Saturday, 26 September 2015

Spice of Life CAL part 2

Are you taking part in Sandra's CAL
It's been quite exciting waiting for the first part of the pattern to come out on Tuesday morning. I have been fortunate this week to have had a bit more time to sit and crochet than usual so have done the first 18 rows, and I will make sure my ends are done by the time part 3 comes out next week.

It feels good to be joining in this, although I do need to get to grips with posting on the specific Facebook page and Ravelry thread - my go to social media stops are here on the blog and Instagram. But as so many people are taking part it's definitely a good way to connect with everyone, and join in on the chatter and conversation.

I'm really loving the yarn too, it's lovely to work with and the colours are great. The pack was a lovely gift from Black Sheep Wools, and so that does makes this a sponsored post I guess. I do really like the yarn quality, feel and especially the colours so will be buying some for future projects no doubt!

So yes, I'm very proud to be taking part in my friends exciting project and have grabbed my button from her blog
Cherry Heart

'till next time...

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

For Elise...

Oh it's pouring down with rain here in Bedford today, and i'm FRREEEEEZZING! My feet are so cold!

I've heard talk of an Indian summer here in the UK - we'll have to see about that, but today it's definitely indoor play!

I used to love indoor play when I was at middle school. If the weather was really bad we were shepherded into the assembly hall and the dinner ladies would get the board games out for us to play with. It was different so therefore exciting. I think these days the kids watch Pixar movies if it's too wet to go outside.

The term time routine is well and truly underway, which includes all the after school, extra curriculum activities as well (and that = Mum's taxi service). The new shoes, bags, pencil cases and shiny new stationary has started being used and our small hallway is cluttered with flung down PE kits and kicked off shoes from 4pm onwards.

My sister-in-law asked if I would make my niece a shoe bag and apron as little Elise started pre-school last week. Of course! my pleasure!

I found these totally cute letter buttons in my local fabric shop.

Perfect for her little messy play apron!

The appliqué letters are downloaded from here. I used some Heat 'n' Bond iron on adhesive and a small zig zag stitch on my machine to attached them to patchwork squares.

Making the letters on individual squares means that if I messed up on one, I could just do it again, rather than spoiling the whole word :o)

I love making things like this, it's such fun for me and totally satisfying that they will get used in a practical way.

I'm off now to put on some socks and cuddle my mug of tea,

'till next time...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

I got gauge!

I am feeling self righteous today as I have been very good and made a gauge swatch for a new blanket I'm going to make. I'm joining in with Sandra's and Black Sheep Wools 'Spice of Life' blanket crochet along, using the yarn pack of rico baby classic dk yarn that arrived in the post yesterday.

Being a blanket rather than a garment the finished size is not too much of an issue. A bit longer / wider than pattern states - what does that matter? Well, for me it doesn't, however as I am using a yarn pack with a specific amount of yardage within the 50g balls of yarn I don't want to risk running out. And the only way to forge ahead confident in the knowledge that that won't happen is to make the dreaded gauge swatch.
Ok, it wasn't that much of an arduous task. It didn't take long, I made it in my favourite colour of the pack and I got gauge first time, yay!

So what have I actually achieved by doing this? Well basically I have established that my stitch size is coming out the same as the designer's - my lovely friend Sandra. Therefore my blanket will finish pretty much the same as the one she made and more importantly, I will have enough yarn to finish the project. I used the recommended hook size (4mm) to make my swatch and measured that 10 rows of treble crochet measure 10cm and 15 stitches across (between the pins) also measures 10cm. The amount of stitches / rows that fit into a 10cm square is dictated by the person who made the item in the first place and 'getting gauge' means you have to match that. If your stitch / row count is different from what is stated in the pattern you can switch hook size to make your swatch smaller or bigger.

The first part of the actual pattern for the Spice of Life blanket comes out on Tuesday next week, so I'm geared up and ready for that. I know loads of people are joining in with this CAL, either using the yarn packs that are available to buy or using up stash, so it will be great to see everyone's efforts and enjoy being part of this fun event.
For more information about the crochet along just click on the links I've included to take you to Cherry Heart HQ!

Meanwhile, my addiction to making project bags does not seem to be waning. I fancied the Japanese Knot style this time, with a square bottom to help it stand. 

I love this Makower print, it has a Japanese feel to it don't you think? The pattern for the bag started off as a Martha Stewart free download but I changed it around a bit to have the different base. 
Very happy indeed with this little thing, it's a great size for a small yarny project and it's cheery red colour brightens up the gloomy day - it's pouring outside :o(

'till next time...

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Sunday Stills...

'Bee Happy' and enjoy your Sunday my lovely friends!

'till next time...

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Gathering my thoughts...

Hello my lovelies, I hope you are all well?

I find myself flitting from one thing to another, both in craft terms (too many WIP's) and household stuff too. I can't seem to stick to one thing to get it finished and enjoy the satisfaction of completion.

Dipping in and out of a hundred and one tasks leaves me feeling a bit frazzled so today I made a list and forced myself to focus on a handful so I could draw the big tick of finality next to at least some of them!

The first thing to get the big fat tick was my 'granny tech' page. It's been something I have been meaning to do for some time so I can direct the beginners that attend my crochet workshops to the page so they have something to refer to when they practise at home.

It's right back to complete basics of crocheting a granny square with loads (and loads) of photos to help illustrate how I make the motifs. There are of many ways to make the same thing but this is my method and the way I teach so I wanted to make sure my newby crocheters had some follow up material.
I've also included a join-as-you go section as it's probably my favourite joining method - well one of them any way. So there is lots of information included on the page, enough to actually make a blanket apart from the border.  Ummm, maybe I will add that on at a later date...

The next thing I needed to get sorted was the pattern writing for the projects for my forth coming workshop next week. It's quite an exciting one as we have some of my regular ladies coming and also a few new people as well. I am always so grateful and excited to see my lovely ladies coming back again and again, and I am so happy that we have some new blood too.  I recently registered with Craft Courses where you can find all different kinds of workshops all around the UK, and it's meant I'm a bit easier to find on the web, which is what I needed to be.
The workshop is entitled 'Solid Granny Shapes' and worried that the square on it's own might be a bit basic, I have included the pattern for a hexagon and a triangle too. This means 3 lots of patterns to write as well as 3 charts to construct. Man those charts take me ages! I use the Crochet Chart app and although it's quite good and definitely useful, it could be a bit more user friendly and I wish I knew how to have more colours!
So I'm glad the patterns and charts are complete. I will just proof read it a hundred few more times and then I will print off copies for my workshopees.


On the subject of crochet charts I did receive and email from a helpful lady pointing out there was  mistake in the chart that I had hand drawn for my Peach Skinny Scarf pattern, although the written instructions are correct. My drawn chart was rubbish anyway so I decided to create a new, correct one on the computer to replace it. I made up the square in dk yarn to remind myself of the pattern, and I really like how it came out. I have added a final round of dc to give it a finished edge and if I'm not careful this may turn into another new project - NOOOOOOO, don't do it Sam. Remember to finish things!
Can I show some blog love to the wonderful byhaafner. Her style is exquisite and I love her work. She has been hand drawing crochet charts and they are fantastic! I would love to have one framed for my wall in my craft corridor - it's a work of art!

I need to tell you about the other page I have set up (the tabs for these can be found at the top of the blog page by the way)
I have done a photo tutorial on how to make a project bag, and although I published it a while ago I don't think I told you about it here. These bags are a fantastic sewing project that are lovely and quick to make. I have made loads for myself and to give away as presents.

On the home front I'm happy that I have finally got round to taking the sides off my little one's cot bed. She turned 3 in June so it's about time! With the sides off and at a low position her 'new' bed looks so cute, especially with her magic hexagon blanket. She calls out in the morning 'is it wake up time Mummy?' and waits for my reply before getting out of bed.

Finally, if you would like to read about Katie's adventure to the Toft Alpaca Shop that she won in the giveaway I hosted, you can read all about it here. Really sounds like she had a wonderful time, thanks Katie for sharing your day out with us.

'till next time...