Short WIP

Here’s my next quickish project in crochet. I bought one ball of lovely wool, without any idea of what I’d do with it. Yesterday evening I decided to make a C2c baby blanket, but now discover there’s not enough wool  to make it big enough.


So I plan to finish the square and then visit my lovely wool shop to find a wool that i can crochet a thick border with, and just hope it doesn’t look too weird.


However, I am pleased that the corners where I have started decreasing actually look like right angles which I don’t think they did really on my washcloth… That all felt a bit wonky.


Get well card

After paper cutting i made a card to send to a friend of ours who had a hip replacement yesterday. His wife is coming for dinner before going to visit him this evening so I wanted to get it done before then. 

It’s an idea I had for making easter cards but although I had all the stuff I needed I didn’t get round to making them for easter. Ernie is a Christian, and i thought he might appreciate one to brighten up his stay in hospital. 
The idea behind the design is one of God’s love and power shining through even the darkest of times. I hoped the colours would look really vibrant on the black background. 

To start with I cut out a cross shape from an old envelope and blutacked it in place (you can do this with any shape you want though). With hindsight I would just put a small blob of blutac in the middle. Having put it round the edges of the cross i then ended up pressing hard on it and it had a tendency to rip  the card when I took it off later. 

Then I got out my gel Pastels, only to discover they didn’t smudge as i needed them to, so i swapped to oil Pastels. I worked round colouring on the edge of the template then smudging it off with my finger. 

I added more colour and some white to try to highlight it a bit, and then removed the envelope cross. Finally I sprayed it with colour fixative so it doesn’t smudge when it’s touched (apparently hairspray works well for this too) and I’ll write in it later! 

Joy in the storm

Today I went back to paper cutting. I’ve had a design set aside (from the paper panda book) for ages as the next one I wanted to do but haven’t got round to it. Today I had a day with no plans and I’m still feeling dizzy when moving around so I say in my lounge, keeping my head fairly still, and got cutting!

I find it relaxing, apart from the tension in my shoulders that I seem to need to cut with control. That said, I probably don’t have the best set  up, sitting on floor cushions by a low table!

I chose this design because I liked the evenness of the raindrops with the lines between them, and because I thought it did be a good design to try filling  some of the spaces with different coloured paper. It didn’t take long to realise that the raindrops and lines would not be half so even once I’d cut them, but then I discovered I quite liked that about it too! I also discovered it was much easier to cut the drops fluidly if I turned the design upside down and worked from bottom to top.

While cutting i reflected on finding joy even in the middle of storms, and how much difference it makes when you have other people around you when you’re facing troubles. I rediscovered the joy of listening to music today. It’s been so long since i put on a cd or listened to a playlist, and i end up forgetting how uplifting music can be. Today I listened to mumford and sons with baaba maal, the very best and beaten berg, which is a fab though short cd with different cultural influences on it. Then an album by Alabama shakes. We saw them all live last summer at an outdoor gig in Hyde Park and I found myself remembering the fun we had there and at other outdoor gigs and festivals, and then looking forward to the ones we’re going to this summer. I found myself feeling happy and like life has promise and possibilities. It’s the first time in a while… Recently I’ve just been mainly getting through each day.

I’m enjoying exploring the idea of craft as therapy, and have seen a couple of blog posts about crochet as therapy. It wasn’t my intention to use craft as a therapy but I think it (and blogging about it) is helping  me in lots of different  ways, which is exciting.

By lunch I’d done a fair bit. I numbered the back of the umbrella sections to use them as templates later.

After lunch I finished cutting away the other parts, and then I filled the umbrella sections with rainbow colours as they’re bright and cheerful.

Then I debated on the colour for the background. Pale blue felt like spring showers, black was too oppressive and I settled on the dark blue as a way of representing slightly more of a threatening storm. The characters stand out nicely on the background, and I’m pleased with the overall effect. The only thing is that their eyes don’t stand out in the photos.

And here’s the final picture in its frame.



Beautiful slippers! 

They’re finished! 

I decided to crochet the second slipper properly, making sure the scales were offset this time.  I was worried that once I finished it I might decide to frog the top of slipper one to make it the same so a few days ago I sewed the ends in, added the buttons, and sewed the nonslip  backing  to the soles of both slippers to prevent me from doing that. 

Yesterday and today I have been off sick – getting dizzy and feeling off balance and like I’m gonna throw up every time I’m upright. Yesterday I couldn’t even crochet and spent the day lying flat. Today I’ve managed to prop myself up a little bit with my head resting on cushions so it can’t move, and i managed to crochet the last couple of rows to finish my second slipper. 

I’m pleased I followed  the pattern properly for the second one… I much prefer the scales offset. It makes me confident too that I can make another pair that match for my friend who asked if I could make some for her. That will be an interesting process as I don’t think I’ve ever crocheted the same thing twice before. I’ll make them from a different wool though, which will look a bit more wood nymph than crazy fairy! 

Here are some more pictures of my completed fairy/pixie boots, now keeping my feet cosy as I cwtch up with a blanket and rest on my sofa with a good book. 

Non slip backing – the kind you put under rugs. Hopefully this will stop me from wearing through the wool on the heel

Mis-matching scales but I don’t think they’re too obvious after all

Cute buttons

And we’re off… 

Slipper number two is underway, and quite a lot further on than i’d hoped. 

Thankfully i’d commented on my blog yesterday that I’d be starting this slipper tonight. I really didn’t feel like it she just wanted to curl up with my book, but having said it publicly I thought I should start. I realised I was nervous about starting because I knew it without be tricky to get the edge of the shoe the same as the first slipper. I also realised I wouldn’t get over that till I actually started (which I would have to do in order to wear my slippers!). So I started and thought I’d get part of the sole done. 

Part of the style got frogged when I realised I’d done about 15 rows with 11 stitches in when they actually needed 12! But I got going again. 

I debated whether to do the edging as I was already tired, but i figured I could always frog again if needed. It was tricky as if I did it properly I should end up with 128 stitches, but slipper one went wrong and ended up with 122 stitches. Should I deliberately skip some and hope I didn’t accidentally miss any others, or just do it and hope I missed some like I did previously. I concentrated hard and deliberately missed out 6 stitches ,and miraculously didn’t miss any extra. 122 stitches! And feeling buoyed up by that I started on the first row of the edge. This makes me hopeful that they will now grow quite quickly if I do a bit of work on them at the weekend. 

However, I’m faced with a decision. I’ve realised that the scales are meant to be offset on each row. The first 3 rows on my first slipper are right, but the 3rd, 4th and 5th rows  are all in line with each other because I got cock and stopped following the pattern exactly! Options are:

A) Frog slipper one and do it properly

B) do slipper two the same as slipper one so it matches

C) do slipper two correctly and wear mis-matching slippers

What do you think? Please let me know

Half way mark

Yippee! Slipper number one is finished! 

Well, apart from needing  to add buttons to do up the cuffs, and anti slip stuff to the bottom. 

I got into the swing of doing the scales, and love  the overall effect of the different colours. I particularly liked the scales which changed colour in the middle,

 and even more the ones where there was a small amount of an in between colour too. 

Next step… Slipper number two and the attempt to recreate my hit and miss pattern! 

Crocheting on train journeys

The last couple of days Mark and I have been to visit friends in London and other friends in South Wales. This involved a fair bit of time sat on trains so I thought I’d take my crochet with me. I worked on my slipper(s).
Gloucester to London: I finished off the sole, adding extra rows as i measured it against an outline of my foot. Then I did the row of double crochet all round the edge.

Then I put my foot on it and realised the front end was too long and square. So I frogged all round the edge and the last 4 or 5 rows! For those who don’t know (and I only just looked this up now having read it on other people’s blogs) frogging is undoing what you’ve done, or ripping out the stitches. Apparently ‘rip it rip it’ reminding us of frog noises!

And having frogged I then had to redo the edging.

This was frustrating but resulted in a much better shape.

Visit to friends in London :I spent time chatting and crocheting, and was pleased that the front post and back post stitches worked out well. I’ve never done these before and the first row was tricky but it got easier after that.

London to South Wales journey :this was a crazily busy train but we got seats at a table. I carried on building up the sides of the slipper with front and back post stitches.  A young girl and her mum sat with us for part of the journey and admired my work (always nice!) and as they were leaving the girl said “it’s looking really good now” (which depending on the tone of voice you read that with could sound a bit negative, but her tone  was all positive).

I was also able to start closing in the toe on that trip, which started to pull the sole tighter, but it stretches back out when I put it on.

South Wales to Gloucester: I finished closing in the toe, even though I stopped crocheting often to see the beautiful views of the river Severn from the train.

Chilling out at home while catching up on episodes of masterchef from last week : I started to work on the cuffs with scales. I thought this was going to be complicated but was very pleasantly surprised to find it quite simple. It did take me a whole  row of scales to eventually figure out how to hold the crochet on the second side of the scale so the stitches didn’t keep falling off the hook though.

Progress will slow down dramatically now as I’ll be going back to work on monday and have got busy evenings scheduled. Also, I’ve adapted this pattern as I’ve gone along as my foot is bigger than the largest size in the pattern. I’ve written down what I’ve done but on two occasions I’ve been meant to have a certain number of stitches and have ended up with a number that was closer to the real pattern. This seemed like a good thing at the time, but I’m really not sure how I’m going to deliberately recreate that when I move onto the left foot. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it… Got three more rows of scales to do on this one yet (and I’m too tired to tackle  any more this evening.)