Monday, 30 April 2012

Double Pointed Needles and a Tiny Bunny

Following the craft fair on Saturday, now that I have even more yarn in my stash, I have already started planning future cardigans and sweaters.  This in turn has inspired me to get on with the cardi currently occupying the needles, Patsy.  I'm making good progress and may even be wearing it by the end of the week!

When Grace was here at the weekend we had a little distraction with some crafty companionship and worked together on a project. Grace wanted me to show her how to knit in the round with double pointed needles - not my favourite - but it has its uses.  This is what we made.

Grace made one in green as well but I forgot to take a photo before she went home.  Maybe she'll put a picture up on her own blog.  The pattern  is called Tiny Baby Bunnies and it's by Anna Hrachovec at Mochimochi Land.  We used double knitting weight yarn but the pattern uses 4 ply - so they really are tiny.  It's a free pattern, available here.

Grace is now off to buy some double pointed needles so she can make lots of little creatures!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Craft Fair

Grace and I went on a spending spree this morning at the Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Fair at Aintree Racecourse.

We both bought mountains of yarn, as well as ribbons, embellishments and paper craft supplies.  (I can't show you everything - it had to be smuggled into the house and carefully concealed!!!)

I bought these lovely little gadgets for making pom-poms.

Pom-poms can be made in next to no time - so quick and easy.  I made these three as soon as I got home - just to give it a try.

The fair also had a display of costumes from the television programme Downton Abbey.

This next one was my favourite - I love the colour and the lace work.

A most successful day - our purses are considerably lighter - but we can't wait to get started on the new stash.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Face Lift

It's been three years since I started this blog.  Time certainly flies.

Time for a change - a new look - a Spring clean.

Grace has come to stay this weekend so she helped me revamp the blog.  I'm happy with the new look - but it may be subject to a bit more tinkering.

My Contribution

Today is the deadline for Eve to hand in all her work for her Art A level.  She left for school this morning laden down with her portfolio of work - a year's worth of it.

This past week has been a hectic finishing off and polishing up her art sheets.

We've had a horrible week of weather this week but on Wednesday the sun came out just long enough for her to take some lovely photos of the blossom tree in front of our house - to use with her art work.

They are just perfect - and the next day the rain battered the tree and it looks a mess now - so she was just in time.

My contribution to this - well - I brought out the step ladder so that she could get her close ups!

I made some chocolate chip muffins - to keep her spirits up.

And of course - I helped eat them!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Eveline's Motif

Thank you for your lovely comments on the reworking of my very first crochet motif.

As requested, I have written out the pattern.  In honour of my Gran, who instructed me in the original making of this motif, I have named the pattern after her.

The PDF version of this pattern is available, HERE.

The measurements of the motif are as follows:
Double knitting version – 13 cm (5 inches)
Sport weight version – 9.5 cm (4 inches)
4 ply version – 8 cm ( 3 inches)
#10 crochet cotton version – 5.5 cm (2 inches)

You will need oddments in the yarn weight of your choice, a crochet hook appropriate for the yarn weight – and that’s all. 
Please note that in all of my patterns I use UK crochet terms.
The American equivalents are as follows:
tr = USA dc
dc = USA sc
Other abbreviations:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sp = space
sts = stitches

Using the yarn of your choice and an appropriate sized hook, make ch 6 and join into a ring with a sl st.
Round 1: 3 ch (counts as 1st tr), 15 tr into ring.  Join with a sl st into 1st tr. (16 sts)
Round 2: 5 ch (counts as 1st tr and 2 ch), 1 tr, 2 ch into each st to end.  Join with a sl st into 1st tr. (16 spaces)
Round 3: sl st into next sp, 3 ch (counts as 1st tr), 2 tr in same sp, 1 ch, (3 tr into next sp, 1 ch) to end.  Join with a sl st into 1st tr.
Round 4: sl st into next 2 tr and into 1 ch sp, 1 ch, 1 dc in same sp, 5 ch, (miss 3 tr, 1 dc in next ch sp, 5 ch) to end. Join with a sl st into 1st dc.
Round 5: (5 dc into next 5 ch loop, sl st into dc) to end. 
Fasten off and neaten all loose ends. 

You can of course experiments with different colour combinations. 

I hope you enjoy this pattern.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

You've Come a Long Way Girl!

When I was little we used to visit my Gran every Saturday morning.  My Mum and Dad would go shopping and we would stay with my Gran.  We usually played cards or dominoes but frequently my Gran would pass on some of her crafting knowledge to me.

When I was about 8 or 9 she decided to teach me to crochet.  I don't think I really understood at the time what was going on, it was so confusing but she persevered with me even though I could tell at times she was getting frustrated.  I still have that very first piece of crochet.  Here it is:

A bit wobbly in places but I'm glad I kept it.

Yesterday I suddenly had the urge to recreate the motif my Gran was trying to get me to make.  So here is the 2012 version:

It looks completely different from the original but IT IS the same stitch pattern.  This new one was made using double knitting weight yarn.  I added an extra round of stitches to give it a better finish.

I then made the motif with #10 crochet cotton:

And one with 4 ply:

And finally a sport weight version.

All four of the 2012 motifs took a total time of just over an hour - I suspect the version from the 1960s took several Saturday mornings!

I think I've come a long way in the last 43 years!  I've learnt so many new crafts and skills.  I hope my Gran would be proud of me.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Patsy - A New Cardi

It must be all of a few weeks since I finished my last cardi - time for a new one.

I've decided to go for another Kim Hargreaves pattern - from the book Touching Elegance.

The pattern is called Patsy.

I'll be making adjustments to the sleeves - full length and more fitted.  I'm knitting it in Sirdar Balmoral DK yarn, it's not as pinky as this picture would lead you to believe, more of a burgundy colour.

Having knitted enough of Kim's patterns I feel confident about the sizing.  However with this one I started knitting the XS size, but quickly frogged it and knitted up the S size instead.  It still looks like it could be quite a tight fit.  It's knitting up quickly as it is straight forward to knit - so I'll soon know if it will fit!

More Mice

I've just visited Ginny's blog at Ginx Crafts to see the Fair Isle Mice she has made from my pattern.

They are so cute and I love the cat.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Sunny Coaster

Having made a little coaster for Eve, I couldn't resist making one for me.

It makes me feel sunny and happy and it looks good on my table.

The pattern is available free, here.  It's by Lis Chaong and it's so quick to make.

It would look really effective in many different colour combinations.  I may make some more.

I hope you all have a lovely sunny weekend.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

An Apple for Eve

Exams looming, coursework deadlines to be met and just the general stress of your last few weeks EVER in school.  Eve needs cheering up and cheering on when she gets in from school.  So today I crocheted up a little treat for her.  Something to bring a smile to her face - this jolly little coaster.

Very quick and easy to make.  There are a few patterns for something similar out there.  The one I used was this one, by Anne Marie.

It'll brighten up Eve's desk, and tempt her, whilst working, to nothing more than another cup of tea!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Finding Inspirations

I recently bought the latest edition of Mollie Makes.

I have now subscribed to this magazine, so in future it will be delivered to my door and I won't have to wait until I go to the shops to get my copy.  If you're not familiar with the magazine, it's a wonderful collection of handmade, homemade, vintage, collectible, lifestyle inspirations.

This month's magazine featured these.

They are cute little crochet daffodils fitted onto knitting needles - what a great idea - so simple and so effective - why didn't I think of that?  The idea comes from ingthings blog.  You can see her original blog post about the daffodils here.  What a lovely blog - very stylish photography.

Obviously, I have had to copy her idea - it's just too good to miss.  Here are my little daffodils.

And then I was reading the latest blog post from Lucy at Attic24 and couldn't help admiring the crochet blanket she is working on - so I used the idea to make a colourful mat for my vase of daffodils to stand on.

Lucy gives a great tutorial on crocheting a flat circle, here.

So put them all together and here is my new display.

What an inspiring time I'm having.  All I need now is some inspiration to do the housework!