Sunday, 5 April 2009

Work, Work, Work

Work has been frantic in the past few days. We've had a show on the grounds, mainly woodworking, but a little crafty haven too!! I intended to get photos of it busy, but was too busy when it got busy..... if you see what I mean?

Over the two days we get up to 15,000 visitors from all over the country. The majority being woodworkers, but many lovely crafters too. The craft demonstrators were hugely successful, the customers loved them and they were all very well behaved!!! We seem to have a brilliant atmosphere now and the quality of the demonstrations has improved vastly over the years. Infact I would go as far as saying that the local crafters we have are very talented, professional, welcoming and enthusiastic! (Obviously I'm not going to say this out loud or their heads won't get out the marquees, ha! :) )
Right.... off for a giant bubbly bath! Last day at work tomorrow for a week or so. Yippee!!!

Single Life

Thank you to all of you for your support and encouraging words of wisdom, however you've found me (blog, facebook, work)! In the past week I have come to think of this new phase in La-la-land as a purely positive one. No tears, no tantrums, no self pitying, no guilt.

My first step to singledom - my bedroom! A little too intimate for some, sorry, but you'll see my point.......

First single night....

Third single night....

See my point? What a lovely haven of girlieness eh?! SM's idea of decorating a bedroom was that there was no point - you're asleep, you can't see it. My idea, as you see, is Welcome to my Boudoir!!!

Very little crochet goodness in the past week as life has been odd. I am having a short break from work this week so hexes blankie will be finished and hopefully a ripple bag, oh and a meadow of flowers!

Thank you again, you are all fab!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Newly Single

Well what can I say. I have now been single for just over 24 hours. It's a strange feeling after such a long time. (11 years one boyfriend, straight into 7 and a bit years boyfriend). An uncomfortable but amicable break down, no real dramas, just dawning reality I s'pose.

I am sort of relieved, sort of excited, sort of lonely and quite scared! 18 years ago I'm sure dating was different. Being a little old fashioned in my ways when it comes to these kinds of things everything seems to move so quickly, I'm hoping romance does still exist, especially that white knight in his shining armour!!! I do believe people have a soul mate and are meant to share their lives, so lets hope eh!

My crochet isn't growing very quickly as my mind keeps wandering. The blanket was for SM's cousin. How does that work now?? So my enthusiasm has waned a little - and only 11 hexes to go, bum! I think flowers are the way to go for the time being, masses of them! Just have to work out how to turn them into posie brooches. How do I stop them being floppy?? How do I attach them to felt??!

Am going off now to seek brooch finishing hints - first stop Attic24!! Happy days are on the way! Yay!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

My First Flowers

Today has been a Flowery day for me. 7 o'clock this morning I was trying some crochet flowers, my first attempt and even I'm impressed!!!! Hopefully more pictures tomorrow as I'm rushing off to make more!! Patterns courtesy of Lucy at Attic24 and 201 Crochet blah.

L2 came back from her hols in the Maldives last night and is still sporting a delicious glowing tan (much to my pasty disappointment!) today. She brought me a beautiful bunch of red tulips which are proudly displayed on my mantelpiece. I keep looking at them, can't help myself!!

So apart from the compulsory housework and car cleaning - today has been a happy, sunny one!

Right, I'm off. Flower making has become urgent!!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

New Books!

Oooo, I love buying wool at the moment! I can't stop.......

The added bonus of all this wonderful stash is that you have to plan projects a long way ahead. So just incase I run out of ideas from my head I thought I would have no choice but to invest in a couple of books. Some of you would class this as a lovely treat, a way to dream when you don't have enough hands to crochet every beautiful blankie, cushion, flower etc running through your mind. No, these are necessary, important, colourful, beautiful, inspiring, drool-covered books!!

Oooo, I love them!! Sitting here I have nobody to go 'Oooo, ah, wow, I love that one' with. Nobody to get excited with. Nobody to go 'Ooo that would love fab as a....' with. SM and Tigs don't have the same enthusiasm for yarn crafts as I do, although Tigs does show his appreciation by sitting on any finished square/hex/triangle that I try to photograph, which is better than nothing I s'pose!

The second piccie is four of the blocks from 200 Crochet Blocks. Although they look quite stark in the photo they are actually brown, cream and cherry. I decided to have a go at EVERY block in the book using the same three colours so I can make one giant blankie. Although number 189 must be beyond me cos I can't do it (Argh!) and they don't all come out EXACTLY the same size as it says it the book. But hey ho, I still love it.

The second book 201 Crochet blah, blah, I only got today. I shouldn't have really because now it is my absolute favourite!! I want to make EVERY motif in the book. Obviously having three crochet WIP's, plus the 200 Blocks (4 done) and now 201 new things my hook will have smoke coming off it!! I wish I could crochet whilst sleeping, whilst bathing, whilst eating, whilst driving, whilst working - all these hours I could be creating wee individual items of hooky beauty!

Off now to look at more delicious pictures when I should be finishing my hexes blankie (baby due in 3 weeks!), but I can't help myself!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Stash Busting Scarf

Here is my latest contribution to the Shoebox Appeal. This scarf is knitted on 10mm needles, big fatties, and the yarn is used double throughout. I used a discontinued bargain ball of Patons Festival in blue and about 25grams of Patons FAB DK in cream. Cast on 15 sts and garter stitch until the Festival runs out! Ta-Daa! It ends up 120cm long and beautifully soft and thick. Hopefully some little person will love it!

Crochet Hexagon - Part 4

The Hexes are still growing! I think another row of 2 white and another of 3 white will make this about the right size. I know there's a few ends to weave in, I got a bit carried away and forgot to catch them in as I went along, and a humungus (Hmm, real word??) edging to do yet - but you can tell it's a blankie now! I'm going to edge in white, thought twice about it getting grubby, but if you squint your eyes it needs more white!! (That is actually a proper technique for getting tonal values REALLY!!)

I'm still thoroughly enjoying making it and have even bought the yarn for making blues version! I know a gorgeous little boy who would look even more gorgeous on a delicious blankie!

As I can't seem to add pictures inbetween my text there is 3 separate ones, sorry!

Crochet Triangles

Finally.... I told you all to prepare yourselves to be blown away by gorgeousness!!!!

What do you think of these then? Crochet Triangles!! What shall I call them? Crangles? Tries doesn't read right, if you know what I mean! I have to thank our local genius, Aquarius, for encouraging me to do something new before finishing other stuff. A very bad influence me thinks!! The ideas for the Crangles are whirring through my head, hopefully plans will be made by the end of next week!

Enough from me tonight, I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to today! xxx

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Ravelry Invite

I was meant to be adding all sorts tonight but got my Ravelry invite through!!

So as you can imagine I have been lost in the realms of knitting heaven (apparently). It's great, but confusing. Tags, tabs, and 500 drop down menus - all needing information I would have to be sadly well organized to have at hand! So will be returning every night to get the hang of it.

Tomorrow you can look forward to bits and bobs as normal and a wonderful new thing - prepare to be amazed!!!

Friday, 6 March 2009

A Jolly Tough Day

Ooo today has been a toughie. Along with a couple of real grumbly customers, whom I'm sure just come out to upset people - staff and other customers, I've had a personally distressing moment!! (Slight exaggeration, you'll see!)

As you know I'm happy knitting my little bits for charity. I thoroughly enjoy it, it uses up a wee bit of my stash and gives me an excuse to buy lots more lovely yarns. Today a lady picked up one of my little hats, admittingly in Lime Green, and said "what poor child will have to wear that?"!! I promptly piped up "I knitted that!" Ouch!

I've always thought that a child who has nothing (and I mean these children have NOTHING. Some are living rough on the edge of rubbish dumps, it's heartbreaking) would love something cheery that was theirs to keep. Maybe I'm wrong? Do they think 'yuk, I hate green'?

It has made me think.... although I have now decided that I do 'my bit' for the right reasons, it made me feel quite uneasy for a bit. I don't know why.

That was the 'tough' bit, now for the JOLLY! As always my Hexes are constantly at my side and I showed three people today who were completely in awe (I reckon!) of my blankie. They were positively gushing over the beauty and wonder of the little hexes all joined together in harmony!! ( I may be exaggerating again?!) This obviously made La-la-land and the world happy and shiny again. Ahh, that's much better!

No more pictures for a minute. After looking at Lucy's (Attic24) beautiful photos I feel I really ought to bond with my camera and daylight! Her photographs are stunning, they seem to make you feel like you are looking at things in real life, so much detail and colour. I'm not saying I'll be producing this quality any time soon, but I aim to improve!

I'm off to love my hexes now....

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Hats & Hexes

Good Evening! I've been a busy bee in the last few days, trying to reduce the number of WIP's definitely a priority. Excuse the quality of the photograph, I leave it too late in the day for taking piccies so they are all lit by low energy bulbs!!

As you can see the Hexes are coming along, I still love them, every single one!! I reckon it has to be a third of the intended size already... a pram blanket was my thinking - so I can start on my next crochet project!

I actually managed to finish 5 hats and a finger puppet that have been sitting in my WIP bag, all destined for the Shoebox Appeal. [Update 2/3/09 we have sold 234 booklets and collected 714 items since 8/11/08. People are so very, very generous with their time, skills and money.]

Two of the hats have been knitted with 'new to me' yarns. Patons FAB Spray in the brown and Patons Baby FAB Spray in the pink. They actually feel softer than the standard Patons FAB, which I use mostly for my charity knits, but I'm not sure how that can be - both are 100% Acrylic DK yarns. Well I'm pretty happy with them, so will be adding a 'few' more balls to my stash this week!!

Congratulations to Keldykelds for completing two crochet squares!!! If you can master these you can crochet anything..... apparently!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Crochet Hexagon - Part 3

Well it's been a few days now so I thought I'd show you my progress!!

The hexes are getting easier. I'm still a bit cack-handed on the joining together, but will persevere to save on all that sewing at the end! I keep forgetting to catch the ends in as I go too, but I reckon I've remembered over half, so a little bit of time saved there. I'm still really pleased with the effect, just need a baby girl to go with it now.....

Must mention that Lucy at Attic24, where I got the details of the hexes, is now famous! Tonight I read on her blog that she has appeared in Simply Knitting magazine this month, so well done Lucy!!

Work has been hectic as normal, but not as hectic as deciding which WIP to do next. One secret project (you'll see when it's finished!), more hexes, a lonely sock needing a friend and umpteen items for the Charity knitting (shoebox appeal) that need sewing up, ribs or tassels!!!

I went on the knitting machine for the first time this year and it was VERY tempermental. It's a Bond Elite from 1988, very manual, but does DK and fatter. I love it alot! I'm still at rectangle stage, but it's amazing what little things you can make from a squarish bit of knitting!! Think I may save up for a posh 'un, but that might involve selling Rodger (the car, not the other half!)

That's all for now, time for a lovely cup of tea before bed. Night all x

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Let me speak!!!

Why won't the word verification let me post comments?! Argh!!!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Crochet Hexagon - Part 2

The hex now has some little friends! Six 'nearly' done buddies, all looking promising! It's getting easier with each one, although catching the loose yarns in as you go along really is "all fingers and thumbs", infact so many digits in the way I can hardly see the crochet. I am keeping at it though!

Only problems so far are that I have no more lilac yarn, found three people with little baby girls and a bald patch on my head through pulling my hair out! (Joke!) So I have adapted my design to include some white and pink hexes until I get more supplies, and planning cot size instead of single bed size - should be able to get them done hopefully!! Unfortunately I will probably be bored with pink by then, only time will tell.

Work has been fab this week but I am now looking forward to two whole days all to myself, bet you can't guess what I'll be doing!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Crochet Hexagon

Ooooooo! I'm so excited! My first crocheted hexagon. I found this pattern on Attic24's blog, I don't know if this has created a link to the site, (another steep learning curve, I'm exhausted!) but if you can find it - it's absolutely fantastic!! Thank you, Lucy at Attic24!

Having only done granny squares before I seemed to peeve everyone with different size squares as gifts - blankets, mini blankets, cushion covers, pot holders, coasters etc, etc - the first one or two were graciously accepted, then the screams of PLEASE NO MORE!

So 10 years later, a long enough gap I feel, I intend to treat my nearest and dearest to a new range! I love them! I haven't mastered catching in the ends as I go, but will try this on the next hex. It will save hours of work so I'll persevere!

Oh, the 2 needle sock is finished, as in ONE sock is finished, not the pair! As soon as it's sewn up and there is a pair I will put a piccie up!

I am a very happy crafting bunny, there is something sooo rewarding about learning new stuff. Definitely good for ones soul, (or should that be sole?!) a bit like sunshine! Bliss .........

Weather - The End

Well hopefully this is now the end of the bad weather here...... For all of you who think I've been a little paranoid, a sad tale.

My buddy L2 got stranded in the floods this week. She spent two hours waiting to be saved and was eventually towed out by a tractor. I asked her how deep the water was, she said "up to the top of my boots, INSIDE the car!" The car (Fred) is unfortunately quite poorly now, L2 is back to her super wonderful self!


Wednesday, 11 February 2009

My first 2 needle sock!

Well as promised..... My 2 needle sock!!
Unfortunately after finding the camera, recharging the batteries and re-installing software, I found I hadn't really left myself enough time to finish the stupid sock!!
Imagine a few more rows of rib, another decrease set and increase set. Fold in half at the decrease/increase 'v' that you can see (this is the toe) join the sem on the rectangle bit and hey presto - one sock!!
I am awaiting delivery of some non-slip thingies for the sole (wanted leather soles, but presume these are not washable?) so will hopefully have a finished article soon!

Monday, 9 February 2009

More Weather!!

Quick update - it's snowing and settling between the receding water! You have to see it to believe it!!

Weather and Learning Curves

Firstly, it's finally stopped snowing, Yippee! Instead we have 6 inches of water flowing past the front door, drivers kindly washing my windows at 40mph (idiots)! I have now have two (official) days off work, so no more weather worries for a while.

Secondly, I am going to attempt putting some pics on here. Probably alot easier than I imagine! I am currently knitting a pair of 2-needle socks from a made up pattern. Made up from patterns on KPC and some big needles, they're coming along well considering I'm reasonably new to "experimental" knitting. Real proof coming soon!

Lastly, have some new books on loan so will let you know my thoughts. Bear in mind they are from a knitter with 30 years experience of being a beginner!! From looking at the pictures my favourite is Knitted Cakes. I have a serious weakness for cake so am a little bias though!!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Weather

Well it looks stunning outside. Gloriously white and sunny.

Ah, but look down it's brown and sludgy. The ice rink outside is now melting. It's the second day I've not made it to work and I'm bored, bored, bored!

Don't get me wrong..... any normal day off work I cannot find enough hours in the day for all the UFO's and WIP's that are waiting for me to finish my latest craze and get back to them. Never mind the early spring clean I have planned!

But just sitting and waiting for the weather to improve, thinking I'll be able to go in a minute, means you don't pick up something to do because you may have 10 minutes, maybe an hour, that turns into a whole day - WAITING!!

So can the weather just sort itself out and stop running my life. I've got socks to knit!

Friday, 6 February 2009

My First Post!

I thought my first post shouldn't really be all about me... so here's something that is very important to me instead.

Most church goers and families with young children have heard of the Shoebox Appeal that happens every Autumn in the UK. Many of us think it's a great idea but have reasons as to why they never do it! Money, family, time, memory!! So try this instead.....

Through work I have started a campaign to collect hand crafted items, especially knitted, to send to the organisers of the Shoebox Appeal in October 2009. Items required can be found on the Operation Christmas Child website. I have also produced a craft ideas booklet to raise money towards the final transportation costs.

Started in Nov 2008, it has proved hugely successful, over 200 booklets sold and over 500 items donated. It works because most crafters have little bits left over from every project to make something extra and drop it in. Small hand made notebooks, necklaces, fabric purses, knitted hats, mittens, the list is endless!!!

Maybe you could start something similar at your craft group, sheltered housing, guides, WI, school? Let me know if I've inspired you!!