Rainbow Granny Crochet

2016-01-11 09.12.34002

As you know I recently finished the last granny square blanket I’d been working on for Kye, so it’s time to start another. ¬†Rather surprisingly, I have quite a bit of yarn to try and work my way through, so I’ve been thinking of ways to use more of it and quicker.

It’s Dina’s turn next to get a blanket, so it can be bright and colourful. ¬†Bearing this in mind I rifled through my stash – well that’s not strictly true. ¬†When your stash is as large as mine, it’s more like looked ‘I looked at the yarn on the shelves in the old stock room’.

2013-01-01 00.00.00-377copy

I settled on these colours and considered using each held doubled, but a brainwave hit and….

2016-01-30 11.33.28

Having looked at what I’d picked, I drew this rough sketch, very rough I know ūüė¶

2015-11-22 11.30.45

I’m still using two colours held together, which means I get to use my 6mm crochet hook so the blanket will grow much quicker and it’s going to be so warm and cosy when it’s finished.

The colours will run as follows

  • Red & Pink
  • Pink & Orange
  • Orange & Yellow
  • Yellow & Green
  • Green & Turquoise
  • Turquoise & Blue
  • Blue¬†& Purple
  • Purple & Red

8 colour changes in total

2015-11-22 11.31.14

I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking so far. ¬†As it’s my knitting group project I’m not really expecting to fly through it, they just make a lovely, easy project to work on whilst chatting and laughing.

 

2016-01-30 11.33.16

There’s test knitting happening for the next issue already, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you too much. ¬†I can let you know that it’s going to be the beginning of something exciting for Olann and¬†‚ô•¬†‚ô•¬†‚ô• if all goes to plan.

2016-01-31 17.55.15

Last but not least, our friends are expecting their first grandchild in about 5 weeks, so I get to knit baby things.

Having cast on a Kelly Brooker Beyond Puerperium last night I just want to keep knitting. ¬†The yarn I’m using is Stylecraft Alpaca DK, which I absolutely love. ¬†I know I’ve said it before, but it really is surprising how lovely and natural looking this yarn is, given it’s high acrylic content.

It knits up beautifully ūüôā

Back to my knitting now as I think we’ve been separated from each other for far too long.

Happy Crafting!

♥ Follow me on Bloglovin Here ♥

Good Intentions

blog1

It’s been 17 days since I last wrote a blog post, which is blooming terrible, especially as I’ve actually made a rough plan for the next few too. ¬†How do I know it’s been 17 days exactly? ¬†Well the last one was on New Years Eve (seems like ages ago now) and because I’m currently keeping track of some of the things I do regularly, in order to see the places areas of my life than ‘need work’. ¬†More about that in a minute.

Did you think about a One Little word for your 2016?

Despite my concerns about ‘putting it out there’, several friends have mentioned how positive they found my last post. ¬†How it made them think about their 2016 and¬†have picked words too, including CONFIDENCE, RESTORE, STRONG and HAPPY. ¬†Each word definitely reflects the individual that chose it and I can’t wait to see how it impacts their year ahead.

I’ve been busy test knitting a garment for the next issue of the magazine, due for release on the 26th January – eek! ¬†Deirdre and I have also been swatching samples for the Yarn Review feature, but I’ve spent the best part of the last fortnight stuck in front of my pc or unpacking and sorting out craft supplies, in order to begin scrapbooking my One Little Word.

2016-01-17-19.11

Nearly forgot to mention that I made Deirdre a hat. ¬†It’s the Orbitus Hat by and I love it. ¬†Hopefully she does too ūüôā

2016-01-11 11.54

This pile of ends is also an indication of things completed…

2016-01-11 09.11

I’m happy to report that I’ve finished the granny square blanket I had been making for my youngest, Kye.

2016-01-11 09.12.34002

He was thoroughly chuffed when I told him it was for him and he loves it. ¬†I might add another couple of rounds to it some time in the future, but for now I think the 75″ square is the perfect size for that extra bit of warmth. ¬†Much needed at this time of year, especially if you live in an old farmhouse that seems to eat the heat.

Talking of cold, it really has been rather chilly of late. ¬†I finally gave in on Thursday and broke out the thermals, unable to take the sensation of numb legs anymore. ¬†It’s lovely to get out for a walk in the Winter sun, but I’m finding no amount of layers are keeping my hands or ears (?) warm.

 

Today the sun hasn’t even been able to poke it’s way through the grey overcast cloudy sky, but I’m happy to see the fog lifted after last night. ¬†It was so thick that I found driving home in it close to terrifying and I would never think of myself as a nervous driver. ¬†I took my dogs¬†out for a walk on the farm at 10pm last night, because I hadn’t had time earlier in the day and I couldn’t even see two fence posts ahead along the track with my torch.

chart

We’re in full ‘getting ready to publish mode’ and we keep getting messages from people telling us they can’t wait for the next issue. ¬†It’s easy when you’re so busy to forget to look after yourself and I’m extremely guilty of doing this, part of my hopes for the year ahead was to try and stem the chaos a little and have faith in myself. ¬†Putting this plan into action late again as per usual (but better late than never), I’ve started to keep a track of some of my daily routines and habits so I can see where I’m falling down.

blogpost1

The table is basic a diary of sorts, there’s plenty of lines to fill in the things you want to monitor and the boxes on the right represents the days of the month. ¬†By checking or colouring in the boxes for the things you’ve achieved that day, you can see at a glance what’s happening. ¬†I only really started it on the 9th of this month, but it was easy to back fill some of the boxes.

For me personally, I’m trying to establish a ‘baseline’ in some areas of my life, so I can work on them in the coming months. ¬†In no particular order I’ve tried to include things that I like doing, things that need doing, social media is there to ensure I remember, things I have to watch and things I’m aiming for.

Knitting & crochet is there at the top as this is my sanity, meditation and mindfulness time all wrapped up in one. ¬†A day without even a little time spent with my needles or hook can be too long for my head. ¬†As you can see, I haven’t spun or wove since the beginning of the year. ¬†I have worked on other crafty pursuits which is great, but I desperately want to try and make spinning and or weaving part of my daily routine, in order to improve my technique. ¬†I also find I totally switch off whilst doing either, which equals a happy head too.

The next section is all dedicated to the magazine, Leftfootdaisy stuff, social media and blog posts, which is why I know it’s been 17 days and having the chart¬†hanging next to my desk has been a constant reminder.

The next group of items are areas that I want to or should be watching. ¬†Walk the dogs, is so I do just that, it would be rare that I wouldn’t and if I couldn’t someone else would. ¬†Keeping tabs on it, just gives me that little extra nudge to do it myself. ¬†Washing (clothes not myself) is listed because it seems like my washing pile is never ending and I’m hoping that by seeing ‘washing free days’ it will help me to realise this just isn’t the case.

I’ve added ‘eat’ and ‘pain’ and have included a traffic light system for keeping check because these are two areas in my life that are a interconnected, a bit of a priority and in need of work. ¬†I’m planning to use this months results to make changes in the coming months. ¬†(more about in another post)

The next few entries refer to actually getting in the car and leaving my house, it’s rural so you have to drive and although I’ll invariably have gotten out to walk the dogs it’s not really the same. ¬†Looking back at the last post, in which I mentioned trying to create some more ‘joy’ in my life, I thought it would be good to note how often I see my friends, even if it’s for the briefest moment.

Bed before 12 – the X’s are because I haven’t achieved it. ¬†It doesn’t even mean bed and sleep, I’m just working on trying to train myself to actually go upstairs to bed before 12.

kings

Last item for this month says ‘read or listened to’, because I always enjoyed reading a book and can’t remember the last one I actually completely read. ¬†I started listening to audio books about a year ago as a way to fill this need, but even that has begun to fall by the wayside now I’m not driving backwards and forwards to Midleton several times a week.

I’m currently listening to The Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson, all 76 chapters, 0r 45 hours and 34 minutes of it. ¬†I’ve a little over 33 hours left, but am getting a little confused with the names of the characters.

essentialism

I’m trying to read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, but I haven’t managed to get that much read. ¬†The basic principle of the book is doing less, but better, which kind of ties in with some of the things I’m trying to fix.

I’ve made my ‘Daily Habit’ chart available to download as a pdf if you’d like to try keeping a check on your daily routines here.

2016-01-15 09.35

For now I’m dreaming of knitting this yarn up into an Orbitus Hat for myself and working on my first prompt of the Ali Edwards One Little Word workshop. and thinking about my word FAITH.

accept what is let go of what was and have faith in what will be

Doesn’t she and the view look lovely?

Look a little closer and you can see it’s ice in the tyre tracks because it was freezing and bless her, she was sitting because she was tired (she only has 3 legs).

Happy ūüôā

♥ Follow me on Bloglovin Here ♥

 

Everyone Loves A Granny Square Blanket

 

supersoft

A few weeks back when I was sorting out the discontinued shades of Sirdar Supersoft Aran for the now de-funked Green Bin, I noticed how lovely some of the colours looked together. ¬†As Supersoft Aran is 100% acrylic, I knew I’d be able to work with it whilst suffering from my hayfever induced wool allergy, but didn’t know what to make with the 5 shades.

Cushions?

I’m definitely not short of them for my sofa and whilst some of them could probably do with a bit of a refurb, I’ve already bought some fun, funky material that will brighten up my dark sofa.

2015-06-14 00.04.02-2

A chilly Sunday lead me to conclude that we don’t have enough blankets in my house. ¬†Being old enough to remember what it was like to have sheets, blankets and a bedspread on your bed and if it was cold, an extra blanket or two, I find it quite amazing that you never see ‘proper’ blankets any more. ¬†There’s no shortage of duvets in my house, but when you’re trying to convince yourself that it’s only forty winks on the sofa, a duvet can seem like too much of a commitment (or is it just me that thinks that?).

2015-06-22 23.12.58-2

So a blanket it is.

As much as I love the blankets you see on Pinterest and Instagram, with all the lovely little granny squares, I’m just not up for sewing in all those ends.

 

Conclusion РBig Granny Square (nearly typed knickers,  aka Bridget Jones).

2015-07-07 20.42.59
The centre is a bit wonky, but it seems to have straightened up

I started with 2 balls of each colour and knowing I wouldn’t have enough to complete three repeats of each of the five shade, I opted to only repeat the first three shades a third time. ¬†As it turns out, I needed an extra ball of the mustard colour to complete the last side of the round.

supersoft 2

I love it, but I want it a bit bigger and there’s no more green. ¬†Luckily, I’d put by a couple of balls of the dark grey, which I think will work really well to frame the rest of the colours and finish of my blanket.

2015-07-07 20.42.03

Now all I have to decide, is how many rounds of the grey to do, all suggestions would be much appreciated.

I was hoping to be able to hang the blanket up on the washing line, so you’d see it better, but it was awful in Lismore yesterday evening. ¬†Instead I promise to photograph the finished blanket when the ends are sewn in and it’s washed.

Nearly forgot, I’ve been using a 5mm crochet hook.

Happy Crochet!

♥ Follow me on Bloglovin Here ♥

Granny Square Scarf For Dina

2014-05-20 09.28.44

You might have noticed I’ve gone a little crochet mad of late, I’m not even sure why to tell the truth.¬† I am and always will be a knitter and it kind of feels like I’m having a bit of an affair really.

The crochet is quick, instant colour gratification and in my case, used mostly for items of frippery.

This scarf for Dina, my daughter (she shows up here quite regularly and is equally obsessed by woolly things ‚Äď she‚Äôs been infected) came about when I was helping a customer to select colours for a crochet blanket project.

The aforementioned customer ended up choosing a more pastel combination I’d grouped together whilst I found myself fit to burst with the need to crochet these five up.

Casting the bookwork aside (any excuse)  I set to work on a granny square, still not sure what it would end up being.

I made a couple more squares and it dawned on me that a summer scarf was the way to go.

 

2014-05-20 09.30.07

First dilemma = How many squares?

It’s a summer scarf so it’s not really for warmth (hopefully). ¬†Originally I thought 15, but after trying it on several times I opted for 13. ¬†Each square is roughly 5″ x 5″ so the scarf is approximately 65″ long.

photo

Using all these colours unfortunately equals a lot of ends to sew in and I even found myself taking it to bed on one occasion, refusing to go to sleep until they were all done.

2014-05-20 09.33.12

Not too bad a job, even if I do say so myself.

Second dilemma = How to join the squares?

I could have sewn the squares together through the back loops only, mattress stitched them, over stitched them but instead I chose to crochet them together using double crochet.

This has created a beautiful ridge which defines each square and also ads a little weight to the front of the scarf.  Hopefully it will also mean it sits the right way out when worn.

2014-05-19 15.10.53

More ends to sew again, this time whilst waiting in the car for my youngest to come out after school. ¬†This time I refused to drive off until I’d finished. (my poor family)

I’m really happy with the finished scarf and it took very little yarn. ¬†Hopefully my beautiful daughter won’t mind me taking a pic or two of her wearing it for me to share here. ¬†In the meantime I’ve had to use a chair to drape it over.

What do you think?

2014-05-20 09.32.17

 

Happy Knitting!

Crochet’s fine too though ūüėČ

 

New Crochet Magazine

Simply Crochet
Simply Crochet

Yes my crochet is basic, very basic actually. Still, that hasn’t deterred me from picking up the first edition of the new Simply Crochet Magazine to have a nosey at.

The first thing you’ll notice about the magazine is the paper. It’s not your usual glossy paper, nor is it the heavier, recycled kind of paper that you get in Mollie Makes.¬† It has a vintage feel about it, with more of a matt look and it’s absolutely packed with editorials, information, yarn reviews and most importantly patterns.

Untitled

There are 30 items to make including motifs, home furnishings, a baby girl’s cardigan, a woman’s cardigan and a beautiful blanket too.

This is a little snippet of the home furnishing patterns –

crochet

The instructions for this super chunky cowl are also included, it’s made in Rowan Big Wool but you could substitute any other super chunky yarn instead.

cowl

Some of my particular favourite patterns in the magazine are these little hearts.  I can think of several friends that would adore a few of the little decorations dotted around their homes.

hearts

All of the patterns have a little pictorial information panel at the beginning indicating the stitches used in the project, the weight of yarn it’s made in and the size of hook required, which is extremely helpful when selecting what to crochet.¬† As a ‘novice’ I can spot the projects I’m capable of straight away by which stitches are used.¬† For example the Cosy Baby Blanket uses shell stitch, which I’m yet to learn.

The magazine will be published on a monthly basis around the 10th of each month and costs ¬£4.99/‚ā¨7ish, although there are the usual subscription offers enticing you with cheaper issue prices if you take out one.¬† There is also a digital version of the magazine available too on Apple Newstand, it’s www.simplycrochetmag.com/digital and for Android/PC customers go to www.zinio.com
A 13 month digital subscription costs ¬£44.99 about ‚ā¨57 which is quite a bit cheaper than if you bought 13 printed issues.

It’s difficult to tell if an experienced crocheter would enjoy the magazine as much as I have as the projects all seem to be aimed at people with beginner and intermediate levels of skill.¬†¬† I can guarantee you’ll enjoy the magazine if you like funky granny squares, quirky hearts and looking at what other people have created (Pinterest anyone?).

The Simply Crochet Magazine blog http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/ complements the magazine beautifully, there are even links to the odd free patterns, plus readers news and competitions.

I hope future issues of the magazine are as interesting and appealing and that it continues to be chockablock with patterns of all kinds.¬† If you’d like to have a little look at it, I shall have my copy at the shop for a while.

Happy Crocheting!