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.)

Mothering Sunday card

With Mothering Sunday coming up on Sunday i decided to make my Mum a card. She really likes birds, and as I couldn’t find her a bird related present (i got her something else instead!) I decided to make her a bird related card!

I decided to go with a mothering kind of image and represent a bird feeding two chicks (me and my sister!) but I wasn’t  sure if I would go stylistic or realistic. Having just watched the final of ‘the big painting challenge’ and seen how much the painters were encouraged to ‘let go’ and not plan in meticulous detail I decided to start drawing in pen straight on the card and see what happened!  I had a mix of different thickness fineliners and two thicknesses of felt pen.

I started with the adult song thrush, filled in some detail (handily going over and disguising a couple of mistakes) and then drew the chicks.

I’m not sure it’s really recognisable as a song thrush, but In  some  ways I’m not worried. The idea I wanted to convey of an adult bird nourishing its babies is obvious in the picture, even if the exact species of bird is not!

Hopefully my mum will like it (both on here and in reality!)

I love You Mum and am very grateful for everything you did in bringing me up, as well as for your ongoing support. Thank you xxxxx

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No way! I programmed a computer game! 

I’m not quite sure how to write the words in my head…. Something like hahahaaaaaaa! Or ooooooooh! I’ve just used scratch to programme a computer game where a fish tries to catch starfish while avoiding killer octopusses (octopii?). 

Mark does programming for his job, and has  wanted to introduce me to it for a while. He was researching coding books as a birthday present for our niece and we decided it would be cool if i had one too! She’s gonna be 7,I’m 40,but never mind ! So this afternoon I followed the instructions in carol vorderman’s computer coding games for kids, which wasn’t particularly creative in a sense,  but helped me to learn about giving instructions for each character or object on the screen. But i got a bit more creative when i decided to change the colour of the octopeee(!) before she suggested that as an afterthought. Then the computer wouldn’t play the sounds that i told it to, so i got more creative and made the fish say yippee! when he got a starfish, and ow! when he hit an octopus and died. 

I look forward to being more creative with it in the future! 

As I’m tempted to feel very clever and intellectual as a result of doing this i just have to compare my book with the coding book mark was reading alongside me! 

But actually, i like the fact that my book has pictures! 

And finally… The ‘turn it off and on again’ mantra worked, and now the computer plays my sounds-hope you can hear them in this video. 

Hope you like the post, even though it’s a bit different from drawing, crochet and paper cutting! 

Paper cut foxes part 2

So today i actually got distracted from things i should have been doing and decided to paper cut instead. I was motivated by the fact that someone new started following my blog and commented on my posts… Thanks lillibella. So please do keep liking/comnenting/following as it will help me to keep going with this. 

Putting off French homework and booking various things i decided to carry on with the foxes paper cut from my paper panda book. 45 minutes later this is how far I’d  got. 

I got really excited about getting to cut the foxes, especially after doing the tricky, fiddly leaves. Several times i accidentally nearly cut through a thin branch, but so far i have avoided that or cutting off something that’s meant to be there. I know they can be fixed after, but i will be so annoyed at having to put extra time in to fix something i could have avoided. 

I think part of the way of avoiding mistakes like that might be to do the more fiddly bits when i start cutting, as i start losing focus a bit and getting tired after half an hour and find my cutting gets less accurate. 

Today was the first time I’d done paper cutting in daylight, which involved lots of moving around to find the best place to sit so i didn’t block light. 

I loved cutting the foxes, and i really enjoy cutting long swooping lines that are a bit like a narrow elongated s as i find i can cut these smoothly. The worst thing to cut is a line that curls back on itself like a spiral… I can’t get them smooth at the moment. But the lovely thing is that when cutting I’m  focused in on tiny details. When I look at the whole it always looks better than i think it will… Especially when I’ve turned it over to the proper side. 

There will be a paper foxes part 3 at some point to finish cutting the whole design and then i might try mounting it on card! 

Playing with colours

This evening i had a bit of time after chilling out watching a film so i decided to put on paper what i had been thinking about for  the next pictures in my draw every day book. 

The first was an aerial view of a tidy French garden. I found a picture online, i think of Versailles, and was taken by the pattern in the hedges and pathways. I found it odd that the pattern wasn’t symmetrical as i think it might be in an English knot garden? But i loved how the pathways were also  part of the design. Seeing as most of the drawing would be green i decided to take my lesson from yesterday and go multicoloured. 

Here i realised the issue with blogging… That i feel the need to post stuff even if I’m not happy with it! But it could be worse. I’m glad i did the different colours (i started with orange and purple in honour of Benjamin!). I’m not so happy that my paths aren’t neat like the photo. In the photo they’re very even widths, which they’re not in my drawing. But i do like the different colours and how they make me think of an abstract piece of art. 

Having decided i wasn’t impressed with that i moved on to the next picture… A bunch of lavender. 

I’m  not overly keen on the stalks, but i enjoyed ‘stamping’ with the brush tips to get the buds of lavender and playing around with putting other colours under the purple to get different shades. I definitely think the blues worked better than the pink! 

And that’s me for today! I’m pleased my blog has motivated me to be creative when otherwise i might have just sat  and read my book, but I’m also rather amazed (and a bit freaked out!) that when i arrived at church wearing my infinity/mobius scarf  people were greeting me with ‘ooh, is this the scarf?’! (not everyone actually went ooh!). I didn’t think anyone would really read this, and i’m grateful that some people actually are! 

Crochet infinity scarf

This is a project i started ages ago. It was going to be a poncho as i’d come  across an idea where you could crochet two rectangles and then sew them together in a clever way that would turn it into a poncho once you’d sewn in a neck line. I used it as an opportunity to use up different colours that i had in my wool box, and to try out different stitches. Prior to this I’d  pretty much only done double and treble crochet but here i tried lots of different things, which will give me confidence in using them in other patterns.

As the rectangle progressed though i realised that even by my standards it was going to be too bright and colourful to wear as a poncho. A friend of ours suggested turning it into an infinity scarf. That seemed like a good idea, but that was back in November and i still hadn’t  done anything about it! This morning the fact that i hadn’t blogged for a few days, linked to the fact that we’re seeing that friend this afternoon motivated me to just get on with it!

So i sat next to our newly adopted guinea pigs, peppa and rosie, and crocheted while listening to their soothing sound of munching on hay!  I decided to crochet the edges together, which I’ve never done before, and rather than try to sew all the ends in (far too many ends to thread!)  i’d try to hook  them under the crochet as i went.  

I’m quite pleased with the view from this side as it looks quite neat and tidy. This was the side i was working on. Not so impressed with the other side of this edge, 

or the bit when i turn it inside out. 

But it’s an infinity scarf/snood thing, and really, who’s gonna look that closely at it when I’m wearing it?! I’m pleased with the end product, and I’m super pleased that I’ve finally turned that rectangle into something I’ll enjoy wearing during the rest of the winter. 

Now to figure out my next creative project and hopefully not leave it so long!