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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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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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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The Art of Crochet

Craft | Wednesday January 20 2010 | 8:32 pm | Comments (7) | Tags: , |

The art of crochet‘Have you seen the new crochet magazine?’ Everyone’s been asking me!  I’d seen the adverts on TV and finally bought a copy of issue 1, a bargain at 99p (future issues £2.99)!  The patterns looked OK, a DVD to get you started, 2 balls of yarn, a 4mm crochet hook, gifts with future issues, extra gifts if I subscribe within 7 days, loose pages to slot into a forthcoming folder, squares to crochet every week to make a blanket, complete  in just 120 issues.  Perfect!  I mean, what? Wait a minute… how many?   

Now, I am not the most frugal with money [blush] but this didn’t add up.  Well, it did actually… to £358.80!  Yes, you get all of the above, but thinking about it more closely it wasn’t really so tempting.  I love the thought of crochet goodies popping through my letter box every week, but they send them in bulk every 4 weeks.

And the yarn is 25g of 100% acrylic.  I wouldn’t expect a top quality wool, but a nice cotton would be more than passable.  The patterns look OK on the whole, the type you get in knitting and crochet magazines mainly.  I do think there would be some things I’d make over time, but certainly not all of them.

I love the idea of making a blanket with all the squares from each issue, and I have been tempted by Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket Club, but its knitting not crochet and I don’t think I have all the knitting skills to complete it successfully. 

So shall I subscribe because it’s another crochet thing to read and play with or shall I spend my £358.80 over the next 2 years on a couple of workshops, several crochet books, quite a few magazines and lots and lots of lovely yummy scrummy yarn?  Decisions Decisions!!

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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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