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Round two…..

So, I’ve finished the first set of colours on my Granny Stripe and have started the first repetition.  It actually looks better than I’d hoped it would ~ a real spectrum of colour….

I’m already planning my next one ~ just working out some colour themes.  So far have considered Sweet Peas ~ all those beautiful soft pastels.  Also thinking about a Summer’s Day one with vibrant yellows, oranges, blues and greens…..or Spring Flowers with soft blues, lilacs, white and creamy lemons…..not sure my bank account can cope :) .

Round 2 Granny 19.04.14 (1)

Waves of colour.

Round 2 Granny 19.04.14

Loving the colours.

Round 2 Granny 19.04.14 (2)

Snuggled up with my crochet.

Is it really five years today?

I’ve saved this post to the end of the day because it’s a sad one really, and I like my blog to be a happy, love-filled, creative space but however……  Today is the fifth [yes, I can't quite believe it either] anniversary of our dear Jim’s death.  It doesn’t feel like five years, it’s gone very fast from my perspective. 

I don’t dread this anniversary anymore, it’s become a day of reflection and fond memories with a twinge of  ‘homesickness’ for those strong arms and big heart.  It also nearly always falls during Lent which, for me as a Catholic woman, really helps; giving me something to draw on at a time of heightened faith on this journey to the cross and then onto hope in our Risen Lord. 

Below is the photo’ I posted all those years ago . . .I miss him so much. . .

Jim on his 66th birthday, March 2009.

Jim on his 66th birthday, March 2009.

Pies and Puds. . .

Today has been one of my baking days.  I woke up with that urge to create good, wholesome food and use up some leftovers and bits that have been lurking in the freezer and fridge for a while.  So we have a fish pie; using a tin of pink salmon, some smoked haddock that had been in the freezer for a few months and some potatoes [for the topping] that had got tired of waiting and started growing to amuse themselves. 

Fish pie. . .

Fish pie. . .

We also have a fruit pie and fruit crumble.  I like crumble, but Si likes pie hence the pudding ensemble.  They are both filled with plum and apple, the plums were the last of a batch I bought at the back end of last year.  If I remember rightly they were incredibly good value in Tesco if you bought large boxes, so I did, then stewed and froze them.  The cooking apples were uber cheap in Aldi last week so I couldn’t resist a fruity pudding opportunity.  I’ve already used a couple of them in some Apple and Cinammon muffins I made last week so they really are the gift that keeps on giving.

Plum and apple pie

Plum and apple pie

Plum and apple crumble

Plum and apple crumble

I hope you’re all having a very blessed and peace-filled holy week in this lead up to Easter Sunday.  For me it’s a time of reconcilliation to my faith and a drawing closer to God.  May you all experience renewal during this most important and exciting week in the Christian calendar.

Pax

Sharon xx

The Great Granny Update…

Below are a few photo’s of my Granny Stripe blanket so far.  I’m 13 stripes/colours in.  I’ve two more colours to add and then I’ll repeat that colour combination a further three times.  This will make 60 stripes [120 rows] in total, using 15 different colours.  I’m really enjoying making this.  Once you’ve got the pattern in your head you can really just zone out and get into the whole hooking and relaxing thing. 

Granny on the table

Granny on the table

Close up

Close up

Stripes

Stripes

Before and after. . .

As promised here is a photograph of a couple of Daisy squares showing how my ‘first time’ blocking exercise turned out.  The one on the left is the one I blocked yesterday and the one on the right, quite obviously, has not been blocked.  So, as you can see, it makes a huge difference to the quality of the finish.  Now I’ve successfully done one, I’ll make a few more squares and block them en masse as the board I’ve bought will fit at least twelve squares on, possibly more.  

I hope this helps any first time blockers out there.  I had been dreading the whole thing if I’m honest as I thought it looked fiddly and time consuming, but once I’d bought the board the rest was simple.  A lot less hassle than I thought it would be, and I like the idea that I can do them in batches rather than piecemeal. 

Blocked ~ after and before

Blocked ~ after and before

Hooks and blocks. . .

I’ve been pressing on with my Daisy Blanket but before I could continue I needed to buy a new hook as the one I’d bought especially for the project was not working for me.  I’d tried a different style of hook as my old traditional gray ones had started making my finger really sore after an hour or so of hooking.  Sadly however, it kept splitting the yarn and leaving loops behind which was affecting the tension ~ both in the work and my own :lol: .  So [thanks again to Wool Warehouse] I bought a few different makes to try, and have finally found one I really like that doesn’t make my finger sore.

Clover Armour * Pony * KnitPro Waves * Bobbin Box

Clover Armour ~ Pony ~ KnitPro Waves ~ Bobbin Box

Above are the different types of hooks I’ve tried.  My favourite one is the Clover Armour; lovely and smooth so doesn’t split or snag the yarn, not too short, VERY comfy to hold [no matter how long I crochet for] due to the ergonomic rubber grip.  A bit pricey at £5.99, but it’s a ‘you get what you pay for’ scenario I suspect, and these are the ones I’ll be buying from now on. 

Next is the Pony hook, which I have historically always used until the ‘sore finger’ issue stopped me from crocheting with them for any length of time.  However, they’re fine, light, usually nice and smooth and do become smoother as you wear them in I’ve noticed.  Cheap as chips at £1.19.  I’ve never had a problem with these at all.

KnitPro Waves is the next one along and I’d hoped this would be all that the Clover hook is, but at a more economical price, sadly it isn’t.  This was the one that split and snagged the yarn terribly on my Daisy block.  I found it wasn’t quite long enough either as it’s about 1cm shorter than the others which, if you had larger hands, could be an issue.  I was disappointed by this hook as it was quite comfy to hold with the rubber grip [no sore pinky] and good value at £2.19.

Lastly are the Bobbin Box hooks.  Pretty much the same as the Pony but possibly not quite as smooth to work with.  Very good value at 99p though, you can’t go wrong if you just want to give crochet a go on a budget.

Daisy Blanket Block

Daisy Blanket Block

Blocking

Blocking

Despite my years of crocheting this is my first attempt at blocking a piece of work.  You have to block some items, usually smaller projects, especially if they’re curly or misshapen once made.  Blocking produces a uniformity of shape and size.  You just spray the item with cold water [see my pink spray bottle above] until completely wet, blot [don't rub] it a little with a towel [I used an old muslin square] and then pin it on a foam board or similar in the size and shape you want it to be.  Leave it for 24 hours to dry out completely and it should hold the shape you’ve placed it in once removed from the board. 

I was struggling with what to use as a blocking board.  Lots of people use the large foam children’s puzzle pieces that form a playmat when put together and I was going to buy some of these.  However, when in Hobbycraft today I found THIS white foam board for £4.00.  It’s a useful A1 in size and just perfect for the job.  Wipe clean.  Also I’ve drawn the shape/size I need for my Daisy block on it in pencil to guide me when pinning the Daisy block and I’ll be able to rub it off when I’ve finished using it.  I’ll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

Daisy blanket beginnings. . .

With the arrival of the Easter holidays [17 days of glorious freedom] comes the opportunity to start my new Daisy blanket that I mentioned a couple of posts back.  The lovely [original] one, that Kate at Just Pootling made, was a beautiful shade of soft, vintage green and I was truly tempted to just copy the whole thing.  However, those lovely browns I bought last week caught my eye so I’ve gone for each of the four shades of brown, all edged in cream to help bring them together cleanly when I finally join them.  If the blocks were all different colours at the edges, joining them would be tricky as you’d have to decide on one single colour to use.  This could lead to a messy finish which my OCD will not allow :lol: so a cream edge was the best way to avoid that issue.  Photo time now . . .[apologies for poor quality, just my little phone cam]

The beginings. . .

The beginings. . .

Daisy Blanket 05.04.14

Daisy Blanket 05.04.14 (3)

One Daisy square/block

Finished block. . .

Finished block. . .mocha, cream and raspberry yarn above.

This block was done using the mocha Stylecraft Special DK, the edge and daisy are in a DK cream that I already had in my stash and the little French knot in the middle is done using the raspberry SS DK.  Like Kate, I also used a 4.5mm hook although I did try with a 4mm first, but some of the detail was lost with the smaller stitches.  As you can see from the rather misshaped, curly edges of the square it will need blocking before I assemble the final blanket to make for a more even finish.  Thanks especially to Kate for her advice along the way. xx

Beyond sad. . .

1557714_447829805350031_1117828794_n

Archie xx

This is my little grandson Archie, born on the 12th March.  A precious addition to our family.  He is my middle son’s first child.

Very sadly we have found out today that Archie has Cystic Fibrosis.  It’s been a surreal couple of days and I’m feeling numb really.  My son and his lovely partner are beyond devastated.  I will share parts of this journey from a Grandparent’s perspective in the hope that it might help others. 

Please keep us all in your prayers, especially this little man. 

 

Well, impressively the new yarn that I ordered on Saturday afternoon arrived this morning, Tuesday.  Great customer service Wool Warehouse, thank you!  So, below are the new additions of Stylecraft Special DK, all bought at £1.69 per 100g ball.  I can’t find it cheaper anywhere else at the moment and free p&p for orders over £25.00.

Beautiful browns....

Beautiful browns….

These are my ‘beautiful browns’!!  On the left are three balls each of ‘mocha’ on top of ‘dark brown’, and on the right are the same of ‘walnut’ on top of ‘parchment’.  I’m hoping to make a Daisy Blanket, pattern courtesy of the lovely Kate at ‘Just Pootling’.  

I also bought three balls of ‘raspberry’ [see below] to go with some green/lime Willow pattern blocks I have been making.  I made these quite a while back and ‘found’ them again over the weekend whilst fighting off that bug.  I have enough yarn to make quite a batch of the blocks but needed something bright and cheery to offset and compliment all that green.  The photo does not do the raspberry yarn justice at all, it’s a rich deep pink, not the dodgy purple it appears in the picture, but you get the idea I’m sure

Willow blocks and new raspberry yarn.

Willow blocks and new raspberry yarn.

I also bought a couple of new crochet hooks.  I’ve not bought a new hook for years and years, always having used the traditional gray aluminium ones.  I’ve been seeing quite a few with rubber handles/grips so thought I’d give one of THESE a try. I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’ve given it a test drive later. 

Happy hooking folks….S xx

Photographic update…

I’ve been a bit off colour this weekend with the same bug that E had most of last week.  So, I’ve been a bit quiet blogwise when usually I’d post a couple of entries.  The good thing about feeling a bit under the weather is that, while I’ve been sitting around waiting to feel better, I’ve had the opportunity to do quite a bit of crochet orientated stuff [I love the word 'stuff']  ~ planning a new project, buying yarn, unpicking old projects and, of course, doing a bit of crochet.  Here is a quick photographic update of what I’ve been up to. . .

Ripple Blanket 29.03.14 (1)

Ripple Blanket

Above is my ripple blanket.  It’s coming along very nicely, and a bit bigger than the last time you saw it.

Granny Stripe Blanket 29.03.14 (1)

New project ~ Granny Stripe Blanket

Granny Stripe Blanket 29.03.14 (2)

Close up of Granny Stripe Blanket

This is a project I started on Tuesday when I was home with E.  It’s a Granny Stripe blanket.  The pattern can be found HERE at Attic24.  The yarn I’m using for this is from a specially selected pack put together just for this project.  It can be bought from HERE [Deramores] or HERE   [Wool Warehouse].  Both are a bargain at the moment, but always worth comparing prices for the best value.  The photo below is the whole pack on my dining room table.  You get a lot of yarn for your money with this option. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

17 balls of Stylecraft Special DK yarn from the Lucy’s Attic pack.

When my new yarn arrives that I ordered yesterday I’ll be sure to post a photo and possibly let you know what I’ve decided to make with it, if I’ve decided by then as I haven’t quite made up my mind yet.  So many choices ;) .

Have a blessed week all……S xx

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