A bit of blocking magic

I made 3 different flowers from the simply crochet magazine issue 73. I was pleased with how they turned out especially as I didn’t find the patterns completely easy to follow. I’m not sure if there was a misprint in the instructions or if I was just confusing myself, but anyway they turned out OK. I wish I’d done a different colour in the middle of the turquoise flower, but as that was the first one, I learnt from it and changed colours on the next 2.

I was bothered by the fact that the petals were curling, and having just been camping I had a camping mat handy and decided to see if blocking helped. I guess I’ve not really blocked before because I couldn’t believe that spraying a bit of water on things and pinning them out would really have any effect, but I am converted! I made do with a selection of safety pins

And here’s how they turned out!

I’m so pleased with them and am especially thrilled with how the daisy looks. Just got to hope they survive traveling to the States and don’t curl up again on the journey!

Ooh, and just so you know, I ordered the cute mini skeins

from twist loop turn on etsy. The turquoise and another one that I haven’t got with me have a bit of sparkle in them. She’s a fellow blogger (check out her blog here). Her mini skein surprise set came with a free stitch marker and look how cute it is ūü§ó

Plus, while I’m mentioning etsy shops, do please go and check out my next door neighbour’s shop blue cardigan art. She’s just recently opened and sells really cute pot holders /heat mats that she’s made on a vintage loom. She’s also called Julia!


Third and final post for today! A pretty notebook

Wow… I’ve had a super crafty day! I’ve been sat in front of the TV all afternoon, with three different football matches in the background, which has been cool. But at least I have been productive too!

My final project for the day was another attempt at coptic bookbinding to make a little notebook that I decorated with birds and flowers, and wrote a variety of Jane austen quotes in (you’ve got to love her!).

I followed a different tutorial this time and am really pleased with how my stitching turned out. Next time I need to remember to do more than 3 rows of stitching as it’s the inner lines that look best (rather than the top and bottom ones).

It’s definitely better now I have waxed thread as well, though next time I need to think harder at the beginning how much I might need… This time I ran out part way through and had to tie more on!! Oh well, its a good job I’m getting to be less of a perfectionist with my crafts!


Today I’ve come to stay with Rosie (my goddaughter) and her family for a couple of days (enjoying my summer holidays while poor mark had to go home  to work!). I brought henna with me and we spent ages sat in  the garden this afternoon and evening doing designs on each other. Rosie did a seriously cool elephant on my hand, and a lovely flowery pattern on my ankle. 

I then followed her request to draw an ankle bracelet, which was really hard to do evenly as you have to keep moving to access different parts of the ankle, and try to make sure the lines will join up. I was a bit disappointed with how wobbly the lines are, but Rosie loves it so that’s all that matters! 

Then I did a combination of two designs she likes, which looked pretty cool. 

After that Rosie did a lush little seahorse on her mum, and then her  younger brother got in on the act and rosie went with star wars designs for him. 

It’s been lots of fun as always! 

Blanket WIP update 

Well, I’ve done lots of the blanket, which unfortunately means I’ve made lots of mistakes! The blanket will be fine but I’m not sure how useful my services as pattern tester will be. 

This is where it was last time I blogged about it. 

Then I had a lovely evening crocheting with my friend lizzy while she knitted a hot  water bottle cover. It got this far then

Then I did the odd few rows, and then went to a crochet morning at our church. I did a couple of rows and realised I’d missed something out so frogged. But then I realised I hadn’t frogged far enough, and to get it right I’d have to frog back past my new ball of wool join and lose about 2 inches of work. Well, that would just be too disheartening, so i keep going and decided i’d have a pair  of leaves missing and a bigger  gap between the flowers. 

So tonight I’ve kept going and have appreciated they loan of a spindly spool thing that I put the wool onto so it unravels without going everywhere. Thank you to lovely Ann from church for lending it to me. I normally take wool from the centre of the ball, but i felt the colours would match better if I started from the outside of this second ball. 

Here’s where I’ve got to now after an evening of sitting listening to my sister reading a loud from little town on the prairie to my niecephews as I crocheted… I felt like I’d gone back in time! 

Just need to make the final flower and then make the blanket the right length and do the border. 

Here’s a close up of tonight’s flowers which look different to each other when they’re supposed to be the same, and which have big gapey holes in the bottom edges. Other than those two issues I’m quite pleased with them! 

I’m getting better at living with and adapting as a result of my mistakes in crochet, but I’ve realised that I overestimated my ability as  a pattern tester, and I’ve also learnt a very important lesson that it helps to tick off the tows on the pattern as you crochet them. On my defence I didn’t do that because I thought I would want to use the pattern more than once, but I’ve now realised that problem can be overcome with different coloured pens!! 

Pottery and cards 

I was very excited yesterday evening when Hannah brought me back my pottery painting from her birthday party. Here are the finished items. I’m especially happy with the plate and really look forward to using it soon. 

ÔŅľ Hannah also brought me a cool thank you card that she had coloured in. I love the vibrant colours she’s used, and the shiny bits that are part of the card. They really bring the picture to life. 

I’ve not done much craft recently as I’ve not been feeling well and did not have the brain power or motivation  to think about crochet, but i did make two cards. I got the idea from a calendar, then drew a squirrel, which I cut into different parts and then cut those parts out of different pieces of patterned card. I’m so pleased with how it turned out though it was fiddly to do! It s fun  trying to pick the colours and patterns that would work best. 

Then I decided to make a slightly simpler card with hummingbirds on as i had some shimmery cards  that I thought would work well. While laying the pieces out they overlapped the edge and i decided that it would look cool if they did that once  they were stuck down. Again, I’m really pleased with the final result. 

I can see me making more cards like these in the future. 

It grew! 

This evening while babysitting for our nephews I thought I’d do a couple of rows  on my spring fields baby blanket, and then I got caught up in it and suddenly it had grown loads! 

At the end of this evening
Where I’d got to yesterday

I like reflecting on the growth of the blanket and the growth of the baby I’m crocheting it for, and have a much stronger sense of that with this blanket than with others because while crocheting I am making the flowers grow taller and sprout leaves. 

Stalk with first set of leaves

I feel quite proud of myself as I’m doing stitches and techniques I’ve never done before, while following a pattern written in American terms. Mainly its ok as  there are really useful descriptions of what to do for each stitch, but i realise I did one row wrong as I forgot to translate double crochet up to treble crochet. It made my row a bit wobbly (see the picture above of where I’d got to yesterday)  but I sorted it with some stitches with  less  tension on the next row! I realise things also went rather wrong somewhere in the first couple of rows, making the stalk a bit wonky and the edge very uneven, but I think I’ve sorted that now, and have the right number of stitches between each flower stalk, so i hope it will be ok from now on. By the time I realised I’d made these mistakes I’d gone too far to consider frogging. Crochet is helping me to learn to live with and accept my mistakes instead of trying to make them disappear. I’m beginning to accept that things that are less than perfect are still acceptable and often even still really good. Hopefully I can begin to transfer this acceptance from crochet into my life a bit more. 

Wobbly edge!!

Who knew that crochet could have such an influence on personal and spiritual development?! 

Crazy glaze

Having done no creative stuff at all since rosie’s visit a week and a half ago I was excited about today when my friend hannah had invited me to her 21st birthday party. She had a pottery painting party run by¬†crazy glaze, who were the same people who ran my ‘chicken party’ ¬†(my hen party that got renamed by one of the little girls who came to it!). Darren and Juliette from crazy glaze are lovely, and Darren is also a photographer and he took our wedding photos for us too. Today he brought his daughter Lucy with him.

Today i planned to do a detailed design on a pizza plate, and a quick design on a bowl. I took ideas from various different places and got to work. It was good to draw out the basics of my design on my plate in pencil, knowing that the marks would burn off when the plate was fired.

I enjoyed using the different colours and there is something exciting about not knowing exactly how it will look after firing because the colours are so muted when they go on. Crazy glaze provide small tabs of each colour as they will look after firing, but obviously you can’t really see how they look together on your work until after the process.

I spent quite  a large chunk of the party time on the plate, and eventually decided not to outline the bird or tree in black, and just see how it turns out.

Then I worked fast on the bowl. I love the combination of lime green and orange, so filled the middle of the bowl with lime green, and edged the rim in orange.

Round the outside i just used up the paints that were left in my palette from doing ¬†the plate, with no pattern, just making sure I didn’t put the same colour next to itself anywhere. I think it will be a very cheerful bowl for eating my cereal in the mornings!
During the party it was fun as Darren kept looking up photos of our wedding. I love looking back at that day as it was so much fun!

It was nice to be creative with other people.