Pink flowers

I’ve done a few more rows of the stash buster blanket and this time I copied Eleonora’s choice of colours. She chose green, pinks and purple to reflect the pink flowers you get on the cliffs. We’ve got thrift in our garden and I love these flowers.

I’ve really enjoyed the yarns I’ve used too. The green and the purple were yarns I bought while on holiday in India a couple of years ago, the pink for the bobbles is left over from some stripey pink and purple socks I made on a crochet retreat, and the darker pink was a gift from a yarn swap I did. The purple section will get a bit wider as the next row is all treble crochet in that colour. Annoyingly, the subtlety of these colours makes the orange stand out even more, which rather overpowers these ones, but I’m hoping that it will all balance out as the blanket continues to grow

Yarn chicken 1 – Julia 1

I’ve been making slow but steady progress with the stash buster blanket and really enjoying having a project on the go. It’s a nice project for little bits of time.

I carried on with the v stitches and my plan was to repeat the turquoise and pink but then a game of yarn chicken ensued with the pink. I had forgotten the funny thing of crocheting faster as the yarn is running out, in the hope of getting to the end of the row quicker. But no matter how fast I crocheted the yarn still won… Dramatically! So now we’re drawing after I won with the green yarn!

Oh well, I found a navy yarn which I actually preferred!

Having completed the v’s it was time for some shells. I decided I wanted to use colours that reminded me of a fire. Annoyingly now I’ve added the brown it means the navy of the v’s doesn’t show up so well. But I quite like the effect otherwise.

The bright orange of the top row is a cotton that is quite horrid to crochet with as it unravels and splits very easily, but I thought the colours were perfect for flames. It’s actually the cotton I was using for the failed C2C dishcloth of the last post, which I frogged and used here. There is still some yarn left so maybe I’ll give the dishcloth a go at some other point.

And not only have I been crocheting, but I was very disciplined and created this happy little pile of ends… The result of weaving in the 22 ends I had up to this point. Its definitely more manageable weaving in about that many. Hopefully I can remain disciplined enough to keep going with that as the blanket grows.

It’s been lovely to get back to crochet and even more lovely to get back to blogging and reconnecting with people after such a long time away. Thank you for your lovely comments and for not having given up on following me. 😊

Back with some crochet

Well, I’m back after rather a long break where I’ve been creative in a different way by being pregnant and bringing into being a new little boy. He’s absolutely gorgeous and we’re thrilled with him! He’s now nearly 4 months old and having been too tired while pregnant to motivate myself to craft much, and having my hands too full the first few months to pick anything else up I’ve got to a stage at the moment where Mr E will go to sleep in his moses basket for half hour naps, and I can do a couple of rows of crochet.

I started with the idea of doing a C2C dishcloth but I think I either followed the instructions wrong or they were written a bit wrong as this was clearly never going to end up as a square!

Then I remembered my seaside stash buster blanket that eleonora from coastal crochet was running probably well over a year ago. I wondered if it would be big enough to just put a border round where i’d got to and use it as a baby blanket, but when I got it out it wasn’t really big enough. So I got to searching on her blog and discovered she’s helpfully put all the instructions in one place so they’re easy to find without having to trawl through her previous posts. I figured out where I was and just carried on. It’s funny because I found the long waves really hard to keep track of last time but I just got on with them and they worked!

I’ve discovered that I started off being able to do one row during one nap, but I’ve got closer to 2 rows now! It’s really lovely being able to pick it up again, and also with there only being 4 rows in each week’s instructions I can feel like I’m making progress quite quickly. This is where I’ve got to so far in 2 days (having previously completed the row of turquoise waves)

One ‘fun’ moment was when I realised that I was getting near the end of my green wool (it’s a stash buster blanket so I’m using up old bits of leftover wool). A game of yarn chicken ensued, which I’m pleased to say I won… How’s this for precision… Just enough of an end left to weave in!

And talking of ends… How glad am I that at some point in the past I wove in all the ends on this blanket as far as I’d got? It’s so lovely that I won’t have to do all of them once I finish. My plan now is actually to keep going and make the full size blanket. It will probably be slow progress and I may not blog every time I’ve done a bit but I’ll try to keep going now I’ve started.

Patchworking part 2

Well I managed to join my rows of patchwork together this morning. I followed Sue’s advice to try to fold seams to the darker patch, but once I’d done the first row, that rather dictated the rest of them. Most of them worked out though.

I wasn’t entirely accurate in matching the seams in the top two rows

but I improved dramatically after that, and I’m not sure it really notices in the grand scheme of things.

I did manage not to notice that one edge got caught the wrong way, but I didn’t want to undo the whole row to remedy it, so have just pressed it flat!

I’ve had a look through my fabric stash and found a cute rabbit material that is big enough for the back. I think the colours kind of match, but figure it won’t matter too much as you’ll never see both sides at the same time!

I also found a pale blue flowery material that I could use for the border. It is maybe more patterned than I’d hoped, but then I don’t have much unpatterned fabric as I’m always drawn to cute prints! I think the colour works though and the pattern doesn’t detract too much from the patchwork. I’ll not be working on it again before Saturday though so you have time to let me know if I’m making a big mistake and should just go out and buy a plain blue fabric!

Patchworking

Ages ago my mum gave me some gorgeous Lewis and Irene precut squares with puffins and sea themes on. Today I finally decided to have a go at doing something with them! I don’t really have an end product in mind though i guess it will be a small quilt. Having looked at the fabrics included in the pack I decided not to use 3 of the pairs of fabrics as I didn’t think they really matched and I put together the remaining 36 pieces in a 6×6 formation. I didn’t really know what I was doing with placement but worked out that I didn’t want puffin designs next to each other horizontally or vertically, and that I needed 2 puffin designs in each row. With a total of only 4 yellow pieces I limited them to one per row and just put them where I fancied! Now I’m wondering if I should have put the bottom right hand corner one on the row above so it was closer to the others… Possibly just swapping it for the grey puffin design (the one that looks a bit pink in my photos) , though that might make the yellow pieces too symmetrical. I realised there were darker blues, turquoisy blues and paler blues (plus pale yellow) and generally tried not to put any of these next to each other. I also didn’t like it if I put two different coloured fabrics of the same pattern next to each other, so I avoided that too! This is what I ended up with

Then I set to sewing the pieces together into rows, which was easy and quite therapeutic. I listened to my sewing music of imelda may, and then cosmo sheldrake.

Here are the patches I decided not to include in the piece.

Now I have to work out how to press the seams so that I can put the rows together and have the seams link. Any advice would be appreciated!

Then I need to go through my material stash and see if I have anything that will work as a border and anything big enough for the backing.

Does anyone have any advice on :

* if you would move the bottom right hand yellow square elsewhere in the quilt

* how to iron the seams…. Should I follow the rule to iron them all towards the darker patch or will this make it hard to link them when I join rows together… Or should I iron one row to the left and the next row to the right so they all link evenly?

Fun watercolour doodles

I got my watercolours out this afternoon having read this post on doodle wash. I started with mixing the blue into yellow but then realised that might not be the best colour for flower centres. I kept going with it though but decided to add some leaf shapes to the page as well.

Then I added water to the colours I had let dry on my palette from a previous painting season, and made the bird shapes. It was a nice way to use up left over paint.

Once both had dried I used felt pens to add the details. I had felt that the birds page looked funny in its composition but once I’d added the detail I’m more happy with it. I did get inspiration for the flowers from this page of doodle flowers.

Later I decided to turn them into cards so they’ll actually be useful!

nornor

Weaving

At the weekend my sister and I took my mum on a wall hanging weaving course in Devon for her birthday.

It was organised by GoDeer and was a thoroughly enjoyable day. We started by learning how to string and tighten our ‘loom’ which was an old picture frame.

We had loads of different yarns, spun and unspun in many different colours. I decided I wanted to make an abstract piece just putting together interesting shapes and colours and had a lot of fun choosing the yarns I would include.

I had wondered how we would spend the entire day weaving but at the end I had to speed up to get it finished before the day ended! We could bring home materials to finish them off, but I know what I’m like and figured if I didn’t finish it then it would end up sitting around for ages not getting done.

That evening I sewed the ends in on the back

and this evening I cut all the warp strings and tied them off and sewed them in. Now all I need to do is find a nice piece of drift wood to hang it from and it will be able to go on the wall.

A finished dress… And a dishcloth

Today I spent 3 hours at my sewing machine and actually finished my tunic dress that I had got stuck on before Easter. I decided that I would just do one tuck on each side and not worry about what the pattern said.

I didn’t understand the instructions about using bias binding on the neckline and arm holes, especially as you can’t see the binding on their photos of the finished dress, so I just decided to hem them normally. Unfortunately the front of the neckline is not as smooth as I’d like but overall I don’t think it matters and I’m really pleased with it.

I love how the tie means I didn’t have to worry about fitting it exactly, which also means that if I lose weight I’ll just tie it tighter and if I gain a bit then I’ve got room!!

I’m really pleased with how the fabrics worked together and can’t wait to wear it to work!

And I also finished the sunshine dishcloth to send for a swap. I love that it is so bright and cheerful.

Finishing off small projects

After reorganising my living room I’ve been feeling a bit more inspired to crochet and to finish off some WIPs (work in progress).My second washcloth was a bit of a pickle as, having made one already, I was confident I could make the second without looking at the instructions… Umm, apparently not! Increasing was fine and making the corner itself was fine but then something went wrong and I wasn’t decreasing. Several frogged rows and a quick look at the instructions and I was off again… Hmm… A quick look was obviously not enough as the rows were still not decreasing! More frogging ensued, but thankfully cotton is a nice yarn for this!After a proper step by step read of the instructions I finally knew what I was doing wrong, and more importantly, what I needed to do to make it work.And a bus journey to the west Midlands safari park did the trick and I got it finished!So then I picked up my bobble purse, and carried on with that. The return journey from the safari park (which was well worth a visit) and a couple of episodes of first dates (!), and here it is. I decided to use the bright pink button to try to pick out the pink highlights in the yarn.

So now I am onto the last small WIP, which is my virus shawl.The problem with leaving a project for ages is that then I can’t remember where I got to in the pattern, and I don’t really remember how the pattern goes even though I’ve got it written down. Interestingly, although I usually prefer written instructions, while looking for more detail on line I discovered this diagrammatic pattern and it’s been way more helpful for figuring out where I’d got to and what I needed to do next… Which annoyingly involved frogging most of a row as I’d previously put stitches in the wrong places! Malabrigo baby silkpaca lace is a gorgeous yarn but it does not like being frogged at all. Tiny fibres wrap around each other and need to be broken before the stitch will come undone properly. But it’s frogged now and ready to go! We’ll see how much progress I make over the back holiday weekend 😊

Some crochet rabbits and a fluke!

A couple of days ago my lodger asked if I could teach her to crochet as she wanted to make rabbits for her son’s baptism. She was eyeing up my toft bunny

but I figured that’s a bit complicated to start with. So I showed her how to chain and then double crochet (uk terms) into it. She did really well at keeping her rows all the same length, and her only issue was that the chain row was a bit tight (not sure there will ever be a beginner crocheter who doesn’t have that problem!).

In an hour she managed maybe 5 rows and was easily remembering what to do. The next night she carried on on her own with no further input from me, and she ended up with this.

On her next to final row she managed to miss the last stitch , so there is a little notch in the corner, but it wasn’t going to show in her final rabbit. I was so impressed by how straight her edges were and how neat her stitches turned out… I can’t believe this is her first ever attempt at crochet… I think she’s a natural.

She even got started on another one all by herself.

So this afternoon we sat down and sewed them up using these photos as guidance. And then we added pom pom tails.

Here are our finished rabbits

It’s quite nice that on a day when there is one less guinea pig in the world, as Rosie had to be put to sleep this morning after a week of being poorly, that there are 2 new crocheted rabbits ☺️.

Then, because I reorganised our whole living room due to there not being a guinea pig cage taking up lots of space any more, I took the opportunity to sort through my yarn. I found an old part-used ball of cotton and decided to make a flannel/washcloth from it. I’d found a tutorial for a corner to corner moss stitch washcloth on Ravelry, so had a go at that as I’ve never done moss stitch before.

The tutorial was great… What wasn’t great was that I realised I was likely to run out of yarn before the square was finished! Sure enough, 3 or 4 rows from the end I just had a tiny tail of cotton left. But then I had a cunning plan! What if I just chained it and joined it on, to create a hanging loop? Well now I think it looks like it’s a deliberate part of the design πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

Sneaky but clever!

I love how this stitch looks, and how quickly the flannel worked up. More flannels coming this way soon!