Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!!


Happy Hooky Halloween my friends!!!

                                                                  

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Petal Patch Motif

Hello Lovelies, I thought I would show you my latest WIP. It is going to be a blanket, and I've made all the squares - 130 of them. I now need to join them and have a think about border / no border.


This project started very much with the colours. I had peach and coral and buttermilk and duck egg in  my head and wanted a cosy blanket for my bed to layer with my four star quilt. I do often buy yarn online but I needed to see the colours to know they were what I was envisaging, so I knew I would have to buy from a shop. It was actually at Fibre East that I eventually found what I was looking for, the stand was stocked with a delicious merino dk yarn called Knit By Numbers in so many gorgeous colours it made me go all faint! I picked out my corally colours from this stand, for some reason I cannot remember I didn't pick up the blue colour and instead added later the Sublime extra fine merino wool dk in shade 307. 


This is in no way a sponsored post by the way but I do have to sing the praises of the Knit by Numbers yarn, it is just so beautiful! It is so soft and lovely and the colours I have are very subtly variegated. A real winning luxury yarn! Here's the link to buy online if you're interested.

To start with I was going to make hexagons to form this blanket, and there are some super patterns out there to choose from. I pondered and considered but in the back of my mind I felt I wanted it to be a pattern of my own, so I sat down with my hook and yarn and had a little experiment. As you can see I ended up with squares not hexagons! They are made up of treble 3 togethers, and I think this stitch looks like a little petal (hence the name), the last round is half trebles. I've used my favourite stitches here, and I love the effect (I know, sad isn't it that I have 'favourite' stitches? You understand though don't you?)

Anyway, I have a way to go with this blanket but in the meantime I thought I would share my pattern with you. I am giddy with happiness with my little 'petal patch' motif and I hope you like it too!



So if you fancy giving it a go here is the pattern:

(I have used dk yarn which I would normally use a size 4mm hook for. However for this I found the squares came out flatter using a 4.5mm hook, maybe it's because there are quite a lot of stitches in the square. I suggest you do a test and see how the tension works out for you)

Special stitches:
Tr2tog = yarn over hook, insert hook into chain space and pull loop through, yarn over hook (4 loops) pull through 2 of the loops. Yarn over hook, insert hook back into same chain space and pull loop through, yarn over hook (5 loops) pull through 2 loops *. Yarn over hook  and pull through remaining 3 loops.
Tr3tog = work as above up to * and then yarn over hook, insert hook back into same chain space and pull loop through, yarn over hook (6 loops) pull through 2 loops, yarn over hook and pull through remaining 4 loops.

Starting with a slip knot on your hook ch4 and join with slip stitch to form a ring.

Round 1: ch 2, (working into ring) tr2tog, ch 4. (tr3tog, ch 4) 3 times. Slip stitch into top of first tr2tog. Fasten off.


Round 2: With next colour start in any 4ch corner space. ch2 , tr2tog, ch1. tr3tog, ch4. (tr3tog, ch1) twice - all in first 4ch corner space.
 *In next 4ch corner space work: tr3tog, ch1, tr3tog, ch4, (tr3tog, ch1) twice. Repeat from * 2 more times. Slip stitch into top of first tr2tog. Fasten off. So you now should have 4 lots of 'petals' with ch4 in each corner.


Round 3: With next colour start in any 4ch corner space. ch2 , tr2tog, ch1. tr3tog, ch3. (tr3tog, ch1) twice - all in first 4ch corner space. *In next ch1 space tr3tog, ch1. Repeat from * twice more.
** In next 4ch corner space work tr3tog, ch1, tr3tog, ch 3 (tr3tog, ch1) twice. Repeat from * including the ** section 2 more times. 
tr3tog, ch1 into the next 3 ch1 spaces. Slip stitch into top of first tr2tog. Fasten off. So you now should have 4 lots of 'petals' with ch3 in each corner, and 3 'petals' on each side.


Round 4: With next colour start in any 3ch corner space. Ch2, 1htr, ch2, 2htr.
* 2htr in each of the next 6 ch1 spaces. 2htr, ch2, 2htr in next 3ch corner space. Repeat from * 2 more times.
2htr in each of the next 6 ch1 spaces. Slip stitch to top of first ch2 made, fasten off. Weave ends.


A nice border to finish off your petal patch square :o)

I have tested the pattern as I have gone along but if you do spot anything that is not quite right please let me know.

I hope you enjoy making this square, and if you do I'd love to see!
If you put a picture of your square on Instagram it would be cool if you could use #petalpatch


Happy hooking! 

'till next time...  
 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Rooster Cushion


It is true to say I sometimes crochet for the sake of it.

With no project in mind it still is very enjoyable to hook up a granny square or two, especially with gorgeous Rooster Almerino yarn!

But I can't be blamed I don't think, with yarn so wooly and scrummy!


This yarn comes in some really unusual and beautiful colours and I could not resist ordering some just to try out and have a play.


Eventually there comes the need to make my grannies into 'something' and cushions are always the easy and obvious option.


I pondered on what to use for the back of the cushion and remembered half a jelly roll I had hidden away. I simply pieced together the strips and quilted them with a soft batting and diamond machine stitching. It was pleasing to see how well it matched with the front cushion.
And so on to the opening... these printed wooden buttons were calling me from my haberdashery stash


How cute?


I love how they sit so prettily on the side opening. Do they look the wrong way round?


Is that better? :o)


A very photogenic project this one, loads of snaps taken!

I have placed this in my Etsy shop, but I love it so much I'm half tempted to keep it!

I am such a yarn addict and I really enjoy playing around with different textures and colours to see how it works up. 
A simple pleasure, I know you guys understand :o)

'till next time...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday Smilies









Things that have brought a smile to my face today:


♥ the middles of the squares I'm crocheting at the moment. Destined to be a blanket for my bed. I'm trying a methodical approach for making the last 60 

♥ my Ravelry project page. Not up to date, and I can't ever remember when I started or finished a project but I love to see all my colourful makes displayed in an orderly way 

♥ a spot of colour in the garden. It's been a lovely mild autumnal day and being able to dry the washing outside on the line (especially the towels) has pleased me no end. Don't think there will be many more opportunities for outside drying now until spring 

♥ attempting to keep up with my little handful! She is very attached to those wellies 

♥ the large wooden button on the front of my bag. I adore 4 hole buttons! 

♥ our walk in the woods - even if there were some prickles! 

What has made you smile today?

'till next time...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Roundup


Good morning to you reader, what are you plans for today? I've got many many chores to do and I intend to speed through as quick as I can so I can enjoy a crafty afternoon, hopefully!

Thank you for the lovely comments on my Lady Kina, you are all so encouraging and complimentary! Joanne, it does fit perfectly and Maria the above photo is the best you're gonna get! 
I can't tell you how happy I am with the success of this knitted make. I've worn it a lot and have just put it on to wash so I can wear it a lot more!

I'm here today with a bit of news. After taking a break from doing crochet workshops I am up and running again (thanks to a couple of requests). The first workshop is on Tuesday 4th November at Fancy and it's an intermediate workshop making crochet coat hanger covers:


I've put a new tab for workshop info at the top of the page, so if you want to know the details it's all there. There will also be a beginners table for a maximum of 2 people where I will teach basic stitches and techniques. One of the beginner places has gone already, and it would be really nice to have another person to make it more cosy.

I've also have an up coming workshop at the Art Centre in Bedford. This one will be on Saturday morning 13th December and it is Christmas themed (sorry if it's a bit early to mention the big day!!)


We will be making these cute pudding decorations, so it's intermediate again, but there will still be 2 beginners places as well.
I still need to finalise the booking and paying details for this one and will update the workshop page accordingly when I have the information for you.
If you want to be added to my mailing list, tell me by leaving a comment below (where I will be able to get your email address from) or of course you can email me direct :o)

I still have a bit of work to do in preparation for these workshops. The designs have come to life and the rough patterns are written up, so it's just a case of typing up the work sheet and gathering all the materials ready. I do like to get organised well in advance as there is bound to be some storm in a teacup family crisis just before to remind me where my place is in life! (She says through gritted teeth)

Another thing to bring to your attention is my Etsy shop!
I have been thinking about selling a few bits that I make for a while now. It's just on a small scale really, a place to sell things that I enjoy making and I hope people will like. I have put an 'E' link button on my sidebar to take you straight to the shop, I do want to tidy up my social media buttons, I think they look a bit bit messy as they are but at least they do do the job.

The shop is still a work in progress right now and I'm hoping to get a banner organised at some point (this is a computer job which for me always needs oodles of concentration and certainly no interruptions, so I need to find some quiet time for that)

In my shop now I've got some pretty felt flower brooches:


and also some patchwork and crochet Christmas stockings (sorry Heather!):


There are a few different designs to choose from, pop over and have a look!

So I hope you don't mind me doing a bit of self promotion today! I always feel a bit shy for some reason.

Thanks for your visit, I hope you have a fun-filled day!

'till next time...


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Lady Kina

So hello!



I did get my Lady Kina cardigan finished late sunday evening as I'd hoped. Well the stitching was done and then the next day it was plunged in some warm soapy water, lightly spun in the machine and left to dry on my mannequin. Can this be termed as blocking? I guess it's along those lines although I always think of blocking as pinning something out flat and spraying with water.

Whatever, it has done the cardigan a world of good and made my stitching look even, which makes me very happy. I'm very happy all round with my knitted friend. As you may know I have had a few problems with knitting in the past (my Roxy cardigan, you let me down) but this one turned out a dream and I have been happily wearing it most of the week. The weather is turning chilly and knitted cardigans are the order of the day!

I had the vague image of something like this in my head and although I searched in various pattern locations I couldn't find anything that matched the picture in my mind, but then the Blog Gods were on my side and presented in my Bloglovin feed was Kristens beautiful Lady in a wonderful golden colour. It was exactly what I was looking for and she had included the link to the (free) pattern. YAY!!
Thank you Kristen. Thank you Blog Gods :o)


The yarn I used was part of my Deramores prize - Rowan Softknit Cotton. The colour is called seaweed - I love it! Greeny blues always do it for me.


The great thing about this pattern is that it's knitted all in one from top down on circular needles (circular needles are brilliant - I feel a lot more comfortable with them rather that the straight ones which stick out at the sides ready to poke a passer by). The rows are long. The rows before you split for the sleeves are very long. But this was good practice for me and I was able to get into a good rhythm and got used to holding the yarn in a better way (thank you Sandra for your yarn holding advice)

I can't deny I want to make another one. Even if it does take me ages.

Have a fun sunday my friends!

'till next time...



Saturday, 4 October 2014

More Cake...?



The other week my husband was in London. It was the anniversary of Marc Bolans death and he'd gone up with his friend for their traditional trip up to the 'tree'

And to go record shopping of course.

My phone went off mid-afternoon, it was my husband.
"Babe, babe. I'm outside Loop. Is there anything you need?"

What?
The question was asked in an urgent tone as if I had 60 seconds to answer it or my chance would be missed. My mind raced. Loop - an amazing yarntopia of gorgeous hand dyed skeins in wonderful, beautiful colours and textures. Oh my goodness, just the thought of it makes my heart race! 
And expensive too. Do I dare ask what the budget was?

No. Anyway, not being there to choose something I liked to buy for the sake of it made this difficult. So I was about tell him not to worry, I didn't 'need' anything.  However I was really touched by my husbands thoughtfulness and he obviously wanted to buy me a little gift (just how much had he spent on records, I wondered?)

And then inspiration hit me. 
"can you pick up the latest copy of Pom Pom for me please?"
And then I hear him collar one of the assistants to find the mag for him to buy...


Pom Pom Issue 10 has some gorgeous patterns in, although some of them look a bit complicated for my knitting skills right now.

But there is also a lovely recipe for Spiced Apple and Bramble Cake. I said in my past post how I tend to stick to the same 3 or 4 cakes, which is true on the whole. I generally make victoria sponge (adding coco powder for the chocolate version). For more of a luxury chocolate cake that goes down with my family of gannets* I will do the fudge cake as I have for the last 2 birthdays and then when I'm feeling flush I'll treat everyone to some chocolate brownies. 
This apple cake may get added to this list. It has a mix of white and wholemeal flour and it's fairly low on the sugar amount, making it the healthy version in the cake world. It is easy to make - apart from the grating apples bit - and it is delicious. 
It's great for that 4pm slump when you need something to keep you going, but when you're 'trying' to be good!

*
I realised last night that I have only got a few more rows to go of the stocking stitch on my Lady Kina cardigan and then I can do the 4cm garter stitch hem border. Yay! And as once I've cast off (and dealt with the few ends) it's done. No seams to sew or sleeves to knit. The beauty of the pattern is that it's all made in one go. Genius!

So fingers crossed I will finish it this weekend and be able to show you all next week.


'till next time...

                                                                

*The gannet's supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to "gannet" becoming a disapproving description of somebody who eats excessively, similar to "glutton".