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Thursday, 31 December 2015

New years eve!

Hello everyone! I do hope you had an excellent Christmas. My build up to Christmas was busy, both on the crochet front and all the other stuff that needed doing and since then I have just flopped and done very little.
The manic crocheting before Christmas was making these African Flowers. I had given myself just over a week to make one of Heidi Bears dogs, to be a present for someone. That would have been fine if I hadn't had to go to work too and sort the rest of the shopping and stuff out.
So every spare moment was spent making flowers, sewing ends in and ruining my eyesight for a few days. But I got there in the end!

Isn't he lovely? I am so pleased with how he turned out, his sweet little face and the stout bodies on these animals are just so cuddly. Sorry about the rubbish photos, I had literally finished sewing the nose on about 10 minutes before it was given to my friend so my photo opportunities were limited.

As well as the dog there was the bunting I was making too. I had been so close to finishing it and so excited to see it all made but had a major mess up with the bondaweb and had to wait for more to arrive before I could get it done.
It was my own fault, I hadn't checked the size font I had used to trace my letters and already ironed them on to the felt so couldn't re-use the bondaweb and had to bin it all. Luckily the Amazon fairies arrived in time for me to be able to get it sorted in time to give as another present.
So those are my last things of 2015. It's been a very busy year and I feel like crochet has had to take a back seat for most of it with other 'life' stuff taking priority. This doesn't necessarily make for a happy me though so I am making a promise to myself that 2016 will be a lot woollier :)

Happy New Year, and I hope you have a wonderful, woolly 2016

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Christmas stuff

I’ve been crocheting like the clappers this last week, starting various festive offerings. The deadline of 3 weeks isn’t bothering me either as I am only making things that I really want to make.The first thing on my list is bunting! Yes, I know I make a lot of bunting and mostly using Lucy at attic24’s Christmas bunting pattern. It is such a good pattern and the colours of the Rico are so bloomin’ pretty, I can’t help myself!
So it’s been flags, flags, flags for the last few evenings. Ah already looking juicy J
Just doing the edging now and then I’m going to root out the bond-a-web and felt to get the letters done. I can’t wait to see it finished, I’m far giddier about it than I probably should be.
Time to get out my own Christmas bunting and get the house decorated a bit. No tree yet as it’s a bit early for a tree to be indoors in my opinion, I don’t want a blanket of pine needles for weeks on end, but no reason not to have a rummage through my Christmas box.

There are the new additions, the mice and Rudolph and my older makes, Nordic Santa (hiding), the start of a nativity (it will get finished one day, probably) and some little softie toys. I really like the way it looks but I always think it is a bit flat, it needs height. We have a big mirror above the fireplace so I put down the flag making for a while and knocked up a few lacy snowflakes to string up and found some holly I made last year for along the bottom.
Think that looks very effective, shame the light is so bad at the moment; it would look lovely on a bright sunny day.
So on with this bunting and then I can start the next thing, it’s a shortlist of two items, both of which I can’t wait to make. I will keep you posted!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Getting on

Hello! Having a peep out from my hidey hole to show you what I have been up to lately. It’s been a while, I know, but for various reasons I have been suffering from a bit of a crochet block lately. It happens when I end up making loads of things for other people, either by making for friends or for a project and the fact that I HAVE to do it take all the fun out of it and I get fed up with the whole thing. Of course I do enjoy making most things, when I actually do them, but I find it hard to get started when I have a deadline to meet. Anyway, my ‘block’ went a couple of weeks ago now and I have my crochet head firmly back on.

The first thing I wanted to do when I picked up my hook for fun again was tell you about it, but of course I would have to get something made first. This extremely cute Christmas pattern was the first thing on my wanty list. I had the yarn; I had the pattern now if only my eyes were up to such a fiddly precise job.

It took ages too make all those mouse bits! And that was just a fraction of it. Not that I am complaining (too much) it will make a lovely addition to my growing pile of woolly decorations. 

All that crocheting in 4ply was difficult to say the least; it got to the point where I could only manage a few stitches at a time. Still, worth it in the end J

Staying on a Christmas theme after I got the mice done this weekend, I was having a browse and found this adorable pattern for a reindeer by Tales of Twisted Fibers. 
So Reindeer bits! 

 I got the last antler sewn on this morning and here he is, awwww.

 What is it about black safety eyes? As soon as they go on the whole toy comes to life, far more so than with embroidered or felt eyes. It must be the shine from the plastic. He is already sat on my fireplace, along with the mice and it’s still (just) November. It may not be too long until I drag out some more decorations, or make some more. I am loving crochet again and got a new yarn delivery coming soon too. Happy days


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Bonfire Bag

The last few weeks have been busy to say the least! I'm not really sure what is happening to time, it seems to be racing by in great big dollops. One of those dollops was spent making this!
Katie, over at The Woolly Giraffe asked me if I would like to make something using some of their Ice Yarns. Not really sure what to make or even if it would be any good, I couldn’t wait to play with new yarn so I said I would have a go.

My go-to item to make was a bag; yes I make a lot of bags!
So I started playing around with it, trying to see what I could come up with, something easy but interesting, usable and fun.
The way I make things is very slap dash, usually I just start crocheting and see what happens.
Using this approach I got nearly all the way through one bag before I actually sat back and looked at it. No, I didn't like it, not one bit. This yarn is acrylic but different to the stuff I usually work with. It sits differently, different stitches make a fabric that isn't what I would expect, and my first attempt was more of a big woolly shapeless sack than anything anyone would want to make. No way am I showing you a picture of it!

So back to square one, think about the yarn and what would work best with it.
The best bit about this yarn is the colours - it really is very pretty. So the best thing to do was make the pattern simple, quite plain and let the colours shine through. But who wants to do rows upon rows of straight doubles or trebles? So using an idea I first used to make my basket weave bag I started using the fine weave bit (from in the middle) and just kept going. And I am very pleased with the result!
The pattern is all made too; I think I will be able to make it available in a month or so if anyone would like to make it :)


Monday, 5 October 2015

Another new blanket ta-dah!

It’s been an epic few days of sewing but I have finished my latest baby blanket, phew!
I am not kidding when I say the amount of sewing for a small blanket was ridiculous! So many ends to tidy up. The main stripy bit of the blanket wasn’t too bad but the little squares I made to edge it with (top and bottom) took forever, well maybe not forever but far longer than I would have thought.
I’ve made similar blankets to this one with these types of little edging squares before and I’m sure they didn’t take as long to sort out. Ho hum, got there in the end.
After the stripes and the squares I decided on a nice chunky border in blues and cream to finish it off and then just for an added finishing touch a little bit of frilly too. 

I am very pleased with how it all turned out and I think all that sewing was worth it in the end, it’s is neat and tidy, snuggly and warm and I think will be nice for a new baby boy that a friend is expecting in a month or two.
It has been lovely crocheting this, I made it slightly on the large side, I think I got carried away with my foundation chain and this is the size it ended up. The benefit of that is that as the evenings have been getting colder it has been a nice warm thing to have on my lap while I granny stripe the time away.
The cooler nights have been a wonderful excuse to have our first coal fire of the season at the weekend. A day outside giving our little garden its last tidy up of the year and then a lovely fire blazing away has made for a great weekend and a great accompaniment to all the sewing!
Now on to more seasonal projects. My Christmas cards are coming along nicely and to go with the sleigh one I made before I now have a little reindeer to go on the front of another card. I won’t leave Rudolph by himself; he might get a present or two and some snow.

I already miss having a blanket on the go so it won’t be long before I start another one I am sure but in the meantime lots more ideas are bubbling away that I really must take care of before the list becomes too big! Happy hooking


Saturday, 19 September 2015

A head start on Christmas

Ooh I am so pleased with what I have been making today! Just to get one thing clear before I tell you about it, this is an idea I've copied from Lucy at Attic24, who last year (I think) made her own Christmas cards. If my memory is right, she made a picture and had some cards printed with the picture on it. I haven't done this, I have bought my own glossy greetings card blanks and I'm printing my own, so I can tweak it and maybe do lots of different ones.

There are so many things I could put on a Christmas card but I wanted to use my favourite bright cotton, Rico Creative Aran, which is quite bulky and makes nice simple shapes. So it had to be a simple design without too much detail.
I made these bits with a basic idea in mind and added little bits here and there as the idea developed.

Some blocking with the iron and some careful arranging on a canvas:
A few buttons and beads, and look!
Now to wind up my ancient printer and see what would happen.
My printer isn't that great and I will be replacing it soon, before I do a final print of my Christmas cards but I am so happy with how it turned out!!!
I have 50 cards and envelopes which should be plenty to keep me going. :)