Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Spice of Life Blanket TA-DAHHHH!!!!

Can I get away with 7 large photos of my finished Spicy Life Blanket? Oh go on... humour me, it's very happy to pose for the camera, and certainly brightened up the garden on this grey October morning.
Taking part in this CAL has been brilliant, everything has worked out so well and I've enjoyed crocheting along. I was invited to take part by my lovely friend Sandra who hosted it along with Black Sheep Wools. They sent my the yarn (for free - good start :0) and this tied in with a request for a blanket to be made in time to gift for Christmas.
I know I've said it before, but the yarn is lovely, both in feel and colour palette. I did cake mine up, firstly because it looks pretty but also because I did have tangling issues. But all in all a good yarn that I would be more than happy to buy for future projects. It's Rico baby classic dk, I would say a thinish dk at that, but perfectly lovely and with great stitch definition.
Sandra's design is stunning of course, she has used some lovely stitches to make up the pattern and distributed the colours in a very pleasing way. The cute border in the light green finishes it off perfectly.
The pattern will always be available for free on Sandra's Ravelry page and it goes into great detail, with helpful photos and instructions. If you know how to hold the hook and yarn and make a treble crochet stitch then you would be able to make this blanket for yourself. Just work through methodically and read the instructions carefully - it's all there. It's also a great project for an experienced crocheter as well as there is enough going on for it to be interesting, but also easy enough for it to be a relaxing, TV watching make.
Loads of people have joined in on this CAL, and there are plenty of images of the blankets as people make them. I saw one made in a single colour which looked amazing. I'm tempted to do that.
If I was to make another the only thing I would do different is to switch hook sizes for the different pattern parts, The first and last 10 rows of trebles I would use a 3.5mm hook, for the main part of the blanket I would use the 4mm and for the stacked shells section I would move up to a 4.5mm or even a 5mm. I was quite surprised at how the different stitch patterns affected my tension (Sandra does mention this in her guide) I tried to mindfully go looser, but it is difficult and switching hook would be a better option. However, steam blocking my blanket has helped with the tension and wobbly edge issues and I am very happy with the finished result.
Thank you Sandra for all your hard work organising this CAL, I know how intense it's been at times! I appreciate your effort and have enjoyed the process so much, being part of a CAL is great for motivation and getting the blanket finished.
Thank you also for the people at Black Sheep Wools for sending out the yarn too!!!

'till next time...

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own :o)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Vintage Skirt

Hello all, I hope you're ok?
 I had a spontaneous sewing morning on Tuesday. You know, I had loads of other things that I should've / could've been doing, but I thought s*d it, I fancy making a skirt out of this vintage fabric I picked up from the Emporium a few weeks back. It was a door curtain, a bit faded and slightly grubby, but I love the print and I've walked away from fabric like this before so I really wanted to get it this time. I was with Sandra and as she picked out some gorgeous autumnal print for herself we were able to barter a bit over the price (only a bit though - it still was slightly over priced) Anyway, once I was home I unpicked the print from the rust velour it was sewn to and washed it in the machine. 

Right from the start this fabric told me it wanted to be a gathered skirt, so I brought the zip and some Fuse and Fold waistband interfacing and I was all set. Then it sat waiting patiently on my machine until Tuesday, when my urge to stitch it was too strong to be ignored :o)
I didn't use a pattern, it's a very basic thing. I cut a strip for the waistband and fused the interfacing to it, I then cut 2 widths of the fabric, skirt length and sewed one side seam up completely and the other I attached the zip. The selvedges on this fabric are very neat so I was able to leave them in so I didn't have to get out my overlocker to finish any raw edges. 
Two rows of big machine stitching gathered up to fit in the waistband, a deep double turned hem, and a button and buttonhole and it was done! Great mornings work, very chuffed with myself as you can see::

My daughter kindly took this photo, accompanied with lots of giggling and laughter, thank you :o\

I love the colour of the faded roses in the print and it put me in mind of some Berroco Vintage yarn I have stashed. I dug it out and was really pleased to see it goes very well indeed, so I now have plans to make a cardigan to go with my skirt. Unfortunately I cannot knit as fast as I can sew, so it will be sometime before I can wear the complete outfit. In the meantime I thought my Lady Kina Cardigan looks quite nice with it too.

I hope you all are having a super day,

'till next time...

Sunday, 18 October 2015

#slowautumndays and a give-away winner...

Lit candles in the late afternoon...

dreamy crochet...

comfort baking...

#slowautumndays is a little thing Jen is doing over at little-birdie and on Instagram, so I though I would join in as it's really been that sort of day today. It had been pouring down with rain for most of the day, but has dried up a bit this afternoon. 
We've not done that much, just a few chores, some baking and a bit of crochet. All the toys are out and we've read lots of stories. I've lit some candles and put the fairy lights on.
The house feels cosy and nice, being home birds we're quite happy :o)

And now to announce the winner of the basketbasket.co.uk give-away. Using the random number generator the result was number 1! So the very first person to comment is the winner and that is::

***Emma Foster ***

who wrote:
My yarn is currently stashed behind the sofa in a large shopping bag! I have actually been looking at baskets, and have tried putting a few balls of wool in my son's (very small) old treasure basket to see how it looked. It looked lovely, the wool against the natural fibres of the basket so I would be over the moon if I won. Love the blanket featured in your post, and thanks for such a lovely give-away x

I will email you Emma, and when we have your postal address, we will get your lovely basket to you!

Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment, it's so great to have lots of entries. Thanks also to Virginia at basketbasket for donating the gorgeous prize!

enjoy your #slowautumndays
'till next time...

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Elsa Coverlet

I know the cold never bothered her anyway, but if Queen Elsa ever felt a little chill she might want to snuggle under this snowfall inspired coverlet!

My little girl of course loves the Frozen movie, and she loves to dress up as Elsa. I think it's the Queen's magical powers that makes her such a popular character, as well as her long blond plait, her powerful hip wiggle and the single raised eyebrow of someone who is self assured and in control. Still likeable though, very likeable - she makes mistakes and we can all relate to that! (Well I certainly can!!!!)

Living with all the Frozen paraphernalia it's not surprising that this crochet blanket idea came to mind, and after finding the perfect yarn (Hayfield baby sparkle dk colours 604 and 605) I enjoyed some creative time designing the snowflake motif which combined randomly with the plain motifs creates a snowfall effect, finished off at the bottom and top edges with sparkly icicles.

The pattern is written up and ready to buy and available on both Ravelry and Lovecrochet if you know any Frozen fans who might like one, my little one keeps asking if her 'Frozen blanket' is finished yet, it's just the right size for her cot bed and perfect for her little bedroom ;o)

           'till next time...


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Slipping through my fingers...

Hello Everyone! How are you?

Thank you so much for the great response to my give away in conjunction with basketbasket.co.uk, it's still running so if you want to pop over to my last post here and leave a comment then you'll be in with a chance of winning the large basket like the one in the photo above. Remember though, it is only open to UK residents because of the postage costs.

How are you getting on with the Spice of Life CAL blanket? If you are taking part of course!

Mine is coming on lovely, the yarn is so soft and the colours so happy, it would be completely impossible to get bored with this project. When this week's part came out on Tuesday morning I worked out that I need to do 4 rows a day to make sure I stay up to date, and so far I'm on track although I haven't done today's 4 yet. This week is about doing house jobs and not so much about crafting. I'm doing some painting, which I really don't enjoy that much but needs to be done and I know I will enjoy the finished results. I'm painting a chest of drawers that lives on our landing and the paint needs to dry for 4 hours before doing the next coat - 4 hours!?! Still, it will give me time to sneak a bit of crochet on the 'spicy life' blanket (as my 3 year old has renamed it).

 Another house thing that I've wanted to do for ages is create a picture wall in our front room. I had been collecting a few ideas on my Pinterest board but felt quite stressed and anxious about gathering up lots of different frames to hang. It seemed such a time consuming thing, going around lots of junk shops picking out frames to use. I can imagine it could work out quite expensive too, I really am not lucky when it comes to bargain hunting, and anyway I'm not sure I have the confidence to choose mis-matched ones that actually work together - do you know what I mean?


So when I came across a kit in Hobbycraft, which comes with all the matching frames, the mounts, the wall fixings and also a template to help you display them well, I reckoned it was the answer for me. The pictures are family ones I've taken this summer, the kids change so much as they grow that it's always nice to have visual memories displayed around the house. The constant changes that happen as life moves on so fast can be quite fraught with emotion, the teenage years being miles harder to deal with than when they were babies, I'm finding out!

I am very happy with our picture wall, it makes quite an impact when you first walk in the room. My Mother-in-law pointed out that there wasn't a picture of me included, I said that I am represented by the yarn, hook and scissor photo :o)

And on that note of children growing up I'm feeling a little melancholy, so I will love you and leave you and crack on with my painting jobs. Here's a link to a lovely song that always makes me cry when I listen it. Believe it or not the first time I heard it was when my eldest sang it years ago at a school concert, and it still gets get me going today. 

'till next time....

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Basket Basket Give Away...

How do you like to store your yarn stash?

Is it shoved in plastic bags or boxes and piled high in the cupboard? Or do you have it out on display in gorgeous containers like these wicker tubs from Basket Basket?

The thing is I know that by having all my treasured lovely yarn out so I can see and be inspired by it is pleasing to my eyes and good for my soul, but at the same time I don't have that much space to spread out, so I have to do a bit of both and these tubs are perfect for storing my extra special skeins.

They have been sent to me by Virginia at basketbasket.co.uk to do a review on, which I have to be honest was instigated by me. You see I bought my new handbag from the online store a few weeks back and I really love it! It's sturdy, stylish and zips up! Just the right size for me, too big and I fill it with rubbish and can never find anything :o)

I'm really impressed with the packaging this firm uses to send out their goods, earth friendly bubble wrap and brown paper - that I can put straight into the recycling bin. I appreciate that they are responsible about such things and wish more companies would do the same.

I received a nest of three barrel bowls, they are surprisingly sturdy, very well made and I really love the ring handles that are attached securely to each side of the basket.
They are of course useful for many things, I fancy using the smallest one to display a house plant in and maybe one to sit at the bottom of the stairs - you know so I can chuck in bits and bobs that need taking upstairs, and just do one trip when it's full.
But what I like best is using them for my yarny projects, caked up soft yarns in lovely colours nestled happily together in their new home.

So Virginia and her generous crew at basket basket have offered the large tub - like the one shown above - as a give away prize! How exciting!

To enter you need to leave a comment below on this post - only one per person please!

This give-away is open to UK residents only I'm afraid.

I will use the random number generator to pick the winner and I will do that on Sunday 18th October 2015 at 3pm.

The winner's basket won't be full of yarn but I will send a few little surprise goodies out as well :0)

Good luck!!!

'till next time...

This post is sponsored by basket basket.co.uk but all opinions are my very own :o)