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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 :)