Sunday, 14 April 2013

Long time no blogging...

Ok, I knew it was a while since I last blogged but a year? Wow!  This time last year I was moving house and I guess it took me longer to get settled and organised that I realised!

So why start again? I bumped into a friend at work the other day and we got talking about blogging and it made me think about why I started in the first place.  It's not like I actually need another thing to add to my crafty repetoire or anything but, I always used to enjoy sharing and documenting my projects.  I have made so many things over the years and just given them away without a thought other than the pleasure of the giving. Now I know that that is probably one of the best reasons to actually make things but it would have been nice to have kept some pictures of them at the very least.  So anyway, am I going to become a regular blogger?  Hopefully.  Well, more than once year anyhow!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

It's all about the blankets

Despite the unseasonably mild weather we've been having the last few days what we've been mostly wanting to do since the new year is snuggle up under a nice warm blanket.  Mum's had caught the mitred square bug and has been busy knitting away using up all my old sock yarn.  She'd not even finished it before my sister and her cat had both started fighting over who was going to get to keep it.
Lola likes blankets.  She'd claim them all if she could! She even tries to help me decide which order to assemble the squares in.  Well help is a bit of a misnomer but she does like to be involved at all stages.
She'll even wrap herself up inside them if she can.  One day I'll have to make her one of her own.  Anyhow, back to the blankets.  The little man decided he needed a blanket of his own to snuggle up in and he'd got very definate ideas of how it should be made.  
  • It needed to be crochet.
  • It had to be in small squares.
  • Each square had to have two rows of each colour.
  • Then they had to be put together and have a few rows round the outside.
This one turned out to be a bit of a stashbuster as for a change I didn't need to buy anything to add to it.  Six balls of bonus DK from the stash a 4.5mm hook and hey presto - squares.  Each colour is used as the centre and surrounded by every other colour.  I opted to add a second band of the centre colour to each to make the squares a little bigger.  Thirty squares in all. I've crocheted them all together rather than stitching them and then gone around the outside a few times using the same colours until I'd more or less used up all the yarn. 
Ta da! One finished snuggle blanket.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Christmas Swap Parcels

So here I am back at last. Christmas is always great but juggling children, babysitters, new jobs on top of it all has proved trickier than I ever imagined and far more exhausting.  Anyhow, enough with the excuses, this post is long overdue.  I took part in the We Love Lucy Christmas swap and while I've posted a sneaky peak of the parcel I posted, I've still to post about the one I received in return.  So here it is in all it's glory and it truly was a jam packed and well thought out box of goodies.
So where do I start? 
Here's the handmade part, a flannel and some locally made soap and some earrings made by Teresa herself.  The cutest little lighthouse which is hanging from my tree as I type.
Lots of yarn and all things I'd find it hard to source myself.  Some Knit Picks cottons for me to make my own flannels with and the Bernat holidays yarn, red and sparkly (my favourite colours) and some Heart and Sole Sock yarn which is nice and soft and some super squishy alpaca fleece for spinning.  Now I just need to find the perfect patterns.
Buttons, cupcake cakes, nail files and a note pad, a candy cane shaped pen.  All christmassy themed. A pair of red gloves and a handy little project bag. Finally one of the tags on the parcels was this really pretty little red heart (also now hanging on the tree) and the pattern for a cute little bear.
All in all and truly lovely package and filled with lots of things that show that Teresa had taken the time to get to know me a little. Very thoughtful indeed.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I should have got this all documented before Christmas and I truly wish I had.  If I'd realised beforehand quite how busy and tiring the last few weeks would be I might have thought twice about doing the swap but truth be told, I'd probably have done it anyway.  I really enjoyed putting the parcel together and I've been really lucky with my swap partner this time around.  With my lack of communication recently, not sure my partner feels the same.  Having been on the receiving end of a dodgy swap myself in the past, I understand entirely where she's coming from which makes me really disappointed with myself as I should have known better!  Anyhow, here endeth the self recriminations as overall it was a great swap.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

This week I have mostly been ....

knitting mice and nursing a cold.  Slightly strange combination but hey, it's the festive season and that's where I'm at.  The knitted mice are a commission from my sister for a tea cosy for one of her friends.  I said yes before I got the pattern and it's proved to be trickier than expected.  Rather foolishly I thought I'd be able to knock a tea cosy out really quickly but as with all commissions, they're never straightforward!
 Here's the body of the tea cosy and the mice .....
Oh my, all the ends!  When it comes together it should look something like this, the sack of mice pattern by Debi Birkin. As always I've made a couple of mods to the pattern mostly because it seemed she was creating extra work the way a couple of the pieces were made.

The start of the week saw me finally get my package into the post for the Christmas swap over on the I love Lucy group on Ravelry.   We had a rough winter last year with lots of family illness and ultimately we lost my grandad so I've not done a swap for a couple of years.  I have to say it's been really fun to do again and my swap partner this year has been great.  Teresa writes a great blog (far more regularly than me) and from the pictures she posts, lives in the most beautiful place in the states.  If you want to get into the Christmas spirit already, her blog's a great place to start. Here's a sneaky peak of my parcel, am just waiting for it to be delivered now to see what she thinks.
Once the Chistmas knitting is all done, I'm hoping to have a play with my new inkle loom.  Well, its new to me anyhow.  It was free to a good home via one of the ladies at my knitting group, I suspect it's been gathering dust in a cupboard for a very long time. What I need now is a crash course in how to use it!  I've found a couple of websites with tutorials that I hope will get me started but all tips and suggestions will be gratefully received. 
There's no makers mark on it so if anyone know's anything about it, I'm all ears.  It's tension peg (the sliding metal one) seems to be in a different position to the one's in the tutorials I've found so am hoping that's not going to make too much difference to the way it warps up.
 Look at me, throwing in all the weaving terms.  I've never used a loom in my life!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Buttons and daisies

Sometimes it's the simplest things that make me happy. I think I've just found the perfect buttons for my almost finished gilet assymetric.  Yet another set of wooden buttons but these are a little quirkier than you often find, all the more suprising seeing as they're "designer" too.  I almost never splurge on Vogue buttons as they're often pretty pricey but these, I couldn't resist and the bonus being - I got staff discount too.  How about that?  There are definate perks to working in a yarn shop!

On a completely different note, here's a little something I've been doing on and off this summer, daisy squares.  Cute hey?  I came across this pattern a while back and loved it but then after bookmarking it, promptly forgot about it as I had other things on the go. It's the Daisy Pattern by Krochet Krystal and was published for use in her charity blankets. Unfortunately by the time I went back to it the pattern was unavailable apparently due to some rather negative comments made by fellow crafters.  Something I was rather sad to hear. 
To cut a long story short I loved the pattern so much, I reverse engineered it from pictures and the like on Ravelry and hey presto, I made squares! I've since emailed the designer and made some to be included with her comfort blankets.  You can follow the story of how she started on her blanket blog. These ones are ready to be packed up and posted off and hopefully will end up as part of a lovely blanket that'll make somebody else very happy.  I've got another pile of them using up odds and ends in my stash that I'm going to make into a blanket of my own.  More of those later though.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

It must be about time for some housekeeping

Before you fall off your seat, no I'm not about to turn into a domestic goddess and actually do some housework. Maybe I'm having one of those introspective moments where I reevaluate my life, who knows?  Either way, I have a new job that I'm starting in the morning and having had a troublesome couple of months with working, I'm really looking forward to it.  Even when the work balance hasn't been quite the way I'd like it, I never really stop the craft work, lose a bit of enthusiasm maybe.  Anyhow, I'm crafting again with a vengeance which is usally a good sign!  I even went through the UFO pile (in search of a particular set of missing needles I have to admit) and frogged a couple of projects that are never going to be finished.  I think perhaps there are a few more that need to go yet.  I am a serial caster on-er (is that even a word?) after all.

So back to the housekeeping, new job, new broom etc.  I know I've not been blogging much over the last while but I've also realised that my blog just isn't reflecting where I'm at at the moment so it's about time I had a little tidy up.  Perhaps a complete overhaul?