Pottering afternoon

I’ve been having a pottering sort of afternoon this Sunday. Drifting aimlessly around the house, trying to prepare myself for the week ahead. I do not feel ready, and the weekend seems to have passed by too quickly (it always does).

Colours

I’ve baked a cake. I’ve pointlessly rearranged small items and knick-knacks in the living room. I’ve done heaps of washing. I’ve fiddled around with some crochet. I don’t really feel like I’ve achieved anything weirdly, and just feel kind of tired. Ah well, I need to try and snap myself out of it.

I’ve started yet another project, which I already realise I will not have enough yarn to finish – more will need to be ordered but I can’t summon up the energy just now. This one will be a bedspread. Eventually. In about another month and probably a million more hexagons time!

colourfulstack

I do love it a lot though. Weirdly, considing the colours I’ve chosen – I’m not sure they are a natural combination, but somehow when I lay out all the shapes next to each other, they seem to work.

shapes

Crochet jar covers has been my other obsession this week. I decided I needed to smarten up the study. Perhaps this was a vain attempt to get myself to actually enjoy sitting in their studying. Hmm, it’s not worked yet, but I do now have 3 jar covers

Jars2

Jars3

Let’s hope I can shake off my ennui before it’s time to sleep.

 

J xxx

 

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Blanket happiness

I haven’t blogged about anything crafty for a while now, so I thought it’s about time I slotted something in. It’s not for lack of activity – as per usual with me there has been a whole lot of activity happening that I simply haven’t had time to put together into a post.

I’m really long over due for a catch up – I think I must have finished knitting two sweaters and one cardigan since I last blogged about anything crafty, but I’m so behind I haven’t event gotten around to taking photographs of most of it!

stripebeginning

I’m actually going to go in reverse order I think, and talk about something I’ve just begun this weekend, rather than sharing the things I’ve already completed – typical me, rushing ahead to the next thing already!

I’ve actually taken the probably unwise step of letting myself work on 2 blanket projects at the same time. It’s been a while since I’ve tackled a blanket – I think the last one I completed was my summery ripple, last year.

The first and most recent blanket which I’ve been working on is a granny stripe, the beginnings of which are shown in the picture above. I actually only started working on this this bank holiday weekend. It was inspired by my recent Cornwall holiday. Given my colour choices this may be a surprise, but it’s actually inspired by the Cornish coast.

stripecolours
The reason I say this may be a surprise is because looking at my colour choices, I think I probably haven’t chosen shades you might typically associate with the coast. You might, not unreasonably, expect a coastal inspired creation to feature more shades of blue and perhaps a little gold and yellow thrown in to represent sandy beaches?

I wouldn’t disagree with you, and indeed, not long after I’d started on this blanket I stumbled across Lucy of Attic 24’s coastal ripple from a few years ago, which very much contains those kinds of colours – you can see her post about it here. My own coastal blanket is pretty different, colour-wise I think. Don’t get me wrong, I think Lucy’s is lovely. It just struck me when I came across her post how differently we can all see things and how much fun that makes life.

My own coastal inspiration has pink in it, and no yellow. Maybe if I tell you that this colour palette was inspired by the following views it might start to make sense:

seapinks

 

Gylly2

Do you see the same kinds of things I see looking at the above snaps? I see pinks, lavendar purple, silvery shades of grey as well as rich and vibrant blues and greens…

Also some of the inspiration can from the beautiful colours on the inside of this shell, which I bought for a few pounds in St Ives:

Shellinspiration

 

shell2

I’m not sure what you might think of my colour choices – I have a feeling they may be something of an acquired taste, at least in the beginning. But I’m hoping that as the blanket grows they will acquire a sort of harmony, with the stronger shades of blue, green and pink being set off by the softer pinks, lilacs and greys. Would love to know what you think of my choices – like them or not? What colours do you think of when you think of the coast?

J xx

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.

crochet

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.

beautiful-yarn

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!

beautiful-yarn2

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.

yarny

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.

yarny2

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…

ashburn2

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.

ashburn3

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.

ashburn1

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!).

yarn

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!

Rosesblanketprogress

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!

dressingtable

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

blanket1

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.

doliy2

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?

doliy3

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.