Zig and Zag

Craft | Thursday September 22 2011 | 11:10 pm | Comments (5) | Tags: , , , , |

Hello again! I’ve been a bit bad at blogging again haven’t I!! I look back on last autumn when I took part in Blogtoberfest and managed to blog every day for a whole month and didn’t resort (too much I hope) to writing nonsense. How do I get things back on track? No idea!

I have been busy though and that’s one reason I have come back today. Last week I finished a baby blanket I have been working on and have presented it to its intended recipient and so I can now share the details. Well, when I say ‘intended recipient’ that’s not quite accurate. The baby it’s for isn’t due for another 10 days yet but I won’t see the baby’s mummy for a while as I don’t know when I will be back in Scotland in the next month or two. So when I was there last week I went to see Kerry, my sister in law’s sister in law! Work that one out… my brother’s wife’s brother’s wife!! (is that punctuaton correct – I’m not sure!)

There are loads of rippley blankets around but I wanted something with a bit more of a well defined pattern, so I chose a zig-zag pattern and found one on on Caron which was just what I wanted. I used Sirdar Calico which has a lovely weight and finish and it is really easy to work with – not at all splitty. And the colours it’s available in were perfect! Oh, probably most important for the end user – machine washable. In the end I used approximately 1 and half balls of each shade repeating each colour just twice. One of the things I really love about this pattern is the ribbed texture from crocheting into the back loop at all times. Also there is a little hole at the top of every zig (or zag?) which gives it an interesting finish too.

Want to see more? All of these pictures were taken when the blanket was pinned out for blocking. (more…)

Share

High teas and happy days

Craft,Tea | Wednesday June 23 2010 | 4:15 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

I’ve just had one of my very favourite sorts of weekends: family, kids, cake and crochet!!  Caveman and I went to Scotland for my new(ish) niece’s christening so it was a busy and tiring weekend.  However, in between the travelling and the cake I managed to get come crochet done in the sunshine which was a joy, as I am normally just hooking away indoors in the corner of my sofa, in front of the telly and / or laptop.

Anyway, after the church bit of the christening, which I guess IS the actual christening!) we went to the Strathaven Hotel, (Strathaven is where I grew up and some of my folks still live there) for high tea.  I spent a good hour thinking, out loud much of the time, ‘now, why have I never had high tea before’.  My sister insists that I have but I really can’t remember.  High tea consisted of a main course (gammon steak in my case, other options included fish and chips), served with a cake stand full of little slices of tray bake cakes, scones, pancakes and bread and butter all washed down with lots of tea or coffee. 

Then came the pièce de résistance!  A plate groaning with homemade meringues sandwiched with fluffy soft whipped cream!  My sister and I managed not to resist several of these (each!!).  Be honest, could you?

I am ever curious about traditions and etiquette (particularly of ‘polite’ society) and had to look up the origins of high tea and found that the UK Tea Council describes it thus:

For the working and farming communities, afternoon tea became high tea. As the main meal of the day, high tea was a cross between the delicate afternoon meal enjoyed in the ladies’ drawing rooms and the dinner enjoyed in houses of the gentry at seven or eight in the evening. With the meats, bread and cakes served at high tea, hot tea was taken.

After all that food we crashed out in the lounge of the hotel where thankfully there were no other customers as 20 of us, including 4 excited children, would have soon scared them away.  We spent the rest of the day catching up, playing with the kids and taking lots of pictures of Erin in her christening gown with various family members.  I still can’t work out why she vomited on me 3 times over the weekend though!  I’m not that scary!

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out with my folks, watching some football (yes, really, I watched some of the World Cup) and getting some of my hook-a-long blanket done.  In the process I competled my first full cycle of all the colours!  Yee ha!!!

I read a lot of crochet and craft blogs and often people refer to it being too dark to take pictures of their works and waiting for an opportune time.  I am no expert in photography so wasn’t too sure what this was all about, thinking hte flash made up for it – until I was able to take the pictures below in my sisters garden.  Don’t the colours look great?  Don’t I wish I had a garden and didn’t live in a flat?  Yes to both!!

I have now started on the second round of each colour now and I am jolly well delighted with it; the neatness, colour order (despite all the pondering).  Can you spot the little mistake?  I am going to handsew two little imitation crochet stitches in to put it right.

Now I’m back in Manchester to the same old wondering, as I sometimes do, why I live so far away from the people who are most improtant to me!!  Ah well, such is life!

Share

Baby AND Blanket

Craft | Tuesday March 9 2010 | 6:31 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , |

I promised you a picture of my new niece Erin if her mummy and daddy agreed to me posting it, and how could they resist showing her off. Here she is looking snug as a bug with her blanket made by auntie Fi and a bunny!

Erin with blanket

Share

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!

Share

Brrrrrrrrrr

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.

Share

The Blanket Revealed

Craft | Tuesday January 19 2010 | 9:29 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , , |

I am so excited about sharing these pictures of my finished baby blanket because I am delighted with the result. 

The ripple pattern was really easy once I got started and got a few rows into it and it’s really easy to remember.  Its basically in 4 stages each of 4 stitches: 4 uphill, 2 increasing to 4 over the top of the hill, 4 downhill and 4 decreasing  to 2 in the valley!  Simple as that (do refer to Attic 24 for the full version – you won’t get far on my shorthand alone – that’s just what I said in my head as I went along). 

The blanket measures 60cm x 80cm (24 x 32 inches) and used just under 8 balls of the Patons Fairytale DK; 4 each in blue and pastel multi.  I changed yarn colour every 3 rows so that the stripes weren’t too close together and so that the ends / yarn changes were not all on the same edge of the blanket, as I do find they an add a little bulk.  I didn’t sew in any of the ends until I was finished so that was rather a chore, but I’m rubbish at doing things as I go along.  When all the stripes were finished and the ends sewn in I felt the edges were not as smooth as I’d like so I finished all the way round with double crochet in the blue yarn.  I feel this kind of tied all the stripes together too and gave it a ‘finished’ sort of look too.

It’s another month before baby Jimmy, who will receive this blanket, is due to arrive so I will wrap it up nicely and keep it carefully for him.  I don’t think his Mummy reads this site, but if she does she will be in for a lovely surprise if she sees this here.  I think I should make her a lovely treat too as she’s doing all the hard work, isn’t she!

Here is the finished blanket:

Baby blanket folded

Baby blanket edges

baby blanket close up

Baby blanket open

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share
  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >