Little hexies

colours

One of my tasks for the New Year were to go through and organise my yarn stash. A truly herculean task involving pulling out several different boxes and bags of yarn that I have stashed in random different places around the flat – under the bed, on top of the wardrobe, in the living room. I really have way to much already to be buying it as often as I do!

I always start the New Year with a stash-busting resolution and then fall of the wagon by February. I suspect that this year will be no different, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try! So, my stash re-organisation was in aid of this years busting effort. Also I was inspired by some lovely blankets I saw in Green Letter Day’s Instagram feed over the holidays and suddenly felt an urge to use my own odds and ends of things like Madeline Tosh yarn.

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I decided that maybe I could help myself to be more efficient in my use of said stash if I had things organised by weight. That way, I could easily pull out a box that contained all the bits and pieces of, for example, DK weight, and see exactly what, and how much I had that I could potentially combine together in to some sort of project.

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So off I went hauling boxes into the living room, empyting the contents out and sorting. Fortunately S was off paiting a wall elsewhere in the flat at the time, so didn’t witness the full magnitude of the stash spread out on the floor. I think I might have been in serious trouble if he had!

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Anyways, I am part way through turning all this gorgeous scrummy yarn into a cushion cover made of little 2 round hexagons stitched together. I think it may take a while, especially as it’s now been displaced while I have a temporary burst of enthusiam for returning to my second version of Joji Locatelli’s Boxy sweater. I don’t think I have a shown a completed picture of my first Boxy, which I finished ages ago in October, and made from Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Log Cabin. This second version is a sea-green version, made in Fyberspates Vivacious 4 ply, and I plan to make the sleeves 3/4 length rather than half for extra cosiness. Maybe I will get to showing the progress on this next time.

Happy Sunday all.

 

Taking stock

Autumn is the time of year when we all tend to turn our thoughts inwards – to our homes, our jobs and our studies. It’s back to school, back to work…back to being a bit more serious after the slightly more relaxed atmosphere of summer.

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I’ve certainly been feeling that. There has been a lot of life stuff going on, which is partly why things have been quiet here for the last few weeks. But this isn’t really a place where I want to talk about that kind of thing. There are times when I’m afraid to say things out loud because I can’t believe them – can’t believe my luck. This is one of those times, so I’ll keep my lips sealed on the life-stuff for the time being. To be honest it probably wouldn’t seem that big a deal to a lot of people, but to me it is. Anyway, enough said.

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Apart from dealing with the life-stuff I’ve been taking stock of my crafty life. I seem to have amassed masses or yarn suddenly. This time last year I felt I wasn’t doing too bad as I’d made a few things which had used up some of my stash. Well, like ivy growing up a tree, the yarn stash seems to have returned with a vengeance. Of course I admit no responsibility for this fact…

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So I’ve been trying to weed through it all. I’m not chucking any out, but I’m determined to use at least some of the stuff which I feel like I have had hanging around for ages. I’m going to try and be better at planning – plan a few projects ahead so that I don’t finish one project and then end up casting around for something new, not having time to sort through my stash to use some of what I already have and then yet again buying new stuff that I really, really don’t need.

Trouble is, I seem to have quite a few odd skeins knocking around. I’m not very good at making things from odd skeins. With knitting I tend to gravitate towards garments and scarves, which at least take 3 skeins or 6 balls. So having 1 skein kinda creates an issue for me. However, I have been mulling it over and I think hats may be one solution to this. Either that or trying to come up with creative projects that combine things in different weights.

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I’m trying to use my Ravelry profile to help me with this, for once really using the stash and favourites facility to help me remember what I have, and remind of patterns I have seen and would like to make.

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I have at least finished by Ashburn shawl – hurrah! Now just need the weather to wear it. I am sure it will be along soon!

Roses granny square progress

My granny blanket is progressing slowly…very slowly (or at least it seems that way!).

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So far I’ve made it to 14 x 13 rows of small granny squares. The amount of ends I will have to fasten off at the finish is terrifying…and the blanket still looks teeny to me!

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It just seems to be growing at a snails pace. 13 x 14 rows of squares means I have made 182 squares so far, and I feel like it needs to be at least twice as big to be of a decent size. Is it ok to admit as a crochet blogger that I am kinda sick of granny squares right now?! Well I am!

Roses granny square blanket

I may have to put this to one side for a little and come back to it when I’ve got over my granny square inertia. Either that or I’ll have to consider making this small granny square square the centre of the blanket and giving it a really deep border make up of rows of granny square stitching going right the way around. It wasn’t my original plan for this blanket, but…Hmmm. I think I’ll mull it over for a little while while I work on something different. Maybe I should work up another one of those mats which I showed in a recent post, with the lacy edging. I was asked about a pattern for that and have been meaning to share some details. I will try and do it soon, promise! I am just too lazy and procrastinate-y at the moment.

Apart from that I’ve been enjoying the end of summer. We’re in the middle of a mini heat wave here this week, 30 degrees. I’ve also treated myself to a little sparkly something, from a local store.

Sparkly

I love costume jewellery and I love finding things in independent stores rather than the big chains. I don’t know why, but the kinds of things I see there are so much more me than most of what you find in the high street names. Independents seem to stock more delicate, classic things as opposed to on trend stuff. I am really not a trendy person and have no pretension or desire to be!

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Have a great end to your week, enjoy the sun!

Roses granny square blanket

First things first…I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. Thank you to the people who commented on my last post so kindly. I’m pleased to say I’ve been having a deliciously selfish weekend, lolloping about the house crocheting and drinking cups to tea. Yesterday, my wish to lay on the grass and watch the clouds pass by was granted as S and I headed to the park for a picnic, and I was able to do just that. It was bliss!

Yarncolours

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A couple of people commented on the lacy mat that appeared in the photos on my last post. I will share some details of how I made that soon – I need to go back and make another mat first in order to remember exactly what I did! I’ll get to it later this week hopefully.

In the meantime I wanted to share my current crochet obsession, which is this granny blanket. littlesquares2

I’m using Stylecraft Special again. I think I am developing a minor obsession with this yarn. I’ve been making little shade cards for myself by winding bits of yarn around luggage tags. They are so much fun to play around with to develop colour combinations – but maybe more on that another time.

The inspiration for this particilar blanket came from the pages of some of my books. I have a beautiful french book about Roses, which S bought from when we were on holiday in Paris once, years ago. Sadly I am not a fluent french speaker, but it’s one of those books that is really more about the pictures anyway! It has lots of reproductions of Victorian and pre-raphelite art and William Morris prints involving roses – that kind of thing. The colours are all very deep and rich pinks, reds and greens. I think this blanket and colour combination had been lodged in my head for a while, and then last week it suddenly because an itch that had to be scratched, and so the Roses Granny Blanket began.

Roses

I am loving making it so far. It’s been a while since I’ve made a granny squares blanket, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is, and how good those little squares look when they are all neatly joined together. At the moment I am supressing the thought of all those ends to fasten in, which is always the least fun part of granny square blankets!

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Well, I’m heading back to my blanket and bag of yarn…enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Notes

 

Slowing down…

doliy1I really feel like I need to slow down a little. I’ve been feeling so tired. I went for a run this morning and it was absolutely exhausting – much more so than usual.

Keeping up with life is just too much sometimes – work, Ph.D, family, everything that needs sorting out with the house. We live in a Victorian property, and while it’s largely in good nick, since we moved in there have still been a few things to organise and think about – re-tiling in the bathroom, re-pointing outside, trees that are out of hand and really should be cut down.

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My eyes have been feeling really strained and tired too, which adds to the tiredness – I think it’s too much staring at the computer screen. That’ll be a trip to the opticians for me then…

When I got home form work yesterday night, I felt so exhausted I just lay on the sofa for 15 minutes until S got home. It felt so strange, I realised I never just sit and do nothing. I can’t remember the last time I did. Even when I’m sitting down on the sofa I’m normally making something. Maybe I should try and work in a little ‘nothing’ time each day. Does anyone else do this? How do you fit it in?

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What I really want is to be lying on some grass somewhere, in the sunshine watching the clouds go by overhead. Maybe I’ll get to do that at the weekend…here’s hoping.

Poppies and sunshine

It’s such amazing weather here at the moment. Blue, blue skies, massess of sunshine, and very hot.

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I’m not normally someone who likes it very hot – if the thermometer goes much above 25 degrees I start to feel uncomfortable. But the summer has been so pants up until recently that I’m not complaining even though we’ve had almost 30 degrees several days this week.

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Seeing poppies scattered across corn fields and along road sides, waving there heads under a pure blue sky is the essence of summer for me. It takes me back to my teenage years. I grew up in a village in the home counties, and used to roam the footpaths in the surrounding countryside during holidays and weekends. In the summer I always loved to see red poppies dusting the verges. In autumn is was hearing the leaves crunch under foot, looking for conkers and seeing pheasants scuttle across the road ahead. I miss that. Sometimes I wonder how I ended up living in a city. I think I’m a country girl at heart.

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Anyway, I thought I’d do a little crochet catch up today. I seem to have decided that it’s ok to have one crochet and one knitting project on the go at the same time. So at the moment, in between working on my Ashburn shawl I’m making another blanket. The design is one that I improvised based on Tipsy Tessie’s blanket.

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I think this may take a while to complete, but I’m ok with that. I think this one will be picked up and put down in between doing other things, but that’s fine as long as I keep coming back to it.

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I’m off now to enjoy the final hours of the weekend. Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday, whatever you do.

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Emma Lamb daisy potholder

I managed to squeeze in finishing a very small crochet project over the weekend – the daisy potholder, from Emma Lamb’s Crochet Home again.

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Have I mentioned how much I like that book? This is the second thing I have made from, and probably won’t be the last. One of the best things about it is that there are charts as well as just written patterns. So many crochet books provide only the written instructions, and I find a chart so much easier, so it’s great to have them.

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This potholder was very quick and easy to make and could be done in a day. I used DK weight yarn rather than the 4 ply specified in the pattern, so my potholder feels very nice and thick, very substantial – a match for any hot pot!

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Because I’ve substituted the yarn on this project I had to reduce the number of rounds so that the potholder wouldn’t be too big, and wouldn’t start curling in on itself from the edges. Basically I omitted the rounds where the count of trebles stays the same – so I increased the number of treble stitches in every round in the first part of the pattern, rather than just in every other round as specified. As you can see the finished potholder is still a decent size. Details of the yarn I used are on my Ravelry page.