The halfway mark

It has been a long time coming but I have recently, finally, reached the half way mark in my granny stripe blanket! Woohoo!

Normally I struggle to think of a name for my blankets but this time I’ve actually got 3 names that I need to choose from:
The big one:
As I treated myself to the wool for the blanket on my 40th birthday last year and had aimed to have it finished by this years birthday (that time frame has however, since gone out of the window as my birthday is next week!) Also, it is going to be a pretty big blanket when finished.
Mood blanket:
As this blanket is going to be quite big and the rows long, I’ve found that I’ve really had to be in ‘the mood’ to work on it. Also, for quite a bit of time in February and March I just didn’t feel like working on a big project and needed quick crafting fixes, so this blanket was often put to the side. At the moment, I really am in ‘the mood’ to work on it and the rows seem to be flying off the hook.
Another reason for calling it the mood blanket is that I had absolutely no plan for how the blanket was going to look and the order of the colours. I literally just picked each colour a row at a time depending on what colour I felt like using at the time. I even ended up putting colours together that I normally wouldn’t and I absolutely love the overall effect.
Mojo blanket:
Now I’m getting my ‘mojo’ back I’m really enjoying working on it and the better I feel the more the blanket seems to grow. I also think that seeing those lovely colourful stripes could brighten up anyone’s day.
To celebrate reaching the halfway point, here are a few sneaky peaks.
  
I have my favourite sections and parts I don’t like quite so much but I just love the way it looks when laid out and looked at from a little distance. Each bit you look at is so different, some parts are pastel, one section reminds me of Easter eggs or sherbert and then a few rows further on the bright colours almost smack you in the face.
To begin with I regretted using the red and the dark green and had considered frogging it back but I’m actually glad that I didn’t. Whilst there are bits of the blanket that I like better than others, all the colours have their place and contribute to the overall effect.

Hopefully it won’t be too long until I can show you the finished product and decide on the name! Eek exciting!

Karen x

These past 2 weeks

Sometimes I wonder if there’s a little time thief in my house that sneaks in when I’m not looking, changes my clocks and stores up the time somehow to use as his own. If so then the sneaky little fiend has been at it again! I had high hopes of getting lots of things done these past 2 weeks, I was going to have lots of lovely crochet to show off but sadly it wasn’t to be. The week before last Little Miss was off kindergarten with Scarlet fever and whilst I had 2 days off with her, as anyone with a child off sick knows, you don’t get a lot done! She wasn’t allowed into kindergarten due to being infectious but she wasn’t poorly enough to want to go to bed or even snuggle up on the settee. No, she wanted me to play! So there was no chance of even getting any work done from home let alone any crafty stuff. I’m sure she passed some of the horrid little bugs on to me too as I was so tired and in bed around 8 every night that week so I suppose it’s no wonder I felt a distinct lack of time.

This week just gone has been half term week here and we went away to Centre Parks in Holland. I eagerly packed a huge bag of wool with the intention of crocheting lots of rows on my granny stripe blanket. With a 2 1/2 hour journey each way I had high hopes of lots of hooky time but the threat of travel sickness decided it wasn’t meant to be. Grr and so after only a few stitches I had to put it away. I did manage to squeeze in about half an hour of crocheting one wet and windy afternoon but certainly not as much as I’d hoped. Never mind, we had a lovely holiday, despite the tail end of hurricane Doris bringing us lots of wind and rain for a couple of the days and most importantly little Miss had an excellent time, often declaring it was ‘the best day ever.’
One day on holiday we decided to brave the drizzle and go for a lovely bike ride. I’m so glad we did, it was one of my favourite things of the holiday. We stopped off part way in a cosy little cafe and there on the wall were these flowery beauties, giving a much needed injection of colour into a dreary day.
(sorry for poor quality photo but it was fairly high up on the wall over the stairs so was a little difficult to capture well.)
Little Miss was also very pleased with her grown up sized hot chocolate and accompanying biscuits, so all were happy. Just a few doors away from the cafe we passed a lovely looking craft shop with what looked a workshop happening in the back room. How I would have loved a little potter around it but I knew I’d see far too many lovely things that I couldn’t realistically carry back on a bike in the rain, plus browsing is always a bit less fun with a ‘shop hating’ child in tow! So, we carried on cycling and passed a quaint little wool shop on the way back and once again I managed to resist. How virtuous I was that day!!
Crafty wise in the last couple of weeks, I have managed to do a few squares for my granny square blanket and have just enough squares for two rows. I was about to start joining them so that I could then add each new square at a time (I get a bit bored of waiting until all the squares are ready). But, then a thought struck me, I may have enough yarn left at the end of my granny stripe blanket to add even more colour into the squares blanket so I’m going to put it on hold for a bit and see what’s left. I’m so looking forward to seeing how bright and eclectic this blanket is going to be with a few extra colours added, the wait will be worth it, I’m sure.
I’ve made a little bit of progress on the granny stripe blanket but not as much as I’d hoped. I am really enjoying the mix of colours on this though and love working on it. Blankets worked in rows can seem to take an awful lot of time to do but I really love watching them grow a row at a time. Each time you add a new colour it changes the whole look and feel of the blanket. As usual with my blankets I have no particular plan, each time I finish a row I hold a few balls up to see which one goes best. I usually ask my long suffering hubby for his opinion and bless him he always has a look and tells me which he thinks looks best but I’m sure he really couldn’t give a monkeys which colour I use! Whenever I make cards I always make him look at and admire each and every one too, poor man!
My poor little solitary flower is unfortunately still alone, I still have lots of flowery ideas but they’re are going to have to wait in the wings for a little while as the granny stripe blanket seems to be calling me at the moment and I’m just itching to see it progress.
Until next time,
Happy crafting!
Karen X

Slow progress

It seems to have been one of those weeks where everything important that absolutely needed to be done got done but not an awful lot else. At the start of the week I had high hopes of lots of crochety progress on my two blankets and a vision of a delicious pile of flowers ready to be made into something gorgeous. Sadly, the dream didn’t quite match the reality.

I’m not quite sure where all the time has gone this week but I suspect that a fair few hours (well, it only felt like minutes!) went on searching google and pinterest for flowery ideas and a  few more hours may have passed whilst day dreaming about lovely crochet flowers and the beautiful things I was going to have made by the end of the week. Humph! Well, the week had almost passed with very little to show, bar 2 rows on my granny strip blanket and one (whole entire) square for the granny square blanket, so, come Friday I though ‘Right, the hubby’s out, child in bed by 7, the night is mine. I’ll start on the flowers and crochet a few stripes!’ Well, as often is the case, best laid plans went to rest and little Miss decided she was not going to bed without a fight. Now, she is very rarely a problem getting to bed as she loves her sleep just like mummy but poor thing had a tummy ache. Finally, after consoling her for the 6th time (each time requiring at least a 10 minute cuddle and a tuck back in!) and trying to snatch a bit of crocheting time between, I gave up and went to bed myself, only to be called another 2 times through the night. ‘Oh well I thought, all is not lost, she still has a nap in an afternoon and hubby is going to the gym on Sunday, I can grab a bit of hooky time then.’

 

Haha! not likely! Usually, little Miss naps every afternoon (we’re very fortunate not to have lost the naps yet even at the grand old age of 3!) but of course decided that today she was absolutely not having a nap and wanted to go for a walk instead! So, I dutifully took her for a walk in the puschair during which she did actually fall asleep. As soon as those sleepy little eyes gave up the  fight I scurried home as fast as my little legs would carry me. Little Miss is currently asleep in the hallway in her pushchair as I write but you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as I finish writing and pick up my hook those eyes will ping open and Mummy once again will have to wait till bedtime. Its ok though, this evening Daddy will be here and woe betide anything that tries to stop me from my crochet time!

Granny stripe blanket so far

 

The pile of granny squares are slowly but surely growing. Almost enough for a row!

My solitary little flower, hopefully soon to be joined by lots of friends.

I am absolutely determined that this week will be much more productive and I’ll have a lot more to show you next weekend. Until then, have a fab week and I hope you get to spend some time doing the things that you enjoy the most.

Karen x

 

Hats, hats and more hats!

 

These last few weeks I seem to have had a bit of a thing about making hats. A few posts ago I showed you the hats that I had made for my niece and our little Miss over the Christmas holidays. Well, since then, I carried on making hats, for me, for some of my colleagues at work and another one for little Miss (just in case she hasn’t already got enough hats). I haven’t put on photos of all of the hats I made as I, rather stupidly, forgot to take photos of a couple of them before I gave them away. D’oh! When will I learn?!

I think I may now be over the hat phase for a little while but I have maybe, possibly moved on to a flower phase. I have a growing urge to make lots of flowers and sew them randomly onto anything sewable in the house. I shall control myself, however and am currently growing a little seed of an idea that could incorporate lots of different flowers and give me the opportunity to practise making different types flowers and using different stitches and techniques. In the meantime whilst the flower idea grows in my brain I have begun 2 blankets. Why 2? Why not!! I’ll save the blankets for another post though. Watch this space…

 

Karen x

 

Edit: again, apologies for the upside down and sideways photos, something very strange seems to be happening with a box of allsorts pics at the moment. I shall endeavour to sort out the glitch!

Eclectic Mix large granny blanket

I love love love this blanket. Out of all the blankets that I have ever made, this has to be my favourite. I’m not quite sure what it is about it, whether its the random mix of colours, the white bordering the squares that really seems to make the colours pop, the chunkiness of the squares or maybe a combination of all of those things.

 

Whatever it is, I love it so much that I have set straight about making another one for myself even after promising myself no more time consuming blankets for a while. Oops! this blanket was gifted to my sister Sarah for Christmas and thankfully she loved it as much as I do. The colours in my blanket won’t be exactly the same or in the same order but it will have giant granny squares in random colours and it while be joined and bordered in white.

 

I’m so excited, I cannot wait to see it folded in my living room and snuggle under it on the settee. I swore that after finishing the two blankets I made for Christmas presents, I would not make any more for a while and concentrate on smaller projects but I just cant seem to help myself, so here we go again…

‘Hazy Days’ blanket

I started this blanket way back in June to give to my sister for Christmas. Its a good job I started it so early as it literally took me  until 2 days before Christmas to finish it. This blanket really was a labour of love. I enjoyed making the squares as each one only took me about 20 minutes and many of them were done during the Summer holidays, hence the blankets name. Joining the squares (all 144 of them) was however, a different story and one that I did not enjoy unfortunately. I decided I wanted to try a different way of joining that I hadn’t used before and I really didn’t want to sew them together. First I tried a single crochet method but you could see the joins, so after a few squares I frogged it back and carried on searching for a suitable method. In the end I stumbled across a method by Lucy of Attic24 see here which involved joining the squares with slip stitches. She does such good tutorials with loads of photos so it was easy to follow but my goodness, it took a loooooooong time to do. It was a very effective method though and produced a lovely finish where you can only see the joins if you look extremely closely. I was very pleased with the finished result and thankfully so too was my sis.

In the rush to get the blanket finished and wrapped in time for Christmas I totally forgot to take pictures of it. Thankfully though Jen has taken photos of the blanket for me in its new home and here it is…

Even though it was a bit of a beast to make I do love the way it has turned out and most importantly the recipient loves it too. I love giving blankets to people who appreciate the love and effort that goes into handmade things and I know this blanket will be treasured for many years to come and that makes me very very happy.

 

Karen x

A bit of sparkle!

Whilst back in England I found some gorgeous sparkly wool in a pound shop of all places. I really didn’t need any more wool but it sparkled at me and even the hubster encouraged me to buy it, so it would have been rude not to!

As soon as I could, I set about making a hat for one of my nieces. Having only made 1 hat before (last year for little Miss and it turned out far too big, it may fit her in about 3 more years!) I was a bit unsure of sizing and had to frog back a couple of rows to get it just right. In the end I was pretty please with how it turned out and so was Em. 12 year olds can be fairly hard to please so I was delighted that she loved it so much, even wearing it to have breakfast in the day after I made it!

After the success of Em’s hat I decided to make one for our little Miss too. Again the sizing was a bit wrong to start with so I had to adjust the crown size a couple of times until it was just right. It was worth it though as she loves it, especially the pompom and has been wearing it around the house saying ‘Now I’ve got a hat like Em.’

As I seem to be on the roll with hats now (they really don’t take long, especially if you get the size right first time!) I’ve started yet another using the same wool, this time for a work colleague and friend. She has requested a flower though rather than a pom pom and as I’ve been meaning to have a go at making flowers for about the last year this gives me the perfect reason to  make my first one. Watch this space for more hat pics to follow…

Busy! Busy! Busy!

On the whole, I love being busy as I feel that being busy makes you more productive, you tend to make the most of every minute. However, there’s busy and there’s BUSY! and sometimes I would just like to slow life down a bit and appreciate every moment a little more.

I almost can’t believe that it’s been well over a month since my last blog post! In that time I’ve been so so busy but I don’t feel as though I have an awful lot to show for it. Work has been unbelievably hectic and so time for craftiness has been somewhat limited. I have however been plugging on with the blankets I’m trying to get finished for Christmas presents. In my  previous post WIPs & IIWs (works in progress & Ideas in waiting I think I mentioned that I had almost finished the squares for one of the blankets. After laying them out it turned out that I had too many for one blanket (I literally made as many squares I could with the yarn that I had and counted them at the end) and so have been able to make 2 blankets, one a double bed size and the other a baby blanket size. I spent quite some time playing with the layouts until I was happy with them and so here is a pre joining sneak preview…

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Since then I have almost finished crocheting them together using a single crochet method from Lucy of attic 24 joining granny squares (what a labour of love, that has been!) and have JUST got the border to do! Oh and to think of a name for it.

The other blanket that I’m making from 10 round giant granny squares, is still very much a work in progress and I really do need to get a shift on! I’ve got 5 more giant squares to do and then need to finalise how they will be joined (I’m still mulling over a couple of options but I think I’m close to a decision).

In other news I have set up a craft and chat group, something that I’ve been meaning to do for years. It’s still a very much in its infancy with only a few regular members but I’m sure in time it will grow. I was so nervous about it and didn’t want to have to teach as I teach at work all day, so I set it up as a group where like minded crafty people can bring along whatever project they are working on whether it be knitting, crocheting, sewing…anything goes and we work on our own projects and have a good chat. Now that I’ve got past the nerves of being responsible for a group (it felt a bit like hosting a party, I was worried that no one would come but on the other hand worried there would be too many people), I’m even considering running some crafty workshops next year. Eek!

As well as crafting I am a keen runner and have applied for a place in the Berlin marathon 2017…. ?! I should know by the end of the month whether I have a place, so  fingers crossed and watch this space!!

Karen X X

WIPs & IIWs (works in progress & Ideas in waiting

Like so many  creative people, I always have so many ideas whizzing around in my head waiting (not very patiently) to come into fruition and too many projects already on the go.

In the vain hope to help organise my thoughts and  work methodically through projects I have decided to list them, with the plan of working through them one (or maybe 2!) at a time. So, here goes:

WIPS

  1. Small granny square blanket – I only have 10 granny squares to go on this one before I can begin joining them together. Eeeeek!image1
  2. large granny square blanket – I love love love the randomness of the colours on this one. Only 8 squares done and 14 colours to use so quite a lot still to do. image4
  3. pom pom rug -So near yet so far finishing this one. Over 100 scrummy, fluffy pom poms made but no idea how many I need until I start attaching them to the backing. Less than 3 months to complete this as  I want it done for my daughters 3rd birthday. No pressure then!image3
  4. NOEL Christmas bunting – I ran out of time on this last year and had no urge to finish it after Christmas. Only  the binding to finish, so not a big job.
  5. chevron knitted blanket – Sadly, I think this may remain unfinished for some time as I’m more keen on crocheting than knitting at the moment. I started this when I was pregnant but ran out of time and then lost the urge to knit. It is often on my mind though, so I am sure I will finish it one day, when I finally dig it out of the depths of the craft room.

IIWs

  1. Garden bunting – I only bought this yummy oilcloth fabric at the weekend and I cannot wait to get started on it. I want this done and in the garden asap so I can enjoy it before the weather changes, we’re due a scorcher at the weekend! image3
  2. Reading/play tent – I love adore this bright fabric from IKEA! This has been on my to do list for quite some time but must be done ready for little ones 3rd birthday in December to house the pom pom rug. image1
  3. crocheted blanket for moi! – when I turned 40 earlier this year I treated myself to this bag of gorgeousness. I fancy making myself a lovely bright blanket but I haven’t decided what its going to be yet. Maybe granny stripes or zigzags. There’s no time limit on this one and I’m determined to enjoy the process of seeing this grow gradually.image2
  4. Tote bags – This zingy little stash of fabric has been growing gradually and waiting patiently to be made into bags for Christmas presents. image5
  5. Crocheted snowflakes – I was gifted this book for Christmas last year and am itching to get going with making some lovely little snowflakes for the Christmas tree this year.51dvlj6ml7l_small2
  6. Crocheted flower picture – For at least the last year I’ve had the idea of making lots of lovely bright crochet flowers, stems and leaves and somehow attaching them to a canvas. This feels like a springtime project so may well hang around at the back of my head until it pops up again ready to burst into life.

Well there we have it, my first blog post with pictures! Whoopeeee! Its taken me ages but its all a learning process and I’m loving it. Hopefully listing all my projects and ideas like this will help me to work through them in a sensible order. Watch this space for some finished projects…

Karen x x