2012

It’s my blog birthday today !

A year of crochet, a little knitting and embroidery, people, places, food and quite a lot of  chat.  I’ve enjoyed making bloggy contacts, having a peep at what you’re making, reading about your favourite things and getting to know your part of the world.

I look forward to maybe meeting some more of you in person next year for some social crochet-knitting-sewing-whatever get togethers. :-D

birthday cake

HaPpy NEw YEaR EvERyOnE!

Week 17: CAL Blocks #49 #50 #51 #52

Otherwise known as the week of wonky photographed blocks! Honestly now I look at the uploaded photos I think they look like kids who’ve had to run for the school bus with shirts hanging out, hair unbrushed and clutching pieces of toast. Ah well, you get a rough idea of what they look like….

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#49 Rainbow stripes
These corner blocks are quite fun to do especially when you start with 58 ch and decrease down to 3st, but they are going to take some straightening out. I think I’m beginning to repeat myself as I have a feeling of deja vu!
5 1/4″ – 5 3/4″ ‘square’

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#50 Seminole
I got really engrossed in an audio book on Boxing Day, and as you see the maroon stripe carries on for another row. Due to being a leftie and not ;reversing the instructions the stripes are the other side, but it’s quite effective either way so I’m not worried.
5 3/4″ square

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#51 Bright flower
I probably need to do this one again practising crocheting the initial stitches tighter behind the petals, or maybe just easing them around the foundation ring as I go; they’re a little uneven in shape.
You can see who’s a leftie and who is a rightie if you look at the way the petals lie over each other, I just noticed when comparing mine to the book. When righties go round to the left, we go round to the right! Confused?
This would make a really nice blanket, mixed with plain blocks for the contrast.
5 3/4″ square

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#52 Lemon peel
I crocheted this when I first got the book ; (last year?) ; and found it quite challenging as I was a crochet newbie. Now? Easy peasy lemon squeezy! I think it’s pictured WS up but I like both sides of this block.
6″ square

I’m only going to crochet blocks #53 and #54 next week to give others who are crocheting along with me a chance to catch up.

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It’s that funny limbo time of the season where home is still decked out for Christmas, you’re full of food and drink playing with new presents and the New Year is looming. This is usually when I feel I should go back to being productive and busy, but don’t. I have started a new crochet project though, under the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree with the films Pretty Woman then Bombay Beach playing on the tv. Lazy days!

I must have been a good girl at some point as Father Christmas gave me a dozen balls of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino!

What have you been doing during the last few days?

The shrinking world

The world has become smaller since the internet has given us the opportunity to instantly link with people everywhere. Today I experienced the effect of this first-hand.

When I read that blogger Hannah was going to be in England over the Christmas break I suggested we maybe meet up for a cup of coffee somewhere. We did, today, and had a relaxed time wandering around some nice spots in Oxford. Sadly two of the three craft shops I wanted to show Hannah are closed between Christmas and New Year, however my favourite independent cafe, one of the oldest pubs in the city and a yummy (100% British beef) burger place were open. So we managed to achieve a good mix of culture, a  bit of craft and plenty to eat and drink!

I’m chatty (are you surprised?) and so it turns out is Hannah, so there was no struggle to find topics, I think we covered a pretty wide range in the time we shared.  As we already have the common interest of crochet (& knitting) we indulged in a tiny bit of yarn chat, compared craft shops (or lack of in Hannah’s case) and talked about the blogs we have in common. I wonder if the ears of Trish Jill Lucy or Heather  were burning as we talked about them and their blogs a little?

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When you meet someone who is wearing a scarf, hat and pair of gloves you recognise, because you’ve already seen them (and read all about their conception) online, you understand again how small the world has become.

Blooming Flower cushion #2 finished

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I finished this on Saturday. I took the next two photos when it was dark so they’re not the sharpest, sorry.
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Here’s the first Blooming Flower cushion I made back in the summer.

They’re really quite fast to crochet and you can use up lots of odds and ends of yarn. The pattern is one that Lucy adapted, if you fancy making one too you can find the pattern here on her Attic 24 blog.

Week 16: CAL Blocks #46 #47 #48

Today it’s very grey and damp again after a beautifully bright and lovely day yesterday. I don’t use a flash because it makes the colours look odd, so put the blocks in the brightest space I could find near the kitchen window.
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#46 Meadow

There was a bit of counting to check this one was on track.
Nearly 6″ square

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#47 Queen Anne’s Lace

I like the middle of this, it’s quite a pretty block. refreshing not to have to change colour and only two ends to darn.
The disadvantage is it’s one of the smallest blocks at 5 1/4 ” squarish. I think nearer the time to making up the blanket(s) this one might need an extra border or two to increase the overall size. I don’t think blocking will quite do it this time. I’m interested to see how this comes out size-wise for other Crochet Along (CAL)ers!

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#48 Danish square

R2: I didn’t ss into the first of 9ch as I thought it too wibbly looking, I went into a dc I think.
R5: the pattern’s not specific about where to join yarn c, I went into the first of the 2dc of R4
I had to alter the yarn combination as I’m low on some colours now. I hope Father Christmas thinks I’ve been good this year. ;-)
6″ squarish

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See the difference in size?
The Danish square is my favourite this week. I like the petal shape of the 4 middle holes.

I’m planning to carry on and do my usual 3 blocks next week, but will have to see how it pans out. My motivation is to get to the end of the CAL in good time and not stretch it out to next Christmas. Also I’m still enjoying the pattern reading and stitch practise, and when I look back to the crochet I was doing, very unconfidently as a beginner, this time last year it’s a great boost to my crochet confidence.

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This afternoon I have more presents to wrap, fruit to soak in Armagnac, baubles to thread with gold ribbon and some reading/notes to do as I’m steadily plodding on with my studies.

I’m looking forward to King prawns in garlic and chilli with a crunchy winter salad and a baguette from the local French bakery for dinner tonight. Yum.

Where are you up to with your Christmas prep and what are you looking forward to eating this weekend?

Social crochet

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A village pub

3 friends

Tia Maria & coke, cider and Guinness, in case you’re curious about our drink choices

Delicious pub-grub meals (mushrooms in a creamy garlicky sauce, chilli, lamb koftas, fish & chips, more mushrooms, bangers & mash with onion gravy – if you’re curious about the drinks then it goes without saying that you also have a need to know what was eaten!)

A lot of chatter

Some sparkly Christmas crochet

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After lots of the above and the landlord starting to whistle, which I always take as his hint that it’s time to make tracks, we wandered merrily to our homes.
A lovely evening.

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I notice that I didn’t get the top of the star on the Christmas tree in the photo, but it’s better than the picture of the tree I took in the snug where we were sitting: there’s a lot of radiator, a wonky tree and a quarter of a beautiful old stone fire-place. Blame the drink(S)!

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Rainbow Granny Stripe #2 finished!

It’s finished! I did the final round of the picot edging on Sunday. That’s the fourth and final blanket of the year. Phew! I think I’m going to have  a break from blanket making for a bit.
Apart from one row in the middle somewhere (where I’d run out of yarn and so had to substitute another colour) the colours are in the same order as for the first blanket. They were randomly chosen and seemed to work, so I just worked from the list I made in the summer.
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Have a look here if you want to see the first blanket. As before the colours for the edging were chosen by the future birthday girl.

The yarn is the Stylecraft Special DK pack that Deramores and Masons sell, there are 17 colours. It’s nice to work with and apparently washes well. I used a 4mm hook. It’s a single bed size , shown folded in half here in my pics.

If you fancy making a Granny Stripe blanket too you can find the pattern here on Lucy’s blog: Attic 24

Now I’m working on Blooming Flower cushion #2.  A certain little someone has asked me a few times “Are you making my blanket and flower now?” and I’ve grinned at her. Next week she’ll get to put it on her bed, then both little girls will have rainbow brightness.

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Little Christmas Stockings

Hello again,

I’ve been crocheting these sweet sparkly little Christmas stockings for a while, filling them with mini candy canes to give as little gifts and maybe I’ll hang some on the Christmas tree next weekend too. When they catch the light they’re all glinty and pretty.

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You can find the pattern on Le monde de Sucrette’s blog.

It’s a really easy pattern and I can whip up a stocking from start to finish in less than an hour.

Week 15: CAL Blocks #43 #44 #45 & #42 reworked

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#43 Four Patch Granny

Retro crochet! This one is fiddly; all those ends to darn! Imagine making a whole blanket and all the joining you’d need to do. This block took me far longer than any of the others (apart from the hideous block #11)

6″ square

IMG_1965#44 Subtle Stripes

‘The turning chain in a row of dc is not counted’ I chanted to myself at the beginning of this block. For some reason I needed to remind myself.

This looks like cottage garden in the Autumn. I like it.

6″ square

IMG_1963#45 Steps

This could make an interesting design if the blocks were turned different ways, so the steps were going in various directions on a blanket. Maybe?

5 3/4″ square

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After reading good ole Rainbow Junkie’s CAL post I realised that I hadn’t been thinking, and of course there is a mistake in the pattern for rounds 6 & 7 namely that it should be trebles and not doubles around the edges of the block. No wonder my #42 block  looked all pulled in at the sides.

Gah!

I undid those rounds and re-crocheted them. Isn’t it typical that you realise your mistake (with RJ’s help) after the one week you diligently darned in those blighty little ends?! (And darned in very well, so in the end I snipped in the middle of the outer round and wasted a length of posh wool. Double gah!)

Here it is reworked:IMG_1968#42 Lacy Wheel

Now 5 1/2 ” square, will be larger with blocking.

NB: If you’re using the USA version of the 200 blocks book check here for a correction to the patterns for #47 & #48 on the interweave website

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I hope your Christmas prep is going well. I’ve bought 95% of my presents, wrapped 20% and have been crocheting little sparkly Christmas things. Fun, fun, fun.

Today I’m going to crochet the picot edge of the granny stripe #2 and that’s finished too. Yay!

I’ve also got to write and post Christmas cards. I’d better do them next…

Stay warm and have some mulled wine! (Or ice-cream if you’re in a hot place!) :-)

Ed’s Easy Diner

This is Ed’s Easy Diner Rupert Street, Central London. We’ve been going to this one and the Soho diner for years. The burger are yumalicious and ohhhh the shakes! I just can’t remember if mine (pictured) was pnb or banana & pnb, but whatever it was mmmmmm.

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If you go I defy you not to end up singing along to the classics and bet you (also) end up doing a bit of chair dancing!

Week 14: CAL Blocks #40 #41 #42

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#40 Granny with a Twist
5 3/4 ” square
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#41 Bobble Triangle
5 3/4″ square
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#42 Lacy Wheel
Can be blocked to 5 3/4″ square
As I’ve said before – these lacy blocks are not my faves but this has a very pretty centre.
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This week, apart from the 3 blocks above, I’ve finished the main body of Granny Stripe #2 and have (much) darning of ends to do before starting on the edging. uh-oh.

I’ve crocheted another dishcloth too. My cousin’s been buying and sending me the dishcloth string for ages but when I checked that I’d made her one, she said “Ironically, no.” Ooops! (Actually, WoW,  look at this post it’s staggering that it’s nearly a year ago! It’s my 1 year blog birthday on 31st December.)

What have you completed this week?

I’m glad I made this chunky seashell scarf during warmer weather, it’s needed now!

Have a good weekend, stay warm! :-D

Week 13: CAL Blocks #37 #38 #39

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#37 Pin Stripes
What a nifty way to make a circle into a square in just two rounds!
5 3/4″ square
The mid-row joins are untidy but they look about the same in the book, I must be improving. Hurrah!
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#38 Dahlia
I’m not too keen on the look of this one though S said it’s ‘sweet’. Good popcorn practice, I think I’m getting better at them.
Also 5 3/4″ square
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#39 Gavin’s Stripes
Who the hell is Gavin? Maybe Mr Eaton?
I really like the texture of the stitches but wouldn’t want to make a big item as the repetition would get boring.
6″ square

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I’ll lay out the blocks I’ve made so far one day, and take a piccy,  it just needs to be a bright and sunny day.

I’ve asked for more baby cashmerino in the brighter colours for Christmas. I’ve run out of apricot, am low on sienna, hot pink, rusty red and purple. I’m glad I chose to use posh wool for the CAL; it would be extremely expensive to buy all the wool in one hit for a project, but a few balls as you go are not going to break the bank (especially if you ask others to buy it for you!)

I can’t show you what else I’m crocheting, it’s Christmas themed but I’m not saying any more because certain people pop here and read. Other than that I’m on the last 6 stripes of the Granny Stripe #2 blanket, and carrying on with these CAL blocks week by week. I tend to make them over a few days then leave them so it doesn’t feel like the CAL is taking over, it’s a doable pace and I’m not bored.

What are you making at the moment?

Have a relaxing weekend and stay warm if you’re in the UK. It’s a few degrees here today with a hard white frost everywhere. Brrrrr!!!!!

:-D