Saturday, 12 May 2012

40,000-odd stitches later....

          Yes! It's finally finished! Earlier this week I sewed in the last end on Monster blanket!! And yes, I did work out that 37,080 stitches had gone into the blanket (didn't have the will to figure out how many were in the border!)

Having worried that the colours would clash, I found they actually worked really well together once I'd joined them together in cream. Joining was a lot quicker than making the circles, but the border took aggggges! I think it really frames the blanket nicely though.

I don't think the colours go together awfully well here, but I was running low on a lot of colours and these were the ones that I could be reasonably wouldn't run out halfway round the border! (Isn't it annoying when that happens?)

I have decided that this is the last large granny square blanket I'm going to make for a long time. I simply can't face sewing in all those ends again! I thought that making lots of squares and joining at the end would make for a much more portable project - wrong! I found I still had to cart around my big bag of yarn anyway, for all the colour combos. Plus, I'm having nightmares about one of the many ends working their way out and unravelling, even though I was really particular about making sure they were secure. Anyway, it's been dropped off at my mum's ready for when my aunt comes to collect it when she visits, and I actually quite miss it! 

Here it is in all its glory!


Size: 79" x 68" (including 4" border)
Weight: 1900g (roughly 1000g coloured circles, 600g cream, 300 border)
Yardage: 6308 yards 
Time taken: About 3 months.

Now onto one of my many other projects I have lined up! :-)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Blanket progress and other bits

Oh dear, two whole months have slipped by since I last blogged. Shameful.
On the plus side, progress on the Flowers in the Snow blanket has come on in leaps and bounds. I had a period of around a month where I made no circles at all, then I threw myself back into it, prompted in no small amount by the fact that the blanket has to be ready by the end of May, and I had only done half the amount of circles required, not to mention I still had the joining up and border to do. Unfortunately, with my renewed vigour, I somehow neglected to sensibly sew in all my ends as I went, so now I have over a hundred circles with ends to tidy up. At least I managed to reach the magic number of 270, and have now begun to join in cream yarn.

I decided to join in blocks of 9 circles, so I have 21 more blocks to do. Thankfully, joining seems to be much quicker than making the circles (mainly because I'm not faffing around trying to decide on the next colour!)

I also had a couple more small projects on the side that only took a day or so to make.

Kitchen bunting, made out of scraps of fabric samples, and my first go with bias binding. As the sewing machine has gone back to my mum's, and as I was too impatient to wait to sew my triangles together, I used some embroidering cotton and a 1.5mm hook to make a crochet edging over the raw edges:

There was also a toy box that I thought was looking a little bare, and I wanted an excuse to make some more crochet bunting, so I used up some of my scraps from the Dr Who scarf::

I'm hoping to get the big blanket finished within the next month, fingers crossed!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

111 down, 159 to go....

I finally managed to photograph all my circles laid out on Madam's bed on a unusually bright day. There are a lot more blues and yellows than anything else as I'm trying to be systematic and finish colour groups one by one. Looking at the photos, the blue circles contrast nicely against the red sheet. I hope being joined in cream doesn't kill the colours. 

I haven't done any work on this since I took the photos, I've mainly been concentrating on my cross-stitch and making some mini bunting for a toy basket downstairs, which I haven't photographed yet. It's snowing hard outside, so looks like tomorrow will be a cosy day (except for going out to make the obligatory snowman!) - maybe I'll get some done then! 

Sunday, 22 January 2012

New Project!

Whoops, I've left it too long between posts again! At least this time I have a new project to update with!
My auntie has recently bought a new house and my Mum has asked me to crochet a bed blanket as a house-warming present. I had free rein to make whatever I wanted, as long as it was colourful. I agonised over this for ages - granny squares, solid squares, granny stripes, ripple, vintage vertical stripe? Having already made two granny square blankets last year, I was a bit doubtful about making another; not least because it would mean I would have to weave in about a million ends. However, squares make for a much more portable project, and it's always fun trying out different colour combinations. Then again, I do love the ripple pattern, and it would mean fewer ends to weave in.
In the end I decided to go for the Flowers In The Snow pattern - colourful circles against a cream backdrop.
The best thing about this project was that my mum was paying for the yarn, yay! I ordered 20 colours of Stylecraft Special DK, plus some cream, and also added in some stash yarn.

From top, L-R: Lipstick, Bright Pink, Pomegranate, Shrimp, Plum, Raspberry, Emperor, Grape, Magenta, Violet, Lavender,
Wisteria, Aster, Turquoise, Cloud Blue, Sherbet, Teal, Aspen, Spring Green, Saffron, Fondant, Clematis, Baby Pink.
 So far, I've made 95 circles since the yarn arrived two weeks ago. My aim is to make 270. I have a plan of sorts; that is, to make a roughly equal amount of blues, reds, yellows, oranges, greens, light purples, dark purples and pinks - I just cannot do totally random colour combinations! 

 Photo is not very good due to lack of light! Hopefully I will manage to take some soon.

I am really enjoying this blanket, having so many colours to play with is a delight, and I am actually being good and sewing in my ends after I've made 10 circles or so - makes it much more manageable!

Another project I am working slowly on on the side is my Janet Bell Beach Hut cross stitch, which hubby bought me for my birthday.

       I've got quite a bit further since this pic was taken though. Haven't done cross stitch for a few years, so this has been fun. I think I will hang it in the bathroom when it is done. 

Monday, 2 January 2012

2011 Crochet

Well, one of my New Year's Resolutions is definitely to blog more!!! I really find it helps spur me on to complete projects, rather than leaving them languishing in my yarn basket.

I will post a list of my crafty intentions for 2012 soon, but first a mosaic of my 2011 crochet projects:

      From top, L-R:
      ROW 1
      1,2,3: Seafoam Granny Square blanket for our bed. 4: Stripy fingerless mitts, which I still need to        photograph properly

       ROW 2
      1: Granny Tea Cosy for a friend of my mum 2: Granny Bunting for Madam's bedroom 3: Pincushion from Attic24's Christmas decoration pattern. 4: Sweet Heart Wall Hanging

       ROW 3
      1: A bigger picture of the heart wall hanging. 2: Stripy bunting for Madam's door. 3: Hat which I more or less improvised (and it shows!). I don't wear it very much as I made the headband too tight, and it's not particularly warm. Still, it was a valuable lesson in counting my increases properly <bitter about countless non-flat circles>  4: Summer Garden Granny Squares for the Ice Cream Granny Blanket

      ROW 4
      1,2: Ice Cream Granny Blanket in progress. 3,4: Ocean Ripple in progress. 

      ROW 5
      1: Finished Ocean Ripple! 2,3: Finished Dr Who scarf for my step-dad. He is a massive sci-fi geek so was really chuffed with this Christmas pressie! :-) 4: Reverse side of my Granny Square Hot Water Bottle Cover. 

      ROW 6
      1: Front of Granny Square Hot Water Bottle Cover 2: Easter stripy and granny bunting. I'm not sure if I'm really pleased with this, the colours are a little too pale for my tastes. 3: Hallowe'en bunting. A good way to use up some of that Stylecraft Special Jaffa, which is shockingly bright. 4: Snowflake Christmas bunting/

      ROW 7
      1: Christmas Stocking Garland. 2,3: Flower Patch Hot Water Bottle Cover, adapted from Attic24's cushion. 4: Purple Heart Garland, for stringing across the mirror in our purple and cream-themed dining room. 


Tuesday, 27 September 2011


...conkers repel spiders. They don't like the taste apparently. I HATE spiders. Especially since the time a particularly large one ran under our armchair, with hubby in fast pursuit, where he discovered the brand new oven gloves that I'd melted by leaving them on the still-warm hob (brand new because I'd bought them to replace the old oven gloves I'd melted the previous week), and which I'd quickly hidden to avoid him tutting and rolling his eyes at my carelessness. (This is the man who drove our car into a car park barrier just months after we bought it, may I add!)

Anyway. So spiders hate conkers. So guess what I was collecting this weekend...?

Madam was only too pleased to assist, and we collected a good amount to take home and plant in strategic areas - namely, behind the fridge and the TV, and in the corner by the desk. I'm sure I can spare a few for Madam to play with though. 

It was nice wandering through the trees. I especially love the ones with the red leaves.

Madam also gathered some acorns and when we saw some squirrels darting among the trees in the park, she tossed some over to them, and was delighted when they picked them up and started nibbling on them. I was able to get quite close for a picture. It's amazing how many squirrels you can see if you look for them; they seem to blend really well into the background if you are just walking past and not really paying attention. 

I also completed a quick crochet project this weekend. Although I am in the middle of several large projects, I felt the need for some instant gratification, so I decided to make a hot water bottle cover. I've needed one for ages, since the cover that originally came with the bottle was a hideous Winnie the Pooh bear pouch thing. I thought the simplest thing to make would be a granny square cover. I estimated that 20 small two round squares for each side would suffice:

I just used oddments of yarn I had left over, mainly Stylecraft. 

When I had woven in all the ends, I crocheted them together with dark purple yarn:

 It's not particularly clear from the photo but I added a bobble-shell edging to finish it off. I decided not to make it removable, because I couldn't be bothered faffing with buttons and really, how dirty can a hot water bottle cover get? 

Yay! I love it. And no more burns from now on! I have a larger hot water bottle too, with a cover I knitted when I first learnt, and which I don't really like anymore. I'm thinking of some crocheting something similar, in slightly different colours though, and maybe some flowers attached? 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

All better...

After a bit of this....

...some of these...

and lots of this...

... my cold seems to have subsided. Yay!

Today is my and hubby's 6th anniversary since we got together. We don't really do anything special for it as now we have a wedding anniversary to celebrate (although we are going to see Stephen Merchant live in a few weeks), but I saw this card in a shop and thought I would get it for him, just to remind him that he's supposed to be buying me a beach hut just like it one day (hey, I can dream!) I love everything about this photo - the bunting, the cushions, the lovely spotty bag, the gorgeous bluey-green painted walls, the embroidered quilt, the little doll on the window ledge. What I wouldn't give for a little hidey-hole by the sea!