The Petal Patch Harmony Blanket.

When the cat gets in the way

Decide to get out a woolly blanket and the cat will appear from nowhere. Trying to take pictures of a woolly blanket is even worse. 70% of the pictures I took of this blanket had cat in them. I eventually gave up.

cat on the blanket

I’ve put it somewhere safe in case she tries it on again. She has claimed too many of my blankets.

working on the border

Anyway, I’m pleased to say that I’ve finished the blanket and it looks lovely. I’m quite tempted to keep it as another blanket for the living room but it isn’t really big enough. I stopped making squares for it when I thought it wouldn’t go with the rest of the room. It turns out that, actually it probably would look quite nice. I’m taking it to a Christmas/craft fayre at the end of the month to see if someone buys it…

colourful petal patch blanket

I really enjoyed making the squares. They are the Petal Patch Motif by Betsy Makes and the colour scheme is basically nicked from Attic 24’s Harmony blanket plus a few balls of Parchment and a smattering of Grape (it’s all Stylecraft Special DK). To give a nod to both of these pilferings I am calling the blanket Petal Patch Harmony. Blankets have names these days.

the corner of the petal patch crochet blanket

It’s slightly squashed where the cat abused it. I should probably give it a wash before trying to put it up for sale.

finished petal patch crochet blanket

Many of these pictures are very samey but it takes too much time, dithering about which ones to use. May as well use them all.

close up

Once again, I used the Continuous Join As You Go. Next time I’ll move on to a new technique. Not because I don’t like this one (I actually really like it) but because I want to learn something new. I’ve seen a few different ones about that I want to try. Just need to decide which to do first.

harmony petal patch crochet blanket.

It’s a good size for the sofa or maybe a toddler bed. It also works well draped, with nonchalance, over a chair. Perhaps I should aim for one blanket per item of furniture; I can casually arrange blankets everywhere. You’ll never find the cat again.

crochet chair drapage

The border is from Edie Eckman’s Around the Corner, Crochet Borders. Number 27. I cheated and skipped every two stitches, not every other. I did it that way so I wouldn’t have to make as many stitches. I can see that it is a ever so slightly stretched but that’s the punishment I get for being cheaty. I did the same thing on the Fireplace blanket and got a way with it more because I tinkered with the pattern. I get told off a lot for not following the recipe.

Finished Harmony Petal Patch

Here it is, complete. It looks smaller here than in real life. Real life tells me it measures 95x125cm. 63 squares.

Main colour is parchment and I can’t remember if I used three or four balls. The rest of the colours are most definitely less than a ball each. I used: clematis, lavender, lime, meadow, plum, sage, storm, pale rose, turquoise, violet, cloud, petrol, grape, raspberry, parma and aster. Hope I haven’t missed any out… Right, onto the next project!

I made stuff pre-blog too; pretending to be a crafting blogger. When you’re not. Yet.

Made in K Town. Free crochet mandala pattern.

I’ve spent years being inspired by other bloggers work. It became something I really wanted to do too. It looked fun and it looked like a good way to keep on track of what I was doing creatively. I was lazy and procrastinatey and used several excellent excuses as to why I hadn’t just done it.  I’m still so new to it all, but if I had started when I first I had the notion then I would have been being bloggy for six or seven years by now! In my head, I have been doing it for six years or seven years. I’ve spent much time taking pictures of crafty projects and each time I’ve thought that maybe they would end up as a blog post. So, I’m going to put up some pictures of work that was done in the six months prior to hitting Publish for the first time. (I was going to write a post about yeasterday’s [relevant unwitting typo, that applies] kitchen endeavours but that was such a disaster that I need a few days to recover :/).

Crochet mandala. Free pattern from Made in K Town.

I went through a mandala phase. These two are both Made in K Town using Rico Creative Cotton. Cheap cotton, very splitty, lovely colours. This has led me towards doilies, which I still need to make more of. Soon.

Single bed crochet ripple blanket.

I made my eldest boy an Attic 24 Ripple for his bed. It’s Stylecraft Special. Everyone loves a bit of Stylecraft rippling.

My boy's ripple blanket.

The boy chose the colours. So off I went. It was reasonably speedy once the first few rows were out the way. A repeating colour pattern was a weeny bit boring though. Next time, it’s random colours, like it’s supposed to be.

Dolly's crochet blanket

I made teeny niece the mini version for her dolly. I didn’t use the same pattern. This version has more ripples so looks better scaled down. It’s actually adapted from a cushion cover pattern from Cute and Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench. When I say “adapted” I mean “added a few more rows”. The edging, I think is the one that was on the Granny Stripe made by Lucy at Attic 24.

Alpaca baby blanket

This one was a special request for a baby blanket.  My Sister in Law chose the colours. It’s Stylecraft alpaca DK. The blocks were from 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. Don’t go thinking that all the blocks end with the same stitch count though. They really don’t. Hmm. I really liked how this one turned out but I only blocked the edge (which is from Edie Eckman’s Crochet Borders book) and not the individual squares. Next time, I will try super hard to block stuff.

Little squares baby blanket.

One of the quickest little blankets ever. It was so much fun. The squares were done in a few days and it was the first time I used a continuous-join-as you-go. This was for a baby girl born in early spring. I’d make one of these again for sure. It was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest and it led me to Katie’s Kitchen.

So many made things.

There are six handmade things in the picture above. Six! I am responsible for five of them but the cream knitted blanket is a Mother in Law job. Three blankets, two cushions and a dolly. Huzzah.

felt cherry blossom. Hand sewn needle case.

Sewing has been worked on too. I’m better than I was but there is definitely room for improvement too. Having said that, the cherry blossom needlecase is one of my favourite felty sewn things I’ve done.

A mermaid's purse

And a Mermaid’s purse! Well, another needlecase… She was lovely to make. After Christmas I plan on making more of these sorts of things and giving them a go on Etsy. I’m not entirely sure what the demand is for needlecases and such, I guess I’ll find out. I will obviously shout very loudly on here if these sorts of things head towards my Etsy shop.

Phew, I feel a bit better now. I’m off to have yesterdays’ leftovers for lunch, which thankfully, taste better than the experience that I had in the kitchen.

Lily’s Lilypad Fireplace Blanket.

crochet blanket enjoying the autumn sunshine.

At last I have finished! It has been an age. I got the wool in July, which to me seems like a loooong time ago. The first post I mentioned it in reminds me not to just click on auto edit when sorting out the photos because, crikey, those pictures need toning down. Hope I’ve improved since then. The next picture doesn’t count, it was taken indoors on a rainy day :/

Tiles around the fireplace. Inspiration for a crochet blanket!

These are the tiles which orginally inspired the colour choices (and a red rug that sits in front of the fire).

granny square blanket for the fireside.

I used the Lily pad square from Pasta and Patchwork but I added extra chains between stitches for the first couple of rounds as my squares were not sitting flat. Indeed, they looked like strange nipples. They still don’t sit flat but they would with blocking. However, blocking things increases waiting time and I just want to see a blanket finished. I’m too impatient for it but this blanket would really benefit from blocking. Over time, it’ll sort itself out!

Lily pad granny square

I used Drops Karisma for this project. It has alpaca in it and it’s super warm. It’s nice and hefty; has real cosiness. The colours are: light beige, olive, mint, light dusty pink, dark mustard, light grey green, chocolate brown, wine red and beige brown mix. I used 7 balls of light beige and two of each for the others. It’s an odd size: 6×9 which is slightly over long, or not quite wide enough, depending on which way you want to look at it. I actually planned for 7×7 but I didn’t want to have that much leftover yarn and I wasn’t sure it’d be that big. Unfortunately I was a square short to add another row of 7.  I eeked it out with what I could and this was the formation that used the most squares.

Love the crochetedging on this granny blanket

I think the border suits it very well and I will use it for my next blanket (which I’ve already started!). The border has come from Around the Corner, Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman. It’s the last two rows of pattern 27. The corners are made up because I hadn’t laid the foundation stitches from the pattern (not enough yarn for that). I think it works beautifully well.

newly made crochet granny blanket

Hmm, I took quite a lot of pictures. I wanted to get them right though. Think I’ve done an OK job.

Lily pad square by Pasta and Patchwork.

another finished crochet blanket.

continuous join for putting granny squares together.

I’ve used a Continuous Join As You Go. I learned this method using a fabulous tutorial, it’s the clearest one I’ve found. I used two UK trebles in every other stitch, which is different from the cluster used in the tutorial but the principle is the same.

granny blanket

I’m properly pleased with this new blanket. I will be waving goodbye to it at the end of the month when I hand it over to my Sister in Law. A Lily pad blanket for Lily, or a Fireplace Blanket.

Next, I’m focussing on Halloween decorations, hopefully there will be a post about that and I’m also working on a new pattern for something Christmassy. It doesn’t feel right liaising with Father Christmas before I’ve sorted Halloween but there you go.

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Getting ready for Hallowe’en, Amigurumi patterns aplenty!

The Amigurumi Halloween collection.

I originally planned to start working on my Halloween ideas in the summer. That didn’t really happen and I’ve left it until late. Not a surprise. I’ve been rush rushing to get my brain babies out and into the open for a few weeks. I was pretty keen to get some patterns up and running by October but have been somewhat disorganised. Having said that… I’ve only gone and done it!

working on halloween project.

A tray of mess is what I have had sat on my lap every nap time for about three weeks. I have made many variations of witches, bats, cats and pumpkins. I started pretty much from scratch but the idea is based on one I had about four years ago. I remember starting to write the witch pattern down (based on some Christmas angels that weren’t very good). I think it is probably a good thing that I lost what I’d written because I found the initial attempts…

working on a witch

Hidden in a bag under the stairs were some sorry looking heads and hats and unidentifiable things.

Yucky old witch head.

Poor, yucky old witch head. Ugh, it belongs to the cat now. It’s been clawed and beaten but it’s robust enough that the stuffing is still there inside her green head. Anyway, I shall move on to how she looks now…

Halloween amigurumi. Little crochet witch.

She’s in need of a haircut but other than that, I am very pleased with what I’ve come up with. Begone manhands!

little purple amigurumi witch.

Here she is, off to a party. She’s got her fancy hat on and she’s carrying her fabulous pumpkin. She’s got some mates too…

Mini crochet bat. Halloween amigurumi.

amigurumi halloween cat

She also thought she’d try growing pumpkins in her veg patch. She was quite pleased with the results.

mini crochet pumpkins for a cute garland. Free pattern!

Anyway, I took a deep breath and decided to be brave. I thought I would try something new, you know, just give it a go. So…. I have added these to a Ravelry shop. Me and Husband worked together to sort out how to actually open a Ravelry shop after Bake Off last night. For peeps that have never done this before, it was quite confusing but I think it’s worked. The pattern has had some ‘likes’ too! It has joined my Owl pattern on Ravelry but unlike the owl pattern I am charging a small fee for this Halloween Collection. A lot of work has gone into, not only designing the patterns themselves, but also making sure it all looks smart and lovely. This is partly down to the help I’ve had, so thank you to my friends who have all done their bit to support me and give me advice. X

Zeens and Roger now has a Ravelry shop. Woot!

And an Etsy shop! Woot Woot!

I think it’ll take time to learn how to use these selling platforms, I have no clue what I’m doing. None at all! But I will get there eventually.

Wait! Hang on a minute! Just because I can, I’m sharing the pumpkin pattern here! Huzzah! If you like it, think about popping over to the shop to purchase the rest of the pattern for the full set. Thanks very much.

Small crochet pumpkins. Free pattern!

Mini Halloween Pumpkin (Measures about 2.5cm across):
Using orange yarn.
Round 1: 6 into a Magic Ring
Round 2: inc around. [12]
Round 3: (sc in next st, inc in next) around. [18]
Round 4-5: sc around. [18]
Round 6: (sc in next st, dec). [12]
Round 7: dec around [6].
Fo and leave an extra long tail (at least 50cm).
Stitch closed by threading needle through the front loops and pulling tight to close hole. Thread the tail through the top centre of the pumpkin keeping the yarn tight. Wrap the yarn over the outside the pumpkin and thread through the bottom centre of the pumpkin. Repeat this 4 or 5 more times for a good pumpkin effect. Keep the yarn nice and tight. Secure yarn and fo. Thread some green yarn through the centre of the pumpkin and then back through, leaving a loop (be careful not to pull it all back through). Knot the ends together tightly and snip tails short.

Cute little crochet pumpkins. Free crochet pattern!

And there we have it. Now that it’s all done I feel a bit weird. I have lots more ideas for the future but my head is going a bit crazy and it’s working faster than my hands can. I wish someone would pay me to play.

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A mishmash of catch ups.

Putting together the fireplace blanket.

To begin my mishmash here is some progress on the fireplace blanket. I can tell it’s going to be a weighty blanket for its size. Soon it’ll be finished but I am so gonna run out of wool.  More balls have been ordered but not sure yet as to whether it’ll be enough for an impressive border.

new witchy amigurumi

I’m also working on a witchy pattern for Halloween. I’m not 100% happy with her hat yet. And she’s got man hands, which’ll have to get sorted.

A stripey birthday card

My first Sharpie adventure. A simple birthday card.

Say hello to Marceline

We got a cat! This is Marceline the Vampire Queen. She arrived during the last week of the summer holidays. Daughter of Cinnamon, Grandaughter of Nutmeg.

Marcy on the bed.

She’s a lovely girl who likes shades of red.

Marceline in the garden

She has been enjoying some late summer sunshine…

Marcy exploring her new garden

And getting to know the garden. She thinks leeks are tasty.

messy veg patch. end of season.

It’s the end of the season for sure. This is the point where I stop trying to maintain the garden and let it go nuts. I’ve got to be good and go out there for a tidy up. Nemotodes arrived in the post last week so I know I’ve got to get a move on. Hopefully these parasitic wormy friends will sort out my vine weevil problem. The idea is that they’ll feast upon the grub guts like there’s no tomorrow.

salvia patens. cambridge blue.

Salvia Patens. Time to gather their seeds so I can grow more. It’s a bit wet out there right now though.

Autumn berries.

Hawthorn and Holly. I used to get excited about seeing all this red because I thought I could nick it at Christmas to decorate my house Pagan style.  I now know that it’ll all be gone by then. The birds will scoff them all.

Pink cosmos and bee

Pink Cosmos. I’m impressed that I’ve still got flowers in the garden at all. There is still quite a lot of colour out there. Still, it’s not really Autumn yet.

calendula in the front garden.

These Calendula are in the front garden. I don’t really look after the front the way I do the back garden. It gets straggly and neglected.

calendula and bee

It doesn’t seem to matter to the bees and their friends. They still get their buzz on.

Any way, I should go now to continue with the crochet. I’ve got a long list of things to finish and more yet to start. Also, I’m gonna make a pie for tomorrow’s tea. Bake off is making me do it.

The garden in late summer.

baby bonnet. cotton crochet

Before I post endless pictures of the garden, I had better show at least one recent crochet project. This is a cute baby bonnet I made for a friend, whose baby girl was born last week.

tiny crochet baby bonnet

I made it in a DK cotton. I thought cotton would be best for a teeny weeny new born.

baby's crochet bonnet

I found the pattern on Pinterest. It was a lovely pattern, very easy to follow. It is here. You can add a couple more rows to make it bigger. Once I’d finished, I wished I had. However, it fits! Not for long though.

Any way, the following pictures are more for my benefit than any one else. I’m posting them so I can see how the garden looked in the late summer of 2015! The answer is, messy.

spider and bee

I have always taken pictures of the garden and over the years it has changed quite a lot. The photo’s are a reminder because otherwise I’d assume it always looked the same. It’s easy to forget.

fluffy bee on his sunflower

Busy bee.

bee on a sunflower

He didn’t mind having a camera poked at him in the slightest.

summer garden is a mess

It never occurred to me before that sunflowers would seed themselves. I said in a previous post that it is because of my dodgy homemade compost. The Hollyhocks are doing surprisingly well but they’re very spindly. Just the white ones arrived.

summer gardewn flowers

I’ll be interested to look back on these in a year or two. I hope to make some changes to the planting but need to have a think.

garden in late summer

The Honeysuckle had it’s best year so far. Lots of flowers appeared. We hacked it back to just a few inches last year. Did the trick.

A late summer garden

I could have taken some pictures of a different area of the g arden I suppose. Um, Maybe the tatty looking veg patches. Everything is coming to an end.

I have been busy crafting and taking too many pictures. So many, that sorting through them has been blah. So this post is a bit of a filler really. I will be getting my bum in gear and doing some more crafty business in the next couple of weeks.

 

Some more Leibster questions

6am red sky in the morningBack garden at 6am last Thursday and contrary to the saying, the shepherds did not need to be warned, it was a nice day.

Last week I nominated Esshaych for the Liebster Award. Well, Esshaych has nominated me back and I get to answer some more questions! Esshaych is a great blog for those (like me), who enjoy amigurumi. If you don’t know what this Liebster thing is about have a look at my last post.

Here are the questions I was asked:

1. What is your favourite craft, and why?

I like lots of different crafts but crochet is probably the one I do the most. I also enjoy sewing little things such as bags, purses and toys. I’d like to say I’m a regular clothes maker too but I can’t find enough time.

2. Best thing you’ve ever made?

I made Beth Doherty’s fawn and I love him.

amigurumi fawn. a bit dusty now

He isn’t perfect and he’s covered in dust now. He’s so tightly stitched that he can stand all by himself. I’m proud of that!!

Amigurumi fawn. He's a few years old and looking dusty. Still love him.

I’ve been asked to make these for people but I’ve been putting it off as I remember some tricky techniques involved. The pattern is in this book.

3. And the worst?!

I was asked this question before and I’ve made some pretty shoddy things over the last few years. I attempted to design a crochet cupcake that was just an embarrassment and the first blankets I made were terrible.

4. Do you have any superstitions?

I secretly worry after I’ve walked under a ladder.

5. Do you prefer to read books or watch movies?

Both. But they’re often sidelined if I need to do something crafty. I can’t crochet and watch tv at the samew time. I miss too much of what’s going on.

6. Your favourite place you have visited?

Not sure I have an ultimate favourite but Lydford Gorge on Dartmoor is amazing (even better if there are no other visitors). Any where on Dartmoor is cool. There are lots of piskies running around. You will never see them watching you. They’re there.

7. What craft supply did you purchase last?

I bought some cream DK with dark speckles in it. I was trying to see if it would make a good amigurumi snowy owl (it won’t).

8. Dolls – Yes or No?!

Yes. I want to sew some dolls but they always end up at the bottom of the to make list. 😦

9. Ever been to any gigs/concerts? If so, what was your favourite and why?

When I was 15 I went to see Blur and REM at Milton Keynes Bowl. It was so hot that day. It was the first time Blur sang Country House! I loved that song! I also saw Primal Scream around the same time.  I can’t say that either of these experiences blew me away. I’ve seen other bands since but it’s been a while. I’d like to take my boys to a festival when they’re a bit older but I don’t think they’d like it in the dance tent (that’s where I’d head to now).

10. Do you own any cacti?

No but I’m not averse to the idea. We do need more plants in my house. I’d like some in the bathroom to make it look like a jungle.

11. Favourite colour/colour combo?

Green and brown are my favourite colours.

And below are the questions from Ericka Eckles. She was one of my nominees and has gone to town on her answers. They’re fabulous!

If you could have a fantasy date with anyone who would it be?

I love this question. I am going to say Nathan Fillion. I don’t really fancy him but I think he’s very funny. Love Firefly and love Castle.  In a minute I’ll remember someone super hot and wish I’d said them. No! I won’t, that’s mega shallow.

What pieces connected with what you love to do, do you really treasure….

All the uniques things that no one else has. Handmade things. My crochet case is handmade as is my needle case. And I love all the ladybird books I’ve collected. I love looking at the pictures and I like the fact that I can get one down from the shelf to show my children an interesting fact about the weather or something.

What do you wish you were better at/could do?

I’d like to be a fancy knitter and super dressmaker. Given the time, I could definitely get better at both but I want to do everything NOW and that’s frustrating.

sun setting over houses(Friday evening at the front of the house).

Hopefully I’ll be able to share some more stuff soon. Back to normal next week, once eldest son has gone back to school. I’m looking forward to helping at a fairy fancy dress party in a couple of weeks. There will be mucho crafting involved in that. And for the last couple of weeks I have already had Halloween on my mind. Definitely gonna do crafty shenanigans for that…