Monday, 26 December 2016

Crochet Basket

 I recently downloaded the LoveKnitting app to see what all the fuss was about.  Actually it's a really nice app which allows you to keep track of your knitting or crochet in a really well thought out way.  You can tell someone who knits and/or crochets was on the design team.  (the only problem being it forgets everything if you force close the app!)

Every week they give away a free pattern.  The Crochet Basket caught my eye and I decided I wanted to have a go.  The beauty of this pattern is that you can make it any colour your want and as tall as you want, and it's a really easy pattern to follow.
The other good bit was I could do the odd row here or there as I had time.  Repetition can be boring, but it can also be soothing.

I gave it to my Mum for Christmas and she seemed really chuffed.  She loves purple so that was always going to be a win, but she could see straight away how useful it might be too.  She might not have lots of wool to fill it with, but I am sure she will find other things.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Knitted Mice

Recently I've needed some quick knitting projects to fill the odd couple of hours.  Something which is easy and quick to do and means I have a finished thing without too much effort.

These knitted mice are the perfect thing.  I can make a complete mouse in an evening if I want or take a little longer without it being a major effort or too complicated.

And once I have a good collection I will be sending them off to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where they will go towards helping some poor abandoned cat feel a little loved.

I think they change the patterns on a regular basis but you can find patterns to make and donate on the Battersea donate page. There is a pattern for a dog blanket too, but that feels a little beyond me right now.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Crochet poppy

Last year I knitted myself a poppy.  I was very pleased with the result.  The knitting pattern came with a poppy crochet pattern, so I thought I would have a go this year and see how that one turned out too.
Although in a way this one was easier to create than the knitted one, I have to say I think the knitted poppy looks better.  I'm not sure if I did something wrong with the petals but they don't look quite right and I'm not sure about its black snout.

Like the knitted one its too heavy to wear, but looks good on my bag. I might not be over joyed by the end result, but it has still taught me lots and was an interesting project to complete.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Another knitted bear

Normally at this time of year I am busy collecting things to go into a shoebox to be sent to a child somewhere who won't receive anything this Christmas. But due to another project we're working on I've not had as much time or money as normal.

However, I have just started a new job, much closer to home, which has cut my commute by half and means I have more time in the evenings for things like knitting.  So rather than put together a shoebox, I have knitted another little bear.

 He will be sent out to Knit For Peace who will be able to pass him on to someone who needs a hug this Christmas.  They are an amazing organisation, who will take any knitting and pass it on to those who needed it, be it in the UK or abroad.

I would have made him a jumper too, but as always there is never enough hours in the day even when you get 2 of them back!  So instead I crocheted him a scarf (using leftover wool from my cardy).  I'm sure that will help to keep him warm, wherever he might end up.  I send him with love and hope he gives someone comfort when needed.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Felted stars

Last week I was back at the Farnham Maltings for their annual Thread event. I haven't been before but was glad to go this year.  I was in nice and early before the crowds which meant I got a good look at everything!

 My favorite thing were these felted stars.  But what to do with them?  It suddenly occurred to me that they could make great badges.  And what about a cocktail ring?  I'm not 100% sure how that would work, but I'm going to give it a go.

Meanwhile the pink star has found a home on my blue jacket.  Its quite striking I think.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Giving blood

When I was 10 I ended up in hospital after an accident with some hot water.
At the time there was talk of me needing a blood transfusion, but in the end I thankfully didn’t need it.  However once I’d recovered a bit and finally understood just how ill I’d been I vowed that once I was old enough I would donate blood.  I think as a 10 year old that was all I could think of to repay the services of the staff who had looked after me for a month or so. (The running/walking/skipping long distances for sponsorship thing didn’t seem so prevalent in 1991.)

In 1998, when the National Blood Service turned up at my school and gave a talk to the 6th Form about giving blood, I realised I was now just about old enough to, at last, donate. There was a session in town the very next day and off I went to give my first ‘pint’.

And I’ve kept going back.  I don’t particularly like the bit with the needle, but knowing that blood was there if I needed it all those years ago, and wanting to make sure there is still blood there if anyone else needs it, keep me going.  That and the free biscuits.

And so this summer I hit 50 donations.  That’s a lot of blood. My only wish is that it has all gone to help people who have needed it and it has improved their lives.  For such a simple thing, just an hour of my time, it has such a big impact.

I’ll keep going, maybe you’d like to join me?  And maybe I can get to 100 before I have to stop.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Tree fern paper

What better use for a Bank Holiday weekend than to make a little paper? 

 I haven't done any paper making for ages, but 'im outdoors had collected some fronds from the tree fern in our garden last year and I thought I'd have a go using these.

They turned out to be a lot tougher than I'd thought they'd be (even after boiling for a couple of hours) and so the fibers didn't really break down in the way I had hoped.  But it still made some pretty paper with little bits of the fronds still being visible. 

 I didn't have time to make as much as normal, but its still good to keep your hand in and I quite like the result.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Opaqued beads with an inner light

A couple of months ago I was in London and had the time to visit The Covent Garden Bead Shop.  I came across this shop years ago and love the massive selection of beads that they have.  If you visit make sure you have plenty of time!

Somehow I managed to resist most of the beads on display, but came away with a small pot of these lovely opaqued beads.  They have a silver center which gives them an inner light.

And finally with a day off work, and the flower blanket finished, I had time to make them up into a necklace. I like it.  Simple but pretty.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Frida's Flower Blanket part 8

After 4 months of crocheting the Frida Flower Blanket is finished!  The last bit was to add the edging which holds it all together and just finishes it off.  A nice straight forward way to finish, even if each edge was pretty long. 

I love the end result.  The colours are amazing and I love the 3D flowers.  It's hard to remember that I created each one.

And I've learnt so much in the process, but as its been so gradual as I've made each square it hasn't felt like learning at all.  I'm not quite at the point of being able to design my own, but I feel I can go on to other patterns with confidence.

I'm going to have a little break from crochet now, but I'll be back.  I have a massive list of things I still want to make.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Frida's Flower Blanket part 7

It might have taken a little longer than I'd hoped but here is part 7 of the Frida Flower Blanket done! The photos doesn't do it justice - its full of pretty colours.

 So now the center is filled the blanket sits much better. All that is left is to go round and edge it.  I will need to find a cool day to do that as the blanket can get pretty warm, which is good as that is its purpose.

 I actually really like the back of this one as it looks like a rainbow! However the front is pretty too and with all the other squares it looks grand.

With just the edging to do I'm going to have to start thinking about what my next project should be.  I have a massive list but I think a break from crochet might be nice...

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Frida's flower blanket part 6

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted on here.  Time has really flown!
There are a few reasons, for instance, after 2 years of being married I finally found the time to get all the photos printed and get them stuck into an album.  It's still not quite finished but much closer than it has been.  

There is also another project we've been working on, but that one will have to wait a bit longer before I can declare it.
But in the background I've continued with my crochet, although at a much slower rate than I had been.  

So as design 8, the final part of the Frida's Flower Blanket, was released this week I finally finished part 6.  Better late than never right.  I think this pattern is my favourite so far and looking at the promo photos its the one that attracted me to the project in the first place.  It's also the biggest needing 6 full squares, which has slowed me down a bit too.

Things are going to be slower on here this summer, but I will still post when I can and I will finish the Frida blanket, after all it is so close now how could I not! 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Frida's Flower Blanket part 5

We're just back from a weeks holiday in Norfolk.  We were so lucky with the weather - sunshine every day and we did lots of walking.  But best of all was the chance to catch up with my crochet.

Nothing can really beat sitting in the morning sunshine working on my crochet, with no rush to be anywhere as the garden we were visiting wasn't open yet.  We had a really lovely trip away and saw lots of birds we don't see at home, for instance bullfinches and a bittern!

And then there was the joy of joining my squares up and finally filling in a corner of the pattern.  I love this square with its lovely big flower and its pretty leaves.  I am so glad I took the plunge to do the Frida's Flower Blanket crochet along.  I'm learning tons and love the finished squares.  Now back to reality.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Frida's Flower Blanket part 4

Part 4 of the Frida flower blanket looked as scary as part 3, until I looked more closely and realised that quite a lot of it was the same.  It's really the central motive which is different.

I do really love these colourful squares, even if they are a little more complexed than the first couple I made.  And the black just sets all the colours off.  Janie Crow obviously know's what she is doing!

As I sat there adding the black to the first of 4 squares it suddenly occurred to me that this square reminds me of the beautiful paint work often found on narrowboats in the UK.  It has the same flower motive and colours set against black that these boats often have.

And as I add each square and my blanket grows, the more excited I get.  I can't wait to see the thing finished, but am also aware that once it is I'll have to find another project to work on.  And while that won't be a problem, I have a massive list of possible next projects, I'll be sad to see this project end.