Playtime!

Hi everyone,

I’ve got the day off today, Yippee! That means playtime for me. You may remember that my friend Lin sent me a parcel for Christmas which contained a novel type of weaving loom. At last I’ve had time to play with it this morning.

IMG_20160202_154954945It came with very clear photo instructions with written details in many languages. The idea is to wind the yarn around and around the pegs and then use the bendy needle to make some special double knots at the crossover positions.

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Once everything is secured, the weaving can be removed from the loom, and after some simple crochet around the edge, the Granny style square is done.

IMG_20160203_124415409 The winding took less than five minutes to do, the stitching probably about ten minutes and the crochet took me forever because I wasn’t too sure where to crochet. Anyway, as you can see, I managed in the end and future squares will be a lot quicker to make. I used scrap wool for this trial square and I think, next time, I’ll use more chunky yarn to plump it up a bit. I can feel a new scarf coming on. The position of the pegs can be changed to make larger designs. My square is about 5 inches across.

Thank you for providing me with something new to learn and play with Lin. That was fun 🙂

I hope you are all getting time to craft this week.

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Happy New Year!

That’s another year over and I hardly noticed. I’ve got a few finished projects for the yearly round up but not as many as in previous years, and I definitely haven’t posted here as often as I would have liked throughout 2015. I’ve even had to cheat! The cross stitched A, B and C below are all from a larger project which isn’t yet completed. Sometimes, life gets in the way of crafting.

Anyway, here’s a little collection from 2015. If you want to see the posts relating to the individual finished items, click the photos in the link here.

Finishes 2015

There is also a patchwork and quilting round up on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.

Thank you to everyone who supported my blog last year, whether you have been reading anonymously in the background or actively liking, commenting and emailing. I hope to be a lot more crafty throughout 2016.

Happy New Year 🙂

Happy Dancing!

Good evening everyone,

Do you remember this blanket that I started to crochet using a load of brightly coloured left over yarn from a previous project?

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This is me snuggling underneath it while I crocheted more and more and more. Thank goodness it’s been a cool summer so far.

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Well this is what it looks like now. It’s finished 🙂

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I promise you it is a perfect rectangle in real life and it didn’t need to be blocked either. I had to climb to the very top of the step ladders and hold the camera against the ceiling to take this photo. I still couldn’t fit it all in properly. With the side of my face pinned to the ceiling, it took a few clicks to get this photo. I couldn’t really see what I was taking and this one is the best of a bad bunch!

I finished the edges with black, then turquoise, then black again and I’m happy with the way it turned out.

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The finished size of this blanket is 52 x 56 inches and I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn. It’s 100% acrylic and won’t last a lifetime but this blanket has been made to be used. It’s already kept me warm during a chilly June 🙂

Now, credit where credit is due. The free pattern is from Not Your Average Crochet. It’s called the As-We-Go Stripey Blanket. I used the pdf version with the photos. I’m in no way an expert at crochet and the photos plus a couple of Youtube videos helped a lot. I’m so grateful to Hannah for sharing her pattern for free and I’ve learned lots of new stitches from her along the way.

If you want to see more versions of this blanket in different colour ways (I appreciate that my ever so bright colour choice won’t suit everyone), you’ll find lots to inspire you in Google images. Go on, have a go at making one of your own.

Avis x

Back to crochet…

Good morning everyone,

We have wonderful blue skies and bright sunshine here today. However, yesterday was dull, wet and windy and not the kind of day to spend outdoors. In fact, it was so dark in the house, I needed something to brighten my spirits. You may remember, way back in January, that I started to use up all of the scraps I had left over from this Double Vision blanket.

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The original design is by Woolly Thoughts and  you can find the free pattern on Ravelry here, though I didn’t stick to it rigidly.

Anyway, there was a lot of lovely scraps left from this project and, you know me, I don’t like having scraps cluttering up my drawers. I much prefer to use them up before buying more crafting supplies. The As-We-Go Stripey Blanket from Not Your Average Crochet caught my eye. It’s the perfect scrappy project.

This is where I got up to in January…..

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…..and here it is now.

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Hopefully, that brightened your day 😉

How big is it, I hear you ask. So far, it’s a huge shawl size. I’ve completed about 50 of the 131 rows on the pattern. If my scraps run out, I’ll stop. If they don’t, I can feel a jazzy border coming on (as if it needs one LOL). To give you a better idea of the size, here it is in all of it’s dazzling brightness, much better than giving the measurements 🙂

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I’m so pleased I’ve picked this one up to finish. It was all spurred on by a moment of retail therapy (madness) last week. I love looking at yarn and I’ve been missing my knitting. A friend recently told me that she is knitting loads of 6 inch squares with a group of other ladies. They will all be joined together to make a huge scarf which will be wrapped around a local hall as part of a fundraising event. It made me want  to knit so I’ve bought 14 balls of this wool from Deramores in the watercolours shade and it’s on its way to me now. At the moment, I have a plan of what I want to make with it but I’ll keep it close to my chest as the plan could well change by the time I get around to it. The crochet blanket has to be finished before I start any other woolly project. Now, there’s an incentive to finish if ever there was one 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful day today. It’s a Bank Holiday Monday here so I can play all day if I want to!

Avis x

You call those scraps?

Hi everyone,

I thought you might like to see the start of my new project. You may recall the knitted blanket I finished recently, the brightly coloured squares one. Well, would you believe I could make an even brighter blanket?

I had quite a lot of scraps of all the different colours from the knitted blanket as you can see here. My other half exclaimed “You call those scraps?”. Well, any bits and bobs that are left over from previous projects and not bought specifically for a particular item are “scraps” in my eyes. There’s about 1200g of Double Knit yarn here.

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I did add a couple of balls from my old scrap bag to make up the weight that I needed to make this lovely free pattern from the Not your Average Crochet blog. The pattern was originally run as a Crochet Along but I missed that opportunity ages ago. It has loads of close up photographs and is a dream to follow. I have never done many of these stitches before so I’m learning a lot Smile.

Some of my photos were taken in poor electric light and are just provided to give you an idea of my progress. I’ve just taken the final photo in daylight which gives a much better idea of the colours but it still isn’t as brightly coloured as in real life.

Have you got your sunglasses ready? Be warned.

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It was easy to begin with. Just make sure the starting chain has the correct number of stitches.

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Those Catherine Wheel stitches were challenging for me but I managed in the end Smile. Easy bits to follow…

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More easy bits including the star stitches in pale blue. This photo has gone very blue on its own!

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Here is where I’m up to now.

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It’ll be about 52 inches long and I’ll keep going adding more rows until I run out of scraps. I’m already looking for the next woolly project but won’t start anything else until this one is done. It could take a while Smile.

Happy hooking!

Avis x

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

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

Motif #11

Hi everyone,

Here is my version of motif #11 from the book I mentioned in this earlier post. I hope you like it.

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Avis x