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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dwindling supplies

It's a lovely sunny Saturday morning which makes a huge change from the constant rain of the last couple of weeks.
I think I have settled on a plan for my chair and also settled on what yarn to use. It will be in Stylecraft Special DK. There are three reasons for that; one - it is cheap, two - the colours available are delicious and three - I already have some so I can get cracking!
I hoofed out my messy stylecraft yarn bag to see what was what and found that I only really have scraps and my favourite colours are in very short supply.
You can see there is only a dinky little ball of yellow left and not a bit of red. This yarn is the remnants of three of the Attic24 colour packs that I have had, which have been used for all sorts of things.

My Flower cushion:

My Flower throw:

My Granny stripe blanket:

My Tunisian Tote bag:
It really is lovely colourful stuff to work with so it is not surprising that I have run out. So I have put in an order which I really hope will arrive on Monday. Although I don't need every colour, it is much easier to order one of the colour packs as I no doubt will need more of it in the future!

So In the mean time I am working with what I have and just knocking up squares with the colours available and will add to them when the delivery arrives, not making bad progress so far:

Oh I have also finished Pixie Mitt number 2, apart from the sewing in as I seem to have lost my good darning needle. I've made a start on another entrelac pattern too, this time I think they will be socks, I just need to work out how they will be socks or they might end up as leg warmers!
I am still enjoying this entrelac Tunisian crochet, it is even better now that I have worked out how to do it in the round and saves lots of sewing. As fun as it is, it is also very relaxing making good old fashioned squares, so that is my plan for this bright and sunny Saturday, lots more squares while I try to wait patiently for my new yarn pack.

I do hope you have a bright and cheerful weekend :)

Thursday, 29 May 2014

My Next Big Thing!

When I was a little girl my Granny had a nursery chair, it was just little-girl sized and I can remember it being covered in a flowery (I think it was blue and cream) fabric. it was my absolutely favourite chair at Granny's and I got quite upset if one of my big brothers wanted to sit on it. 
A few years ago, when Granny moved and unfortunately had to get rid of most of her furniture, I asked if I could have the chair and the answer was yes! 

At some point in its history the chair has been reupholstered with a not so pretty pale green velour fabric, not my cup of tea at all. So it has been sat in the spare room while I work out what to do with it. I made a flower throw a couple of years ago and chucked it over the chair, the cat was happy about that as he seems to have adopted it as one of his favourite napping places.

It has been in the back of my mind for a while now, what am I going to do with it?

It is a lovely shape, small but perfectly formed:

I had thought about reupholstering it with fabric, or maybe making a loose cover for it in patchwork if I could manage it. One thing I am sure of is that the frill around the bottom just has to go!

You can see here, that leg coquettishly sticking out from under the frill, what lovely legs! Seems a shame to cover them up. I love the shape of the back too, gorgeous curves :)

You know where this is going don't you? Yes, I am going to yarn-bomb it! But so many ideas, which to pick and where to start?

I grabbed my bag of scraps and started playing around with them:
Left over granny squares, African flowers (that never ended up being a cushion) and dinky squares (meant for the same purpose).

I don't want it to be too garish, it may well end up in the corner of the dining room and I want it to be eye catching because it is pretty and brightens up the room, not dazzle people with a mess of colour - there are plenty of other crocheted bits lying around that do that!

Hmmmm. Modified one colour Granny squares, patchwork effect maybe? 

It will have to be a loose cover somehow so I can take it off and wash it, the cat really does love this chair. It had been downstairs all of 5 minutes and look!

There are a few problems with making it a loose cover; making it fit well enough that it isn't all baggy and holds it's shape around the curvy back and how to attach it? I have a few ideas but it will depend on the fabric that I crochet up. Something in Double crochet would be ideal really as it isn't very stretchy, or maybe even Tunisian but I sort of have my heart set on old fashioned trebles, Granny style :)


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

More Hot Air Balloons!

Hello my friends! I am really giddy about this, I have a new pattern for you that I wrote this morning for (what I am calling) my Hot Air Balloon Mandala!

I had left my massive mess of Rico Creative Cotton in a bag on my dining table last night, after making yesterdays bunting tutorial. Yes it is still a big mess in that bag, but out of sight out of mind:) 
Unfortunately my cat decided to pull it all out last night (I suppose it beats him going out hunting and bringing us 'presents').
I could put it off no longer and this morning I set to sorting it out, just one or two tangles!

I was trying to unknot, detangle and generally sort it all out and my mind started wandering to things I have made with this bright and cheerful yarn. Bunting, mandalas, hot air balloons and inspiration hit! Who needs a tidy bag of yarn anyway?

I started scribbling down an idea, then started hooking it up and before I knew it I had made a Hot Air Balloon Mandala, just ripe for stringing together as bunting. And I LOVE it!!!

Ah So pretty and simple and fun! I wasted no time in making a second one, so I could test the pattern I had scribbled down (my hand writing is so bad even I struggle to read it)

The pattern worked, Just a couple of little tweaks where what I had written didn't match what I had made, but pretty much spot on! 

Do you like them? I do, so much!
I thought about writing the pattern up as a picture tutorial but after three days of non-stop-crocheting over the bank holiday my eyes have pretty much given up, so I think I need a crochet-rest for a few hours. The written pattern can be found here.

Please do let me know if you try the pattern, I am going to make lots!  :)


Edit: More!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Hot Air Balloons and other things

Ooh it's a Bank Holiday Monday! The sun is shining and I have been getting on with plenty of hooky so all is good :)

Yesterday I was having a play with my Rico Creative Cotton, enjoying all the bright colours and seeing what shapes I could come up with. I know I have said it before but it is so much fun just playing with yarn! The brighter the better. 
I came up with the shape of a Hot Air Balloon and before I knew it I had made several of them.

I decided to string them all together and make a little row of bunting (which will eventually be a shelf edger somewhere I haven't already yarn-bombed in the house)

I have written the pattern up should anyone wish to make their own little string of balloons, it can be found here as a full picture tutorial! Some of the pictures are a bit rough and ready, I hope you can forgive that :)

I do enjoy being creative and making things up but I also love getting lost in a pattern, something with a good repeat that doesn't require too much concentration. At a loss for what to do I remembered my long neglected flower shawl! 

 I had almost forgotten how pretty it is! Not sure I like the look of all those ends to sew in, I still haven't learnt my lesson and will no doubt leave the majority until I've finished the flowers, I will worry about that then!

I have still got a long way to go with this shawl, but it is a lovely thing to work on and when I actually get on with it it seems to grow quickly too. 

Between making Hot Air Balloons and flowers I am still busily working on some entrelac designs (Pixie Mitt number 2 is coming along nicely!) and having fun with Tunisian crochet. I am also really trying to take notes as I go so hopefully writing up the pattern won't be too difficult.

While the sun is still shining I am going to drag some hooky out into the garden and carry on enjoying a nice, peaceful Bank Holiday, I hope you are having a good day too :)


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Pixie mitts and bunting

It has been a rainy few days in my little corner of West Yorkshire, this was the view out of my back window yesterday afternoon and things haven't improved since:
Apart from getting caught in the downpour yesterday on my way to the wool shop I have managed to stay nice and dry at home, catching up on some much needed housework and of course, crocheting.

My walk to the wool shop was to drop off the wedding hearts that I wrote about a few days ago. I had made about 30 hearts and on Thursday set about hooking them together into a pretty row of bunting, but I was not happy with them. They just didn't look very good, a bit wonky and I couldn't get them to lie flat no matter how much I pressed them with the iron. I have used the pattern many times before with cotton but in the chunky and aran yarn I was using they just didn't sit right. So I set about making more hearts to a different pattern (which can be found here). They flew off my hook and in no time at all I had made 30 of them :)

I strung them together with a long chain, putting a slip stitch into the top of each side of each heart. 

To get the full effect I popped them onto my mantlepiece to make sure they sat straight when hung up:
Ooh I do like them! I especially like how the different weight yarns have made them different sizes, a happy side effect of me not having any white double knit and the only red I could find was aran.

I seem to be going through a bit of a bunting phase at the moment. I am happy to say that the baby bunting I made arrived safely and that Baby's mum is very good with a camera (much better than me) so I have pinched this picture from her, lovely!

Bunting aside, I have also been getting busy with some entrelac and this morning finished what I am calling my Pixie Mitts!
I'm not sure why I am calling them Pixie Mitts, I think it's this purply/green Sirdar crofter yarn that I am using and the zig-zaggy ends. And in truth I haven't made two of them yet, this first one was made up as I went so for the second I am going to try very hard to take good notes while I make it. It was such fun to make! I decided to make it in the round so the only sewing was the few ends from the colour changes, excellent.

It wasn't easy taking this picture while modelling the mitt and also trying to keep my stubby nails out of shot, nearly managed it ;)

While the weather stays a bit grotty I am going to crack on with mitt number two and start measuring up for my next big project! I am so excited about it, I hope it will end up looking as good as it does in my head!

Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend xxxx

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tunisian Tote Ta-dah!

I have finally sewn the straps on to my bag and finished it! Hurrah! It has taken me a while to do, mainly due to all that dithering I talked about before. Sometimes you just need to take the plunge and get on with it and see what happens. I am very pleased that I did because I love the result, here you go:
I just LOVE it! It's so cheery and colourful and the fabric that Tunisian crochet makes is lovely and soft.

My main issues were how to attach the straps  and how to finish the top. I had considered turning over the top row of pinkish red squares and making a straight edge but thought it would be nice to get the full entrelac effect by leaving them zig-zagging. I quickly decided last night that a simple row of DCs across the top would do the job nicely and stop the curling of the Tunisian; it worked really well and the top is now all pointy:

To attach the straps I simply sewed them on to the inside of the bag but this was making them pull a bit and distorting the top of the bag - this might have been down to my inferior sewing abilities! I knocked up four little rectangles of DC to strengthen where I had joined the straps, sewed them on and the result is so much neater and holds the straps nicely in place:

 I have been asked for the pattern a few times all ready so I think I will try and write it up so I can share it with you all. It will be my first bash at writing a Tunisian pattern, luckily it is a simple one so I hope not to have too many issues with it. I will of course let you know when it is available.

Ah I do love finishing a project! This bag will be well used I am sure, just the right size to carry around medium sized WIPs and a few balls of yarn :)


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

I must remember to take notes

Following on from last weekend's applique-a-thon, I have been getting creative with Tunisian crochet too, trying to come up with some patterns for various bits and peices.
I've found that sketching out an idea on graph paper is the easiest way of doing it, trying to imagine a 3D shape laid flat and then the best shape and orientation to crochet it. When I've got an idea of what I think it should be like, the only way I can fine tune the details and the how-to's is to just get crocheting.

As you can see things are still very much in progress but each time I scrap one and start again with a different idea I have a better idea of how it will turn out and what other adjustments I might need to make. The large pink and green triangle may actually end up being something :)

Oh yes, I also got the baby bunting finished yesterday! I decided my fish/octopus hybrid had to go and I made a simple (yet effective) gold fish.

I also scrapped the hedgehog and hooked up a dinky little whale, I put a splash of bondawebbed felt behind it as a spout to finish it off: 
I'm not sure why I went with the underwater theme, just coincidence that these were the best shapes I could come up with off-the-cuff I think, they work though don't they?

Unfortunately (as the title of this post suggests) I have not made any notes while making any of this,  I have a lovely big note book for this very purpose too:
At some point I might have another go and actually write down what I did so I can share the patterns with you :)

With all this making-things-up-as-i-go-along it is so easy to get distracted, my poor bag is still waiting for the straps to be sewn up and attached:
But it isn't going anywhere and there are only so many hours in the day for crocheting, unfortunately!

I am starting to crave a long repetitive pattern and I don't think it will be too long before I start on another blanket and as much as I am absolutely loving Tunisian crochet I do miss that reassuring rhythm of row upon row of trebling. I absolutely must get some of these things finished first though :)


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Applique Sunday

My hook has been very busy today, generally messing around trying to come up with some little applique designs for the baby bunting. So far I have made a hedgehog and a fish, at least I think it is a fish, sometimes it looks more like a three legged octopus! I have cut out some felt to bondaweb on to the bunting as background but I'm still not sure about this fish.

The hedgehog is equally as dubious, it is definitely a hedgehog but I can't decide if he looks right.

I've made him some grass to try and animate him a bit more but I'm still not sure.

So I am now thinking of other fish I could make and maybe a whale or a bird instead of the hedgehog. It is such fun messing around like this with no goal other than to make something, anything!

I have also been busy hooking up some dinky hearts for a bit of wedding yarn-bombing for a friend. The colours are to go with their scheme and not my usual exuberant mix but I think they look good together. 

I usually hate crocheting with black yarn, my eyes really don't cope with it too well and it is a bit boring but I am surprised by how effective these little hearts are in black. They might get a bit of button treatment too, I haven't decided yet.

So appliques all round today, little bits of this-and-that to add finishing touches to other bits of this-and-that, before I get my hook into something a bit more substantial and time consuming :)

Saturday, 17 May 2014


What a gorgeous day it is, the sun is shining and everything seems very peaceful and calm. I have been sat outside hooking together my bunting, marveling at how well my little back garden is coming on, while looking at the weeds and ignoring them :)
This clematis was another of my rescue-a-plant-from-wilkos efforts and it is really going all out with this big brash flowers this year. OK so it refuses to grow up and over the trellis to hide the nasty wooden fence panel, but it is making up for it's lack of height with a lot of colour.

And  the aliums I put in last year are looking good too. They were supposed to be red, in hindsight it's probably good that they aren't or they would really clash with the mass of pink behind them.

Even my Spanish daisy (which I planted last year and shortly after had a nasty run-in with the lawn mower), is trying to grow and look pretty

It has been a lovely afternoon pottering about in the sunshine. My bunting is finished apart from actually sticking the letters on. It isn't very big, just big enough for the baby's name and a motif or two at either end. I love the colours (old faithful Rico creative cotton), I do hope they like it too!

I hope you are having a great weekend and enjoying the sunshine if you have it, I am going to go and potter a bit more and join the cat who has been basking all day :)

Thursday, 15 May 2014


I had hoped to show you my finished Tunisian bag today but I have to confess to a certain amount of dithering, thoughtful dithering but dithering nonetheless.

I had finished the second panel on Tuesday and yesterday I sewed it to the front panel:

It meets up just fine and I am very happy with how it is coming on, but what to do now? How should I sew the bottom up? Should I stick to my original idea of a tote bag and just sew it flat (but then what to do about the corners?) or make it a round bag and hook up a big flat circle for the bottom?

I finally decided to sew it flat and poke in the corners to give it a bit of strength at the bottom which has worked out well I think, it just needs a bit of a press:
But then what about the top? Should I leave it all zig-zaggy or square it off? If I do that how am I going to do it? Should I edge it with a pretty frill or a plain stripe or not at all?

If all that wasn't dithery enough, what about the handles? I want long handles so I can sling it over my shoulder, do I do this in normal double crochet or go for the full Tunisian effect? I decided on the latter and this morning found my 5mm Tunisian hook, made a chain of 100 stitches and set to making handle number one.

This seems to be a very quick way of doing it but Tunisian crochet does have a tendency to curl so I will have to make them wider than needed then fold them back to make a tube for added strength.

So I think I am getting there, the bag is taking shape and it is so much fun trying out this new way of crocheting.

I have decided on one thing which is that I can do all these things this evening when the good daylight has gone and my afternoon shall be spent doing something a bit more intricate. I have an idea for some bunting for a friend who has just had a baby. It will be along the same lines as my Christmas bunting (pattern by Lucy at Attic24), which while being festive isn't all reds and greens so this will be suitable for all the year long hopefully.

All that cutting out really does require decent daylight so I shall crack on with that while the house falls into disarray around me and I carry on with a bit more dithering over this bag :)