Friday, 29 December 2017

Making Felt Balls

I got a lovely Christmas present from my friend, Anna... a kit to make felt balls!

I nearly bought some pre-made ones off Etsy at some point fairly recently, as I think they're so cute and colourful.  I didn't end up buying them, though - I'd been doing a lot of spending and didn't think I could warrant any more.

So, I was very happy to have the chance to make my own, which is much more fun and satisfying!

Make your own gorgeous colourful felt balls!

I just love those colours!

I started off with just these nine balls, to try the method out and see how it went, as I'd never done any kind of felting before.  These involve a bit of needle-felting to form the round shape, and wet-felting to get it into a more stable felted ball.

Make your own gorgeous colourful felt balls!

I think I've done them right - it's hard to know, really!  One of each colour is a bit smaller than the other two.  The rest are pretty much the same size - give or take.  The three at the front of the above photo are the smaller ones - not that you can tell really as they are closest to the camera.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them right now - but I like them grouped in threes, one of each colour - maybe a little bag charm / zip-pull something-or-other... we shall see!

Make your own gorgeous colourful felt balls!

Here you can see the un-spun merino wool that is used to form the felt balls - amazing how one turns into the other!

There is a green colour in the kit too, but I've not used that yet.  I'll make some green balls in my next session.  I'm looking forward to making more... a decorative string of felt balls would be good!

Thanks for a great present, Anna!


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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Crochet Poo Emoji

A little bit of fun for this latest make!  It was a Christmas present for my little nephew... we celebrated our family Christmas yesterday, so he's received it already...


A cute funny crochet poo emoji!

I used this pattern from Amidorable Crochet, for the poo emoji.  I chose to sew on my felt shapes instead of gluing them, and used little black buttons for the eyes.

He's a cheery little poo and he'd like to wish you all a...



Merry Christmas!




Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Crochet Peek-a-Boo Baby Blanket - Borderless

Hello!

I am pleased to report that I have finished my Peek-a-Boo baby blanket... well, kind of!  (See more about the blanket pattern here.)

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

This is for a pregnant friend from work.  She doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl, so I thought that this colour would be lovely for both.  It's the colour that Sandra (the pattern designer) used to make hers... and I just loved it!

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

So, this is kind of finished... until March when the baby is due.  Whether the baby is a boy or a girl will affect what border I choose to do, in what colours.  If it's a girl, I will be picking the pinks that Sandra used on hers.  It's just such a pretty combination with this aqua-ish colour.  If it's a boy, I'm not sure yet.  I'm thinking maybe white and a soft grey.

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

I will be sure to report back with pictures once this is finished.  I can't wait to see it with a border!

Crochet Peek-a-Boo baby blanket - a cute and easy pattern to make!

I just love this pattern - I'm glad I've finally had a reason to make it!

Details

Pattern: Peek-a-Boo Blanket by Sandra Paul - Size: Small Baby Blanket
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly in Choo Choo Train x 5 balls
Hook: 5mm (I'm a tight crocheter - pattern calls for 4mm)
Measurements: 68cm x 83cm (smaller than the measurements in the pattern due to my tight tension - I really need to loosen up!)



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Crochet Christmas Spiral Decorations

At the weekend, I whipped up a couple of these cute sparkly decorations for the tree...

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

I've done another one since I've taken that picture.  That's it for now - three on the tree will do - maybe I'll make more next year!

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

The pattern was from ATERGCrochet here.  I veered from the pattern and did more stitches on the outside row - instead of one sc in each stitch, I did 1 sc, 2 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc... and so on.  I think because my silver thread was thinner than the rest of the DK I used, it was pulling too much when I just did one in each stitch.

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

It was a very satisfying little crochet project, a great easy to follow pattern, and I love them on the tree!

Looking for a quick and easy cute crochet Christmas decoration?  These crochet spirals are just the thing - click to find out more!

Nice and Christmassy!!



Check out my completed crochet items here.


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Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Christmas Wreath

Hello!  Well, as the title suggests, this post is about a Christmas wreath.  Last night I made my first ever wreath.  I went with a friend to a wreath making evening at a gorgeous little florist called Rabbit and the Rose.  We were taught how to make one, provided with all the bits needed, as well as some festive snacks and mulled wine - lovely!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

(That's my spotty pink fluffy dressing gown reflected in the letterbox!)


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

I'm really pleased with it, considering it's my first attempt.  It came out better than I thought it would.  It's not perfect, by any means, but I like it... especially that bow!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

I think this could become a new Christmas tradition!


A handmade festive Christmas wreath.

What do you think?  Have you ever made a wreath - I can recommend giving it a go!





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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Hand-Dyed Yarn and a Kind Gift!

I've been online friends with Sam of Betsy Makes for years.  I've recently tried to purchase one of her lovely project bags, but never managed it in time, as they get snapped up in minutes!

I decided to order one of her hand-dyed yarn skeins instead this week, when I missed out on the last batch of project bags.  I can't resist bluey-turquoisey colours, so this one had to be mine!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

I just love it!  I need to find a worthy project for it!

But the fun doesn't end there... Sam so very kindly and generously included a project bag for me!!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

It was so unexpected and so thoughtful.  What a lovely whimsical design!  Sam really is such a kind person, I'm so grateful!

Hand-dyed yarn and a project pouch

Lucky me - what a great package to receive!





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Sunday, 5 November 2017

A Project Pouch Treat

I've been planning for ages to make myself a project pouch, to hold one of my many ongoing projects.  I just never seemed to get round to actually getting the fabric out and getting to work on one, though.

I decided to have a look on Etsy, and found The Crimson Rabbit Burrow.  I ended up on her blog, having a bit of a read, when I saw these bags from last year.  I just fell in love with the turquoise bag with the Liberty Small Susannah fabric.  This pouch wasn't in Debbie's shop at present, but I got in touch and... lucky me... she was willing to make one for me, and had just enough of the Susannah fabric left!  Why not treat myself, I thought...

Gorgeous Liberty project pouch for storing knitting and crochet work.

It was made and with me in no time, and I'm completely in love with this pouch - it's just perfect!  Look at those gorgeous colours!

Gorgeous Liberty project pouch for storing knitting and crochet work.

I'm using it to hold my knitted shawl project, which is coming along slowly.  I'm meant to keep going until the yarn is finished, but that ball just doesn't seem to be getting any smaller!

What do you think of my gorgeous new pouch?  I'm so happy with it - the customer service and standard of handiwork were excellent.  It arrived wrapped in pretty tissue paper too, like a little present from me to me - I'm so glad to decided to treat myself!




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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Another Crochet Colour Block

In my flurry of other activities (knitted shawl, crochet baby blanket), I haven't quite forgotten my colour block crochet blanket...

Here is another finished square - it's the penultimate square!

Colourful crochet square for a colour block blanket.

I love this square - it's my new favourite!  If I have enough leftover yarn, I'm thinking a little crocheted pouch in these three colours would look so good.  That zing of the lime green with the pink and purple just looks great (in my humble opinion)!

Colourful crochet square for a colour block blanket.

Just got to finish the final twelfth square, then I can start with the joining colour... exciting!  I just hope my vision works and looks as good in reality as it does in my head.



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Sunday, 22 October 2017

New Crochet Project - Peek-a-Boo Baby Blanket

I know, I know, I shouldn't be starting a new project!  I've got my knitted shawl on the go, and the longstanding colour block crochet blanket, to name just two works in progress.

But, I have.  Started a new project, that is.  A friend of mine is pregnant and I'm making her a baby blanket!

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

The lovely Sandra of Cherry Heart designed this pattern for a magazine and spoke about it in this post in 2014.  I fell for it straight away, but didn't get round to buying the magazine.

Then in 2015 Sandra released the pattern on Ravelry, with extra information on making a bigger sizes.  It's taken me two more years to have a reason to buy and make this, but I didn't forget the gorgeous design!

Now, I've been crocheting for years now, and could work out how to make this without the pattern - it's not a complicated design, which is why it's a great one for beginners.  However, it would have taken time and effort to do the calculations to get the size I was looking for, work out how to position the diamonds, etc.  So, although I COULD have reproduced something similar to this, I thought I'd rather buy Sandra's pattern.  The reasons being:

- I can crack on with the making, without having to spend time working things out, and probably starting over a few times as I worked on the sizing - Sandra has done all this for me!  (And never under-estimate how much time that sort of thing takes!)

- I've been reading Sandra's blog for years, and it's nice to give something back.

- I wouldn't have even thought of this pattern design without her, and I'm even using the same colour she did, so I felt I should buy the pattern really!

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

I've been making some progress this weekend, and am really loving seeing the diamonds appearing.

The yarn is extremely difficult to photograph as the colour looks different in each shot!  The first picture of the balls of yarn with the pattern is the most accurate depiction of the colour.

Make this cute and easy peek-a-boo crochet baby blanket!

This picture above is a terrible representation of the colour!  But it shows further progress.  I will attempt to take better pictures when I next post about it - it's so difficult this time of year to get any decent light!

Pattern: Peek-a-Boo Blanket by Sandra Paul
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly in Choo Choo Train



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Monday, 16 October 2017

Knitted Shawl Beginnings

In my last post I showed you my haul from the Knitting and Stitching Show.  I've already made a start on knitting with that gorgeous hand-dyed yarn (why finish off all those other projects I've already got on the go, right?!)

First I had to wind the skein into a ball...

Click to see the start of a gorgeous knitted shawl made with hand-dyed yarn.

That's a pretty lovely ball of yarn there!

Then came my first attempts at knitting the shawl.  You'll be a lot more used to seeing crochet than knitting here on my blog, so I had to get back into the swing of it and figure out the beginning of the pattern.  I had to start over about three times, and ended up cutting a bit of the yarn off, where I had ruined it slightly with my messing about and undoing it.

But once the first bit clicked, it's been easy!

Click to see the start of a gorgeous knitted shawl made with hand-dyed yarn.

I'm loving it!  I keep wanting to do just one more row... although they're taking longer and longer as I increase stitches each time.

I'm not sure how long it's going to take me, but hopefully I'll have a finished shawl to show you at some point!  What do you think?  Do you like it so far?



Check out my (very few) completed knitted projects here.


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Friday, 13 October 2017

Knitting and Stitching Show Haul

On Wednesday, I had the day off and ventured up to Alexandra Palace in London for the Knitting and Stitching Show!  I went with my friend Anna, and her friend Catherine, who both went last year.  This was my first time.

It was such a good day full of exciting inspiration and beautiful things to buy.  I thought I'd share my haul with you...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

This beautiful hand-dyed yarn and some circular knitting needles to make a pretty little shawl.  I bought the pattern too, which isn't shown.  I've been saying all year that I need to get into some knitting, rather than just the crocheting - this will be my start!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Aren't the colours just gorgeous?!  This is from For the Love of Yarn UK - etsy shop here.

And to continue the knitting plans...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn and the needles I need for sock making.  That will be a very new challenge for me!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

I bought these larger circular knitting needles too - for perhaps knitting a chunky cowl in the round, or some such thing.  I just felt I might need them, I haven't actually got a plan!!

So, although I've never used circular knitting needles, I now own three sets - let's hope I get on with them!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

These beautiful linen threads were the first thing I bought - I just couldn't resist these colours!  They're from Namolio.  I have no idea what I'm going to make with them, but they were just too gorgeous to leave behind...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

Those colours!  They go quite well with the purse clasp I also bought - although I'm not sure yet whether to make a fabric purse, or a crochet one, or a bit of both - we shall see!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

I bought some fabric too...


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

This is a fat quarter of oil cloth - which I might use to make a wash bag, or some other type of bag.  Again, not completely sure, but I liked the pattern!

We were also lucky enough to be given some fabric as a free gift, as we had VIP tickets!


Knitting and stitching show at Alexandra Palace

I managed to nab the set above, which were definitely the best colours/patterns for me!  (There was a fourth fat quarter in the bundle, in brown, which I didn't really like, so haven't pictured it.  Although, it might come in useful for something or other - like the trunk of a tree... I might one day want to make a fabric tree, you never know...!)

I'm very pleased with all my purchases, although I'm not sure which to start using first!  I had a fantastic day, although very tiring!

Have you been before, or are you planning to go this year?  I recommend it!



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Sunday, 8 October 2017

Slow Progress - Crochet Colour Blocks

Since my last post about these colour blocks, I haven't got very much further.  I've finished one block (which I admit was nearly done when I published that post) and started on another...



You haven't seen the purple, blue and pink one yet.  I do like those colours together - I think that is one of my favourite squares so far.

I've just got to plough on with this latest one, then it's one more square and border/joining time!  The final colour on each square seems to take forever, though - I've just got to try to stay motivated!



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Enhancing a Wedding Planner with Washi Tape and Lettering

Hello!  Sorry it's been a while, time is flying lately!

I just thought I'd show you the beautiful wedding planner my parents bought Rob and I when we got engaged...

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

It's hard to capture in a photo, but the lettering is in metallic rose gold - it's very pretty!

Inside, it is a ruled notebook made from nice good quality paper.  I decided to create my own section header pages, using washi tape and some fancy lettering...

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

The first section is 'Venues' - detailing all the venues we went to visit (9 of them!) with our notes on each one, our shortlist, and then our final selection.

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

'Beauty' is for details on my hair and make-up artist for the big day.

Looking to enhance a wedding planner?  Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!

'The Dress!' earned an exclamation mark, because... well, it's about... the dress!  Exciting!

To create the lettering, I have been using 'King Basil Lite' font to type the words on my laptop.  I then put the paper over to trace them in pencil, then fill them in with a black biro.  I guess I could use a black felt-tip pen for a more even fill-in - but for some reason the coloured in with a biro look is working for me!

The washi tape is a roll of co-ordinated tape in pale pink, mint and gold that I bought in a Michael's when I went on holiday to Florida earlier this year - it's good to have a use for it!

The wedding planning is ongoing, so there will be more sections, but I think you get the idea...

For other wedding crafting (there hasn't been much yet!) see my bridesmaid proposal message in a bottle.

Looking to enhance a wedding planner? Click to find out how to decorate your planner with washi tape and pretty lettering - it's quick and easy!




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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Garden Diaries 2 : Gladiolus Grandiflorus - Orleans

Who'd have thought it - another garden/flower related post!  This will be the last one for a while, though, as I have nothing else to report really.  Maybe next Spring, although wedding plans may scupper that (but that's fine with me!)

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

We bought a pack of different bulbs which we planted in the spring.  They included these Gladiolus Grandiflorus flowers, in the colour Orleans.  They grew and they grew, without much sign of any flower ever appearing.  We also didn't know what to expect, as it was a mixed bag of bulbs and we had no idea which ones were growing these tall shoots.  (Remember that we are complete newbie gardeners!)

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

When they did flower, they were really quite impressive.  Very tall and lovely blooms!

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

Some of them seemed too heavy for their own good, though, and flopped over.  These two in the pictures (mostly just the same one I've pictured), however, stood up tall for quite some time.  Only in the last week have they drooped and I'm not sure whether it was because we had a big rain storm that battered them down.

ant to find out more about planting Gladiolus Grandiflorus?  Click to see these impressive flowers in the pink colour Orleans.

But I took these pictures before that happened!

SUMMARY

Ease of planting:  Pretty easy - just plant bulbs in the soil.

Plant:  Spring (March to May)

Flowers:  Summer (seemed to be late-ish summer from my recollection - apparently July to September)

Prettiness of flowers:  Lovely.

Recurrence:  Apparently these bulbs will die during the cold months, unless you 'overwinter' them (I've just been googling!)  That seems to involve digging them up and storing them out of the cold - that's not going to happen!!

Will I plant again:  Probably, but the floppiness was a bit off-putting (oooh errrr).

Tips for next year:  Plant them where they might have a bit of support, to counter the floppiness.  Maybe against a fence or something, and stake them to keep them up.

Can you see a few of the remaining pretty Godetia flowers dotted about?!


Check out all my 'Garden Diaries' here.



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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Colour Block Crochet Blanket - Update

It's been a while since I updated you on the progress of my colour block crochet blanket.  Although slow, progress has been made!

Looking for a bright bold colour block crochet design?  Click to see more of this colourful crochet blanket as it takes shape!

I have now finished 9 of the 12 planned squares.  The squares are about 29cm x 29cm so quite big, as the idea is to have big bold blocks of colour, rather than smaller motifs.

That also means less ends, which can only be a good thing!  Although, I still haven't kept on top of them, as you can see.

Looking for a bright bold colour block crochet design?  Click to see more of this colourful crochet blanket as it takes shape!

I have nearly finished the 10th square, so once I've completed that there will just be a couple more to make!  Then it will be all the border and joining work...

What do you think?  It's definitely going to be a bright one!!



Check out my completed crochet items here.



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