Friday, 11 June 2010

crochet crazy?

I have been on a bit of a crocheting bender recently, perhaps a little inspired by Lucy of attic24 fame or maybe it's just that time of year.  When I look at all the things I'm working on, I keep adding new crochet projects.  It's not like I don't have enough things on the go already!  I've dusted off a couple of old projects and finished them off too which is always a bonus.  So how about some pictures then?
 Always a sucker for all things mathmatical, I caved in and bought the "squaring the spiral" dishcloth pattern.  I've been pretty disparaging about people that make dishcloths in the past, I probably will be again in the future if I'm honest.  Still, I just love this pattern.  Not sure I'll use it for a dishcloth though, it just seems too nice!  I think I might do some more and make another cushion.
 Now for something I've drag out of the UFO pile and also expanded on.  My pile of squares from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks book.  This square's called Willow.  It started out as a stash buster as I'd no end of bits of blue yarn after everyone I knew (including me) managed to have boys.  As much as I love blue, you can really go off it after a while and this languished with the other UFOs until I said I'd teach a Granny Square class at our last weekend meet up.  I dragged this out to use as an example and thought, you know, I rather like those.  I finished off enough to make up for a cushion side and then decided to make something different for the reverse.
I noticed this pattern on the back of a magazine and fell in love with it.  It looked completely different in multicolours but I knew it'd work in the blues and hey presto, the reverse side.  The pattern's called Pokey Dots and is available on the Coats/Red Heart site for free.  My sister moved back home at around the time I started making this and fell in love with it.  It's supposed to be for me but the little man has his eye on this so "we'll see" as I seem to say so often around here.  Anyway, here's pokey dots mark 2 which is destined to brighten up Hazel's office chair.

It's not exactly subtle, but she loves it already!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Out and about part 2

The thing about living near to the sea is that you have this wonderful free resource that to be honest, we really don't make the most of.  We actually spend more time at the beach in the winter than we do in the summer as that way, we avoid the tourists! So anyway, in the spirit of trying to find lots of (cheap) things to do to fill up the half term holiday we decided to try out something new.  Crabbing.  So last week the little man and I headed off to our favourite seaside haunt (Brightlingsea) armed with a crabbing line, a bucket and a slice of ham pinched from the fridge.  
I thought it would be a much trickier operation but popped the ham in the bag unwound a bit of line and lobbed it off the steps.  Waited a few mins and reeled it back in to find this monster trying for a meal. A crab on the first strike.  Admittedly not big enough to eat but certainly feisty enough to snap at our fingers.   Next time we'll have to take a bigger bucket as there was only space for one crab at a time in it and we actually caught loads.  Brilliant fun and a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon. We were as they say, hooked.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fibreholics spoilers

I finally collected all the cameras and phones today, scrabbled round and found some cables and hey presto, we have photos to share again.  So here's my contribution to the latest round of Fibreholics.  Can you believe it, the round went live on Sunday morning and sold out within 7 hours!  The parcels are all beginning to arrive now so its hardly a spoiler but hey shrugs.
So, at the top we have BFL tops dyed in 'SkyBlue Pink' and here's the yarn content, 'Rhubarb Fool' on BFL sock yarn.  I've got one of each to add to the shop in the next update.  Actually, my dyeing mojo has been a bit m.i.a. for the last few weeks but dyeing the fibre again for this round has really given me a boost.  I still have plenty more fibre to get dyed and a couple of new blends too but have some great ideas for colours.  I've been updating the shop a bit today but still have a huge pile of stuff to get online including some new laceweights that so far, only the local crew have had their hands on.

Out and about, part 1

What did I say the other day about being a more regular blogger?  Anyhow, we'll gloss over that and get back to the business at hand.  With the return of the sunshine of the last few weeks, we've been able to get out and about and what better thing to do that introduce one of your old childhood haunts to your own munchkin?  So the other weekend on the way to visit my grandparents, we stopped off at Hylands Park.  These days it's probably best known as one of the venues of the V festival but when I grew up, it was my local park and where we went most weeks to walk the dog. 
 There are acres and acres of grounds to walk round and apart from around the main house, it's allowed to stay pretty wild.  What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than wandering through all the wildflowers?  When I was little, the house was just a wreck although the formal gardens were always kept up and they're still beautiful now.
 The house looks fab since they've done it up, the white stone really glows in the sunshine.  Nice cafe in the stableblock too, secondhand book stall, obigatory plant stall and touristy shop.  In fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were at a National Trust property.  Still, the cake was nice, the tea pot was huge, the sun was shining....


Found some rather cool art work in the grounds too with little animals and plants carved into all the nooks and crannies.  We were all very impressed. It's by a local artist Michael Barter, you can check out his website too.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Do you have enough fibre in your diet?


Now if i can just find an end....

Thursday, 22 April 2010

It's all in a dyes work


Sock yarns for saturday

A friendly postman


Always brings treats!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Life is...... good, I think.

I'm generally not a great one for writing long introspective posts, this is primarily a craft blog after all.  However, until about a year or so ago, it also included odd snippets of my life with my little man as they so often influence the direction my projects take.  Events as always overtake us and while angry and disillusioned with certain members of my extended family, I made the conscious decision to exclude those parts of our life and make this a purely craft blog.  As always when you make decisions like that they invariably have an unintended side effect and I found that rather than blogging being a fun thing anymore, it had become a chore.  Hence the sporadic posting of recent months.

Anyhow, I digress, back to the present day.  Sometimes unexpected events happen to make you reevaluate your life and the way you look at things.  I've had a fantastic Easter away in Manchester, most of it spent decorating my sister's house but I also got a glorious reminder of what my life was like before responsibility kicked in and grounded me - I got to spend a completely child free weekend away with the "grown ups".  As much as I love my little man and wouldn't be without him, it also reminded me what I've been missing out on.  Don't get me wrong, my life is pretty full but I hadn't realised quite how much I'd allowed parenthood to define me rather than being my own person.  I've spent most of the last few days working out in the garden catching up on all the spring jobs.  Manual labour is great but it also gives your mind far too much free time to wander and dwell on things that have happened.  

So what to do now?  I have some wonderful friends here, in fact I have more female friends at this stage than I have ever had in my life.  They've provided so much support and encouragement over the last couple of years and I have definately grown as a result because of it, I am now designing more and have built a good foundation for my little yarny business.  I've also realised, I'm not angry any more and that I can be the bigger person, that I don't need to allow someone else's bad behaviour to affect how I view the world.  However, there's still something missing and I obviously need to get a better balance in my personal life. 

I need to make some changes and while they may not happen all that quickly, I've an idea where I need to be going and I think of how to get there.  That has to be a good thing right?  In the meantime, I'm going to make the most of everything going on here and look forward to a fun weekend with my knitty friends.  I can make random postings of things that have caught my eye and hopefully return to loving my blog again.  Has it helped to get all this off my chest?  I think so but I guess we'll find out over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Mutant crochet?


I think i have tension issues!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Who turned out the lights?

I'm finally beginning to catch up on blogging but am back with a bit of a problem.  While I carry on talking about things already finished and photographed, I can't get a decent picture of anything that's current!  With this rubbish weather we're having, my usual light box doesn't work.  All the natural light is too blue and it's bleaching out all the colours.  Greens look blue, reds and pinks become purple.

Of course I say "light box" in the loosest of terms here.  What it usually involves is a big board balanced on my bedroom windowsill covered in a white table cloth.  There's usually such good light coming in there in the morning it makes for a great place to take pictures.  It also means I have to have a blackout blind in the summer or be woken up at daybreak (but that's another story entirely).  This is also proving problematic for getting yarn uploaded to the shop.  Trying to tell people that the rather grey looking yarn in the picture is actually a beautiful shade of apricot just doesn't wash for some reason.  So, new light box set up it is and quickly hopefully.  I think I've still got some daylight bulbs tucked away in the cupboard.  Fingers crossed they'll do the job!

Winter warmers

Brr it's cold again! and damp and wet. That must mean it's time for a new hat or two. Actually it meant new gloves too this year as I lost one half of my favourite pair of gloves and the little man seems to have grown since last year.

Apparently, so he tells me, mittens are too babyish so we settled on a compromise and I made a pair that are a cross between the two. I've seen them describes elsewhere as "glittens". They make me want to hold my hand up and say "nanu nanu". Seeing as the yarn went so far, I made him a matching hat. It's just a basic beanie but the striping in the yarn really makes it stand out. This yarn was another find from the Woolcabin at Clacton.

So how about something for me, Ruth aka Woolly Wormhead decided to launch another mystery hat KAL this winter so here's mine. I love the hat and the colour's great - kind of a petrol blue. I should have knit the smaller size as it seems to have relaxed just a little too much. In the medium size on 4mm dpn's it took just over one ball of Wendy Mode.As much as I loved it, in the end it was frog it or gift it so it nows has a new home with one of my best friends.  I'll just have to make myself another.

Now for some gloves. I've been eyeing up Julia Mueller's patterns on Ravelry for some while, she designs the most beautifully detailed glove patterns. These are one of her free patterns and probably one of the simplest but they really are the perfect fit for me. Paige brought the yarn back from the States for me last winter (Plymouth Happy if I remember rightly) and it knitted up really nicely. I have worn and worn these gloves, they are so comfortable and the pattern is really well written.  It also helps that red is one of my favourite colours.  I'm going to have to get on and knit up the red merino I span to make myself a new scarf/wrap to match them.

Lastly an actual Christmas gift.  I made a Quincy hat for my (not so) little brother.  Personally I loved it but I'm not sure he's actually used it.  Still, it's the thought that counts and I have discovered another great yarn in the process.  Stylecraft Life.  This was the chunky but I've bought myself enough of the same colour in the aran weight to make myself a new sweater.  Yes, I am making jumpers for myself this year before I make any more for anyone else.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Time flies ... again

.....and new year has already come and gone!  Add in the snow days and chaos it caused and I have no idea where the time has gone to.  Anyhow, "Happy Almost February" everyone as it seems a bit daft saying happy new year a month late.  This is just a quickie to say no the blog isn't gone and yes, I do know it needs some tidying but I just seem to have been manically busy the last few days. I have way too many pictures to post, projects to catalogue and I'm not finished being busy yet so in the meantime I leave you with a sunset totem to make you smile.