Sunday, 22 March 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow

I should have my Rosie Elmer blanket finished and ready to show you, but oh no!  No, almost as soon as I blogged about it I started 2 new projects haha!

A friend from my WI is having a baby in the next month and I'd been thinking about making her a blanket, although she's made a couple being a knitter, but I just couldn't let it go.  

Rainbow crochet stripes

I grabbed left overs from my Bright Stripes blanket with a few other colours to make a rainbow.  I love it!  

Rainbow crochet stripes


I think I made my foundation chain a little too long so I'm not sure now if my stripes will be horizontal or vertical, but we'll see how I get on; I've got about a week to finish.  Isn't it jolly!

Rainbow crochet stripes


I don't know if any bloggers in the UK saw the solar eclipse on Friday but here's my contribution  Admittedly not the most amazing photo but it's a nice reminder of a (probably) once in a lifetime opportunity.  I was soooo excited, I have to admit I didn't actually do any work at work until around 10am...  It's just fantastic to see the universe at work, we know the Moon orbits our planet and we orbit the Sun (or we wouldn't have seasons!) but normally it happens so gradually we just take it for granted, but to actually see-the-moon-moving-in-front-of-the-sun was phenomenal!!

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A little more down to earth, we did a bit of DIY for the cats last weekend.  There's no way for them to go out when they want and we think they may have had access to the outside in their previous home. Dizzy for one gets very restless and I think he needs to stretch his legs.  The only problem is we had no wall space leading to the outside, other than under the kitchen sink...


Cat flap DIY
★ Build me cat door hoomans 


I know this makes it look like I did all the work...  Good camera work J!

Cat flap DIY

But actually my dad did 97% of it in his very pro looking railway jacket.  We really would be lost without him

Cat flap DIY


Cat flap DIY
 Stoopid hoomans making holes in walls.  Feed me 

So now they can come and go as they please, although Dizzy is stupid and insists on pushing the flap open with his paws, so his head doesn't get close enough to the microchip sensor to activate.  We've had to put it into training mode until he gets used to it, but he'd better figure it out of we've spent a lot of money on a normal cat flap!

He might be stupid (sometimes) but he is very photogenic! 

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x x x x

Monday, 2 March 2015

Rosie Elmer Squares

Hellooooo, I've been feeling the urge to blog for ages because I have squares to show you but time seems to have just gone so quickly!  I am finally nearing the end of this thing, there is light at the end of the tunnel!  If I could finish next weekend I would be sooooo happy.

Rosie Elmer Squares

In May 2013 (yep, 2013...) I started a new blanket, which I nick named my Rosie Elmer.  The name came from a lovely patchwork blanket made by Lucy, which was inspired by Elmer the Elephant.  I wanted a blanket in shades of pink so that's why mine's a little different

(I blogged about it here, hereherehere and  here but then I got side tracked (read; bored) and went onto other things.  My biggest problem was finding a colour combination I liked, and did I go through a few...

Rosie Elmer Blanket

Nope.  Too pale, just didn't like.

Rosie Elmer Blanket
Pomegranate just isn't helping.

IMG_2362
Yuck.  Those dark purple squares pop out too much.

Rosie Elmer Blanket
Hmmm better.  This one had merit, but it felt more like a baby blanket to me, which may come to fruition in the future

Rosie elmer blanket
Getting there, definitely! Unfortunately I ran out of some of the purple (which I bought in Italy as far as I can remember).  I think I might have actually lost the rest of it because I'm sure I've hardly used it. 

I've made loads of Wisteria, Meadow, Lavender and Clematis squares that I no longer plan on using but I may put into a baby blanket instead.

I'm now using Purple from the Womens Institute range in Hobby Craft, and in Stylecraft Special DK; Pomegranate, Plum, Pale Rose, Camel, Magenta, Pomegranate, Violet and Grape

*** WI purple
*** Raspberry
*** Plum
*** Pale Rose
*** Camel
*** Magenta
*** Pomegranate
*** Violet
*** Grape

Rosie Elmer Squares

I'm really happy with these and I think they look a bit like shades of a sunset, don't you?

Rosie Elmer Squares

Rosie Elmer Squares

I've mocked up in Photoshop what I want the blanket to look like and it's looking pretty awesome!  I can't wait to get sewing all these squares together and finally be finished.  Even J said it looked like Elmer when I laid them out, amazing!

Rosie Elmer

Moggy tried to help but she gave up and fell asleep

No moar crochet for you hooman

x

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A bedside rug and a runaway cat

I've just had a very stressful early afternoon looking for one of the cats who wandered off and didn't come back!  I'd been painting in the yard and Dizzy has been getting braver and braver, testing out the walls of the neighbours yards and then he just vanished.  Let me off, I'm a new cat parent, but I panicked after a bit and spent nearly an hour looking for him in tears, on my bike, which I fell off and then I came home and J said "he came back!!" Of course he did, I'm just incredibly stupid hahaha!

Enough of cats for now, time to talk crochet.  Tunisian crochet no less


Tunisian crochet has been on my radar for far too many years without actually happening.  I can't be sure where I first saw it, most likely one of the blogs I follow or groups I'm in on Ravelry and I immediately fell in love.  It makes a really lovely textured pattern, which is also solid and perfect for making a new little bed side rug.


Stripes

I made this bedside rug using normal crochet years ago, although it was meant to be a blanket, but I suppose it doesn't really go in my bedroom which is purple and cream.  I'll definitely find another home for it in another room, but I'd like to make something new for my feet in the mornings 

Tunisian Crochet

The best way to knit anything wide is to use circular needles so imagine my joy when I discovered I could get an interchangeable crochet hook for my Knit Pro circulars!  It basically makes it one giant tunisian hook.

I picked up some beautiful purple Merino, probably a little extravagant for a rug, but it was half price!  I've been after some cotton or cotton-like purple yarn for ages but it's been difficult to find a variety of shades I wanted.

Merino

I made a start that weekend but I warn you that Tunisian crochet is s.l.o.w progress.

Tunisian Crochet

I think I've now done approximately 3 inches and it still curls an awful lot so I'm hoping that some blocking and a nice border will fix that up.

Tunisian Crochet rug

I wasn't sure what kind of pattern to go with but having mocked up these two I definitely think I prefer the first because it's less fussy looking 

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Well I hope you're having a lovely Sunday and you've had nice weather like us.  It's a shame we didn't go out to enjoy it, but I'm just glad I have my daft cat back.

x x x x

IMG_5840
Missing? Hooman you so stoopid.  I only in next doors yard.  Feed me. 

Monday, 2 February 2015

Finished Bright Stripes Blanket. Ta dah!

I just love being able to say that...  I should be preparing for something I have to do tomorrow, but blogging is much more fun, and I want to share my finished Bright Stripes blanket with you!  I took some photographs over the weekend but between boring round-to-it jobs I didn't get a chance to post anything.

(Those jobs were taking up voile curtains & attaching the ends of our curtain tracks to the wall; boring but necessary and now done)

I finished this in under a month and I'm so happy with how this has turned out, I hope our friends are too

Bright Stripes Blanket

I didn't set out to use such blue tones but it just fell into being that way.  I had what I thought was a nice red but it was too dark.  I also used some pink but there wasn't any left to ball up and snap!

Bright Stripes Blanket

I've pretty much explained everything in my first (and only other) post about this blanket HERE
so you can read about the yarn I've used & where I got my inspiration from.

Hopefully you can see the differences in these two photos and why I chose not to turn the blanket after each row.  The front is much tighter looking than the back see?
Bright stripes blanket

Bright Stripes Blanket

But the problem with not turning is this!  See, try as I might the edge just went crazy!!  I don't think I did any favours but trying to increase at one end and decrease at the other....

Bright Stripes Blanket

But that's nothing a bit of stubborn blocking can't solve!  I pinned out the blanket onto my foam matts, drenched the bejesus out of it with a water sprayer, and then left a damp towel on top to dry. The result was more impressive than I could have imagined.  I've always used a steam iron method but have found what I'm blocking sometimes creeps back to it's old wonky ways.  I took this while still pinned admittedly, but it stayed straight afterwards

Bright Stripes

I just love the brightness, I really hope it's loved as much as I love it.  Shouldn't be so puffed up but I am.

Bright Stripes Blanket

Photographing this was really fun...

Bright Stripes Blanket

Moggy enjoyed it too!  They had a thing for sitting on it while it was all neatly laid out.

Moggy

Of course we have the coined 'sausage roll' shots which are my favourites!  After all there's really only so many photos you can take of it laid out.  We've got to be inventive haven't we?

Bright Stripes Blanket
Bright Stripes Blanket

The border wasn't anything like I imagined as it happens.  I had plans to do a great huge chunky border but when I showed my friend she said it worked well being simple because of the height of each stripe.  I'm inclined to agree with her!  I just did two rounds; the first was clusters of two trebles for the sides and single trebles for the top and bottom, and a second round of single trebles all the way round.

Maybe now I can start to look at finishing my Rosie Elmer Squares blanket?!

x x x x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Booky goodness

Reading Mariannes post yesterday about crochet books got me really inspired, I had to wait until this morning to take photographs and I'm so glad it's another sunny day.  Warning; this is book photo heavy!

I couldn't think of my absolute favourite book, I suppose they all have something I love, which makes them different from the rest.  I definitely prefer books over magazines, in my (limited) experience of buying magazines I just get annoyed by all the advertising and lack of actual content!  Maybe I've yet to find the right ones.

Crochet

Crochet Books

I don't have too many crochet books, which is surprising as I started to crochet properly well before getting into knitting.

Super Cute Amigurumi

Super Cute Amigurumi is exactly what it says on the tin.  Ridiculously cute little animals!

Super Cute Amigurumi


Cute & Easy Crochet

I know this book is very popular in blog land and when I bought it I knew why!  It's beautifully photographed and the projects are all really calming and peaceful.  Does that make sense?  They remind me of blogs like Lady Bird Diaries, Sew Sweet Violet, Cherry Heart and Coco Rose Diaries

Cute & Easy Crochet


150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet

A friend bought me this really cool book fore helping her at work, which is silly because it's my job & I'm paid to help, but it was lovely that she appreciated this much!  It's got so many different patterns from stars and snowflakes to leaves and triangles, and it shows you how to tesselate them and make blankets.

150 Blocks to Knit & Crochet

Knitting

Knitting Books

Bumper Book of Knitting

This book was a Christmas present from J so it's very new.  I have to say I've been really impressed with his book buying choices (you'll see more later).  Along with your essential knitting instructions there's some more advanced techniques, some I've never seen before which is nice.

Bumper Book of Knitting

I really want to make these welly socks and this shawl/scarf/snood looks beautiful.  One day when I don't have a zillion WIPs on the go...

Bumper Book of Knitting


Knitted Animal Hats

You'll know this book is a favourite if you've visited my blog for a while.  I've make this hat twice and a couple of others.  I might be nearly 30, but I love animal hats.

Knitted Animal Hats





Knitted Toy Tales

Knitted Toy Tales was recommended to me by Alice at Crochet with Raymond who sadly no longer blogs.  Her monsters which are some of my absolute favourite things ever are adaptations of patterns in this book.

I started the owl below but it's probably been a couple of years since I pick it up.  It looks much bigger than I expected so I think I'm going to frog it and start again on smaller needles.  I also know how to do intarsia better now so that will help.

Knitted Toy Tales


Purs of Wisdom

This book is just really well written and very witty.  It's got great drawn instructions and a couple of lovely projects, but it's more about "how to" than giving you things to make.

Purls of Wisdom


Knitted Cats & Kittens

This books just simply ridiculous and I love it.  It was a present from Js parents because we're 'cat people' now.  I do like some of them (others are mad!)

Knitted Cats & Kittens

I think I'm going to make Js mum this doorstop.

Knitted Cats & Kittens

Sewing

Sewing Books

These were also bought by J for Christmas and my Birthday 2 weeks ago.  See what I mean about impressive?  He didn't know I follow Tillys blog either so I think he was rather pleased!  I can't wait to get cracking now my dress makers dummy has arrived.

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own

The Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own


Tillys book really gets into the detail of making things which is where I often struggle when making clothes so this should really help.

Love at First Stitch

Love at First Stitch

Love love love this dress x

Love at First Stitch

Well if you've made it to the end then well done!  I hope you've enjoyed, maybe been inspired?  Maybe you can recommend me some magazines?  Maybe you have some of these books and have already made some lovely things and want to share?  I'd love to hear! 

x x x x