Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Mammoth crafty update part II

Hello again everyone! As promised, here is part II of the mammoth crafty update, a little later than planned. I've been delayed by a chest infection, among other things. I wouldn't be here, blogging, on New Year's Eve (not that there's anything wrong with that), but having asthma and then getting a chest infection is pretty bad news, so I've had to cancel my plans for the evening.

Never mind, at least it gives me time to catch up on my blogging!

One other project I've finished in December was my purple vintage flower cushion.
Here you can see it getting cost with the original cream cushion I made using this pattern.

If you look closely, you'll see a slight difference between the purple and the cream cushions. The purple cushion has several rows of treble crochet bordering each side. This was because I used a 4 ply weight yarn instead of the dk weight used for the cream cushion. I couldn't quite get the shade of pastel lilac I wanted in Rowan Cotton Glace, so I decided to use Rowan Siena instead, and simply modified the pattern slightly. I'm still happy with the result!


Well, 2013 is drawing to a close. I have to say it has been a heck of a year for me. Good things and bad, stresses and strains and moments of joy and celebration too. I guess that's like any year, but somehow things have seemed magnified this year. I've finally been able to sort out some long carried personal baggage, with some help from some very supportive people. I have to say that has made a huge difference to me, and I feel I am ending the year as a much stronger person than the person that started the year! Here's just a few of the positives that I've been lucky enough to experience in my personal life in 2013:

  1. Finding out that I had passed the Postgraduate Diploma I took in 2011-12, with merit!
  2. Getting a place on, and starting a PhD course (so far, so good)
  3. Getting my flat! My own space at last - it feels so extravagant to have all this space to myself, and it's only a 1 bedroom flat!
  4. My wonderful, wonderful boyfriend S, who has given me another year full of happy memories and laughter.
  5. My fantastic family (and S again) who have all pitched in and helped me with moving, hefting boxes, doing DIY jobs, providing advice, stopping my tearing my hair out with stress over it all and generally standing on my own 2 feet!
  6. Of course all you fellow bloggers and crafters out there who take the time to read and visit this blog, and leave such kind and supportive comments. Every comment is valued and it's so great to feel part of a community here.

Well, that's all for now folks, the sun has set on 2013, and now we await 2014. I hope to see you all here and on your own blogs in the coming year. Very best wishes and a Happy New Year to you all!

p.s. I have received several requests for patterns recently - I'm not able to respond to them at the moment, but please believe I will do my best to share my makes with you as soon as I can.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Mammoth crafty update part I

Hello everyone! This is the first time for about a month that I have had access to a proper pc and working internet connection on which to blog, or do anything web related. Regular readers might remember that I was about to move house at the end of November. The move went smoothly, but sadly setting up an internet connection is taking a ridiculously long time, so I'm taking advantage of being back at my family home for Christmas, where there is a working internet connection!

I promised a mammoth crafty update, but I think there is too much for one post, so I think I will split it into parts - it may take me a while to catch up with myself. To be honest December has just been completely knackering in a lot of ways, so I haven't done as much crafting as I normally would, due to my routine being knocked sideways by the move. Still, the enforced blog-absence this month has meant that I have a lot to share!

So, to begin! Firstly there is the granny stripe throw.

I spent the last couple of weeks frantically trying to finish this so that it could be a Christmas present. I actually started this project in July - right around the time that I found my flat - so it seems appropriate that it should be the first project I finished after moving in!

This project owes a lot to other bloggers actually - I'm sure you will recognise the original idea as being from Lucy at Attic 24, and you may also recognise the colour scheme as being heavily inspired by Annie's Place.

I'm very pleased to have finished this in time, and I hope it will be a thing of beauty to the recipients tomorrow!

Sorry about the bad light in these pictures - it dark and rainy all day yesterday, and who knows when daylight will return! At this time of year in England, it can feel like the sun is never coming back!

Ok, I think that will have to be all for this crafty update, as it's getting ridiculously late on Christmas Eve to be up blogging! Hope you all have a happy, cosy Christmas with your loved ones. I hope to be back for the next update on Boxing Day!

Merry Christmas! 


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Friday, 20 December 2013

Back soon I hope....

Hi everyone,  just wanted to drop in and say that normal service will hopefully be resumed here very soon, and also say hi to my new followers- thanks for stopping by!

Back very soon with a mammoth crafty update! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Blog break

Hello everyone,  I'll be having a bit of a blog break for the next few weeks as I'm scheduled to move this Friday!  All very exciting!  I'm not sure when I'll be back,  hopefully before Christmas but it really depends how long it takes me to get everything organised and settle in.

Happy crafting, see you again soon!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pastel inspired cushion cover

After my last post about pastel inspiration and thinking about decorating and furnishing my new home, I thought I'd share one of the things I making for my place.

Above are some of the squares for a lilac cushion cover I am making. You might be able to see, it is the same pattern as the cream one I made at the end of the summer.

I have some matching little shell buttons ready for the fastening.

I'm also enjoying having fresh flowers in the room at the moment. I think fresh flowers will be a feature of my new home whenever I can afford them!

Here's one last snippet of pastel loveliness from the weekend - can you make out the pastel colours on the bridge?

Stay warm everyone - it's cold here now!

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Winter-time pastels

Now, I know that most of us tend to associate pastels with spring. Well, I have been thinking a lot (as you can imagine) about furnishings for my new home, and I really feel I want to keep it really light and airy and bright, so I am thinking pastels!

S and I went on a lovely Saturday morning walk yesterday, from Clapham Junction to the King's Road in Chelsea. I found some pastel inspiration in these gorgeous terraced houses which can be found down a little side street just before you get to Sloane Square.

The whole street is beautiful! Every single house along both sides of the street is painted in a pastel shade, from lemon yellow and pale blue to pink, lilac and pale green and salmon. I love the fact that everyone on the street has gone along with this! I wonder which house was the first to decide, 
"hey, y'know what?! I'm gonna paint the front of my house pink!

I particularly love the lilac and pale pink houses next to each other in the first picture above. You may not be able to see due to the shadow on the photo, but the lilac house also has a dark purple door!

So, yes, pastels shall be a feature in my new home. It's funny, I love day-dreaming about what furniture I might buy (cheap and cheerful is a must as I have an entire flat to kit out - bed, sofa, shelving and all!), and what colour cushion covers I'm going to have etc. etc., but I am totally procrastinating when it comes to actually packing for this move! Well, maybe it's not so strange to feel that way - after all, who enjoys spending hours wrapping china in newspaper?! (sorry if you do enjoy that!). 
I think I much prefer unpacking to packing!

Between finishing off my red sweater, starting a new sweater and working on cushion covers to adorn my yet to be bought sofa, I haven't had much time for my starburst throw in the last couple of weeks. 

I've started stitching the squares together, but I may not be able to pick this up again until after I've moved now. Still, I am already picturing it spread out on my new bed, cover a crisp white duvet cover (also yet to be bought - ugh, I have so much to do to make sure I don't end up spending my first night in my new flat sleeping on the floor under my coat!)

Have a happy Sunday all!

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Another sweater

It's the middle of November, and we are well and truly into sweater (or jumper if you're a UK reader) weather, though oddly it's still not that cold here! We do have some nice sunshine and clear(ish) blue skies though.

I have well and truly been getting my knit on in the last few weeks.

Ages ago in this post I mentioned that I had a red Kim Hargreaves sweater pattern, Briar coming up on my list of Things I Want To Knit Before It Gets Cold. I believe I even mentioned red yarn too!

Well, the yarn was duly purchased (though in a slightly different shade of red to that I originally planned, but hey-ho) and the knitting excitement begun!

The yarn for this pattern is Rowan Lima. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn?! It is squishy and cosy and a dream to knit with. It produces a gorgeous soft fabric, and because it's aran weight it's good instant gratification knitting!

On Monday night I finished my sweater and boy, am I pleased with the result. It is a delightfully cosy and snuggly garment, but being a Kim Hargreaves, knit the pattern has lovely clean and flattering lines - just what you want when the weather is starting to draw in but you're not quite ready to feel like a michelin man smothered in yarn (though it is nice to feel like that in January I find!)

How do you like it? Are any of you getting your knit on for some snuggly autumn and winter garments? Perhaps those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are whipping up spring and summer garments?

I already have the next project flying off my needles - here's a sneaky peek.

This is also a Kim Hargreaves pattern - one that I made last year, but somehow managed to end up with something that would have better fitted and Oran Utan because it had ridiculously long sleeves!

I really should be getting on with making homewares that I really need though. My house move is finally in sight, after months of waiting! I'm hoping to move at the end of November/beginning of December, so it will be frantic packing over the next few weeks. Then, once I have moved there's the business of trying to get a new internet connection set up - sigh. I may be out of action on the blog front until 2014! Hopefully I will pop back in here before moving day arrives though!

More next time, plus a crochet update!

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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Colour play

It has been wild and windy here! Our house was without power for about 7 hours on Monday, the day of the big storm. Suddenly being without electricity makes you realise how much you depend on it - for everything from boiling a kettle to heating water to shower or bath in!

Actually, I kind of liked not having electricity for a little while! It was nice to have no distractions and be forced to fall back on more traditional methods of entertainment, such as reading (and crochet of course). Though I probably would have taken a different view if the power outage had lasted until dark - as my other half said "crochet by candlelight - very exciting"! Exciting it may have been, but I'm sure it would have been bad for my eyes.

We were lucky to have our power back the same day - I know some people who were still without power on Tuesday afternoon/evening.

Perhaps my liking for not having electricity relates to a general need I'm feeling lately to try and slow life down. I feel a bit like I'm on a merry-go-round at the moment. I'm trying to cram so much into the days that the hours just fly by, and it leaves me feeling a little dizzy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - I'm loving everything I'm doing at the moment - work and study. It's just that some times I find myself at one of the regular points in my routine feeling like it's only been about a minute since I was doing the same thing the day before!

Do you ever feel like that? Is it a side effect of modern life? I think it must be.


Well, continuing with my attempt at a slow pace of life here, I've spent some time over the last couple of days playing around with the colours for my starburst squares, rolling ends into nice neat little balls, not hurrying the process, but just enjoying. 

In the photo above you can see the colours I'm using. I was going to try and tell you what make and shade each colour was, but I've completely gotten mixed up with trying to work it out now! Maybe I'll try again when I've finished the blanket.

I've made around 90 of these little squares now, and have started sewing them together.

I find working in batches make the process flow a little more smoothly, so I've been working the first two rounds on a batch of circles, then the third and finally the white edging.

Tonight I'm starting the stitching together process - I have to say it looks pretty good so far!

Stay warm


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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sunburst Squares

Hello everyone, I hope you're ok. I've heard it's going to be a stormy night here tonight - lots of wind and rain etc. So what better excuse for snuggling down with some crochet in a warm place?!

Since last time I have been working on these Sunburst Squares.

I see a lot of these around on Pinterest, and other blogs. I have sort of resisted making them so far, just because everyone seems to make them! However, I think I've been sort of cutting my nose off to spite my face.

The other week I was contemplating my big pile of colourful yarn, wondering what to do with it all. As you may remember I started making African Flowers. Then sort of lost momentum. They are quite time consuming to make, and I somehow couldn't see myself making anything very useful from them. Thanks to those of you who suggested various things to make from the little pile of squares I had though - your suggestions are duly noted, and perhaps when I have some time....

Well, anyway, back to the Sunburst Squares.

I think the thing that attracted me to them in the end was the 3d effect created by the puff stitch in the second round. It reminds me of the something pretty flower squares which I had so much fun making at the start of the year. 

The Sunburst pattern I'm using is from the book 'The Gentle Art of Knitting', which I love for it's laid back attitude towards craft.

I haven't managed to make many of my Sunburst Squares yet. Over the last 2 weeks I've managed to make about 40. I'm aiming for a blanket, but this is going to be a slow process. That doesn't bother me though. I'm taking my time, only working on the squares when I feel like it, rather than in a mad rush. I normally crochet or knit in every spare second I have, but lately I'm feeling ok with taking things at a slower pace. I think this will be a good thing for me. I still really enjoy my crafting, but it's about getting a balance with all the other important things in life right now, and that's healthy I think.


There has been some more glorious autumn whether here this week. I know I've already shared so many autumn colour and leaf pictures already, but I can't stop myself showing you some more!

These leaves (above) look so perfect don't they? I almost stepped right over them one lunch time last week. They look like they've been deliberately arranged, and it tickled my fancy so I had to take a snap.

These other pictures are from a park nearby where I live - on a glorious day last week!


Hope the rest of you are all doing ok. Happy Sunday all, hope you're enjoying some gentle crafting too!

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Green cardigan

In my last post I mentioned that I had finished my green cardigan. So, here are the pictures!

The pattern is Kitten, from Kim Hargreaves' book Smoulder.

The pattern gives two options for yarns, you can use Rowan Angora Haze or Pure Wool 4 ply. I love angora but the fact that it fluffs everywhere drives me a little crazy. My clothes always seem to be covered in fluff as it is (I don't know where it all comes from). So, I choose to use Pure Wool 4 ply for this project.

Generally I'm pretty happy with how it worked out. I made a longer version of the cardigan than was directed in the pattern. I knitted until the back and sides were 39cm in length rather than the 28cm specified in the pattern, as I wanted a full length rather than a cropped cardigan. As there is no side shaping in this pattern, it was easy enough to increase the length.

I'm quite happy with the way the body of the cardigan fits. It's a bit roomier than the yellow cardigan I knitted recently, but the pattern is made that way. The only thing I was slightly unhappy with in my finished garment was the sleeves - they are a little more loose than I would have liked. If I were to make this pattern again, I think I would probably go down a needle size to 3mm, just to make the cardigan a little bit more snugly fitting.

I think it looks pretty nice next to my yellow cardigan!


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