African flowers

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My first one was made in odd acrylic and I really love these colours together!

I have been having some fun with these, once I worked out the pattern I found they were actually fairly simple to make. They hold their shape well too, they are a hexagonal granny square.

 

Then I decided to make a cotton table mat but I needed red cotton, as my dining room has a red theme to it. So I bought a ball of Wendy cotton supreme from my local store,  C & H and tried out a few with the various cotton oddments of yarn I could find. I wanted the entire mat out of cotton so it could be washed easily and would be absorbent. It would also hold it’s shape more.

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Playing around with the colour scheme!

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Here are a few that I tried, I was a bit limited by what colours of cotton I had. I did red and pink and orange and just wasn’t very keen on the outcome, then I thought I’d do a simple flower using only red and white.

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My favourite, simple and stunning.

I liked the effect, less colourful but amazing contrast so I decided to use red and white only for my mat. It was very beautiful.

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And then I made more

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and more

Three flowers made, I wanted seven. A central one, with six on the outside.

This was it once joined together, I decided it needed a little border and then it was done.

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Ta-Daaaa!

Here it is finished with a candle holder in the centre! Now I’ve got another four to make, one for the center of the table and one each for our glasses. I’m debating doing a bigger one with an extra round of stars for the plates.

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Okay, I actually changed my mind and added another border…

So this is the final finished thing, now to make a couple more. If you want to play around with these the pattern can be found here in English, Spanish and Dutch. There’s also other projects you can make with this, a hippo, a bear. The only downside is that it uses American terms, but it’s okay to translate and even has a photo tutorial.

Purl City Yarn Haul

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My order from Purl City Yarns

I like a lot of pages on Facebook, to begin with it was something I didn’t see the point of, but now I’m starting to catch offers from it. I found a really good one from Purl City Yarns where they were giving away a free set of crochet hooks with every order over £15! I couldn’t miss that one as I’m short on the sizes before 3mm and above 5mm. Now I’m good. This offer is still running until the end of May, their shop is here if you want to order. And they have free postage for orders above £25.

At the top you can see my free 12 pack crochet hooks 2mm -8mm! They’re aluminum, but I like those.

I’m going to show you all the goodies I got!

Shawl pin

 

This is a shawl pin by Symfonie costing only £3.30. Since my daughter started wearing a shawl and saying how comfortable it was I thought I’d wear one of my mum’s old shawls. She was right, they’re great for around the house, my only complaint is that it will slip off sometimes, happily this shawl pin stops it and looks pretty!

I’ve also got a pack of candy love hearts and some wool washing liquid for free. The sweets were yummy and my son enjoyed them, but I’ve not yet used the washing liquid. I’m probably going to try it then if I like it buy one for me and one for Andi.

The washing liquid is called  Euclan, it’s a washing liquid for delicates no rinse lavender fragrance. I’ve only got a 5ml sachet, and I need to find something woolen to try it on.

Rainbow wool

 

Andi has been going through a sock phase, which is great! I’ve decided to profit from this by asking for my own pair of socks. She told me to buy her the yarn to do it, well, here’s one of the ones I chose. It’s Lang Jawroll, Magic Degrade, shade 0050 Macaw, 75% wool 25% nylon   £7.95 100g ball. 25% nylon is fairly standard for sock wool from what I can tell, as is the price of £6-10. What I liked about this one was the colours! It reminded me a lot of the Katia yarn I got a while back. I will have colourful and warm feet soon.

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The other yarn I chose was Lang Millie Colori sock and lace, in shade 90, again it’s 75% wool, 25% nylon. £9.95 for a 100g ball. Still in the standard price for sock yarn, and again the colours are amazing. The photo doesn’t do it justice, and I don’t think I’ll be able to show the full beauty until this is knitted, but it is lovely.

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Next are the stitch holders, what’s so special about these? It’s a Clover jumbo double ended stitch holder, They’re £4.20 for a pack of two which I feel is good value and about the same price as the standard safety-pin style stitch holders. I got the 7mm size, but there is a smaller one available.

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This is the photo of the double ended stitch holder with a normal safety-pin style stitch holder. It is modern, but flimsy and easily bends so the stitches can fall off. Once it came open in my knitting bag. So I went back to using an antique of my mum’s.

 

 

 

P1060056These safety-pin style stitch holders are old and I’m sure they were my mum’s. They do work but you can still only access the stitches from one end. Meaning you need to slip them onto a double-pointed needle and sometimes turn and it’s a lot of faff.
That’s why I got the double-pointed stitch holder! It looked so practical, and it was fairly cheap.

 

Otherwise, I’m very please with this yarn shop. It’s got a very interesting range of yarns I’ve never heard of, and the fiber contents are all good quality, wool based as far as I could tell. I had a poke through the books to and there is a lot of interesting stuff there. I would recommend this shop to anyone.

The shipping time was great too! I ordered Saturday afternoon and it got to me Tuesday morning!

The current offer is “Free PCY Project Bag when you spend over £50 / Free Crochet Hook Set with orders over £15″

So I will update soon when I’ve tried these goodies out. I will also share a jumper I made recently. For more updates you can check out my Facebook page.

Crochet waist coat

I have been really busy and have now finished my granny square waistcoat! I have worn on several occasions already. It is really useful on cold days, although I am beginning to wish I had used a better quality wool and not just cheap acrylic. The more I knit and crochet the more I hate it. The colours are nice and bright though, but these days wool is bright too, as is cotton.

So what’s the story of my original chrochet waist coat? It’s surprisingly uninteresting, I bought it. It is handmade though! I got it back in the 1970’s, back when music was good and knitting was normal. Back in the days of local woolshops that were within walking distance there was a store near me selling handmade clothing too. They were selling that waistcoat and I really liked it, at the time nobody could crochet in my family so it was buy it or go without. My mum bought it, well she bought the wool because I wanted to choose the colours and the lady made it the same as the others.
Recently though I’ve been thinking it’s a little pale next to all the bright yarn colours in existance now, so I wanted to remake it, the acrylic was more of an experiement; and since it worked I might make another in cotton.

I used a bit of odd stash wool for this, a lot of pink left over from Andi’s clothing in the 1990’s, but I bought the new purple to trim it, although I can’t remember the brand. It came from my favourite online store, Deramores.

Sadly I don’t have a photo of me wearing the waistcoat, my son wouldn’t help me out and I’m too old for selfies, but soon I’m hoping to get one.

Another Wool Haul

200 Crochet flowers, embellishments & trims

I’m always needing something to finish a little cardigan, or something I’ve sewn. Crochet embellishments just work great for me, and I seem to always be making flowers for something, so I’ve treated myself to this book, I’ve not made anything yet though. I think it looks good, and the instructions seem easy to follow, maybe I’ll write a review soon.

20 to make Crochet Granny Squares

I always find granny squares versatile too. Sandy has blankets made from them, as did my children. I’ve used them in cardigans, bags, everything. I got this from Deramores, again I’m very pleased with it and it seems easy to follow. It’s also small, so I can take it out with me.

Red heart 100% acrylic black 4ply. The left over Wendy Festival from Andi’s winter set. And a set of buttons I liked.

All of the above is from Deramores. I’m making a little cardigan from the black acrylic, it’s cheap, and I don’t know how it will wear so if the jacket comes out very nice I’ll make another one in cotton. It’s for Sandy, in 2-3 years, but the pattern includes 3-4 as well.

The Wendy made Andi a very nice hat and scarf, but I’ve not yet got the decent pictures of it.

And the buttons? I don’t know yet, I just liked them.

Sirdar Montana

Eight balls of Sirdar Montana. I’m not sure what this is for yet, it was in the sale.

Thee balls of Patons 100% cotton. Two balls of red Bonus DK acrylic, and one ball of green.

This yarn is from Hobycraft, the black 100% cotton. I got red and green is acrylic too, there was a 3 for 2 offer on. I want to do a strawberry jumper. I had to drive ten miles to the nearest hobby craft though, which is slightly annoying, on the plus side, parking was free.

C&H wool haul.

This photo is a mess. I raided the sales in my local (expensive) wool shop. I did very well.

I got a pack of crochet hooks, just because they’re always good to have around and I’m missing a lot of smaller sizes.

4 balls of Wendy Supreme DK cotton, two orange and two green.

Sirdar snuggly 4ply in sage.

An odd patterned wool that’s lost the band.

And an odd chunky, same story.

Regia 4ply sock wool, two balls.

An eyelash yarn by Sirdar, not sure what for, but loving the colour. I only use those yarns for trims anyway.

4 balls of a nice cotton yarn that I can’t remember the name of at the moment.

 

Next I’ll be knitting this all up. Well, hopefully. I got four patterns too, but I’ll show those when knitted up.

Andi keeps nagging me to get a ravelry, I don’t know what the big deal is.

A wool haul

I’m sorry I’ve not written anything on here for a while. I’m a little unsure about what to write, and then I’ve been busy with crafting. I’ve been meaning to post my recent makes on here for a while, but it becomes a case of “let me finish this one last thing” and then I never update before I start something new.

One of the privileges (or responsibilities, or tasks, or whatever you want to describe it is) of being a grandmother is that you get to, and are expected to, knit for your grandkids. When you’re a mum it’s always the kids begging you to stop, now you’re a grandma your kid is asking for things for her child. Or at least this is my take on things.

Currently I’m working on a blackberry stitch cardigan, it’s plain colours but the stitches look like blackberries, hence the name. However, I keep messing it up, I get tired and I miscount the stitches or something goes wrong and I have to undo it again. Gah!

I’ve also finished a crochet minion hat for Sandy, because I thought they’d like that one. And I’ve done a lot of work around the house too, things are progressing.

Andi got a notebook for christmas, and in this notebook she has (at least) a page of demands. It’s even titled “List of Demands” it’s a mixture of knitting, sewing and crochet for herself, Sandy and sometimes George. Apparently she has a list on her tablet too, but that’s things she’s planning to make.

At last read the list had

  • Chunky slouchy hat for Andi, with matching scarf. Knitted or crochet.
  • Sewn dungarees for Sandy.
  • Sewn shirts for Sandy.
  • Knitted octopus. (normally she follows this with several exclamation marks!!!)
  • Crochet minion hat for Sandy.
  • Crochet Spike hat. (My Little Pony’s cute baby dragon)
  • Crochet Rainbow Dash hat. (My Little Pony again)
  • Elf hats for Andi, Sandy, George and myself for winter 2014.
  • Chunky Cardigan for Andi for autumn 2014.
  • Beard hats for George and Sandy.
  • Plush sewn My Little Pony characters.

This list is growing and my list of things I’d like to make is almost non-existent, so I’ve bought some wool to do her things. We did it together over Skype, but it wasn’t the same as going to the wool shop together, and talking with the old woman behind the desk, and faffing about and poking the wool, some things about the internet will never compare.

The haul

I spent around £60 at Deramores. I got free postage meaning it actually works out as cheaper to buy online than to travel to my wool shop, sadly. Before we even looked at anything we worked out what we were actually making up first, we settled on Andi’s hat and scarf with Sandy’s Rainbow Dash set. And a bonus Rainbow Dash hat for Andi.

Wendy Festival Secret Garden

The first wool we picked out was Andi’s, for a chunky scarf and a hat this was probably going to be the most expensive thing. We started off looking at Katia Azteca because we couldn’t find a 100% wool yarn to use. In the end we decided on Wendy Festival wool, in the shade Secret Garden. It’s a lovely, stunning, bright blue, with hints of other colours. I got three balls, and it worked out as roughly £13. Not bad, even if the yarn is 100% acrylic.

Katia Darling shade 201

Andi and I found Katia yarns by accident, but they are amazing with the colours. We found them in Paris, and she made me a hat for Christmas using their Azteca wool. She found this Darling, but it was 4ply. So we decided it could be another hat for Sandy. This was £5, it’s a wool mixture, I’m excited to see this one.

I also bought four balls of King Cole Big Value, a DK acrylic yarn. I choose the shade surf, a lovely bright blue. I’m making a Rainbow Dash hat with it and some odds and sods from my scraps box. This was £2.60 a ball, so around £10.

I bought four patterns, but they’re not that interesting. I’ll share those when my order arrives. And some dinosaur buttons because they stood out to me, and a little book of 20 crochet granny squares.

Granny squares are one of these amazing things because they can make almost anything, blankets, scarfs, jackets, I’ve even seen them used in hats and bags before.

So I’ll be writing again once my £70 wool order arrives, showing off what I’ve made, and opinions about the wool and objects.

Crochet Santa Hat

Crochet Santa Hat

It’s not the best photo, but after seeing Andi’s knitted version I wanted to try and crochet a little Christmas hat for Sandy.
I used some odd acrylic white, and some Robin acrylic red.
I started at the top, and dragged my increases out so they were smaller. However the hat isn’t as long as I would have liked, so next time I’m going to do it much longer. But I want it to be a wearable hat and not just a photo prop so length is limited.

I added a white border, and a pompom to make it just like Father Christmas.

So when Andi and I next get together we’ll get some good photos, probably with flash.

Christmas from Grandma

It’s december, I’m a grandmother, my shopping should be all finished now, the gifts should be wrapped and labeled waiting to be given.

I don’t even have gifts for most people yet. Mainly because I’ve not got the disposable income to buy everyone a gift. I’m only giving to family and friends who I know give things in return. It’s a little selfish, there’s people who I know won’t give me anything but I’d love to give to but realistically I can’t.

So how am I going to survive a commercially based holiday with no money for gifts? I’m not. I’m going to get yelled at by Andi that I hate her and her son because I didn’t get them anything. My son is going to be hugely disappointed when he gets something handmade, and I’m going to pretend I don’t care when really I’m going to be offended that my labours aren’t more appreciated.

I lie about Andi, she’ll probably be doing the same thing, since she has nothing. But George? I’m not so sure he’ll accept a crochet owl hat, or mittens, or something like that. And Sandy is a baby, so he won’t really care all he’ll want is the wrapping paper.

Other people? Well, there’s some people who will not accept a handmade gift as an actual gift, even though it takes so much more effort. So for my mother-in-law I’ve bought a DVD boxset, and some books. For my husband’s uncle (my family is weird) I got some alcohol, not booze, this stuff is classy. Otherwise, I’m stuck. That already cost more than I have to spend. Andi wants a camera, but would also like a tablet, the Galaxy Tab 3 is almost affordable, and the basic cameras are arond £50. So that’s a difficult choice. George’s present is money, going towards a school trip to Italy.

Sandy is by far the easiest to buy for. He’s one, it’s actually his second Christmas, but his first he was only a fortnight old. I’m planning on crocheting a little hat, and possibly a scarf for him. His mum can’t crochet so it’s more appreciated. Otherwise I’ll probably just get him books, or toys.

Family wise we have four stockings, we’re buying small things for each other, because we’ve not got the money for big things. And we’re making things too. It was Andi’s idea, but it seemed the easiest and cheapest. We’ve been throwing ideas at each other about things to buy and make, and this is it so far.

Andi – A crochet owl hat. A bag for her tablet, I’m planning on making a change bag based around her tablet, if she gets one that is. A book of some description, H.G. Wells? A notebook might be nice, for her to jot down ideas. Possibly a slouchy crochet hat too, with some kind of chunky flower, maybe a scarf to match. A voucher for eBooks|

George – Deodorant. Shower gel. A video game. Some kind of book. Possibly a notebook. Headphones. Andi will no doubt get him condoms.

Sandy – A crochet owl hat. A scarf. Another kind of book, dinosaurs I guess. A colouring book, maybe some crayons, although he’s a little young. And he’ll get a tablet… A pair of sewn dungarees would be good.

Gin – Gin? Is it wrong that I don’t know what I want? I’d say cheap jewellery, but it’s a waste of money because I’ve already got so much. Crochet hooks? Wool, I want chunky wool. A wooly flower broach.

I’d love to hear other people’s ideas too.