Thursday, 26 March 2009

I've changed my mind......

...the Patons Caressa is not going to be made into a Stardust - I've decided that I much prefer this Lacy Chevron cardigan - I think it will work better with the fluffiness of the wool, and because it's crochet, I'll get it done quicker too!! Honestly, all these decisions - who said being a knitter was easy???

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Swatch heaven?

I'm taking a break from the crochet granny squares in order to prepare for the next raft of projects (well, thanks to being made redundant, I have LOTS of time on my hands - so might as well be productive!). I've been busy knitting up gauge swatches (I'm erring on the side of caution!).

So, what is on the cards I hear you ask?

First, some easy/quick knits (to balance the more complicated ones below):

I have finally settled on a pattern for the lovely Rose Garden Merino from Babylonglegs - it's going to be transformed into a Seed Stitch Cardigan for Little Miss A.

The gorgeous Atlantis Aran (yes, also from Babylonglegs) will be knitted up as a Spiral Cowl - yes, I know Spring is now well on it's way, but it's still a bit chilly in the mornings!

Then, I have a few more long-term projects planned - the newly arrived Bergere de France Sport

will be turned into a Dr. G's Memory Vest for my Dad's Xmas pressie

My 10 balls of Patons Caressa DK will make a lovely fluffy Stardust - don't you just love the colour? It's got a really nice feel to it and the lace pattern comes out really nicely (provided I remember to knit into the back of the yarn forwards on the following row!)

And then, last but not least, I need to start making a serious dent in my stash of sock yarn!

I'm holding back on choosing a pattern for the lovely Claudia's Blue Fields (soooo scrummy & squishy!)

but my two skeins of Angels & Elephants have volunteered to go to the head of pile:

Seaspray (I just adore all those pale greens and lilac/blues!) will be used for some Spring Forward socks

and the Pentillie (reminds me of a wintery sunrise) will be used for Spring Pools socks

All this should keep me busy for a while, don't you think?

Monday, 23 March 2009

Springtime baby afghan

I originally started making this for Jessica's little girl (who was born in November) but other things / projects got in the way. So I'm now making it for Ben's little boy (who was born two weeks ago).

I’m making 8 squares each from 9 colours of wool - 1 white; 2 yellows; 3 greens and 3 blues. Each square is coming up 10cm by 10cm. These will then be sewn together in diagonal stripes. Haven’t yet decided whether to sew them together with a contrast seam (in white) or with mattress stitch. When I’m going all out, I can churn out one of these squares in 15 minutes - 59 squares down, only 13 to go!

Pattern is based on the Wagon Wheel design from the Good Housekeeping Crochet Companion which I have had for ages.
Pattern as follows (NB: UK crochet terms):

ch 6, join with sl st

round 1: ch 2, 15 tr in circle

round 2: ch 4, 1 tr in 1st tr of previous rnd, 2 ch, 1 tr in nxt st, repeat from , join with sl st into 2nd ch of 1st 4 ch

round 3: ch 5, dtr into same st as joining,2 ch, 1tr into nxt st, 2 ch, 1htr into nxt st, 2 ch, 1 tr into nxt st, 2 ch, 1dtr into nxt st, 2 ch, 1dtr into same st as previous dtr, repeat from, join with sl st into 3rd chain of 1st 5 ch

round 4: 2ch, 3tr into 2ch corner space, 1 tr into nxt st, 2 tr into 2ch space repeat, putting 1tr into each st of previous round, 2tr into each 2ch space, and 3tr into each corner space, join with sl st into top of 1st 2ch

round 5: 2 ch, 1tr into each tr of previous round, with 3tr into centre tr of each corner
Cast off.

Cards and cake!

I have a found a new challenge blog which is right up my street - it's all about Basic Grey! This week's challenge is all about texture - and here is my attempt, specially for Little Miss A's 2nd birthday which is today (and we had a temper tantrum before we even left the house just to prove it!)

I have used papers from the Periphery and Skate Shoppe ranges (remember the last one?), plus Kaiser pearls and gems, ribbon from John Lewis, and a cute little Tilda holding a special cake. I added texture in various ways - there are the gems and pearls, but I also added white polka dots to Tilda's dress with a Souffle pen, glitter to the cake icing and the blue flower, and her shoes are all shiny, thanks to some Diamond Glaze.

Seeing as I was on such a roll, I have also managed to finish a birthday card for my MIL (I know she doesn't read this blog so I'm safe posting the picture on here). Bazzill cardstock, Sizzix pp, Dovecraft flowers and jewel brad, plus Kaiser gems and Prima flowers - I'm really pleased with this one!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

A lovely bunch of tulips for all the mothers out there - hope you had a nice, relaxing day!

More candy!

Ooooh - this is sooo yummy! Just perfect for my new-found need/desire to make lovely little cards........!

You have until midnight on Monday 23rd March so hurry over to check it out

Friday, 20 March 2009

Some gardening time.....

...some of you may have guessed from the various hints I have posted recently, but now I can officially declare it: I am being made redundant. Yep, another casualty of the credit crunch. However, please do NOT panic - now that I have come to terms with the new situation, I couldn't be happier! I put up a good fight (although it was mentally and physically exhausting) and I will hopefully get a decent severance package (it's all in the hands of the lawyers now, so fingers crossed!). As of today, I am on 'gardening leave' - but have absolutely no intention of doing anything in the garden apart from sitting on the bench with a cup of coffee and enjoying the sunshine. And I have loads of projects to complete - an altered canvas for my friend Katie, a knitted shrug for my friend Helen, and Mr A has given me strict instructions to finally make a start on our wedding album - it's only been almost six years!!!
So, here's to freedom and the pleasure of being able to take time to smell the flowers!!!
In keeping with my sunny mood, here is a card I made earlier this week for a colleague's niece - she requested something funky with sunny colours - I think it came out really well!

I've also made the following for some very good friends of our who are getting in married in their home country of South Africa tomorrow. Sorry we can't be there guys - but hope you have a FAB day!! We'll be thinking of you while we take Little Miss A to the local city farm for her birthday treat (she's either going to love it or freak out completely.......)

Blog candy!

The amazingly talented Caz is giving away some fantastic blog candy for her birthday - you have until 11.50pm (UK time) tonight - so get your skates on!

You can see the candy in all it's glory over here

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Another WIP bites the dust!

YAY! The Faberge gloves are finished. I absolutely loved knitting these (even if I did initially manage to make two right-handed gloves - DOH! Not a good thing to discover at 10pm on a Sunday night.........)

The yarn is just gorgeous - the colours are so vibrant, and yet the result is still quite subtle. Let's hope L'il Sis likes them...... AND I have enough yarn left to make a hat! She'll have to wait for that though, as I have run out of time methinks.....

2Di4 Duo yarn in Trailing Vines colourway; needles 3.75mm (dpn); size medium; Faberge Mittens (for cuff pattern) and Generic Glove pattern from Knitty; Started: 22 Feb 2009; Finished: 17 March 2009

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Naughty blogger........

Yes, I have been a naughty's been far too long since I have posted on here. In my defence, real life has got in the way recently (as has my knitting obsession!). I will spare you the details, but it looks very likely that things will be changing dramatically soon, and I will have a lot more time on my hands - which means lots more scrapping! There is a silver lining to every cloud after all.....

As I said, I really haven't done very much scrapping so far this year. I'm involved in a circle journal on UKS, but of course, I can't show pictures of that. I managed a brief flurry of activity during the recent Cyber Crop, when I did these:

My little sis looking stunning on her wedding day in June 2007

the uncanny resemblance between Mr A and little Miss A (both aged approx six months) - long may she keep those gorgeous curls!!!

And then, this morning, the need to scrap suddenly grabbed hold of me again - oh what bliss! I have had the idea for this layout in my head for some time, and it also seemed to work really well with the Scrap Like You Mean it topic for week eight (I'm still catching up on these, and not necessarily doing them in the precise chronological order!). Quite different from my usual style, and cutting up the photos was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but I'm very pleased with how it came out.

I'm such a lucky girl to see all these beautiful historical buildings (St Paul's, the Old Bailey, St. Bride's church) every day - Mr Wren, I salute you!


I am on a mission to get projects finished at the moment - the 2nd of the Faberge gloves and the Express Lane socks are well underway, can't wait to see my sister's face when she gets the former. Hubby says the 1st sock fits really well and feels super snuggly, so that also looks like it will be a success!

In the meantime, I decided last week that it really was time to finish Alice's tank top (before she outgrew it!). So, a couple of evenings of dedicated ribbing (armholes and neck), plus a Sunday afternoon of seaming the sides produced this:

Phildar Oxygene in Blackberry & Lupin; Cygnet DK Superwash in Grey; Phildar Frimas in Lupin
Needles: 3mm and 3.5mm
Started: 8 January 2009
Finished: 8 March 2009 (Really shouldn't have taken this long!)

I'm really pleased with the result - and she seems quite happy with it too - she wore it to nursery on Monday, and apparently was stroking it all day long - happy Mummy! Even better, the length means she can maybe still wear it in early autumn!


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