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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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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19 little balls of yarn sitting in a row!

Craft | Thursday June 17 2010 | 5:54 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been merrily hooking along with Attic 24’s hook-a-long for the past week or so and loving all the gorgeous colours of yarn.  And it’s a real pleasure to be making something for myself after lots of making for others and making for craft fairs.

However, Ive had quite a dilemma with the yarn.  I started off with the first few colours in the order that Lucy had started but I have a few different shades so needed to go my own way at some point.  I just couldn’t decide which order to use them in.  I’m completely rubbish at throwing caution to the wind and mixing it all up so I needed to plan the actual order.

With 19 balls of yarn that was going to take up a lot of space if nothing else,  I cut a swatch from each ball and played around with those but just couldn’t get the full effect.  Then I lined up each ball along the back of my settee and left them there for a while.  I found that living with the colours for a few days really helped.  I kept spotting something that wasn’t right and did a little jiggery pokery.  OK, a lot of jiggery pokery.  I even ripped a few rows of the blanket back when I got it wrong.

Now I think I’ve got it right and I am nearly finished my first full circuit of each colour.  For the most part the colours flow from one to the next fairly well, with a few obvious changes in direction along the way.  I am so delighted with the results so far and I’m enjoying making it so much its very exciting to have a big project on the go.

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From Manchester to Bucharest

Blogging,Craft | Monday June 7 2010 | 5:29 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , , , , |

Some things just take a long time to come to fruition and for Anca there was a long, long wait for her pincushion swap, but she sent me a very excited email this afternoon saying ‘My pincushion is here!’.

The first pincushion I made for the Fox’s Lane Pincushion Swap aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages ago disappeared somewhere in the postal system and Anca, my swap partner and I were both really, really disappointed.  After exchanging several emails about where it could be I downloaded a claim / complaint form from the Royal Mail.  While it is possible to report it as missing, it is virtually impossible to claim for the lost contents.  They want receipts for everything: how is that possible for hand crafted items I made myself.  I’m not at all bothered about the money side of it, but the principle of that makes me more than a little gggrrrrrrrrrr!

Anyway, I couldn’t possibly leave Anca without a pincushion, so I made another one and I didn’t tell her I was sending it!  Sneaky huh??  I posted it ‘international signed for’ so it was receipted and tracked from door to door.  I wasn’t taking any chances this time!! 

I’ve already written up details of themaking the pincushion itself but now that I know the second pincushion has arrived safely in Bucharest I want to reveal all the details of my side of the swap.  I wrote up a post about 2 months ago in anticipation of the pincushion parcel arriving with details of all the little goodies I sent Anca and I still want to share those, despite them disappearing, so the rest of this post is from that original draft:

I was very excited when I first looked at Anca’s lovely website Happy hang around and started thinking of what I could make for her.  She has a coffee shop in Bucharest so I felt a donut pincushion was just perfect.  Coffee and donuts are a perfect combination in my opinion.

The other exciting thing about Anca is that she LOVES owls – more than I do I think.  Therefore, I just had to send her a few little owley things.  I found the pattern for lovely little owlets at Littlegreen and although this one I made has slightly squinty eyes I love its cute and homemade look.

I really enjoyed choosing and wrapping up the little parcels to send to Anca, a complete stranger apart from what I’d read on her website.  The knowledge that I was able to make and chose a few little bits and pieces as treats for a stranger was very exciting.

Anca also loves postcards and is part of a postcard exchange called Postcrossing.  I chose the best of a rather poor selection of postcards of Manchester to send.  Apart from Manchester United Football Club there aren’t really any particular landmarks that make Manchester instantly recognisable unless you already know the city, so I just chose one with pictures that seemed to be taken in this century.

To complete the package I got a few little owl stationery things to send too.  I love stationery so it was fun chosing them.

Many, many thanks to Kate at Fox’s Lane for organising this swap.  You can see some of the other gorgeous pincushions made for the swap in its Flickr group.  It’s been the first I’ve taken part in and I am sure it won’t be my last.  Maybe I’ll even organise one myself.  I have an idea of what I’d like to swap so let me know if you are interested and I’ll keep you posted.

 

The original whole swap package (sadly missing!):

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Hook-a-long

Craft | Wednesday June 2 2010 | 7:33 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been after a new crochet project.  A big project.  Something to get my teeth into.  A blanket sized project to be precise.  And as if by magic Lucy at Attic 24 has started a granny stripe blanket hook-a-long just at the right time!  A lovely colourful yummy stripey granny stripe blanket!  Perfect!

The yarn is Stylecraft Special double knit which is 100% acrylic.  I’ve used similar before and it is a good practical, easy to work with yarn.  It’s also great value and comes in loads of colours!

So far I’ve made only a couple of minor changes from Lucy’s instructions.  I ordered a couple of slightly different shades of yarn, as I’m not keen on an awful lot of blue and there was a lot of blue in Lucy’s shade selection.  However, there were a couple of balls out of stock so I’m waiting for 4 to follow to complete the selection below:

 

I’m also using a 4.5mm hook.  I just wanted it to be a little thicker and bigger without having to add more stitches.  This will use a bit more yarn but I have a extra to start off with, when the remainder comes.

Look how much I’ve done so far…

 

Well, I only started this evening (and you can’t see from this picture that it’s actually about 2metres long)!!

There’s just one thing I don’t understand.  Why did I buy this bright orange yarn?  It doesn’t match, it wasn’t in the recipe and yes, it did look this shade on screen!  Words fail me!  Needless to say it won’t be going in the blanket but if you need any hi-vis crochet, give me a shout!

 

Now that I’ve got plenty of crochet to do, I’m away to get on with it!

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