Since the weather has turned Spring like, we have been spending some much needed time in the garden. I've done a fair bit of weeding and the garden is starting to look a bit tidier. We had our first BBQ of the year earlier in the week and the tortoises are in heaven now that they have finally been allowed to venture outdoors.
No idea what this post will look like as this is my first blog post using my phone. If it all goes to plan, I will hopefully be able to blog a bit more frequently. :)
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
So, I promised I would tell you what I have made with this wool that was kindly given to my by this lovely lady. I decided I may just have enough to make a shawl and found this beautiful snug looking shawl in a magazine that I bought a couple of months ago.
I made a start and boy, is this wool amazing to work with. So soft, doesn't split, works up really quickly. I really really enjoyed making this. Anyway, you may be interested in the magazine that I got the pattern from. It's from the makers of Inside Crochet which I have never bought before. Now don't be put off by the awful neon chain link scarf on the front cover, there are multiple crochet treasures awaiting inside this publication. It was a little pricy at £9.99 but it is chocca full of patterns and I have already made/am making 4 things from this mag and have plans to make many more - no really, I have already bought yarn specifically for one of the projects!
This is really rather strange for me as I'm usually quite particular about what I want to make and search the internet for patterns. I don't think I have ever bought a crochet magazine before as the patterns never seem to appeal. Also, if the publishers of Simply Crochet are reading this (almost definitely not!) you're going to have to up your game quite a lot more before I fork out any money for your magazine, the patterns are just not my thing at all. Considering they are the same publishers as Mollie Makes (which I really like) I was quite disappointed that the Simply Crochet mag does not match Mollie Makes' high standards. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.
I finished the shawl very quickly, missing off the frilly edging and just doing a border of the same stitch as the main pattern. I steam blocked the shawl with the iron and left it to dry, then popped out to the charity shop to look for a toggle button. As luck would have it, there was one lone toggle in the button bowl and as is usually the case, the charity shop worker had no clue about its price so gave it to me for free. Hoorah. I hasten to add, I did buy some other stuff at said charity shop so they didn't miss out.
It's really difficult trying to take a photo of yourself whilst modelling a shawl. Sorry about the awful photos. E got a camera for her birthday last week so hopefully she will be willing to take better photos for me. :)
I really loved making this shawl and it goes perfectly with my winter coat. I can see myself wearing it instead of a cardie in the Spring/Autumn too.
Last week I had a huge sort through of my yarn stash. Now all wool is in one bag and all cotton is in another. I know exactly what I've got so I can choose my next projects accordingly. (Trying to sound very organised there, which is wildly inaccurate!) I am currently trying to finish off a few UFOs as well as they seem to be piling up in bags throughout the house. Unfortunately (well, very fortunately to be honest!) I went to the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show last week with Alison and we had a ball and I added significantly to my wool stash. Will let you know about it soon. x
Wednesday, 6 March 2013
I am ashamed to say that I received this parcel quite a while ago and still haven't blogged about it. Today is the day!
I volunteered to join in with making a blanket for charity - see Mum's Simply Living Blog - the details of joining in with the Bloggy Blanket are here. I waited with anticipation for the blanket to arrive, mulling over in my head which yarn to use and which blocks I would add (with the help of my 200 Crochet Blocks book). A parcel arrived and I carefully opened it to find a card and two packages beautifully wrapped in tissue paper. The contents of one package were the two skeins of wool above. Oh my goodness, this is the most gorgeous, delicious wool. The colour is difficult to describe, sort of purple with a pearlescent thread running through it, intermingled with the odd splodge (for want of a better word!) of teal, mint green and strawberry red. It's a Colinette Art yarn, colour Mint Chocolate 151 and it is just amazing. This yarn was very generously slipped into the package by the very lovely and extremely kind Thrifty Mummy Hen - thank you so much, I love it and you are too kind.
Now, I have had this wool sat in my little wool basket next to the sofa for a few weeks now, every so often getting it out of its tissue paper for a little stroke and ponder over what I could make with it. Well, I have almost finished , just a bit of blocking and the addition of a button possibly and all will be done. I will take photos and blog asap, promise.
Anyway, the other package of course contained the bloggy blanket.
So many different squares have been completed so far, some I recognised as I was flicking through the 200 blocks book. As you can see, once I'd added the 5 squares I completed, the blanket is no longer square, in fact it looks rather abstract. But it is growing and it needs to get a bit bigger, sort of lap sized. This is where we need your help - could you volunteer to add a few more squares?
If so, please take a look at Mum's Simply Living Blog Bloggy Blanket Chain and follow the instructions. Seeing as I received such a beautiful gift with the blanket, I am planning on sneaking in a little gift to the next person to receive the blanket. Probably something handmade. What do you say?
Monday, 4 February 2013
Apologies for my absence. It's been a busy few weeks here, we have had our bathroom and cloakroom ripped out and refitted. Still ongoing, one more day later on this week should mean everything is fitted and then we just need to get around to painting walls and ceilings. It didn't help that we got a whole load of snow during the process, I thought we may not be able to fit much more in the skip as it kept filling up with the white stuff! You can still see just a little bit of turquoise bath in there - lovely. I've got so much to blog about, just need to get photos sorted. xx
Wednesday, 16 January 2013
All the ends have been sewn in and a border of three rows of plain treble clusters has been completed. I thought the colours could do all the talking so the border is nothing fancy. Perfect for little people to fling over themselves and poke their toes through the holes (why do they all do that?!) without me getting annoyed. This blanket was finished back in December and has seen quite a bit of use since then. Still love the jewel like colours against the black outline.
As soon as I'd finished I decided I would do a bit of stash busting. I have an increasing supply of left over yarn from previous projects, and also odd balls of pure wool/part wool yarn from charity shops or donated to me by my Mum. I have been wanting to make a giant granny square blanket for a while and rather than buy yet more wool to make one, the oddments piling up in my wardrobe were going to get used.
This is the very beginning of the blanket. I love looking back at photos like this - the very start of something that I have made, before I even knew what it was going to look like. This was definitely not a project that had been planned in any great detail. I had wool and lots of it and I was going to turn it into a blanket in any which way I could. I started off with the smallest oddments, those teeny tiny lengths of wool that most other people would chuck out but I squirrel them away, knowing they will get used eventually.
Some of the wools I have used are the leftovers from my very first crochet blanket. It was such a lovely blanket to make, reminiscing about previous things I have made. The blanket grew and grew until I ran out of wool (apart from some more of that mid blue wool but I want to add a few more stripes of different colours before I do another few rows of blue.) and this is where the Never Ending name comes from. I am going to keep adding to this blanket every time I find some more wool or have leftovers from another project. The blanket will keep on growing until it is enormous.
I suppose it's about 1m square at the moment and it's getting some use already. All ends have been sewn in, pretty much as I went along - very unlike me! I'm loving this blanket already, even if it is a bit scratchy. Probably needs a wash to soften it up. Can you see what my favourite colours are? Blues, greys, greens, with the odd splash of mustard or coral. It fits into our lounge perfectly.
And the best thing of all? Both of these blankets were made out of my wool stash (just had to buy a couple of balls of black for the jewel blanket) so I have been very thrifty over the past few months.
Do you think I will ever stop making blankets? I think not. Although I have made a few things recently that are not blanket related. Will blog about them soon. x
Thursday, 10 January 2013
More makes for the kitchen, only these were made back in December. Once we had painted the walls, we put up some plain white roller blinds. Yes you can see two blinds for one window, there is a very good reason. Because it is a 1960s house the windows are all very wide, meaning that the cost of having blinds especially made is quite high. Seeing as the kitchen was just getting a mini makeover whilst we decide what we are doing with it, we just went ahead and bought two inexpensive blinds which do the job perfectly.
Anyway, we had to cut the blinds to fit therefore leaving me with two long strips of blind fabric that I couldn't possibly throw out.
I made a cardboard template and started cutting out circles of fabric. Then E came over to see what I was doing so I got her to work on the sewing machine.
She had loads of fun stitching these circles together right down the middle, just using plain white cotton thread. It didn't take very long to do although I'm sure she would have sat there for an hour stitching away.
I draped the finished garland over the kitchen window and it has been there ever since. BTW, this is not one of my original ideas, there are loads of these garlands dotted around the internet at the moment. But I'd definitely recommend giving it a go, such fun as Miranda's Mum would say!
Another mini make for the kitchen came about once I saw this after spending a considerable amount of time painting everything in sight brilliant white. It was starting to bug me but I had a little plan which took about 20 minutes to create.
Very ugly non white radiator cap. Not a good look.
Good old crochet. My husband shook his head in disgust and reminded me that you can actually buy replacement radiator caps, but there's no fun in that is there? Yes I think I am going mad but you really can crochet anything, pretty much!
The kitchen is still not yet quite finished but we are on the home straight. More photos to follow.
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
In fact, lots of new projects appearing in the PB house over the past couple of months. Not sure why, just got many ideas floating around in my head which need to be made into things. I thought about this one a couple of days ago and just had to make it. The kids went back to school today so this afternoon was the prime opportunity to have another go at quilting - well, my version of quilting anyway.
I cut out 6 strips of fabric (vintage duvet covers) and stitched them together, cut a piece of backing fabric the same size and also cut an old fleece blanket for the wadding. This was most definitely a "use what I could find around the house" type of project. It was also a project where I probably broke about a thousand quilting rules. I made it up as I went along, no instructions, just see what happens and deal with any mistakes that may arise.
Once I had sewn them all together I searched around again, looking for something to finish my mini quilt off as it was looking very plain.
After unsuccessfully attempting to blanket stitch around the outside using embroidery thread (it would appear I only possess blunt embroidery needles and my thumb is still smarting as proof) I took the easy option and did a simple slip stitch all the way around.
I then found a very small amount of leftover Rico cotton yarn (from the summer chevron blanket) and half trebled (htr, ch 1) all the way around. Nothing too fancy.
Finished in approx. 2 hours. Not bad going for me, considering I had to choose the fabrics in that time too. I am terrible at choosing fabrics, too much indecision and changing my mind at the last minute.
And here it is in action - a little mug mat for the new-to-us kitchen table. My kitchen is currently being Dottie Angeled! And we found a table on ebay - grey and white formica topped 1950s style. Just got to find some stools/chairs to go with it. We also have new floor, bright white painted tiles (see above, it worked out really well - clean, sand, prime and 2 coats of emulsion), and bright white walls and ceiling. It's looking so much better in there and it's somewhere we actually want to spend time. It even turns into a mini tapas bar early Saturday evening. A glass of red wine and some olives, feta and a few crisps and dips, radio on and you really could be in a tapas bar if you stretched your imagination quite a long way!
I am now looking forward to having another go at quilting, maybe another mug mat but with binding around the edge. I chickened out on the binding this time and I'm glad I did as I really like the crochet border. I'll post soon with more photos of the kitchen, it's nearly finished. Honest, we're getting there.
PS. There's no tea in that mug but you knew that anyway didn't you? x