) and Black Elder (the border). I’ve not used this yarn before, but quite liked it. The only slightly tricky bit was the fact that it’s so fluffy! The fluffy fibres knot together, making it tricky to undo when you make a mistake.

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The pattern was easy to follow and I made it in less than a month, working on it during my lunchbreaks and holiday. It was quite crumpled by the time I finished it, but blocking worked wonders! Here it is before…

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…during…

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…and after.

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The blocking especially helped on the part where the little triangles were. I was worried that it would still look ‘dented’ even after blocking, but steaming it with the iron really helped.

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I’ve not seen my friend since she opened the present, but she told me she liked it!

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And now I need some help please! I told you the other day that I’ve started a new blog. It’s all up and running, but I’m having some issues with photos. I think at some point I must have formatted the photos for this blog, so that they’re always central and at the biggest size (without being too big and distorted!). Try as I might, I can’t find how to change the settings, so the photos are always aligned to the left and only at a medium size. There doesn’t even seem to be an option to make the photos larger. Can anyone help? I’ll be eternally grateful! 😀

Made It! Winner

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As several of you may know, I’ve been entering some of my makes into the Made It! Monthly Challenge hosted by Maryanne of Woolhogs. Absolutely anything can be entered – knitting, crochet, sewing, paper craft – you name it, it’s probably appeared at some point. At the end of the month there is the chance to vote for the items you most like/admire. When voting closes a winner is selected at random to receive that month’s prize and a voter’s choice award is given to the person with the most votes.

Well, last month I entered my Cosy Cowls and was lucky enough to be picked to win the prize!

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I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since, but school/life/Christmas meant that I just didn’t get round to it sooner. I’m now proudly displaying my ‘winner’ badge (on the bar to the right). There is still a very little time to enter for this month, or you could just wait until next month if you prefer. It’s a good bit of motivation to get something finished (although WIPs may also be entered) and it’s great seeing what other people are up to!