It’s a GIRL!!

Craft | Monday March 1 2010 | 4:57 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , , , |

Remember way back early in January when I said I had lots of babies to make for…  well the babies are all here now and the makes are all completed! 

My friend had Jimmy last week and I can’t wait to see them to give them the blue blanket.  The day after Jimmy was born my lovely sister in law brought us Erin!  We were all so delighted, and in truth a bit surprised, to have another girl in the family as there had been some of expectation of a boy (I already have 2 nephews and a niece).   We all love the name Erin, which we didnt know was in the shortlist, and it is particualry appropriate as my sister in law is very proud of her Irish heritage and Erin means Ireland.  However, my nephew James won’t accept he’s got a new girl cousin and insists on calling her Tom!

I had been in Scotland all week waiting for her arrival and she came the day before I had to come back to Manchester – good timing as I was getting twitchy I may miss her altogether!

My sister in law really loved the blanket I’d made Erin and it has been much admired.  I do love that thrill when people complement my work!  It makes it worth all the hours of work that have gone into it.

Erin's blanket folded

Erin's blanket close up

Erin's blanket edging

We didn’t know Erin was going to be a girl so I erred on a neutral coloured and I am really pleased with the finished result.  I know my family look at this site and I wanted the blanket to be a surprise, so I am very excited about posting the pictures now.

A few days before Erin was born I had saw three magpies, TWICE!  I am not superstitious, but we all notice things like that don’t we?!   I was looking up the full words of the magpie rhyme and found a few versions, but I liked this Yorkshire one best (sorry, last line is a little cheeky):

One for Sorrow
Two for Joy
Three for a Girl
Four for a Boy
Five for Silver
Six for Gold
Seven for a tale never to be told
Eight you Live
Nine you Die
Ten you eat a bogey pie!

Anyway, if Erin’s Mummy and Daddy say it’s ok, I’ll post a pic of her snuggly wrapped up in her wavy crochet cuddly blanket!



Craft | Sunday February 28 2010 | 2:16 am | No Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I have so much to write about as its been a busy old week, and a very eventful one too.  Its going to take several posts though to cover it all, so this one is just the opener.  

I’ve spent the last week in Scotland with my family, awaiting the arrival of a new baby (more soon) and its been very, very cold and a bit snowy.  Fortunately we didnt experience the severe snowy weather that some areas had this week.  However, I live as a ‘soft southerner’ (their words, not mine) now so I found it very cold.  Now I’m back home in Manchester, not a snowflake in site and I’ve got a cold – but my own bed will make it a lot better I’m sure.

I spent the first half of the week with my sister and her family and loved just hanging around with them, taking the kids to school, family mealtimes, homework, cbeebies etc. 

My sister has a lovely new coat and when we were out shopping she spotted a yarn, Patons Smoothie in Red Mix which matched it so I got roped into making her a scarf, in the same style I made for my niece and her cousins earlier in the year.  Its a pattern from The Happy Hooker  book and is a bit of a staple pattern for me.  I completed it in one evening so it is definitely a quick and easy project.

This shade is Red Mix, but I’ve called it Blood Orange as I think that’s exactly what its like, not quite orange and not quite red.  There’s also a little bit of steel grey, plum and coral in there too.  The pictures may not do the colour justice I’m afraid!

Here’s the end result

Blood orange scarf

Blood orange scarf folded

Being as critical as I am of my own work I feel obliged to point out my own mistakes!  My sister insists she cant see them, and that they don’t matter, but I know they’re there.  Are you like that?  Do you look at the things you’ve made and look for the mistakes?  Anyway, after the first row we decided the scarf wasn’t long enough so there’s an ‘extension’ which is only noticeable in the middle of one row, but it is there.  That’s one of the things that’s so great about crochet though, you can add on with great ease.  Also, I ran out of yarn about 12 shell loops from the end!  Luckily I’m using the same yarn for another project (details soon) but from a different dye lot.  The shade difference is very subtle, but its there!

Despite its faults my sister is delighted with the result and it has been much admired by her firends.  Orders taken girls!!!

Just one final thing for now… I LOVE LOVE LOVE Patons Smoothie and I’ve used it for quite a few things recently – its great for crochet for so many reasons.  I think it deserves a post all of its own, so watch this space.


Avanother go

Craft | Thursday February 18 2010 | 12:11 am | No Comments | Tags: , , |

Remember the Ava wrap from Vintage Crochet that I was going to make for myself after all the baby crochet was done?  Well it hasn’t quite gone to plan.

I bought beautiful Louisa Harding Flotsam yarn, although not the original one from the pattern, which is Grace.  When I started working with the Flotsam I found that it just wasn’t going to be easy to do any sort of lacy or complex stitch pattern as the yarn is made up of a number of different strands.  As a result it was really hard to see the loops or to count stitches.  I had a go but realised rather quickly that I was going to be fighting a losing battle with this pattern in this yarn.

Ava wrap in Louisa Harding Flotsam

I had a look online for the Grace yarn but it was rather expensive so I am going to look for an alternative.  I think most smooth DK yarns with a clearly defined stitch finish will work really well, and of course I need to find a luscious colour! 

I think the Flotsam will work brilliantly in a flat piece of crochet that isn’t a particularly lacy pattern, maybe a bag or something like that.  Hmm, I’ll need to have a good think about that one.

And so this has left me without a project on the go, so maybe I’ll crack on with some  more things for my next craft fair at end of March.  At present making coasters is my new obsession – details soon!


Crochet Lesson

Craft | Friday February 12 2010 | 10:18 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , |

Have you ever taught someone to crochet?  I only learned to crochet 6 months ago but believe that I’ve got enough knowledge and skills in it to get someone else hooked – well, I have done enough of it in that time!!

So I was delighted when my friend Claire asked me to show her the basics!  Last night we had a great evening of 3 c’s – crochet, cuppas and catching up!  Perfect!

I crochet without thinking about the movements and actions you do to actually form different stitches any more, as most come automatically now, so it was a bit of a challenge initially to show someone how to do that.  But by actually doing it in slow motion I was able to break down all the steps to show Claire.  After a couple of hours we had covered foundation chains, turning chains, double, half treble and treble crochet, as well as that basic that anyone starting crochet needs to master – where to stick the hook!

Claire’s just text to say she’s been crocheting today, so I hope I’ve found another ‘crocheteer’!  I read on a blog this week that instead of ‘crocheters’ we should be ‘crocheteers’!  I love it!!  Apologies though, as I can’t remember where I read it and went through all recent posts on my RSS reader and can’t find the article, so I can’t credit it.  If it was you then drop me a line!

On that note, this crocheteer is off to crochet!


A wee film about wooly jumpers

Craft | Thursday February 4 2010 | 10:29 pm | No Comments | Tags: , |

I saw the film below on Meet Me at Mikes and it’s brilliant!!  Pringle of Scotland has had a fairly ‘traditional’ reputation and this should really give a new twist to that. From the look of their website at the moment it looks like they are really challenging that reputation and good on them!

For me one of the funniest things about this film is the ever so polite Scottish accent saying ‘it totally does your head in’ and ‘manky wool’ and ‘they should just make socks, because they’re crap’.  You may not know that but I’m Scottish, and I speak just like that… OK that’s not totally true!  Well, the Scottish bit is true!

I love it when people (and organisations) can laugh at themselves and this does that in a brilliant way.  Enjoy!


Pringle of Scotland Animation by David Shrigley


A Grand Day!

Craft | Tuesday February 2 2010 | 1:31 am | No Comments | Tags: , , |

I had such a good day at the Horse and Jockey Arts and Crafts Fair last Saturday.  It wasn’t mad busy, I didn’t make my fortune and I didn’t sell all my things.  However, none of that matterred.  I had lots of fun, met some lovely people, got a feel for what people were interested in so got lots of ideas and I was joined by a few friends at various times throughout the day.

Here are a couple of pictures of version 1 of my display.  After I set up I had the opportunity to move to the ‘pitch’ of someone who cancelled at the last minute so I had more space.  Unfortunately by then Caveman had left with the camera, but it was just a more spread out version of this.

H&J 30jan10 2

H&J 30jan10 1

The Horse and Jockey Fair is a regular event, on the last Saturday of every month.  I am not able to do February but I have booked for March.  I have lots of ideas and plans for new stock, so keep reading over the next couple of months for an idea of what is coming up, and put 27th March in your diary!

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