Feeling the chill.

knitting-with-cake-and-teaCold innit?! I’ve put the heating on and I’ve got tea, cake and knitting. Knitting, I tell you!!  This is my first ever knitting project (not counting the endless squares and “scarves” I made as a kid or the unfinished multi colour/multi stitch jumper I attempted when I was fifteen). There will be more of this next week because I definitely want to write about it when it’s finished…

january-gardenI was planning on releasing a free crochet pattern today but a thing I ordered for it hasn’t turned up. It’s gonna be super cool, why hasn’t the postman brought me the thing I need!? Boo. Instead of crafty talk I’d better do a quick garden update. It’s been a long time since I posted anything non crafty and I feel bad that I’m ignoring the garden just cos it’s winter. Winter gardens can be beautiful too. I’ve just looked up what it was like in September. Flowers!

sun high-f-stopI took these at 8.45 this morning. Different f-stop used but the same view (I’m taking a few minutes here and there to learn about my new 50mm lens that I got for Christmas).

web frozen-himalayan-honeysuckle frosty-herb cold-plant chilly-morningCripes, it was chilly. I didn’t stay out there for long. If I took my time I could get some really nice pictures. I’m a panic picture taker though and really should give myself more time to think about things like angles, lighting and focussing properly (obvious, right?!). Also I need to give myself more time when using the camera functions; actually think about how I can employ them to their best advantage. There’s a lot to process.

ice-bucketThere are still dead sparklers in this bucket. Abandoned in November. Slovenly.

potsI’m embarrassed to say that I started to tear up some of these plants the other day. They looked just like weeds.  I’d forgotten what I’d planted and assumed that they’d be bulby type plants if I’d put them there. They’re anemones! As soon as I saw their cormy bottoms, it dawned on me and I hastily shoved them back in the pot. I hope they don’t mind too much.

Even in winter, I love my little garden. It’s a mess, but that’s allowed at this time of year. Still wondering why my purple sprouting has no purple sprouting though…

Anyway, I’m off to wait by the letterbox with my knitting. On the plus side, I might be able to get my knitting done by tonight so I can wear it out later!

 

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The Autumn Vintage Collection: Out Now!!

cosy-autumn-crochet-collectionI’ve done it! All finished. Woot!! I’m so pleased with it. Truly, I love this cosy set. It’s taken a while because I’ve been busy with other things too. The more I do this sort of thing, the quicker I’m surely going to get. And it’s technically still autumn too, so it didn’t take six months afterall! Please pop over to Ravelry or Etsy to buy your PDF copy. And because I’ve worked out how to do it, I’m offering a splendid 20% discount up until 9pm on Sunday (18thdec)!! You’ll need this code: xmastreat  The code also gets you a discount on all other items in my Etsy store!! Woohoo.

modelinNo silly faces like my last blog post (it’s the pic at the end)! I have very serious, yet… what? wistful? expressions for the real deal. It took a million pictures to get these. I scrutinize every last one to make sure I don’t look like too much of a freak and that the pompom is showing or I’ve got my hand in the right place. It’s possible I need a helper.

autumn-scarf mitts scarf-roll hat-with-pompomI took loads of pictures of it all. I wanted them to be informative as well as good looking. In the patterns themselves there are step-by-step photo’s for any tricky bits. I’ve focussed on the making of the mitts as they have elements where more detail is needed. But there aren’t many tricky bits because the patterns are super easy.

cosy-collectionPlease do let me know what you think.  I’d absolutely love to hear if anyone makes a set. At some point I’ll do some different colour combinations too.I think there are loads of options where the colours will make it look completely different.

Any way, that’s all for this week. I’m going back to present making!

The Craft Blogger’s Seasonal Nightmare.

cosy-crochet-blankets-copyAll old crochet blankets (and I don’t mean really old, they’re all this year’s but they’re just not mega recent – I renewed my Etsy listings yesterday and I’ve chosen to show these as they’re all on there waiting for someone to love them). What else can I do at this time of year?! Everything else that’s going on right now will be a Christmas present and I can’t show those. It’s a serious dilemma for a crafty blogger, I’ve got nuffink to talk about! Actually, I have managed to scrape a few bits together…

christmas-in-felt-copyI enjoyed last Saturday at the local school Christmas craft fayre. Not exactly a money spinner but it still counted as a success in my eyes. Plus it gave me an excuse to make things and making things is what I Iike best! (The owls are my new favourite).

felt-christmas-decs-copyI won’t blather on, I did that last week. Needless to say, I’ve got enough Christmas felt designs to write a book! (I even looked into that the other day but I’m still not entirely sure how it works. I’m too much of a chicken to ask the experts all the stupid questions that have arisen in me noggin).

turquoise-reindeerAnyway, Christmas came early for one person (sort of). I took part in my first (of three) secret santa type sign ups. It turns out that these things are absolutely brilliant. You get exactly the very best presents! Why wouldn’t you when like-minded crafty people are doing the buying and making? It’s great!

This crazy dolphin/reindeer was the present I made for my Colour Pop Craft Swap person. This swap was arranged by Miki at Set Free My Gypsy Soul. In my head it was the stuff of Legend: A Grand Stag of Epic Proportions! It ended up more cutesy and feeble than I’d envisaged, but do you know what? The recipient loved it and that’s what counts.

antlers-copyI used a pattern I’d found in a magazine from a couple of years ago. It’s also on Ravelry as Little Deer Toy. I designed the antlers and made two pairs, which I stitched together for a bit of stability. I also made up a little sparkly star to jazz up his rump.

crochet-coasters-copyI felt the need to compensate somewhat (I had rushed my deer and he didn’t turn out as expertly crafted as I wanted). Into the parcel, I also popped a few cotton coasters and a little toadstool brooch. I love these coasters, so so quick to knock up; I bet every crocheter has had a go at making these at some point.

christmas-colour-pop-craft-swap-copyThese are my Christmas spoils. They arrived beautifully packaged, from the Netherlands. I was so happy to receive this fabulous bundle. I can tell you that the cat has had her eye on the spangly jangly stars. She pounced on them this morning and I’ve had to put them out of reach. I’ve been wearing my wrist warmers ( I changed to mittens this morning cos it was -2) and I absolutely love my Father Christmas. He is super awesome! Mirjam from Stin’s Place is the creator behind all these marvels.

my-new-designs-hat-scarf-and-crochet-wrist-warmersThe last few days have been focussed on getting my winter set of cosy things ready. The patterns need typing up and some photographs need sorting. Then I can hopefully have a pattern for sale. This will probably take longer than I want because I’ll be making it up as I go along (when am I not?)! I’m aiming to work on it all day on Friday and I think that should get me a good way into it. Given more time and more energy, I’d make a whole other set in different colours. I really like it all would love to see it in a different guise. What I need now is a need a name!

Well, I haven’t done too badly with this blog post. This time of year is definitely a struggle. I’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel next time. Crikey, what’ll I do!? Anyone else suffering from the same problem? At least there will be plenty to talk about in January!

 

Crochet Catch up. October.

tunisian-crochet-cowlI may as well start with more pictures of me! (I know why I keep having to do this, it’s because I keep making hats and scarves that have to be worn to show what they’re like). I promise it really isn’t going to be a regular occurence.

cosy-cowl-tunisian-crochetIt’s my Tunisian crochet cowl, which is a fabulous free pattern by BHooked. Once I got stuck in it took next to no time. I wrote about the beginnings of it a couple of weeks ago. I’m wearing it right now, I’m absolutely freezing. I used different colours to the original pattern. I ordered mustard and barley Lionbrand, Wool Ease Thick and Quick from Woolwarehouse. When I first put it on it was quite stiff even though my tension couldn’t have been that tight (I would have had loads of yarn left over if it was too tight and I didn’t). It’s sitting a lot better now that I’ve worn it a few times.

green-crochet-puff-stitch-hatTo go with my new snood/cowl, I made a hat with Drops Big Merino. The pompom matches the cowl but the cat found it and has mauled the hat slightly. I came down stairs the other morning to find lots of mustardy worms sprinkled on the carpet. She does love a pompom.

twatCan I get away with this combo? I’ll at least be warm!

crochet-kitty-purseI finally got this made. A cute kitty purse by Nicki Trench (from the book Cute and Easy Crochet). It had been sat waiting (half made) for a few weeks. I was gearing myself up towards getting out the sewing machine. The thought of dragging it out from the cupboard under the stairs and then setting it all up was a bit of an effort (so lazy). I thought it’d be better to wait until I had a few sewing jobs and get them all done at the same time. Mine looks more like a mouse but, whatever.

cute-crochet-kitty-purseIt has been posted to my niece whose birthday was in the middle of August. Seeing as she’s only two I didn’t think she’d notice that it was a momentarily delayed.

cat-fabric-liningThe lining is my favourite! More kitties! It’s from Fabricland. I bought it a year or two ago but I think they still sell it.

cat-and-kittyMarceline is always nosey. She came over and sat on top of all the crochet.

stupid-faces-in-my-crochet-geoffrey-scarfSorry, more selfies. I had no idea how tricky it’d be to take a picture of a scarf! The angle you need to get it all in! This is the Geoffrey Scarf by Potter and Bloom.

my-crochet-geoffrey-scarf-by-potter-and-bloomIsn’t it lovely?! I watch podcasts every now and again (they’re vlogs really but podcast seems to be the word that has caught on) and I have recently found one by Potter and Bloom. I have now stalked Emma everywhere: You Tube, Twitter, Instagram, Ravelry, her blog; I have probably made quite a nuisance of myself. But it has paid off because when she asked for pattern testers for her Geoffrey scarf I was there shouting “pick me, pick me”. I spent last weekend scrutinising every last word, number, asterix of the pattern… It was like a really weird crochet exam.

sausaged-geoffI have never read a pattern so intensely in my life. I wanted to do it properly though. I thought it’d be a doddle; it was only a scarf! I thought I’d get it done and dusted in a few hours. It was actually a lot of work. It was a good experience though and I’m glad I’ve done it. It also turned out that I was the first of a handful of testers to finish. That means I get a lovely gift of Paintbox yarn from Emma! I’ll report back on that another day.

middle-motifs-of-geoffreyThere’s a nice intersection of motifs in the centre of the scarf. When it’s wrapped around your neck they sit nicely at the front. My middle motif looks like an eye. It’ll be staring at whomever I talk to when I’m wearing it. Except for it won’t. I’m not keeping it, I’m putting it aside as a Christmas present. I’ve got my chunky Tunisian cowl!

geoffrey-scarf-by-potter-and-bloom Should I add tassels to the pointy ends, or leave it as it is? I think Emma decided to leave hers, she had pondered over the idea of pompoms.

geoffrey-on-the-stairs-crochet-scarf-by-potter-and-bloomIf you’d like to hear more about the Geoffrey scarf, pop over to You Tube to watch Episode 10 of Potter and Bloom’s podcast. Just before the six minute mark is the part where my fellow testers and I are mentioned. And If you watch Episode 9 just before the 27 minute mark she starts talking about yarn for a shawl. Yeah, that was my joke!! How exciting to be mentioned! I was watching the podcast whilst cooking the tea (sausage and mash!) and had to “rewind” as I hadn’t been quite sure I’d heard right. But you should watch all of them! Not just the bits I’m in!

And there have been so many other exciting things happen this week. It has been ridiculously busy… A winner for the Take Care Mohair Giveaway was picked yesterday (that was over on Instagram), I’ve been to an event run by The Creative Business Network to get a massive injection of motivation (the artist Sarah J Perry gave a talk on Imposter Syndrome) and I’ve actually been writing out some new crochet patterns. It all feels great! But I must get on, I need to continue writing patterns. I forgot that it’s half term next week, which means I lose time I thought I had!

 

Winter is Coming: Get Crochet Ready.

my-new-crochet-winter-woollies

It’s properly autumn now; the urge to make woolly warm things is upon me. I’m starting with things for me (this will come as no surprise to those who know me)! Then I have lots of things waiting which, will become wintery outerwear for others. Crochet hat? Crochet scarf? Crochet gloves? I hope so! Sorry everyone, it’s another handmade Christmas!

wool-ease-lion-brand-tunisian-crochet

I ordered more Tunisian crochet hooks quite soon after I first tried it a couple of weeks ago. I very quickly spotted a gorgeous looking cowl from BHooked and I knew it was something I could do with my new skill. I ordered the same brand of wool used in the original pattern (Lion Brand Wool Ease in Barley and Mustard) and I have to say that it’s perfectly nice. I’ve got no problems with it and it’ll be lovely and warm because of the wool content. And there is no itch, which is very important when smooshing against a neck.

stopping-the-tunisian-curl

Tunisian crochet has quite a curl to it. This won’t be an issue once it’s finished. To get a good idea of my progress I have to hold it flat.  My progress is slow, I’ve found that chunky yarn is not something that can be worked on for long stretches. Achey fingers are a bit of an issue. Also, I hold the hook differently, which will hopefully improve with practise.

crochet-puff-stitch-hat

To go with my new cowl I’m making a hat. I’m picking this up when I put down the other. I’m two balls into a three ball hat. I’ve guessed at three, I think it should just do it but there probably won’t be much slouch when I’ve finished. I’m using aran weight; Big Merino by Drops (love Drops!). It’s  dense but super soft. I like it and know it’ll be lovely and warm. The pattern for this is sort of made up but before I started, I looked about on Pinterest and found that there are several patterns that essentially make this hat. Here is my hat board for Pinterest, try the Urban Slouch Beanie.

crochet-faster-winter-is-coming

There had better be enough of something left so I can make a pompom…

 

 

Thistlebear