Thursday, 31 January 2013

Frustrations.....

I have been trying to fold a basket of washing for the last hour.
There is a distinct lack of professional child-care for Saturdays (one of my work days).
On two of my WIP I have run out of yarn and begrudge ordering more and paying the postage.
Had visit to horrible dentist man.....

.....the sun is shining, I've just had a lovely text from my friend who has returned from her holiday, I am here looking after my darling little girl.....


we put on these old story records on our record player in the conservatory. She sat there listening to the old-fashioned voice seemingly coming from nowhere, telling the story of Little Red Riding Hood.


we spotted a random yellow balloon blowing about in the garden....


....and played with her 'vintage' toys.....


...and I can enjoy and appreciate my creative hand and my ability to make this pretty doily from stash yarn late last night.....

....things are not so bad really, are they?

I hope things are good for you
                                                             

Monday, 28 January 2013

Vintage Sheet Patchwork

Thank you Ada for braving the snow last week to send out my little bundle of fabrics I ordered from your etsy shop 'Vintage Sheet Addict'.


I have something in mind to use it for but then I also couldn't resist pinching some. I was so inspired my the prints you sent I put all other WIP to one side and armed myself with my rotary cutter and cutting mat.

This fabric told me to make it into a 9 patch block patchwork like the ones I've seen lots of on Instagram, you of course have fabric and yarn speaking to you, don't you? They know what they want to be made into...


...and it is a quick patchwork to make (I'm sure there is a tutorial out there somewhere - just ask Mr Google). It all came together whilst baby napped.


It's not large mind, just a small table cloth to brighten up my day....


..but I could not quite stop. Something else was needed. I quick jaunt to the yarn store (where the lovely lady recognised one of the prints as her teenage duvet cover - well not the actual one, but you know, like she once had) and a purchase of 2 skeins of Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK in shade 41, a light aqua bluey and then some blanket stitch around the edge....


....so I could crochet a border to finish it off, the width of the border determined by the amount of yarn I had.


A few pictures this morning to show you what I'd made from your fabric....


...I hope you like what your fabric wanted to be, I do.


The prints remind me of when I was little too, a distant memory as I have a poor memory, really I have. But then a vague thought came to me, I have sewn with old bedclothes before??? Of course! when my husband was upset to find his mother using his old He-man duvet cover as a dust sheet, we rescued it and I made him a shirt...

my husband is sentimentally attached to all sorts of things.

see you soon.....

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Crochet Bobble Cushion


Crochet Bobble Stitch Cushion

Good evening all, hope you are all ok and the snow's not causing too much disruption for you. My children have been out playing and enjoying it, I'm must be honest and say I'm looking forward to when it will clear.

Here is my yay, all done post about the bobble cushion I've made this week, it got lots of 'likes' when I posted pictures of it on Instagram so I'm chuffed other people like it as much as I do. It has been a voyage of discovery - as in I made it up as I went along :-) Through some surfing around I came across a really fabulous blog with some wonderful tutorials, this one inspired me to have a go at a new-to-me stitch 'the bobble'. When I first read through how to do the stitch I was horrified - how can anyone be bothered to drop a stitch and then pick it up again? Being a lazy 'ol thing I thought this would be too much of a kerfuffle but at the same time really liked the effect so I decided to give it a go.

As I had a round cushion pad I decided to use it and make a round bobble cushion. Well it has sort of come out octagon shape due to the increasing of the rounds but that bothers me none and I love it.


For the back of the cushion I just did rounds of trebles, increasing as I went, keeping my fingers crossed it would end up the same sort of shape and size. Firstly the treble rounds come out smaller than the bobble round so I had to do more of them. Also, because I started with 4 bobbles on the front and 12 trebles on the back they are slightly different shapes, but you know what? It doesn't seem to matter, they ended up with the same amount of stitches at the end so it was easy to join them with a dc round (by the way the last round of the front cushion was htr).


The yarn I used was Stylecraft Special DK. It really is a marvellous yarn for all sorts of reasons and I loved working with it. As I was finishing off the cushion Sharron at Annie's Place posted her thoughts on the yarn which echoed mine totally. She wrote: 

"The Stylecraft Special DK I'm using for this & my granny stripe has been a dream to work with, something I didn't think I would say about Acrylic. Having opted for cotton for most of my previous projects, I was unsure how I would get on with it.  But so many folks had raved about it, I just had to give it a try. Disappointed I wasn't. It's fantastic value for money, and comes in a great palette of colours."

I just want to add that it does depend on how you put the colours together and Sharron has a really good eye for colours and I love her work.

My colour choice was random as I could be, only deciding on the next colour at the end of the previous round. I like the 'granny chic' feel I've achieved.


For some reason I have taken more pictures of the back of this cushion than the front, which I like equally as much, so it's ok.


I am now a firm convert to the bobble stitch and no doubt will use it on other projects in the future.

take care 'till next time.....
                                                                                     

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Granny Square Cube Toy


A small distraction from the bigger projects I'm working on happened last night, a spur of the moment, not on the list (yes I have a list) of things I'M DETERMINED to make, came to mind and before my will power had any say my fingers started to make this little fun toy for baby girl.

She likes my crochet, well she's always grabbing at it, so now she has her own.


I used some stashed Rowan Handknit Cotton in sugar and gooseberry and Rico Design Creative Cotton shade 62 (yellow) to make up 6 basic granny squares.


For me there is pure pleasure in crocheting those little squares, not sure I understand it, but I find making them so satisfying. I joined them together with the double crochet method to form a block.


Before joining the 'lid' I made a cube from some pink cotton fabric and toy filling sized to fit inside (about 7cm square)


And then I finished off the joining, yay all done!


Isn't it great to have a stash, a cupboard where you can just help yourself to what you need at the moment of inspiration and make up something that can be played with and enjoyed?


okay, okay she likes the empty Olbas drops box more, but hey, I enjoyed making the cube, she has her box - we're all happy :-)

Hope you're happy too, take care

'till next time....


Monday, 14 January 2013

Needle Case


This 'wool needle' by Pony is brilliant for weaving in all your ends on your crochet, it's much easier than threading a darning needle all the time - especially if you have lots of colour changes and therefore millions of ends to deal with. I find this a really useful tool and, even though 3 came in the pack (slightly different thicknesses) don't want to loose it and guard it closely.

This is what I was keeping it in:

WHAT'S THAT???

When I was crocheting some jammy dodgers (in my crochet biscuit faze) I thought I would have a go at a custard cream. Not quite the right dimensions and I gave up and moved on, but the small piece of crochet is perfect for the blunt ended wool needle, and for a while served as my needle store.

But I really needed to smarten up my act and had the idea of a sweet little needle case. There is a nice tutorial here, but as I wanted to include a little bit of crochet I went my own way.


Mine consists of some wadding sandwiched between pretty fabric, a small piece of felt and some crochet make the pages. I've also added a scissor holder.


I crocheted an edging for prettiness.....


and quilted around the flowers and added buttons for even more prettiness!


I used my crochet yarn to hand stitch along the 'fold line' of the needle case, this forms the loops that the crochet 'page' starts from.


Rather pleased with how this worked out. Didn't take too long to make, it was a bit of a pick up, put down project, fitting in between baby cuddles, chores so on and so forth (who am I kidding - everything is like that!)
Well bye for now, it's actually snowing quite heavily as I type this and I'm wondering if the schools will text to  say they are closing and to collect the children early. My eldest 3 children are at 3 different schools which all do different things, so we'll see.

I hope you like my needle case, I enjoyed designing and making it. 

Take care,

Thursday, 10 January 2013

For The Love of Yarn


Hello my loves, I hope you're well. This week I got a early anniversary gift from my husband. For several years now I have paid for a subscription to Sound on Sound magazine for my wedding anniversary present to him. It's about music recording, studios and equipment blah, blah, blah.... all his favourite stuff. He loves receiving his SOS and if it's late coming I hear his little bleat of "where's my sound on sound?".  But hey we all enjoy our "things" which is why for our forthcoming anniversary (next month) he has bought a subscription for me to Simply Crochet - Hooked on Hand Made. 
He signed up in December to ensure I received issue 1 of the magazine and also to take advantage of the special offer (£5 for first 3 months). When it dropped on my door mat on Monday I felt quite giddy opening it up to look through it. It contains patterns and ideas, tips and guides and of course articles on web sites and shops to buy hooky related stuff.

One that caught my eye was @bessiemay.com ( maybe because it has a similar name to my blog, just coincidence though) so I checked out the website and really like the way it was set out and designed. Now I'm ALWAYS looking at yarn online shops and order all the time lol. This particular site only sells their own make of yarn and to be honest there isn't a vast variety of colours but the Italian yarn in different weights and textures is lovely and I couldn't resist doing a little order. One of the patterns in my new mag of a chain link scarf appealed to me so I bought some DK in neutral colours to make it.


It is always great to get yarn come in the post and this was no exception. It was all packaged so nicely and even came with a little Italian biscuit!


The extra fine 100% merino wool is lovely and soft and the colours I chose sit well together. The price is £4.88 per 50g - not cheap particularly but in line with other makes, maybe a bit expensive??
Thank you lovely hubby for my subscription and gorgeous yarn x



Sunday, 6 January 2013

Springtime Gypsy Quilt


Hi there, we have taken down our Christmas decorations today and my husband left for work with the shrivelled up tree on the roof of his car to take to the re-cycling pile on the way.

I had a good clean up, and that, together with the mild weather we are having right now has put me in mind of spring, so I thought it was appropriate to show you the 'springtime gypsy quilt' I made for my mother-in-law ( and otherwise there is chance I will forget to)
Because I finished this mid-December but was busy blogging about all the Christmas makes to fit this one in.


It's not easy, taking photos of beds is it?  Anyway, M-I-L asked if I would make her a patchwork quilt as she had always wanted one and of course I was honoured to do so. She gave me the measurements ( about king size), and her desired colours ( pinks and greens ) and said she wanted just a simple patch design ( she likes the play mat quilt I made for my baby so I based the design on that) so I logged on to The Cotton Patch to look at their fabrics as they have a wide range to choose from.

I had a browse around and after checking with her we ordered 14 different fabrics from Tanya Whelans Sugar Hill and Delilah range, half a metre of each in varying shades of greens and pinks, some floral, some spotty and some stripe and check and a paisley one was in there too. I think it's important to have a mix of floral and stripes to add interest.




I had quite a bit of some pink spot cotton in my cupboard which I used for the backing and binding, but we also ordered some Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Wadding to sandwich in the middle. I cut the patches to be most efficient of the half metre of fabric ( 12.5cm x12.5cm), there are 22 patches across by 20 patches down. I joined in strips and then joined the strips together as I went, trying to be random with the different prints. 
The quilting part is my least favourite bit as it's difficult working with a large quilt, getting it to lie right and fitting it under the sewing machine, but I worked methodically, rolling the excess quilt up so I could manoeuvre it in place at the machine and quilt 'in the ditch', probably one of the easiest quilting methods.


I cut the binding on the cross at 9cm wide, folded it in half lengthwise ( after joining it to be a long enough length) and then machined it to the wrong side of the quilt, bringing it then to the front and hand sewing it in place. It turned out nice and neat, the finished width of the binding comes out at 1.5cm which is ideal for a large quilt.





I'm not happy at all with these photos, I really struggled with poor light and not very much room. Also I compressed these pictures to web page size but it compromises the quality so have decided to live with the slow upload instead and not do that any more.


We are all happy with the way the quilt has worked out though. My mother-in-law described it as 'perfect', which is really sweet of her and I'm very glad she's happy. She needs some new curtains for her bedroom now and has been finding it difficult to get the right colour. When she comes over tomorrow I will help her look on the net for fabric and offer to make them for her.


Bye for now...