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.



stitchersanon said...

Happy Birthday. 40 is not a bad age to reach: it was one of my favourites. I am only 43 now, but 40 was good. I love the crochet..never heard of it before so off for a hunt. I think your colour choices are perfect. It is stunnning.

Catherine said...

A very happy birthday wish to you!! Your time away sounds like a lot of fun and your pics are beautiful!
Wow ~ love the effect you created with those colors ~ how fun!

Tracy Dixon said...

Loving your blanket hun, I'm pleased you are enjoying your book :) xx

Julie said...

40 is fine, I'll be 50 this time!!!
Looks like you had a fab time in Wales.
The new blanket is amazing, such pretty colours you settled on fir it.

forgetmenotsblue said...

Hope you had a happy birthday. Looks like you had a lovely getaway in Wales I'm not too far from Cricieth and have enjoyed walking up to castle lovely view from up there! x

Margaret said...

Ah, your cat is gorgeous! Happy birthday to you! The trip looks lovely although I don't like earthquakes. lol! Love your crochet -- stunning!

Jackie's Stitches said...

Happy Birthday! A weekend at a spa sounds WONDERFUL! Your trip looks great too. Such different scenery that what we see here.

Christine said...

Happy Birthday!
The new blanket is going to be gorgeous

Chris said...

Happy belated birthday.. sounds as though the whole half term week was great and just what you needed.. that Bravarian crochet is so pretty and I love the colours you have chosen. I am tempted to join you but at the moment I am 3/4 way through a granny square and rounds blanket. (does that make sense?) and so daren't start anything else. I saw the utube tutorial and it looks as though it grows fantastically fast.
Keep happy Hazel
Love and Blessings
Chris xx

Chris said...

Happy Belated Birthday Hazel! It looks like you had a lovely visit to Wales. It is so pretty.
Your new project is amazing!!

Vickie said...

Happy Birthday Hazel. I just celebrated 44 this last week myself.
Misty is a beauty!
The last pattern you are working on is stunning. WOW! Soooo gorgeous. You should be well pleased with those colors. My oh my it is working out gorgeous.

Karoline said...

Happy birthday Hazel!
Sounds like you had a lovely halfterm break & your rainbow crochet is looking stunning

Marsha said...

Happy Birthday! The colors are yummy! Love your crocheting,

Bernardeena said...

Your blanket is looking gorgeous already, I can't wait to see your progress. X

Bernardeena said...

Your blanket looks beautiful already, I can't wait to see your progress.

Brigitte said...

Happy belated birthday, Hazel, and a year full of happiness.
I was so enjoying your pictures from Wales, I know the region from two visits and really really want to visit again. Thanks for sharing.
For me you are THE expert when it comes to crocheting. I didn't even know that there was something like Bavarian crochet. But I will find out about it as I will start crocheting myself a bit later this year. Your colour combo looks fantastic.

stitcherw said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Looks like you had a wonderful outing. The crochet is beautiful, I think you nailed the colors spot on, they are gorgeous.

Annette-California said...

Happy Birthday Hazel! Gorgeous photos of your wonderful trip.
Spa getaway sounds incredible. I am in awe of your beautiful color wheel you put together. LOVE your afgans your making. When I saw the squares you made - it took my breath away. Beautiful Annette