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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sparkly trees

I've been making my white lacy bag for about a week now and I am very pleased with how it is coming along.
Those rows of trebles in a chevron pattern, I was absolutely dreading them. I thought they would take forever what with the cotton being so fine but they grew very quickly. It needs some good blocking with the iron to pull it all into the right shape but not much left to do now. Then I need to get some bright, bold fabric to line it with unless I can find some lurking in the loft somewhere.
Having a rest from the white I found my ribbon box and emptied it out so I could have a rummage and see all the prettiness.
I LOVE ric rac but I never know what to use it for. I decided to quickly knock up a couple of my little Christmas trees and have a play with the ric rac and ooh sequins!
I really must invest in a glue gun, it must be an easier way to attach sequins right? I persevered and finished a little red tree. 
Not very neat sewing but it was fun to make! I am going to make a few more and maybe try to reign in the sparkly, I was thinking of something a bit more folksy with gingham and things, a bit like the granny tree bunting I made for last Christmas.
I am definitely feeling a little teensy bit festive now. It is far too soon and I will probably have had enough of it all by the end of November. Luckily I have a few projects to start that aren't Christmas related so they will be a nice altrernative to all the red and green!

I hope you are having a lovely Sunday and enjoying the extra hour crochet time if you are in the UK

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mild Christmas panic!

I know it's not November yet and some may think it is too early to start thinking about Christmas but when you do crafty things you really need to start early. I did start making a few bits and pieces a couple of months ago, giving myself plenty of time to get things done but as usual time has run away with me and I am starting to get a bit worried.

(The easy-peasy pattern for these is here!)

There are things that I would like to make for Christmas, (decorations and stuff) and things that I want to make as gifts for people as little extras. Then there are the presents I have to make as they are sort of already promised and then there are the two extra items which (contrary to what I said last year about definitely, positively NOT making items for sale before Christmas) I have agreed to make as commissions. I really don't mind making those at all and would love nothing better than to make lots of things for people to buy but I am now having a mild panic over how on earth I am going to find the time to do it all!

I grabbed my box of home made Christmas bits to have a look through and see if there was enough and did I really need to make anything else for this year.?

This box gets added to each Chrimbo and this year I was supposed to be making a very sweet nativity. I thought it would be a good idea to make one figure a month but I have only got one shepherd and half of Joseph made so far, the best laid plans! 

It would probably help if I wasn't so easily sidetracked. The lacy/doily bag I am making for example, should I really be spending time on something so frivolous when there are other things I should be hooking?
It's coming on! Confession time; this was going to be one of those 'sort of already promised presents' that I mentioned, but the more time I spend on it the more I want to keep it for myself. Can I squeeze another one in with all the rest of it I wonder or should I give it away as i don't exactly need another bag. I guess it depends on how it turns out. As I am kind of making it up as I go it might turn out a bit messy and I won't want to give anything sub-standard away - look now I am just making excuses to keep it!

Happy hooking :-)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Lovely quiet weekend

This last week has been so hectic the weekend couldn't come soon enough. I don't feel like I have had a moment at home to just take a breath and get myself together. So I have spent much of the last two days pottering around the house, doing a bit of housework and tidying up bits and pieces. I didn't really have a chance last weekend after we got back from Cornwall to do anything so it has been great to get our home back to how it should be and enjoy spending some peaceful time. 

The Giraffe has found himself a temporary home (and it keeps the cat off my chair!)
And I have finally wrapped up my last baby blanket and got it all ready to send off.
I have chosen something new to make too. I was in desperate need of a crochet plan rather than just picking anything up and making do. I had a look through some pictures and found one for a vintagey bag. So I am improvising it a bit as I don't have a pattern. It is a bit of a departure for me as I am making it in this cone of white cotton that my friend Alison gave me. 
I am going to brighten it up a bit with a nice colourful lining but I am really enjoying making something frilly and lacy! I would normally opt for bright, bold colours but this is what I had to hand and I am very pleased with how it is coming along. 
I'm not sure on the weight of this cotton, I think it is probably 4ply. I am using a 3mm hook due to my tight tension but I expect I should strictly speaking be using a 2mm. As it seems to be working so far I am not too worried.

It is also mine and Mr M's 5th wedding anniversary today! I'm not sure where the last five years have gone! We thought about doing something special to mark the occasion but to be honest, all I want to do today is sit and crochet - not very romantic I know but the best gift he could give me. :)


Thursday, 16 October 2014

African Flower Giraffe Ta-dah!

What a week! The week back to work after a holiday is always difficult isn't it? I have really struggled to get up in the morning and then don't want my evenings to end so have had lots of late nights making for some very tired days. Last night was one of those nights, I just had the last horn to make for my giraffe and although I was struggling with my sleepy eyes and working under artificial light, I got it finished. I got up early this morning to sew the horns on so that I could take some pictures in daylight before trudging off to work.

This is how it started, some leisurely hooking together of lots of African flowers in Cornwall:
And a few evenings of crocheting these together:
And Playing 'Hunt the backs of the safety eyes in the button tin' for an hour or so...
And it's finished, Ta-dah!

I am so happy with it and it's adorable little face!

Giraffe Selfie!

For some reason my Giraffe wants to sit down rather than stand up, it's probably the weight of the body on it's legs, the pattern calls for 4ply and a 1.75mm hook, I used DK and a 4mm. I don't think it is lack of stuffing that is causing it to sit, I used a bag and a half!
I was going to keep this one for myself as I wasn't sure about the colour scheme but the friend that I was going to make it for seems to really like it so it may well have a new home shortly :)

I might still make another one, it is super cute and fun to make. But I am craving a blanket, these cold evenings are just the thing for blanketeering. My problem with blankets is deciding what to make. I have found that if I start with no real plan or specific yarn for it then they tend to not get very far and I lose interest. I may have to do some research and invest in some new blanket yarn, once I've decided what sort of blanket I want to do, it may take some time!


EDIT: How careless of me, I left off the link to the pattern! I blame the cat for nagging while I was writing this post. So here it is, along with lots of other wonderful patterns by Heidi Bears x

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Jolly holidays

Back to earth with a bump, well less of a bump and more a slow saunter up the motorway. We made it home eventually late on yesterday and as much as I hate to leave Cornwall it is good to be home after all that driving.

Forgive me a few holiday snaps but it is so beautiful where we stay that I can't help but share. This is the beach on the doorstep of where we stay at Holywell Bay. 
The second thing we do when we arrive is to take a walk down to the beach (the first being having a much needed cuppa), it is so big and open and dramatic it never fails to take my breath away. I especially love it at this time of year when the Atlantic is getting angry and the sound of the waves makes it all the way into the house in the morning. It's wonderful for that quiet roar in the background to be the sound of the sea and not passing cars.

The week was spent mainly mooching about at all our old haunts, drinking lots of beer and relaxing as much as we possibly could:

My favourite tipple!
The beautiful village of Boscastle.
 Pretty, pretty Padstow.
My new hook case, bought at a craft fair in St Ives and a spot of hooky on the beach :)

Of course I took some crocheting with me but I was in a bit of a mad flap before we went and with nothing really on the go and no time to go yarn shopping I ended up just grabbing some bits and pieces of Stylecraft special DK and shoving them in a bag with the hope that an idea would occur to me while we were away.

I ended up making these:
I had been asked by a friend if I would make one of Heidi Bears Giraffes for her and I couldn't resist, I love these african flower animals, they are so pretty and characterful. To be honest if I had had more time to think about it I might have chosen different colours, maybe planned it out a bit instead of diving straight in. So depending on how this turns out it might be a trial run for myself to keep my big pink Happypotamus company.
 It's coming on and hopefully I will have it all finished in a few days. 

I now have to deal with the  aftermath of  a holiday, the washing! That is all I am doing today though, it's cold, damp and foggy outside so I am going to ease myself back into things with a peaceful day hooking these flowers together and fussing my cat who is safely home from the cattery and being very affectionate.

I hope you are all having a great weekend xxx

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Star Stitch Hood Ta-dah!

I have finished my new hood! I am very pleased. It has proven that I can find time for crocheting if I try. I obviously can't do as much as I used to do but that's to be expected and I need to not be disappointed about all the things I can't make. So I am over the moon that I have been able to make this and pretty much write out the pattern in less than a week. I know it isn't a speed contest but there are so many things I want to do that fitting it all in was a bit of a worry.
I am so happy with it, the yarn is James C Brett marble chunky and I love the colours! The stripes have turned out far better than I imagined they would and some of the colours are nice and bright too. I was a bit worried that the yarn I had picked would be a bit drab, even though I had always intended to make an Autumnal coloured hat but it is quite bright in places. 
I started by making a big thick long rectangle for the hood bit and then made another, thinner rectangle for the neck piece. I increased a few rows to make it wider at the bottom so that the neck piece would sit nicely under a jacket. 

It grew very organically (as most of my stuff does), I came up with a basic pattern repeat using star stich and trebles, then worked out a rough shape, then sewed it together to see what would happen. Last night I decided to fasten the front with a toggle and it then occurred to me I should do a couple of strips of DCs to sew the toggle on to and make a button hole in. I quickly knocked those two bits up today and sewed them on when I got home from work. Against the clock in the failing daylight I got the toggle attached and rushed outside to get some pictures. 

I haven't got any pictures of it modeled yet, I got my husband to take a couple and they were awful, blurry and dark. I will try to get a better picture another day so you can see it better. It is very pixie like and I am not sure it exactly suits me either, I do love it though and it will keep me nice and warm in the winter. 


PS: If you would like to make your own Star stitch Hood I will be writing the pattern up neatly for you at some point with some pictured to help explain it all. The basic pattern repeat could be used for all sorts of things, bags, cushions, blankets and it is great fun to do if you haven't used Star stitch before :)