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…)

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An ‘interesting’ image

Craft | Thursday February 24 2011 | 10:05 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , |

I’ve discovered something very interesting in the past few days!!!

I started getting a LOT of favourites and comments on one of my images on Flickr, an unusually large amount for me.  Then these messages started saying ‘well done for being in Explore!’  So I explored myself to find out what this was all about!! 

I learned that Flickr select 500 images every day which they promote because of their ‘interestingness’ which they identify using a very secret algorithm.  They publish these under a category called ‘Explore’ and this is very popular with people to browse a wide selection of images.

The lovely image you see here got to number 57 in the interestingness ranks on Flickr last weekend!  This is something that many aspire for and there are lots of websites giving advice on how to achieve it.  I am very proud of having done this without even trying!  I may be more proud of the blanket than the image itself, but that’s just me!!

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Taking Granny on holiday

Craft | Saturday February 19 2011 | 11:52 pm | Comments (16) | Tags: , , , |

This past week Caveman and I spent a few days at the little cottage in Yorkshire that we love so much.  It was wonderful to be back there, partly because it’s a gorgeous place to be and partly because it was a much needed change of scenery.

As Caveman took his new laptop (I feel like a laptop widow right now!) I took some crochet and embroidery.  I thought some easy and relaxing crochet was the way to go and my still growing granny stripe blanket was ideal.  During our stay there were some gloriously bright but slightly chilly days, but it was a great opportunity to take some lovely pictures of the blanket:

The blanket is growing nicely and I am still really enjoying working on it, although it does feel like a labour of love.  I also know that at some point I need to stop making rows and start on the border.  Now that WILL be a mammoth task!

I particularly love the picture below of the blanket all neatly folded and sitting in the sunlight:

While we were away I was troubled terribly by an awful breakout of eczema and hardly slept for a few days.  Despite wishing we could stay longer in Yorkshire I was glad to get back home to see my doctor and I am pleased to report that my skin is feeling much better.  My lack of sleep resulted in a snooze on the settee one afternoon and it was the first time I ever actually used the blanket for its final intended purpose.  I am pleased to report it was luscious!

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New Balls Please!

Craft | Wednesday January 5 2011 | 4:40 pm | Comments (7) | Tags: , , , |

I have now completed 5 full rounds of each colour in the growing big happy granny stripe blanket!  I knew the first bundle of yarn I had wouldn’t be enough for the size of blanket I wanted so ages ago I bought a second set!

I still have a little of each colour left from each ball but don’t want to change yarn half way through the next 19 rows, so I am starting the new balls of yarn at the start of each row when I would normally change colour.  The remainders of some of the balls have already been used for the Party Ring Scarf I made for my niece.

The blanket is going to have 7 sets of each colourrepeat overall and with the border I intend to put on I expect to have used about one and a half balls of each colour. 

Now that I’m stuck into this big project again I am really, really enjoying it.  I’ve spent all the run up to Christmas working on small projects and gifts which was lovely but I do think there’s a lot to be said for something so big and its somehow even more rewarding, particularly because it is for me to keep and use when it’s finished.

I have really enjoyed seeing the blankets like this that others have made on flickr and how the different colour orders used make such a difference.  There are lots of fantastic colourful crochet groups on there.  Here’s a couple to get you started – go have a look!

Attic 24 Granny Stripe Group

Vintage Stripe Blanket Group

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No sooner said than done!

Craft | Sunday January 2 2011 | 4:22 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , |

Just yesterday I wrote about a few crochet projects I wanted to get on with in the new year and I haven’t wasted any time in getting started!  The granny stripe blanket that I began way back in sunnier days last summer has been sitting neatly folded but untouched for a few months – until last night.

I was itching to get on with some crochet but not inclined to start anything new, or in truth anything that required a great deal of thought.  Resurrecting the granny stripe blanket was just perfect.  Despite it being quite large I managed to get several striped rows done while half watching tv: I am sure my treble speed has increased since I last worked on it.  I’m now about two thirds of the way through so it might just be finished before the spring / summer comes round again, so long as I don’t get too distracted!

I have also been somewhat inspired by Ali at Snipsnaphappy!  She’s said she needed a large and easy project she can work on without much thought so has started a granny stripe blanket.  She’s called hers the ‘Big Happy’.  Isn’t that a great name?  And with so many lovely colours in blankets like this it can be quite hard to fight they happy that they can bring while hooking along.

Here’s to lots of big and happy crochet ahead!!

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Welcome 2011…

Blogging,Craft,Random | Saturday January 1 2011 | 12:12 pm | Comments (5) | Tags: , , , , |

Are you feeling that anticipation of a fresh, new year starting?  I’d love to say I was but I just can’t get it.  Maybe it will come, maybe not.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of new year.  I tend to think if things are to change then why wait until a landmark date.  The last few months have been pretty tough for me and my family, and will be for a few months yet, so maybe our fresh start will be later in the year.

But until then there is still plenty to do.  There’s always crochet and now that I have more time on my hands I will have more time to do the things I enjoy, which can’t be a bad thing, can it?

So what will I be doing with that time:

  • I have signed up and paid up to be in Jane Crowfoot’s Crochet Club, starting later in January.  I am really excited about this and can’t wait to get started!

 

  • I am going to finish the granny stripe blanket from which I took an unplanned sabbatical for several months.

  • I want to get more involved in the crochet ‘community’ online.  I already read a lot of sites and blogs but intend to get more active and talkative.

 

  • Speaking of blogging, I fully intend to have a more regular presence right here.  It’s my place in the crochet community after all, so I plan to use it!

 

  • I have a Folksy shop account, and I might just open for business.  Being unemployed now I will be glad of any extra funds I can bring in.

 

  • Oh, I will see if I can find time to get myself a job too!

I hope I see you somewhere along the way!   X X

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