Sunday, 7 August 2011

Moving on......

As I am finding it increasingly frustrating to use Blogger (it takes me far too long to make a post look 'pretty' and let's not even talk about adding photos......), I'm moving this blog over to Wordpress

From today, you can find me here

It will take me a few days to move everything over - but I look forward to seeing you all over at the 'new place' soon!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Crochet Mania

I've been completely bitten by the crochet bug - again! It's funny - I've always loved crochet, not least because it gives you quick results. But my love for it seems to come and go in waves - I can spent a whole week churning out squares and then touch my hooks for months.

Which might explain why this little blanket for SIBOL was started back in March and only finished yesterday:

Can you see my little helper in the bottom of the picture? Hee hee!

But that's not all - one of the ladies in the Knitting Goddesses group on Ravelry has recently 'discovered' crochet and was showing off her latest creations - rather funky scarves that let all the lovely colours of sock yarns show in all their glory. Cue me spending several happy hours browsing scarf and cowl patterns for all those yarns in my stash that have never really wanted to be socks.

One of these in particular was a gorgeous skein of Dream in Colour Stardust in a lovely mix of turquoises and blues, shot through with fine silver thread. I had tried to turn it into a knitted shawl, but I have now realised that these are really my thing (to either make or wear). So, on Sunday afternoon, I started this little cowl/neckwarmer - I only put time into on the bus to/from work and it's already done:

And I only used just under half of the skein - which means I've got plenty left for a matching pair of gloves (now those will be knitted - crochet gives too thick a fabric when making gloves - ask me how I know!)

But that's not all. Flushed with the success of my blanket, and in the hopes that the current hot weather will continue (which is not really conducive to major sock knitting....), I have decided to see if I can make a different granny square for each day of August. I'll be using my Jan Eaton book, as well as a new book that I got from Amazon (with 99 different patterns) as well as all the freebie patterns I've printed off the web in recent months.

Here are the first two - makes a nice change from blue :-)

NB: for future reference, I'll be using a 4mm hook with double-knit yarn and aiming for 6" squares (as they are going to SIBOL). If I need to make extra rounds, any crochet terminology that I use will be US terms

Square 31:1 - Bea's Flower Square, added 2 extra rounds of DCs

Square 31:2 - Spinner from Jan Eaton's 200 Blocks - no changes to pattern

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Trying to be good........ that things have calmed down a little (we're back from what was possibly the wettest, coldest 'summer' holiday I think I've ever had - but at least we got to eat Mum's cooking for a week - never a bad thing!), I'm trying to be good and finish up some projects before starting anything new.

I finished my Sam socks - the Sanguine Gryphon Kypria yarn is deliciously soft (unlike many merino/bamboo blends) and the colours are just dreamy....

I even had enough left over to make a little hat for my nephew - just hope it fits!

I did a fair bit of 'holiday knitting' - made good progress on my BFF socks, using the fabulous Sirius yarn from Barking Dog Yarns - I was concerned that the colours were hiding the cables, but now that I've finished the first sock, I'm not so worried. This is a very simple, straightforward pattern, with very little brain-power required - but strangely, I'm also finding it a little boring. Still, it's perfect for knitting on the bus, so I reckon I should have no problem getting the second sock finished by the end of August

Just before leaving for France, I also decided that it really was time I knit a pair for Miss A. There then followed an interesting conversation, where I offered her the choice of all kinds of beautiful colours (lilacy-blues, purples, greens - you name it, the colour was available). But no, Madam would ONLY consider a pair in pink - and the brighter the better! So, four days later, her wishes were granted - and she didn't take them off four the next two days (not surprising, given how cold it was.......)

Yes, one is a little longer than the other - because I was so distracted by being constantly asked when they would be finished, that I forgot to change needle sizes the way I had done on the first sock..... I also only used about 2/3 of the skein, so I guess there will be another pair in this appearing at some point in the future.

So now, for the rest of the summer, I'm going to concentrate on finishing up my outstanding pairs - such as this one, which I finished back in March, but haven't touched since......

I have another three (or is it four - really must go investigate all the bags in which my projects have taken up residence) pairs where I have completed the first sock. It's going to feel so good to get them all finished!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

On a roll.......

Having finished today's first layout, I thought I'd try and see what I could do with the same papers. They came from a coordinated page kit that I had put together some time (along with about 20 others - must get to those).

For the sketch, I picked a page at random from Ali Edwards' book "Designer's Eye 2", which I recently 'rediscovered' when doing a major tidy-up of my study.

I think the title says it all really. Also, I find it so hard to believe that there are 16 years between the two photos I used today........

Possibly the most special photo ever......

Today's first layout features a very special photo of Mr A and myself. I'm not sure I've told the story if how we met on here before, but we met at Uni in the late 80's and were actually best friends for over 10 years before we actually got together as a couple.

Those were the days when digital cameras / mobile phones were still quite far off in the distance - which goes part of the way to explaining why this is the ONLY photo I have of the two us from that time.

So here we are - dressed up in all our finery for the 1991 Midsummer Ball. This photo triggers so many memories / emotions:

1. It was a great night, enhanced by the fact that we all knew it was the last time we'd all be together in this way

2. Mr. A had just found out he'd missed getting a First class degree by a ludicrously small amount....I would still have to wait another 3 weeks for my results (but at least the exams were over!)

3. I was wearing my first 'designer' outfit - a luscious, strapless dress by Valentino in black velvet with a wide, emerald green satin sash that was tied in a bow. The dress was bought specially for the occasion from an awesome shop in Brighton's Lanes, courtesy of my wonderful Daddy. And if any of you wonder about my dress sense, remember this was the tag-end of the 80s when a lot of fashion faux-pas were made.....

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Anyone for Thickers?

If I had to choose my favourite 'bit' of scrapbooking stash, it would have to be letters. You name it: rub-ons, die-cuts, stickers - any kind of alphabet and it has to be mine! And my particular favourite has to be the Thickers ranges from American Crafts. Unfortunately, they are not exactly cheap.....

So, imagine my delight when I found a seller on eBay who was selling off her stash of Thickers - there were all kinds and even though some of them were part-used, at £4 for a set of 8-10 sheets, they were an amazing bargain. I had to fight off some fairly stiff competition, but nothing much was going to stop me!

This morning, I went to the Post Office, and picked up a HUGE box which contained this gorgeous lot of scrummyness:

Yep, 42 sheets of Thickers! Guess who's a happy girl today?

Even better, I've already made use of some of them:

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Weasleys go to Canada

And the 14th pair for 2011 are done - these are going to my colleague Jo, who is having a really rough time at the moment, and spending 3-4 nights a week in a hotel - hopefully these will help bring a little 'home' comfort to her.....

Pattern: Weasley Homestead by Erica Lueder
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted in Maple Leaf (do you get it now? LOL!)


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