It’s raining, it’s pouring

Random | Thursday November 4 2010 | 9:31 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: , , , |

the old man isn’t snoring, because he’s wide awake and sitting next to me!

But is it a dark and wet day here in Yorkshire.  Dreich as one would say in Scotland!

It’s the last full day of our holiday today and although we didn’t have an actual plan, the weather really would have put us off doing anything outdoors or driving too far.  Instead we had a drive out to some pretty villages, coming home via the supermarket to pick up some cake, something for dinner and to put petrol in the car for tomorrow’s drive home!  Boo hoo!

Here we are once again cosy indoors with tea, cake and a log fire while the wind howls around outside.  We even pushed the boat out and made a pot of tea – now we don’t often do that at home!  One of my lasting memories of our holiday will be this scene, pretty much as it was last year too:

 

I put this time to good use and finished the pot holder I mentioned in my last post.  I love these colours!  The yarn is the Stylecraft Special DK that I used for my Granny Stripe Blanket so I have lots of colours already and the point I am at in the blanket means I have a tiny amount left on each ball before I start a new ball so I am using up the little balls for bits and bobs like this.  Now here’s a confessio!  I’m not sure if a potholder is meant as a pot stand, ie a trivet, or for lifting a pot, like an oven glove.  However, I am pretty paranoid about burning myself on the oven and hot dishes so I think I will continue to use my purpose made heavy duty oven gloves, and use this as a mat.  The thing I particularly like about it is Alice’s little shell pattern around the edge:

Sheep and crows to show you today.  The crows here seem move together in great waves, like a black speckled cloud!

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Granny Square Cushion! Done!

Craft | Wednesday October 27 2010 | 7:41 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

I feel very naughty to be posting this so late after I actually finished the project, but I guess that’s no reason not to!

Over the summer I started using the Rowan Amy Butler yarn I bought with my Hobbycraft winnings.  Just before I received the vouchers I’d bought just a couple of balls, as it’s not cheap, but I went back for more and had plenty to make this one cushion and I plan to make its twin soon.

The yarn is Rowan Belle Organic DK, 50% Organic wool and 50% Organic Cotton.  The shades I used are:

  • 005 Basil
  • 012 Tomato
  • 013 Moonflower
  • 015 Slate (the name and shade on Rowan website indicate this is a grey, but the yarn I used is more purple – so maybe some sort of mix up on labels!)
  • 017 Zinc

 

 

I used a standard granny square pattern for the body of the cushion and both sides are the same.  I wanted the cover to be removable so on one side I made two rows of double crochet (UK) and on the second of those rows made evenly spaced chain loops as button holes:

On the other side I then made two rows of double crochet along one edge (which the buttons would be sewn onto):

 

I then put the two sides together and made two double crochet around the remaining 3 edges:

 

Then I changed colour and completed another double crochet row around the remaining 3 sides and across the plain edge (without the buttonhole loops) and :

I did attempt a picot edge, of sorts, but it added too much of a frill to the edge so i took it off again.  I liked the pink trim but not the effect this additional trim created:

 

Then it was on with the buttons:

Et voila!  A granny cushion:

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Crochet for Breakfast

Craft | Wednesday October 20 2010 | 8:39 pm | Comments (5) | Tags: , , |

This morning I awoke at an embarrassingly early hour. 5.00am to be precise, and that’s not like me. You see, I’m a real night owl. I believe my natural sleep pattern is from about 2.00am – 10.00am. This does not fit well with a standard 9-5 job, so I do try to be in bed by about midnight, and last night I wasn’t much later than that.

So why was I awake to early today? I have no idea other than the fact that I have a lot going on at the moment and my head is all a-spin with it.

There was however a plus side. I had breakfast at home while watching the news (I love the news by the way – in fact I write this while listening to the Comprehensive spending Review here in the UK on the radio – we will all know our financial fate by the end of this!). After breakfast I still had an hour before I even needed to get ready for work. The best thing to do in that hour was crochet! Well, I couldn’t do anything noisy at 7am and disturb my neighbours, could I?

I had already started the first strip of my circles scarf and I was able to get that finished. Don’t you love the way the colours blend into one another and mix and match along the length of this strip and within each circle. Brilliant and simple.  Each circle doesn’t lie as flat as I would have liked, but I will give it a press and hopefully it will be a bit better.  

The pattern itself is deceptively simple.  Its basically just a shell pattern at intervals along a chain, and then the same on the other side of the chain. 

I have no intention of making early starts a regular thing.  In fact I am hoping it doesn’t become a habit – it’s not one I would like to have.  I am always stunned when people tell me the things they manage to do before coming to work each day – hanging washing out, cleaning the floor, making lunches.  Even more impressive are those who manage to get themselves AND kids out on time.  I can just get myself out.

Ah well, roll on bed time!

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Circling

Craft | Sunday October 17 2010 | 6:17 pm | Comments (6) | Tags: , , |

The current issue of Inside Crochet magazine has a scarf pattern that I really like the look of.  They call it the ‘Circles Scarf’ and it looks like its made up of lots and lots of individual circles joined together.  In fact its made in strips along the length that are joined in whole rows as you go along, not one by one, thankfully!

The recommended yarn is Noro Silk Garden sock yarn but I think it’s not ideal as it’s not cheap (unless making a really luxury gift or treat) and its also quite scratchy, as the pattern acknowledges.

On my first visit to Purl City Yarns this week I saw King Cole Riot for the first time which I really liked the look of.  It’s great value (at £3.95 a ball) compared to the Noro  and has a similar look but much softer.  It wasn’t available in quite the same shades, but the one I chose will suit this project quite well as it has many shades throughout it, dusky versions of primary colours.

The Riot is a double knit yarn, so I am using a 3.5mm crochet hook, just to make it a little more delicate than the 4.00mm would.

I am very naughty and never make tension squares!  I know many of you will be rolling your eyes now!  I have a very even and standard tension and rarely have a problem with tension.  Also I don’t always make things where the tension is critical.  I can normally read pattern and get an idea of what is involved and how to approach it in my head.  However, the start of this pattern just did not register with me – I could not make any sense of it so all I could do was start the tension square instructions and follow each step quite literally to see it it became clearer!  Thankfully it did!!

 

It was actually really straightforward, once I got going.  I did mess up the middle of one of the circles (look at center of one closest to hook in first picture above) but it will be fine when I do it for real.

I think this will be an easy pattern to follow now and I’m looking forward to churning out rows and rows of those circles in the days ahead!

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Flat top!

Craft | Saturday October 2 2010 | 7:17 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , , |

I’m having a bit of trouble with a circle!   I’ve crocheted many circles before and they have come out round and flat, but not this one.  It’s not critical that it’s completely flat, as its for the top of a hat, but if you’d seen some of the versions before this one you’d agree they definitely wouldn’t have worked.

So this circle has been ripped back more times than I care to remember.  I ended up more or less making up each round as I went along.  Standard circle increases on each round weren’t working and in the end I have repeated each increase pattern for two rows instead of putting more stitches between each increase with each new round.  It seems to be working!  It isn’t completely flat, but that’s OK for this project.

This circle is the top of a beret for my sister-in-law as it was her birthday yesterday.  Don’t worry, it’s not going to be late really as I’m off to Scotland this week and will see her on Thursday.  Good job as with this cold autumnal weather she’ll need it to keep her ears warm!  Brrrrrrr!

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An apple a day

Craft | Wednesday September 1 2010 | 5:40 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , , |

Two of my buddies from work are getting themselves a Civil Partnership this week and I wanted to make them a little gift to celebrate.  I have settled on a set of my super cute little apple coasters which are a real favourite of mine and have been really popular with everyone who has seen them.

I got the pattern from a booklet in a magazine earlier this year (sorry, can’t remember which one) and they are really simple to make.  The basic shape is really simple as it starts off as just a few circular rounds then the last one makes the curvy apple shape with a combination of slip stitches, doubles, half trebles and trebles.  Simple but very effective in my opinion!  I have tried to adapt the basic pattern to make a pear shape too but haven’t quite mastered that yet, but it isn’t far off.  I’ll share pics of that if I ever master it.

And in case you’re wondering, all the rubbishy stuff is still going on, but I have decided that as crafting and blogging are what keeps me sane and clinging onto the planet, I am not going to let them be affected!

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