Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Summery stripe tote bag

At the moment I seem to be going a bit crazy for crocheting in stripes!

I've made a little tote bag, big enough to fit your book, purse, keys and mobile and a few other bits and pieces.

This was made using 2 colours of Rowan Cotton Glace and a 3.5mm crochet hook.

The bag has flat construction with no bottom. Each side is identical. To make the sides I chained 60 to start then worked in double crochet for two rows before switching to the second colour and then back again after another 2 rows. To make the handles I made a chain of 8 stiches, then worked in double crochet until the handles were as long as I wanted. Then attached the handles to the bag.

I also made an attempt at including a zip pocket in the lining to create compartments in the bag. It would have worked out fine, if my zip hadn't been a little too long, which causes the pocket to ruck up a little! Still, I consider this bag a prototype, and plan to make another where I have learned from my mistakes!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Patchwork cushions

I made my first attempt at making a patchwork cushion yesterday, and quickly discovered that it's very addictive!

First patchwork cushion

My inital creation came out ok - it fits the cushion pad it was made for, and the lines are fairly straight (for my sewing that's good!). However, I didn't do brilliantly at cross matching the patches in different rows. I'm sure an expert quilter would be appalled.

Second patchwork cushion

On the second attempt I took more care in cutting out my sqaures, and also pressed the seams open before stitching the rows together. This cushion still wasn't perfect as you can probably see from the closeup above, but I think it was a distinct improvement, not bad for a second attempt!

I wonder what it is about patchwork that's so addictive. Is it the thought of being so thrifty and using up all your left over scraps - you get to feel so virtuous! Or is it the opportunity to show your creative flair in matching the colours and patterns together in different patches? I also discovered from my experimentations this weekend that I prefer smaller patches to larger ones. The small patches on the secon cushion I made are so interesting I just can't stop staring at them!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Poppys and roses

Having spent a conscientous couple of hours studying, I feel I can now allow myself some fun for the rest of the day! I should mention, studying on a Saturday is not normally something that happens with me, but with assignment deadlines looming next month and a week's holiday to Edinburgh the week after next (can't wait!) on which I will be unable (and even more unwilling than usual) to study, it just had to be done.

So, having paid my dues to the world of health informatics for the day, I took a stroll to photograph some of the lovely poppies which are gathering on the roadsides nearby my house. There's something about poppies and their ephemeral nature which is just charming, You would love to take them home and put them in a vase but you know that if you do, they'll soon be withered (and also you shouldn't really pick wildflowers). Best to leave them in the wild for all to enjoy. Maybe this is why beauty always makes me a little sad - you can't capture and hold it, and you know eventually it must die.

Then again, I suppose photographs are some form of capture of beauty!

This was tricky as far as photography goes (I'm no pro in that field) - a very strong wind making it difficult to focus and also blurring the colours. Still, I got there in the end!

As if the lovely poppies weren't enough beauty and charm for one day, when I reached home the doorbell rang, and a parcel which I've been eagerly awaiting since the start of the week arrived. I bought a tea cup and saucer from eBay with a Royal Albert Old English Rose design. I have a thing about tea cups at the moment (probably springing from my long term love of tea and cake!), and couldn't resist this one.

Here it is resplendent on the new Granny Square Throw:

This particular eBay purchase all started with a visit to Liberty's (which I haunt with the frequency of a Victorian ghost!) and me cooing over the current range of Royal Albert china, which is all in pink and blue pastel. Not being able to justify the expense, I turned to eBay and found the above! Obviously an older pattern but so pretty!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Granny on the bed

I have finally finished my granny square throw, and its now in pride of place on the bed!

This turned out to be quite an expensive project. I'll have to remember this the next time I choose yarn for something like this. However, it was well worth the time and effort as the throw really brightens up the room. Looking at it, I almost can't believe I made it myself. Its the sort of thing I normally get craft envy from seeing on someone else's blog or site!

So here are the pictures:


 The granny square pattern came from a recent issue of Mollie Makes, in case you were wondering: the May issue. The smaller squares which you can see around the edge of the throw in the second picture were made exactly as given in the pattern (using different size yarn and hook). The larger squares, I simply made by adding rounds.

I made 54 large squares (8 rows of 6 squares) and 42 smaller squares which give a border to the longer sides, and then finished the whole project off by doing one more round of granny treble all the way around the edge.

Yarn used: Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran 5x pink, 5x lilac, 5x aubergine, 5x tomato red, 5x turqouise, 11x cream
Hook size: 4.5mm

On a different note..

It felt pretty grim making the commute back into London for the first time since the long weekend today. I had George Harrison on my iPod, reminding me that all things must pass, and darkness only lasts a nighttime. I hope he was right -not for my own life which would be rather pathetic - I'm eternally grateful that my life is what it is -I have no real fears or worries, not compared to others. It made me think of all the terrible things which are happening in the world right now. I hope the light comes again for those people who are suffering now.