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

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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!

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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.

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Avanother go

Craft | Thursday February 18 2010 | 12:11 am | No Comments | Tags: , , |

Remember the Ava wrap from Vintage Crochet that I was going to make for myself after all the baby crochet was done?  Well it hasn’t quite gone to plan.

I bought beautiful Louisa Harding Flotsam yarn, although not the original one from the pattern, which is Grace.  When I started working with the Flotsam I found that it just wasn’t going to be easy to do any sort of lacy or complex stitch pattern as the yarn is made up of a number of different strands.  As a result it was really hard to see the loops or to count stitches.  I had a go but realised rather quickly that I was going to be fighting a losing battle with this pattern in this yarn.

Ava wrap in Louisa Harding Flotsam

I had a look online for the Grace yarn but it was rather expensive so I am going to look for an alternative.  I think most smooth DK yarns with a clearly defined stitch finish will work really well, and of course I need to find a luscious colour! 

I think the Flotsam will work brilliantly in a flat piece of crochet that isn’t a particularly lacy pattern, maybe a bag or something like that.  Hmm, I’ll need to have a good think about that one.

And so this has left me without a project on the go, so maybe I’ll crack on with some  more things for my next craft fair at end of March.  At present making coasters is my new obsession – details soon!

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Why didn’t I think of that?

Craft | Sunday January 24 2010 | 11:02 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , |

I know several people who mark the start of a new year with a new project.  Some learn a new skill, others aim to do something creative ever day, Caveman and others we know are are doing a self portrait photograph each week, for example on Flickr in 52 Weeks

So, what am I doing?  Well, nothing!  Then I found something that made me stop and think ‘I could do that’, kind of!

I’ve heard of Meet Me At Mikes many times but never looked at it.  When I did look at it for the first time yesterday I found A Granny A Day! Genius!

Pip is making a granny square every day of  the year.  Wow, I thought, that’s some commitment.  They are quick to make but one every single day?  One a week would be a bit more realistic for me, so that’s my plan.  Not just an ickle granny square though, I’m going to try to make a 6inch square every week to learn a new pattern or skill. 

I don’t have a grandmother myself, having lost one nearly 6 years ago and one before I was born, but by the end of this year I plan to have 52 of them.

It is now week 4 of 2010 so I have a little bit of catching up to do, but its early enough in the year to get it done, I’m sure.

Look out for weekly posts called ‘Granny No #’ from now until the end of the year and if you think I’m slipping, give me a nudge!

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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

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