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Craft | Wednesday October 13 2010 | 5:36 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , , , |

I was reading a month or two ago on Ravelry about someone who put a lot of time and love into crocheting a baby blanket for a close friends only to have the gift dismissed and cast aside when she gave it to her friend on the baby’s arrival.  Of course there was lots of sympathy on Ravelry as we all put so much into the gifts we make.  I have never experienced that sort of reaction but I would be very upset if I did.

Some commenters were saying that maybe the recipient didn’t know the blanket was hand made for her, or maybe she was worried about caring for a handmade item, particularly given how messy babies can be!  Both completely possible scenarios.

One of the commenters gave a link to an item she had bought on Etsy from Knit, in the form of little tags to put on crafted / gifted items with details of the composition and laundry instructions.  It is a tin of little gift tags that say ‘A hand-crocheted gift’ – there’s no mistaking that is there!!! 

They are so cute and such a brilliant and simple idea, very well executed.  When I gift a handmade item I usually give the recipient a band from the ball of yarn, but that’s not very pretty.

I bought one tin of these and had intended to give some of them to my crocheting friend whose birthday approaches (yes chick, you know who you are!) but I am not sure I can part with any of them!  Maybe I’ll need to buy some more for her.  Knit is currently away from Etsy having a baby herself but due back very soon, so have a look!

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Happy Stats (yes, it’s back!)

Blogging | Monday September 20 2010 | 5:40 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , |

So it’s been a tough few weeks.  I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve had a happy skippy smiley time and been away having fun.  But a few corners have been turned and myself and others are starting to get back to ‘normal’.

Family wise there are things going on which won’t be over soon.  But it’s these times that remind me why family comes first.  First, last and everything in between actually!  And they always will.

As for work and pending redundancy, well… time will tell.

I wanted to record a few happy things as from the past few days so welcome back to Happy Stats:

  • Having my say!  As part of my redundancy (or any redundancy) there is a consultation period before any final notice is given.  It’s a chance to give feedback on the situation, its impact etc.  Well, I had a lot to say.  Sometime there are advantages of being very pedantic.  I’m a stickler for policy and procedure, but also for fairness.  After several days of crying, I spent the last few weeks researching, thinking and getting my head round things and this past week its all come together into really quite a harsh report that I submitted at work last Friday.  Now that it’s out of my hands I feel a combination of relief and apprehension.  But as I said, time will tell!

 

 

 

  • My new Cath Kidston pillow cases.  They make me smile to myself when I lie my weary head upon them. (Look, you can see them in the pic above!)

 

  • Preparing a guest post for someone else’s blog!  Ooooooooh, fancy that!

 

  • Starting to plan my Christmas makes, and receiving orders to make other people’s presents too!

 

  • Oh Comely magazine!  Fantastic, witty, stylish and quirky. GO BUY IT!  I can’t put it any plainer than that!  (If you read Issue 2 come back and tell me how much you laughed at the article about posting things in the mail!  I cried laughing!)
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Colour on a rainy day

Craft,Random | Tuesday August 3 2010 | 8:11 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been getting a lot of lovely comments recently, particularly on Flickr, about the colours and colour order of the stripes on my granny stripe blanket.  It made me realise that I haven’t shared what the shades or yarn are or what colour order actually is.  So here goes: 

  1. 1023 Raspberry
  2. 1061 Plum
  3. 1241 Fondant
  4. 1019 Cloud Blue
  5. 1422 Aspen
  6. 1316 Spring Green
  7. 1432 Wisteria
  8. 1390 Clematis
  9. 1084 Magenta
  10. 1081 Saffron
  11. 1132 Shrimp
  12. 1246 Lipstick
  13. 1083 Pomegranate
  14. 1067 Grape
  15. 1034 Sherbet
  16. 1003 Aster
  17. 1068 Turquoise
  18. 1062 Teal
  19. 1065 Meadow

All yarn is Stylecraft Special DK.

I chose to use a repeat colour pattern for this blanket as I like the order of that and if I didn’t I would forever be scrutinising it to find combinations I am not happy with.  OK, I guess the other side of that coin is that you see lovely ones that hadn’t been anticipated, but I won’t think about that too much.

I haven’t done any crafting other than the granny stripe blanket for ages now and I am quite enjoying having just one large project to focus on.  However, I have had a whole weekend off crochet which as dampened my spirits a little, particularly when I needed a bit of a lift.  I was finding that my right wrist was getting quite sore after I had done quite a lot of crochet this past week.  I have read many times about crocheteers and knitters who end up with wrist problems and I really don’t want to have that.  So I rested like a good girl.

There is one, and only one, advantage of not crocheting!  It meant I could paint my nails!  How is nail painting linked to crocheting?  You may well ask!!  I love to have colourful painted nails but find that on the evenings I crochet I can’t do my nails as they are never fully dried and set before I pick up my work and as a result I get dents on my polish.  If I leave it until after I have crocheted for the evening I get dents in it from getting ready for bed. 

It may be a minor thing in the scheme of things, but it always makes me feel a little cheerier!

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=(A1*A2)*((A3*A4)+A5)

Craft | Wednesday July 21 2010 | 8:36 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , |

I wouldn’t say I’m getting bored with the granny stripe blanket, but it gives me lots of time to think while working on it and I got to thinking about how many stitches were in it, and its a lot!!!

63,441 to be precise!!!  And that’s before any border (because I haven’t decided what sort of border to put on it yet)

I reckon I’ve completed approximately 19,000 of those stitches to date.

That’s 19,000 down 44,441 to go!!

I love spreadsheets so what else could I do but work out the formula to calculate the number of stitches:

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Loose ends

Craft | Monday July 12 2010 | 10:07 pm | Comments (7) | Tags: , , |

 

I’ve been a busy bee getting on with my granny stripe blanket and really, really enjoying working on a relatively zero thought required project.  Since my last post about it I’ve now completed the second round of each colour and started on the third.

I keep changing my mind about which colours I like best, with a view to those that I can use as an outer border when all the stripes are finished.  At present I am really liking the moss green and raspberry shades that are in the middle of the picture above (perhaps with a lighter one too), and these are the first and last colours in every round.  I also love pink and green together – hence the colours of this website!  However, no doubt by the time I get to the point of starting the border I shall have considered every colour combination available!

And then there are all the loose ends…

 

Two ends for every single colour change to be precise!  That’s over 80 so far!  And guess what… I haven’t sewn a single one in yet: shame on me!!  I will do some before I get very much further.  Promise!

I am starting to get a bit concerned that I will run out of yarn before the blanket is the size I want it to be so I have done some weighing and calculating.  With one ball each of 19 colours at my present rate I will end up with a blanket approximately 170cm square, before I put any border on it.  I think I will prefer it rectangular so I will be getting some more yarn.  Each stripe uses around 20g of yarn (remember I’m using a 4.5mm hook).  I’m going to aim for 7 repeats of the stripe rounds so another full set of yarn will give me plenty to do that, complete the border and have plenty left over for a few cushions. 

On the basis of 7 repeats I’m about a third of the way through so far, and thankfully its still a pleasure to work on.  I am likely to start getting a little distracted and working on a few other bits and pieces now and then before this is finished, but its a great make and I can’t wait until the colder days (did I really say that) when it’s finished and I can use it.

Caveman and I have just booked a week away in late autumn to our favourite Yorkshire cottage so my aim is to be finished by then.  A while off, yes, but these things can’t be rushed!

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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!

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