Sunday, December 22, 2013

That Christmas post...

Well, I think this will be the last post of the year to wish all my blogging friends, readers and followers and very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

We have a new member of the family! We rescued this darling 9 month old kitten/cat from the RSPCA. She seems to have settled in fine with the exception of the other cat who has taken an instant dislike to her and keeps hissing at her. Hopefully this will stop soon. She is so friendly and cuddly. The name she came with is April but we might change it. Suggestions have included: Brandy, Toffee, Nutmeg, Marmalade, Sandy, Whisky. What do you think she looks like? Should we change her name? Keep as is?

So are we all looking a lot like Christmas now? I thought I would share a few pics with you. It looks pretty much the same as last year to be honest with a couple of minor changes. Less pink on the tree this year and more traditional colours. I must admit, having the decorations up really does something to the atmosphere here. Everything seems calmer and an excitement hangs in the air. Christmas really does seem to have crept up on me unawares this year. I don't normally think about festivities until after my daughter's birthday in November and by then it is Advent and whooosh! it's suddenly here. I think especially now that I am working (in a school environment at that) it really does seem to come quickly. 

Bad picture but this is my stitching tree this year. I had to buy a slightly bigger tree but even this one seems too small for all my ornies. I do have one nearly finished but one ornie is a bit shameful really isn't it? If I get it finished, I will post up a picture. 

Crochet wise, I couldn't resist starting my merino from the inspired post you can find here. Please do go and take a look. I absolutely love her work. So anyways, this is where I am at with it:

I am using the Jan Eaton Willow pattern from her book 200 Crochet blocks which you can find here. Reduced price too at the moment. I am not sure of the lemon colour yet but I am going to add more colours. The colours you see above are all Rico essentials merino. The colours are much better irl as always. It is a lovely yarn to work with - very soft and smooth although it is slightly on the thin side. Here are the colours I am going to add to it:

More Rico on the left column and then Katia pure merino in purples and green. The Katia is so lovely. I will definitely be buying again. I am going to edge each square in cream before joining and I am thinking of a lacy kind of braid join. I will keep you posted about the progress.

Well, the extra merino will form part of my Christmas present from my husband. He couldn't believe I wanted wool for Christmas. I have also purchased a couple of crochet books which are still unopened in the box they came in. I am dearly trying to resist the temptation to open them so at least I will have something new on Christmas day. 

Something new on Christmas day. That for me is what Christmas is all about. Jesus came to give us his life in exchange for ours, creating in us a New Heart. There have been a lot of bad things happening to me this year - if you can believe worse than last year and so it is with certain hope that I am believing for a NEW start this Christmas and New Year and will finally draw a closure on the last crappy, few years. God has done and is still doing a miracle in our lives. A miracle of reconciliation and healing of broken hearts. I am hanging onto His very great and precious promises:

"Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you , and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:25-26.

So I want to end this post by giving glory to Jesus who is my "reason for the season". 

Have a very merry and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Jeepers Creepers.....

How long has it been??? My dearest bloggy friends, I am so sorry for being away so long. All I can say is one word... LIFE! I got busy with stuff. Work, children, marriage, hobbies.... something had to give and sadly, my poor blog got neglected. Part of me wants to scrap this bog and start over - especially since Webshots did away with most of my pictures! Happily, I can say that I still have those pictures. I managed to salvage them from my last computer and save them onto USB. So hopefully one day I will get time to go through my posts and replace them. I also thought about changing my cover on my blog and making my pictures bigger etc but I am not entirely sure where to start on that one. I did ask one blogger who very kindly (cough) didn't even respond (RUDE!!!!). But I am determined that next year I will give this little blog a makeover - somehow... some way... So I thought I would just share a few bits and pieces I have been working on over the last few months and maybe do a couple of posts before Christmas just bringing you all up to speed. How about it?

So, pictured above you can see how my Elmer blanket is coming along. I love, love, love it! It is so bright and cheery and such an easy one to make. I really need to get cracking on it and get it finished as I have quite a way to go on it. I am using the Stylecraft special pack which I used for the Granny Stripe blanket. Same colours - different look.
Okay then. This one is a quick Zigzag blanket I am doing for my son. Just three colours so it is a bit biring to make but he likes it and it is a super simple one for me as well. I am quite enjoying making this. The wool was totally cheapo. It came from Aldi when they sometimes have a wool offer on. Green, blue and cream. He is such a boy boy.

This was a quick, one nighter project when I was feeling cold and really wanted to snuggle up to a hot water bottle but all I have are the pinky, red ones with no covers on! No good! No good at all and so the night was spent using up oddments of wool - nothing special. This was a Made Up on the Spot cover and so I wasn't about to use expensive yarn. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out and I will definitely be making more of these. I made this one as a tube and then sorted the neck out - decreasing and increasing to make it fit. I finished it off with a scallopy edge and some spotty buttons at the bottom. For a first effort I think it worked a treat.

Here's another project I am working on... A hexie blanket! It might take some time this one. I am using Rico Baby Cotton Soft which is a cotton/acrylic mix which is lovely to work with. I was inspired by something I had seen on Pinterest and wanted to make a similar one. I am making up all the circles first and then joining them together as I go into their hexagonal shape. (ETA - pattern is from the lovely Lucy from Attic24. Find the pattern here.)
I also am collecting Merino yarn too. Isn't it luuurvvvellly!! I want to make something really special with it but am only collecting pastelly shades. I was inspired by this blanket:
which you can find here. So I may well do something similar to that. I need to collect a bit more first though! Well, I have finally succumbed and opened up my own Etsy shop. You can find me here if you want to look at some of my items. I really am just beginning this journey and have a long way to go. I have a lot of marketing to do and marketing is really not my bag. So it is in its beginning stages with more stuff to be added. I really hope you go and have a peek and I am open to Custom Orders. Please let me know if you see anything you like or have any thoughts or tips you can give me. I will be back soon for another update. I promise! Thanks for all who have stayed with me during my busy time. I think of you and your wee blog spaces often. Much love. xxxx

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Oh my! I really need to get back to my bloggedy blog. I am so sorry I have been away for so long folks. Lots of life stuff etc etc... Tons of crochet and also a little stitching to boot. Be back soon. Promise. xxxxx

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Birthday Treats

I celebrated my birthday this last week. I am now 38 and nearing that great crossroads of the big 4 0. It's a bit of a strange feeling. My mum was pregnant with me at this age. How times have changed. Part of me feels like my life hasn't even begun yet and there's so much to do and yet time is ebbing away, year by year. It makes me think a bit, you know. Anyways, it was a nice day considering I had to work and husband was away. The kids surprised me in the morning with some sweet gifts which made it a nice start to the day. One of the pupils at school made me a huge chocolate cake which was delicious! Wonderful friends bought me some lovely items including the Bavarian crochet book from Tracy. I've made a start on it which I will show you further down the post.

One treat was a getaway to Wales in the half term break. We had a mixture of weather but some glorious, sunshiny days. For those that read about it, yes we were right in the epicentre of the earthquake that happened there. Our apartment shook in the middle of the night and woke us up but no damage was done. Just a nice bit of drama to talk about the following day.

Kids did loads of activities including: target shooting, archery, sword fighting, roller blading and when the weather was nice we took ourselves off to the beach, or to Criccieth castle or to Mount Snowdon which looked spectacular. I have been up this mountain twice and can't wait for the youngest to get a bit bigger so we can all go up as a family.

Husband's gift to me is a night away in a lovely spa hotel which I have been to before. He has even managed to lend out our cuties for the night as well so we will be kid free. This is welcomed indeed as I really do need a break. So this is something to look forward to when he returns home.

So..... Crochet??? I have been doing bits and bobs since the finish of my Bumbleberry pie afghan. One thing that caught my eye was the Jan Eaton Willow pattern done in white and made into a cushion on Pinterest. So I had a little go at it on the car journey to Wales - which surprised me as I normally get travel sickness if I look down for too long in the car. This is the result. I think it would look amazing in cotton. Another idea to add to the never ending list of to dos.

And being the serial starter I am, I couldn't help but start the Bavarian crochet that Tracy bought me the pattern book for. Here is the pattern book:

This was my first attempt.

But... I couldn't help hankering after that gorgeous one I'd seen on Pinterest- yes that Pinterest is at it again! The only problem was that this lady used yarn from the US and also didn't provide a colour code. I loved this soft rainbow blend so much that I started to wonder if I could replicate it using my trusty stylecraft. I played around with some colours I had turning away the "too brights" for softer shades and this is the result. I created a colour wheel!!!

I am so impressed with myself because , as you know, I am not very confident with my colour choices. But I think I have actually cracked it! Yes! Like I have decoded some mystery or something. Ha ha. It makes me so happy. Here are the colours in sequential order:
All are Stylecraft Special Dk
Cloud blue
Spring green

And here is my start.......

This was taken last evening. I took this one today so it shows the colours differently as they are in daylight. Ooooh I have also added another round as well.

Oh I love this sooooooo much. I am truly enjoying every little stitch. Now, about the stitches. In US terms there are some tricksy ones in there, like the back post, treble clusters but once you get the hang of them, you're away. The pattern is worked in rounds - two rounds of every colour and so once you get the hang of the pattern, you will find it is worked in just two rounds. Simples. It is also known as the Yarn/Wool eater blanket and I can vouch for this. It is definitely a yarn eater which is another great reason to do it in a cheaper yarn. There are some You Tube tutorials for the pattern although I am not sure they will be the exact same pattern as I am doing. There is one here. So, if anyone fancies joining me in this let me know and we can crochet along together.

So that's me for now. Thought I would leave you with a pic of Misty as I very rarely get a good shot of her and husband took this one and sent it to me. Have a good week all.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Bumbleberry pie blanket

Hello all. Thanks for visiting me. I am on half term break so thought an update was due. 
Now you may remember the Bumbleberry Pie afghan blanket I started in my last post?? Well, I am pleased to announce that I have indeed finished it! Yes! It was a super quick and super enjoyable project and I would highly recommend it. 

I used Mikey's Bumbleberry pattern for it which you can find here. I love Youtube for crochet videos and this guy is great. In fact, he is the guy that taught me to crochet so I owe a lot to him. I have realised just how much of a kinaesthetic learner I am. I need to be shown what to do. In fact, my neighbour helped me the other day by making me a Weekend in Stockholm square but that is another story, my friend, and since then I have found a Youtube video for that too which I have pinned to my Pinterest board. Oh what joy there is in crochet. I have a list as long as time of patterns I want to make but I am running out of room in my house for blankets! Can we ever have too many blankets?? My neighbour suggests I should make them and sell them. Well, maybe one day when I can bear to part with them. Anyway, back to the blanket in question....

I used Mikey's pattern for the squares but I joined them as I went instead of joining at the end. It was a bit confusing to do at first as they lie on a diagonal and actually you need to do them in blocks of two rows at a time as one row has seven squares and the next row has eight. You need to remember this when nearing the finish. I had enough wool to make my last two rows and a final edge with picots on each point. There are 128 squares in total. For the last round I used the granny zigzag pattern which you can find links to on the right of my blog. The wool I used was Drops Big Delight in Berry Muffin which is an aran weight 100% wool in variegated shades. I love the look of this and it was quite difficult to get pictures of the colour so I have taken a few close ups of it. I hope you like it!

Here are some close ups and of course a folded picture. Must have a folded blanket pic.

Here's a little tiny picot example:

Please click on images for close ups to see the colours better.

Well, that's it from me folks. Till next time....

Happy Stitching and Crocheting! By the way, has anyone seen my stitching mojo???