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Tuesday, 23 December 2014


How's it going? Busy with the cleaning, shopping, baking, wrapping and all that Christmas stuff? Yeah me too. It's been my ulitmate goal over the last week to be able to sit down and crochet something, anything! I've been sneaking in five minutes where I can but with nothing big on the go it's not been the most productive of ways to crochet. It hasn't stopped me being surrounded with wooly delights though, my house is looking thoroughly yarnbombed!

Excuse all the decorations pictures, I just love them so much!

While having a tidy up I found the remainder of the cone of cotton that I used to make my lacy doily bag: 

Not much left but enough to play with in one of my spare five minute crochet breaks. I found myself making some little dinky snowflakes, so teensy and delicate. I had thought about blocking them with PVA to stiffen them up to hang somewhere and maybe adding some glitter to the PVA to give them a sparkle. 
You can see the difference here between the blocked and unblocked snowflakes, it really does make the little bit of pinning, starching and ironing worth while.
I then had visions of a sparkly snowflake window dressing for Christmas, to hang like a sort of curtain but I have only made six! as they are so small that would take a lot longer then the couple of days left until the 25th so not the best idea for this year.

I then started thinking about my Christmas dining table, I like it to look very pretty and I go way over the top. This year I bought some slightly more expensive crackers than usual because I just fell in love with how pretty they were. not too glittery but a bit folksy instead:

In keeping with these more rustic crackers I thought I would turn the snowflakes into napkin rings! I had a rummage through my yarn stash and found some ancient red cotton acquired from my Granny.

 I don't know what she had intended it for but it's a lovely bright red so I hooked up a little mesh effect ring to sew the snowflake onto. 

Yes very pleased with that and only took a few minutes to make so I should be able to find time to knock up another six.

I have asked Mr M. for a pack of yarn for Christmas and if I am lucky enough to get it I am going to start a new blanket! I really can't wait to get my hands on something substantial and sit down for hour after hour of happy hooky. 

I do wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for coming to look at my blog this year, it means so much to me that you have taken the time to read my ramblings. I know I haven't been about much on here lately, I am still ironing out the kinks in my daily routine with new working hours and things, I plan to be much more organised in 2015 and have lots of ideas buzzing around that I can't wait to get started on!


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Being super productive!

Phew what a week! There were good reasons I'm sure as to why we decided to decorate the dining room before Christmas, and we managed it, we got it all done and looking lovely last weekend. The trouble with that was that it really showed up how shabby and tired looking the living room was. I really wanted to get it all nice and ship-shape but thought there was simply not enough time to do it what with all the other things to do in December. Absolutely not going to do it until 2015, apart from somehow being talked into just doing a door by Mr. M and ending up spending my Saturday in an epic paint-a-thon doing the whole room! So exhausted and achy but with a lovely fresh, clean room to sit in I could finally get my Christmas decorations out. 
Ahh my lovely Christmas bunting and assorted softies :-)

We went out and got our Christmas tree on Friday but what with all the decorating I have only just got it up finished today and it is so pretty! Oh and that smell of pine, I love it.
I had thought that I had plenty of things to decorate the house with, home made crochet bits, but I really think a bit more couldn't hurt. I made this string of holly and some Christmas trees but still, I really think I need some more bits, Im sure I could squeeze it in somewhere.

 It looks a bit sparse in this picture but that was because I was giddy at trying to get some pictures taken while we had some good light today, it is now far more busy, as is my mantle. I am so lucky that I have two mantle pieces to decorate; the one in the dining room is newly renovated too and has an open fire. I have strung up my usual berry garland on there, not home made but fire proof and I am a bit worried about changing it for something yarny what with it being a proper fire.

I really am feeling very Christmassy now, I've even got the bulk of the shopping done today in a fit of productivity. I've been wearing Christmas jumpers a lot and made myself a little holly brooch too.

So this evening I am going to think of some other things I can make to dot around the house and get my tree angels head sorted so I can stick her on top. I do hope you are having a festive, fun and happy weekend XXX

Monday, 8 December 2014

Little bits

Why did I think that decorating the dining room in December was a good idea? I have been up to my eyes in sandpaper, mess, undercoat, mess, paint, mess and general mess for over a week now. But with a lot of grafting yesterday we have finally got it (verynearlyalmost) finished! Just a couple of little finishing touches and it will be all ready for our Christmas tree that we will be popping out to get later in the week. It is a bit of a ritual of ours, going to buy the tree. When we get it home I stick some Christmas music on, pour myself a large mug of mulled wine and decorate the tree with as much colour and sparkle as I can throw at it.

I have been sorting through some of the decorations in preparation and found the emergency angel that I made for last year, after discovering that my sparkly pound-shop star didn't fit.

She really was an emergency angel, no plan or pattern just a quick thing that did the job. I really do quite like the general shape and design of her, all apart from her head. I think I grabbed a small bauble and wrapped some felt around it and drew her face on with a clothes marker, I didn't do a great job so this week I am going to make her a proper head, with proper eyes and try to neatly embroider a smile. 

As well as the late nights painting I have been making slow progress with my nativity. I couldn't find my original Joseph anywhere so I've had to make another one. 
So far I am not really enjoying this nativity but I have a feeling that as the collection of figures grows the enjoyment will grow too.

I've been making a few little Christmas trees too to hang around the house, these have mainly been because I can pop a ball of yarn and my hook case in my handbag in the morning to do in my lunch breaks at work. I do hope I haven't been labelled as the mad crochet lady just yet, it's not like I am taking giant blankets to hook in my breaks, but there is still time! :)
Oh yes, how could I forget Santa, or as Mr M. is calling him, Chuckie Claus!
My friend asked me to make the outfit that came with this Santa doll so I had a look at it last night and started on the jacket. I used a size larger hook than required due to my tight tension and after I had made the sleeve holes I tried it on him to make sure it fit before carrying on with it...
As you can see, it's not big enough by a long way! So unless Santa has decided to start wearing little bolero jackets I am going to have to have a rethink. I may end up making up my own pattern or maybe using aran weight yarn instead of double knit will do the trick.

With all these little bits and pieces to do I am really craving a large project and would love to make a new blanket. I have asked for a pack of chunky yarn for Christmas and I do hope I am lucky enough to get it so I can start a big, new, warm, cuddly blanket in the new year.


Monday, 1 December 2014


After what feels like weeks or perpetual darkness the sun finally came out for a while yesterday! 

It has been so grey and wet here I have really struggled to take any pictures, most of my last Ta-dah photos were taken right next to a window or outside with as many lamps as I could angle on to them just to get some idea of the colours. Therefore the first thing I did yesterday morning (after the essential coffee) was take a picture of my new Jingle Bells bunting!

I LOVE it, so bright and cheery. I am normally one of those that waits until the middle of December to put their Christmas decorations up but I really am feeling very festive and not sure how long I can wait!

The second picture I took was of the pink giraffe, aww so pretty :)
It was nice while it lasted, I did a bit of shopping and pottering around the house but today was back to the usual murky grey of winter and bad photographs.

I have also made a Mary for the nativity I want to make:
She was quite fiddly for such a little thing and took aaages. Not sure I fancy making the rest just yet, they might be a thing for Christmas 2015, now that is thinking ahead!


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Two Ta-Dahs!

I have been a busy bee over the last couple of days. I got my new Jingle Bells bunting finished off and even found the little jingly bells to hang off the bottom of the flags:

I love it! It has been such a fun thing to make with lots of colourful hooky and playing around with felt and sequins. I do wish I had some better light for photographs though, it has been so dark here over the last week.
I really think that paying attention to the details at the end of a project is just as important as the main bulk of the work. This bunting for example, the flags take approximately 10 minutes each to make, simple rows of double crochet and a row of edging. but then there is the sewing in of the ends and the tidy up. Then a good press, then matching the lettering colours, printing out the letters, tracing them onto bondaweb, ironing those to the felt, cutting them out carefully and ironing them on to the flags. Taking a bit of care and time with that end bit really does make all the difference. 
I settled on some felt holly and sequins for the middle flag, I really am trying to get better at sewing and the sequins are so far intact!

Which brings me on to Ta-dah number 2, I have finished the Giraffe!

Aww her little face, I just want to squish her!

Finishing her off today is really what got me thinking about finishing projects in general. There is a lot of work involved in making one of these, all the individual flowers, all the sewing, and assembly but it isn't until you put her eyes, ears and horns on that she looks like anything special at all. So saddo that I am, I cracked open a spreadsheet and quickly summed that she took 43,400 crochet stitches to make! But it's the easy-peasy eyes, ears and horns that matter. I won't hold that against her though, she's lovely and I really enjoyed making her :)

So what next to make? Not sure yet, I am still feeling festive and have lots of Christmassy ideas floating around so I might pick one of those.

I hope you are having a great weekend xxx

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A little bit festive

I'm having a few days off before my new job starts on Monday and this afternoon I have been busily sorting out a few pieces of crochet ready to put the final touches to them. 

As I said in my last post I have been having trouble settling to any crochet lately, there are lots of reasons why, one of which is that the things I have to make are things that I have to make - there are deadlines and this was taking some of the enjoyment out of it. Without even really thinking about it I grabbed some of my Rico creative cotton on Sunday and started making some bunting, just the very thing to get me back into the swing of crocheting, no deadline, no worry just lots of lovely bright colours!

I have thoroughly enjoyed making the little flags that make up the bunting and matching the felt up to the flags for the lettering. Even the fiddly tracing, cutting out and ironing on of the letters has been fun.
I am feeling a bit festive so decided this would be more Christmas bunting. As I already have a Merry Christmas I have opted for Jingle Bells on this and I think it works very well. I might add a few jingly bells to the bottoms of the flags if I can find them.
This could be a present or I might keep it for myself, I haven't quite decided yet. As tempting as it is to keep it I really am not sure where I would hang it, I have so many other things to hang up!
(The spare red flag is for an as yet undecided applique between the words)

With the bunting well on it's way and having to wait until day light to do all the letter cutting out, in the evenings I have been making more African flowers for giraffe number two. Thanks to my lovely friend Sue at knit and natter I have had very few ends to sew in as she did the majority of them for me! How wonderful, all the fun of crocheting and none of the dreary sewing :)

They are a riot of pinks and purple like this but the body of this giraffe is going to be in cream, I hope that stops it being quite so garish but as it is destined to be a present for a little girl I don't think there can really be too much pink.

Lots left to do but lots nearly done and a few more days off to enjoy some quiet hooky time.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Catch up

Oh my poor neglected blog. It has been two whole weeks since I sat down and paid any attention to it. It has been a very difficult week or two, I have had so much going on I haven't been able to concentrate on any crochet at all. Usually I can always find the time to crochet, and it helps me through whatever is happening, like a kind of meditation. Not this time, I have been far too upset with what has happened to my wonderful kitty cat to concentrate on crocheting.
My poor George took ill last week and we had to say good bye to him on Thursday. To say I was/am upset is a bit of an understatement. I know a lot of people don't get how attached people can be to their pets but he really was part of our little family and to lose him at such a young age and to such a horrible illness is just devastating.
Such a mischievous and happy little fella, I miss him so much.

It was my birthday last week and although it was greatly overshadowed by worry about George I did have a good day. I was lucky enough to get some gorgeous flowers:

And some new slippers!

Not convinced that slippers are a good birthday present? Ohh how wrong you are, these aren't just any slippers, they are Halflinger slippers. I got my first pair two years ago and they have been pretty much glued to my feet since, they are the comfiest, cosiest, bestest slippers ever!

I also got some great news on Monday and I will be starting a new job in December! I am thrilled with this as it will be a big career change for me and should give me lots more time to crochet, write patterns and blog!

I hope you are all OK and getting through these dreary November days in warmth and comfort. This morning I have picked up my hook for the first time in days so I can get cracking with the backlog of Christmas things I need to do. I have really enjoyed making some more African flowers for Giraffe number two, it feels like a little bit of normality after such a trying week. Crochet therapy, you can't beat it.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

More workshopping :)

I'm having a wonderfully busy weekend, full of crochet, colour, friends and creativity.

Yesterday was my second Tunisian Entrelac workshop at SueSusieBloom in Castleford and I really enjoyed it. The ladies that came along all did so well and our hostess, Sue, was as great as ever providing the tea, coffee, biscuits and cake to keep us all well fueled for a few hours hard-hooking.

I even managed to dig out my here-to unseen Entrelac cushion.

It's only a little 12 inch cushion but I am so happy with how it turned out, it goes very well on my pride and joy :)

This corner of my house is so pretty with my flowery wreath hanging above the chair. the onyl thing letting it down is the hideous yellowy beige lampshade, I really must do something with it.

In contrast to yesterday, today has been going at a much more leisurely pace. I have been sat working on a new idea which Mr. M is calling Dalek Stitch (it is multicoloured popcorn stich but I quite like the name Dalek stitch too!)

I'm not sure what will happen to this yet, if anything but it's fun playing around with ideas and stitches just for the sake of it.

I hope you have all had a great weekend too.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Pretty pinks

Now that I have put down the white cotton from my latest project I have been revelling in pretty, pretty pink and purple yarn!

It's only Stylecraft special DK but it's so lovely and squidgy after all that cotton, it also feels like chunky on my hook after working with such fine yarn.

I haven't made as much progress as I would have liked with giraffe number two but I've made a good start with the hexagons, only another 20 or so more flowers to make and I can start hooking them all together.

First things first though, I have another Tunisian workshop on Saturday so lots of pattern printing to do. I will be trialing a new pattern with my workshopees and I realised I have only made it once and it might be a good idea to make another to see if it all works OK!

Nearly there with it, just a few more rounds to go and I think it's working.

It's Bonfire night here in the UK and I have to say it is probably my least favourite night of the year. I know, I am such a spoil sport. I do love the idea of standing around a big fire, toasting marshmallows and watching all the fireworks but I can't stand the bangs! Every time one of them goes off I jump out of my skin (such a wuss!) so I am staying in tonight with my cat who is equally as fond of the noises and going to crack on with some more flowers and finish of this pattern trial. 

If you are off to a bonfire party, stay safe, stay warm, er.. never go back to a lit firework and don't pick sparklers up after they have gone out (I still have nightmares about those public information films from the 80's!)


Saturday, 1 November 2014

Lacy Doily bag Ta-dah!

Phew! I have finally finished my Lacy Doily Bag. I am not going to lie, the last bit of this bag was NOT fun, in fact there were many times when I almost jacked it in to finish another day but knowing how terrible I am at finishing things like this once I've stopped, I persevered and got the last of it done today.

The reason I struggle to finish things like this is because I wasn't working from a pattern so was following a make-it-up-as-you-go-along method. I had seen a picture of a similar bag and loosely followed that. It was fine for the main bits, the doily cricles that make up the bottom and the chevrons of trebles for the top half but all the other bits (like how to do the bottom, how to finish the top, how to do the handles) all required much thought and a certain amount of trial and error. The handles and the top edge of the bag took a lot of patience, lots of rows of tiny double crochet stitches to make those bits nice and sturdy. I also wanted to add a splash of colour to it so I made a gappy bit around the top to feed some ribbon through.

I picked those bits up this morning and set to running up a lining and attaching it to the bag. Luckily as this crochet is quite a thin fabric I could run it under the machine to attach the lining, perhaps not the neatest sewing but much neater than it would have been had I attempted to do it by hand!

So here it is, Ta-dah!

The usual issues of light for photos at this time of year but you get the idea. I wanted to keep it quite vintagey, in keeping with the lace so chose the ribbon and teal lining rather than going for anything too busy or neon. 
I am so happy to have finished it, I have been beaming from ear to ear since I got that last handle sewn on. 

This was my project to do while I was having a crochet crisis and being all frustrated at not knowing what to make. It has taken a couple of weeks, which is fine, I was in no real rush and it has been good fun to make for the most part. Even the last few endless rows of DC have given a certain amount of satisfaction now I can see it all together.

I won't be hurrying to make another one, I am craving colour! I got some pretty pinks this morning while buying the fabric for the bag lining so I am going to get cracking on something else now, something pink and bright! 

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, thanks for coming to see me :)