Stash buster update

Hi there

It’s been weeks and weeks since I added to my seaside stash buster blanket, so I’ve got really behind with eleonora’s CAL. But today I got going again!

Having had no energy yesterday and done pretty much nothing at all, today I felt a bit more with it, and decided to try to do some crochet and feel like I’d achieved something. I’d done the rows of shells a while back but not blogged about them I think, and I’d had a go at the long waves but they’d gone wrong and I’d had to frog them. So I started with the waves today and lo and behold they went wrong again! I checked I had the right number of stitches in the row (which amazingly I did!) and then decided to mark off every 14 stitches of the pattern so I could keep track as I went. This really helped and meant it ended up as it was supposed to.

In my first attempt the plan had been to use the variegated yarn for the first wave row and the grey yarn for the second row, but each row has a row of double crochet along the top and this looked really odd when I had the variegated yarn coming back the other way. So I decided to use the grey yarn for the double crochet row to look a bit like the top of a wave breaking, and repeat that on all the wave rows . I’m not sure if it shows up in the photo very well but there is a sparkle in the variegated yarn which makes it look like the sun is twinkling on the sea. I’m really pleased with these rows, and chuffed that my niece chose the colours for me.

I finished these rows in the afternoon and decided to profit from the nice weather and take a photo on the grass in our back garden.

Then I carried on, and I liked eleonora’s choice of red and thought it would be cool on my blanket too, so I went with that.

I liked the offset pattern and I love the little stars effect on the next rows. There’s been a fair bit more frogging, not least on the last row where I somehow ended up with 6 more stitches than I was meant to. But redoing it has meant its fine now… All ready for the pebbles which are the second part of week 13, and now I’m only a week and a half behind.

The advantage of spring /summer and my seriously early bed time means I popped out into the garden again to take the final photos. This time my lovely husband had cut the grass! So now I have a nicer background, but for some reason my phone does not always seem to focus properly! Oops… Hope you get the idea though 😳

I’m not sure how much progress I make this week as We’ll have to see how tired I am after work.

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend of sunshine and craft 😊

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Quick update

Hi everyone

I’ve not posted for a while as I’ve been having a few health issues recently that mean I feel pretty much constantly exhausted, nauseous and dizzy. I think it’s side effects of some medication I’m on but I can’t get a drs appointment until the 10th May to attempt reducing/coming off it, and in the meantime life is rather a struggle. It’s got to the stage where I’m going to be going part time in work in a week’s time which will hopefully help, but again it’s a struggle waiting until things can begin to change. In trying to cope I’ve been going to bed about 8pm which leaves little time for crafting (not that I’ve got the energy most of the time) and even less for blogging.

But, I’ve taken photos of the things I’ve made, so I thought I’d share them here. Sorry, comments have been made about how I should not take photos on my red carpet and how I should really improve the quality of my photos. But if I have to add in the time and effort for that then I’d never blog at all. I figure if people really don’t like my photos then they’ll just stop following the blog!

First up, a couple of pages from my spiritual journal, with my first attempt at using my watercolours set. The paints themselves come in tubes and I assume that I just didn’t add enough water to them as they’ve ended up quite thick. The picture didn’t end up exactly as I hoped but it was fun to spend time thinking about transformation.

Next up, a little ammonite I knocked up while sitting in a hospital waiting room!

And here are some photos of a notebook I made from different bird themed handmade papers. I was quite proud of the cover which was actually two pieces of the front cover of a pad of paper that I stuck together and then covered

And finally, flamingo sketches from my trip to Slimbridge with my 7 year old niece during the Easter holidays. I was so proud of her attempts to sketch the constantly moving flamingoes, and her enthusiasm to keep doing more.

Since then she has sent me this postcard which she painted at home

Here are my attempts

I’m really pleased with my first two but the flapping one didn’t turn out as I’d hope. I don’t quite understand how my first two sketches feel like they have more movement in than the one which was in reality moving loads… Or maybe it’s just my imagination!

Here’s hoping you all have a lovely weekend, and lots of happy crafting 😊

Cute dachshund

Today I was in the mood for another quick and easy project, so I got out the little felt dachshund keyring kit that I was sent in one of my stitching santa parcels.

It was easy to cut out

and then I changed the order suggested, and sewed on the eyes and ears before sewing the two body pieces together.

Then I decided to use blanket stitch to join the body pieces together, even though back stitch was suggested. I discovered the reason for their suggestion when I got to the top part where you sew the ribbon and label in! But I kept going and just brought the needle back through the label before completing the blanket stitch.

He’s meant to have a little red neckerchief but it looked like it was strangling him (I may have stuffed him a bit too full!) so I didn’t go with that idea.

He’ll be a cute keyring, or ‘dangly bag thing’ to send to someone!

Plus, while catching up on a couple of episodes of masterchef I added a few rows to my C2C blanket.

Quick cat!

Today I made a card for someone who likes cats. I seem to be getting lots of practice at cats at the moment!

Once again I searched for cat tattoos and found this cute one

I then copied it, but unlike last time when although I drew a cute cat it wasn’t as cute as I’d hoped, this time although I thought the original image was cute, I ended up liking my one better!

Hopefully the recipient will like it too!

Progress on C2C, plus teaching and learning

Last time you saw my C2C blanket (in September last year!) it was rather small and looked like this!

I was asking advice on whether to use a 5mm or 4mm hook to continue and the consensus was 5mm. Well, it was so long ago that when I picked this project up to take on a trip to London to stay with family, I’d forgotten what size hook I needed to bring with it. So my blog was a great memory aid!

While I was away I got through the first ball of wool, and now it looks like this!

My nieces were interested in watching me crochet, especially R who is 8. She asked lots of questions about what I was doing, and enjoyed unravelling more wool for me, assessing how long I could go without stopping, and how fast I could crochet! When offered the chance to learn it for herself she seemed keen!

Once L (aged 5) heard this, she wanted to learn too! So I sat between them on the sofa and gave it a go. I’ve never taught anyone to crochet before… Adelina already had the basics and just needed reminding. But I knew from then that it helped if I crocheted alongside, demonstrating the stitches. I’d also learnt from when I was starting out, that it can be too confusing to try to learn all of our art the same time. My hold and technique was somewhat unorthodox initially, but got corrected once i’d got more confident with how the stitches were formed.

So, I got L started on a long chain stitch, (using a loom band hook, bless her, as I only had the hook I needed for my own crochet with me!) which she asked for help with periodically to change colour, but otherwise got on with herself. I didn’t bother to fuss about making it neat as I imagined she would just be happy with a chain stitch that could be used for a scarf for piggie her favourite cuddly toy. Hmmmmm…. I was wrong! After getting a decent length of chain (done if which was a bit twisted, but a lot of which was just perfect) she asked when she could turn it and add rows. I said I thought that might be a bit too tricky for her and why didn’t she just keep making the chain longer, but she then said to me that ‘you think it might be tricky for me, but I might be able to do it’. I couldn’t argue with her logic, so we gave it a go. I showed her how to double crochet, but given that the chains weren’t necessarily perfect I didn’t stress about trying to make sure she crocheted into them exactly right. So now she’s adding a row of double crochet to her chain, and doing a great job of remembering how to do this from one day to the next.

R is working on C2C and she’s also doing a fab job. She can also remember each stage from one day to the next, and her stitches are getting neater as she goes along. She started by having quite loose stitches, and picking up the stitches and loops on the hook to pass them over the wrapped yarn, but she’s now successfully experimenting with pulling the yarn through the loops just using the hook.

I’m so impressed with both of them, and very proud of them and their achievements.

Sewing book giveaway winner(s)

Hi there

Well, 5 people were interested in my giveaway of sunshine sewing

And the first name picked out of the folded up papers in my hands by my obliging husband was…….

Hannah from quiet water craft

However, there is a surprise second prize, of the book ‘the sewing machine’ by Natalie fergie

The second name drawn was Faye from the chicken grandma. Let me know if you’d like it (as I realise you didn’t sign up for that and may already have a copy, or not want to read it!) and I’ll either pop it in the post to you, or draw another name from those left!

It was a fun book, published by crowd funding through unbound which I’m loving as a way of being involved in helping authors to publish their books.

I had totally misunderstood the concept of this book, but really enjoyed reading it despite that! It took me a while to get into it but once I had met the main characters I was drawn in and read it really quickly. I loved the historical aspects to it, and looking back to previous generations. I would recommend it as a good read, even if you don’t sew.

Congratulations to you both 😊

A first attempt at bookbinding (!) and my completed paradox zentangle.

Well, as you do, today I had a go at making my own notebook, using some of the paper sent to me a week or so ago by the lovely rebecca. I can’t remember how I came across this idea but I’ve had two tabs (this and this) open on my phone, with instructions for coptic book binding, and decided today was the day to give it a go!

I folded the notebook pages into sets of three sheets

I cut two pieces of card that are a bit bigger than the inserts

I marked and made holes through the inserts, and then through the card… Just using a sharp but thickish needle worked for the thicknesses of paper and card I had

And then I sewed it up!

I think I might need to watch some other tutorials as I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to look…. But it holds the notebook together which is the most important thing, and it’s not a complete mess, which makes me want to explore a bit more about how to do it properly.

Finally I decorated the front with a sleepy cat which I tried to copy from here. It’s not as cute as I’d hoped, but it looked pretty rubbish when I only had thin lines and making some of them thicker definitely rescued it a bit. Note to self… Decorate the cover before sewing it into place!!

It’s not perfect, but I’m really pleased with it as a first attempt in something I’ve never tried before.

And finally, here’s my completed zentangle.