Winnie’s Wave Blanket

And it’s done! I finished the little border on Saturday and feel really pleased with this wave blanket for a friend’s baby, Winnie. I wanted to make a big enough blanket for her to use when she’s a bit older; to be able to snuggle with her Mum on the sofa and so on.

The edging is perfect I think. It’s just the right size to frame the rest, without taking over in a ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ style.

The ‘wrong side’ above just to show you the back of the edging. The ‘right side’ is below. I do love the lines that you get when you crochet into the back loop of a stitch. I don’t think it matters which way up it is, as both look fine. This is a good thing as when Sophie’s only had a few hours sleep, I don’t think correctly placing a baby blanket is going to be a priority!


When I began this blanket in June (see this post) it was just to use up some leftover yarn and I didn’t have a specific plan in mind. I’m very glad it’s turned into Winnie’s Wave Blanket and going to someone I know, who is really grateful and looking forward to receiving it. And how considerate of Sophie to name her baby so well, so we can all enjoy a bit of alliteration! I’m really looking forward my visit on Thursday.

The details:

Stylecraft Special DK: 1. plum 2. grape 3. parchment 4. lavender 5. silver 6. stone 7. denim 8. sage 9. storm blue

L: 89cm / 35″ (inc border) W: 75cm / 29.5″ B: 2cm / 3/4″ W: 427g

Sorry, I didn’t ever count my chains but your tension will vary to mine anyway, just chain multiples of 10 (+1 for the turning chain) and see how you feel.

Pattern: Attic 24 Neat Wave  and my border was also inspired by Lucy’s Moorland blanket edging I preferred my 4th round to be the same BL dcs, rather than the slip stitch that Lucy used.

My timer has just gone off, so I must away and put my oven on to bake a couple of loaves of bread. I will back with some wintery pictures tomorrow, as we’re between ankle and knee* deep in snow at the mo!

 

Very slight exaggeration

Bunting for Yarndale

When Lucy asked for Granny bunting for Yarndale I was delighted because I’d already offered to contribute something towards the yarn walk that is planned for the route from Skipton station to the venue. It’s a great way to use up a stash of yarn and I had crinkly bags full of Let’s Get Crafting Knitting and Crochet magazine stuff. It squeaks as you use it. Yeuch. BUT it’s very pretty colours and is perfect for bunting since you won’t be wearing it, and wouldn’t never know how plastic it feels to the touch.

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I wanted a large pretty pottery bowl to hold my wool, or a wicker basket lined with beautiful material but sadly I own no such thing. Someone winces and pulls me away when I head towards wicker, or Tupperware or stationery. I’ve foiled  him with the latter two, but not the wicker so much. Then I remembered my herb bucket (bought last May bank holiday – I see) It’s been serving as a waste paper basket in The Little Room for ages.

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The colours are perfect, don’t you think?

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I hate waste so have bags of unused, half used balls and tiny scraps of yarn. I crocheted tons of middles with the teeny scraps while we watched Forest Gump the other night. I’d forgotten about the film’s great music, so really enjoyed watching it again. It’s sunny HURRAY! So there’s going to be some outdoor crochet happening too.

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I see my granny bunting has Lucy’s seal of approval as she’s left a lovely comment on my BrANd NEw The Little Room of Rachell Facebook page.

Thank you to Hannah of Not Your Average Crochet for my new media buttons! She’s such a whizz and now I’m all linked up.

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Yesterday we went to Cotswold Needlecraft at Evesham Country Park as I’d seen on the Mollie Makes blog that they were having a warehouse sale. It’s on till 2nd June and if you want to buy a pack of discounted yarn I’d recommend you go there sharpish. There’s a nice walk down to the river, a farm shop selling gorgeous produce and all sorts of lovely places to shop and browse.

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I couldn’t resist buying some more embroidery thread. I’ve never used metallic before.

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Please come and ‘like’ my Facebook Page and say hi :-) I’m hoping it will be a good place to chat and share links about craft events or anything inspiring.

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.

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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Rhubarb Ripple blanket

It’s finished! Two blankets finished in a week feels very good.
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To edge or not to edge? It just looked raw as it was, the edges appear very uneven in the photo but it’s just that I didn’t straighten it out on the carpet very well.

In the end after a fair bit of thought, and Googling others’ finished ripples, I decided that less is more. I really like the rippled top and bottom edges so just crocheted 3 rows of dc along the sides.

As everyone does, here are lots and lots of photos. I did try for a whole blanket shot but it’s so tricky and the light was bad in the bedrooms. If Summertime I could have laid it on the grass and stood on a step-ladder, but it would probably have flown away today! The thing to do is get your tape measure out, squint at the photos and visualise the finished blanket. :-)
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Pattern: Attic 24

Measurements: 125cm x 180cm

Weight of finished blanket: 1.236g

80 stripes: 2 rows = 1 stripe

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

Hook: 4mm

10 colours:

1188 Lavender

1084 Magenta

1065 Meadow

1241 Fondant

1083 Pomegranate

1390 Clematis

1061 Plum

1432 Wisteria

1019 Cloud Blue

1003 Aster

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I’ve now crocheted 4 complete blankets, with a 5th in progress at the moment. The Rhubarb Ripple is my favourite which is funny as I just grabbed a few colours out of my pack of Stylecraft to try the ripple stitch for the first time. I liked it so much I just carried on and it evolved into a blanket!

It’s Blog Law that you photograph blankets you’ve made folded up together, so here you are:
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Naughty wool shopping

Tuesday: I’m a terrible shopper, a classic browser who can spend hours in shops looking, touching and picking things up, even restacking and neatening displays, but I’m not actually any good at buying most of the time. Often when I go clothes shoppping I return home with multi-packs of socks. At least now they’re stripey or spotty colourful socks; not the terminal black packs I always, always bought during my non-craft decade.

This afternoon I deliberately left my yarn shopping at Mason’s till the last ten minutes before the shop closed so I would be forced to make a decision under serious time pressure. Well technically it was that, and leaving home late due to the fact that I wanted to finish last month’s Mollie Makes in the bath before moving on to the new issue. The first of my year’s birthday subscription plopped onto the doormat this morning. Ya-hoo! I know I’m very easily pleased: Mollie Makes, a hook and some socks and I’m happy.

There is a LOT more wool/yarn than this, plus fabrics and haberdashery (and two more shops in the town) but I still take very surreptitious photos in shops. It is a tad embarrassing but I thought some of you might want to see what the shop looks like since I know they send international orders.

So what I’m leading up to is that I’ve bought yarn. Better than that I’ve bought wool, proper grown up sophisticated posh wool, Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino. If it’s good enough for the Queen of Crochet Blogs (you know….) then it’s more than good enough for me. I’ve really only ever crocheted with 100% acrylic. I am a fan of the Stylecraft Special DK but seriously wanted to try something different.

It is pricey but it’s gorgeous. I adore the range of colours. I want to put it on my face and leave it there it’s so soft. I also think it’s going to produce a nice sized block for my CAL though unlike serious, sensible crocheters I haven’t been swatching. My approach is to crochet and accept whatever block appears. I’m definitely not working out yarn quantities ahead either, yikes that could end up being scary given I’ve spent lots of pennies. “Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves” I’m choosing to think about the pennies and not the pounds in this case.

I’ve chosen a starter range of colours for my initial blocks that are inspired by my memories of our cottage garden style flower beds which were in my childhood garden here in England. I remember red-hot pokers, lupins and delphiniams, plus marigolds, little flowers called pinks, moon-daisies and iris and….

I might add some light pink and maybe a splash of yellow, but I know that I want oranges, purples, some deep dark and bright colours. So that’s everything I suppose, but no neutrals.

I’ve started putting a Cottage Garden board together on Pinterest if you need any pretty pictures to look at for inspiration. It’s a work in progress as I’m still finding my way round the site.

Thursday: I could say I’ve done a swatch, deciding to make a sample and be a sensible crocheter, or I could say I couldn’t wait and I crocheted the first two blocks. (More about that later.) Either way I’ve made a decision about the yarn I’m going to use….

…Any ideas for what I can make with softer than clouds DB baby cashmerino?

DoNT sAy a BlaNKet!!!

A little crochet and Royal Cake

I finshed this book earlier. It’s an extremely easy read and described as a ‘cosy mystery’ in the States apparently. I’ve never sampled a knitting murder before, as gruesome as that sounds….!

Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-Op, Martin’s Newsagents, a little Post office/general store – no magazine joy. Superstore Sainsbury’s further afield – BINGO! I was so happy I took this photo to mark the occasion. I need to subscribe; since I really would miss making fun of some of the patterns and miss out on the good ones. I’m not about to highlight the funnier ones now. Well, apart from to ask: would you like woolly gnomes in your garden or to create woolly ice-creams? If the answer contains a yes this is definitely the buy for you this week. Grin.

Thank you for all your lovely, lovely comments about the wonky-middled Blooming Flower cushion back. It’s not that I didn’t take any notice but I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Knowing I am capable of making something much better, and giving a wonky one as a present to a little sweetheart for her 4th birthday would have made me feel rather uncomfortable. It’s all good crochet practice too. The colours are better in my second version of the cushion back too. I just need to dc it together with the front.

We’ve just had a delivery of ROYAL CAKES. Yes! Properly ROYAL CAKES.

For the Diamond Jubilee the Queen and Prince Philip are holding celebratory tea-parties around the country. People were invited to take part in a free lottery to attend. S’s parents were successful and have been to Henley upon Thames this afternoon to have tea ‘in the presence of the Queen.’ They were very close to both, about 4 feet away apparently at one point, and dropped in on the way home to give us two Royal Brownies (seems fitting to use capitals somehow) that my MiL sneaked out in a paper cup. So sweet!

Apparently the steam powered barge the Royals travelled upon down the Thames, during the main Jubilee celebratory weekend, was moored on the river and there were a number of other boats. It sounds like the tea was quite a spread too. Jealous! But sneezing and wheezing all over the Royals is pretty uncool I imagine.

Sorry folks, I can’t hang about. I have a ROYAL Brownie to consume. :-D

PS: I bet it’s calorie-free being Royal and everything too.

Waiting…

It’s Saturday morning and I’m sitting up in bed checking out some of my favourite blogs, sipping from my pint mug of jasmine tea and waiting for the latest copy of Let’s Get Knitting and Crafting magazine.

I looked in three shops yesterday and none of them had the mag, so today is the day!

It’s baby focused which doesn’t really excite me but the magazine usually has some small and fairly mixed patterns, for beginners and intermediate crocheters and knitters. I’m looking forward to a new supply of yarn. It’s not the greatest quality but is good for practising new stitches and designs.

By the way; do check out the latest from Lucy of her fab Attic 24 blog and look at what she’s made now, she makes me laugh with her kooky designs.

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I love this subversion of the original.

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In other news: Mr Scrappy will be made up this weekend. Also the Hilton crochet is complete, that also needs to be crocheted together and the ends darned in…that is NOT going to be a fast job.

I can hear the front door opening. I’m off to grab my mag!

Happy weekend to you!

Crochet dreams

When I was quite small I really, really wanted to learn how to crochet. My German Aunty and cousins had come over to visit us, bringing me a Sindy doll. They then sat and made crocheted clothes with scraps of wool, with no pattern! Very quickly Sindy had a huge wardrobe!

I was given a Ladybird Book of Crochet (I’d love to see another copy of this, but haven’t found one so far) and tried to master crochet, but it wasn’t to be. The drawings were all for right-handers. I have a Mum who is expert at sewing and knitting but not so much a crocheter. I did get the hang of chains but that was it. I went back to patchwork, embroidery and knitting.

The dream to learn to crochet must have been dormant for years because in 2008 I suddenly had a strong desire to conquer it once and for all. My helpful Mum went to her monthly Saturday craft group and asked a friend to show her how to make a Granny square. She then patiently showed me how to hold the hook, yarn and make them do what I wanted and I was off! I couldn’t get the hang of the fiddly central ring;  so just carried on trebling and chaining from Mum’s original foundation circle. I took my growing crochet to Yorkshire for a farm cottage holiday Christmas where as I worked it grew and grew while keeping my legs warm.

I finished the rug happy; although the middle is a bit wiggly since it was just a scrap of maroon DK, and the rest was oddments of DK yarn with 2 strands put together since it seemed to suit the large (6mm?) hook I was using. But, it does keep me warm when I’m snuggled on the sofa and as it was my first attempt I was thrilled with it.

Would you like to see it?

I took this photo when I was trying to really get to grips with crochet again last January, 2011, using this fab little book (pictured in the middle of The Yorkshire Blanket) which I bought from Amazon. Buy this book if you are new to crochet, or want to practise after a long break. I can’t recommend it enough particularly if you are a leftie like me. The illustrations are for both left and right-handers with very concise instructions.

I’m really enjoying trying new stitches, honing my skills and can’t get enough of doing crochet, studying crochet books, websites, the super Let’s Get Crafting magazine (when it’s crochet) or crochet blogs like the inspirational Lucy of Attic 24.

I found that I didn’t want to crochet in the summertime; because of sweaty hands I reckon and it can be hard to crochet while drinking G&Ts too! Then when I was in Boston in September I came across a novel ‘The Knitting Circle’ by Ann Hood. It really, really inspired me to take up knitting and crochet again. It’s not the genre of book I normally read but I was hooked for a while on the Knitting novel genre.

What made you start to crochet? When did you begin?

Next time I’ll post some pictures of the first items I made after using the Crochet Unravelled book and Let’s Get Crafting magazines.

Very best wishes on the first day of 2012 to you!

Rachel