Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone and Happy New Year to you all!

Now that 2014 is behind us I thought it would be a good time to celebrate another year of crafting. It’s been a busy year for me and I have had several periods of sheer exhaustion this year. However, when I looked back over the crafty projects that I’d finished in 2014 I was quite surprised I’d managed to complete so many. Some are bigger and more challenging than others but they were all equally enjoyable to do. Some were done in tandem with my special blogging friend Claire who has motivated me to continue making and doing throughout the year.

2014 Marked the “hatching” of the Chicken Run on my other blog and the beginning of a larger SAL group. Many more personal goals have also been achieved. It’s been a bumper, busy year in so many respects for me but the crafting has kept me going. Sewing has forced me take a break, however small, from life’s challenges that can catch us off guard.

Thanks to all of you who have liked, commented, emailed and read my posts last year. It’s been so wonderful to have you on board!

Here are some photos of completed projects from 2014. If you want to read the original posts click here and then click on the photo of the project you want to read about.

Sewing beside the sea 2014 Collage

Here’s to an amazingly crafty New Year for all of us!

Avis x

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Will this be the final finish for 2014?

Good evening everybody,

Today I have a finished project to share with you. Some of you may remember this gorgeous parcel of woolly goodness that arrived here for my birthday last February.

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I chose ten of the brightest colours I could find and also added some black. Then it was time to find a pattern. I chose this one called Double Vision by Woolly Thoughts because it reminded me of stained glass.

I knitted up the 100 squares really quickly. In fact, for a time I thought I was addicted to knitting these little gems. I decided not to knit the pattern as instructed (nothing new there then) and to make all of my squares on the diagonal.

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After finishing I tried edging with black crochet but wasn’t happy with the irregular finish, particularly as the squares had turned out so perfect.

So, it was back to the drawing board which usually means “Stuff it into a cupboard and think for a few months”. Anyway, with the weather turning really cold here over recent weeks I had decided that when I had time I would drag the bag from the cupboard and go for a finish. That was last week. I knew I would soon have a few days without work so I looked for a good way to sew the squares together in preparation for the sewing together marathon. I completely abandoned the idea of each square having a black outline. I found a video for the invisible stitching together of garter stitch knitting here. I think it worked really well. Here is a close up. Can you see the stitches?

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Work in progress…

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Finally, I crocheted a double border around the edge, again with two strands of yarn, and it finished it all off a treat.

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It’s so heavy that it’s all stretching as it hangs LOL.

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The finished size is 50 inches square and it’s really chunky and warm, perfect for those winter evenings on the sofa.

I really enjoyed making this blanket and I’m very happy with the finish. If I was to make it again, I’d definitely sew the squares together as I knitted them. The pattern suggests a method of picking up stiches and joining as you go but I didn’t want a ridge on the back of the blanket. Mine is fully reversible and that’s what I’d hoped to achieve.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope to see you again in the New Year Smile.

Avis x

End of Part One!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend of crafting. It’s been very busy here for the last few weeks so I’ve been doing a large project that is easy to pick up and put down when I get spare moments. I told you all about it in my previous post here. I have altered the pattern a lot. There is a link to the pattern here as well. Only the basic concept of the design has been used.

I showed you a few of the completed squares before but I’ve now got all 100 squares finished. Here they are in their colour groups.

Pink

Pinks

Purple

Purples

Dark blue

Dark Blues

Turquoise

Turquoises

Dark green

Dark Greens

Light green

Light Greens

Red

Reds

Orange

Oranges

Gold

Golds

Lemon

Lemons

You will probably have spotted that I’ve crocheted a black border around a few of the squares and I need to do that to the rest. I can hear some of you saying “Why didn’t you do that as you completed each one?”. Well, I considered that and quickly dismissed it because I was having so much fun with the colours which are much more vibrant in real life than in any of the photos. I’m happy with my choice and will no doubt be sent to sit on the naughty seat when I start whinging about how boring it is to do the borders 😆

I resisted laying out the completed squares until I had all 100 finished. So this afternoon, I’ve been playing on the floor rearranging them, even though it is going to look different when the black is done.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far. They are much better if you stand back from the screen Smile

Choice 1

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 2

Choice 3

Choice 3

I’ll finish the black and then make a final choice and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all move around again. It’s been very addictive so far and I can’t wait to get it finished.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile

Avis x

A New Beginning!

Happy weekend to you all!

I thought you might like to see the latest project I’ve embarked upon. It involves these little beauties plus black….except the turquoise one at the bottom left.

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This yarn was a birthday present from my other half way back in February and I’ve been mulling over what to do with it since then. It was going to be another ripple blanket like my other one, then it was going to be a crocheted Klimt style blanket inspired by these but then I saw this one…..and I was bowled over…..completely head over heels!

Here’s my progress so far. Twenty nine squares down, seventy one to go Smile

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I can never resist making changes to patterns (annoying isn’t it?) but there is method in my madness. I’ve decided to knit all of my squares on the diagonal and not to make the black borders by picking up along the edge and knitting as suggested by the pattern. My stitches were uneven and I didn’t like the ridge that formed on the reverse of the finished squares after picking up stitches. I also thought that the back wasn’t looking as tidy as I wanted. I like the back of a project to look as good as the front if at all possible.

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So, I tried a few crochet stitches, with and without chains, one strand of yarn or two, and came up with this method which is the best of a bunch for me.

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I know it’ll take ages to crochet all of the borders but it doesn’t take any brain power so I’ll be able to add the black as and when I wish during spare moments. This is part of the pink set I’ve completed so far.

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Here are the purples.

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These are the blues.

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The pattern is very yarn hungry as it is knitted with two strands at the same time but the squares are lovely and thick and it is going to make a super chunky heavy blanket. I need to buy more yarn to finish the sets but so far I’m really enjoying mixing up the colours and watching the pile of squares grow. You will notice that I haven’t used any orange, yellow or gold yet. Hopefully, when I do get around to knitting those colours they will make the whole thing zing Smile That’s the plan anyway. I’ve no idea which colours are used in the original. I didn’t even look because I already had these colours and wasn’t looking to buy more. 

I wonder what you have all been up to while I’ve had my head in my squares…

Hopefully, you’ve been having fun crafting too!

Avis x

I’ve been thoroughly spoiled!

Hello again!

Just popping back in again to show you some crafty birthday goodies from my birthday last week.

My lovely sister bought some things from my crafty “wish list” which will come in very handy indeed. I’ve been drooling over these for years!!

Some Bali Pops in the Brown Sugar colourway. There’s lots of lovely teals and bronzes in this pack. I have so many ideas as to what I want to make with these, it’s making my head hurt.

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She also bought sock wool, two balls of this one by Regia. It’s got lots of mossy greens and yellows and is incredibly soft and fine. Yummy!

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I’ve already got the other ball on the needles 😉 I’m knitting this free pattern from Ravelry which I tried and enjoyed last year. You can see my first pair here if you are interested.

Also, Claire from Claire93 sent me a parcel full of individually wrapped prezzies. Isn’t this the cutest biscornu you ever did see? It’s TINY! A lot of work has gone into this!

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She also made a card….perfect 🙂 I love blackwork and the threads and design are beautiful.

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Next up, some crafty supplies to add to my stash. Claire also included a leaflet with some cross stitch charts that are a perfect size for these keyrings.

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At some point I mentioned to her that I don’t have zips. I do now 🙂

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Purple fabric….I love these marbly prints.

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Last but not least, a thread organiser.

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These are made by a French lady who has a lovely blog here.

My OH has also provided the yarn for my next crocheted blanket. He knows I love colour and he also knows what I hope to do with it…..and he approves! You’ll have to wait and see what I come up with 😀

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So, a HUGE thank you each to my sister, my friend Claire and my OH who puts up with all of my crafting mess around the house…. or is he just keeping me busy….. or quiet…… or both 😆

I don’t think I’ll need to be going to the crafty shops for a while!

Aren’t birthdays fun? I’ve been thoroughly spoiled!

Happy crafting everyone 🙂

Avis x

 

Hurray! It’s finished!

Hi everyone,

I hope you have all woken up to bright sunshine this morning. I have! It’s glorious outside but still very chilly. The sun has got it’s hat on and I’m very pleased to announce that my crocheted ripple blanket is finally finished.

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I’ve let you all have lots of sneaky peeks over the past year and a bit since I started this monster project and it has kept me so cosy while I have crocheted beneath it during the winter evenings Smile I am really happy with the way the edges stayed straight and flat. There was no need to block the finished blanket.

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The other edges have ripples in keeping with the pattern. I toyed with the idea of having a border to straighten around all four sides but, no, I’m sticking with the ripples.

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Hopefully, you can now see what a mammoth blanket it is, completely covering the sofa. I won’t be using it as a sofa cover of course Smile

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As I finished off the ends, I thought these looked really lovely and couldn’t resist another photo.

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This is what I have left from 1600 grams of yarn. What will they become?

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Well, I have a few little bundles of inspiration in here. This will be perfect for playing around with scraps and I can’t wait to get started.

book

If you’d like to make a ripple blanket, the pattern I followed is here. Lucy’s blog is fantastic and the pattern is perfect!! This is the first pattern I have ever followed. I’m a complete novice at crochet and look what happened. So, if you are sitting there thinking “I don’t think I could do that”, you could! The only thing I would say is, if you use the pattern I’ve linked to, use a bigger hook just for the first chain. It needs to be slacker so the ripple lies flat.

I hope I’ve managed to brighten your day with this explosion of colour Smile

I’m linking up with the February Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. It’s just a bit of fun but if you want to win a gorgeous prize, enter your own February finishes. Maryanne has pulled out all of the stops again to bring us all a fine bunch projects to ogle. Hop across and take a look for yourselves NOW! If you want to enter, there’s only a few days left so get a move on 😉

Have fun this weekend!

Avis x

Is it bright enough?

Hi everyone,

This work in progress jumped out of the cupboard at me…literally! I’d been meaning to get it out again to finish it before the end of the winter as it is lovely and warm to sit under while I crochet. When I opened the cupboard door to get something else, a huge black bag tumbled out containing this unfinished ripple blanket.

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I’m onto the sixth repeat of eight colours and the intention is to try to do one stripe (two rows) each day until it is finished. I have 19 more stripes left to complete. In the photo, it is draped over the sofa and it more than completely covers it already. So it is going to be a monster, easily big enough to cover the double bed Smile. Whether anyone will be able to enter the bedroom without being sent into some kind of psychedelic trip will remain to be seen. Is it bright enough for you? 😆

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The pattern has been made very simple by Lucy over at Attic24. It is a lovely blog full of brightly coloured crochet goodness and her tutorial pattern for the ripple blanket is here if you want to try it. The only thing I would say if you do try the pattern is to make sure you create a slack starting chain. Alternatively, use a bigger hook than for the rest of the blanket. Mine bunched up badly the first time and I had to pull it out and start again.

I hope the New Year has got off to a crafty start for all of you too!

Avis x

 

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