Tiny squares cushion

So, another cushion is flying off my hook at the moment. This one is from a pattern by Emma Lamb.

It’s a very different style to the kinds of things I was talking about in my last post – much more modern or mid-century in term of the concept – having all these neat little squares. But I’m still enjoying making it.

004

I expect everyone who likes to crochet it pretty familiar with this design – it’s one of the perennials that shows up on Pinterest a lot. I’d seen versions of this cushion for sale from Emma’s Etsy store, and I’d always fancied having a go at making one myself. However, at the time, a pattern for this wasn’t available – just the finished objects from Emma’s store. Then, last year, Emma published a pattern book, and S’s mother gave me a copy for Christmas. So a version of this cushion has been on my to do list for quite a while.

IMG_20160424_083947

IMG_20160424_084014

It’s been surprisingly quick to make – I thought all the weeny little squares and crocheting together and fastening off would take ages, but it hasn’t. Maybe it’s just because I’ve become a little addicted to making little squares!

007

I’ve tried to choose colours that tone with, but add a little more variety to my moss stitch cushion from earlier in the year.

009

I do have what feels like about another million ideas for things I want to make jostling for headspace at the moment though, so as much as I am enjoying making this, I’m still keen to go on to the next thing! I really should start writing these ideas down more – sometimes I’ve forgotten them by the time I get a chance to make something new. I’ve been trying to be good this year and be strict with myself about finishing every project I start, and not starting something new until the current thing is finished. So far I have been pretty good, with a couple of small lapses. I’m trying to be more disciplined about it because I do tend to flit from one thing to another like a crazed butterfly otherwise! And moving house last year (with the associated clear-out that moving usually brings) made me face up to the number of half finished and likely never to be finished crochet projects that I had stashed about the place – I have to tell you it didn’t make me feel good about myself!

008

At least I have finished 1 whole side to this cushion in just over a week – not bad going! I usually get to a point with a project where I know I’m going to finish it – it’s something like realising you’ve gone too far, or put too much effort in to turn back, and I am definitely feeling that with this project – it’s quite a nice feeling really!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Modern fairytale?

Hello all,

I think I mentioned in my last post that S and I went on a trip to see his relatives the weekend before last. They live in the Bristol environs, which is a little ways away from London when you don’t have a car. We do this journey to stay with them a couple of times a year and try and stay a few nights. While we’re there we always try and work in some days out visiting nice places.

045

This time one of the places we went to was Sudeley. I wanted to share some of the pics and a little bit of the story of this amazing place with you because it inspired me so much. I think it must be the most beautiful stately home I’ve ever been to. The grounds contain partial ruins, as a result of the Castle’s owners being on the wrong side during the Civil War. The rest of the house was later rebuilt, but the remaining ruins give a really romantic air to the place.  Katherine Parr (Henry VIII’s last wife – the one that ‘survived’) is also buried there. You can find out more about the castle on their website.

044

080

Anyway, as you know I’m embarking on a bit of a crochet marathon to try and make things to furnish and pretti-fy our flat. I don’t know why exactly, but my visit to Sudeley really grabbed my attention, and I keep thinking about it on and off since I came back. I also found the interiors to be really inspiring. I’m afraid I can’t show you any pics of the inside, as you weren’t allowed to take photos there, for obvious reasons – it’s still a family home, and I suspect they are also worried about people causing damage to items by using flashes when photographing. So, you’ll have to take my word for it when I say that the beautiful interiors of the castle have inspired me with some new ideas for projects!

Unfortunately I haven’t had time to work anything up yet design-wise, but I am having thoughts of lacey, vintage, Victorian-looking style crochet pillows and throws. Probably this will be mainly a look for our bedroom rather than the whole flat but you never know. I’d really like to try and create some really romantic looking things. Hopefully I can work up some design ideas to share soon. I’ve been raiding my Pinterest board to help me try to nail down an idea – there are some really lovely things out there:

Beautiful throw from SF Girl by Bay
Gorgeous looking white popcorn stitch blanket -pattern unfortunately in Danish!
This grey blanket
Another grey blanket from Simply Crochet
This, not sure if it’s a table cloth or mat, but I love it…

I could go on and on…my Pinterest board is full of them so if you’re interested take a look. Hopefully soon I’ll have something of my own to share.

 

Sunshine cushion

Hello everyone…

I have been away a little bit longer than I intended. Things just happened…life really. We were away last weekend, which was planned, then of course I was ill whilst we were away and still recovering when we got back. Does anyone else’s body seem to do this to them – come down with some kind of cold or bug the second you get a few days off which you plan to enjoy by going away or going out and doing things?

011

Then of course there was work, which was just…chaotic and stress-fully busy. Next week is shaping up to be much the same, but never mind.

I did manage to finish my cushion in amongst all this life-type stuff. As I was stitching the squares together I was feeling a little worried. I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

010

 

009

But then, like magic, once all the squares were joined, the pieces together and fastening in made, I could see the beauty, and now I love it!

Sorry, just excuse me for a sec while I wallow in the cushion love….yup, here we go:

018

019

I love it. It’s not perfect – my puffs were a little uneven probably due to my lack of facility with puff stitch. I also had my doubts about some of the colours as I went along. If I were to re-do, I would possibly not include the very pale yellow and the mauve-pink colour. But hey-ho, now that they are in I don’t mind them.

I’m not sure now that this one will make it into the living room though. It just feels like more of a study or a dining room cushion. There’s an old teal tub chair in the study which I think I may replace with something newer at some point, probably in a cream or coffee colour, and if so then this cushion would go great. Hmmm, who buys furniture to go with their crochet?!? I do I guess!

So I think that’s it for now. I am already embarking on the follow up to this one, yup, another cushion. The relentless cushion making drive continues…something different again for the next one, but more of that soon.

 

Something new with some sunshine

sunshine2

There’s nothing nicer than starting a new project which you enjoy from the beginning. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get into whatever I’m making. Often I’ll second guess my choice or yarn, or the colour and wish I’d gone for something a bit different. I sometimes think I just get stuck in a colour-rut and wish I could be a bit more original with my choices.

sunshine5

Often for me I think that slightly dis-satisfied feeling comes from having been too influenced by something someone else has done…you know how it goes, you browse on Pinterest or Ravelry and see some lovely project that someone else has done and it just grabs your imagination. You forget that maybe you don’t actually like that particular shade of pink, or it isn’t going to fit in with anything else in your house, or that actually you had planned to make something else next rather than yet another granny blanket. Well, who can ever have enough granny blankets, but you know what I’m driving at. Sometimes seeing so many beautiful things around can sort of overwhelm your senses a little and you forget to think about whether it’s really you or not.

sunshine3

I think I’ve done that a lot in the past, and ended up making things that I’ve enjoyed while making but have known they don’t really reflect me or my tastes. So, I’ve been trying to get away from that this past year or so, and stay a but more true to myself when making things. I hope the result will be lovely things that I not only love making but love to have around too.

sunshine4

Well, I think with my latest project, which is another cushion cover for my living room, I really have hit the nail on the head. I’ve never really used brown much before in any of my crochet projects, but now that I have started, I can’t think why not.

sunshine1

You might well recognise the pattern, this is based on the Sunshine Day Afghan Blanket pattern by Alicia Paulson. This one has been on my to do list since seeing Coco Rose Diaries’ version of this last year. I’d seen these motifs around on Pinterest etc. and liked them, but had never investigated far enough to find out where the actual pattern was.

This isn’t the exact motif specified in the pattern. I did buy the pattern, but I’ve reduced the number of puffs as you might see if you look closely. I just wanted to simplify it a little – I need things to be laid back at the moment, and it was just a little hard for me to cram that many puffs into the square – it must be my tension.

I am really loving the pink and brown combination and the little puffy squares. The yellow is just because I really love yellow, especially mustard and ochre shades. I think it goes so well with the brown and pink. I think my favourite might be the caramel colour I have used for the borders of the squares though. The whole thing just comes together to look so friendly and inviting. I can’t wait to start sewing the squares together.

 

Moss stitch cushion

So, this cushion cover has been a long time coming. I don’t mean the actual process of creating it, but the idea of making this, or something like it, has been hanging around inside my head for a while.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while (i.e. back in 2015 , back when I was using the Blogger platform) you might be aware that I moved house last summer. My other half and I moved in together. We both had our own 1 bed flats before this, but surprisingly given that, the big move in has entailed the purchase of a considerable amount of new furniture. I say surprisingly, because you’d be forgiven for thinking that 2 people who have previously owned their own places might be possessed of enough furniture between them to mean that they didn’t have to buy almost a whole house worth on moving in.

Moss stitch cushion 3Finished moss stitch cushion 2

In reality though, our new place is much bigger than either of our old places (We have a dining room! Yes, a whole separate room for dining – something neither of us could have dreamed of alone!). Also most of S’s furniture was pretty manky and falling to bits, so he didn’t bring much of it with him. Neither of us owned such as thing as a wardrobe, because we both had built in wardrobes in our old flats. We also have a pretty mahoosive living room to furnish and my teeny weeny sofa (bought especially to suit the small space of my old living room) was pretty much dwarfed in the new space. We have been so lucky to get this place. Anyone reading this who is familiar with the London property market can probably understand – the excitement of being able to have a dining room and a large living room! Affordable properties which tick these boxes are few and far between here.

Finished moss stitch cushion

Don’t get me wrong, these are all nice problems to have, but it has meant that we have spent the last 10 months or so working through a long list of furniture which we needed to buy. S, lovely man that he is, has given me pretty much a free hand in choosing things. We had a list of basic things that we agreed we needed to get like ‘sofa’, ‘armchairs’, ‘dining table’ etc., and obviously a budget, but beyond that, S has left the decisions about specifics of furnishings such as style and colour to me.

tulips

While I have had much fun poring over furniture websites and Pinterest for inspiration as we have gradually bought pieces, it has meant that I have been getting an itch, which has gradually been getting stronger, to make some new bits and pieces. Basically, most of my old throws and cushion covers which I’ve made over the last few years don’t quite go with the new furniture we’ve been buying and plan to buy, and this fidgets me. So I’ve long been meaning to get cracking on making new things. To be honest the interior style of the house is a gradually evolving thing anyway. Well, I am not sure you could go so far as to claim we have a ‘style’ as such – I am no interior designer – but I like it that way.

I just want things that I like, that make me smile. I know I like textures and soft colours, especially in living in bed rooms. I am hoping that if I go on this basis and choose and create things that appeal to me within those guidelines, then a sort of soft, eclectic, approachable style will kind of emerge of its own accord. I’m not a matchy-matchy person – I don’t need or want everything to be perfectly colour co-ordinated. I think some mis-match gives personality and makes a place more welcoming.

So anyway….that is how this cushion cover came into being – as the first small step in what I know will be a long, but fun road of designing and making new things for the house.

candle

Phew, what a long and rambling intro to a simple cushion cover! Sorry about that everyone and thanks for sticking with me. Next up, another cushion – but staying true to my eclectic ethos as described above, I’ll be going for a different vibe with this one.

See you all again soon.

Pattern

An attempt at a pattern for this cushion is now available to download : MossStitchCushion042016

Sweater round up

Hello again lovely readers.

Sweater round up

I realised that I have never gotten around to sharing the finished results of the two sweaters which I have managed to complete so far this year. Well, here are some snaps and details to satisfy any crafty, yarny curiosity you may have.

The first is a striped, boat neck sweater from a Milla Mia pattern. The pattern name is Emma, and I used the Milla Mia Naturally Soft Merino yarn in shades Fawn and Plum.

Emma sweater

I have been pretty please with the results. I knitted the smallest size and the fit is just fine, and I love the shape. It’s quite a boxy style with no side seam shaping for the waist, but it doesn’t feel boxy or shapeless on – the fit is casual but flattering. During the making up of this I also tried using mattress stitch for the seams for the first time, and was really pleased to be able to make neat, relatively flat seams in this way. The only challenge was in marrying up the stripes when joining the seams, but I think I did ok.

Ravelry page for Emma is here

The second, more recent make is the Mainstay sweater by Lori Versace. This is another boxy, casual sweater. The pattern gives you the choice to knit either 3/4 or full length sleeves. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was a little worried that the sleeves had grown after washing, but actually although they are on the long side, they are cosy rather than ridiculous orang-utan.

Mainstay 2

I used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK and a 3.75 mm needle for this sweater, in shade Charcoal. Once again using mattress stitch for the seams was great. I found the trickiest part of this sweater to be in picking up and knitting stitches for the collar, which I found a struggle to make neat and even whilst following the curve of the neckline.

mainstay3

On the whole I am happy with it though. As with the Emma sweater, there is no side seam waist shaping in this design, but it suits the boxy shape, which is flattering rather than shapeless when worn. The shirt tail hem also gives it a nice, modern feel. I can see myself wearing this a lot and am only sorry that I’m not likely to have the chance until Autumn rolls around again.

The Ravelry page for Mainstay is here

See you again soon!

Friday fun

Today has been a really fun day. I’ve been enjoying a relaxing day off, pottering about the house. On days like this, I don’t even mind doing the house work because I get to do it at a normal pace rather than having to cram it in after getting home in the evening.

Roses

I’ve also had time to finish a project, and start a new one. Always a good feeling when you finish something you’ve been working on for a while. This was a grey sweater, which probably won’t see the light of day until next autumn now. I’m a little teeny bit concerned that the sleeves seem to have grown after washing. This despite the fact that I’ve used machine washable yarn. Hmmm. Well, I haven’t actually tried it on yet, as I always like to wash things before doing that – they usually do change with washing anyway. However, we may have an orang-utan situation here. Oh well…maybe it will be nice and cost to have slightly too long sleeves.

013

The new project uses some of my yarn haul from last weekend’s shopping trip – some lovely Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, and a little but of Rowan Extra Fine Merino that I had left over from something I made last year.

015

I really love the colours of the Debbie Bliss yarn ranges. Back in the day, when I first started to do serious amounts of crochet, Rowan Pure Wool DK used to be my go to range colour-wise. However these days I find the Debbie Bliss palettes a lot more appealing. I don’t think it’s that my taste has changed, but I honestly think the Rowan colour palettes have not been so good the last few years.

roses2

Anyway, this little project that I am working on is just something simple that I came up with myself. I’ve been meaning to make some new cushion covers for our living room for a while now, and this is the first of hopefully a series of them. I initially started off thinking about doing a moss stitch knitted cushion cover, but just wasn’t sure I’d have the patience for all that knitting in moss stitch. Then I had the bright idea that I could still get some of the textured feel and look that I was after but a lot more quickly by doing crochet moss stitch. I do really love the texture of this stitch. Actually I think I am becoming much more attracted to textured in knitted and crocheted textiles these days generally. What are your favourite textured stitches, knitted or crocheted?

Once the cushion is finished, I may try and give some technical details but we’ll see.

More about the sweater next time!