Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A week in Wales

I thought it was about time I blogged about our week away in Wales. We had so much fun and the weather was fantastic as you can see from these photos of pure blue skies. These two photos are of our day trip to Aberystwyth, a lovely place where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and a quick trip to the beach and playground.

The views out to sea were stunning and we had plenty of time to appreciate them whilst the kids played in the best playground they had been to in a long time. We couldn't drag them away!

Of course I found a wool shop (bang next door to a charity shop, how convenient!) and nipped in to see what bargain wool they had. I had brought my hexagon blanket on holiday with me but just didn't feel like carrying on with it so I bought two giant balls of aran wool mix yarn and made a start on another diagonal crochet blanket. With fewer ends to sew in, obviously.

We went to New Quay twice as it was so fantastic. The beach was small but clean and sheltered and the sea was so clear. We even saw some dolphins swimming not so far away. The kids made the most of the beach and buried their Dad's feet.

See how clean the sea is? A bit chilly though!

F couldn't understand why the moat wasn't filling up. We aren't really beach holiday people usually. E confirmed that she definitely doesn't like the feel of sand and didn't like being in the sun (we ended up buying a cheap beach tent to provide us with a bit of shade from the scorching sunshine) but I do love the occasional day trip to the seaside in the UK.

Quite a lot of relaxing went on too - the cat was called Lewis and he basically came with the cottage we stayed in, which was on a farm. It was in the middle of nowhere and a very welcome break. Would definitely recommend if you need to get away from it all.

And before we knew it, the week was over and we headed back home to see Gerard, who didn't seem at all bothered about another cat sitting on his crochet blanket!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Recent charity shop finds

Some things I have bought from the charity shop over the past 3 months.

First up, a Krenit bowl bought for £3.50. I saw it, picked it up (not believing that it could possibly be a Krenit) turned it over and saw the Krenit sticker on the bottom and quickly paid for it and rushed out of the shop before anyone realised what it was. Why is it that the shop assistant always says "ooh, this is lovely" and starts looking at it when you know it is the biggest bargain and just want to get out of there and skip down the street?! Love my Krenit bowl.

I bought this planter last week from the local charity shop around the corner. I thought it looked nice but decided I didn't need any more planters. I just had to pick it up and turn it over, only to find that it is an Arabia Finland planter so I thought it was well worth spending £2.50 for it. Love the colour too.

This was my only Welsh charity shop find, another £2.50 bargain, there's about 3 metres of fabric there. Will be making some bags out of this.

These barkcloth fabrics were bought at a charity table top sale in a local church hall for 50p each. Yes, you read that right. Everything on the table was 50p and there were so many fabrics to choose from but I just chose the ones I loved the most. I also got this bird print fabric which I might make some cushions from. It's not my usual style but I love it just the same.

I got the following scarf from the local charity shop for £1. I love the colours, not sure I will ever wear it though.

These were labelled as placemats. Not sure why anyone would want some woolly placemats - maybe to soak up soup dribbles?! I thought they looked very welsh and made up for me not finding a welsh blanket whilst on holiday. These will going into my crafting supplies, might be useful for making purses or small bags.

I'd been looking for a clothes valet for ages and finally found one for less than a fiver at the local charity shop so easy to carry home. My husband is using it and I am looking for another one for me so I can relocate my wicker chair which is a dumping ground for clothes. It will free up some space in the bedroom so that we can admire our still going strong purple shagpile carpet. Bleurghhh!

And last but not least, a Sylvanian Families Department Store, not complete but well worth the £8 I spent on it. This stuff goes for a fortune on ebay and the kids have played with it happily since I got it at the weekend, and will do for a few more months, I'm sure. It's a win-win situation.

What have you found at the charity shop/thrift store recently? Have fun thrifting! xxx

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Diagonal crochet blanket finished

I might rename this blanket the Procrastination Blanket, or maybe the Plagued by Indecision Blanket. After zooming through all those diagonal stripes in a few short weeks, it sat on the side in the lounge for what seems like an eternity, waiting for me to get my act together and attempt the border. I always look forward to doing the border but then become extremely unsure of which border to choose, which colours to pick, how many rows etc etc.

I used several colours to create a few stripes - I referred to pattern no. 106 from this book. Once complete, the blanket was left to languish on the side for a few more weeks whilst I did other things - not much crochet going on in this house recently. I finally snapped this afternoon and had to pick it up and complete it - partly through boredom but mainly because we are heading off on holiday on Saturday and I wanted to take some crochet with me. I couldn't go without getting this blanket finished - I want to take the hexagon blanket with me to try to get that closer to completion. Too many UFOs and far too many ideas for new projects floating around in my head.

After the stripes, I felt it needed a bit more and decided to just crochet a row of treble clusters and see what it looked like, with the possibility of doing a picot edge to finish. Not having much of this colour left (certainly not enough to do the picot edge) I concluded that that's the end of this blanket. Just like that. No dithering, no procrastinating, just decisive.  It looks good, I have no desire to spend any more time faffing over the edge of this thing. I want to take it on holiday and it's going to be one of those blankets which is meant to be used, loved and effectively destroyed in the process!

And even though the end of this border was thrown together at the last minute with no real thought involved, I actually really like it. I love the rounded shape of the corners, a nice contrast to the sharp angles in the diagonal stripes. I also really love the texture of the blanket - because it is closely crocheted with no real gaps, it is extra warm and snuggly. Perfect for taking on a rainy week in Wales. I'm really hoping that we get at least a little bit of sunshine in amongst the showers. Please.

Oh yes, you know I said it was finished, well it nearly is, just a few ends to sew in. Story of my life...